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India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

Renewed military tensions in the disputed Kashmir region are once again underscoring how even localized incidents there can subvert important diplomatic initiatives between India and Pakistan.  Skirmishes this past January put the brakes on the détente process that picked up steam last year.  The current round of fighting has led to a rising chorus in India demanding […]

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Will China Miss Out on the Shale Energy Revolution?

Will China Miss Out on the Shale Energy Revolution?

Consider this striking paradox: Just as the Energy Information Administration announces that new shale discoveries are driving record increases in U.S. proved oil reserves and near-record additions in proved natural gas reserves, huge energy companies are reporting sagging production and profits.  Royal Dutch Shell, for example, posted a 60 percent drop in second-quarter profits, largely because of drilling […]

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U.S. Energy Boom: Thank You George Mitchell

U.S. Energy Boom: Thank You George Mitchell

The future is not what it used to be due to George P. Mitchell, the Texas wildcatter who passed away last week.*  He helped usher in a new era of American dynamism by perfecting the hydraulic fracturing techniques (“fracking”) that have unlocked vast gas and oil deposits previously thought inaccessible within tightly-packed shale rock beds […]

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India and the United States: Can the Elephant Pivot?

India and the United States: Can the Elephant Pivot?

Joe Biden is in India this week, the latest effort in the Obama administration’s three-year effort to enlist New Delhi in a closer strategic partnership aimed at hedging against a rising China.   Indeed before departing Washington, Biden declared that the United States welcomes New Delhi’s emergence as “a force for security and growth in Southeast Asia and […]

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To Be Taken Seriously By Others, India Needs to First Look Inside

To Be Taken Seriously By Others, India Needs to First Look Inside

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” Several developments related to India call to mind William Shakespeare’s famous line in Julius Caesar.  The first are the tours of the United States undertaken last week by Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram and Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma, aimed at drumming up […]

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U.S. and India: The So-So Strategic Dialogue

U.S. and India: The So-So Strategic Dialogue

This year’s session of the annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, which brought Secretary of State John Kerry to New Delhi two weeks ago, produced few headlines.  The gathering was preceded by low expectations as well as talk (here and here) about how bilateral affairs have plateaued in the years since the nuclear cooperation agreement between President George W. […]

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Obama and Syria: Red Lines Redeemed?

Obama and Syria: Red Lines Redeemed?

I’ve contended in previous posts (here, here and here) that President Obama’s failure to enforce his numerous threats against the use of chemical weapons by the Bashir al-Assad regime in Damascus is a significant reason to doubt the credibility of his repeated vows to use military force to stop Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.  So is my argument undermined now […]

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U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue: What Not To Do

U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue: What Not To Do

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is in New Delhi for the annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue.  He’s receiving plenty of good advice (examples here, here and here) on what he and Salman Khurshid, the Indian foreign minister, can do to energize the nascent strategic partnership that just a few years ago looked so promising but which now is stuck […]

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India: Asia’s Geopolitical Sweetheart

India: Asia’s Geopolitical Sweetheart

Economic doldrums mean that India is not much of a destination for global investors nowadays and the flight of foreign capital is depressing the rupee’s value to record lows vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.  Even domestic investorsprefer to put their money elsewhere.  The country was the toast of the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, with “India Everywhere” […]

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India and Pakistan: Dangers Ahead for the Revived Spirit of Lahore

India and Pakistan: Dangers Ahead for the Revived Spirit of Lahore

Nawaz Sharif’s return to the helm in Islamabad is sparking optimism that a more stable and constructive India-Pakistan relationship is in the offing.  But South Asia is a rough-and-tumble neighborhood that regularly eviscerates the best of intentions.  Indeed, given the potent brew of pernicious forces acting on bilateral affairs – contiguous but bitterly contested territory, sharp historical […]

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Obama’s NDU Speech: Implications for Tehran

Obama’s NDU Speech: Implications for Tehran

The major speech on counter-terrorism policy President Obama delivered last week at the National Defense University has generated a great deal of commentary about its implications for drone strikes and Guantanamo detainees. Little noticed, however, is the underlying message it sends to Iran’s leaders. Mr. Obama has made it a habit of talking tough to […]

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Obama in the Middle East: Fading Red Lines and Eroding Credibility

Obama in the Middle East: Fading Red Lines and Eroding Credibility

A post last month argued that President Obama was fast approaching a defining moment for his foreign policy in view of the mounting evidence that the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria used sarin, a lethal nerve gas, in violation of Mr. Obama’s numerous warnings not to do so.  The day of reckoning has now arrived […]

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Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s Day of Dissonance

Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s Day of Dissonance

Last Wednesday was a day of extremes for the former Secretary of State, who was in Beverly Hills to pick up a public service award from a private foreign policy organization.  There her tenure at the State Department was lauded as activists from a group called “Ready for Hillary 2016” gathered nearby to round out the […]

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Time for a North American Energy Initiative

Time for a North American Energy Initiative

This blog regularly focuses on the foreign policy reverberations of the U.S. energy boom.  As discussed in earlier posts (here and here), these include the gradual paring back of U.S. strategic commitments in the Persian Gulf*, the diminution of Russia’s great power aspirations**,  as well as a boost to America’s soft-power prospects and global standing.  But […]

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Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

A defining moment for Mr. Obama’s foreign policy legacy is fast approaching From the Levant and the Persian Gulf to the Korean peninsula, events in recent weeks have offered a clinic in the difficulty of enforcing red lines on rogue regimes and their weapons of mass destruction, as well as how U.S. credibility suffers when […]

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About the Author

David J. Karl
David J. Karl

David J. Karl is president of the Asia Strategy Initiative, an analysis and advisory firm that has a particular focus on South Asia. He serves on the board of counselors of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and previously on the Executive Committee of the Southern California chapter of TiE (formerly The Indus Entrepreneurs), the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.

David previously served as director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy, in charge of the Council’s think tank focused on foreign policy issues of special resonance to the U.S West Coast, and was project director of the Bi-national Task Force on Enhancing India-U.S. Cooperation in the Global Innovation Economy that was jointly organized by the Pacific Council and the Federation of Indian Chambers & Industry. He received his doctorate in international relations at the University of Southern California, writing his dissertation on the India-Pakistan strategic rivalry, and took his masters degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

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