Strategic Readjustment and India


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The United States, during the Bush administration, started a very serious change of course in its strategic relationship with India — a huge democratic nation that has been at best ambivalent about relations with the United States for decades.
Barack Obama’s decision to throw his first State Dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh underscores this shift — which needs to happen without ratcheting up fears in Pakistan and China.
Steve Coll — one of America’s leading experts on South Asia, author of the New Yorker blog “Think Tank“, and President of the New America Foundation — sent this comment to me about his view of the US-India meetings here in Washington these last few days:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a more important figure in India’s post-Cold War transition toward great power status than he’s generally credited with being.
In the early 90s, he helped pull India away from its failing socialist economy. More recently, he has proved himself to be courageous and visionary on the problems of Pakistan and terrorism.

Coll’s insights are useful I think for those who are trying to put this US-India meeting in a broader, more serious context than I think the trip has been receiving.
— Steve Clemons


5 comments on “Strategic Readjustment and India

  1. political forum says:

    While India wants to maintain good relationships with the US because it fears Pakistan and China, I think the US has to remain a fair broker, which it certainly shall. India is a major world player and a major economy. However, I don’t really see closer US-India relations as a realignment, especially since India’s archrival (Pakistan) is one of the most important allies the US has.
    With India we should always seek to improve things like the environment and to maintain the war against terrorists and work against international threats like Iran and North Korea.


  2. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The US based Pakistani community has also played positive role in revitalizing the US civil society. The question here is not that which country the US policy thinkers should consider more beneficial in the South Asia, as has been correctly clarified by President Brack Obama- while responding the question erected by a US journalist on the eve of the joint statement issued by the core leaderships -that for the US Pakistan is as equally significant in South Asia as that of India.
    The point of my advocating perception is that since the US administration is attempting at making India a strategic partner in Afghanistan ,this kind of arrangement may not generate positive results in so far as the majority of the Afghan people, already infused in by the feelings of anti-Americanism would mot accept this partnership as they would perceive this newly made political Indo-US honeymoon as a new foreign plan to dominate the Afghan community.


  3. bharati says:

    Pakistan has attacked India several times with free US arms and free military training. This was routinely aimed at India. India has never attacked any country and is loath to do so if any alternative solution to a oonflict is at all possible. Indians in the US are called a model community providing doctors, lawyers, astronauts and NASA engineers, etc.
    Immediately after independence when the Britsh had left India totally poor, India asked US companies like Aramco to help with oil investigation. The US terms were so prohibitive that ultimately it turned to the USSR which accepted Indian rupees, tea, etc. India was forced to seek Soviet assistance.
    Also the US flatly refused to help Tibet. China attacked India for giving refugee to the Dalai and to thousands of illiterate poor Tibetans.
    This is history. Yes, India is a democracy. Does the US prefer friendship with dictators, military generals, theocracies?
    So while Indians show the most positive feelings, as the PEW reports indicate, for Americans they remain concerned about US foreign policy.


  4. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The US sought new role or courted new strategic partnership with India regarding US-Indo joint role in tackling the menace of religious extremism in Afghanistan (as the prescience politics warns that)it would or may escalate or create the perils of centrifugal forces/ political disintegration in the region.


  5. Arun says:

    Given the amount of your coverage, presumably PM Manmohan Singh’s visit was mostly show and little substance?
    Or did important things happen that are classified?


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