As the Middle East encounters a proliferation of turmoil and angst concerning its future, the United States is struggling to define its foreign policy in the region. Weeks after the Obama administration decided to arm the Syrian rebels in a bloody civil war, the Egyptian people have taken to the streets to uproot an Islamist, U.S.-supported regime. As Iran continues to pursue its nuclear programs, Iraq continues to grapple with the remains of a botched American invasion and occupation. Meanwhile, Afghani security forces are facing the probability of a Taliban resurgence come America’s exit in 2014. Amidst this utter chaos, the United States has a murky position at best as it relates to the Middle East.

Where U.S. foreign policy cannot be categorized as murky or hazy, however, is Southeast Asia. Regrettably, this is because we have not developed a serious policy toward the region that is subject to scrutiny. The above-cited crises in the Middle East are both serious and threatening, but global partnerships mitigate such crises overnight. Take, for instance, the Bosnia and Kosovo interventions in the 1990s. These interferences saved countless lives and required multilateral networks. In the 21st Century, even that scenario has somewhat changed. If political progress is going to occur on an international scale, European bonds alone may no longer suffice.

Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent, deserves much more attention from the current administration. India in particular, located in Southeast Asia, requires a long overdue outreach campaign. As the world’s largest Democracy, India also happens to be secular. Consequently, with constitutionally congruent resumes, it remains a mystery to many observers why the United States has failed to strike a more meaningful relationship with India. To the contrary, in fact, Secretary of State John Kerry proposed in April to drop American foreign aid to India by 16 percent. Foreign aid, of course, is a quite unpopular subject according to most Americans. If the U.S. were going to be in the foreign aid business, however, one would hope that India should receive financial assistance before states such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, where American taxpayer money has been unable to purchase peace.

Supposing the Obama administration had worked diligently on developing a sturdy partnership with India, the United States would be in a better position to offer economic assistance to those Indians currently suffering from the catastrophic floods that arrived in June. Killing about 1,000 people and rendering 3,000 missing, floods in the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh were the most disastrous experienced across Northern India in 100 years. As for the floods’ effects on the region, local residents heavily depend on tourism to sustain their livelihoods, a reality now harshly compromised. In addition, the road webs themselves will take months to repair.

Needless to expound further, the devastation and heartache for Indians will continue for quite some time. All this, keep in mind, occurred after the U.S. Secretary of State requested a drop in foreign aid to India. Whereas many states that receive support from the United States either squander or abuse that aid, India is a secular Democracy that actually deserves support, despite its caste system’s shortcomings.

If the request to diminish foreign aid coinciding with the calamitous floods in India was not enough, the Obama administration continues to operate against India through a disturbing partnership with Pakistan. The American relationship with Pakistan has baffled many foreign policy analysts, much more the American public, and much more the Indian public. Three simple truths may be reason enough for the U.S. to reconsider its allegiances between itself, Pakistan, and India.

First, as a non-signatory to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), Pakistan paradoxically has nuclear weapons. While this is not news, it is worth noting because the country’s political and religious radicals make it somewhat equivalent to Iran in its eventual ambitions. India, which also posseses nuclear weapons, differs from Pakistan’s political and nuclear rhetoric, making India a much more viable partner for the United States so long as nonproliferation remains an ultimate endgame.

Second, Pakistan harbored Osama Bin Laden near the state capital of Islamabad. Even if Pakistan is awarded the benefit of the doubt concerning Bin Laden’s whereabouts, the United States still lacked enough trust to at least inform Pakistan before invading the compound on that fateful night. Harboring terrorism, at the very least, ought to be considered a negative on the foreign relations scale. Third, the Taliban that American forces worked to eradicate from Afghanistan was Pakistan’s idea from the very beginning, with roots tracing back to the Soviet War in Afghanistan. As the U.S. executes its exit strategy and the Taliban begins to initiate its homecoming, many fail to remember that Pakistan has always planned to use the Taliban to install a neighboring colony of its own.

The U.S. need not always act unilaterally in foreign affairs. Moreover, with an increasingly globalized economy, U.S. foreign policy can ill afford to shrug off entire regions of the world in attempts to focus on others. Rather, efforts ought to be made to build effective problem-solving partnerships. Whether one subscribes to the Henry Kissinger or Noam Chomsky school of foreign policy, there are always decisions to be made on the world stage. Here, the United States has ostensibly made its decision to proportionally ignore Southeast Asia at India’s expense.