The upcoming U.S. election will shape U.S. domestic politics as well as its foreign policy and role globally. In this virtual webinar South Asian Voices contributors discuss the impact the U.S. elections may have on inter-regional security dynamics and U.S. relations with India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  The Afghan peace process, the strengthening of U.S.-India ties in the Indo-Pacific, China-Pakistan ties vis-à-vis the United States, and deteriorating India-Pakistan relations, each complicate the future role the United States will play in the region. In this virtual panel discussion hosted by SAV and the Stimson Center on October 8th, SAV Editor-at-large Akriti Vasudeva moderated a discussion with SAV contributors Vivek Mishra, Sitara Noor, and Arash Yaqin to discuss what a Trump or Biden victory might look like for the region.

Watch their full discussion below. For more analysis on the impact of U.S. election on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, read the SAV series “U.S. Presidential Election 2020.”


Dr. Vivek Mishra is a Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi. He is also Deputy Director, Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies, Bhubaneswar & Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata (on leave). He completed his Ph.D. in International Relations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on the topic, “American Maritime Strategy in the Indian Ocean in the Post Cold War.” Previously, he was a Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War & Peace, School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York for the academic year 2015-2016. His broad research discipline is international Relations and his areas of research concern probing the American role in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific regions, including the role of the United States in security in South Asia, and Indo-U.S. defense relations, and the Indian defense sector. Dr. Mishra is also an editorial associate with the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, run by the Association of Indian Diplomats. He is South Asian Voices Fellow 2019-2020 at the Stimson Center.

Sitara Noor is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan and South Asian Voices Visiting Fellow 2019-2020. Previously, Sitara was the director of a Lahore-based policy consultancy and before that, a Research Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non Proliferation (VCDNP) in Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining the VCDNP, she worked at the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority under the Directorate of Nuclear Security and Physical Protection as an International Relations Analyst. She has been a faculty member at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad’s Department of International Relations for two years. She was also a visiting faculty at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Lahore, the Foreign Services Academy of Pakistan, and the Information Services Academy of Pakistan.

Arash Yaqin is an Afghan native who fled the Afghan civil war and lived as a refugee in Russia and Europe for two decades. However, after studying social management and working for several years at the Dutch Council for Refugees, the dream to rebuild his country took him back as diaspora to Afghanistan. In Kabul, he worked as a UN capacity-building advisor for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later for the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies. Then, for three years, he worked as a senior cultural affairs advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, where he managed the Fulbright Exchange Program. In 2016, he moved to the United States where he is pursuing his M.A. degree in Statecraft and National Security Affairs at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. His focus is on countering violent extremism and great power competition in South and Central Asia.

Akriti Vasudeva is a Research Analyst with the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Her research focuses on U.S.-India defense and strategic cooperation, geopolitics of South Asia and the Indo-Pacific, and Indian foreign policy. She is also Editor-at-large at South Asian Voices. Previously, she worked as a print journalist in India, reporting on environmental issues for The Indian Express in Mumbai, and on education policy for Hindustan Times, New Delhi. She has also held research positions at the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, among others. She holds an M.A. in Asian Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in information technology engineering from the University of Mumbai.


Image 1: Ken Jones via Flickr

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