Trump strategy calls India ‘leading global power’

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Trump's tough stand on Pakistan

The United States welcomes India’s rise as a “leading global power” and will increase quadrilateral cooperation with it and Japan and Australia, according to President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy released Monday.

The strategy, which brands China and Russia as main competitors of the United States calling them “revisionist powers”, also lays clearly Washington DC will continue to press Pakistan to do more on counterterrorism and be a “responsible steward” of its nuclear assets.

The strategy, which is statutorily mandated, identified three threats to the US — “revisionist powers” China and Russia, “rogue regimes” such as North Korea and Iran and “transnational terrorist organizations”. Focusing on South Asia, the strategy document said the United States “continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan” and that their other big concern was the “prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange”. In his remarks, Trump said Pakistan must show “decisive action” on counterterrorism, adding the United States pays Pakistan a lot of money and “it must help”.

Turning to India specifically, the document said, “We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner. We will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.”

The national security strategy of President Barack Obama released in 2015 had India a “regional provider of security” and said the United States will support it in that role and “its expanded participation in critical regional institutions”.

The President’s new strategy also stressed that the United States will “expand our defence and security cooperation with India, a Major Defense Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region.” It added: “We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region.”