Key Elements to Enhance India-US Relations in the Next Decade
The US is India’s most strategic partner and strong ally, and cooperation among these nations is crucial to resolving global issues. Therefore, new agendas to strengthen the relationship must be widely focused on moving forward to the next decade
The India-US relationship has developed into a global strategic partnership by extending convergence of interests and cooperation in multiple sectors such as trade, defence, multilateralism, intelligence, cyberspace, civil nuclear energy, education, and healthcare. As both nations are bound to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open, they are expressing new agendas for the coming decade.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indo-US relationship has diverted into looking at potential future developments in regional and global geopolitics through the production and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, peacekeeping, education, and so on. The salient aspects of strong relationships in the coming years include emerging technologies, national security, defence cooperation, counterterrorism, and trade.
At the same time, the two multilateral strategic dialogues, the Quad grouping and the West Asian Quad have gained prominence in building the India-US relationship. The Quad grouping helps the nations to achieve targeted multilateral cooperation based on shared democratic values, and the West Asian Quad focuses on technology cooperation, carrying similar potential. India-US counterterrorism cooperation is also likely to expand since America’s military withdrew from Afghanistan and reduced dependence on Pakistan for supply routes. Thus, the nations should collaborate to insist on renouncing support for terrorist groups.
As India and the United States are looking forward to strengthening global value chains (GVCs), it is necessary to upgrade the two-way foreign direct investment (FDI) and provide incentives for the private sector to undertake investments that support integrated GVCs. A few recommendations to enhance their relationships are as follows:
1. As data management, information sharing, and privacy protection are crucial to preserving national security, the nations must cooperate in the emerging technological developments.
2. Strengthen multilateral cooperation and focus on international issues and multilateral strategic dialogues such as the Quad and the West Asian Quad.
3. Increase counterterrorism cooperation for managing Taliban-led Afghanistan and put pressure on Pakistani military intelligence to reject aid for terrorist groups such as the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
4. Strengthen bilateral trade by integrating GVCs using FDI in each other’s economies and also encouraging participation in these efforts from global firms.
5. Intensify cybersecurity coordination among line ministries to discern relevant counterparts on particular issues.
6. Emerging technologies must imbibe security and defence issues to focus on finding common agendas for defence applications of artificial intelligence.