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US Military Brings the Heat: Will Conduct Military Exercises with India a Stone's Throw from Disputed Border with China

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The United States military is planning to make a statement with the location of planned military drills in October.

According to CNN, the U.S. is planning to hold joint military exercises with India less than 62 miles from the Line of Actual Control.

The LAC is supposed to determine the borders of China and India, and it can be traced back to the Sino-Indian border war of 1962.

However, CNN reported the “precise location” of the LAC can be “blurry,” which has caused tension between India and China.

The most recent physical conflict between the two countries came in June 2020 when soldiers clashed in the Galwan Valley.

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Some soldiers beat each other with fists and bamboo sticks studded with nails, and others used rocks in the fight, CNN reported in a separate article.

As a result, at least 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, as did an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers.

In response to the conflict, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his soldiers would not instigate violence, but they also would not hesitate to defend themselves and their country.

“India wants peace, but if instigated, India at all costs is capable of giving an appropriate response,” Modi said in a statement.

The conflict took place close to a region called Aksai Chin, which both countries claim as their own. At the moment, China controls the region.

Is this a bold move from the U.S. military?

The shared drills between India and the U.S. will take place at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, CNN reported.

Military leaders said the goal will be to train soldiers on how to fight at high altitudes.

The joint drills are not a one-off, but rather the 18th iteration of the annual “Yudh Abhyas,” or “War Practice,” shared between India and the U.S.

Even so, it is hard to ignore the implications of setting the joint exercise so close to the Line of Actual Control.

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A U.S. Department of Defense representative said America’s relationship with India was “one of the most important elements of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

“One important element of this broader effort includes exercises and training events, and Yudh Abhyas is one such annual bilateral exercise designed to improve interoperability and improve our respective capacities to address a range of regional security challenges,” the representative said.

It remains to be seen whether China will take issue with the planned exercise so close to its border.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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