India-US Relations in a Changing Strategic Environment – Parliament of Australia
US interest in India was evident as early as (Appendix A provides a chronology of key dates), five years before independence when President Franklin D. India-U.S. bilateral relations have developed into a "global strategic issued in June called the India-U.S. relationship an “Enduring Global Partners in. Eliminating the hesitations of history, India and the United States have built a strong bilateral relationship. Learn more about India-US.
The US has removed many high technology sanctions imposed on India since If Delhi was prevented by law from importing anything for its nuclear programme over the last few decades, it is boosting atomic power generation in India through imported uranium and is negotiating with multiple vendors for the purchase of new reactors.
The growing commercial engagement has been reinforced by an intensification of people-to-people contact and the presence of the 3 million strong Indian diasporas in America. Cooperation on counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing have expanded rapidly over the last decade.
In refusing to extend the civil nuclear initiative to Islamabad, Washington removed the hyphen in its relations with Delhi and Islamabad. SinceAmerica has also discarded the idea of mediating between India and Pakistan, especially on the Kashmir question.
While traditional differences between Delhi and Washington on global issues have endured, the two sides are now avoiding confrontation in multilateral fora dealing with trade and climate change.
Controversial issues with the deal: In Marchthe U. Congress also took up the agreement and formally made it into legislation Hyde Act after the committee level deliberations and conciliations in terms of words by both the House and the Senate. On 1 AugustU. Atomic Energy Act, which spells out the precise terms, conditions, responsibilities, obligations and promises that each party undertakes.
As the Hyde Act had imposed restrictions on how India could utilize U. Leaders of almost all the political parties of India had categorically expressed their dislike and apprehensions for provisions that provided for cutting off aid if India conducts any future nuclear tests and the return of the all nuclear material or equipment provided by U. Section 17b in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, according to which the Operator cannot seek recourse in case of nuclear accidents because of patent or latent defects in the material, equipment and even in the services provided.
The US defies it to be against international norms whereas India says that it is according to Convention on Supplementary Compensation. The Bill fixes no-fault liability on operators and gives them a right of recourse against certain persons.
It caps the liability of the operator at Rs crore. Tensions over Kashmir'4 published on 12 June Secretary of State Dean Acheson's illusion that 'if the world is round, the Indians must be standing on their heads' represented the vagueness prevailing even among educated Americans'.
Eisenhower, despite being the first President to visit India still viewed Asia in terms of a power vacuum ripe for communist expansion. The Korean War would certainly have reinforced his conviction. India's actions during and after the war were also a demonstration of its policy of non-alignment.
As a member of the UN Commission on Korea and a non-permanent member of the Security Council, India voted for the 25 June resolution naming North Korea as aggressor and calling for the withdrawal of its troops to the 38th parallel. It opposed or abstained from voting for subsequent US sponsored resolutions including one naming China as the aggressor and the Uniting for Peace resolution of September It also established an informal grouping of Asian and Arab delegations for purposes of mediation.
It was the Indian draft resolution on the question of repatriation of prisoners of war that was ultimately passed. While India had established its non-aligned credentials by balancing US interests with those of the Soviet Union and China, the US was not only unhappy with the loss of support but also perceived India as moving away from the west but not from the communist countries.
India-US Bilateral Relations: All You Need To Know - Clear IAS
Another question on which India and the US consistently disagreed was that of China's membership of the United Nations. In terms of perception, while India's world-view was that of members of military alliances and non-aligned nations, the US perception was that of allies and others. These differences did not preclude occasional cooperation between the two countries when their interests converged.
This was evident in Indian participation in the UN backed solution of the Suez crisisthe agreement on the neutralisation of Laos and the UN operations in Congo after Economic relations between the two countries provided an interesting contrast to their political relations.
American investment in India was substantial compared to that by other countries.
Opinion | Strengthening the US-India relationship - Livemint
The US aid program has been described as having 'motivations ranging from pure humanitarianism to crass materialism'. However, more than half of this was in the form of food aid under Public Law For the US it was a politically convenient way of disposing its food surplus.
In the US established a Development Loan Fund to provide loans to enable India to procure capital goods from the former. An agreement on the construction of nuclear power plants was signed in beginning with the one at Tarapur near Bombay.
A contentious aspect of economic relations was that with very few exceptions, the US declined to invest in or assist Indian heavy industry. This could be perceived as an attempt to prevent India from achieving self sufficiency in this sector as well as to ensure a market for US products. For this, as well as the supply of military equipment, India turned to the Soviet Union.
Although much has been made of this gesture by the latter two countries, circumstances soon allowed the reduction of this commitment. There are two points to be made in this context. Firstly, only a small amount of 'emergency' assistance was actually committed. There was no offer of long term military aid. Secondly, the US-UK offer was conditional on the successful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in which India was expected to make substantial concessions.
USUK brokered negotiations did take place in but were unsuccessful. According to the then US Ambassador to India, Chester Bowles, it also led 'the Indians to conclude that we attribute to the Peoples Republic of China lion-like qualities in Southeast Asia and sheep-like qualities along India's mile border'.
India was also less than impressed by the relatively less critical reaction by the US and UK to Pakistan's attack than to India's counter attack as well as the use of US supplied military hardware by Pakistan.
India's earlier concerns are discussed later in the paper. The war also revealed a new correlation of forces in the region. China openly supported Pakistan while the Soviet Union was somewhat more neutral as compared to its earlier partisan support of India. Presumably with the tacit agreement of the US, the Soviet Union played a mediatory role at the Tashkent talks between India and Pakistan and, for a while seemed to emerge as a security manager for the subcontinent. It even provided limited military supplies to Pakistan already receiving arms from the US and China betweena move which angered India but had little effect, considering India's dependence on the Soviet Union for military and economic assistance.
Also during this period India was undergoing an economic and food crisis and the newly elected Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, was discovering the limitations that dependence imposed on India's desire for autonomy. The issue was micro-managed and ineptly handled by President Johnson. The US pressured India into devaluing the Rupee in and, during the food crisis, used supply pressures in order to have India relent on international issues, especially Vietnam. Our official logic in regard to India seemed to run as follows if India cannot support US policy, it should at least refrain from criticising it, or accept the consequences.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's mistrust of US policies in later years probably had its origin in these series of humiliations and, while India refused to compromise, the Prime Minister reportedly determined never again to be put in such a plight.
Opinion | Strengthening the US-India relationship
Brought about with the help of Pakistan, the establishment of US-China relations resulted in what was a convergence of USPakistanChina interests, a move that could not but be perceived by India to be threatening.
The crisis in East Pakistan later Bangladesh that led to a war in resulted in the first steps towards what would emerge as an Indo-centric power structure in South Asia.
India decided to defy the US and its 'tilt' towards Pakistan and signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union, thereby assuring India of material and diplomatic support in case of a war with Pakistan which, by then, seemed inevitable. These issues are discussed later in the paper.
In the Aftermath of the Bangladesh War India's victory in the war with Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh owed their success to Prime Minister Gandhi's primary policy objective: It was also an indication as to how far India's foreign policy goals had changed since the days of her father, Prime Minister Nehru. India had now emerged as South Asia's pre-eminent regional power.
This was further demonstrated by the fact that the Simla Agreement July with Pakistan was arrived at without the involvement of any external powers. Further, the two countries agreed to resolve any future problems bilaterally and work towards the development of friendly relations. This trend towards bilateralism became fairly well entrenched in the s.
As an analyst has observed: US policy on the eve of the Soviet intervention did 'recognise as a fact of life that no matter what measuring stick one uses', as State Department South Asian expert Howard Schaffer explained, 'India is the most important power in the region'.
In MayIndia had demonstrated its capabilities by testing a nuclear device. In it initiated a move towards normalisation of relations with China and worked towards a rapprochement with the United States. But it should be emphasised that despite these moves towards diversification of its relations, India maintained close relations with the Soviet Union.
InPresident Ford lifted the embargo on arms sales to India and Pakistan. In theory both countries could seek to buy arms which would be considered on a case-by-case basis. During the subsequent Carter Administration India did enter into negotiations with the US for the purchase of TOW anti-tank missiles and light howitzers.
The howitzer deal also failed to materialise on the issues of licence manufacture, supply of spares and ammunition with the US refusing to guarantee more than a twenty day supply of ammunition at a time. On the nuclear front, while the US had imposed sanctions on the transfer of nuclear technology after the test, it had continued to supply fuel for the Tarapur nuclear plant. In March US Congress passed an act, with a two-year grace period, that prohibited nuclear exports to countries that did not accept safeguards.
In President Carter approved a temporary waiver that allowed the export of 32 tons of fuel and in an agreement allowed France to supply fuel in return for India's acceptance of safeguards for the facility. In the United States allowed India to buy a cryogenic rocket engine from Russia but blocked the transfer of related technology.
This was reflected in India's albeit unsuccessful peacekeeping efforts in Sri Lanka despite India's earlier involvement with the Tamil separatists, and during India's intervention in a coup attempt in the Maldives.
In a letter to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, President Reagan not only extended his 'appreciation' but was also 'impressed by your willingness to restore order without unnecessary bloodshed.
I have no doubt that your action will be remembered as a valuable contribution to regional stability' emphasis added. Cooperation in the fields of defence and technology transfer also increased. Pant in Julythe first visit by an Indian Defence Minister in over 25 years. President Reagan also issued a directive instructing government agencies to seek improved relations with India and accommodate its requests for dual-use technology.
Later, the US also agreed to sell a Cray XMP14 supercomputer, the first such sale to a country outside the western alliance. President Clinton supported this move on the grounds that Pakistan had already paid for the equipment but refused to release the 26 F16s.
As has been observed: Above all, the Brown Amendment indicated that the United States did not have an India policy but rather a South Asia policy, and that Congress and the president would continue to equate India and Pakistan emphasis added. On the other hand, there was a degree of IndiaUS military cooperation. Kickleighter visited India and proposed extensive training and exchanges between the two militaries.
The government's view of these exchanges was articulated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao who 'noted how the professional-to-professional relations had achieved much more than politicians had been able to do in decades'.
Despite the lack of an overall policy framework, security cooperation also increased during this period. Its activities included high-level exchanges, periodic policy reviews and reciprocal visits by senior commanders. The Clinton Visit It has been observed by some that President Clinton's India visit was recognition of India's new-found status after its nuclear tests, that is, India was a now a major power because of its nuclear capability.
A more plausible explanation is that it was a consequence of the realisation that India's nuclear capability could not be reversed. The US is India's largest market and its largest foreign investor.
India-US Bilateral Relations: All You Need To Know
Shortly after that, there were the nuclear tests. Then we started thinking again about going. So it has been a combination of domestic politics and world events that has delayed this. That there were going to be no surprises was made clear by statements by senior officials in the US in the days preceding the visit.
Speaking at the US Institute of Peace on 9 MarchKarl Inderfurth said that US-India relations would not be hostage to US relations with any other country and that India was viewed as a 'key player in global affairs in the 21st century, and as a vital contributor to overall Asian regional peace and stability'.
A Vision for the 21st Century, which stated inter alia: India believes that it needs to maintain a credible minimum nuclear deterrent in keeping with its own assessment of its security needs. Nonetheless, India and the U. To this end, we will persist with and build upon the productive bilateral dialogue already underway.
The 'agreed principles' on institutional dialogue included: Prime Minister Vajpayee also accepted President Clinton's invitation to visit Washington later that year. In his address to the joint sitting of the Indian Parliament on 22 March, President Clinton spoke of the commitment by both countries to forego nuclear testing and said that India could pursue defence policies in keeping with its commitment not to pursue a nuclear or missile arms race 'which the Prime Minister has forcefully reaffirmed just in these last couple of days'.
On the question of IndiaPakistan relations, he praised the Prime Minister for 'his courageous journey to Lahore'. He made it clear that he had not come to South Asia to mediate the dispute over Kashmir, and that this was a matter for resolution between them. He further went on to add that he believed that there were 'elements within the Pakistani government that have supported those who engaged in violence in Kashmir'. However, he also maintained that there was no military solution to Kashmir's problems by India either, and that they 'deserve to have their own concerns addressed on the merits'.
At a joint press conference earlier that day, Prime Minister Vajpayee had said that if Pakistan reaffirmed the principles of the Lahore Declaration, respected the Line of Control the Simla Agreement of renamed the ceasefire line as Line of Control, LoC and did not promote or support violence across it, he thought a dialogue could be resumed.
During the exchange of toasts, Indian President Narayanan commented: These alarmist descriptions will only encourage those who want to break the peace and indulge in terrorism and violence. The danger is not from us who have declared solemnly that we will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but rather it is from those who refuse to make any such commitment.
This latter was a pointed comment aimed at Pakistan, which has refused to give such an undertaking. Most of the agreements related to the information technology sector in which India's exports were growing at a rate of 50 per cent a year, with about two-thirds of them going to the US. In all, this was probably the most extensive and successful visit to India by a US President, made more so by a decision by both sides to avoid the proliferation roadblock and concentrate on the expansion of the broader relationship.
He considered Pakistan as a very important ally to counter Soviet influence in the Indian subcontinent and establish ties with China, with whom Pakistan was very close.
Later inIndia conducted its first nuclear test, Smiling Buddhawhich was opposed by the US, however it also concluded that the test did not violate any agreement and proceeded with a June shipment of enriched uranium for the Tarapur reactor. In the late s, with the anti-Soviet Janata Party leader Morarji Desai becoming the Prime Minister, India improved its relations with the US, now led by Jimmy Carterdespite the latter signing an order in barring nuclear material from being exported to India due to India's non-proliferation record.
The Reagan Administration provided limited assistance to India. India sounded out Washington on the purchase of a range of US defence technology, including F-5 aircraft, super computers, night vision goggles and radars. In Washington approved the supply of selected technology to India including gas turbines for naval frigates and engines for prototypes for India's light combat aircraft.
There were also unpublicised transfers of technology, including the engagement of a US company, Continental Electronics, to design and build a new VLF communications station at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, which was commissioned in the late s. The United States strongly condemned this testing, promised sanctions, and voted in favour of a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning the tests.
President Bill Clinton imposed economic sanctions on India, including cutting off all military and economic aid, freezing loans by American banks to state-owned Indian companies, prohibiting loans to the Indian government for all except food purchases, prohibiting American aerospace technology and uranium exports to India, and requiring the US to oppose all loan requests by India to international lending agencies.
Only Japan joined the US in imposing direct sanctions, while most other nations continued to trade with India. The sanctions were soon lifted. Afterward, the Clinton administration and Prime Minister Vajpayee exchanged representatives to help rebuild relations.
India emerged in the 21st century as increasingly vital to core US foreign policy interests. India, a dominant actor in its region, and the home of more than one billion citizens, is now often characterised as a nascent Great Power and an "indispensable partner" of the US, one that many analysts view as a potential counterweight to the growing clout of China.
In MarchU. Bush collaborated closely with India in controlling and policing the strategically critical Indian Ocean sea lanes from the Suez Canal to Singapore. Bush administrationrelations between India and the United States were seen to have blossomed, primarily over common concerns regarding growing Islamic extremismenergy security, and climate change.
Bush commented, "India is a great example of democracy. It is very devout, has diverse religious heads, but everyone is comfortable about their religion. The world needs India".
Bush as "being the most pro-Indian president in American history. According to Laskarthe UPA rule has seen a "transformation in bilateral ties with the US", as a result of which the relations now covers "a wide range of issues, including high technology, space, education, agriculture, trade, clean energy, counter-terrorism, etc". SinceWashington and New Delhi have been pursuing a "strategic partnership" that is based on shared values and generally convergent geopolitical interests.
Numerous economic, security, and global initiatives — including plans for civilian nuclear cooperation — are underway. This latter initiative, first launched inreversed three decades of American non-proliferation policy.
Also inthe United States and India signed a ten-year defence framework agreement, with the goal of expanding bilateral security cooperation.
The two countries engaged in numerous and unprecedented combined military exercises, and major US arms sales to India were concluded. According to Michael Kugelman, South and Southeast Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, the US was unprepared to meet new challenges in India because of its "inability to keep pace with the transformations.
He also said that both countries are strengthening the relations between their defence and research organisations. Narayanancriticised the Obama administration for linking the Kashmir dispute to the instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and said that by doing so, President Obama was "barking up the wrong tree.
It also suggested that India take a more proactive role in rebuilding Afghanistanirrespective of the attitude of the Obama Administration. Consequently, the Obama Administration may find itself at odds with India's rigid stance against terrorism.