The readers would have noted the resource management philosophy of the South Asian Idea reportage and analysis change to cover daily events aroud the world impacting South Asia. The aim is to provide a cogent and multidimensional analysis in a readable format. The month end summary enables readers to gather the threads cohesively to form their opinions about the events without any biases. To this extent view points expressed by authors have been hyper linked in original to enable the reader to make value judgement on the issues being debated. We look forward to your comments and prognosis to enrich the debates.
October began with the US Pakistan spat over the death of three Pakistan soldiers in a US air attack. It led to Pakistan choking the NATO supply routes for a week amongst hectic parleys between the two sides. Finally Pakistan gave in after a week, in which time the terror groups concentrated on blowing up petroleum convoys on their way toAfghanistan via Khyber Pashtunwala. While US was busy with the spat, U.S. officials and Afghan analysts say that the Taliban have become adept at portraying the West as being on the brink of defeat, at exploiting rifts between Washington and Kabul and at disparaging the administration of President Hamid Karzai as a “puppet” state with little reach outside the capital. US has to work overtime to counter this Taliban Propaganda.
The deadlock was finally broken on the eve of strategic dialogue between the two sides in Washington. While articulating that even ‘winning’ in Afghanistan would include some failures, Fareed Zakaria said that Countering terrorist groups around the globe and defending the United States against them is an ongoing business. The war in Afghanistan, in other words, is one part of the broader global counterterrorism strategy, which is itself just one part of a broader national security strategy. It cannot be waged without a sense of tradeoffs or limits. Whenever US decides to scale back, Afghanistan is going to look messy.
In an article titled Reading Woodward in Karachi: Is this the nail in the coffin of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship? – Mosharraf Zaidi argued in Foreign Policy:
“The things that have the most value for the Obama administration — using covert actions and drone strikes to take out known al Qaeda members — provoke the most disquiet in Pakistan. Pakistanis will not come away from reading Obama’s Wars with any confidence in the warm sincerity of Hilary Clinton‘s multiple visits to the country to build bridges and spur the U.S. public diplomacy machine. Instead, the suspicious instincts of Pakistanis will be vindicated. The irony could not be richer. No U.S. administration has ever invested so much effort and time in trying to understand and accommodate Pakistan’s complex realities into its own calculus. Woodward’s book confirms what this outpouring of U.S. interest and attention is all about: It is about fear.
Nine Years in Afghanistan and no end in sight How does Schroen, who led the first team into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, feel about not getting the perpetrators of 9/11? ”It’s the only thing I regret in my long career with the CIA, that we didn’t get Osama bin Laden in 2001 when we had a chance. that son of a bitch is out there still plotting to kill Americans.”
Pakistan finally opened the Tokham supply route on 8 October on the eve of Strategic Dialogue with US.
The article India’s options in Afghanistan chartered a possible synergy by India through this maze of complex solutions in Af Pak. An analysis in Time magazine articulates stark realities where India does not figure at all.
“The endgame in Afghanistan is clearly under way, and its outcome won’t resemble either side’s best case. But just what that outcome will be composed of is a chapter that will be written on the battlefield, at the negotiating table and in the corridors of power in Washington, Kabul, Islamabad and other more discreet venues over the next couple of years.”
In the meanwhile David Ignatius in a hard hitting article in Washington post laboured on the issues of flaws in Obama’s Foreign Policy, Obama’s foreign policy: big ideas, little implementation – David Ignatius, Washington Post: Obama’s achievement is that he has reconnected America to the world. The United States was much too isolated and unpopular when he came into office. That isn’t so true now. But even though the United States is less hated, it may also be taken less seriously by other nations.
Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria’s argumments in “Preparing for One War and Getting Another?“ are thought provoking. The idea that war or strategy is driven by a paradoxical logic is attractive, but a number of questions remain unanswered. If war has its own logic, rather than its own grammar, where does the logic of policy fit in? If the logic of strategy is paradoxical, how can it be taught? What are paradoxes, and can they be useful in guiding our strategic choices? The article throws light on enemy’s of US excelling in the 4th Generation Warfars against a conventionally superior US Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen’s article An Army Transformed: The U.S. Army’s Post-Vietnam Recovery and the Dynamics of Change in Military Organizations draws on the literature on military innovation and reform. The author examines an important case of military change: the transformation of the U.S. Army in the 2 decades preceding the Persian Gulf War of 1991. The findings of this study have significant implications for how the U.S. Army should think about implementing changes needed today to meet new strategic, economic, and technological challenges.
Latest from At War Series of Op Eds on how wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have moved off the radar during the current election trail in USA is worth a read.
Strategic Dialogue between US and Pakistan
Pak army wish-list tops agenda in dialogue with US The US and Pakistan meet on Wednesday in a new bid to smooth out an uneasy partnership, with Washington ready to offer fresh military assistance despite worries in India.
US Mid Term Elections
The US elections are a test of Obama’s foreign policy, apart from internal factors the election results will have far reaching implications on the policy and future course of delivery in South Asia. Obama’s India visit is tied to this pole. The post, Mid term elections and South Asia labours on possible scenarios and prognosis.
Chidanand Rajghatta presented a fresh perspective to the US policy in South Asia in his op ed Obama mission: Billions to Pakistan, billions from India. He argues that the Obama admin is lining up at least $ 2 billion in fresh, new military aid to Pakistan even as it is lobbying for billions of dollars in defense sales to India ahead of the US President‘s visit to the region early November.
Petraeus rewrites the playbook in Afghanistan As per Washington Post Gen. David Petraeusappears to be making a strategic pivot in Afghanistan, supplementing his primary mission as military commander with the “warrior-statesman” role he had in Iraq, where he was able to fuse the political and military elements of the campaign.
After two decades, Muslim officer to command Srinagar-based 15 Corps The best ever piece of news received by SAI on the affairs of the state. We have huge expectations but more than that there is a huge sense of optimism that things will be under control now. Our best wishes to Srinagar.
Brigadier General Staff (BGS), Northern Command, Sanjay Verma exposed the lie in HR violation complaints when he articulated that 1,514 FIRs against Army personnel had been filed in J&K .Over 100 Armymen including 48 officers have faced punitive action in cases related to human right violations in Jammu and Kashmir over the last two decades.
In the post Chinese Encirclement or China Encircled, a case has been made to comprehend the nuances of the new cold war in the region. Some more researches are placed below.
- India has to win its neighbours to keep China at bay (ibnlive.in.com)
- India, surrounded (theglobeandmail.com)
- Can India face the dragon? (nowpublic.com)
- The Coming China-India Conflict: Is War Inevitable? (time.com)
- You: Deals with Bangladesh to help India burnish South Asian image (search.japantimes.co.jp)
(Cover Photo: Reuters)