Saturday, October 7, 2017

Can US Relations Stand the Test of Time?

The logic that bound the U.S. to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan no longer exists.

By Kamran Bokhari Oct. 6, 2017

In what was the first ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Oct. 5. As a result of deals signed during the meeting, the Saudis will pump billions of dollars of investment into Russia, and Russia will send military hardware, including the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, to Saudi Arabia. This is a significant development for a country that usually gets its weaponry from the United States. Meanwhile, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford alleged that Pakistan’s premier intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, has ties to terrorist organizations. In addition, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Washington will give Pakistan one more chance to help settle Afghanistan before it turns to tougher options.

The U.S. has been an ally of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia almost since their respective foundings. They rose as the slow death of colonialism gave way to new nations, and they were looking for the support of great powers. Having risen to prominence after World War II, the United States confronted a new enemy, the Soviet Union, during the Cold War. It needed allies across the globe to help it contain the spread of Soviet influence. It found two such allies in Islamabad and Riyadh.

But the Cold War is over, and the logic that brought these countries together no longer exists. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are drifting away from the U.S., albeit slowly, and as they search for new partners, the Americans will find it increasingly difficult to manage the Middle East and South Asia........To Read More.....

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