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  • Commentary posted April 8, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Afghan election: After encouraging turnout, Obama must stick with support for war-torn country

    Afghans went to the polls Saturday, but results won’t be in for at least another two weeks. If none of the candidates wins a majority of votes (the most likely scenario), a run-off election will have to be held probably in late May or early June. The Taliban did their best to deter voting and undermine the electoral process in Afghanistan. In the weeks running up to…

  • Commentary posted April 2, 2014 by Lisa Curtis India and Pakistan Under Modi

    Indian election results will not be in for another six weeks, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems on track to win the most parliamentary seats, making it likely that Narendra Modi will be the country’s next prime minister. With Modi’s rise to power comes an increased likelihood of greater Indo-Pakistani tensions and potential for military escalation, especially if…

  • Issue Brief posted March 24, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Afghanistan–Pakistan: U.S. Must Ensure that Its Military Gear Does Not Exacerbate Regional Tensions

    After 12 years of fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan and failing to convince Pakistani leaders to crack down decisively on terrorist bases on their side of the border, American military planners are considering providing Pakistan with billions in leftover equipment from the war. A Washington Post story from last weekend indicates that U.S. military planners are…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Afghanistan’s future - a haven for international terrorism?

    Doubts about the future stability of Afghanistan and fears of its revival as a hotbed for international terrorism are on the rise as hopes fade over a US deal to leave behind some troops. A major concern is who will fill the security vacuum left by the withdrawal of international forces by the end of 2014? The Taliban and its allies, such as the powerful Islamist…

  • Issue Brief posted February 11, 2014 by Lisa Curtis How to Ensure That a U.S. Troop Drawdown Does Not Destabilize Afghanistan

    The Obama Administration has lost confidence in the government in Afghanistan, and it is easy to understand why. After the loss of nearly 2,300 U.S. troops in 12 years of military operations and the investment of over $90 billion in U.S. reconstruction aid, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a security pact allowing for a residual U.S. force presence…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Bangladesh election backlash threatens economic progress

    International attention has turned to Bangladesh after post-election turmoil threatens to destabilise and jeopardise democracy in this pivotal Muslim country, writes Lisa Curtis. Bangladesh held national elections on January 5, 2014, that were marked by lack of participation by the main opposition party and its allies, violent clashes among rival supporters, and…

  • Commentary posted December 21, 2013 by Lisa Curtis Time to arrest downward spiral: US must say sorry and India cut rhetoric

    US Secretary of State John Kerry's expression of regret over the US arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade is not enough to get relations back on an even keel. For the sake of the partnership, which Secretary Kerry himself has referred to as one of the most important for the US in the twenty-first century, the US must apologize for the manner in which Khobragade…

  • Backgrounder posted December 20, 2013 by Lisa Curtis, Maneeza Hossain Combating Islamism in South Asia: Keeping Bangladesh on the Democratic Path

    Bangladesh has experienced significant political tumult in the past year and there is concern that as the parliamentary election (scheduled for January 5, 2014) approaches, street violence will escalate, jeopardizing the country’s nascent democratic system. While the threat from terrorism had diminished to some extent under the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,…

  • Commentary posted December 3, 2013 by Lisa Curtis "Delusions" and Disappointment in Pakistan

    While testifying before a House of Representatives Joint Subcommittee hearing last month, I raised the uncomfortable fact that, despite receiving nearly $27 billion in U.S. aid over the last decade, Islamabad continues to pursue a self-defeating and dangerous policy of supporting some terrorists, while fighting others. Moreover, as terrorist bombs continue to…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2013 by Lisa Curtis Nato's total withdrawal from Afghanistan could rock Asia stability

    NATO'S withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 is likely to have far-reaching implications for Central and South Asia. And total withdrawal of troops could be devastating for regional security and jeopardise the safety of western nations, say analysts. The stability of the region is linked directly to the US’s long-term military and economic commitment to Afghanistan…

  • Testimony posted November 7, 2013 by Lisa Curtis After the Withdrawal: The Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Part II)

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives October 29, 2013 Lisa Curtis Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies…

  • Issue Brief posted October 18, 2013 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Should Press China to Abide by NSG Rules on Pakistani Nuclear Cooperation

    China has agreed to provide Pakistan two new civil nuclear reactors, even though the U.S. and other countries have told the Chinese that the sale would violate its Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) commitments. This action indicates that China is uninterested in working with the U.S. to promote stability in the subcontinent and instead is focused on supporting its historical…

  • Commentary posted October 3, 2013 by Lisa Curtis PM Singh Visit: Restoring U.S. Confidence in Relationship

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s September 27th meetings in Washington are unlikely to generate the same level of enthusiasm as his November 2009 visit. At that time, there were high expectations in Washington that India would play a crucial role in U.S. foreign policy, as evidenced by the fact that Singh made the first state-level visit of Obama’s first term. Four…

  • Backgrounder posted September 30, 2013 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Counternarcotics Policy: Essential to Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan

    Afghanistan is the number one producer of opium (the raw material for heroin), producing over 90 percent of the world total.[1] Gross revenue from drugs is equal to about 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). When Pakistan transitioned from a drug-producing country to a drug-transit country and the Soviets occupied Afghanistan during the 1980s,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 26, 2013 by Lisa Curtis India: Congress and White House Should Have Modest Expectations for PM Singh Visit

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday is unlikely to result in any major breakthroughs in the relationship. At most, it will provide an opportunity for the two sides to continue a strategic dialogue on critical global and regional issues. Disappointment among the American business community over India’s lack of economic…