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Interrogating the Security Dynamics of Indo-U.

S Relations: The Cold War Trends Krishnendu Mukhopadhyay

This paper basically aims to explore the patterns of security interactions between India and The United States during the cold war period. Exploration of these patterns would facilitate a broader understanding of the dynamics of systemic constraints on Indian security and the consequent Indian responses to mitigate/neutralize these constraints to further her foreign policy objectives.

The fundamental problem affecting Indo-US relations during the cold war period was the divergent foreign policy perspectives of the two countries and the concomitant policy priorities that logically followed from these perspectives which were quite often at odds with each other.1

For the United States, the primary goal of its foreign policy in the immediate post war period was the containment of communism by aborting Soviet expansionist designs through various politico-strategic means such as the formation of military alliances, disbursal of economic aid to the developing countries, thereby enlarging its sphere of influence. This particular foreign policy orientation stood at odds with central planks of

For an essentially security centric comparative approach of Indo-U.S. foreign policy

in South Asia, See, Raju G. C. Thomas, Security Relationships in Southern Asia : Differences in the Indian and American Perspective, Asian Survey, vol. XXI, no.7, July 1981. 1

Indian foreign policy developed in response to specific historical, politico/structural constraints imposed on post-colonial statehood.2 One of the central priorities of the Indian government after independence was the preservation and protection of the hard gained independence in the making of Indian Foreign Policy. Gradually Indias search for an independent foreign policy posture came to be associated with the articulation of the policy of non-alignment. What forced this association was the dynamics of the cold war and bi-polarity, posing significant systemic constraint before India in maintaining its policy autonomy. After independence,Nehru logically put forward his viewpoint on cold war alliance politics: What does joining a block mean? After all it can only mean one thing: give up your view about a particular question, adopt the other partys view on that question in order to please it and gain its favour.3 Such a course of action was totally unacceptable to him. Viewed in this context, it was all but natural for him to refuse to join with the U.S. led anti-communist bandwagon, jeopardizing in the process Indias foreign policy autonomy.

For an excellent analytical account of the process of state making in the Third World

and its inherent problems and constraints, See, Mohammad Ayoob, Third World Security Predicament : State Making, Regional Conflict and the International System, Lienne Rienner, Boulder, 1995

See, Jawaharlal Nehru, Independence and After, John Day Company, New York, 1950,

p.218. 2

Given the strong U.S. reservations against the policy of non-alignment, championed by Nehru, India did not have much utility in the U.S. containment strategy. It however did have substantial symbolic value in the sense that a peaceful democratic, stable India, economically oriented towards the west, the U.S. government realized, would be a potential bulwark against communist expansionism and would be conducive for the promotion of western political ideals and models of development.

However, Pakistan possessed greater political and strategic weight for the United States compared to India. Pakistan acquired importance in U.S. strategic calculations as early as 1949. Pakistans religious affiliations with the middle-eastern states, its geographical contiguity to the oil rich, strategically important Persian Gulf region and the communist adversaries like Soviet Union and China were duly acknowledged by the United States. 4 The reference to Pakistans importance in United States South Asia policy is necessary in the context of the study, as the Pakistan factor gradually became the central irritant in Indo-U.S. relations and the most important variable determining the contours of Indias security interactions with the United States. However, it cannot be denied that Indias forceful articulation of the non-alignment policy and its refusal to toe with the U.S. line contributed towards further devaluation of her importance in U.S. foreign policy discourse and provoked the U.S. government to

See, S. D. Muni, The United States and South Asia : The Strategic Dimension in

Shelton U. Kodikara (ed.),External Compulsions of South Asian Politics, Sage, London & New Delhi, 1993 3

operationalize its South Asia policy aiming at Indias regional containment, in parallel with its broader foreign policy goal. (Containment of Communism).5

The incompatibility of Indian foreign policy objectives with the strategic imperatives of U.S. foreign policy became evident to the U.S. policy makers during Nehrus October 1949 visit to the United States. Much to his hosts discomfiture, Nehru refused to compromise with his policy of non-alignment, argued with the U.S. appraisal of the Soviet threat, by positing colonialism as the gravest danger to world peace, instead of communism, and disclosed his intention to recognize the new communist government in China at the earliest possible opportunity.

Most of Nehrus stated policy positions went against the basic edifice of U.S.s containment policy. Therefore following Nehrus October 1949 visit to the United States, U.S. governments interest to cultivate India declined sharply and instead U.S. foreign policy preferences in South Asia reflected the tendency to embrace Pakistan at the expense and even as a possible counterweight to India. A policy brief prepared by the state department on 3rd April 1950 said: it may in time become desirable critically to review our concept that Pakistans destiny is or should be bound with India The schism that led to the breakup of the old India was very deep The development of a Pakistan-India entente cordiale appears remote. Moreover, the vigour and methods which have characterized

See, Baldev, Raj Nayar and T. V. Paul, India in the World Order : Searching for Major

Power States, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, Chapter 3. 4

Indias execution of its policy of consolidating the princely states and its inflexible attitude with regard to Kashmir may indicate national traits which in time, if not controlled, could make India Japans successor in Asiatic imperialism. In such a circumstance a strong Muslim block under the leadership of Pakistan and friendly to the U.S. might afford a desirable balance of power in Asia.6

This statement clearly indicated the emerging anti-Indian orientation of United States South Asia policy. Indias apparently anti U.S stand on the Korean War (1950) further exposed the disjunction between U.S. and Indian foreign policy perspective. The Korean issue brought palpable tensions in Indo-U.S. relations. Indias independent and assertive diplomatic profile totally incommensurate with its politico-economic and strategic weight infuriated the United States. As a consequence India was virtually cornered to the periphery of the United Statess South Asia policy and Pakistan acquired the center stage. As a natural corollary of Pakistans relative importance vis--vis India in U.S.s South Asia policy, the U.S. stand on the Kashmir issue got heavily weighed against India. Pressures were being mounted on India to make unreasonable compromises on Kashmir, favourable to Pakistan. Resenting the Kashmir dispute a state department note said in July 1951: the Kashmir dispute continues to be the greatest threat to realize our objectives that stability be maintained in Pakistan and South Asia 7

Cited in Muni, op.cit., no.4. Ibid. 5

The ever growing U.S.-Pak entente received a major impetus with the signing of the U.S.-Pak Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement on 19th May 1954. Under the terms of the agreement the U.S. government committed itself to provide military training as well as various military equipments to Pakistan.

Despite clarifications by the U.S. government that the bi-lateral security agreement was aimed towards the containment of communist influences and not directed against India, the Indian government registered strong protest against the U.S. move. Nehru severely criticized the U.S. decision by referring it as an anti-Asia step, a step that brings cold war to the sub-continent.

The Indian government felt that the supply of sophisticated arms and weaponry to Pakistan under the terms of the agreement would make Pakistan more belligerent towards India and severely upset regional stability and peace.

The U.S. military assistance to Pakistan significantly undermined Nehrus foreign policy of non-alignment and jeopardized its underlying strategic rationale: i.e. to insulate the sub-continental dynamics from extra-regional penetration. In fact it was primarily the aversion to involve India into the broader U.S. cold war game plan and thereby facilitating external infiltration into the South Asian regional security architecture and the consequent erosion of her strategic dominance in the subcontinent, that led Nehru reject the U.S. President Eisenhowers offer of military assistance in February 1954.

Although Nehrus outright rejection of the U.S. offer did not in any way influence the U.S. decision to enter into the security agreement with Pakistan (in fact the U.S. offer to India was primarily aimed to assuage Indian sensitivity with regard to the U.S. military assistance to Pakistan!) it certainly did accord the U.S.-Pak security agreement an overall anti-Indian connotation. The U.S.-Pak security relation was further consolidated with Pakistans entry into U.S. sponsored anti-communist alliances: Such as SEATO (September 1954) and CENTO (1955), posing substantial security implications for India. Indian government was convinced that Pakistans decision to enter into these military alliances was fundamentally motivated by its preoccupation to militarily counterbalance India and bolster its bargaining position vis--vis India.

Faced with such strategic and security predicament, the Indian government decided to woo the Soviet Union from the mid-1950s. The Soviets in their bid to counterbalance the growing U.S. influence in South Asia responded positively to Indian overtures and decided to provide substantial economic assistance for Indias ambitious plans to build heavy industries. The Soviet card paid off well for India, as in the wave of the massive Soviet economic offensive from 1955-56 along with the high profile visit of Russian leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin to India, the U.S. government became greatly concerned about the possible emergence of a Indo-Soviet entente and started showing increasing interest in India, a process which eventually paved the way for the grant of

$225 million aid to India to provide large quantities of wheat and other food grains under the Public Law (PL) 480 programme.

The 1962 Sino-Indian war elicited a positive response from the United States so far as Indian security interests were concerned. Chinese military offensive during the 1962 war exposed Indias external security predicament and forced Nehru to desperately search for external security assistance. The U.S. government, greatly concerned about the growing Chinese diplomatic and military assertiveness in Asia and its gradual emergence as a parallel communist centre of power, independent of Soviet influence, responded favourably to the Indian appeal. President Kennedy in his letter (October 28, 1962) to Nehru expressed sympathy for India and assured him of U.S. military assistance. The first supply of U.S. arms arrived in India on 3rd November 1962. U.S. military assistance was intensified following Chinas rapid military advances in Ladakh and North Eastern sector along the McMahon line during the 3rd week of November, 1962.

In the aftermath of the Sino-Indian ceasefire, President Kennedy sent a mission to India led by Averell Harrman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East to assess Indias military needs and defence requirements. He was joined by Duncan Sandys, British Secretary for Commonwealth relations.

However, the Harniman Sandys mission could not achieve anything substantive to further Indo-U.S. security co-operation to a higher level. The primary reason accounting

for this failure was the U.S. governments unwillingness to alienate Pakistan, its trusted ally in South Asia, in an effort to provide military assistance to India. Importantly acquiescing to Pak demand, the mission pressed for a prior settlement of the Kashmir issue before engaging in any agreement on military aid to India, ostensibly to improve Indo-Pak bi-lateral relations and thereby facilitating the institution of an Indo-Pak joint defense against the communist China.8 Given Indias urgent need for military assistance, the government ultimately bowed down to U.S. pressure and decided unwillingly to hold talks with Pakistan on Kashmir, which quite expectedly did not fructify. More than anything else the U.S. diplomatic high-handedness as reflected in the Harniman mission episode clearly exposed the limitations of Indo-U.S. security co-operation a limitation which had been imposed by the strategic dynamics of U.S.-Pak alliance relationships.

Though the Johnson administration concluded a five year military assistance agreement with India on 6th June, 1964, the Indian government was extremely dissatisfied with the terms of the agreement since it pledged only $100million in assistance over five years far below from the $500 million programme that had been promised. As a result, the Indian government turned towards Soviet Union for greater military assistance. Pakistans rampant use of U.S. supplied military equipment in the Run of Kutch (March-April 1965) and the Kashmir war of September 1965 clearly vindicated the Indian apprehension regarding the negative impact of the U.S.-Pak military alliance on Indian security and further strained Indo-U.S. relations.

Ibid. 9

Further, U.S. unwillingness to criticize publicly the military regime of Ayub Khan for perpetrating the aggression on India and its tendency to equate the aggressor and the victim, (as reflected in the U.S. decision to impose arms embargo on both the countries during the course of the war) further fueled anti-U.S. sentiment within the government establishment and complicated bi-lateral relations.9

Indo-U.S. relations were further deteriorated with the ascendancy of Nixon administration in the White House in 1969. During his visit to Pakistan in July-August 1969, President Nixon laid the foundation for the revival of the U.S.-Pak military cooperation. Accordingly in October 1970 during Pak President Yahya Khans visit to Washington, the U.S. President formally ended the arms embargo on Pakistan by announcing a one time exception of its arms policy. Under the new arms package negotiated with Pakistan, bypassing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pakistan was to get military hardware worth $15.4 million from the U.S. at a throw away price.

Indo-U.S. relations reached its lowest ebb during the 1971 East Pakistani crisis. In 1971 U.S. policy orientation vis--vis the sub-continent clearly indicated a conspicuous tilt

See, Sumit Ganguly, U.S.-Indian Relations During the Lyndon Johnson Era, in

Harold A. Gould and Sumit Ganguly (ed.), The Hope and The Reality : U.S.-Indian Relations from Roosevelt to Reagan, Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1993.


towards Pakistan substantially impinging on Indian security. The Indian grievances with regard to the United States were mainly centered on the U.S. apathy to press for a political solution of the crisis in East Pakistan and its apparent apathy to halt the supply of U.S. weapons to Pakistan, which were extensively used by the Pak army to quell the dissident forces in East Pakistan.

Indian concern with regard to the U.S. policy vis--vis Pakistan was further heightened following the disclosure of Kissingers secret visit to Beijing via Rawalpindi, with active Pak support to initiate the process of dtente with China. The U.S. move clearly reflected the importance of Pakistan in American geo-strategy.

The U.S. policy of dtente with China with Pakistan acting as a mediator in the overall process, had far reaching strategic implications for India. It signaled the development of a potential U.S.-Pak-P.R.C. nexus gravely impinging on Indian security. In this context, Kissingers specific comment following his visit to Beijing with regard to subcontinental crisis is worth mentioning. It clearly implied the strategic alignment of the U.S-PRCPakistan against India over East Pakistan. Kissinger stated that any Indian military action against Pakistan could possibly invite Chinese intervention and that under such circumstances India could not count on U.S. support.10


See Onkar Marwah, Indias Military Intervention in East Pakistan, 1971-1972,

Modern Asian Studies, vol.13, no.4, 1979, p.562. 11

Against this backdrop the Indian Foreign Ministers statement in parliament on 20th July 1971 was reflective of the governments concern with regard to the negative implications of the emergent strategic triangle on Indian security. The statement also provided a broad outline of the possible Indian countervailing responses to neutralize the strategic constraint. The Foreign Minister stated: I sincerely hope that any Sino-American dtente will not be at the expense of other countries particularly in this region. However, we cannot at present totally rule out such a possibility. It can have repercussions in the subcontinent as well as in this region. We have therefore for some time considering ways and means of preventing such a situation from arising, and meeting it if it should arise. In this we are not alone, and there are other countries, both big and small, who may be more perturbed than we are. We are in touch with the countries concerned and shall see to it that any Sino-American dtente does not affect us or the other countries in this region adversely.11

One can trace the background of the Indo-Soviet treaty of peace, friendship and cooperation from this statement. Approximately two weeks later on 9th August, 1971, the treaty was signed. The treaty provided India the much needed diplomatic instrument to buttress her strategic position in the subcontinent vis--vis the anti-Indian-U.S.-P.R.C.Pak strategic nexus.


See, Bangladesh Documents, vol.1, p.708, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi,

1971 12

During the last phase of the Indian military operation in East Pakistan (3-16 December, 1971) the U.S. government resorted to the most conspicuous anti-Indian posture by ordering an eight ship U.S. Navy task force of its pacific fleet, headed by the carrier Enterprise to proceed through the straits of Malacca to the Bay of Bengal. The task force arrived in the Bay of Bengal on 15th December, a day before the fall of Dacca to Indian and Mukti Bahini guerilla forces, ostensibly to evacuate the less than 150 Americans still in Dacca. However, possibly the original U.S. motive behind the move had been to dissuade the Indian government from undertaking military actions to dismember West Pakistan despite repeated Indian clarifications to the contrary.

Though, the deployment of its naval force had no immediate impact on the course of the war and its ultimate outcome (i.e. Indians victory in East Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh) but it certainly laid the foundation of a durable process of securitization of the United States by the Indian government, a process that significantly influenced Indian policy formulation on the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace initiative.

Although the U.S. government formally acknowledged Indians dominant status in the subcontinent in the post 1971 period, it was not willing to outrightly endorse Indian supremacy in the region. Inspite of the apparent decline of U.S. interest in the subcontinent the U.S. government had maintained its strategic presence in the periphery by increasing and bolstering its naval presence in the Indian Ocean (the acquisition of the naval base of Diego Garcia facilitated the U.S. move) and constructing a wider strategic


net around the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region by entering into close military relations with Iran. In view of Pakistans diminutive status in the Indian subcontinent following defeat in 1971 war, the U.S. government considered it prudent to develop and promote Iran as a surrogate balancer to contain India.12 The state department also categorically stated Iran is a good friend of Pakistan and accepts Pakistans enemy, India as Irans enemy as well.13

It was against the background of developing extended containment of India from outside the region that the U.S. government proceeded to resume arms supply to Pakistan in 1975, by removing the embargo that had been placed during the Bangladesh conflict. In fact, the rationale offered in favour of the resumption of arms supply to Pakistan was also clearly directed against India. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger argued: to maintain an embargo against a friendly country with which we have an allied relationship, while its neighbour was producing and acquiring nearly a billion dollars worth of arms a year, was morally, politically and symbolically improper. He further emphasized: it seemed to us an anomaly to embargo one country in the world, to be the


See, Nayar and Paul, op.cit., no.5. See, R. W. Cottam, A testimony, New Perspective on the Persian Gulf Hearings, 93


Congress, 1st Session, Washington D.C., GPO, 1973, pp.116-17. Cited in Dilip Mohite, India and U.S. since the 1970s: Partners on Adversaries in P.M. Kamath (ed.), IndoU.S. Relations: Dynamics of Change, South Asian Publishers, New Delhi, 1987. 14

only country in the world to be embargoing this country, when its neighbour was not exercising a comparable restraint.14

Apart from the serious US misgivings over the significant increase in Indias defence expenditure, Indias detonation of a nuclear device in May 1974 caused severe resentment within the U.S. administration. The nuclear test was termed as an attempt by India to build its own independent centre of power, and to have ambition to be the system builder for the region.15 The nuclear explosion also raised serious nonproliferation concerns within the U.S. government and Congress. Therefore, soon after the Indian nuclear test there followed a series of anti-proliferation bills/acts, amendments like the Symington Amendments (1976), the nuclear non-proliferation Act (NNPA, 1978) etc, designed specifically to severely curb nuclear sales to recalcitrant nations like India 16.

However, Indian grievances vis--vis U.S.A. with the regard to the nuclear issue was gradually overshadowed by its more pressing concern over international developments indicating a radical transformation of the strategic dynamics with the subcontinent.

See, Department of State Bulletin, no.1864, March 17, 1975, p.322 See, Baldev Raj Nayar, Regional Power in Multipolar World, in J.W. Mellor (ed.),


India: A Rising Middle Power, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1979, p.150.

See, Sumit Ganguly, Explaining the Indian Nuclear Tests of 1998 in Raju G.C.

Thomas and Amit Gupta, eds., Indias Nuclear Security , Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2000, pp. 47-48. 15

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (December 1979) and the consequent reorientation of U.S. foreign policy in the Persian gulf and Southwest Asian region, centering on containment of Soviet influences, had directly impacted on Indias external security environment and once again exposed the divergence that lie at the heart of their respective security conceptualization.17 The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan drastically elevated the importance of Pakistan in U.S. foreign policy discourse. Because of its important strategic location, Pakistan assumed the status of a frontline state constituting the base of United States anti-Soviet operation strategy. Pakistan became the conduit of arms supplies to the Afghan Mujahideens who were fighting against the Soviet forces from their bases in Pakistan.18 In order to buy Pakistani allegiance to various anti-Soviet operation strategies substantial economic and security assistance were provided. For example in June 1981, Pakistan was granted $3.2 billion economic and military aid on a five year package. It was supplemented in 1987 with a further disbursal of $4.02 billion on another five year term.19


On the theme of the divergence of the security perspectives between India and United

States, See Raju G.C. Thomas, op.cit. no.1.


See, S. D. Muni, op.cit. no.4. Ibid. 16


The Indian reaction to U.S. economic and military assistance to Pakistan was obviously clouded with suspicion and concerns. Despite U.S. assurances that the arms, supplied under the military aid package, were aimed to buttress the countries defense against possible Soviet Southward expansionist designs. Indian government did not rule out the possibility of the use of these weapons by Pakistan against Indian Territory, particularly because of the previous Indian experiences in this regard during the 1965 and 1971 war. Moreover Indian government was also concerned about the possible impact of the infusion of military supplies to Pakistan on the sub-continental military balance. In a bid to counter the negative impact of U.S. arms supply to Pakistan. India government decided to significantly upgrade her defense infrastructure and bolster military capabilities by procuring arms and equipments from abroad specifically from the Soviet Union but as well as from France, Britain, West Germany.

Apart from the U.S. supply of sophisticated arms to Pakistan, the Pakistani nuclear weapon programme, developed in close collaboration with China also caused major security concerns for India. The U.S. Presidential waiver of the Symington amendment to ensure the flow of economic and military assistance to Pakistan (both during the finalization of the 1981 and 1987 deals) clearly signaled the US governments awareness of the clandestine Pakistani nuclear programme and its inherent apathy to tighten the nonproliferation screw on the latter. Moreover, the Reagan administration also concluded a nuclear co-operation agreement with China in July 1985, flouting non-proliferation norms, enshrined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, which further indicated U.S. indulgence of the ongoing PRC-Pakistan cooperation in this field.


The U.S. governments ultra-sensitivity to non-proliferation concerns with regard to the Indian nuclear programme in the late 1970s and early 1980s and its virtual abandonment of non-proliferation norms vis--vis Pakistan and China was indeed striking and from the Indian perspective, this contradictory policy positions more than reflecting the U.S. double standards on non-proliferation, exposed the gross U.S. insensitivity and unresponsiveness to Indian security interests and strategic imperatives.

However, on the whole from the mid-1980, the dynamics of Indo-U.S. relations began to transform towards positive direction. The realization gradually dawned upon the U.S. government that unless New Delhis genuine security concerns vis--vis Pakistan were partially addressed through the instrument of limited military assistance, United States vital strategic stake in Pakistan with regard to the anti-Soviet strategy could not be satisfactorily promoted. Moreover the reorientation of Soviet foreign policy following the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm of affairs indicated reduced Soviet commitment towards allied and friendly government includes India. In such a circumstance, the U.S. government calculated that it would be strategically prudent to cultivate India to gradually wean her away from the Soviet sphere of influence.20 All these considerations coupled with Indias own urgency to diversity her foreign policy orientation in view of the radical transformations of the Soviet foreign policy generating new uncertainties about its reliability as a strategic aid set the stage for co-operative Indo-U.S. relation.

This point has been developed in Stephen Philip Cohen, The Reagan Administration

and India, in Gould and Ganguly (ed.), The Hope and the Reality, op.cit., no.9. 18

In November 1984, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was concluded between India and U.S.A. to govern the transfer of dual use (civilian and defense) technology. This understanding facilitated the U.S. transfer in 1985 General Electrics GE-404 engine for the production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in India.21

As the prospects for Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan became brighter by the late 1980s the geo-strategic rationale of United States Pakistan policy seemed to lose its relevance and U.S. government became increasingly accommodative of Indias assertive military posture in regional affairs as was reflected in the U.S. acquiescence of Indian military intervention in Sri Lanka (1987) and Maldives (1988). Although the U.S. government was not willing to totally shake off its strategic alliance relationship with Pakistan, it nonetheless recognized the importance of India in building the foundation of regional peace and stability. Consequently, the U.S. government encouraged Pakistan to work out various confidence building measures with India. There had also been notable shift in the U.S. policy with regard to Kashmir. The U.S. government had clearly distanced itself from the U.N. resolutions on plebiscite and instead favoured a bilateral negotiated solution of the problem within the framework of the Simla agreement.22

See, David J. Louscher, Alethia H. Cook and Victoria D. Barto, Military Relations

Between the U.S. and India : Assessment and Prospects, in Ashok Kapur, Y. K. Malik, Harold A Gould, Arthur G. Rubinoff (ed.), India and the United States in a Changing World, Sage Publications, London, 2002, p.309.

See, S. D. Muni, op.cit., no.4. 19

Conclusion In conclusion we can highlight the broad trends of Indo-U.S security interactions during the cold war period. The emergence of the cold war between U.S.A. and Soviet Union, the consequent development of the US strategy of containment and its concomitant military and strategic dimensions had posed significant systemic constraints before India to maintain its foreign policy autonomy. It was primarily in response to these constraints and to prevent them eroding Indias much valued foreign policy autonomy that Nehru conceived of the policy of non-alignment. Due to their pathological preoccupation with the containment policy, the U.S. policy makers failed to appreciate the underlying strategic imperatives of the policy of nonalignment and accommodate it as an independent, neutral policy posture. Instead they adopted a hostile attitude towards non-alignment by disparaging it as a morally bankrupt policy position. Such hostility as discussed earlier, gradually translated into antiIndianism provoking the implementation of policies, designed to contain India or sabotage her policy of non-alignment. The incorporation of Pakistan within the U.S. game plan apart from its own importance within the broader U.S. containment strategy further intensified the effects of containment and deepened Indias security predicament. In fact, up to 1971, U.S. foreign policy vis--vis India had been primarily determined by the inherent contradiction between the imperatives containment and non-alignment and the U.S. inability to reconcile itself to this stark reality. [Except for a brief period in the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian war, a period which witnessed limited Indo-U.S


military co-operation within a favourable systemic environment marked by the emergence of the U.S.-Soviet dtente and in the context of their common enmity towards China].

After Indias emergence as the dominant state in the South Asian region following its victory in the 1971 war and its subsequent assertion of great power capability as was manifested in the detonation of an atomic device in May 1974, containment of India became the central determining variable of USs South Asia policy. India was no longer viewed merely through the prism of cold war dynamics. Its rise as a regional hegemon in South Asia had a more direct and immediate bearing in the formulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy for South Asia and with regard to India. The U.S. move to develop Iran, it CENTO ally, as a possible strategic counterweight to India, by infusing massive arms and ammunitions since the early 1970s and the imposition of stringent sanctions on Indias civilian nuclear energy programme, essentially designed to sabotage Indias nuclear ambitions and preserve the institutional foundation of nuclear hegemony, clearly substantiate this point.

United States foreign policy orientation in South-West Asia, particularly vis--vis Pakistan, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (Dec.1979) had anti-Indian overtones. However from the mid 1980s in the wake of the radical transformation in world politics which also affected regional developments, Indo-U.S. relations began to improve and U.S. became increasingly accommodative of Indias regional ambitions. However, moderate containment of India remained one of the persistent themes of U.S.


foreign policy trends in South Asia. The U.S. governments decision to continue its special strategic relationship with Pakistan as was evident from the U.S. policy to renew military aid to Pakistan in 1987, even in the absence of the fundamental strategic rationale for the same (i.e. the continuing Soviet presence in Afghanistan) was reflective of its objective to maintain a stable sub-continental balance of power, as a structural constraint against Indias bid to hegemony in South Asia.