Following the announcement of a new South Asia strategy in August 2017, the Trump administration has laid out significant policy goals in the region, including preventing the Taliban insurgency from winning ground in Afghanistan, deepening the U.S. strategic partnership with India, and forcing a shift in Pakistan’s security strategies towards its neighbors. Does the U.S. have the necessary leverage and influence over key policy makers in South Asia needed to accomplish its policy goals?
The U.S. has curtailed aid and imposed new penalties on Pakistan over terrorist sanctuaries, committed additional U.S. advisory troops to Afghanistan to shore up the Afghan security services, and called on India to increase its investments in Afghanistan and take on a more active role as a U.S. partner in the region. Thus far the Taliban have ruled out talks with the Afghan government, Pakistani officials have rebuffed administration demands, and the long-term alignment of U.S. and Indian interests remains uncertain. Does the U.S. have the means to change the calculations of the major players in the region, given their own conflicting goals and priorities?
The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a forward-leaning conversation as experts discussed the future of the U.S. role in South Asia and opportunities for the U.S. to mold decisions by Afghan, Pakistani, Indian and Chinese players to best achieve American interests. Review the conversation on Twitter with #USSouthAsia.
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center
former Senior Advisor, U.S. State Department
Jennings Randolph Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace
Moeed Yusuf, Moderator
Associate Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace