COMCASA or CISMOA and India

COMCASA or CISMOA 

CISMOA stands for Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement. this agreement will facilitate interoperability in defense communications. 

Though preferred to sign CISMOA, India had raised objections to its name and as a result the US change name to Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement or COMCASA

The aim of CISMO now COMCASA, is to provide India with the transfer of high-quality communication security equipment that will facilitate interoperability between the Indian and US forces. This US origin system of communicatie security equipment is used for secure data links. 

If the US will give this equipment to India, India and the US can seek interoperability between forces and also between other countries that use the same is origin equipment


   COMCASA agreement between India and the USA

India's Turning Point

In the strategic community of India, it was believed that the Doklam crisis (2017) was the immediate trigger for India to go for COMCASA. 

In the Doklam crisis, India had no intelligence on the troop movement by China. It was only after the troops came close to the sight of the soldiers on the border did India got m know. 

This was the time when the Indian strategic community realized the significance of US intelligence or the Chinese troop movement had such an arrangement was in place. 

Why the US Wanted India to Sign COMCASA?

India has been using less secure communication security equipment and the US feel that due to such less secure requirements, functional military relations with India will be difficult to build. 

As the US has granted India a tag of Major Defence Partner' where it will sell high-end defense technology to India, the US feels that the absence of COMCASA can be a hurdle for the US to sell MH-60R Multi- will create 2000 jobs in America. 

Hig role helicopters and twenty-two MQ-9 Sea Guardian (which Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones (a weapon sold previously only to NATO allies) that India wants (to prevent any misadventure by China in the Indian Ocean another repeat of2 26/11) as they are dependent upon very high-quality secure data and communication systems. 

The main purpose level is not leaked to any of the US to push India to go for COMCASA was to ensure that its technologies at the military not leaked to a third party. India also is dependent on a less secure communication system and unable to share real-time data with other friendly states in cases of humanitarian relief operations and defense exercise. The agreement is valid till 2028 and either side can terminate the agreement at any joint, by giving a 6 months notice.

India's Concerns on COMCASA

A. India feels that the US communication equipment is intrusive. It violates Indian sovereignty, as US inspectors, under COMCASA, will have a right to inspect Indian bases that will install such communication equipment. 

The US has a similar agreement with South Korea and the language of the agreement with South Korea is highly intrusive. Thus, some experts in India feel that India has implicitly accepted the extraterritorial application of American law. This is at variance with the end-user monitoring agreement (EUMA) between India and the US in 2009. 

The EUMA stated that US inspectors would not inspect Indian bases. The question is what is the status of EUMA and COMCASA? The government has not clarified anything.


B. India also feels that COMCASA equipment will not be compatible with Russian and indigenous Indian military platforms. India's concern is that if they use COMCASA equipment, then the US could monitor Indian activities and this may violate India's sovereignty. 

Thus, India favors checks and balances to be inbuilt that address Indian concerns. The US has modified the CISMOA to COMCASA where it has categorically asserted that the COMCASA communication links will apply only to the weapons that the US supplies. The US will not be able to share Indian data, from Indian platforms, with any other country, and will not access data without permission.


C. The US also is concerned that as India has purchased a Russian S-400 Triumf air defense system so advanced that it can track all aircraft, UAVs and missiles-it may conflict with the US as S-400 can allow Russia to access US information as S-400 Triumf is a mega-complex of radars, control systems, and missiles. 

The US has reasons to worry because S-400 can map America's prior F-35 fighters (which have a unique feature of low observability character) he third concern is that if the US installs any communication systems in India under COMCASA, mold it affect and compromise the secrecy of military installations in India?

D. The third concern is that if the US installs any communication systems in India under COMCASA, mold it affect and compromise the secrecy of military installations in India?

E. Some experts have raised a question that as the US is not going to anyway stand behind India in case of a future conflict, why is such an agreement even needed?

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