The US’ strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Trump administration would be driven largely by the conditions on the ground, a noted American expert on South Asia said today.
This is unlike that of the previous Obama administration which determined its policy based on timeline, Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation told a Washington audience.
At the same time, she noted that the Trump administration would be concerned by the Chinese strategic goal in multi- billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in terms of getting access to the Gwadar Port and the Arabian Sea, even as it is more in alignment of the economic goals of this project.
“The (US) strategy (to Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Trump Administration) would be driven largely by the conditions on the ground,” Curtis said.
“(Under the Trump administration) there will be a willingness to listen to the commanders on the ground and not just focused on the time line. Commanders on the ground were frustrated by the time line approach (under the previous Obama Administration),” Curtis said.
Curtis felt that US public opinion is now different than it was six-seven years ago.
However, several of the top leaders of the Trump administration including the Defence Secretary and the National Security Advisor – both leaders from the military – understand the importance of investment in the region and significance of the two countries.