[PAPER] The United States and India 10 Years Out
November 3, 2010
Asia Foundation trustee and CSIS South Asia Program Director Teresita C. Schaffer recently authored a working paper commissioned in conjunction with the landmark report released by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) entitled “Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of U.S.-India Relations.” Below is an excerpt from Schaffer’s paper.
India and the United States have transformed their relationship in the past 20 years. Looking ahead a decade or more, this trend is likely to continue. The two countries can expect strong economic ties and a lively security relationship, including increased defense trade and especially stronger cooperation in the Indian Ocean. Economic issues will remain important drivers of Indian foreign policy. Cooperation on the global scene will have ups and downs, but the two countries will gradually find more areas where they can work together. As India’s international trade encompasses more sophisticated and knowledge-based products, India will pursue economic interests that do not necessarily dovetail with those of the developing countries as a group. India-Pakistan relations are likely to remain brittle. India will continue to see China as its major strategic challenge.
Over the next decade, India will become more comfortable with a higher international profile – but slowly, and with considerable nervousness about the risks involved in departing from its comfort zone focused on the nonaligned movement. The “wild cards” most likely to produce real discontinuities in U.S.-India ties relate to the domestic coherence and international behavior of Pakistan and China, to international conflict involving Iran and to changes in the global distribution of power over the next decade. In addition, externally driven changes in climate or technology could limit India’s economic growth and in the process make India a much more inward-oriented country. Looking behind this broad-brush projection, it is instructive to take apart the elements of continuity and change, and to see what lessons these hold for policy-makers.
India’s economic growth after 1990 was one of the most important factors in transforming U.S.-India relations. This economic growth had two consequences, both of which are likely to continue through the next decade: It led to an increasingly large and vibrant U.S.-India economic relationship, and it put economic success – trade, investment and securing energy supplies – at the heart of India’s foreign policy and strategic calculus. Download the full paper on the CNAS website.
About our blog, In AsiaIn Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia's development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.
In Asia is posted and distributed every Wednesday evening, Pacific Time and is accessible via email and RSS. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].
ContactFor questions about In Asia, or for our cross-post and re-use policy, please send an email to [email protected].
The Asia Foundation
465 California St., 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
PO Box 193223
San Francisco, CA 94119-3223
THE LATEST ACROSS ASIA
The Philippines, China, the U.S., and ASEAN in 2017
October 19, 2016
Asia Foundation Development Fellows 2016 U.S. Component
October 13, 2016
Habitat III: Charting a New Urban Agenda
October 12, 2016
Mongolia’s Small-Scale Miners Play Critical Role in Safeguarding Natural Resources
October 12, 2016
Asia Foundation to Release Foreign Policy Recommendations for Next U.S. President
October 6, 2016
Asia Foundation Appoints Jane Sloane to Head Programs to Empower Women and Promote Gender Equality
October 6, 2016