The Modi-Obama Summit

A Leadership Moment for India and the United States

Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.

Even before he came to office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called India and the U.S. “natural allies,” stating: “It is in the interest of both the nations to develop further on our relationship.”
President Barack Obama, in turn, has outlined the task ahead for both leaderships: to work together “to fulfill the extraordinary promise of the U.S.-India strategic partnership.” As the two leaders prepare to meet in Washington in September, the Brookings India Initiative, which consists of the Brookings India center in New Delhi and the India Project at Brookings in Washington, decided to highlight some areas of promise in the partnership and suggest ways to translate those opportunities into outcomes.

Taking advantage of the breadth of expertise available at Brookings and reflecting the interest in India among its scholars, this policy brief contains 28 memos by over two dozen Brookings scholars. We divided these memos into three sections. The overview section offers an overall perspective each from Washington and New Delhi on the India-U.S. relationship. The “scene-setter” memos offer glimpses of how India and the U.S. view some crucial foreign policy issues, their inclusion reflecting the fact that each country’s perceptions and actions vis-à-vis third
countries will have implications for the other, as well as for the India-U.S. relationship. The third section covers a range of issues on which India and the U.S. are or could be cooperating, including in the foreign, security, economic, energy, and social policy realms.

Brookings does not take institutional positions on policy issues and each memo in this policy brief solely reflects the views of the Brookings scholar(s) who authored it.

We are very grateful to the Brookings India Initiative Founders Circle for their generous support of Brookings work on and in India. Brookings recognizes that the value it provides to any supporter is in its commitment to quality, independence, and impact. Activities supported by its donors reflect this commitment and scholars’ analyses and recommendations are not determined by any donation.

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