India offered us choppers, Karzai told Gen Petraeus

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ejazr, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India offered us choppers, Karzai told Gen Petraeus

    In an indication that India was prepared to take its role in Afghanistan beyond developmental programs, a leaked US cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks has revealed that India was prepared to offer light attack helicopters to the Afghan government months after its embassy in Kabul was targeted by suicide bombers.

    It has also been revealed that just a month before Indian Army officers in Kabul were attacked by suicide bombers, the US had asked for a briefing on the Indian training of Afghan security personnel.

    The latest revelations indicate that the chopper offer was not taken forward given the “adverse reaction” in Pakistan to any sort of military aid by India to Afghanistan. The leaked cable pertains to a January 2009 conversation between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and General David Petraeus, who was then heading the US Central Command that overlooks all operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “He (Karzai) noted that the Indians were prepared to offer Afghanistan light attack helicopters. A short discussion followed highlighting the adverse reaction in Pakistan to Indian provision of military equipment to Afghanistan,” the leaked cable reads.

    India manufactures the Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), including armed variants, and has been aggressively marketing them in many markets.

    In a separate cable, it has been revealed that a month before three Indian Army officers in Kabul died in an attack by suicide bombers, India agreed to brief the US on its training of Afghan Army personnel after the matter was raised by US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke during a visit to New Delhi.

    The leaked cable refers to a conversation between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Holbrooke where the latter requested for a detailed briefing on the issue.

    “Rao readily agreed to Holbrooke’s request for a briefing on Indian training for Afghan security personnel, emphasizing that this engagement is completely transparent. She supported her argument by noting that the GOI had previously provided a detailed briefing on this at the US-India Defense Policy Group meetings. ‘We have nothing to hide,’ she declared,” the leaked cable reads.

    Pakistan has always been uneasy with any involvement of the Indian establishment with the Afghan security forces. The Indian training team in Kabul, meant to teach English to cadets at the Afghan Army training academy in the city, was the target of the suicide attack on February 26. Two officers of the Army Education Corps and an Army doctor were killed in the attack.

    “Holbrooke assured Rao that he is in favour of Indian assistance programs in Afghanistan and is not influenced by what he hears in Islamabad,” the leaked cable reads.

    The documents reveal that the US did not talk of any expansion of Indian military role on Afghanistan but subtly encouraged India to focus on cooperation in agriculture. “Holbrooke said that on the civilian side, the number one priority is agriculture because it produces the quickest payoff. He noted that investment in mining, power, and other sectors is important but the gestation and payback periods are longer. Besides, he observed, Afghanistan has traditionally been an agricultural export country, with India as its biggest market,” it reads.

    The cable goes on to say that Rao told Holbrooke about India’s plan to establish an agriculture college in the troubled country and enhance training through scholarships to Indian colleges.
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    It would have been nice to see Afghan Army or Air Force using Indian made helicopters. It would have symbolised the ruggedness of Indian products and probably attracted more attention and consequently, more customers. The US needs to stop walking this tightrope between India and Pakistan. I wonder, given the amount of aid India is giving Afghanistan, why not simply include some helicopters as part of that aid? It would be nice to break the civilian threshold and have defense contacts as well!
     
  4. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Why cant we sell a few to Sarkosy and US,UK etc., They always try to sell us their stuff! We should market it in the West too.
     
  5. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Longer Afghanistan care about pakistani feelings the longer it will suffer. In spite of behaving as a younger brother or what, Afghans should take whatever help they can from world (except Pakistan) in order to rapidly develop their country so that one day Afghanistan can stand in parallel to pakistan in terms of everything including military capability. This is the only way Afghanistan can become a prosperous country, after all no body fights for others, everyone have to fight their war on their own. Untill that day arrives, Afghanistan will always remain at the mercy of Pakistan which wants no Afghanistan minus Taliban.
     
  6. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    No One cares what Pakistan thinks but what Pakistan can do. They are gonna & can intensify terrorism in Afghan and we knwo what U.S can do about it. For now they have no choice but to give some weight-age to their concerns (farcry)
     
  7. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    I am surprised indian bureaucrats had the balls to offer such a deal, if only the Afghan president had called their bluff.

    For these Babbons sorry babus have constructed and left a base in Ayni, Tajikistan as guest houses for Russians. Some gutsy diplomacy is needed on behalf of India. If they had pushed hard right now we might have seen Hal Dhuruv flying alongside Mi-17 helis.
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    so upa is not totally inept ? will some give credit where credit is due ? or are bjp fanboys hyprocritical ?

    *im not congress fanboy*
     
  9. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    well it was a really good and bold gesture but its just a gesture. If government really had balls they could have forced Afghanistan to accept the choppers. nothing would have stopped them from binding these weapons with non military aid worth billions ? Afghanistan is not in position to refuse aid worth billions from its one of biggest donors.
     
  10. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Yes we could have but you are forgetting yankee octopus who need to keep pakistan in its good books atleast at face value that is.
     
  11. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Impressive but I am beginning to wonder why does our proposal always get stuck at proposal level rather than go ahead. It would have been great to send shivers down ISI's spine when it would be seeing armed Dhruvs flying in Afghan airspace. Those guys can conduct terrorism at any given time while we don't even want to market our stuff!? That's outrageous and I think we have been paying too much attention to Pakistan needlessly.

    This is the time when GOI can prove that it cannot succumb to US pressure vis a vis Pakistan. Rather than spending hard cash in an unpredictable country, arms diplomacy is far better as it will give production perfection to our assembly units in Bangalore and at the same time enable the world to see Dhruv's capabilities in the hostile Afghan environment. Unless we take concrete aggressive steps, Pakistan will do everything in its power to control Af-Pak. We have $ 2.2 billion at stake and more. Pakistan has nothing and hence we should play hardball which has some serious impact.
     
  12. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    We should made good deal with afghanistan. So much so that we must do everything to insure they are not overrun by pak terrorists. There is where armed assistance must be given.

    Plus it would piss of china aswell.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Diplomatic Arm Twisting in International Weapons Sales

    Yes exactly. Afghanistan could not have refused if India offered aid with strings attached, which implies HAL built helicopters as part of the deal package. A little bit of diplomatic arm-twisting with a sugar icing is required and also practised by many all over the world. International arm sales seldom happen without diplomatic back-stage drama. One such example is given below:

     
  14. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    I would like to see INSAS rifles in service there, besides the bureaucrats were bluffing then anyway. India wouldn't do the remotest thing that would remind afghans of Soviet occupation tanks, gunships ets
     
  15. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    The 'Dhruv' would have been ideal for those conditions.

    Don't forget, we've got experience training Afghan pilots too. The Afghan National Air Corps was trained in India in 2008 after they bought six refurbished Mi-35 choppers, from the Czech Republic, with US money. I suspect some of the older Mi-25's / -35's would've been let off to the Afghan Nt'nl Corps at a discounted rate, after the deal for new choppers for the IAF was signed.
     

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