Securing Afghanistan – Prospects for India-EU Cooperation
C. Raja Mohan, Arushi Kumar & Constantino Xavier
09 November 2016
With the US seeking to limit its international role amidst domestic political resistance, India and Europe are facing increased pressure to take on greater international responsibilities. Delhi and Brussels are both pursuing a more ambitious role in international security affairs, and the imperative for strategic cooperation between them is growing. After 15 years of limited cooperation, India and the EU have the opportunity to join forces on promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Despite extraordinary international attention paid to Afghanistan since the turn of the millennium, prospects for the current regime’s failure have increased. A Taliban victory in Afghanistan would impose severe costs on India and Europe in terms of refugee inflows and terrorist threats. To prevent this, cooperation between India and the EU should be directed towards improving Kabul’s odds of defeating the Taliban offensive and enhancing its leverage in the negotiations on regional reconciliation. This will require greater trilateral coordination between Kabul, Brussels and New Delhi, in conjunction with a dual track approach that demands short-term emphasis on political and military consultations on the changing ground conditions, along with with a long-term focus on continued economic assistance to strengthen a moderate and stable Afghan regime.