Many Americans believe that India’s defeat in Iraq and the Taliban on the Afghanistan Pakistan border is a strategic blunder. They say Indian troop deployment is further tip-toeing towards Pakistan, which it surely is, to make it look good for its citizens while playing a key country off against Pakistan. But do they realize that India’s defeat in Iraq is a symptom of weakness rather than strength? This week, US soldiers fighting in Iraq suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the enemy. Only 24 out of the force of about 600 were able to hold out. These brave men undoubtedly know the value of teamwork and they must have put this knowledge to good use.
The question “What is Indian strategy about Afghanistan?” is therefore not just a rhetorical one. The defeat at the hands of the enemy is a symptom and not a cure. In order to defeat the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan, the United States must have a robust military, more resources and better intelligence.
These things have been known since the ancient times. If you want to defeat an enemy you first determine their strength and then plan your strategy to beat them at their own game – that is, their own time and place to strike. Isn’t that exactly how Pakistan is playing now with the Chinese?
The United States is still the greatest single power in the world. However, it will never again be the number one military power in the world. That was evident in the recent defeat at the hands of the Pakistanis at the Karbine Valley in Iraq and the losses suffered at the hands of the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Is the United States ready to sacrifice its military dominance in order to create vacuums in Middle East? Can it afford to lose its ever increasing regional preeminence? It is vital that the United States fully integrates its forces in the Afghanistan war, rebuild its Afghan army and defeat al Qaeda and Taliban. That means there has to be a complete re-vamped strategy for defeat in Pakistan. We cannot allow the Taleban to win on the ground without our troops being drawn into the fight.
Pakistan needs help. Period. They have failed to mount an effective military operation to defeat the Taleban. What is Indian strategy about the Karbine Valley?
India is not going to pull out all the stops for the Pakistanis. There will be casualties. There is no quick way to victory. But the truth is that unless the United States gets more involved, which is unlikely, then we are going to lose the Karbine Valley to the Taliban. This will send the United States and its allies back to the drawing board as they consider future commitments to that troubled country. Will India follow suit?
If India has to pick a fight, then it should pick a fight. But it is doubtful that a Karbine Valley defeat will send India into a spiraling retreat. A military victory in the Karbine Valley would be a serious blow to the Taleban and raise the morale of the people of Pakistan.
What is Indian strategy about China? The Indians appear to fear the Chinese. They have a long history of fearing the Chinese. Since the Chinese are our mortal enemies, how do we beat them at the negotiating table?
What is Indian strategy about the Pakistani Army and infiltration of radicals? Do we believe the Pakistani Army has enough strength to defeat the Taleban? Have the Musharraf brothers lost their wits? All we know is that they are losing. What is Indian strategy about this? To occupy disputed territories to strengthen our military presence in Afghanistan?
What is Indian strategy about China? Well, they seem to be courting the Suited Lady. But, China does not want to play ball with India. They like a strong India and do not want to be pushed around.