Are we working at cross purposes in South Asia?
On most accounts, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to India this past week was a diplomatic success. She addressed India as it is – a burgeoning global power that deserves our attention. And although her trip didn’t result in much headway on global warming it did move forward a civilian nuclear power partnership, a defense deal that includes “end-use monitoring”, and the start of a procurement contract which may help US companies sell India up to 126 multi-role fighter aircraft.
Yet South Asia’s diplomatic challenges still abound. I think there are legitimate concerns that an increased US-India defense partnership may distract Pakistan from its internal counterinsurgency fight by shifting focus back to their conventional India threat; which, in turn, could hinder US goals for the Af-Pak theatre.
Additionally, the visit did little to push forward Obama’s nuclear non-proliferation goals, such as a reinvigoration of the NPT and ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).