The economic, political, and military rise of India is reshaping world politics and promises to make India one of the United States’ most important partners in the 21st century. Expectations for potential cooperation are high and it has become commonplace to refer to the United States and India as “natural allies.” The reasons for optimism are manifold. The United States and India are diverse democracies that share common values and common interests on such issues as counter-terrorism, a stable Afghanistan, an open global trading regime, access to energy resources, climate change and an expanded Indian geopolitical role.
However, despite these positive factors, the global interests of the two countries are considerably more complex. Potentially significant areas of friction remain a number of bilateral issues. Soaring political rhetoric about cooperation has not always translated into a sophisticated strategy for engagement.
The CNAS U.S.-India Initiative has aimed to help advance growing bilateral ties in areas of mutual interest, including security, economics, energy and climate change, democracy and human rights. The initiative, co-chaired by former Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, and Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, produced a blueprint for the next phase of the U.S.-India relationship