Given the uncertainties in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, Central Asia will present both historic opportunities and serious challenges for the United States in the 21st century. The presence of oil and natural gas, coupled with the region’s geographic location, makes Central Asia strategically important to the United States. Instability in the greater Middle East and the war on terrorism are demanding a new strategic posture.

More on Central and South Asia


What Happened When We Kept out of the India-Pakistan Fracas?

By Doug Bandow. American Conservative. March 7, 2019.

Let’s Withdraw from Afghanistan, and Learn the Hard Lessons

By John Glaser. Daily News. March 5, 2019.

Modi Eyes Electoral Opportunity in India-Pakistan Conflict

By Sahar Khan. Axios. March 4, 2019.

Cato Studies

India’s New Protectionism Threatens Gains from Economic Reform

By Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. Policy Analysis No. 851. October 18, 2018.

War State, Trauma State: Why Afghanistan Remains Stuck in Conflict

By Erik Goepner. Policy Analysis No. 844. June 19, 2018.

Perverse Consequences of Well-Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India’s Child Labor Ban

By Prashant Bharadwaj, Leah K. Lakdawala, and Nicholas Li. Research Briefs in Economic Policy. February 14, 2018.

Cato Reviews & Journals

70. U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Defending Sweatshops

Pierre Lemieux. Regulation. Summer 2015.


Directorate S: The CIA and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Featuring Steve Coll, Shuja Nawaz, and Sahar Khan. March 20, 2018. Book Forum.

Afghanistan Going Forward: Surge, Negotiate, or Get Out?

Featuring Michael O’Hanlon, Stephen Biddle, Maxwell Pappas, Erik Goepner, & Christopher A. Preble. October 10, 2017. Policy Forum.

Twenty-Five Years of Indian Economic Reform: India’s Record and Prospects of Becoming a Major World Power

Featuring Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar and Ian Vásquez. June 22, 2016. Policy Forum.