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Thursday, June 6, 2024

US ignores Pakistan in its National Security Strategy 2022

Pakistan was mentioned 19 times in President Obama’s 2010 national security strategy. However, in the recently published 48-page long document, Pakistan was not mentioned even once.

The US government recently published its National Security Strategy 2022 (NSS), and it is alarming that the US has completely ignored Pakistan in the document. The US also left out Saudi Arabia.

Pertinent to mention that Pakistan was mentioned 19 times in President Obama’s 2010 national security strategy. However, in the recently published 48-page long document, Pakistan was not mentioned even once, and this is being considered a sharp turn of the US policy on Pakistan which was also absent from the 2021 strategy paper.

While the document mentions terrorism and other geo-strategic threats in the South and Central Asian region, it does not name Pakistan as an ally needed to tackle those threats, for instance, the NSS talks about ending the US war in Afghanistan but emphasised that it will ensure Afghanistan “never again serves as a safe haven for terrorist attacks on the United States or our allies and we will hold the Taliban accountable for its public commitments on counterterrorism”.

On the other hand, in order to do this, the US needs Pakistan because Pakistan shares borders with Afghanistan and has always played a mediating role between the US and the Taliban for peace.

Read more: New US special envoy for Afghanistan to meet Taliban in Pakistan

“We ended America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, having long ago achieved our objective of delivering justice to Osama Bin Laden and other key leadership of Al-Qa’ida. We are confident in our ability to maintain the fight against al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and associated forces from over the horizon, as we demonstrated with the operation to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the NSS said without even mentioning Pakistan which played a remarkable role in the US War on Terror in Afghanistan.

Key points in NSS

Interestingly, Russia and China are the only two countries that have their own separate chapters in the NSS, however, the document identifies China as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”.

Russia is mentioned as the second major threat to US global interests after China and is condemned for unleashing a “brutal and unprovoked war” on its neighbor Ukraine.

The National Security Strategy says “Russia poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system, recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order today,” while China, “by contrast, is the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that objective.”

Read more: Op-ed: Pakistan’s has concerns over the growing strategic ties of US India

On the other hand, India is praised as “the world’s largest democracy” and the US will work together with India, “bilaterally and multilaterally, to support our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.