My Enemy's Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal

My Enemy's Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Venue: 
Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum
Speaker(s): 
Avinash Paliwal (School of Oriental and African Studies, London)
Convenor: 
Matthew McCartney, Mallica Kumbera Landrus and Rosalind O’Hanlon
Series: 
South Asia Seminar

The archetype of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’, India’s political and economic presence in Afghanistan is often viewed as a Machiavellian ploy aimed against Pakistan. The first of its kind, this book interrogates that simplistic yet powerful geopolitical narrative and asks what truly drives India’s Afghanistan policy. Based on an extensive repertoire of hitherto untapped primary sources including official memoranda, diplomatic correspondence, and a series of interviews with key political actors, My Enemy’s Enemy provides a comprehensive analysis of India’s strategy debates and foreign policymaking processes vis-à-vis Afghanistan, from the embers of the Cold War to the 1990s Afghan civil war and the more recent U.S.-led war on terror. It demonstrates that Indian presence in Afghanistan has been guided primarily by an enduring vision for the region that requires a stable balance of power across the Durand Line.

Avinash Paliwal is a Lecturer in Diplomacy and Public Policy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Specialising in the strategic affairs of South Asia and Afghanistan, he holds a doctorate in international relations from King’s College London, and an economics degree from the University of Delhi. Prior to joining academia he worked as a journalist and foreign-affairs analyst in New Delhi. 

The South Asia Seminar is co-funded by the Ashmolean Museum, the Asian Studies Centre of St Antony’s College, the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, the Department for International Development and Faculty of History and the Faculty of Oriental Studies.