The West Needs a New Strategy for Pakistan
A new report by the German Marshall Fund and the Swedish Defense Research Agency argues that the United States and Europe should adopt a fresh approach to Pakistan as the decade-plus conflict in Afghanistan winds down. We now need a policy that focuses squarely on Pakistan rather than one in which that pivotal country is treated as an adjunct of a policy towards Afghanistan. As Western forces depart the region, violent extremism engulfs the Middle East, China and India assert their growing regional influence, and Pakistan's internal instabilities mount, a new situation in the region requires a new approach.
Broadly, the report's co-authors -- Dhruva Jaishankar, Andrew Small, John Rydqvist, and myself -- argue that the Western allies need an economic strategy to invest in Pakistan's potential as an emerging market alongside a security strategy that pays more attention to the country's alarming nuclear weapons buildup. The transatlantic allies, which are Pakistan's major donors and important trading partners, need to more robustly engage with civil society and civilian institutions in Pakistan as part of a long-term strategy to tilt the civil-military balance in a healthier direction. We also need a more coordinated approach to counter-terrorism cooperation that leverages a growing realization within Pakistan -- including within the security services -- that violent extremism is more of a threat to the Pakistani state itself than to its neighbors and the wider world.
The report makes a set of policy recommendations for the transatlantic community in four key areas: economic development, civil-military relations and governance, nuclear proliferation, and counter-terrorism.
Read the full article here.
Daniel Twining is a senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund.
Photo Credit: White House.gov