11.07.2010

"Indian firms place a higher value on innovation than the American companies."

That's something to remember, even as President Obama seeks to tout the advantages of greater partnership with India.  It's also something we need to work to change.

On the whole, I'm not at all averse to a greater bond between India and America in things economic, cultural, and military.  India and America share far more cultural underpinnings, in my estimation, than America and China.  Strengthening India truly does serve to counterbalance the rise of China.

But at the same time, the U.S. needs to be less naive in its dealings with rising Asian powers.  The endless domestic hassle of the past several years has left us with far less focus on foreign affairs than is healthy.  Add to that the preceding years of focus on conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq - which didn't address long-term nation state competitors - and you see how America failed to engage its rivals/partners effectively.

Still, as I noted at the outset - this is not just about doing better diplomacy.  It's about strengthening ourselves domestically at the grassroots individual level so we don't have to rely on diplomacy to retain our prestige globally.