India–US Strategic Dialogue: An Assessment

Professor Chintamani Mahapatra is Chairman, Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
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  • November 2013

    India–US strategic dialogue was initiated in 2009, and is organised annually in different capitals. The first round of dialogue took place against the backdrop of pessimism in the bilateral relationship. For about six months after the new Obama administration was formed, strategists in Delhi were suspicious about the durability of an India–US strategic partnership that had been painstakingly nurtured by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    The India–US defence framework agreement signed in 2005 and the US–India civil nuclear cooperation agreement concluded in 2008 were the two most significant pillars of this ‘strategic partnership’. These two agreements qualitatively transformed the paradigm of India–US relations prevalent during the Cold War. The defence framework agreement facilitated defence and security relations between the two countries, which had been strained during the Cold War. The strategy that essentially obstructed strategic cooperation between the US and India, namely the US non-proliferation policy, was done away with by the civil nuclear agreement.