South Asia Monitor: A Difficult Road Ahead: India's Policy on Afghanistan - August 1, 2010
August 1, 2010
Common wisdom in Afghanistan says, “The West has all the watches but the Taliban has all the time.” Following the decision by U.S. president Barack Obama in December 2009 to announce that the United States will begin to reduce its presence in Afghanistan by July 2011, the region has taken this as a signal of U.S. disengagement. India’s goals are a dismantled Afghan Taliban; an inclusive, democratic state with normal relations with India; and better transport and economic ties through Afghanistan into Central Asia. India has been a major contributor of economic aid, but has been kept at arm’s length on security issues. As Afghan president Hamid Karzai pursues reconciliation efforts with militants and Pakistan attempts to tilt this process in its favor, New Delhi must recalibrate its strategic calculus in Afghanistan.