The two-hundred-year history of the United States’ involvement in South Asia–the key to understanding contemporary American policy in the region
South Asia looms large in American foreign policy. Over the past two decades, we have spent billions of dollars and thousands of human lives in the region, to seemingly little effect. As Srinath Raghavan reveals in Fierce Enigmas, this should not surprise us. For 230 years, America’s engagement with India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been characterized by short-term thinking and unintended consequences. Beginning with American traders in India in the eighteenth century, the region has become a locus for American efforts–secular and religious–to remake the world in its image.
The definitive history of US involvement in South Asia, Fierce Enigmas is also a clarion call to fundamentally rethink our approach to the region.