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India and US signs Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement

LEMOA was signed between India and the US on 29th August in Washington, in the presence of visiting defense minister, Manohar Parrikar and US secretary of defense, Ashton Carter. It was one of the four ‘foundational pacts’ that the US wanted India to sign. The three others are an

  1. End User Verification Agreement (which the US and India had already signed)
  2. Communications Interoperability & Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
  3. The Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement on geo-spatial services (BECA).

The discussions to sign the logistics pact started in 2002, during NDA-I regime, but due to fear of aligning with USA, both NDA and later UPA government avoided signing the agreement.

USA usually has these agreements with close allies. Generally such military logistics agreement signed by the US with other countries is called the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA). The modified version of LSA, which addresses India’s concerns, is now called LEMOA. So LEMOA is the India specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement.

Our concerns addressed in LEMOA includes

  1. Agreement does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity.
  2. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.

Important provisions

  1. It is purely a logistical agreement. It is meant to build basic ground work and promote interoperability between militaries by creating common standards and systems.

However, it does not make logistical support automatic or obligatory for either party. Each case will require individual clearance.

  1. It is not a basing agreement. There will be no basing of the U.S. troops or assets on Indian soil. India can access the string of U.S. facilities across the globe for logistical support and the U.S., which operates in a big way in Asia-Pacific, will benefit from Indian facilities.
  2. It gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refueling and replenishment.
  3. It also provides for sale and transfer of high-end technologies.
  4. It will primarily cover four areas — port calls, joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
  5. Any other requirement has to be agreed upon by both sides on a case-by-case basis.

 

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