Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Moise, Edwin E


This thesis examines two crucial periods in the history of U.S.-Pakistan relations and how American policy makers' strategic thinking about Pakistan shaped the course of relations. Following the Korean War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States invested heavily in the military forces of Pakistan. During both periods, it was widely held that the Soviet Union endeavored to threaten the Middle East and gain an outlet onto Indian Ocean. American planners believed that because of Pakistan's strategic location, it would be essential to preventing Soviet expansion in the region. In many ways, U.S. thinking in both periods closely resembled British thinking about South and Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th century. It was believed that Tsarist Russia sought to threaten British India as well as acquire warm-water ports on the Indian Ocean. Dubbed 'The Great Game,' this interpretation of Russia and South Asia and its impact on American thinking in the region will also be discussed.
This history of U.S.-Pakistan relations focuses primarily on the perspective of U.S. policy makers and thus most of the research is based on official documents of the U.S. Department of State and other government agencies. Much of this research was completed at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia.



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