Obama reaffirms partnership with India

New National Security Strategy focuses on managing threats

In a 52-page document that tries to balance the idealism of Obama’s campaign promises with the realities of his confrontations with a fractious and threatening world over the past 16 months, Obama describes an American strategy that recognises limits on how much the United States can spend to shape the globe.

An America “hardened by war”, he argues, cannot sustain extended fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, while fulfiling other commitments at home and abroad.

“The burdens of a young century cannot fall on American shoulders alone,” Obama writes in the introduction of the strategy being released on Thursday. “Indeed, our adversaries would like to see America sap our strength by overextending our power.” That line is just one of many subtle slaps at President George W Bush. Much of the National Security Strategy, which is required by Congress, reads as an argument for a restoration of an older order of reliance on international institutions, updated to confront modern threats.
While Bush’s 2002 document explicitly said the US would never allow the rise of a rival superpower, Obama argues that America faces no real military competitor, but that global power is increasingly diffuse. “To succeed, we must face the world as it is,” he says.
The principal author of the report, Ben Rhodes, noted in an interview that Obama’s move to replace the Group of 8 with a broader group, the Group of 20, that includes China, India and Brazil, recognises this reality.

Although the administration has put renewed focus on the war in Afghanistan and escalated CIA drone strikes against militants, the strategy rejects Bush’s single-minded focus on counterterrorism as the organising principle of security policy.

The document lays out a vision of a “stable relationship with Russia” but promises to
“promote the rule of law, accountable government and universal values” within Russia and “support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbours.” And it reaffirms that the US is “building a strategic partnership” with India.

Policy unveiled

- The US is “building a strategic partnership” with India
- Renewed focus on war in Afghanistan
- Move to replace G8 with G20, that includes China, India and Brazil, recognises the
reality that global power is increasingly diffuse
- Lot of subtle slaps at Bush

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