Israel and India vs Obama’s regional plans for Afghanistan

November 15, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Israel and India – the first the United States’ closest ally and the second fast becoming one of the closest – emerge as the trickiest adversaries in any attempt by the United States to seek a regional solution to Afghanistan?

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama plans to explore a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan — including possible talks with Iran.

The idea has been fashionable among foreign policy analysts for a while, as I have discussed in previous posts here and here. The aim would be to capitalise on Shi’ite Iran’s traditional hostility to the hardline brand of Sunni Islam espoused by the Taliban and al Qaeda to seek its help in neighbouring Afghanistan. At the same time India would be encouraged to make peace with Pakistan over Kashmir to end a cause of tension that has underpinned the rise of Islamist militancy in Pakistan and left both countries vying for influence in Afghanistan.

But Israel has already cautioned Obama against talking to Iran, which it said would be a seen as a sign of weakness in efforts to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. And Obama’s suggestion that the United States should try to help resolve the Kashmir dispute has raised hackles in India, which resents any outside interference in what it sees as a bilateral dispute. That could make the two countries important allies in combating — or at least reshaping — any attempt to remould U.S. strategy. 

India and Israel have already built close defence ties, as underlined by this Times of India article.  And according to this Asia Times article by former Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar, India’s growing relationship with Israel, combined with U.S. pressure, is pushing Delhi to break off what was once a strategic partnership with Tehran. “At the root of it lies unprecedented US-Israeli interference in India’s Iran policy,” he writes.

Are we going to see more signs of Israel and India working together — if necessary to resist rather than support U.S. policy? And in an increasingly multi-polar world, will Obama discover that he needs to watch the United States’ friends as closely as its enemies to drive through his plans for change?

Comments

Sydney,
Kashmiris do decide about their own fate. They are empowered to decide their representatives in state assembly and central parliament. Indian democracy provides enough regional autonomy, and it is proliferated upto the level of village body. Now, the problem with Kashmiri muslas is sourced straignt from arabic moon god ( aka Allah)’s manual Korun…Wherever the muslas are majority, kill and destroy the non-muslas and make it 100% musla land…wherever the muslas are minority, try to extract every pound of flesh and then get separated…This is exactly opposite to tolerant democractic norm, and should not be allowed to grow…What you see in Kashmir, you see similar stuff in Thailand, Mynmar, Philipines elasewhere in Asia too, alongwith Russia…Kashmiris are geneticaly like other indians and if you separate the beduin moon god and his messenger ( aka Islam),Kashmir should be part of India…You need to educate yourself on Indian history….Kashmir is not gift from beduin moon god, allah….Now, related to issue of suppression, why the people of Ladakh are not feeling “suppressed” under India rule? Why not the people of TN feeling suppressed under Indian rule? IF you are from UK, be careful. You may find similar stuff in Bradford or other moslem ghettoes…The excuse will be the same…

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Nahida..
Indian army is treating Kashmiri moslems, the way they deserved to be…Can you recall the jihadi uprising and targetting Pundits? Or it is sanctioned in Korun and so is not crime?

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