Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Why the TAPI Pipeline is Part of a Strategy to Isolate Iran.

Is this what the conflict is all about, to get India on side for Iran, giving them an alternative source of gas, you think?
I think Pakistan is probably more important to get on side for any further action against Iran. Yet, as power cuts in India have recently shown it too is facing an energy shortage. Certainly, US/NATO strategy in Afghanistan is primarily about maintaining a stake in the New Great Game in Central Asia.

The evidence points to a geopolitical strategy of encircling Iran and destroying its regional influence both in the east towards Central Asia and the west towards the Middle East. As regards Afghanistan, the TAPI Pipeline is vital if Iran is not going to benefit from gas exports east.

There are, in my view, numerous reasons,

1) TAPI will integrate Afghanistan into the region economically, freezing out Iran and damaging its economy . That, in turn, will ramp up pressure for "regime change" in Tehran to get one that can no longer get in the way of US policy in the Middle East.

2) TAPI will guarantee that, after eleven years of warfare, that a key goal of Western strategy is attained. If the US/NATO were to leave without guaranteeing the security for the pipeline project, it would have acheived little beyond the initial aim of driving out Al Qaida.

3) TAPI will bind Pakistan closer to the Western Powers at a time when Pakistan faces potentially destabilising energy shortages. As the West seeks to isolate Iran, not least due to concerns over its nuclear programme, it has to stabilise Pakistan by providing energy without involving Iran.

These are the realities behind the surge, the investment of vast amounts of money and the willingness to sacrifice lives. The West would prefer not to sacrifice soldiers lives recruited by the state and want to use trained Afghans to do the job along with mercenaries and "special troops".

But this is what is at stake. One day, we might have a serious discussion about it.

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