Combatting Islamist terror was high on the agenda when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the White House on his first official visit since President Donald Trump took office. “We are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them. We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” President Trump said in his joint statement with the Indian Prime Minister at the Rose Garden.

“We discussed the serious challenges of terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation, which are the major challenges facing the world today.  And we have agreed to enhance our cooperation in fighting against these scourges,” Prime Minister Modi said.

India, geographically at the forefront of global Jihad, has faced a sustained terror campaign in its Muslim majority state of Kashmir since the early 1990s. Terrorists have killed more than 14,000 Indian civilians and 6,500 soldiers since 2001. Indian news broadcaster Times Now reports:

“Eliminating terrorism is among the topmost priorities for us,” PM Modi said in his joint statement with the US president at the White House Rose Garden.

“We talked about terrorism, extremism and radicalisation and agreed to cooperate on this. Fighting terrorism and doing away with the safe shelters, sanctuaries, and safe havens will be an important part of our cooperation,” he said.

The US president also second PM Modi’s words and said both nations are “determined” to eliminate terrorist organisations and the radical ideology that drives them.

“The security partnership between the US and India is incredibly important. Both our nations have been struck by the evils of terrorism and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organisations and the radical ideology that drives them. We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” [President Trump] said.

Ahead of yesterday’s high-level meeting, Indian TV network NDTV reported some real progress on the ground:

Just hours before PM Modi and President Trump sat down for a string of meetings stretching over four hours, the US Department of State designated Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, who has been training and pushing terrorists into India from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for nearly 27 years, as a global terrorist.

The New York Times took this opportunity to cry foul over perceived ‘Islamophobia’ espoused by the two ‘nationalist leaders’:

Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump have much in common, including a history of anti-Muslim rhetoric, a nationalist focus on homegrown manufacturing, a fraught relationship with the news media (…)

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, hailed Mr. Modi’s victory in 2014 as part of a global revolt against uncaring elites. He has told colleagues he views Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump as symbolizing the same nationalist passions in the world’s two largest democracies. [NYT, June 26, 2017]

Washington Post was equally worried about Prime Minister Modi-led nationalist party’s ‘anti-Muslim rhetoric.’

Ahead of the meeting, President Trump approved a $2 billion defense deal, clearing the sale of U.S.-made surveillance drones that will assist the Indian Navy to keep an eye on country’s vast coastline. The predator Guardian drones, manufactured by California-based General Atomics, have never been offered to a non-NATO country before.

China is building a naval base at Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, few hundred miles off the Indian coast. Both Japan and India are wary of Chinse military build-up in South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

President Trump assured the Indian Prime Minister of greater strategic and maritime cooperation. “Our militaries are working every day to enhance cooperation between our military forces, and next month they will join together with the Japanese navy to take part in the largest maritime exercise ever conducted in the Indian Ocean,” President Trump said.

Prime Minister Modi equated his dream of creating a ‘New India’ with President Trump’s vision of ‘America First.’ “I am sure that the convergence between my vision for a new India and President Trump’s vision for ‘making America great again’ will add new dimensions to our cooperation,” Indian Prime Minister Modi said.

With most of the European leaders unwilling to even acknowledge the existential threat that radical Islamism poses to civilisation, the U.S. needs a new approach to combat the scourge of global Jihad.

Nations like India and Israel, at the forefront of the Islamist onslaught, may prove themselves to be more reliable allies in this conflict than Macron’s France or Merkel-led Germany.

Watch: Trump, India’s Modi deliver Joint Statements

[Cover image via YouTube]