US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in India to encourage the country to play a more active role in the Afghanistan conflict. The US also seeks to curtail Chinese dominance in Asia by strengthening military ties with the emerging power.
Panetta’s two-day tour round India is part of Washington’s initiative to further establish its influence in Asia, using the country as a key platform.
The US defense secretary is in negotiations with his Indian counterpart in which the NATO presence in Afghanistan and China’s rising power are expected to take center stage.
Pentagon spokesperson George Little said that Panetta "underscored the link India plays between East and West Asia and how the United States views India as a net provider of security from the Indian Ocean to Afghanistan and beyond."