23 October, 2020

The Shape Of Things To Come

A new rethinking in the Bush administration increasingly sites India as a counterpoise to China

The Shape Of Things To Come
The appointment of Christina Rocca as assistant secretary of state, South Asia, and the earlier nomination of Robert D. Blackwill as the US ambassador to New Delhi, clearly illustrates the growing importance of India to the new dispensation in Washington and its search for a future counterpoise to China in the region. For one, Blackwill's appointment was announced much before President Bush chose diplomats for European countries—highlighting the growing significance of India, especially as the post had remained vacant for one year during Clinton's first tenure in office.

Rocca's appointment too surprised many. Says Michel Clarke, executive director of the US-India Business Council in the US Chambers of Commerce: "Her nomination is surprising because she is not known to be a visible India policy expert. She is not, at least, the one that many people in town knew a lot about." In his decision to choose Rocca as the assistant secretary of state over contenders like Pakistani American academic Shirin Tahir Kheli or career diplomats like Matt Dailey, who are mostly perceived to...


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