On Thursday, the Trump administration scored an important win for U.S. grand strategy when they granted India access to advanced U.S. military technologies.

It's a win, because when it comes to global security, trade, and diplomacy, India offers the best possible partner towards consolidating the U.S.-led international order. Fortunately, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (both were in New Dehli to sign the agreement) recognize that this order faces a profound challenge from China and, to a lesser degree, from Russia.

As the Times of India notes, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement grants India access to advanced U.S. sea guardian drones, command and control communications capabilities, and a range of other high-end U.S. military technologies. The agreement follows the Trump administration's decision in August to grant India the highest strategic trade authorization level, putting New Delhi on a military technology access par with Australia, South Korea, and Japan.

The Trump administration deserves great credit for this prioritization of closer U.S.-India relations. After all, it represents a marked change on the Obama administration's timid approach towards India.

Although President Barack Obama talked a good game toward Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he held back from granting India this level of strategic respect from fear of arousing China's ire. That fostered India's growing skepticism as to whether the U.S. was truly serious about forging a long-term strategic partnership. Considering Chinese aggression against India and China's aggression against U.S. interests, Obama's hesitation was profoundly shortsighted.

In contrast, COMCASA will afford India added means with which to deter and defeat aggression. While COMCASA will be especially useful in strengthening India's ability to detect threats in the Indian Ocean, it will also improve India's defense capabilities against Pakistani terrorist infiltration and Chinese mobilizations on its northern border, which have at times been a very serious issue. These tangible defense improvements will prove to skeptical Indian officials that the U.S. is committed to their nation's interests.

In turn, India has new reason to support broader U.S. efforts in protecting the democratic rule of law as the basis for international cooperation. And alongside India's growing population of 1.3 billion and Modi's economic liberalization reforms, an improvement of U.S.-India relations should also help foster export market opportunities for U.S. high-value goods and services.

To be clear, this is a big win for U.S. grand strategy. The better future of the American people and human freedom in the 21st century will rise and fall on whether the American order or Chinese feudal hegemony prevails. Thursday's deal strengthens the former interest and weakens the latter.