India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

kasthuri
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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby kasthuri » 19 Feb 2009 09:03

The C-SPAN just now showed the Pentagon briefing by David McKiernan, the US commander in Afghanistan. To a question if India had a role there, he was saying it has role in Afghanistan but it need not be on the security aspect.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 19 Feb 2009 09:09

it is that there is an yearning for purity in pak-world.

now, you can argue that this is a biased sample.


No.

There is neither a bias nor a yearning. Muslims have ALWAYS said that Islam is the best. Some have also argued that they are the best because they had time to learn from others and remove all the negatives.

They have always claimed they are the pure. WHICH is why they cannot understand why others do not convert easily. That is why they have this fetish for conversion and an equal repulsion for converting away from Islam - why convert from the purest?

OK. On to the thread.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 19 Feb 2009 09:37



Interesting. Nothing has changed, and, nothing will.

The Swat deal puts "bad" guys in charge!! (News.)

Also, the link between TSPA/IS and Taliban is not yet very clear in his mind.

And, of course, although he does not have Kashmir in his mandate he does feel that Pakis need to be relaxed about India so that they can concentrate on their western border.

So, .......... we are back to square one. Did we ever move out of there?

One item of interest: Pakis and Afghans are sending delegations next week for a "review". India is sending one the week after next.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2009 13:44

It seems the dance will continue. US Military will continue to rely on TSPA to deliver its "minimum" cooperation to meet its goals in the region.

There will be pressure on India to continue to be nice to TSP and help the Afghan economy.

As we write here, this very moment an exit plan is being deliberated in Washington.

There WILL be a deal with the Taliban in one form or the other.

The US exit plan WILL be dependent upon implicit/explicit guarantees from TSP, that the region will not be used for "Jihad".

The Durand line will go back to what it always was, a line on paper, not adhered to by people living on both sides of the border.

TSPA will control the fate of Pashtuns and of Afghanistan.

Drone strikes with hellfire missiles, will continue in perpetuity.

Unless, India ups the ante and forces an effective role in the region. There is only one power that can stop the machinations of the TSPA and those SOB's know it.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Sanku » 19 Feb 2009 14:23

Other than 9/11 and a few other kicks to the poodle the Taliban was never an issue for the west and never will be -- they are happy enough with status quo. They are confident that they can contain the Islamic impact on their way of life without too much trouble and if it gets out of hand they can always get up give some jhappads and go back to drinking beer.

A bit like DIE approach the concept of internal security in India. Its the poor folks who take the train -- like India who need worry.

Meanwhile the ground under their feet conitues to change -- for example personally I dont think Taliban is taking over Pakistan -- its the TSPA which is reinventing itself and putting itself back in charge through Taliban; since it could not do so openly as a state element.

So far things are moving exactly as the predicted on BRF, as per script -- lets see whats the next episode.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 19 Feb 2009 15:29

ShauryaT wrote:As we write here, this very moment an exit plan is being deliberated in Washington.

There WILL be a deal with the Taliban in one form or the other.


If the question had been only of the Piety Level of Pakistanis, the Americans wouldn't really have cared, but two factors change all that.

1. The Al Qaida factor.

Taliban and Al Qaida are now one and the same, and all the classification is only to make our lives a little easier. Those who are Pushtun and fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan are called Taliban, all the others are called Al Qaida, except the ones who love India, for they are called Kashmiri Freedom Fighters.

So if Taliban comes to power, Al Qaida is coming to power. Even though they will an enemy in India, Al Qaida is still far more obsessed with Israel and USA, and once in a while with Europe as well. Al Qaida could have access to 160 million souls or ghouls to train and send as suicide bombers all over the world. Any counter-strike doesn't bother Al Qaida because that only feeds into the victimhood and recruitment lines. Their own families are probably sitting far away smoking Shisha.

2. Loss of Western Leverage

There will be no more cooperation on counter-terrorism and intelligence, if there ever was any. All the Muslims in UK become ticking bombs.

3. Nuclear Weapons

Once the Taliban make further inroads into Pakistan, and there will be neon-light indicators to that, the reaction of USA would be very interesting. Would they be willing to take out Pakistani Nukes? If not, it would either mean, they want to do that on the quiet, or Pakistan is already nuke nude with only some HEU lying around.

In any case, right now, the Western Think-Tanks do believe Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Those weapons would then come under the direct control of the next Emir of Pakistan, some chamcha of Osama bin Laden.

In case Pakistan is not nuclear-nude, this will definitely be the big reason, why Obama can't just pull out of the region.

4. Military-Technical Capability

Whatever one says, Pakistan does have some level technical capability as far as weapons and weapon-making is concerned. All that would be at the disposal of Al Qaida. One can only imagine, what creativity in terrorism, they will show next, where ever they choose to attack.

5. Strategically located Real Estate

Through Karachi they are virtually getting access to the whole of Central Asia, with nothing stopping them on the way. They will be sitting at the cross-roads of Asia, with access to India, Central Asia, China, Russia, Middle East.

I think USA is aware of the Taliban-Sympathizers in the TSPA, and how quickly it can lead to a new order. Americans just cannot afford to leave AfPak for the foreseeable future.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2009 15:58

Read the interview of this "genius", who heads the Inter Agency Review on Afpak policy in the Obama administration. Real gems in them.

Interview: For Holbrooke, Situation in Pakistan, Afghanistan Is 'Dim and Dismal'

By BRUCE O. RIEDEL AND BERNARD GWERTZMAN
Published: January 29, 2009


Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, Council on Foreign Relations

Bruce O. Riedel, an expert on South Asia, who has worked for the CIA, Pentagon, and National Security Council, says new special envoy Richard Holbrooke inherits a "dim and dismal" situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. What is needed, he says, is for Holbrooke to reverse the negative momentum in both countries. He says the Taliban's military successes in Afghanistan have to be reversed, and Pakistan must help close their sanctuaries on Pakistani territory. But Riedel says "trying to get that cooperation out of the Pakistani government in my judgment will be the single hardest test that Ambassador Holbrooke faces and in fact may be the single hardest foreign policy challenge President Obama faces."

With Richard Holbrooke being named the new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, what's going on in that part of the world? When Asif Ali Zardari, the new president of Pakistan, was inaugurated last year, he invited Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the inauguration. Is there better coordination between the two countries?

The good news is that the relationship between President Zardari and President Karzai is a fairly good one, and the two of them are comfortable working with each other. That has yet to translate, though, into a real productive relationship along the border. It's an opening, certainly, that we should exploit. The inheritance that Ambassador Holbrooke gets, though, on the whole is pretty dim and dismal. The war in Afghanistan is going badly, the southern half of the country is increasingly in chaos, and the Taliban is encroaching more and more frequently into Kabul and the surrounding provinces. And in Pakistan, the jihadist Frankenstein monster that was created by the Pakistani army and the Pakistani intelligence service is now increasingly turning on its creators. It's trying to take over the laboratory.

Does the Pakistani military have a strategy for the FATA [the Federally Administered Tribal Areas] along the borders with Afghanistan?

It's of two minds about the FATA. On the one hand, it has always used the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as the place where it could create groups like the Taliban, or encourage the development of the Taliban, where it could train people to operate in Kashmir or to operate in India. But now that it sees that it's losing control of that area, it's increasingly concerned about the future. Unfortunately, the Pakistani army is not very well prepared either in training or in equipment for the kind of counterinsurgency warfare that needs to be fought in the badlands along the Afghan border. And here is another opening for the United States to offer to Pakistan the kinds of counterinsurgency training and doctrine and the kinds of equipment that would be useful in this war. Helicopters in particular. The Bush administration gave Pakistan about a dozen helicopters. What they really need is several hundred to operate in this very difficult terrain where air mobility is really the key to battlefield success.

And is there a lot of talk about the U.S. Predator attacks on supposedly al-Qaeda targets in that area? Is there an implicit agreement that these attacks should go ahead even as Pakistan protests?

I don't know what the discussions between Washington and Islamabad have been over that. These Predator attacks have scored some important successes. Significant al-Qaeda figures have been killed. But they also have a counterproductive element to them, which is that they further the alienation of the Pakistani people away from us. One of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge we face in Pakistan today, is that the American brand image has been badly eroded. Polling in Pakistan shows that a majority of Pakistanis blame America for the country's internal violence. India comes in second place, and al-Qaeda and the militancy comes in third place. Any time that you are outpolling India as the bad guy in Pakistan, you're in deep, deep trouble.Translation?

What do you think the reaction is to President Obama, who gave an interview to Al-Arabiya, an Arab TV network, in which he talked about his great interest in improving relations with the Muslim world. Will that get much vibe, do you think, in Pakistan?

This is the kind of message that can start the process of changing opinions, not just in Pakistan, but in much of the Muslim world. The interview hit all the right points. But of course talk needs to be followed by action, and that's what people will be looking for. The American brand image suffered a big setback because of the Gaza war. The war in Gaza with American-made F-16s and American-made Apache helicopters piloted by Israelis dropping bombs on 1.5 million Palestinians was just about the worst backdrop to a transfer of power in the United States that you could hope for. Al-Qaeda called it "Obama's gift to the Palestinians," but the truth is that it was really a gift to al-Qaeda by giving them a great propaganda boost to undermine the image of the United States again on the eve of the transfer of power. But, a quick getting off the mark, sending [former] Senator George J. Mitchell out to the region to start addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict will resonate throughout the Muslim world, including in Pakistan.

Let's look at it from Ambassador Holbrooke's perspective now. I don't know where he'll go first, Afghanistan or Pakistan, but what would you say the top priorities are for him?

The top priorities, and they are very much linked, is first to reverse the momentum on the ground in Afghanistan. The Taliban have a sense that they're winning, and objectively if you look at the numbers--the number of NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] casualties, the number of bombings--it does look like they are winning. That momentum has to be broken. And then, secondly, and quite critically, the safe haven that the Taliban and al-Qaeda and other jihadists have built in Pakistan has to be closed down. That can only happen with the cooperation of the Pakistani government. And trying to get that cooperation out of the Pakistani government in my judgment will be the single hardest test that Ambassador Holbrooke faces and in fact may be the single hardest foreign policy challenge President Obama faces.

But haven't you implied that President Zardari wants to do it? That seems to be his policy isn't it?

Pakistani President Zardari wants to do it because he recognizes the safe haven is now a threat to him personally. His capacity to get the Pakistani state to do much about this is limited. He has only notional control over the Pakistani army and the Pakistani intelligence services, which remain fixated on their eternal enemy, India, and which believes that India wants to create a client state in Afghanistan in order to encircle Pakistan. Breaking those kinds of perceptions is going to be very hard to do.

Is India in fact involved that deeply in Afghanistan?

It is a fact that India is very engaged in Afghanistan. In fact, this last weekend, India announced completion of a $1 billion project to build a road connecting Afghanistan's main highway to a main highway in Iran, giving Afghanistan access to the Indian Ocean without having to go through Pakistan. It's a good thing, but in the eyes of Pakistanis who are obsessed with the threat from India, it looks like encirclement. That's what makes the challenge of trying to change Pakistani behavior so complex.

Well, let's cross the border into Afghanistan. President Karzai has come under increased criticism here and elsewhere for being inefficient and corrupt. He has an election coming up this summer, and he's obviously quite sensitive about all this criticism. How do you deal with Karzai?
Karzai is a complex figure. He was certainly the right man in 2001 and 2002 during the prolonged discussions in Bonn [on the establishment of a new government in Afghanistan]. His charisma and inspiration then were very important. You're right, there's been a lot of criticism of him and his effectiveness. A question I would raise with people who say, "Let's move on from Karzai," is "Who's the alternative?" And it's not clear to me that an alternative has really emerged.Open invitation to the Taliban to takeover At the end of the day, this is an Afghan decision and not an American decision. We ought to make it clear that we don't have a candidate in this process, and we want to see the Afghan people decide who their next president is going to be. If we appear to be picking a favorite, I don't think that's in our long-term interest.

The American policy right now is to augment the troops in Afghanistan. There's talk of as much as thirty thousand additional U.S. troops. Will this make a big difference?

It remains to be seen. We urgently need more troops on the ground, and I think we're right to send an additional force now. But the shelf life of any foreign army in Afghanistan is limited. What we really need to do is start building an Afghan army that's large enough and equipped properly in order to deal with this insurgency. We haven't focused on that for the last seven years. Now, it's very expensive in many ways to send American troops to Afghanistan, and even when they get there, they don't know the language, they don't know the culture. Our focus should be on trying to break the Taliban's momentum quickly, and then focus on building an Afghan security establishment that's large enough and well equipped for the job, and do it in a way that is much more consistent with Afghanistan's own history.

Should Holbrooke try to get the Taliban involved in the political system?

The Taliban , at least the Taliban core that is loyal to Mullah Omar [the Taliban leader who is now believed to be in hiding in Pakistan], is not interested in the political system, at least not now. The Taliban have been saying, and Mullah Omar in particular has been saying, "Victory is in sight. NATO's will is breaking. The Europeans already want to go home." Within a couple of years, he promises his supporters, NATO will leave and they will take over. Now he's even offered in the last month safe passage for any NATO forces that want to leave, akin to the safe passage that the mujahadeen gave the Soviets in 1989. Until you break that sense of confidence and momentum, I don't think you are going to see any serious willingness on the part of the Taliban to want to negotiate. chance for TSP to dump Omar and create an alternative

Is it worth trying to get a sort of regional solution to the crisis? Some experts, such as Barnett Rubin, have proposed a wide-ranging regional approach.

The tactics of how you'd do it are very important, but I think the notion of seeing this problem as a regional problem is absolutely correct. All of these things are linked together. As I said, Pakistan's concerns in Afghanistan derive in large part from its concerns about India. It can't try to deal with these problems in isolation. But you also have to deal with them with a great degree of subtlety and sophistication, because there are decades-old fears among all the parties about American intentions. The Pakistanis, for example, are convinced that we will use their country for our short-term interest in finding al-Qaeda, and then abandon it, as they feel we abandoned it in the 1980s.Means, US has to promise to fund TSP X billion dollars per year forever, no matter what, to take the problem (for the US) away The Afghans feel the same way. They feel the United States has fought a war in Afghanistan twice now, and then forgotten about them, and not come through with the follow-through afterward. Restoring the sense of America's credibility and its reliability, and its consistency, is going to be very, very important to persuading them that we're serious this go around.

And how do you do that?

A lot of it is in terms of giving priority to the issue, and President Obama has made clear he intends to do that. Then a lot of it is bringing the resources to bear: more troops, but also more economic assistance; more military assistance, as I said, for the Afghan military, and the right kind of assistance for the Pakistani military; and then diplomatic assistance. You know, Afghanistan and Pakistan have a border that was drawn in 1893 by Sir Mortimer Durand, the high commissioner for British India. Afghanistan has never accepted that border. Trying to get agreement on the legitimacy and permanency of a border would be an important first step towards trying to get that border secured. After all, if we want Pakistan to provide border security, a good step in the right direction would be an agreement on that border.

Among other things that we can do is increase our economic assistance and try to use the Friends of Pakistan (PDF), a group that was formed at the end of the Bush administration to provide more help. This group would bring together the Chinese, the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, the Japanese, and others who have an interest in a stable Pakistan that gets out of the business of being on both sides of the war on terrorism. That's a mechanism for strengthening the hand of the civilian government in Pakistan. We shouldn't identify ourselves with any individual. We should identify ourselves with the democratic process. We should make it very clear that the days of the United States dealing with Pakistani military dictators is over for good, and that we will not abide a return to military government in Pakistan, and that we support the democratic process there, whoever it produces and with whatever flaws that process may produce.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2009 16:11

RajeshA wrote: Americans just cannot afford to leave AfPak for the foreseeable future.
It is in Indian Interests to get the Americans to leave the region, in the foreseeable "near" future. Only India can protect Indian Interests. No foreign power will oblige.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 19 Feb 2009 16:36

ShauryaT,

Thank you for pointing out the article. I had read it earlier.

I guess, the problem in Washington remains, that a new Administration has come to town, brimming with hope and optimism, but with the carriage still stuck in the 90s, whereas the horses are already scraping the winds of 2015. The liberals keep on digging for root causes, whereby they don't notice that the whole soil is radioactive with Islam and the winds of change has taken the situation to somewhere else, where no amount of ball-gazing on the roots will really give you any answer.

In any case, America is simply not the right country to deal with problems using the liberal intellectual glasses. My hunch is that America solves its problems differently, but never by working up the root causes. Be it the World Wars, Cuba Missile Crisis, the Cold War, Vietnam, post-9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Nobody started looking at root causes, and still most of them worked out alright.

The Americans see Pakistan House and they think, it needs a little paint here, a little choona there. They still do not see it as the termite-infested wooden villa, which still looks sturdy but has been totally hollowed out already. They don't see it as a place that is either destined to break up or ready to be taken over by the Taliban-Al Qaida-Taliban-Sympathizing-TSPA combine. So all this talk about Pakistan's problems with India is useless, because Pakistan is a failed state racing towards history.

But the Administration is still new, and the Think-Tank Experts still haven't made the mental transition from think-tanking to policy-making and policy-executing. The pressure of putting up something workable, would focus their minds to see reality in its raw form: Al Qaida's daring & determination, TSPA's cowardice & acquiescence, and the inevitability of Pakistan's fall.

ShauryaT wrote:
RajeshA wrote: Americans just cannot afford to leave AfPak for the foreseeable future.
It is in Indian Interests to get the Americans to leave the region, in the foreseeable "near" future. Only India can protect Indian Interests. No foreign power will oblige.


I do not suggest, that USA would be protecting India's national interests, but it is still open to debate, whether the Americans could/would change their policies towards Pakistan, and be supportive of an Indian intervention. They have a lot to lose in Pakistan also, if the place is not pacified.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 19 Feb 2009 16:59

ShauryaT wrote:
RajeshA wrote: Americans just cannot afford to leave AfPak for the foreseeable future.
It is in Indian Interests to get the Americans to leave the region, in the foreseeable "near" future. Only India can protect Indian Interests. No foreign power will oblige.


IMHO, until India is militarily capable of handling Pakistan and China simultaneously, US should and will stay in the region. Of course, I am not claiming that they will stay for us, they have their own reasons.

India is in amidst of modernising the army, navy and air-force. She would be ready by 2020. It is my guess that if current trends continue, India will try and avoid getting in any hassles till 2020 AD. My gut feelings say, it will be between 2020-2025 that India will be ready to exercise her hard-power to solve her problems to their logical ends.

Until then, the West and TSP will suffer attrition. Somehow, from current responses of India, it seems that she is not sure about her capabilities. In case of war, it should be and perhaps will be an all-out war with defeat and assimilation of Pakistan, completely or substantially. Pakistan has nothing to lose right now, whereas India has achieved quite a lot. Until we develop a technology to comprehensively protect everything that we have achieved, we won't go for direct war.

The policies and measures needed to be implemented in the process of readying India for her launch as global power are -

* Rural empowerment so that many people can stay in villages and earn respectably - (helpful in case of nuclear war) - India and Hinduism have historically been de-centralized entities. The village makes up the fundamental structural and functional unit of Indian civilization even today. If villages in most of India are provided with 24x7 electricity supply, investment in sustainable and renewable energy sources in rural India, access to water for drinking and irrigation, Roads and education, banking, insurance, basic consumer goods (FMCGs) rural India will fuel the growth of nation at much faster pace than world could ever imagine. For the sake of record, it must be known that for 4800 years out of 5000 years of Indian history, India has been among the largest of all economies in world. India lost her prosperity when institution of village was destroyed by British. This needs to be reversed. This is where vision of Gandhi regarding village empowerment can do miracles.

Also, since the population will be scattered around, there won't be many casualties in case of nuclear fall-out. Also, the burden on cities like Mumbai will decrease a bit and economy won't be hit as badly as it will be now.

* Navy strong enough to assert dominance over Indian ocean - From Malacca to Hormuz/Suez. Atleast 4 aircraft carriers, 5 SSBN's required.

* Functional missile defence shield with extensive coverage.

* Functional coverage of Indian navigational satellites over entire Indian subcontinent - From Afghanistan to Myanmar.

* Ability to strike first with conventional weapons and strike hard in blitzkreig fashion of warfare so that TSP never gets a chance to retaliate. Ability to destroy most of its military infrastructure in a simultaneous strike on an unprecedented scale. Something like 2000 missiles (mixture of prithvi, agni, and others) with huge conventional bombs launched for different military and strategic destinations simultaneously immediately followed up by massive air strikes and infantry and marine invasions.

* Complete operationalisation of MCA, FGFA, LCA-mk2, GTRE-Kaveri and her subsequent improved versions, F-INSAS, and other programs which are still in pipeline.

* RAW functioning in subcontinent with at least 90% efficiency of Mossad and/or CIA with extensive network in Baloochistan, Afghanistan, Sindh, Myanmar, BD and Nepal.

* Reformation in Indic religions and assimilation of Islam into mainstream Indic society. This is expecting too much in such short time, but at least the awareness should be present among Hindus about the need of assertion of Hindu identity.

* Meanwhile, invest in friendship with Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Vietnam. Create sufficient good-will for India in Northern Afghanistan and Myanmar. Increasing the bilateral ties with Vietnam. There was a plan of Vajpayee government to build a railway-line from New-Delhi to Hanoi. I guess, that would be an excellent means of increasing presence and influence of India in south-east Asia. Liberal use of her soft-power in Afghanistan to make afghans and Iranians perceive Indians as good guys with power.

* Gradually increasing exertion of power by Saam, Daam, Danda and Bheda in Nepal and Bangladesh.

I guess, until objectives somewhat similar to these are met, India will avoid starting an all-out war with Pakistan. I guess looking at current rate of development, India will be ready by 2020. Hence time is running out for Pakistan and China to lure India into open combat when she is not ready. India should keep on building up her powers and inhibit the growth of Pakistan by maintaining a constant pressure. This is ensured by US presence in Afghanistan. They won't be able to solve the problem because they do not know what the problem is. If trends continue, they will continue to be present in Afghanistan for at least 10-12 more years and continue to suffer slow attrition. But, they will buy India precious time.

I only hope that India has better leadership in next 10 years, unlike MMS. I guess, this will be the last chance India will get to rise to the position of her former glory. If we mess these 10 years, we will be doomed to suffer for next 50 years.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 19 Feb 2009 17:42

Some perspective on evolving American role in Afghanistan

Obama, Osama and Medvedev by Pepe Escobar: Asia Times Online

Assuming Medvedev has indeed given Obama a tremendous success story - in terms of a new transit route to Afghanistan - a pesky question remains; what is, after all, the US mission? It can't be nation-building; successive US administrations never cared about Afghanistan except as a sideshow. It can't be to "secure" the country and prevent it from becoming a base for attacks on the US because - as much as Russia, alongside the US, doesn't want a Talibanized Afghanistan - if there ever was a "base" it's now in the Pakistani tribal areas.

The best of it all - as usual - is left unsaid. Washington cannot admit that its only real interest in Afghanistan is as a transit corridor for a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India (the TAPI pipeline). Moscow cannot admit that the opportunity of helping the US to be bogged down in Afghanistan for a few more years is too good to pass.


This is what it's all about in Eurasia - the inexorable march of Asian integration, via the Asian Energy Security Grid and, in security terms, via the SCO. Both China and Russia are deeply connected with Iran. China has signed mega-multibillion dollar deals to be supplied by Iranian oil and gas while selling weapons and myriad goods; and Russia is bound to sell more weapons and is already selling nuclear energy technology. All this while Washington is focused on bombing Pashtun peasants and chasing the ghost of Osama bin Laden.


Apparently Pepe doesn't think, that Afghanistan is worth the hassle.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 19 Feb 2009 18:10

Assuming this to be the main AfPak Thread. If Mods think otherwise, please indicate.

Iran's security concerns weigh heavy by Kaveh L Afrasiabi: Asia Times Online

Iran has a whole set of national security worries pertaining to neighboring Sunni radicalism and extremism; an arms race among the states of the Persian Gulf; and threats of insecurity on the unstable Indian subcontinent.


Iran is increasingly worried about the political and security meltdown in Pakistan, including the expansion of the Taliban's power inside Pakistan. There is also an erosion of the authority of Kabul due to a creeping encirclement of the capital by the anti-Iran Taliban. This presents a disquieting picture that operates against maintaining Iran's nuclear potential latent.

"If you look at Pakistan today, nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who sold nuclear technology to many countries, has been released from house arrest and could easily go back to the old business after receiving a slap on the wrist. That is very worrying for Iran," a Tehran University political science professor told the author.

When asked what signal the Pakistani government was sending by releasing Khan, he answered that in his opinion this was a signal both to India and the US to pay more attention to Pakistan's needs, or else have fears of "loose nukes". The Tehran professor added, "Another Mumbai [terror attack] and the whole region will be in flames, we are that close to a potential nuclear Armageddon."

Maybe not, but sitting in Tehran and watching nervously the developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, they may be forgiven for harboring "the worst-case scenarios" warranting the nation's utmost military readiness to deal with any contingency.

On top of the list is Pakistan, which has locked horns with India not only over Kashmir but also over Afghanistan, where Islamabad sees an opportunity, via the Taliban, to cut off New Delhi's tentacles wrapped around President Hamid Karzai. Pakistan could thus re-assert its regional clout, no matter what the olive branch from Washington.

A re-asserted nuclear Pakistan backed by Saudi Arabia and relying on regional proxies is, without doubt, a worrying prospect for Iran, irrespective of the close ties between the two countries. Both Iran and Pakistan are members of the Economic Cooperation Organization and have been talking for years about setting up a gas pipeline together with India, although Delhi's participation is in doubt.

To date, either officially or unofficially, no one in Iran has directly or indirectly suggested that Iran's national security needs dictate a nuclear deterrence capability with regard to Pakistan, the argument being that the action-reaction logic of Pakistani proliferation has been indefinitely locked on the horizon of conflict with India.

That argument holds less and less water today, given the growing instabilities and shifting priorities of the Pakistani government, raising serious questions about its intentions in the region.

As a result, Iran can no longer afford to take for granted the benign nature of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal and the future absence of any attempt by Islamabad, or factions within it, to apply some heat on Iran. This could be done by power projections that could be proxy in nature and even connected to the evolution of Pakistan's relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)


It is high time, that India, Iran and Russia setup a 3 member only high-powered security dialogue mechanism on Afghanistan and Pakistan. USA would remain a free-wheeling appendage to everything that has to do with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the near future, so a separate dialogue with Americans will be followed anyway.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2009 20:02

Chiron: You go to war with the army you have and not the one you desire. When war is thrust upon you, you respond with all you have that is necessary to subdue the enemy.

How many more brothers, sisters and children are you willing to loose, while you prepare? For how long do you want to take a Borivali local, only to watch all the bags on the shelf and wonder, if any one has a bomb in it or get down at CST to get gunned down or at Shiv Sagar, while eating Pau Bhaji. Maybe these places are too rustic, how about getting gunned down while enjoying yourself in the Shamiana or drinking beer at Leopold?

I am not willing to wait for a second anymore as I do not want to live this pathetic life. I want my revenge now! I want justice.

Indian forces have to be used to secure Indian prosperity. Without security, you might well as forget the good life.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Sanku » 19 Feb 2009 20:19

RajeshA wrote:I do not suggest, that USA would be protecting India's national interests, but it is still open to debate, whether the Americans could/would change their policies towards Pakistan, and be supportive of an Indian intervention. They have a lot to lose in Pakistan also, if the place is not pacified.


I disagree a little here again -- Americans have a lose lose game in Pakistan -- if they tilt way too much out of Pakistan they give India, Russia and other powers to re-establish their control in CAR. This puts the world power squarely back in Asian hands as before the silk route was broken. (the great game theory)

OTOH Pakistan is also the breeding ground for Al Q.

Where do they lose more? If I was an American -- I would continue making this trade off of feeding Islamists to counter other powers for quite some time now.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Satya_anveshi » 19 Feb 2009 20:20

ShauryaT wrote:
RajeshA wrote: Americans just cannot afford to leave AfPak for the foreseeable future.
It is in Indian Interests to get the Americans to leave the region, in the foreseeable "near" future. Only India can protect Indian Interests. No foreign power will oblige.


Absolutely. However, I think history is replete with examples of 180 degree loyalty switch (dogs turning on the master) at the moments of reckoning. We know our example from south. We also know the example of musharraf.

PA has once again made a deal with Taliban but how many hours/minutes does it take for PA to openly do a 180 degree about turn if one wishes to. What will happen then? Taliban with increased popularity will train its guns once again at PA and USA together. Will that provide leverage to us (with both PA, Taliban, and most of all USA)?

All we should do now is to be dildar in our support to *everyone* (Taliban, PA, USA, and Afghanistan). We only have to gain with this thing getting dirty.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 19 Feb 2009 20:22

ShauryaT wrote:I am not willing to wait for a second anymore as I do not want to live this pathetic life. I want my revenge now! I want justice.


ShauryaT - What is your definition of Revenge?

My definition of revenge is as follows -

Defeat of the enemy in military, economic, cultural and religious aspects to such an extent that enemy forgets his own separate existence and becomes part of Indian society.

This has been typical response shown by India in her history. Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs were defeated in this fashion. Completely, without a trace. I guess, this trend will be followed, unless something revolutionary happens in India. And there has Never been a revolution in India.

Although I share your agony, as I am from Mumbai. But, I would like India to engulf and completely annihilate Pakistan not only geographically, but also ideologically. I would wait till I am strong enough to destroy my enemy swiftly without a trace, instead of beating and wounding him again and again. We have done that before. The problem kept on resurfacing. And I don't think we will have to wait for very long time. With current trends continuing, I think we will be strong enough and Pakistan will be weak enough in next 7-8 years. Just that, PRC is increasingly becoming the Godfather of TSP. I guess India should consider PRC factor as well while devising a strategy against TSP.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RayC » 19 Feb 2009 21:03

Chiron wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:I am not willing to wait for a second anymore as I do not want to live this pathetic life. I want my revenge now! I want justice.


ShauryaT - What is your definition of Revenge?

My definition of revenge is as follows -

Defeat of the enemy in military, economic, cultural and religious aspects to such an extent that enemy forgets his own separate existence and becomes part of Indian society.

This has been typical response shown by India in her history. Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs were defeated in this fashion. Completely, without a trace. I guess, this trend will be followed, unless something revolutionary happens in India. And there has Never been a revolution in India.

Although I share your agony, as I am from Mumbai. But, I would like India to engulf and completely annihilate Pakistan not only geographically, but also ideologically. I would wait till I am strong enough to destroy my enemy swiftly without a trace, instead of beating and wounding him again and again. We have done that before. The problem kept on resurfacing. And I don't think we will have to wait for very long time. With current trends continuing, I think we will be strong enough and Pakistan will be weak enough in next 7-8 years. Just that, PRC is increasingly becoming the Godfather of TSP. I guess India should consider PRC factor as well while devising a strategy against TSP.


If one wants revenge, it is a powerful emotion and there is always the chance it will cloud clear thinking that is so essential to outwit an adversary.

While there is merit in the point that one should hit the adversary once and not repeatedly. Yet, if the adversary keeps hitting you repeatedly, what is the option?

The good part is that while India can sustain a war in the timeframe that has been the rule, Pakistan cannot. She is thus getting weaker with every war that she brings upon India and that is why she has taken the option of the 1000 cuts and label the Terrorists as its 'strategic assets'.

The days are numbered for Pakistan. They will be overtaken by the Taliban and when they are in power, those who thought that the Taliban is their asset, will be subjected to beheadings and flogging, which they so richly deserve!

Kiyani and Musharraf will not get their daily whiskeys and hence will be afflicted with DT and Sherry Rehman will be deprived of her beauty salon and be cloaked in the blanket they wear.

I don't know why you want them as a part of Indian society. Do we require breadbasket cases to burden us?

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby archan » 19 Feb 2009 21:15

Chiron wrote:
My definition of revenge is as follows -

Defeat of the enemy in military, economic, cultural and religious aspects to such an extent that enemy forgets his own separate existence and becomes part of Indian society.

This has been typical response shown by India in her history. Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs were defeated in this fashion. Completely, without a trace. I guess, this trend will be followed, unless something revolutionary happens in India. And there has Never been a revolution in India.


You are forgetting that the barbaric Mughals did rule the region for hundred of years. I don't see it as Bharat's victory. They changed the demographics irreversibly and many of the current day problems are due to them. Then you don't mention the British who literally looted the region and divided it into three for their future convenience. Had Bharat been united and able to break the faces of those aggressors then, things would have been different. You don't have to be world's superpower to show others that you will kick their butt if they attack you. Bharat and Bhartiya people unfortunately are too much engaged in intellectual exercises. Hurting "economically", "politically" etc. sounds good and cozy but there is a time for military might to come into play and 26/11 was such a time that we lost IMO. Let the GoI prepare its "political" and "economic" or whatever warfare while the pakis fill the nation with fake currency and their paymasters turn a blind eye. :roll:

ShauryaT wrote:How many more brothers, sisters and children are you willing to loose, while you prepare?

Brother, don't ask that question to many Indians, you will be disappointed with the answers.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Chandragupta » 19 Feb 2009 21:16

Chiron wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:I am not willing to wait for a second anymore as I do not want to live this pathetic life. I want my revenge now! I want justice.


ShauryaT - What is your definition of Revenge?

My definition of revenge is as follows -

Defeat of the enemy in military, economic, cultural and religious aspects to such an extent that enemy forgets his own separate existence and becomes part of Indian society.

This has been typical response shown by India in her history. Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs were defeated in this fashion. Completely, without a trace. I guess, this trend will be followed, unless something revolutionary happens in India. And there has Never been a revolution in India.

Although I share your agony, as I am from Mumbai. But, I would like India to engulf and completely annihilate Pakistan not only geographically, but also ideologically. I would wait till I am strong enough to destroy my enemy swiftly without a trace, instead of beating and wounding him again and again. We have done that before. The problem kept on resurfacing. And I don't think we will have to wait for very long time. With current trends continuing, I think we will be strong enough and Pakistan will be weak enough in next 7-8 years. Just that, PRC is increasingly becoming the Godfather of TSP. I guess India should consider PRC factor as well while devising a strategy against TSP.


What is there to believe that by 2020, India would suddenly have 4 ACs & mutliple SSBNs? If, god forbid, UPA gets re-elected for another term, a possibility that cannot be discarded given our wise electorate, you might as well forget about even a single AC and those MRCAs and SSBNs.

We fight with what I have. When somebody enters my house & kills my family, I don't wait for 2 years to learn martial arts, build biceps & train, I fight him with what I have and either I rip his throat out or he does, simple as that. There can be no war without blood, and it's time we accept that.

So all this talk of destroy the enemy without a trace is just hot air. What are the odds that we won't be saying the same thing in 2020? Let's wait till 2040! We can't compromise on our security and the more we do that the more accustomed we become, which is a dangerous trend.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2009 21:20

The desire for revenge can cloud one's mind and can also create a resolve to not forget the injustice done. After 20+ years (I am sure, you have lived this, while i have just sat in my arm chair and thought) of researching this issue, I hope I have learnt something about this enemy.


Maybe you are right and you are entitled to your views.

However, the desire for revenge has ruined Pakistan right from the day of its Independence, so much so apart from losing to India every time, they have lost out to the Frankenstein they created in the form of Taliban by conceding to sovereignty to them!

My thoughts on this are you fight the war thrust upon you. This war is asymmetric, with geo-political implications, with a failing state, which is controlled by an army, masquerading an ideological agenda, for its own sense of well being. You hit this enemy, where it hurts them the most. Their pocket and their sense of glory.


I believe Pakistan is claiming that India is waging an asymmetrical war in various areas of Pakistan and that even those in FATA and elsewhere are Indian agents!! :shock:

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby kasthuri » 19 Feb 2009 21:51

Will it be a Indian confrontation?

Taliban has to be confronted and defeated: India

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday underlined the danger posed by the Taliban to the region and the world and stressed on the need for confronting and
defeating the hardline militia, which "propagates the cult of violence".

"The Taliban has to be confronted and defeated. There can't be a brutal Taliban or a benign Taliban," minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma told reporters here.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 19 Feb 2009 22:16

Will it be a Indian confrontation?


This is for the US - who seems to be coming to the conclusion that there is "a benign Taliban".

I suspect that during Holbrook's trip to ND he must have told ND that a Taliban presence in A'stan is OK with the US. India is just making it known that it is unacceptable.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 20 Feb 2009 00:07

RayC wrote:I don't know why you want them as a part of Indian society. Do we require breadbasket cases to burden us?


Because, if we defeat them and leave them alone, they will regroup after 30 years and cause pain in our ass again. Until we exert control over provinces of Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh and Baloochistan we cannot eliminate the problem. Indian army needs to be deployed there for about 2-3 generations. At least 3 generations of children should be brought up under Indian nationalist educational system and religious values of completely Indianized version of Islam. These provinces, particularly Punjab should be kemalized, this can't be done without presence of Indian military. If this is done for 3-4 generations under vigilant Indian leadership which is not shy of expressing their Hindu identity, problems will start decreasing.

Furthermore, why should a western OR oriental power have presence in South asia in long term? It is better that we control that region.

archan wrote:You are forgetting that the barbaric Mughals did rule the region for hundred of years. I don't see it as Bharat's victory. They changed the demographics irreversibly and many of the current day problems are due to them. Then you don't mention the British who literally looted the region and divided it into three for their future convenience. Had Bharat been united and able to break the faces of those aggressors then, things would have been different. You don't have to be world's superpower to show others that you will kick their butt if they attack you. Bharat and Bhartiya people unfortunately are too much engaged in intellectual exercises. Hurting "economically", "politically" etc. sounds good and cozy but there is a time for military might to come into play and 26/11 was such a time that we lost IMO. Let the GoI prepare its "political" and "economic" or whatever warfare while the pakis fill the nation with fake currency and their paymasters turn a blind eye


If by Mughals, you mean Muslims, then yes, that is a complex problem. The issue of Pakistan is actually an issue of Islam. Although we Hindus have succeeded in resisting Islamization of Hindu India and have succeeded in maintaining Hindu majority in Indian subcontinent, owing to certain drawbacks in our own social system, this evil was allowed to propagate and was not defeated when there was chance. I am talking about Maratha and Sikh movements which overthrew the socio-political supremacy of Islam in India. They could have initiated a social reformation wherein they could have reconverted large number of Muslims who were forcibly converted to Islam by Aurangjeb. But they did not. This was one golden chance given to Hindus by history which they did not utilize to its fullest. Further, the caste system which had grown quite rigid by then was also detrimental in having such reforms. Marathas could have initiated Indian version of Reconquista. But they did not.

It must be noted that it is failure of medieval Hindus that we could not devise a system to assimilate and digest and Indianize the abrahmic Islam; the way we did to all the pre-Islamic invaders. Hence, I guess this is the only long term solution to this problem. This can't be done unless all regions of subcontinent are under Indian dominance and Indian nationalised educational system is practised to impart education to all children for at least 3-4 generations under vigilant rule of a leadership which is not shy in asserting the Hindu identity of India.

Chandragupta wrote:What is there to believe that by 2020, India would suddenly have 4 ACs & mutliple SSBNs? If, god forbid, UPA gets re-elected for another term, a possibility that cannot be discarded given our wise electorate, you might as well forget about even a single AC and those MRCAs and SSBNs.

We fight with what I have. When somebody enters my house & kills my family, I don't wait for 2 years to learn martial arts, build biceps & train, I fight him with what I have and either I rip his throat out or he does, simple as that. There can be no war without blood, and it's time we accept that.

So all this talk of destroy the enemy without a trace is just hot air. What are the odds that we won't be saying the same thing in 2020? Let's wait till 2040! We can't compromise on our security and the more we do that the more accustomed we become, which is a dangerous trend.


I did not say India would "suddenly" have 4 ACs and multiple SSBNs. I said India should work on this meanwhile and have such military might by the time when TSP is weak and on the verge of breaking or broken so that we can reconquer, digest and assimilate the very idea of TSP without anybody else daring to disturb us while we feast.

When Shivaji was defeated by Jai Singh and sent to Agra, he was captured there and Aurangjeb tried to execute him. However Shivaji narrowly escaped and returned back. Meanwhile Aurangjeb reinstated Jaziya and desecrated many important temples in North and persecuted and forcibly converted millions. Shivaji waited for 4 and half years before unleashing hell on Deccan province of Mughals. It was primarily due to the constructive work done by Shivaji in these 4 and half years that earned him the loyalty and respect of common poor man of Maharashtra. It was this trust which led Maharashtra to fight Aurangjeb in a complete asymmetric war for 27 years and emerge victorious. Marathas were coaxed by mughals to enter into combat during those years. But Shivaji resisted. It was not that Shivaji was complacent, it was a deep breath before the plunge. This was the time when he earned strategic friends in his former adversaries of Adilshah and Qutubshah of Golconda. It was this vision of Shivaji which later helped Sambhaji in 27 year Mughal-Maratha conflict. Marathas and Qutubshahis put up united front against Mughals on many occasions. So did Adilshahi, but not as much.

Things are moving in India now. Just look at magnitude of things happening since November 2008.


@Chandragupta, ShauryaT, Archan,

I did not say India should not do anything. In my post I suggested to start and increase the frequency of covert operations in TSP. As the interests of USA and India starts converging, they will come quite closer to each other in next few years. I do not know whether USA will accept India's regional dominance in South Asia or not, probably they won't. But in spite of that, India will grow quite closer to USA in coming few years. This will force PRC to exercise its policy of India-containment and TSP support more and more overtly. The subtle undercurrents which were running unnoticed in international politics will start unravelling themselves more openly. The interests of PRC and India might start conflicting at higher frequency. When we have war on western frontier, the increased military power might buy us a peaceful eastern frontier and theatre of Indian ocean.

Furthermore, USA has its interest in that particular region, just like USSR had two decades back. USA will not allow India to open a war front. USA needs to learn that India can't be ignored. and they won't learn it easily, they will have to learn it the hard way.

It is like small bunch of honey-bees trying to sting a running elephant with thick skin. The elephant is India and the bees are militants and bee-hive is TSP. Know that when bee stings, she dies. India can sustain few more cuts before we grow large enough to eat the bee-hive and drink the honey. Meanwhile, bees are growing weak. Just that, we are being followed by a dragon (PRC) who is protective towards bee-hive but does not care about bees. The only interest of dragon is to keep bee-hive intact so that it can produce enough bees to trouble elephant, not more, not less. Hence, before elephant chooses to finish off the hive, it is practical enough for elephant to get stronger so that in case dragon thinks thrice before acting out in defence of hive. And even if dragon chooses to act, elephant is strong enough to resist any such attempts and repeal dragon out of its backyard. Furthermore, dragon is not problem-free. Its own backyard is full of problems and potential friends of the elephant. Elephant should be friends with distressed neighbours of the dragon.

Meanwhile, Eagle (USA) is wary of growing dragon and is pissed off by some stinger bees. Hence, the giant eagle is near bee-hive to fight the bees, but not bee-hive. Although the bee-eating rate of Eagle is ferocious, more bees it eats, more are still produced from Bee-hive. I guess, eagle will take time to learn that problem is the hive, and not bees. Eagle can't finish the hive without elephant but elephant demands or will demand larger share, rather complete share, since, there is no place for Eagle there.

Then there are Fox and Bear (Iran and Russia) waiting anxiously and are friendly towards elephant, but not towards Eagle.

The point is, there are so many other forces acting in this complex web of vested interests. Elephant is just one node of that complex web. The vector sum of all these forces will determine the coming world order. India has the right direction, but needs to increase its magnitude tremendously, so that it influences the resulting vector sum in its favour. TSP is a pawn. Its not just about capturing pawn, its about capturing it in such way that establishes complete dominance of India in subcontinent and Indian ocean.
Last edited by Atri on 20 Feb 2009 00:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 20 Feb 2009 00:17

Chiron: Welcome to BRF.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 20 Feb 2009 00:25

ShauryaT wrote:Chiron: Welcome to BRF.


Dhanyavaad, Bandhu....

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 20 Feb 2009 00:46

Chiron, you should perhaps start writing some new Jataka Tales about Elephants, Bees, Beehives, Eagles, Dragons, Bears and Foxes.

Maybe with such simple tales, even Indian politicians may learn what is at stake!
:wink:

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 20 Feb 2009 00:51

RajeshA wrote:Chiron, you should perhaps start writing some new Jataka Tales about Elephants, Bees, Beehives, Eagles, Dragons, Bears and Foxes.

Maybe with such simple tales, even Indian politicians may learn what is at stake!
:wink:

:D

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ramana » 20 Feb 2009 01:01

Two things in the Holbrooke interview

Well, let's cross the border into Afghanistan. President Karzai has come under increased criticism here and elsewhere for being inefficient and corrupt. He has an election coming up this summer, and he's obviously quite sensitive about all this criticism. How do you deal with Karzai?

Karzai is a complex figure. He was certainly the right man in 2001 and 2002 during the prolonged discussions in Bonn [on the establishment of a new government in Afghanistan]. His charisma and inspiration then were very important. You're right, there's been a lot of criticism of him and his effectiveness. A question I would raise with people who say, "Let's move on from Karzai," is "Who's the alternative?" And it's not clear to me that an alternative has really emerged. At the end of the day, this is an Afghan decision and not an American decision. We ought to make it clear that we don't have a candidate in this process, and we want to see the Afghan people decide who their next president is going to be. If we appear to be picking a favorite, I don't think that's in our long-term interest


I was talking to two Afghans over the weekend in New Kabul aka Fremont. Both were from Kabul and didnt have tribal affliations. However the older one said that Karzai was symbolic for the Pashtuns as he was a Mohamadzai/ royal family. Apparently the tribal order recognizes the old affliations. The gist of the conversations was, to get legitimacy from Pashtuns, the candidate has to be from the royal family tribe(Mohmadzai). That is the reality in Pashtun Afghanistan. The Taliban/Ghilzais are trying to over throw old order of the Durranis. So when the US wants an alternative to Karzai it has to be from the Mohamadzai tribe. Or wont work.


The two Afghans had fond memories of India.

The curious thing was the Kabul natives dont have tribal affliations. I guess they could be the remanents of the Hindu Shahi kings retinue which were forced to become part of deen.

and

The tactics of how you'd do it are very important, but I think the notion of seeing this problem as a regional problem is absolutely correct. All of these things are linked together. As I said, Pakistan's concerns in Afghanistan derive in large part from its concerns about India. It can't try to deal with these problems in isolation. But you also have to deal with them with a great degree of subtlety and sophistication, because there are decades-old fears among all the parties about American intentions. The Pakistanis, for example, are convinced that we will use their country for our short-term interest in finding al-Qaeda, and then abandon it, as they feel we abandoned it in the 1980s.The Afghans feel the same way. They feel the United States has fought a war in Afghanistan twice now, and then forgotten about them, and not come through with the follow-through afterward.Restoring the sense of America's credibility and its reliability, and its consistency, is going to be very, very important to persuading them that we're serious this go around.


Both Afghanistan and Pakistan are artifical creations. the former was created by Ahmed Shah Durrani from the collapse of Mughal and Persian kingdoms in the 1700s. Durrani's task was much difficult as the idea of native kingship among locals had died out under the various Turkic, Persian, Mughal invasions for over 700 years by then. Afghanistan survived by its rentier status and the worries expressed above are due to where the money to sustain the state will come from?

Tha TSP we know is another artificial creation by the British and some of the Indian Muslims. They were promised that big bad Hindu India would be fractitous, neutered and not a threat. The converse is true. And hence the appeal to the successor Anglo Saxon power to render them maintenence to enable state survival.


That is what the two whines that Holbrooke was acknowledging. However to satisfy the whines he has to make India pay the price.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby brihaspati » 20 Feb 2009 01:21

The Afghan city based elite are likely to adapt "decadent" lifestyles if given the safe opportunity to do so. Most such I know conforms to this hypothesis. India has to tolerate Haal-broke for now. But LOI should prepare to take its own initiative for the region. Unkils days in the region are numbered.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 20 Feb 2009 02:57

As I said, Pakistan's concerns in Afghanistan derive in large part from its concerns about India.


:) . You can bet your bottom dollar that the Pakis will use "India" to gobble up the entire CA. And, gullible as the US is, the story will be swallowed Taliban, AK-47s and free F-16s.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Sanjay M » 20 Feb 2009 03:05

NRao wrote:
Will it be a Indian confrontation?


This is for the US - who seems to be coming to the conclusion that there is "a benign Taliban".

I suspect that during Holbrook's trip to ND he must have told ND that a Taliban presence in A'stan is OK with the US. India is just making it known that it is unacceptable.



Well, part of the problem is the ridiculous corruption in Karzai's govt, with ridiculous bribe-taking and skimming of money. He truly seems to be a figurehead.

So many voices in the US now want to go with direct deals with the local warlords, and bypass this black hole of a central govt, which sucks up all kinds of money.

At least then, more aid could get directly to the people. Makes sense, as I'd once read about a Switzerland model being proposed for Afghanistan. Such a model would even be consistent with what was done in Iraq.

A decentralized govt would remove the ethnic tensions and the quest by competing ethnic groups to grab power in Kabul.

Meanwhile, closer US relations with local Pashtuns would then allow the US to insert itself between the Pashtuns and AlQaeda/ISI.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 20 Feb 2009 03:21

Sanjay M wrote:Well, part of the problem is the ridiculous corruption in Karzai's govt, with ridiculous bribe-taking and skimming of money. He truly seems to be a figurehead.
Is the corruption more ridiculous than another type of third world country, ravaged with 20+ years of war? What did we expect? Switzerland?

Who asked Rumsfield to meet Dostum and Fahim and the other warlords more times than Karzai? Who made Karzai's position so weak that he could be nothing but the figurehead? Who failed to pressurize the warlords to give up their heavy weapons? Who failed to provide security to the population? Who failed to focus on the building of state institutions and infrastructure, necessary for the growth of a fledgling state? Who failed to listen, when Karzai went hoarse saying TSP is the source of the problem? Who failed to go out to patrols at night? Who build reinforced concrete fortresses, so that the folks who were there to guard, were themselves super safe? Was anyone listening to his pleas, when a group of people celebrating a marriage were bombed on his inauguration day itself? Who failed to commit troops on the ground and used aerial resources to cover their weaknesses?

Karzai is the problem?!
Last edited by ShauryaT on 20 Feb 2009 06:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Rudradev » 20 Feb 2009 03:41

Sanjay M wrote:Well, part of the problem is the ridiculous corruption in Karzai's govt, with ridiculous bribe-taking and skimming of money. He truly seems to be a figurehead.

So many voices in the US now want to go with direct deals with the local warlords, and bypass this black hole of a central govt, which sucks up all kinds of money.


What do you expect when the US, through massively neglectful acts of omission, has prevented the Karzai government from becoming powerful enough to assert itself over the "warlords"? Karzai has been pressed since day one to compromise his own authority in every way imaginable. To forge compromises between bitter enemies on America's behalf without the authority or resources to deliver on America's promises. And to run a country without any intact infrastructure of governance on a shoestring budget.

Any number of Paki propagandists in Washington incessantly regurgitate the "Karzai is corrupt... Karzai is inefficient" rubbish precisely because Karzai has been the one man brave enough to publicly place the blame for Afghanistan's terrorist problem where it belongs-- Pakistan. And because Karzai has had the vision to welcome and encourage nation-building activities by the one country that has sincerely stepped up to the task-- India.

If "voices in the US" swallow this bilge about the "corrupt, inefficient Karzai" to the extent of "making direct deals with the local warlords" and thereby further undermine the central government which they themselves set up... they deserve what they'll get. If we support that kind of idiocy we deserve what we'll get too. They first tie a government's hands by starving it of resources and pushing it to make nice with the Pakis who are trying to destabilize it... and then they destroy its credibility by circumventing it to cut deals of their own. Brilliant.

Eventually it will be a short hop from "making direct deals with the local warlords" to "making deals with the Good Taliban". If the US does this on the basis of the "corrupt Karzai" myth they will lose the war in Afghanistan... but at least they'll get to go home. We won't. Karzai is our best bet in Afghanistan... not that we shouldn't maintain channels with as many other actors as possible, but to betray and lose an asset like him would be imbecilic.


At least then, more aid could get directly to the people. Makes sense, as I'd once read about a Switzerland model being proposed for Afghanistan. Such a model would even be consistent with what was done in Iraq.

A decentralized govt would remove the ethnic tensions and the quest by competing ethnic groups to grab power in Kabul.


More aid could get directly to the people because unlike Karzai, the warlords are "honest, efficient, and concerned with the well being of the people?" Let's be serious.

What was done in Iraq has no relevance. The interregnum in Iraq was extremely brief... and much of the machinery of the Ba'ath administration, if not its ideological apparatchiks, survived intact for the new order to slide into. This is not the case in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, closer US relations with local Pashtuns would then allow the US to insert itself between the Pashtuns and AlQaeda/ISI.


Karzai is a Durrani Pashtun. Read Ramana's post on the legitimacy conferred by his bloodline. Without such an intermediary the US has *zero* hope of competing with the ISI for influence over the Pashtuns.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ShauryaT » 20 Feb 2009 03:48

Rudradev wrote:Karzai is a Durrani Pashtun. Read Ramana's post on the legitimacy conferred by his bloodline. Without such an intermediary the US has *zero* hope of competing with the ISI for influence over the Pashtuns.
Let us not forget, how Karzai was found...the US in fact did not support him initially, it was fumbling, did not know who to support. Abdullah Haq, a war hero, injured some 16 times and with a blown up leg was brave enough to go into Taliban controlled Afghanistan. The US did not support him, not in time anyways and the man lost his life. Karzai was about to when Mullah Omar sent men with 100 trucks towards Karzai's location. It was only after the death of Abdullah Haq and Karzai's Sat phone that saved him. The US finally bombed the caravan, forcing a retreat.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ramana » 20 Feb 2009 03:51

I guess they didnt know or were too modern to understand.

Wiki on Abdul Haq

I guess the US naively let ISI betray him.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Rudradev » 20 Feb 2009 03:59

They wanted to have their cake (keep TSPA/ISI and even Taliban as faithful rentiers) and eat it (capture OBL) too. As always, they feel they are entitled by history to have their own way on everything.

Even after they had launched Operation Enduring Freedom, for month after month after month, they wanted the Northern Alliance to go forward and confront the Taliban without any US air support! The NA, wisely, sat tight until the US began bombing Taliban positions.

That's why I have a problem with this whole moronic notion of sending 120,000 troops to help the Americans... they will gladly extend their hand and take what is offered, and act as if they're entitled to it, and give us jack-$hit in return. We have ample precedent to warn us of this.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby brihaspati » 20 Feb 2009 04:03

Unkil always thinks of short term gains, and just like the UK always is a callous when it comes to playing with the future of populations far from its own home or with whom it does not racially identify. They partied when Njibullah was lynched, and had been the main instrument which turned the battle around against the Russians. In paranoidly destroying "communism" in AFG they destroyed the only force that could have countered Islamic retrogression in that land at that time. I am firmly in favour of erasing the Left in India for reasons I have specified in the "leadership" thread, as something with nothing to contribute further and a lot to destroy for India. But AFG of the late 80's would have actually gained from the "Left", with the formal commitment that Left has towards womens' rights, female education and modernization of legal system, as well as reversal of religious authority. Best strategy would have been to leave the commies and the Mujahid bleed each other out, when like many other "Cold war" fronts, a transition to democratic form would have been possible - where Unkil could have played ball. But at least it would have allowed nurturing a fledgling modernization seed with aspirations to come out of Islamic retrogressive darkness.

Now complete ruthless liquidation of the religious leadership is the only road left. Taleban has to be declared non-human and fit for extermination just as any harmful pest. Afghans should be told that if they do not execute anyone connected to the Taleban, then in the future they should be ready to face the same fate as the Talebs themselves as they will be treated as collaborators. And we must tell also that we consider all Talebs as pests to be destroyed - the only concession being a choice of methods of execution allowed by the Sharia. And as many will be executed as is necessary to make the word Taleb only available in history books and never again in living form. Large scale population movements will be necessary and whole settlements moved to camps in the plains. Strategic demolition of hillsides, pastures, fields, flooding low lying valleys and areas that can sustain human groups should be undertaken after removal of populations. Only counter terror of a thousand fold brutality can destroy the Talebs - nothing short of that will work.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby sanjaykumar » 20 Feb 2009 04:11

Is the corruption more ridiculous than another type of third world country, ravaged with 20+ years of war? What did we expect? Switzerland?


Switzerland has 'second degree' corruption-the world's worst. That is, they are not in Karachi demanding their 10% or in Sierra Leone pushing narcotics and blood diamonds, but they are leveraging the VERY SAME money to send rosy cheeked children to school to learn about peaceful Switzerland's 'neutrality'.

Please try to see global structures-political or religious; free of conventional political and media mind-control. Just becuase the dailies never have an article on Swiss corruption but carry any number on the lesser breeds' pilfering propensities, does not make reality so.

Internet fora are a powerful factor for social justice-okay, maybe the occasional jeer.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Tilak » 20 Feb 2009 05:41

New route links Afghanistan to sea, via Iran
Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A new land route has just opened linking Afghanistan to the southern seaports of its next-door neighbor, Iran - and that could be the opening the new administration needs to forge a diplomatic relationship with a regional power the United States has, with rare exception, viewed as the Middle East bogeyman.

"I certainly think it represents an opportunity, particularly because it kind of takes up this relationship where it was last at its most amicable: that is, over Afghanistan," said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University.



Brief cooperation

That period of cooperation included direct dialogue at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Bonn two weeks after Kabul fell and ultimately included discreet Iranian permission for U.S. flights over Iranian territory and assurances that any U.S. pilots forced to land or crash in Iran would be returned, Milani said.

Since then, relations between the two nations have sunk over U.S. allegations that Iran has sought nuclear weaponry and fomented violence across the Middle East. Iran has accused the United States of seeking to destroy its government and acting as a regional bully on behalf of Israel.

But last week, Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad each made overtures about their desire to begin talking again. Ahmadinejad's call last Tuesday for "talks based on mutual respect and in a fair atmosphere" came less than 24 hours after Obama's similar call in a press conference.

If Obama is looking for openings, Milani and other analysts said, he should look to Iran to help solve the crisis in the Khyber Pass, the ancient mountain corridor trod in antiquity by Alexander the Great and the traders of the Silk Road.



Alternatives to Khyber

One of the best alternatives is relatively new: a road India built between the Afghan towns of Delaram and Zaranj, which are linked by road with the Arabian Sea - through Iran.

It's not the only alternative - Afghanistan can be accessed from the northwest, but that route is longer and would require traveling through Russia's sphere of influence. And Russia's relationship with the United States and Europe of late has been less than cordial.

Some analysts hope Obama explores the much shorter path through Iran, with an eye toward renewing the two countries' sense of shared interests.

Iran has a degree of self-interest in its next-door neighbor that distant Russia lacks. Iran's hostility toward the Taliban predates Sept. 11: the Taliban's interpretation of Islam holds that the Shiite Muslims who dominate Iran are heretics, and an Iranian diplomat is among those being held by militants. Iranians are also concerned about the boom in opium poppy cultivation that has swept Afghanistan in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion.

"There's a lot of common interests - at a broad level, both countries want to see Afghanistan stabilized, neither country wants to see a resurgence of the Taliban, both countries want to stop drug trafficking," said Karim Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"If the U.S. is contemplating when and how to go about engaging Iran, Afghanistan presents the best opportunity to build confidence."

NATO might be reaching a similar conclusion.

"We need to stop looking at Afghanistan as if it were an island," Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said late last month. "We need a discussion that brings in all the relevant players: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Russia - and yes, Iran."

A few days later, Gen. John Craddock, an American who is NATO's supreme allied commander, said that if other NATO members wished to talk to Iran about sending supplies through its borders instead of through the Khyber Pass - fine.



I can hear Tom Lantos rolling in his grave ??. :roll: Grand Ayatollah Kimball and Barbara Boxer.. :rotfl:


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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RameshVarma » 20 Feb 2009 14:17

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/afgh ... yes-russia

I am sorry if this link is already posted or discussed....
I think Karzai is being pictured as corrupt because of increasing affinity towards Russia and Russia is also showing considerable interest in this part of the region. Of late Russia is also sending strong signals that it is back into the game (Soviet Era...).Which makes Afghanistan all the more important to US to maintain its sphere of influence in the Central Asia to contour the increasing threat of Russia and China.

The way I look at things the US is there to stay in Afghanistan for at least another decade.


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