In my February 3 Boston Globe op-ed, “India’s Strategic Importance to the U.S.”, I argue that a close U.S.-India partnership can be of immense value to the United States in the future, particularly in preserving the influence of the democratic countries as China rises to power in Asia.
I also emphasize how difficult a partner India can be, from differences on global trade to Iran sanctions and the NATO intervention in Libya.
President Obama has continued the American efforts started by Presidents Clinton and Bush to design and build political and military ties with the Indian government that will benefit both countries. It is now up to India to respond and to be more specific about its interest in working with the U.S.
In return, the U.S. should be more clear that our well conceived “Pivot to Asia” includes India in South Asia and not just the countries of East Asia. Our relationship with India will grow gradually and fitfully but, if we are patient, could evolve into one of our most important in this century.