Pakistan-US Relations

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  • Wikileaked Warlogs: Will whistle-blowing change Af-Pak reality?

    While the US may continue to keep its contacts with the Pakistani army and its political leadership and strengthen its presence in Pakistan, can it contain the tide of Islamic radicalism prospering within Pakistan?

    August 05, 2010

    Sanket Telang asked: Why doesn't India Buy F-16s and F-18s from U.S.A? Is that not better than complaining about U.S selling arms to Pakistan?

    Cherian Samuel replies: India has no objections to buying the above mentioned aircraft from the USA; in fact, both Lockheed Martins’s F-16 Fighting Falcon and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet are among the six shortlisted contenders for the Indian Air Force’s intended purchase of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) worth $ 8.5 billion. There are merits and demerits to purchasing US aircraft; while these aircraft are cheaper than the other European manufactured aircraft in the fray, there are many limitations imposed by US laws and regulations governing export of sensitive technologies that reduce the capabilities of the aircraft on offer. While the US says it is willing to ensure that these aircraft come with the latest technologies, this is contingent on India signing a number of agreements, something the Indian government is unwilling to do, since they contain clauses that would impinge on our strategic autonomy. Problems with earlier purchases of weapons arising out of such clauses also raise questions of the reliability of the US as an arms supplier. These issues would have to be settled before India can go in for purchases.

    The issue of the US selling F-16s to Pakistan is a separate issue altogether. India has objected to the fact that the United States is funding weapons purchases by Pakistan, going up from $700 million in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2011, ostensibly for its counter-insurgency efforts. While much of these could be used in a conflict against India, it also frees up Pakistan to use its own funds to buy US armaments such as F-16s, thus indirectly fuelling an arms race in the sub-continent. The ultimate beneficiary of such an arms race would be armament manufacturers, be it in the US or elsewhere.

    US Arms Sales are propping up Pakistan as a Regional Challenger

    India is justified in seeing the US move to go ahead with the sale of the F-16s as an attempt to balance America’s strategic partnership with India by once again propping up Pakistan as a regional challenger.

    February 11, 2010

    US War on Terror and Indian Security Interests

    The most dangerous aspect of the war on terror from India’s security point of view has been the CIA’s monetary assistance to the ISI.

    December 11, 2009

    The Political undoing of Zardari

    The current change in the Chair of the NCA merely indicates the declining power of President Zardari and does not necessarily mean empowerment of the civilian government.

    December 04, 2009

    Cribbing Over Conditionalities

    While Pakistan could still try and develop a taste for grass by rejecting US assistance, there is no way it can economically sustain the fight against the Islamist insurgency without external assistance.

    October 08, 2009

    US-Pakistan Counter-Terrorism Cooperation: Dynamics and Challenges

    Pakistan is a frontline ally of the US in its Global War on Terrorism. After the 9/11 terrorist attack, the military regime was compelled by Washington to join the US effort to dismantle the Taliban-Al Qaida terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan and Pakistan that successive regimes had nurtured. While the Pakistani military regime’s cooperation is deemed to be crucial for the success of the US counter-terrorism strategy, there appear to be growing strains and challenges that give rise to fundamental questions about the outcomes of such cooperation.

    July 2006

    George Bush Puts Pakistan and Pervez Musharraf Out in the Cold

    US President George Bush's 26-hour visit to Pakistan was foredoomed to failure as the two leaders had two different sets of issues on their agenda for talks, which shows their divergent perceptions of mutual roles and concerns in the region. While terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and democracy held salience for George Bush, General Musharraf seemed inclined to forging strategic cooperation and securing civil nuclear technology and US mediation in Kashmir.

    March 11, 2006

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