17 March 2010: Why do Indo-US relations never reach their full potential? To be sure, the Indo-US nuclear deal seems to contradict this premise, but not if you look deeper. The deal is nowhere near the promise the first Manmohan Singh government claimed it held, because the stars of its initiator, the former president, George W.Bush, faded in the course of getting it contentiously approved from the US and Indian legislatures. The more Bush lost popularity on the Iraq War and the stronger the feeling grew that he had hastened America's decline, the tougher it got on the nuclear deal, with the non-proliferation lobby gaining the upper hand. Today, barring the Manmohan Singh government, nobody gets excited about the deal, whose unintended consequence of rapidly gained Russian and French civilian nuclear technologies and fuel have gripped popular-strategic discourse. If the deal comes for examination, it is in the negative sense, of long-drawn-out and possibly stalled negotiations with the US on reprocessing rights, and in relation to a controversial piece of legislation called the nuclear liability bill. Worst of all, from prime minister Manmohan Singh's perspective, the US president, Barack Obama, is not the most ardent champion of the nuclear deal. He would prefer India to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons' state.