America’s Future Foreign Policy

An IDC Analysis

(With Inputs from Ram Narayanan)


New Delhi, 26 March 2006

India is poised for good days if the Government can get the opposition to look at its policies with open eyes and not just for the  sake of opposing all that the

Dr Manmohan Singh team is doing.

Frontline’s issue of March 24th with an appropriate title ‘What Next’ makes a good analysis of the deals USA is forging with India. It also has a good piece by A G Noorani on the solution for Kashmir as a formula. It is at this time that Bush has issued the new National Security Strategy March 2006 and these inputs are straight from the Big Apple. Bush does not have good words to say about China.

The White House yesterday released America’s new National Security Strategy March 2006. It may be recalled that in the previous National Security Strategy document published in September 2002, President Bush had said: "The United States has undertaken a transformation in its bilateral relationship with India... We are the two largest democracies, committed to political freedom protected by representative government. We have a common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Finally, we share an interest in fighting terrorism and in creating a strategically stable Asia".

In the latest National Security Strategy March 2006, President Bush says:

"India is a great democracy, and our shared values are the foundation of our good relations..... "We have made great strides in transforming America’s relationship with India, a major power that shares our commitment to freedom, democracy, and rule of law. In July 2005, we signed a bold agreement –– a roadmap to realize the meaningful cooperation that had eluded our two nations for decades. India now is poised to shoulder global obligations in cooperation with the United States in a way befitting a major power".

And this is what the National Security Strategy March 2006 has to say about China:

"China encapsulates Asia’s dramatic economic successes, but China’s transition remains incomplete. In one generation, China has gone from poverty and isolation to growing integration into the international economic system. China once opposed global institutions; today it is a permanent member of the UNSC and the WTO. As China becomes a global player, it must act as a responsible stakeholder that fulfills its obligations and works with the United States and others to advance the international system that has enabled its success: enforcing the international rules that have helped China lift itself out of a century of economic deprivation, embracing the economic and political standards that go along with that system of rules, and contributing to international stability and security by working with the United States and other major powers. 

"China’s leaders proclaim that they have made a decision to walk the Transformative path of peaceful development. If China keeps this commitment, the United States will welcome the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that cooperates with us to address common challenges and mutual interests. China can make an important contribution to global prosperity and ensure its own prosperity for the longer term if it will rely more on domestic demand and less on global trade imbalances to drive its economic growth. China shares our exposure to the challenges of globalization and other transnational concerns. Mutual interests can guide our cooperation on issues such as terrorism, proliferation, and energy security. We will work to increase our cooperation to combat disease pandemics and reverse environmental degradation.

"The United States encourages China to continue down the road of reform and openness, because in this way China’s leaders can meet the legitimate needs and aspirations of the Chinese people for liberty, stability, and prosperity. As economic growth continues, China will face a growing demand from its own people to follow the path of East Asia’s many modern democracies, adding political freedom to economic freedom. Continuing along this path will contribute to regional and international security.

"China’s leaders must realize, however, that they cannot stay on this peaceful path while holding on to old ways of thinking and acting that exacerbate concerns throughout the region and the world. These old ways include:

  • Continuing China’s military expansion in a non-transparent way; 

  • Expanding trade, but acting as if they can somehow “lock up” energy supplies around the world or seek to direct markets rather than opening them up – as if they can follow a mercantilism borrowed from a discredited era; and 

  • Supporting resource-rich countries without regard to the misrule at home or misbehaviour abroad of those regimes. 

"China and Taiwan must also resolve their differences peacefully, without coercion and without unilateral action by either China or Taiwan.

"Ultimately, China’s leaders must see that they cannot let their population increasingly experience the freedoms to buy, sell, and produce, while denying them the rights to assemble, speak, and worship. Only by allowing the Chinese people to enjoy these basic freedoms and universal rights can China honor its own constitution and international commitments and reach its full potential. Our strategy seeks to encourage China to make the right strategic choices for its people, while we hedge against other possibilities".

To read the full text of the National Security Strategy document, please log on to US–India Friendship website at, turn to "Important Issues in US India Relations" and scroll down to the bottom. It’s a document worth careful reading by all who have an interest in America’s emerging foreign policy in the 21st century.

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