South Asia

India’s Election Results: Impacts on the Economy and Economic Relations with Washington

On May 23, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expanded its mandate with a landslide victory. What do these results mean for India’s economy? Rising unemployment and economic reforms pose significant challenges, but trade is also a key flashpoint – especially with Washington. Will the U.S.-India economic relationship expand to match an already fast-growing defense partnership? Or will commercial strains affect this burgeoning strategic relationship? What impact might U.S. trade tensions with China have on its trade relations with India?

AfPak File: What Do U.S.-Iran Tensions Mean For Pakistan?

With U.S.-Iran relations in serious crisis, Pakistan finds itself in a uniquely vulnerable position. It has significant relationships with Tehran’s U.S. and Saudi rivals. It has a large Shia population that may exceed 30 million. And it shares a border with Iran.

What does the U.S.-Iran confrontation mean for Islamabad, and how does it affect Pakistan’s stated position of neutrality in the Saudi-Iranian rivalry?

Modi’s Victory is a Good Thing for Washington—with Caveats

On May 23, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a resounding victory in national elections. While many analysts and observers had expected a repeat victory—given the struggles of the Congress Party to cobble together a formidable opposition coalition and given the sheer popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi—few had expected the BJP to win by such a large margin. The BJP will now come to power, just as it did after a similar landslide win in 2014, with a large mandate to pursue a number of key objectives.

Values and U.S. Policy Toward the Indo-Pacific

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sought to address the role that values and norms should play in its foreign policy generally, and in the U.S. strategy toward the Indo-Pacific specifically. This is a reflection of a long-standing debate in American foreign policy, going back to the founding of the nation itself, but the arguments made by top U.S. officials are worth considering.

The South China Sea in Strategic Terms

In recent years, U.S. military planners have shifted their focus from counterterrorism, low intensity conflict to great power, high intensity threats.  The most likely single scenario for a major military engagement against a great power adversary would be one against China centered on the South China Sea.  There are certainly other situations involving other challenges, but this is the most plausible and dangerous.  Any such assertion must rest on an understanding that critical U.S.

USAID and the Private Sector: Blended Finance Partnership to Combat Ocean Plastic Pollution (Launch Event)

The amount of plastic pollution flowing into the ocean is increasing at an alarming rate, creating an urgent challenge for the world’s environment and economy. On our current trajectory, by 2050 — pound for pound — there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Most ocean plastic pollution emanates from developing countries — and, more specifically, from rapidly urbanizing coastal cities in the developing world — where waste management systems are struggling to keep pace with growing populations and increasing amounts of trash.

AfPak File: Assessing Afghanistan’s Recent Jirga

Last week, Afghanistan held a loya jirga to discuss possible ways forward in peace and reconciliation efforts. More than 3000 people attended the event, which yielded a 23-point resolution outlining a number of priorities, including a ceasefire.

However, many political opponents of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who organized the event, refused to attend. The Taliban, which also did not attend, rejected the idea of a ceasefire.

Dispatches: May 2019

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Thinking Through the Unthinkable in Sri Lanka

More than a week after the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka, a devastatingly well-coordinated assault that targeted churches and hotels around the country, the shock still lingers.

It was by far the deadliest attack to strike Sri Lanka since the dark days of its brutal 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009. And it shattered the relative stability that had prevailed in the country in the subsequent decade.

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