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PacNet #53 – The Other (Equally Important) Dimension of U.S.-India Relations

Much of the media coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s whirlwind five-day tour of Mumbai and New Delhi last month focused on high politics. The rebuff over climate policy issued by India’s environment minister has been well publicized, though his words seemed directed as much to the domestic audience as to Mrs. Clinton. The announcements pertaining to defense and nuclear cooperation also garnered much attention. The end-use monitoring agreement opens the door for large-scale Indian purchases of sophisticated U.S. military technology, further bolstering the security (tacitly anti-China) partnership that has sprung up in recent years. And the Indian announcement that U.S. firms would have exclusive rights to build nuclear power plants at two sites represents New Delhi’s payback for Washington allowing it to escape the pariahtude of the international nonproliferation regime.