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.
This collection of short memoranda on India-U.S. relations has been written by experts from Brookings India and its affiliate, the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. The memos each represent the personal views of the authors and not the institutions themselves. They are meant to provide different, and sometimes differing, perspectives on how to make progress on some of the top issues on the India-U.S. agenda.
The views are expressed in this publication are those of the author(s).
Teresita Schaffer outlines the key strategic convergences and remaining obstacles to the India-U.S. security partnership. She suggests that the United States respect India’s desire for strategic autonomy and that the two sides deepen their dialogue on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.Continue Reading
In the second section, covering areas of cooperation that could help accelerate India’s development, Shamika Ravi argues that India’s ailing higher education sector could benefit from longer tenures for U.S. faculty in the country, a greater emphasis on community college collaboration, and an overhaul of the regulatory bodies that oversee Indian tertiary education.Continue Reading
In the third section, on regional issues, Joseph Liow argues that India and the United States should continue to uphold the principles of freedom of navigation and spirit of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in the South China Sea, while building up the coast guard capabilities of Southeast Asian states.Continue Reading
Finally, because international relations almost never progress in a linear fashion, Tanvi Madan examines some of the high-impact but low-probability events that may affect the India-U.S. relationship in the future: so-called “black swans.” These include various economic, security, and environmental shocks, regional conflicts, and state disintegration in regions where both the United States and India have interests.Continue Reading
AAPI Heritage Month: Safeguarding Asian American inclusion and belonging
President López Obrador's extension of the term of Supreme Court chief Arturo Zaldívar is part of his strong effort to recentralize power in the Mexican presidency and hollow out the independence and power of other Mexican institutions. His other moves to bend the justice system to his will include a reform that lowered the salary of judges but did not improve the quality of prosecutors and his unwillingness to allow an independent selection of the attorney general, with López Obrador himself retaining the power of appointment. His latest move with the two-year extension of Zaldívar’s term is especially worrisome. Zaldívar is also the president of the powerful Federal Judiciary Council. The council appoints and dismisses judges, sets career advancement rules and disciplines judges. Zaldívar will be setting the council’s and, thus, the whole judiciary’s, agenda and priorities for two years. This allows López Obrador to influence how courts will rule in cases regarding the executive branch, what cases they take up and the legality of new policies. These moves are taking place when the effectiveness of the judiciary in Mexico remains limited and deeply concerning. The attorney general’s office has proven weak, unwilling to take up key cases such as against the suspects in the brazen attack on Mexico City’s security minister, Omar García Harfuch—an event that symbolized the impunity with which Mexican criminal groups operate. Mexico’s justice system showed itself equally meek and disappointing in inadequately investigating the alleged complicity of former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos and dismissing the case, potentially the most significant case of corruption and criminal collusion charges against a high-ranking Mexican official in two decades. A decade and a half after Mexico initiated its justice system reforms, 95 percent of federal cases still go unpunished. President López Obrador has scored some points, but the already precariously weak rule of law in Mexico, and thus the Mexican people, will suffer.