NEW YORK – Few places in the world offer as daunting a set of challenges as South Asia. A narcotics-fueled insurgency threatens newly democratic Afghanistan. A resurgent Taliban in its tribal areas has destabilized Pakistan. The recent carnage in Mumbai has prompted another standoff between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.
Each of these crises calls for urgent action. But as a new Asia Society task force argues, in tackling them the world must not lose sight of the great promise of the India-U.S. relationship.
Today, both countries stand on the brink of an historic opportunity: a new international relationship that will foster global security, stronger economies, nuclear nonproliferation, and progress in combating climate change. But these potential gains will be realized only if US President Barack Obama gives India the attention it deserves, and if both countries broaden the strategic stake by involving their private sectors in issues that governments alone cannot resolve.
Already, the end of the Cold War and painstaking diplomacy have brought the US-India relationship to a point unimaginable just ten years ago. Both governments now understand each other better, and the two countries’ interests are more aligned than they have ever been.