As the geopolitical balance shifts throughout Asia, and the Trump administration is formulating its foreign policy, India and Israel have moved closer together—as exemplified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jerusalem earlier this month. The U.S., argues James Jay Carafano, should encourage this realignment and support these two democratic, pro-Western countries:
Prime Minister Modi has unmoored his country from its stagnant, “non-aligned” [i.e. anti-American] foreign policies. Moreover, India is an emerging economic power. Combined, these developments leave India poised to become a net-exporter of regional security, particularly in the Indian Ocean.
Additionally, the prime minister’s historic trip to Israel this month augurs an important shift of the Modi government on Middle East policy. For decades, India has had warm relations with Iran, if for no other reason than the country was a major importer of oil. . . . New Delhi has not walked away from Tehran. Still, once the 2015 Iran deal lifted many sanctions against the regime, New Delhi noticeably did not race to ramp up ties. Modi’s visit to Iran last spring was restrained and very carefully orchestrated. . . .
India’s shift dovetails well with the view from Washington toward both South Asia and the Middle East. The Trump administration shows every sign of continuing the momentum toward a closer relationship with India. The recent meeting between Modi and Trump could not have gone better, and there is plenty of room to grow that relationship. . . .
[Public signs of trilateral cooperation] among India, the United States, and Israel would draw the attention of friends and competitors alike. . . . It would also reassure the other participants that Washington sees them as valued global strategic partners—not just regional allies. . . .
From terrorist attacks to Islamist ideology, the United States, Israel, and India have the same problem—stopping terrorist murderers, dangerous ideologues, and building common cause with the breadth of the Islamic world that rejects the violence and extremism that affects them worst of all. Few topics merit joint discussions and action more.