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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 10:09 AM
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U.S. draws India into the Afghan war
U.S. draws India into the Afghan war

M.K. Bhadrakumar

The time has come to carefully assess the U.S. motivations in widening the gyre of the Afghan war, which commenced seven years ago.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States armed forces, Admiral Mike Mullen, has lent his voice to the incipient idea of a regional approach to the Afghanistan problem. He said the over-arching strategy for success in Afghanistan must be regional in focus and include not just Afghanistan but also Pakistan and India. The three South Asian countries, he stressed, must figure a way to reduce tensions among them, which involves addressing &# 8220;long-standing problems that increase instability in the region.

Adm. Mullen then referred to Kashmir as one such problem to underline that if India-Pakistan tensions decreased, it allowed the Pakistani leadership to focus on the west . He regretted that the terror attack in Mumbai raised India-Pakistan tensions, and in the near term, that might force the Pakistani leadership to lose interest in the west, apart from the likelihood of a nuclear flashpoint. Interestingly, he gave credit to the Pakistani top brass for its recent cooperation in the tribal areas which, he said, has had a positive impact on the anti-Taliban operations.

The Pentagons number one soldier has legitimised an idea that was straining to be born U.S. mediatory mission in South Asia. Adm. Mullen announced that the U.S. was doubling its force level in Afghanistan from the present strength of 32,000 troops. The Afghan war is about to intensify. All this comes in the wake of the recent hint by Senator John Kerry that the appointment of a U.S. special envoy for South Asia by the Obama administration is on the cards.

The time has indeed come to carefully assess the U.S. motivations in widening the gyre of the Afghan war, which commenced seven years ago as a vengeful hunt for Osama bin Laden and metamorphosed into a war on terror. What is in it for India? It is very obvious that the U.S. thought process on a regional approach to the Afghan problem and the appointment of a South Asia envoy go hand in hand. The U.S. design confronts India with a three-fold challenge: it insists that India is a protagonist in the U.S.-led war; India-Pakistan relationship is a crucial factor of regional security and stability which directly affects the U.S. interests and, therefore, necessitates an institutionalised American mediatory role; and, it asserts a U.S. obligation to be involved in nation-building in South Asia on a long-term footing.

<snip>

http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/25/stories/200812255513080...
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:06 AM
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1. Indian troops fighting in Afghanistan?
What, they nuts?
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