India and the Middle East

Stephen P. Cohen
Stephen P. Cohen
Stephen P. Cohen Former Brookings Expert

November 16, 2005

Congressman Hyde, and Members of the Committee:

I am honored to appear again before the Committee and share my understanding of India’s relations with the major states of the Middle East, especially in light of the newly announced American policy of helping India to become a major power, and of recasting our nuclear relationship.

I certainly agree with the latter, and have argued for something like the administration’s proposal for many years.

As for India’s emergence as a major power, this is not something that is in American hands to offer or deny; as I wrote in my book, India: Emerging Power, India has its own special qualities and advantages, as well as many liabilities, and while its power is balanced, many Indians remain leery of close cooperation with the United States, and none would subordinate Indian interests to American ones. India will not be a dependant state, nor will it become a close ally like Britain; it is more likely to emerge as an Asian France, a state with which we have many shared interests, and even an alliance relationship, but one that sees the world through its own prism, not ours.

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