Bookmark and share

Follow us

Decoding Pakistan's 'Strategic Shift' in Afghanistan
Moeed Yusuf
ISBN 978-91-85114-76-4

Click to enlarge

When in early 2012 Pakistan touted a major shift in its Afghan policy, the move was cautiously welcomed given the influence—and spoiling power—Pakistan has displayed in Afghanistan in the past. This paper asks exactly what Pakistan's 'strategic shift' entails, what are the motives behind it, and whether it opens any new opportunities for peace in Afghanistan.

This paper is published under the Wider Central Asia Initiative, a two-year SIPRI project to promote and facilitate dialogue among the main external stakeholders in Afghanistan's future. The initiative is funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


1. Introduction
2. The 'strategic shift': from what, to where?
3. The logic behind Pakistan's paradoxical behaviour in the endgame
4. Approaching the ISAF withdrawal: what has Pakistan achieved?
5. Conclusions and the way forward

Related publications

Europe, Afghanistan and the Transatlantic Relationship after 2014, by Erik Brattberg (May 2013)

Iran's Policy on Afghanistan: The Evolution of Strategic Pragmatism, by Bruce Koepke (Sep. 2013)

Relations between Afghanistan and Central Asian states after 2014: Incentives, Constraints and Prospects, by Nargis Kassenova (May 2014)

About the author

Moeed Yusuf (Pakistan) is Senior Pakistan Expert at the United States Institute of Peace and is responsible for managing the Institute's Pakistan programme. His current research focuses on youth and democratic institutions in Pakistan, and policy options to mitigate militancy in the country. He has worked extensively on issues relating to South Asian politics, Pakistan's foreign policy, the Pakistani-US relationship, nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation, and human security and development in South Asia. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming volume South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures (Anthem Press, 2013). He has also edited a volume on insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in South Asia, scheduled for publication in spring 2014.

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-76-4
24 pp.
May 2013
Price: €7.50 per copy plus €5 shipping and handling per order


Recent and forthcoming

Full list of publications

Permission requests

How to obtain SIPRI publications


Armed conflict and conflict management

Global and regional security

Military expenditure

Arms production

Arms transfers

Military technology

Chemical and biological weapons

Arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament


SIPRI Yearbook

SIPRI monographs

SIPRI Research Reports

Chemical & Biological Warfare Studies

SIPRI Policy Papers

SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security

SIPRI Fact Sheets, Background Papers and Policy Briefs

EU Non-proliferation Papers

Other publications