In an interview at The Council on Foreign Relations, former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis reiterated that Pakistan is the “most dangerous” country in terms of the USA’s foreign policy. He cited the extent of the radicalization of Pakistani society and its nuclear weapons as reasons for his view.
“Of all the countries I’ve dealt with, I consider Pakistan to be the most dangerous, because of the radicalization of its society and the availability of nuclear weapons,” Mattis has written in his autobiography “Call Sign Chaos”. He said, “We can’t have the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world falling into the hands of the terrorists breeding in their midst. The result would be disastrous.”
Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis had very harsh words to offer for the Pakistani establishment. He said that “they don’t have leaders who care about their future”. “We could manage our problems with Pakistan, but our divisions were too deep, and trust too shallow, to resolve them,” he wrote further. It is this lack of trust that prompted former US President Barack Obama to not inform Pakistan of the US Navy SEALs raid that found and killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, according to Mattis.
The former US Defense Secretary also slammed the Pakistani establishment for its obsession with India. He says that Pakistan “views all geopolitics through the prism of its hostility toward India” and that has also shaped its policy on Afghanistan as the “the Pakistan military wanted a friendly government in Kabul that was resistant to Indian influence”.
Ever since Donald Trump assumed the seat of the US President, American policy on Pakistan has seen a decisive shift. Recently, the US had slashed its aid to Pakistan by a further $440 million. Last year the USA had canceled military aid worth over 300 million USD.
Before that, the Pentagon had slashed aid worth 1 billion USD, citing Pakistan’s failure to crack down on terror outfits. During Imran Khan’s visit to the US recently, Donald Trump had said to his face that the US has cut down aid to Pakistan because “Pakistan was not doing anything for the US, they were being really subversive”.
Consistent with USA’s drift away from Pakistan, Indo-US ties have seen a greater convergence between the two countries on various issues under the Trump administration.