Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jim Hoagland at the Washington Post:
But they also detect an air of ambivalence blowing their way from Washington -- and are reacting by hedging against a quick U.S. pullout from Afghanistan that would bring greater U.S. reliance on China and Pakistan, at India's expense.

Romanced by the Bush administration to balance China's inexorable rise in military and economic power, India finds itself out of sync with the Obama administration on some key issues. There is no open conflict. But neither is there the air of excitement and innovation about the U.S. relationship that I found on my last trip here 18 months ago.

The Power Line Blog, in attempting to read into this, provides this possible defense:
There are, to be sure, less damning explanations. Obama likely sees a need to stay on Pakistan's good side for purposes of the war on terror.

But, this remains highly unconvincing. There has been a significant de-escalation in India-Pakistan relations in recent years, largely because of the Bush administration's very significant focus on India. The US pressure on India to back down allowed Pakistan to redeploy a significant number of troops from their eastern, Indian borders, to the northwest. But, the current administration, which loudly touted the benefits of engagement before coming into office, seems surprisingly reluctant to engage with countries that might actually prove useful.
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