The lines for the new rules of diplomacy, and of the future of world allies, are being drawn, and needless to say, the tides of world power are changing, along with the faces of theirs pawns. The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States of America, released Monday, makes it clear that the Trump doctrine’s vision for the future power structures is very different from Obama’s.
When the 2015 version of NSS was released under Obama, it hinted towards a blossoming bilateral relationship between the US and India, which had potential of growing into a relationship of convenience. The Trump report leaves no doubts that a US-India strong partnerships is in the works, with the report stipulating that the US will “expand its defence and security cooperation with India, a Major Defence Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region”.
This is by no means just an understanding between India and United States, rather it signifies a major shift in power, which will impact China, Russia and Pakistan. US’s strong references to “encourage India to increase its economic assistance in the region”, and allusion to quadrilateral cooperation, is unmistakably linked to having India as a dependable ally in any confrontation with China, and to counter China’s increasing economic expanding efforts. To name-drop India’s growing influence is a clear signal to a potential role of India, in Afghanistan; a demand that would be unacceptable to Pakistan.
So where does Pakistan stand in this unfortunate mess? As if the glorification of India was not enough to put off Pakistan’s support, our country has been treated scathingly in the report. The references to Pakistan are laced with threats at best, and condescending chiding at best. From accusing Pakistan of being engaged in ‘destabilising behaviour’, being irresponsible with its nukes and ‘insisting’ that it cracks down on terrorists, it is made clear that cooperation with Pakistan is not high priority.
The report’s attack of Russia, calling its nuclear weapons the “most significant existential threat”, is no coincidence in a strategy, which plays a large emphasis on India being a major Defence partner; it indicates that in the business of defence deals with the US, India is in, and Russia is out.
Unsurprisingly, NSS is being rebuked by foreign officials of most countries. China and Russia have rejected the NSS, calling it a as a “Cold War mentality” with an “imperialist character” and the Foreign Office of Pakistan retorted that “phony regional powers” are pursuing expansionism to the detriment of regional and global peace.