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James Mattis

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Surveys conducted by various Afghan and foreign agencies show that the Afghan people ranked Indian assistance as the most suitable because of the positive role India has played in the development programme of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and defence ties with U.S. are expected to be the prime issues during James Mattis’s visit to India next week. Mr. Trump’s policy includes more pressure on Pakistan, no early U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, great military action on counter-terrorism and a greater role for India in sync with the U.S.

On January 4, 1950, India signed a Treaty of Friendship with Afghanistan which permitted opening of consulates in each other’s country. Surveys conducted by various Afghan and foreign agencies show that the Afghan people ranked Indian assistance as the most suitable because of the positive role India has played in the development programme of Afghanistan. The Afghans also appreciate the fact that India has never interfered in their internal affairs till date.

The energy basket of Asia needs to be exploited for the benefit of Afghanistan and the surrounding region. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline is one such example.

It is also necessary to redouble counter-narcotics efforts as Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium, accounting for 90% of the world’s supply.

A Stable Afghanistan requires involvement of the Central Asian Republics, Russia and Iran, which border Afghanistan. It is important for India to coordinate its efforts with those to ensure success.

 

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With the announcement of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as Defense Secretary of the United States, President-elect Donald Trump has amply outlined the major changes that Pentagon contemplates in dealing with China, Russia, Iran and Israel and in changing Afghanistan through Pakistan that also envisage eliminating Haqqani network from Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Admirers call Mattis as “Mad Dog” or “Warrior Monk”, a tough general attributed with strong handling of wars.

On Afghanistan Policy, Mattis favours to be a strategic partner with Pakistan  to target terrorists including Talibans in the region. His famous quotes for Afghanistan like “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

He said “there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot. “Therefore Trump will not participate in nation building in Afghanistan.

Mattis will never allow politicization in the Department of Defense. Mad Dog was on the front line of the 2001 assault on Afghanistan, led the Marine attack on Baghdad in 2003.

China and Russia will have to be cautious as Mattis is against Beijing’s increasing naval power and warships in the South China Sea. He had held that China must be denied “veto power” over the territorial claims, security and economic  conditions in the pacific.

Warrior Monk said that Putin creating instability along Russia’s border and is skeptical about Russia-China strategic partnership that points  to blending of China’s One belt, One road with Russia’s Eurasia Economic Union.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already changed Army chief of Staff and ISI chief keeping in view the appointment of Mattis in Pentagon .

Mattis considers Pakistan strategically important for defeating Taliban and regaining control of the lost territories of Afghanistan to Taliban in recent years. Mattis was anti to US-Iran Nuclear deal that led President Obama to replace him as Centcom commander.

As far as One China Policy is concerned, Trump is in no mood to entertain China  and will move forward to strengthen and deepen diplomatic ties with Taiwan  and help it become stronger economically and boost its military status.

Article Courtesy : Arti Bali, Senior Journalist & Analyst