"Military to military relationships are very important especially in times of crisis," US Chief of Army Staff General Raymond T Odierno said on Monday in a talk on "Squaring the circle: American military strategy in a time of declining resources."

"Going over there and establishing personal relationships with (military) leaders of India help us when if a crisis occurs, we then know each other. We can have a conversation. We can talk about issues and for me that is worth a lot," he said.

Noting that a large majority of Indian military leaders were educated in the US, Odierno, who has just returned from a visit to India, said, "So that helps us to understand each other as we go forward."

"As you look at Asia Pacific, it's about competition for resources, limited resources. It's about making sure that everyone is able to sustain their own sovereignty and their interests,” Odierno said.

"As is in many of the Asia-Pacific countries, the Army is the dominant service in those countries. India is a prime example. It is by far the largest service. It is by far the most influential," he said.

"It is important for us to build army-to-army relations as we continue to re-balance the Asia- Pacific region," Odierno said, who had a wide range of discussions with the top Indian military leadership, including his counterpart Gen Bikram Singh.

Top US Air Commander hails IAF

Days after the visit of Indian Air Force Chief Marshal NAK Browne to US, one of the country's top Air Commander has said that the American military's relationship with the Indian Air Force "is great". "The relationship is great with Indian Air Force," General Herbert Carlisle, Commander of US Pacific Air Forces and Air Component Commander said.

During the last week's visit of the IAF Chief, Carlisle offered Browne "an apology" for cancelling the 'Red Flag' exercise due to budgetary cuts in the American armed forces. "We did make a commitment about having Red Flag next year and they (Indians) are going to participate. The sequestration (budgetary cuts) had an impact wherein we had to cancel the Red Flag (exercise)," Carlisle said.

During his last week's visit, Browne received the second C-17 aircraft Globemaster military transport aircraft which forms a major component of its modernization drive. In fact, Browne "flew C-17 (from Long Beach in California) to Washington DC through Colorado," the US commander said.

"They are trying to develop an Indian military space capability, as well as cyber capability," he added. For this purpose Browne went to Colorado to meet the US Space Command, where he was briefed on how the US Space Command works, Carlisle said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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