India-US Relations

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  • Competing Exceptionalisms: US-India Defence Relationship

    This article analyses US-India strategic relations and the potential role of defence trade. First, it argues that cooperative relations between the two countries are hindered by “competing exceptionalisms” and the lack of a pre-existing model for the relationship. At the same time, bilateral relations are being strengthened by a convergence of interests and increasing societal linkages. Even on issues that have historically divided New Delhi and Washington-such as relations with third countries-there is a more nuanced understanding of differing perspectives in both capitals.

    April 2012

    Shubhda Chaudhary asked: What are the implications of accepting the US-sponsored sanctions against Iran by India?

    S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: It is not mandatory on the part of India to follow the US-sponsored sanctions against Iran given that these are unilateral measures primarily applicable to the US companies or companies that do/intend to do business with the US-based companies. These sanctions have certain requirements – like prohibiting an investment exceeding $20 million in a year in Iran’s petro-chemical industry, restrictions on loans that can be provided by the US financial institutions ($10 million over a 12-month period), among others. The above are part of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) of January 2010. The Obama administration further tightened such measures by targeting Iran’s Central Bank in December 2011, making it difficult for others to carry out business transactions with Tehran.

    India has been negatively affected by these unilateral measures, and has had to find alternative mechanisms to pay for Iranian crude. The percentage of Iranian oil though has been declining relative to the overall imports. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his recent visit to the US remarked that India was buying 14 million tonnes of Iranian oil, as against total imports of 170 million tonnes (for a little over 8 per cent).

    The US 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act urges countries to cut their imports from Iran ‘significantly’. President Obama recently gave 11 nations (10 European and Japan) exemption from US sanctions which could be effective from July 2012 after making the consideration that they have reduced their imports ‘significantly’. While India has not applied for such exemption, it could still meet the criterion by not paying in ‘hard currency’ for the crude it buys, sourcing its requirements from others like Saudi Arabia (which is to supply 32 million tonnes in 2012-13, which is 5 million tonnes more than the previous year) among other pertinent steps.

    The US–India Nuclear Pact: Policy, Process and Great Power Politics by Harsh V. Pant

    The Indo-US nuclear deal not only opened the gates of international nuclear trade for India, but it also showed that India was ready to take its rightful place among the comity of nations as an emerging power. For three long years from 2005 to 2008, the world's strongest and largest democracies were involved in intense diplomatic parleys. At stake in these negotiations was not only the normative order in the form of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), but also the very existence of the ruling political dispensation in India.

    March 2012

    India’s Iran Defiance

    The American inability to provide effective leadership in the Middle East is a sufficient incentive for Indian defiance over unilateral oil sanctions against Iran. Yes, this defiance has difficulties and problems, but it is worth the price to assert India’s independent foreign policy making.

    March 19, 2012

    The US Pivots to the East: Implications for India

    While India’s policy elite have surely not been ‘oblivious’ of the tectonic changes occurring in the region, they have been rather ‘impervious’ to the rapidly emerging equations.

    January 16, 2012

    2012: The Changing Geopolitical Environment and Tasks before Indian foreign policy

    While India’s ability to handle the challenges may be constrained by a slowing economy, it would need to manage them through requisite diplomatic skill and finesse.

    January 03, 2012

    India-Japan-US Trilateral Dialogue: A Promising Initiative

    There certainly exists some logic behind India, Japan and the US working together, and that too in a region that lacks solid security architecture.

    November 22, 2011

    Prospects for India–US Cyber Security Cooperation

    Cyber security cooperation should be a natural area of cooperation between India and the United States for a number of reasons; both countries are democracies, with similar values and economic systems, and both have also been severely affected by threats emanating from cyberspace. The structural complementarities between the two economies, especially in the services sector, which is a major user of cyber networks provides further motive for the two countries to cooperate in this sector.

    September 2011

    The Bandwagoning-Balancing Game: Contradictions of the India-US Partnership

    In a world where US primacy will remain a distinctive feature for a considerable time to come, India will require American global leadership to realise its own national interests.

    August 05, 2011

    Should India Give US Nuclear Suppliers a Reprieve from the Indian Nuclear Liability Law?

    If India ratifies the CSC, both the right of the operator for recourse against the supplier and any third party action against the supplier would be nullified, thus providing American companies a singular advantage.

    July 22, 2011

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