My latest at the Diplomat takes a closer look at some of the bureaucratic impediments to closer alignment between the US and India:
It seems that the geopolitical question of the decade has become “how closely will India and the United States align?” For balance of power theorists, the appeal of U.S.-India engagement is obvious; it counter-balances China, and eliminates the need for the United States to rely on Pakistan while at the same time detaching India from Russia. Even for the relationship-averse Trump administration, the idea of extensive (if non-institutionalized) cooperation with India seems appealing, especially as Washington does not have substantial commercial conflicts with Delhi. However, it remains to be seen whether both countries can clear the legal and bureaucratic brush that continues to obstruct progress.
See also Patrick Cronin and Kristine Lee on the same subject.