Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy: Three Things to Know

January 21, 2014

Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy: Three Things to Know
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U.S. troops are preparing to draw down from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but instability in neighboring Pakistan remains a vital concern for Washington, says Daniel S. Markey, CFR’s senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia. Markey outlines why and how the United States should revise its strategy for Pakistan:

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  • Beyond ’Af-Pak’: The United States has "enduring concerns in Pakistan" beyond the war in Afghanistan, Markey says. Terrorist networks, political instability, internal violence, and a weak economy "have the potential to make Pakistan a threat to itself and its neighbors for years to come."

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  • Part of Asia Pivot: Pakistan’s regional ties, particularly with India and China, could prove to be an obstacle or a boon for U.S. interests in the region. Washington’s future relationship with Pakistan should be integrated into the Obama administration’s rebalancing of its foreign policy toward Asia, Markey says. "A U.S. strategy for Asia that does not consider Pakistan’s role is incomplete."

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  • Two-Pronged Approach: Washington should quarantine Pakistan-based security threats while working to enhance the country’s own security and economic development, Markey says.

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Read more on Reorienting U.S. Pakistan Strategy in this Council Special Report.

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