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(Opinion) Why Obama Is Going to India

2015-01-25 08:36:35       source:The Huffington Post

By Siddharth Varadarajan


January 24, 2015


"When Barack Obama and Narendra Modi meet in New Delhi on Sunday for their second round of talks in less than four months, the biggest challenge they will face is to produce an outcome that is commensurate with the amount of quality time the two leaders are putting into the bilateral relationship.


India and the United States were never the best of friends during the Cold War, but ties have blossomed ever since India liberalized its economy in the 1990s, and successive U.S. administrations saw value in allying with a country that could serve as a counter to China and as a burden-sharing partner for Washington in an Asia where its ambitions exceeded its capabilities. The landmark nuclear deal and defense framework agreement of 2005 were products of this strategic calculation. George W. Bush won broad bipartisan support for this initiative, and the backing of corporate America, because there were plenty of tactical gains to be harvested along the way: billions of dollars worth of nuclear reactor sales; the prospect of lucrative arms sales; and the possibility of an open door for U.S. companies looking for opportunities in the insurance, retail and services sector."


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