- May 19, 2017
most of it is fine, except for the assumption that GoI is a player in afghan game.We have spent over a year agonizing over China's uncharacteristic decision to militarily escalate at LAC in Oct-Nov 2019. We now have reason to believe that China precipitated this carefully managed escalation to pin down IA and limit GOI from in turn pinning down PA when the eventual drawdown of US forces commenced.
We now believe that around mid Summer 2019, MSS operatives in US Gov assured CCP that US troops would completely evacuate from Afghanistan by mid 2023. We are not sure but KGB/FSB may have filtered similar assessments to CCP.
China, and Russia have a common aim, to remove or at the very least limit US influence in Central Asia. This intelligence alert provided them with the best opportunity to remove any meaningful US influence from Central Asia, with the caveat that the US backed government in Afg. be completely removed from power to prevent backdoor US influence.
To achieve that, Pakistan was the perfect conduit. But that required Pakistan to be
A. freed up from the overbearing pressure of IA on the LOC, which the IA had been putting in place since 2018 to inflict disproportionate punitive losses on enemy troops and morale.
B. Secured from India's ability to threaten Pak military and precipitate a crisis on the eastern front, as India had done in Feb 2019.
Pakistan needed to be secured from Indian pressure when PA-ISI began to turn the heat up in Afghanistan. PLA was instructed to begin putting in place a series of seemingly disjointed series of actions that could be consolidated quickly when required to create a level of escalation that would limit IA and GOI's freedom of operation on Pak theatre.
From end 2019 till early april 2020 this is exactly what the PLA and PLAAF did, carefully setting up provocations that GOI tried to brush under the carpet, under the assumption that these were localized chinese actions meant as a show of strength. It was only in June when things escalated due to a miscalculation on PLA side, that IA realized this escalation was different in nature. Note that this is around exactly the time when the Taliban spring offensive was winding down and autumn offensive was building up. As we all know the autumn offensive was unlike anything before in terms of intensity and ferocity.
India and Afghan government are now caught in a bind. None of the global and regional powers wants to talk or even include either of the two in any conference discussions because they firmly believe that Afghan resistance has at best 6 months of survival left, and that majority of the country will fall to the Taliban well before that. Nobody is interested in talking to losers and the backers of the losers before what they believe is an inevitable defeat, except sermonizing the govt to lay down arms and surrender.
This is a defining moment for India's foreign policy. If Afghan government falls, India will never find another ally anywhere. Nobody trusts an ally who wont protect their allies. The only way we save Afghanistan is to do whatever it takes to protect the government from falling and turning this into an unwinnable war for the Taliban. Only then will the powers be convinced of the need to take negotiations seriously. Pakistan and China must be denied a complete victory, and Russia and US must be convinced that the Afghan govt. can sustain the civil war indefinitely. Only then will the two allies voices be heard.
We need Afghanistan to turn this into a quagmire for the taliban and Pakistan and China. Nothing less will be adequate.
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