New Priorities in South Asia: U.S. Policy toward India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan: Chairmen's Report of an Independent Task Force Cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society

New Priorities in South Asia: U.S. Policy toward India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan: Chairmen's Report of an Independent Task Force Cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society

New Priorities in South Asia: U.S. Policy toward India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan: Chairmen's Report of an Independent Task Force Cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society

New Priorities in South Asia: U.S. Policy toward India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan: Chairmen's Report of an Independent Task Force Cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society

Synopsis

South Asia may be halfway around the globe from the United States, but what happens there--as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, by al-Qaeda tragically underscored--can affect all Americans. The challenge to U.S. policy over the medium term is to design and implement a stable and sustained approach that will solidify bilateral ties with key countries in that region and give the United States an opportunity to influence major regional developments. The Chairmen's Report of an Independent Task Force on New Priorities in South Asia assesses the strengths and weaknesses of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and recommends how U.S. policy can best take advantage of the opportunities while addressing the dagers that are present. The report urges new initiatives to solidify the partnership with an economically and militarily stronger India; carefully calibrated support for pakistan in its efforts to become a moderate Muslim state; a more active, facilitative U.S. role in the volatile Kashmir conflict; a new framework for--and a close watch on--proliferation issues in the region; and redoubled support for the Hamid Karzai government's security initiatives in Afghanistan. The Task Force--chaired by former U.S. Ambassador to India Frank G. Wisner II, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Nicholas Platt, and President of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Marshall M. Bouton--benefited from the expertise of more than fifty members with a wide range of expertise in government, business and finance, the law, and academe.

Excerpt

After the September 11 attacks and the massing of a million men on the borders of nuclear-armed India and Pakistan in 2001, Americans should need no more reminders of the critical importance of South Asia to global security. Consolidating U.S. ties with India, and securing a moderate Muslim state in Pakistan, actively encouraging peaceful relations between Pakistan and India, and ensuring an Afghanistan where terrorists can never again find shelter—all must be U.S. priorities. the following Chairmen’s Report of an Independent Task Force on India and South Asia, cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society, calls on Congress and the Bush administration to adjust U.S. policy toward the region and give it sustained, high-level attention.

Founded in the summer of 2001 by a merger of the Councils Task Force on South Asia and the Asia Society’s Roundtable on India, the Task Force s original purpose was to examine ways to improve U.S. relations with India. But the tragic events of September 11, 2001, transformed the South Asian security context and led the Task Force to explore U.S. policy toward the countries of the region in a broader framework.

In June 2003, the Task Force produced a report assessing the situation in Afghanistan and issued recommendations to the U.S. government regarding immediate policy priorities in security and reconstruction assistance. Now, the Task Force has published its broader findings on American policy toward India and Pakistan and the Kashmir dispute.

This chairmen’s report offers several recommendations for improving U.S. relationships with three of the principal countries of South Asia and for protecting U.S. foreign policy interests in the region. the Task Force recommends strengthening the U.S.-India relationship in the economic and security realms; making Pakistan’s evolution a top foreign policy priority and tying the level of U.S. assistance to Pakistan’s undertaking specific economic, political . . .

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