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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

India’s endorsement of US led regional order

Bhakhtawar Liaquat |


Lord Palmerston of great Brittan said that ‘there is no permanent friends and permanent foe in international relations but only permanent interest’ like 50 years ago Japan and Germany were the greatest enemies of US but in the contemporary world both are strong allies similarly India and US were never permanent friends, in fact, India supported non-alignment movement and discourage to join power bloc as she itself was not a part of any power bloc.

During 1965 Pak- Indo war US overtly supported Pakistan because it gave strategic passage to the US to encounter Russia in Afghanistan. In 1971 there was a shift in India policy which moved towards USSR by singing ‘Indo- Russia friendship treaty’, to joined Soviet bloc developed more gap in India and US

In post-cold war, world order changed and the world is no longer bipolar, the end of cold war generated fresh start in the US- India relation. By the disintegration of USSR, Pakistan reduced its significance in the eye of US, and the shifting policy of US toward India made new aligned in Asia. Although the US- India relation was started in the time of Regan it was at its peak during the Bush era, in 1992 both countries conducted joint military exercises.[1]

The concept of border security in the United States of America shares a complex relationship with the persistent threat of terrorism. Border security includes the protection of land borders, ports, and airports.

The 9/11 attacks on World trade center and Pentagon utterly changed the entire scenario of the world abruptly. The policies followed by the US at that time later fledged into Bush Doctrine in September 2002.US foreign policy remained aggressive and preemptive after 9/11 and there was a drastic change in US defense spending. In the Bush era, he increased Defense department’s base budget up to 70 percent. The recommendations embedded in Bush’s doctrine came straight from the policy goals of military-financed conservative and neoconservative think tanks.[2]

In the 21st century US-India ties have developed into a ‘Global Strategic Partnership’, based on increasing convergence of interest, and on shared democratic values, followed the motto ‘’chalein saath saath: forward together we go and Sanjha prayas, sab ka vikas: shared efforts, progress for all.

India faces a serious internal threat in the form of terrorism which poses a serious threat to the country’s national security. The war against terrorism has deteriorated internal security in the form of intense terrorist attacks that have diverted the attention of political leaders to the security of the country. India, on the other hand, faces the insurgency in its different states, which are a major concern for Indian policymakers. But they do not admit it internationally when they project them as a united India.

Read more: Securing Xinjiang: China adds security component to belt and road initiative

India has also tended relations with China due to the rivalry of power between China and India. Furthermore, India has border problems with China, as they are connected to each other. India suspects that China is developing ties with other countries because of the historical bitterness between these countries after the subcontinent partition. The national interest of India is divergent from neighboring countries due to the clash of the interests in its national interests. India used the nuclear weapon as alleged weapons. Their nuclear weapons are for deterrence and have been developed to control China’s growing power in the region. Each country has a different national interest depending on its needs. It is not possible to compare and contrast the national interest of two different countries. Each state has a separate set of national interests that are mostly in conflict with each other. It is important that a country addresses its national interest with priority without neglecting its importance for the state.[3]

The Bush administration has given NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) a crucial and fundamental role in Asia. After September 11th, it was an opportunity for NATO to demonstrate its relevance. Bush urged NATO member nations to provide troops for Asia and launch large operations in which the US military was concentrated. Furthermore, the role of ISAF (International Security Alliance Force) cannot be ignored at all. The ISAF was created in 2001 during the Bonn summit and the aim was to provide security in and around Asia. ISAF took control of NATO in August 2003 and in October 2006 launched security and stability operations in Asia. The president of the United States, Bush, has accused ISAF of helping the security and reconstruction efforts in Asia. The NATO-led ISAF has been given responsibility for training to address the Asian regions and national policies of these regions. During the Bush regime, many troops were trained and equipped by the NATO-led ISAF.

Considerations for US Policy

 The United States integrate China, India and other emerging powers into various international institutions without diluting their efficiency, threatening US power or turning these bodies into new avenues for a greater rivalry between China and the United States.

 The United States guide the reform of the UN Security Council and other international organizations linked to global regulation if there are still significant gaps in preferences, including between democratic partners such as the United States and India.

 The United States improve China and India’s concerns over threats to sovereignty without compromising the fundamental objectives of the liberal international order centered on respect for people.

Reasons of India’s Endorsement of US

Leadership is vital for deciding state policy and its strategic orientation. Since 2000, Vladimir Putin has occupied the headquarters of the Presidency and the Premier League. The leaders of the United States have always considered it great power and have made policies that complement their interests and strategies of power.

Unfortunately for the United States, she was not able to win in any of the conflicts. He has withdrawn from Iraq, he has not been able to do so from Afghanistan, where the Taliban control almost half of the territory.

Shortly after taking over power in the United States., It was closed on bureaucrats and corrupt businessmen and began to reform the economy, the military and the bureaucracy of the country. The continuity of their mandates as president and the prime minister has allowed us to consolidate these reforms that have improved the lifestyle of a common people of the United States, as well as modernizing their armed forces and their economy.

US Security Concerns

After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made progress in the former Soviet states and many have joined the defense organization. Furthermore, the US withdrawal of the anti-ballistic missile treaty, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the entry of the United States into Central Asia have forced several regions to change their appeasement policies and adopt a position more aggressive towards global problems. Now it is at the forefront of nations now demanding the return of global multipolar order. The concept of border security in the United States of America shares a complex relationship with the persistent threat of terrorism. Border security includes the protection of land borders, ports, and airports. The relationship is unique in the sense that the federal government should reevaluate and constantly change its border security policy to address the threats that are perceived in the United States through the form of human terrorism and the smuggling and detonation of a weapon of destruction mass.

Economic Concerns of US

During the Soviet era, all the major industrial defense complexes developed in the eastern parts of Ukraine. The United States has the largest gas pipeline network in the world, with over 2.4 million kilometers of pipeline. The network of raw oil pipelines in the United States is wide. There are approximately 72,000 miles of crude oil lines in the United States that connect regional markets. The American economy largely depends on exports of gas and possible obstacles in its transfer from US gas fields… Continental Europe is unacceptable for the establishment of the EU.

Decline of US Power

Analysts and observers have attributed the decline of US influence in the world as one of the main reasons that have allowed Russia to rise to global prominence. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the United States has participated in bloody and costly campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately for the United States, she was not able to win in any of the conflicts. He has withdrawn from Iraq, he has not been able to do so from Afghanistan, where the Taliban control almost half of the territory. While the United States has been able to reduce the victims, the economic costs of the war in Afghanistan are increasing.

Read more: Russia-China-India triangle – then and now

The US hegemony is declining due to a rise of Asian economic powers e.g. China and India, China has number two position in GDP terms, and India has 7th. Japan, South Korea, ASEAN countries and Australia are majorly dependent on the Indian ocean for energy supply (especially oil and trade). This has led to geostrategic competition between China and India. India perceived China entry into the Indian Ocean as a growing presence in South Asia, shaping an environment that could be used against it.

Meanwhile, the United States is now engaged in a struggle to contain China. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of the Belt and Road initiative, which will connect China with all the major economic centers in the world. In addition, the nations of Southeast Asia have also shown a tendency to take their eyes off Washington and be more independent in their decision-making process. Internal pressure in the United States is also growing and the isolationists have called for an end to global US commitments.[4]

Russia has successfully capitalized on the differences between the EU and the United States on multifaceted issues and has extended its influence in Europe. The US reluctance to send troops to Syria provided enough space for Russia to begin its “war on terror” in the war-torn country.

Rise of China

The US and India have shared concerns about growing Chinese influence across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. These include Beijing seeking the establishment of a “string of pearls” across sea-lanes. India, the US, and Japan have been carrying out tripartite naval exercises. These exercises should now be extended across India’s west coast.

Many countries like Pakistan and China, fear that India’s entry into MTCR as 35th member sets the stage for the intense arms race and heat up the strategic rivalry in the south and South East Asia.

Indian ocean is emerging as Centre of gravity in the strategic world. According to Mahan ‘’whoever controls the Indian ocean will dominate Asia, the destiny of the world will be decided on its water’’, which is true in the context of a struggle for gaining maritime influence in the region. New world economic order is developing around this ocean.[5]

While all Asians see the huge Chinese economy as the engine of territorial development, a large number of them are increasingly stressed that the rise of Beijing may not be quiet. While there is tremendous enthusiasm in bringing the United States to balance China’s capacity in Asia, there is no need for many in the potential crossfire between the two. Some fear the weaker United States may feel fearfully tormented to force China to rise at the expense of what remains of Asia. Being the third largest economy in Asia and the fourth largest in terms of protection, India can certainly contribute to the development of another application in Asia. This indigenous work as a formatter of territorial equalization is perceived both by Washington and Beijing.

Indo-US Relations
Political Relationships

In 2014 Prime Minister Modi visited the US and the frequency of high-level visits and exchanges between both countries has gone up, in 2015 the visit was followed by US President Obama’s in which they adopted a Joint Strategic Vision for Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region, established a HOTLINE between the prime minister’s office and Washington DC. Both states developed structured dialogues mechanism covering central Asia, East Asia, West Asia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean region.

Read more: Pak-China Military exchange will ensure regional peace

Despite the bilateral relations both have trilateral relations also with Japan and Afghanistan to counter China in the region the emerging power of China become a threat for global economies powers and their strategies are belong to counter China influence.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation

In 2005 with the support of US, India formulated New Delhi’s harmonization and adherence to the missile technology control regime (MTCR) guidelines done as a part of US-INDIA civil nuclear deal being at that time. Many countries like Pakistan and China, fear that India’s entry into MTCR as 35th member sets the stage for the intense arms race and heat up the strategic rivalry in the south and South East Asia. The bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed in 2008 that set up a contact group for advancing the full and timely implication of agreement.[6]

Defense Cooperation

Both countries signed a defense deal in 2005 ‘’new framework for India-US defense relation’ ’based on different agreements: defense trade, joint exercises, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy, personnel exchanges, and exchanges between each of these services. The agreement was updated for 10 years in 2015, the ratio of bilateral agreements between US-INDIA is more than any other country. First time in 2014 an Indian navy ship took part in Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Aggregate worth of defense acquisition from U.S. defense has crossed over US$ 13 billion.US and India have also launched a Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) to simplify technology transfer policies.[7]


After USSR disintegration US started pressure to Russia not to sell missile technology to New Delhi, in 1992 US imposed sanctions on both ISRO (Indian space research organization) and Glaskosmos. The US concerns with India’s pursuit of Inter continent Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) with capability over 500 range. Sanctions were lifted in 1993 after Russia agreed to stop a supply of cryogenic technology to India but now due to support and bias behavior of US, India is a member of MTCR and she could access to high and cryogenic technologies to enhance its space technology. India is currently working in Agni-VI ICBMs. Once these are developed India can target China, Europe and beyond.

India and China both are rivals, a rise of China and its beneficiaries is a major threat to the US and India. US is using India in an anarchic world to maximizing the balance of power whereas the US has trade deficient with China.

US and India, the joint working group involved in many joint activities in space e.g exchange of scientists, cooperation on Mars mission, Nanosatellites, Carbon/ ecosystem monitoring, and modeling, earth science cooperation and international space station. NASA and ISRO are collaborating for India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and for a dual-band synthesis Aperture Radar (NISAR)[8]

Science and Technology

In 2005 science and technology agreements was signed between US and India in which a ‘’monsoon desk’’ has been established for environment prediction. India’s contribution of $250m towards thirty-meter telescope project in Hawaii and Indian Initiative in Gravitational Observations (IndiGo) collaboration to create a world-class research facility.


India and China both are rivals, a rise of China and its beneficiaries is a major threat to the US and India. US is using India in an anarchic world to maximizing the balance of power whereas the US has trade deficient with China. India and US share a project with Japan to counter China in the region. As China continues to grow much faster than India, Delhi cannot overcome any obstacle with Beijing with a strategy that combines with internal and external adjustment. India is also worried about the idea of the US agreements for China and the financial and political capacity of the Asian turnaround in Washington.

Read more: Is Indo-Pak nuclear war imminent?

Delhi is well aware of the dangers of a possible rapprochement between China and the United States that could leave India uncovered. India is forced by a strong political convention that underlines the lack of agreements and vital self-sufficiency. In the midst of the Cold War, India has advanced Asian solidarity and a lack of agreement. As currently adapting to the growth of extraordinary power in its region, India must do more than expected, the collection of Asian central forces that have an interest in effectively forming the Sino-US relationship. Stability is the key to Asia’s future and that stability can only be guaranteed by India and China coming closer.

[1]   Jha, Nalini Kant. “Reviving U.S.-India Friendship in a Changing International Order.” Asian Survey, vol. 34, no. 12, 1 Dec. 1994, pp. 1035–1046.

[2] Tellis, Ashley J., and Sean Mirski. Crux of Asia: China, India, and the Emerging Global Order. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2013.

[3] Ayoob, Mohammed. “India in South Asia: The Quest for Regional Predominance.” World Policy Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, 1 Dec. 1989, pp. 107–133.

[4] Mohan, C. Raja. “Sino-U.S. Power Play in Asia: India’s Imperatives.” Carnegie India, carnegieindia.org/2013/04/10/sino-u.s.-power-play-in-asia-india-s-imperatives-pub-51497.

[5] “Does India Endorse a US-Led Regional Order?” US-Cuba Relations: From Breakdown to Breakthrough | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, idsa.in/idsanews/jppanda-on-india-us-strategic-partnership-published-in-east-asia-forum.

[6] Curtis, Lisa. “Beyond the Plateau in U.S. – India Relations.” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/global-politics/report/beyond-the-plateau-us-india-relations.

[7] Anam, Mahfuz. “The New Power Play in South Asia.” Business News | The Star Online, 28 Mar. 2017, www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/29/the-new-power-play-in-south-asia-sheikh-hasinas-good-relations-with-india-and-her-attempt-to-reach-o/.

[8] “Does India Endorse a US-Led Regional Order?” East Asia Forum, 23 Sept. 2018, www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/09/23/does-india-endorse-a-us-led-regional-order/

Bhakhtawar Liaquat is a student at Fatima Jinnah Women University. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.