Washington: With the India-United States strategic initiative clearly showing signs of fraying at the edges, ex-officials from the previous Republican administration under president George W Bush, are now coming to the fore with suggestions aimed at restoring the equilibrium. It may be they are concerned that an initiative of considerable strategic significance is now going to seed under an indifferent Obama administration.
A report by two top Bush-era officials suggests that president Barack Obama should endorse India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, remove Indian institutions, such as Indian Space Research Organisation, from the entities list and stop pressuring New Delhi to join the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state.
"Now is a critical time in this partnership, a moment to transform past bilateral accomplishments into regional and global successes. We urge American and Indian leaders to seize it," former deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage and former under secretary of state for political affairs, R Nicholas Burns said.
The 16-page report, titled 'Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of US- India Relations,' also has a contribution from Richard Fontaine, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
"In light of US aspirations for the US-India strategic partnership -- the United States should commit, publicly and explicitly, to work with India in support of its permanent membership in an enlarged UN Security Council," they said.
The report has received endorsement from more than 20 American and Indian experts including former US ambassador to India, Frank Wisner, former Bush administration officials Karan Bhatia and Susan C Schwab and former assistant secretary of state for south Asian affairs Karl F Inderfurth.
The reports also suggests that the US give concrete meaning to the phrase "strategic partnership" by deepening relations and strengthening collaboration in a number of areas, including countering terrorism and violent extremism, bolstering the international non-proliferation regime and fostering greater stability, security and economic prosperity in south Asia.