Mongolia is a landlocked country in Central Asia and is wedged in between China and Russia. In an effort to pay China back in its own currency the Indians have been assiduously cultivating Mongolia. Mongolia does have some fixation about its larger neighbor and India would like to maintain good relations with this land locked state.
One of the fields of cooperation with Mongolia is the Military. Mongolia maintains a small defense force and concentrates on quality to deter any aggressor. Indian and Mongolia have been Seeing Eye to eye on many matters. The Indian Army is conducting joint exercises withMongolian Army, though China frowns on it.
The latest exercise code name 'Nomadic elephant' took place at Belgaum with a two week training and active performance session in counter insurgency. Along with the Indian Army 30 officers and men of the Mongolian defense forces took part. It is worth noting that the exercise tapered off during the visit of the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to India. Perhaps it was statement of India's intent.
The military ties between India and Mongolia are on the increase and Defense cooperation has grown steadily for over a decade. It is worth pointing out that the first joint exercise between the two nations took place in 2004. After that
Joint Exercises are only one facet of the military cooperation between India and Mongolia. Top generals and staff from Mongolia have visited India and it is followed up by the visit of the Indian army top brass to Mongolia. The former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff Lt. Gen. Noble Thamburaj had visited visiting Mongolia last year. The occasion was the Mongolian armed forces day celebration. The Chief of the Army Staff of Mongolia also visited India to attend the Defense Expo exhibition at Delhi.
The Mongolian Defense Minister L. Bold was one of the special invitees at the 2009 Aero India exhibition and was also a member of the Joint Working Group meeting in India.
It is good that India is cultivating Mongolia as it shows a widening of horizon and a realization that India has a global role. China won't be happy.