JAMES Mattis unfolded new US Defence strategy (NSS) countering China and Russia speaking at John Hopkins University. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visit to Delhi, any Israeli PM in last 15 years. Ironically Ashraf Ghanai was there so was Reportedly Mehmood Achakzai (not confirmed). It is opening of a new game in the region and globally. US is escalating same time it activities in Afghanistan, and increase expenditure on new weapons systems. Note point is there is a shift from war against terrorism to global strategic reorientation .The focus is major strategy shift of global game. What Trump policy portray in future conflict there is every possibility of use of force. It is indeed dangerous for world peace. Where as Chinese response is more diplomatic and to resolve issues through peaceful means
The increase in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and recent attack on intercontinental Kabul and Afghan Military Academy indicate a new surge in Afghanistan by Taliban. It will increase further pressures on Pakistan. Already Afghan spy agency is claiming Pakistan’s hand. No surprise Raw itself is the Architect to malign Pakistan. We will see more and increase in Indian violations on LOC. Recent attack and now on the working Boundary is certainly a pointer for the events to come. TTP will increase activity in Pakistan especially in Balochistan. It is all-indicative of a nexus emerging where the strategic targets will be CPEC and check Pakistan shift towards China and Russia. The new policy articulate the central theme the new threat emerging economically, militarily and politically is China and Russia . The Russian threat as perceived by USA is Military and thus both threaten the Dominance of USA globally. It places emphasis on India to counter regionally thus shifting the emphasis from South East Asia to South Asia. In this scenario Pakistan tilt towards China, Russia and CPEC is to be checked. For the these aims USA has to stay in Afghanistan.
Acting Secretary of Atate visit and again in pressurising Pakistan to follow US line all speak of the scene emerging fraught with dangers Regionally and globally. Link it with Indian Army Chief threats and financial pressures being created through WB and IMF slipping rupee down , should be taken seriously . What are we doing to counter these ominous moves is questionable. Unfortunately latest posture of MNS if I am not there a la East Pakistan like situation could develop is an extremely dangerous statement. Unfortunately neither our Opposition nor other Parliament parties have acted on a serious note. Parties are squabbling on non issues whereas the governance is losing its grip. This is what our enemies plan is. Create fissures in the Society and attack when the vulnerability occur.
In this milieu Pakistan’s response is conventional and stereotype. Internally and externally we have to take some considered steps. Growing power of Indian Navy in Indian Ocean and beyond has to be countered as with Gwadar coming up, in between another port beside Karachi and Port Qasim the Coastal road Karachi Gwadar running along, the exposure has vastly increased. Pakistan Navy has to have deep-sea offensive capability. So is the artillery and armour capability matters a lot. We must develop fast acting Combat Groups with this punch not only to counter swift conventional attacks as part of cold start doctrine but supported by Air and Navy around coastal belt. As mentioned above our Eastern coastal areas are specially vulnerable to landings as part of cold start and thus speaks of the requirements of offensive punch to Navy. Sea surveillance and monitoring call aerials surveillance capability enhancement.
Coupled with this our diplomacy has to be par excellent in Washington and globally. The present set of Staff in US failed to address and hob-nob with very elements who are working against the interests of Pakistan. We must understand how Govt function in US and impact of lobbying firm in policy formulation in different tiers. Nevertheless Pakistan should try to keep good relationships with US. In international affairs there is no such thing to cut of relationship. Pakistan has many ways to convey its point of view. Pakistan must develop a strategic balance between all three powers.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, is decorated veteran of 65 & 71 wars and a defence analyst based in Lahore.