A working paper by Teresita C. Schaffer in conjunction with the Center for a New American Security’s study on the relationship between the U.S. and India.
India and the United States have transformed their relationship in the past 20 years. Looking ahead a decade or more, this trend is likely to continue. The two countries can expect strong economic ties and a lively security relationship, including defense trade and especially stronger cooperation in the Indian Ocean. Economic issues will remain important drivers of Indian foreign policy. Cooperation on the global scene will have ups and downs, but the two countries will gradually find more areas where they can work together. As India’s international trade encompasses more sophisticated and knowledge-based products, India will pursue economic interests that do not necessarily dovetail with those of the developing countries as a group. India-Pakistan relations are likely to remain brittle. India will continue to see China as its major strategic challenge.