Great game of Afghanistan after US withdrawal

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Samar Rathi, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    Why India and China Matter to America’s Afghanistan Drawdown Plan

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    Among the most consistent themes we heard throughout our travel in India and China was anxiety over developments in Afghanistan. While not a huge surprise—after all, there’s plenty of concern about Afghanistan’s trajectory here as well—it was useful to be reminded how New Delhi and Beijing perceive their interests, to hear their misgivings about U.S. drawdown plans, and to learn more about how India and China are attempting to manage the situation as it unfolds.

    Afghanistan’s history as a hub for anti-Indian terrorism (with Pakistani sponsorship), location bordering energy-rich Central Asia, opportunities for trade and investment, and longstanding cultural ties all motivate Indian interests there. In at least some Indian policy circles, there is also a tendency to read the impending U.S. military departure from Afghanistan as part of a broader shift: the waning of U.S. power and influence, or at least the narrowing of Washington’s global ambition. The contrast with New Delhi and Beijing is sharp; in both of those rising Asian giants, uncommonly powerful, energetic leaders are now at the helm.

    Resigned to the reality that U.S. forces are leaving Afghanistan sooner than many Indians think wise, New Delhi has agreed in principle to work with Russia to provide weapons to friendly Afghan forces. The crucial unanswered question is whether India will choose to make the arrangement operative. Since 9/11, Washington has always opposed Indian military involvement in Afghanistan, fearing that Pakistan would interpret it as a provocative escalation and start another round of externally-sponsored civil war. But as U.S. forces withdraw, sooner or later Washington will lose its effective veto power over Indian policies. If Afghan politics and security start to unravel, India will make its own calculations about the costs and benefits of greater intervention, whether by overt or (given the apparent predilections of its new national security advisor, Ajit Doval) covert means.

    India is, however, doing more than just hedging against downside risk in Afghanistan. For years, New Delhi has contributed to a range of Afghan development projects. These include private sector efforts to encourage Indian investment in Afghanistan and to improve Afghan capacity to promote foreign investment on its own. As valuable as these private initiatives may be, they remain small-scale; all involved are painfully aware that they float on the waves of broader political and security developments.

    China, like India, fears the consequences of an unstable Afghanistan and worries that the U.S. commitment will come up short. The good news is that Beijing has come to perceive that its near-term aims in Afghanistan are consistent with those of the United States: fighting terrorism and avoiding a relapse into civil war. To the extent the two sides disagree, it is over the specific sources of threat. China, for instance, views Uighur separatists as a more pressing concern than al-Qaeda.

    Beijing appears remarkably eager to cooperate with the United States in Afghanistan. After years of standing aloof from regional multilateral efforts, Beijing is now deeply invested in the Istanbul Process, a ministerial-level dialogue that brings together all of Afghanistan’s neighbors and major donors. Having decided to host the next conference in Tianjin, Chinese officials are eager to make it a meaningful event. They plan to link the group’s efforts to China’s own long-term scheme to develop a “New Silk Road” running through Central Asia all the way to Europe.

    The success of that grand project will hinge, especially in the conflict-prone territories of South and Central Asia, on whether China learns how to translate its massive foreign investments into local good will and sustainable development. To this end, some Chinese officials suggest Beijing is trying to expand its regional expertise and capacity to understand the political dynamics in developing states. Such efforts have been spurred, in part, by China’s disastrous failure to anticipate Myanmar’s 2011 decision to suspend the Myitsone Dam project. With billions of dollars of Chinese investments already on the line in Afghanistan (and tens of billions planned for the vaunted China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), progress along these lines cannot come fast enough.

    The more immediate problem for Beijing is Afghanistan’s ongoing political uncertainty. Without a new government in Kabul, Chinese officials have already been forced to postpone the Istanbul Process conference once, and are likely to have trouble holding to the presently scheduled date of August 29, given anticipated delays in Afghanistan’s election audit and negotiations between the presidential contenders. Beijing’s hope—one undoubtedly shared by U.S. officials—is to use the meeting as a means to confer the international community’s blessing on the next Afghan government. One way to deal with the problem would be to invite both of Afghanistan’s presidential contenders to Tianjin, but Chinese officials are clearly reluctant to move ahead with what would be a diplomatically cumbersome alternative.

    The news that Beijing has appointed a new special envoy for Afghanistan provides further evidence of China’s decision to play a more active role in Afghanistan. It also suggests that Beijing intends to strike a more conciliatory and constructive posture on its western periphery than it has on its eastern front. For the United States, this is a welcome, if belated, development, and one worth encouraging.

    Why India and China Matter to America's Afghanistan Drawdown Plan - Defense One

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    Hey guys i will try to update it regularly but if anyone want to help then feel free to post.

    @pmaitra , @bhramos , @Ray , @amoy , @CCP , @badguy2000
     
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  3. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    Nn 2010 President Obama, overruled the generals at ISAF and NTM-A, and authorized a smaller, substantially less trained, and substantially less equipped ANSF. President Obama had good reasons from his point of view. He perhaps feared that the Pakistani Army and GCC would view the ANSF as a major threat and retaliate by supporting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. President Obama also might have been unsure the international community could over the long term fund an ANSF with a budget of more than $4.3 billion per year. That $4.3 billion long term ANSF budget has now been increased to $4.6 billion per year. Another reason why some Afghans believe President Obama was so reticent about supporting an Afghan victory against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in 2009 and 2010 might have been because of Afghanistan's close friendship or de facto alliance with India, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

    It is very unlikely the Taliban could ever decisively defeat the ANSF, just as the ANSF currently constituted cannot decisively defeat the Taliban. Neither has the TO/E, OOB and international support to decisively defeat the other. I have seen no evidence that the Deep State GHQ or GCC establishment are willing to surge the Taliban and Al Qaeda capacity substantially from current levels.

    The Afghans are likely to remain deeply dependent on India, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Japan, China, Europe, America, South Korea, Australia and Canada for the foreseeable future. Japan's $1 billion a year in aid to Afghanistan remains crucial to funding the Afghan Ministry of Interior (Afghan National Police) and their training.

    The Chinese are increasingly concerned about America's long term commitment to help the Afghans fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda. As a result they are starting discussion with India about how China and India can jointly help the Afghans:

    China is increasingly targeted by ISIS, Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists.

    Of course, Russia, India, China, Turkey, Japan, and the Europeans would greatly prefer collaborating with America to support the Afghans.

    Given the significant threat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban attacking the American homeland (and the Chinese, Russian, Indian, Iranian, Turkish, European, Canadian, Australian, Iraqi, Syrian, Israeli, Palestinian, African, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian homelands); and the danger of Al Qaeda and the Taliban capturing chemical and nuclear weapons, it is unlikely that the ANSF will not continue to receive massive international support for many years to come.

    "The Afghanistan forces will not survive on their own"
    Similarly the USSR could not survive against the Nazis in WWII without substantial international help.

    Provided the ANSF gets $5 billion in funding per year, Afghans might survive on their own but it's still a mystery .The Afghans have survived on their own controlling all the battle-space of Afghanistan for over a year with little ISAF support.
     
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  4. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    Major General MG Karimi's ANATC (ANA Training Command) needs a lot more training seats to support the ANAF, and to maintain and operate the rest of the equipment skew stack in the ANSF.

    C130s are easier to maintain than C27s. Even the US airforce is phasing out their relatively new C27s partly because of high maintenance costs.

    The Afghans have asked India to become the lead adviser for the ANAF. India has considerable expertise operating C130s and could help the Afghans effectively operate them. Turkey could similarly help the ANAF operate C130s. So could the US and other countries.

    The Afghans have requested India purchase new AN-32s for the ANAF; which could be used for smaller payloads.

    The Afghans have on a related note requested that India donate the 550 D30 artillery pieces that India is currently retiring from the Indian Army. In the past President Obama opposed countries donating artillery to the ANA, however his views might be different now.

     
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  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Show time for SCO in full swing in AFG :thumb:

    A 5-year-old piece questioning the role of SCO >> The SCO Role in Afghanistan for review and looking forward

     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  6. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    SCO shall be pivotal in post NATO Afghanistan for the collective security. It's pointless to single out China and India, needless to remind India isn't even bordering AFG.

    A 3-year-old article >> Afghanistan: NATO Out, SCO In?

    Even when the worst-case scenario happens Russia and China shall intervene jointly under the flag of SCO group.

    Russia offers SCO to strike border deal against Afghan threats | Russia & India Report
    Possibility of "soft-partitioning" Afghanistan shall not be ruled out IMO in the event of Afghanistan situation totally out of control in order to preserve stakeholders' interest, and to avoid spill-over effects. Pakistan, Iran each may take a slice together with SCO, to prop up various proxies while perhaps maintaining a figurehead in Kabul.

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Is this thread only to post commentaries or are we allowed to comment?
     

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