Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby kshirin » 06 Feb 2010 20:00

harbans wrote:So what to do?

Shiv Ji, i think India has no option but to do the following:

1. Stop moronically parroting the cliche 'Stable Pakistan is in India's interests'
2. Stop saying Pakistan always will have to exist as India's neighbour.
3. Start building an opinion pool within the establishment that supports a breakup of this abomination into Sindh, Baluchistan etc.

Since we are starting talks and Baluchistan was mentioned in SeS, why not raise rights issues there when Paki's raise the K word for a change? I can imagine the Paki delegations going completely ballistic, walking off in a rage etc etc..Why not sponsor resolutions in UN for self determination in Baluchistan when these folks raise the K word.



I do agree, and Baluchis would be pleasantly surprised if we did. We betrayed them several times in the past, didn't we? Even the Brits had contemplated Baluchistan as an alternative to Pakistan in their Partition options, as per papers unearthed by Sarila.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Atri » 06 Feb 2010 21:10

shiv wrote:Very lucid summation IMO.

But the history you have summarized documents continuously changing boundaries. To me that means one of two things for the future:
1) We accept that changing boundaries (or perhaps shrinking boundaries for Indian influence) are inevitable
or
2) We decide that history needs a change of course by taking steps to ensure that the boundaries of India as we know them today are stabilised rigidly for the near term future with a view to expansion in the longer term

The latter course requires a temporary acceptance of Indian boundaries along a militarily defendable line and not compromising on that unless it is for expansion, while allowing Pakistan. Afghanistan and CAR to change their boundaries. What this amounts to is that we do not need to give a dam about who runs Afghanistan as long as we can take steps to protect our current boundaries without shrinkage.


Shiv ji,

I don't think that the bullion logic applies to the options you have presented. Whilst we have maintained a militarily defendable line of possession which is non-negotiable (kargil war), India surely can try its best to prevent the "Yuti" of these two malefic planets (Pakjab-Pashtoon). The measures which India can employ (in principle) are

a. diversion - creating problem elsewhere (baluchistan/balwaristan)
b. weaning one partner away from another (developmental work in afg)
c. war for achieving - 1. breakage of chakravyuha of enemies (pak-prc nexus and territorial continuity)
2. the actual strategic encirclement of the troubled region (along with Russia and Iran)
3. escalation in cost for the two entities (af-pak) to enter into coalition.

The factors which will work against these moves will be
a. vested interests of west vis-a-vis Russia and China (more potent)
b. vested interest of west vis-a-vis limiting Indian influence to increase
c. PRC's interest to gain stable oil and gas routes to fuel its growth without India being there to overlook them; thus impeding the growth of India.

This is strictly talking in terms of real-politik as I understand it today..

However, in addition to this marxist analysis, there is one factor which is ignored when studying history. That aspect is study of how people choose to remember their own past. In spite of all the rape of Pakjab by ghori, gaznavi and abdali, modern pakjabis remember them as "their own" and saviours. This perception of history is what is of utmost importance. It is this perception which facilitates the changing boundaries in northwest of Bhaarat. The people from east and west of Sindhu river have this magnetic love-hate relationship which makes Sindhu a necessary frontier of Bhaarat.

If Bhaarat accepts this staus quo of boundaries with option of expanding them open (as in option 2), this does not necessarily mean that India has to sit down and do nothing to weaken the coalition internally. The only problem is that India is not doing enough, when it can.

I believe that this karma (of extending soft-power in AFG and being in good books of afghanis) will not go unpaid. If and when time comes that IA will be crossing kabul river (either way), this karma will pay dividends then. However, on its own, this karma is impotent. It is incapable of bearing fruits which are beneficial to India (and afgh) alone. For that time necessitates something more from India, something potent.

I sincerely think that India is waiting for something. I think I feel what she's waiting for, but its something surreal, and I can't express it. But, this delay will have to be accounted for, when action begins. To nulliify those effects of the delay being committed now, the present govt has to do more than what it has been publicly doing.

It is India that should be seen as punisher and discipliner by common abdul. The image of harmless cow having a free-ride on backs of US (and Israel) should start vanishing from the minds of ordinary abdul. The robust economy and awesome achievements in scientific and cultural scenarios will cause abduls from northwest of ROI to gasp in awe before destroying it (like they gasped before destroying vijaynagar, like they gasped before destroying Taj and Oberoi last year). But it won't stop them from destroying it.

I heard a story of retreating nazi-germany. They had wired Eiffel Tower and Notre-dam with dynamite so that they would destroy it before retreating from Paris. The story goes that the soldiers could not press the button as they thought (rightly so) that it was too grand and beautiful to be destroyed. This appreciation of civilization was not seen in abduls from NW, everytime they ventured into India to cherry-pick the ripe fruit.

Since this has been happening time and again, I see no reason why this won't happen again in future. But the thing which can be done is that given this understanding of geopolitics and socio-economics in an ordinary student like me in India, I assume that greater understanding is possessed with the policy-makers of India. And if this future materializes, it will be a devastating failure for those generations who lived to see it, despite having the understanding of contra-indications and strength of averting them.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 07 Feb 2010 03:53

Can,the new PakFA(q) do precision bombing run flying from Adampur or Halwaras to Kabul/Kandhar and return without being refueled? I think it will a great tool to unleash sudden death on any Abdul jehadi getting training in terrorist camps estabished by Paki. Rusisans can help doing same from the other end. I
Its futile to discuss any option which dont end up in the end game for what is now called Paquiestan. We are back to square one once Uncle and his daughters go home in about 4 years . Again it boils down to 2k Nukes ( few salted ones) which can utterly destroy Pak,CHi and Saudia at minumum and their hidden supporters at maximum. We need mad man at the helm , simultaneously quadruppling GDP in next 10 years. Any demonestic element which try to compromise on Core national interest ought to be eithe rbanished or thrown in the middle of IO.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Guddu » 07 Feb 2010 04:49

shiv wrote:Speak up and state those fears, but don;t just state them. State also what can realistically be done. If nothing can be done realistically, what is the expected outcome? After all - unless people commit suicide many people will have to live with a poor and less than acceptable outcome. Why not get ready for it? But get ready for what? State the outcome please.


Those fears you talk about originate from the "lizard brain" (not referring to China)..primitive human responses deep from the amygdala. If we succumb to those fears, we are done for, OTOH if we address them and overcome them, victory will be ours.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby surinder » 07 Feb 2010 05:28

Many others have pointed out some important points, at the risk of repeating them, I will state the fillowing: It is true that Pakis off-late have been pooh-poohing the concept of Strategic Depth, vis-a-vis A'stan. But strategic depth works in many ways, some stated, some unstated. In the classic sense, as RayC pointed out, it is with respect to a conventional war against India. Quite obviously, as Paki writers have pointed out, TSP is not going to haul military equipment across the Khyber into A'stan to continue the fight with India. But strategic depth works in different manners for TSP. Controlling A'stan, it gets access to its most important resource, its war-hungry, fanatical, easily-controlled populace. They becomes TSP's fodder for all its international terror operations, gives plausible deniability, not to mention the poppy/drugs. If any oil is discovered, then it is Balle-Balle. Control of A'stan opens up immense options for TSP, strategic as well as tactical.

Secondly, control of A'stan shuts (are appears to) the Durand line issue. This issue terrorizes TSP more than anything related to India. India has not exploited this issue. This open wound must be utilized to the max to sqeeze the b@11s of TSP. We cannot allow this issue to be sunk to oblivion.

Thirdly, ejection of Talibs from A'stan does something most spectacular. Not having the country of A'stan, now Talibums & Pakjabis are sqeezed into the same land. Presence of these volatile fanatical men, in driving distance of Pindi, Lahore, scares the living daylights out of Pakjabis---for it is one thing to glibly encourage harsh islaam in Kabul & Srinagar, but it is quite another thing for fun-loving Pakjabis to live it daily in their core areas. But more than discomfort, the agents of TSP and TSP-proper now are superimposed in the same land. This sets the stage of a civil war, taking it down the path of eventual dismantling. India cannot let go off such a plum possibility.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Abhi_G » 07 Feb 2010 06:15

My questions to gain some perspective and knowledge from the discussion.

1. What is different for Taliban between now and post the retreat of the Soviets?

2. What is different for Pakistan between now and post the retreat of the Soviets?

3. What is different for US between now and post the retreat of the Soviets?

4. What is different for India between now and post the retreat of the Soviets?

Questions 1 and 2 are together since for me pak == ISI == pak military == taliban.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 07 Feb 2010 06:16

Shiv,

What India can do it is build up soft power in Afghanistan (as it is I believe that India is favoured over Pakistan) and establish cogent commercial presence wherein the economy is beyond the interest of other power players.

Develop a 'presence' in the political milieu of Afghanistan.

Let others do the fighting.

Have a physical presence with a Military Training team of the IA and IAF with Indian military equipment.

Carry out Joint Training i.e. exercises whereby Indian forces would get familiar with the Afghan terrain as also would be a 'threat in being' to Pakistan. In short, make Pakistan feel that they are facing a two front threat.

By such 'friendly' activity which does not appear directly belligerent, India would be able to establish links with the CAR and also have avenues open for 'fraternal' relations with the Uighurs in Xinjiang! ;) It will send signals to China that it takes two to tango!

We also have a presence in Chabahar port in Iran and have built roads connecting this port to CAR through Afghanistan.

It may interest one that we have recently done an air exercise with the Oman air force and have very friendly relations with Oman.

Of course, it all depends if the US is ready to play ball.

Just a view!

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Lilo » 07 Feb 2010 06:57

and how will india access central asian markets if afghanistan is in talib control ?

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 07 Feb 2010 08:34

Lilo wrote:and how will india access central asian markets if afghanistan is in talib control ?


My posts are based on that Taliban should NOT have control!!

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Pranav » 07 Feb 2010 09:48

Afghanistan has significant natural resources - copper, iron ore. You can bet that the Pakjabis will get their dirty hands on them once the Talibs take over. So Pakjabis get another colony like Balochistan.

Then we can start a thread called "Afghanistan - story of another Paki military genocide".

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby disha » 07 Feb 2010 10:11

RayC wrote:We also have a presence in Chabahar port in Iran and have built roads connecting this port to CAR through Afghanistan.

It may interest one that we have recently done an air exercise with the Oman air force and have very friendly relations with Oman.


Do we still have air corridor to Afghanistan over Pakistan? At least the Civilian Air Corridor? Or to CAR over Pakistan? Or the current "A monkey ki Aeyasha" is being utilized to open an air corridor to Afghanistan? Something like a quid-pro-quid to talks?

Added later: Afghanistan falling into a radicalized Taliban is a bigger issue for West than India. India will still suffer some Kandahar type of hijacks, but then that becomes a precursor to 9/11 which actually caused billions of dollars of loss to US.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 07 Feb 2010 10:42

Disha,

If you go back and read my first post on the thread, I have tried to indicate how India will be hurt the most if the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan.

My experience, which has been long in Kashmir, through various phases, (armed peace, war, initial CI, later CI etc), suggests that after the Russian lost to the Mujahideens in Afghanistan, terrorism shot up in intensity and was raging in Kashmir. Large number of terrorists captured or gunned down were from the the 'holy war' in Afghanistan, who were 'surplus' to the actions on thereafter between the various Mujahideen factions.

However, after 9/11, when the US intervened in Afghanistan, it has abated.

I seriously doubt that terrorism in Kashmir has gone down because of a change in heart in the Pakistan govt over the 'composite dialogue' or such activities. I am of the opinion that it has abated to some extent because the Taliban terrorists are busy in Afghanistan, Swat, NWFP, FATA etc. They have very little 'surplus' to dish out to foment carnage in Kashmir.

Therefore, so long as the Taliban is kept busy elsewhere, India is safer, even if not completely safe.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 07 Feb 2010 11:09

CT, is WESt setting up the stage for Nuke war in the Asian region ? The Rise of Asia is not exactly bringing good taste in their mouth. They will be happy if most of Asia disappear from world stage.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 07 Feb 2010 20:01

Some serious points to ponder from RayC and Surinder.

Several points come to mind in relation to an Afghanistan under Pakistan friendly Taliban control.

Let us assume that as RayC says they set up camps in Afghanistan and wash their hands off all responsibility, even as they churn out terrorists.

To me that would be a return to the status on the day before 9-11.

The point to not is that up until 9-11 the Pakis had no special visa requirements for people who came to train in these camps. Anyone, Chechens, Arabs, Filipinos, Yanks could come and train, alongside Pakjabis. That is what caused the "spillover" of jihad from being India directed to international jihad.

One would have to assume as a "worst case" scenario that Pakistan is able to "direct" the jihad towards India to some extent. But there is a big difference between Pashtuns fighting in their own lands and being asked to cross a border into India. India has a clear and open policy of shooting people who try to cross.

Let me quote from my own e-book of what we used to see up until 9-11
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/EBOOKS/pfs.pdf


A report in the New York Times (27 May 2002) describes
how the jihadis from Afghanistan were applied against
India:
drawing on the 80,000 fighters whom Pakistan had trained
and armed to fight the Soviet forces in
Afghanistan...Pakistan's military and intelligence
services struck upon the idea of employing jihadis to
wrest control of the Kashmir from India. "We have fought
three wars with India and have not won even one of them,"
said an expert on the country's jihad movements. "The
success of the jihadi strategy in Afghanistan compelled
the generals to try it on India, too. The Kashmir jihadis
are our cannon fodder because they are willing to die for
their cause in a way that no paid soldiers would."

And even today as Pakistani jihadis continue to be used
as cannon fodder against India, the recruitment has to go
on. Jihad is advertised in Pakistan as a career path to
follow. Shahid Nadeem wrote in the Daily Times of
Pakistan (125):

The moment we left Fortress Abbottabad, it was jehadi
territory. Wall chalking after wall chalking advertised
jehadi outfits and announced recruitment for jehadi
fighters. Just a few kilometers from the Havelian
cantonment, there are slogans such as Jehad is the
shortest route to Paradise and Contact us for commando
Jehadi training. Walls between Havelian and Haripur are
full of jehadi slogans and adverts




Statistics of deaths of Indians in Kashmir show that over
17,000 civilians have been killed by Pakistani trained
terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir from 1990 to 2003.
Over the same period Indian security forces have
intercepted and killed 17,000 terrorists who were found
committing acts of terrorism or infiltrating into India
from Pakistan, along with the staggering recovery of over
27,000 assault rifles and machine guns, and over 59,000
hand grenades, 6 million rounds of ammunition and 34,000
kilograms of explosives (129).


As the Indian strategy proved effective, jihadis started
getting eliminated in increasing numbers, and the average
life-span of a jihadi-terrorist entering India from
Pakistan was reduced to weeks or months rather than years
(130). One Indian army major is quoted in an interview as
saying (131):
Once somebody picks up the gun then his family knows that
it is only a matter of days before they hear that he has
been killed in an encounter. We put the average lifespan
of a terrorist at two-and-half years. Within this period
we are bound to eliminate him.



In an article on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the
magazine India Today, referring to the L-e-T (Lashkar-e-
Tayeba), a powerful and deadly Pakistan based jihad
group, had this to say in its December 2003 edition
(132):
There is a terrible price to pay for this facilitation
because the same forces that drive jehad in Jammu and
Kashmir drive it in other lands too...Indian authorities
reckon that groups like the LeT could, in time, become
more dangerous. Not only would they become too large for
the ISI to manage but also their strong links with the
underworld would create a sort of double whammy.
This view is echoed by one of India's premier anti-
terrorism experts, K.P.S. Gill, who warned (134):
There is now mounting evidence of a loss of control as
these autonomous religious groups challenge, not only
their Army and ISI handlers, but the Government itself.


I suggest the Pakistani army will face the same problems of loss of control and anti West groups will once again have a field day as they seek revenge against the great Satan.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby brihaspati » 07 Feb 2010 20:29

A nuke war in Asia may not remain confined to Asia. So I do not think that is something EU will want, even if some nut somewhere in USA decides to play.

On Fears and Outcomes :

If some people think that some others are "frightened" - that is not such a bad thing. In fact I would encourage others to think of me as "seriously frightened". If they are supposed enemies, out to get my "gardana", I would urge them in all possible ways to think of me as "so frightened as to have no clear cut counter strategy". For, once convinced that such enemies have nothing left in them for me to spare them as human beings, I would see to it that chess pieces are moved silently to the eventual extinction of even their possible memories. Romans used to raze whole towns and cities , eliminate all living beings including street dogs or cats, and sow salt into the ground - so that nothing grew there for generations.

Yes Romans have gone, but they were so effective that in some cases we only know of their enemies through Roman writings only. Impression of "fear" is good. The pressure to spell out the counter-viciousness and ruthlessness openly disrupts that impression of "paralysis" and "fear". Moreover, it inevitably plays into the hands of sympathisers of one's enemies - as those sympathisers are also keen to protect your enemy in all possible ways - because those sympathisers also want your destrcution. But they want to do it by proxy and not dirty their own hands.

As for outcomes, that is a complex process of interaction between moves and counter-moves. What the Talebs, or their colleagues in the ISI, TSPA, the theologians, their supporters in the west or ME or PRC, are trying to do - is actually good in my thinking. For the more success they gain in their objectives, the more we come closer to their eventual decimation. Their success on the subcontinent will reveal what the various shades of sympathisers of Islamism and Jihadis have been doing and have done in protecting Jihad. Without a retreat and defeat of non-Islamic forces the immense ruthlessness and callousness with which non-Muslim protectors of Islamism undermine resistance to Jihad, is not exposed. Islamists usually digest, convert and coopt such sympathisers once they are in power. This separates out society in two clearly identifiable sectors - for and against Islamism and Jihad. By removing the "majjhim panthis" who try to play both sides for personal benefits, but almost always damage the non-Muslim side more than they do the Islamist side - such an outcome clears the way forward. Jihadi behaviour and atrocities finally also leave no excuse left to whitewash the driving ideology anymore and increases the military effectiveness of anti-Jihadi forces. It is only then that ultimate annihilation of Jihadi framework on the subcontinent is possible.

In case the above is represented as a sign of "callosuness" and "disconnect" from India, as a possible "typical" reaction from a "non-resident" - who finds nothing wrong in the "bloodshed/trauma" of Indians - I do earnestly hope, that the timeline is delayed as the Jhadi's handlers also definitely realize that their best chance of success lies in keeping their sympathisers among non-Muslim sections legitimate. That tight-rope walking should delay any dramatic progress by Jihadis - so that I can be in time to share personally in suffering that outcome. But then obviously, for me sympathisers/protectors will be == Jihadis onlee.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby bart » 07 Feb 2010 22:44

Taliban=Pakistan

So the thread title should really be Afghanistan in Pakistani control. That is automatically a cause for worry.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 07 Feb 2010 23:01

Shiv,

Having faced the brunt of these 'surplus' jihadis ex Afghanistan, I am convinced that there should be no 'surplus' floating around.

Keep them busy elsewhere.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 08 Feb 2010 07:57

RayC wrote:Having faced the brunt of these 'surplus' jihadis ex Afghanistan, I am convinced that there should be no 'surplus' floating around.

Keep them busy elsewhere.



I am sure you are right in saying that they must be kept busy elsewhere.

But what choice does India have in this? The US kept them busy for 9 years and now it looks like the US is backing out. "Keeping them busy" is going to have to be India's job, as it was in the years before 9-11.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 08 Feb 2010 08:25

shiv wrote:

I am sure you are right in saying that they must be kept busy elsewhere.

But what choice does India have in this? The US kept them busy for 9 years and now it looks like the US is backing out. "Keeping them busy" is going to have to be India's job, as it was in the years before 9-11.


I wonder if the US will quit.

Here is an interesting story:
India ties on Nato lips
- Alliance sees greater Afghan role for neighbours

NATO

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2010 08:41

The powers who have nudged these yahoos toward our direction in past and now should be made to shut up when no hold bar reaction from Indian side cleans miles of territories infested by these low lifers and their fans . Lets hope Indian political masters have at least this minimum fire left in their belly. The defeat of these islamist forces and their masters is the real test of Indfia if it want to earn rightful place among the nations of this planet. Let it be similar to US emerging out of 2nd WW. IMHO , the problem is also oppertunity to set things right internally and externally.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 08 Feb 2010 08:42

On a more contemplative note, it seems to me that a statement I had made a long time ago keeps coming back. For Pakistan to be defeated, the US must first be defeated.

But the US cannot be defeated because US policy after world war 2 has never been to defeat anyone else, but to keep fights going on between adversaries where the US enters and pulls out - staying in long enough to keep the fight going and arming and funding both sides. This is a tremendously Chankian tactic in the short term. Outright victory is far more difficult than chronic war. Everyone knows this and so chronic wars are preferred by anyone who realises his own weaknesses.

After WW2 - you find that the US fought in Korea and left with a divided Korea. South Korea is prosperous, but still dependent on the US. NoKo is prosperous and still manages to blackmail the US. The US, far away, gets a headache but carries on after swallowing a Crocin. Vietnam was abandoned halfway through. Israel is supported, but note that KSA and Iran have received F-14s or F-15s and AWACS. I think Egypt has some US goodies too.

Pakistan was armed against India and the USSR. Pakistan in armed jihadis against the USSR and India. The USSR withdrew, leaving the anti Soviet jihadis jobless. That led to 9-11. Enter the US again. What did the US do? Armed Pakistan against India and the jihadis this time around. What did Pakistan do - it protected the jihadis in Pakistan, knowing that the US would not attack Pakistan because it is an ally.

The Taliban survive today because Pakistan sheltered them. Pakistan survives today because the US funds and arms Pakistan. Therefore we come full circle to what I stated at the beginning - For Pakistan to be defeated, the US must first be defeated.

But is defeat necessary? Why not take a leaf out of the US's book? Just keep on fighting a chronic war with Pakistan. Keep it unstable and unhappy. The idea sounds good, but the spoiler of course is the US. The US benefits most from this, because the US has te power to enter any conflict at any stage and tilt the balance. But "tilting the balance" is what the US would do if it saw Pakistan "losing". So perhaps we have to read the US's red lines. This may sound like grovelling or slavery. It is. But izzat is of no use in a live or die struggle. We have to hit Pakistan and keep it unstable below the US's red lines.

That still leaves us in the unenviable position of having to deal with the fact that the ISAF in Afghanistan will soon be ISI/PA in Afghanistan. And the US will try and pay and arm Pakistan to make them curb anti-US activities while anti-India activities will not be considered bad.

To me that means that we have to be ready to take on Pakistan directly. India may have to wage a war with the risk of nuclear escalation merely to degrade the Pakistani army and put pressure on it so that it has to pull out its officers, men and advisers from Afghanistan. And India should stop the war below the nuclear threshold - ie a few days of bombing and attacks to economically and militarily pressurise Pakistan, and let the US later bear the cost of re arming Pakistan as well as the consequences of loss of control of jihadis in Afghanistan.

The US will, of course extract a price from India. We will have to be ready for that.

When should this happen? It should happen after a heinous terrorist attack. How soon should it happen? After the next attack? Or after 3-5 years? I don't know. A lot depends on how dependent we are on the US and whether the US will listen to our demands that Pakistan must not be armed and funded.

But til such time we may have to eat humble pie and toe the US line. The US really is king.

Just some thoughts..

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Anujan » 08 Feb 2010 08:49

shiv wrote:That still leaves us in the unenviable position of having to deal with the fact that the ISAF in Afghanistan will soon be ISI/PA in Afghanistan. And the US will try and pay and arm Pakistan to make them curb anti-US activities while anti-India activities will not be considered bad.


This is what bothered me right from the beginning and is supplementary to what RayC-ji mentioned.

Pakistan is going to negotiate the presence of its army officers (as "instructors" for Afghan armed forces) and intelligence agents (to "monitor compliance" of taliban and to prevent destabilization of FATA/NWFP by cross border linkages) in Afghanistan. This means a "reverse Kunduz airlift" (for people who forgot the "Airlift of evil" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airlift_of_Evil ) which means only two things

1) A permanently politically destabilized Afghanistan, where Pakistan acts as a Kingmaker (like Iran-Hezbollah-Lebanon)
2) Recruitment, training, staging of Jihadis who will finally wind up in India

The only way to prevent this, is to make sure that there are no Pak armed forces stationed in A'stan. It would involve flexing a great deal of muscle and much chai-biskoot from Indian side. This is the litmus test for us.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 08 Feb 2010 08:50

Anujan wrote:The only way to prevent this, is to make sure that there are no Pak armed forces stationed in A'stan. It would involve flexing a great deal of muscle and much chai-biskoot from Indian side..


How about attacking Pakistan's Eastern border to start a limited and inconclusive war? The purpose of the war being "punitive" and "imposing a cost"?

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2010 08:55

shiv wrote:To me that means that we have to be ready to take on Pakistan directly. India may have to wage a war with the risk of nuclear escalation merely to degrade the Pakistani army and put pressure on it so that it has to pull out its officers, men and advisers from Afghanistan. And India should stop the war below the nuclear threshold - ie a few days of bombing and attacks to economically and militarily pressurise Pakistan, and let the US later bear the cost of re arming Pakistan as well as the consequences of loss of control of jihadis in Afghanistan.
When should this happen? It should happen after a heinous terrorist attack. How soon should it happen? After the next attack? Or after 3-5 years? I don't know. A lot depends on how dependent we are on the US and whether the US will listen to our demands that Pakistan must not be armed and funded.But til such time we may have to eat humble pie and toe the US line. The US really is king.
Just some thoughts..

USA has to work for its own interests. They dont owe anything to Indians. Since Uncle will be once again walking away from Afghan front, GOI should be aware of not providing any further military leverage to Uncle which might handicap India to punish Paquis. If UPA government give MRCA deal to Boeing, then Indians must be ready to say Yes Master for long time i.e Kangress has once again sold India to foreigners.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Pranav » 08 Feb 2010 09:01

shiv wrote:
How about attacking Pakistan's Eastern border to start a limited and inconclusive war? The purpose of the war being "punitive" and "imposing a cost"?


That is too gross. Also, the cycle of escalation cannot be controlled, and it is in Paki interest to reach the nuke stage and do an == . Should work on subtler levels.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Anujan » 08 Feb 2010 09:03

shiv wrote:How about attacking Pakistan's Eastern border to start a limited and inconclusive war? The purpose of the war being "punitive" and "imposing a cost"?


No Shiv-ji

Maybe. But Shiv-ji, most wars are lost due to a lack of a clear political objective. US lost vietnam/Iraq/A'stan that way. Russians lost A'stan that way. We lost Parakram that way (lets debate the Kashmir elections later -- I still dont buy that argument) and the Pakis lost Kargil that way (Paki idea from what I can gather was -- Lets occupy Kargil heights. Then something something --we will figure this later. Then Paki flag on Red Fort !! AoA!!)

On the other hand, where political objectives were clear -- India in Bangladesh in '71, US during gulf war I and Russia in Georgia, it has been a resounding success.

What would be our objective to attack them in the east ? Destruction of a division? Ratcheting up tensions to move their army from the west to east (they dont need an armed presence there anyway)? Remember that all this has to be done "under the nuclear overhang" and "under the travel advisory overhang".

It needs "combined arms" approach.
1. We must use our economic muscle (before you laugh "what economic muscle", look at the tantrum that china threw during the spy plane incident in 2001. Their GDP then = our GDP now and US/Europe is in a weaker position).
2. Visible, clear and unambiguous tit-for-tat. US gives money to Pak, Boeing is out of MMRCA the next day. French sell subs to Pak, France is out of MMRCA too. Yes we will be unable to buy shiny western maal, but sacrificing on the quality of our arms will go a long way in rewarding our security. Only one thing talks in the west. Money.
3. We must use our diplomatic relationship with Russia (which guarantees transport corridor to A'stan in return for no-Paki-influence pledge)
4. It is time we gave up "but Paki people are innocent" and start objecting to IMF/World bank funding & multilateral agency funding to Pak projects
5. We must take unilateral economic measures, like refusing to do business with banks which do business with Paki banks with terrorist funding
6. US doesnt support our legitimate concerns, we dont support US concerns. Start doing business in Iran.

It is time to not be a nice guy and start being a bully.

I am writing because something B.R. Ambedkar wrote (and quoted in TSP dhaaga by A_Gupta-ji stuck a chord with me)
"It seems to me that the Congress has failed to realize two things. The first thing which the Congress has failed to realize is that there is a difference between appeasement and settlement, and that the difference is an essential one. Appeasement means buying off the aggressor by conniving at his acts of murder, rape, arson and loot against innocent persons who happen for the moment to be the victims of his displeasure. On the other hand, settlement means laying down the bounds which neither party to it can transgress. Appeasement sets no limits to the demands and aspirations of the aggressor. Settlement does."
Last edited by Anujan on 08 Feb 2010 09:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2010 09:04

The only way to prevent this, is to make sure that there are no Pak armed forces stationed in A'stan. It would involve flexing a great deal of muscle and much chai-biskoot from Indian side
How about attacking Pakistan's Eastern border to start a limited and inconclusive war? The purpose of the war being "punitive" and "imposing a cost

Who in the world will mind the Nuking of them ? India like Russia can change its Nuke posture and since the Afghans themselves wont be controlling their own territory , the war zone/ land wont technically belong to any one . The response to "Talib" terrorism must have declared Nuclear dimension : This will cause constant loose motions in many circles. With weak economic conditions worldwide, no one can afford such instability.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Anujan » 08 Feb 2010 09:26

Prem wrote: Who in the world will mind the Nuking of them ? India like Russia can change its Nuke posture and since the Afghans themselves wont be controlling their own territory , the war zone/ land wont technically belong to any one . The response to "Talib" terrorism must have declared Nuclear dimension : This will cause constant loose motions in many circles. With weak economic conditions worldwide, no one can afford such instability.


Nuke what and who Prem-ji? Some random cave with a few goats roaming by?

Nuke deterrence works like the mafia. If you dont comply, I will shoot your wife (population). In this case, who will buy this argument in Afghanistan? Does Abu-Al-Hamza-Bin-terrorist care if a few of the neighboring tribes are dispatched if he strikes at Cashmere? More importantly, does his Paki handler care? Secondly, how can we use nukes against a non-nuke armed neighbor, without going up the escalation ladder? (if we do, sudden first strike against us will become acceptable with the argument that our nuclear doctrine is unpredictable & vulnerable to false flag operations).

A better threat would be to cut off water & withdraw from IWT if any terrorist attacks India. Our capability buildup in this direction is what is causing maximum takleef and browning of pants among the Pakis--which they dont want to articulate and instead do a :(( about India *already* stealing water. As I had mentioned before, India has adhered to IWT for the past (around) 60 years because (a) it was not our intention to cut water off (b) we were not capable of cutting water off (a look at the dams on the rivers will reveal this). Once the dams are in place, and we have the capability to cut water off, that is when we will have a big stick to beat the Pakis with. Aam aadmi getting pissed with the Pakis & forcing to make the government issue this threat, along with the ability to carry it through, will cause Pakis to brown their pants.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 08 Feb 2010 09:45

But is defeat necessary? Why not take a leaf out of the US's book? Just keep on fighting a chronic war with Pakistan. Keep it unstable and unhappy.


That's why Pakistan shivers at the name of Baluchistan and complains of the Indian consulates in Afghanistan?

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby negi » 08 Feb 2010 09:51

Anujan points you raise have been raised before and imo effectiveness of all these are governed by the political will (which is non existent) , there has been no public statement from the GOI which indicates TSP will be penalized in any form for acts of terror against India . We had the nukes long before the TSP (atleast from the deterrence perspective ) and we still did not make it publicly known that any act of terror against India will be responded to with an overwhelming force (like the French or Israel do) likewise building dams/run of river or whatever one may call amount to nothing unless the party on the other side is made to realise that India will 'ACTUALLY' do what ZH or Jingos speculate about .

I am afraid India's hollow squeals followed by inaction have rendered all such prospective deterrents ineffective and this is visible the way TSP has reacted to Indian request for resumption of a 'dialogue' process , basically in past 6 decades there has not been a single blow from the Indian side to knock some sense into the lunatics on the otherside such limitless tolerance for violence and loss of human life by the GOI now makes me apprehensive of its capabilities so I am not surprised when I hear pompous 'chooha' Querashi describe this request from the GOI as a vindication of TSP stand.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2010 10:26

Anujan,
To run Afghanistan, camps etc , there will be many visible power centres. Punishing even one will send the message of strong political will .
Trust Pakis to provide the oppertunity to evenge all the wrongs of yesterdays. Regardig Dams, i agree 400%. We should/will have the capabiity build within a decade to dry them out at our will if they dont change their behaviour.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 08 Feb 2010 10:54

Interestingly - 4 posts in the Paki therad are relevant here as opinions:

Rangudu

SSridhar wrote:
As usual, Pakistan arrogantly jumps to conclusions and wants to assume a dominating position beyond its legitimate clout and strength vis-a-vis India.


As usual you have hit the nail on the head. However, it is in this same TSP behavior lies hope for you and me. Even so called hardline diplomats in TSP are now beginning to caution about the establishment developing "Hamid-Gul-itis" and not push it too far, but we know that it is like the proverbial dog's tail.

I'm actually not fully buying the theory that the London conference and other developments are a major win for TSP. Yes, they are clearly better off now than a few years back, but if you want to see how the intelligent RAPE mind feels, read Ejaz Haider, Moeed Yusuf etc. They both say the same thing - once TSPA agrees to be the intermediary with Mullah Omar, the sole responsibility for ensuring that Omar disowns Al Qaeda in a veriable manner rests in Rawalpindi. The deniability disappears forever and all it would take is one attack in the West to bring down a hammer 100 times worse than in 2001. Sure, TSPA/ISI may weasel out of that situation too, but this is no win for TSPA.

Afghanistan is like a hot potato - it is easy to make life hard for others who are passing the potato, but the moment you catch it, the roles are reversed.


SSridhar

Rangudu wrote:
The deniability disappears forever and all it would take is one attack in the West to bring down a hammer 100 times worse than in 2001. Sure, TSPA/ISI may weasel out of that situation too. . .

Well said, Rangudu. I think that Pakistan now recognizes that the emerging situation will not be as lenient as it was before 9/11. Pakistan, will appropriately change its tactics too, I guess. It knows well that attacks on India will not invite retribution as it would on Western interests. After all, Pakistan's sole agenda is India and so long as a pliant state exists in Afghanistan, it will be happy. If we look at its actions since 9/11, it probably recognized this fact a long time back. It has done everything to protect the pliant Taliban and win over the non-pliant Taliban or allow the Americas to kill the recalcitrant leadership even as it feigned anger at violation of its sovereignty. It may be Pakistan's thinking that the home-grown jihadi tanzeems may be more easily controlled by it.


Suppiah

How can Taliban becoming TSP's baby officially and openly (it has always been) be good for TSP ie from TSP's standpoint? It is actually good for India because

Let us say Taliban comes back. What Taliban says before grabbing power and what it does are different things. It will give up on sponsoring global jihad (which it never bothered with until OBL joined them) and that suits Unkil who will promptly wash hands off Afghan for another decade or so until next 9/11.

But the Talibans in TSP, who have a strong domestic as well as international agenda, will see that as victory and will push their agenda inside TSP - impose purity now that Afghan has been re-conquered. Afghan will be their strategic depth, not the regimes :D ...TSPA/ISI will not be able to control them that well. The only time Pakistani Talibans will consider the regime their own is when they are running it or it dances to their tunes, not the other way around. How can the regime explain to its own people that what is good for Afghan is bad for them, as terrorist jihadi pig Kayani tried to spin the other day?

Secondly, once hands are washed with Lifebuoy, Unkil has no further incentive to get involved in the region or fund TSPA. Remember, there is no oil here, only fanatic barbarianism and terrorist animals. If there is a strike against them, they will just unleash bombs remotely ala Libya or Sudan and not put feet in ground.

India has anyway been target of TSP whether ruled by civilians, mullahs, Taliban, military makes no difference. We can also continue to arm, fund anti-Taliban forces, once again adopting death by hundred cut policy on Taliban and TsP at our choice.

As fanatic barbarianism increases in TSP, its breakup gets accelerated. We can wait for that day, keeping farcical talks going to please the 'international community' but not yielding an inch.


Rangudu

SSridhar

You are right in concluding that TSPA would adapt to the new reality, i.e. to keep control of the pliable jihadis/Taliban and let loose of the others.

However, there is one problem and a really big one at that.

History has shown that anyone who comes into close contact with the jihadi mindset gets affected by that virus instead of getting in control of it.

Think about people like Mahmood Ahmed, Javed Nasir etc. For every whisky sipping Gen. Kayani at the top, TSPA needs people like Mahmood Ahmed or Nadeem Taj to be the points of contact with the jihadi element. But these points of contact themselves become jihadi before you know it.

That is why no matter how hard TSPA/ISI tries, the very act of Taliban regaining control over an area will GUARANTEE that Al Qaeda types will establish base there and soon start recruiting, plotting attacks.

This is like a kid playing with fire to scare off other kids. The nature of a burning flame is to be unpredictable and the only sure way of controlling it is to extinguish it. But the kid will never want to put it out and always end up burning himself or getting into big trouble.


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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby disha » 08 Feb 2010 11:11

shiv wrote:But what choice does India have in this? The US kept them busy for 9 years and now it looks like the US is backing out. "Keeping them busy" is going to have to be India's job, as it was in the years before 9-11.


It is not in US or West's interest to back out now, but they may back out. If they back out they end up giving the space to China and Russia.

What happened to "covert ops"? Cannot India put red lines which if Pakistan crosses, they end up paying some price? Via covert ops? Via "moral support"? What stops India from "morally supporting" Balochistan? Does India even have a cohesive pak policy other than Dossier-pe-Dossier? The lack of strong leverages on Pak became apparent post 26-11.

I would cite the lack of cohesive policy on Pak as a major issue, particularly when one looks at Bangladesh and the turnaround there and the situation in Nepal and the situation in Sri Lanka. So why are we so incoherent here? Of course we can blame the US for arming Pakis etc., but nothing stopped from getting our act straight?

So in that sense, I take it that "keeping them busy" is not necessarily fighting terrorists in Kashmir only, but could involve wide ranging efforts including kicking some musharafs at musheiras and some googlies at IPL etc.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby shiv » 08 Feb 2010 11:18

Pakistan had to worry about a "two front war" aslong as the US was asking them to fight the Taliban. Once they are not required to do that they have only the Eastern front- India. India will have 3 fronts if it opens a front in Afghanistan.

India's best bet is to make it difficult for Pakistan to sustainably maintain "reserves" in Afghanistan by causing attrition on its border with India. We will have to wage at least one war - with all the side effects that may entail. The only way to show that we are bullies t a bully is to use his tactics against him. Pakistan must be hit militarily - perhaps in an unconventional way by bombing military HQ type targets with PGMs - making Pakistan respond by spending a lo of money on all sorts of defences.

Of all the options open to India the one option that is (perhaps sensibly) mentioned last is war. But I see a situation in which we may have to wage war. And start it ourselves. And stop it ourselves. Perhaps in retaliation to another terrorist strike.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby disha » 08 Feb 2010 11:54

Which terrorist strike should cause India to cross the no-war rubicon? Is a terrorist strike in Kashmir different from a terrorist strike say in Jabalpur which is different from a terrorist strike at Mumbai? Does the terrorist strike have a quantum? Like x number of causalty or y number of celebrities or z amount of money?

What happens when India attacks? Will it be a hot goose chase? Is there a better alternative than targetting a PGM at ISI HQ? Or is there a softer option, like cutoff communication links from PakJab to rest of world? Is it better to have red lines defined (causing temptation in the pakinzees) or should it be deliberately left vague?

A PGM on ISI HQ may cause escalation up the ladder, what is guarantee that our leaders may turn chicken in between?

Added later: It is not all gloom and doom currently, it is just that there are more questions than answers. And uncertainity does lead to despondency. As it is Pakis wont, they move one step forward and two step backwards and they declare victory. As for us desis, 3 steps forward and 1 step backward causes loss of confidence! All the london conference achieved was looking at way forward to get some of the fringes into the mainstream. Execution of this remains to be seen.

PS: A terrorist strike is a strike, no matter what.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby RayC » 08 Feb 2010 13:50

Which terrorist strike should cause India to cross the no-war rubicon?


Million dollar question.

We have gone into a 'composite dialogue' and that fool Quereshi is stated to have said that India was dying to have one!!

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Vikas » 08 Feb 2010 14:38

Going back to the topic of this thread, What if India befriends Taliban if their rise in A'stan is inevitable. If USA can find Good Taliban, so can we.
After all we know Afghans even before USA was conceived. They were the Kabuliwala and Pathan from North West.
So how hard it is to find Talibani's / Pashtuns who are favorably disposed towards us and then help them in activities which really help Afghans like build a big Dam over River Kabul, Provide them ammunition and artillery to fight anyone crossing the eastern border, equip them with few Brahmos with a range of 300 KM's.
Get my drift ?
Why do we have to necessarily consider them as enemies. After all Haven't we lived with Pakis for last 60 years. If you can't beat them, you better join them.

PS: Now the challenge is to find a PM who was born somewhere in Afghanistan to start the love feast.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2010 22:14

This time few things will be different. Economically , we are much more stronger and have good amount of information, awareness on the ground situation in Afghanistan. Build the dams on war footing to control the flow into Paquiland. On military front, get new PAKFAq ASAP to make stealthy, precision bombing run in AFPAK area . The few dedicated FGFAs can be our NSA in this battle.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby Sanku » 08 Feb 2010 22:30

I see where Shiv is going with (saw it a little late I confess) with his, to defeat Pakistan you have to defeat its backers.

and his saying that the way to defeat Pakistan's backers is to draw them into the same game that they have been playing with others.

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Re: Afghanistan in Taliban control? No cause for Indian worry.

Postby brihaspati » 09 Feb 2010 02:18

One of the problems with "game theory" is that it has mostly been built up on assumptions of "rationality". The six basic Von-Neumann-Morgenstern RCT axioms do not always apply in reality. It has sometimes been observed that professional or educational training in particular disciplines prepares those trainees to be "over rational" according to the theoretical principles. So those ideas of rationality become self-perpetuating memes on the basis of which that small coterie of "players" model their games. So someone specilized in economics is more likely to model "others" as rational along those axiomatic lines he/she has been trained to work with day in and day out.

In reality, even within restrictions of experimental economics - substantial departures from VNM RCT axioms are observed.

Typical gaming models work on maximizing some "utility". The first problem that comes up is how to realistically assign utility for all players in the game? How do you know that you and the other players share the same "utility" constructs? There is a way to try to do this - involving statistical inference, but is a bit tricky in gaming inter-country interactions. The suggestion that two players on this forum play a mock-up game of the Indo-Pak interactions, will lead to nowhere - as there is no way to guarantee that one player will truly have or be able to adapt the Paki attitude and rationality.

Moreover, there are severe limitations in using standard game theoretic approach to understand this scenario. Games over time are typically analyzed on the basis that the "rules do not change". This is something that cannot be guaranteed for TSP and its backers.

What is being sought here comes somewhat under "behavioral finance" - and does involve "game theory" to an extent, but it also involves considering departures from standard assumptions of RCT, and has strong empirical components for calibration.


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