India claims to prize its strategic autonomy, but it has built an unprecedented partnership with the United States. New Delhi and Washington both see each other as indispensable in their strategic competition with China. They have accordingly deepened their military relationship, begun to coordinate policies on regional issues, and built larger regional groupings like the Quad. Despite perennial disruptions – such as the recent fracas over COVID-related supplies – the foundations of the relationship are strong. But what kind of partnership does India seek with the United States? This conversation will examine how India views the Biden Administration; but more broadly, it will also examine India’s strategy in calibrating its partnership with the U.S., and how that might advance its larger policy goals
Ambassador Shivshankar Menon
is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi, and a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University. His long career in public service spans diplomacy, national security, atomic energy, disarmament policy, and India’s relations with its neighbours and major global powers. Menon served as national security advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from 2010 to 2014, and foreign secretary of India from 2006 to 2009. Previously, he served as ambassador and high commissioner of India to Israel (1995-1997), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-2003) and Pakistan (2003-2006). From 2008 to 2014, he was also a member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission. A career diplomat, he also served in India’s missions to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva and the United Nations in New York. He is the author of Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy
, published in 2016, and his latest book, India and Asian Geopolitics; The Past, Present
, was published in April 2021. He is a graduate of St. Stephens College of the University of Delhi, where he studied ancient Indian history and Chinese. He speaks Chinese and some German.
Dr. Arzan Tarapore is the South Asia research scholar at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he leads the newly-restarted South Asia research initiative. He is also a senior nonresident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research. His research focuses on Indian military strategy and contemporary Indo-Pacific security issues. He previously held research positions at the RAND Corporation, the Observer Research Foundation, and the East-West Center in Washington. Prior to his scholarly career, he served for 13 years in the Australian Defence Department. Arzan holds a PhD in war studies from King’s College London.
Co-sponsored by The Center for South Asia at Stanford University