History is infested with examples that maximum numbers of time settlements of the protracted wars have been engendered a new geo-political competition accompanied by afresh alliance system and reconfigured strategic priorities. Current scenario is no exception at large.  As the war in Afghanistan is winding down, Washington’s hierarchy of choices undergo shuffling, and new power structure dawns.

Being experienced partner, geographical contiguity and having acquaintance with the rules of Afghan-bargaining, Pakistan isn’t a historical option for the people sitting in the White House and Pentagon. America understands strategic-value of its neglected friend, especially amidst transitional period between peace and war.

In the likely aftermath of Afghan war, geo political chessboard is adorned where every player dexterously rushes to occupy suitable place for timely checkmate. Amid geo-political bargaining for consolidating respective positions, 2017 National Security Strategy of the United States of America largely settled down floating hazed. In the 2017 defence document America declared revisionist China and Russia as top threats to its national security. 

The deducted understanding purportedly shows that in this region Pakistan, disparate to prevailed speculations, re-emerging as an effective geo-political actor-cum-broker in the region with having global magnitude.

The ephemeral dream of uni-polarity has kicked off to evaporate and the reality of multi-polar world dawns where various players holding mammoth capacity of trouble making.

Taliban probably is to be new addition in the list.

American appeased approach towards Taliban and its subsequent recognition as legitimate political actor has bolstered its morale and inculcated enthusiasm to play its new-found role with elevated sense of victory over satanic superpowers.

The spectrum of American choices is growing narrower with every passing day. Revisionist China and Russia along other middle and small states brought multiple challenges for post-war (WWII) liberal order. But US yet holds few cards to get entangled them more deeply within.

The texture of this emerging dissatisfied bloc is heterogamous in essence.

However, various states of dissatisfied bloc (Sino- Russia etc) have their domestic instabilities and external entanglements in serious conflicts.

The alarming phenomenon for this dissatisfied bloc (Sino- Russia etc) is its further devolving in the beset aforementioned quagmires.

A larger amount of their energies are being sapped and they least able to play geo-political cards accordingly. However, their firebrand orating leadership has been able to veer the attention of ordinary masses towards others created urgency.

Over the last two decades, America tried to reverse Cold War era evolved Islamic atmosphere of the region. Its bombed Islamic radical organisations once used to be its pets against USSR, and channelized its energies towards the democratization phase in the Islamic world. However, pathetically the theory did not attend the desired results and struck back in terms of pandemic terror, turmoil and anarchy. These misdiagnosed crusades in theory and practice have had twofold repercussions for American dominated uni-polirity: first, precipitated structural changes and second, provided a fertile ground for China and Russia to thrive unchecked. The American entanglement against its own assets served an opportunity for socialist world by expurgating the radical elements catering grave challenges to the atheist’s governmental apparatus in Russia and China. The Global war on Terror, indeed, had been proved the period of strategic vacation for China and Russia.

However, following its unproductive adventures against Islamic world, America realised the importance of Islamic world as vital balancer between it and its geo-political rivals. The current developments are indications of American Cold war’s strategy:  American friendly Islamic structure that encapsulated the region at large and USSR in particular to entangle it simultaneously on two fronts – geo political and ideological.

In holistic terms ideologically three powerful actors are in motion. America is in struggle to maintain status quo, dissatisfied bloc (Sino- Russia etc) bent upon to upset American dominated order and Islamic world is divided and oscillating between former power epicentres but simultaneously has the capability to act as balancer in their geo-political equation.  America inclination towards Pakistan is to get it mediated force to ameliorate it relations with Islamic radical and popular forces in the region and divert their energies towards dissatisfied bloc under China. The recently over exaggeratedly highlighted Uighurs issue is beginning of this neo-Islamisation project aims at China. In this complex geo-political competition,   Pakistan is the key to unlock this new Pandora’s Box of power competition.

– The writer is a research scholar from

National Defence University and can be reached at nha.pro28@gmail.com