Obama Administration

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  • Hu Jintao’s State Visit to the United States: An attempt to put the Sino-US narrative in place

    While the Chinese president’s trip concluded with a joint statement and the signing of trade and investment deals, it achieved little in terms of addressing pressing global problems and bilateral issues.

    February 01, 2011

    The US Space Priorities under the Obama Administration

    The 21st century may not hold the same strategic logic of the 1960s and 1970s towards discovering outer space. Over a period of time, particularly after the end of the Cold War, space appears to have lost some, if not all, of its strategic significance. During 2004, the then US president, George W. Bush, had argued that the 21st century moon exploration initiative by the US should be viewed as part of a journey and not a race. Mostly, the peaceful voyage of global activities in space got a jolt when China conducted an anti-satellite test (ASAT) during January 2007.

    January 2011

    An Impact Assessment of President Obama’s Visit on the India-US Strategic Partnership

    The India-US strategic partnership grounded in shared values as well as shared interests has been further deepened during Obama’s visit.

    December 09, 2010

    Santosh Kumar asked: How did Obama's trip benefit India? Did this trip help in softening Obama's stand on outsourcing?

    Cherian Samuel replies: President Obama’s visit afforded both tangible and intangible benefits to India. The tangible benefits, amongst others, included US backing for India’s quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and the removal of curbs on Indian defence and space related organisations from collaborating with their American counter-parts. The intangible benefits of the visit included the restoration of India-US relations to an even keel after a distinct cooling of relations between the two countries as the Obama Administration struggled to bring out its own distinct imprint on US foreign policy through initiatives such as the Af-Pak policy and the still-born G2 concept which envisaged close co-operation between the United States and China on global and regional issues. The wheel has now come full circle with President Obama’s speech to the joint session of the Indian Parliament carrying forward the framework of partnership laid out in the Strategic Partnership Document of 2005.

    Obama’s stand on outsourcing is partly the outcome of the fact that crucial support to the Democratic Party comes from the middle class and the trade unions, constituencies that have been badly affected by the Global Recession. With the US unemployment rate more than doubling from 4.4% in 2008(May) to 10.6% in 2010(Jan), the attacks against outsourcing have only grown shriller, and the political class has had to respond with more than rhetoric and passed legislation largely affecting Indian outsourcing companies. With the end of mid-term state and national elections, President Obama took the first step to tone down the rhetoric in interactions in Mumbai and Delhi. Prime Minister Singh also took the opportunity to speak to an American audience during the joint press conference where he resolutely declared that “Indians were not in the business of stealing American jobs”. Whilst outsourcing will continue to be a thorny issue, both countries will have to find the middle path between the American view that outsourcing is a minor issue that should have limited place in discussions, and the reality in India of the outsourcing industry having acquired iconic status through catapulting India into its current position as an IT superpower, and the human element of increasing harassment of Indians workers in the United States through the new legislation and stricter enforcement of existing rules.

    Obama’s Visit and Strategic Trade Management

    The removal of some organisations from the Entity List has merely removed a layer of controls and there is no guarantee that all dual-use curbs on India would go.

    November 10, 2010

    India’s Accommodation in Multi-lateral Export Control Regimes

    Obama’s announcement of support for India’s prospective membership in multi-lateral export control regimes is a natural corollary of US efforts over the past five years to fully accommodate India in the global non-proliferation regime.

    November 10, 2010

    Kalam-NSS Indian-American Energy Initiative

    The Kalam-NSS Indian-American Energy Initiative is being conceptualized by individuals with experience in the field of space technologies as well as policy planning.

    November 09, 2010

    Obama’s Forthcoming Visit to India

    President Obama should make his stance clear on the issues of nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan and perhaps take up the issue with Hu Jintao when he visits Washington DC early next year.

    November 04, 2010

    India-United States 2020

    This report summarizes the conclusions of a study that was initiated earlier this year on the future of India United States relations in the coming decade.

    October 29, 2010

    New START and the Obama Administration: Hurdles Still Ahead

    With the Senate Committee on Foreign Relatons agreeing on September 16 to send the New START to the full Senate for ratification, the prospects of realising the potential of the Obama administration’s signal foreign policy achievement seem to have improved considerably.

    September 23, 2010