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Nepal Denies Entry To US Army – Free PDF Download

What has happened?

  • Nepal recently had to abandon at the last minute a plan to sign a State Partnership Programme (SPP) with the United States.
  • Amid political outrage against the programme, the Nepal Army stepped in on June 15, asserting it will not accept a deal that goes against Nepal’s non-aligned foreign policy.
  • The Sher Bahadur Deuba government relented, deciding three days later that the Foreign Ministry would communicate with the US government.

What is SPP?

  • The SPP would have brought the Utah State National Guard and the Nepal Army working together on “humanitarian and disaster management”.
  • It was to be signed during Deuba’s proposed visit to the US in July.
  • It is now shelved for the foreseeable future.
  • The Deuba government – like predecessor governments in 2015, 2017 and 2019 – was initially impressed with the SPP for its disaster mitigation content,
  • But it had to reject the partnership in the end, because the mood in Nepal is unambiguously against foreign programs that smack of a military alliance.
  • Nepali governments have generally not wanted any transnational agreements that could jeopardize their delicately balanced relationship between India and the United States on the one hand and China on the other.

The problem

  • The widely expressed fear was that giving legitimate entry to US forces would have dangerous security implications for Nepal.
  • The criticism has been on three concerns: that it would mean Nepal aligning militarily with the US;
  • That India, which has close links with the Nepal Army, would not like a US presence of this nature;
  • And that it would provoke China to retaliate in some way or the other.
  • The SPP is a bilateral program that is outwardly peaceful in intent.
  • But it is perceived to have deep-set military objectives with consequences not only for Nepal’s internal security, but also for relations with its two big neighbors, China and India.
  • Critics in Nepal say that joining the SPP would be tantamount to signing onto to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).

  • The impact on Sino-Nepal relations would be catastrophic if the SPP leads to stronger Nepal-U.S. military ties.
  • At the same time, India might not be thrilled either.
  • Under the SPP, the Indian Army’s exclusive and unique relationship with the Nepali Army would be diluted, a prospect the conservative Indian top brass cannot reconcile with.

Why this trust deficit?

  • A document purporting to be an “agreement” between Nepal and the United States on the SPP emerged and went viral in the media.
  • The alleged agreement had strong military content, including joint Nepal-U.S. army training and fellowships for Nepali officers to train in U.S. academies.
  • It said that the U.S. National Guard and U.S. contractors, related vehicles, and light aircraft operated by or for the United States, may use agreed facilities and areas for training, transit, support and related activities.
  • That played into existing concerns about the SPP as a de facto military alliance.
  • The U.S. embassy promptly stated that the document was a fake, adding, “There is no ‘agreement’ to sign. That is false.”
  • The Nepali government too said that there has never been an agreement. The government’s line was that while the SPP had indicated its readiness to admit Nepal, there has been no follow-up.

Why Nepal Army is getting involved in this?

  • Literally disowned by political parties and the government since the 2005-06 political changes, the Army has been largely quiet all these years — until this assertive reaction against the programme.
  • In April 2006, after the Maoists decided to give up insurgency against the state, their leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda denounced the Nepal Army at the Prime Minister’s residence as “an institution of rapists and the corrupt”.
  • Later that year, Prachanda signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with Prime Minister G P Koirala.
  • While the Maoists became part of the government , the Nepal Army was projected as the ‘Private Army’ of the King.
  • The Army , which never confronted political leaders during this period, has chosen to speak up at a time when,
  • It is being seen as regaining its esteem amid political instability and allegations of corruption in government.


  • Deuba is to visit the U.S. in mid-July.
  • He has to face tough parliamentary elections in November this year and cannot afford to take such a controversial step.

Q) Which Indian states shares smallest border with Nepal?

  1. Sikkim
  2. West Bengal
  3. Uttarakhand
  4. Bihar




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