Terror Attacks Underscore Need for Cohesion, Deeper Strategic Ties

A provocative series of deadly blasts in Mumbai, occurring just days prior to the arrival in India of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, underscore the urgency to share technology, intelligence, as well as to resolve the war on terror, says USIBC.

In response to the Mumbai attacks, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) will organize briefings on Tuesday, July 19, by U.S. companies for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s delegation, comprised of senior U.S. government officials, led by Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats. American companies will feature in their discussions the most promising U.S. technologies, innovations, and counter-terrorism measures developed since the 9/11 terror strikes on American soil. Sharing such technologies with India, companies feel, will enhance India’s ability to thwart future terrorist attacks, and will strengthen homeland security, while deepening bonds of partnership, trust, and solidarity that stand against perpetrators of terror.

Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats, considered a friend of India and a former Goldman Sachs executive, has travelled India extensively, providing advance guidance to the U.S. President, culminating in President Obama’s historic visit to India last November.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected during the July 19, U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi to discuss a wide range of strategic issues affecting areas of common interest to both democracies. U.S. efforts to assist India’s entry into important multilateral regimes to control the spread of dangerous weapons of mass destruction as embodied in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, The Wassenar Arrangement, The Australia Group, and the Missile Control Treaty Regime are expected to figure in the upcoming talks.

The imperative of maintaining cyber security is new ground also likely to be discussed, especially considering the rise of intercepts and hacking in the IT space - essential infrastructure now under threat, and which is so important to both economies. Humanitarian uses of space technology like weather mapping, monsoon tracking, agricultural and crop yield, and water use, glacial retreat, and climate change impacts will be reviewed with an eye toward achieving greater collaboration in this field. Joint activities such as supporting agricultural development in Africa and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan may be reviewed and given substance in the upcoming talks. Defense and security coordination will likely figure most prominently in the upcoming talks given Black Wednesday and the reminder the recent Mumbai blasts have sent to the free world: that all nations suffer the scourge of terrorism, which must be defeated.

“Technology intervention, especially by those innovations that have grown out of the experiences garnered from 9/11 in the United States can provide a shared platform to fight this common enemy,” said Ron Somers, President of the U.S.-India Business Council. “Business is hopeful that efforts to spur investment in homeland security, in defense trade, as well as in green infrastructure development between the United States and India, creating a stronger ‘two-way street’ of information flow, will be high priorities for discussion in the upcoming U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue,” Somers added.

USIBC will convene industry leaders in Delhi on July 19 for Secretary Hormats and his high-powered delegation, which includes the U.S. Export Import Bank President, the head of the Washington-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and leaders of top U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Trade & Development Agency. The USIBC “Industry Briefing” for these visiting officials aims to share ideas where collaborations between American business and Indian counterparts could be mobilized in a rapid and sustained manner to mutual benefit.

Cognizant founder, Lakshmi Narayanan, Member Emeritus of the USIBC Board of Directors, will chair the industry briefing for Secretary Hormats. Cognizant, a U.S. company headquartered in New Jersey, is the largest American employer in India with more than 113,000 associates, providing advanced technology solutions world-wide to global companies.

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), chaired by Harold “Terry” McGraw III, Chairman, CEO and President of the McGraw-Hill Companies, is the premier business advocacy organization formed in 1975 by the governments of India and the United States to advance U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is comprised of nearly 400 of the top global companies doing business between the United States and India.

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