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.

Featured   Publications

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

Thursday, November 10, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh;  Alex Stephenson

Since Russia began its assault on Ukraine last February, India and China have straddled the fence by hinting at their concerns regarding the war’s global fallout while avoiding direct public criticism of Moscow. Despite rhetorical consternation and calls for a peaceful resolution, neither has shown a willingness to meaningfully push back against Putin’s escalations in Ukraine. Instead, the two Asian nuclear powers are approaching the situation with caution and calculated diplomacy to preserve their own strategic interests — both in Russia and the West.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

It’s Time for South Asia to Talk Climate

It’s Time for South Asia to Talk Climate

Monday, October 17, 2022

By: Ahsan Butt

That India and Pakistan are engaged in backchannel track 2 diplomacy is the worst kept secret in South Asia. It does not take a vivid imagination to guess what dominates the agenda at these talks: Kashmir, terrorism, trade, perhaps crisis behavior under the shadow of nuclear weapons. Welcome as such conversations are, they are almost assuredly lacking focus on the biggest crisis facing the region’s inhabitants: climate change.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Environment

Modi, Putin and Xi Join the SCO Summit Amid Turbulent Times

Modi, Putin and Xi Join the SCO Summit Amid Turbulent Times

Thursday, September 22, 2022

By: Cordelia Buchanan Ponczek;  Mary Glantz, Ph.D.;  Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) resumed in-person summits last week in the wake of the COVID pandemic and at a moment of unprecedent change and challenge. Member states Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are at war over their border. So are dialogue partner states Armenia and Azerbaijan. All SCO members are dealing with the economic impact of the Russian war in Ukraine as well as climate disruptions like the floods overwhelming Pakistan. Mistrust between India and Pakistan, full members since 2017, make cooperation difficult on the SCO’s original core mission of counterterrorism. And India and China, which were building toward the “Wuhan spirit” of cooperation when India joined in 2017, are hardly on speaking terms despite recent progress toward deescalating a friction point along their disputed Line of Actual Control.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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Current   Projects

Senior Study Group on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia

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.

Global Policy

Generation Change Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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.

ReligionYouth

Crisis Communications with China in the Indo-Pacific

Crisis Communications with China in the Indo-Pacific

In today’s era of strategic competition between the United States and China, crises are more likely than ever in the Indo-Pacific region. Effective mechanisms are therefore needed to prevent such crises from escalating into armed conflict. To this end, USIP is examining crisis communication mechanisms and negotiations between China and its regional neighbors to identify common issues and themes across countries to provide lessons that can be learned and shared.

Civilian-Military RelationsConflict Analysis & PreventionMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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