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Trump or Biden – US Foreign Policy Towards India Will Not Change

The suspense over the results of keenly fought US Presidential elections is not over yet. Though the results have been delayed and the lead is not free from swinging between both the contestants for the past three days, the uncertainty looms bringing no respite to anxious Americans and the people worldwide.

The results are awaited over who will be the 46th President of the US even on the third day of counting of ballots after the November 3 Presidential elections.

The projection at the time of writing this piece has been that Republican candidate and the reigning US President Donald Trump has won 214 electoral votes, while Democratic contender Joe Biden has 253, and the final result will have to wait for at least one more day as final set of ballots are being counted in six states – Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alaska. The result might be held longer in case Trump finds ‘ways & means’ to go Supreme Court on some accusation against Democrats, media or the states regardless of whether the charges have any basis. Going by the current trends as of this writing, Biden is going to be the choice of American citizens for the top coveted position.

For India, particularly at a time when it is facing territorial excesses on its northern and western boarders, the US Presidential Election results are critical.

At present the relations between India and the US have been very cordial, under the leadership of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump. They have been marked by the spirit of the “Howdy Modi” reception to Narendra Modi in Houston, Texas, during September 2019, followed by a massive “Namaste Trump” gathering in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, during February this year.

India enjoys utmost support of the US on a bilateral basis and also at all international forums. India and the US have consolidated their relations with regard to fight against the common enemy – terrorism. India and the US, as two great democratic countries of the world, have signed several agreements and pacts to combat terrorism; promote trade and industry; science and technology; health, education, environment, communications and defense; for mutual benefit and for international peace and progress

In the face of Chinese troop misadventures along the India-China border, India has been seeking to strengthen its defense preparedness. The 2+2 dialogue in the twin areas of foreign affairs and defense matters between India and the US initiated by Narendra Modi in 2018 has been very significant.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were in New Delhi for talks with their Indian counterparts – External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh – for the third 2+2 dialogue for two days, when the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial (BECA) was signed on October 27. India can now acquire hunter-killer advanced armed drones and access to other advanced real-time satellite imagery and related-technology from the US. This has been possible following the agreements signed by the Indian and visiting top US leaders in New Delhi during October 26-27, and also at an earlier such meeting held in Washington DC.

During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the request of Trump, Modi shipped plane-loads of vital drugs and PPE sets from India to the US. Biden, is no stranger to India since he was the Vice President of the US, when Barak Obama, another great supporter of India, was the US President. Obama visited India twice, at the invitation of Modi. Biden enjoys great support of the Indian-Americans among whom many are doctors, engineers, scientists, and administrators.

Indian-Americans may constitute just one percent of the US population, but there is no exaggeration to say that there is no university in the US without at least an Indian scholar heading an academic department. There is no hospital in the US without at least one physician holding a top super-specialty position. There are many Indians who are CEOs of the top US firms and heads of the federal and state departments. There are many Indians working in the US federal and state administrations. There are several Indians, who run from moderate grocery stores and gas stations to big multinational firms. That may be why Biden has taken Senator Kamala Harris of Indian-origin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

There may be a change at the helm of the US government, but the US foreign policy towards India, another great democracy, remains intact.

Picture Credits: AP / usatoday.com



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