This latest batch of 52 Afghan Gentlemen Cadets (GCs) follows around 100 officers commissioned at IMA since 2010. The single largest batch of 58 Afghan GCs was commissioned in December, 2012.
The Indian Army is to provide basic training to officers and men of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in India. This training is expected to begin by August and will be conducted at various regimental training centers of the Indian Army.
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.
General Deepak Kapoor will visit the US on Monday. The current agenda in increasing Indo-US military cooperation includes the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), the End User Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) and the Communications Interoperability and Security Agreement (CISA). Interestingly, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be India at the same time.
The Indian Army has catered for the contingency by earmarking the 18 Infantry Division (RAPID) of the X Corps for deployment if the need arises. But there are problems with geopolitics, logistics, finance and Indian Army strength levels.