strengthening military cooperation collaborating to combat threats to homeland

Strengthening military cooperation collaborating to

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strengthening military cooperation, collaborating to combat threats to homeland security, stabilizing a post-American Afghanistan, and, especially, finding greater common ground on transnational challenges such as climate change. It is an ambitious agenda, but pursuing it would put India where it belongs: at the center of U.S. strategy in the region. FALLING OUT Many Indian officials look back on the presidency of George W. Bush as a special moment in U.S.-Indian relations. From his first days in office, Bush made India a priority, arguing that its flourishing market economy, entrepreneurial drive, democratic system, and growing young population were crucial to U.S. aims in the region. He saw that the two countries, far from being strategic rivals, shared many of the same views on how power should be balanced in the twenty-first century. He believed that the United States had a clear interest in supporting India's rise as a global power. The results of his emphasis were dramatic. The volume of trade in goods and services between the United States and India has more than tripled since 2004.Also since then, the two governments have dramatically strengthened their military ties and launched new cooperative projects on space, science and technology, education, and democratic governance. Bush also engineered one of themost important initiatives in the history of the U.S.-Indian relationship: the civil nuclear agreement, which for the first time permitted U.S. firms to invest in India's civil nuclear power sector. (I served as the lead American negotiator for the deal.) This agreement helped end India's nuclear isolation, allowing New Delhi to trade in civil nuclear technology even though it is not a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In return, India opened up itscivil nuclear industry for the first time to sustained international inspection. The agreement's real import, though, lay in its message to the Indian people: the United States took their country seriously and wanted to leave behind the previous decades of cool relations. More broadly, it was a signal of U.S. support for India's emerging global role. When Obama took office, he followed Bush's lead. After all, Bush's India policy had enjoyed rare and strong support from Democrats -- including then U.S. Senators Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Obama himself -- throughout his
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second term. In 2009, Obama hosted then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife as the administration's first official state visitors. During his own successful state visit to New Delhi in 2010, Obama became the first U.S. president to endorse India's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Yet despite this promising start, Obama's India policy never hit full stride. Although Clinton, as secretary of state, collaborated with New Delhi on development and women's issues, the administration was understandably preoccupied with the more urgent short-term crises it had inherited on taking office: the global financial meltdown, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the threat of a nuclear Iran. It was a classic Washington
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