[op-ed snap] A pivot in Asia

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The two document shows the rapidly changing relationship between India and the US.(on strategic front)


News

Two important documents released by the USA

  1. The National Defence Strategy (NDS) and the National Security Strategy (NSS) released recently by the U.S. showcase the country’s strategic priorities and the way forward

Importance from India’s point of view

  1. The two documents lay considerable focus on the ‘Indo-Pacific’ and they will serve as crucial policy indicators for India and the region

Shifting of focus

  1. The previous Obama administration too laid considerable focus on Asia-Pacific under its ‘Rebalance to Asia’ strategy
  2. But now the U.S. administration has shifted its focus from the Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific as a reference point of its maritime strategy

National Defence Strategy (NDS)

  1. The NDS is reflective of the changing geopolitical realities in Asia viz.
    (1)  China’s territorial and maritime overtures in the Indian Ocean
    (2) regional instability due to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, and
    (3) the salience of Asian economies in international trade and commerce has brought the region into prominence

Why are these documents crucial for India?

  1. With India as America’s ‘major defence partner’, the NDS seeks to further expand defence cooperation between the two countries with particular emphasis on military purchases
  2. With its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.S. is looking for multilateral economic engagement with Asian economies
  3. On the strategic front, apart from building missile defence systems with Japan and South Korea to checkmate North Korea, U.S. has shown keenness to align with the ‘Quad’ to counter China’s rise
Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States
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