Dear President Trump:
I've been reading Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars" in conjunction with Robert S. McNamara's 1995 memoir, In Retrospect. As a retired military officer, I can say with certainty that the military hasn't learned the lessons of Vietnam..."More troops" and "More troops" is not the answer to every problem; and our diplomatic initiatives are tepid and ineffective at best.
I believe that the end state in Afghanistan requires a bit of Nixon-Kissinger diplomacy to wake the Pakistanis up. We cannot solve the problems there if Pakistan is both our ally and enemy. Consequently, it is time to give the Pakistanis electro-shock therapy and scare the hell out of them by invoking their worst nightmare.
Since Pakistan appears unable and/or unwilling to curtail Al Qaeda/Taliban military activities within its territory which are directed at American/NATO troops in Aghanistan, I urge you to request for the introduction of Indian troops into Afghanistan to ensure that no more attacks are carried from Pakistan into Afghanistan. An Indian Western Theater of Operations ought to be created composed of at least 240,000 Indian troops (the number of troops that US Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told the US Senate in 2002 that would be required to stabilize Iraq and the number of troops Admiral Mullen would love to have there) whose mission is to stabilize Afghanistan through a two-front strategy against Pakistan. I believe that India would be open to provide this kind of military assistance to the United States and NATO forces if India was asked.
India is the only regional power with the military forces capable of doing this. The anvil of India & Kashmir to the east of Pakistan against the hammer of an Indian Western Theater Army presents Pakistan with a two-front strategic problem--which Pakistan is wholly incapable of dealing with with. In a nutshell, Pakistan's worst nightmare.
The United States clearly has the capacity to provide the Indians with the logistics support necessary to move and sustain such a force. Consequently, it must do so. India is poised politically and militarily to bring stability into this region which Pakistan has been unable and/or unwilling to do so.
If Pakistan is unable to curtail outside activities within its borders, then India can ensure that there will be no interference from these forces in Afghanistan. As the world’s largest democracy and an economy that is of increasing importance to the United States, India’s power is central to the calculus of stability in the region.
India has supported Afghani administrations in the past, and will bear the brunt of a resurgent Islam if the Taliban triumphs in Afghanistan. Such result will lead to serious instability in the region particularly given Pakistan’s own instability in the face of Islamic fundamentalism.
Moreover, unlike the United States, the Pakistanis know that India will not leave the region. Consequently, for Pakistan, the die is cast: Either get your house in order or India with the support of the United States will do it for you.
In 1971, Nixon and Kissinger used China against the Soviet Union and China used the United States against the Soviet Union. Likewise, in 2017 the United States should use India against Pakistan and India will use the US against Pakistan.
It is time to ante up the stakes in the region and a robust diplomatic effort combined with ongoing military operations inside Afghanistan will make the Pakistanis realize that a stable Afghanistan even under American tutalege is better that an Afghanistan that is home of 300,000 Indian troops--who do not like the Pakistanis and their extremist allies.
Gonzalo I. Vergara, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
Lincoln Hills, California