Interaction on ‘Indo-US Relations’
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Marshal Bouton, Interim Director of the Asia Society Policy Institute and President Emeritus of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, interacted with the VIF faculty on Indo-US Relations on 08 September 2014. He has been a resident in India for long and has taken a keen interest in Indian affairs for a number of years.

Vice Admiral KK Nayyar, while chairing the discussion, spoke about the importance of Indo-US relations, the current state of ties between the two countries as also ways to improve the atmospherics especially during the forthcoming visit of PM Modi to the US. Marshal Bouton applauded the emergence of VIF as a leading think tank. He observed that the international scene is fast changing; it is different from say last ten years and is entering a dangerous period. He spoke about the 100th anniversary of First World War being celebrated this year. The liberal international order sponsored by the US, in his estimate, is ending.

According to him, both India and US have to contend with a new set of dynamics. PM Modi’s with massive mandate have empowered him to pursue both internal and external agenda with firmness. Recalling former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s remarks that both US and India are ‘natural allies’ as they share same values, Marshal Bouton said we have no fundamental conflicts, have common threats like terrorism. However, statecraft is required to work on the relationship. There has been an enormous transformation in the bilateral relationship from 1999 to 2008. The enormous momentum generated then has petered out. There is a level of strategic mistrust which is a challenge. A lot has been accomplished. For instance, the signing of the Civil Nuclear Agreement; there is a dramatic improvement in the economic relationship; the defence relationship has grown multi-fold and there are other success stories. However, over the period, our relationship became transactional. The UPA II had its own distraction. Marshal Bouton was of the view that the coming meeting between Modi and President Obama would be challenging. For India, the goal of achieving higher economic growth is important. Marshal Bouton stressed on the need for an intensive and ongoing strategic dialogue between both the nations on bilateral, regional and global issues. He concluded by stating that an economically secure India, a strong India is in itself a constraint on an assertive China.

Event Date 
September 8, 2014
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