Home > India, Politics, USA > Af-Pak strategy in smithereens?

Af-Pak strategy in smithereens?


Are we missing something here?

Are we missing something here?

After the US-Pakistan “strategic bonhomie” in Washington last month … India finds itself placed on the historical “backburner” again, a situation similar to 1947. The additional American aid and military hardware promised to Pakistan recently is really a tactical move by the US to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011, leaving Pakistan and the “good Taliban” to supervise the return of religious fundamentalism in AfPak, which will then export terror globally. The increased numbers of Pakistani troops along India’s borders in end March, and daily gun battles with the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba in Kashmir, are indicators of the things to come.

US President Barack Obama, who got his healthcare bill passed on March 21, 2010, and reached an agreement on the 30 per cent nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia on March 26, now has only three more items on his list to ensure that he gets re-elected as President in 2012: withdrawal of American forces from the disastrous war in Afghanistan; revitalising the American economy; and “firm action” against Iran. The $750 billion US defence budget could then be reduced by $300 billion and this “saving” could be ploughed back into the ailing US economy, while leaving a couple of billions to pay Pakistan annually, to “police” AfPak.

In January 2010, Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani gave a 62-slide power-point presentation at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) headquarters in Brussels, which convinced the audience that he could help get Nato out of Afghanistan, provided Pakistan’s strategic concerns are met. On January 28, 2010, at the London Conference, Britain and America supported Gen. Kayani’s theory that “Pakistan needs to be the lead player in the Taliban reconciliation process”. (via Is PM up for some plainspeak? | Deccan Chronicle).

Connecting dots

It may not be so easy for Iran to get away!

It may not be so easy for Iran to get away!

Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh (Retd. Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief – Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam) captures this interesting snap-shot of the current impasse that India may have painted itself into. The threat of India-Pakistan re-hyphenation, the rise of Pakistan in Afghanistan are all viable propositions. More than that,

The Obama administration seems to have taken India for granted, while giving Pakistan the opportunity to have cordial relationships with three competing nations viz. US, China and Iran. After the expected Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan, China (which has invested $3.5 billion in a copper mine there) will need Pakistan-backed Taliban’s assistance to “pacify” Afghanistan, to ensure that it gets unhindered access to that nation’s mineral wealth. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent backing of the “good Taliban” and Beijing visit is an indication of China’s growing role in the region. In essence, Pakistan, in addition to getting “strategic depth”, financial aid and military gifts, will now be “re-hyphenated” with India, while China sits on the high “G2 table” with the US, and Iran benefits from its gas exports to Pakistan.

Leaving India licking their lips.

Iran – India’s options

After making some important points, the post ends on disquieting note. Maybe semantic quibbling, or may be a reflection of current mental position that establishment maybe into. Singh states,

stepping into an unfamiliar strategic environment where great powers (eg. China and US) only respect a decisive nuclear weapons power which displays a combination of strategic vision, political will, economic power and military capability. It is time for India to stand tall. Good relations with China and US should be achieved without appearing to kneel.

The operating phrase here is that India should not be “appearing” to kneel. You can kneel – but make sure that no one sees you kneel.

Is that what you are saying, Shri Singh?

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  1. Neel
    April 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Mr Singh does not form Foreign policy of India, nor did he was responsible for running the nation for the last 60 years.

    India’s coming to such a sorry pass has not happened in a single day. Time has come to identify which individual or group of people are responsible for turning India into a soft state ! The poor and uneducated Naxals were neglected for decades, and now that they took-up arms, the Govt. wants to use the Army to kill our own people !

    Bottom line, the Congress has ruled India for the most part, and these people be made accountable and be brought to justice.

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