President Donald Trump, national security advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have begun using the term “Indo-Pacific” in recent months to refer to the region that extends from the west coast of the U.S. to the west coast of India. For decades previously, American leaders had called ...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled the Trump administration will be leaning on India to offset China’s regional influence, hailing deeper defense cooperation with New Delhi in remarks Wednesday. “Our defense ties are growing,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International ...

China and India have backed down from a simmering dispute over their border in the Himalayan mountains, Chinese and Indian officials said Monday. The détente comes as Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping prepare to meet in China at a conference of the BRICS bloc of ...

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a group designated by both the U.S. and Pakistan as a terrorist organization, continues to mount attacks against Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region. It  operates under the guidance of Pakistan’s intelligence service, known as the ISI, as part of the ISI’s regional “proxy” strategy. However, LeT’s ...

While much of the United States’ attention in South Asia has centered on battling al Qaeda, ISIS, the Haqqani network, and the Afghan Taliban, several other militant organizations, most notably Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), consistently wreak havoc in the region and directly threaten U.S. interests and security. Although LeT does not have ...

Last November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented a demonetization of the country's two most popular bank notes, sparking chaos across the country as people tried to deposit their cash before it became worthless. However, one year later, the Indian economy is growing at a healthy seven percent annually, and ...

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well known for his massive Twitter following – roughly 32 million – and obsession with taking selfies at every occasion. But it was his promise to bring the economic success and clean governance of his home state of Gujarat to the rest of India ...

India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to execute two highly ambitious programs: modernizing its military while also increasing the relative weight of domestic military production. These are both critical goals, but in the short term they often come into conflict, forcing India to choose between buying the most ...

The recent tensions between India and China have entered their sixth week. What began as a dispute over the location of a Chinese road building project along a contested border in Bhutan has drawn Asia’s two strongest powers deeper into a decades-long issue over sovereign territory and regional influence. China ...

After six weeks, tensions remain high in the Dolam Plateau (within the Doklam area), a contested border area nestled between India, China, and Bhutan. China’s road building project on a disputed portion of its border with Bhutan presents a strategic threat, according to India. Such a road would allow Chinese ...

After six weeks of tension between China and India over a Chinese road building project on contested territory, neither side is prepared to back down. Known as the Doklam Plateau, this small area high up in the Himalayas where Bhutan, India, and China share a vaguely defined border, is now ...

At first glance, the similarities between President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi point to a foundation for a strong relationship. Both wish to build their countries’ economies—Trump has his “America First” slogan while Modi is pushing his “Make in India” program. Both are political populists with strong ...

A quarter of a century after the normalization of relations between India and Israel, the strength of Indo-Israeli ties can be measured by the continuing attention and coverage the subject receives in the media and in academic circles. While the scope of bilateral trade is not significant (hovering around $6 ...

While al Qaeda’s affiliates in North Africa, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen continue to grab headlines, the terrorist network has surreptitiously expanded eastward, entrenching itself throughout the Indian subcontinent. “Al Qaeda’s reach in South Asia is deeper than what not only the news headlines, but also the U.S. government, may suggest,” explains ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, to discuss the threat posed by al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). According to Kugelman, al Qaeda has managed to “spread its tentacles across the Indian Subcontinent ...

While al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) may be regionally focused, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, says “that doesn’t mean AQIS can be divorced from al Qaeda’s aspirations to attack the West.” In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Gartenstein-Ross also said ...

Contacts between India and the Jewish people, whether in ancient Israel, in India itself, or in the Diaspora, go back to remote antiquity. But it was only in the 20th century, when both India (1947) and Israel (1948) achieved independence that these contacts became geopolitically relevant.  Today, there are four ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with S. Samuel Rajiv, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses based in New Delhi, India, to discuss the deepening relationship between India and Israel. According to Rajiv, “Israel is an important partner for India as it aims to achieve its developmental ...

With the Middle East mired in a constant state of turmoil, reoccurring tectonic shifts across the region have encouraged new partnerships, sometimes between unlikely players. One such blossoming relationship is the India-Israel alliance. “Israel and India have a firm alliance, between two peoples and two states with illustrious and greatly ...

As an economic power and pivotal regional player in Asia, India is home to the second-highest number of internet users of any country in the world. Its role in establishing norms in cyberspace, as well as how it approaches securing networks, could have a lasting impact on the security and ...

Security researchers and policymakers around the world are struggling with the challenge of securing the digital networks that governments, private companies, and people in general depend on every day. While the most common points of reference to engagements in cyberspace are in the United States, Europe, Russia, and China, other ...

As connectivity increases, India is beginning to put in motion efforts to secure its government and private networks. Like other countries, India is experiencing the an abundance of cybercrime, hacktivism, and cyber espionage. The Cipher Brief spoke with Cherian Samuel, Research Fellow in the Strategic Technologies Centre at the Institute ...

India’s growing wealth and regional influence has afforded it the ability and cause to develop a more technologically advanced defense industry. However, since India opened its defense industry to private companies in 2001, progress has been slow in diminishing bureaucratic barriers that hinder innovation. The Cipher Brief spoke with retired ...

Lockheed Martin is in the midst of a lucrative deal to move production of America’s venerable F-16 fighter jet to India. While there are no more U.S. military contracts for the aging fighter, it is still very popular abroad, and the deal aims to benefit India’s domestic defense industry and ...

In an announcement that caught many by surprise, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government would discontinue its two largest currency denominations in an effort to battle corruption, unreported income, and even terrorism. The move is indicative of a leadership style Indians have come to expect: taking bold and ...

Since becoming prime minister in 2014, Narendra Modi has pursued a more prominent and active role for India on the world stage in a bid to increase India’s international prestige. By shifting away from India’s longstanding policy of nonalignment, Modi has forged new partnerships that he hopes will benefit the ...

Before becoming prime minister, Narendra Modi became famous for developing the “Gujarat Model” for economic growth. Despite being poor in tourism and natural resources, Modi’s state government in Gujarat attracted foreign investment and developed a booming local industry based on trade and manufacturing. By the end of his 14 year ...

In the latest cross border clash between Pakistan and India, an elderly woman and Indian soldier were killed and two others were injured, according to an Indian news agency. Press Trust of India also reported that, since September 29th, 60 such cross-border incursions by Pakistani militants have occurred across the ...

India and Pakistan have experienced numerous militarized engagements and three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Of particular note is that India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear status has not resolved the security challenges of Kashmir; in fact, it has continued to be a flashpoint for open conflict between the two ...

As India and Pakistan near the 70th year of their separation, contention over Kashmir shows no signs of abating. Border clashes between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) have increased in tempo since an attack on an Indian army base left 19 Indian soldiers dead in September. ...

A hypersonic missile launched from mainland China could strike a U.S. carrier group located anywhere in the South China Sea in under 20 minutes. That’s a hypothetical right now, but hypersonics are poised to be the next big thing in defense technology. A hypersonic weapon is any projectile that is ...

In recent years, defense analysts have increasingly turned their attention to the development of hypersonic weapons, a class of systems intended to strike fast, at range, and evade most existing defenses. Generally speaking, a hypersonic weapon is a system in which the kill vehicle (carrying the warhead) travels in excess ...

In the latest dispute between India and Pakistan, Islamabad has taken New Delhi to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague over a longstanding water treaty. The move does not bode well for bilateral mediation between the two adversarial neighbors, and it underscores the greater difficulty of solving water ...

South Asia’s critical transboundary waterways are facing unprecedented pressures as a result of rapidly increasing populations, high demand for natural resources, and the consequences of climate change. These challenges, combined with ineffective and wasteful governmental management, are intensifying water scarcity conditions and stoking tensions in an already volatile region. The ...

A week ago, Indian armed forces killed Burhan Wani, the infamous 21 year-old commander of the Kashmiri militant separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). Burhan had joined Hizbul Mujahideen at the age of 15, helped resurrect the once dominant insurgent group from life-support, and gained influence through passionate anti-India speeches and ...

A May 15 test of India’s anti-ballistic missile system fanned the flames of a nuclear standoff 45 years in the making. Pakistan voiced “serious concern” over the test that it believes could nullify its nuclear deterrent against its long standing enemy. Of the nine nuclear armed states, Pakistan and India ...

The adversarial history between India and Pakistan is compounded by each nation’s firm stance on the possession of nuclear weapons. As each country moves to expand its capabilities, it has become more important than ever before to bring both countries into agreement with international arms control norms. The Cipher Brief ...

South Asia is the region of the world at highest risk of suffering a nuclear crisis due to an explosive mixture of unresolved territorial disputes, cross-border terrorism, and growing nuclear arsenals. While the Middle East will remain a focal point for international nonproliferation efforts for the foreseeable future, the United ...

Defense Secretary Ash Carter left India on Tuesday after a three-day trip focused on deepening ties to the country that has been eyed as the significant counterweight to China in the region. With the US and India agreeing to strengthen maritime security cooperation and in principle to share military logistics, ...

Sri Lanka’s many harbors and its location amidst major shipping routes bestow strategic importance on the island nation and have also made it one of the many sites where India and China are competing for influence. In an effort by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s government to increase cooperation with ...

As China, the current economic superpower of the East, becomes increasingly unstable and its markets unpredictable, many are focusing newfound attention southward on India. With its economy growing at a rate of seven percent, India is poised for an economic surge similar to that of China, with the benefit of ...

Former Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Teresita Schaffer, discussed with The Cipher Brief the continued importance of a close U.S.-India relationship.  Schaffer explained India’s tenuous security dynamic with China and Pakistan, and emphasized the importance of continuing active U.S.-Indian consultation and cooperation on East Asian security issues as India shapes its ...

Recent efforts by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have resurrected the idea of rapprochement between India and Pakistan. So successful were these efforts that Pakistani militants felt compelled to stage an attack on an airbase in Indian Punjab early last month to derail them. ...

China and India are gradually assuming leading positions at the global and regional levels, with over $11 trillion and $2 trillion in gross domestic product respectively. China initiated a comprehensive plan for expanding its footprint in Asia, Europe, and Africa through its Silk Road and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China’s ...

The Himalayan mountain range separates the world’s two most populous states, India and China, whose rapidly expanding economies are instrumental in the ongoing shift of the global balance of power towards the East.  India and China have many things in common: both are developing Asian countries struggling to compete in ...

India and China agree that the global political architecture is undergoing a fundamental transformation with gravity increasingly shifting from the Atlantic to Indo-Pacific. Both have pronounced the 21st Century as India’s, China’s or Asian Century. However, the fate of this century will be determined by the relationship between the two, ...

India and China, two of the oldest civilizations, had friendly relations and learned from each other in history. As Rabindranath Tagore put it, “China and India are very old and beloved brothers.” The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, or Panchsheel Agreement of 1954, was a milestone of India-China brotherhood and ...

At least since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers and analysts have devoted considerable thought to the dissonance between existing international institutions and the shifting global order. It is now widely recognized that the emerging powers of the 21st century—such as China and India—have yet to be accommodated ...

It’s one of, if not the most, dangerous border in the world.  Nuclear-armed powers, India and Pakistan, have a history of strained relations since their independence from Great Britain in 1947, fighting three wars and regularly exchanging fire across their heavily militarized border. Two of the wars were over their ...

Nowhere on earth is an act of terrorism more likely to spark a nuclear war than in South Asia. This is by no means a unique or recent observation. In early 2010, I wrote a “Contingency Planning Memorandum” for the Council on Foreign Relations suggesting that in the aftermath of ...