What are the origins of the transformation of U.S.-Indian relations?
No bilateral relationship in George W. Bush's first term improved as much as that between the United States and India. The president has noted, "After years of estrangement, India and the United States together surrendered to reality. They recognized an unavoidable fact-they are destined to have a qualitatively different and better relationship than in the past." Some attribute the expansion in relations to the impact of 9/11. But this is not the case. Five days before the terrorist attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, I delivered in Mumbai my first major address on the bilateral relationship in my capacity as the American ambassador to India. I told my audience:
"President Bush does not intend only to accelerate cooperation with India on purely bilateral matters, although that will be important. He does not want his administration to engage more actively with the Indian government and people here solely in the context of the challenges of Asia, although that too will be consequential. Rather, he is seeking to intensify collaboration with India on the whole range of issues that currently confront the international community writ large. In short, President Bush has a global approach to U.S.-Indian relations, consistent with the rise of India as a world power."