Plausibility Check/What If: A partition of Afghanistan between Russia and India?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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Would it have ever been plausible to see Afghanistan be partitioned between Russia and British India--or between the Soviet Union and an independent but united India (so, no 1947 partition of India), for that matter? I've looked at a topographic map of Afghanistan and noticed that the Hindu Kush mountain range makes for an excellent defensive border from the perspective of both Russia/the Soviet Union and India:



Thus, I was wondering if the Hindu Kush mountain range could have become the new border between Russia/the Soviet Union and India in the event of a Russo-Indian partition of Afghanistan.

Also, as a side note, what do you think that the effects of such a partition of Afghanistan would have been on Russia/the Soviet Union, India, and Afghanistan itself?

Any thoughts on all of this?
 
Apr 2017
1,732
U.S.A.
Slightly south of Herat, I would think. So, Russia/the Soviet Union would get Herat.
It would be a good frontier for both countries but it also eliminates the buffer state between them. This could go a lot of ways. In real life India was on decent terms with the Soviets and used them as a counterweight to china. If India isn't partitioned they may have muslim separatist problems, possibly aided by China. This would help to develop stronger relations between India and the Soviet Union, as they now have a border. This could lead to India being considered too pro-soviet in the cold war though. This could also lead to Soviet naval bases in India, a dangerous possibility. Rather than an Afghanistan conflict, there might be a Pakistan (or whatever they call the region) conflict where the Soviets intervene to assist the Indians in putting down the rebellion. Alternatively, this could mean the Soviets invade Iran in the 80's instead of Afghanistan (possibly in conjunction with Iraq).
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,433
SoCal
It would be a good frontier for both countries but it also eliminates the buffer state between them. This could go a lot of ways. In real life India was on decent terms with the Soviets and used them as a counterweight to china. If India isn't partitioned they may have muslim separatist problems, possibly aided by China.
I thought that China didn't intervene in other countries' internal affairs?

Also, if India still does get partitioned, we're simply going to see a larger Pakistan, correct? Certainly a Pakistan with a somewhat larger Pashtun population.

This would help to develop stronger relations between India and the Soviet Union, as they now have a border. This could lead to India being considered too pro-soviet in the cold war though. This could also lead to Soviet naval bases in India, a dangerous possibility. Rather than an Afghanistan conflict, there might be a Pakistan (or whatever they call the region) conflict where the Soviets intervene to assist the Indians in putting down the rebellion.
Would Indian Muslims actually be willing to rebel if they will be relatively pampered within India, though? (With affirmative action, employment quotas, et cetera being given to them.) I mean, Hindu nationalism could be a problem, but with a much larger electorate in India, it's going to be much harder for Hindu nationalists to actually come to power in India.

Alternatively, this could mean the Soviets invade Iran in the 80's instead of Afghanistan (possibly in conjunction with Iraq).
Are the Iranians--including the people in northern Iran--going to be as hostile towards the Soviets in this scenario as the people of Afghanistan were in real life?
 
Apr 2017
1,732
U.S.A.
I thought that China didn't intervene in other countries' internal affairs?

Also, if India still does get partitioned, we're simply going to see a larger Pakistan, correct? Certainly a Pakistan with a somewhat larger Pashtun population.

Would Indian Muslims actually be willing to rebel if they will be relatively pampered within India, though? (With affirmative action, employment quotas, et cetera being given to them.) I mean, Hindu nationalism could be a problem, but with a much larger electorate in India, it's going to be much harder for Hindu nationalists to actually come to power in India.

Are the Iranians--including the people in northern Iran--going to be as hostile towards the Soviets in this scenario as the people of Afghanistan were in real life?
Who told you that?

So wait, is Pakistan going to exist in this scenario or not?

China has (in theory) stuff like this for its minorities, doesn't stop Uighers and Tibetans from wanting independence.

In real life the Soviets were making incursions into Iran in the late 70's, after the Iranian revolution they switched their attention to Afghanistan. So if they already rule Afghanistan (or at least part of it) they may focus instead on iran.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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SoCal
Who told you that?
China's actions throughout history?

So wait, is Pakistan going to exist in this scenario or not?
That's up to you to decide. You can actually speculate about both of these scenarios here. In other words, the important thing is that Afghanistan actually gets partitioned. Whether India subsequently remains united is less revelant to this question.

China has (in theory) stuff like this for its minorities, doesn't stop Uighers and Tibetans from wanting independence.
Apparently only 29% of Tibetans actually want independence according to a poll that @HackneyedScribe previously mentioned. It's possible that the equivalent figure for Uyghurs could be higher than that right now due to the events of the last several years, though.

In real life the Soviets were making incursions into Iran in the late 70's, after the Iranian revolution they switched their attention to Afghanistan. So if they already rule Afghanistan (or at least part of it) they may focus instead on iran.
Which incursions are you talking about here? I know that the Soviets temporarily occupied northern Iran in the 1940s, but what about afterwards?
 
Apr 2017
1,732
U.S.A.
China's actions throughout history?

That's up to you to decide. You can actually speculate about both of these scenarios here. In other words, the important thing is that Afghanistan actually gets partitioned. Whether India subsequently remains united is less revelant to this question.

Apparently only 29% of Tibetans actually want independence according to a poll that @HackneyedScribe previously mentioned. It's possible that the equivalent figure for Uyghurs could be higher than that right now due to the events of the last several years, though.

Which incursions are you talking about here? I know that the Soviets temporarily occupied northern Iran in the 1940s, but what about afterwards?
If you ignore their long history of manipulating the steppe tribes, invading/expanding into their neighboring states; and in more recent history the dozens of socialist/communist rebel groups they funded during the cold war throughout the world.

Any poll about Tibetan independence can't be accurate.

In the late 70's the Soviets sent aircraft across the border regularly, this is what drove the Shah to want to purchase F-14's from America. There was concern of possible soviet incursions.