Indian Troops again a Possibility?
The Times of India is reporting that the Indian government, having earlier considered and ruled out a Washington request to send troops to Iraq, is now again toying with the idea. The ToI thinks India sees this move as a way to get Washington to pressure Pakistan to better police the Line of Control with Kashmir, keeping anti-Indian guerrillas from infiltrating across the border. India is also seeking high tech weapons systems from the US in return for such a troop commitment. The problem is that the US may decide that these two bargaining chips are too rich for its blood, and fold on the Indian game.
My own guess is that the renewed Indian interest derives from a realization that Pakistani President Gen. Musharraf may actually send 12,000 troops to Iraq, thus ingratiating himself with the Bush administration further, and detracting from Indian leverage with Washington in the Kashmir dispute between the two countries. The US says it is seeking 40,000 troops from Pakistan, Turkey and South Korea, but Secretary of State Powell has admitted that it will be difficult to get more than a division (15,000).