Washington: Within a fortnight of the
highly successful India visit of President Barack Obama, a top
Pentagon official has said identified India as a "natural
ally" of the US with which the defence relationship is getting
The state of the defence relationship with India is
"very positive and very strong and getting stronger," Michele
Flournoy, the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, said in an
interview to the American Forces Press Service.
India, she said, is the second-most populated nation
in the world after China and a natural ally to the US.
The Indians, Flournoy said, want to cooperate with the
US. The Indian military frequently conducts exercises with the
United States and there is a vital exchange programme between
the two nations.
"We`re trying to move into areas where we can be more
cooperative operationally - like maritime security or
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," she said,
adding, "They have a lot of capability and a lot of
well-trained people and they are great partners. We are
looking to grow that relationship over time."