India’s evolution as a major player in world affairs, which our size, situation, resources and talents ought to have made us long ago, keeps accelerating both our problems and our opportunities. On a cluster of issues that can
have far-reaching consequences for us, there is frustratingly little we can do, notably the disastrous Western intervention in
Iraq but also the other West Asian crises, which foment the terrorism plaguing us. Afghanistan, while generating our most immediate threat, provides the most promising opening for our potential. A resurgent Taliban has only led the West to succumb to a strategy of coexistence, if not cooption, while Pakistan—through the plain facts of geography and also its active hostility—severely curbed our room for manoeuvre. But Delhi’s convening of the international donors conference is an index of the potential for Indian initiatives.
Nepal showed even more impressively how...