Russia, China reinvent their moorings in Central Asia

Soldiers from US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division line up in a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III to parachute into a drop zone in Central Asia in a spectacular display of the longest distance airborne operation in military history, Chimkent, Kazakhstan, Sept. 15, 1997. The United States, which was de facto assuming the historical role …

Trump’s Afghan drawdown doesn’t mean war is ending

Then Vice-President Joe Biden (L) talks with Gen. David Petraeus (R), then Commander of the ISAF and US Forces in Afghanistan, aboard a Chinook helicopter over Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 11, 2011 As the US President Donald Trump chalks up his measly legacy in the White House, he is bound to scrap the bottom of the barrel. …

Quad is East, Kabul is West, Never the Twain Shall Meet

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (R) met the leader of erstwhile Afghan Northern Alliance Rashid Dostum (L), New Delhi, Sept 25, 2020  The first part of this analysis is here.  The policy planning with respect to Afghanistan has become an excruciatingly difficult exercise for New Delhi. Even a veteran great game addict like National Security …

India wary as Afghans discuss interim govt – Part 1

India’s NSA Ajit Doval (L) met chairman of Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah (R), New Delhi, October 5, 2020 The visit to New Delhi by Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation in Afghanistan, becomes an event of major importance for a variety of reasons, the most significant being its …

India’s overture to Taliban comes too late

The Taliban delegation at the opening ceremony of intra-Afghan talks, Doha, Qatar, September 12, 2020 The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad was roundly criticised by Indian commentators when he last passed through Delhi in May and advised the officials he met with an earthy sense of realism and foreboding that it’s high …

Russian bounty killing forces Trump’s hands on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa (L) met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (R) in Kabul, June 9, 2020 As expected, the controversy over Russia’s alleged bounties for killing American and NATO troops in Afghanistan is steadily snowballing. The New York Times has come out with more leaks such as bank transfers from accounts identified with …

Have Gun, Will Travel in Afghanistan

US war crime allegations cast shadow over Afghanistan’s future Britain has joined France and Germany to break with the United States over President Trump’s Executive Order on June 11 authorising economic sanctions against International Criminal Court [ICC] officials directly engaged in investigation over possible war crimes committed by American troops and intelligence personnel during the …

US leverages Delhi-Kabul nexus. But what’s in it for India?

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (L) and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (C) met the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (R), Delhi, May 7, 2020 The two-hour stopover in Delhi on May 7 by the US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, accompanied by the White House official in charge of …