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How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States: Riding the Roller Coaster (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books) Paperback – April 1, 2011
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A fascinating account of how Pakistanis have historically used a mix of charm, military polish, occasional deception, guilt trips, pleas of national weakness, knowledge of Afghanistan, and strategically advantageous geography right next to Afghanistan to induce the United States to do more for them.
Read the full review here. (Foreign Policy)
About the Author
Howard Schaffer is a professor at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. During his thirty-six year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, he served as ambassador to Bangladesh (1984 87), political counselor at American embassies in India (1977 79) and Pakistan (1974 77), and he was twice deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for South Asian affairs.
Top Customer Reviews
The authors walk the reader through the history of bilateral relations to explain why both sides have reason to perceive the other as unreliable. Each side has unreasonable unstated objectives about the other: the United States expecting Pakistan to give up its obsession with India; Pakistan expecting the United States to side with in against India in a significant way. The bilateral relationship falls apart when the gap over these unstated expectations becomes too glaring, and outweighs negotiated agreements on other issues.
The authors identify three occasions when the United States and Pakistan have agreed to become strategic allies (Pakistan entering the Cold War on the U.S. side in 1954; responding to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980-81; responding to the 9/11 attacks). In each of the two earlier cases, the parties fell out over events driven by that gap over the bigger unstated issues about ten years after reaching agreement on the "lesser" issues.
Just a few months past the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the start of the war in Afghanistan, are we set to follow the pattern again? I hope not, and the authors, experienced retired American diplomats, offer advice for how the United States might (and should) avoid a total break with Pakistan, while rethinking relations. As a former professor of mine puts it, "Pakistan has more people than Russia and more nukes than Great Britain."
Pakistan - U.S. relations over the past 60 years have been marked by highs and lows, with three marriages and two divorces. The first divorce came in 1965 during the Pakistan - India war when Pakistan used U.S. provided weapons which Washington had warned them against using vs. India. Pakstan's nuclear program caused the second divorce, leading to the cut-off of assistance in the 1990s. Both instances involved Pakistan's refusal to accept U.S. conditions, and have led Pakistan to see the U.S. as an unfaithful ally - especially in comparison with China.
Pakistanis have also come to see the U.S. becoming more aligned with India as a means of counterbalancing China. Thus, Pakistan is not looking towards China, oil-rich Arab nations and other Muslim countries for backing.
Pakistan sees the U.S. as a counterweight to India and its neighbors, and the U.S. tries to use Pakistan to gain influence in the region. More recently, the U.S. has attempted to partner with Pakistan based on the premises that our and their goals in Pakistan are the same, and that both nations need the other. Authors Schaffer contend that this is only half true. Both nations would like to see a peaceful Afghanistan, but U.S. concerns over al Qaeda in Afghanistan are of much less concern to Pakistan than preventing India from having significant influence there. (India's consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar don't help.Read more ›