U.S.-India Security Relations: Strategic Issues [January 24, 2013]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"For nearly five decades following Indian independence in 1947, the United States and India struggled to find common ground for a fruitful relationship. Prevailing geopolitical conditions during the Cold War undermined the potential for sustained bilateral engagement. Dramatic geopolitical changes after the fall of the Soviet Union opened diplomatic space for major new collaborative initiatives between the United States and India. Symbolic of these changes, the two countries have since 2004 been pursuing a 'strategic partnership' that incorporates numerous economic, security, and global initiatives. The United States views security cooperation with India in the context of common principles and shared national interests and strategic objectives such as defeating terrorism, preventing weapons proliferation, and maintaining regional stability. After initial uncertainty under President Barack Obama, senior Pentagon officials assured New Delhi that the current administration is fully committed to strengthening ties through the enhancement of the defense relationship made substantive under President George W. Bush. […] This report includes a brief outline of American security interests in relation to India, followed by an in-depth discussion of India's strategic interests and defense posture. These sections provide context for a review of the variously convergent and divergent strategic interests of both countries. It also discusses non-geopolitical obstacles to more substantive cooperation across the partnership, including mutual mistrust and bureaucratic misunderstanding. It concludes with a brief discussion of the outlook for future security bilateral cooperation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42948
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