• Wednesday, July 24, 2019

US reignites warmth with Pakistan leaving India sulking; New Delhi, Washington need meeting point to

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by OsmanAli98, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. OsmanAli98

    OsmanAli98 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It’s déjà vu all over again. Pakistan is America’s bae with India sulking in a corner. 1 January, 2018, looks so far away now when the President of the United States ushered in the new year with an announcement on Twitter that the US will no longer be fooled by Pakistan’s repeated “lies” and “deceit”. The tweet was seen as a long-awaited course-correction in America’s Pakistan policy and there was hope in New Delhi that new grounds could be broken in bilateral ties.

    While India had been relying on a diplomatic solution by delaying the imposition of tariffs, the White House removed India from the GSP programme, where under the ‘Generalised System of Preferences’, items from developing nations such as India get exemption-free entry into the US. Trump’s action affected $5.8 billion of Indian exports and overall tariff increased from “3 percent on average in January 2018 to 3.9 percent today”, according to Brown. India’s tariffs have hit $1.3 billion worth US exports from Californian almonds and walnuts to Washington apples.

    The real worry, as Brown points out, is not the tariffs, which are manageable at this stage but the fact that this “is just another excuse for the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” to impose even more duties on yet another country.” Trump didn’t disappoint. He keeps firing at India at regular intervals and the latest was on 9 June when he wrote on Twitter that: “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!”

    India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019



    While the trajectory of India-US relationship remains south and vibes project more friction in the near term, US ties with Pakistan has undergone another hairpin bend to now almost reach an equilibrium with Washington’s position during Barack Obama years. In the never-ending saga of US-Pakistan ties, suddenly Washington has undertaken a series of moves that Pakistan may legitimately claim as foreign policy “wins”.

    On Thursday, US media carried reports that Washington has granted Pakistan’s request and accordingly, Pakistan prime minister will be hosted by the POTUS at White House on 22 July. In a later news briefing, however, the US State Department has denied knowledge of any such development. It is likely a bureaucratic issue and the visit will go through.

    Second, the IMF has cleared all roadblocks and has granted Pakistan a loan of $6 billion under a programme. The first tranche of $991.4 million has already been transferred to State Bank of Pakistan, according to reports. It appears that all it took for IMF scepticism to go was some token action by Rawalpindi against Hafiz Saeed and freezing of Lashkar-e-Taiba funds. According to claims made by Pakistan’s ‘counter-terrorism’ department, 23 cases have been launched against the Mumbai attacks mastermind and 12 aides for using various trusts to collect funds and donations. We have all seen this charade before and the latest iteration fails to cause any mirth.

    Third, the US State Department has designated the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This was a long-standing Pakistani demand where Rawalpindi has continued decades of torture, killings and forced disappearances to cement its hold over the restive province. The move validates Pakistan’s atrocities and gives it licence to carry out further killings against its own people.

    These moves, taken together, are likely a reward for Pakistan which has promised to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to enable Trump to withdraw the remaining troops from Afghanistan. Besides, Pakistan has so far used its geographic location to strategic advantage by squeezing access of US military supplies to western forces still operating in Afghanistan through shortest possible route and forcing it to take the northern route via Russia and the central Asian republics.

    These are well-worn moves but Trump’s political compulsions in ending the Afghanistan war has forced his hands and worked to Pakistan’s advantage. Conversely, the distance with India has grown because, once again, Trump’s core base would like “trade wins” where India finds itself in an unfavourable corner.

    These might be temporary wrinkles of history, but it is evident that India needs a new modus vivendi with the US. While US-India trade talks are likely to resume this week, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee last month that even after “months and months and months” of previous dialogue in which “literally no headway” was made in mitigating the “series of problems with them — things that we have raised with them over a period of months.”

    India and the US both need to step back and reassess their partnership and make mutual concessions. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, recently on an India visit said that bilateral ties are “incredibly important” for both sides. That may not be in dispute, but the brinkmanship underway right now between Trump and Modi regimes are serving no one’s cause.



    To a large extent that hope hasn’t been belied. Strategically, there has been convergence between US Indo-Pacific policy and Narendra Modi government’s Act East policy. Defence and diplomatic dialogues at ministerial levels have been institutionalised in a 2+2 format and there has been close synergy between the two sides on issues such as “defense technology, cyber security, and counterterrorism. Liaisons between the Indian navy and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain, and the countries’ defense innovation units, are being established”, points out Brookings Institution fellow Tanvi Madan.

    Besides, there have been signing of foundational communication agreements such as LEMOA, HOSTAC, COMCASA that will enable greater interoperability, cooperation, technology transfer between the two nation’s military-industrial complex. More such agreements — BECA, for instance — are in the offing that will enable India to share US geospatial data to get “pinpoint military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles.”

    [​IMG]
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US president Donald Trump at G20 summit in Japan. Twitter/ @narendramodi

    The two nations have also involved other democracies in shoring up security environment in Indo-Pacific through joint military exercises and dialogues in quadrilateral and trilateral formats to counter the rise of an assertive China that has tested the limits of international rules-based order. Besides, there has been an uptick in defence trade with India getting access to advanced US technology by being allotted Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status.

    The problem, however, is different. Policy is a dirty word in a White House led by a president whose attention-span rivals that of a three-year-old. Sticking to policy appears even more of an alien concept. A recent report in US media reveals how intelligence chiefs are struggling to cope with a president whose ability to grasp the complexity of a situation is thin.

    Consequently, intelligence briefings for the POTUS have apparently been reduced to futile attempts to hold Trump’s attention by “using visual aids, confining some briefing points to two or three sentences, and repeating his name and title as frequently as possible”.

    Such fickle mindedness is not just the staple of stand-up comedy, it is bound to affect US foreign policy as well. While bilateral ties have flourished on the bedrock of India-US strategic partnership based on commonality of values and a shared interest to contain China’s rising influence in Indo-Pacific, there has been no attempt on the part of Trump administration to sustain a geopolitical partnership with India that looks beyond wrinkles and seeks to invest in long-term strengthening of ties.

    For Washington, that would have meant bearing costs upfront in backing India’s rise and boosting its capabilities because a democratic, strong and capable India is America’s best bet to maintain its primacy as the global hegemon. It is increasingly clear, though, that Trump administration either lacks that vision or is unwilling to think long term. Instead, the president has made bilateral trade a metric of assessing relationships, and instead of “strategic altruism” — to borrow from Ashley Tellis — Trump has prioritised fixing economic frictions with India. So far, it was hoped that geopolitical convergence will tide over the crisis brewing over unresolved issues regarding trade and immigration but relative hardening of positions from both sides has precipitated a crisis.

    While the Trump administration holds India responsible for denying it market access and making “free and fair trade” impossible, New Delhi accuses Washington of constricting its strategic and sovereign choices either through direct sanctions such as CAATSA or through indirect sanctions where India becomes the casualty — think sanctions against Iran that have affected India’s energy needs and choices.

    It is perhaps unfair to lay all the blame on Trump’s door. India has taken a distinctly protectionist turn under the NDA and the raising of barriers has played into Trump’s paranoia on trade issues. India recently made a host of changes in policies that include bringing more US exports under tariff (the average remains high at 13 percent), tweaking of e-commerce rules that seemingly go against the interests of US giants Amazon and Walmart (via Flipkart) and demanding that US tech firms store data on Indian consumers strictly on Indian soil through servers.

    This has deepened Trump’s irritation with India. As Tellis writes in a piece for Carnegie Endowment, “The strategic partnership between Washington and New Delhi will remain perpetually handicapped if trade relations between the two countries remain un-reformed… The importance of trade liberalisation goes far beyond satisfying Trump’s obsessions with remedying the current US trade deficit with many of its partners. Rather, it matters because deepened two-way trade contributes towards increasing prosperity in both countries and, in doing so, creates enduring stakes in each other’s success.”

    In reality, however, hardening of positions has resulted in a mini trade war of sorts between India and the US with both sides refusing to budge from their positions. Instead of offering trade concessions to India to encourage it to open its markets and sustain the strategic partnership, Trump has doubled down on punitive measures against India and is threatening to do some more. There might be nothing personal since Trump has displayed similar behaviour with even European treaty allies, but such actions reduce further the scope for a relationship that is strategically and economically rewarding for both sides.

    US trade analyst Chad P Brown, in his commentary on the ‘mini trade war’ between the two sides, relates that Trump administration has hiked duties “on 14 per cent of India’s exports to the United States” while India has finally retaliated by piling new tariffs on US exports, “including $600 million of almonds from California.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fi...nt-to-keep-ties-on-even-keel-6975821.html/amp
     
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  2. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    Warm relation after 27Feb incident, India disappointed West big time. They were building Indian military might against China but result came totally negative and unexpected.
    Second, Imran Khan may going to face some big demands from Trump in regards to regional issues. Carrot and stick.
    Third, US media sees CPEC as Chinese need not Pakistani need.
    Fourth, Nawaz and Zardari reaching out US govt for rescue to pay for 10 years of obedience.
     
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  3. mudas777

    mudas777 FULL MEMBER

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    US pushed us so far to make us almost stand on our 2 feet's. Now's the time to put back the rug under our self serving elite to pull it back again latter. Please just negotiate trade tourism and chat about the good weather but no arms sales again. Am getting old and heart is not as strong as used to be lol.
     
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  4. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    slaves are more acceptable then masters in masters club.
     
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  5. Arsalan 345

    Arsalan 345 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's too early to draw conclusion.americans need us for Afghanistan and they need India to contain china.right now, pakistan is under pressure and only imran Khan can solve matters if he meets Trump.matters like fatf,another f-16 squadron and new missiles,terrorism problem and Kashmir issue, balochistan bla issue and indian help for bla.there are lots of matters.fatf is the most important matter right now
     
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  6. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    I think major issues, will be Afghanistan, Iran , CPEC and cases against Nawaz - Zardari. US is not much interested in Kashmir, because they it is related to national security issue of Pakistan. But Imran Khan may demand for relief from FATF and more trade from US.
     
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  7. Meengla

    Meengla SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's never good to do chest-thumping like the Middle Eastern and some Latin American leaders do to annoy America; forget UNSC sanctions: Even unilateral sanctions can cause oil rich countries to buckle--case in point Iran and Venezuela, and to an extent Russia too.

    So it's a very welcome development that Trump-Imran will be meeting. But there 's still China to be contained--one of the most important pillars of American foreign policy and Pakistan will not play ball in that regard.

    Having said this--had it been Obama-Imran meeting I would have put a lot more value in the meeting. Trump is just way too unreliable. Except for his consistent support for Israel, no foreign govt should ever trust this guy's policies. He can go in extremes to praise or blame within days.

    PS. Iran should NOT even be on the agenda in this meeting except perhaps trying to tell Americans it will be a very bad idea to inflame the region.
     
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  8. CrazyZ

    CrazyZ FULL MEMBER

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    American leaders are moving to a more pragmatic stance. They accept that there think tanks are rubbish...hijacked by lobby groups... leading the USA into influence decline especially in the Mid East.

    India has remained non aligned in actions. Despite all the anti China hedge talk. Actions speak louder than words....the Americans are calling them out. Do more.

    India can not change the balance in Afghanistan. The pro India stance in Afghanistan depends on American troops remaining forever. Plus Iran has to be a logistical workaround. This is no longer acceptable in Washington.

    The events in February are also concerning the Americans. A one sided approach emboldened India into aggression against Pakistan, however Indian military performed ineptly requiring an American intervention to get Abhi released. The Americans have in the past controlled Pakistani actions. Either with military sanctions or behind the scenes pressure. This time they couldn't and had to make concessions. This is alarming to the old hats in American foreign policy circles.

    India will remain an important partner for the Americans but not the only partner in the near term.
     
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  9. PAKISTANFOREVER

    PAKISTANFOREVER SENIOR MEMBER

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    Lol..........Could not care less what the americans think of us......:lol:..... The americans mean nothing to Pakistan any more. They are irrelevant and meaningless to us. Everything we need we can get from China. As far as foreign relations are concerned, ONLY China and Turkey matter to Pakistan, all other foreign relations are of no consequence or meaning. Pakistan marches on. We still remain the ONLY nation in ALL human history to have successfully fended off a 7× bigger nation for 72 years straight.
     
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  10. Meengla

    Meengla SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yeah, sitting in England in comfort is easier than being in Pakistan, which, admittedly, I am not anymore either. But I was born and raised there--through the university years. I know something about Pakistan. And I am aware of the trade figures between Pakistan and US/US-Backed West, I am also aware of the trade-figures between Pakistan and China, and, above all, I am aware of what even unilateral America-backed sanctions can do to a country!

    Luckily, Pakistan's foreign policy heads have always been far more practical than the arm-chair generals with regard to relations with America. The instinct of self-survival in Pakistan is the greatest, knowing well what lies in Pakistan's east. And thus, despite ALL the ups and downs with Washington since the Ayub Khan days, you wouldn't see Pakistani military and civilian leadership come out in the chest-thumping mode like the Saddams or the Qaddafis or the Ayatollahs or the Maduros of the world do. And that's the wisest policy for Pakistan.
     
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  11. Myth_buster_1

    Myth_buster_1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    18 Zulu and 32 F-16 block 72 are coming along with other goodies. ;)
     
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  12. PAKISTANFOREVER

    PAKISTANFOREVER SENIOR MEMBER

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    I understand your point, but you must also see that as Pakistan has become more powerful and self-sufficient over the last 5 years, the americans have had to give us more leeway and concessions which they wouldn't have done in the past.
     
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  13. Max Pain

    Max Pain FULL MEMBER

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    I know what I'll say is going to be quite unpopular but really should have good relations with USA and I still think even a squadron of Block 70's F-16s would have such a massive impact for at least a decade and a half. It can surely go against Rafale.

    Just look at how India whined while we literally have 18 odd Block 52's.
    It is for our own benefit to have good relations with USA, let USA know fair and square that we aint no pushovers now and have demonstrated that too. so simply try to be on good terms with them, increase trade, improve people to people interaction as well.
     
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  14. CrazyZ

    CrazyZ FULL MEMBER

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    No need for American weapons. We need a FTA and American energy tech. We have to better exploit indigenous shale. Americans can help.

    The Americans are still very relevant but their dominance is declining. They have great technology, a huge consumer market and the dollar will remain the global reserve currency for some time. Pakistan can not ignore them.
     
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  15. imadul

    imadul FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan should tread carefully. With the economic disaster Pakistan is in because of last 10 years and using of tools set by USA - IMF, FATF, India, Afg, BLA's, Pakistan has to comply.
    Nonetheless Afg solution in Pakistan huge interest. Hope Pak will play cards better.
     
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