Pakistan is not an important area for the US and Iran, but it still figures into the overall strategy. Having a huge impact on US strategic interests Pakistan is concerned about the Afghan stabilization efforts, and reduction of violent conflict in the region. With nearly a decade of economic and military aid in Pakistan (4.34 billion in 2010) the US has found it's influence limited and deteriorating. Anti Americanism is rampant throughout Pakistan, with senior military and government officials at odds with US military activity within their country (especially the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden-May 2, 2011), and border operations leading to the death of Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. Mr. Anthony Cordesman's group at the Center for Strategic and International studies provided data, along with Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan (Assistant Professor, University of Baltimore-School of Public and International Affairs). Legal scholars are writing a subject matter paper on Middleast Policy at Abraham Lincoln University School of Law. The primary strategic goals of Iran are, 1) it's eastern region's security and stability in the protection of it's area, 2) Sunni powers religious competition (such as Saudi Arabia), and 3) ensuring a post American influence in Afghanistan. Iran is looking into avoiding instability, by threats posed by Sunni Taliban and Pakistan's Baloch's. The relationship within the region lies in their energy ties to each other. Growing US and Pakistani tension is a key factor outlining US and Iranian competition. Establishing diplomatic relations in 1947 Washington provided economic and military assistance and suspended it in 1956 because of the Indo-Pakistani War, generating widespread feeling in the US that Pakistan was not a stable ally. Relations improved over time and arms sales were renewed in 1975. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 strategically placed Pakistan as a pillar of US diplomacy in Central Asia and became the main staging area for the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation. The US and Pakistan in 1981 negotiated a 3.2 billion military and economic assistance program to help Pakistan deal with their security issues in the region and it's economic needs. US assistance allowed Pakistan to arm and supply anti Soviet fighters in Afghanistan deemed the largest covert operation in history at that time to defeat the Soviets (withdrew in 1989). 40% of the US's assistance package to Pakistan in the form of non reimbursable credits for military purchases-it was classified as the third largest project behind Israel and Egypt. The Presslar Amendment in October 1990 suspended all military assistance and new economic aid. The amendment required that the President certify annually that Pakistan "does not posses a nuclear explosive device; which resulted in sanctions following Pakistans nuclear tests in response to India's May 1998 tests and the military coup of 1999. Pakistan extended recognition in 1997 to the Taliban regime in 1997, because of their belief that they would offer strategic depth in any future conflict with India. Conflict in Pakistan came when many of their people objected to the Taliban's human rights record and radical interpretation of Islam. Pakistan closed it's borders and downgraded it's ties (altering it's policy), after the Talibans resistance to Islamabad's pressure to comply with the UN Security Council Resolutions to surrender Usama Bin Laden after the September 11 bombings in New York City and Washington D.C. Pakistans cooperation (intelligence gathering, and logistical transit route for their material) was crucial to the US and NATO gave them the status of non-NATO ally by President Bush in 2004, receiving extensive support and attention. In 2002 it received US assistance in the amount of 20 billion, and in 2010 it received 13.3 billion military assistance. The Pakistani armed forces supplied by the US (key arms supplier) through the Foreign Military Financing program will supply heavy equipment and 100 F-16 aircraft. Pakistans strategic priorities are, 1) focuses on the Indian threat, 2) does not trust the US-sees it as a emporary force that will again abandon the region in 2014, and 3) continue to maneuver to secure it's interests in a post American Afghanistan. Tensions between Pakistan and the US have made the US as unpopular as India in their public opinion. Until 2014 each country has different objectives, with their cooperation more facade than real. A Shiite theocracy in Iran is partially due to the uncertain Iranian-Pakistani relations since the 1979 Iranian revolution. During the cold war Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan were the three main US allies in the region. Tehran (Iran) and Islamabad (Pakistan) perceived that the Baloch nationalism was a threat to regional stability and territorial integrity collaborated and suppressed the movement. The Shah's reign forced Iran to send Cobra attack helicopters to help Pakistan put down the Baloch dissension. The Iranian revolution in 1979 caused interest in pan-Shiite solidarity, with Iran's theocracy resenting the state sponsored sectarian persecution of Pakistani Shias during and after the Zia era. Iran's concerns were, 1) the penetration of Pakistan's Sunni madrassa sector, 2) growing strength of the Wahhabi influenced (and financed) Deobandi Islam, 3) the growth in extremist Sunni groups sponsored by the Pakistani Intelligence agencies (anti-Shia sectarian violence), 4) Saudi financed large groups of the Deobandi and Ahle-Hadith infrastructure in Pakistan to stop both the Sufi Barelvis and the Shias. After the revolution many Pakistani Shias looked to Iran for spiritual and political guidance. After the Iranian revolution a shift from historical spiritual guidance from Iraq was caused by the Islami Students Organization (ISO), who publically supported Ayatollah Khomeini as marja-e-taqlid (source of emulation). Pakistani Shia students began traveling to Iran for their education; stopping the traditional control of the Shia clergy in Pakistan. The Shias established their own militant groups (Sipah-e-Mohammad) financed by Iran by and large because of the Sunni attacks in the 1980's and 90's. The Iranian counsel in Lahore was assassinated by the militants which drew iranian support after 1990. The Sunni movement outclassed and outnumbered the Shiite militants in Pakistan. During the anti-Soviet jihad, Tehran and Islamabad generated seperate forces to combat the Russians, there were serious differences in their Afghan policies. After the Soviets left Afghanistan's Shiite minority was desired by Iran to be represented in post war power sharing arrangements and desired influence in northern and western Afghanistan. Iran threw it's full support (military and diplomatic) behind the Sunni Pashtuns (Taliban), who persecuted Afghanistan's Hazara Shias. Much of the 1990's saw the Taliban battling against the Tajik and Uzbek-dominated Northern Alliance forces (were provided military and economic support). the Pakistani-Iranian cooperation reached it's lowest point when, 1) the Taliban took Mazar-e-Sharif, 2) massacred the Hazara Shia populace, and 3) executed nine Iranian diplomats (Iran blamed Pakistan). The incidents resulted in a large scale mobilization of Iranian military forces along the border; however the threatened invasion never materialized. The invasion of Afghanistan led by the US forces caused the Iranian Pakistani relations to start up. In December 2001 the Iranian and Pakistani foreign ministers declared a "new era of cooperation", which was followed by a three day visit to Pakistan by Iranian President Khatami in December 2002. Both sides promised to begin better economic cooperation in the energy and natural gas sectors, and improve border security. Pledged support for the Bonn process by Iran and Pakistan in Afghanistan allowed them to step up their defense cooperation (joint production of the Al-Khalid main battle tank. Iran and Pakistan have made efforts to improve their relations in 2010 and 2011 since the US relations with Pakistan have eroded. President Ahmadinejad made his first visit to Pakistan, increasing the high profile diplomatic contacts between Tehran and Islamabad (included two visits by President Zardari to Tehran in the space of a month) in June-July 2011, discussing economic and energy relations, terrorism, narcotics, and the Afghan future. Suggestions on the table would be to; 1) review the Bonn process and suggest amendments to include more cooperation with the western powers, 2) amend ecoomic cooperatin to include western power discussion for energy and natural gas sectors, 3) the US assistance package should be reevaluated to include reimbursable credits
for military purchases, 4) to keep the US-Pakistani relations from further eroding have the state department draft a new set of amendmenst to increase joint cooperation (time dependant), and 5) the Presslar agreement needs to be further changed to supply limited military and economic aid..
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