One of the consequences of the U.S. dependence on Pakistan to achieve its goals in Afghanistan is the way in which it drives India and Iran closer. That’s because their interests in Afghanistan largely converge, in opposition to those of Pakistan. It’s also obvious that U.S. interests in Afghanistan more closely align with those of India and Iran than with those of Pakistan. But to actually operationalize that would essentially turn the Afghanistan war into the Pakistan war.
Clearly, the ideal solution would be for India and Pakistan to resolve their differences, and for the U.S. and Iran to do the same. At that point, a coordinated effort between the four would have a lot greater chance of successfully stabilizing Afghanistan. In the meantime, everyone’s hedging against everyone else. Which probably helps explain why officials from India and Iran discussed increasing cooperation between the two countries’ militaries during Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki’s visit to New Delhi earlier this week.