US may operate surveillance drones from Andamans

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, May 28, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    While there is no doubt that the Andaman Islands are strategic real estate, this is the first time I have seen anyone float the thought bubble that the US might be able to operate maritime surveillance assets from Indian territory.-At first glance it seems incredibly unlikely, but the US and Indian navies have been steadily increasing their cooperation since 2006. And the Indian Navy has-just taken delivery of the first of-its P-8 Poseidon aircraft-that it will operate-in common with Australia and the US.


    In last year's National Defense Authorization Act, the US Congress instructed the Pentagon to commission an independent assessment of the overseas basing presence of US military forces. Last month, a team from RAND released-the conclusions of that report.Broadly, the report considers the strategic benefits, risks, and costs of the overseas basing presence of US military forces. Specifically, it provides options for future changes to the US military's overseas force posture based on the need to reduce costs, or alternatively to prepare for major military contingencies. There are some interesting nuggets with direct relevance to Australia, and-one surprising thought bubble.The report contains a scenario that describes how-RAAF Base Tindal-in the Northern Territory might be used to support a US military response to instability in Southeast Asia (p.55). The report models (pp.60-61) how many C-17s would be required to insert a task force based around a-Stryker Brigade Combat Team-into Indonesia for a stabilisation operation. It compares the benefits of maintaining an air bridge from RAAF Tindal (21 C-17s) as opposed to staging from an airfield in Honolulu (57 C-17s).-RAND finds that basing in Australia does not improve the speed of response to a problem; rather, having access to an Australian airfield close to the source of a potential problem means that fewer aircraft are needed (see table below). In turn, that-gives the US military more flexibility to deal with concurrent contingencies.The really interesting part of this report is its discussion of what the US might do in our region if it had to ramp up for a major China contingency. At p.250 the report says the US would:...seek to rotate fighter squadrons from CONUS to...Southeast Asian facilities, while bombers and tankers would rotate to Darwin and Tindal in Australia. This network of access bases and rotations would help the USAF to operate in a dispersed manner in the event of a major contingency and would enable larger aircraft to operate from bases beyond the most severe missile threat. Additionally, the USAF would seek to station a detachment of RQ-4s on Australia’s Cocos Islands to enhance situational awareness in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia...The possibility of US drones in the Cocos Islands has been-discussed before, and the latest Defence White Paper states the Government's intention to do more with this strategic territory. Funding has been set aside to-upgrade the airfield on Cocos-and presumably to improve accommodation and fuel reserves on the island.-In the event of war, it is understandable that Australia and its allies would want enhanced awareness of the archipelagic waters to the north of Australia. The US particularly would want to influence China's maritime supply routes through the Indian Ocean and Malacca Straits. It would also want advance warning of any Chinese naval assets moving into the Indian Ocean. For that reason, the US Navy is-thinking seriously-about the development of maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms.What's surprising in this report is the rest of this major contingency game plan, at p.250 again:In Australia, the USN would seek to homeport an SSN at Perth, while the USMC would aim to station an MEU-sized MAGTF at Robertson Barracks in Australia, with the units provided through UDP rotations. Finally, the Navy would strive to station a detachment of broad area maritime surveillance UAVs at Port Blair airport in the Andaman Islands, to increase surveillance over the Straits of Malacca.While there is no doubt that the Andaman Islands are strategic real estate, this is the first time I have seen anyone float the thought bubble that the US might be able to operate maritime surveillance assets from Indian territory.-At first glance it seems incredibly unlikely, but the US and Indian navies have been steadily increasing their cooperation since 2006. And the Indian Navy has-just taken delivery of the first of-its P-8 Poseidon aircraft-that it will operate-in common with Australia and the US.As our-India poll-showed, the prospect of Chinese militarisation catalyzes Indian perceptions of security. India has long believed (erroneously, as I'm reliably informed) that China operates a listening station from-Burma's Coco Islands, located just to the north of the Andaman Islands group. When I traveled to the Andamans in 2010, a senior Indian immigration official echoed these concerns and proudly informed me that he denied all Chinese visa requests as a matter of course. In the event of Chinese aggression, it is not inconceivable that India might permit the US to operate maritime surveillance platforms from its Andaman Islands territory.Reports such as this one from RAND, which lay out in cold language the steps to a major war, must make for interesting discussions in Beijing. Chinese defence analysts have previously voiced concerns about the possibility of the Andaman Islands being used as a-'metal chain'-to close down access to the Indian Ocean. In the worst possible scenario, it looks like the US might have its own plans for an Indian Ocean-string of pearls.What this RAND report makes explicitly clear is just how much strategic attention is shifting to Australia's region, and how critical the security of South East Asia and the waters to Australia's north might be in the Indo-Pacific.-

    http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/05/27/US-spy-drones-for-the-Andamans.aspx

    Sent from my GT-N8000 using Tapatalk HD
     
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  3. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    We are not Pakistani...............
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    This is realpolitik.

    While in principle I might not agree with it, given the kind of threats India is facing right now, this move should be encouraged. It will send a strong message of cooperation between India and US.
     
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  5. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Thanks but ---- off. The US has no business half way around the world from where they are.
     
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  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Australia isnt either.
    Get over anti US mindset and live the the time. We face serious threats and we may not be fully capable to deal with it alone and need allues.
     
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  7. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Yeah right. And then we slave for the US. Get over your patronizing of the United states, the only vile nation to have used nukes, twice, when it was not even necessary.
     
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  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Right now, our imminent threat is from PRC and Pakistan. This might help give a warning to PRC, and also help wean the US away from Pakistan.

    When the US becomes a threat to India, we can adopt your stance.

    I do not foresee any US threat to India in the near future.
     
  9. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Thats not the point. If as a nation we have forgotten the price of freedom, then maybe we deserve to be reminded. Such steps will only weaken our overall approach to national security. We are not a tiny nation state, we are a massive republic. National security is not something we can outsource. We did not feel the need to do so 70 years back, there is no need to start now.

    All we need to do is to send China a hard message. Arresting those PLA jawans during the recent incident could have been a start. But well ... a toothless government and a puppet leading our army ensured that happened.
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Your memory is failing you. We outsourced our security to the Soviet Union in 1971-72. That 70 years you mention is too far fetched, and not correct.

    Arrest PLA soldiers? Food for thought. How do you plan to do that? Can you please share with us?
     
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  11. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    We did not, it was as much in USSR interest to stop USN as it was India's. Further remind me where on Indian territory the Russian opened their base.

    How to arrest? are you playing with words as usual. If not like I always say - simple comprehension disability. Stay away from forums, we cant even read your hand signals.
     
  12. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    USA can be allowed to use the Andaman bases but conditionally in conjunction with Indian Navy but no formal agreement should be done.
    RAW had collaborated with CIA for snooping on china after 1962 war.
    The ARC Charbatia and ARC in Assam was used for the purpose.
    Also some very low frequency surveillance system was activated in India with help of USA
    so, collaboration is welcome but if we accept aid in lieu of it or some kind of favor then our hands will be tied.

    Formal agreements and payments in return for using the base and dependence on USA for hardware would mean that
    Only the entry will be agreed upon by us but later the regulation of activities by USA, curtailing or stoppage of activities will no longer be our call.

    So, it is a delicate line to balance where we do not compromise our own national interest, but to expect that from our current political leadership is doubtful.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The question of Russia opening a base on Indian territory is irrelevant, on two counts: (1) firstly, Russia (or RSFSR) was a participating republic in the Union of SSRs, and (2) secondly, my quote was challenging your assertion of outsourcing our security, and that does not necessarily mean the USSR requiring to operate drones from Indian territory.

    When I see such gibberish, I know that you just threw around terms like "arrest," and are struggling to back yourself up. If I were you, I'd wisen up, and offer to rephrase my statement.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The US now have Drones that can be launched from aircraft carriers.

    They can position one in the Andaman Sea in the international waters and carry out their tasks.

    It would not be a travesty to allow victualing at Indian ports in the neighbourhood.
     
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  15. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    We have strategic relations with several countries today. A strategic pact can exist only between nations that have similar objectives. At that time we had similar objectives to USSR, bringing us close enough to sign a strategic relationship. Indira said, I am breaking up Pakistan or we will have US bases on both fronts. Russians agreed. End of story.

    The second part your just trolling. You know perfectly well what I meant. Go on keep playing stupid.
     
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  16. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I think containment of PRC is a similar objective that is shared by Japan, Australia, USA, and India. Just letting you know.

    You suggested arresting PLA soldiers, and I asked you how. That is trolling? It has been a long time since I have read a meaningful post from you.
     
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  17. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Never!

    USA or for that matter any country can never be allowed to have a base on Indian soil. It goes against the very fabric of India.

    We need security now ? fu.k off, worst comes to worse we have nukes and hundreds of millions Indians willing to lay down there lives for India.
     
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  18. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Have you asked yourself why the USA wants to contain China. Of course not.:rolleyes:

    Why would you read my posts. Dont read, dont respond.
     
  19. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Australia is a lackey and so is pakistan.

    We are not.
     
  20. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    We can contain our end on our own if we choose to do so, we dont need outsiders.

    By sending a patrol behind them and another one coming in from the front and encircling them and then arresting them, if they dont surrender then injure them and then arrest them.
     
  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Your response has nothing to do with your earlier ridiculous suggestion of arresting PLA soldiers.

    Good attempt at diverting. Next time, think before you write.
     

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