The resurgent dynamism in South Asia has restored the region to its historic role as the crucial link between different parts of the vast Eurasian landmass including the Middle East, Central Asia, China, and Southeast Asia.  The waters of South Asia have also become an important part of new geographic conceptions such as the Indo-Pacific. Amidst this growing importance of South Asia, a number of questions have arisen in the context of the U.S. elections. Given the West’s widespread political fatigue with nation building, will the new administration turn its back on Afghanistan, or learn from past mistakes and recalibrate its strategy? Will the United States maintain its post-war primacy in the region, or pull back from the expansive goals that it set for itself in the past? Does Washington have the will and the resources to shape the South Asian strategic environment? What might be the consequences for South Asian economies, among the last in the world to globalize, of an American drift towards protectionism? How engaged will the United States remain on issues of good governance and democratization in the region?

This chapter was originally published in the Asia Foundation’s Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia.

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