India and the U.S. have been performing a mating dance since the early days of George W. Bush’s second term. Bruised by Iraq, he found a salve of sorts in India. By the end of his presidency, Mr. Bush had concluded a nuclear deal with India that was the historic turning point in a relationship between the two countries that had hitherto been cordial at its best and bristling at its worst. (The nadir came in 1971, when Bangladesh, aided by India, broke away from Pakistan, to President Nixon’s great consternation.) The vastly improved relations with India counted as one of the few Bush foreign-policy successes beyond dispute.
President Obama had things other than India on his mind in his first term. But in his second term, Mr. Obama made up for his neglect of the land Bush had won over, courting New Delhi so ardently that U.S.-India relations will also count as that rarity in the Obama presidency, an indisputable foreign-policy achievement.
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