India's "charismatic and strong-willed" prime minister Narendra Modi is in town this week, and now is the time for the Obama administration to get serious about its long-neglected relationship with a key partner. Writing in the Washington Post, former undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns says that President Obama needs to seize on this "rare second chance to get India right" after years of "seeming US indifference" to India led the two nations to opposing sides on questions ranging from trade to global warming to foreign policy in Iran and Russia.
Sure, India, despite all its budding promise, "can also be a difficult and sometimes disputatious friend," mired in protectionism and acting as "a consistent spoiler" in world trade. But the arrival of Modi, who is openly looking for closer ties with Washington, gives the US the opportunity to nail down "a long-sought bilateral investment treaty" and move forward with a solid Asian ally on things like space research, technology, and the environment. "Now it is time for Obama to make his mark with India," Burns writes. Click for his full column.