India as a Strategic Ally Needs Better!
Donald Trump as a candidate for President repeatedly promised the American people to drain the so called swamp of political lobbyist and eliminate financial wheeler and dealers.
Per the reports from various media outlets including Washington Post, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Politico, etc. White House is looking to nominate Kenneth Juster, a top deputy to National Economic Council director, to the critical post of ambassador to India. India Ambassador Pick Has Questionable Private Equity Ties and may be a disaster
As reported by The Daily Beast, Juster has ties to a private equity firm that began investing heavily in India the day his nomination surfaced for the post. As Juster wades through the clearance process for the post, private equity firm Warburg Pincus, where Juster was a partner until January, is dramatically scaled up its investments in Indian companies by over a Billion dollars, raising questions about potential financial conflicts if Juster is confirmed. A few years back a prominent Indian American ‘Rajat Gupta’ was jailed for having his company buy stocks having insider knowledge of the other publically traded company, which is against federal securities law. In this case we have a possible high level official who may not only violate the laws, and be even a bigger alligator in the growing Swamp in Washington DC.
“Obviously, there is a question of whether [Warburg’s increased investment in India] is related to the likelihood that Kenneth Juster, a former partner, is going to be nominated as the U.S. Ambassador to India,” according to Larry Noble, who works on ethics issues for the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group.
United States being the oldest democracy and India being the largest, there is a bipartisan agreement to push for a strategic relationship to carry fight against terrorism. India’s geostrategic location in South Asia, not only influences activities to its west, through Pakistan and into Afghanistan and Iraq, but also has major implications for holding back China’s expansion and growing influence throughout the region. Equally important is India’s economic capacity, one that holds abundant promise for both its own interests and America’s.
Trump is unpredictable but this white house decision is shocking and may result in premature interruption and debacle of this much-needed strategic relationship. Juster’s nomination will be in violation of President’s own ethic rules. Trump wants to drain the swamp by not allowing government officials go to private business or lobby the same people he was working with while in government soon after their government job, which is considered conflict of interest. Juster was in government under Bush dealing with India, then private business dealing with India and then back to government dealing with India.
As reported by Politico, Jester is a reject. “He is not long for the White House. I know he is going to be reassigned,” per the administration official. “He is not going to be here long. The question is where will he go. That’s the only reason he’s not gone already is they’re trying to find him an alternate position.”
Juster is just wrong for India. He is reject from the White House who is not even liked by Trumps senior advisors such as Steve Bannon. Infect, Jon Repoport, a conservative blogger, asked in his blog “will Jester work as one more trilateral operative in the center of American Decision making? Is this a case of secret infiltration?
As a potential strategic partner, India deserves better than a White House reject. It will be a disaster and will result in a lost opportunity, to appoint someone who has friends in opposition party of India while having no relationship with the progressive Modi government.
India American community is a very prominent and successful community with many bright possible candidates for this role. President Obama took the right step of appointing Richard Verma, to be the Ambassador of India. Trumps, instead of expanding the swamp should work in America’s interest and look at appointing not a reject or a potential criminal, but should pick one of the best from the Indian Americans.