It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. “All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.”
Are the Americans likely to walk away simply because they are exasperated? After having spent a trillion dollars, losing thousands of lives, losing face – so soon after their reversal in Syria – are they really contemplating withdrawal? Will the bosses of UNOCAL suck their thumbs now? Will the priceless poppy fields of Helmand, the oil in the North, the unexplored mineral wealth now become a Russian asset?
Most groups engaged in conflict in Syria are being leveraged by some or other external power. It is beyond debate or rather is well documented that the US or NATO has leveraged several affiliates of Al Qaeda in different conflicts.
The attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat was a message intended for Narendra Modi, Nawaz Sharif and Hamid Karzai by the Pakistan Military. For long Pakistan has been trying to manipulate the politics of Afghanistan through its proxies. 26/11 and hence, it has been trying to do the same in India in collaboration with some Indian politicians. One such attempt was bomb blasts to assassinate Modi during his Patna rally in October 2013.
India’s increasing involvement in strategic infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, has Pakistan’s ISI worried. India has invested over 3,248 crore rupees in aid, half of which is going into building a transmission line to provide power to Kabul, a hydel project in Herat, a new parliament building and the vital Zaranj-Delaram road that will give landlocked Afghanistan access to the sea through Iran.