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Trump pressures Pakistan and engages India in new Afghan strategy: experts

(People's Daily Online)    11:26, August 24, 2017


The new Afghanistan strategy introduced by US President Donald Trump might cause a new round of adjustments and changes to its global strategy, two Chinese experts said in an article published on haiwainet.cn.

Trump said on Aug. 22 that the U.S. will not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. A new strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia was made centering on counter-terrorism.

There are mainly three impacts of the new strategy, said Li Yan, assistant director of the Institute of American Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), and Wang Shida, assistant director of CICIR's Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies.

Trump's plan might mean warfare in Afghanistan will be escalated, they pointed out, elaborating that details of the plan such as additional troop numbers have not been released, but Trump emphasized the importance of using the military to solve Afghan issues.

They added that Trump also said that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will focus on counter-terrorism instead of reconstruction and spreading democracy, which means more military actions against the Taliban and ISIS in the country are likely.

The balance of power in South Asia will be broken by America's action to pressure Pakistan and ally India, said the two scholars who are also commentators of haiwainet.cn.

Trump spoke highly of India's role in the new Afghanistan strategy, encouraging India to take a more positive and active role, but he lambasted Pakistan, claiming that it offered a safe haven to "agents of chaos." He also pressured Pakistan to shut down terrorist sanctuaries that line its border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan may encounter heavier pressure and tougher foreign and security policies from India and other neighboring countries as a result of the strategy, thus affecting the peace and stability of South Asia, according to the experts.

The new strategy might lead to a new round of adjustments to American global strategy, they concluded.

The strategic change this time is the most significant change since the American army announced to end its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.

The new strategy was made after considering various elements, revealed by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The experts argued that amidst the current vague global strategy adopted by Trump Administration, counterterrorism might become a priority.

Counterterrorism has been placed high on the list of U.S. global strategy since Trump assumed the presidency, they added.

The Afghan issue is likely to be a significant factor that influences Trump's global strategy, they said, adding that there is also a possibility for the U.S. to send more troops in the fight against terrorism.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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