South Asia

24 Items

A satellite view of Shigatse, Tibet, home to the PLA’s 6th Border Defense Regiment, near the China-India border.

Maxar Technologies / CNES Airbus via Google, used with permission

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Strategic Postures of China and India: A Visual Guide

| March 2020

Fueled by aggressive rhetoric from both capitals, Indian and Chinese ground forces engaged in a standoff between June and August 2017. The Doklam crisis, as it became known, stimulated introspection among officials and experts in both states about the future of their relationship. Politically, both strategic communities largely concluded that the peaceful resolution of border disputes is now less likely, forecasting more rivalry than cooperation. Militarily, Indian discussions on the strength of its military position against China in their disputed ground frontier areas have converged on the view that China holds the conventional and nuclear edge over India in this domain.

Based on our analysis of data on the location and capabilities of Indian and Chinese strategic forces and related military units, we conclude that this assessment of the balance of forces may be mistaken and a poor guide for Indian security and procurement policies. We recommend that instead of investing in new nuclear weapons platforms that our analysis suggests are not likely to be required to deter China, New Delhi should improve the survivability of its existing forces and fill the gap in global arms control leadership with an initiative on restraint and transparency.

Paper - Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

Stabilizing Sino-Indian Security Relations: Managing the Strategic Rivalry After Doklam

| June 21, 2018

The paper provides a detailed analysis of the contemporary Sino-Indian conventional ground and nuclear force balances and carefully reconstructs how mutual developments in these areas are perceived by both New Delhi and Beijing.

teaser image

Report - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

How Al-Qaeda Survived Drones, Uprisings, and the Islamic State: The Nature of the Current Threat

    Editor:
  • Aaron Y. Zelin
| June 2017

In this new Policy Focus, Washington Institute fellow Aaron Y. Zelin compiles case studies demonstrating how each part of al-Qaeda's network has evolved and survived the various challenges it has faced roughly since the Obama administration took office. Written by eminent scholars, practitioners, and government officials from the United States and abroad, the chapters are informed by a recent workshop in which the participants gave candid, off-the-record assessments of numerous key issues, including al-Qaeda's current strategic outlook, a close examination of its branch in Syria, its branches outside of Syria (AQAP, AQIM, al-Shabab, and AQIS), and its current financial situation.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

Report - Stimson Center

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

| January 2015

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?

Soldiers quickly march to the ramp of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter that will return them to Kandahar Army Air Field on Sept. 4, 2003. The Soldiers were searching in Daychopan district, Afghanistan, for Taliban fighters and illegal weapons caches.

U.S. Army Photo

Report - New America Foundation

Strategic Empathy: The Afghanistan Intervention Shows Why the U.S. Must Empathize with its Adversaries

| April 2014

"...[H]ow did such vast and sustained investments not deliver a more favorable outcome? Conditions were undoubtedly challenging, but most observers — and indeed U.S. officials — agree that major mistakes were made....But the most egregious error of the United States was to pursue a strategy founded on a misreading of its enemy."

Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James G. Stavridis, General David H. Petraeus (new Commander of ISAF) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a news conference at NATO Headquarters, July 1, 2010.

DoD Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

NATO in Afghanistan: Turning Retreat into Victory

| December 2013

NATO after Afghanistan is an organization that suffers from a certain fatigue pertaining to future stabilization challenges. NATO will not automatically cease to conduct operations after 2014, but the level of ambition will be lower. The Afghanistan experience and the failures of the light footprint approach calls for a thinking that is less liberalist "in the abstract" and more focused on provision of basic services (security, development, and governance).

Discussion Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center

NATO in Afghanistan: Democratization Warfare, National Narratives, and Budgetary Austerity

| December 2013

This paper explains changes in NATO's nationbuilding strategy for Afghanistan over time as an internal push-and-pull struggle between the major NATO contributors. It distinguishes between he "light footprint" phase, which had numerous problems connected to limited resources and growing insurgency (2003–2008), NATO's adoption of a comprehensive approach (CSPMP) and counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy (2009–2011), the transition and drawdown (2011–2014), and the Enduring Partnership (beyond 2014). The paper explains NATO's drawdown, stressing both increased budgetary strictures compelling decisionmakers to focus on domestic concerns nd predominant national narratives connected to a protracted stabilization effort in Afghanistan.

First stage in the Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, 20 October 1986.

Wikimedia Commons

Report - International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence

Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History?

| July 2013

Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History? provides a history of attempts to talk to the Taliban. The publication of the report coincides with the announcement that the United States will begin direct negotiations with the Taliban within days. The report charts the history of talks with the Taliban and their forebears. It explains that such talks are nothing new and that contacts have existed between the Taliban and the West for many years and argues that attempts to negotiate with the Taliban since 2001 have been characterised by wishful thinking, bad timing, poor management and the 'chaos of good intentions'.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ensuring Strategic Stability in the Past and Present: Theoretical and Applied Questions

    Author:
  • Andrei A. Kokoshin
| June 2011

In the Foreword to this paper by Andrei Kokoshin, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison writes: "The global nuclear order is reaching a tipping point. Several trends are advancing along crooked paths, each undermining this order. These trends include North Korea’s expanding nuclear weapons program, Iran’s continuing nuclear ambitions, Pakistan’s increasing instability, growing doubts about the sustainability of the nonproliferation regime in general, and terrorist groups’ enduring aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons. Andrei Kokoshin, deputy of the State Duma and former secretary of Russia’s Security Council, analyzes these challenges that threaten to cause the nuclear order to collapse in the following paper."