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

Prospects for Crisis Management on the China-India Border

Prospects for Crisis Management on the China-India Border

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

By: Patricia M. Kim; Vikram J. Singh

After a deadly skirmish in June and shots fired in September, Sino-Indian tensions have escalated to a level not seen in decades. Both countries’ foreign ministers recently agreed to a five-point framework to manage the situation, showing both sides want tensions to plateau rather than deteriorate further. But the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will not easily go back to a well-managed bilateral irritant—right now, it’s a dangerous flashpoint and likely to stay that way. USIP’s Vikram Singh and Patricia Kim look at the recent discussions, what’s driving the escalation, how the conflict affects the region, and what history can tell us about how it might be resolved.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Five Things to Know About the Afghan Peace Talks

Five Things to Know About the Afghan Peace Talks

Monday, September 14, 2020

By: Vikram J. Singh; Scott Smith; Scott Worden; Belquis Ahmadi; Johnny Walsh

The intra-Afghan negotiations that began on Saturday represent a watershed moment in the war: the first direct, official talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. These historic talks commenced 19 years and one day after al-Qaida's 9/11 terrorist attacks drew the United States into Afghanistan's civil war. Just getting the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban to the table is an accomplishment. The main reason the talks materialized is the U.S.-Taliban agreement signed in February of this year; that agreement delivered a timetable for the eventual withdrawal of foreign troops, which met the Taliban’s years-long precondition for opening talks with the Afghan government.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

By: Jumaina Siddiqui; Tamanna Salikuddin; Vikram J. Singh

The Sri Lanka People's Front (SLPP) gained a parliamentary supermajority earlier this month in what was the first major election held in South Asia since the coronavirus pandemic began. The results solidified the political power of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had dissolved the previous parliament shortly after he was elected last year. USIP’s Jumaina Siddiqui, Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at whether the polls were free and fair, what the landslide victory means for Sri Lanka as the country continues its recovery from civil war, and how the election impacts South Asia.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

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

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