India-US ties have lost momentum: US experts

December 28th, 2011 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 28 (IANS) Welcoming the “admirable choice” of Nancy Powell, a “capable South Asia hand” as the next United States Ambassador to India, two US experts have said US-India relations need “careful nurturing” to regain the “lost momentum.”

“After the dramatic turnaround of the US-India nuclear deal and the warmth and excitement of Obama’s visit to Delhi just over a year ago, the relationship has lost momentum,” Teresita C. Schaffer and Howard B. Schaffer, wrote in a commentary for the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

“Both governments’ domestic challenges are the major factor here, but this is a high-maintenance relationship. It does not do well on automatic pilot,” they said.

The quest for an “end game” in Afghanistan is a source of considerable anxiety to both India and the United States, and Pakistan’s role looks increasingly problematic, the Schaffers said.

But “whatever satisfaction there may be in Delhi over the current poisonous relations between the United States and Pakistan must be tempered by the realisation that they reduce Washington’s ability to exercise constructive influence in Islamabad,” they said.

“The possibility of cooperation, or at least parallel US and Indian policies, in East Asia and on some aspects of the Middle East, on the other hand, has improved in the past year, and the new Ambassador has an opportunity to build up the US-India partnership in both regions,” the experts said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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