A report by Teresita C. Schaffer and Mandavi Mehta on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ year-long “Rising India and U.S. Policy Options in Asia” study and its corresponding conference.
India has completed a decade of economic growth at twice its pace in the last half-century and has emerged as a nuclear armed country. Although its future will depend on how it handles a host of domestic and international constraints, India may well emerge in the next two decades as a significant power in the broader Asian environment and on a global scale. For the United States, the “Rising India” study underlined the importance of two key building blocks for U.S.-Indian relations—India’s economic growth, and the new convergence between Indian and U.S. views of security in the Indian Ocean and in Asia. U.S. policymakers will need to integrate their views of South Asia, East Asia, and to some extent the Middle East in ways they have not normally done in the past. At least in the next 5–10 years, U.S. relations with China and India may well be complementary rather than conflicting. The unresolved problems between India and Pakistan, however, still stand as a complicating factor in India’s international posture and its relationship with the United States.