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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Columns

Obama’s voyage to India will sail through murky waters


A rather controversial reception awaits President Barack Obama on his first visit to India, as both Congress and the Indian parliament feel the countries’ relationship status currently pending.

The over-arching objectives for the meeting in New Delhi this November include an economic alliance between the two democracies and a seat for India on the UN Security Council.

India’s economic and political status has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade, and both India and the US acknowledge that an alliance would enable each nation to push further ahead.

Obama said, “India is moving toward a higher place in its global posture. A stable Pakistan would help.”

While this strategy undoubtedly pays off for the US — by giving Obama an out from Pakistan — India is shoved directly into the line of fire. The hard-line Pakistani military and jihadist factions whom, despite civilians longing for peace, find their purpose in the attrition of other nations, and will not take a settlement lying down. However, a more stable Pakistan-US relationship would alleviate many American concerns.

Bruce Riedal of the Council on Foreign Relations said, “President Obama’s strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan always needed a Kashmir component to succeed; that need is becoming more urgent and obvious now. His trip to India in November will be a key to addressing it.”

Evidently, India’s national security can wait as it would appear that the US is currently preoccupied with looming threats from Pakistani-based al-Qaeda. The Obama administration has not released any plans offering the slightest aid in terms of intelligence or military support to India, but has been quite vocal in its desire to form an economic alliance.

The administration’s decision to dangle the seat of the UN Security Council and the opportunities for economic advancement merely perpetuates the notion that the west is just the big, bad wolf.

Many foreign nations view America’s version of a strategic alliance to be conceding to its predetermined political agenda — the central objective being that once America huffs and puffs, it gets what it wants, no matter what is blown down. This presumed lack of regard leads to distaste towards the current administration and its goals. The power of straight-forward negotiations ought not to be underestimated.

Trisha Thacker is a biology freshman and may be reached at [email protected]


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