In the face of the growing political and security crisis caused by China in East Asia, the US is trying to expand its military presence in South Asian countries and use Pakistan’s air space geo-political and counterterrorism objectives. When the Afghan Taliban came to power in Afghanistan for the second time on August 15, 2021, and on August 30, the 20-year military presence of the United States in Afghanistan came to end completely, while undermining the military and political presence of the United States not only in South Asia but also in the Middle East.
Furthermore, in East Asia, the possibility of an attack on Taiwan by China is also increasing day to day, hence, the United States prioritize the acquisition of an air base at a strategic point in South Asia in coordination with the Pakistani army and the ISI network in Pakistan. In order to get an airport at a point that has easy access to the border areas of three countries such as China, Afghanistan and Iran. Thus, after August 15, 2021, the United States once again expanded military and diplomatic relations with Pakistan in the region by overthrowing the government of the pro-Sino-Russia party of PTI in Pakistan.
Moreover, strategic communication between the high-ranking military and political officials of both countries, namely Pakistan and the United States have started to meet in relation to the security of the region, especially Afghanistan. The most important visit of high-ranking US officials to South Asia was the visit of William Burns, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, in early September 2021. Mr. Burns agreed with India and Pakistan on such a security mechanism for the region so that America can once again expand its surveillance and military presence in the region.
Based on that security mechanism, three areas have been marked so that the United States can deploy its drones and naval forces in those areas such as Ladakh, a border region that has been troubled between India and China for years, Shamsi Airport in Pakistan, which is located in Balochistan, and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, which is currently under the control of the Afghan Taliban.
From these three areas, number of different types of American unmanned aerial vehicles, including naval forces have been transferred to Pakistan’s Baluchistan Shamsi Airport such as Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance and General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper attack drones. India is still in an uncertain position regarding military cooperation with the United States, and recently, both China and India, in coordination with the defense ministries, have removed soldiers from the Ladakh region.
However, if China does not interfere with the naval forces in the southern port of Sri Lanka, Hambantota, or face to the military development in Sri Lanka, So, India will not delay to give a military base to the US Navy in the Ladakh region. In addition, the third point was Afghanistan, however, several times after August 30, American officials tried to deploy their military forces in Afghanistan under the pretext of protecting the American embassy in Afghanistan through the Taliban’s Doha office in Doha. Nevertheless, it seems that their efforts have failed or the Afghan Taliban have backed away from this move after expanding relations with the Eastern Alliance.
On August 7, 2022, eight days after the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, Pakistan handed over Shamsi Airport to the CIA for the second time. In return, some of Pakistan’s requests were accepted by the US, which will gradually be adopted into practice.
-Removing the name of Pakistan from the blacklist of cooperation with terrorist groups.
-forcing the International Monetary Fund or IMF to lend to Pakistan, Agreement on comprehensive military assistance with the Pakistan Army.
-in addition to other material and military assistance.
From the Shamsi Airbase, America can easily destroy its targets inside Afghanistan besides; it can monitor the border area of Iran and China as well.
Why Shamsi airbase matters?
Pakistan’s Shamsi Airport, located in Washuk, Balochistan, is only 190 km away from the Durand Line, from where American drones can easily monitor Afghanistan entirely, the border areas of Iran and China and the port of Gwadar. Shamsi Airport, located at an altitude of 340 meters above sea level, has a 3012 meter long runway of plane. This airport was built in 1992 by the United Arab Emirates in the name of bird hunting, which was then controlled by the Americans from 2001 to 2011. But when relations between American forces and Pakistan became strained in November 2011, Pakistan ordered American forces to withdraw from Shamsi Airport. Now, once again, this airport has been handed over to the American forces under the leadership of the CIA, to monitor Afghanistan, Iran and East Asia from here.