Sufficient time has passed since the first India-US 2+2 meeting was held to make an objective assessment of the outcome. Before the meeting there was much speculation about the issues that will be discussed and the likely results. These issues ranged from India signing the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA); the Indian purchase of the S-400 from Russia, the sanctions this action may attract under CAATSA, and whether the U.S. President will grant India a waiver; and whether India will get a waiver from another set of US sanctions if it does not reduce oil imports from Iran to Zero by November 4.
While COMCASA was signed during the meeting, there was no positive or definite commitment from the U.S. on any of the other issues. That was to be expected as, even before arriving in Delhi, Secretary of State Pompeo had, in answer to a question on these issues, said:
“They’re part of the conversation. They’re part of the relationship. They will certainly come up, but I don’t think they’ll be the primary focus of what it is we’re trying to accomplish here. There’s half a dozen things on the agenda that we’re really intent on making progress on. Those decisions are important, they’re important to the relationship for sure, but I don’t see us resolving those or having even – have intention to resolve those during this set of meetings of the Strategic Dialogue.”
There was also no movement on these other issues because no solution can be found for them yet because of the simple fact that no sanctions are currently in place because of either CAATSA or the Iran November 4 sanctions and, therefore, there can be no waivers now and one cannot expect the U.S. to give a blanket all time/all-purpose waiver to India at this point in time.
There were, of course, some symbolic gestures towards India in the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, such as “full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group”, the call for “Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries”, and the call to “bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks.”
So, apart from whatever exchanges were made at the closed door meeting, the only public outcome that is significant and known is the COMCASA agreement, which has been a long standing request from the U.S.
At present, the most important point about COMCASA is that it is a classified document and there is no information about its content or purpose. However, from various public observations and documents, one can infer the following: