As the NATO troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan in 2014, India is already positioned to take on a larger, pro-active role, which can radically alter the balance of power in South Asia. However, what will determine the future of security in the region, is how India and Afghanistan deal with Pakistan.
The third India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue saw more talk of ‘mutual capabilities’ than of a mere alliance. The larger endeavour in the bilateral is to find the right fit as partners, where both countries can preserve their strategic autonomy and benefit from their unique positions in the international community.
The NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 should be done tactically so that it doesn't destabilize Pakistan. Despite having accepted Pakistani help in the past, the Taliban might empathize with Pakistani Pashtuns and spread the very secessionist tendencies which Pakistan’s Afghan policy was designed to prevent.
The failure of Western military interventions to bring peace raises questions about the effectiveness of human rights and calls for its redefinition. Instead of stigmatizing non-Western democracies that do not necessarily support intervention, the West should initiate an inclusive dialogue with these countries.
Pakistan’s refusal to re-open NATO supply routes into Afghanistan has made the country an instant pariah in the U.S. at the NATO Summit. The communiqué released confirms a withdrawal of 130,000 troops by as early as mid-2013. Can the remaining soldiers help maintain peace when a force much larger could not?
An important take-away from the preliminary pact reached by Kabul and Washington is that unlike the 1990s, the Americans are not just packing their bags and leaving. This is good news in terms of regional stability, and the upcoming NATO summit may answer some questions this draft agreement raises.
By forcing regime change in Libya, and attempting the same in Syria, and by promiscuously arming disparate groups of Wahabbis and Salafists to achieve this aim, NATO is creating more room for instability in the region. What Syria needs is engagement, not isolation; it needs dialogue and not the arming of rebels.
Afghanistan has become the first significant theatre of effective confrontation between the West and China. But with its deep-rooted economic ties, could the U.S. and NATO actually confront China?
The Wahhabis, who now merit NATO backing, continue on their global mission of converting the Muslim Ummah to its relatively harsh and antediluvian ways of thinking and living. For NATO, this is a geopolitical miscalculation that will have tragic security consequences for the alliance within a decade.
The 'double-dealing' of the U.S. and Pakistani army - all with the ambition of military dominance - has significantly aided various terrorist groups. After 26/11, there is no place to hide for the Mike Mullens and countless others who have been apologists for the Pakistan army and the state it controls.