Friday, November 19, 2004
Condi Rice and India

I believe that the trend shown by President Bush in appointing many of his White House staff is dangerous, and troublesome from a global perspective.

However, from the Indian perspective,the appointment (Senate confirmation, in her case, is a mere formality) of Condi Rice as the National Security Adviser to President Bush is a good sign for India. Stephen Hadley's ascension to her former position is another good news.

The duo was instrumental in the signing of the NSSP that lifted the lifting of the ban on high-technology transfers to India.

Rice is also on record stating that India is a potential great power - an ambition harbored by many Indians. This convergence of views about the future role of India in the geopolitical scene is bound to be good for the relationship.

What's best is that neither Condi not Hadley is bad news for Pakistan. So, the problem of a person who is pro-India being viewed suspiciously by Pakistan, and vice-versa does not exist, at least, to a large extent. This could facilitate the normalization process underway in Kashmir, and, more widely, allow American encouragement of promote Indo-Pak dialog, without arousing suspicions among officials of either side (the street is a different matter).

The one thing I am concerned about is that Condi is not going to be a very popular over at Foggy Bottom. And I do not want any intra-State Dept rivalries, and hostilities, affecting the approach to India by people down the line in the State Dept.

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