USA Thinktank: We don't need the Indians as much as they think we do

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is the U.S.-India Relationship Oversold? - AEI

    The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) which is a Republican leaning think tank had an interesting event regarding this topic. Usually I would put these think tank discussions in the multimedia section but because of the nature of the topic, I though it would be more suited in the Indian Foreign relations section.

    The full video of the Event is below


    Is the U.S.-India Relationship Oversold? - Foreign and Defense Policy - AEI

    Post-Event Summary:
    On Monday at AEI, George Perkovich, Diane Farrell, Walter Lohman and Daniel Twining joined Sadanand Dhume to discuss whether the U.S.-India relationship will live up to its potential as a transformational partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies. Perkovich argued that the relationship is oversold: the lack of U.S.-India convergence on Iran, climate change and the World Trade Organization, coupled with a stagnation of defense cooperation, solidifies the fact that expectations have not been, and will not be, fulfilled. Disagreeing with Perkovich, Farrell stressed that India and the U.S. need each other for trade: India has a rapidly expanding consumer middle class and a need for job-creating foreign investment, with up to 800,000 people per month projected to join the workforce in the years ahead.

    India’s massive infrastructure projects are pushing the country to reflect on its budgetary policies and the ways in which it can attract foreign investment. While supporting a U.S.-India partnership, Lohman emphasized that while the partnership is strategic for the U.S., the same is not necessarily true for New Delhi. India will continue to do that which serves its national interest in narrow, tactical terms — an approach that threatens US-India ties.

    Finally, Twining defended the relationship and described it as a U.S. “long-term bet,” hoping India will maintain its strategic autonomy and become a major player in the global system. He noted that the U.S.-India partnership is experiencing a series of convergences ranging from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and China to the Arab Spring, all of which continue to drive the two countries together. All panelists agreed that the U.S.-India relationship is a multilayered debate engaging each state’s national interests, strategic visions and domestic issues and that a developing India will create a stronger and more democratic world.

    --Jennifer McArdle and Victoria Finn

    Event Description

    On his visit to India in 2010 — the third successive trip to the country by a sitting U.S. president — Barack Obama hailed the U.S.-India relationship as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

    But while trade, military and diplomatic ties have expanded dramatically since the end of the Cold War, there’s a growing sense in Washington, D.C. that the relationship between the U.S. and India is not living up to its potential. As evidence, skeptics point to disagreements on the Middle East and nuclear cooperation as well as the slowdown in defense cooperation. From India’s perspective, U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan is a point of criticism. Meanwhile, in language harking back to the Cold War, some in New Delhi argue that India should remain “nonaligned” between the U.S. and China.

    Will the U.S.-India relationship live up to its potential as a solid partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and have potentially transformative consequences for Asia and the world? Or are Washington, D.C. and New Delhi destined to fall back into a pattern of drift and disagreement? A panel of experts will discuss these possibilities.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Rediff's Azziz Hanifa did a four part series article on this event, here is the brief on George Perkovich who seems to be the most hostile of all the panelists on India.

    'US-India relationship has indeed been oversold' - Rediff.com India News

    George Perkovich, vice president, studies, and director, Nuclear Policy Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that with the United States-India nuclear deal in limbo, the lack of convergence between Washington and New Delhi [ Images ] on Iran, climate change, the World Trade Organisation, and stagnation of defence cooperation, the US-India relationship has indeed been oversold.

    One of the discussants at the conference titled 'Is the US-India Relationship Oversold,' Perkovich said, "The one-word answer is yes."

    Going back to 2005 and the announcement of the US-India [ Images ] nuclear deal, he said, "If you look at what has happened since thenÂ… where there was supposed to be billions of dollars coming to US vendors, not to mention other international vendors, there is no US business in the nuclear sectorÂ… In terms of the US, I would say it's many, many years away, and I would say never from (the perspective of) building nuclear power plants in India."

    Perkovich, who for decades has worked on the challenges of international relations, nuclear deterrence, non-proliferation and disarmament and was once a speech writer and foreign policy adviser to Senator Joseph Biden, now vice president, said, "Also in the nuclear domain, India has wanted membership in the non-proliferation organisations, something the US sought, but from a standpoint of a relationship and the interests, India has wanted to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group in order to weaken it -- or at least to keep it from being strengthened -- whereas the US has wanted to strengthen it, and you can see it in the successful efforts (by Washington) to strengthen the rules, regulating transfer of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities, which then India has staunchly opposed."

    On defence cooperation, he said, "There is less now than there was before, and India still hasn't signed three essential memoranda that is required by the US defence department to increase that cooperation -- one on logistics, one on inter-operability and one on geo-spacial cooperation. These agreements were supposed to have been done years ago and there is no sign that they will be done anytime soon."

    He also spoke of the disappointment when, after the nuclear deal issues, India didn't award the medium multi-role combat aircraft multi-billion dollar contract to American defence manufacturers.

    Perkovich, author of the award-winning and highly acclaimed India's Nuclear Bomb and recently the much-read essay on 'Toward Realistic US-India Relations,' said, "There is a kind of aversion in India to more intense defence interaction with the US. So, again, oversold, it seems to be, and the answer is self-evident."

    He also spoke of how India opposed the sanctions on Iran and gave outlets for its oil exports, India's stand opposite the US on votes on Libya and Syria in the United Nations, disappointment when the Indian government failed to open up the market for retailers, and India taking a position contrary to that of the US in the World Trade organisation negotiations.

    "So, from the standpoint of economic engagement and economic interests, again, more disappointment," he said.

    "On climate change, again, India has taken a position in a sense, leading the opposition to the US and EU positions in climate change, and you can go down the list," he said.

    He added, "If the optimists, who were overselling the relationship, years ago had said we are making a transformation, we are making a great effort, the US will initiate some of these changes and as a result of that, we are going to have a relationship with India that's as good as our relationship with France [ Images ], it still would have been oversold, but it would have been fairly within the realm of possibility. But, instead what was promised was way beyond anything at the time that people would say was like our relationship with France and so, it's been totally oversold."

    Perkovich said he didn't fault India on any of these points and lay the blame of the "self-proclaimed realists in the US who are doing the selling." "They neglected the realities of Indian identity and politics," he said.

    "India has always insisted on strategic autonomy, and it will probably always will. So, it will never be drawn close to another major power in the way that people here were creating the expectations that it might. That includes balancing China," he added.

    Perkovich also faulted "the ideology of democracy and the valuation of democracy," which he said "led to a real misunderstanding of what democracy means both in India and here."

    He said, "It's precisely because we are both democracies that we are not going to have the kind of relationship that was fantasised early on. India's Parliament will always do things that profoundly irritate the US and the US Congress will do things that irritate India."
    He added, "The very fact that we are democracies requires some transactional productivity and satisfaction and that's going to be really hard given the different interests. But to be romantic about it, it seems to me, is to be totally deluded."
     
  4. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Yes, and more aptly put, a sense of realism has set in, which of course is way different to the romance that prevailed during the Bush era.

    India-US relations are ought to be different from what US has with any other country, and so the climb down in expectations on part of both the countries is a more realistic approach of moving ahead and India invariably will look to pursue its interests which will from time to time differ from those of the US, on some sensitive issues India will largely remain neutral and not take sides as the US would like the country to, and this is something that is bound not to go down well in the US.

    The shock was there when Obama administration took over, when India all of a sudden felt the cold shoulder but things now have settled down, and this relationship will move at its own pace.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    'We don't need the Indians as much as they think we do'

    In perhaps one of the most critical and acerbic appraisals in recent times of the United States-India [ Images ] relationship, a senior policy analyst at the influential Heritage Foundation -- the leading Washington, DC conservative think tank, which has had close links with the GOP hierarchy -- implied that India was taking the US for a ride.

    Walter Lohman, director, Asian Studies Center, Heritage Foundation, who was a panelist at a conference titled 'Is the US-India Relationship Oversold?,' also implied that Washington was deluding itself in believing it had a strategic partnership with New Delhi [ Images ].

    At the conference hosted by the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, he said he too had "bought into the big strategic picture."

    "Conceptually, I couldn't agree more with the idea of a strategic partnership, the idea of two major powers -- one a global superpower, the other a regional superpower -- coming together to work together on shared interests," he said.

    "I am not sure that at this point that the Indians agree with that big strategic picture. We are fooling ourselves that all these mutual interests add up to some agreement on the big strategic picture."

    Lohman, an erstwhile staffer to Senator Jesse Helms, the late ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a former policy aide to Senator John McCain [ Images ] complained, "We have all of these things that we kind of agree on, then we get together and we talk to them about strategic interests we have, but all that is just talkÂ… We don't want to admit that Indians are just talking to us and that it's not really reflected in any of their actions."

    "What our overlapping interests have really boiled down to operationally really, is in India's development -- its military, economic, and its greater integration into regional, global, economic and security architectureÂ…" he said.

    "Moving beyond what's good for India, moving beyond talk and a strategic relationship and them doing something for us, they know they don't have to because out interest is in developing India regardless of what they are able to do for us," he said.

    He added, "Whether the Indians, for instance, meet their obligations in ratifying the Convention on Supplementary Compensation, or otherwise reconciling their nuclear liability legislation to the needs of US industry, it really doesn't concern them or with regard to our cooperation on the Security Council."

    Thus, Lohman said, it would be naïve for the US to have any expectation of India's support for the US-led efforts to isolate Iran.

    "There is a general American naïveté in all of this. We think that we can paint a big strategic picture for India and thereby compel their cooperation on a number of issues that are important to us, things that we think are in our mutual interests," he said.

    "I maintain that the Indians approach all these issues -- MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft), the nuclear liability issue, it's GA (General Assembly)-membership votes in the United Nations, etc -- as individual transactions. They determine what's in their interest at any given timeÂ… and the big theoretical agreement or discussion on big strategy counts for zero," he said.

    India, the US and the UN

    Lohman said he thought it was "crazy" to support India's permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

    "This is a country that has voted against the US -- in 2010 -- and voted against the US 44 times out of 71. Just for a bit of perspective, their voting record vis-à-vis the US is 0.4 percent better than Cuba. Cuba actually supported us one more time than India did in 2010," he said.

    "We certainly shouldn't have supported their permanent seat before they took their non-permanent seat, so we could see how it went. Do we really want India on the Security Council if there is a risk it will play a neutral role -- Non-Aligned Movement role -- in the perennial struggles between the US, France [ Images ] and the United Kingdom on the one side, and Russians and the Chinese on the other? Or worse, that it tries to balance the US influence in the Security Council?" he said.

    Nuclear issue

    Lohman said while he supports India's membership in the four non-proliferation groups that President Barack Obama [ Images ] highlighted during his India trip, Washington should not do so "until India meets its obligations under current agreements, for instance, the international stance on nuclear liability to ratify the CSC."

    "The Indian failure to create an environment for investment for the US nuclear sector is a breach of faith," he said.

    "How can we move forward on new commitments when they haven't met that one yet?"

    He said, "The big one really is Iran's nuclear programme at this point. (If India) can't support an effort to bring maximum pressure to bear on Iran to scrap its nuclear programme, I don't see what it can possibly support. That programme is a threat to the United States, its allies and to the very existence of the State of Israel."

    Though Lohman said he wasn't sure of the right trade-off, he also said, "Our relationship with them is bound by what they are able to do on Iran. And, more importantly, the utility of the relationship to them -- what kind of opportunity they get to train with American forces, what kind of access they get to American technology, other commitments, are contingent on us finding some way to work through our differences with Iran."

    He added, "I do know one thing -- I know that a transaction is the only way that we are going to get some agreement with the Indians on Iran."

    The China face-off

    Lohman felt the US does not need India to leverage the Chinese.

    "The Indians should know that we have many ways of dealing with the Chinese -- our alliances, our forward-deployed military, are chief among them. But we also have a lot of diplomatic channels with the Chinese," he said.

    "We can talk to the Chinese directly about our issues. We don't really need the Indians as much as they may think that we need them and as much as we sometimes lead them to believe that we need them," he said.

    He asked, "How do we know India won't take its strength in 20 years and be a problem for us? We are betting somewhere on a strategic relationship, we are betting somewhere on a strategic convergence, and unless we start seeing those convergences, it may be a bad bet."

    Lohman, during the several interactions and discussions that followed, kept coming back to his contention that the US was not leveraging the relationship in its favour.

    "What we are not approaching correctly is that the US has the most of the leverage in this relationship," he said.

    "The Indians need us. It doesn't surprise me at all that the Indians are making lots of visits here. They need us. We are the only country in the world that can escort them into this international order. We were the only country in the world that could get them the waiver in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Not only were we the only one that could do it, we were the only one willing to do it."

    Thus, he said, it was inexplicable why the US wasn't using that leverage more often and setting the rules "if India wants to be part of the international organisations, the international architecture."

    When some of the other panelists did not emphasise sufficiently the importance of the nuclear deal still being in limbo, Lohman said, "That was a huge thing that we did for India -- it was much more in their interest than it was in our interest."

    He recalled that he had recently asked an Indian diplomat friend of what India had done differently over the last four years than it would have done without the relationship with the US.

    "It completely stumped him," he said. 'He could not think of one thing they've done differently in the last four years because of the relationship with the US while the US has done a lot -- the NSG being the number one thing. And, the Indians can't even deliver on the one transaction that is most specifically associated with that deal," he concluded.

    'We don't need the Indians as much as they think we do' - Rediff.com India News
     
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  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This seems to be the view by the democrats and the Obama administration. And all
    Foolish Indians all 3 million will still vote democrat.stupid think tank viewing India as an
    Adversary. If any talk of the India-russia_-china alliance start in the future it may
    Change things and USA may not have their whipping boy pak with them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
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  7. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Here is a discussion which Bharat Karnad had with a few folks from the Heritage foundation. Their disappointment is quite visible

    Link- Minimal on White

    PS: DO watch the video, it's pretty good.

    Heritage foundation is conservative and related to the Republican party


    If we don't get in, then we'll make sure that these clubs (which were created to restrain India) are useless. Successful test of Agni V for example has made MTCR useless
     
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  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Isn't GOP republican ?

    Edit: LB do you have video in youtube or can you embed it ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Republican bush gave India the nuclear deal that Obama threw out. Most of the
    Big arms deal were under bush Phalcon AWACS, p8i,Hercules etc... Obama has
    Not made one major deal and disgraceful lost the MRCA with 2 US planes qualifying
    Obama is a disgrace domestically and internationally.
     
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  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Any party that is the Grand Old Party is GOP. It is typically used to refer to the Republican Party, yes.

    However, LF is absolutely correct. The Democrats have always created a 'soft and nice' aura about them while their policies have been the most caustic. They have mastered the art of sugarcoating things. The Republicans, on the other hand, are open about their policies, but eventually, benefit India a lot more than the Democrats. For some reason, Indians tend to fall for all this sugarcoated hollowness and some continue to heavily fund this party.
     
  11. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    No, I don't have a Youtube version. The video is awesome btw.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    USA historically has never had good relations with large countries and the view
    Has generally been adversarial. This goes for all the BRICs if I am wrong
    Name one large country?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    When I was younger I attended a dinner with my father a fundraiser for a democrat where there were
    2000 Indian doctors outbidding each other for donations for their egos. Well the democrat who I will
    Not name raised 2 million dollars total from Indians and when it came to voting on f 16. For pakistan
    She and her father voted for it.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    In other words, they will say one thing, and then do just what you least expected.

    The fact that they have been doing this ever since Billy's time and that Indians still continue to fund this party does not quite explain how Indians are supposedly 'smarter' than average. They are not.
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I also feel that the US is just talking to us and they are not putting their money where their mouth is.

    Take India's sensitivities to Pakistan;. The US is pursuing her own strategic aim and now and then making polite noise airing Indian concerns in a most cosmetic manner.

    India requires oil and gas, but the US is not appreciating or reciprocating for the great sacrifice India has had to do, to toe the US diktat that India should not have the IPI pipeline.

    Neither the US is concerned about Indian sensitivity towards China and instead is assisting China to bolster her economic, technological and military might.

    NO, Mr Lohman, looking within before you wish to sing Pax Americana.

    Fortunately, a large part of the US people do not share your views. You are paranoiac!


    Now, is that something less.

    What more do you expect India to do - become a poodle like Mr Blair?


    How droll!

    It was in the interest of India to side with the US on Iran and the nuclear issue, right Mr Lohman?

    And what about Syria? It was in the interest of India, right?

    Mr Lohman, you are getting seriously myopic. Consult an ophthalmologist as fast as possible before you go blind!

    So the Nuclear Agreement was basically to allow the US to invest in India's nuclear industry? All that altruistic claptrap emanating from the US Administration was humbug?

    True, we have seen the way the US has used many ways of dealing with the Chinese.

    That is why China has leapt forwards to be a serious challenge to the US and China holding the US hostage financially!

    Go ahead, Mr Lohman.

    We can do without your investments and concern.

    Tread your lonely furrow and...... go into the sunset.

    The Lone Ranger used to exit more grandly than what you want the US to do, Mr Lohman!
     
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  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Lohman seems to be of Jewish ancestry and probably funded by a strong jewish lobby
    Something may have upset israelis done by India maybe iran or Syria that produced
    This trashy article.
     
  17. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    It would have been better if USA got India in these clubs,India has now become a spoiler
    With NPT,MCTR,FMCT and the UN looking irrelevant with India's Agni test. Another major obama
    Humiliation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  18. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    As usual Americans are straight forward, but no foolhardy.

    Indeed, Mr. Lohman speaks for American interests.
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Mr Lohman speaks with the grand old ideas of US interest.

    The world has changed.

    If one does not have friends, then one can do nothing positive.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are two examples where allies, though not totally gushing to help, indeed bolsters the US effort, morally,materially and physically!

    The targets of today are not Panama and Granada. They are much larger and much more organised to resist!
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    It should make the the Chinese happy but he does not speak for the government
    Which is busy containing china.
     
  21. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Each side wants to squeeze the most out of the relationship (or "partnership"). Neither is altruistic. The US and India converge in certain issues, but diverge in some other issues (Iran nuclear alike, in which EU despite oil thirst supports the US in contrast to India).

    As an egghead in a "think tank" Mr. Lohman has an acute observation:
     
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