What is the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)?
The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, or LEMOA, is a military logistics agreement signed between India and the United States in 2016. The agreement allows the two countries to share military logistics, such as fuel, ammunition, and spare parts, during joint military exercises and operations.
The signing of LEMOA marked a significant milestone in the India-US defence relationship, which had been steadily growing closer in the preceding years. Prior to the agreement, the two countries had limited military logistics cooperation, and India had been hesitant to sign a formal logistics agreement with the US due to concerns over sovereignty and the perception of being drawn into the American sphere of influence.
However, LEMOA was designed to address these concerns, with provisions that ensure that the agreement is reciprocal and that Indian sovereignty is respected. Under the terms of the agreement, both countries must provide advance written consent before using each other’s military facilities or assets, and both have the right to refuse a request if it is not in their national interest.
The benefits of LEMOA are many. It allows India and the US to streamline military logistics and reduce costs by sharing resources, thereby increasing the efficiency of joint military operations. It also enhances interoperability between the two militaries, allowing them to work more closely together in the event of a crisis or conflict.
Moreover, the agreement sends a strong signal to other countries in the region, particularly China, that India and the US are deepening their defence ties and are committed to maintaining regional security and stability. It also serves as a foundation for future military logistics agreements and other defence cooperation initiatives between the two countries.
Despite these benefits, LEMOA remains controversial in India, with critics arguing that it undermines India’s strategic autonomy and exposes it to pressure from the US. Some have also raised concerns about the potential for American troops to be stationed on Indian soil, although the agreement explicitly prohibits this.
LEMOA represents an important step forward in the India-US defence relationship, and its successful implementation could pave the way for even closer defence ties between the two countries in the future.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team