International Relations

The view from New Delhi
Rajesh Rajagopalan

Cooperation between the U.S. and India on nuclear stability in the region remains fairly low, and there is little prospect that it will improve dramatically in the near future. The two disagree about the intensity of nuclear instability on the region and its source. India sees the danger as stemming from Pakistan’s use of terrorism as a strategy and from its first-use nuclear doctrine. The U.S., on the other hand, is worried about the potential for escalation in a nuclearized environment. There is some shared anxiety about the problem of “loose nukes”, specifically as it relates to Pakistan and its use of terrorism as state strategy, but little beyond. In addition, there are also some common worries about Pakistan’s dependence on tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) and early nuclear escalation strategy. But it is unclear that these can lead to any viable cooperation between the two sides. Moreover, the U.S. and India have more important common strategic concerns, and nuclear stability is a hindrance to this. Limited nuclear stability cooperation might still be possible between the U.S. and India in three areas: cybersecurity related to the nuclear sector, securing Pakistan’s nuclear materials and weapons, and reducing the dangers associated with Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and policy.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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U.S.–India military cooperation in the twenty-first century
Abhijnan Rej

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.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Challenges in cyberdefense cooperation for the U.S. and India
Bedavyasa Mohanty

A strategic bilateral partnership in cyberspace between India and the United States holds great promise. Delinked from the legacy of a larger strategic relationship, it opens up the possibility of defining a new normal in how the two states cooperate in the transfer of both skills and technology. This chapter highlights the convergence of economic and strategic interests between India and the U.S.. In doing so, it draws attention to questions around the gap of capacity and political will that have ailed cybersecurity cooperation between the two nations. The chapter analyses two things: first, the principled points of divergence that often act as a hurdle for cooperation between the U.S. and India; and second, common threats that the two countries currently face in the cyber realm, which make it critical for them to set aside differences and work together. The chapter makes a case for addressing the underlying economic concerns such as data localization to fully realize the potential for strategic cooperation in cyberspace.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation

This book deals with the evolution, current status and potential of U.S.–India strategic cooperation. From very modest beginnings, the U.S.–India strategic partnership has developed significantly over the decade 2010–20. In considerable part this growth has stemmed from overlapping concerns about the rise and assertiveness of the People’s Republic of China as well as the instability of Pakistan. Despite the emergence of this partnership, however, significant differences remain. Some of them stem from Cold War legacies, others from divergent global strategic interests and from differences in institutional design. Despite these areas of discord, the overall trajectory of the relationship appears promising. Increased cooperation in several sectors of the relationship and closer policy coordination underscore a deepening of the relationship, while fundamental differences in national approaches to strategic challenges demand flexibility and compromise in the future.

A bumpy road
Manoj Joshi

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.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
The future of U.S.–India strategic cooperation
Šumit Ganguly and M. Chris Mason

This introduction provides an overview of the contributions from a range of American and Indian scholars and strategic analysts on the origins, evolution and prospects of the U.S.–Indian strategic partnership. It covers a gamut of bilateral issues ranging from cybersecurity, counterterrorism, military-to-military cooperation and defense technology transfers to space cooperation and intelligence

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
A critical assessment of the military-to-military dimension of the U.S.–India security partnership
M. Chris Mason

The sector of the U.S.–India security partnership involving direct uniformed military-to-uniformed military engagement is a case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts. Comprised mostly of annual joint Army, Navy and Air Force exercises, the military-to-military relationship suffers, in the U.S. view, from a reluctance on the part of the government of India to commit to training for potential future combat scenarios. The exercises remain small: in the case of the air forces, sporadic and limited in nature; in the case of the land exercises less than a battalion of men on each side participate; and in the case of the naval maneuvers, exercises are explicitly limited to non-combat missions and scenarios and avoid the exchange of real-time data and classified communications. More importantly, the military-to-military relationship is hindered by very different military structures and strategies. Behind the photo ops, there is less than meets the eye.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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A problem for bilateral defense technology cooperation
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

The Narendra Modi government made indigenous production an overriding priority of its defense policy. Initial policies promoted private Indian defense firms, streamlined arms procurement and pushed the military to accept inferior technology so long as the equipment was Indian manufactured. After two years the Modi government modified and diluted these policies. Its 2016 Defence Procurement Policy laid out four paths for defense procurement with differing technology transfer requirements. The most important was the strategic partnership policy, which envisaged joint ventures between Indian and foreign defense manufacturers for large platforms such as submarines and fighters. The new policies and goals place U.S. defense firms at a disadvantage. Stringent U.S. regulations on technology sharing, the degree to which U.S. equipment is networked and the relatively higher prices run counter to New Delhi’s new rules and priorities. The U.S.’s importance as a strategic partner means India will continue to purchase equipment directly from Washington, but movement towards a genuine defense technology partnership will require policy adjustments on both sides.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
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Enhancing India–U.S. intelligence cooperation
Saikat Datta

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.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Regional strategic dilemmas and U.S. policy approaches toward India
Frank O’Donnell

How can Washington best partner with New Delhi to arrest global trends toward nuclear instability? This chapter makes arguments for three principal policies that the U.S. should pursue with India in meeting these objectives. The first line of effort is to liaise with New Delhi in expanding its bilateral missile flight-test pre-notification protocol with Islamabad to incorporate other nuclear-weapon states. In the process, this measure could salvage the important transparency measures from the U.S.–Russia New START treaty, through their incorporation in this new regime. The second initiative is to propose a joint threat assessment with New Delhi on the Chinese conventional missile threat to India, as a pathway toward potential U.S. assistance toward improving Indian resilience in this regard. The third policy is to assist India in developing its cyberdefenses against potential Chinese efforts to interfere with military command-and-control systems relevant to its nuclear forces. Together, these three policies build the promotion of global nuclear stability into the U.S.–India alliance; do so in a way that does not entail U.S. proliferation of nuclear weapons or related technologies; and helps India maintain sufficient military capabilities to better resist Chinese conventional or cyber attacks, and thus maintain a high nuclear threshold.

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation