Among the most appealing changes brought by the end of the Cold War is the flourishing American relationship with the billion and a half people of South Asia. The United States shares many interests with the countries of the region. In general, the people of South Asia share our devotion to democracy, even if some of the governments fall short in that commitment. While undoubtedly there are feudal remnants and pockets of Islamic fundamentalism, most of the people in that region value human rights, oppose terrorism, and want to protect their increasingly endangered environment. A commitment to free markets is relatively new, but economic reform has strong intellectual support, and there is a growing middle class committed to opening the economies of the region. An entrepreneurship of ideas is also flourishing in South Asia. There are numerous independent think tanks where ideas compete and good ideas, like free markets, can grow.
The most important imperative of post-Cold War South Asia is that the countries and peoples of the region have decided to join the global economy and act on the global stage. They are attempting to reform their economies from socialism to free markets and someday graduate from the developing to the developed world. They will accomplish these goals with or without American participation. It is in America's best interest to act as a friend and partner to the countries of South Asia and participate with them in their transition.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Worth reading from the Heritage Foundation:U.S. Strategic Objectives in South Asia