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


Another Year of the War in Afghanistan

By A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner. Texas National Security Review. September 11, 2018.

Demystifying India’s Economic Transformation

By Deepak Lal. CapX. September 6, 2018.

Why the Taliban Should Accept Afghanistan’s Ceasefire Offer

By Sahar Khan. Axios. August 22, 2018.

Cato Studies

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.

The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa

By Jonas Hjort and Jonas Poulsen. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 93. December 20, 2017.

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.


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.

India Awakes

Featuring Johan Norberg and Ian Vásquez. August 14, 2015. Policy Forum.