While praising India for not attacking Pakistan immediately following the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned India could not be expected to show such restraint if another attack happened.
Which led Secretary Gates to conclude that al-Qaeda is attempting to spark a war between India and its long-standing rival Pakistan. Tensions have continued to grow between the two nations since 2008, with India’s Army Chief declaring his nation ready to fight both Pakistan and its ally China at the same time: a three-way war which would involve 40 percent of the worlds population.
Moreover, Secretary Gates claimed that al-Qaeda secretly exercises control over every militant group in the region, and that a “victory for one is a victory for all.” The US certainly has shown difficulty distinguishing between militant factions, but Gates provided no evidence that they were actually all part of a single “syndicate,” as he put it.
The Mumbai attack was blamed on the Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT), a militant group of Kashmiri separatists. LeT was quick to deny the charges. Links between LeT and al-Qaeda are unclear at best, and officials have used the fact that both groups operated in Afghanistan before the 2001 US invasion as evidence of ties.