October 31, 2003


Cuddle up to India, US urged (Jim Lobe, 10/30/03, Asia Times)

Washington must devote "sustained and high-level attention" to India and Pakistan and be "more active" in helping the two nuclear-armed neighbors manage their conflicts, argues the "Chairmen's Report" of a joint task force on India and South Asia co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society. [...]

The group found that, after a long estrangement during the Cold War, US and Indian interests on all fronts "broadly coincide", to such an extent that Washington should treat India as a "friendly country", a status that would, for example, further ease restrictions on exports of sensitive "dual-use" technology that has military as well as civilian applications.

The report also called for a more sustained trade policy dialogue that could, among other things, result in a free trade accord on services, which could provide more hi-tech jobs for Indians in exchange for permitting US business to compete in finance, law, accounting and related professional services.

Potential obstacles to the consolidation of a "genuine partnership" with Washington over the coming years, the report says, include India's failure to further liberalize its economy; possible conflict with Pakistan; and the maintenance of India's social and communal peace, which, could be challenged by the rise of Hindu extremists in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prospects for continued close ties with Pakistan, described as "one of the most complex and difficult challenges facing US diplomacy anywhere in the world today", are seen as considerably more problematic.

Perhaps it was necessary for them to do so for political purposes, but the report apparently leaves unstated the obvious point that India should be cultivated, the Pakistani military government tolerated, and the Afghan government propped up because they may all be helpful when the war on terror ends up in Western Pakistan, as it must. But among these three, India matters most because it can be counted on to enthusiastically help with the killing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2003 11:56 AM

I've been reading you for about 4 years now, good to see some are beginning to see the first glimmerings of the benefits to the Anglosphere by bringing India in, just as you've been promulagating for those four years.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 31, 2003 5:53 PM

Also, India and Israel have opened talks aimed at strengthening ties.

India is tremendously important, for the usual reasons including:
- market size
- poised for growth, awaiting better economic policies
- complimentarity of our two economies

Posted by: Dave in LA at November 1, 2003 5:48 AM

above, that's strengthening ties with Israel.

Posted by: Dave in LA at November 1, 2003 5:49 AM