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Distinguished guest lecture by Brian Katulis, Center for American Progress, USA. October 06, 2011.


    Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Mr. Brian Katulis was hosted to a distinguished guest lecture at the DSS Department on October 06th, 2011. Mr. Katulis works on South Asia and Middle Eastern Politics at the center, spoke on the topic "A Chance for America and Pakistan to Enhance Coordination to Fight Common Threats." The main thrust of his talk at the department centered on the complexities of US security policy formulations, and their impact on regional as well as bilateral US Pakistan ties.

    Giving the audience an insight into US policy making system, he talked about the element of adhocism in handling key policy issues. Depending on the life of a particular administration, presidential appointees, rhetorical politics, interest groups, lobbyists and domestic constraints more than anything affect external relations. In the age of recession, it is very difficult to justify foreign assistance, when tax payers have other priorities and economic considerations. An ideal combination would be that of employing effective smart power, which is an ideal mix of soft and hard power, an issue which the Obama administration was strongly banking upon and tried to implement in Afghanistan. however, such redressal measures came to late in the day, and the surge strategy initially applied in Afghanistan, ended up doing far more damage than the latter emphasis on rehabilitation and reconstruction. A lot of time, it has been noted that there is too much of policy analysis, and very little ground work, which can bring about any positive change.

    For Pakistan and the US, the need is to be empathetic towards each other's concerns and constraints, as Pakistan is not only an important partner, but regional stability and the future of Afghanistan's interaction with regional actors would very much have hinge on Islamabad. Pakistan and US have to reassess and reevaluate their relations, for depending on the direction these relations head in, there can be a better understanding or at worst, a policy of isolation pursued by Islamabad, which will be highly detrimental both for the country and its major partners. Both Us and Pakistan need to strategies their relationship and work accordingly. he further talked about issues of mutual concerns, such as the drones, Kashmir, nuclear factor, terrorism and domestic stability.


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Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-051 9064 3076, Email: dss@qau.edu.pk