Does President Barack Obama’s ‘finishing the job’ mean the same thing as staying the course in Afghanistan, as urged by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh?
The commander of US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan has, in his assessment to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, said that ‘increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions’. General Stanley McChrystal, while promising a new ISAF strategy, also points out the need for additional forces, calling the next year critical.
The US is being perceived as hurrying to create the minimum required circumstances for its departure from the region.
The change in command of US forces in Afghanistan is been seen by Indian observers as the possible beginning of a smarter strategy in dealing with the Taliban.