Indo-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation
A bumpy road
in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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India and the U.S. confronted terrorism in its modern form at around the same time, in the early 1980s. Yet, it took them an uncommonly long time to cooperate on counterterrorism measures. The reason for this has been their differing perceptions of how terrorism affects them. For the U.S., it has a largely international dimension, for India, it is a regional, even Pakistan problem. Domestic counterterrorism strategies, too, have varied. The U.S. has used straightforward military strategies along with the institutional mechanisms based on domestic law which has an international reach. India has used orthodox police methods combined with an intelligence effort. The two countries have created a working structure of cooperation but a great deal more needs to be done to generate trust between their intelligence and security machineries. But this can only happen if they are able to evolve a common perspective on what is “terrorism” and how it impacts on both of them.


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