Donald Trump’s invective against Pakistan not only depicts the utter lack of direction in America’s new ‘strategy’, but also highlights how colonialism continues to exist in various forms today. America’s changed policy towards Pakistan — which was in reality taking shape since Barack Obama’s tenure — delineates how powerful countries or ‘superpowers’ strong-arm nations that deviate from the paths set out for them by these powerful nations. America’s rise as a superpower in fact shows that colonialism is very much extant today. Since the dissemination of the Monroe Doctrine on the 2nd of December 1823, America has viewed the world through a prism of ‘spheres of influence’. The Monroe Doctrine initially marked South America as America’s sphere of influence, thus keeping European powers at bay from interfering in the newly independent nations of South America. Although the Monroe Doctrine was initially touted as preserving the independence of Latin American countries which had achieved their freedom from empires such as Spain, it soon became evident that the Monroe Doctrine was in fact meant to impose American hegemony over these nations. This was evident in America’s dealing with Panama, and in recent times, the CIA’s not so covert missions in countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala. America’s neo-colonialism has become increasingly evident since the end of the Second World War and the advent of the Cold War. From the Truman Doctrine to Eisenhower’s vision of containing communism, America has shown little regard for national sovereignty or international law as it perpetuates its control over the world. Thus, at a time when nations like Pakistan and India were becoming independent in 1947, America was laying the foundations of an empire the likes of which have never been seen before. America’s appeal to ‘civilisation’ and to ‘peace’ highlights how Trump’s remarks towards Pakistan are emblematic of America’s neo-colonialism America’s imperialistic designs during the twentieth century were couched in false notions of championing liberty, freedom and democracy, while in fact, the CIA’s involvement usually replaced democratically elected leftist movements by oppressive tyrants — as was evidenced in Chile with the fall of Salvador Allende. Trump while castigating Pakistan on its putative support for militants, claimed Pakistan must now ‘demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order and to peace.” This appeal to ‘civilisation’ and to ‘peace’, in fact, highlights how Trump’s remarks towards Pakistan are emblematic of America’s neo-colonialism. Trump’s remarks highlight how America sells a false narrative that it fights wars for peace and for promoting freedom. America touted this as a reason while invading Afghanistan in 2001 and again while invading Iraq in 2003. The reality, however, is that these wars only perpetuate America’s control and feed its insatiable military-industrial complex. Colonial nations have throughout the centuries employed a narrative of ‘civilising’ to justify their imperialistic policies. This narrative is perhaps best captured by famous lines such as Rudyard Kipling’s ‘white man’s burden’ which was used to justify America’s occupation of the Philippines at the start of the twentieth century. William McKinley, the American President at the time of the Philippines-American war, in fact, claimed that American presence in the Philippines was necessary because the locals were not ‘civilised enough’ for ‘self-rule’. Trump’s appeal to civilisation and to order is, therefore, clearly emblematic of colonial rhetoric the West has used to impose itself on the rest of the world. Moreover, America’s presence in Afghanistan is colonialism in two different forms — one direct by having a military presence in Afghanistan, and second by imposing its policies on Pakistan and this appeal to civilisation. Instead of excoriating Pakistan, the world community must instead take America to task over its imperialistic ideals and failed policies all over the world, but especially in Afghanistan. America has simply failed to build a sound political dynamic in Afghanistan, which continues to haunt the war-torn nation. In fact, America resorted to the same divide and rule policies of European colonial nations when it chose to align with the Northern Alliance and isolate the majority Pashtun community in Afghanistan. This only further reified ethnic fault lines in Afghanistan and exacerbated the conflict. America adopted a similar approach in Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s overthrow when America allied with the majority yet marginalised Shiite community in Iraq. This led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and subsequently Afghanistan — which has given America another reason to extend its presence in these nations. The simple truth is that no military solution exists in Afghanistan. The Taliban control around forty percent of Afghani territory, and a few thousand more troops will not displace the Taliban. Instead, America must swallow its pride and look towards a peace deal with the warring factions. The return of Gulbuddin Hekmatayar in Afghanistan’s political fold is a good start in this regard, and the efforts to bring the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Colombia’s political landscape is an international example America and Afghanistan could follow. While Pakistan must also shoulder the blame for instability across the Durand line, it is imperative that we stand against American colonialism and imperialism in all its forms. Our allegiance should transcend national and economic interests and should instead be to oppressed peoples who suffer from the policies of superpowers who claim to be fighting for freedom. There is no other solution to the violence that grips the world today. The writer graduated from Aitchison College and Cornell University, USA. He also studied at the University of Oxford and his interests include the politics of class, gender and race. He can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, August 29th 2017.