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4) Critically analyze the significance of Asia Reassurance Initiative Act for India?(250 words)

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Topic – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
Diaspora.

4) Critically analyze the significance of Asia Reassurance Initiative Act for India?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

America recently enacted the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which promises to bring back fresh focus to American priorities in the Indo-Pacific. This is going to have a sizeable impact on India’s interests in the region and needs to be analyzed.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain India’s interest in Asia Pacific and explain the pros and cons of the said act on India’s interests in the region. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that America recently enacted the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which promises to bring back fresh focus to American priorities in the Indo-Pacific.

Body

  • Explain in detail about the Act. It spells out a long-term strategy for the Indo-Pacific. It conveys willingness of the Congress to support financial appropriations for initiatives the US Administration may bring before it in realising various components of the strategy.
  • Discuss India’s interest in the region
    • India is worried about the prospect of American withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as about the inroads that China is making in India’s neighborhood.
    • A third concern is more broadly the challenge that China poses to India, both militarily and politically.
    • So, New Delhi is likely to judge this Act on how it will address these three challenges.
  • Explain the positives of this act for India.
    • reiterates India’s significance in the U.S. strategy in the region. The Act notes India as a Major Defense Partner, a “unique” status for India, which would ease defense trade and sharing of technology, including “license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies” as well as promote greater coordination on security policies and strategies and increased military-to-military engagements
    • congressional action comes immediately after Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Whether the congressional action will slow down or alter American withdrawal remains to be seen. Trump is reportedly considering changes to his approach to Syria, including slowing down a reduced presence.
    • represents a relatively greater level of commitment to the region than the earlier ‘Pivot to Asia’ declared by President Obama in 2013 that turned out to be mainly a rhetorical flourish
    • ARIA is important because it manifests a change in US perception of China from it being a competitor to now an adversary. The Act expresses ‘grave concerns with Chinese actions
    • ARIA embraces the concept of Indo-Pacific in place of the earlier focus on Asia-Pacific. The difference between the two concepts is the inclusion of India as an integral part of the geostrategic space that the US sees as the main theatre of contestation with China.
  • Discuss the limitations in the act in altering the status quo
    • The amount indicated is modest, a mere $1.5 billion per year for the next five years, hardly commensurate with the scale of ambition ARIA manifests. Etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion, based on arguments made, on the significance of the Act for India and discuss way forward.