1st Edition

United States and Pakistan in the 21st Century Geostrategy and Geopolitics in South Asia

By Syed Tahseen Raza Copyright 2021
    294 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    294 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    294 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book historically maps and examines the evolving, contemporary geostrategic and geopolitical imperatives of the United States within Pakistan and the South Asian region, especially after September 11, 2001. It offers a detailed and theoretical account of the rapidly changing context of US foreign policy towards Pakistan after 2001. The history of the US-Pakistan relationship has been a complex and inscrutable mix of cooperation and conflict has turned even more challenging after 9/11. This book covers the latest developments and relevant themes from world politics as it discusses the impact of the unprecedented rise in religious extremism in Pakistan, stemming from the US War on Terror as well as Pakistan’s economic vulnerability and military dictatorship, India’s offer to support the US in its war in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s nuclear capability, and the US administration’s decision to end financial aid to Pakistan. The study highlights the fact that, from the receding of British influence in the region through the Cold War and post-Cold War phases to the post-9/11 period, US-South Asia policy has been informed by the theoretical paradigm of the grand strategy of primacy.

    This topical book will be useful to scholars and researchers of international relations, politics, political studies, strategic and defence studies, security and peace studies, foreign policy, area studies, and South Asian studies. It will also interest diplomats, politicians, policymakers, security experts, journalists, and think tanks interested in India, Pakistan, and the United States on issues of international politics, world affairs, and terrorism.



    Chapter 1: Geostrategy, Geopolitics and Foreign Policy: A Theoretical Understanding

    Chapter 2: Making of United States’ Geostrategic Thinking and South Asia

    Chapter 3: Geopolitical Interest of United Sates in South Asia: Situating Pakistan

    Chapter 4: United States and Pakistan: An Overview of Past Relations

    Chapter 5: United States Involvement in Pakistan since 2001: Confounding Problems or Moving Towards Solution

    Chapter 6: Engaging Pakistan Post-9/11: United States’ Policy Instruments

    Chapter 7: Effectiveness of United States’ Policy towards Pakistan Post-9/11





    Syed Tahseen Raza is Assistant Professor in the Department of Strategic and Security Studies, Faculty of International Studies at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), India. Previously, he taught at the Department of Political Science and Centre for Women’s Studies, AMU, and the Department of Political Science, Miranda House, University of Delhi. An expert in international politics and security, he works on gender, peace, and security, and has an interest in establishing security and peace studies programmes in India.

    ‘Absorbing . . . combines scholarship with readability . . . postulates a theoretical schema to explain how in practice American policy towards Pakistan has resulted in the quest for "Primacy" making the US a "monster" in the public imagination in Pakistan . . . a useful Indian counterpart to the Pakistani scholar Husain Haqqani’s Magnificent Delusion.’

    Mani Shankar Aiyar, Former Minister, Government of India and India’s first Consul General in Karachi 

    ‘Syed Tahseen Raza’s book is fascinating reading for anyone wishing to understand and evaluate the foreign policy behavior of the United States towards Pakistan in this century. Furthermore, this book is a key contribution that helps the reader to analyse the geo-strategic needs and compulsions of the United States in the South Asia region. Highly recommended for anyone interested in South Asian geopolitics!’

    Ashok Swain, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden 

    ‘In this book, Syed Tahseen Raza provides a rich analysis of the "tortured" relationship between the United States and Pakistan. Using 9/11 as a historical pivot, Raza traces the continuities and discontinuities from British colonial policies, through the Cold War, to the War on Terror. The focus on America’s "Grand Strategy of Primacy" allows Raza to evaluate the shortcomings of US policy. The analysis raises important questions for rethinking international relations through a deep historical study that is situated within global geopolitics that recognises the uniqueness of the South Asian regional context and made more complicated by the particular and changing interests of the various leaders of both US and Pakistan. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the current situation and reimagining new futures beyond the "tortured" past of US–Pakistan relations."

    Chad Haines, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, USA 

    ‘In explaining US foreign policy toward Pakistan in terms of Grand Strategy of Primacy, this important book reveals the important political consequences of acting in terms of national and imperially-grounded security, rather than human security and transnational collaboration. It also exposes how fear, masked as cold, rational behavior, underlies US foreign policy toward this strategically important partner post 9/11. Its evidence-rich historical analysis makes it a must-read for analysts of US–Pakistani relationships.’

    Catia Cecilia Confortini, Associate Professor, Peace & Justice Studies Program, Wellesley College, USA 

    ‘In this beautifully crafted book on geostrategic politics in South Asia, Syed Tahseen Raza offers a nuanced and comprehensive analysis of what the US has gained by its involvement in Pakistan in the present century. It is a useful text for both students and specialists.’

    Mirza Asmer Beg, Professor and former Chairperson, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, India  

    ‘Unlike much of South Asian scholarship on US engagement with the region dominated by empirical description and military focus, this book nicely balances theoretical insights with empirical analysis and provides a detailed and richer understanding of how the seemingly contradictory approaches of the US toward Pakistan has evolved over the time. An important contribution to the field of International Relations and South Asian studies.’

    Dibyesh Anand, Professor and Head of the School of Social Sciences, University of Westminster, London, UK 

    ‘Colonial activities are often portrayed as occurring in a bygone era, when continents and regions were viewed as playthings for the powerful, and people inhabiting these regions were treated as objects, not consent-bearing subjects entitled to determine the dynamics of their own societies and communities. In this work, exciting new scholar Dr. Syed Tahseen Raza shows the continued salience of quasi-colonial practices in our contemporary histories. In assessing the role that the United States of America has played in furthering its interest in South Asia, Raza traces the contours of its ebbs and flows through various staging points in its relationship with Pakistan. The work, which makes an important contribution to the strategic studies and international relations literature, is equally, a compelling read on contemporary foreign policy practice, set against well-known episodic landmarks including 9/11. As a consequence of its mix of theory and practice the book will be revealing to the many who are interested in the geopolitics of the region, the respective foreign policies of the United States of America and Pakistan, and to those who study and track the use of power and hegemony in world affairs. The work also provides a key perspective to those interested in anti-terrorism actions, showing how poorly designed attempts to eradicate it, may in fact have the opposite effect in sowing discord. A worthy and timely contribution from an insightful researcher and writer.’

    Joshua Castellino, Executive Director & Professor of Law, Minority Rights Group (International), formerly Founding Dean of the School of Law, Middlesex University, London, UK 

    ‘Fascinating narrative. Helps us comprehend the geostrategic imperatives of the United States, as they have evolved in a rapidly changing context. Global power dynamics are exposed, with South Asia as the arena.’

    Balveer Arora, Professor and Chairman, Centre for Multilevel Federalism, New Delhi, and Former Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India