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US Defense and Foreign Policy Planners are Learning to Deal with India, Slowly

March 13th, 2011 by Matthew Rudolph

The process of trying to sell Medium-Range, Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Ministry of Defense will be an important learning process for the American foreign policy establishment.

It may be possible that some smugness, or even hubris, crept into that establishment after concluding the Indo-US nuclear deal several years ago.

The trickiness of the nuclear liability issue in the wake of the nuclear deal should have been a corrective.

America and key departments of its executive branch such as the State Department and the Defense Department (as well as Commerce and eventually Treasury) will have to learn how to conduct relations with an India whose Grand Strategy and policy-making process is entirely unfamiliar.  Few in Washington understand the drivers and constraints of Indian foreign policy.

The recent events surrounding the Indo-US strategic dialogue make this clear.

The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | US friendship faces ‘St Antony’ test.

Those events also present further evidence for HC’s theory of Indian Grand Strategy and foreign-policy-making as geographically, structurally, culturally and politically inclined toward “equipoise”.

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