US to Boost Defense Cooperation With Bangladesh : US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells In Bangladesh

The United States wants to boost its military cooperation with Bangladesh as well as investments in infrastructure & energy sector . Under the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) US wants a closer military ties with Bangladesh . The visiting U.S. acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells said US is seeking an expanded military relationship with Bangladesh that would help Bangladesh build its maritime and border security capacity .

US Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells

Alice Wells arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday for a three-day visit . She is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, include a visit to Rohingya refugee camps . She said “Our militaries have a long history of cooperation and humanitarian assistance in disaster response as well as in maritime domain awareness,” Earlier Wells sought Congressional support for the Bay of Bengal Initiative . She urged lawmakers to support her department’s request for a U.S. $30-million in funding addition to the $64 million already announced .

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US-Bangladesh Military Relationship

The US-Bangladesh military relationship is growing day by day . Bangladesh is negotiating to purchase fighter jets, missiles systems and combat helicopters from the United States . Bangladesh & the US are currently negotiating two agreements ACSA & GSOMIA  .

The U.S. Pacific Command maintains regular engagements with the Bangladesh Armed Forces.  This year US donated Bangladesh $13 Million for a UAV system . Bangladesh Navy use US navy supported coastal surveillance system . Last year, the US provided $5.3 million to procure coastal petrol boat . The US also provided $3.3 to Bangladesh military personal to attend various military courses in the United States . The United States has been a vital supporter of Bangladeshi peacekeeping engagements .

Col. Faruk Khan, chairman of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs  told BenarNews “We have been in negotiation with the United States regarding procurement of attack helicopters, fighter planes and missiles,”

Bangladesh is surrounded by India on three sides, and shared 4096-kilometer land border is the fifth-longest in the world . Historically China is the biggest military supplier of Bangladesh . China recently delivered two Ming class submarine to Bangladesh Navy . In the middle of India-China rivalry , Bangladesh is open to strengthen its defense & economic ties with United States .

More Reading –

Bangladesh in talks with US to buy Apaches and missiles – Nikkei Asian Review

US wants to make big investment in Bangladesh -The Daily Star

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