Archive for the ‘India-U.S. Relations’ Category

Howard Schaffer Remembers John Kenneth Galbraith

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February 16, 2017: This essay on the redoubtable John Kenneth Galbraith starts a series of occasional pieces remembering American diplomats with whom I worked over the years on U.S. relations with South Asia. I’ll be looking mostly at the times I served at our embassies in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, some fifteen years in all. My focus will be on the character, aspirations, and activities of these diplomats rather than on the policies they advocated. I plan to write only about those who have passed away.

Galbraith, the Harvard University professor whom President John F. Kennedy appointed ambassador to India in 1961, was an iconic – and iconoclastic – figure in both Read more

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India and the Trump Administration’s Agenda

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February 7, 2017: Indians are optimistic about how their bilateral relationship with the United States will fare under the Trump administration. They expect important changes in the U.S. geopolitical outlook. The resulting disruption may bring dangers but also opportunities for India. In assessing its policies for a world of much greater uncertainty, the basic foreign policy goals we wrote about in India at the High Table will largely survive, though India, as we anticipated, may need to tweak how it thinks about strategic autonomy. Some aspects of the new administration’s approach to the U.S. domestic economy may wind up having an impact on international trade as well – and hence on India.

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India at the Global High Table: Remarks at Richmond

Photo: www.brookings.edu/research/books/2016/india-at-the-global-high-table

Photo: www.brookings.edu/research/books/2016/india-at-the-global-high-table

May 10, 2016: Introducing India at the Global High Table at the Richmond World Affairs Council, we discussed emerging India’s international role, focusing on the main themes of its foreign policy, the competing visions of India’s role in the world, and some examples of India’s negotiating Style. Books are available at Brookings (http://www.brookings.edu/research/books/2016/india-at-the-global-high-table), at Amazon, and in book stores. The text of our remarks follows:

Good evening.  It’s a great pleasure for my wife and me to come here to Richmond to talk with you about India and the book we’ve written about the drivers of its foreign policy and diplomatic practices. The two of us have spent a good deal of time as State Department officials working in India and dealing in Washington with Indian Read more

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U.S. Sale of F-16 Jets to Pakistan Riles India

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February 20, 2016:  U.S. provision of sophisticated Lockheed-Martin F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistan Air Force has been a particular sore point for the Indian government for decades, since the Reagan administration made them available to Islamabad following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Indians have always contended that whatever the Pakistanis may offer as their rationale for acquiring the planes — whether it is to ward off a possible Soviet attack, their claim in the 1980s, or to use as precision firing platforms to combat terrorists, their present argument – Islamabad’s real purpose is to bolster its air power in a potential confrontation with India.  For their part, the Pakistanis have long viewed the F-16 as a potent symbol of where they stand with the United States. Like the Indians, they afford it an outsized military and political significance. Read more

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Improving U.S.-India Relations

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In a February 1, 2016 interview with The Cipher Brief, Teresita Schaffer discusses the transformation of U.S.-India relations, where China fits into that change, and what issues will be critical in the future.

Read the interview.

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South Asia in the U.S. Presidential Primary Season

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www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/22359941600/in/photolist creative commons

January 21, 2016: Voluminous reporting filed by political correspondents in key battlefield states suggests that South Asia has not figured in any meaningful way in this year’s contests for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has not offered to build a beautiful wall along the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistani forces in Kashmir. Nor has his closest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, called for the carpet-bombing of the Pakistan Taliban, let alone of the Maoist Naxalite guerrillas in eastern India. Neither Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton nor her Republican opponent Carly Fiorino has claimed that in seeking to become the first U.S. woman to preside over the White House she is following in the Read more

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South Asia in US Strategic Context: India, Sri Lanka

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Read our take on U.S. strategic priorities in Asia, building a network of strong relationships around the region, prospects for India’s economic transformation, and the possibilities and challenges for the new government in Sri Lanka. See Mercy Kuo’s interview with Teresita Schaffer in The Diplomat.

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India and the U.S.: Getting More Comfortable

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U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India as the chief guest for the Republic Day celebration was rich in history and pageantry, and produced a wider array of serious agreements than many observers had expected. Perhaps its biggest accomplishment, however, was to take a big step forward in the degree of comfort both countries feel about this complicated relationship. Now the hard work begins.

Read our article published January 29, 2015, on the Web site of Gateway House in Mumbai.

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India and its South Asian Neighbors: Where does the U.S. Fit In?

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Read my article in the Brookings U.S.-India Policy Memo, January 20, 2015.

In seven months in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established himself as a decisive player in his immediate region, willing to turn on the charm but determined to maintain India’s primacy. His summits with the United States, Russia and the large East Asian powers have had a pronounced economic flavor, and Modi is encouraging these countries to compete with one another for India’s favor. He has made himself the central personality in all these relationships.

Modi sees no U.S. role in India-Pakistan relations. President Obama should draw Modi out on how India expects to exercise the leadership role it seeks, especially on the future of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Read the full article.

Read all the articles in the Policy Memo.

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Obama and India’s Republic Day Parade

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November 21, 2014: The news was launched on Twitter: Prime Minister Modi, well known as one of the most prolific tweeters among today’s heads of government, had invited President Barack Obama to attend India’s Republic Day parade on January 26 as the chief guest. Within half an hour, the White House had announced (and tweeted) back: Obama was delighted to accept.

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