The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion with key policy experts on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan and the greater South Asia region.

Event panel
From left to right, Andrew Wilder, Moeed Yusuf, General John Allen, Amb. Cameron Munter, Peter Lavoy

South Asia has experienced excessive and sustained violence over the past decade. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to face major internal insurgencies, while Sri Lanka and Nepal face political turbulence and lingering tensions despite having declared a formal end to their intra-state conflicts.

While there has been a robust international presence and numerous counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts, seldom have we broadened the discussion to more fully understand the root causes of insurgencies and the methods used by Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as other South Asian countries to respond to the threat of terror and insurgency.

Reflecting new research from two recently published books, Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge (Georgetown University Press and USIP) and Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia (USIP Press), USIP hosted a panel discussion on South Asia’s security challenges, with a special focus on Pakistan. Marked by the 2014 transition in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s formal round of peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, and the launch of Pakistan’s national internal security policy, this moment is a critical turning point for the region and will surely have direct implications for the counterinsurgency efforts there and the violence in neighboring Pakistan. Join the conversation on Twitter with #USIPSAsia.

Featured Speakers:

  • Moeed Yusuf
    Director, South Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • General John Allen
    Distinguished Fellow, Brookings Institution, and former Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
  • Cameron Munter
    Professor of International Relations, Pomona College, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
  • Peter Lavoy
    Partner, Monitor 360, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA)
  • Andrew Wilder, Moderator
    Vice President, South & Central Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Pakistan’s Climate Challenges Pose a National Security Emergency

Pakistan’s Climate Challenges Pose a National Security Emergency

Thursday, July 7, 2022

By: Jumaina Siddiqui

Pakistan is in the midst of a terrible heatwave, with the temperatures in parts of the country exceeding 120 F. April was the hottest month in the past 61 years, until May came along and saw warmer temperatures. At least 65 people have reportedly died due to the heatwave, but the actual numbers are certainly higher, and it’s caused massive flooding and infrastructure damage in Gilgit-Baltistan, water shortages in Karachi and broader Sindh province, and placed greater demands on the country’s weak electrical grid. Despite monsoon rains beginning in late June — causing at least 77 deaths — many parts of the country still swelter. Pakistan should treat these climate disasters as a full-fledged national security emergency before they stoke conflict that adds further stress amid the country’s other numerous challenges.

Type: Analysis and Commentary


Five Things to Watch in the Islamabad-Pakistani Taliban Talks

Five Things to Watch in the Islamabad-Pakistani Taliban Talks

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

By: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.

After several months of intense fighting, the Pakistani government and the anti-Pakistan insurgent group the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are talking once again. In early June, the TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, announced a cessation of hostilities with Pakistan for three months. This cease-fire resulted from weeks of secret talks in Kabul between the TTP and Pakistani military officials, followed by a more public meeting between the TTP and Pakistani tribal leaders — both mediated by the Afghan Taliban. For the first time, the Afghan Taliban also confirmed the talks and their role as mediators between Pakistan and the TTP.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

The Latest on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia: 4 Things You Need to Know

The Latest on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia: 4 Things You Need to Know

Friday, June 10, 2022

By: Tamanna Salikuddin;  Vikram J. Singh

While the world focuses on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there's another hotspot — China, India and Pakistan — where three nuclear-armed states share contested borders. In this video, USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram J. Singh discuss how to enhance stability in the region, the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy, the prospects of nuclear talks in Southern Asia, and the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Type: Blog

Global Policy

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

By: James Rupert

Our world’s spate of disasters so recently unimaginable — European cities pulverized by war, Earth’s decaying climate or 6 million dead from pandemic disease — evokes a national security question: What other “unthinkable” crises must American citizens and policymakers anticipate? A singular threat is warfare around our planet’s one spot where three nuclear-armed states stubbornly contest long-unresolved border conflicts. Largely unnoted in national security news coverage, the conflicts embroiling China, India and Pakistan are growing more complex and dangerous. A USIP study shows the urgency for U.S. policymakers of working to reduce the risks.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyConflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications