After today’s news, it may be a good thing India decided to train Afghan troops on its own soil. Yesterday, it was reported that a suicide bomber attacked one of the entrances to the joint US-Afghan Jalalabad airbase for the second time this year. The bombing comes after the US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, suggested the US leave about 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan after 2014, including 1,000 special operations forces.
According to press reporting, the Indian Army will train 600 Afghan Army officer as well as 200 Afghan cadets every year. This training (announced on 08NOV12) grew out of the strategic partnership agreement signed on 04OCT11 between the two countries, taking just over a year to work out.
In addition, NDTV reports “a company level (100-strong) contingents of ANA will be trained for four weeks at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) located at Vairangte in Mizoram.” (Prior reporting had also suggested stints at the High Altitude Warfare School in Sonmarg, Kashmir)
The agreement was reported by the Indian press as a way to help build further avenues for India’s mining companies. (Back in 2011, Steel Authority of India Ltd led a consortium of top Indian firms in obtaining the rights for $1-trillion Hajigak iron ore mine in Afghanistan).