Potential partners : India and the United States

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1999
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Ayoob, Mohammed
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Honolulu: East-West Center
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For nearly half a century Indian and American relations were strained by rival cold war alignments. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and nearly a decade in which to reappraise each other, the two countries are now engaged in both high-level diplomatic and "expert" level talks. Though the dialogue began in response to U.S. denunciations of India's nuclear tests in May 1998, the talks have been constructive and suggest a growing recognition on both sides of common interests in preserving South Asian regional security and stability. There remain important areas where Indian and American interests diverge, such as nuclear weaponry and NATO's activism and unilateral interventions into internal conflicts. Furthermore, U.S. rhetoric about constructing a "strategic partnership" with China in Asia remains a major stumbling block to developing Indian-American relations. Any of these issues could generate problems, but recent events indicate willingness in both capitals to insulate the more positive aspects of their relationship from problem areas. This represents a significant shift away from the past, when divisive issues affected every dimension of the bilateral relationship.
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10 pages
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