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Pakistan’s Dependence and US Patronage: The Politics of ‘Limited Influence’

Ahmed Waqas Waheed

Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2017, vol. 4, issue 1, 69-94

Abstract: Despite having poured billions of dollars of aid into Pakistan’s economy and its military over the years, there is a general acceptability among scholars and policymakers that the United States exercises limited leverage in Pakistan. Although India remains the centrepiece in US–Pakistan policy divergences, US frustrations often stem from the ineffectiveness of its aid-for-leverage policy, especially given Pakistan’s dependence on US military assistance. The limited US influence in Pakistan can best be understood within the framework of patron–client relationship and arms dependence. If the theory suggests anything, it is that various factors including US and Pakistan’s behaviour contribute in channelling the relationship towards its apparent demise. Most important within these is China’s central role in helping Pakistan indigenize its military production and diversify its arms supply. In that sense, then, China has colluded with Pakistan in indirectly limiting US influence in Pakistan and the trend suggests that this collaboration will further reduce US leverage over Pakistan.

Keywords: Pakistan–US relations; Pakistan–China relations; political dependence; limited influence; foreign assistance; US leverage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:asseca:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:69-94

DOI: 10.1177/2347797016689220

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