South Asia

19 Items

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?

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.

Shia youths from the Pakistani Kurram tribal area stage a mock scene during a rally demanding peace in their region, near the Presidential House, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Apr. 25, 2011.

AP Photo

Paper - Combating Terrorism Center

Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: Identity Politics, Iranian Influence, and Tit-for-Tat Violence

| September 2010

"Western analysts can no longer afford to ignore the growing potential for sectarian violence in Pakistan, for uncontrolled sectarian violence can destabilize Pakistan and the region at large. Internally, sectarian groups prefer to conduct their attacks in the Punjab, the center of gravity of the country's military and political elite. Attacks against Pakistan's Shia are also bound to have regional implications, since they can further stoke tensions between Pakistan and its neighbor Iran, a Shia-majority state."

Mujahedeen rebels, holy warriors, are shown as they rest high in the mountains in the Kunar province area in Afghanistan in May 1980.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: Islam and Transnational Militancy

| February 2011

"...[F]oreign fighter mobilizations empower transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, because war volunteering is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy. For example, when Muslims in the West radicalize, they usually do not plot attacks in their home countries right away, but travel to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan first. A majority of al-Qaida operatives began their militant careers as war volunteers, and most transnational jihadi groups today are by-products of foreign fighter mobilizations."

U.S. General David Petraeus, Commander designate, U.S. Central Command, leaves 10 Downing Street in London after a meeting with the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Sept. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center

U.S. Interagency Regional Foreign Policy Implementation: A Survey of Current Practice and an Analysis of Options for Improvement

| April 2010

The United States has a complex, multi-agency structure to plan, synchronize, and execute foreign policy and national security. By statute, the State Department is the lead agency for foreign policy. However, in practice, the much larger and better-funded Department of Defense conducts much of America's foreign policy activity, often with little coordination with the State Department or other relevant agencies. Over the past two decades, the military's Geographic Combatant Commands have taken an increasing lead in planning and executing foreign policy activities around the world. This has often effectively put a military face and voice on America's foreign policy, sometimes to the detriment of broader U.S. goals and relationships. More effective U.S. foreign policy requires greater interagency coordination at all levels and a greater role for the State Department as America's lead agency for foreign policy.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and The Institute for Global Leadership

The Prospects for Security and Political Reconciliation in Afghanistan: Local, National, and Regional Perspectives

| May 2010

This workshop report, based on two days of intense discussions hosted by the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University and held under the Chatham House rule, summarizes the predominant views of a select group of Afghan politicians and former military officials, Pakistani journalists and scholars, current and former United Nations officials, diplomats, humanitarian workers, and representatives from the U.S. military on the opportunities for, and obstacles to, security and political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Mar. 25, 2005: The U.S. agreed to sell about 2 dozen F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, a diplomatically sensitive move that rewarded Pakistan for its help in fighting the war on terror, but angered India.

AP Photo

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

U.S. Aid to Pakistan—U.S. Taxpayers Have Funded Pakistani Corruption

| July 2009

The United States must not provide Pakistani institutions with incentives to act counter to U.S. foreign policy objectives in the future. It has done so in the past. But until the spring of 2009, no comprehensive overview of the full funding to Pakistan was possible as the figures were kept secret. Those figures, as well as a full analysis of what is known about how they were spent, can now be evaluated. The available information paints a picture of a systemic lack of supervision in the provision of aid to Pakistan, often lax U.S. oversight, and the incentivization of U.S. taxpayer–funded corruption in the Pakistani military and security services. The author believes that this is the first attempt to present an overview of U.S. aid to Pakistan since 2001, evaluate it, and present recommendations on how to ensure that mistakes are not repeated and lessons are learned.

Report - Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Pakistan Can Defy the Odds: How to Rescue a Failing State

| May 2009

"Is Pakistan collapsing? How far are the Taliban from Islamabad? Can al-Qaeda grab the country's nuclear weapons? These are the types of questions raised every day by the American media, academia and policy circles. And these are critical issues, given the nature of the evolving crisis in Pakistan. The approximately two dozen suicide bombings in 2009 so far, 66 in 2008, and 61 in 2007, all of which have targeted armed forces personnel, police, politicians, and ordinary people not only in the country's turbulent northwest but also in its major urban centers, indicate the seriousness of the threat. A major ammunition factory area located close to some very sensitive nuclear installations in Wah (Punjab) was targeted by two suicide bombers in August 2008, an act that sent shudders across the country's security establishment...."

Report - Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Police & Law Enforcement Reform in Pakistan: Crucial for Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Success

| April 2009

"The police infrastructure is one of Pakistan's most poorly managed organizations. It is aptly described as ill-equipped, poorly trained, deeply politicized, and chronically corrupt. It has performed well in certain operations; overall, however, that is a rare phenomenon. Arguably, the primary reason for this state of affairs is the government's persistent failure to invest in law enforcement reform and modernization. It is ironic that despite frequent internal crises since its inception in 1947, ranging from ethnic confrontations and sectarian battles to a sharp rise in criminal activity and growing insurgencies, both political and military policymakers have never given this sector top priority. Hence, poor police performance in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency is not surprising. The fact that the police successfully challenged some militant religious groups in Punjab and tackled an insurgency-like situation in Karachi in the late 1990s shows that they do have the potential to deliver the desired results when political support is present and resources are provided...."