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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Afghanistan London meet, India's exit

The past week, on 26 Jan 2010 world leaders from a host of countries met at London to chart the future course of action on Afghanistan. Well at the event it was decided to invite the moderate form of Taliban for a lasting peace in Afghanistan.
It was an attempt by the west to hide their failure and seek a face saving exit from a quagmire for which they have no solution or strategy.
The west led by US entered in Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11 with a stated aim of kicking out alqaida and Taliban, establishing democracy and equality. All the objectives were achieved in Kabul and some surrounding provinces, but not in the whole majority of the country. But the long war in Iraq, the world economic crisis of 2008 and the election of obama has left it with no gumption or will for fight.

Let's analyze the strategy, gains and losses of India and Pakistan.

Pakistan abetted, funded and raised the Taliban with a single minded objective of keeping Afghanistan under its orbit. Even after 9/11 and a veiled threat by Bush of "Either  you are with us or against us", their army and ISI always maintained a section of Taliban which would do its job on the exit of US and NATO. They were right in their analysis that the NATO, west or the US would not remain in Afghanistan indefinitely. And the situation will not improve in all the areas. So they always kept a section of Taliban ready to its dirty work upon the exit of the US.

India on the other hand decided to implement the soft strategy. This entailed the construction of hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure for the benefit of the locals and generating goodwill of the people. This strategy was broadly successful and it generated  a  lot  of support in the minds of local. But still at the London meet India ended up as loser.

An afghan official commented out, "We love India and its work, but we fear Pakistan". This very well sums up the mood and the thinking of the West, NATO, US and Afghanistan. In the end a psycho with a gun to its head has succeeded, i.e. Pakistan. The West realizes that India can do good work, but on its exit cannot provide anything to govern Afghanistan. It would be unwilling to send its army even as part of an external force. So the best strategy is to deal with  Pakistan rather than India.

India and the west's strategy should have been  to raise and train a huge police and military force under the central command or the president or the shura, and hand over it the responsibility rather than deal with the Taliban. This should have been India's strategy along with the development work. If India has failed anywhere, then its in this area. India has decided to train the police force but its too late.

Even if the moderate Taliban turn out to be not that bad guys this time, India has already lost the gambit and influence in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has again become a playground for Pakistan.

The Pakistani generals realize the need for strategic depth in the event of a conventional war with India, thats the whole logic for raising of Taliban. Afghanistan and Iran are exactly the place where India should have tried  its pearls or string strategy. This is the strategy that China has followed against India. By developing a strong influence in these countries India could have forever kept Pakistan in pressure and have easily diverted Pakistan's energy against these countries.

The future isn't very promising for Afghanistan or India. After the exit of NATO or ISS, Pakistan would again try to take over Afghanistan through its proxies and then direct its energy for subversive activities against India.

4 comments:

Tej said...

this indeed is gona make things work very difficult for India. After America and NATO leaves, Pakistan is gona push taliban to target India specifically. Previously Taliban used to target west too, but now Pakistan gona tell them "look you know previously west devasted whole Afghan on your stupid plan to atack Americas. If you attack west then we are going after you but instead attack India, whatever you need we ll support". Thats just my theory. what happens god knows. But whatever is there gona make matter bad for India.

Santosh kumar sharma said...

Partly correct.

The more they attack west even occasionally, the more leverage pak has over the west. When taliban or its many forms attack west, the west doesn't have will to fight will talk with pakistan to have control of them.
Pak will say need more money to buy them off.
More F16 to fight them also free of cost and other weapons. So see a win win theory.
And do you seriusly think they want development in afghan. Nope.

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