Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 69

Thread: The Indian role in Afghanistan (new title)

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default The Indian role in Afghanistan (new title)

    12 June The Australian - Indian Troops to Fight Taliban by Bruce Loudon.

    India is doubling its deployment of highly trained commandos to combat the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

    The commandos, from the crack Indo-Tibetan Border Police force that specialises in high-altitude operations in the Himalayas, are being sent to guard about 300 Indian road builders working on the 218km Zaranj-Delaram highway, which will connect Afghanistan's second city, Kandahar, with the Iranian border.

    The highway, part of an Indian aid project, traverses the heart of the Taliban badlands and engineers working on the project have been the target of frequent attacks.

    The new deployment meant almost 400 commandos would be in the area to combat Taliban attempts to halt construction of the highway, Indian news agency PTI reported...

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,346

    Default Higher profile for India?

    I do not recall much reporting on the Indian involvement in Afghanistan, so apologies if 'old news'.

    When the Taliban government dominated Afghanistan the Northern Alliance, led by General Dostum, there was a small Indian military advisory team, much to the annoyance of the Pakistanis. Less certain now, the advisers provided artillery expertise and assisted the American intervention. After Kabul fell the Indian advisers went low profile.

    So Indian has para-military police in Western Afghanistan, I wonder how ISAF manages that relationship?

    davidbfpo

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    India had offered troops when the operations had begun, but this was not taken on so as to not upset the Pakistanis, from whom a greater cooperation was required since the terrorists were launching from the safety and bases in Pakistan.

    The Indo Tibetan Border Police are para military personnel. They are being sent to guard the General Reserve Engineer Force (India) that is building the Highway in Afghanistan.

  4. #4
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,346

    Default Indians gone now?

    The Indian contractors building the highway have finished, so have the Indian protectors left? Or is there another contract? I note a Chinese contractor is present somewhere and with US Army protection.

    davidbfpo

  5. #5
    Council Member Brian Hanley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    57

    Default India conquered Afghanistan. Anciently it was a province of India.

    http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chap...m-India-1.aspx

    Conquering Afghanistan- What The West Can Learn From India
    By Rakesh Krishnan Simha , [ rakeshmail@gmail.com]

    Chapter : 1
    The western media says no country has ever conquered Afghanistan, but the fact they conveniently forget is that not too long ago the Indians conquered and ruled Afghanistan, an episode of history that is carved into the recesses of the Afghan mind.



    ... But first a flashback to the past. Afghanistan had always been a part of India; it was called Gandhar, from which the modern Kandahar originates. It was a vibrant ancient Indian province that gave the world excellent art, architecture, literature and scientific knowledge. After Alexander’s ill-fated invasion in the 4th century BC, it became even more eclectic – a melting pot of Indian and Greek cultures, a world far removed from today’s Taliban infested badlands.

    It was an Indian province until 1735 when Nadir Shah of Iran emboldened by the weakness of India's latter Mughals ransacked Delhi. ...

    ... Nadir Shah’s successor Ahmad Shah Abdali had been launching repeated raids into Punjab and Delhi. To check this Ranjit Singh decided to build a modern and powerful army with the employment of Frenchmen, Italians, Greeks, Russians, Germans and Austrians. In fact, two of the foreign officers who entered the maharaja’s service, Ventura and Allard, had served under Napoleon. Says historian Shiv Kumar Gupta: “All these officers were basically engaged by Ranjit Singh for modernization of his troops. He never put them in supreme command.”

    After conquering Multan in 1818 and Kashmir in 1819, Ranjit Singh led his legions across the Indus and took Dera Ghazi Khan in 1820 and Dera Ismail Khan in 1821. Alarmed, the Afghans called for a jehad under the leadership of Azim Khan Burkazi, the ruler of Kabul. A big Afghan army collected on the bank of the Kabul river at Naushehra, but Ranjit Singh won a decisive victory and the Afghans were dispersed in 1823. Peshawar was subdued in 1834.

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Too much nonsense, too little history

    I will be the first to say that the unconquerable Afghanistan myth is a myth. Afghanistan has been conquered MANY times, usually by conquerors passing through on their way to better real estate. But this particular article is really silly and very very superficial. Ancient Afghanistan was on the periphery of Ancient India and if we are talking about the Mahabharata, we are in the realm of myth, not in the realm of proper historiography. (again, I am a fan of the Mahabharat and highly recommend the simplified short English version by RK Narayan, but lets not get carried away).
    In "historical times", Afghanistan has more often been the source of people who raided or even conquered the Indian plains and not the other way round (which, to my mind, is neither here not there as far as present times are concerned as the whole notion of genetically unconquerable and conquerable people is false, so I am not reading too much into that either).
    For example, the writer states that until 1735, Afghanistan was an Indian province. Since the ruling dynasty in India (the Moghuls) advertised themselves first and foremost as "Taimuris" (descendants of Tamerlane) and were from central asia and ruled Afghanistan BEFORE they ruled India, and their predecessors (the Lodhis) were actually pathans who had moved into India as part of conquering Afghan armies, this is a bit too clever an assertion.
    Ranjit Singh did indeed capture what is now the Pakistani part of traditional Pathan lands (which is why those parts are IN Pakistan...they became British when the British defeated Ranjit Singh's incompetent successors) but that is hardly the same thing as conquering Afghanistan. A case can be made that he COULD have taken Kabul if he wanted, but what exactly does that prove? that a superior military led by a superior leader can defeat a weaker nation?
    Ranjit Singh's successful subjugation of his Pathan subjects does tell us that there is nothing inherently unconquerable about these tribes (or any other tribes). Is that news?
    btw, Hari Singh Malwa conquered Hazara in what is now Pakistan's Hazara division, which has nothing to do with the Afghan Hazarajat. That whole paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Omarali is on point.

    If you follow all the threads, however, Afghanistan has been a relatively well-flipped pawn since the dawn of civilization.

    Reading history from the British Durand Line days is sure to obscure the functional human and economic geography at play.

    Gwandar was NOT afghanistan, nor was it Pakistan. It was it's own functional region from Kwandar to Khandahar.

    I recently read a supposedly authoritative piece wherein the author was waxing poetic on the great accomplishments of Afghanistan, with a little disclaimer that it was "in the area now known as Afghanistan." Actually, it was the area then known as Gwandar."

    The below reference is a little hard to read (English as second language) but it does a good job of opening the door of possible alternative histories of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and IRAN, and the cultures and civilizations which sprang up along the sea coast and extended inward by either river valleys or terrain.

    http://www.ranajitpal.com/dream.html

    India itself was, and in part, remains a hodgepodge of "Empires" which they are still internally trying to sort out into functional states.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Nalwa, not Malwa

    Sorry, i mis-wrote Nalwa as Malwa.
    Btw, since Hari Singh is supposedly the 534th person in history who has been used by mothers to quiet their crying children, can anyone cite an actual occasion when ANY mother anywhere has used the name of any general to shut up her crying child? I am beginning to suspect this story is no more true than the legend of Santa Claus...

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Sure. I would routinely use the name of Field Marshall Goering to frighten my daughter to sleep. Right.

    Things are also said to "sell like hotcakes," but I can never recall seeing any hotcakes for sale anywhere....

    The problem we have with so much of this stuff is that myths and wive's tales can start to substitute for genuine information.

    I started with Iraq and Afghanistan back in about 6,000 BC. From that, it seems pretty obvious that the myth that Iraq was a made up country was just myth. It's core boundaries and the concepts of Iraq are well-established and documented---Gertrude Bell didn't make them up.

    Instead, however, history suggests that if any "country" were actually made up (and badly), I would put Afghanistan at the top of the Made-Up-O-Meter, stumbling into existence in its present context by a collection of 1893 to 1950 accidents.

    The Rulers of Kabul, the Rulers of Khandahar, The Rulers of the major towns along the Silk Road, go back in time, and they all had a different focus and purpose... Afghanistan goes back in decades.

    Although I haven't quantified it, I would guess that most of what now constitutes Afghanistan has been under occupancy or foreign dominion more than it has been "free."

    In most cases, as with Ranjit Singh, there were substantial mutual benefits that flowed from their affiliation and/or subjugation. That's when stability existed.

    Steve

    PS- Got any hot cakes?

  10. #10
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Near the Spiral, New Zealand.
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    Although I haven't quantified it, I would guess that most of what now constitutes Afghanistan has been under occupancy or foreign dominion more than it has been "free."
    Exactly and if you also consider that the many of the residents of the geographic area known as Afghanistan have 73 higher loyalties (to tribe, family, etc) before even considering themselves possibly citizens of Afghanistan, the conquering of the country is largely moot...I wonder if many of the tribes at the time got the memo that they had been conquered by India...?

  11. #11
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,346

    Default India & Russia share concerns on Afghanistan

    This the nearest hospitable place for this report.

    Apparently Prime Minister Putin this week in a statement after a new arms deal with India commented that Russia shares India's concerns over the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    After a search I did find this on an arms & nuclear power deal: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8561365.stm and a suggestion that they did share concerns: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...ow/5673201.cms

    How the Afghan state will react to such 'shared concerns' is not clear, especially as the Pakistani reaction maybe to label this as strategic encirclement and exert their own response. I'm puzzled that Russia even considers the Afghan peoples will accept their help - assuming 'concern' becomes a reality.
    davidbfpo

  12. #12
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,346

    Default India's role in Afghanistan

    Cross reference added as this subject IMHO deserves it, to a SWJ Blog notice:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10787
    davidbfpo

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    589

    Default some interesting material on an"interesting" situation...

    Not sure what the fallout from this will be geopolitically (Indo-Pak relations may worsen with Pakistan given a pretext, if it needed one, of further destabilisation in India although from India's persepctive might actually be an attempt to payback Pakistan by playing in a territory considered by Pakistani strategists as affording them strategic depth)...but given our travails I suppose the more the merrier!

    According to India & Afghanistan: Charting the Future
    India's reasons for intervention/participation are fourfold;
    1. Denying the ISI strategic depth to train terrorists to attack India;
    2. breaking the narco-terrosim nexus; &
    3. secure Afghanistan as a trade/resource hub regarding hydro-carbons; &
    4. tapping Afghanistans oil potential (?)
    Sounds like classical geopolitical encirclement to me.

    &

    And the Pakistani take...Afghanistan-Evolving an Indo-Pak Strategy: Perspectives from Pakistan

    &

    The CSIS's take India and Pakistan in Afghanistan: Hostile Sport

    &

    A paper outlining India's strategy with regards for foriegn aid, Emerging Donors in International Development Assistance: The India Case, which also ties India's assistance to Afghanistan as an attempt to tie them into a pro-India sphere of influence thus tacitly breaking Afghanistan's tie to Pakistan (from whom it gets nothing worth writing home about.)

    &, finally,

    A useful backgrounder from the Council on Foreign Relations, India-Afghanistan Relations
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 07-02-2010 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Having a real dyslexic day...

  14. #14
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    As a background info

    The “Strategic Partnership” Between India and Iran

    http://www.iranwatch.org/privateview...rship-0404.pdf

  15. #15
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    AFGHANISTAN: INDIA'S CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR "THE DAY AFTER"

    Strategic objectivity would suggest that India's preference should be for a sustained United States embedment in Afghanistan till such time political democracy takes roots and the Afghan National Army is built upto at least 500,000 strong to take charge of Afghanistan’s security.

    Strategic realism would also suggest that India recognize that American commitment to Afghanistan’s stability is dependent on the vagaries of compulsions of United States domestic politics......

    United States exit from Afghanistan is not a question of “if” but is a question of “when” Pakistan as the “regional spoiler state” of South Asia and a “proven destabilizer of Afghanistan” could boil over the situation in Afghanistan to contrive an American exit from Afghanistan.

    India has wrongly shied away from a military commitment in Afghanistan for two major reasons. The first was the American reluctance to permit Indian military involvement in Afghanistan out of deference to Pakistan Army sensitivities. The second reason was the political and strategic timidity of India's political leadership who have yet to recognize that being a big power would involve shouldering military responsibilities to reorder in India's favor the security environment in South Asia.....
    This Paper intends to briefly examine the following related aspects to offer some recommendations for India's contingency planning on Afghanistan:

    Strategic Realties Which Should Prod India's Contingency Planning.

    India's Contingency Planning: The Political Initiatives Recommended.

    India's Contingency Planning: The Strategic Steps Recommended.

    India's Military Contingency Plans for Afghanistan on "The Day After".
    http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5C...paper3576.html

  16. #16
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    As a background info

    The “Strategic Partnership” Between India and Iran

    http://www.iranwatch.org/privateview...rship-0404.pdf
    Since this article was published in 2004, it's worth asking whether any of the predictions in it have actually come true, and to what extent. Rhetoric and speculation aside, what is the actual extent of Indian-Iranian involvement today, and what impact does it have on the region?
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 05-21-2011 at 02:38 AM.

  17. #17
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Strategic objectivity would suggest that India's preference should be for a sustained United States embedment in Afghanistan till such time political democracy takes roots and the Afghan National Army is built up to at least 500,000 strong to take charge of Afghanistan’s security.
    LOL, actually and literally.

    This article seems based on the premise that Taliban/Pakistani control of Afghanistan would pose an unacceptable threat to India. That premise, however, is not supported. What threat would a Taliban-led Afghanistan pose to India that does not already exist?

    Also unaddressed here is the potential cost to India of sustaining a prolonged military occupation of Afghanistan, especially with the access limitations that would be posed by a hostile Pakistan. Attempts to pacify and stabilize Afghanistan are notoriously prolonged, expensive, and unsuccessful... why would one expect India to succeed where the Soviets and Americans failed?

    Aside from the very substantial cost, isn't it possible that the risks to India's security posed by military involvement in Afghanistan, including the possibility of escalation to war with Pakistan, would exceed the risks posed by a Taliban return?

    Certainly India would love to see the US stay in Afghanistan: the U presence gives the jihadi community both a distracting target and an incentive to keep their heads down, and if the US pulled out the jihadis would likely turn more of their attention to India. I'm not sure it makes sense for the US to stay there for that reason though... and the likelihood of democracy taking root any time in the near future has got to be pretty low.

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    The aim behind the link was not to give the latest situation of the Indian Iran relationship.

    It is as I have clearly stated is background information.

    It is only to assist those who are interested as to how the strategic situation is playing out in the region and its interse relationship with the various developments taking place.

    Very little has been achieved owing to US pressure on India to not deal with Iran.

    The IPI was about to fructify thanks to the effort of the then Petroleum Minister, Mani Shakar Aiyer, who has a very independent way of looking at issues and is also left wing.

    He was removed under US pressure (it was believed then and now confirmed by Wikileaks) and replaced by a pro very US chap, Murli Deora and so the IPI is in the doldrums, and TAPI is in the news (Apr 2010 meeting).

    As all are aware, the Bush administration stated clearly that if India voted against the February 2006 U.S. motion on Iran at the IAEA, Congress would likely not approve the Indo—U.S. nuclear agreement. In fact, Tom Lantos categorically stated that India ‘‘will pay a heavy price for a disregard of U.S. concerns vis-a`-vis Iran.’

    This link would help to know the latest:

    http://www.twq.com/11winter/docs/11winter_Pant.pdf
    Last edited by Ray; 05-21-2011 at 03:25 AM.

  19. #19
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    This article seems based on the premise that Taliban/Pakistani control of Afghanistan would pose an unacceptable threat to India. That premise, however, is not supported. What threat would a Taliban-led Afghanistan pose to India that does not already exist?
    The same as it was in the earlier phase of the Taliban.

    I presume it would be known that the threat posed by a Taliban Govt in Afghanistan is different from the Taliban sponsored fundamentalist terrorist variants in India.
    Last edited by Ray; 05-21-2011 at 03:24 AM.

  20. #20
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    LOL, actually and literally.

    This article seems based on the premise that Taliban/Pakistani control of Afghanistan would pose an unacceptable threat to India. That premise, however, is not supported. What threat would a Taliban-led Afghanistan pose to India that does not already exist?
    Answered in the preceding post.

    Also unaddressed here is the potential cost to India of sustaining a prolonged military occupation of Afghanistan, especially with the access limitations that would be posed by a hostile Pakistan. Attempts to pacify and stabilize Afghanistan are notoriously prolonged, expensive, and unsuccessful... why would one expect India to succeed where the Soviets and Americans failed?
    One cannot for sure state that India will succeed where the USSR and USA failed.

    But one thing is for sure, the Indian approach will not be like on the lines of the missionaries of yore which the US and the USSR adopted of trying to 'bring civilisation to the savages'!

    US imposing her ideas of democracy and modernity on the lines of the West and the USSR her ideas of governance on a Communist model.

    Since India does not have any ideological agenda, that itself would be a headstart.

    If one is keen to know one may check on the Somalia comparison of Indian effort and the US effort and that would be adequate to understand the difference in psyche and approach.

    Example of Indian manner of approach.

    What adds to the annoyance of the Taliban and Pakistan is that India's involvement in Afghanistan - unlike that of other countries there - is winning it support among people.

    India is Afghanistan's fifth-largest bilateral donor and is involved in an array of projects in the country. It is constructing roads and setting up power transmission lines, sinking tube wells and building schools, hospitals and public toilets. It is constructing the Afghan parliament building and is engaged in repair and construction of the Salma dam project in Herat province. It has gifted Afghanistan with buses and is providing food assistance. It has trained civil servants and police and is extending scholarships to Afghan students to study in India.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JD24Df03.html
    It is important that one gives assistance based on what the Afghans want and not what Think Tanks abroad feel what should be done for Afghanistan.

    Modernity can be brought to Afghanistan but it cannot be based on a superimposed model. Democracy cannot be imposed on a Nation that has no idea of democracy in the western sense. It has to be based on the Afghan model, where there is intrinsic democracy, but based on autocracy and tribal leadership at the regional level.

    Further, India has an advantage that the Americans and the Russians did not have. There are and were many Indians in Afghanistan and there are and were many Afghans in India. Therefore, the interactivity would be smoother.

    Aside from the very substantial cost, isn't it possible that the risks to India's security posed by military involvement in Afghanistan, including the possibility of escalation to war with Pakistan, would exceed the risks posed by a Taliban return?
    Maybe.

    Before entering Afghanistan, India would surely enter into agreements with other interested powers and countries since it would not make sense to be the sole knight in shining armour!

    There are many around the periphery who would not want Islamic fundamentalist around them, and then there are those who are suspicious of Pakistan.

    Certainly India would love to see the US stay in Afghanistan: the U presence gives the jihadi community both a distracting target and an incentive to keep their heads down, and if the US pulled out the jihadis would likely turn more of their attention to India. I'm not sure it makes sense for the US to stay there for that reason though... and the likelihood of democracy taking root any time in the near future has got to be pretty low.
    India can handle jihadis, but the nub is can the West take on another 9/11?

    The main target of jihadis will not be India, it will always be the US and the West more so, after the knocking of their larger than life icon, OBL.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •