Washington:  Irrespective of the outcome of the US presidential elections, India and the US must deepen military ties over the next few years, two senior Republican party members said. They also advocated that US must do away with its “outdated” export control policy that limits defence cooperation with India.

“The next American president must be ready to welcome Indians with open arms into the US rebalance,” wrote senior Republican members and Trump campaigners Puneet Ahluwalia and Alexander B Gray in the leading US publication ‘National Interest’.

Mr Ahluwalia – who is a member of the Asian Pacific American Advisory committee for the Trump campaign – and Mr Gray – who previously served on the US Armed Services committee – outlined the Republican foreign policy agenda. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a front-runner in the US presidential elections.

“To begin with the American foreign policy establishment should begin referring to the ‘Indo-Pacific’ with greater regularity. This is not only an accurate description of the map on which the US and China will be competing, it is also an important rhetorical recognition of India’s strategic importance,” they said.

The next administration must reform the “antiquated” export control regime limiting defence cooperation between Washington and New Delhi, they advised.

“Such restrictions are hampering technology transfers and defence cooperation. The US has long castigated India for its byzantine bureaucracy; it is time the US fixed its own paperwork deficiencies to strengthen this relationship,” they said adding that a deeper relationship with India was important for the US to counter China’s growing belligerence in the region.

“While Beijing’s brinkmanship in the South and East China Seas and bullying behaviour towards US’ partners like Philippines, Japan, Australia and Singapore have most occupied Washington policymakers, there is another important but underused arrow available in the US quiver to fully implement the much-heralded ‘re-balance’ to Asia,” they wrote.