Following Narendra Modi’s historic visit, shall the US implement its South Asia policy through India?


Following the recently concluded historic visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States and further deepening to existing bilateral relations between the global and regional superpowers, political pundits in most of the Western nations as well as India and South Asian countries are searching to find the question about – if the US onwards will implement its South Asia policy through India. This certainly includes taking required measures in stopping Pakistan from its decade-old culture of funding and patronizing terrorism with the notorious agenda of spreading seeds of terror within India and other countries in the region, including Bangladesh.

It may be mentioned here that in recent years, the relationship between India and the United States has witnessed a significant transformation, particularly since Narendra Modi came to power through a landslide victory in 2014. The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington has further cemented this growing alliance, leading to speculations about how the United States may implement its South Asia policy through New Delhi.

Modi’s visit has brought renewed attention to the strategic importance of the Indo-US partnership and has sparked discussions on whether Washington will rely on India as a key ally in shaping its regional policies.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States was characterized by a series of high-level meetings, including a summit with President Joe Biden and engagements with other key officials and business leaders. The visit showcased the deepening economic, defense, and geopolitical ties between the two countries. The joint statement issued by Modi and Biden emphasized shared values, common interests, and a commitment to a free, open, inclusive, and peaceful Indo-Pacific region. These developments indicate a strong convergence of interests and a desire to collaborate closely on regional issues.

One of the key areas where Washington may seek to implement its South Asia policy through New Delhi is in countering the rising influence of China. The United States has been increasingly concerned about China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and its growing economic and military presence. India, too, has been dealing with China’s aggressive behavior along its disputed border and has shown a willingness to align with like-minded countries to counter China’s expansionist ambitions. By partnering with India, Washington can leverage India’s strategic location and military capabilities to maintain a balance of power in the region and ensure freedom of navigation in the crucial Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

Furthermore, the United States and India share a common goal of promoting regional stability and combating terrorism. Both countries have been victims of terrorist attacks and have a vested interest in countering extremist ideologies and organizations. Washington’s South Asia policy may focus on enhancing intelligence sharing, cooperation in counterterrorism operations, and capacity building to strengthen India’s counterterrorism capabilities. India’s extensive experience in dealing with diverse security challenges within its own borders makes it a valuable partner for the United States in addressing regional security concerns.

Another aspect where Washington may implement its South Asia policy through New Delhi is in promoting economic cooperation and trade. India is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world and offers immense opportunities for American businesses. The United States has been eager to deepen economic ties with India, and both countries have expressed a commitment to resolving trade disputes and expanding bilateral trade and investment. By encouraging economic integration and facilitating trade, Washington can enhance its influence in the region and strengthen India’s position as a key economic player.

However, it is important to acknowledge that implementing a South Asia policy through New Delhi does not mean excluding other countries in the region. The United States has maintained relationships with other countries in South Asia, including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has various strategic interests in each of these nations. Washington will likely continue to engage with these countries on specific issues, such as regional stability, counterterrorism efforts, and promoting democratic governance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States has underscored the deepening partnership between India and the United States. While it remains to be seen how Washington will precisely implement its South Asia policy through New Delhi, there are indications that India will play a pivotal role in shaping regional dynamics. By aligning with India, the United States can address common challenges, such as countering China’s influence, promoting regional stability, combating terrorism, and expanding economic cooperation. However, it is crucial to maintain a balanced approach that takes into account the interests of other countries in the region.

What has India achieved from Narendra Modi’s recent US trip?

According to senior analysts in Washington DC, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States has garnered significant attention and raised curiosity about what India has achieved from this important diplomatic mission. The trip, marked by high-level meetings and engagements with key leaders, has resulted in several notable outcomes that hold immense significance for India’s strategic, economic, and technological advancements. Let’s delve into what India has achieved from Narendra Modi’s recent US trip.

One of the most prominent achievements of Prime Minister Modi’s visit is the consolidation and deepening of the India-US strategic partnership. The meetings with President Joe Biden and other senior officials have reaffirmed the importance both countries attach to their bilateral relationship. The joint statement issued after the summit emphasized the commitment to a comprehensive global strategic partnership, reflecting shared values, common interests, and a desire to collaborate on various fronts. This reaffirmation of bilateral ties not only strengthens India’s global standing but also enhances its strategic leverage in the region.

Another significant achievement is the progress made on defense and security cooperation. The defense partnership between India and the United States has been steadily growing over the years, and Modi’s visit has further propelled this collaboration. The signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 exemplify the deepening defense ties. During the recent visit, discussions on defense technology transfers, joint exercises, and defense production collaboration have paved the way for further advancements in this crucial domain. Such cooperation not only bolsters India’s defense capabilities but also promotes technological modernization and self-reliance in defense manufacturing.

The visit has also yielded positive outcomes on the economic front. India and the United States have expressed a commitment to deepen their economic engagement and explore opportunities for trade and investment. Discussions on trade issues, including market access, intellectual property rights, and the resolution of disputes, demonstrate a mutual desire to enhance economic ties. The establishment of a high-level Trade Policy Forum and the resumption of the US-India CEO Forum are indicative of the focus on economic cooperation and business collaboration. Strengthening economic ties with the United States can provide a boost to India’s economy, attract foreign investment, and promote job creation.

Furthermore, the visit has highlighted the increasing cooperation between India and the United States on emerging technologies and innovation. The establishment of the Quad Tech Network, which aims to facilitate cooperation in areas like 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, underscores the commitment to technological collaboration. This partnership opens up avenues for India to leverage American expertise and resources in cutting-edge technologies, fostering innovation, and promoting digital transformation in various sectors of the Indian economy. It also aligns with India’s own initiatives, such as Digital India and Make in India, which seek to harness technology for inclusive development.

Beyond these specific achievements, Prime Minister Modi’s visit has showcased India’s growing stature on the global stage. The interactions with top American business leaders and engagements at prestigious forums like the United Nations General Assembly have projected India as an attractive investment destination and a responsible global actor. The visit has reinforced India’s image as a reliable partner committed to democratic values, economic growth, and regional stability.

Narendra Modi’s recent US trip has yielded significant achievements for India across multiple dimensions. The deepening of the strategic partnership, advancements in defense cooperation, progress on economic engagement, and collaboration in emerging technologies are notable outcomes that hold immense promise for India’s growth and development. Moreover, the visit has amplified India’s global standing and enhanced its influence on critical global issues. As India continues to strengthen its partnerships and engage in fruitful dialogues with nations around the world, it is poised to play an increasingly pivotal role on the international stage.

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Blitz. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers on diversified topics, including international relations, politics, diplomacy, security and counterterrorism. Follow him on 'X' @Salah_Shoaib

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