US eyes Port Blair as new drone base

A US report suggests that the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be ideally suited as a base for American drones in the event of an offensive against China.

In possibly the first reference to the use of Indian territory for the US military in recent times, the paper, put together by the RAND Corporation, suggests that the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be ideally suited as a base for American drones in the event of an offensive against China.

The paper, titled ‘Overseas Basing of US Military Forces’, was commissioned by the Pentagon on the instructions of the US Congress and looks into the presence of the American military at various bases and locations across the globe.

As part of this assessment, the researchers at RAND looked into large- scale operations against potential adversaries, including Iran, North Korea and China.

Under this scenario, the paper suggests significant changes in the Indo-Pacific region. “The Navy and the Marine Corps would also increase the number of combat forces that are stationed on US territories in the Pacific, in particular in Hawaii and Guam, while seeking to retain more marines in Okinawa than currently agreed,” the paper says.

It adds that the US should seek to increase the presence of troops at bases in Australia. It then goes on to refers to the use of Indian territory to look over the strategically important Straits of Malacca, which carries about a quarter of all oil that is transported.

Full article: US eyes Port Blair as new drone base (Yahoo!)

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