Sowing the Seeds of Soft Power: The United States and India in the Next Great Game
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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In both the 2010 and 2015 National Security Strategy, the White House published President Barack Obamas remarks emphasizing that the United States must integrate all the tools of national power to further U.S. strategic interests. This is especially true in a dynamic and increasingly multipolar world. In what this thesis calls the Next Great Game, the future key players in this emerging geopolitical scenario are Iran, Russia, China, and India. This thesis focuses on India. Using Joseph Nyes concept of hard power and soft power, this thesis explores what bonds can and do serve to align the United States and India. In doing so, this thesis makes it clear that the United States and India share several soft power bonds as a result of their respective historic connections to British colonialism, which to a certain degree has already set the conditions for the integration of all the tools of U.S. national power with India. Though historic disagreements and complex regional relations stymie the process, the United States must be cognizant of the type of relationship that is presenting itself and understand that the tools of government may be less important than the form of power being exercised.