With the US in the election mode already, President Barack Obama’s final budget has underscored his commitment to its pivot to Asia, which envisages a more proactive role for India in the Asian hemisphere. Announcing the budget allocation in the final year of his Presidency, Mr Obama said: “It is about answering the big questions that will define America and the world in the 21st Century.” The Asia rebalance includes a more pro-active role for India in the Asia-Pacific in the backdrop of strengthening defence ties between the two countries.
The total budget allocated by the Obama administration for the year is $4.15 trillion. The key focus areas of the budget include proposal of new taxes on wealthy Americans domestically, while internationally the budget allocated more for a comprehensive regional strategy in Asia and the Pacific that reinforces a rules-based order and advances security, according to Mr Obama.
The budget also allocated over $11 billion to defeat the Islamic State group. It also included resources to reinforce Afghanistan’s security and development by supporting military assistance, as well as health, education, economic growth and other assistance programmes needed to promote stability.
India and US have been strengthening their partnership in the backdrop of China increasing its assertiveness in the region and enhancing cooperation in nuclear energy. The Obama administration wants to make the rebalance to Asia more as Indo-Pacific than Asia-Pacific, with India playing a larger role in global affairs.
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