President Trump decided to Vietnamize Afghanistan with an open-ended commitment. Mr. Trump also praised India and at the same time scolded Pakistan for its reluctance to eradicate terrorism.
Pakistan’s Army considers Afghanistan vital for Pakistan’s security interests and will never accept at any cost India’s dominance in Afghanistan. Nawaz Sharif’s demise is a clear indication of such a policy. Cyril Almeida, in Dawn today, advises Nawaz Sharif to say openly”
I, your rightful prime minister, believe that the military has colluded with the judiciary to remove me because I want friendship with India and peace in Afghanistan.
This isn’t corruption, this is about power and control and conflict over what kind of country Pakistan should be.”
Pakistan’s army will try to keep its influence in Afghanistan and proxy war with India no matter what the cost and no amount of pressure will change it. Pakistan’s Army considers such a policy vital to Pakistan’s security interests. India, especially its current government’ and USA’s recent tilt towards India has reinforced these concerns.
According to recent reports Russia and Iran are now supplying weapons to Taliban. Saudi Arabia, despite all the denials, is still fueling militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan for its own interests. By increasing the commitment to Afghanistan, USA is being drawn into a bigger trap that will bleed it like Vietnam with no good outcome. Russia is already drooling to return the favor to USA of its earlier defeat in Afghanistan war.
If the goal is that no more militant attacks originate from that region, then make a deal with Pakistan by accepting and addressing its security concerns in Afghanistan and in return Pakistan guaranteeing and being held accountable for any militant attacks originating from that region. USA should also abandon the policy of not interfering in Kashmir dispute and pressure both sides to resolve the issue.