COMCASA Agreement

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The COMCASA Agreement was signed by India and the United States during the first-ever ‘two plus two’ dialogue which was held in New Delhi. The Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis signed the COMCASA agreement.

COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) :

During the first 2+2 dialogue, high-level talks were held between foreign and defence ministries of the two nations. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

COMCASA is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).

The nomenclature was changed to COMCASA to make it India-specific and guarantee New Delhi that the intelligence data shared between the two countries won’t be shared with a third party.

• 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.

• The other three agreements are General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMoA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).

• COMCASA provides the legal framework for the US to part with its sensitive communication equipment and codes to enable transfer of realtime 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. 

• The signing of COMCASA will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India’s defence preparedness.

• The pact guarantees India access to critical US defence technologies and communication network to help the militaries of the two countries in their interoperability.

• COMCASA will allow India to procure transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is. 

• COMCASA will effectively mean that India shares the real-time American intelligence on military deployments by China and Pakistan.