By KS Tomar
Prime minister Narendra Modi asserted during his recent visit to the United States, “Democracy is the spirit that supports equality and dignity. Democracy is the idea that welcomes debate and discourse. Democracy is the culture that gives wings to thought and expression. India is blessed to have such values from times immemorial. In the evolution of the democratic spirit, India is the Mother of Democracy.”
To solidly stand by India, the Biden administration had dismissed the concerns over the health of democracy under Modi even prior to commencement of his visit to the US. For the White House, “India is a vibrant democracy and anybody who happens to go to New Delhi can see that for themselves” said John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council and also stressed that the US administration never shies away from “expressing concerns that we might have with anyone around the world.”
The relationship between India and the United States has seen significant growth and strengthening over the years. Both countries share common democratic values and have a mutual interest in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond. Here are some key aspects of the Indo-US relationship:
Strategic Partnership: India and the United States have developed a strategic partnership that encompasses various areas of cooperation, including defense, counterterrorism, trade, energy, and technology. This partnership aims to enhance regional and global security and address common challenges.
Defense and Security Cooperation: Defense ties between India and the US have deepened considerably. Both countries engage in regular military exercises, defense dialogues, and defense trade. The US has become one of India’s major defense equipment suppliers, and both nations collaborate on defense research and technology projects.
Economic and Trade Relations: Trade and economic ties between India and the United States have been expanding steadily. The US is one of India’s top trading partners, and bilateral trade volumes have increased significantly. Both countries have been working to address trade issues and improve market access for businesses.
People-to-People Ties: There is a strong Indian diaspora in the United States, and this community plays a crucial role in enhancing people-to-people ties between the two nations. Cultural exchanges, educational partnerships, and research collaborations further deepen these connections.
Counterterrorism and Security Cooperation: India and the United States cooperate closely on counterterrorism efforts, intelligence sharing, and strengthening security capabilities. Both nations recognize the importance of combating terrorism and ensuring regional stability.
Climate Change and Clean Energy: Both countries have shown a growing commitment to addressing climate change and promoting clean energy. They have engaged in dialogues and initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable development.
Geopolitical Alignment: India and the US share common interests in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region. They both support the principles of international law, freedom of navigation, and respect for territorial integrity.
Regional and Multilateral Cooperation: India and the United States collaborate on various regional and multilateral forums, such as the United Nations, G20, and East Asia Summit. They work together on issues of global significance, including public health, development, and humanitarian assistance.
India and the US are now engaging in information sharing and intelligence cooperation, particularly in the areas of counterterrorism, maritime security, and cybersecurity. This collaboration helps both countries address common security threats and enhances situational awareness.
PM Modi’s recent visit to the US assumed a lot of importance for the rest of the world when US President Biden said that the two great friends, two great powers and two great friends can outline the course and path of the 21st century.
One of the biggest Takeaways even recognized by the entire world pertains to future strategy which will counter growing influence of China and its expansionism laced with debt trap policy to create security threat to India and US.
Biden’s rolling out of the red carpet to Modi is the evidence of all out efforts of America to take present Indo-US ties to the next level, which is bound to create nervousness in the higher echelon of power in Beijing.
The Biden administration has been adopting China centric policies as Dragon is threatening to become Super power to replace the US. Modi has been instrumental in giving fillip to indo-US ties and visited America five times since 2014.Biden invited Modi on state visit and such honor has been given to after French President Emmanuel Macron and South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol.
Experts say that America has enjoyed an unchallenged prominent position in world arena especially after the downfall of Russia in the nineties leading to the end of the Cold War and focused on its self-centered interests only which had dictated its illogical stand on Pakistan’s open support to terrorists in Kashmir.
In this changed geo-political scenario, India is gradually occupying center stage which can be attributed to its growing economic potential and meaningful space being attained by it in advanced technology thereby fast emerging as challenger to China in future.
India and the United States have been steadily enhancing their defense cooperation over the years, with the aim of deepening strategic ties and promoting regional stability. Defense cooperation between India and the US encompasses a wide range of areas, including defense trade, joint exercises, information sharing, technology transfer, and defense research.
These defense deals and collaborations reflect the growing defense partnership between India and the United States, with the aim of enhancing India’s defense capabilities, promoting interoperability, and strengthening bilateral defense cooperation.
The US has emerged as one of India’s major defense suppliers. Both countries engage in defense trade, with India procuring a range of defense equipment, including aircraft, helicopters, maritime surveillance systems, and defense technology. The defense trade relationship has been strengthened through various agreements and initiatives, such as the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), which aims to promote co-development and co-production of defense systems.
Both countries have a shared interest in maintaining a secure and stable maritime domain. India and the United States conduct naval exercises and cooperate on maritime security initiatives, such as information sharing, capacity-building, and promoting a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.
India and the US are now closely cooperating on counterterrorism efforts. This includes sharing intelligence, coordinating operations, and conducting joint exercises to enhance counterterrorism capabilities. Both nations recognize the importance of combating terrorism and its global ramifications.
Defense Policy Alignment: India and the United States share common interests in promoting peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region. Their defense cooperation is based on mutual respect for international law, respect for territorial integrity, and adherence to the principles of a rules-based order.
KS Tomar is a senior journalist based in Shimla, India
Disclaimer: The views expressed are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times