Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 April

New developments in the USA-Pakistani relations


The murder of Osama bin Laden May 1 2011 by the special American squad created additional tension in the US-Pakistani relations that are being described by analysts as "cold friendly".

Obama's administration adopted policy of gradual restriction of American military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. For registering essential success in this issue the USA needs ensuring certain stability in the mentioned states. The situation in this respect is more complicated in Afghanistan where despite of the decision of Obama to send American troops, Taliban and other anti-western bands continue the successful fight against the coalition forces headed by NATO. The Pakistani special services also have certain role in this issue. In spite of the American pressures they continue assisting a number of Afghan bands ignoring the demand of the US side.

At the same time it is necessary to note that the force institutions of Pakistan have noticeable dependence from the US military and financial assistance, which does not allow them to finally worsen relations with the United States.

During the recent years a quite dual situation has been created in the US-Pakistani relations and the discovery of Osama bin Laden near one of the military academies of Pakistan finally sharpened the relations.

The Pakistani force establishments view the terrorism bands in Afghanistan as a tool of strategic significance for restricting India's impact in Afghanistan. During the recent years India has been actively engaged in the events taking place in Afghanistan and the force system of Pakistan finds that the further strengthening of India's positions in Afghanistan is a direct threat to the national security of Pakistan, taking into consideration the existing controversies between the two states in Kashmir issue. At the same time, Pakistan views the impact on the bands operating in Afghanistan as a way to maintain its own impact in that country after the USA withdraws its troops.

One of the essential factors agreeing the USA's policy toward Pakistan is the issue of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. The further pressure on the security system of that country may bring to drastic destabilization of the situation which may cause unpredictable consequences after the nuclear weapon appears in the arms of terrorists.

In the created situation, Obama's administration, on one hand tries to urge Pakistan stop assistance to terrorists, on the other avoids actions that may endanger the inner stability.

Nevertheless, the US authorities clearly realize that without suspending Pakistan's assistance to terrorist in the territory of Afghanistan the situation in that country will not show any signs of stabilization, a circumstance which may be of essential significance in the pre-context of the coming presidential elections in the USA in 2012.

In the sphere of foreign policy one of the main promises of Obama was the suspension of war in Iraq and directing the freed resources to the improvement of situation in Afghanistan. The absence of concrete results in the issue may have serious negative impact on the public's ideas of Obama's foreign policy.

In the created conditions the American administration will more probably try to use "carrot-and-stick policy". The role of carrot will be the assistance of billion of dollars provided to Pakistan, as well as provision of loans by a number of international organizations – World Bank, International Monetary Fund.

The US authorities will try to undertake steps directed toward normalization of relations between India and Pakistan that have been interrupted in 2008 after the terrorist act in Mumbai. In this way Obama's administration is trying to reach suspension of Pakistan's policy directed toward the decrease of India's impact through the terrorism organizations operating in Afghanistan.

As to the "stick", in this issue this role may be assumed by the US Congress. The legislative body may organize hearings and discussions on the expediency of provision of military assistance to Pakistan, mechanisms of distribution of that assistance, remarking the possibility of restriction of the aid or agree it with the degree of participation of Pakistani special services in the activities against the terrorism organizations.

An important element of the new policy of the USA toward Pakistan may be the implementation of joint activities with countries having close relations with Pakistan – China and Saudi Arabia. Both China and Saudi Arabia are not interested in the further destabilization of the situation in Pakistan. The Chinese authorities are quite concerned from the prospect of reinforcement of position of radical Islam in its borderline region. The reinforcement of extreme Islamists in Afghanistan may promote the dissemination of radical religious ideas among the Muslim population of China and become a stimulus for separatist strives.

In the created situation the main issue of the US Administration is to reach the implementation of reforms in the Pakistani special services as different terrorism organizations operating in Afghanistan get main assistance not from the Pakistani army but special services. The gradual reforms of these services and the reduction of impact of the forces supporting Islamist extremists will not only promote the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan but will also create grounds for the stabilization of inner political life in Pakistan and increase the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

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