In the January 2010 edition of Pragati, I argue that it is in India’s national interest to invest in training the Afghanistan National Army (ANA). There are two aspects to this proposition — the first is protective, i.e., denying the Pakistani army and ISI strategic depth in a vassal state to further their ambitions against India. The second is aspirational — loosening India’s self imposed shackles and allowing it to project its power beyond its own shores, as it must as a regional power.
India must offer to train ANA military personnel through programmes in both Afghanistan and India. India has several COIN schools such as the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) and specialised training centres like the High-Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The CIJWS already draws international participation of military
personnel from the United States, United Kingdom and other Central Asian states. Further assistance can be provided by augmenting logistics and communications infrastructure to aid the ANA and providing essential
military supplies to the country.
India can also assist in augmenting ANA’s air defence capabilities. Training can be provided to ANA Air Corps’ pilots; specific requests for training on Mi-35 helicopters (the air corps operates a handful) have previously been made. Indeed, further opportunities for Indian assistance exist even in the medium to long run, as the ANA Air Corps seeks to induct light multi-role attack/air superiority jets by 2015.
Read more about it on Pragati ( PDF; 1.7 MB)
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