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[ 196 ] asia policy India and the United States in the 21st Century: Reinventing Partnership Teresita C. Schaffer Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2009 • 264pp author’s executive summary This book explains how India and the U.S. can derive the greatest benefit from the partnership they have begun developing in the last fifteen years. main argument The U.S. has emerged as India’s most important international ally. Starting in the mid-1990s, the U.S. and India did a remarkable job of adding substance to their rather thin Cold War–era relationship. The bilateral infrastructure for a serious partnership is now largely in place. The two countries have done much less, however, to turn their shared international interests—such as peace and security in the Indian Ocean and East Asia, stability in the Persian Gulf, and the integrity of energy markets—into a common bond. Moreover, they have had a hard time working together multilaterally. Of the four big global issues the Obama administration is focusing on, financial reform offers good opportunities for India-U.S. collaboration, but the other three—trade negotiations, climate change, and nonproliferation—expose policy gaps between the two countries. policy implications Both sides need to manage two disconnects: (1) the U.S. is accustomed to subordinate partners, whereas India’s traditional posture is nonalignment; and (2) India is looking for benefits bilaterally and in global status while the U.S. seeks help in solving global problems. The two states will not create a formal alliance but can build a strong partnership by working along the following lines: • continuing to build the bilateral relationship, especially finishing the civilian nuclear agreement • including India in Asian and global leadership organizations • starting systematic, candid, and discreet consultations on major global issues to clarify where the two sides agree and disagree [ 197 ] book reviews Finding the U.S.-India Sweet Spot Robert M. Hathaway A review of Schaffer’s India and the United States in the 21st Century As unlikely as it might seem to his American detractors, George W. Bush was wildly popular in India up to the very end of his presidency. When Bush left office in early 2009, U.S.-India relations were probably stronger than at any previous time in history; historians are likely to judge the dramatic improvement in ties between Washington and New Delhi as one of Bush’s most significant accomplishments. Partly because of his wholesale repudiation of President Bush and his policies during the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s election occasioned considerable uneasiness in India. These anxieties, though perhaps understandable, were misplaced. Like his Republican predecessor, President Obama is keen to make cordial ties with India a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has spoken of taking the bilateral relationship to the next level—what she calls “U.S.-India 3.0.”1 In July 2009, in the midst of a highly successful trip to India, she delivered a presidential invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to pay a state visit to Washington in November, the first such invitation the Obama administration has extended. This splendid new book by Teresita C. Schaffer examines where the bilateral relationship between India and the United States stands today and asks what is needed to take relations to Clinton’s 3.0 level. Schaffer’s study is more forward-looking than historical, although the author, a retired U.S. ambassador whose diplomatic career focused largely on the subcontinent, rightly recognizes how far bilateral ties have come in the past fifteen years. (Indeed, as recently as 1998, the United States slapped far-ranging sanctions on India for its nuclear tests.) She sets forth a thoughtful policy agenda for the two governments that seeks to maximize the potential in the emerging partnership. 1 Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks at U.S.-India Business Council’s 34th Anniversary ‘Synergies Summit,’” U.S. Department of State, June 17, 2009 u rm/2009a/06/125033.htm. robert m.hathaway is Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at . [ 198 ] asia policy...


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