The United States and India signed LEMOA(Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) governing the use of each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. This is considered as a step toward building defense ties in order to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.
About LEMOA Agreement :
Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington signed this agreement.
- This agreement facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis, and provides a framework to govern them.
- Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communication services, medical services, storage services, training services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, and port services.
- Logistics support for any other cooperative efforts shall only be provided on a case-by-case basis through prior mutual consent of the Parties, consistent with their respective laws, regulations and policies.
- Provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services from one Party to the other would be in return for either cash payment or the reciprocal provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services.
- This agreement concerning day-to-day military logistics is nonetheless a milestone in the US-India defense relationship because of the outsized political importance it had taken on in India, where it had touched on domestic sensitivities.
- The Agreement will significantly enhance the operational capacity of the Indian Armed Forces, including in their response to humanitarian crises or disaster relief and does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.
- It is noted that India has had concerns that such an agreement would commit it to hosting US troops at its bases, or draw it into a military alliance with the United States and undermine its traditional autonomy. Carter and Parrikar reached an agreement “in principle” in April, but had yet to finalize the details.
- LEMOA (or the LSA as it used to be known) helps grease the wheels on the bureaucracy underlying defense collaboration, including reimbursements for military logistics sharing. India and the United States already share logistics on a case-by-case basis; LEMOA simply makes this easier.
Parrikar and Carter provided few specifics on two other so-called “foundational” agreements that complement LEMOA—namely the Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).