"The U.S. government was taken by surprise, and they're basically trying to figure things out," Teresita Schaffer, a former State Department South Asia specialist and U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka, said of the Maoists' election win.
As the United States "contemplates the road ahead, the options are not particularly attractive," said Schaffer, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. The Maoists success is being received with great uneasiness in the U.S. government.
Walter Andersen, a professor of South Asia studies at Johns Hopkins University's school of international studies, said he was "almost certain" that the United States would not refuse to deal with the Maoists.
The main reason, he said, is that they have gained power in democratic elections.