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  • The Sochi Summit: Fresh Moves on The Grand Eurasian Chessboard

    At their second Summit in Sochi on August 18, 2010, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan agreed to reinforce their cooperation. The United States has supported the Russian initiative due to its own compulsions and the China factor. India needs to pursue a well considered “Eurasian Heartland” policy in the context of these developments.

    August 27, 2010

    Wikileaked Warlogs: Will whistle-blowing change Af-Pak reality?

    While the US may continue to keep its contacts with the Pakistani army and its political leadership and strengthen its presence in Pakistan, can it contain the tide of Islamic radicalism prospering within Pakistan?

    August 05, 2010

    Strategic Stalemate in Afghanistan

    Since the US and its allies have no additional troops to contribute for the fight against the radical extremist forces in Afghanistan, the net must be enlarged to include military contributions from Afghanistan’s regional neighbours, perhaps under a UN flag.

    July 19, 2010

    Akash asked: What is the impact of removal of Gen. McChrystal on Af-Pak policy? How does it affect India?

    Vishal Chandra replies: The exit of Gen. McChrystal, commander of 100,000 plus US/NATO forces in Afghanistan, is not likely to have any notable impact in the near-term, either on the ground situation in southern and eastern Afghanistan or on the US’ Af-Pak policy, certainly not until the year-end when the US will be reviewing its war strategy. The violence is not likely to abate in the near future. While Western forces have been winning the battles, the Taliban have not been losing the war, adding to the stalemate in Afghanistan.

    One of the biggest challenges before Gen. David Patreaus, who succeeds Gen. McChrystal, will be to break the monotony of the Afghan war. It is also to be seen whether Gen. Patreaus would be able to win the support of Kabul the way Gen. McChrystal did. Today, the US Administration is far more constrained by the differing perceptions among its allies, be it NATO, Islamabad, or Kabul, over the Afghan war; and also by the growing differences within the American establishment.

    As for India, it remains committed to the idea of a strong and an independent Afghan state. Gen. McChrystal’s exit is not going to affect India’s position in the near-term. However, in the last few years, India’s reconstruction projects have been increasingly hampered due to deteriorating security in parts of Afghanistan, which to a great extent is dependent on the way America and NATO conduct war against the Taliban and allies. In times to come, the response of Kabul and Washington to Islamabad’s growing thrust for a greater role in ‘stabilising’ Afghanistan will be critical to India’s position and role in Afghanistan.

    Role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Afghanistan: Scope and Limitations

    Today, the situation in Afghanistan is mired with the geopolitics of regional and extra-regional players. Bringing stability to the country is a major challenge for the international community. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has the potential to play an important role, provided it is able to make some adjustments in its policy. Given its strengths and weaknesses, it is likely to focus more on economic, trade and security related issues within the Eurasian region rather than in Afghanistan.

    July 2010

    Peacekeeping Partnerships: Cooperation or Conflict

    This paper seeks to understand the nature of cooperation between the UN and other IGOs in ongoing conflicts. It will examine the security framework in which these multilateral arrangements were created, the gaps they were trying to cover, and the problems and areas of opportunities.

    May 24, 2010

    Af-Pak and India’s Strategic Innocence

    Afghanistan was a test case for our foreign policy resolve, an arena where while leveraging other tools of foreign policy, use of instruments of force and military diplomacy/intelligence should have been predominant.

    April 02, 2010

    AfPak dialectics can work in India’s favour

    If Pakistan succumbs to American pressure, it will continue to be engaged in a long war of attrition on its western borders. If Pakistan resists American pressure, it will be isolated in the world and the international community will have to fall back upon India to put a firewall around the AfPak region.

    March 08, 2010

    Exit from Afghanistan: Playing the Game and not learning the lessons

    US calculation in backing Pakistani designs for controlling Afghanistan will bring even greater dangers to its own doorsteps.

    March 03, 2010

    Afghan Factor behind moves to revive talks between India and Pakistan

    The resumption of India-Pakistan dialogue is closely linked with US moves in Afghanistan in the context of Obama’s publicly declared intent to begin the process of US military withdrawal from Afghanistan from 2011.

    February 25, 2010