Report - Stimson Center

Pakistan, India, and China After the U.S. Drawdown from Afghanistan

| January 2015

South Asian Voices


As American involvement in South Asia enters a new phase after Washington's impending military withdrawal from Afghanistan, much uncertainty prevails with respect to the most appropriate strategy for maintaining stability in the region. Domestic political instability in Pakistan—an important American ally—continues, cross border tensions rage between India and Pakistan, and terrorism continues to threaten civilian life in Pakistan, India, and in the Xinjiang province of China. All this further enhances concerns about the nature and character of the regional strategic environment in the coming years. This paper examines the strategic future of South Asia in the wake of the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan through three key research questions: first, how does the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan affect the regional security and economic interests of India, Pakistan, and China? Secondly, what kinds of responses to terror attacks by India, Pakistan, and China could further destabilize the region? Thirdly, what key steps can the United States take to prevent further instability in this context? This paper's research methodology involves the use of relevant secondary sources and interviews of strategic experts based in think tanks and federal agencies based in Washington, DC.

The paper is divided into six sections: the first section introduces the U.S. drawdown strategy from Afghanistan. It is followed by three sections addressing how the U.S. drawdown will affect the security and economic interests of Pakistan, India, and China. The fifth section examines possible crisis scenarios involving Pakistan, India, and China in Afghanistan and their impact on regional stability. The final section underlines future projections and policy recommendations.

For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: Akhtar, Rabia and Jayita Sarkar. “Pakistan, India, and China After the U.S. Drawdown from Afghanistan.” Stimson Center, January 2015.

The Authors

Jayita Sarkar