Daily Current Affairs for 18th December 2019

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GS Paper II

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Prelims: 2+2 dialogue, LEMOA, COMCOSA, BECA


What’s the News?

  • India’s external affairs minister to meet with its U.S counterpart Mike Pompeo and are expected to sign second 2+2 and Industrial Security Annex (ISA).

2+2 dialogue:

  • A ‘two plus two dialogue’ is a term — adopted in foreign parleys — used for installation of a dialogue mechanism between two countries’ defence and external affairs ministries.
  • To put it simply, ‘two plus two dialogue’ is an expression used to indicate that two appointed ministers from each country, the ministers of defence and external affairs in this case, will meet up to discuss the two countries’ strategic and security interests.
  • The goal is to establish a diplomatic, yet fruitful, conversation between the two countries’ respective heads of defence and external affairs.


  • The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) is one of the four foundational agreements that a country needs to sign to become a major defence partner of the United States. The agreement comes into effect immediately and has a lifespan of 10 years.
  • COMCASA provides the legal framework for the US to part with its sensitive communication equipment and codes to enable transfer of real time operational information. This equipment is largely used for ground-to-air communication to enable best battle situation awareness.
  • It ensures that the militaries of the US and India can boost their “interoperability” as well as share operational intelligence in real-time in the years ahead.
  • For instance, if a US warship or aircraft detects a Chinese submarine in the Indian Ocean, it can convey to India through warships or aircraft equipped with COMCASA-protected equipment in real-time.
  • COMCASA allows the US to transfer high-tech avionics, encrypted communication and electronic systems as well as ensure secrecy of its C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) systems.


Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA):

  • It which allows the Indian and American defence forces to use each other’s facilities and establishes procedures of easier access of supplies and services required by them, was signed in 2016.

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA):

  • It provides for sharing and data gathering of geospatial information.
  • It is expected to provide access to unclassified geospatial data that improves navigation planning for exercises and geospatial training for coproducing geospatial products; this is an area where India has limited technical/technological expertise.

Industrial Security Annex:

  • To allow for transfer of technology for building combat jets locally and other joint ventures, the United States had sought guarantees for the protection of classified information and technology.
  • A draft of the agreement called Industrial Security Annex is now ready and will go up before the Indian cabinet for approval in the next few weeks.
BECA Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement Sharing geospatial information for advanced satellite and missile targeting.
COMCOSA The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement Military communication cooperation
CISMOA Communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement Interoperability + C4ISR (command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance)
LEMOA Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) Sharing military bases



  • The agreement will not be a gateway to US technology either. On the other hand, it can kill the fledgling Indian defence industry.
  • The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, which the US often prefers, discourages technology transfer and even offsets. In any case, the US does not part with its technology easily.
  • Therefore, unless we aggressively negotiate each import from the US to strengthen our defence base, the 2+2 dialogue will aggregate to minus one.
  • Concerns have also been raised as to how signing COMCASA will “enhance Russia’s fears of compromising its high-value platforms, such as the leased Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine and the Su-30MKI combat aircraft” and that it will cause trouble with Russia.


  • It is important to recognize that COMCOSA is an operational imperative for the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Not only is the pact a useful enabler of operations interoperability with the US military, it is a legal instrument that facilitates the optimal exploitation of high-end communication equipment acquired from the US. India sceptics must know that there are no good remedies for imagined fears

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