Tag Archives: India US relations

Explaining Negotiations

The Book Review, February 2015

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, NIAS

Dinshaw Mistry IndoUS Book

Copyright: Cambridge University Press

The Indo-US nuclear agreement was a watershed in many ways. First, it led to the de-hyphenation of India and Pakistan and their relations vis-a-vis the United States. The agreement signalled a significant investment by the United States in its relationship with India. Also, it led to the Indo-US relations being seen as a bilateral relationship rather than from the lens of the American relations with Pakistan, which was how New Delhi historically perceived it. Secondly, the agreement altered, in a significant way, the nonproliferation and export control regime that the US and its allies had put in place following the Indian 1974 nuclear explosion. Thirdly, after decades of isolation, the agreement allowed India to re-engage the international civilian nuclear market. Though there have been other books on the Indo-US nuclear agreement the book by Dinshaw Mistry is useful and important. One of the significant reasons for this is that Mistry develops a framework for explaining nuclear negotiations.

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Obama’s India Visit: Opportunities & Challenges

Niti Central, January 23, 2015

Aditi Malhotra, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies

xniti_central.jpg.pagespeed.ic.FAgG9ZSo4jPresident Obama’s visit to India marks a crucial event, with hope of instilling a sense of dynamism in India-US relations. Interestingly, Barack Obama would be the first serving American President to ever attend India’s Republic Day celebrations and also the first to visit India twice. Going beyond the high symbolism that dominates the visit, this article highlights some of the opportunities & challenges for Indo-US relations.

For the complete article click here

Pivot or Pirouette: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia

Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Text of the Public Lecture,  National Institute of Advanced Studies, January 3, 2014
For the complete text of the lecture click here
For the video of the lecture click here
Excerpts from Dr. Ashley Tellis’s Public Lecture

Ashley Tellis Lecture CoverThe subject that I am going to speak on today is very important for the future of both our countries: the United States and India. I am going to talk about the U.S. effort that is underway to rebalance to Asia. It is important because it goes to the issue of what kind of geo-political environment is going to exist in this part of the world in the years to come. If we do not quite get that context right, then obviously the choices that it will impose on all the states that inhabit this region will be far more difficult. Understanding what the United States is trying to do, I think, is a useful first step in trying to assess the future of the broad Indo-Pacific region. Therefore, I am going to focus my remarks on this subject: understanding the genesis, the phenomenology and the consequences of the U.S. rebalance to Asia.

Rebalancing is really a strategic effort to go back to dealing with the fundamentals of the strategic situation. First, it is evidence of the American recognition that China’s rise is an enduring rise and not a flash in the pan. China is not suddenly going to disappear and take care of itself because of some internal crisis. It is the second element of rebalancing, the objective of managing China’s rise, which is going to be an extremely challenging one. Managing China is going to be a challenging task because it requires the United States to simultaneously socialise, integrate, deter and reassure China.

Rebalancing essentially involves three components. The strategic component is the one which has acquired a lot of attention in the public discourse. The other two equally important elements are the diplomatic and the economic components.

The idea, at the end of the day, is if all three components work as planned, the United States will begin to do much better than it did before in economic terms. That improved wealth and welfare performance will translate into greater availability of resources to the American state with respect to national defence. Those marginal increases in defence capabilities will in turn contribute to both defeating Chinese efforts to prevent the United States from being able to operate in Asia, while simultaneously reassuring American friends and allies. That, in a nutshell, is the logic of the strategy.

One also has to remember that this is a multi-player game. There is a U.S. relationship with China, there is a U.S. relationship with partners, and there is a relationship between partners and China. There is also a relationship among the partners themselves, and some partners do not happen to like one another.

For countries like India, Japan, Korea, and Australia, important nations that have proud histories and seek independent destinies, the success of U.S. rebalancing is vital. This is so because it is not yet clear to me that these countries have the capacity, either individually or in collaboration, to balance China independently of the United States. If that was the case, then the worst fears that the United States has with respect to Asia would be attenuated. Until the point where countries like Japan, India and Australia can muster the resources to assure themselves that they can successfully balance China, the best alternative for this part of the world is for U.S. rebalancing to be successful.

India-US row: Voices from the streets

Al Jazeera English, December 20, 2013

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

AlJazeeraThe recent arrest and subsequent treatment meted out to Khobragade has thrown another challenge at the India-US bilateral relationship which has been going through a trough.

Given the meek nature of Indian responses to earlier such incidents involving former officials and diplomats including former President Abdul Kalam and Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar, not many in the US would have anticipated the nature and extent of Indian response.

Clearly, India seems to be pursuing a ‘tit for tat’ strategy by withdrawing privileges extended to the US consular staff and other officials bringing them at par with the courtesies extended to Indian officials in the US. Especially given the fact that India is one of US’s closest strategic allies, such responses are useful in conveying India’s displeasure to the US administration. However, it is important that such responses do not result in any unintended lasting damage to the bilateral relationship.

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