1. Prologue
  2. Why Kerry Visit?
  3. Hidden Agendas in 4th Strategic Dialogue
  4. Regional forums
  5. In Afghanistan
  6. In Iran
  7. In Africa
  8. Defense
  9. Security
  10. Nuclear
  11. Business
  12. Summary


This three article series deals with developments in Indo-US relationship during 2012-13, and outcome of 4th Strategic dialogue meeting between Kerry and Salman. (But without going into deep details/analysis of Iran/Afghanistan issue, because they’re too big topics to fit in the compilation.)

Part 1 of 3 Defense, nuclear, business and trade
Part 2 of 3 Health, education, science-tech, space collaboration
Part 3 of 3 Environment, energy + mock questions

First, the timeline of some landmarks/events in Indo-US relations. Click on following image:

Timeline- India-US  Highs and Lows

Timeline Indo-US (click to enlarge)

Why Kerry’s Visit to India?

Recently, US Secretary of State, John Kerry visited India. Why? Because he was in Afghanistan and decided that “abhi idhar tak aaya hu toh India bhi ho ke chalu, to enjoy some free food and desi liquor.” Nope.  He came to India in June 2013, because earlier both countries had agreed to hold Strategic Dialogue meetings every year.

2010 1st strategic dialogue held in US, between Krishna and Clinton
2012 3rd dialogue was held in Washington between Clinton and Krishna.
2013 This was 4th dialogue, held in India, between Kerry and Salman.
2014 5th Dialogue in USA

Hidden Agendas in 4th Dialogue

Country America India
Business We want preferential access to Indian market, to improve its own economy.
  • Ok we’ll work on BIPPA (Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion agreement).
  • But In return we want you to further relax your visa regime for our skilled manpower.
Iran We want you (India) to be on our side in the Iran nuclear issue. Iran is a valuable friend for us. But we’ve reduced our oil imports from Iran. And asked them to abide by the nonproliferation requirements.
Afghan You’ve nothing to worry about Afghanistan because

  1. If at all, any ‘peace deal’ is made, it’ll be between the High Peace Council of Afghanistan and the “good-talibans” who disassociate themselves from Al Qaeda and from violence, and agreed to respect Afghani constitution, rights of women and the minorities.
  2. Even after we leave, we’ll still keep a level of a force on the Afghani soil for antiterrorism and counterterrorism operations.
  • You (Americans) are planning to withdraw troops from Afghanistan from 2014.
  • It’ll create a vacuum and comeback of Talibans. And it seems, you’re trying to make peace with “Good” talibans.
  • We’ve already invested two billion dollars in development and projects in Afghanistan.
  • Re-entry of Talibans in Afghani government = not good. It puts our national security at risk, recall Kandahar episode.
  • Be on our side, and we’ll fully support your entry in four multilateral export control regimes (the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement).
  • Once you become members of those gangs, you’ll have more legit claim to be a permanent member of UNSC.
  • well about time!
  • Besides we’ve world’s third largest army, fourth largest air force, fifth largest navy and not to mention Nuclear weapons! We deserve a permanent seat in UNSC.
  • And let’s also do some chillar agreements on education, healthcare, sci-tech cooperation, climate change etc. to harass UPSC aspirants.
YES YES YES!! Totally agreed! Nothing in this world can match  the sadistic pleasure of harassing them.

Anyways, in June 2013, Kerry came to India for the strategic dialogue. As per the usual diplomatic protocol: item songs, desi-liquor, sustainable livelihood.

Here are some of the important developments that took place in 2012-13 + during 4th dialogue.

1 Mindmap-India-US Grouping

Regional forums

India United States has became a dialogue partner in Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). We welcome this development.
US India got Observer status to the Arctic Council. We welcome this.India is a major player in global scientific climate studies and has a research station in the Arctic.
Both We’ll increase engagement in existing regional dialogue mechanisms e.g. East Asia summit, ASEAN regional forum etc.
  • shared vision for peace and stability in Asia and in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • we’ll intensify India-US engagement in the existing regional dialogue mechanisms viz
    1. East Asia Summit process,
    2. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum
    3. ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus
  • We’ll consult on issues relating to the region both bilaterally and trilaterally, including in the India-US-Japan and India-US-Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan

  • We both want Stable, democratic, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan.
  • Free, fair, transparent and inclusive Presidential and Provincial Council elections in Afghanistan in 2014.
  • capacity building for Afghan National Security Forces.
  • socio-economic development, women empowerment in Afghanistan.
  • Promote private investment and trade, in Afghanistan.

In Iran

  • President Obama had signed a law, empowering U.S. authorities to impose penalties on foreign banks dealing with the Iran to settle oil import payments.
  • This created problem for India because Iran was 2nd largest supplier of oil after Saudi.
  • Later in June 2012, Ex-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave 6-months exemption to India.
  • But India had to reduce its oil imports from Iran, subsequently, Iraq became the 2nd largest supplier of oil to India.
Kerry Appreciated the fact that India has reduced its oil imports from Iran.
Salman We have a valuable relationship with Iran, but we have not allowed our friendship with Iran to come in the way of our objective commitment to nonproliferation and our commitment to the IAEA provisions because of Iran being a signatory to the NPT.Iran has got a new President now (Hassan Rohani), it remains to be seen what his intentions and inclinations are.

In Africa

  • Both are working for Open Government Platform (OGPL) in Africa.
  • OGPL aims to make Governments More Transparent and Accessible
  • ongoing trilateral cooperation in establishing Open Government Platforms in Ghana and Rwanda.
  • Eliminating preventable child deaths.
  • strengthening agriculture management and extension services
  • Expand food security among important African partners such as Kenya, Liberia, and Malawi.

Mindmap-India-US strategic dialogue Nuke Security Defense


The defense relationship encompasses military-to-military dialogues, exercises, defense sales, professional military education exchanges, and practical cooperation.

Defense trade ~9 billion U$D.
Training exercises
  1. Army = yudh abhyas
  1. Navy=Malabar
  1. Navy= P-8I Poseidon
  2. Airforce= C-17 Globemaster III
  • want to transform defense ties beyond buyer-seller relationships
  • want technological cooperation for co-development and co-production of defense equipment.
  • missions to recover the remains of U.S. military personnel from World War II.


  1. training of law enforcement agencies, megacity policing, global supply chain-transportation security
  2. Homeland Security Dialogue
  3. combating counterfeit currency and illicit financial flows
  4. 26/11 investigation and prosecution.
    1. 2012: US put sanction on top leaders of LeT, many of them involved in 26/11.
    2. Jan, 2013: Headley sentenced to 35 years prison. Although India has demanded Hedley’s extradition but no favorable response from US.
  5. Cyber Security Consultations: between India’s Computers Emergency Response Team (ICERT) and its American counterparts.
  6. Issue: hate crimes against Sikhs (Oak Creek Gurudwara shootings). India asked US government to give more security to Indian religious places inside America.
  7. Both US and India opposed UN general assembly resolution for abolition of death penalty.


  • India has updated it SCOMET list, and USA has welcomed it.
  • SCOMET=Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technology (SCOMET) list.
  • These items are capable of dual use — industrial and military. If they fall in the hands of terrorists, non-state actors or irresponsible states (like North Korea), then they could create havoc. Some of the items are prohibited for exports and others are allowed for exports subject to license and supervision.


  • US supports India’s full membership in following gangs:
    1. Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
    2. Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
    3. Wassenaar Arrangement
    4. Australia Group
  • Discussion between NPCIL and American cos. to setup nuke plants in Gujarat and Andhra.
  • Talks between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on a bilateral information exchange arrangement.
  • Commitment to the full and timely implementation of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement.
2005 India-US signed civilian nuclear agreement.
2006 Hyde Act passed.
2007 India-US signed 123 agreement. It outlined the terms of nuclear trade between two countries.
2008 IAEA and NSG gave permissions.
  • Lok Sabha approves civil nuke liability bill.
  • India signs convention on Supplementary compensation for nuke damages (CSC).


  • Bilateral trade in goods and services: >$100 billion.
  • Total two way FDI: ~$30 billion.
  • We will resume negotiations for Bilateral Investment Treaty/Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. This will be Facilitating greater two-way trade and investment, including with respect to goods, services, and skilled professionals.
  • We will increase engagement in multilateral fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). (Although India and US have sharp differences over the agro-subsidy issue in WTO.)
American Business corners this initiative targets India’s booming urban centersProviding Indian entrepreneurs information about trade and investment opportunities with the United States.To date, the U.S.A has opened 12 American Business Corners in India from Chandigarh to Thiruvananthapuram and from Surat to Guwahati.
Anti-Trust To prevent monopolies and cartelism.MoU on Antitrust between Ministry of Corporate Affairs, and Competition Commission of India (CCI)) and their American counterparts.Under the MOU, all agencies will inform each other on their policies and developments in their jurisdictions.
Aviation India – U.S Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP)
  • Bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations ongoing since 2008. last round held in June 2012.
  • This treaty would deepen the bilateral economic relationship and support economic growth and job creation in both countries
CEOs India-U.S. CEO Forumenables a forthright conversation about immediate policy issuesalso dwells into infrastructure financing, aviation, clean drinking water, and renewable energy.
Commercial Dialogue For Intellectual Property Rights , sustainable manufacturing practices, and support for small and medium enterprises, intelligent transportation systems.
Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) Since 2010, to deepen India – U.S. engagement in core economic policy areas.
Local engagement
  • State-to-State & City Engagement
  • Over the past year, economic ties at the state and city levels have grown.
  • For example, Governors of Maryland and Washington led trade missions to India.
  • Annual ministerial meetings led by the Indian Minister of Finance and the U.S. Treasury Secretary,
  • They discuss infrastructure finance, anti-money laundering, and combating the financing of terrorism.
PPP PPP for technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship
Patent problems Special 301:

  • It is an annual report of US authorities, regarding Intellectual property rights, patent etc.
  • It criticized Indian SC ruling on Novartis patent.

Nexavar controversy:

  • Bayer Pharma has patented the Anti-cancer drug Nexavar
  • But Indian government allowed a Hyderabad based firm to manufacture generic version of this drug and sell it @30 times lower than patented drug.
  • US authorities have called this a violation of WTO norms.
Trade policy forum enables India and the United States to engage on a wide range of policy issues impacting bilateral trade and investment.


So, what is the big picture? Where do these individual pieces fit in the Indo-US relationship? click on following chart to find out.
Mock questions, @the end of part 3 of 3.

Full Mindmap-India US Relation Kerry Visit

Indo-US relationship 2012-13 (click to enlarge)

For more on diplomacy, international relations: visit Mrunal.org/diplomacy