My Enemy’s Enemy

India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal

Avinash Paliwal

A definitive account, grounded in history, of the strategic axis between New Delhi and Kabul.

Bibliographic Details
My Enemy’s Enemy Hardback
June 2017£35.00

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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 last decade of the Cold War to the 1990s Afghan civil war and the more recent US-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 Defence Studies at King’s College London. Specialising in the strategic affairs of South Asia and Afghanistan, he holds a doctorate in international relations from King’s, 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.

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