By Stephen Blank (the 08/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
As India enters 2014 it faces multiple and mounting security challenges in Central Asia, which originate first of all in Afghanistan and second in Iran. The impending U.S. and NATO withdrawal leaves India as the most exposed foreign power supporting Afghanistan, which few believe can survive without continuing large-scale allied support and at least some military presence. The U.S. withdrawal, which might be accelerated if no Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is signed between Washington and Kabul, would expose India to the risks of intensified fighting in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s belief that India’s presence there represents a threat also exposes India to further terrorist onslaughts, particularly by forces trained and supported by Pakistani military and intelligence agencies.
by Gulshan Sachdeva (07/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Despite many positive developments in the last few years, the future of the ambitious TAPI gas pipeline project is still in doubt. All four partner countries are making serious preparations for the project. However, the uncertainty surrounding post-2014 Afghanistan has dampened the motivation among major energy companies to act as lead consortium partners of the project. In these circumstances, multilateral agencies like the Asian Development Bank may have to play a crucial role in salvaging the project. Likewise, if the U.S. administration is serious about its support for TAPI, it should put its full diplomatic and financial weight behind it.
by Naveed Ahmad (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai is a shrewd politician, even more so as his term in office nears completion and uncertainty prevails. After a spate of words with Pakistan following a border skirmish, he left for India to seek military assistance against aggressive neighboring troops. For a change, Islamabad kept its cool and welcomed China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who was also flying in after a “handshake across the Himalayas” in New Delhi. As for Karzai, it was not his first flight to India for military hardware or training. However, his action is largely seen as aimed to pressure Pakistan’s newly elected leaders prior to the exit of NATO forces in 2014.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.