A Golden Opportunity: The Next Steps in the U.S.-Indian Relations (Strategic Forum, No. 182, July 2001)
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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President Bush has made closer relations with India a priority. thereby intensifying a process begun by the previous administration. Strengthening U.S.- India ties and cooperation on Asia-Pacific security issues can advance national interests in regional stability by reducing the risk of nuclear war on the subcontinent, The first step in the process is to peel away remaining punitive sanctions against India. Although symbolic of the commitment to nonproliferation, sanctions are manifestly ineffective and counterproductive in South Asia. This applies to Pakistan as well as India. Only India can initiate changes in the regional security atmosphere. The administration should focus on encouraging New Delhi to allow policies of restraint. Improved security relations will create equities that enable Washington to further encourage restraint, Restraint would mean resuming a dialogue with Pakistan on nuclear issues not deploying nuclear weapons no further testing and defining a minimum deterrent that engenders greater stability, that is, does not create incentives for either a first strike or for Pakistan to enhance its deterrent. U.S., policy should link expanded bilateral ties to regular and more substantive military-to-military contacts. China and Pakistan may feel threatened by improved U.S.-India relations, and Pakistan may seek help from China or North Korea. Washington should counter this possibility by reassuring Beijing and also rebuilding badly damaged relations with Islamabad.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons