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America’s New Strategic Partner?

President George W. Bush and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, March 2, 2006. Stringer India / Reuters

SEEING THE BIG PICTURE

Last summer, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that India and the United States had struck a deal for a far-reaching "strategic partnership." As part of the agreement, President George W. Bush broke with long-standing U.S. policy and openly acknowledged India as a legitimate nuclear power, ending New Delhi's 30-year quest for such recognition.

Much of the debate surrounding "the India deal," as the agreement has come to be known since it was finalized last March, has focused on nuclear issues. Opponents charge that Bush's historic concession to India could deal a serious blow to the international nonproliferation regime and could set a dangerous precedent for Iran, North Korea, and other aspiring nuclear powers. They also note that the Bush administration obtained no meaningful commitments from New Delhi—no promises that India would limit its growing nuclear arsenal or take new steps to help combat nuclear proliferation and international

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