Special Report

India Rising

India Rising

It’s been a tough week for Barack Obama, who is reeling from a crushing midterm election defeat, yet more bad economic news, and a domestic agenda under assault. No doubt the U.S. president is thrilled to be leaving Washington Friday on a 10-day tour of Asia, where he’ll be welcomed by four democratic countries that are nervously watching the foundations of American supremacy crumble before their eyes, while China’s growing economic swagger and military might shakes up the region’s balance of power.

Of these four — India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea — it’s India that inspires the most hope among American strategists. Yet for all the talk of “natural allies,” and despite all the excitement about India’s emergence as a 21st century superpower-in-waiting, Washington and New Delhi haven’t managed to tie the knot. Over the last two decades, economic and security ties between the two countries have blossomed, but deep differences of opinion remain. Will this be a watershed moment? Or another missed opportunity?

To find out, FP turned to some of the world’s top experts on South Asia. Here’s what they told us.

Whispers Behind the Welcome
By Sadanand Dhume

New Delhi’s Grand Strategy
By C. Raja Mohan

India’s Unfinished Business
By Arvind Pangariya

We Need an Indian Civilian Surge
By Richard Fontaine

New Delhi Surprise
By Sumit Ganguly

Weak Ties
By Anja Manuel

Obama’s Asian Tour
An FP Photo Essay