American marines moving into Australia, British Prime Minister David Cameron visiting Japan to sell weapons, and talk of a British warship moving into the Asia-Pacific region to support Japan, and with South Korea also being reported to be concerned about the rise of China, many in Pakistan may feel vindicated.
For a long time now, Pakistanis have long claimed that America’s strategy in their country was to downgrade their’s nation’s military capability through seizing its nuclear arsenal.
If that also meant the break-up of Pakistan – Baluchistan now appears to be the favoured area for some American politicians – that would lead to more friendly governments allowing their soil to used as a base for launching strikes against China.
If that seems far-fetched, so did any talk in 2001 immediately after the invasion of Afghanistan of a strike against China.
Now in the year 2012, if China does indeed overtake America within six years as the world’s leading economy will Washington accept this state of affairs.
If America’s actions to contain Tehran in the Middle East – where it has backed a Sunni alliance of Gulf states headed by Saudi Arabia against an Iranian block of Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas – are anything to go by, then the answer is no.
So with attention focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, could Islamabad be once again at the centre of a future conflict with Pakistan, allied to Iran, China, North Korea on one side and the US allied to India, Japan, Australia and South Korea on the other.
With the ‘phony’ war on terror well and truly over, could a new strategic landscape be emerging in which Samuel Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilisations has become a chilling reality?