The rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan has thrown America’s exit plan into peril, casting doubts on whether an orderly withdrawal from the war-torn country is still possible.
The US strategic plan is to continue providing global security with emphasis on “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.” Such a pivot is not new, but has been in play since the end of the Cold War, argues Robert M. Hathaway, director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The strategy requires a long-term partnership with India, as an economic and security anchor in the region. Priorities for both countries vary, particularly in regard to China, leading to divisions within each country as well. Many in India do not want their nation to take part in any Sino-American cold war or conflict and accuse the US of ignoring shenanigans from Pakistan. Indians are also wary about US plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and the likely resulting chaos. Both countries have conservatives who oppose reliance on partnerships and agreements that could constrain their military. Ultimately, Hathaway concludes, strength of nations as global actors depends on ensuring economic security and meeting domestic challenges. – YaleGlobal
The UN—not the U.S.—is better-suited to manage regional talks on Afghanistan, since important parties like Russia, Iran, and Pakistan view it as a more neutral broker, Wilson Center expert Dennis Kux says. The UN should appoint a special representative to coordinate talks.
Has civilian assistance to Pakistan over the past three decades assisted with development and improvements in living standards? Or has well-intended aid had a negative impact on Pakistan? The publication of the Wilson Center report Aiding Without Abetting: Making U.S. Civilian Assistance to Pakistan Work for Both Sides provided the London School of Economics with an opportunity to discuss these and related issues. This February 2, 2012, public event in London was co-hosted by the British Pakistan Foundation and LSE’s Asia Research Center.
A commentary on the January 14 elections in Taiwan by East Asia Program Associate Bryce Wakefield.
On January 14th, voters in Taiwan will choose their next president from a field that includes the country's first ever female candidate. Regional expert Bryce Wakefield discusses the dynamics of the race and the factors likely to decide the outcome.
Robert M. Hathaway argues that the US must not abandon efforts in Pakistan. He instead recommends continued economic aid, directed and monitored by skilled technical experts, with Pakistani co-investment and emphasis on job growth.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit last month to Burma (Myanmar) broke new ground in Washington’s often tortuous relationship with that country. Wilson Center Fellow Kenton Clymer reminds us that Clinton was not the first secretary of state to make a surprise trip to Burma. Clymer is a Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University.
There is always hope that new legislation will change relationships and improve development. In reality, the solution is a long term process, said Mirza Jahani, Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation, in an exclusive interview. “To be a better aid agency you need to have your people there for longer periods of time with increased tour lengths of individuals.”
It is with great sadness that the Wilson Center’s Asia Program observes the passing of Dr. Robert A. Scalapino, the noted American scholar of Asian politics.