India Troubled by America’s Afghan Strategy

by Laurence on 6/27/2005

Ramtanu Maitra’s article on American plans to contract out military roles is titled India’s Afghan Nightmare:

Reports indicate that during their recent visits to India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca communicated the US decision to reduce its four-year-long deployment in Afghanistan by October 2005. The American officials urged all these nations to deploy their troops in Afghanistan to help maintain peace and stability.

New Delhi believes the American proposal is a backhanded way to get India’s approval to bring Pakistani troops into Afghanistan. India, which did not supply troops to aid the US in Iraq, will not send its troops to Afghanistan under the US banner either. According to New Delhi, the situation has become worse along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border than it was during Taliban rule. This area is under the control of anti-American and anti-Indian militia which are protected by the Pakistani army. US troops have no capability to break this stranglehold: Washington is dependent on Islamabad to produce an “extremist” as and when they choose.

According to one Indian official, Pakistan will certainly revive its old intelligence and jihadi networks in the region, rolling back the political gains the Indians made since the Taliban were ousted from the areas in and around Kandahar and Jalalabad, among other places, following the US attack in late 2001. This official also believes that Pakistan could be planning outright military offensives to take control of the area once the Americans give them the proverbial green light.

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