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Thread: Afghanistan, US, China, India and Pakistan - A Genuine Interview

  1. #76
    Military Enthusiast Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    IMO, I dont think that Obama would have helped fight that war. He may have offered to help conduct negociations to end the conflict but I doubt either fuel it by providing arms or helping fight it. The opposite side to that is that Russia could have helped India. In either case it would have made the conflict even worse for all concerned.
    He would not want to piss off India who carries greater strategic weight than Pakistan despite its tactical advantages which it has failed to capitalize on.

  2. #77
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    lol, looks like cdude had a good 4 page run here. Can we try an address the OP's article. It was not written by cdude.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    Question is what is India? India is a huge subcontinent; it is the focal point of the Indian Ocean, and together with China, one of the two big powers of Asia.

    India has to decide first whether it is a continental power, a littoral power or a link between the two. India has to decide what role it wishes to play; nobody can assign India a role in global affairs. Thereafter, India needs to develop relations according to its chosen role. And India needs to initiate relationships depending on where it is going as a regional and a world power.

    For instance, India cannot allow the Indian Ocean to be dominated by another power. The commerce between the Far East, Europe and the Middle East is crucial. Hence, either India choses to secure these Indian Ocean routes as a maritime power or else someone else will. If that happens then the third party that secures the Indian Ocean would have a vested interest in containing India. But whether India wants to be the dominant maritime power in the India Ocean is a decision that can only be made by New Delhi.
    Other than India the only other major power in the Indian ocean is the USN. I don't see any people in South block losing sleep over this.

    As for whether India is littoral power or continental one, i would say its working on the the littoral bit. The tens of billions slated to be spent in the next two decades is towards this goal. Unless the US decides to quit from Asia the picture as it stands currently isn't going away.

    Geography is in India's favour.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    At the same time, India is also a land power with its northern part sticking into Central Asia. Now India also needs to decide what kind of role it wishes to play as a land power. India either has to make a deal with China on the latter’s terms or else it has to reach out to Russia or other powers to compete with China. There is no other alternative as China is the rising hegemon which is increasingly talking in terms of its historic empire that once ruled most of Asia.
    India and Israel are two countries that have civilisations with political character going back thousands of years or as long as China’s. India’s civilisation will not accept China’s civilizational hegemony.

    China knows this and that it cannot make a deal with India on its terms. Therefore, it seeks to stifle India and prevent it from rising. The troubles on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) serve to remind India who is the boss. To take on China, India would have to develop an assertive regional posture and challenge China and its regional alliances in Central and West Asia where the Chinese have a lot at stake. Russia is a potential ally but Russia will not do the job for India. India will benefit from co-operation with Russia which has an interest in containing China in West and Central Asia but much less interest in containing China in Leh and Srinagar.
    I would submit that 'troubles' along the LAC is because India is slowly asserting itself. We're going to continue to have more Chinese 'protests' into the future. Get used to it.

    I don't understand how China can 'stifle India and prevent it from rising'. Why would they want to lose a major market for their goods just over the border.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    To repeat what I was saying since the early 1990’s, India must carve for itself a regional strategic role and assertive presence. Once the West needs India strategically and economically, it will pay attention to, and recognise, India’s regional interests and aspirations (such as Afghanistan). Presently, India is passive and reactive —so what’s the point paying attention or doing something for India? In contrast —China is holding the West hostage by its economic leverage and won’t let the West forget for a second, and Pakistan —China’s preeminent protégé and proxy —is threatening to blow-up anything and everything as the region’s madman —so why pick-up fight with the two?
    How is China holding the west hostage ?

    US investments in China are negligible. China's investment in US T-bonds stands at $3 Trillion.

    Who is holding who hostage here.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    Q: Where does Afghanistan fit into this equation?

    A: India needs to look at Afghanistan in terms of its grand strategic vision. Pakistan is a small country; it is an army with a failed state. One reason why Pakistan survives is because of China’s investments in its nuclear capabilities and its economy both aimed at stifling India. China can constantly divert India’s attention by making Pakistan do something or other like border firing, infiltrating terrorists or carrying out a spectacular terrorist strike.
    Pakistan also survives by help from the gulf and the US. The US has given far more to Pakistan than the Chinese in terms of aid. As for weapons, its the same again with the US & China.

    Why he underplays the US role here is curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    India’s fixation on a zero sum game with Pakistan is meaningless. India needs to look at its policies with its western neighbours in terms of its grand strategy and not by being reactive. A lot of Indian activities in Afghanistan are aimed to give Pakistan a hard time. Nothing wrong with this —but strategically it is meaningless.

    On the other hand, if India can work out a larger posture in Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East, preferably in conjunction with Russia, and also dominate the Indian Ocean till the tip of Africa, then it would also have a say in what is happening to the west of Pakistan.
    Let the US get on speaking terms with Iran, the rest of what he says will follow from there. There is a confluence of interests between the US leaving the area and a more moderate regime in Tehran.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    The key question is: Will India be stifled by Pakistan, a subcontractor of China, which is the current situation, or will India stifle Pakistan at land and sea because India is the regional power that is stifling China and not just its agent Pakistan?

    It is high time that India starts thinking of where it is going as a global and not regional power or just another Third World country. Once it does that then its policies vis-à-vis Pakistan and Afghanistan should be adapted into its lager overall policy.
    First let india become a littoral power with the means to back that posture. This will feed into regional aspirations. Global is still some time away. Until India starts to have sizeable interests in other parts of the world there is no need to go global.

    Unless this is code for joining the posse here and becoming an ally. That's something India isn't going to do. Partner in a regional security architecture, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    Q: Does Washington accept Islamabad’s view that New Delhi is using Afghanistan to de-stabilise Pakistan?

    A: Yes. Obama’s Washington is even more hostile to New Delhi than Islamabad. Today, India is using Afghanistan to get at Pakistan. But that is not strategy; it is just another pissing match. It is irrelevant in global terms. From the US point of view, India’s insistence in being in Afghanistan interferes with its aims to hand over Afghanistan to Pakistan and China.

    Q: But why would the United States want to do this?

    A: Why not? If we make a deal with Pakistan, the Taliban will not shoot at our troops and we can leave peacefully. India, on the other hand, does not play a role as a global power so why should we take it seriously.

    Q: A number of US commentators in recent times have suggested that Pakistan’s obsession with Afghanistan can be resolved if the Kashmir issue is sorted out once and for all with India. Do you believe that a Kashmir “solution” will end Pakistan’s preoccupation with Afghanistan?

    A: Obama’s Washington wants Kashmir resolved in Pakistan’s favour —Afghanistan or no Afghanistan.
    India is so passive that the United States feels it can pressure India to make concessions in Kashmir so that the US can get a better deal with Pakistan. Kashmir should not be on the menu but it is. Large swathes of Siberian territory owned by Russia are claimed by China but the United States never dares to tell Russia to cede any territory to China so that the US gets a better economic deal with China. But the state department does think that India can be pressured to compromise on Kashmir and thereby secure a better deal for Washington with the Pakistanis. Such a thing would be inconceivable if India was a world power.

    When Pakistani terrorists attacked the India parliament, the United States told India that it dare not attack Pakistan. India has brought this upon itself by being passive. It is fighting for crumbs in Afghanistan.

    Q: Why has the US been reluctant to accept a greater Indian role in Afghanistan?

    A: We want China (that can help with Iran) and its proxy Pakistan.

    Q: Is the view that Washington is prepared to cut a deal with Pakistan and the Quetta Shura at any cost credible?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Despite being aware that Pakistan has directly or indirectly aided the insurgency in Afghanistan, Washington seems to be going out of its way to cede control of south and eastern Afghanistan to Pakistan. What precisely is the strategic thinking behind these moves? And do you believe that such a move will stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    A: This is what Pakistan wants and this is what will make China happy.

    Q: Do you believe that Washington will pull out all troops from Afghanistan by 2014 if the Bilateral Security Agreement with Kabul is not signed within the next few months?

    A: Obama wants Zero Troops. He’ll withdraw if he can whatever the excuse.

    Q: Would a small contingent of about 10,000 US troops and air force elements be able to stabilise Afghanistan with the help of the Afghan security forces post 2014?

    A: Well over 1,00,000 troops failed. So why should 10,000 have any impact? If any soldier remains —it will be a symbolic gesture.

    Q: The Pakistan government despite promising all help to President Karzai to re-start the peace process have decided not to release pro-talk Taliban leaders such as Mullah Baradar. They have released a total of about 26 low level Taliban and claim they have done their bit to facilitate talks. Do you believe that the Pakistani establishment will allow direct talks between the Taliban and the Kabul regime?

    A: Karzai is a nobody that everybody—including Obama’s Washington —knows by now. Who cares what Karzai was told or promised? Pakistan (the ISI) is building a regional network based on tribal and “Taliban” chiefs that will control most of Afghanistan. The ISI already does so for all intent and purpose.

    Q: India has helped Afghanistan with a number of developmental projects but has publicly espoused a “keep our heads down” policy in Afghanistan. Do you think this policy has worked?

    A: No. The Afghans are not masters of their own destiny. India’s efforts failed to convince the US that it has a legitimate role in Afghanistan. It has been a near total waste.
    This bit is all predicated on things going bad in Afghanistan post pullout. If that happens, there is going to be a well funded anti-taliban coalition causing a never ending insurgency over there. This will create more headaches for the Paks and further destabilise the region.

    But wait a minute, isn't this what has already happened. For what did the US spend a decade only to have it descend back into the 90s again.

    He says the Afghans aren't masters over their future. Let's see how the election in 2014 works out.

    Karzai will be a nobody at the next election because he said he won't be running.

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