Thursday, October 25, 2007

US and India

R. Nicholas Burns at Foreign Affairs (via RCP) takes note of the opportunities that a stronger strategic partnership with India would entail for the US. First, the good stuff:

"We share an abundance of political, economic, and military interests with India today. Our open societies face similar threats from terrorism and organized crime. Our market-based economies embrace trade and commerce as engines of prosperity. Our peoples value education and a strong work ethic. We share an attachment to democracy and individual rights founded on an instinctive mistrust of authoritarianism. And in an age of anti-Americanism, according to the most recent Pew Global Attitudes survey, nearly six in ten Indians view the United States favorably.......The progress between the United States and India has been remarkable: a new and historic agreement on civil nuclear energy, closer collaboration on scientific and technological innovation, burgeoning trade and commercial links, common efforts to stabilize South Asia, and a growing U.S.-India campaign to promote stable, well-governed democracies around the world. And the United States is only just beginning to realize the benefits of this relationship for its interests in South and East Asia."

There are still some challenges, however, including the touchy relationship India has with another US ally, Pakistan, over the Kashmir region. There are also trade differences,climate and environmental concerns over India's growing energy needs, and some historical inertia from India's past leadership of the nonaligned diplomatic movement - India still often diplomatic support and cover to some of the globe's most notorious regimes, such as Burma. Burns' point, however, is well made - both nations have a lot to gain from one another, and far more issues in common than those which separate us.

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