Indo-US relations

Till the Bill Clinton era, India was one notch below Pakistan for United States. From that it moved into a hyphenated equivalence and during the Kargil War and Clinton visit, it was India who had the upper hand. Now with the nuclear deal, there seems to be a lot of suspicion. Strobe Talbott uses the word “Estrangement” to describe the relations between India and United States. The relationship never became cordial due to the Pakistani tilt of the Americans. During the 1971 war with Pakistan, Americans despatched the aircraft carrier Enterprise to show off its force and that did not help relations either. As the relation between the two democracies is progressing through all the navarasas, it was amusing to read that many Americans favoured a good relation between the two countries from the 50s.
One of the first people who suggested that India should be taken seriously was Chester Bowles, who succeeded John Kenneth Galbraith as the US Ambassador to India. Bowles was of the opinion that India should not be seen as an ally of USSR, but as a developing country that had chosen democracy over communism.
After the first Indian nuclear test in 1974, Henry Kissinger visited India as President Ford’s Secretary of State. Even though Kissinger did not like Indira Gandhi much, he admired the way she conducted the nuclear tests. Also in a speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs he called for a mature relationship based on Indian preeminence in the region. He also directed that United States not pressurize India on the nuclear weapons program.
Though powerful people like Kissinger held that opinion, the relationship did not reach any level of maturity that was dreamed of as United States was playing geopolitical games with Russia and needed Pakistan and India was coddling with Communist dictators in the name of Non Alignment.
[Source: Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb by Strobe Talbott]

One thought on “Indo-US relations

  1. Book Review: Engaging India
    Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb by Strobe Talbott, Brookings Institution Press (August, 2004), 268 pages Following the Indian nuclear tests of 1998, Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State and Jaswant Singh, Minister of External Af…

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