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Rather Unexpectedly, India’s Near Abroad is Looking Up

Rather Unexpectedly, India’s Near Abroad is Looking Up

Things are going bad domestically, but at least India’s regional position is improving   A regular concern of this blog is the internal constraints on India’s rise as a great power.  But for decades the country’s global aspirations also have been encumbered by a quite problematic regional environment.  Unlike China, India has had the misfortune […]

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Afghanistan is Key to India’s Iranian Connection

Afghanistan is Key to India’s Iranian Connection

Washington grumbles about the Indian relationship with Iran, but the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan leaves New Delhi little choice The striking juxtaposition this week in New Delhi is a nice illustration of how Tehran has become a complicating factor in U.S.-India relations.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in town to exhort Prime Minister […]

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Bowe Bergdahl: Remembering the Forgotten Man

Bowe Bergdahl: Remembering the Forgotten Man

Why is the captured U.S. soldier not part of the strategic release program in Afghanistan? Update (May 9, 2012):  Confirming earlier speculation, the parents of Bowe Bergdahl today announced that he is a focus of now-stalled negotiations between the United States and the Taliban over a proposed exchange of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.  The New York […]

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India Confounds Yet Again

India Confounds Yet Again

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to make of the country   Even casual observers of India quickly realize it is a jumble of self-contradictions that often defy simple explanation.  The latest evidence for this proposition comes in the form of two new opinion polls that present contrary data regarding the national psyche. Yesterday the […]

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Why is India Faltering on Economic Reforms?

Why is India Faltering on Economic Reforms?

A broad ambivalence about economic reform prevails in New Delhi   He’s not the real problem My previous post dealt with the mounting criticism of New Delhi’s economic management.  Not too long ago, India was feted as the “New China” and a driving force in the BRICS fraternity.  It was the toast of the 2006 […]

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The Greatest Deficit in New Delhi is Leadership

The Greatest Deficit in New Delhi is Leadership

Criticism about New Delhi’s economic management reaches a crescendo Although he claims to have been misquoted, Kaushik Basu, the chief economic adviser at the Indian finance ministry, has only confirmed what has been readily apparent for quite some time.  In Washington last week for the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the […]

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Foreign Policy Reverberations of the Energy Renaissance

Foreign Policy Reverberations of the Energy Renaissance

If the reality comes anywhere close to matching the hype, then the speeding of Russia’s national decline and the revival of America’s ideological authority will be among the transformative effects As an earlier post suggested, the dramatic rise in U.S. natural gas production is one large reason why fears about America’s strategic decline may well […]

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Bolstering the “Chinese Model” in South Asia

Bolstering the “Chinese Model” in South Asia

The United States should launch a Marshall Plan-like initiative to reinforce economic cooperation between India and Pakistan Previous posts (here and here) have highlighted how growing economic engagement is now the driver of the peace dialogue India and Pakistan launched a year ago.  The guiding principle is the so-called “Chinese model” – that is, the two […]

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Tougher than the Rest?

Tougher than the Rest?

If history is any guide, Obama is bluffing on Iran With President Obama describing them as Tehran’s “last chance” for a peaceful resolution, international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program started up again this past weekend.  Washington has been talking tough with Iran of late, insisting that it is prepared, if necessary, to use military force […]

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Manmohan and Asif Do Lunch

Manmohan and Asif Do Lunch

The Singh-Zardari luncheon was more productive than many expected.  But the bonhomie will eventually run into stark political realities. Although the timing was coincidental and neither man professes the Christian faith, it was appropriately symbolic that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari broke bread in New Delhi on Easter Sunday.  […]

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Bountiful Questions

Bountiful Questions

The curious timing of the bounty on Hafiz Saeed raises the issue of whether U.S. policies toward New Delhi and Islamabad are in sync. If anything, the $10 million bounty the Obama administration offered last week for information leading to the capture and arrest of Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, a high-profile jihadi leader in Pakistan, is […]

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Pakistan Looking for Love but Bereft of Suitors

Pakistan Looking for Love but Bereft of Suitors

Islamabad’s embarrassing rhetoric towards Beijing is a sign of strategic desperation The playing off of two stronger patrons by a smaller or weaker country is a time-honored tactic in international politics.  So it is no surprise that Pakistan seeks to create geopolitical leverage by nuzzling up to China whenever a downdraft occurs in its relations with […]

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Delhi Disgraces Itself (Again)

Delhi Disgraces Itself (Again)

India repeatedly undermines the vitality of its democratic example The past week brought fresh evidence of just how deeply India abounds in contradiction.  On the one hand, New Delhi won international plaudits for standing up for democratic norms in Asia by voting at the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate alleged war crimes in neighboring Sri Lanka. […]

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to American Decline

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to American Decline

What James Cameron and SpaceX tell us about the Future of Global Power James Cameron’s solo journey into the ocean’s deepest recesses is being hailed as a tale of personal daring and scientific adventure.  But it also holds a lesson relevant to the debate about whether the global hierarchy is being reshuffled and to what […]

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Memo to Bryson: Go Big on U.S.-India Trade

Memo to Bryson: Go Big on U.S.-India Trade

Focusing on the high-tech agenda would instill a level of momentum in bilateral ties that has been noticeably missing since George W. Bush left the White House. U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson is in India this week with a high-powered business delegation in tow. Chief among his objectives will be furthering American involvement in India’s […]

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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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