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  • Issue Brief posted September 24, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Priorities for Prime Minister Modi’s Visit: U.S. and India Must Cooperate for Asian Stability

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States next week provides an opportunity to strengthen U.S.–India ties, which stagnated during the second term of Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh. During the visit, President Barack Obama should demonstrate the importance the U.S. attaches to the bilateral relationship and offer cooperation on economic, defense,…

  • Lecture posted September 15, 2014 by Lisa Curtis An Opportunity to Reenergize U.S.–India Relations

    Lisa Curtis If ever there were a time to expect U.S.–India relations to improve, many would say it is now. The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has promised to open the economy to more private investment, improve the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, create jobs for the rapidly growing youth population, and quicken…

  • Commentary posted August 26, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. India's Big WTO Mistake

    It appeared to be a done deal. Last December in Bali, the 159 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed off on the trade facilitation agreement (TFA). While not garnering much media attention, it should have. The accord was easily the largest multilateral trade agreement since the omnibus GATT (WTO’s predecessor) Uruguay Round in 1994. The TFA sought…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Is Modi Ready to Lead?

    The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India bodes well for the country's future economic prospects as well as its role in global affairs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to erase his reputation as a communal leader and to demonstrate he will rule the nation in a way that benefits all Indians, not just the Hindu majority. Whether he will live up to his…

  • Testimony posted July 16, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Indispensable Partners—Re-energizing U.S.–Indian Ties

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official…

  • Backgrounder posted June 2, 2014 by Lisa Curtis After the Election: Opportunity for Revitalizing U.S.–India Relations

    India’s recent election of a new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government presents an opportunity for reinvigorating U.S.–Indian ties, and ending the malaise that has taken over the relationship in the past few years. The previous government, led by the Congress Party under Manmohan Singh, had been weakened by a series of corruption scandals and showed little initiative in…

  • 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…