I read with interest Jon Dorschner’s “Future Battleground of Indo/Pakistan Rivalry.” (www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2014/0105/ca/dorschner_post14.html )
I think he greatly misses Pakistan’s changing role in the regional diplomacy under Nawaz Sharief. If he is tracking the developments inside that country since the election of the new civilian government, he would agree that there is a great urgency for finding a new niche on Afghanistan that is acceptable to the United States and, most importantly, that also promotes Pakistan’s changing strategic requirements.
As the TTP turned against the state of Pakistan, the government of that country is no longer looking at the entire Taliban issue in such a black and while term as Dorschner describes.
He also exaggerates India’s strategic ambitions in the post-US Afghanistan. India cannot afford to stay behind and remain engaged in that country, unless there emerges a Indo-Pak rapprochement on the modalities of India’s participation in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, no such developments are taking place largely because of the impending general elections in India.
Dorschner is simply wrong in asserting that India’s choice in the future is to renew its commitment to the Northern Alliance. That is an anachronistic perspective. On that issue, one has to wait and see how the Tajiks would view the post-US Afghanistan and what kind of conclusions they would draw about destabilizing the Afghan government.
However, he is right about one thing: the United States cannot afford to keep its hands off of Afghanistan as it did after ousting the former SU from that country in 1989.
Ehsan M. Ahrari, Ph.D.
CEO, Strategic Paradigms
Defense and Foreign Affairs Consultancy
Alexandria, VA, USA