Natural alliance
Enhancing India–U.S. intelligence cooperation
in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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Often described as natural allies, the bilateral relationship between India and the U.S. has often seemed to be full of potential, but can never be achieved due to differing perceptions of their role in the global order. Through the decades after India gained independence, the world’s oldest and largest democracies have gone through stages of close cooperation and hostility, often leading to divergence of views and alliances. However, the decades 2000–2020 have brought the two nations tantalizingly close as bilateral cooperation increased in trade, technology and security. Of the three, the cooperation in intelligence, conducted away from the public gaze, offers the greatest promise. Despite hiccups, it continues to find common ground in dealing with terrorism and threats from rising powers such as China. This chapter examines the issues that can hamper closer cooperation in intelligence between India and the United States and prescribes ways to build a roadmap that will finally see “natural allies” become a reality.


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