The maiden visit of US President Donald Trump to India (February 24-25), with the distinctive high visibility that was on display in Ahmedabad, has led to a semantically significant politico-diplomatic outcome, in that the two nations are now framing their bilateral relationship as a ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’ (CGSP).
This was publicly announced by PM Narendra Modi in the Motera stadium on Monday to a crowd of over 100,000, when he described the texture of India’s relationship with the US and used the words ‘comprehensive’ and ‘global’ to precede the strategic partnership that had been mooted with the US as far back as 2004.
It was formally noted in the joint statement issued when Trump and Modi “vowed to strengthen a India-United States Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, anchored in mutual trust, shared interests, goodwill, and robust engagement of their citizens”.
India has almost 30 strategic partnership agreements, beginning with France in 1998, but this is the first time that such a lofty turn of phrase has been invoked and the contour and content of the freshly minted CGSP with the US merits preliminary scrutiny.
India-US bilateral ties have had a remarkable trajectory, given that the two nations had a bitter ‘estranged’ relationship for almost four decades (since 1965), with sharp and seemingly intractable divergences in their strategic orientation and security interests. The US was deeply invested in military alliances during the Cold War decades to contain the former...