The Strategic Value of India and Pakistan to the United States

Date of Graduation

Spring 1999


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The May 1998 nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan signaled their entry into the nuclear community as de facto nuclear weapons states. The tests focused the world's attention, if only momentarily, to the strife-ridden area of South Asia, which is dominated by the extremely volatile and antagonistic nations of India and Pakistan. The nations of the world, especially the United States of America, must not lose sight of the positive and negative importance of this historically war-torn region. India and Pakistan are of value to the United States for several reasons: the possibility of war in the Kashmir region, the military and political power associated with nuclear weapons, the danger of weapons transfers to third-party nations, and India and Pakistan's potential value in countering the growing power of the People's Republic of China. To capitalize on the value of India and Pakistan, the United States must understand the historical, religious, and strategic situation of each, and then develop deliberate, mutually-beneficial strategies for American relations with both nations.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© James L Richardson