The India-US 2+2 dialogue taking place today in New Delhi comes in the midst of a border standoff between New Delhi and Beijing, and a growing power tussle between Washington and Beijing. The dialogue will give India and the US another opportunity to coordinate their strategies. After all, there is new energy for the Quad, and the upcoming Malabar naval exercises will for the first time in 13 years see participation by all four Quad navies.
There’s no denying that China presents the biggest strategic-security threat today to both India and the US. Beijing clearly wants to muscle out Washington from East Asia and force New Delhi to accept a subordinate position in a new China dominated architecture. In that sense, we may be looking at another 1962 moment when the US came to India’s aid during the Chinese aggression, carrying out drops of arms and ammunition to Indian soldiers on the battlefront. The Chinese threat today has once again necessitated a deepening of New Delhi-Washington defence ties.
This is so especially because India’s military modernisation remains lacklustre in comparison to China’s rapid military expansion in recent years. And the gap can only be bridged through security collaboration with the US and other Western powers.