India-Australia Mutual Logistics Support AgreementDate: 11 December 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous
India and Australia have moved one step closer towards signing the Logistics Exchange Agreement, which will enhance cooperation between the two countries considerably.
The LSA will be one of the key agenda points during Prime Minister Morrison’s scheduled visit. The Agreement will allow the two countries to use each other’s military bases for logistics support, including food, water, and petroleum.
India and Australia share a common concern over China, which forms a lot of the bilateral transactions between the two countries.
While Australia is worried about China’s presence in the Pacific, India is worried about China’s increasing activities and influence in the Indian Ocean.
The Australian and Indian navies had recently concluded a two-week-long bilateral maritime exercise code-named AUSINDEX. It was carried out to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy.
From 2016-18, the armies of the countries conducted a joint military exercise dubbed “AUSTRA HIND”. Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper identifies India as being at the “front rank” of Australia’s international partnerships, “on par with the US, Japan, Indonesia, and China.
The informal strategic Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) that was initiated by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 was largely in response to China’s growing power and influence.
Australia chose to withdraw when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, since it did not want to be a part of an anti-China alliance at the time.
Australia later rejoined the dialogue in 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, signalling a change in its stand.
Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)
Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement, simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military away from India.