The Cold War started after the end of the Second World War. The Second World War ended with the atomic bomb dropping in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the defeat of the Axis powers and the devastation of Germany, the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR) became the greatest power blocs in the world. Both the US and USSR were committed to expanding their influence in different parts of the world.
During the Cold War years, India had a more close relationship and alliances with the Soviet Union. But after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and because of the internal political and economic crises faced by India, the country decided to initiate policy reforms by liberalising its economy and integrating it with the global economy. With the opening up of the economy for foreign trade and investment, India has become an economic partner for many major developed economies, including the US.
The influence of the Indo-US relations is not limited to technological and economic dimension, rather it also includes human resource influences. The US engrosses about 65% of India’s total exports in the software sector. While considering the human capital dimension, nearly 35% of the staff of Boeing is assumed to be of Indian origin. Nearly 300,000 Indians work in the IT industries in Silicon Valley. Given the increasing influence of the US economy on the country’s resources, there are three major views defining the relationship that India wishes to have with the US. The three arguments are:
• Those international analysts who view international politics in terms of military power are concerned with the closeness between India and the US. According to them, India should maintain an aloof and detached relation with Washington. India should focus more on increasing its own national power, authority and sovereignty.
• The group of analysts consider the increasing union of Indian and the US interests an opportunity for India. They uphold an approach which will enable India to take complete advantage of the US hegemony and dominance in international politics. They believe that their mutual unions will help India to achieve the best possible options for itself, both in terms of national and international objectives. According to them, divergence with the US will cause negative consequences to India in the long run.
• Another group believe that India should take the prime step in establishing a coalition of developing countries. With the passage of time, this coalition would become more influential and may succeed in ending the US dominance in the global scenario.
Many argue that India-US relations are too complex and entwined to be managed by a single policy strategy. Actually, India has to introduce an appropriate mix of foreign policies to determine its relationship with the US.
After the Second World War and the destruction of most of the European countries, the integration of the European countries and the formation of the European Union was assisted by the Cold War after 1945. The US extended financial help and support for revitalising European economy. A new collective security structure was also created by the US under NATO.
In 1948 the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established to channelise assistance and aid to the west European states. With the passage of time, it was established as a forum where the western European states began to cooperate and collaborate on trade and economic issues. In 1949 The Council of Europe was established to ensure higher political cooperation between countries. This integration finally culminated with the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957.
The integration of countries acquired a political element with the establishment of the European Parliament. The disintegration of the Soviet bloc further fastened the integration of the European countries. Finally, this ensued in the establishment of the European Union in 1992. This resulted in the development of a mutual foreign and security policy, collaboration on justice and home affairs and the designing of a single currency for all the member countries.
The European Union has advanced over time from an economic union to a gradually political one. The EU has started to turn as a nation-state binding on all its members. Even though the EU does not have a common constitution, it possesses its own flag, anthem, founding date, and currency. The foreign and security policy of all the countries of the EU and its dealings with other nations are also common. Being much larger and influential than the US economy, the EU has the power to influence some policies of the US. The EU has largely used diplomacy and economic and political negotiations rather than coercion and military force to achieve dominance in the international arena.
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