India needs to resist pressure to send troops to Afghanistan

The long-awaited, enormously hyped visit of the mercurial US President, Donald Trump, to India is just three days away. Its outcome for India can only be judged after the visit materialises, as India, regrettably the world’s largest arms importer, will naturally have a long wishlist from its strategic partner.

The United States, on the other hand, would like to get handsomely reimbursed for state-of-the-art weaponry and cutting edge platforms it consents to supply to India.

President Trump, as universally accepted, has been rather successful managing his nation’s business interests! Some geopolitical pressures on India to toe the US line in this vastly strategically significant region cannot be ruled out.

Though no official press releases are normally issued prior to such head-of-state visits by the governments concerned, yet the news of parleys and planned agendas for discussion do leak out at times.

Apart from India looking to seal some deals for big-ticket acquisitions like an integrated air defence missile system and the latest Seahawk naval helicopters, many Indian strategic analysts say that, apart from discussions on many diverse challenges concerning the Asia-Pacific, the Americans will push India hard for convergence with their Afghan policy.

The Great Game has been enacted, in various forms, in the rugged and fratricidal violence-afflicted Afghanistan over the last two centuries, and it still continues. The financially weary and militarily fatigued Americans have been engaged in their longest and costliest war in Afghanistan with no successful end in sight.

Committed for over 18 years, with financial costs touching $2 trillion and around 2,400 American and 34,000 Afghan civilian fatalities, the Americans have been looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Afghanistan since the tenures of Presidents George W. Bush

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