The Hoover Institution’s program on Strengthening US-India Relations is hosting a series of closed roundtables that attract selected leading experts on India. They are convened by David Mulford, who is a visiting distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution and was US ambassador to India from 2004 to 2009.


Kenneth Juster, the 25th US ambassador to India (2017–21). Juster is currently a senior counselor at Freshfields and a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nirupama Rao, the foreign secretary for the Government of India (2009–11) and ambassador of India to the United States (2011–13). Since retiring from the foreign service, Rao has held positions at Brown University, Columbia University, and University of California–San Diego.

Ashley Tellis, the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he specializes in international security and US foreign policy involving the Indian subcontinent.

The discussion was moderated by H. R. McMaster, the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.


Closer cooperation between the United States and India will benefit both countries. However, deeper relations require commitment from both sides. There are plenty of opportunities to cooperate in a range of sectors, but economic integration and military integration and security seem to be the two most important areas of alignment. On economic integration, the possibility of bilateral and multilateral free-trade agreements was discussed. On military integration and security, the challenges that China poses in the region took central attention in the discussion. There were also comments about how the US decision to pull out of Afghanistan might affect Pakistan and India.

US-India relations are complicated by the lack of any clear strategy from Washington. The new administration has not yet indicated how it plans to engage with India.

There was consensus that Hoover’s program to strengthen US-India Relations could play an important role in promoting closer economic and military relations. Several opportunities for research and policy exist.

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