U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivered strong remarks today during a press briefing surrounding U.S. policy toward Pakistan and Iran.
“The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at time, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
Think BIGLY – On a geopolitical level the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is shadowed by a strong Pakistani economic relationship with China. China is Pakistan’s biggest investor. China has also recently been identified as covertly propping up North Korea with smuggled oil shipments: “Very Disappointing“.
The central U.S. Pakistani relationship has always been about our fight against the terrorist networks of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan has played both sides of that coin. In August of 2017 President Trump warned Pakistan our relationship with them would be different if they did not stop enabling the Taliban.
The U.S. primary goal in Afghanistan is to force the Taliban to enter negotiations with the legitimate Afghanistan government and achieve a peaceful resolution toward a stable, non terrorist/non-extremist, nation. Pakistan’s duplicitous action has become an impediment to that goal.
Knowing that ultimately a decision-point would would be reached with both Pakistan and China, President Trump began constructing the counter-leverage last year via an enhanced economic relationship with India and Prime Minister Modi.
Given the current antagonism by both Pakistan (via Afghanistan) and China (via North Korea), we can anticipate that President Trump will now enter a phase of elevated and open (ie. very public) economic engagement with India. “Indo-Pacific”
Predictable leverage in the ongoing dynamic will remain centered around economics.
In addition to the withdrawal of direct financial support for Pakistan, China will now face increased trade-policy-scrutiny, as well as lesser beneficial economic trade outcomes.
Predictably, the Most Favored Nation (MfN) trade status, a primary driver of U.S./China trade with great benefit toward Xi Jinping, is going to become increasingly leveraged as a negotiation strategy.
U.S. India ties are NOW a key and central component to the approach.
NOT COINCIDENTALLY the following surfaces as an ‘ah-ha moment’ for many:
President Trump thinks long term… and VERY strategically:
T-REX […] Prime Minister Modi’s visit in June highlighted the many areas of cooperation that are already underway in this new area of our strategic relationship.
Our defense ties are growing. We are coordinating our counterterrorism efforts more than ever before. And earlier this month, a shipment of American crude oil arrived in India, a tangible illustration of our expanding energy cooperation. The Trump administration is determined to dramatically deepen ways for the United States and India to further this partnership.
For us today, it’s plain to see why this matters. India represents the world’s largest democracy. The driving force of our close relationship rests in the ties between our peoples – our citizens, business leaders, and our scientists.
Nearly 1.2 million American visitors traveled to India last year. More than 166,000 Indian students are studying in the United States. And nearly 4 million Indian Americans call the United States home, contributing to their communities as doctors, engineers, and innovators, and proudly serving their country in uniform.
As our economies grow closer, we find more opportunities for prosperity for our people. More than 600 American companies operate in India. U.S. foreign direct investment has jumped by 500 percent in the past two years alone. And last year, our bilateral trade hit a record of roughly $115 billion, a number we plan to increase.
Together, we have built a sturdy foundation of economic cooperation as we look for more avenues of expansion. The announcement of the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit ever to be hosted in South Asia, to take place in Hyderabad next month, is a clear example of how President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are promoting innovation, expanding job opportunities, and finding new ways to strengthen both of our economies.
When our militaries conduct joint exercises, we send a powerful message as to our commitment to protecting the global commons and defending our people. This year’s Malabar exercise was our most complex to date. The largest vessels from American, Indian, and Japanese navies demonstrated their power together in the Indian Ocean for the first time, setting a clear example of the combined strength of the three Indo-Pacific democracies. We hope to add others in coming years.
In keeping with India’s status as a Major Defense Partner – a status overwhelmingly endorsed last year by the U.S. Congress – and our mutual interest in expanding maritime cooperation, the Trump administration has offered a menu of defense options for India’s consideration, including the Guardian UAV. We value the role India can play in global security and stability and are prepared to ensure they have even greater capabilities.
And over the past decade, our counterterrorism cooperation has expanded significantly. Thousands of Indian security personnel have trained with American counterparts to enhance their capacity. The United States and India are cross-screening known and suspected terrorists, and later this year we will convene a new dialogue on terrorist designations.
In July, I signed the designation of Hizbul Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization because the United States and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. States that use terror as an instrument of policy will only see their international reputation and standing diminish. It is the obligation, not the choice, of every civilized nation to combat the scourge of terrorism. The United States and India are leading this effort in that region.
But another more profound transformation that’s taking place, one that will have far-reaching implications for the next 100 years: The United States and India are increasingly global partners with growing strategic convergence. (more)
… Think BIGLY