Washington: The increasing US focus on political and economic relationships in Asia and the rise of India and China have increased New Delhi’s strategic importance in Washington’s eyes, according to an American think tank
“India’s democratic heritage, impressive economic performance and civilian control of the military are all seen as attractive factors in pursuing a closer strategic relationship,” Vibuti Hate and Teresita Schaffer of the Centre for Strategic and International Affairs have said in the latest issue of the South Asia Monitor
“US officials expect India to play a major role in shaping Asia’s strategic environment,” the authors have said adding that Washington would like New Delhi to be involved in a number of major issues.
However, the biggest contrast between US and Indian security goals has to do with India-Pakistan relations.
India sees Pakistan as the principal source of terrorism and one that affects India not just in Jammu and Kashmir but also in other parts of the country. Washington sees Pakistan primarily as an ally in the war on terror, albeit one that is under US pressure to deal more effectively with domestic Islamic militant groups.
The United States, Hate and Schaffer point out, would like to include India in its international efforts to prevent terrorism, stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), assist in the war on terror and ensure the security of energy lanes in the Indian Ocean.