Since the Syrian theatre began to quieten down in 2018, there have been reports of militants being flown to Northern Afghanistan, exactly the location from where out-of-work Mujahideen had fanned out to Kashmir, Egypt, Algeria, Syria. So, is Afghanistan headed for chaos or, as a Marxist analyst predicts: "A Quad is taking shape – Iran, China, Russia and Pakistan." If correct, has India opted for the wrong Quad?
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.”
A new pirouette has begun in Syria. Only after the US elections will it become clear who is on the dance floor and who is sinking in a quagmire.
Britons have now joined electoral insurgencies elsewhere in Europe and beyond, against two party democracies being hijacked by crony capitalism and austerity policies.
Israeli Defence minister Moshe Ya’alon spent the evening persuading his listeners that all the world’s problems emanate not from ISIS or Al Qaeda but from that fount of all evil, Iran. This when there are rumours galore that a nuclear deal with Tehran is on the cards.
The extent of reach and influence that the ‘arms lobby’ has carved for itself under the present dispensation, can be gauged by its ability to alter the ‘line of succession’ in the armed forces. Under you Mr Antony, the ‘succession plan’ has subverted the three services for posterity. This is your greatest gift to the Indian Armed Forces!
It is intriguing that an unprecedented number of the accidents have taken place involving Indian naval vessels during Antony’s tenure as Defence Minister. It is also intriguing that these accidents have not taken place in the mid-sea but on the shore. India has done a number of exercises with the foreign navies in the recent past, all without any mishap. Recently, the Indian Navy conducted a massive month-long naval exercise ‘TROPEX 2014’. Around 60 ships and submarines, and 75 aircraft took part in this exercise. This exercise in which both the Western and Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy participated was again without any mishaps.
The most intriguing aspect of the entire saga is that the ‘emergency locator transmitter’ fitted externally to the aircraft has not triggered, which happens with absolute degree of certainty whenever an aircraft makes a ‘g’ impact on the ground or water.
The forgoing assessment emphasizes on the eastern course possibility. Is this the reason the US has been on an overdrive to underscore the ‘western course theory’? Was the tweet from Talbott, a deliberate diversionary tactic? Readers can now make their own assessment.