Friday, December 19, 2008

THE GREAT GAME IN CENTRAL ASIA (2 of 3)

The world needs energy and hence we have the term “energy security”. For the longest time, energy meant OIL. Well, that is changing now – to OIL & GAS, and then onto Renewable energy, Solar energy, Wind energy et al.

Today we are the initial cusp, where we are moving from OIL based energy dependence to a Gas based energy dependence. A few countries have made the leap, but globally we are at the inflexion point.

Why this shift ?

Oil has a finite supply and that supply is on the verge of coming to an end. According to the Energy Bible : BP Statistical Review, at current levels of production, Oil reserves of -

1. Saudi Arabia is projected to last only 66 years
2. Iraq & Kuwait is projected to last 100 years
3. India, Australia, Italy, Brazil is projected to last 21 years.




In contrast to the dipping oil reserves, the gas reserves are growing as new findings are being made. Cars which are running on gasoline (petrol) and diesel will be run on Auto LPG, CNG etc and these are all gas derived. Subsequently these cars will run on hydrogen and even on Compressed Air (Our very own TATA NANO). Industry, home etc will make this shift as pipeline infrastructures are put in place.

And most of this Gas is located in a place called Central Asia. The access to this by major global powers has been romantically called “THE GREAT GAME” - to get a toehold to the supply lines of Central Asia Gas.



Currently the largest gas reserves are in Russia with 48 TCM, followed by Iran with 28 TCM. However, all this is changing and will continue to change. With the discovery of Yolotan Osman gas field in Turkmenistan in October 2008, the gas equation and dynamics have changed. Preliminary indications are the gas reserves in Turkmenistan is around 38.4 TCM – far more than Iran and just 20% lower than Russia. And this means immense geopolitical movements around this neighbourhood.

It is to be understood, gas needs to be extracted and then moved over pipelines, some running over thousands of kilometres to reach its ultimate destination. Mostly the end destinations are ports – from where super tankers carry their cargoes around the world. Getting hold of gas fields in not enough. Hence, it is also a game of getting hold of “warm water ports”. The major players in Central Asia are Russia, USA and China.

Let us look at the map of Central & South Asia.



Turkmenistan is atop Afghanistan & Iran and this Yolotan Osman gas field is just near the Afghanistan – Turkmenistan border. Other than this, for other gas fields too, Afghanistan is of extreme importance – pipeline infrastructure to warm ports – hence USA will be embedded in Afghanistan for “generations".

Central Asian nations were part of Soviet Union and the breakup of Soviet Union was the handiwork of USA where MICHAEL VICKERS played a sterling part in arming and training the Mujahideen from bases in Pakistan. The goal – Access to Central Asian gas reserves, maintaining its superpower status etc etc.


The other major concern for USA is to keep both Russia and China out of the gas reserves of Central Asia. And also ensure that India and Russia do not join hands with Iran (USA remembers Northern Alliance).

BTC PIPELINE:



Azerbaijan was the true success story of US oil diplomacy. Clinton literally snatched it from Russian orbit in the 1990s by pushing through the Baku – Tbilsi – Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline against seemingly impossible odds. The pipeline meanders from Baku (capital of Azerbaian) to Tbilsi in Georgian and then onto the Turkish port of Ceyhan. From here gas is filled in super tankers and shipped to Europe for consumption.

BTC completely bypasses Russia and this was the main purpose of this line.

NABUCCO PIPELINE:


The other important pipeline for the USA is the Nabucco pipeline. However, question marks have appeared regarding the future of the Nabucco gas pipeline, which, if constructed, would bypass Russian territory and bring Caspian gas from Azerbaijan via Georgia and Turkey to the European market. What if Azerbaijan accepts the Russian offer to buy gas at "European prices"? Has the Caucasus conflict fatally hurt Nabucco's prospects? It seems, for the present, it has.

Europe has pinned its hopes on Nabucco, but it can only be implemented with Russian participation and also Iran. Nabucco is a serious threat to the Russian “South Stream pipelines” that feed Europe.



BLACK SEA TO A NATO LAKE:

USA was planning and plotting and came to the conclusion that it has to make BLACK SEA into a NATO LAKE. If you look at the map of Central Asia, notice that other than Russia the other 2 countries of ex-Soviet Union that skirt the Black Sea are Ukraine and Georgia. And guess, who have been offered NATO memberships – you guessed it right – Ukraine and Georgia.

However, Russia remains vehemently against this NATO intrusion into its former republics and has made its opposition very clear. USA overplayed its hands in Georgia and gave Russia the chance to kill two birds with one stone.

Georgia has two breakaway provinces – Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It has majority Russian population. The Georgian maverick President Mikhail Shakashvili, under direction from his US experts, started bombing these two provinces to take them over by force.


Russia just drove in and in deft military manoeuvres took control of these provinces. Russia annexed these two provinces, and thus took de-facto control of two major Black Sea ports of Sukhumi & Poti. This was a great tactical blow to USA, because with this single Russian manoeuvre, the US dream of making BLACK SEA into A NATO LAKE was LOST - probably FOREVER.

There were reports that Israel wanted to use bases in Georgia to attack Iran and one of Russia’s aim was to pre-empt that. Interesting to note – Israel got wind of the Russian attack a week before the attacks and left Georgia with its advisers (note: USA stayed behind). The Israelis went to Russia and admitted that arming Georgia was a mistake and implored Russia NOT to arm Hezbollah and Iran with sophisticated armaments and missiles.

Germany came running to Russia and told them that they will block Ukraine’s and Georgia’s entry into NATO and this is exactly what they did – together with France. Germany, scarred from WWII memories of Russia and currently dependant on gas sales from Russia is in no position to take on Russia, nor is there any inclination to anger the Russian bear.

Condoleeza Rice came out defeated and admitted, “Georgia and Ukraine are not ready for (NATO) membership. That is very clear”. Russia won through coercive diplomacy.

Russia also sent a message through this military move to all its former republics, to take cognizance of Russian interests while plotting their gas sales – which have all been duly noted.

Central Asian republics all saw that USA is actually in NO position to militarily help them – Georgia was a case in point.

Russia deftly followed this by meeting Syrian President Assad and getting the port of Tartus as a resting place for its Black Sea maintenance quarters.

With a series of further moves, Russia has made USA nearly redundant in the Caspian region. Russia is flush with funds, and the economic might of USA has taken a serious beating in the economic crisis.

Russia has re-negotiated to buy gas from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan at prevailing “European prices” thus raising the bar.

The four Russian oil majors had asked Putin for $ 80 billion package to pay off their foreign debts and finance strategic projects. Putin responded by saying that the government will disburse upto $ 50 billion.

How many Western governments can match Russia providing such backing of sovereign wealth funds to its oil majors at the present time of global credit crunch?

Moscow offered $4 billion loan to Ukraine for establishing two nuclear power plant in its western region. This is despite the pro-US stance of Ukranian Victor Yushchenko.


Also, there is huge political symbolism when Iceland expresses “dissapointment” with the Western world and turns to Moscow for a 4 billion Euro ($ 5.5 billion) loan to salvage its economy from imminent bankruptcy.

Such images make a lasting impression on the Central Asian steppes.

Russia with its vast deposits of oil and gas is already an energy superpower. And unlike Iran and Venezuela, it does not subsidize its economy from the oil proceeds – hence with the oil price down, its economy is still strong unlike those that of Iran and Venezuela. The EU is heavily dependant on Russia for gas imports and this dependence is expected to increase further as a result of declining offshore production of North Sea.



TUSSLE IN AZERBAIJAN:

Currently there are 3 major pipelines running from Baku (capital of Azerbaijan). 2 are US sponsosred - the BTC pipeline and the Baku - Supsa pipleline (Supsa in Georgia). The 3rd one is the Russain pipeline : Baku - Novorossiisk pipeline. SEE MAP ABOVE.

Azerbaijan is negotiating with Russia to increase the annual capacity of the Baku – Nvorossiisk pipeline. At the same time Azerbaijanis reducing its commitment to the US sponsored Baku – Supsa and BTC pipelines and this is a major breakthrough for the Russians. Azerbaijan understands the Russian resurgence in southern Caucasus and Baku’s new interest in the Russian pipeline stems from a desire to protect its relationship with Moscow.

The implications are very serious for Washington. Any reduction in the Baku export through BTC could impact the viability of the pipeline which has been the cornerstone of US diplomacy in the region, pumping nearly 1 million barrels of oil / day from Azerbaijan to Turkey’s coast from where it is shipped to Europe. BTC, though secure now, has come under the watch of the Russians.


In September 2008, Uzbekistan and Russia agreed to build a new pipeline with a capacity of 26 to 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually to pump Uzbek and Trukmen gas to Europe. Such a pipeline will again undermine the US efforts to pump trans-Caspian energy routes bypassing Russia.

On top of this, neither Azerbaijan nor Kazakhstan appears interested in US entreaties to re-route energy exports bypassing Russia. Both hope to maintain good relations with USA but that cannot be done by picking a quarrel with Russia.

It seems the US phrase – “either you are with us or against us” is not finding any takers in Central Asia. Central Asian countries would do business with both but not at the expense of Russia and this rankles the USA as it has clearly fallen from the high “horse” they thought it was in.

CHINA:

At the same time China is anxious to get its act together and bind its energy security in this region. It has formed SCO to cement its energy needs in this region which the US is vehemently trying to push out. China knows that it cannot match US power for at least the next 15 years and its naval forces are no match to the US fleet and even the Japanese fleet. Hence it is going out of its way to get to the Central Asian gas reserves through land routes, even though many of them look unviable at the present time.



One of the better tieups will be to tag along the Russian ESPO pipeline. Russia is expected to complete this East Siberia to Pacific (ESPO) by 2012 for routing oil to Asian markets. Kazakhstan’s state oil pipeline operator KazTransOil is interested in transporting Kazakh oil through the ESPO. To note – Astana has shown no hurry to commit Kashagan oil to the US sponsored BTC pipeline but has committed to the Russian ESPO pipelines. US influence has truly reached its nadir in this region.



Unlike the USA or Russians, the Chinese have their own method of doing business overseas. Being a mercantilist and free of moral and political constraints, it hopes that it will continue doing what it loves best – making money. Chinese hope to sell cheap DVD players and exotic Chinese prostitutes, build roads and docks and in the bargain – gobble up Central Asian energy.

Washington is clearly nervous that Kazakhstan is showing alarming signs of shifting towards Moscow. All early investments by the USA in this region has come to naught. Astana supported Russian action in the Caucasus and cut down its investment in Georgia.

Clearly the Russians and Chinese have outmanoeuvred the American in Central Asia stakes.

TURKMENISTAN:

We had touched earlier on the fact : Preliminary indications are the gas reserves in Turkmenistan is around 38.4 TCM – far more than Iran and just 20% lower than Russia (largest gas reserves in the world). The British consultancy company Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) presented the first results of its audit of Turkmen gas reserves.

The biggest gas field discovery was in October 2008 – called the Yoloten Osman deposits. It is located near the Afghan – Turkmenistan border.

Turkmenistan has contracts to supply Russia with 50 bcm annually, China with 40 bcm and Iran with 8 bcm annually. The Russian energy giant GAZPROM requires this Turkmen gas to meet its export obligations in the European market, which accounts for 70% of the its total revenue. Gazprom sells 2/3 of Russia’s 550 bcm annual gas production in the rapidly growing domestic market. This compels it to secure Turkmen supplies to meet contracted European demands.

Looks like Russia is all set to gobble up gas supplies from Turkmenistan – but look again. Gazprom’s agreement with Turkmengaz DOES NOT INVOLVE YOLOTEN – OSMAN reserves.

Russia thought it held in its hand a chimera when it fancied that the July 25th Agreement put GAZPROM in charge of all of Turkmenistan’s exports. Surely, this is proving to be a misconception of Himalayan proportions.

USA has deftly moved in to claim its stakes on the Yoloten-Osman gas reserves and for Russia the game starts again.

Take a look at the map. USA is well places in Afghanistan and can easily draw pipelines from Yoloten-Osman gas reserves through Afghanistan. And after that, it needs a warm water port to load it on super tankers.

The only viable ports are Karachi in Pakistan and also Gwadar port in Baluchistan area of Pakistan. Pakistan has built Gwadar with Chinese help to serve several purpose and one of them was access to Central Asian oil. USA is in no mood to see that this happens. Gwadar may well become the Chinese naval base in future and have eyeball to eyeball confrontation with the US naval fleet.

The other port is Chabahar in Iran. This has been built by India. Look how close the ports of Gwadar and Chabahar are.





















We must not forget this part :

When Afghanistan was under the control of Taliban, USA was willing to shake hands with the devil – just to get access to pipelines through Afghanistan. UNOCAL the US company in the thick of pipeline planning through Afghanistan, was acting as the unofficial lobby for the Taliban and they were regularly briefed by CIA and Pakistan’s ISI.

The then US Assistant Secy of State for South Asian Affairs, ROBIN RAPHAEL went on to state – “The Taliban capture of Kabul is a POSITIVE STEP.”

Another senior US Diplomat stated : “The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco, pipelines, an Emir, no parliament and lots of shari’a law. We can live with that
.”

We must not lose sight of these statements. These are not statements of two individuals - they represent the USA mindset.

The USA will have tolerated Taliban and Shari’a just to get gas pipelines and this approach has not changed. USA tolerates the Saudi emirs. It may be a democracy itself, but in matters of business, it follows only one policy – “ANYTHING GOES” as long as its interests are met.

USA is looking for any stable partner that will guarantee it “peace” to “do business” in Afghanistan. Hence, for India, this becomes very important – Who will guarantee this “Peaceful business environment in Afghanistan”?

Will it again be Taliban + Pakistan or will it be Pushtuns + Balochis through independent countries created out of parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan?

If the USA game plan is the former – Taliban + Pakistan, we must ensure that this never comes into being. This will be disastrous for India. The latter, we can deal with and we will come to this part in the next article.



The Central Asia as it will look in the future. Afghanistan will play a pivotal pipeline role.

India too has legitimate energy concerns but USA will see to it that the Iranian – Indian gas pipeline or even the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) does not come into being.





The US with its dipping wealth and high levels of corruption is unable to stake claim of any sort in Central Asia. It is clutching at the straws with BTC and Nabucco pipelines. It will surely seek to leverage its presence in Afghanistan on the Yolotan-Osman gas fields to salvage pride and standing in the region.

THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE:

USA is not going to give up without a fight. The attacks of NATO supply trucks recently in Pakistan has given planners in Washington time to formulate alternative strategies. The US has begun working on an entirely new supply route for Afghanistan which steers clear of Tehran, Moscow and Beijing and which, more importantly, not only dovetails but holds the prospects of augmenting and even strengthening the US's containment strategy towards Russia and Iran.

Thus, the US has begun developing an altogether new land route through the southern Caucasus to Afghanistan, which doesn't exist at present. The US is working on the idea of ferrying cargo for Afghanistan via the Black Sea to the port of Poti in Georgia and then dispatching it through the territories of Georgia,Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A branch line could also go from Georgia via Azerbaijan to the Turkmen-Afghan border.

The project, if it materializes, will be a geopolitical coup - the biggest ever that Washington would have swung in post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. At one stroke, the US will be tying up military cooperation at the bilateral level with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The US will have virtually dealt a blow to the Russia-led Collective Security Treat Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Not only will the US have succeeded in keeping the CSTO and the SCO from poking their noses into the Afghan cauldron, it will also have made these organizations largely irrelevant to regional security when Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the two key players in Central Asia, simply step out of the ambit of these organizations and directly deal with the US and NATO.

Therefore, the US is making a determined bid to render Russian diplomacy on Afghanistan toothless. Interestingly, the US has allowed NATO at the same time to negotiate with Russia for transit route facilities, which Moscow will be hard-pressed to refuse.

Washington has certainly done some smart thinking. It is having the best of both worlds - NATO taking help from Russia with the US at the same time puncturing the CSTO and undercutting Russian interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Ever since the conflict in the Caucasus (Russia - Georgia conflict) in August, the US has maintained a continuous naval presence in the Black Sea, with regular port calls in Georgia. The indications are that the US is planning a carefully calibrated ground presence in Georgia as well. Talks are in the final stages for a US-Georgia Security and Military Agreement.

ENERGY CORRIDOR:

Another dramatic fallout is that the proposed land route covering Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan can also be easily converted into an energy corridor and become a Caspian oil and gas corridor bypassing Russia. Such a corridor has been a long-cherished dream for Washington. Furthermore, European countries will feel the imperative to agree to the US demand that the transit countries for the energy corridor are granted NATO protection in one form or the other. That, in turn, leads to NATO's expansion into the Caucasus and Central Asia.

RUSSIA is not expected to keep quiet and watch US intrusion into its former territories passively. The chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, General Nikolai Makarov, just about lifted the veil on the geopolitics of the Afghan war to let the world know that the Bush administration was having one last fling at the great game in Central Asia. Russia, it seems is about to transfer the S-300 missile defense system to Iran. S-300 is one of the most advanced surface-to-air missile systems capable of intercepting 100 ballistic missiles or aircraft at once, at low and high altitudes within a range of over 150 kilometers. As long-time Pentagon advisor Dan Goure put it, "If Tehran obtained the S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking for tackling Iran. This is a system that scares every Western air force." Russia stated that giving Iranians the S-300 will avoid "wars" in the region. More than US, the Israelis view this as a threat to their existence. the head of political-military policy in the Israeli Defense Ministry, Major General Amos Gilad, was traveling to Moscow with a demarche that Russia should not transfer S-300 to Iran. If things are not sorted out on the Iran front, Israel may have a go at Iran's suspected nuclear sites - ALONE.

All this is expected to unfold in India's backyard and soon.

The veiled threat of reopening the "Kashmir file", which is patently aimed at keeping India at bay, also serves a useful purpose. Plainly put, the US faces a real geopolitical challenge in Afghanistan if only a coalition of like-minded regional powers like Russia, China, Iran and India takes shape and these powers seriously begin exchanging notes about what the Afghan war has been about so far and where it is heading and what the US strategy aims at. So far, the US has succeeded in stalling such a process by sorting out these regional powers individually.

Was India getting too close to Russia and Iran for USA's liking and was the Mumbai blast a timely reminder for India not to meddle in the "GREAT GAME"?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robin Raphael's husband was the US Ambassador to Pakistan who was killed alongside Zia ul Haq in the famous air crash.

For whatever reason, Robin feels that RAW engineered the crash. Some sources say that KGB did it as an "owed favour"" to India. Some others say it was done by Israel as the "nerve gas" is very "Mossadish". Many others say it was CIA, and it could not halt an ongoing ops even after Ambassador Raphael border Zia's aircraft against protocol. Most likely though, it was Pakistan Army job.

No one knows for sure, but it seems Ma'am Robin is sure. And she is hell bent on "screwing" India.

Though her comments on Taliban are simply "appalling".

Anonymous said...

hhmmmmm getting interesting... but y do u say he former that is taliban + pak? is that d reason why us has published maps of broken pakistan??

Anonymous said...

hightime we take FANA

Anonymous said...

we gotta b like russia who dont mind doing anythin for its interest... bloody cowardly idiot manmohan

Anonymous said...

BuA - Turkmenistan gas will come to Chabahar port in Iran. Indian tankers will pick it up and sail to ports in Gujrat where there are ready LNG terminals.

Avoid Afghanistan, Pakistan land route, hence USA influence.

Why do you think India made the Chabahar port - its not only to get Iranian gas.

Anonymous said...

^^^

but in case of hostility pakistan cut cut off the sea route... but of course indian navy will route pak navy even b4 that..:D

Shilpa said...

Very fascinating article and good collection of geopolitical maps.(Maps)

Yes, it is true that “21st Centuries great Game” is changing world 's geo-economy and geo-strategic plans too.

Its shows the future pipelines going through the conflicted areas e.g. BTC pipeline. Although USA succeeded when BTC pipeline started working , but what happened into Georgia recently in the month of August , don't you think that it will also affect oil economy.

USA urge for the Black Sea region into NATO lake will influence again geostrategic policy in the region.

It is 21st centuries great game which is being played by multi polar world interested in capturing warm water ports to show their determination while balancing the power control of the world through oil diplomacy .

Like US, China also has desires to hold Asian remote control in his hands. Further more, China's energy security policy toward CARs is based on political tools. Beside that, CARs want to re-generate its economy and at this moment nobody is interested in geo political rivalry.

Regarding Indian energy security , I am optimistic on the TAPI or IPI pipelines. India has two options to import oil. Don't you think. :)

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Indian strategists who have built Chabahar - it was a brilliant thing to do.

The other thing that I have come to conclusion to is that USA needs INDIA more today than INDIA needs the USA. We should act and strategize our moves accordingly.

These terrorist attacks want to make India "reactive" - so that we do not focus on more important matters and regain our "status" through "active" and "coercive" / "subversive" diplomacy.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Shilpa,

After reading your comment, I added a few paragraphs to this article, which I thought I will in the follow up article. Do have a read and let me know.

Thanks

BuA

Max said...

@B.U.A

Very well written analysis. But how does 26/11 relate to India's warming ties with Iran and Russia? Do you mean it's a way to heighten tensions with Pakistan so that India will not be able to obtain energy resources from central Asia (as it would have to pass through Pakistan?) Please clarify your point of view.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Hi Max,

I have written 2 parts of a 3 part story. The first part was to hold a face to all - Michael Vickers and his "contacts" in this part of the world esp with the ex-mujahideens.

The second part "Great Game" to show how Central Asia is paramount as a region if USA wants to maintain its supremacy in the world.

The third part will be the most difficult - to tie up all this to "events" in India. Give me a at least 4 - 5 days to cobble up the story. Some of the connections will surely shock - giving you a hint - maybe Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi was already "compromised".

Later - but do give me your view on this article. Forget the connections to 26/11 for present. Give your views how this will affect USA and its relationship with India and Pakistan.

Bear in mind MAX, the recent military purchases by Pakistan was paid for by USA to gain as much parity with India as possible. Also most of this money has been used by Pakistan to buy USA defense equipments. Also talk is going on to refurbish F-16s - and you tell me this F-16 will work against Talibans or against Indians.

I see a clear American strategy here. Friendship is fine, but competition is not. :)

Max said...

@B.U.A.

No worries, take your time. Yes, everyone knowns that the F-16 upgrade is not for "Taliban" / "al-Qaeda" or "War on Terror" but to match up against India's SU-30MKIs. And that's why even several US lawmakers have voiced their reservations. Anyway let's see how all this interrelates in your third part!

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

However Max,

Not to confuse the issue - the USA may have actually come to the conclusion to pull the plug on Pakistan.

This new route to Central Asia gives it a "strength" that it did not think it had. It is no longer only dependent on Pakistan and warm waters of Karachi.

If Pakistan does not play ball, then Paktunistan and Baluchistan will become a reality.

And India, Israel are embedded in this. The attacks are precursors to major "movements" this time.

A maverick thought - when the Israeli jets come to bomb Iran, why leave Pakistan untouched on the way back? Yes, this sounds impossible, but in the war rooms - scenarios would have been worked out.

And things are surely hotting up on the seas !!

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

@Shilpa / Avid Historian / others - drop in with your thoughts.

Thanks

BuA

Anonymous said...

@BUA, your conclusion thrown open as a Q to all of us is an uncomfortable one.. It has serious implications if indeed 26/11 attacks were in any way linked to this great Game. If not direct, this thought process could have been there at a serious subconscious level; provided 'Mr.X' if he exists,is a USA national.

Coalition between Russia, China, Iran & India is a welcome idea to thwart USA's attempts at salvaging its standing on Oil & Gas Energy Reserves. Is the Govt. paying heed?

SM

Anonymous said...

The Indian govt is very well aware of USA designs. And we will use them too to our advantage.

Anonymous said...

^^

hopefully

Anonymous said...

Impressive !

Ray Lightning said...

Very impressive write up.

The Yolotan Osman natural gas reserves are sure to play an important part in the geopolitical game.

About the 26-11 attacks, I think they are masterminded purely by the ISI-Taliban enclave. The motivation is to mobilize the Pak army against India and thus to leave the Taliban to recoup and reorganize on the west. This relates to the Talibanistan map between Afghanistan and Pakistan that you have showed in another post.

The benefits of such Taliban regrouping would purely accrue to Pakistan. So it is unlikely that the 26-11 attacks were initiated by the USA. Moreover, India has been bending over backwards to yield to the USA : by signing the nuclear deal, by letting the Iranian gas pipeline go etc. I think that is actually a smart strategy at this moment : as long as India doesn't distance China and Russia over the process.

Russia has been punishing severely all its former allies if they are getting too close to USA or NATO. It invaded Georgia and now it has cut the gas off for Ukraine. It is no secret that it will deal with Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan in a similar manner. The gas pipeline that USA is planning to build over Turkmenistan+Azerbaijan etc is too close to Russia and Iran for the comfort of the USA.

So it is better to build alternative pipelines via Pakistan or via India to reach the warm sea ports. If this is the nature of the competition, India should do all that is possible to win over Pakistan to earn the pipeline. It should cultivate close ties with Afghanistan to make this happen.

For USA, the best strategy to pursue would be to end its dependence on foreign oil and gas and become energy independent (by a huge investment in energy efficiency and nuclear+solar energies). That will be a great relief for every single country on the planet. Obama has been making the right noises about this so far, so let's see how this goes.

Anonymous said...

To BUA and Shilpa :

Well I do not agree with your analysis at all, knowing USA, they will never allow their share to anyone, the end of India would be as follows and mark my words, their is no way they can rule and occupy Afghanistan, nobody can do it, when this war would become too costly for them to sustain than they would realize to pull out of the region, and the only way to hide their defeat and teach a lesson to Afghanistan and to all the countries in the region they will give free hand to Pakistan to attack on India, that is why they are maintaining and providing min.deterence level to Pakistan. For USA to be successful in the region even today is to engage Pakistan and India in the war and weaken Iran,destroying India,Pakistan and Iran they will win the lost war.
This is the only way for them to survive long term in this region, creating regions or breaking uop Pakistan would not benefit them, the muslims will not allow their dominance in the region even if they break up, the only way left is to engage them in the war like USA did against Iran by usibng Iran.

So if Pakistan attacks India, wins the war with USA weapons, PAKISTAN BEING CLOSE TO THE CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES AND ENJOYING STRONG RELIGIOUS Ties within the region, the Americans will gain public support among the masses and Pakistani public would simply allow them to carry on with their oil and gas ambitions within the regio, than where would we stand, if we analyze, a weak India will be in the interest of USA, that would benefit them.

Anonymous said...

TO BUA AND SHILPA:

Also USA needs Pakistan more than India, all the central asian states are msulims, not hindus ( so how can we play in the region), what I fear that if USA is sure they can't control Afghanistan, they will arm Pakistan as they did in the past, make its Armed forces strong and let them attack on us, and instead that Pakistan is broken and divided into states , India could be easily divided and broken apart, USA would allow Pakistan to take liberate Kashmir(which Pakistanis always claim as tehir part), they will break Indian Punjab and Sikhs would make their own land, and India loosing war would mean the other liberation movement within India would also rise and claim their independence from us, which instead of breaking muslims of Pakistan and Afghanistan, it would cost us heavily. USA wants us to use us against China, who they see their potential threat and rival in the world, and soon China would engage USA otherwise they can never have world dominance, so in a way Pakistan and India are being made sandwiches between the big powers, and their is no way Chinese can be our friend, we should not trust them, they will attack India to come to Indian Ocean, and will probably take upto Mumbai.

Why do you think they made Gawader port, it is to strengthen their relationship with Pakistan and have their Naval fleet stationed their in the near future to destroy the USA Naval fleet and of India, so in either case USA and China do not want us, as having good relationship with the muslims would benefit them in the region. So it is upto USA and Pakistan how they calculate and make their moves and how China maintains its dominance in the region, as having a strong Pakistan would benefit USA as well as China, but Pakistan has to side with one power to destroy the other ?

Pakistan divided means more freedom fighters emerging, more freedom movements and more Talebans and region tatally destabalize, everyother day the gas and oil fields would than be blown up by these freedom fighters and the movement to have a strong unity within muslims in the region would strengthen and it would tear apart USA and its interests in the region and the benefit would go to China and Russia, who would than help these so called Talebans, arm them to fight guerrilla war fare against USA, and hatred among muslim nations in particular against USA.

So never think USA is our friend or we can take over Pakistan , USA is arming Pakistan and supplying us with the weapons to wage a war in the region like they used Iraq against Iran, after all everybody knows that Saddam was their man, and look what they did to their own friend, so do you think AMERICANS will ever be sincere to us or to Pakistan, they will use both of us, and than keeping Pakistan alive would benefit them, after all we are hindus not muslims, and muslim countries around Pakistan will never let this happen, destruction of Pakistan can mean hatred among muslim masses against USA.

And USA can use them first to destroy China and India and than they can only capture all these resources in a very amicable way, and we do not fit in this scenario, rather we would be made the scape goat.

Anonymous said...

To BUA, SHILPA AND BENGAL UNDER ATTACK,

So our leaders must think wisely that we are not made to act like like Saddam's Iraq and attack Iran which in this case would be Pakistan, as all sympathy would be with Pakistan this time as USA would fully support them to win the war against us and win the masses of Pakistan, and than they would ask the Pakistani GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE ANY GOVERNMENT OF THEIR CHOICE IN Afghanistan but with assurances that Afghanise would allow to build gas pipe lines and transportation to KARACHI AND GAWADER PORT, which they would execute happily, and USA will dominate the region for another 50 years and we would be kicked out as a regional power, and also to please the muslims and Pakistanis they can give them a permenant seat at UN Security Council, which would again please the muslims all over the world.

After all they were Pakistanis and Afghanis who crippled the Super Power USSR with the help of muslims of Arabs money and weapons of USA, so it would be stupidity for us to believe that USA would enjoy peace in the region by taking our side and destroying Pakistan and Afghanistan, they would ultimately use this card of let Pakistan attack Inia or intimate us to attack them.

After all CHINA IS their to destroy USA, so its upto them how they want to keep their presence in the region long run.

We should very rational in either case, for us best option to avoid war is to give up Kashmir to Pakistanis and the dispute between us will be over for ever and making strong ties with every muslim counrty in the region especially with Saudi Arabia.

Why dont we realize that when muslims ruled us, we lived in peace, love, harmony.

Anonymous said...

To BUA, SHILPA AND BENGAL UNDER ATTACK

They can use Pakistan to improve their relatinship with the Iranians too and than our investment in the Iran can cost us, after all we should not be trusting those clerics, they can always say and must be saying behind the veils that our religion doesn't match with them, they have strong ties with Pakistan, after all these Iranians helped PAKISTAN DURING THE WARS AGAINST US, so why should we trust them, they are just using our skills.

Having Iran armed with Nuclear weapons, they can always help Pakistan incase the are threatened by us, even though they are shia's,but they are muslims, it is like Brahman and Ksatriyas we have, we should never trust these muslims, especially when Iran and Pakistan are neighbours.

So USA will play this card at he last , as their exit strategy and dominate in the region.

Anonymous said...

To BUA, SHILPA AND BENGAL UNDER ATTACK,AND TO FANA.

Also attacking Pakistan would mean annoying Saudia Arabia and middle east states and they can cut off our oil supply, an dPakistan winning the war, would mean USA enjoying good relationship with Pakistanis, Afghanise, and Muslims of Middle East, and than where would we stand, also Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turks( we should not forget taht Turks were to come in 1910's to help the muslims of subcontinent, and Turks have very strong bond with Pakistanis), and other Muslim states would fully support Pakistan materially as well as financially.
What is Saudi Arabia gives AWACS to Pakistan and its F-16 and UAE Mirage 2000's are used against us, we would be wiped out, and what if Indonesia, Malaysia launch naval attacks against us like they did in 1965, we would be out of the world map, we are badly surrounded by these muslims, and they share common religion, one book which is their Quran, and believe in one the same Prophet.

What common things do we share with them, our religion is different, our language is different, they all read Arabic, their women have different perception of lives, their dresses are different from us, they don't drink alcohol, and follow one God, One Book, and one Prophet, how can we trust them, if they all unite against us in the region, we would be totally wiped out, so for us wise is to have friendship with them rather than to fight this mighty power.

And why USA should be our trusted friend, when they were never loyal to their friends in the past, they use them and kill them. Also our religion is totally different, they are more closer to muslims than to us, we should never trust these Christians and why should we, the only we should trust them, they should also start to worship our idols, than they can be our friend, otherwise they will make a fool out of us.

Anonymous said...

Hello .

Anonymous said...

Actually Pakistan has no need to help India in GAS pipeline manners,Pakistan must be tried to create Iran-Pak-China gas pipe line.
why pakis are destroy their time and money for Indis.

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