“What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s National self-esteem and ambitions” Explain with suitable examples.

India-US relations have been in upbeat for a decade. India-US nuclear deal and designation of India as a major defence partner of US testifies the strong momentum in relationships. But an inability to align the national strategy of the US with India’s National self-esteem and ambitions has been the frictional elements in the relations.

Frictional Elements

India-Russia ties

Historically Russia was the biggest defence supplier to India. Even though the US has tipped off Russia in recent times, India has great dependence on Russia for maintenance and spares.

The US-Russia tussle sometimes cast a shadow on India. The US imposes sanctions on countries dealing with Russia through its CAATSA act. India is acquiring S400 defence system from Russia and the US has expressed its displeasure over the S-400 deal.

India which was expecting a waiver has reverted back saying that third countries cannot dictate India on from whom to buy its defence needs.

Sanctions on Iran

After unilaterally walking out of the deal with Iran, India once again faced a dilemma. Even though there was a waiver for India initially it was withdrawn later. Iran was a strategic supplier of fuel for India and India was even developing Chabahar port as part of its strategy to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The sanctions on Iran had an adverse impact on energy security and its efforts to gain a tactical advantage over Pakistan by surrounding it.

Indo-Pacific and China

The strategy of Indo-Pacific has gained momentum in the US foreign policy document. While the US is envisaging India as a balancing power for China in the Asian region, India wants to position itself as a global leader in the multi-polar world.

While India wants to balance itself in dealing with the US and China, The US wants India to align with it to counter China. The US even demanded to follow the suit and ban Huawei from trails.

UNSC Permanent Membership

Even though the US has supported permanent membership for India in UNSC, it remained silent and didn’t support India in setting the tone in UNGA. This has put questions over US intentions when it comes to issues which concern India.

Way Forward

In the era of Realism model of diplomacy, integrating national aspirations and ambitions with foreign policy is a norm. The Inability of the US to position India in its foreign policy vision in a way which satisfies its national ambitions has often led to friction in relations.

Published: October 16, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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