Print version

Balancing US Interests in India and Pakistan


Convincing the Pakistani military to focus its attention on the Afghan Taliban and associated groups has so far proved unsuccessful. The Obama administration's reliance on economic incentives and regional peace initiatives, such as a dialogue with India on Kashmir, has failed to deliver tangible results. Instead, India's footprint within Afghanistan has expanded, leaving Pakistani elites ever more anxious. Balancing Indian and Pakistani interests in South Asia remains a top priority for Western governments, and most importantly the US. In the current milieu this will require shifting Western bureaucratic focus from the age old and seemingly intractable Kashmir dispute to maintaining the peace within Afghanistan. This article outlines why this shift should be considered, and how the India-Pakistan trust deficit might be bridged.