Wednesday, July 24, 2024

India-US Ties- A Relationship For The Ages

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Indo-US relationship has come a long way, the present upswing in ties is a testimony to that

Indo-US relationship is perhaps experiencing the best period in their geopolitical ties.

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Prime Narendra Modi is currently in the United States. This is his sixth visit to the oldest democracy in the world.

Along expected lines, the Indian head of state received a rousing welcome. PM Modi led the June 21 World Yoga day celebrations in New York and later went to Washington DC to have bilateral talks with the US president Joe Biden.

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Nature of Indo-US ties

The Indo-US relationship has a tricky history.

During Nehru’s and subsequent congress administrations’ time, relationship with the US was largely seen through the prism of ideological compulsions of the Cold War.

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The US was involved in the infamous incident of aiding Pakistan by sending its 7th Pacific Fleet at the height of the third Indo-Pak War of 1971.

Till the end of the cold war, the ties were largely transactional.

Then came the 1998 Nuclear tests that India conducted.

The US joined a host of western nations in condemning India’s nuclear test and imposed stringent sanctions.

It, however, took the then secretary of state Strobe Talbot and Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh to improve ties. It resulted in lifting of the economic sanctions.

Since then, Indo-US relationship, have under successive administrations, skyrocketed to new heights.

The US is India’s largest bilateral trade partner. The two way bilateral trade stands at $192 billion as of fiscal year 2022-23. The trade surplus is in India’s favor.

Indian companies have pumped close to $40 billion in various sectors of the American economy and are increasing.

The figure for the American companies is $60 billion.

Besides that, America has emerged as a major defense partner, having provided India with a number of lethal weapons.

It includes the Apache AH-64 gunship, Chinook utility choppers, M777 ultra light howitzers etc.

Highlights of the present visit

The highlights of the present visit of PM Modi includes many big ticket deals and promises.

First of all, the PM had close talks with the CEO of Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk.

Musk evinced strong interest in investing in the make in India story and declared himself to be a big fan of the Prime Minister.

Other important deals include sealing an agreement between General Electric Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to manufacture F414 turbofan engines for the indigenously built Tejas Mk-II fourth ++ generation fighter jet.

Another is the formal signing of the deal for 470 aircrafts that Air India, led by the Tata Group had placed for Airbus and Boeing companies. The engines would be build by Rolls Royce.

A crucial point of the visit is to shore up India’s air protection capabilities.

In this context, India and US signed an agreement under which the US will be providing India with 30 armed Predator 9Q-B drones to India. The drones will be manufactured by General Atomics.

Last but not the least, India has joined the Artemis Accords with the US.

The Artemis Accords provides for a joint collaboration among countries for civilian space exploration. Under that, NASA and ISRO will develop a joint framework.


Notwithstanding the exuberance in ties, it is best to heed the warning that Pratap Bhanu Mehta, contributing editor at The Indian Express had expressed.

He argued that the present nature of Indo-US ties are experiencing sheer asymmetry. There is a possibility that this exuberance may not last.

It is therefore best that India be on its guard with the Americans.


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