February 1, 2009

Indo-U.S. Ties: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

My article on U.S.-India defence ties under the Obama administration, co-authored with Stephen Cohen, was published in the February 2009 issue of Defence and Security of India. The full text of the article is available here; an excerpt is included below:

[R]efusals by one side or the other stem largely from differences in how Washington and New Delhi perceive the future of the bilateral defence relationship. For the United States, the end goal of steady steps towards closer interoperability is Indian involvement in a cooperative defence alliance, along the lines of the American relationship with other friendly countries such as Australia. India would ideally purchase sophisticated American equipment off the shelf, and participate in military operations in the region and elsewhere under American leadership.

However, India views the burgeoning relationship very differently. Any cooperation with the United States would have to be framed as a partnership of equals, conducted to satisfy immediate Indian security concerns, and designed to involve a transfer of American technology to India that would ultimately abet India’s defence-industrial self-reliance.