October 01, 2014
September 30, 2014
September 26, 2014
By Manish Chand
images/in__1.jpg(Prime Minister embarks on his five-day visit to USA, on September 25, 2014)Fast-track diplomacy and smart development-centric diplomacy are the twin mantra of the new government in Delhi. Starting from hosting the leaders of South Asian neighbours to engaging key Asian partners, China and Japan, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now headed for the US on a defining trip that is set to infuse "the defining partnership of the 21st century" with a new burst of energy and vitality. Spectacle, colour, high diplomacy, culture, commerce and creativity – all these varied elements are going to be fused into Prime Minister Modi's maiden voyage to America (Sept 26-30), which is poised to be a blockbuster diplomatic event.
There are several firsts to this prime ministerial trip: This will be not only the first visit of Narendra Modi as the Prime minister of India, but it will also be his first meeting with US President Barack Obama. Mr Modi will also become the first foreign leader to be given the largest-ever community reception in the heart of New York City - around 20,000-odd Indian-Americans will be listening in to the Indian leader at the Madison Square Garden, the iconic venue better known for celebrity rock stars and singers performing on its grand stage. This will also be the first time when an Indian leader's speech will be beamed live on giant screens at Time Square, the pulsating heart of Manhattan which is frequented by thousands of people every day. This is also the first time the US Senate has designated September 30 as the day of India-US Partnership, which has coincided with the day Prime Minister Modi will meet President Obama in Washington for full-spectrum talks.
images/in__1.jpg(US Secretary of State John Kerry calls on Prime Minister in New Delhi on August 01, 2014)In the run-up to the prime ministerial visits, senior figures of the US administration have visited India in the first 100 days of the Modi government, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. They held wide-ranging talks in New Delhi, which have firmed up an ambitious agenda for making the summit meeting between the leaders of the world's oldest and most populous democracies substantive and successful.
Raising the Bar
Many issues will be competing for the leaders' mind space, but one can safely say that their overarching focus will be to impart a renewed momentum to the India-US relationship, which was transformed after the path-breaking civil nuclear deal of 2008, converting the hitherto estranged democracies into engaged democracies. While the nuclear deal, also called the 123 agreement, remains a work in progress, proponents of stronger India-US relations say it's time for 456, indicating a common desire to raise the bar for the relationship which is seen as central to ongoing effort to shape an inclusive and pluralistic 21st century world order.
With a business-friendly Prime minister in charge of Asia's third largest economy, the focus will be on business and widening the arc of co-prosperity to create new win-win opportunities for both sides. This will be reflected in Prime Minister Modi's interaction with top American CEOs, separately in New York and Washington. In these meetings, the Indian leader, armed with the largest parliamentary majority in the last three decades, is expected to make a robust pitch for attracting American investments and seek the participation of US capital and expertise to actualise his vision of making India a manufacturing powerhouse and building 100 smart cities. Sending positive signals to the global investor community, the FDI cap in the insurance sector has already been raised to 49 per cent. The defence sector has also been opened up to foreign investment. In return, India is expecting the US establishment to show some flexibility to accommodate India's interests and concerns vis-à-vis the IPR regime's application to life-saving generic drugs and visa fee for Indian IT professionals.
In the economic arena, the sky is virtually the limit, with the new government walking the talk on economic reforms. The US is India's largest trading partner. The two sides are now looking to multiply bilateral trade five-fold to $500 billion. The trade balance is in India's favour. The US is already the fifth largest source of foreign direct investments into India, with cumulative FDI inflows from the US from April 2000 to March 2014 amounting to about $ 11.92 billion. Indian companies have invested over US $ 17 billion in the US in the last few years.
images/in__1.jpg(US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel calls on the Prime Minister in New Delhi on August 08, 2014)Upswing in defence ties
The defence ties are on an upswing. In September 2013, the two sides signed a Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation, which envisages qualitatively upgrading the defence relationship by simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of co-development and co-production of defence systems. The two sides are expected to renew their defence framework agreement during the forthcoming visit.
Against the backdrop of the unfolding transition in Afghanistan and the proliferation of terrorist threats in Iraq and the Middle East, counter-terror and security cooperation are expected to get a boost in the forthcoming talks. This will be reflected in the symbolic visit of Mr Modi to Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Centre in New York which was targeted by barbaric terror strikes on September 11, 2001 and the newly-inaugurated 9/11 Museum and Memorial.
images/in__1.jpg(External Affairs Minister and US Secretary of State John F. Kerry co-chair 5th India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi on July 31, 2014)Global Partnership
With 36 bilateral dialogue mechanisms straddling diverse areas and a growing convergence of interests across the arc of the globe spanning from Africa to Afghanistan, this is the turning point for the multi-faceted India-US relations.
With an arc of instability widening around the world, one can expect some focussed discussions on a wide array of regional and global hotspots, including Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and the volatile situation in the Middle East. This burgeoning cooperation on region global issues makes the India-US partnership truly global and strategic. In an interview to Fareed Zakaria of CNN, Mr Modi has underlined the global compass of the India-US cooperation.
"Relations between India and America should not be seen within the limits of just Delhi and Washington. It's a much larger sphere. The good thing is that the mood of both Delhi and Washington is in harmony with this understanding. Both sides have played a role in this." Underlining that India and the US are bound together, by history and culture, the Prime minister voiced confidence that "these ties will deepen further."
Mapping the way ahead
There is, therefore, strong political will on both sides to make this critically important relationship work, and acquire new energy and vibrancy in days to come. In countless ways, the narratives of the India Story and the American Dream are getting fused. Over 100,000 Indian students studying in various American universities and the 3-million strong Indian diaspora in the US exemplify the intertwining of the Indian and American dreams. Above all, where the India-US relations score is in the unparalleled scale of people-to-people contacts, with burgeoning linkages in the fields of education, research and innovation. And it is in these areas the action lies in the future.
Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology - these 5 Ts which Prime Minister Modi has spelt out as part of his long-term vision of revitalising Brand India and the India Story can get a boost from closer partnership with the US. The US, too, is looking at India as a burgeoning market, a hub of innovation and a rising Asian power. The situation is ripe for dreaming big, and making the defining partnership of the 21st century deliver new possibilities for 1.5 billion people of India and the United States of America.
(Manish Chand is Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network,www.indiawrites.org, a portal and e-journal focused on international affairs and the India Story).
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author
Posted by Naxal Watch at 11:28 PM
Vision Statement for the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership-'Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go'
September 29, 2014
Chalein Saath Saath, forward together we go. As leaders of two great democratic nations with diverse traditions and faiths, we share a vision for a partnership in which the United States and India work together, not just for the benefit of both our nations, but for the benefit of the world.
We have vastly different histories, but both our founders sought to guarantee freedoms that allow our citizens to determine their own destiny and pursue their personal aspirations. Our strategic partnership rests on our shared mission to provide equal opportunity for our people through democracy and freedom.
The currents of kinship and commerce, scholarship and science tie our countries together. They allow us to rise above differences by maintaining the long-term perspective. Every day, in myriad ways, our cooperation fortifies a relationship that matches the innumerable ties between our peoples, who have produced works of art and music, invented cutting-edge technology, and responded to crises across the globe.
Our strategic partnership is a joint endeavor for prosperity and peace. Through intense consultations, joint exercises, and shared technology, our security cooperation will make the region and the world safe and secure. Together, we will combat terrorist threats and keep our homelands and citizens safe from attacks, while we respond expeditiously to humanitarian disasters and crises. We will prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and remain committed to reducing the salience of nuclear weapons, while promoting universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.
We will support an open and inclusive rules-based global order, in which India assumes greater multilateral responsibility, including in a reformed United Nations Security Council. At the United Nations and beyond, our close coordination will lead to a more secure and just world.
Climate change threatens both our countries, and we will join together to mitigate its impact and adapt to our changing environment. We will address the consequences of unchecked pollution through cooperation by our governments, science and academic communities. We will partner to ensure that both countries have affordable, clean, reliable, and diverse sources of energy, including through our efforts to bring American-origin nuclear power technologies to India.
We will ensure that economic growth in both countries brings better livelihoods and welfare for all of our people. Our citizens value education as a means to a better life, and our exchange of skills and knowledge will propel our countries forward. Even the poorest will share in the opportunities in both our countries.
Joint research and collaboration in every aspect—ranging from particles of creation to outer space -- will produce boundless innovation and high technology collaboration that changes our lives. Open markets, fair and transparent practices will allow trade in goods and services to flourish.
Our people will be healthier as we jointly counter infectious diseases, eliminate maternal and child deaths, and work to eradicate poverty for all. And they will be safer as we ensure the fullest empowerment of women in a secure environment.
The United States and India commit to expand and deepen our strategic partnership in order to harness the inherent potential of our two democracies and the burgeoning ties between our people, economies, and businesses. Together we seek a reliable and enduring friendship that bolsters security and stability, contributes to the global economy, and advances peace and prosperity for our citizens and throughout the world.
We have a vision that the United States and India will have a transformative relationship as trusted partners in the 21stcentury. Our partnership will be a model for the rest of the world.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 8:59 PM
September 30, 2014
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met this morning. Marking their first bilateral summit, the President recognized the Prime Minister's historic election victory in the largest democratic election ever held.
The two leaders extolled the broad strategic and globalpartnership between the United States and India, which will continue to generategreater prosperity and security for their citizens and the world. Prime Minister Modi emphasized the priority India accords to its partnership with the United States, a principal partner in the realization of India's rise as a responsible, influential world power. Given the shared values, people-to-people ties, and pluralistic traditions, President Obama recognized that India's rise as a friend and partner is in the United States' interest. Theyendorsed the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership" as a guide to strengthen and deepen cooperation in every sector for the benefit of global stability and people's livelihoods over the next ten years. They committed to a new mantra for the relationship, "ChaleinSaathSaath: Forward Together We Go."
The two leadersrecognized that the bilateral relationshipenjoys strong support in both countries, which has allowed the strategic partnership to flourish even as the governments change.Welcoming the wide range of collaborative activities undertaken to improve their citizens' lives, both leaders agreed to revitalize the existing partnership and find new areas for collaboration and mutual benefit.
Noting that two-way trade has increased fivefold since 2001 to nearly$100 billion, President Obama and Prime Minister Modicommitted to facilitate the actions necessary to increase tradeanother fivefold.President Obama and Prime Minister Modi recognizedthat U.S. and Indian businesses have a critical role to play in sustainable, inclusive, and job-led growth and development.
In order to raise investment by institutional investors and corporate entities, the leaders pledged to establish an Indo-U.S. Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Treasury, with special focus on capital market development and financing of infrastructure. They pledged to establish an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform convened by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce to enhance participation of U.S. companies in infrastructure projects in India.
In this context, the U.S.government welcomes India's offer for U.S. industry to be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh).The Prime Minister will welcome two trade missions in 2015 focused on meeting India's infrastructure needs with U.S. technology and services.
They also committed to a new partnership to advance the Prime Minister's goal of improved access to clean water and sanitation for all. USAID, through the Urban India Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Alliance, will serve as knowledge partner to help leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise, and technology, such as with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to support the Prime Minister's 500 Cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign.
The President welcomed the Prime Minister's ambitious plan to extend basicfinancialservices to all its citizens, giving them powerful tools to manage their finances and more fully participate in India's growing economy.The President and Prime Minister underlinedthe important contribution that U.S. locomotive technology, equipment to monitor rail system assets, and U.S. best practices can play in modernizing India's vast railway network, including accessing programs of U.S. Trade and Development Agency in this work.
The leaders discussed their concerns about the current impasse in the World Trade Organization and its effect on the multilateral trading system, and directed their officials to consult urgentlyalong with other WTO members on the next steps. Theleaders committed to work through the Trade Policy Forum to promote a business environment attractive for companies to invest and manufacture in India and in the United States. Agreeing on the need to foster innovation in a manner that promotes economic growth and job creation, the leaders committed to establish an annual high-level Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings as part of the Trade Policy Forum. They recognized in particular the contribution of the Indian and U.S. Information Technology (IT) industry and the IT-enabled service industry in strengthening India-U.S. trade and investment relations.
The two leaders committed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the Commercial Dialogue on new areas of cooperation, including innovation in advanced manufacturing. In order to share best practices in manufacturingand work toward greater harmonization of standards, the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program will start a dialogue with Indian counterparts. The two countriesplan to work expeditiously through several joint initiatives to facilitate greater confidence in cross-border trade and investment.
The President also offered to support the Prime Minister to achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for 21st century jobs through new partnerships to share expertise and global standards for skills development in India, including by reinvigorating the Higher Education Dialogue.
The leaders look forward to the annual U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership in early 2015.They also welcomed the expansion of the partnership in oversight of financial institutions, including between Reserve Bank of India and the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.They also agreed to reinvigorate the India-U.S. CEO Forum, and welcomed India's offer to host the Forum for the second time in early 2015.
Energy and Climate Change
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement fully the U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement. They established a Contact Group on advancing the implementation of civil nuclear energy cooperation in order to realize early their shared goal of delivering electricity from U.S.-built nuclear power plants in India. They looked forward to advancing the dialogue to discuss all implementation issues, including but not limited to administrative issues, liability,technical issues, and licensing to facilitate the establishment of nuclear parks, including power plants with Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi technology.
Recognizing the critical importance of increasing energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi agreed to a new and enhanced strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy, and climate change. They agreed to strengthen and expand the highly successful U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) through a series of priority initiatives, including anew Energy Smart Cities Partnership to promote efficient urban energy infrastructure; a new program to scale-up renewable energy integration into India's power grid; cooperation to support India's efforts to upgrade its alternative energy institutes and to develop new innovation centers; an expansion of the Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) program to unlock additional private sector investment and accelerate the deployment of cost-effective, super-efficient appliances; and the formation ofa new Clean Energy Finance Forum to promoteinvestment and trade in clean energy projects.
Both leadersare committed to working towards a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 of the conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the creation of a new global agreement on climate change.
The leaders recalled previous bilateral and multilateral statementson the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). They recognized the need to use the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol to reduce consumption and production of HFCs, while continuing to report and account for the quantities reduced under the UNFCCC. They pledged to urgently arrange a meeting of their bilateral task force on HFCs prior to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol to discuss issues such as safety, cost, and commercial access to new or alternative technologies to replace HFCs. The two sides would thereafter cooperate on next steps to tackle the challenge posed by HFCs to global warming.
They launched a new U.S.-India Partnership for Climate Resilience to advance capacity for climate adaptation planning, and a new program of work on air quality aimed at delivering benefits for climate change and human health.
They also launched a new U.S.-India Climate Fellowship Program to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both countries. The President and Prime Minister instructed their senior officials to work through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue, U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change, and other relevant fora to advance these and other initiatives.
The leaders welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Export-Import Bank and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, which would make up to $1 billion in financing available to bolster India's efforts to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient energy economy, while boosting U.S. renewableenergy exports to India. The two leaders reiterated the importance of conserving India's precious biodiversity and agreed to explore opportunities for collaboration on national parks and wildlife conservation.
Defense and Homeland Security Cooperation
The Prime Minister and the President stated their intention to expand defense cooperation to bolster national, regional, and global security. The two leaders reaffirmed that India and the United States would build an enduring partnership in which both sides treat each other at the same level as their closest partners, including defense technology transfers, trade, research, co-production, and co-development.
To facilitate deeper defense cooperation, they welcomed the decision to renew for ten more years the 2005 Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationshipand directed their defense teams to develop plans for more ambitious programs and activities. The two leaders also agreed to reinvigorate the Political-Military Dialogue and expand its role to serve as a wider dialogue on export licensing, defense cooperation and strategic cooperation.
The leaders welcomed the first meeting under the framework of the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative in September 2014 and endorsed its decision to establish a Task Force to expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies which would have a transformative impact on bilateral defense relations and enhance India's defense industry and military capabilities.
The President and Prime Minister welcomed cooperation in the area of military education and training, and endorsed plans for the United States to cooperate with India's planned National Defence University. They also decided to expand military-to-military partnerships including expert exchanges, dialogues, and joint training and exercises. They also committed to enhancing exchanges of civilian and military intelligence and consultation.
The leaders agreed to intensify cooperation in maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and unimpeded movement of lawful shipping and commercial activity, in accordance with accepted principles of international law. To achieve this objective, the two sides considered enhancing technology partnerships for India's Navy including assessing possible areas of technology cooperation. They also agreed to upgrade their existing bilateral exercise MALABAR.
The leaders reaffirmed their deep concern over the continued threat posed by terrorism, most recently highlighted by the dangers presented by the ISIL, and underlined the need for continued comprehensive global efforts to combat and defeat terrorism.The leaders stressed the need for joint and concerted efforts, including the dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks, to disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks such as Al Qaeda,Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company, and the Haqqanis. They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
They pledged to enhance criminal law enforcement, security, and military information exchanges, and strengthen cooperation on extradition and mutual legal assistance. Through operational cooperation through their law enforcementagencies, they aimed to prevent the spread of counterfeit currency and inhibit the use of cyberspace by terrorists, criminals, and those who use the internet for unlawful purposes, and to facilitate investigation of criminal and terrorist activities. The leaders also committed to identify modalities to exchange terrorist watch lists. President Obama pledgedto help India counter the threat of improvised explosive devices with information and technology. The leaders committed to pursue provision of U.S.-made mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to India.
The President and Prime Minister looked forward to easing travel between their two countries, as India introduces visa-on-arrival for U.S. citizens in 2015 and works toward meeting the requirements to make the United States' Global Entry Program available to Indian citizens.
High Technology, Space and Health Cooperation
Fundamental science and high technology cooperation has been a critical pillar of the strategic partnership, the two leaders confirmed, and they looked forward to renewing the Science and Technology Agreement in order to expand joint activities in innovative technology. The Prime Minister welcomed the United States as a partner country, for the first time, at India's annual Technology Summit in November 2014.In addition, they committed to convene the ninth High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG). They planto launch new partnerships to source and scale innovation for the benefit of citizens in both countries and to harness innovation to solve global development challenges.
The President welcomed India's contribution and cooperation on high-energy physics and accelerator research and development with the U.S. Department of Energy. The President thanked the Prime Minister for his offer to have U.S. institutionspartner with a newIndian Institute of Technology.
The leaders committed to partner on the Digital India initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, promoting industry collaboration, and digitally empowering India's citizens.The President welcomed India's proposal to establish the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN, or Knowledge) under which India would invite and host upto 1,000 American academics each year to teach in centrally-recognized Indian Universities, at their convenience.
The two leaders exchanged congratulations onthe successful entry into orbit of their respective Mars missions, which occurred two days apart. They welcomed the establishment and planned first meetingof the NASA-ISROMars Joint Working Group under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group. The leaders also look forward to the successful conclusion of a new agreement to support the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, to be launched in 2021.
The United and India also intend to start a new dialogue on maintaining long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, including space situational awareness and collision avoidance in outer space.
The President and Prime Minister recognized the extensive ongoing cooperation in the health sector which they will put to use in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus. The President welcomed India'scontribution to the UN Fund and donation of protective gear to the effort against Ebola, and thanked the Prime Minister for encouraging Indian-owned businesses in West Africa to contribute to the fight against Ebola. The Prime Minister also offered to deploy Indian expertise in the fight against Ebola, including by investing its resources in producing modelling of the spread of the disease, jointly producing rapid deployable diagnostics, and considering joint training of response personnel.The United States stands ready to amplify India's efforts to achieve a further reduction in preventable child and maternal deaths, including replicating India's successful approaches in other countries.
The leaders agreed to launch a new phase of the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Program to develop affordable vaccines for dengue, malaria, and tuberculosis, and the establishment of an adjuvant development center. They also agreed in principle to initiate cooperative activities to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery, including by developing collaborative programs for and with India's upcoming AIIMS-National Cancer Institute. The President welcomed India's offer to take a leading role in the Global Health Security Agenda.
Global Issues and Regional Consultations
Highlighting their shared democratic values, the President and Prime Minister recognized the critical role that women play in India and the United States, as shown by India's "BetiBachao, BetiPadhao" ("Save Daughters, CelebrateDaughters, Educate Daughters")initiative. They looked forward to holding a Women Empowerment Dialogue in order to exchange best practices to enhance the role of women in their countries, and they asserted zero tolerance for violence against women.
As a critical step in strengthening global nonproliferation and export control regimes, the President and Prime Minister committed to continue work towards India's phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. The President affirmed that India meets MTCR requirements and is ready for membership in the NSG. He supported India's early application and eventual membership in all four regimes.
As active participants in the Nuclear Security Summit process, the United States and India welcomed progress toward reducing the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or related materials, and noted their shared commitment to improving nuclear security nationally and globally. They reviewed their bilateral dialogue on nuclear security and endorsed working through India's Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership to reinforce safe and secure use of nuclear energy worldwide. They also pledged to strengthen their efforts to forge a partnership to lead global efforts for non-proliferation of WMDs, to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs, and to promote universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament.
Noting India's "ActEast" policy and the United States' rebalance to Asia, the leaders committed to work more closely with other Asia Pacific countries through consultations, dialogues, and joint exercises. They underlined the importance of their trilateral dialogue with Japan and decided to explore holding this dialogue among their Foreign Ministers.
The President and Prime Minister emphasized the need to accelerate infrastructure connectivity and economic development corridors for regional economic integration linking South, Southeast, and Central Asia. The President reiterated that the United States, through its New Silk Road and India-Pacific Economic Corridor, is promoting the linkage of India to its neighbors and the wider region to enable a freer flow of commerce and energy.
The President and Prime Minister noted the success of their countries' collaboration on agricultural innovation in three African countries.They announced a new agreement to expand joint development initiatives in third countries in a range of sectors, including agricultural productivity, clean energy, health, women's empowerment, and disaster preparedness. They also look forward to continuing the productive cooperation in Afghanistan on promoting women's economic empowerment.
The Prime Minister and the President reaffirmed their shared interest in preserving regional peace and stability, which are critical to the Asia Pacific region's continued prosperity. The leaders expressed concern about rising tensions over maritime territorial disputes, and affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea. The Prime Minister and President called on all parties to avoid the use, or threat of use, of force in advancing their claims. The two leaders urged the concerned parties to pursue resolution of their territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means,in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
India and the United States pledged to consult closely on global crises, especially unfolding events in Syria and Iraq. The two leaders committed to exchange information about nationals returning from these conflict zones, and to seek cooperation in protecting and responding to the needs of civilians stranded in the middle of these conflicts.
Recognizing the importance of their respective strategic partnerships with Afghanistan, the leaders asserted the importance of a sustainable, inclusive, sovereign, and democraticpolitical order in Afghanistan, and committed to continue close consultations and cooperation in support of Afghanistan's future.
They stressed the need for diplomacy to resolve the serious concerns of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear program, and called on Iran to comply with its UN Security Council-imposed obligations and to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The two leaders expressed concerns over the continued development by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including its uranium enrichment activities. They urged DPRK to take concrete actions toward denuclearization and other goals, as well as to comply fully with all its international obligations, including all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.
The President expressed appreciation for the contributions of Indian peacekeepers to global peace and stability for the past 60 years, and welcomed the partnership with India to train third country peacekeepers at India's training center in New Delhi. The President reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and both leaderscommitted to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the United Nations Charter.
The President also affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's voice and vote in international financial institutions, and ensuring that resources are made available and are used creatively through multilateral development banks for infrastructure financing.
The President thanked the Prime Minister for the gracious invitation to return to the great nation of India. In conclusion, the two leaders affirmed their long-term vision for a resilient and ambitious partnership through the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership," which they will hold up as the guiding framework for their governments and people.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 8:57 PM
IANS | Sep 30, 2014, 08.25 AM IST
NEW DELHI: An India-US military exercise, underway in Uttarakhand, has seen combined training between detachments of both armies' special forces as well as given a platform for both sides to share their experiences in UN-mandated counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism missions, a defence ministry release said on Monday.
"Yudh Abhyas 2014" brought together troops of a mountain brigade of Indian Army and a company and brigade headquarter of the US Army.
"The India-US combined military training exercise Yudh Abhyas 2014, which commenced September 17 at Ranikhet and Chaubattia, is in progress. The exercise will terminate Sep 30," said the release.
The exercise was tenth in Yudh Abhyas series, which started in 2004 under US Army Pacific partnership programme.
"The exercise strengthens and broadens interoperability and cooperation between both the armies and complements a number of other exchanges between the two forces," the release said, adding it witnessed a brigade headquarter-based command post exercisea, an infantry company-level field training exercise, discussions on strategic issues of mutual concern by experts of both countries and combined training between detachments of special forces.
The exercise provided "an ideal platform" for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under the UN mandated operations, it said.
It said the exercise curriculum was planned progressively where the participants were initially made to get familiar with each other's organisational structure, weapons, equipment, and tactical drills.
"Subsequently, the training advanced to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies were practiced," the release said.
The release said that a consolidation and validation exercise was witnessed by senior officers and observers of both armies in which troops of both nations carried out a "daring search and destroy mission."
The final exercise was reviewed by US Army's Maj. Gen. Lawrence Haskins and Indian Army's Major General Ashwani Kumar, the release added.
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Posted by Naxal Watch at 2:58 AM
September 29, 2014
September 29, 2014First Published: 00:20 IST(29/9/2014)
Last Updated: 02:08 IST(29/9/2014)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US has created a surge of expectations about the likely trajectory of India-US relations.
There is a danger that this may defer a more objective reckoning of the realistic possibilities of expanding relations, recognising the considerable distance that has come to exist in the perspectives of our two countries on critical regional and global issues.
While we share democratic values, political affinity has rarely transcended different approaches rooted in how the two countries perceive their national interests in any given context.
India-US relations saw an ascendant phase in the first five or six years of the current millennium. This had unmistakable drivers. India had become a nuclear weapons State and the US quickly acknowledged this reality. China had clearly emerged, in the US' eyes, as a new long-term challenge, threatening its dense web of interests in Asia.
At the same time, India had demonstrated an ability to maintain a high rate of growth and seemed likely to match China's own rise.
There was a growing sense in the US that even without being an ally of the US, India would, in its own interests, pursue policies designed to constrain Chinese attempts to establish its strategic dominance of Asia.
The experience of 9/11 furthermore brought the two countries closer together in counter-terrorism cooperation. And, most importantly, the rapid growth of the Indian economy offered American business and industry attractive prospects for investment and trade.
These positivities in the relation overshadowed the continued differences between them on regional issues, such as Pakistan and Iran, and on global issues, including the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations and climate change negotiations, respectively.
The shared perception of strong, long-term strategic convergence reached an apogee in 2005 when the two countries declared their intention to negotiate a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. This landmark deal was the consequence of perceived strategic convergence rather than its cause.
Over the past few years, in particular since UPA II, the key drivers of the India-US strategic partnership have lost momentum.
The prospects of India closing the power gap with China have diminished. For China, the peer to equal and surpass is the US. The fact that China's economy today is four times that of India and still expanding makes India a less credible countervailing power than it was seen as from the vantage point of 2005.
It is still true that if there is one power which has the latent capacities to draw level with and even surpass China it is India and this still provides leverage to the country.
However, if the asymmetry between the two countries continues to increase, then India will figure less and less in the calculations of major powers including the US.
The Modi visit may rekindle hope in India's potential but this will evaporate quickly if the economy does not graduate to a high and sustained growth path of not less than 8% per annum.
And this implies a willingness to deliver the second generation reforms which are now long overdue.
There is another reason why one needs to be cautious over prospects for a significant breakthrough in India-US relations over the foreseeable future.
The US will perforce be compelled to put its 'pivot to Asia' on hold while dealing with the more urgent challenges in Ukraine and the dangerous rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
The Ukraine crisis has revived East-West tensions and pushed Russia closer to China. There may be stronger voices in Washington advocating that the US reduce its exposure in the East by accommodating Chinese pretensions to a dominant regional role.
This would undercut the most important element driving India-US strategic convergence. And for the US, India is unlikely to adopt policies to isolate Russia. While India shares US concerns over Isis it will not participate in the coalition of the willing undertaking armed operations against this menace.
This means that the two sides have to work harder to manage differences on other issues such as the architecture of the emerging global regimes in trade and investment and climate change.
The US appears determined to push ahead with ambitious regional trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
These proposed agreements focus on setting new standards and rules which, from the Indian perspective, raise non-tariff barriers against its goods and services.
India is excluded from these arrangements and at its current stage of development, is unlikely to adopt the kind of structural changes they would demand.
American pressures on India on intellectual property issues will intensify as will disputes over Indian subsidies for social welfare. Without the strong cement of strategic convergence, these differences could neutralise the positives in the relationship.
Despite the altered geopolitical context, there are areas where India and the US can expand their relation much beyond current levels.
The importance of counter-terrorism cooperation will increase with the emergence of ISIS and the transition in Afghanistan.
For India, bilateral defence cooperation will become more important as Russia moves closer to China and China's military capabilities continue to outpace India.
And as an emerging energy exporter, the US, if it so chooses, could become a major energy partner of India. These must serve as the major pillars of the relation even as we continue to search for a fresh set of drivers for renewing the strategic partnership.
(Shyam Saran, a former foreign secretary, is currently chairman, National Security Advisory Board and RIS, and senior fellow, Centre for Policy Research. The views expressed by the author are personal.)
Posted by Naxal Watch at 10:04 AM
Modi arrives in Washington preceded by his reputation as chief minister of Gujarat.
Written by Frederic Grare | Posted: September 29, 2014 12:52 am
Narendra Modi's visit to the American capital has created high expectations. Despite the hope generated by the successful conclusion of the US-India civilian nuclear deal in 2008, India and the United States slowly drifted apart in the years that followed. The visit of the new Indian prime minister is, therefore, expected to mark the beginning of a revival of the US-India relationship.
Policy wishlists and suggestions of ways to reset relations between the two countries are, accordingly, the most widespread commodity around Washington think tanks these days.
Modi arrives in Washington preceded by his reputation as chief minister of Gujarat. During his tenure, he proved to be a remarkable manager, bringing economic success to the state and earning a reputation as a strong, decisive leader — a "doer", with his past accomplishments inspiring confidence for the future.
The remarkable trust invested in the Indian leader is best shown in the rise his election inspired in the stock market, which has leapt since he assumed office. Similarly, India's annual economic growth is expected to rebound to almost 6 per cent, after it had sagged to 4.5 per cent in 2012-13 following two years of high growth.
Such positivity in the investment and economic climate is largely attributable to increasing investor and economic confidence, not to any fundamental change in India's economy. Modi's hyperactive diplomacy has been described as muscular and imperious. He is indeed seen as the man of the moment, capable of fixing the many flaws and weaknesses of the Indian economic and political system and leading his country to new heights.
On the surface, the contrast with his predecessor could not be sharper. The cerebral, soft spoken Manmohan Singh — or the "accidental prime minister", as commentator Sanjaya Baru recently called him — was politically dependent on the Congress party leadership, making him (unfairly) look weak and indecisive. In contrast, the man US President Barack Obama meets is an Indian prime minister with the biggest electoral mandate in decades, having led his party to the first outright majority in 30 years.
The personal differences do not stop there. Singh was intimately convinced of the necessity of the American partnership, while Modi's relationship with Washington is distant and instrumental. Ironically, however, the US-India relationship started drifting under Singh's leadership, as both sides failed to sustain the momentum of the civilian nuclear deal, arguably the most important step in their effort to reconnect after decades of estrangement. Today, hopes to revive the relationship rest on a man who, until recently, Washington considered a pariah.
Despite differences of style and personality, Modi is closer to his predecessor than one might expect. While both men are firm believers in economic liberalism, the first significant foreign policy decision of the Modi administration was to refuse to sign the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement for fear of having to stop India's food procurement subsidies, a programme begun by Modi's predecessor. Ironically, Manmohan Singh had negotiated the WTO agreement for India and would have signed it.
Further, despite all the hype in the Indian and international press, Modi's foreign policy is largely a continuation of Manmohan Singh's. The former's much-trumpeted visit to Japan, for example, brought no qualitative change in the relationship. And if the government's language towards China has moved from an assertive caution to a (very) cautious assertiveness, Beijing has quickly reminded the new prime minister of the true balance of power in Asia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India was marked by tensions over incursions, with Chinese forces retreating only after Xi had left India.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong or abnormal about the consistency between the Manmohan Singh and Modi administrations. It simply means that India has, so far, changed much less internally compared to the dramatic shifts in international perceptions of the country and its leaders. This is not unimportant — international politics, much like any other activity, is affected by perception.
Like Manmohan Singh before him, Modi has adroitly used the rivalry between China and its neighbours, particularly Japan, to get the most out of each of them. He will most likely try the same tactic with the US. His American visit, however, takes place in a different context, and he may find his strategy difficult to pursue.
Successive US administrations have gone a long way to accommodate India's needs, but American politicians currently feel, correctly or incorrectly, that the US has been poorly rewarded for its efforts. In the hope of developing a real strategic partnership with India, the US reversed decades of a non-proliferation policy with the civil nuclear deal, only to see the relationship falter in subsequent years. True, self-interest also influenced the shifts in policy, as a strong India, able to hold its own on China's southern border and capable of becoming a regional security provider, was considered to be in the US's interest.
However, the business interests that supported the rapprochement with India, in the hopes of gaining access to domestic markets, have grown frustrated. Strategic considerations in the partnership have not disappeared but have been relegated to second rank priorities.
In this context, the US is banking on Modi to recreate the momentum that once existed in the relationship. The magnetic personality of the new prime minister seems to offer a promise. Modi undoubtedly generates curiosity, sometimes bordering on fascination, thanks to his reputation of efficiency but also to his controversial past. This makes for an interesting visit.
The visit will be a success if the two countries manage to re-establish the working relationship that existed in the past but has since disappeared. The new prime minister undeniably possesses the assets to achieve that much. But the future of US-India relations will ultimately depend on India's capacity to reform itself, and therefore on the prime minister's ability to deliver on his campaign promises to fix the structural weaknesses of his country's economy. This, and this only, will be seen in Washington as the ultimate test of character.
The writer is senior associate director of the South Asia Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 9:49 AM
September 28, 2014
TerMine is a Term Management System which identifies key phrases in text
Text mining score of Modi's UNGA speech
|2||genuine international partnership||3.169925|
|2||concerted international effort||3.169925|
|6||massive flood relief operation||2|
|6||united nation general assembly||2|
|6||united nation security council||2|
|13||direct international action||1.584962|
|13||asia pacific region||1.584962|
|13||pakistan occupied kashmir||1.584962|
|13||universal global disarmament||1.584962|
|13||international yoga day||1.584962|
|13||inclusive global development||1.584962|
|13||global economic storm||1.584962|
Narendra Modi's speech at United Nations:
Mr. President and distinguished delegates, Let me first congratulate you on your election as the President of the 69th session of United Nations General Assembly. It is a truly a great honour to address you for the first time as the Prime Minister of India. I stand here conscious of the hopes and expectations of the people of India. I am also mindful of the expectations of the world from 1.25 billion people. India is a country that constitutes one-sixth of humanity; a nation experiencing economic and social transformation on a scale rarely seen in history. Every nation's world view is shaped by its civilization and philosophical tradition. India's ancient wisdom sees the world as one family. It is this timeless current of thought that gives India an unwavering belief in multilateralism.Today, as I stand here, I am equally aware of the hopes that are pinned on this great assembly. I am struck by the sacred belief that brought us together.An extraordinary vision and a clear recognition of our shared destiny brought us together to build this institution for advancing peace and security, the rights of every human being and economic development for all. From 51 nations then, today 193 sovereign hope. We have achieved much in the past six decades in our mission in ending wars, preventing conflict, maintaining peace, feeding the hungry, striving to save our planet and creating opportunities for children. 69 UN peacekeeping missions since 1948 have made the blue helmet the colour of peace. Today, there is a surge of democracy across the world; including in South Asia; in Afghanistan, we are at a historic moment of democratic transition and affirmation of unity.Afghans are showing that their desire for a peaceful and democratic future will prevail over violence. Nepal has moved from violence to peace and democracy; Bhutan's young democracy is flourishing. Democracy is trying to find a voice in West Asia and North Africa; Tunisia's success makes us believe that it is possible. There is a new stirring for stability, progress and progress in Africa. There is unprecedented spread of prosperity in Asia and beyond, rising on the strength of peace and stability. Latin America, a continent of enormous potential, is coming together in shared pursuit of stability and prosperity, which could make it an important anchor of the world.
India desires a peaceful and stable environment for its development. A nation's destiny is linked to its neighbourhood. That is why my Government has placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with her neighbours. This includes Pakistan. I am prepared to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism, to promote our friendship and cooperation. However, Pakistan must also take its responsibility seriously to create an appropriate environment. Raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries. Instead, today, we should be thinking about the victims of floods in Jammu and Kashmir. In India, we have organised massive flood relief operations and have also offered assistance for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. India is part of the developing world, but we are prepared to share our modest resources with those countries that need this assistance as much as we do. This is a time of great flux and change. The world is witnessing tensions and turmoil on a scale rarely seen in recent history. There are no major wars, but tensions and conflicts abound; and, there is absence of real peace and uncertainty about the future. An integrating Asia Pacific region is still concerned about maritime security that is fundamental to its future. Europe faces risk of new division. In West Asia, extremism and fault lines are growing. Our own region continues to face the destabilizing threat of terrorism. Africa faces the twin threat of rising terrorism and a health crisis. Terrorism is taking new shape and new name. No country, big or small, in the north or the south, east or west, is free from its threat. Are we really making concerted international efforts to fight these forces, or are we still hobbed by our politics, our territory or use terrorism as instruments of their policy. We welcome efforts to combat terrorism's resurgence in West Asia, which is affecting countries near and far. The effort should involve the support of al countries in the region. Today, even as seas, space and cyber space have become new instruments of prosperity, they could also become a new theatre of conflicts. Today, more than ever, the need for an international compact, which is the foundation of the United Nations, is stronger than before. While we speak of an interdependent world, have we become more united as nations? Today, we still operate in various Gs with different numbers. India, too, is involved in several. But, how much are we able to work together as G1 or G-All? On the one side, we say that our destinies are inter-linked, on the other hand we still think in terms of zero sum game. If the other benefits, I stand to lose. It is easy to be cynical and say nothing will change; but if we do that, we run the risk of shirking our responsibilities and we put our collective future in danger.
Let us bring ourselves in tune with the call of our times. First, let us work for genuine peace, No one country or group of countries can determine the course of this world. There has to be a genuine international partnership. This is not just a moral position, but a practical reality. We need a genuine dialogue and engagement between countries. I say this from the conviction of the philosophical tradition that I come from. Our efforts must begin here - in the United Nations. We must reform the United Nations, including the Security Council, and make it more democratic and participative. Institutions that reflect the imperatives of 20th century won't be effective in the 21st. It would face the risk of irrelevance; and we will face the risk of continuing turbulence with no one capable of addressing it. We should put aside our differences and mount a concerted international effort to combat terrorism and extremism. As a symbol of this effort, I urge you to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We should ensure that there will be peace, stability and order in the outer space and cyber space We should work together to ensure that all countries observe international rules and norms. the riddle task of UN peacekeeping; we should involve troop contributing countries in the process of decision making Let us continue redouble our efforts to pursue universal global disarmament and non-proliferation. Second, we must pursue a more stable and inclusive global development. Globalisation has created new poles of growth; new industries; and new source of employment. At the same time, billions live on the edge of poverty and want; countries that are barely able to survive a global economic storm. There has never been a time when it has seemed more possible than now to change this.Technology has made things possible; the cost of providing it has reduced. We no longer are totally dependent on bricks and mortars.
If you think of the speed with which Facebook or Twitter has spread around the world, if you think of the speed with which cell phones have spread, then you must also believe that development and empowerment can spread with the same speed. Each country must of course take its own national measures; each government must fulfill its responsibility to support growth and development. At the same time, we also require a genuine international partnership. At one level, it means a better coordination of policy so that our efforts becomes mutually supportive, not mutually damaging. It also means that when we craft agreements on international trade, we accommodate each other's concerns and interests. When we think of the scale of want in the world - 2.5 billion people without access to basic sanitation; 1.3 billion people without access to electricity; or 1.1 billion people without access to drinking water, we need a more comprehensive and concerted direct international action. In India, the most important aspects of my development agenda are precisely to focus on these issues. The eradication of poverty must remain at the core of the Development Agenda and command our fullest attention. Third, we must seek a more habitable and sustainable world There are debates and animals, clean rivers and lakes and blue skies. I want to say three things.One, we should be honest in shouldering our responsibilities in meeting the challenges. The world had agreed on a beautiful balance of collective action - common but differentiated responsibilities. That should form the basis of continued action. This also means that the developed countries must fulfill their commitments for funding and technology transfer. Second, national action is imperative. Technology has made many things possible. We need imagination and commitment.India is prepared to share its technology and capabilities, just as we have announced a free satellite for the SAARC countries. Third, we need to change our lifestyles. Energy not consumed is the cleanest energy.
We can achieve the same level of development, prosperity and well being without necessarily going down the path of reckless consumption. It doesn't mean that economies will suffer; it will mean that our economies will take on a different character. For us in India, respect for nature is an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature s bounties as sacred. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. Finally, We are at a historic moment. Every age is defined by its character; and, each generation is remembered for how it rose together to meet its challenges.We have that responsibility to rise to our challenges now. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in this great assembly, we should ask ourselves whether we should wait until we are 80 or 100. Let us fulfill our promise to reform the United Nations Security Council by 2015. Let us fulfill our pledge on a Development Agenda so that there is new hope and belief in us around the world. Let us make also a new watershed for a sustainable world. Let it be the beginning of a new journey together.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 7:36 AM
Ashley J. Tellis
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's forthcoming visit to Washington will provide India and the United States with a golden opportunity to repair their faltering partnership. The stakes are high, even if the circumstances today are not particularly propitious.
The United States is consumed by managing disorder in Eurasia, the Middle East, and East Asia. India is marginal to resolving these crises, even though it could be far more significant if it chose to. On issues closer to home—Pakistan and Afghanistan—India is rightly fearful about U.S. policies, and on critical initiatives farther afield—the U.S. rebalance to Asia—India is understandably ambivalent. Further complicating matters, bilateral relations have deteriorated in recent years because of poor policy choices in India on nuclear liability, taxation, and trade. More importantly, India's recent political paralysis and crumbling economic growth have suppressed the opportunities for more robust commercial ties.
Tellis is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues.
In these circumstances, the latter-day approach to India pursued by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has not helped any. By permitting sectoral interests to define the content of U.S. engagement with India, Washington has allowed a pernicious transactionalism to gradually replace the strategic vision that previously guided the evolution of bilateral relations. This mistake was compounded by the obsessive complaints of senior U.S. government officials about India's economic policies. However misguided these decisions may have been, the failure to place them in the wider context of necessary geopolitical cooperation ended up embittering both sides. As things stand, therefore, the U.S.-Indian strategic partnership is in a rut.
If Modi's private remarks to visiting American officials recently are any indication, the Indian prime minister seeks to end this stagnation. But his approach, which seemingly centers on soliciting huge international investments for important, high-profile projects at home, offers poor prospects for any deep U.S. involvement that would quickly resuscitate joint cooperation between the two countries.
None of these challenges can be resolved overnight or through a single visit by a prime minister who has had other reasons to nurse personal grievances against the United States. Yet, dismaying his many hard-line followers, Modi has reached out to Washington, warmly receiving a series of American dignitaries since his accession to office in May 2014. The Obama administration has recognized his efforts and will heartily reciprocate when the prime minister visits on September 29–30. The president will go out of his way to welcome Modi in ways that are atypical for a working visit: he will host a private dinner for him in the White House and spend more time with him either in intimate settings or in restricted meetings than is usual. The U.S. vice president and secretary of state will host a welcome luncheon at the State Department as well, and an intense set of bilateral discussions to review the entire gamut of the relationship can be expected.
All in all, the administration will treat Modi with the honor befitting the leader of the world's largest democracy and a strategic partner of the United States. That sentiment will be fully echoed when the prime minister meets the congressional leadership on Capitol Hill as well.
Needless to say, both governments are working diligently to ensure that the visit produces a harvest of "deliverables" that will mark it a success. The range of interactions between the two countries today is truly immense and spans the entire spectrum of high and low politics. In fact, the joint statements issued from bilateral encounters in the past have a certain mind-numbing quality because of the diverse initiatives they record, sometimes without any particular sense of priority.
Although it is to be hoped that this visit will mark the abandonment of that cumbersome product, the fact that the two nations cooperate in varied, and sometimes esoteric, activities is all to the good. It will therefore be no surprise if Modi's visit to Washington records further progress on, among other issues, cybersecurity and homeland security, defense, education, public health and human capital growth, energy and the environment, infrastructure and urban development, and civilian space and nuclear cooperation. This range of topics demonstrates the continuing value of bilateral ties.
With a little bit of luck, both countries may make sufficient headway to announce ambitious initiatives. These could include U.S. decisions to partner with New Delhi on developing India's next-generation aircraft carrier, to sell India unconventional oil and gas, or to permit U.S. companies to use Indian space launch services. The United States might also accelerate its efforts to complete India's integration into the multilateral nonproliferation regimes or decide to deepen meaningful cyberdefense cooperation with India.
Similarly, India could bring to the table important decisions to close on key projects subsumed by the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative or new solutions for overcoming the impasse over the nuclear liability law. India could show a renewed willingness to cooperate on salvaging the Doha round of global trade talks or advancing the common quest for mitigating climate change, or it could recommit to energetic liberalization at home in ways that open the door for greater American private participation in India's economic growth.
Even if all these breakthroughs occur—and it would be miraculous if they did—would they suffice to truly transmute bilateral ties into the strategic partnership that both nations have declared is their avowed aim? There is reason to be skeptical, not because these advances are unimportant, but because the relationship has lost the foundational moorings that would otherwise bestow these leaps with strategic significance. Thankfully, however, all is not lost. Modi can, through the conduct of his diplomacy during this visit, do the three things necessary to renew bilateral ties in their most fundamental terms.
So, what must the prime minister actually do?
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
First, Modi must build personal relationships with key interlocutors. Although it is true that states ultimately act in accordance with their national interests, their actions at the practical level are colored deeply by the quality of the private ties enjoyed by their leaders. There are few countries that have witnessed this reality in recent years more vividly than India. The extraordinary friendship that developed between the then U.S. deputy secretary of state, Strobe Talbott, and the Indian minister of external affairs, Jaswant Singh, in the aftermath of the 1998 Indian nuclear tests is one such example. That bond may not have resolved the vexatious bilateral dispute over India's nuclear weapons, but it was critical in shaping Washington's favorable policy toward New Delhi during the Indo-Pakistani war that followed in the Kargil-Dras sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Similarly, the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement was owed greatly to the deep respect then U.S. president George W. Bush had developed for India's prime minister during his first term, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and his affection for Vajpayee's successor, Manmohan Singh. This combination of esteem and endearment, which would later mark Obama's and Singh's interactions during the global economic crisis, would pave the way for continued advantages to India. This was reflected in three important decisions that marked the early Obama presidency: an invitation to Singh as the first state guest of the new president; the speedy conclusion of a nuclear fuel reprocessing agreement with India; and the public extension of U.S. support for India's candidacy as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The moral of the story is clear: the quality of the personal relations between leaders makes a difference to the way in which they conduct foreign policy. And especially among friendly nations, such as the United States and India, relationships make a huge difference to whether the outcomes of summits are prosaic or momentous. Modi's first order of business in the United States, then, consists of building a strong connection with Obama, of the kind the prime minister enjoys with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.
There is every reason to hope that such a rapport develops: both Modi and Obama are intensely composed individuals, and both are relentlessly purposeful—but both are also deeply charismatic and can be charming to a fault. Building a foundation on personal respect and taking the first steps toward friendship will yield benefits for both leaders individually as well as rewards that go beyond the private. In the past, such affinity has induced leaders to walk the extra mile for one another, and that has paid off in dampening national disagreements when they arise—which, in the U.S.-Indian case, they certainly will.
As history has also demonstrated, this empathy encourages leaders to take risks and boldly push the bounds of policy beyond the comfort of their bureaucracies, to the advantage of the bilateral relationship. Whatever the current challenges bedeviling the United States and India, they will be greatly mitigated if Modi capitalizes on his intimate meetings to develop strong personal ties with Obama. The president still has over two years in office, which as both leaders know is an eternity in politics.
The prime minister should not stop there. Through the course of his visit to the United States, both in Washington and in New York, Modi will encounter many American interlocutors in government and outside it. If he approaches these meetings with the intention of forging durable associations beyond what the immediate business demands—and this applies especially to discussions with senior administration officials, congressional leadership, and leaders in civil society—the longer-term payoffs will exceed those chalked up in any joint statement.
In this context, the bridges he builds on Capitol Hill will be especially important. Many of those he meets there will be around for the duration of his prime ministerial term, and the congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle remain strong champions of India. In recent years though, their disenchantment with Indian policies has grown, reflecting the wider sentiment throughout official Washington.
Modi needs to charm their socks off. The bipartisan support among American lawmakers for India will be strengthened immensely if the prime minister can convey his determination to set right the relationship in ways that matter to their constituents: by pursuing good policies at home that yield renewed opportunities for business and civil society in the United States. What the U.S. Congress yearns for, more than anything else where India is concerned, is validation that its historic bets on India in recent years—reflected by its willingness to amend laws to uniquely favor New Delhi—were not a mistake. There is no better person than India's prime minister to provide that assurance.
RENEW GENUINE COLLABORATION
Modi's second task is to rejuvenate the concept of "strategic partnership." During Vajpayee's tenure, the U.S.-Indian relationship acquired genuine depth for the first time since the 1962 Sino-Indian War because both sides had a convergent understanding about what a strategic partnership entailed. Shorn of all subtlety, this imperative of geopolitical collaboration was anchored in the mutual desire to preserve a continental balance of power that would prevent Beijing from dominating Asia to the disadvantage of both Washington and New Delhi. Neither capital had any appetite for pursuing the containment of China, nor did they believe it was necessary for their well-being. Both, however, wanted to coordinate their otherwise independent policies to the maximum degree possible to prevent China from either driving a wedge between them or misusing its power to their mutual detriment.
This required honest conversations—and lots of them. Discussions took place between U.S. Ambassador Robert Blackwill and Jaswant Singh; between then Indian national security adviser Brajesh Mishra and his U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice; between then U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith and Indian defense secretary Yogendra Narain; between then U.S. undersecretary of commerce Kenneth Juster and Indian diplomat Jayant Prasad as well as then Indian foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal; and, later, between another Indian foreign secretary, Shyam Saran, and the counselor to the secretary of state, Philip Zelikow.
These talks have never been rivaled—or reprised—in recent years. That is a pity because it has deprived both nations of doing what is necessary to build up the other to achieve their common ends. These discussions involved each side identifying and articulating its own particular interests, but the ensuing conversations were not scripted parleys revolving around the mere recitation of talking points previously cleared by their governments. Rather, they evolved into free-flowing conversations and exchanges of ideas that provided the participants with a deeper insight into why standing policy took the form it did. Simultaneously, the discussions provided opportunities to explore the possibilities for change. To her credit, as secretary of state in Obama's first term, Hillary Clinton tried her best to carry on this tradition, but the absence of suitable Indian counterparts doomed the effort.
Three critical rules of engagement evolved from those early encounters during the Bush-Vajpayee era. Codified in the Rice-Mishra dialogue, these rules took the following form: first, no surprises; second, discuss disagreements vigorously but work to keep them private and contained; third, look for ways to support the other side on issues that deeply matter to it. The pattern of engagement hewed to these understandings well into Singh's first term but unfortunately atrophied subsequently. In fact, the experience of recent years demonstrates that these principles have been honored mainly in the breach. That the U.S.-Indian relationship has frayed should then come as no surprise.
Today, U.S. policymakers across a wide spectrum are perplexed by what the phrase "strategic partnership" actually means where India is concerned. After an interregnum of desultory conversations, Modi's visit to Washington presents a great opportunity to reconsider this issue. Beyond platitudes about democracy and common values, it is important that both sides have an honest conversation about the kind of relationship they seek and what it obligates mutually. Modi and Obama are both plain-speaking men and should have no difficulty conducting the type of conversation their predecessor governments once had. If they do so, the bilateral relationship will come out stronger because it will leave little room for exaggerated or misplaced expectations on either side.
Both principals would do well to think carefully about how they envisage the other country fitting into their own grand strategy. Fortunately for Modi, the United States has been utterly—perhaps even unduly—transparent about its ambitions for India. To summarize these aims, even at the risk of oversimplifying them: the United States ardently supports India's rise because its success as a powerful democracy would help to transform the greater South Asian region while serving as an objective constraint on growing Chinese power.
If India can achieve the economic and geopolitical success it seeks for its own development, it could in time become a security provider in the Indian Ocean basin, easing U.S. burdens there. India could also effectively partner with the United States in protecting the liberal international order that serves the interest of both countries. Most importantly, New Delhi could do all this without formally allying with Washington, merely by cooperating with it in the manner agreed upon during the Bush-Vajpayee years—and thus gain all the bounties from the strategic partnership while protecting its cherished independence.
U.S. policymakers today are intensely interested in understanding Modi's corresponding vision of how the United States fits into India's conception of the strategic partnership. What they have heard thus far has been meager and unsatisfactory. To the degree that this vision has been articulated at all, it has usually been anchored in an emphasis on Modi's domestic priorities. In other words, the United States is important to India in that it can support the prime minister's domestic agenda by serving as a source of capital and technology for the developmental projects Modi seeks to complete at home.
Such a truncated vision of partnership is unlikely to be appealing to Obama or to any of his successors. For starters, as many observers, such as Devesh Kapur of the University of Pennsylvania, have pointed out, the ability of the United States to serve today as an official source of capital for India's development is highly limited. Unlike China and Japan, which possess huge investible reserves, thanks largely to U.S. consumption of their goods, the United States lacks the kind of sovereign wealth funds that would permit it to funnel tens of billions of dollars toward financing Modi's priority projects.
To be sure, vast investible resources exist in the United States, but these are primarily in private hands. The U.S. government, the primary object of the prime minister's engagement, cannot direct its citizenry to invest in India as a favor to the state. The same goes for mundane technology, however important it may be for meeting India's basic development objectives more efficiently. The bulk of such technologies are incubated and owned by the private sector in the United States, and they will be gladly domesticated in India so long as the prime minister's economic policies make it attractive for American enterprises to do business in his country.
Where Modi's conversations with Obama become relevant to the prime minister's quest is in the area of high technology. That is because the U.S. government retains ultimate control over the transfer of all cutting-edge embodied and disembodied knowledge in the military, dual-use, and some civilian arenas. But herein lies a catch. The United States, as a rule, is loath to part with its most puissant capabilities unless it believes it shares a fundamental affinity of interests with another nation. If Modi is to secure the U.S. administration's support for helping India shift its national technology frontier outward, he must be able to offer his senior-most, official American interlocutors a vision of strategic partnership that they would find both appealing and consistent with their own conceptions of national interest.
In other words, simply contending that the importance of the United States for India derives from the prime minister's particular domestic priorities is likely to seem quite insipid to his counterparts. Rather, they will want to know how Modi pictures India positioning itself as a partner that is valuable enough to the United States to warrant giving it privileged access to America's most sophisticated capabilities.
These expectations alter the kind of conversation with which Modi is most familiar. As someone who has built his reputation on getting things done, he is most comfortable thinking of grand change as little other than the successful culmination of a series of specific projects. The kind of discussions that will reinvigorate the U.S.-Indian strategic partnership, however, will not revolve around particular initiatives, important though those might be.
Instead, the dialogue will have to be about the highest aims of both sides in a national as well as international context, how each fits into the other's vision of realizing these aspirations, and how they propose to collaborate in achieving these goals despite their particular constraints. Gaining clarity about these fundamental questions is essential to rescuing the bilateral engagement from both derision and vacuity. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is currently no task more important where rebuilding bilateral ties is concerned: achieve a common understanding of what the strategic partnership entails, and all else follows; fail on that count, and nothing both sides do right on the minutiae will save the transformation.
CHARM AMERICAN BUSINESS
Modi's third task during his visit will be to co-opt American civil society to support India's development. Of all the countries the prime minister has engaged with thus far, the United States is unique in that its societal institutions shape and constrain foreign policy to an unprecedented degree—and therefore have an enormous impact, even abroad. Modi has astutely recognized this already. Accordingly, he has made it part of his schedule to address a huge jamboree of Indian-Americans and others at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 20,000-strong event will be broadcast live in Times Square and at other locations around the city.
Modi's calculations are canny. By giving his audience a taste of both his gripping oratory and his riveting persona, he hopes to animate the Indian diaspora in the financial capital and beyond into supporting his ambitious agenda for remaking India. At the same time, he seeks to marshal them to serve as a motivated interest group in the United States. In this connection, he is also expected to make an unprecedented appearance at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. There, after being introduced by actor Hugh Jackman, he will address close to 50,000 concertgoers hosted by the Global Poverty Project in support of a campaign aimed at improving the lives of the impoverished through vaccines, education, and sanitation—the last of which is especially close to his heart. While in the city, he is also expected to address the Council on Foreign Relations, delivering a speech that will further burnish his credentials as a statesman while reinforcing his larger message with audiences back at home.
However important these public activities are for various political reasons in the United States and in India, the real dividends will come from Modi's individual and collective meetings with U.S. business leaders in Washington and New York. The outcome of these discussions, held mostly outside the public eye, hold the true promise of advancing Modi's ambition to transform India because, if he can convince the American private sector to transfer capital, technology, and best practices as part of their investments in India—not to mention championing India's cause with U.S. policymakers and congressional leaders—he will have gained exactly those resources he needs to achieve his aims.
Unfortunately, however, what Modi has done thus far, and what he is likely to do further while in the United States, is necessary but not sufficient. Exhorting foreign investors to physically plant their flag and removing procedural impediments to setting up shop in India are important, but in the absence of larger policy change—which liberates the economy on multiple levels—U.S. business is unlikely to be enticed.
Because American companies will make a beeline for India only when the enabling environment is propitious, Modi needs to convince his audience that he will expeditiously do the three things that are necessary to welcome increased foreign direct investments: institute long-overdue policy reforms that enlarge free markets in India and thereby create room for private initiative in different ways; rationalize and simplify the bureaucratic procedures necessary to start and sustain business operations locally; and protect investments already made through fair, effective, and transparent procedures that uphold the sanctity of contracts, preclude extortion by the state, and enable speedy adjudication in the event of disputes.
Modi has thus far focused his energies on the second component; he has taken a stab at, but not completely put to bed, problems with the third; and he has punted entirely on the challenges associated with the first. If this trifecta is not addressed comprehensively and soon, American business will essentially give up on India and look elsewhere. At a time when the global economy is steadily improving, many other destinations will compete with India for U.S. investment—and they will win, if they promise a better policy environment, greater institutional rectitude, and a reasonable regulatory and enforcement regime.
This does not mean that American business will cease to invest in India. The large size of the country's population ensures that major international companies will want to maintain some presence in India's national market. But it does imply that foreign actors will not make India a priority destination for their investments—to Modi's and India's cost in an increasingly competitive international economic environment.
The prime minister's maiden budget, unfortunately, did not convince American business that a pot of gold lies at the end of the Indian rainbow. Judging from the reticence of Indian investors, they seem to have reached a similar conclusion, at least for now. As Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, highlighting this fact, asked trenchantly, "If Indians are not rushing to invest in India, will foreigners really do so?" Clearly, the conspicuous absence of structural reforms and the continued economic populism displayed through Modi's policies since he took office have left both foreign and domestic investors somewhat queasy. While in the United States, he will hear all this from the former directly. At the moment, American investors are willing to extend him some latitude, hoping that policy announcements during the remainder of the current fiscal year and in the next budget will show the true difference in course between Modi and the preceding regime.
But if failure persists even then, American business, at any rate, will give up on India, concluding that if a leader with a strong mandate such as Modi cannot change direction, then the prospects for a turnaround are truly bleak. When the prime minister meets the titans of U.S. industry during his forthcoming visit, he will have a chance to persuade them face-to-face that their worst fears will not materialize. If he is convincing—and only his actions will finally prove that—he will have gained the most important ally in American civil society, to India's lasting benefit.
GETTING THE BIG THINGS RIGHT
Whether Modi succeeds on all these counts will make the difference to whether his visit produces only modest results or the transformative outcomes that can put the U.S.-Indian strategic partnership back on track. There will be strong temptations both in Washington and in New Delhi to focus on the myriad initiatives that can be announced after the bilateral consultations have concluded on September 30. However important these outcomes may be, it would be unfortunate if they dominated the discussions that are slated to occur at the White House.
What the U.S.-Indian relationship desperately needs for lasting success at this juncture is not more activities, regardless of how valuable or well-intentioned those may be. Both sides, for different reasons, appear to have lost sight of the partnership's core strategic imperatives; they have spent the last few years, therefore, struggling to find cooperative activities as a substitute. While the U.S. and Indian governments are undoubtedly capable of coming up with new pursuits, these by themselves will not suffice to build the strategic partnership that both desire.
Rather, the two leaders should seek a genuine rediscovery and reaffirmation of the fundamentals that brought the two countries together in the first place. Accordingly, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi will be better served by spending their time together discussing why they should be forging a strategic partnership to begin with—and gaining agreement on how they can do so, given the differences between the United States and India in national capability, worldviews, and commitment to practical cooperation on various issues of international politics.
If such a productive conversation occurs, the president will quickly realize that, despite the usual frustrations of dealing with India, a strong association with New Delhi is nevertheless valuable because it advances the vital interest in preserving a favorable Asian balance of power. Appreciating this reality should make his administration more indulgent in its dealings with India.
Conversely, such a discussion should also pointedly remind the prime minister of how robust ties with the United States would deepen Indian security, facilitate its embrace in the wider Indo-Pacific region, and increase its bargaining capacity with formidable rivals such as China, including on matters that directly affect its territorial integrity. Understanding these benefits would permit Modi to appreciate the United States anew and, paradoxically, would take him back to the objective that drove his election campaign: transforming India at home.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 7:25 AM