July 16, 2009Foreign AffairsIndiaJammu & KashmirrealpolitikSecurityUnited States

For Washington’s attention

Unless the United States is sensitive to India’s interests, bilateral ties will suffer

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Hillary Clinton’s op-ed in the Times of India doesn’t say much—but Mint’s editorials on the subject of her visit say a lot.

After the last eight years of warmth and friendship, Indo-US relations are heading towards the thermidor, unless, of course, corrective action is taken soon. Given the current posture of the Barack Obama administration this appears unlikely, though it cannot be ruled out. As US secretary of state Hillary Clinton begins her India visit, she should bear this in mind in her engagement with Indian leaders. [Mint]

It minces no words. If the relationship has to move ahead,” it argues, it has to be on realistic lines. Friendship has little meaning when one partner is actively trying to subvert the interests of the other.”

The accompanying op-ed by Siddharth Singh calls the United States to recalculate it position on the Kashmir issue in the context of the twenty-first century geopolitics

Why should India make concessions to a failing state when it is in a much better position economically and in strategic terms? American diplomats from George Kennan onwards have felt that Indian leaders couch their arguments in moralist terms and not in the currency of realism. This is the time for India to present a realist argument to the US: In a world where America’s unipolar moment passed away a long time ago and a multipolar order is a possibility, why back a lame horse? (Barack Obama knows that; witness recent American dealings with Russia, Iran and a certain delicacy in handling relations with China.) India has much more to offer than Pakistan ever will. A South Asia with a pre-eminent India is an option for peace and development. If the US sides with India willingly, it will gain a friend. If it does not, it matters little: India will attain what it needs to, the US notwithstanding. [Mint]

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