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India And US Relationship

by Shatakshi

Recently, U.S. President Donal Trump concluded his maiden visit to India and 5 MoUs were signed during this meet, including a 3 billion dollars helicopter deal. In the light of this event today we will discuss the Indo-U.S. relation. To understand the depth of India-US relation you need to know some brief background.

The independence of India was accompanied by Pakistan’s occupation of Kashmir. Prime Minister Nehru’s efforts were fruitless in gathering International support. After that India declined the US offer to hold a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and India rather pushed for the membership of  China which it the US immediately recognized a sovereign nation. Later, in the year 1950, India distanced itself from a US-sponsored resolution calling for UN peacekeeping forces involvement in the Korean War. India then voted against UN forces crossing the 38th Parallel. In due course of time Pakistan officially inclined towards the United States by signing the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CEATO) also known as Baghdad Pact. During this phase, India was advocating the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM).Pakistan became an important ally to the US in the containment of the USSR, giving rise to challenges for India.

US was against China since the beginning, so in the Sino-Indian war of 1962, the US extended help to India against China by sending an American carrier warship.  Indian leaders and the public welcomed American intervention.

In1966 India criticized the US intervention in Vietnam, also a year later, a predominantly Anti-American worldview led India to reject a founding membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The major development happened in 1968 when India rejected to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) proposed by the world’s leading nuclear powers. Then India conducted its first nuclear weapon test at Pokhran, and it came as a major jolt to the USA who made plans to upgrade its presence at Diego Garcia, a British-controlled island in the Indian ocean. During Emergency US imposed sanctions on India to get a loan from World Bank when Emergency ended in 1977 US immediately eased restrictions it has placed on India. In 1978 US President Jimmy Carter and Indian Prime Minister Desai exchanged visits. After 1980  military aid was given to Pakistan by the USA to fight a proxy against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. This created significant challenges for the internal security of India. In 1990, India provided brief logistical support for American military operations in the Gulf War.

When Soviet Union disintegrated into independent nations and the United States emerged as the most powerful nation, it coincided with India’s adoption of Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization, after that trade between India and the US rose exponentially and is flourishing today.

Relevance of U.S. for India

U.S. remains to act as global Police in Asia through its military and diplomatic power projection and commitments to the region. The 20th-century witnessed the U.S. efforts to prevent the emergence of any hostile state on the Asian landmass, a function that the United States continues to fulfill today with the help of its Asian partners. China has chosen to ignore global non-proliferation terma, a pattern of behavior that the United States tried to curtail. No other nation can prevent future Chinese proliferation activities, except a U.S. led international effort. The United States crucial for India’s economic success. The United States has also remained one of the top sources of Foreign Direct Investment in India, bringing important managerial expertise, capital, and technology with it to the dynamic Indian market. The United States has a long-term commitment to maintain security and freedom of navigation on the high seas, something important to India as a net energy importer.

The U.S. still holds unmatchable power and influence in global institutions. As India is seeking a greater role in the UNSC and international monetary institutions, U.S. help to India will be crucial to reforms that benefit New India’s interests. The United States holds a technological edge on many commercials, aerospace, and defense technologies, the access to which helps our national interests as well as national firms.

Relevance of India for the US

India is an strategic partner for the US , Geographically, it sits between the two most immediate problematic regions for U.S. national interest. Indian landmass juts into the ocean that bears its name. With the rise of Asian economies, the Indian Ocean is home to critical global lines of communication, with perhaps 50 percent of world container products and up to 70 percent of ship-borne oil and petroleum traffic transiting through its waters.India is an important U.S. partner in international efforts to prevent the further spread of weapons of mass destruction.India’s position against radicalism and terrorism corresponds with that of the United States.Also India is a English-speaking and Western-oriented elite and middle classes comfortably partner with their counterparts in U.S. firms and institutions, including more than 2.8 million Indian Americans. The U.S. higher education system consists of more than 100,000 Indian students.As India modernizes and grows it will spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure, transportation, energy production and distribution, and defense hardware, this will generate profit for U.S. firms. India-USA cooperation is critical to global action against Climate Change. India is dedicated to creating a world order based on multilateral institutions and cooperation and the evolution of accepted international norms. Indian culture and diplomacy have generated goodwill in its extended neighborhood. India has good relations with critical states in West Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and with important moderate powers such as Brazil, South Africa, and Japan—all of the strategic value to the United States. India’s soft power is manifest in wide swaths of the world where its civil society has made a growing and positive impression. Indian democracy has flourished well despite of poverty and ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity and foreign and internal conflicts.

Deals between India and US

India US civil nuclear deal is seen as a watershed in India-USA relations and introduces a new aspect to international non-proliferation efforts. Since July 18, 2005, the deal lifts a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India. It provides U.S. assistance to India’s civilian nuclear energy program and expands India-USA cooperation in energy and satellite technology. India agrees to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog group, access to its civilian nuclear program. By March 2006, India promised to place fourteen of its twenty-two power reactors under IAEA safeguards permanently. India commits to signing an Additional Protocol (PDF)-which allows more intrusive IAEA inspections of its civilian facilities. India agrees to continue its moratorium on nuclear weapons testing.  approval by the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifting the ban on India has also cleared the way for other countries to make nuclear fuel and technology sales to India. India would be eligible to buy U.S. dual-use nuclear technology, including materials and equipment that could be used to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium, potentially creating the material for nuclear bombs. It would also receive imported fuel for its nuclear reactors.

There are more than 50 bilateral dialogue mechanisms between the two countries. The bilateral trade in goods and services increased from $104 billion in 2014 to $123 billion.Both countries have made a commitment to facilitate the actions necessary for increasing the bilateral trade to $500 billion. The U.S. is the fifth-largest source of FDI into India. Indian corporations having investments in the U.S. are Reliance Industries Limited, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Essar America, Piramal, Mahindra, Lupin, Sun Pharma, etc. Both countries have set up a bilateral Investment Initiative in 2014, with a special focus on facilitating FDI, capital market development and financing of infrastructure. US firms are also going to develop Smart Cities in India.

Also Read:An analysis of Trump’s Visit to India

Defense relationship has developed as a foundation of India-USA strategic partnership with the signing of ‘New Framework for India-U.S. Defence Relations’ in 2005 and the resulting intensification in defense trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy, and exchanges between each of the three services. India participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in July-August 2016.

The agreements signed between two are Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA), Fuel Exchange Agreement, Technical Agreement (TA) on information sharing on White (merchant) Shipping, Information Exchange Annexe (IEA) on Aircraft Carrier Technologies. one of the key takeaways of Trump’s visit is the signing of a deal for the purchase of 24 anti-submarine warfare helicopters. The $2.6 billion contracts is to be awarded to Lockheed Martin. Also, possible on the sidelines of the visit is a second contract worth $800 million for a follow-on order of 6 Apache anti-tank helicopters from US aerospace giant Boeing. India has already purchased 22 Apaches with some of them already inducted. The two sides may also discuss a $1.9 billion deal for a missile defense system that would protect New Delhi. This is part of several more deals worth over $7 billion that are in the pipeline.

India is gaining from the U.S. experience in community colleges to meet Indian demand for skill development. It has been agreed to associate with U.S. institutions in the area of Technology Machine Learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to extend the reach of education in India. Under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) launched by India, up to 1000 American academics will be invited and hosted each year to teach in Indian universities at their convenience.

If we talk about diaspora, more than 3.5-million-strong Indian American community is a bridging ethnic group in the U.S., which accounts for 1% of the total population in the US. Indio- American community includes a large number of IT professionals, entrepreneurs, and teachers with increasing influence in society. The two nations are working together to facilitate the travel of their respective citizens, and to facilitate this, an MOU has been signed in June 2016 to facilitate India’s joining of the Global Entry Programme for expedited immigration for eligible Indian citizens at U.S. airports.

It appears highly likely that in strategic, political, security, defense, and economic terms, relations between India and the USA will continue their upward trajectory under President Trump. The impact of USA’s relations with Pakistan over India is likely to be beneficial and positive. Geopolitical changes would have a significant impact on Indo-US relationship, however, it would remain to be multi-faceted and an “indispensable partnership”

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