Author Archive

The Davis Firestorm – The Schaffers’ Impressions from Pakistan

In a visit to Lahore and Islamabad in late February, Howie and Tezi Schaffer spoke with senior media representativeds, retired generals, former diplomats, military analysts, business people, politicians, academics, students and others. The conversation was “All Davis, all the time.” This incident has caused a crisis comparable to the ones that collapsed the U.S.-Pakistan relationship twice in the past. Both governments initially handled things badly but now want to step back from the brink. They have their work cut out from them.

To get the full flavor of our discussions and our analysis, click on Davis Case final.

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India’s Kashmir Policy

Howard and Teresita Schaffer’s comments on the Indian government’s latest initiatives in Kashmir. February 27, 2011.

After a summer of anguish and unrest in Kashmir, punctuated by an eloquent plea from the prime minister to “give peace a chance,” the Indian government in October appointed three non-officials to serve as “interlocutors” with all shades of opinion in Kashmir… Long-time observers of Kashmir argue that after the traumatic developments of last summer, people in the Valley are looking for ways to move forward toward more acceptable political arrangements. But they also caution that further incidents such as those that sparked last summer’s clashes could again inflame the situation. It is important in this context that the Indian government not again delude itself into thinking that the quieter atmosphere means that meaningful steps are no longer urgently needed.

Read the full commentary.

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The present situation (in Kashmir) favors India

Teresita C. Schaffer and Howard B. Schaffer speak with Samyukta Lakshman about the relationship between the U.S. and South Asia.

On Kashmir, I think the U.S. government does not favor Pakistan. It has taken a long time for Indian opinion to believe that view. I think it goes back to the Kargil attack by the Pakistanis across the Line of Control in 1999. To Pakistan’s dismay and India’s surprise, [the U.S.] supported the Indian position and declared that the sanctity of the LoC must be recognised by Pakistan.

Originally published by Gateway House on February 8, 2011.

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New Delhi’s New Outlook

A review essay by Teresita C. Schaffer of four books about Indian foreign policy: Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy, by Rajiv Sikri; India’s Foreign Policy: The Democracy Dimension, by S.D. Muni; The Long View from Delhi: To Define the Indian Grand Strategy for Foreign Policy, by Raja Menon and Rajiv Kumar; and In the National Interest: A Strategic Foreign Policy for India, by Rajiv Kumar and Santosh Kumar.

A few elements are common to all these snapshots of India’s foreign policy. The first is India’s desire to dominate its immediate neighbourhood. How it interprets the requirement for continued primacy has changed, seen most notable in the conclusion that a regular American presence in the Indian Ocean serves India’s interests (a conclusion Sikri might question). But whether or not an author places the troubled relationship with Pakistan at the top of India’s foreign-policy challenges, in all four studies, India’s determination to retain great-power status in South Asia is not open to serious question.

Originally published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the December 2010-January 2011 issue of Survival. Read the entire essay.

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Indian Ocean Geostrategic Environment: The View from South Asia

A paper by Teresita C. Schaffer on the Indian Ocean’s geostrategic importance.

For the countries of South Asia, three themes dominate the way they look on the Indian Ocean: India; China; and economics. Beyond that, their interest reflects geography, economics, political relationships, and each country’s extra-regional role. For India, the Indian Ocean has huge and growing strategic significance, and it figures importantly in relations with the United States.. For Pakistan, it is an arena in their epic rivalry with India. The strategic perspectives of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are more inward-looking, but the major significance of the Indian Ocean is economic.

Dated February 1, 2011. Read the entire paper.

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Richard Holbrooke, an American Legend

An obituary by Teresita C. Schaffer of American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, highlighting in particular his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Indians probably remember Holbrooke’s last assignment—Afghanistan and Pakistan—principally because of what it excluded: he did not have responsibility for India. He avoided any role on India-Pakistan issues, recognizing that this could only complicate his exceptionally difficult mandate. In a way, it is a shame he never had any direct involvement in U.S.-India ties. In the years before he took up his Afghanistan-Pakistan job, he visited India frequently, and was fascinated by the way it was emerging on the global scene. His twin passions for peacemaking and for power responded to different aspects of India’s post-Cold War foreign policy at a time when the United States and India were discovering how close their international interests had become.

Originally published by the News India Times on December 17, 2010.

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Obama in India: Many High Notes, Much Work Ahead

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on the accomplishments of Barack Obama’s fall 2010 visit to India, as well as work the countries still have to do.

As President Barack Obama’s plane headed eastward from New Delhi, he left India on a high. The India-U.S. partnership had been lifted out of the apparent slowdown of the past two years. The marquee announcement that the United States supported India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council had the headline-grabbing quality for which India’s policy watchers hungered.

Obama’s three-day visit produced some real accomplishments that will put more substance into the increasingly important partnership between India and the United States. It also left the two countries with a lot of work to do to realize that potential.

Originally published November 9, 2010 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Commentary. Read the entire article.

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Obama in India: Taking the Partnership Global

An article written by Teresita C. Schaffer on the transformation of the relationship between the United States and India.

Barack Obama’s trip to India this month will have moments of theater and high drama, and undoubtedly will produce an imposing list of “deliverables.” But its most important message is the expanding scope of the India-US partnership. Until late 2009, the Indo-US conversation, and most of the success stories in the new relationship, was confined to bilateral issues. In the past year, the two governments have begun serious conversations about security in Asia. In the coming year, the incipient discussion on global governance will become a major feature of US-India relations. For the first time, the two countries may have the ingredients needed for the strategic partnership both want.

Originally published November 5, 2010 by YaleGlobal.

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U.S. Engagement in Indian Health Care: What is the Impact?

A report by Teresita C. Schaffer for the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Global Health Policy Center.

This report assesses the impact of U.S. engagement with India’s health sector in the past six decades. The United States’ involvement with health in independent India goes back to the earliest days. The longest involvement is through the U.S. foreign aid program, which has worked primarily with the government of India. Other parts of the United States government have also been involved, chiefly the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and both the capacity-building and research activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Private American institutions have been involved in India, including foundations, universities, and medically oriented businesses, as well as private Americans, including many of Indian origin. In at least one case, the recently founded Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), both the American institution represent public-private collaboration.

Originally published by CSIS in November 2010. Read the entire report.

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The United States and India 10 Years Out

A working paper by Teresita C. Schaffer in conjunction with the Center for a New American Security’s study on the relationship between the U.S. and India.

India and the United States have transformed their relationship in the past 20 years. Looking ahead a decade or more, this trend is likely to continue. The two countries can expect strong economic ties and a lively security relationship, including defense trade and especially stronger cooperation in the Indian Ocean. Economic issues will remain important drivers of Indian foreign policy. Cooperation on the global scene will have ups and downs, but the two countries will gradually find more areas where they can work together. As India’s international trade encompasses more sophisticated and knowledge-based products, India will pursue economic interests that do not necessarily dovetail with those of the developing countries as a group. India-Pakistan relations are likely to remain brittle. India will continue to see China as its major strategic challenge.

Originally published by CNAS in October 2010. Read the entire paper.

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