India's security concerns seem to grow weaker by the year. The dangerous political polarity, a paralysed ruling coalition, a fractured opposition, a popular distaste for a corrupt polity and complicit bureaucracy, and a slowing economy, has handicapped any progress towards this issue.
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A decade after 9/11, the U.S. has prevented further terrorist attacks - a major achievement. But with a $1.3 trillion budget deficit, a debt downgrade, and 24 million Americans searching for jobs, the U.S. needs to attend to matters at home rather than intervening in the world's affairs.
The turbulent waters of the South China Sea may soon see a major addition: an aircraft carrier, from China. The carrier - already seventy percent complete - is sure to change the equation and further Beijing's Four Modernisations programme.
The U.S. Justice Department is slowly but surely clamping down on Pakistani terrorist activities, as is evident not only by the recent arrest of Kashmiri propogandist Ghulam Nabi Fai but also in open claim that the ISI Security Directorate "overseas militant groups".
The upcoming strategic dialogue between India and the U.S. could prove significant: deepening people-to-people ties via the diaspora and collaboration on regional solutions could also enhance bilateral ties. Can this dialogue turn out to be a game changer in India-U.S. relations?
The constant engagement between India and Bangladesh in the recent past has garnered a more suitable political atmosphere for enhanced bilateral relations. Looking beyond political blunders and focusing on socio-economic cooperation is at the advantage of both nations.
The 10-year old war in Afghanistan has reached a hazy stage as the U.S. announced a quicker withdrawal of troops, with NATO countries soon to follow. The South Asian region will undergo another makeover, hopefully opening doors for New Delhi and Islamabad.
Although the Indo-Pakistan foreign secretary talks did not grab all the headlines, bilateral relations have seen notable developments. The former single-minded approach to discuss terrorism was modified, in turn allowing both nations to progress in terms of friendly and nuclear confidence building measures.
Even ardent supporters of Pakistan are unable to explain to Washington, and indeed the rest of the world, how Osama Bin Laden lived in a mansion with the Pakistani military and ISI as his neighbours. The implications on US-Pak relations are likely to be heavy.
Osama Bin Laden’s death may not have an immediate effect on Al Qaeda’s ability to conduct operations nor may it deter the ‘democratic’ protests of the Arab Spring. Pakistan though, will now have to answer to global questioning and may reshuffle its stance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups.