Americans like India, the world’s largest democracy — a rare example of a bipartisan foreign policy consensus in the politically polarised United States. Washington DC has a strong interest in better relations with New Delhi for many reasons — the pursuit of mutual goals, complex global issues, the economic power India is becoming, and a convergence of views on Asia. From the civil nuclear initiative a decade ago, bilateral ties have grown to cover a far wider range of areas than at any time in the past.
Yet, despite such progress, India is not yet among the closest US partners, a role still occupied by allies in Europe and Asia. Given India’s potential trajectory, and the opportunity a rising India presents for advancing a slate of American national security, economic and global policy interests, a Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Independent Task Force recently deliberated over ways in which Washington should best advance its ties with India. Our topline was this: Washington and Delhi should deliberately adopt a new model of partnership borrowed from the business world, that of a joint venture.