FOR TOPIC CHOSEN
We may not realize it, but International Relations play a
massive part in our day to day lives. From the availability of products to the
presence of peace in our society, it all boils down to the relationship between
countries. A country with poor relations cannot provide it’s population
adequate means to gain a high standard of living, due to the lack of resources
caused by poor international relations. A prime example of this situation is
North Korea, whose population is unable to have any sort of freedom to express
For the purpose of this study, I was intrigued to find out
interesting facts between two prominent countries in the world, namely India
and USA. India and USA have usually had one of the most stable relationships,
except for a few years in the 20th century. One of the most unique
facts about this relationship is that USA is the world’s oldest constitutional
republic and India is the world’s largest republic, at present.
Increase in bilateral trade & investment, cooperation on global security
matters, India’s inclusion in decision-making on matters of global governance (United Nations Security Council), added representation in
trade & investment forums, admission into multilateral export control
regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Australia Group)
and joint-manufacturing through technology sharing arrangements have also
played a key part and a measure of speed and advancement on the path to closer
paper, we will dive deeper into the relations between the two countries to
provide an understanding to the readers about the various things that affect
international relations, as well as come up with solutions in order to ensure
the stability and growth of these relations.
ORIGIN AND NATURE
During the days of British Raj, India and USA did not have a
lot of interaction, and hence, they didn’t have much of a relationship.
However, things started to change when World War II entered the picture. In the
war against Japan, India became the main base for the American China Burma
India Theater (CBI). Serious tension erupted when President Franklin D.
Roosevelt demanded that India should be given freedom. This demand was
immediately rejected by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who even threatened
to resign if Roosevelt didn’t back out of his demand.
Post independence, India and USA didn’t have the best of
relations. This was mainly due to USA’s closeness with India’s rival, Pakistan.
Pakistan was part of the US-led made Western Bloc. Furthermore, during the cold
war, India adopted a non-alignment policy, meaning it will be a neutral
throughout the war. However, Indian relations with the Soviet Union were good.
The American officials were not happy with India’s stance during the Cold war,
and stated that neutrality is not an acceptable position. President Jawaharlal
Nehru was persuaded to join the diplomatic side, but he refused.
These relations took a turn in 1950, when India turned to
America for aid due to poor harvests in their country. For the first 12 years
post independence, USA provided India with 1.7 billion dollars, including 931
million dollars worth of food. In 1961,
the US pledged $1.0 billion in development loans, in addition to $1.3 billion of free food.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to visit India. In
1961, President John F. Kennedy said
that he considered India to be an important strategic partner and counterweight
to the rise of Communist China. However, after the Kennedy assassination, India
and USA’s relations deteriorated slighty. Even though his successor Lyndon
Johnson wanted to maintain good relations with India, his main aim was to
strengthen ties with Pakistan, as well as weaken India’s growing army.
next presidency, the relationship between India and USA was at its worst.
President Richard Nixon established very strong ties with Pakistan, providing
it with financial and military aid, whereas Indian President Indira Gandhi
maintained close relations with the Soviet Union. In the late 1970s, with the
anti-Soviet Janata Party
leader Morarji Desai
becoming the Prime Minister, India improved its relations with the US, now led
by Jimmy Carter,
despite the latter signing an order in 1978 barring nuclear material from being
exported to India due to India’s non-proliferation record.
1984, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was named Prime Minister. Soon after, he authorized
nuclear weapon testing in Pokhran, a small town in Rajasthan. President Bill
Clinton was strongly against this and promised sanctions. He then went on to impose economic
sanctions on India, also cutting off all military and economic aid,
freezing loans by American banks to state-owned Indian companies, prohibiting
loans to the Indian government for all except food purchases, prohibiting
American aerospace technology and uranium exports to India, and requiring the
US to oppose all loan requests by India to international lending agencies. However,
these sanctions weren’t very effective . This is due to the strong economic
rise India was going through at the time and its trade with the US only accounted
for a small portion of its GDP. Japan was the only nation who joined the US in imposing
these sanctions, while most other nations continued to trade with India. The
sanctions were soon lifted. Afterward, the Clinton administration and Prime
Minister Vajpayee exchanged representatives to help rebuild relations.
Plenty of Literature is available
on India- United States Strategic relationship.
Many of this literature have been
concentrated on United State’s India relationship and United States dominance
in Global context; they are apparently not India specific. As a result, despite
the flood of American specific publicity material for projecting United State’s
global dominance and supremacy, there is a real dearth of Academic research on
this important subject.
Most of the references are taken
from official government statements by leaders and officials of both the countries.
The UPA documents and speeches delivered by it leaders will provide a valuable
insight into India – United States strategic relationship. The documents of
United States government and speeches of Bush, Condiliza Rice and Nicholus Burn
and other senior officials will also be valuable for this research.
India US strategic relations
in the 21st century : The
starting point of Indo-US relationship is to go back deep in the annals of the
past which has evolved and taken shape through various up and down. The
dissolution of the erstwhile Soviet Union has been an impetus for Indo-US
relations. Since the early phase of 21st century, the Indo- US strategic
relationship is evolving at greater pace. At the bilateral level, both sides
have identified key areas of cooperation in the fields of defence, technology
and maritime and space etc. There is a good opportunity of security cooperation
between Indo-US through strategic partnership which will also bolster their
bilateral relations. Besides, the emerging Indian market is important for the
US trade interests. India can use the US expertise to meet its energy demands
and arms manufacturing. At the multilateral level, The US has been supportive
of India’s permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council and four
export control regime. The study mainly focuses on the present, and not much on
the origin of these relations.
India US relations for a symbolic world
order: While IndiaUS relations floundered for nearly
half a century, the recent pace of development of these ties have taken many
observers by surprise. ‘India watchers these days are suffering from a bad case
of whiplash’.(85) This comment by a respected ‘India watcher’ aptly
sums up the speed at which the IndiaUS strategic relationship has developed
over the last few years. Instead of the gradual evolution that had
characterised the bilateral relationship over a period of more than two
decades, President Clinton’s visit galvanised the pace at which it was
proceeding. Whether it was a consequence of a tacit acknowledgement by the US
of India’s ‘unofficial’ nuclear status, its economic reforms, its acceptance as
a pre-eminent regional power and a source of stability in the Indian Ocean
region, or a reflection of a changed mind set of decision-makers on both sides
in a post-cold war environment, the fact remains that these developments could
not have been foreseen by any observer in 1998, the year India tested its
The United States and
India: A shared Strategic Future. :
This paper mainly focuses on why these two countries matter to each other. While freeing themselves from the constraints bequeathed by
yesterday, the two countries need to seek ways to overcome the obstacles today
presents. Both have distinct approaches toward a number of issues, even those
on which this group ends they ought to work together most closely. In
particular, the two countries with the greatest regional impact on India’s
strategic frontiers, China and Pakistan, involve both shared and divergent aims
for India and the United States.
Relations in the Post Cold – War Period : This paper is quite time specific,
and does not shed light on the origin of the relations between India and USA. The main
problem which the author has intended to deal with is the nature and
functioning of U.S. – Chinese – Pakistani triangle and how China and Pakistan
play mediatory roles in Indo-U.S. relations do. That is why China and Pakistan
are dissatisfied with the U.S.A.’s recent measures against India. Apart from
this, the dissertation has described the importance of Indo U.S. relations in
the post Cold War scenario. The raison d’e?tre in the
strategic friendship of the two countries have been pointed out. It has also
explored the reasons why there has been a change in the attitude of the United
States towards India in the post Cold War era, that has been testified too by
namely the joint naval and air exercises together.
India – US relations: Issues for Congress : This report reviews the major facets of current U.S.-India
relations, particularly in the context of congressional interest. It discusses
areas in which perceived U.S. and Indian national interests converge and areas
in which they diverge; other leading Indian foreign relations that relate to
U.S. interests; the outlines of bilateral engagement in defense, trade, and
investment relations, as well as important issues involving energy, climate
change; and human rights concerns.
present, India and the US share an extensive and expanding cultural, strategic,
military, and economic relationship which is in the phase of
implementing confidence building measures (CBM) to overcome the legacy
of trust deficit – brought about by adversarial US foreign
policies and multiple instances of technology denial – which have
plagued the relationship over several decades. Unrealistic expectations after
the conclusion of the 2008 U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement (which underestimated
negative public opinion regarding the long-term viability of nuclear power
generation and civil-society endorsement for contractual guarantees on
safeguards and liability) has given way to pragmatic realism and refocus on
areas of cooperation which enjoy favorable political and electoral consensus.
recent developments include the rapid growth of India’s economy, closer ties
between the Indian and American industries especially in the Information and
communications technology (ICT), engineering and medical sectors, an informal
alliance to manage an increasingly assertive China, robust
cooperation on counter-terrorism, the deterioration of U.S.-Pakistan relations, easing of export controls over
dual-use goods & technologies (99% of licenses applied for are now
approved), and reversal of long-standing American opposition to India’s
Income creation in the USA through knowledge-based employment by Asian
Indians has outpaced every other ethnic group according to U.S. Census data.
Indian American households are the most prosperous in the USA with a median
revenue of US$100,000, followed by Chinese Americans at US$65000. The average
household revenue in the USA is US$50000.
February 2017, Indian ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna
hosted a reception for the National Governors Association (NGA), which was attended by
the Governors of 25 states and senior representatives of 3 more states. This
was the first time such an event has occurred. Explaining the reason for the
gathering, Virginia Governor and NGA Chair Terry McAuliffe
stated that “India is America’s greatest strategic partner”. He
further added, “We clearly understand the strategic importance of India,
of India-US relations. As we grow our 21st century economy, India has been so
instrumental in helping us build our technology, medical professions. We
recognize a country that has been such a close strategic ally of the US. That’s
why we the Governors are here tonight.” McAuliffe, who has visited India
15 times, also urged other Governors to visit the country with trade
delegations to take advantage of opportunities.
the current President Donald Trump has also been very vocal in the support of
India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made various trips to
America during his tenure. His drive to encourage US investment in India with
projects like “Make in India” have proven to attract more attention towards
India, along with more foreign investment.
India’s relationship with USA is likely to
remain stable for a sustained period of time. However, with the change in
Presidency and the cloud of uncertainty surrounding it, India should be looking
to diversify and spread its gaze to other countries in order to further its
economic development goals.
The UK, Canada, and Peru as well as economic communities in
Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia are top potential trading
partners. Also, completing current negotiations with the EU, Australia, and
especially the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement will be
vital for India to broaden its market access while upgrading its trading
standards and capacity.
To whatever extent the Trump
Administration’s ‘America First’ policy regime may or may not challenge Indo-US
relations, India’s core focus must remain on promoting mutually beneficial
trade arrangements and cooperation bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally.
The unnerving lack of predictability from the United States should not invite
reactionary approaches from the Indian government, businesses, or citizenry. If
India is guided by grounded principles based in its development and economic
needs, it can surely weather any storm of uncertainty that may come its way.