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Video Brief: India

Speaker: Daniel S. Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations
March 29, 2012

The winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election must be prepared for "a significant potential for near-term crisis" between India and its historical rival Pakistan, says CFR's Daniel Markey. The United States would likely be called upon to play an important mediating role in the event of a "Mumbai-type" terrorist event that would lead India and Pakistan to the brink of war, he says.

The president will also have to engage with India on top foreign policy priorities including Iran's nuclear program and the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, Markey says. India sees Iran as an important energy supplier and is not eager to enter into an international effort to put pressure on the Iranians, he explains. The difference between U.S. and Indian interests on Iran "is likely to dog the relationship" and enter into bilateral and multilateral dealings, he says. The president will also have to address Indian concerns over rising Pakistani influence in Afghanistan following a messy U.S withdrawal.

Markey sees opportunities for improved U.S.-India relations following the upcoming leadership change in India."The opportunity in U.S.-India relations is really a long-term one," he says, adding that the U.S. president must not allow near-term irritants to get in the way.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

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