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Biden Loses Pakistan

Posted on Saturday, May 6, 2023
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by Daniel Berman
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53 Comments
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Cold wars are won not just on the battlefield, but through bluff and deception, and over the last two years, Xi Jinping has proven himself adept at both compared to the Biden administration.

While the Biden team tried to bully Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices, China negotiated a détente between Tehran and Riyadh. When the Biden administration tried to bribe companies to re-shore to the United States, Beijing resorted to more blunt methods of persuasion, raiding the offices of major international firms, including Deloitte and Bain over the last few weeks.

The most recent example of this jujitsu may be among the more alarming: while the President of South Korea sang for guests at the White House, China completed a feasibility study on the costs of an 1,800 mile railway to connect Pakistan’s port of Gwadar with Xinjiang, China.

The plan represents one of the more disastrous strategic consequences of the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan. While the loss of American prestige may have encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine, and the undignified flight handed millions of Afghans over to the tender mercies of the Taliban, the greatest strategic fallout may be the “loss” of Pakistan to China.

Eighteen months after the fall of Kabul, there is no pretense that Pakistan is a partner, or even friend of the United States. On the contrary, in a climate of rising anti-Americanism and in the face of perceived Indian-American rapprochement, Pakistan has thrown in its lot with China.

No one who followed the visit of Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff Syed Asim Munir to Beijing last week or the phone call between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could have any doubt where Pakistan’s loyalties lie.

According to the admittedly biased Chinese readout:

“Munir said that China is Pakistan’s ironclad brother. The Pakistan-China friendship is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans and sweeter than honey. Continuously deepening the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan firmly supports China’s development and strength. No matter how the international situation changes, Pakistan will always stand with China through thick and thin and build a shared future. The Pakistani army firmly supports the further development of Pakistan-China relations.”

The call between Li and Sharif, even if less lyrical, should be no less concerning to American officials. Sharif again used the phrase “iron-clad brothers” while pledging that “Pakistan firmly pursues the one-China policy and staunchly supports China on all issues concerning China’s core interests.”

Those core interests include the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which includes the planned rail line at an estimated cost of $60 billion. The Chinese government’s own feasibility report argued the project “had the potential to reshape trade and geopolitics across the Eurasian continent,” and should be supported even if China had to foot the entire bill.

Critically, the project would reduce China’s reliance on the Straits of Malacca, the narrow sea lane between Singapore and Malaysia through which the Pentagon estimates almost 80% of Chinese oil flows.

Despite warm words about maximum cooperation with Russia, China still imports most of its energy from the Middle East, which explains Beijing’s efforts to displace U.S. influence from the region. U.S. strategists have rightfully identified China’s dependence on imported energy as a major weak link in Beijing’s strategic position, and most speculation about a potential conflict has the U.S. moving rapidly to cut off China’s energy imports.

This would be accomplished by blockading the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia and Singapore. The proposed Pakistani rail line would render such an approach impossible. Outside of the Straits of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, no chokepoints exist between Karachi and the major petroleum producing states.

Pakistan was never a particularly effective ally for the United States during the War on Terror, and for American veterans and policymakers exhausted after two decades of duplicity from Islamabad, it will be tempting to respond with a firm “good riddance.”

There is something to be said for this attitude. With the benefit of hindsight, the U.S. decision to choose Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani conflict appears to have been among the worst trades of the Cold War era, and one of the few where US policymakers made the inarguable worst of the deal. If not on par with the Soviets choosing the Arab states over Israel, it is nonetheless a mistake the United States is still paying for today when it comes to India’s refusal to break with Russia over Ukraine.

The danger is that whatever the flaws of the Pakistani alliance, and however better a partner India would make, the Biden administration has managed to alienate Pakistan without securing the support of India and is at serious risk of ending up with neither.

Pakistan’s loss is the result not merely of the American abandonment of Afghanistan, but of the behavior of the Biden administration toward a major domestic political crisis that ensured all sides believed the U.S. was acting against them.

In 2018, Imran Khan, a former cricket player (with a Jewish ex-wife) turned strict Islamist anti-corruption campaigner swept to power with military backing. In late 2021, Khan fell out with the military as he attempted to interfere in personnel assignments, with the result that under military pressure, enough of his own MPs joined with the opposition (temporarily uniting the feuding Bhutto and Sharif clans) to oust him from office.

Khan, who had been critical of the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, had been on the receiving end of brutal criticism from the Biden team in turn, and he blamed his military’s betrayal of him, which followed on the fall of Kabul, on a CIA plot.

Orchestrating Machiavellian maneuvers on the scale which brought down Khan seems deeply out of character for the otherwise lethargic Biden national security team, who often seem to forget South Asia exists at all. But the tone deaf combination of criticism of Khan, direct engagement with the military plotters during his ouster, and the lack of any criticism of his successors when they refused to hold new elections, combined to reinforce that perception.

Yet if Khan’s supporters believe America is behind his opponents, the lack of any real American support of the current government, the certainty they will lose without it, and the fear of the vengeance Khan will wreak if he returns has led them to seek Beijing’s protection. The result has been both factions inside Pakistan turning against the United States.

Perhaps the loss of Pakistan (and there are functionally no anti-American parties or institutions left in 2023) could be counteracted by developing closer ties with India, but the Biden team has failed to reach out. The U.S. has seemed more concerned with rebuking India for internal affairs, such as refusing to mandate burqas for Muslim students in government schools, and moralizing about India’s refusal to break relations with Russia when Washington won’t sell New Delhi weapons, than with forging a closer relationship.

Biden has visited neither India nor Pakistan. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did meet with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, but a readout of the meeting merely stated that the two “discussed how to mitigate the global impacts of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, the United States and India’s cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the successful launch of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, and regional issues,” – a far cry from the tone accompanying Sino-Pakistani meetings.

The United States needs to move quickly before it loses South Asia altogether. The hour is late, but it is not yet midnight.

India has close cultural and economic ties with the West. But the region has to be treated as a priority, not because of the War on Terror or nation building in Afghanistan, but because if American officials are not careful, the struggle for Taiwan and the Pacific will be lost in Pakistan and India.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.

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Daniel
Daniel
11 months ago

Pakistan is not a reliable ally. It has a history of attacking India numerous times. It harbored Bin Laden after 9/11. It persecutes its religious minorities in horrific ways. Losing Pakistan is no great loss.

Chris
Chris
11 months ago

Another Liedon misstep.

Mac
Mac
11 months ago

So sad to see the incompetence of this administration. This never would had happened on Trumps watch!!

Jeanette
Jeanette
11 months ago

I’m saddened at the reverse of our country’s status have been ruined by this administration. Whomever those behind the scenes that are controlling all of this..should not have the right to call themselves Americans! Donald Trump would not have sold out our precious Republic!

H.L.Howell
H.L.Howell
11 months ago

I feel like Benedict Arnold is our President.

David Millikan
David Millikan
11 months ago

Another Ally lost because of Dictator Beijing biden’s continued FAILURES on Foreign policies since he is so hellbent on DESTROYING the USA with LOSER WOKE agenda.
This would NEVER happen with
PRESIDENT TRUMP.
In fact, we gained more allies with PRESIDENT TRUMP because he doesn’t hide and lie by making excuses or blame everybody else for his failures like Dictator Beijing biden does.
Instead, Dictator Beijing biden hides while eating 2 scoops of ice cream but his staff only gets 1 scoop of ice cream.
Gee, I feel so safe. NOT.

John Z
John Z
11 months ago

From my limited view I see China like England in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when it needed massive amounts of materials to supply its mayor manufacturing base and that made it to seek trade routes all over the globe for materials to import and goods to export. Then it became America’s turn when it joined the Industrial Revolution and opened and starting to export and protect trade routes from disruptions. Now it seems China wants half the world to build and protect its trade routes and the industry supplies it trades for them.

Duane Bacon
Duane Bacon
11 months ago

Duane: a good article to read to know what this president is not doing in international affairs

Sandra
Sandra
11 months ago

Biden’s international dilemma

John
John
11 months ago

Biden’s international dilemma!

Steve
Steve
11 months ago

Biden’s International Dilemma!

David
David
11 months ago

Great Article, the United States has Journalists entities who report with the scope of a sand box! They hardly if ever really report on serious significant Global Diplomacy, outside of a current a military action. This article is extremely well written of the US Diplomatic Importance of this region of the World! India is a very well educated population and whose population will Soon eclipse China’s!
India’s Economic Market potential on Multiple Levels including Infrastructure needs are Astronomical. These economic opportunities will project out at least a Century!

Mark Bonner
Mark Bonner
11 months ago

Never adept at Foreign Policy, even Obama said the Biden was never on the right side when it came to foreign affairsBifrn proved that, One More Time with Pakistan.

Jbm
Jbm
11 months ago

Maybe Biden will make another country so angry that they assassinate him!

Nick
Nick
11 months ago

Biden is a dementia ridden douchebag. Yesterday on MSNBC he announced that we just cannot re-elect Obama in 2024. What a communicator! Any spewed some other nonsense about Chesapeake Bay and the Baltimore River or something. He has no idea what he’s doing or which way he’s going. And if you ask any Democrats he’s doing an excellent job, he’s a great communicator and all of his economic policies are an outstanding success. Wonder what drugs they are taking and where they are living? I don’t know about you guys but I’ve had enough of his crap

edward
edward
11 months ago

orchestrated by his handlers(biden isn’t doing anything of his own accord) because they are increasing their fortunes(already in the billions) by being invested in/with china. these weasels couldn’t care less about anyone else, let alone, the people of the united states. to quote their savior obama during one of his (many) rants against “millionaires and billionaires”, “HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?!”

Melinda
Melinda
11 months ago

We need a statesman in the White House, someone who knows how to deal with duplicitous regimes and can outflank them. I don’t see anyone like that on the horizon. Trump did okay with foreign affairs, but I’m not sure how long lasting the results would have been. We have to be on our toes with these evil people and there’s no one in power that comes close.

Gravy
Gravy
11 months ago

I am very disappointed in the Biden Administration. Trump was impeached twice and was found innocent of any Russian collusion. Biden has dementia and has created a mess with the war in the Ukraine which threatens to potentially expand into WWIII. Inflation is crippling me as a retiree. If anyone needs to be impeached it is Biden due to his medical condition. I am not sure he knows his name. Very sad.

tlanger
tlanger
11 months ago

Come along little Joey… let’s us take a choo choo ride!

Randy
Randy
11 months ago

VP Harris has done such a great job at our southern border, maybe she should be put in charge of the Pakistan and China relationship. The new Foreign Relationship Czar!

EMG
EMG
11 months ago

The administration of winkin, Blinkin and nod have botched another foreign issue. When is enough, enough?

Steve Colin Zeigler
Steve Colin Zeigler
11 months ago

I am (hopefully without being deluded) in high hopes that things are going on behind the scenes that most of us are not aware of. Lots if unique things are happening.

Joey Mize
Joey Mize
11 months ago

Truly a GREAT ARTICLE… worth reading 2-3 times in fact. Seems this author has some quality insight. If only one individual in the BEDEN administration had half as much character and insight we might not be in such a hole. Something was on the front burner during the lead up to the 2020 .
Something so terrible and world shaking that they had to steal the election to make it happen, and it is as we can certainly see something terrible. America has become caught up in its self made trap. We are so ridiculously concerned about off the wall social issues and other nonsense that distracts us from the real truths, that we lose our way in the process of trying to not lose our way. Time flies by and we cannot seem to get out of the starting gate. But that is exactly how they want it. We are not playing with people who have our countries best interest at heart it is much much deeper than what we can grasp. The Deep State is really someone else. Like seriously ( EVIL ) and wanting to destroy. Control of the children and values comes first, then the families, then out goes religion, except very select groups that are supported by the Deep State players. So don’t believe a thing I saying but hide and watch. One day you will be arrested and charged with some off the wall climate law for cooking out in your back yard with GAS without a permit. GOD FORBID you should accidently let your sprinklers run all night and run government water into the gutters.

tika
tika
11 months ago

he walks around with his shxt-eating grin like he’s so proud of what he’s accomplished; lost $85B mil equipment in Afghanistan, 1000s of lives in Afghanistan, spent the country into raging inflation, bank collapse crises, recession, energy crisis, loss of allies,single-handedly caused ukraine war, destroyed Abraham Accords, put valuable allies in harm’s way, destroying the energy and auto industries, making a shambles of education, and juvenile sexuality/perversion, destroyed our borders, created a drug epidemic, screwed up the covid epidemic, destroyed our trading around the world, our bill of rights,Constitution, Declaration of independence, our democracy, voting system, secure elections, social security, increased the debt to over $32T, the government budget, and his buffoonery worldwide.

George M
George M
11 months ago

Our President is a Idiot as is his Advisors!

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
11 months ago

MAYBE after being force fed “Russia bad” and “China bad” “Iraq bad and has weapons of mass destruction” and “Afghanistan bad cause Bin Laden went through there once”, and many,many years of lie after lie after lie……….perhaps one day this nation can deal with other trading nations as competitors rather than as someone to subjugate so as to accept “accepted” western perversities.
As for the pullout from Afghanistan “emboldening” Russia to invade Ukraine, perhaps that little mentioned coup the deep state began and funded starting in 2014 MIGHT have had a little to do with it along with the 8 years of shelling of its own ethnic Russian citizens by the Nazi goon Elensky and company.
People…….please READ and stop relying on the corporate propaganda outlets for “news”

TPS
TPS
11 months ago

Poor leadership leads to poor results, it’s visible every day and still people refuse to believe it. Of course, no help from msm who just keep covering it up! IMO

P2burner
P2burner
11 months ago

Biden is very adept at touting his “accomplishments”. How will he spin the “accomplishment” of turning America into a second-rate world power is only 3 years? What is lost now will not be regained in our lifetimes.

joe mchugh
joe mchugh
11 months ago

What good results from whipping Joe Biden’s “leadership”? The hapless Biden is obviously brain addled. However, the American people can clearly see what the Democrat Party has wrought. To remove Biden by invoking the 25th Amendment, we would only see Kamala Harris be seated at the desk in the Oval Office.

Harris is stupid but at least not demented. Still, Kamala has some skills that could be employed in international relationships. Foreign dignitaries could be invited to the White House for the purpose of improving world trade. In one-on-one meetings behind closed doors, Kamala might induce commitments from delighted foreigners. Such agreements would have to be considered to be straight forward, and aboveboard because of Kamala’s well known integrity.

I’ll bet that the citizens in the rest of the world wish that they could have such stellar leadership.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
11 months ago

Lets Lose more of the Mid East right Joe

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
11 months ago

when your country is run by leftists and especially demented old pervert leftists you are goign to loose every time.

Socrates
Socrates
11 months ago

Clueless in Washington, D.C, starring Crooked Joe Biden

Commentary
Commentary
11 months ago

How is the U.S./we going to get through the next 2 years of Biden in office? Forget re-election. Anyone who votes Biden in ’24 is voting for chaos and loss and more disasters and catastrophes. I hope all voters are aware of how this country will further descend to it worst position in the world since its founding. But how will we contain the very real and frightening decisions that happen until we get a new leader into the WH? How will we be able to mend the broken county we now live in? Biden thinks his “leadership” is wise and experienced. It’s what he says when anyone asks about his age and the elections. I think we need to give him another piece of experience — losing re-election!

BEA
BEA
11 months ago

The Biden administration scares the hell out of me. What are they doing? Joe Biden is so corrupt and a tool that I try not to think about him.

DAVID
DAVID
11 months ago

All I know is that I voted for Donald Trump through logical decision making, I wished the democrats would have done the same. It really wasn’t too difficult to realize voting for a person who has serious signs of dementia and is most likely compromised by the Chinese wasn’t a good choice vs a person who secured the border, kept gas prices low, made this country energy independent, kept peace within the world including North Korea through his diplomatic strategic diplomacy. No inflation, lowered taxes, was very efficient dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, low unemployment and dealt with this countries adversaries and allies very strategically and beneficially. He is very patriotic and he looked to make this country prosper for each and every individual. Unfortunately a lot of todays news media is corrupt and in close ties with the democratic party which results in lies and coverups for the American people who don’t know any better.
Hopefully in 2024 all the people in this country have the integrity to realize that Joe Biden wasn’t a good choice including those brainwashed by most of the communist, Marxist professors who are poisoning the minds of todays youths.
This country lost a lot of it’s credibility when Joe Biden and his administration left Americans behind in Afghanistan, which I believe is one reason Saudi Aribia decided to brake ties and change the status of the petrodollar which will have definite consequences for this country going forward.
Joe Biden created more adversaries and chased this countries allies farther away.
Unfortunately he was and is a bad choice for the leadership in this country. If he doesn’t create a cause for WW3 I believe this country can and will recover through the electing of the proper leadership of this country.
I will vote for Donald Trump again and I hope people do the same despite the many prejudices of people and vote with their intellect instead of their personality prejudices and differences.

Morris Howell
Morris Howell
11 months ago

So Obama didn’t think the U.S. should be a super power. He did every possible thing he could do while in office to take us down. Then Joe came along to finish us off. Mission accomplished . Race to the bottom has been swift, precise. Democrats can be proud of this, I’m not sure why, but you got what you wanted.

Trish
Trish
11 months ago

So, why did we just send $500K to help Pakistani and Afgani youth to learn English and to support their transgenderness?

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