With Obama's visit, India displays new power (Washington Post):
NEW DELHI -- For much of the last decade, New Delhi sold itself as "India Rising." Barack Obama's trip here delivered a new message: India has risen.
During his three day visit that ended Tuesday, the U.S. president delivered nearly everything on India's wish list, affirming the country's growing importance.
He endorsed India's role in nearby Afghanistan, even though such a statement was sure to annoy India's regional rival Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the Afghan war. He chided Pakistan for not cracking down heavily enough on anti-India militant groups operating there. He lifted export controls, allowing India to buy high-tech weaponry from the U.S., and he gave spirited support to Indian industry, maintaining it wasn't stealing American jobs, but helping create new ones.
Most importantly for India, he backed its bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, a mostly symbolic move that affirmed its place as a new global power.
Good, but we should go further. Endorse India, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and South Africa for permanent Security Council seats-- all the world's large and important democracies. But then curtail the veto power so that it takes two permanent members, instead of one, to use a veto. We would look magnanimous, surrendering our right to a solitary veto. But that wouldn't involve much risky really, since we have allies: the British, French, Germans and/or Japanese, and probably the Indians too, would back us up if our vital national interests were at stake. Russia and China, by contrast, have no real allies and could, if the change went through, be isolated and overruled on issues like Taiwan or Georgia. We would come across as champions of the global South. And since Russia and China would never agree to the change, we wouldn't even lose our sole veto after all.