All conflict is a study in differences of perception and differences of opinion. But the War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan is a whole new league in itself. Here are some top fantasies by the three players of interest to India. Naturally, they are irrelevant to facts playing out:
- Given enough carrots and sticks, you can herd someone to suicide.
- Pakistan wants the war to be over.
- There is a way to exit the region without handing it over to the Taliban/Pakistan
- Afghan Army will be able to protect the country from Pakistan.
- There is a way to end the war without an armed conflict with Pakistan
- Pakistan is a sovereign country
- US cannot succeed in its goals in Afghanistan unless Pakistan cooperates
- Pakistan’s various proxy fighters are in alignment with the country’s objectives
- US will continue to ignore Pakistan’s duplicity because it cannot succeed without Pakistan’s help
- Pakistan’s nukes will provide it with an unlimited deterrence against America like they do against India (the country is on another continent)
- US being in the region will help keep Pakistan in check
- The US will be in the region for a long time
- India will have enough opportunity to be prepared for any aggression from Pakistan by the time US is gone (we are the number one distraction from internal problems in Pakistan, remember?)
- China supports Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir out of friendship.
- India’s objectives in the region can be achieved without covert capacity. (Maybe they could, if we were stronger with diplomacy or overt maneuvering)
As you can see, this war is going to end with everyone unprepared, because no one is really expecting the unexpected. I only hope that America with all its fears of India and Pakistan starting a nuclear war doesn’t end up triggering it themselves.