When the US Department of Defence’s 2006 Quadrennial Defence Review or QDR was released, many analysts saw within that the prospect of cooperation between India and the US on a common threat — loose nuclear weapons in Pakistan.
When the 2010 version of the QDR was released this week, in what appears to be an attempt to mollify Pakistan, such indicators are significantly missing from the document.
In fact, while the 2006 QDR described India as a “key strategic partner”, that phrase is missing from the 2010 QDR even though the new document does refer to India as a possible “net provider of security in the Indian Ocean and beyond.”
Instead, the 2010 QDR emphasised its commitment to a “long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan”.
Washington-based South Asia analyst Walter Andersen said of the omission: “I’m not surprised; they’re sensitive to saying something in public that the Pakistanis may find offensive.” He pointed to a similar instance with regard to the original Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy of the U.S. administration adopted in March 2009 which envisaged a “new contact group” that would include India.
Bill Roggio, Editor of the Long War Journal, agreed with Andersen: “I think this is politics. A lot of the things the U.S. does these days is to appease Pakistan.”