My op-ed in Mint: Why India must pull its troops back from the border

Let’s call Pakistan’s bluff with Operation Markarap In today’s Mint, Sushant and I argue that moving our troops back will compel the Pakistan army to act against the Taliban; and because it is incapable of doing so, will cause the United States to realise that there is no alternative to dismantling the military-jihadi complex. Sooner … Continue reading “My op-ed in Mint: Why India must pull its troops back from the border”

More Pakistani nukes? That’s Washington’s problem

India is already under risk from the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. So what if Pakistan has some more of them? No, it should not surprise anyone that Pakistan has been cranking up its capacity to produce more nuclear weapons and delivery systems. ISIS analysts David Albright & Paul Brannan recently sounded alarm that two new plutonium … Continue reading “More Pakistani nukes? That’s Washington’s problem”

What the UPA’s election win means for foreign policy

Regaining lost ground on China, re-engaging the United States Mint’s Samar Srivastava & Tanmaya Kumar Nanda have an opinion round-up on the prospects for India’s foreign affairs under the second UPA government. They find that the “UPA win (is) good for foreign policy, but (there are) clouds ahead”, and that the biggest of those clouds … Continue reading “What the UPA’s election win means for foreign policy”

On guard in north Kashmir

Pakistan’s military-complex might strike when Indian attention is focussed on election results Even as the Indian political establishment—and constitutional machinery—goes into a state of flux for the next few days, ahead of the formation of a new government, it is vulnerable moment that the Pakistani military-jihadi complex is highly likely to exploit. Last week, media … Continue reading “On guard in north Kashmir”

Robert Kaplan continues to miss the plot

It’s not about “lines of communication” Q: What do you get when you take Realist doctrine and apply it without regard to ground realities? A: This article by Robert Kaplan (linkthanks Pragmatic Euphony). He writes: No matter how much leverage you hold over a country, it is rare that you can get it to act … Continue reading “Robert Kaplan continues to miss the plot”

The Pakistan that can say No

Actually, the military establishment that can say No “Pakistan,” Hamid Mir writes, “suffered a loss of more than US$34 billion and received only US$11 billion as aid in the last seven years for participating in the war against terror.” Ahmed Quraishi, another commentator, contends that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud is really a proxy … Continue reading “The Pakistan that can say No”

Lahore on the road to Peshawar

…and Peshawar on the road to Swat What is incongruent about the terrorist attack at the Manawan police training school outside Lahore is that, in the end, some of the attackers surrendered to the special forces who stormed the facility. Generally, the terrorists who attack targets in Pakistan do not leave a calling card, allowing … Continue reading “Lahore on the road to Peshawar”

But where’s the meat?

The United States’ Af-Pak strategy is silent on the most important challenge The main issue in President Barack Obama’s just-announced strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan boils down to this: just how is the United States going to ensure that the Pakistani military establishment plays ball? As this blog has pointed out before, to win in … Continue reading “But where’s the meat?”

My op-ed in Mint: Who wants to be good Taliban?

US counter-insurgency in Afghanistan, Pakistan army’s choices and implications for India In today’s Mint. Sushant & I argue that General Kayani’s political decisions will depend on the course and outcomes of US negotiations with ‘moderate’ Taliban. We suggest that while moderate Taliban is an oxymoron it is also “a label of convenience, using moral connotations … Continue reading “My op-ed in Mint: Who wants to be good Taliban?”

Why lose sleep over a few thousand tribesmen

The Talibanisation of Pakistan does not necessarily need the Taliban to take over Over at Informed Comment, Juan Cole argues that fears of the Taliban taking over Pakistan are overblown (via Chapati Mystery): The Pakistani Taliban are not going to take over the Pakistani government. That worry doesn’t keep me up at night. They are … Continue reading “Why lose sleep over a few thousand tribesmen”