What Happened: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have joined their Indian counterparts, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman, to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which will strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries by enabling encrypted communications between their militaries, The Hindu reported Sept. 6.
Why It Matters: COMCASA is the second of three foundational defense agreements the United States signs with its partners. Signing it is a concrete step toward deepening the United States and India's defense partnership with an eye toward balancing against China's rise.
Background: In addition to COMCASA, the two sides agreed to hold tri-service military exercises in 2019 and to establish a hotline for direct communication.
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