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US-Pakistan alliance not worth the trouble

US-Pakistan alliance not worth the trouble

This one’s really interesting. A recent (2011) Pakistani Ambassador to the US has written an insightful piece here. He says that the two countries’ interests just don’t overlap enough to make them allies, and both sides would do well to accept it.

There’s no hostility in what he says. He doesn’t see the countries as enemies – just not friends.

Wow! This sort of thinking is not too common! Herald of War thinks the Ambassador’s onto something here.

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2 Comments

  1. John says:

    I cant say I agree with you on this one ‘Herald’. I would have to say the author is simply splitting hairs for the sake of (published) argument. Academics are shameless! Relationships between nations must always be viewed as a long game. Its one thing for an American to say that there is a divergence of their interests, but it is another to truly understand the issues or interests which are influencing the behaviour of both nations. While the Americans are frustrated by ISI sponsoring Talib camps in the FTA, the Pakistani’s are equally frustrated (and incredibly insulted) by the persistant presence and strikes by swarms of MQ-9s. Pakistan knows the US is leaving Afghanistan and will have to face the fundamentalists on its own. Who can blame them for keeping a card or two up their sleeve for when the US is gone. But despite what may seem an impasse, diplomacy must continue. Just like marriage, sometimes relationships between nations can be strained. But whatever happens, the lines of communcation must be kept open. Otherwise, division without communication will lead to further misunderstanding and the relationship soured further. However, a reader of this article should go a bit further and imagine what the future might hold, rather than simply assess a shabby track record as done by the author. Pakistan has incredible (potential) influence. Simply by virtue of its location, it will prove decisive in the coming century. Sitting between Iran, India, China and the southern Soviet states, Pakistan will prove its worth to the US over the long term time and again. If the utility of Pakistan to the US is as basic as locating a staging base into a neighbouring country, or as complex as supporting an emerging Western, progressive and tolerant democracy in the midst of a region in turmoil it remains to be seen. But either way, it is easier to improve on a poor relationship by working at reducing the differences, than it is to start something from nothing!

  2. John,

    I quite agree Pakistan is a key part of the world, for the USA or for anyone else seeking global influence. How to make use of that for one’s own purposes without offending the Pakistanis is the question. And I simply don’t have an answer to it.

    It struck me as telling that a Pakistani Ambassador, since settled in America, doesn’t have the answer either!

    And thanks for getting the conversation going – that’s what I hope to see here on HoW.

    Herald

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The massive tale of revenge for Bali

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