On 12th October 2022, the White House of the USA released a 48-pager new US National Security Strategy. The US Security Strategy, is reflecting the past of world politics in the mirror of the future. However, in this age of globalization and interdependence bloc politics is only possible through the grafting of relations.

The newly published document of the US security strategy does not mention the past decades’ old allies Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whereas the US sees India as ”the world’s largest democracy” and is looking forward to working together bilaterally and multilaterally, to support their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The document stated China as ‘the most consequential geopolitical challenge’, while it labelled Russia as ‘an immediate and persistent threat to international peace and stability.’ Furthermore, the National Security Strategy also sheds light on the importance of combating terrorism, cyber warfare, climate change, etc.

What is New in the NSS-2022 document?

The most important and new point of attention was the omission of Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the NSS-2022 document. Since Joe Biden got into power, Pakistani and US relations have been on a bumpy road. Pakistan was also not mentioned in the interim NSS-2021 because Pakistan and the US were always partners and had a transactional relationship. The US-Pakistan partnership was less for mutual gains and more for individual needs.

Has the US lost its stronghold over the Middle East?

The KSA was absent from the NSS-2022 document because Joe Biden’s whole election campaign was against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, whom he mentioned as the murderer of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia as a ‘‘pariah’’ state. Even in July 2022, Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia and requested an increase in oil production as the mid-term elections are due in November. Consequently, in October, Russia and Saudi Arabia-led OPEC+ decided to cut oil production after which the US president warned Saudi Arabia of the ‘‘consequences.’’ However, this indicates that the USA has lost its grip over the Middle East along with a strong close ally and at the same time the USA is still determined to ‘fix’ Iran either by hook or by crook, and for that very reason Israel is their ally. 

What does the USA want to achieve?

The USA has repositioned its chessboard by finding India as a new partner in the South Asian region to contain China and to teach Russia a lesson; as it has labelled China and Russia as competitors and threats. This shows that the US still believes in the politics of blocs while the world has already travelled a long way from the cold war. The new idea of bloc politics is not possible because the states are interdependent on each other. For instance, the newly emerging US ally India is a significant trading partner of Russia for oil and wheat and a larger financial market for China. India as an ally of the US in QUAD, still abstained from voting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the United States must understand that grafting relations with countries in will not serve its purpose these times.

Newly emerging ties between the US and India under the Biden-Modi administration also pose a question about the US stance on democracy.

Is the US compromising on its ideological principle stance of liberal democracy?

India is being ruled by the Bhartia Janata Party, a right-wing party and an offshoot of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), with a Hindutva narrative in which minority communities are suffering across the and human rights are being violated. 

The United States’ new National Security Strategy commits to continuing the counter terrorism efforts while failing to give the due credit to its  war on terror ally Pakistan, which remains the primary target.

The USA also wished to work to counter the climate change crisis, but without Pakistan, it is currently facing a major catastrophic challenge.

Although there is no mention of Pakistan’s role or US policy expectations from Pakistan,there are two important things which need attention First, it is a breath of fresh air that the US is not asking Pakistan to DO MORE directly, so it is a golden time to put the bilateral ties with the USA on track. Secondly, Pakistan needs to stay vigilant in case of any US-China security crisis where Pakistan would be the victim because the US president thinks, ‘‘China is trying to figure out its role relative to Russia and relative to India and relative to Pakistan? How do we handle that? How do we handle that relative to what’s going on in Russia? And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”

Through the read of a naked eye it was a question on the Pakistan’s nuclear safety however, the detail through the microscopic lens is otherwise, because these comments reflect that the current administration of the USA look at Pakistan as the backyard of China and Russia as for now and in future. Therefore, Pakistan needs to review and reassess the cost and benefits of a transactional relationship with the USA. 

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1 thought on “National Security Strategy 2022: A New Posture of the US Chessboard”

  1. Wonderful, but we must not forget that United States is one of the most influential country in United Nations too. K-issue is on the agenda of UN as most recently Germany pointed out that k issue Mut be tackle as per UN template. So US, when talks about its ties with china and want to counter it definitely will have to persue k issue. Both Stupids leaders of Pak and India must take the kashmiris into confidence and resolve the problem amicably. Otherwise kashmiris can uplift the gun for their Independence from both India and Pakistan.

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