As Trump generates a new round political turbulence in India’s western neighborhood, India must embark on a more activist policy in the Middle East that goes beyond its hollow rhetoric.
By deepening its political, economic and military engagement in Afghanistan, and by formally signing a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, China seems to be emerging as a long-term player in the region’s new Great Game.
Although the United States and India have had shared interests in Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban at the end of 2001, Washington, in deference to Pakistan, has generally discouraged New Delhi from an activist role there.
It remains to be seen whether recent foreign policy pivots by the Trump administration amount to a departure from its earlier views about America’s role in the world.
Despite common interests, shared objectives and similar initiatives, biased perceptions have persistently hindered dialogue and cooperation between India and the European Union in Afghanistan.
Media reports about a rapprochement between Russia and the Taliban are not even close to reality. Moscow, however, has opened communication channels with the Afghan group, with an eye on protecting its own interests in the country.
Russia seeks to build a diplomatic profile in Afghanistan that circumvents the West and the government of Afghanistan in an attempt to undermine the U.S.- and NATO-led peace effort.
Donald Trump’s presidency presents an unexpected opportunity for India in its continued efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
South Asian leaders are deeply concerned about America’s long-term commitment to the liberal, global economic order and Washington’s political will to sustain its longstanding international security commitments.
After 15 years of limited cooperation, India and the EU have the opportunity to join forces on promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.