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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivered strong remarks today during a press briefing surrounding U.S. policy toward Pakistan and Iran.
“The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at time, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
Think - BIGLY - Level - US - Relationship
Think BIGLY – On a geopolitical level the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is shadowed by a strong Pakistani economic relationship with China. China is Pakistan’s biggest investor. China has also recently been identified as covertly propping up North Korea with smuggled oil shipments: “Very Disappointing“.
The central U.S. Pakistani relationship has always been about our fight against the terrorist networks of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan has played both sides of that coin. In August of 2017 President Trump warned Pakistan our relationship with them would be different if they did not stop enabling the Taliban.
US - Goal - Afghanistan - Taliban - Negotiations
The U.S. primary goal in Afghanistan is to force the Taliban to enter negotiations with the legitimate Afghanistan government and achieve a peaceful resolution toward a stable, non terrorist/non-extremist, nation. Pakistan’s duplicitous action has become an impediment to that goal.
Knowing that ultimately a decision-point would would be reached with both Pakistan and China, President Trump began constructing the counter-leverage last year via an enhanced economic relationship with India and Prime Minister Modi.
Antagonism - Pakistan - Afghanistan - China - North
Given the current antagonism by both Pakistan (via Afghanistan) and China (via North Korea), we can anticipate that President Trump will now enter a phase of elevated and open (ie. very public) economic engagement with India. “Indo-Pacific”
Predictable leverage in the ongoing dynamic will remain centered around economics.
Addition - Withdrawal - Support - Pakistan - China
In addition to the withdrawal of direct financial support for Pakistan, China will now face increased trade-policy-scrutiny, as...
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