US unveils new initiatives to tackle great power competition, sees India at centre of Indo-Pacific strategy

New Delhi: The US has unveiled a new security and foreign policy plan that aims at strengthening its network of partners and allies to deal with what it says increasing competition from China and Russia, and places India at the centre of the Indo-Pacific strategy.
Secretary of Defense Mark Espers revealed the US strategy to deal with great power competition, emphasising the critical advantage and enduring strength of its “global constellation of allies and partners” that helps Washington maintain an “asymmetric advantage” over China and Russia.
In a speech at the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, Espers unveiled two intiatives — Guidance for Development of Alliances and Partnerships, and Modernisation of Defence Trade.
The GDAP is a comprehensive guide for working together with countries. The defence department will, he said, will “prioritise, align and synchronise” security cooperation to meet challenges effectively.
The defence trade modernization involves launching a new “foreign military sales dashboard” to ensure partners getting equipment and systems they need.
This will also expand foreign military participation in US military education.
Espers said the need for such plans has arisen because the US is confronted with an era of great power competition that is global in nature.
The US is facing growing Chinese and Russian threats to its national security and their military modernisation efforts are troubling.
This, he said, has made necessary to engage more strategically with partners, relations with whom are rooted in common values and interests.
Also, this needs “a common set of priorities… that will drive our interests with our foreign counterparts and improve our effectiveness”, as great power competition requires a global approach, said the defence secretary.
The US initiatives comes as Espers along with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ready to hold the second round of the 2+2 talks with his Indian counterparts Rajnath Singh and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar next week in New Delhi.