A pandemic tests governments' performance against four policy dilemmas; from preventing panic and economic collapse to calibrating the severity of response and controlling the narrative. The writer harks back to the agonies of the Bombay plague of 1896 and the dilemmas left unresolved
Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Department of War Studies, King's College, London
Tim Willasey-Wilsey is a former British diplomat. In a career spanning 27 years he served mainly in Southern Africa, Central America and South Asia. In addition to a posting in Islamabad, Pakistan he was later a frequent visitor to India, Afghanistan and North East Asia as a Director in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Since leaving government service Tim has been advising British companies on international affairs and government relations. He is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London's Department of War Studies and is an elected member of the Council at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs). Tim writes and lectures on a wide range of subjects including South Asia, Liberation Movements and Insurgency, Terrorism, and Conflict Resolution. Tim has an MA in Modern History from St Andrews University in Scotland.
Afghanistan, Indo-Pakistan relations, Pakistan, Insurgency and Terrorism, Asia Pacific Security, Conflict Resolution
Last modified: March 26, 2020
The signing of an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban on February 29 may result in the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which is contingent upon the Taliban’s adherence to certain conditions. The end of the West’s 19-year-long Afghan campaign – if Pakistan does not turn spoiler – is of vital interest to India
Gwadar has lain in relative obscurity since 1958 when Oman sold it to Pakistan. It was only 50 years later that the Chinese ‘rediscovered’ it. Pakistan and China have much to learn from the British experience of this strategic asset
As the United States considers its policy options towards North Korea it must understand that Pyongyang has been thinking about military conflict for decades. It too will have military plans and they could pose major challenges for the U.S. This is why China and South Korea–and U.S. regional experts too–prefer the diplomatic route
A Pakistani committee has recommended to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Gilgit-Baltistan should be declared the country’s fifth province. For 70 years Pakistan has avoided integrating its occupied parts of Kashmir for fear of damaging its legal position. That calculation may now have changed
The Russians have concluded that the Afghan Taliban offer a better shield against the Islamic State than the old Northern Alliance. A negotiated settlement in Afghanistan could be achieved if Washington and New Delhi join Moscow, Beijing, Islamabad and Tehran in a joint effort.
India’s new focus on Balochistan has more to do with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) than with Kashmir. China understands that CPEC may not be achievable. But there are real dangers in reviving Pakistani fears of secessionism and in broadening the field of Indo-Pakistani conflict beyond the confines of Kashmir.
Is China actively building up its maritime presence in the Arabian Sea, to dominate vital sea lanes and perhaps encircle India with a chain of naval bases? There can be little doubt that China views Gwadar as a potentially useful asset. China, however, will know better than anyone that Gwadar has two considerable limitations.
The shifting geopolitics in Asia presented an opportunity for China to rebalance its relations with India during the visit of President Xi Jinping to New Delhi in September. However, the meeting proved to be another missed opportunity for the two countries.
Political disputes and popular passions in North East Asia argue for discreet diplomacy and the provision of mutual assurances to prevent conflict and escalation.