Is there a gradual shift in focus in US-Bangladesh ties?

The United States wants to keep the South Asian region stable, seeking to neutralize the overdependence of any nation on China. Bangladesh, because of its geostrategic position, is being lured to align Dhaka with Washington’s strategic objective for a free and open Indo-Pacific. 

M A Hossain Feb 29, 2024
US-Bangladesh (Representational Photo)

A dramatic shift in the United States' stance is being observed after the January 7 general election in Bangladesh. The Biden administration consistently stressed the commencement of a free, fair, and participatory election throughout the electoral process. Since then, the dynamics of bilateral relations have gone through ups and downs.

Recently, US President Joe Biden wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, expressing his wish to move forward on shared interests in the region. Although the Biden administration explicitly acknowledges its dissatisfaction regarding the last parliamentary election, it acknowledges that it is Sheikh Hasina who has formed a government with an absolute majority, securing her fourth consecutive term. The content of this letter hints at a promising "new chapter" in bilateral relations.

For the past six months, neither a delegation from Dhaka nor Washington has visited the other country for talks, as there was an understanding that visits during election time would not be appropriate. However, a delegation led by US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter is now scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on March 8.

Before the election, the United States had expressed concerns about civil rights and freedom of expression in Bangladesh, even going as far as concluding in a post-election statement that the voting process had not been entirely free and fair.

Shahidul Haque, former Bangladesh foreign secretary, and Bangabandhu Chair at Delhi University, believes that diplomatic behavior evolves with time and circumstances, urging for a nuanced perspective. "Each country has different priorities at different times… I think we should think of it from that point of view," he remarked.

Shift in focus to security :

Bangladesh historically has emphasized the economic dimension of the relationship, but the letter highlights the potential of collaboration between Bangladesh and the US in various areas, including regional and global security, addressing the Rohingya crisis, and a mutual commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. This collaboration extends to encompass economic development, climate change, and energy initiatives.

Bangladesh aspires to achieve its developed status by 2041 and has introduced various economic activities like large infrastructure projects and radical changes in the education system. The magnitude of these endeavors necessitates not only financial support but also technical expertise, technology transfer, and educational assistance. The US is considered a potential partner in these areas going beyond financing.

The US, boasting a $27 trillion economy, views bilateral trade with Bangladesh as important but not necessarily pivotal. While bilateral trade holds importance for Bangladesh, it's perceived differently by the US. The $10 billion trade volume is considered less significant in the broader context, leading to a shift in focus towards evaluating Bangladesh through a larger security perspective, encompassing both core and non-core aspects.

Aligning with US's Indo-Pacific strategy :

The US wants to keep the South Asian region stable, seeking to neutralize the over-dependence of any nation on China. Bangladesh, because of its geostrategic position, is being lured to align Dhaka with Washington’s strategic objective for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US eyes fostering collaboration on various fronts, especially security measures.

Dhaka and Washington prioritize their security cooperation on training, information sharing, peacekeeping efforts, maritime security, and the fight against terrorism and extremism. Recent developments include the provision of state-of-the-art drones by the US to Bangladesh. Additionally, both countries collaborate on issues such as climate change, food security, and energy security.

At present, preserving regional stability is paramount. Instability in Bangladesh could have significant consequences for the entire South Asian region. Outside political influence and military conflict have been in this region's discourse. So, safeguarding the stability of the region is imperative and should not be compromised.

Bangladesh's foreign policy balancing act

While unease preceding the election might gradually dissipate in Dhaka-Washington relations, lingering effects could surface, particularly concerning labor rights, with potential ramifications in international forums such as Brussels and Geneva.

The delicate balance between different powers, both national and regional, is now more consequential than ever. For Bangladesh, it becomes exceptionally challenging to support any side fully, risking adverse diplomatic consequences. Striking a balance with all global powers and maintaining its foreign policy and historical relationships, in tune with domestic realities becomes more imperative. Dhaka must pursue policies that align with its national interests alone.

The opening of a new chapter in bilateral relations between Bangladesh and America must lead to mutual collaboration and cooperation. This relationship will align their priorities, strengthening common objectives such as security, economic development, and regional stability. Both nations would benefit from a strengthened partnership addressing mutual concerns that have a significant impact on the global stage.

(The author is a political and defense analyst based in Bangladesh. Views are personal. He can be contacted at

Post a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Safe Air Duct & Chimney
Fri, 03/01/2024 - 03:24
SafeAir Air Duct & Chimney

It's going to be ending of mine day, except before ending
I am reading this impressive article to improve my know-how.
Md Arif
Fri, 03/01/2024 - 07:09
The article is worth reading. Great analysis.
Anonymous browsing
Fri, 03/01/2024 - 16:39
Trading cryptocurrencies is a lucrative opportunity for many.
While crypto trading is profitable, it can be highly pernicious to
the traders if not done properly. By proper means, one should do
it with the right set of tools and the right mindset. Time waits for no one and the crypto exchage market
is no exception. A plethora of cryptocurrencies, advanced tools, market
volatility, and trading strategies may all cause confusion to the new as well as expert

Fortunately, technology has made it possible for the traders to automate the
exchage process including market analysis, order execution, predicting market trends, and more.
Automated crypto trading is one of the best practices
used by computer programs/trading bots to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
These software tools are intended to react
to market changes to trade at the right moment.
Traders can consider automate trading via the
best crypto exchage platforms by making use of trading bots,
advanced orders, and more.

Automated trading

So, automated trading is a method of participating in crypto
or stock markets by using a program that executes pre-set rules for entering
and exiting trades. As the trader, you will combine
thorough technical analysis with setting parameters for your positions, such as orders
to open, trailing stops, trailing stop loss orders, take profit, etc.

Automated trading methods enable you to carry out
many or multiple trades in a small amount of time, with the added benefit of taking the emotion out of your decisions.
That's because all the rules of the trade are already
built into the preset parameters. With some
algorithms, the traders can even use the pre-determined strategies to follow trends and trade accordingly.

Automated crypto trading relies on algorithms which are actually the set of instructions used to solve computational issues.
In the crypto sphere, algorithms can trade digital assets on behalf of the traders.

And, the programs which use algorithms to trade are
the bots. The best platforms offer a variety of bots to the traders which work based
on preset conditions, signals, market analysis, and more.
Usually, trading bots use APIs that help traders to interact with
multiple exchanges.
Najtańsze konta współdzielone
Sat, 03/02/2024 - 07:24
Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using?

Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol
Safe Air Duct & Chimney
Sun, 03/03/2024 - 10:02
SafeAir Air Duct & Chimney

Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using?
Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up
as quickly as yours lol
CA - NY Express Cross Country Movers
Sun, 03/17/2024 - 09:49
CA - NY Express Cross Country Movers

It's wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made at this place.