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India and US step up military, intel ties

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India and US step up military, intel ties

India and the US have intensified intelligence and military collaboration and cooperation at an unprecedented level, more so in the last month.

The two countries have been working quietly to step up information sharing amid the tense military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops — it has been on for 11 weeks now — along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

After US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the third week of June, at least two high-level phone conversations, key to this cooperation, have taken place.

Sources said the phone conversation between Pompeo and Jaishankar really set the stage and gave a political push to the already existing security cooperation apparatus in place. Also, Defence Secretary Mark T Esper had called up Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the second week of July.

The cooperation includes sharing of high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts, and data sharing of Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the entire stretch of the Line of Actual Control. New Delhi, sources said, is watching Chinese movements in “all sectors” of the LAC.