2018 annual forecast

South Asia

Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders. The Himalayan Mountains form the northern border of South Asia, whose two main rivers, the Indus and the Ganges, support the region’s great population centers. India is the region’s dominant country, home to the world’s fastest growing economy. But its rivalry with neighboring Pakistan, a fellow nuclear power and growing consumer market, has made South Asia one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear flashpoints. The region is also a testament to how militancy and militarism can undermine the regional integration needed to unleash higher economic growth.

Dec 22, 2017 | 20:31 GMT
Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders.

Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders.

(CoolR/Shutterstock.com)
section Highlights
  • The slow deterioration of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship over their differences in Afghanistan in 2018 will push Islamabad to develop stronger relationships with Iran and Russia, while Washington solidifies its partnership with New Delhi.
  • Negotiations to resolve the war in Afghanistan probably won't materialize next year as Pakistan continues its support for the Taliban -- and as the United States sends 6,000 more troops to the conflict.
  • Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's corruption trial will weaken the country's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party and reinforce the military's political power.
  • Focusing on his bid for re-election in 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to refrain from introducing politically sensitive land and labor reforms next year.
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