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
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.
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.