This policy outlook provides a historical account of the US-Pakistan relationship, and highlights the trajectory of the American war in Afghanistan.
The long US-Pakistan relationship has seen many ups and downs over the decades. One of the most significant influences was the US-led war in Afghanistan, which ultimately led to a deterioration in relations. Pakistani leaders believed the US expected more than Pakistan was able to contribute while American leaders called Pakistan duplicitous and alleged that the country provided safe havens to terrorists, despite Pakistan struggling with a Taliban insurgency itself. However, the two countries seem to have reached an alignment in terms of envisioning a peaceful Afghanistan. This has created an opportunity to redefine and transform the US-Pakistan relationship from a patron-client state relationship to a bona fide strategic partnership that both countries have the potential to build and benefit from amidst shifting regional and global dynamics.Download the Policy Outlook