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Pak-US military cooperation is a marriage of convenience?

The United States and Pakistan have had a complex and often disappointing "love-hate" relationship since 1947 — one severely tested during the 20-year U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan. We believe the time has come for serious policy consideration of whether and how both nations can achieve a more strategically beneficial and sustainable relationship.

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John Mearsheimer said that Alliances in International relations are a marriage of convenience. According to realist theorists like Morgenthau and Waltz, state interactions are only motivated by mutual advantages. If both parties can get something concrete out of their interaction, they can build and maintain their connections. These observable advantages are clearly reflected today in terms of business agreements, security agreements, social interactions, and the growth of shared trust for future business dealings.

According to realist theorists like Morgenthau and Waltz, state interactions are only motivated by mutual advantages. If both parties can get something concrete out of their interaction, they can build and maintain their connections. These observable advantages are clearly reflected today in terms of business agreements, security agreements, social interactions, and the growth of shared trust for future business dealings.

Read more: Where are Pak-US bilateral relations heading

Understanding the matter better

Conventionally, the use of military and economic force to influence other nations is referred to as “hard power.” However, during times of peace, military diplomatic efforts are seen as “soft power” because they promote communication between nations and help to resolve any ambiguity during times of crisis. For Pakistan, military diplomacy has arrived at a crucial time as the nation’s foreign policy undergoes “a geo-economic pivot”.

“We are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the UN Charter.” Quaid-e-Azam

US State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Pakistan for the sustainability of the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet & equipment at a cost of $450 USD million.

It also includes

  • F-16s fleet structural integrity program.
  • Electronic combat intl
  • security assistance program.
  • Engine management program.
  • Aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications.
  • Aircraft and engine spare parts/repairs.
  • Accessories and support equipment.
  • Classified and unclassified software upgrades and support.

Read more: How Russia-India relations are reshaping the Pak-US relations?

Security Cooperation Agency of the US Department of Defense said that “Pakistan has requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements”. Further they mentioned that” This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with US and partner forces in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations”.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Sharif’s coalition partner, has previously had solid ties with President Biden and will almost certainly continue to leverage its existing contacts in Washington D.C. to mend the broken relationship Such attempts will also have the approval and assistance of Pakistan’s formidable military establishment, which aims to strike a balance between ties with China and the US. For example, during the Islamabad Security Dialogue last month, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa stressed Pakistan’s significant and long-standing strategic relations with the US, in stark contrast to Khan’s anti-American rhetoric.

The military establishment was also dissatisfied with Khan’s foreign policy approach, according to Bajwa’s views. Even if relations between the US and Pakistan improve, they are likely to remain economic and security-focused. With the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Islamabad’s ties with Beijing will enter a new era of bilateral strategic and economic cooperation. Through this geopolitical prism, the US will assess its future interaction with Pakistan’s future governments.

Read more: Pak-USA trade surged by 54% in first 10 months of FY2022: SBP

In summary, the Pakistani foreign policy architecture may be successfully understood in the context of the global and regional environments from time to time, as well as to a significant extent in the internal environments. Therefore, given the multitude of geostrategic issues that Pakistan is currently facing, military diplomacy could not have arrived at a better moment. Moving toward and away from one’s neutral position during a period of shifting global alliances requires movement, not inaction. That is being elegantly ensured by the Pakistani military.

 

The writer is a graduate of the National Defense University, Islamabad. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

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