The U.S. & India: Bilateral Buddies

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited with President Barack Obama for the first time in September 2014. The bilateral talks between the two heads of state reaffirmed the long-standing alliance between India and the United States. At the conclusion of that historic visit, Modi remarked:

“India and the United States are natural global partners based on our shared values, interests, and strengths in the digital age.  We already have the foundation of a strong partnership.  We now have to revive the momentum and ensure that we get the best out of it for our people and for the world.”

The U.S. Government partners with India to address cross-cutting development challenges and champion innovative, in-country development. One report from U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute reflects upon the strategic cooperation behind this natural friendship.

The U.S.-India Relationship: Cross-Sector Collaboration to Promote Sustainable Development

U.S.-India economic and people-to-people ties are strong and more enmeshed than ever. This volume looks at how both powers are concerned with a broad range of engagement issues: energy, climate change, defense, trade, health, and social innovation. How do these policy priorities fit together for the sake of shared national interests? The answer is cross-sector collaboration—government, private, and civil sectors working transparently on public problems.

008-000-01121-4Over two dozen experienced scholars, businesspeople, and government officials weigh in on the structure, process, and subtleties of cross-sector collaboration with theoretical papers, opinion pieces, and case studies. One contributor, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, argues, “cross-sector collaboration can be particularly fruitful in the interaction of the two great democracies like India and the United States.” But to “make a collaborative initiative successful,” writes Michael J. Frantantuono, the two countries must acknowledge the “necessity of investing time and effort in understanding the partner.”

Another big issue involves the primacy of sustainable development vs. human security. The two don’t vacillate on parallel, separate spectrums. Each concept plays into each other and cannot be detached. Nor should sustainable development and security be promoted at the expense of vulnerable populations. Cross-sector collaboration is presented as a means to reconcile this.

The text’s discourse shows how cross-sector collaboration can be a way forward for sustainable development and security.  And, of course, Obama-Modi diplomacy gives energy and purpose to this joint pursuit. Perhaps, in time, the U.S.-India bilateral relationship can be scaled outward as a model, one that shows how global interdependence confronts the most pressing challenges of our time.


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About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

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