The United States and Bangladesh

Prof. Jayanta Kumar Ray is currently Maulana Azad Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, since October 2011. He was Senior Research Associate at MP-IDSA (then IDSA) New Delhi from 1971 to 1973.
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  • March 2021
    From the Archives

    The policies, actions and postures of the United States Administration towards Bangladesh from March 1971 to December 1971 form the subject matter of this article.

    The basic policy of the United States Government towards the newly emergent state was governed by the desire to preserve the territorial integrity of Pakistan ruled by General Yahya Khan and his aides, and to provide overt and covert economic and military support to Pakistan. A policy is expected to be based on perceived realities, political and moral. The large deviation of American policy from these realities provoked widespread criticism in Bangladesh, India, as also in the United States. The means adopted by the United States Administration to justify this deviation ranged from blatant untruths to sophisticated political manoeuvres. A point to be emphasized is that the Administration did not ‘blunder’, into any of the measures it chose to implement its policy; it conformed to the general pattern of relations between the Governments of the United States and Pakistan evolving since the middle fifties. Failures converted what was essentially cynical, into something ridiculous.