Bolstering the “Chinese Model” in South Asia

The United States should launch a Marshall Plan-like initiative to reinforce economic cooperation between India and Pakistan

A previous post highlighted how growing economic engagement is now the driver of the peace dialogue India and Pakistan launched a year ago.  The guiding principle is the so-called “Chinese model” – that is, the two countries pattern their ties along the lines of the India-China relationship, which combines broadening economic integration, frequent interactions between the national leaderships, and pragmatic diplomacy focused on incremental gains.

If enhanced trade ties were to take hold between South Asia’s largest economies, they would produce significant commercial and (eventually) security dividends for both countries and indeed the entire region.  So it’s worth considering what the United States, the most significant extra-regional actor in South Asia, can do to reinforce this effort, which if it bears fruit would have a very positive impact on U.S. security interests. Continue reading