India steps up in AfghanistanDecember 7, 2011
Although Pakistan has long believed that Afghanistan was in their sphere of influence, their arch-rival India is preparing to step into the breach when US forces leave:
plans are already in the final stages of receiving Indian government clearance for an extensive training schedule for the fledgling Afghan National Army (ANA) at training institutions across the country.
The program is the first concrete follow-up on military-to-military cooperation under the umbrella of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that was signed between Kabul and New Delhi in October, when Afghan President Hamid Karzai was given a grand reception in India.
Under the agreement, India, which has the world’s third-largest army, agreed to train, equip and build the capacity of the Afghan forces.
Sources in the Indian security establishment familiar with the contours of the detailed schedule say Kabul and New Delhi have identified three areas to focus on, namely increasing the intake of officers in India’s premier training institutes; providing specialized training to middle and higher level officers already operating in the Afghan National Army (ANA); and training soldiers in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations by seconding them to various regimental centers across India.