Vikram J. Singh is senior advisor to the Asia Program at USIP. Singh has been a leader of innovation in public policy and global affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, and major non-profits. He advises USIP on all aspects of peace and stability in Asia including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Myanmar, China’s role in the region, and North Korea.

From 2014 to 2017 Singh was vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress, where he established CAP’s Asia program and launched work on nuclear security, a major task force on U.S – India relations, and a program on defending the internet as a force for democracy.

As deputy assistant secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia from 2012 to 2014, Singh ran negotiations to deepen U.S. defense cooperation in the region including through new access agreements with Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore. Singh was Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State until 2011. He developed a political-military strategy for reconciliation efforts to end the war. He represented the United States with China, India, Russia, Middle Eastern partners, the U.N., and NATO members on political, military and economic issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Singh was the first defense fellow at the Center for a New American Security in 2007. He was previously the Pentagon’s first director for partnership strategy, developing and securing passage by Congress of new legal authorities for global defense cooperation. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Singh also served at U.S. Mission to the United Nations and chaired the DoD missile technology working group for the “Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership” with India.

Singh received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 2012 and the Department of State Superior Honor Award in 2006 and 2012. He is a Fellow of Columbia University and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University.

Publications By Vikram

Tensions Rise as Washington Rejects Beijing’s Maritime Claims

Tensions Rise as Washington Rejects Beijing’s Maritime Claims

Thursday, July 23, 2020

By: Brian Harding; Vikram J. Singh

Based on what Beijing calls “historic rights,” China claims vast swaths of the South China Sea, including waters and features also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei. With no reference to international law, China’s “nine-dash-line” encompasses 80 percent of the South China Sea reaching as far south as more than 1,000 nautical miles from the China’s coast, within 50 nautical miles of Malaysia. Within these waters lie features occupied by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan, including three artificial islands that China built in 2012 and has since developed into military bases.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

Thursday, June 4, 2020

By: Vikram J. Singh; Jacob Stokes; Tamanna Salikuddin

In early May, a fistfight broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers along the disputed border between the world’s two most populous, nuclear-armed nations. A few days later, Chinese soldiers confronted Indian soldiers at several other points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which has served as the de facto border between the two countries since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Both countries have more recently ramped up their military presence in the region. This escalation of tensions comes as China has turned increasingly assertive in its neighborhood, and as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. USIP’s Vikram J. Singh, Jacob Stokes, and Tamanna Salikuddin look at the causes behind the flare-up and its potential consequences.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Can India Help Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

Can India Help Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Vikram J. Singh

After February’s landmark U.S.-Taliban framework agreement, Afghanistan is still trying to initiate the next steps of their peace process, including intra-Afghan talks and prisoner exchanges. The country’s regional neighbors will be critical to the success or failure of the proposed talks. And while most attention naturally goes to Pakistan, with some focus also given to Iran and China, U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has made clear that India also has a vital role to play.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Four Things to Know About President Trump’s Trip to India

Four Things to Know About President Trump’s Trip to India

Thursday, February 27, 2020

By: Vikram J. Singh

President Trump’s recent trip to India yielded no progress on a bilateral trade agreement, one of the main issues both leaders hoped to address. Despite the trade impasse, both President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi used the two-day trip to reinforce the positive relationship between the U.S. and India, as official discussions finalized several defense and energy deals. USIP’s Vikram Singh looks at the state of trade talks, the possibility of U.S. mediation in Kashmir, India’s regional stance on the Afghan peace process, and how China’s growing global influence impacts U.S.-India relations.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

View All