India-US Relationship: Strongest in Years, But a Traditional Alliance Off the Table

India’s Relationship with the United States: A Strong Partnership

India’s relationship with the United States is currently at its strongest point in years. Both countries have been engaging in multiple bilateral meetings, with U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to meet again at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi. However, despite the warming ties, a traditional alliance between India and the United States is not on the table, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

According to Alyssa Ayres, an expert on India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, India values its independence and wants to maintain the ability to make its own decisions without being constrained by alliance agreements. This sets India apart from other countries that have traditional alliance relationships with the United States.

Despite the strong partnership, there are still areas of disagreement between India and the United States. One notable difference is their views on the Russia-Ukraine war. While Washington has condemned the war, India has refrained from doing so and continues to import a significant portion of its crude supply from Russia.

According to Ayres, this difference in perspective highlights the space between American and Indian interests and is likely to remain an area of disagreement.

U.S.-India Tech Partnership

Although a traditional alliance is not in the cards, the partnership between India and the United States will continue to strengthen, particularly in the field of technology. In May, Biden and Modi announced numerous technology and defense deals, including collaborations in supply chain diversification, space exploration, and artificial intelligence.

Evan Feigenbaum, a vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, emphasizes that technology has played a crucial role in improving the relationship between the two countries. He highlights India’s ability to export and scale tested domestic models and ideas, which are highly relevant in regions like Africa and the Middle East. Feigenbaum cites India’s digital infrastructure as an example, noting how it has helped previously unbanked individuals gain access to financial services.

With technology cooperation at the forefront, the U.S.-India partnership is set to flourish, as evident in the discussions taking place at the G20 summit.

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