When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint meeting of Congress last year, he called the U.S. an “indispensable partner” and referred to the U.S. and India as “natural allies.” But one year later, as Modi prepares to return to Washington on Monday, the partnership confronts uncertainties—including nationalist groundswells in both countries. “America First” is coming head to head with Indian ambitions to be a leading global power.
For two decades, U.S. and Indian leaders from across the political spectrum have embraced a shared vision: that the world would be a safer and more prosperous place if the world’s two largest democracies were the closest of friends, and that the rise of India was in America’s strategic interest.
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