Council Special Report

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Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy

From Af-Pak to Asia

Author: , Adjunct Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia

Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy - daniel-markey-council-special-report-on-reorienting-us-pakistan-strategy
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Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date January 2014

50 pages
ISBN 978-0-87609-579-9
Council Special Report No. 68



As U.S. and coalition forces prepare to draw down troops in Afghanistan, this new report urges Washington to view Pakistan not solely or even principally in the context of U.S.-Afghanistan policy, but rather to reorient the relationship toward Asia. "A U.S. strategy for Asia that does not contemplate Pakistan's role is incomplete, and a U.S. strategy for Pakistan that primarily considers its role in the context of Afghanistan is shortsighted," writes the report's author, Daniel S. Markey, CFR senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia.

The report, Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy: From Af-Pak to Asia, outlines a two-pronged approach to future U.S. policy for Pakistan: defend against security threats, and support Pakistan's economic growth and normalized relations with its neighbors. Markey recommends that the United States:

  • launch a new diplomatic dialogue with China, India, and Pakistan to reduce prospects for regional tension and violence;
  • sign a trade deal that also encourages trade between India and Pakistan;
  • reallocate assistance in Pakistan to improve trade and transit infrastructure; and
  • integrate Pakistan into East and South Asia policymaking across the State Department, National Security Council, and Department of Defense, and deemphasize the Af-Pak connection.

Markey is the author of No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad, which explains how Washington can prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes in U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Professors: To request an exam copy, contact Ashley Bregman at Please include your university and course name.

Bookstores: To order bulk copies, please contact Ingram. Visit, call 800.234.6737, or ISBN: 978-0-87609-579-9

More About This Publication

Daniel S. Markey is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he specializes in security and governance issues in South Asia. He is the author of numerous publications, including a book on the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad (Cambridge University Press, 2013). From 2003 to 2007, Markey held the South Asia portfolio on the secretary's policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to government service, he taught in the department of politics at Princeton University, where he served as executive director of Princeton's research program in international security. Earlier, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. Markey also served as project director of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He earned a bachelor's degree in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in politics from Princeton University.

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