November 28, 2012

US asked to strengthen engagement with Brazil, India, Turkey

WASHINGTON: US should pursue closer partnerships with four powerful democracies - Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey -- as they hold the potential to renew the international order, two American think-tanks said today. 

Observing that the rise these nations presents one of the most significant opportunities for US foreign policy in the early 21st century, the two in their report askedthe Obama Administration to strengthen its engagement with these nations. 

In their 50-page report, the two authors Daniel Klimanof the German Marshall Fund of the United States(GMF) and Richard Fontaine of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) urge US leaders to pursue closer partnerships with these four countries, which they term "global swing states." 

"To defend and strengthen the international order that has served so many for so long, American leaders should pursue closer partnerships with four key nations - Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey. 

"Together, these "global swing states" hold the potential to renew the international order on which they, the United States, and most other countries depend," it said. 

Offering policy prescriptions specific to each of the four countries, the report recommends the United States to capitalise on areas where Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey have already taken on new global responsibilities; and address some of the demands of the "global swing states" for greater representation ininternational institutions. 

Kliman and Fontaine also asked the US to help the four countries strengthen their domestic capacity to more actively support the international order; and increase the resources and attention that the US governmentdevotes to these nations to better match their rising strategic importance. 

Kliman and Fontaine argue that "US decisions today will influence whether Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey contribute to the global order tomorrow." 

Noting that the stakes are high, the report says if the United States, its allies and these rising democracies strengthen the international order, they are all more likely to thrive. 

"If the global order fragments, they - and the broader world - will suffer the consequences," they warn. 

According to the report, the current international order confronts numerous challenges. 

Some of those challenges largely relate to the rise of China, such as outsized maritime claims and the bypassing of international financial institutions. 

"Other challenges involve stagnating multilateral trade talks, a weakened global financial architecture, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran and a retrenchment of democracy in some parts of the world," it said adding that at the same time, a combination of fiscal and political pressures constrains the role of traditional supporters of the global order such as the United States and Europe.