September 30, 2011

India can "shape US regional policy in India's favor"

Excerpt from Dhruv's article below "Indian policy-makers, who continue to dwell far too much on the United States’ history of support for Pakistan, risk overlooking the present juncture as a ripe opportunity to shape US regional policy in India’s favour."

Is there a way, Dhruv asks, whether India can "shape US regional policy in India's favor?" I think India can, and here's how!

1) Amercans find themselves held in a hostage-like situation with over 100K soldiers in landlocked Afghanistan, entirely dependent upon the mercy of the jehadi Pakistan army. The entire GOTUS/Pentagon/CIA/Stink tanks plead helplessly for continuation of this abusive relationship citing availability of no other better alternatives. Pakistan must be engaged, the reasoning goes, because they provide the logistical lifeline to our soldiers in Afghansitan no matter Pak Army kills our soldiers in the process. Things are changing though, we delude ourselves, with 70 percent supply now planned to be rerouted from the north of Afghanistan, and depending on Pakistan for only the remaining 30%. Humbug!

2) Location, location, location. The entire Pakistani chutzpah is built around its "strategically located" country paradigm bs. And westerners have bought it! Take away this leverage, and Pakistan's value diminishes exponentially.

3) The challenge is how can India wean an abused America from her/his tormentors and the murderous spouse named Pakistan? Here's how.

a) India should facilitate and arrange a four-way relationship between the USA, Afghanistan, India and IRAN (yes Iran!), to create a new supply line to Afghanstan, leaving out Pakistan completely.

b) India has excellent relationship with all the other three countries. In fact, India is perhaps uniquely qualified that can bring about a rapprochement between the USA and Iran. Concessions from both sides will be required; Iran to reduce its support to anti-Israel groups in the ME, and the USA to reduce alleged assistance to Jundullah etc. etc.

c) The Zaranj-Delarm road, on the main Herat-Kandahar Highway is key. Built by Indians, now under Taliban control. Yikes!

d) Since Iran may not allow visible, direct U.S. warships/assets into Iranian territory, India to undertake all TDL (transportation, distribution and logistics) responsibility from Chabahar seaport in Iran right upto the Afghan/Iran border at Zaranj. Afghan/U.S. troops to take on responsibility thereon. I have read C. Fair and S. Nawaj make a case for deeper militarization of the Pakistani army as a good thing for overall economic development of Pakistan. I am using a similar analogy for Afghanstan. The U.S. army influenced Afghan army can retake control of the ZD highway and the Afghan countryside expanding Kabul govt. control and influence thereby reducing Taliban influence.

e) Iran could be a tough sell. But with enough incentives (and disincentives), they can be brought on board. Israel will also have to come on board. Perhaps, there may be a larger "nuclear issue" at stake here, and I do not know how to approach/offer suggestions on that issue. But there are wheels within wheels and the Indian/Iranian/USA governments can work within a well-defined scope. At least, the Iranian army will not be blowing up American soldiers.

f) President Karzai would welcome this initiative. He has just thrown out Gilani/Pakistan as someone he can discuss peace and has offered a "strategic" relationship with India. Americans must stop demonizing Karzai. U.S. media has spent the last few years unnecessarly demonizing Karzai as a corrupt to a mentally deranged person without acknowledging that it is we who had bludgeoned him into silence from criticizing our non-nato ally Pakistan all these years. Immediately after Mullen's statements, Afghan govt. is now openly accusing Pakistan of terrorism in their country.

g) This proactive Indian initiative can also bring about greater stability in South Asia and the larger ME. Win-win for all the four countries. Is India up to it?

h) Bye-bye killers of American soldiers. Rest in piece!

Reggie Sinha
Your call, India!

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