Let me clarify.Ever since we opened a "strategic partnership" with the US,that too very publicly ,with joint military exercises,etc.,there were open warnings from Al Q and the Taliban about the emerging Indo-US-Israel alliance and warnings that India would be attacked as a result.This was some time ago.With these warnings made openly,plus the numerous almost daily attacks made against US/allied targets in Iraq and Afghanistan,even in Pakistan against Pak targets,our embassy in Kabul should've had better protection or should'bve been relocated.You need to live/work in a veritable fortress when faced with such suicide vehicle attacks,where huge amounts of explosives are carried.In fact,ALL Indian embassies,high commissions,consulates,etc.,worldwide should be strengthened/fortified.We are now perceived by the Islamist terrorists as being another poodle of Bush & co.,our PM's determination to keep his promise to Dubya Bush only highlighting the relationship!
The issue is not the debate about our pro-US or independent foreign policy, but the hard, inescapable truth that we are now perceived bu the ungodly as being firmly in the US camp and therefore we must take all measures to protect ourselves and our missions.
I agree with you 100 per cent that we have to wake up to new realities and beef up our consulates/embassies/high commissions around the world. There can be no two ways about that and the Indian government has been less than responsible about this aspect of international diplomcay.
That having been said, I don't think if we had no "strategc partnership" with the US, no joint military exercises yada yada, the Talibs and all manner of Laskars and other terrorists would have looked at us with a kind eyes and pity and let us go and sit in our small little insignificant corner unmolested.
Coming to Afghanistan, IMO our engagement is first with the Kazari Government and from there with the US Military in Afghanistan. You must remember India is not part of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, rather its there becasue the Kazari Government turned to New Delhi for help to rebuild the country. Surely you're not implying that we should have spurned the request and sat at home?
Also, foreign policy is hardly every done in a vacuum. How does India take its rightful place in the world without engagement with the hyper power in the world now?
I hope you are not suggesting that India should not take steps to re-establish its influence in places like Afghanistan for fear of upsetting the terrorists?Added later
in response to Philip ji's post addition:
Secondly,I am one who has always said (in previous posts) that our need is to strengthen the Karzai govt. and see that it survives so that the Taliban and Al Q can be destroyed or at least marginalised.I have never called for any disengagement from Afghanistan of Indian support.However,if you read the roster,you will find many other nations supporting Karzai to the hilt morally,militarily and economically,without their missions and personnel being targeted.They keep a lower profile and use more covert assistance than overt ones.Discretion as they say is the better part of valour.
Sorry again, and certainly no disrespect but this is a totally disingenuous line of thinking.
I don't think India, in Afghanistan or any other part of the world, can merge into the background with say Bukina Faso or Fiji or for the matter with small Scandanavian countries who have less than 10 people on the ground in Afghanistan.
The only way India could have kept a low profile in Afghanistan is by not being there at all. Surely you've heard all the shrill reports coming out of Afghanistan about Indian presence and calls for withdrawal or face dastrardly action?
How exactly do you propose India both
help the Kazari government fight the Talibs, Al Qs and
at the same time keep a low profile so that the terroists don't notice India?