At any given time there are enough issues to discuss between India and the United States. But the two day visit of the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had the element of importance and urgency given what has been happening in the neighborhood. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan is said to be 90 per cent complete, the rest of which will be wrapped up in the next few weeks. The Taliban is said to be making spectacular success in wresting control of the countryside irrespective of all the optimism of the powers that be in Kabul. The U.S. Air Force is involved in a major way assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban operating fixed wing bombers and drones out of unnamed bases in the area.
There is a lot at stake for India and the United States, both countries having invested heavily in Afghanistan but in different areas and for different reasons. And both New Delhi and Washington want to see a stable regime in Kabul that emerges out of a political consensus rather than by guns. As the days roll by it is increasingly becoming clear that the power equations in Kabul are not going to come about peacefully; rather through a show of force which could turn ugly. Only one thing is certain as of now—the Americans are not going to return by putting boots on the ground; or for that matter any other country taking that chance of getting sucked into a quagmire.