As the world’s largest democracy and the dominant regional power in South Asia, India has become a cornerstone for U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific. USIP works to inform policymakers and practitioners through research, analysis and convening on India’s growing strategic partnership with the United States, in addition to the regional conflict dynamics. Priority themes of focus for the USIP India program include the bilateral tensions between India and China; the emerging strategic balance between India and its nuclear-armed neighbors; and regional conflict drivers — including complex post-colonial disputes, fragile democratic institutions, climate and resource pressures, and competition among a growing, heterogeneous population.
India and Pakistan Are Playing a Dangerous Game in the Indus Basin
On January 25, India sent a notice to Pakistan demanding the modification of the Indus Waters Treaty. Pakistan has so far refused to engage. The treaty, which India, Pakistan and the World Bank originally signed in 1960, allocates rights over the waters of several rivers in the Indus Basin to India and Pakistan.
What to Watch in 2023: India’s Pivotal Year on the Global Stage
One month into 2023, and India is well underway with preparations for a pivotal year. In the coming 11 months, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation (and by some estimates already has), and to continue on a trajectory of rapid economic growth. In assuming the presidencies of both the G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), India is set to host leaders from across the globe as the country prepares for its own general elections in 2024. With all eyes on India, New Delhi may be increasingly sensitive to global perceptions of how it handles possible shocks — external or internal — ranging from escalation on its borders to incidents of communal violence.
The Persistent Threat of Nuclear Crises Among China, India and Pakistan
Southern Asia — India, Pakistan and China — is the only place on earth where three nuclear-armed states have recently engaged in violent confrontations along their contested borders. As a USIP senior study group report concluded last year, the problem of nuclear stability in Southern Asia is getting harder to manage because of geopolitical changes, such as rising India-China border tensions, as well as evolving military technologies, including growing nuclear arsenals and more capable delivery systems. Unfortunately, in the time since that senior study group completed its work, little has happened to revise its worrisome conclusion or to prevent the most likely triggering causes of a nuclearized crisis in Southern Asia. To the contrary, there are some good reasons to fear that the situation in Southern Asia has even deteriorated over the past year.
Religious and Psychosocial Support for Displaced Trauma Survivors
Since spring 2021, USIP has been identifying best practices in psychosocial support to better facilitate collaboration and cooperation between religious actors and mental health professionals who provide services to conflict-affected communities, including trauma-affected displaced persons. This thematic area of work focused initially on Latin America as a pilot region and has since expanded to the Asia and European contexts — offering practical and evidence-based recommendations to relevant stakeholders.
Senior Study Group on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia
Beginning in June 2021, USIP convened a group of senior experts to assess concerns that recent geopolitical and technological trends increasingly threaten the tenuous stability of Southern Asia. Over seven virtual plenary sessions, the senior study group assessed the changing capabilities, doctrines, threat perceptions and crisis response behavior of the main regional nuclear actors. Their final report summarizes those findings, considers U.S. policy options and identifies priority recommendations for the resolution or mitigation of core disputes, the enhancement of regional strategic stability, and the management of potential future crises.
Generation Change Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The U.S. Institute of Peace and His Holiness the Dalai Lama have joined to strengthen the abilities of youth leaders to build peace in the world’s most violent regions. These leaders are among their countries’ most effective peacebuilders. The dialogue with the Dalai Lama helps them to build the personal resilience they need to work against the tensions or violence in their homelands.