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US-Pakistani Relations Deteriorating

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 15, 2012

The United States and Pakistan have had a tenuous relationship over the years.  While at times acting like an ally, Pakistan often has played a two-sided game that included supporting terrorists.  Such double-dealing in diplomatic affairs unfortunately occurs, especially when dealing with dysfunctional countries like Pakistan.

US-Pakistani relations deteriorated significantly in recent years.  This degrading relationship came to a head in 2011 when America’s Seal team assassinated Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil without involvement or permission by Pakistan.  The relationship has since gotten worse with America’s ongoing and uninvited drone attacks on suspected terrorists on Pakistani soil.  In addition, a Pakistani doctor, Shafiq Alfridi, who assisted the US and putting it to bin Laden has been sentenced to over three decades in a Pakistani jail for these efforts.  Adding insult to injury, the Pakistanis have refused to allow the United States to use supply lines through its country for the Afghan War.

One theme Barack Obama used during successful campaign for presidency was how he was going to improve United States’ relations with other countries.  He blamed his predecessor George W. Bush’s approach to foreign policy as a reason for poor relations with some countries.  This naïve approach indicated Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience.  Countries pursue agendas and policies that are in their best interests, not because of a relationship with a foreign leader.

One of the first steps Obama took after becoming president was his well-publicized outreach to the Islamic world.  This effort has been a failure.  Iran is as belligerent is ever, Syria’s regime is killing people by the thousands, and Pakistan-America relations have never been worse.  However, disintegrating relations are not limited to Muslim countries.  America’s relations with Israel had been frayed under the Obama Administration and a Cold War is heating up between the United States and Russia.  If the president is responsible for relationships between United States and other countries as Obama proffered during the campaign, then he receives a failing grade for the current state of relations with various countries.

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