Afghanistan : Great Game Or Great Conundrum

So we are now taking significant collateral damage in Afghanistan as well, I wonder what choices we have, because there appears to be a method in these regular attacks now. Either 'they' wants to intimidate us into either leaving Afghanistan or maybe reinforcing our presence there (by being part of ISAF and sending combat troops, which I don't think is that bad an idea). I am using they because I doubt if militant forces indeed are being driven from Quetta or Islamabad. The myriad factions that stretch from Quetta up to the Wakhan corridor have no homogeneous identity or chain of command per-se. This is peculiar, because the symptom is same for all these factions but the panacea is all different. Consider this belt of resistance as a part of bigger militant Islam, but the solution can be found by dealing at each tribe level & each federal agency level, something that was done very successfully in Al Anbar in Iraq, instead of fire-bombing it.

Back to India's unease, there is hardly any take-aways from this situation, I guess these are the birth pangs for a rising regional power in the making. The power projection and the influence do have there short comings. The best we can do is to stay put and maybe increase our security posse to safeguard Indian citizens who are in the line of fire. As for Pakistan's direct or indirect involvement in this attack, it doesn't really matter. I think the grave has been dug for Pakistan (so even if its not a grave, believe me it will be a deep pit), and they would be lucky to not have a independent jihadi state encroaching at their periphery.

Some Mumbling.. Some Rambling

The July is here, so soon I mean. it was February that I moved here & already six months are down now. The years seem to pass by so quick that some day not far in time, I may be sitting wondering if I have lived all these long years or did I pass them in sleep, seriously time seems to be flying past these days. Watched Hitchcock 'notorious' today, kept his 'the birds' for tomorrow. In other stuff today, deleted my Facebook account and opened a twitter account, I found twitter more useful then Facebook or say Orkut, but then both are catering to different markets. personal preference though.

The appraisals are going to be out next week I suppose, something to watch out for, lets see how bad the hike is. but it is definitely going to be below the rate of inflation & believe me that government's inflation rate is itself depressed( intentionally or unintentionally ). Indian economy has it going good for last 4-5 years & a couple of rainy days shouldn't be a problem at least for the nouveau riches.. poor be damned, who cares.. the government seems to have solved the nuclear tangle at last, and its good to see at least some amount of spine in the leadership, though I am not optimistic that this government would go much far, but anyway something is better than nothing.

Meanwhile July 4 passed & oil has not touched $150 as Jim Cramer was shouting on mad money, but it doesn't matter, 146 is as good as 150. 150 is just symbolic, the pain at pump started long way back. Somehow I feel Americans don't get it, wonder how can a (supposed !) intelligent country is being fooled not only oil producing countries, but by government and there own emotions. Where do you get a precious commodity for 2 bucks a gallon, a commodity that takes millions of years to create and a commodity that can drive say 4 people in a nice car for 180 miles, why the hell you should get that thing for 2 bucks, when even the water costs more. The supply is not a problem, the demand IS.

Commodity inflation is the big topic these days, and if you listen American media, this often hackneyed word about increased demand from India-China is now becoming a deluge now. take oil, India-China. take wheat, India-China. take anything, India-China. I wonder if India-China really increased there demand so much that the world's factories and farms and oil rigs have failed to keep pace. I just feel that it was okay as long as India-China were producing for the rest of the world, but as soon as we become consuming nations, the rest of the world started feeling the pinch. Take a often quoted sector refinery, which America has not built one for last 30 years. Why?  because they don't want to have pollution in their backyard, so guess what, they have other countries make them & send the finished product to US. This is hypocrisy big time. I guess US in sometime future will claim that it has curtailed its carbon emission. And how, it will send all the polluting industries to cheaper nations and import finished products, so no emissions you see. This is all a fa├žade to not change, to save 'their way of life'. (not sure what it means)