Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pakistan

[op-ed snap] Trump’s Pakistan testop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Q.) “US president’s new South Asia doctrine threatening Pakistan with dire consequences if it fails to check jihadists could lead Rawalpindi to revive the policy of strategic defiance.” Critically examine.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Article critically analyse the consequences of the new Afghan Policy.



  1. The article talks about the US president’s new South Asia doctrine

The idea of Strategic Defiance

  1. In 1991, a war began to descend over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq
  2. Pakistan, at that time, believed the war would create a Zionist-led order in West Asia
  3. Once the United States started the war, Pakistan would lead a fightback by mid-sized powers like Iraq and Iran, helped by China
  4. This new idea was called “strategic defiance”
  5. However, strategic defiance didn’t actually work for a country(like Pakistan) addicted to United States’ patronage

Consequence of Trump’s new South Asia Doctrine

  1. This new doctrine is threatening Pakistan with severe consequences
  2. And this has made strategic defiance relevant again

The new South Asia strategy of the US

  1. The pillars of the new South Asia strategy are
    (1) Open-ended commitment to the Afghan war, with the use of all the instruments of American power
    (2) A greater role for India there, strategic partnership with India and destroying terror safe-havens in Pakistan
  2. And with it, growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence

Up and Down of the US aid to Pakistan

  1. Each time the United States has cut aid to Pakistan, geopolitical situations forced it to reverse course
  2. In 1954, Cold War alliance-building led economic and military assistance to surge steadily to $3 billion in 1963
  3. Aid fell to near-zero levels after the United States detected Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons programme in 1980
  4. But the anti-Soviet Union jihad in Afghanistan saw the United States change course yet again, and started giving aid of over $ 1 billion per year through most of the 1980s
  5. The 1990s saw a sharp reduction in aid yet again, after the anti-Soviet jihad ended
  6. But it surged after 9/11, rising to historic levels of $4.5 billion in 2010

Options in front of the US against terrorism(originated from pakistan)

  1. The United States has the capacity to target jihadist infrastructure and individuals deep inside Pakistan
  2. It could also unleash its Afghan allies’ covert assets to execute retaliatory terrorism in Pakistan
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