The Carter administration’s Pakistan policy before and after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Date
2020-10
Advisor
Miller, Owen
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The United States and Pakistan’s bilateral relationship has seen complex periods of converging and diverging interests that have been shaped by security concerns. The first two years of the Carter administration’s relations with Pakistan saw a divergence of interests primarily due to the United States’ pursuit of its nuclear non-proliferation foreign policy. This study uses archival material to analyze the diplomatic and political discourse which unfolded in Washington D.C. and Islamabad during the enforcement of this policy. The study underlines that policymakers are at times divorced from the experiences of diplomats on ground and highlights the complexity behind state craft, the art of diplomacy and the geopolitical and the geostrategic contours of the United States and Pakistan’s bilateral relationship. The Carter administration’s Pakistan policy vis-à-vis nuclear nonproliferation was only side stepped after a number of external factors in the form of regional events took place. These included, the Iranian revolution, the siege of Mecca, the rise in politicized Islam, the impact these events had on the domestic public opinions of both nations and last but not least, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The multiple security implications of all these events led President Carter to build the foundation for the alliance with Pakistan which would succeed in driving the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan.

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Nuclear non-proliferation, Soviet invasion, The government of Pakistan, The United States of America
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Published Version (Please cite this version)