The United States must infuse its relationship with India with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. India’s rise is one of the most significant geopolitical developments of the twenty-first century. With astute policies, the United States could be one of the greatest beneficiaries of India assuming its rightful place as a leading global power. However, putting India policy on auto-pilot based on the faulty assumption that a strategic partnership will blossom on its own could lead us to miss an historic opportunity.
India is poised to have the world’s largest population by the middle of the next decade. With economic growth at over 7 percent, India is the fastest growing major economy, outpacing China. It now ranks as the sixth largest economy and is on track to be the third largest by 2030 and the second largest by 2050. Moreover, India’s military is the world’s third largest and its capabilities are steadily improving.
A stronger India offers the prospect of a more stable balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, the world’s most economically dynamic region which stretches from the eastern shores of Africa to the west coast of the Americas. India’s democratic model of development presents a stark contrast to China’s authoritarianism for emerging nations in Africa and beyond. And its steady rise into the ranks of great powers offers the prospect of a potent amplifying voice that shares our fundamental values.
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