U.S. draws India into the Afghan war
M.K. Bhadrakumar, The Hindu, December 25, 2008
The time has come to carefully assess the U.S. motivations in widening the gyre of the Afghan war, which commenced seven years ago.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States armed forces, Admiral Mike Mullen, has lent his voice to the incipient idea of a “regional” approach to the Afghanistan problem. He said the over-arching strategy for success in Afghanistan must be regional in focus and include not just Afghanistan but also Pakistan and India. The three South Asian countries, he stressed, must figure a way to reduce tensions among them, which involves addressing 8220;long-standing problems that increase instability in the region.”
Adm. Mullen then referred to Kashmir as one such problem to underline that if India-Pakistan tensions decreased, it “allowed the Pakistani leadership to focus on the west [border with Afghanistan].” He regretted that the terror attack in Mumbai raised India-Pakistan tensions, and “in the near term, that might force the Pakistani leadership to lose interest in the west,” apart from the likelihood of a nuclear flashpoint. Interestingly, he gave credit to the Pakistani top brass for its recent cooperation in the tribal areas which, he said, has had a “positive impact” on the anti-Taliban operations.
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