Faltering friends
U.S.–India military cooperation in the twenty-first century
in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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Over the past two decades, the U.S.–India strategic relationship has consolidated to become one of the defining elements shaping the future of Asian security. While the relationship has made significant leaps in face of considerable obstacles during that period, significant impediments remain that prevent it from achieving its full potential. In this chapter, the current state of the U.S.–India military relationship is examined in terms of a conceptual schema, where political congruence between two countries leads to shared political-military objectives which would then drive military interoperability between the sovereign forces. It explicates the state of play from an Indian perspective when it comes to all of these three dimensions through a study of policy statements and prognoses, both official as well as those emanating from the country’s strategic elite. The chapter concludes that domestic determinants of India’s foreign and security policy– both ideational as well as structural – adversely affect all three. Noting that these factors are unlikely to dissolve soon, the chapter looks at alternative pathways for U.S.–India defense cooperation for the future.


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