India and World – USA

india and usa

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India and World – USA


Areas of Cooperation:



US has been pressing India to sign three defence accords:

  1. End Use Monitoring Agreement(EUMA)
  2. Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CIS MoA).
  3. Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA)

So far, (2010), India has signed only the EUMA. The agreement proscribes India from retrofitting and adapting military equipment to its needs without the Original Equipment Manufacturers’ consent and participation.

US companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing had bid for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for IAF. In May 2011, however, they were knocked out of the race.

US also wants to sign three military pacts with India:

  • Logistics Sharing Agreement
  • Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA)


July 2010

US National Security Advisor General (Retd) James Jones visits India. The visit served to ‘reinforce strategic relations.’

In June, Obama and Manmohan Singh had met on the sidelines of the G-20 conference in Toronto, Canada.

Nuclear Liability Act was passed in India in August. US pushing for amendments to it to end supplier liability.

India signed Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.


November 2010

President Obama’s visit to India. He is visiting India during his first term contrary to Bush and Clinton. This reflects the growing relationship between the two countries. He, unlike Bush and Clinton, is not going to Pakistan after the visit; thus de-hyphenating the two countries.

Prior to the visit, recognizing India as a key to strategic US interests, the US has sought to strengthen its relationship with India. India and US have common interest in the free flow of commerce and also share an interest in fighting terrorism and creating a stable Asia.

In the past there were differences between the two countries over India’s nuclear programmes. However, now they have moved towards greater civil nuclear cooperation.

Obama’s Visit

  • Trade
    • US signs contracts worth $10 bn with India. Expected to generate 50000 jobs in US.
  • India-US ink an agreement for cooperation in shale gas technology that would help it exploit vast untapped unconventional source.
  • UN Reforms
    • Obama endorsed India’s bid for permanent UNSC membership.
    • In response, China said it favoured “democratic and patient consultations” on the issue.
    • Reforming the SC is going to be, however, a difficult and time consuming affair
    • P5 seem united in the view that new permanent members should not have veto power
    • It seems that US will evaluate India’s current term in the SC keenly
  • Iran and Myanmar
    • Obama talked about the growing threat posed by Iran and the need to isolate the military regime in Myanmar
    • US diplomats have time and again tried to convince India to cut off economic ties with Iran.
    • India had backtracked on the gas pipeline with Iran after it was made a condition to for signing of the Indo-US nuclear deal
    • India has to pursue a carefully balanced foreign policy here.
    • India will need oil and gas for its growth and hence relations with Iran are very important to us
    • South Korea, one of US’s closest allies, maintains strong economic ties with Iran
  • Nuclear agreement and Military ties
    • The US announcement regarding the lifting of curbs on export of hi-technology items, reducing the list of Indian companies subject to severe licensing in dealing with American companies (entities list) and support to membership of bodies such as NSG further reduces the gulf between the two sides on strategic basis.
    • Announced US’s intention to support India’s membership in four global non-proliferation clubs: NSG, Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime and Wassenaar Arrangement.
    • India has agreed to go for big defence deals after signing the “end user monitoring agreement” signed in 2009. This agreement deprives India from adopting the machines to its local requirements on its own.
  • Terrorism and Pakistan
    • Obama didn’t directly blame Pakistan for terrorism
    • He said that a safe and stable Af-Pak are in both India and US interests
  • Kashmir
    • He said US was willing to lend a helping hand if both parties so desire
    • It is well known that US views the Kashmir dispute as a serious diversion to its war efforts in Afghanistan.
  • Agriculture
    • Signed an agreement titled ‘evergreen agreement’
  • Urged India to not only ‘look East’ but to ‘engage East’.
    • Seen as presenting India as a counterbalance to China in the region

Wassenaar Arrangement

It is a multilateral export control regime with 40 participating states (india is not yet a member: Nov 2010). Its secretariat is located in Vienna.

The Australia Group

The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

Missile Technology Control Regime

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal and voluntary partnership between 34 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying a 500 kg payload at least 300 km.




After Indian independence until the end of the cold war, the relationship between the two nations has often been thorny. Dwight Eisenhower was the first U.S. President to visit India in 1959. During John F. Kennedy’s period as President, he saw India as a strategic partner against the rise of communist China.During the Cold War, the U.S. asked for Pakistan’s help because India was seen to lean towards the Soviet Union. The 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani wars did not help their relations.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India began to review its foreign policy in a non-polar world following which, it took steps to develop closer ties with the European Union and the United States. Today, India and the U.S. share an extensive cultural, strategic, military and economic relationship.

Since 2004, Washington and New Delhi have been pursuing a “strategic partnership” based on shared values and apparently convergent geopolitical interests. Numerous economic, security, and global initiatives, are underway.

During the tenure of the Clinton and Bush administration, relations between India and the United States blossomed primarily over common concerns regarding growing Islamic extremism, energy security and climate change.

While in New Delhi,Hillary  Clinton set forth five key “pillars” of the U.S.-India engagement: (1) strategic cooperation; (2) energy and climate change; (3) economics, trade, and agriculture; (4) education and development; and (5) science technology and innovation.


A “Strategic Dialogue” was established in July 2009 during the visit of US

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India with the objective of strengthening

bilateral cooperation across diverse sectors.

President Obama’s visit to India from 6-9 November 2010, imparted

further momentum to bilateral cooperation and helped establish a long-term

framework for India-US global strategic partnership.


Also in 2005, the United States and India signed a ten-year defense framework agreement to expanding bilateral security cooperation. The two countries now engage in numerous and unprecedented combined military exercises, and major U.S. arms sales to India are underway.

The $4.1 billion contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft was cleared by defence Min.In March 2009, the Obama administration cleared the US$2.1 billion sale of eight P-8 Poseidons to India

The Malabar series of joint naval exercises are held off the coast of Okinawa


India-US total merchandise trade was US $ 48.75 billion in 2010.

The two way services trade was US $ 38 billion in 2008.

US is the third largest source of foreign direct investments into India.In recent years, growing Indian investments into

the US, estimated by independent studies to be around US$ 26.5 billion

between 2004-2009, has been a novel feature of bilateral ties.

Financial and Economic Partnership to strengthen bilateral engagement on macroeconomic,

financial, and investment-related issues launched in April ,2010

The Agreement on Framework for Cooperation

on Trade and Investment was signed during the visit of Minister for Commerce

& Industry, Mr. Anand Sharma to USA in March 2010.

Nuclear Deal:

In December 2006, Congress passed the historic Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Cooperation Act, which allows direct civilian nuclear commerce with India .

In July 2007, negotiations on the bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, also known as the “123 agreement” were completed.

Civil Nuke Liability Bill: The U.S, thinks Section 17(b) of the Indian law, which expands the scope of the operator’s right to compensation from nuclear suppliers in case of an accident due to faulty equipment, violates the CSC. US wants International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that the Indian nuclear liability law “fully conforms” with the international Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage.

Counter Terrorism and security:

Stability in South Asia linked to tackling of terrorism

A new India-US Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed in 2010 to expand collaboration on counter-terrorism, information sharing and capacity building.


A new Homeland Security Dialogue was also announced during President Obama’s visit to India in November 2010 to further deepen operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building



A $30 million Science & Technology Endowment for jointly promoting science

& technology research, development and innovation was established in July


Collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences and NOAA on Tropical Cyclone Research; TsunamiScience – detection, analysis, modeling & forecasting; and INSAT 3D satellite

data applications. In November 2010, a ‘Monsoon Desk’ has been established in NOAA for enhancing monsoon forecasting. This will also help in building India’s capacity in developing and using a coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling system for strengthening the “National Monsoon Mission”.


Clean Energy and Climate Change Initiative:An Agreement for Cooperation on Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC) was signed between India and US in

November 2010.

Department of Atomic Energy and US Department of Energy signed an Implementing Agreement on ‘Discovery Science’ that provides the framework for cooperation in accelerator

and particle detector research and development

Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation:Major areas include: (i) exchange of scientists; (ii) OCM2,INSAT3D collaboration; (iii) future mission definition workshops; (iv) nanosatellites;

(v) carbon /ecosystem monitoring and modelling; (vi) feasibility of collaboration in radio occultation: (vii) CSLA: (viii) international space station; (ix) global navigation satellite systems; (x) formation flying; (xi) space exploration cooperation; (xii) space debris mediation.



In July 2009, a ‘Health Dialogue’ was established between the two


A Global Disease Detection – India Centre has been

established vide a MoU between US Centers for Disease Control &

Prevention and National Center for Disease Control.


India-US Education Dialogue was announced by the two Governments in July


“Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative” in November 2009 with funding of US$ 5 million from both sides to increase university linkages and junior faculty development exchanges between US and Indian universities.


India and the US have signed a new bilateral Fulbright Agreement.


The First India-US Higher Education Summit is proposed to be held in Washington D.C. in October 2011.


Obama’s Visit:

Support for India;s UNSC bid:However, the United States will be closely watching India’s record in the next two years when India takes its seat at the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category. Therefore, US support should not be taken for granted.

DRDO, ISRO and BDL were removed from US entities list.In the last few years few licenses for export of hi-tech items to India had been rejected by US authorities.

Support for India’s full membership in 4 multilateral export control regimes.Deft diplomacy will be required to make this happen, but US support will count.

Deals worth $10b

MOU on shale gas technology

Categorically stated Kashmir is a bilateral issue and US will not impose a solution

Endorsed India’s role in Af as a partner in reconstruction and development.Still On Afghanistan, India and the United States remain apart.


As per the 2010 census figures of the United States, the Indian American

community has grown to 2.84 million and is the second largest Asian

community in the country.

Notable contributions in academic,medicine, administration, entertainment,business-executives, entrepreneuship , media, literature,etc 

The influence of a large Indian-American community is reflected in Congress’s largest country-specific caucus. More than 100,000 Indian students are attending American universities.


Why US needs India?

India, the region’s dominant actor with more than one billion citizens, is often characterized as a nascent great power and “indispensible partner” of the United States,one that many analysts view as a potential counterweight to China’s growing clout.


protectionist economic policies of US that could adversely affect bilateral commerce in goods and services.Border  security bill will hiked visa fees;Obamas anti-outsourcing views;

U.S. emphasis on nonproliferation and arms control would lead to pressure on India join such multilateral initiatives as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty

deepening relations with India’s main rival, Pakistan, in ways that could be harmful to Indian security and perhaps lead to a more interventionist approach to the Kashmir problem;unaccoutable military aid

Differences over Iran and Myanmar

India’s interests in Af:On Afghanistan, the joint statement(nov, 2010) has expressed the commitment of the two countries to intensify consultation, cooperation and coordination to ensure a stable Afghanistan

Getting too close will have an impact on India’s relationship with key countries like Russia and China with which India is pursuing a multipolar world paradigm and in which the United States is seen as an unstated unilateralist hegemon. Getting too close to the United States may also constrain India’s strategic autonomy. So long as Pakistan continues to get US arms which can be used against India, there will always be doubts abut the strategic content of the partnership. India will remain wary of US-China relations and their impact on India’s security interests.

India’s FDI limits in retails, financial and insurance sectors.

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