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China-Pakistan Axis and the United States

Paper No. 6084                                 Dated 11-Mar-2016

By Dr Subhash Kapila

The United States in its perpetual state of delusionary reverie on China and Pakistan is dangerously oblivious to the emerging strategic reality that the China-Pakistan Axis is in terms of long-range strategic intent more targeting the United States than India to whom they are destined to be implacable enemies.

Both China and Pakistan now wedded into an unholy embrace have double-timed the United States at various stages in the last few decades. China for over a decade has adopted Cold War stances against the United States and engaged in an unremitting power-diminution of the United States predominance in the Indo Pacific .More lately, China has thrown its military gauntlet at the United States on South China Sea conflict escalation.

On Pakistan’s attitudinal policy inclinations in relation to the United States, the less said the better. In the last decade while Pakistan professed to be with the United States in the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan, the record of Pakistan double-timing the United States and undermining its military operations in Afghanistan makes for very sordid reading of Pakistan’s conduct as the United States much-vaunted Non-NATO Ally. Has the United States forgotten that the unprecedented Islamic Jihadi onslaught on the citadels of American power in Homeland USA on 9/11 was planned, financed and facilitated by Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI? Has the United States forgotten USA by Pakistan to ensure that the 9/11 Commission of Inquiry did not incorporated adverse references to Pakistan?

With such sordid records of dubious demonstrated performances of China and Pakistan against the United States, is the United States as the most powerful global power naïve and so gullible as not being able to see through China’s and Pakistan’s duplicity. This becomes more pitiable when it is taken into account that Washington abounds in a rich profusion of highly-rated think-tanks and towering intellectuals.

What inscrutable factors impel the United States to molly-cuddle China and Pakistan, virtually sworn enemies of the United States? Against whom does the United States wish to enlist the services and assistance of China and Pakistan? Analytically, nothing strikes the mind on any objective analysis as to how China and Pakistan figure in the United States strategic calculus and balance of power games.

United States with its delusionary reverie on China and Pakistan falls into the trap of distorted thinking when it comes to both these nations more feared for their disruptive state-behaviours than respected as responsible nations.

The nearest clue to American thinking on China and Pakistan was recently provided by Bruce Riedel, ex-CIA expert and adviser to US Presidents in an interview when questioned about United States policy inclinations towards China, Pakistan and India. He replied that the United States policies towards China are fashioned in terms of US Asia Pacific strategic imperatives and towards Pakistan in relation to its importance to US strategic interests in the Middle East. Coming to India, Riedel stated that the United States viewed India in ‘isolation’.

While the United States persists in viewing China and Pakistan through different strategic prisms, the United States seems to be disturbingly oblivious to the fact that the already emerged and kicking China-Pakistan Axis is viewing the Indo Pacific and Greater South West Asia, regions of vital strategic importance to US national security, through a ‘joint strategic prism’ targeted at the strategic diminution of the United States in this vast expanse of Asian strategic spaces and whose first step is checkmating India which for them is getting perilously for them in a proximate strategic relationship with the United States.

The evolution of a proximate US-India Strategic Partnership when fully substantiated would endanger the balance of power in the Indo Pacific against the combined might of the China-Pakistan Axis. India is alive to the strategic ramifications of the China-Pakistan Axis and would have factored-in this threat in its military formulations and contingency planning. India, it is hoped, would also have factored-in in its military planning that the United States with its delusionary attachments and narcissistic fixations with China and Pakistan, may end up as a passive spectator in any future China-Pakistan Axis military misadventure against India.

But the bigger and moot question that begs an answer is as to whether the United States has even commenced its focus and military planning on the emergence of the China-Pakistan Axis joint onslaught on American interests in Indo Pacific Asia and Greater South West Asia?

Not much evidence is visible on the websites neither of the major American think-tanks nor in any pronouncements of US Pacific Command and US Central Command military dignitaries. References to China as a threat have started figuring but only in the Pacific context.

Strangely, no US policies or steps are also visible which suggest that the United States is seriously engaged in ensuring that the military capabilities of China and Pakistan are under any sort of American checkmating. On the contrary, the United States seems to be intent in extending sizeable US military aid and providing US F-16 fighters to Pakistan to “combat terrorism” It would be a strategic irony that sometime in the future, us-supplied F-16 fighter aircraft come into play jointly with Chinese fighter aircraft as part of the China-Pakistan Axis.

United States political establishment, its intelligence agencies and its military leadership seems to be seriously lacking in coming to grips with the strategic ramifications of the China-Pakistan Axis to US national strategic interests. This strategic myopia arises from the United States persisting in viewing Chia and Pakistan in two different and unrelated regional strategic prisms.

The United States should realise that it is high time that the China-Pakistan Axis is now seriously viewed through an integrated regional prism analysed in American intelligence and military planning as a “serious threat-in-the making to US national security interests.”