Daily Video

November 9, 2010

Obama Visits India to Balance Jobs, Security

The first leg of President Obama’s 10-day tour of Asia began with a three day visit to India. Fresh off a midterm election in which President Obama’s party suffered expansive losses in the House and Senate, his administration has branded the trip as a jobs and trade mission. Speaking in Mumbai at a roundtable discussion with business leaders and CEO’s, President Obama highlighted deals between American and Indian firms that would create roughly 53,000 jobs in the United States.

Though jobs are what the Obama administration wants to press, they were not the only topic of discussion on the president’s visit. At a session before the Indian parliament he expressed his support for India to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The U.N. Security Council was formed after World War II, and the winners of that conflict — Russia, Britain, the United States, France and China– became five permanent members with the power to veto policies made by the United Nations as a whole.

“I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” said President Obama, noting that with increased power comes increased responsibility.

While in New Delhi, India’s capital city, the president was pressed as to why Pakistan–India’s neighbor–has not been labeled a terrorist state by the United States. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1960 and two years ago, Pakistani terrorists went on a shooting spree at hotel in Mumbai, killing 170 people.

President Obama answered that there is a huge difference between violent extremists and the Pakistani government that is trying to combat terrorism.

The president’s next stop takes him to Jakarta, Indonesia where he spent time growing up as a child.

Quotes

“We have expanded trade and investment to create prosperity for our people.” –President Obama, on economic opportunities for the United States and India

“If you think about overall U.S. interests this century, India is a pretty sure bet in the long term to be working together with the U.S. in solving a variety of problems, both globally, as well as regionally.” –Deepa Ollapally, professor of International Relations at George Washington University

Warm Up Questions

1. What is the world’s largest democracy?

2. Why is international trade important?

3. What is the United Nations?

Discussion Questions

1. Why has the Obama administration called this 10-day trip a jobs and trade mission?

2. Why is India important to the United States?

3. How would India’s permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council influence its relationship with Pakistan? Do you think it would improve it? Why or why not?

Additional Resources

Read video transcript

India’s Growing Global Influence Raises Stakes for U.S. Diplomacy

Obama Emphasizes Cooperation During India Visit

U.S.-Indonesian Ties, Muslim Dialogue Mark Obama’s Trip

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