Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2009

Perspectives from Fragile Crescent: A South Asia Crisis Simulation

Christopher S. Robinson, Steven J. Tomisek, Kenneth Kligge

February 2009

Institute for National Strategic Studies


The Obama administration has arguably inherited the toughest national security environment since the end of World War II. Instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan has propelled South Asia to the top of a U.S. national security agenda already crowded with a long list of major problems that includes North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.1 The political, security, and economic trends in Afghanistan and Pakistan have taken a turn for the worse, as the two countries confront an increasingly violent Taliban-led insurgency and al Qaeda–linked militant jihadist groups. To make matters even worse, Pakistan’s relations with India have been damaged by the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. In February 2009, as national security experts