United States in end-2022 is “reinventing” the strategic utility of Pakistan to US national security interests when Pakistan is widely acknowledged with its unprecedented political and economic meltdown qualifies to be a ‘Failed State’ raises serious doubts on credibility of US policy establishment’s geopolitical perspectives.
Multiple doubts stand raised by ongoing flawed US policy which could impact the laboriously built Indo Pacific Security architecture like the QUAD. India is central to both US security stakes in Indo Pacific and the Middle East. Pakistan figures nowhere in these security calculations. So why the US deviation?
The big question that needs to be answered at this stage is whether Pakistan has convincingly reinvented its strategic utility to the United States or whether the United States has on its own accord despite geopolitical factors militating against such a mis-step has proceeded to stumble into an abyss which could impose heavy costs on United States and Indo Pacific security.
Analytically, it is the United States on its own volition has embarked to wade into this geopolitical minefield which could impact the growing robust US -India Global Strategic Partnership.
Even China which for all strategic purposes has a ‘colonial stranglehold’ over Pakistan’s foreign policy directions, strategic policies, domestic politics and economy has “shirked” from bailing out Pakistan from its political and economic meltdown.
Obviously, either in the US State Department or in the Pentagon, someone is playing a ‘blind man’s bluff to bailout Nuclear Weapons armed Pakistan ‘Failed State’.
My analysis would indicate that it could be the Pentagon as present US Secretary of Defense, General Austin commanded US Central Command from 2013-16, and would have interacted with Pakistan Army hierarchy extensively. Pakistan Army Chief, General Bajwa also should have god inter-personal relations with General Austin.
Perceptionaly, Secretary of State Blinken was hard-pressed to defend US decision to release the US 450illion upgrade package for Pakistan Air Force F 16s on the ‘specious grounds’ that it was required for counter -terrorism operations. Where?
United States Biden Administration’s decision to reinvent Pakistan’s strategic utility runs counter to both his own Pakistan-policy and to Trump Administration policy of side-lining Pakistan for its “Double Timing” the United States in Afghanistan.
Going far deeper, then US Secretary of Statute Hillary Clinton in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had asserted on Pakistan as “I think it poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world”.
Post-Exit from Afghanistan of US Forces ordered by President Biden in August 2021 the ‘Failed State’ of Pakistan has emerged as even a bigger Threat impacting US security interests.
The Pakistan Threat to US security interests will multiply that much more if Pakistan’s ongoing political dynamics vote for return pf former PM Imran Khan. Surely, US policy establishment would not have missed this perspective.
Contextual backdrop having been laid out, we can now turn our attention to examine the adverse impacts that US reinventing the strategic utility of Pakistan can throw up in its wake.
Emphasised over the years in my writings was that Pakistan in the last decade has morphed into China’s ‘Frontline State’ serving China’s strategic interest in South Asia and the Middle East. In assuming that role Pakistan can hardly be expected to serve any of United States vital strategic interest in South Asia or in the Middle East other than tactically expedient transactional cooperation.
On the contrary, United States reinventing Pakistan’s strategic utility in 2022 runs risks of muddying the geopolitical underpinnings of the existing robust contours of US-India Global Strategic Partnership.
Two worrying factors hover here which could impact United States global strategic interests and global balance o power currently in favour of United States due to India’s geopolitical weight and United States enjoying strong convergence of strategic interests with India in vital strategic sub-systems around the globe.
India has reacted strongly against United States deviating from the set course of the past decade. India rightly perceives that the United States in 2022 is reverting to its old failed policies of balancing India by reinforcing Pakistan’s offensive capabilities.
Stressed by me for years has been the reality that India cannot be balanced by Pakistan even by added weight of United State reinforcing Pakistan’s offensive capabilities. India has existed for decades with US misperceived policies of Pakistan’s strategic utility.
The second worrying concern arising from United States misperceived policy of balancing India by arming Pakistan is that danger exists of United States unintended desire may be pushing India towards Russia from its present course of moving decoupling from its long-standing strategic links with Russia.
Can the United States afford these geopolitical and strategic costs of alienating India as the reasons advanced by United States to justify its present arms package to Pakistan border on the ridiculous?
Concluding, it needs to be stressed that while it is not India’s right to dictate United States strategic preferences the onus of unintended damaging the US-India Global Strategic Partnership lies on the United States for adopting for a self-inflicted grievous geopolitical injury.