Expectations from Indo-US ties 'unrealistically high'

The report by Washington-based think tank released as as US President Barack Obama, prepares to visit India in less than a fortnight from now, said, India, the US and China will operate in a triangular relationship that mixes cooperation with competition and pressures and non will be closed partner of the other.

It said that US cannot do much to help India as New Delhi has different long term needs and interests as a developing country.

"US policy cannot do much to help India's rise, but it can inflict major damage on global problem-solving efforts if it defers too readily to the narrow, often mercantile demands of the current relationship," said the report "Toward Realistic US-India Relations," of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"Rather than maintaining the pretence of partnership, a truly pro-India policy would acknowledge that India has different near-term needs and interests as a developing country than does the United States, even as it recognises that each will benefit in the long run from the success of the other," said George Perkovich, author of the report, which will be formally released today.

"Most of what the US government can do for India lies in the broader global arena, and most of what India needs at home it must do for itself," he said his 54-page report notes that careful analysis of US and Indian interests does not show a close convergence in some key areas, and in cases such as China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, they differ in how to pursue shared interests even when both states benefit from each other's successes.

Shared democracy is said to make the United States and India "natural allies," but domestic politics and economics often keep each state from adopting policies that would befit a partnership, the report says.

Emphasising military competition with China, as some do, is counterproductive, it said.For the foreseeable future, the US, India, and China will operate in a triangular relationship that mixes cooperation with competition and pressure and none will be close partners of the others.Economic development and effective governance are the keys to countering China’s rising strength, it said.

The report said the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries has not turned the relationship into a partnership, as envisioned.

But it has undermined US leadership credibility in trying to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime, it observed.

"The United States can contribute only marginally to India's success or failure. Washington should focus on global issues—such as trade, nuclear security, peace in Asia, and climate change—that will also affect India's longer-term interests," the report said.

"Rather than maintaining the pretence of partnership, a truly pro-India policy would acknowledge that India has different near-term needs and interests as a developing country than does the United States, even as it recognises that each will benefit in the long run from the success of the other.

Most of what the US government can do for India lies in the broader global arena, and most of what India needs at home it must do for itself," it said.

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