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Afghanistan: Bad Options, Worse Outcomes

Sushant Sareen is Consultant, Pakistan Project, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • March 20, 2012

    The time has perhaps come for India to make a cold, calculated appraisal of its policy options on Afghanistan. This includes deciding the criticality of Afghanistan for India’s security. If it is determined that Afghanistan is indeed critical, then all stops should be pulled out to bolster the anti-Taliban forces. But if the Indian policymakers reach the conclusion that Afghanistan is very important, but at the end of the day there isn’t much India can do to influence the course of events in that hapless land, then an alternative security strategy will need to be worked out. This doesn't mean completely abandoning the friendly Afghans; it only means that India pares down its involvement in Afghanistan to more realistic and less grandiose levels. More importantly, the Indian policy establishment needs to start factoring into its security calculus the fallout of a Talibanised Afghanistan and eventually a Talibanised Pakistan.