WASHINGTON -- The United States and India have made tremendous progress toward promoting peace and security not only in the Indo-Pacific region, but globally, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a news conference today.
Ryder spoke after President Joe Biden welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House for a state visit.
During that White House meeting Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III shared perspectives on the tremendous strides both countries' militaries have made to promote peace and security, Ryder said.
The relationship between the two largest democracies in the world has been a work in progress and includes all aspects including political, economic, defense, diplomatic and people-to-people ties.
"We've made critical and emerging technologies the pillar of our next-generation partnership to ensure that these technologies promote and protect our values, remain open, accessible and trusted, and secure," Biden said during his speech welcoming the Indian leader to the White House. "All this matters for America, for India and for the world."
The relationship between the two countries will be important to peace and stability in the world. "We face an inflection point, one of those moments that only come around every several generations, when so much is changing … technologically, politically, socially, and environmentally that the decisions we make today are going to determine our future for decades to come," he said. "And as democracies, we can better tap into the full talent of all of our people and attract investments as true and trusted partners, as leading nations, with our … greatest export being the power of our example."
Spotlight: Focus on Indo-Pacific
The Defense Department will play its part in drawing the two nations closer together Ryder said. "Secretary Austin is scheduled to attend the state dinner to celebrate over 75 years of deepening partnership between the United States and India and the bonds that link our peoples together," he said. "The secretary has been looking forward to these engagements especially following his recent trip to India, where the United States and India established an ambitious new roadmap for defense industrial cooperation."
The U.S.-India partnership is a cornerstone of a free and open Indo-Pacific, Ryder said, "and our deepening bonds show how technological innovation and growing military cooperation between two great powers can be a force for global good."
Spotlight: Science and Tech
Part of this effort is the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem – shortened to INDUS-X. The Defense Department and the Indian Ministry of Defense will work together to expand the strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation among government, businesses and academic institutions.
INDUS-X grew out of the desire for an "Innovation Bridge" between the two countries that will encourage innovation in research and ultimately each nations' defense industrial bases. "Through INDUS-X, we will strengthen ties between our defense industrial ecosystems to make them more innovative, accessible and resilient," DOD officials said.
Spotlight: Engineering in the DOD
"In light of the ... Prime Minister's visit today, and Secretary Austin's recent visit, and all of the engagements that we've had with India, this is really part of a wide-ranging strategic partnership, in which we see defense and security cooperation, really becoming central to our strategic relationship," Ryder said. "And the focus here is really on a continued commitment to defense cooperation to promote regional security and stability, not only an Indo-Pacific region, but globally."
Part of that is the United States intends to support India in the creation of logistics, repair and maintenance infrastructure for aircraft and ships.