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Biden’s statement against Pakistan

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Recently, in an unofficial meeting President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, claimed that Pakistan is maybe *one of the most dangerous nations in the world* as the country has *nuclear weapons without any cohesion*. What do you think is either a slip of the tongue or a deliberate mistake? And then Why Pakistan only? Why Pakistan became important suddenly? Why did the USA not focus on India’s criminal negligence, which mistakenly fired its nuclear missiles? Was such failure not a threat to Biden? As we know that in international relations, the reality is not objective. It is subjective and socially constructed. To understand Biden’s statement and all these dilemmas, let’s look at PAK-US relations through a constructive lens.

One thing America must realize and believe is that it’s not a unipolar world. Such irresponsible or baseless statements of key officials like Biden can disturb the PAK-US relations, which is mutually beneficial in this multi-polar world. No doubt, America remained the world’s sole power after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), but the contemporary world power structure is not the same; it is shifting or almost shifted from a uni-polar to a multi-polar system. In short, it’s time for America to come out from the cold war politics and accept the complex realities of today’s world.

Is Biden’s statement a slip of the tongue?

A slip of the tongue is normal and evident in this age, but in diplomacy, nothing is normal. Any action or statement of critical officials is not taken as a mistake but as a message. Here arose a very reasonable question why central authorities made such mistakes? To understand this, we must know the complexities of the decision-making process. It is not child’s play to make and take decisions in a foreign office.

It is very subjective. Before making any decision, you have to measure the cost of your action. Because every step has its reaction, and every choice has a price. Then here we have another question how do they calculate the cost of their efforts? They made some mistakes deliberately in an unofficial way, as Joe Biden’s statement did in this case, to check the reaction or cost of their actions. After this, they think Rationally; if the price is affordable, they finally make decisions.

We have to understand that it is the cost of your actions that forced policymakers to design a Policy accordingly. To cut a long story short, key officials or central authorities have no personal life. Everything they did was taken as a message. Their slip of tongues and mistakes have meanings. And these meanings vary from one state to another. Your mistakes are not mistakes for your adversaries and vice versa. Biden’s statement in this manner becomes a question of foreign policy.

US President Joe Biden speaks about lowering costs for American families at Irvine Valley Community College in Irvine, California on October 14, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

Impact of Biden’s statement

America has lost its previous glory as in the cold war era. Now It is declining power. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas, particularly in Asia, america is losing its influence continuously. For instance, look at Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and even India, their core member in QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue). They don’t want to accept the hegemonic role of the USA.

Pakistani society already has negative discourse against the USA due to its policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Kashmir. Therefore, such irresponsible actions like Biden’s speech may destroy their remaining significance in this region. In the last paragraph, we see how the USA has been losing its influence in Asia since the time of the Trump administration. Such baseless statements are not suitable for American interests at all. If the USA doesn’t revisit its regional policy, then other powers will come to fill this power vacuum. The USA should avoid living in a Utopian world.

The most certain thing in this world is uncertainty. The world’s anarchic structure is creating problems throughout the world. The world’s double standards are crushing less powerful entities. Niccolo Machiavelli rightly said that politics has no morals. See the double standards of the USA, on one side criticized the country which has the most advanced safety measures for its nuclear assets and follows international standards. On the other side, they remained silent on India’s criminal negligence, who mistakenly fired their atomic missiles and were involved in the uranium business. Recently, North Korea tested its missile over Japanese territory. Go and criticize them.

What was the hidden message in recent Biden’s statement?

To understand this, don’t forget to look at the historical Pak-US relations because you don’t drive a car without a back mirror. In PAK-US, historic references clearly showed that the USA supported Pakistan only for its strategic interests. For instance, before the U-2 crisis in the 1960s, the USA supported Pakistan, not for Pakistan, but they helped Pakistan because they needed PAK to curtail Communism in this region. They engaged Pak in SEATO and CENTO just because of their strategic need. Pakistan gets nothing from these defense alliances. Look at the arms embargo of 1965, which ultimately favored Pakistan’s adversary in war.

Pakistan had to pay a high cost for these American alliances. Why didn’t the USA support PAK in a time of need, like the U-2 crisis, in the 1965 war, in the 1971 war, etc.? The simple answer is that they don’t need PAK at that time. They almost failed to stop communism in South East Asia and were defeated severely in the Vietnam war. Therefore, Pakistan became irrelevant after that. But again, Pakistan became a lovely friend when the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 because of their strategic requirement. They again supported Pakistan due to its strategic significance, and after this, they simply kicked out and imposed sanctions on Pakistan. In Short, whenever the USA take Pakistan’name in their statements, it is understood that they have some regional strategic issue that haunts america.

What regional developments could disturb the American interests in this region?

Firstly, the USA knew that china was growing as a new competitor globally and in this region. The USA already signed QUAD and recently AUKUS to counter china and influence essential trade routes in the Indo-Pacific region.

 Secondly, BRI (Belt road initiative)in general and CPEC particularly haunt Chinese adversaries. Therefore, the USA launch every strategy that counters Chinese progress. To counter BRI USA launched B3W (Build Back Better world)

Thirdly, Pakistan is a significant country in this region. It has nuclear capability along with a pivotal Geostrategic position. The USA wants to cash this opportunity to look at Pakistan’s fragile economy. Therefore, they started homework once again. 

In a nutshell, neither Pakistan nor the global power structure remains the same as in the cold war era. It is a bitter reality, and no one can omit this. Bilawal Bhutto, a foreign minister of Pakistan, took proper action and called the US ambassador to demarche over Biden’s statement. In short, it’s time for the USA to come out from cold war politics and accept the complex realities of this multi-polar world.

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The author is a student of Politics and International Relations at QAU, Islamabad.

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