Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad, India, on Feb. 24–25 to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: “India could be to America in Asia during the 21st century what the U.K. was in Europe during the 20th – the most reliable partner in great power competition,” says Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington now at the Hudson Institute.

  • India’s location, size and economic growth make it the obvious counterweight to China in the eyes of American policymakers.
  • The relationship is deepening, particularly in the military dimension. 
  • India has also recently shown “a greater willingness to call out aggressive Chinese behavior,” says Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment. It spurned Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and is attempting to counter Chinese influence in South Asia.
  • There have been tensions with the White House over trade, but a modest deal on that front is expected when Trump visits later this month.

Between the lines: Trump’s visit will be closely watched primarily for his rhetoric on Modi’s domestic policies, including a controversial citizenship law that excludes Muslims. Modi is a fellow populist who won a landslide at the last election, but has faced protests at home in recent months.

  • Protestors fears that Modi’s muscular Hindu nationalism is trampling India’s status as a secular democracy, especially after he sent thousands of troops to the Indian-administered Kashmir and erased the special status of the majority-Muslim state — escalating tensions with Pakistan in the disputed region.
  • After the recent crackdown in Kashmir, Trump appeared alongside Modi and declared before a 50,000-strong crowd at a "Howdy Modi" event in Houston: "India and the United States understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders."
  • “I’m expecting that this is essentially going to provide a similar kind of air cover for Modi,” Vaishnav says. “And I think the White House has no issue providing that.”

The big picture: That’s not only because Trump has a track record of embracing strongmen and rejecting concerns on human rights.

  • “The fundamental premise of this relationship is that there is an aggressive China emerging in the Asia Pacific that seeks to be a global power, and India is America’s best bet at balancing against that threat. That’s roughly the same realpolitik calculation a Democratic administration would make,” Vaishnav says.
  • Thus, Washington will seek to deepen the relationship even if there’s less focus on shared values — as the world’s two largest democracies — and more on shared interests.

What to watch: The current realities stand in stark contrast to the grand vision.

  • China’s economy is five times larger than India’s. Even the deepening military relationship is a “long way from the robust partnership the U.S. envisions,” Vaishnav says.
  • “India does not see its relationship with the United States through the China prism,” he adds. “In fact, they somewhat resent being talked about as a pawn in this great game between an established superpower and an emerging one.”

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”