US Pullout From Afghanistan Could Pose Security Crisis For India?




From hundreds of Humvees and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) to lakhs of anti-tank missiles and machine guns, US troops deployed in Afghanistan will leave behind all their war-fighting equipment when they leave the country as part of the 2014 pullout plan.

The military hardware the US would leave behind in Afghanistan is large enough to equip a sizeable army. Up to 30,000 MRAPS and Humvees, night-combat equipment, grenade-resistant netting, light and medium machine guns, rocket launchers and mobile radars among others.

If the US is to lug everything back, it will need 28,000 vehicles and 20,000 shipments. And the cost of ferrying the equipment to the US will be a staggering $6 billion, which obviously doesnt make economic sense. Hence the decision to dump it in Afghanistan.

Thats worrying news for India. Over the past week, there has been intelligence warning that Pakistan-backed terror groups are playing the waiting game to lay their hands on these leftover arms.

Pakistan too is eyeing the weapons and armoured carriers. A source in South Block told Mail Today that Pakistan purportedly wants the military hardware to fight terror groups but he warned that given that countrys past record, some of the sophisticated equipment may be used against India.

The Afghan National Army is also in the race. Some weeks ago, senior Indian diplomats approached US State Department officials in Washington relaying Indias concerns on reports that the US was considering a request by Islamabad to acquire armaments being used by the US in Afghanistan.

Indias security czars are already firming up strategies to tackle the spillover of the chaos in Afghanistan post 2014 when there will be a thinning down of the US and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force there.

US officials played down Indias fears.

It is unlikely that we will handover sensitive equipment to a third country, we will take this back or destroy it and, in some cases, it will be protected so that only the intended recipient can use it, a diplomatic source told Mail Today.

Still, the weapons pose a clear and present danger to India. In fact, the US Government Accountability Office came out with a report accessed by Mail Today that pointed out that the US military failed to keep complete records on some 2,22,000 weapons entering Afghanistan.

The US military failed to keep proper records on about 87,000 rifles, pistols, mortars and other weapons sent to Afghanistan between December 2004 and June 2008 about a third of all the weapons sent. The military even failed to record the serial numbers of some 46,000 weapons.

Source: Daily Mail UK


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