Since 2011, the Obama administration has utilized a program called “Pivot to Asia,” where, through diplomacy and trade, it aims to balance the growth of Chinese power and influence and capture (and leverage) the growth of emerging markets for gains in the American economy.
In line with the motives of the program, the United States has the opportunity to alter the landscape of global politics if it invests in an alliance with India
If the United States builds a unique multifaceted partnership with India, the cooperation would be transformative on an economic and political level and could possibly improve global security.
Security, however, is the first concern of the United States. India lies at the edge of the Middle East, where Islamist terrorism, political instability and sectarian violence wreak destruction upon local communities. But India offers a strategic position for alleviating this situation. With its proximity to the region, further economic and infrastructural investments will improve India’s development and allow it to expand its own corporate network.
It is true that Indian businesses operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Oman contribute positively to the daily lives of local inhabitants. With more business opportunities and higher wages, the new soft power of India could decrease the tensions that poverty contributes to.
While the new agreements aim to increase investments, they also seek to create a framework of climate change action to coincide with further trade and business investments. Addressing those concerns through this new trade partnership allows for new economic development to benefit the two countries and, potentially, the world. Furthermore, the security objectives of the United States are also fulfilled. Secretary of State John Kerry recently spoke at an economic conference in India called Vibrant Gujarat Summit, urging immediate action:
“Global climate change is already violently affecting communities, not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business. And, believe me, if it continues down the current trend line, we will see climate refugees, fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunities.”
The BBC writes that a current deal by U.S. diplomats is intended to include points on solar energy and increas rural electrification in India. These furnish the goals of more business and further action against climate change. By projecting the issues that global climate change may cause and working with India to address those issues, the United States has the unique opportunity of creating environmentally conscious economic growth.
Development in India will bring more resources to the government of the future most populous country. With those resources, India has the chance to establish a military presence that will balance Asia.
Economic growth, tax revenues and income streams will increase, providing India with the capital to invest in top-of-the-line military hardware and the means to better train its soldiers. With a stronger and more active Indian army, China’s military influence will have a regional counter point.
Furthermore, the India of 50 years from now will almost be unrecognizable in terms of development and growth. With technological advancements, India will have the capacity to assert its power. As an ally, India can help the United States in its military goals through cooperative intelligence, joint-military task forces and other operations.
“Together, we can create an environment where all of our companies play leading roles in bringing cutting-edge technologies, equipment, capital, and know-how not just to India but to countless countries that need this growth and development now,” Kerry said.
India lies at an intersection of global affairs. If America wants to reap the rewards, it needs to invest now.
James Gadea is a junior in the School of Foreign Service.’