How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States

Riding the Roller Coaster

Published: 
April 1, 2011
By: 
Howard B. Schaffer and Teresita C. Schaffer

How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States analyzes the themes, techniques, and styles that have characterized Pakistani negotiations with American civilian and military officials since Pakistan’s independence. Drawing from their vast diplomatic experience, authors Teresita and Howard Schaffer examine how Pakistan’s ideological core, geopolitical position, culture, and military and governmental structures shape negotiations with the United States.

How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States is an impressive, insightful and truly important book, especially for Americans who cannot decide whether Pakistan is America’s friend or foe. They will learn that the issue is more complex and respective grievances are more reciprocal.

—Zbigniew Brzezinski, Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Over the past sixty years, Pakistan-U.S. relations have been marked by highs of close cooperation and lows of deep bilateral estrangement. Much of the negotiations story underscores the remarkable resilience, but also the vulnerability and volatility of the relationship. Throughout the Cold War and continuing after 9/11, Pakistan’s location has shaped a relationship of mutual interest and asymmetrical goals. The United States views Pakistan as a strategic partner in achieving global security goals; Pakistan looks to the United States as a counterweight to India and its neighbors.

How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States analyzes the themes, techniques, and styles that have characterized Pakistani negotiations with American civilian and military officials since Pakistan’s independence. Drawing from their vast diplomatic experience, authors Teresita and Howard Schaffer examine how Pakistan’s ideological core, geopolitical position, culture, and military and governmental structures shape negotiations with the United States. The authors address not only the process by which the two governments reach formal agreements, but also the overall conduct of official U.S.-Pakistani dialogue, the informal processes that have shaped their diplomatic relationship, and the periodic involvement of the United States in Pakistani domestic politics. This book offers concrete lessons and advice for U.S. officials on how to negotiate most effectively with Pakistan.

Teresita Schaffer specialized in South Asia and international economics during her thirty-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. She served in Islamabad and New Delhi (1974-77 and 1977-79), as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (1989–92), as U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992–95), and as director of the Foreign Service Institute (1995–97). She created and directed the South Asia program at CSIS from 1998-2010.

Howard Schaffer is a professor at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. During his thirty-six year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, he served as ambassador to Bangladesh (1984–87), political counselor at American embassies in India (1977–79) and Pakistan (1974–77), and he was twice deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for South Asian affairs.

April 1, 2011