Building a Partnership between the United States and India: Exploring Airpower's Potential
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
Pagination or Media Count:
Relations between the United States and India have expanded in the nature, content, and depth of the countries partnership over the last decade. Highlighting the importance of these relations, President Barack Obama during his visit to India in November 2010 described relations with India as one of the defining and indispensable partnerships of the 21st century. 1 Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister at that time, echoed similar sentiments when he said that India had decided to accelerate the deepening of our ties and to work as equal partners in a strategic relationship that will positively and decisively influence world peace, stability and progress. 2 Bilateral relations are important on their own however, Prime Minister Singh emphasized a shared vision of security, stability and prosperity in Asia based on an open and inclusive regional architecture that both India and the United States share as the apex of the relationship.3 Therefore, if this partnership is as important as the two leaders seem to suggest, a greater strategic synergy is needed. One way of attaining it is through improved military-to-military relations. That is, as the two countries better understand and appreciate each other, they can work jointly for the greater good of the region and beyond. This article suggests that a greater focus on the development of airpower diplomacy by both the US Air Force USAF and the Indian Air Force IAF as a strategic and operational capability integrated into the mission set of both services could mitigate conflict, preserve USAF and IAF assets during a time of tight budgets, and further the interests of both nations in the Asia-Pacific. As we define airpower diplomacy, it is a proactive approach to preventing and deterring conflict, building partnerships, and defending national interests by employing airpower in nonkinetic operations as an instrument of national power.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations