Foreign Policy Blogs

South Asia

On Secretary Clinton’s Visit Through Asia

On Secretary Clinton’s Visit Through Asia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s broadly successful eight-day visit across Asia directly cemented India’s dominance as the regional power hub in South Asia, while also giving Bangladesh its due as an important regional ally. Bangladesh was Clinton’s gateway into India, a figurative and literal go-between in the political jockeying that has pit India against China. […]

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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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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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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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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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Sometimes India Doesn’t Look So Bad By Comparison

Sometimes India Doesn’t Look So Bad By Comparison

Two articles in the Wall Street Journal this week contain thoughts bearing on the debate regarding the relative virtues of China’s authoritarianism and India’s free-wheeling, cacophonous democratic system.  Countless paeans have been written about the triumphs of centralized, technocratic pragmatism in Beijing.  The closed-door, brutally efficient decision-making may not be all that great in terms of […]

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Sri Lanka Goes Down

Sri Lanka Goes Down

The global diplomatic community heaped major embarrassment on Sri Lanka on March 22 as it adopted a United States-sponsored resolution at the ongoing session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) censuring the island nation for alleged war crimes in the conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009. In the 47-member UNHRC, 24 countries […]

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The Hole Gets Deeper

The Hole Gets Deeper

The three-year feud between the Sri Lankan government and international rights groups came under global spotlight for the second time in a week on March 14 when in a report launched in Geneva, Amnesty International said dozens of people in Sri Lanka have been abducted and tortured by security forces since 2009, and hundreds are […]

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