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NICHOLAS BURNS

India’s strategic importance to the US

WE HAVE grown accustomed to think of foreign policy as a series of unending crises in this complex time. And there are plenty of problems for Americans to confront overseas, from Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions to our decade-long war in Afghanistan. But success in foreign policy is also about taking advantage of opportunities. If coping with a more powerful China will be the great challenge for the United States in the next half century, India may be the great opportunity.

India is of immense strategic importance to the United States. It can help in limiting possible future Chinese expansion as we seek to maintain a preponderance of military power by the democratic countries of Asia - one of the most important American global objectives. India has helped the United States to support the embattled Karzai government in Afghanistan. Its booming high-tech economy is a source of growing trade and investment for American companies. It has one of the world’s most admired leaders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all worked to build this partnership in rare bipartisan fashion.

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