• Sunday, July 21, 2019

A big, bold invite from Modi

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Bang Galore, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore ELITE MEMBER

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    Lisa Curtis

    Barack Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebration will signal that the days of Indian obsession with non-alignment are ending

    It’s hard to believe that merely seven months ago, speculation was rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would hold a grudge against the U.S. for revoking his tourist visa for nine years and keep American officials at arm’s length. The opposite, however, has occurred.

    With his invitation to President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day parade, Mr. Modi is overcoming decades of Indian sensitivity over its foreign policy tradition of non-alignment. He’s demonstrating that he is unafraid of the inevitable charge that he’s leaning towards the U.S.

    Aside from marking the first time an American leader will serve as an honoured guest at the Republic Day celebration, Mr. Obama’s visit will also make him the first U.S. President to visit the country twice while in office. During his first visit to India in November 2010, Mr. Obama declared the U.S.-India relationship one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century and reached agreement with his counterpart of the time on a wide range of issues.

    Commitment to reviving ties

    Unfortunately, it was not long after his visit that relations between the two countries began to stagnate as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became distracted by a series of corruption scandals and internal disputes within his own party. The fact that Mr. Modi and Mr. Obama agreed to hold two summits within a six-month period is testament to their mutual commitment to reviving ties. Mr. Modi wants U.S. investment to pull Indian growth rates back up and create jobs for the rapidly expanding working-age population. Mr. Modi met with several top CEOs in the U.S. and delivered a clear message about his commitment to economic reform and the creation of a private-sector-friendly business environment.



    The visit rekindled U.S. investor interest and raised expectations that Mr. Modi is serious about reforming the economy. The recent cabinet approval of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and a government pledge to increase FDI caps in the insurance sector will further encourage foreign investors.

    But there also is likely strategic purpose behind Mr. Modi’s outreach to the U.S. Building diplomatic, military and economic ties with the U.S., along with reinforcing ties to countries such as Japan and Australia, allows New Delhi to strengthen its hand in its dealings with China, and helps deter any potential Chinese border aggression.

    For his part, Mr. Obama recognises that building relations with India is smart foreign policy. India is an emerging economy that provides opportunities for U.S. trade and investment; a strategically important country in maintaining a stable balance of power in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean; and a democratic nation with a large Muslim minority that provides a model of an ethnically and religiously diverse society maintaining freedom for its citizens.

    Improving Indo-U.S. ties is one of the few issues on which there is broad bipartisan consensus, which means President Obama will find support from the new Republican-controlled Congress for his India initiatives. In fact, incoming Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain castigated the Obama administration for lack of a strategic plan for engaging India at a congressional hearing last summer.



    Deepening defence cooperation

    With al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s recent pledge to launch a South Asia wing and violence on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, the imperative for close U.S.-India counterterrorism cooperation has never been stronger. The U.S. and India must coordinate their responses to these brewing threats as well as cooperate in preventing the Taliban from staging a comeback in Afghanistan.



    A recent spike in violence in Jammu and Kashmir, including a major assault on an Indian military camp in Uri on December 5, is feeding Indian concern that the U.S. and NATO drawdown in Afghanistan will unleash new waves of terrorism in the region. The holding of a Jamaat-ul-Dawa (JuD) conclave in Lahore the same day as the Uri attack undermines Pakistan’s claims that it is committed to an anti-terrorism agenda. Casting further doubt on its counterterrorism credentials, Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) this week granted bail to the operational commander of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

    The U.S. must join India in condemning Pakistan’s handling of the LeT. U.S. failure to pressure Pakistan over the LeT and its front organisation, JuD, is a major reason New Delhi is reluctant to expand counterterrorism cooperation with Washington. India is frustrated by what it views as inconsistent U.S. policies and backsliding in U.S. public statements concerning the Pakistan-based terrorist threat to India. In order to gain the full benefits of their counterterrorism cooperation, Washington and New Delhi must overcome their suspicions and deepen their intelligence exchanges.

    The Obama-Modi Joint Statement’s pledge for the two sides to work together to disrupt tactical operations and financing of groups such as al-Qaeda, LeT and the Haqqani Network is a step in the right direction. But they must follow through on this effort, not merely pay it lip service.

    There is a great deal the U.S. can do to help India strengthen its homeland security and make itself less vulnerable to terrorism by sharing best practices and lessons learned since 9/11. The U.S. also stands to benefit from greater access to India’s information and databases that track terrorists who are active in India, but also have connections to groups that target the U.S. Another area ripe for enhanced cooperation is defence cooperation. Mr. Modi has highlighted the need to modernise India’s armed forces and the U.S. is poised to play a significant role in helping to fill Indian defence requirements. But both sides will need to show flexibility on their approach to plans for co-production and co-development of military equipment.

    Reports that India is now looking to Israel, rather than the U.S., to fill it anti-tank missile requirements, indicates the two sides are still grappling with bureaucratic obstacles to technology transfer. There is expectation that Ash Carter — who has been tapped to take the helm at the Pentagon, and who launched the U.S.-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) two years ago — may be able to find a compromise solution on technology transfer that meets U.S. requirements for safeguarding technology and India’s desire to maintain its “strategic autonomy.”

    India’s continuing cozy relations with Russia (as evidenced by Mr. Putin’s recent visit to New Delhi) bolster those within the U.S. bureaucracy who argue against providing India with sensitive U.S. military technology.

    Mr. Modi’s bold invitation to Mr. Obama to attend India’s Republic Day celebration shows that the days of Indian obsession with non-alignment are ending. This can only be good news for the future of U.S.-India relations.

    India will remain scrupulously autonomous in its foreign policy. And while there will surely be disagreements in the future and a need for patience as initiatives work their way through the bureaucracies of both countries, the two leaders are sending clear messages about their commitment to the relationship and their intention to move forward with an ambitious agenda of cooperation.

    (Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.)

    A big, bold invite from Modi - The Hindu
     
  2. Screambowl

    Screambowl BANNED

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    If one goes by a definition of making diplomatic relations as making Alliances, then I disagree. India knows that US and Russia are having troubled relations over Ukraine crisis with each other, and India has to maintain proper balance of relation with the both. How does this make India a US ally?
     
  3. BDforever

    BDforever ELITE MEMBER

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    very interesting, author might don't know that modi might also invite russian or chinese sides too:pop:
     
  4. rockstarIN

    rockstarIN SENIOR MEMBER

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    Calling Obama for Republic day guest isn't any much policy shift but just a gesture as cooperation with USA started by UPA govt. Our purchase from US is just 'support systems, not the major war fighting systems like combat aircraft.

    USA knew that there is a limit to which India can be allied since its is a biggest democracy with a lot of political parties.(Had we got the western style of only two parties, then it would make sense) There will always a conflicting opinion in the public. Hence, they are not ready to provide ToT (MMRCA) and we too are not ready to lean much to them. Its a win-win situation IMO.
     
  5. US_statedept_retired

    US_statedept_retired FULL MEMBER

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    I'm so looking forward to this and reading what new agreements will be place. I think our two nations bound by the threads of strong democracy are a perfect fit ideologically in more ways than none.

    Thank you for inviting our President.
     
  6. zip

    zip SENIOR MEMBER

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    Economy and development is prime agenda ..We dont think of making an alliance and closing our doors for others ..USA has more influence than any other country at grass root level(people) ..No wonder its reflecting in diplomatic relation ..
     
  7. Providence

    Providence BANNED

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    If we have to look at the history of india and US co-op in last 50 years we have had only disagreements apart from some exceptions.

    But we need to have a balanced discourse in States about dealing with countries in favourable manner even with ones we fundamentally disagree on key issues.

    I must appreciate the pragmatism shown by Modi after election in driving forward change and looking forward to what both the democracy and do together.
     
  8. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore ELITE MEMBER

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    All disagreements must be managed. Unless a state is an immediate threat to the U.S., there is really no sense in risking relations because there are disagreements on issues. The U.S. policy of all or nothing (in a manner of speaking) is simply untenable and unnecessary when it comes to dealing with other large countries.

    India & the U.S. are unlikely to see things the same way simply because they approach the situation from different perspectives. The differences must be managed & the areas of agreement highlighted. In the long run, this is a potential win-win situation for both.
     
  9. anonymus

    anonymus BANNED

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    In domestic politics too, BJP is perfect fit for Republican party of USA; given that we ignore shades of Christian fundamentalism in Republican part and Hindutva in BJP.


    Economic,Social, and Political ideology of Both Parties is similar.

    Most of those 50 years were during US vs Soviet cold war, and India ( at least after 1970 ) leaned heavily towards Soviets.


    In this new US vs China cold war, India would be on US side, barring some miraculous resolution to Indo-China Border dispute.
     
  10. US_statedept_retired

    US_statedept_retired FULL MEMBER

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    Let's look past 'the past'. I can tell you both our nations have shown great resilience in looking past 'the past'.
    If we can look past the British, Japan, Germany and Vietnam and you can look past as you've shown with the British. Then it is time we close the old chapters.

    There is no policy of all or nothing. We just need India to recognize that similar to our European allies where we have disputes that arise up at times, there maybe hiccups in our relationship with you.

    BUT we want India to understand that we are sincere in having a close and strategic relationship with it. Please reciprocate when we scratch your back.

    Onward and forward. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  11. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    Ignoratio elenchi Lisa Curtis!!!

    Inviting Obama serves more than one purpose
    1) On personal front, Modi proved that he doesnt hold any grudge against America (ostensibly over the Visa-ban issue).
    2) We need US's support to counter Chinese aggression while US needs India's "help" to maintain peace in South Asia. This is called symbiosis!!
    3) To kick the kiesters of foreign policy shibboleths of pasts who claimed that BJP led govt can would oppose US in every possible way.Now we have a PM and govt that doesnt believe in the ideological moorings of the past.

    And with this Modi has become the most interesting Prime Minister of our country. I'm his fan now...completely :-)
     
  12. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore ELITE MEMBER

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    What I meant by "all or nothing" is that U.S. policy needs to a bit more nuanced on areas of disagreement. Take the case of Iran where a lot of pressure was put on India to scale back ties. While the U.S. has reasons to want Iran's compliance o matters of national security (& that of Israel), it must be understood that India would see that policy as being hypocritical since the U.S. does not exactly follow the line of the Indian establishment on Pakistan which would be an Indian national security concern. Granted that power disparities & divergence of interests exists to make any comparison unequal, it is still always going to be seen as "you scratch my back but I won't scratch yours", something that will always be an irritant in the relationship as Lisa Curtis points out.

     
  13. sms

    sms SENIOR MEMBER

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    This naive and not so intelligent comment by writer.

    Writer lost credibility by making assumptions that visit of president of USA is due to change in India's foreign policy and a "Dent in Non-Alignment Movement" started by India.

    I was looking at the guest of honor for past Republic Parades and realized that no one has raise any concerns for multiple visits of leaders from Russia/ USSR, UK, France, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Australia and many more.

    We do not to look carefully to understand that we've been inviting NATO and USA allies along with Russia and her allies/ partners. Those visits did not raise any alarm, could not push India's foreign policy off the track, how will USA present visit will dilute all efforts we put to maintain our unique stance?

    There are instance I do feel proud that we have a strong media but most of the time i feel pain, because our journalist play lawyer, Judge, Jury and more often forget to remember that job of a true journalists is to pass info not Judgments.


     
  14. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy ELITE MEMBER

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    Sincere in so far as it would suit the US's interest's both strategically and economically to have a prosperous and muscular India.

    However, as the world's sole super power India, like all nations, needs to be incredibly wary of the US, whilst all nations India deals with will have divergent interests to India, the US is one of the few nations that can actually act on these and present a danger to India's own interests.
     
  15. coffee_cup

    coffee_cup SENIOR MEMBER

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    While there in India, will Modi ask Obama to convert back to Hinduism (Ghar Wapsi)? ;-)

    Just asking.