Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship



The region of South Asia has been and remains an equation whose incredible complexity has repeatedly been underestimated and misunderstood by Western powers. For the United States, a proper policy approach to the Kashmir issue remains crucial to ensuring regional and global stability. If enacted well, the right policy could allow for advancements in nonproliferation and conflict mediation, successful competition against an increasingly aggressive China, and the insurance of the good graces of all sides for trade and counterterrorism purposes. The term “Kashmir policy” refers to the maintenance of diplomacy with both India and Pakistan bearing in mind both the propensity for conflict between the two states and broader US grand strategy. Henceforth, the question of what constitutes a proper approach will be considered in light of two models for predicting policy, the politics of domestic actors and the politics of the executive bureaucracy. Bearing in mind the ambiguity of these terms, a pithy overview of each model in the abstract will be provided. The various actors and forces within both models will be explored, both in relationship to each other and their effect on the model. Followingly, the impact of the various actors of each model on the official American policy towards the Kashmir issue will be examined considering the strengths and weaknesses of each. On the tail end of it all, an appraisal of the likely policy outcomes to arise from these two models will attempt to predict what the next decade of American relationships on the subcontinent will look like. Within this next decade, the primary strategic interests of the United States will shift eastward and come to bear on South Asia. Subsequently, predicting potential policies towards the Kashmir issue and the maintenance of relations with Islamabad and New Delhi alike is of increasing importance to American foreign affairs.



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