India may send troops to Afghanistan .. to cover US withdraw

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Srirangan, Aug 29, 2005.

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  1. India may send troops to Afghanistan

    Date: 29/8/2005

    29 August 2005: India will commit troops to Afghanistan to cover the two-thirds US withdrawal, but only if Afghan president Hamid Karzai sends a request letter, although he made clear in the recent meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh that “Afghanistan’s security is India’s security”.

    But still India wants a formal request, although the US first broached for Indian deployment when its defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, met the Indian defence minister, Pranab Mukherjee, earlier to the PM’s visit, seeking a form commitment, and Afghanistan separately spoke the same issue.

    India accepts US and Afghan concerns that it would be an open field for the Taliban and other elements to wage war against Afghanistan in case America withdraws without filling the gap, and while the Bush administration assures that it will continue to assist the Afghan and other armies fighting there, top Pentagon generals are clamouring for intervention in North and East Africa where the Al-Qaeda is regrouping.

    But any Indian intervention will be gradual, officials said, commencing with training and logistically equipping the Afghan army, and if that does not suffice, to land troops, and it is understood here that developments in Afghanistan have ramifications beyond the border, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.

    During the Taliban period, twenty-four per cent of all foreign militants in J and K were from Afghanistan, and with their ouster, the percentage has dropped to two per cent.

    Officials said that the US wants to withdraw after a regional commitment to secure Afghanistan from the Taliban, and that was one reason Nato was brought in for peacekeeping, while its own troops could concentrate on the war against terror.
  2. How will the predominantly muslim population take to being 'policed' by a predominantly hindu force? Could that be used by the radical islamists as an incitement to revolt?

    Also interesting is the US's growing interest in taking on the rising tide of militant islam in the horn of africa. Mogadishu mk2 anyone?
  3. Right now there are around 17,000 troops/airmen/marines in Afghanistan hardly a drain on the military. The US isnt going anywhere until we get the Taliban leadership and BL & company. As for the Indian's policing muslim's, they did just that in the British Empire.
  4. The Indian PM Manmohan Singh is on a visit to Afghanistan in order to strengthen Indian influence in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is important to India because it sits on the central Asian trade route, a developed Afghanistan would help lessen Indian’s reliance on Pakistan in India’s trade with central Asia .Therefore the Indians giving the Afghanis $500 million in Aid to improve the infrastructure and help the Afghanis establish basic services.

    I don't think the Indians are at all serious about the offer but such an announcement serves India in these ways:

    1) The Offer of troops is basically a shot across Pakistani bows both countries are competing for influence in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis though they lost considerable influence after the Taliban are still probably in a better position than the Indians due to their ties to the people. However the Pakistanis do have a strained relationship with Karzai.
    2) Such an offer will also please the Americans who are overstretched it will also at the same time worry the Pakistanis who seem to be going through a period of 'indifference' with the Americans.
    3) The Indians have always been troubled by Afghanistan due to the fact that many Kashmiri militants use Afghanistan as base. I think the Indians are looking to the Afghani government for co-operation in clamping down on these militants.

    I don't think either the Americans or Afghanis would accept the offer firstly because as AS implies it would act as a red rag to the Islamic militants also it would increase tensions with Pakistan, something that the Americans are doing their best to avoid.
  5. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    No they didn't.

    Internal security duties were tasked to the closest garrison unit regardless of its or the local community's religious composition. Duty on the NW Frontier was rotated so that every British Bn in India did a tour there to get combat experience. Only select Indian and Gurkha units went there and they were rotated less often. Some became permenant fixtures, but most of the 'policing' and day-to-day heavy work was carried out by the Frontier Scouts who were themselves indigenous Pathans (and hence Moslems).

    Units like the Khyber Rifles, South Waziristan Scouts, Tochi Scouts etc. gave the local lads an alternative to work on the road gang or raiding the plains. Moreover, he was given clothes, food, cash and best of all, a good rifle. All in all, the poacher-turn-gamekeeper approach was probably one of the more successful of methods tried by the British to pacify the frontier and might be a handy template for today's troubles.
  6. Can't imagine for one second the Pakistan government will acquiesce to the proposal. Don't think the Afghans will be too happy at the prospect of having their old enemy the Sikhs patrolling their country.
  7. Who the fcuk dreamed this idea up and whose arrsehole did they pull it from?

    Arguably the worst piece of military planning since 'King Olaf the Hairy ordered 2000 viking battle helmets with the horns on the inside.'
  8. You must have forgotten Indian troops serving in north africa, middle east and Burma during WW2. Here is a link to the service of some Indian regiments.
  9. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Not forgotten them for a minute (my grandad was one of them), they just don't fit your statement. They weren't "policing muslims" in those theatres, but fighting German, Italians and Japanese. Another point you may want to ponder is the fact that although there were only nine Moslems to every twenty-four Hindus in India at that time, Moslems provided 65 percent of the troops who fought in North Africa, Italy, Malaya and Burma.

    A lot of the above info has been lifted from a great book called 'Armies Of The Raj: From Mutiny To Independence, 1858-1947' by Byron Farwell. Well worth a read if you're into this sort of thing.
  10. Some analysis about India's motivations in Afghanistan.

    Selected highlights below.

    India reaches out to Afghanistan
    By Siddharth Srivastava


  11. There's a lot more to this than meets the eye. US-India-Pakistan relations, US arms deals with India and Pakistan (who gets what), pressure on Pakistan re finding/fighting OBL/AQ, you get the drift.