Why Trump's strategy on Pakistan may not work

Published: January 4, 2018
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Daniel Markey
PHOTO: danielmarkey.org

Daniel Markey PHOTO: danielmarkey.org

Daniel Markey, author of ‘No Exit From Pakistan’ and a research professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, reveals why he thinks Trumps coercive strategy on Pakistan will not work, in an interview with the BBC.

On January 2, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to UN told reporters, ‘‘The [US] President is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding to Pakistan as they continue to support terrorism’’.

Related to her statement, Merkey said, ‘’We are seeing a restriction of aid across the border- a likely cutting of 255 million dollars of military assistance that was being held in kind of an escrow account to see if Pakistan will come forward on attacking groups like the Haqqani network’’.

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“Our goal is that we know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that’’, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said at a Press Conference on January 2.

On these recent developments Markey remarked, “This looks like a much more coercive approach than anything we have seen before. I would suggest that both [former] Presidents Bush and Obama before also had the hope that by providing incentives the United States could gradually win Pakistan over’.

Details of further specific actions that the US will take to coerce Pakistan have not been revealed.

Markey continued on what further restricting actions the US can take against Pakistan. ‘‘So first, the downsizing of existing aid and then one can imagine a series of ratcheting up of coercive moves by the United States against Pakistan: Targeted sanctions, reduced import of international loans from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] or even more kinetic operations across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan’’.

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On January 3, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN told reporters, “Pakistan have displayed a double-game for years. They work with us at times and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan”.

Markey noted the unique position of Pakistan in terms of strength.

“Pakistan has some leverage and they also have nuclear weapons. This is not a small country either. It’s about 200 million people in an important part of the world and they have other friends including the Chinese who have been promising and delivering not just millions of dollars or tens of millions but billions of dollars in both assistance and investment.’’

Markey did not think that Trump’s strategy on Pakistan would be of much avail to the US.

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“The big issue is: It’s one thing to put pressure on Pakistan but Pakistan has very important interests in Afghanistan and the region so it has to be a combination of increased pressure on one hand and offering some sense to Pakistan that a change in its strategy could actually work in its favour. They are still worried that we are going to leave Afghanistan, leave the problems in place and leave them without friends. So as of right now I see little chance of kind of incremental ratcheting up of pressure would actually payoff”

Watch the full interview here:

This report originally appeared on The BBC.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • harkol
    Jan 5, 2018 - 3:33PM

    May not work is different from won’t work. It has an implicit admission that ‘it may work’. Since the US strategies so far hasn’t worked either, US can just as well try the hardball method and see if that works!!Recommend

  • asad
    Jan 6, 2018 - 12:27AM

    @harkol:
    “may not work” here means will most likely not work

    US hardball tactics will only make things worse for themRecommend

  • BattalionBoy
    Jan 6, 2018 - 3:25PM

    @harkol:
    One thing for sure, another operation by Pak forces against India will get Nikki Haley to wobble her head while talking like she got marbles in her mouth !Recommend

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