Saturday, November 6, 2010


to be discussed between
Dr Singh to Mr Barak Hussein Obama

By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Eleven major secret issues pertaining
to India will be discussed between Prime Minister
Dr Manmohan Singh and President Obama on Sunday
at 7RCR when they meet for a quiet dinner.

Despite being a policy document, the PMO prepared
it for the background purposes.

These issues will also be deliberated at the Hyderabad
house when these two leaders meet with officials.

Recognizing that US President Barrack Obama’s visit was not
aimed to achieve immediate goals, a policy brief circulated amongst
top strategists and government officials by the Prime Ministers’
Office (PMO) suggests building a base for a long term India-US
relation for the year 2020. The policy actually summarizes the
conclusion of a study commissioned to various thin-tanks ahead of
Presidential visit to apprise officials and the informal brainstorming
group including National Security Adviser (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon,
former NSA Brajesh Mishra during NDA rule and former ambassadors in US
Naresh Chandra and K S Bajpai to sensitise key US officials during
formal and informal interactions.

The brief realizes that while the strategic partnership of 2005 had
laid out a roadmap for the two countries in various sectors, the
assessment shows that pace has been “uneven”. Significantly, Obama’s
former Campaign Chief of Staff Pete Dagher recently told Indian
audience candidly that India needs to lobby hard in Washington with an
imaginative mix of vision and deft planning to achieve its goals.

DEFENCE: On the issue of defence cooperation, the policy brief
outlines that CISMO was a roadblock. While agreeing that US has long
standing laws on the limits of defence transfers and India cannot
demand a treatment superior to that offered by US
to its military security partners such as NATO alliance, UK etc., the
policy brief, howeve,r suggests that Washington should make sure
that defence commerce between US and India follow along the lines of
WTO members that means MFN treatment. The US should treat India in
matters of defence transfers in no less favourable manner than it
treats its other customers not bound by military alliance. In general
if a principle of reciprocity and freedom of choice is maintained, the
chances of further defence cooperation will be enhanced substantially

TERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE SHARING: India by participating in several
multilateral export control regimes such as NSG and MTCR, could
contribute to the global efforts to deny terrorist outfits materials,
technology and know-how needed for the development of WMD. In this
process, both the US and India, however, have to overcome problems
with regard to domestic constituency as well as legal provisions and
rulings; geo-strategic compulsions and politic-military. The current
cooperation between them, for various reasons, appears to be in the
range from low uncertainty to medium uncertainty. The next decade
would be a test for both the partners to reach the zenith of the
cooperation of which intelligence sharing should be established as a

CYBER SECURITY: The cooperation was mooted in 2002, when the India-US
Cyber Security Forum was set up in the National Security Council
Secretariat. It got a severe set back following an unravelling of an
alleged espionage racket involving Secretariat officials incharge of
Forum and a lady US embassy official. The paper calls for sharing
best practices and coordinating approaches geared towards a common
vision of ensuring that cyberspace remains open and free, and at the
same time secure.

HIGH-END TECHNOLOGY: India has taken first step of harmonizing its
export control list in line with export control regimes. India and US
should now seriously explore how to mange future dual use technology
trade in a manner that helps global trade without affecting
international security.

NUCLEAR TRADE: Remedial measures can be done to allay the US industry
fears over the Nuclear Civil Liability Law. A resolution of the matter
to the satisfaction of both sides would require both sides to abandon
their current rigid positions. If this is resolved
then the way is open for substantial further nuclear cooperation
between the two countries in all matters pertaining to civilian
nuclear uses in future and in particular cooperating in
nuclear safety and security issues, assisting new entrants to civil
nuclear power in managing safely their nuclear programs etc. India
with its strong and well flourishing base in nuclear research can join
with US in managing future global civil nuclear programs in an
imaginative manner which is equitable and non-discriminatory.

PAKISTAN: Besides militancy, nuclear dynamics, war on terror and
Afghanistan, for India utmost significance is the course of US aid in
Pakistan. More aid to Pakistan is being promised without deriving
methods aimed at appropriate use of the aid money. US
administration has shown intentions to bring about a change in its aid
policy towards Pakistan. Ironically, these intentions have been far
from being translated into policy statements. US has been conducting

AFGHANISTAN: As President Obama has already announced plans to start
withdrawing forces from Afghanistan from July 2011, it may be
suggested that India and United States start mutually ecognising each
other's efforts for peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.
More significantly, the United States must engage India more deeply in
the deliberations on any future strategy for the solution of Afghan

a role to become a regional policeman by joining the PSI to check and
monitor ships, India sees missile defence as a defensive-deterrence
mechanism unlike Washington which perceives it as active defence
mechanism against missile Similarly, India sees the PSI as pre-emption
tool targeting US adversaries, which India disapproves. Even on
nuclear terrorism, India could find partnerships ineffective unless
the source of proliferation and terror (read Pakistan) is adequately
addressed. (Ends)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Rajgopalan,
Pls find this link which is an identical copy of your article. I am sure you would agree, whoever is the correspondent over at rediff, has plagiarized your work.