4 December 2016

*** Declassified Documents Reveal How War with China Remade India's Military

Vivek Prahladan

After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nehru dropped benign internationalism for a robust military revival of the Indian state.

India recently commemorated its founding Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s 127th birth anniversary at a time when Nehru’s legacy is bitterly contested in the popular and academic domain in India, especially when contrasted with current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy. Spending much of the 1950s leavened by the solace of democracy, coupled with the benign spirited internationalism of Asianism and peace, the kindling fires of the Cold War remained a phantasmagoria for Nehru. A vast array of interconnected triggers imagined, then fabricated, in the mainspring of strategic board rooms of Washington and Kremlin shaped this era of ultimatums and show downs. The unintended accumulation of frontier fencing among Asian nations, accentuated by their simultaneous discovery of civilizational accents, initially shrouded the Cold War meta-doctrines of containment and encirclement. The contemporary era alchemy of modern industrial national strategy of war and diplomacy was still in the foundries of the newly independent India. The beginning by India was bold in intent with the Nehruvian order seeing India embracing the Cold War mined world with open arms. In hindsight, critics have cited lack of strategic due diligence as a hallmark of this era of Indian leadership. Nehru’s national interest assessments for India were contrarian at inception to the trending logic of balance of power theory of international politics. Like a wall of Doppler waves, PLA soldiers walking into Indian territory altered the military balance requirements in South Asia. The war emergency phase from October 1962 marked the beginning of Cold War drafts reaching New Delhi.

** Global migration’s impact and

Source Link

Migration has become a flashpoint for debate in many countries. But McKinsey Global Institute research finds that it generates significant economic benefits—and more effective integration of immigrants could increase those benefits. 

Migration is a key feature of our increasingly interconnected world. It has also become a flashpoint for debate in many countries, which underscores the importance of understanding the patterns of global migration and the economic impact that is created when people move across the world’s borders. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), People on the move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity, aims to fill this need. 

* Nationalism, Internationalism and New Politics

By George Friedman

The world is experiencing a shift from the old liberal-conservative model to an internationalist-nationalist model. Nationalist challenges against the internationalist model have moved from the margins of the political system to the center, winning victories in the United States and the United Kingdom, and rising in strength in other countries. The rise of nationalism is the decisive character of the day. Internationalism is on the defensive. Whatever the ultimate outcome, this struggle will politically define at least the next decade.

The world that emerged from World War II was built on certain assumptions. First, that the origins of the war rested in the rise of nationalism in Germany and the inability of other countries to form an effective and proactive alliance to contain German and destroy the Nazi regime. Second, the economic crisis that preceded World War II was rooted in the collapse of international trade due to protectionism. In the U.S., this was represented by the Smoot-Hawley tariffs.

Protesters who oppose arrivals of buses carrying largely women and children undocumented migrants for processing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station yell at counter-demonstrators on July 4, 2014 in Murrieta, California. David McNew/Getty Images

Nawaz’s Amritsar overture: Naïvete or political gamble?


At the BRICS meet in Goa in October, India labelled Pakistan as the “mother ship” of terrorism globally.

After his brief interaction at the oath-taking ceremony, Mr. Sharif had told me in his Delhi hotel room that the Indian premier was keen to have dialogue with Pakistan.

“I want a Muslim child to hold a Quran in one hand and a computer in the other…I am soon going to send my envoy to Pakistan to discuss Kashmir,” is what the Prime Minister says Modi told him.

There better be some ‘method in this madness’ or else Pakistan’s diplomatic overture – read, large-heartedness - in attending the Heart of Asia meeting in Amritsar, will make Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appear politically naïve and amateurish on how best to tackle the perpetually hostile government of Narendra Modi.

Ever since his participation in Prime Minister Modi’s May 2014 oath-taking, Prime Minister Sharif has relentlessly attempted to engage with his counterpart on resuming diplomatic engagement with India in the spirit of the Lahore declaration. After his brief interaction at the oath-taking ceremony, Mr. Sharif had told me in his Delhi hotel room that the Indian premier was keen to have dialogue with Pakistan.

How Can New Delhi Solve Its Smog Problem?

By Padmapriya Govindarajan

November 2016 has been an exceptionally bad month for New Delhi, stressing the need for solutions. 

November 2016 has been particularly bad for New Delhi in terms of its general air quality, with high levels of smoke, low visibility, and dangerous levels of air pollution. Some days last month were recorded as the worst in 10 years. After the festival of Diwali earlier this month, PM 2.5 levels — the concentration of tiny pollutive and disease inducing particles within the air — soared to record highs. While initially there was suspicion that this was a direct result of the bursting of firecrackers that accompanies the festival, a pollution heat map released by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this year placed New Delhi as the 11th most polluted city in the world, indicating a more deep-seated problem.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) pegged the increase in pollutants to a drop in mean wind speeds and a reversal in the normal wind direction. While the WHO has recommended that these levels be contained to below 10 on an annual average, the rates went up to 119 in 2015 for the city. In the context of the events of this November, the risk of contracting respiratory diseases has been on a steady increase, on days visibility went to below 50 meters and the smog does not seem to be letting up. Regularly updated indices of air pollution have become a constant source of information for concerned citizens, as a lack of a reliable centralized system has been widely noted.

India's Connect Central Asia Policy

By Martand Jha

A look back at India-Central Asia relations in the Post-Soviet era. 

India’s relation with Central Asia has a long history. The two regions have shared deep cultural linkages with each other over two millennia in terms of people to people contact, trade, and commerce. Ancient kingdoms like the Kushana Empire had territory in parts of both regions. These historical and civilizational linkages have spilled over into many areas including religion and culture. These contacts were further strengthened in the medieval ages with the advent of Islam and later with the establishment of Muslim rule in India, many of whose rulers had their origins in Central Asia.

At present, the Central Asian region is considered to be the part of India’s “extended neighborhood.” Modern Central Asia consists of five nations: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All five nations became independent after the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

The Three Goof-Ups That Modi Government Could Have Avoided In Demonetisation

R Jagannathan 

Narendra Modi may still escape opprobrium if he gets the situation fixed by 30 December.

With the salary week already leading to chaos and some rural areas reporting violence due to cash shortage, his agnipariksha begins now.

Manmohan Singh called the implementation of demonetisation “monumental mismanagement”. He was at least half-right, since an end to the cash crunch is nowhere in sight three weeks after the announcement on 8 November. One can debate whether the use of the word “monumental” was political hyperbole or not by 30 December, but mismanagement cannot be disputed.

While mismanagement is inherent in any scheme pushed from the top down (consider the zero-balance accounts in Jan Dhan, the mini-scams in UPA’s NREGA and farm loan waivers, etc), there are at least three areas where the NDA government could have done better, even granting the need for utter secrecy before the announcement.

India must be wary about China's plans for a Pakistan port

'Gwadar has the potential to facilitate PLAN's operations in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.'

'Reports of China setting up electronic eavesdropping posts at Gwadar to monitor US and Indian naval activity lend credence to this,' says former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade.

The claim recently by a Pakistan navy officer, who chose to remain unidentified, that China would deploy its naval ships along with the Pakistan navy to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes, reveals the growing concern in Islamabad about the security of Gwadar port and facilities constructed around it.

The remark merely underscores the existing enhanced Sino-Pak military collusion. The expanding cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani navies was publicised recently with Islamabad's agreement in August this year to purchase 8 diesel submarines from China by 2028 and conclude the largest-ever military sale by China valued at $5 billion.

India’s Demonetization: Time for a Digital Economy

By Nilanjan Banik and Milind Shrikant Padalka

The withdrawal of Rs1,000 and 500 notes from circulation can help India move to digital financial transactions. 

In terms of impact, few events can equal the demonetization of high-value Indian currency notes which took effect from November 9. The stories and rumors have been prolific, arguments and counterarguments endless; queues have reappeared in the age of 4G and the internet, and the media frenzy has been unparalleled. Economists appear to be widely divided over the efficacy and the impact of the move on the black money, which is variously estimated at 23 percent to 75 percent of the GDP. Demonetization is intended to flush out the black money and encourage a move to a cashless (or less cash-based) state and bring the parallel sector into the mainstream economy.

Critics argue that these motives have little economic justification and are more political in nature, in view of the coming state assembly elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. To them, the amount of counterfeit currency in circulation is too small to be of any significance (0.004 percent of total cash in circulation); critics also point out that demonetization is unlikely to bring out much black money, since the bulk of it is held in illiquid assets such as land or gold and jewelry. Meanwhile, the common man has had to bear the economic hardship as 90 percent of all transactions are paid in cash. The brunt of the impact falls on those associated with the informal sector, which accounts for 80 percent of all jobs, where 85 percent of the workers are paid in cash.

Did Donald Trump Just Raise the Odds of War Between India and Pakistan With One Phone Call?

By Ankit Panda

Let’s talk about Donald Trump’s first phone call with Pakistan’s prime minister. 

U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump’s first phone call with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — three weeks into the presidential transition in the United States — gives South Asia watchers cause for concern. As a Pakistani readout of the call shows, if there’s anywhere Trump would be better off speaking to world leaders with a State Department briefing in hand, it would be in the Indian subcontinent. Here’s the full text of the Pakistani Press Information Department’s readout:

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.

Did Afghanistan's Vice President Abduct a Rival?

By Catherine Putz
Source Link
Witness says the Afghan VP beat up Ahmed Ishchi and kidnapped him; but Ishchi is apparently in NDS hands now. 

It’s a ridiculous story, to be frank. Afghanistan’s First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum — a former warlord and general who still likes to ride out with his army to fight the Taliban — allegedly beat up Ahmad Ishchi, a political rival, on the sidelines of a buzkashi match and took him hostage last Friday. At the time, Dostum was technically the country’s acting president as President Ashraf Ghani was in Turkmenistan.

Two days later, according to the New York Times, hundreds of protesters gathered near Dostum’s residence, described as a “pink palace” in Shibarghan, in Jowzjan Province.

The governor of Jowzjan Province, Lutfullah Azizi, told the NYT he was working on calming the situation. “I organized the tribal elders and sent them to talk with General Dostum to release Ahmad… They are currently meeting General Dostum, and we are emphasizing Ahmad’s release tonight, as he is sick.”

Implications of Emerging Chinese Surveillance and Strike Complexes

By Austin Hale and Frank G Hoffman

Would a future US-China conflict in Asia pit the US AirSea Battle concept – now referred to as the Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons – against China’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities? While this characterization may be too symmetrical for its own good, Frank Hoffman and Austin Hale believe Beijing’s capabilities represent a decisive, asymmetric, and long-term threat to US interests in the region.

China appears determined to assert itself throughout the Asia Pacific region and undercut United States’ alliances with potentially destabilizing effects on regional security.[1] Its increasingly aggressive actions in the Western Pacific, coupled with rising defense spending—an increase of 7.6 percent in 2016—have elevated the possibility of conflict between the United States and China.[2] Thus, U.S. analysts and defense scholars have been trying to identify the potential form a future conflict between the two powers may take. In the available literature, this potential conflict is characterized and operationalized as a competition between the U.S. AirSea Battle (ASB) operational concept—now referred to as the Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons—and China’s Anti-access/Area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities.[3]

China and Its Neighbors: A Delicate Balance

Liu Xuejun, Liu Jun

No one country in today’s world has as many neighbors as China does. China’s vast territory is bounded by fourteen overland countries and six maritime ones, rendering it extremely difficult to be a good neighbor to all. Already the world’s second-largest economy, behind only the United States, China feels more of an urge now to secure a favorable peripheral environment for its further rise and expansion, toward the ambitious goal of revitalizing its ancient civilization and realizing “the Chinese Dream.” Recent years have seen China implement one strategy after another, the best known being the “One Belt, One Road” strategy and the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), both aimed at tapping new markets for its growing economy and extending its influence wherever it can reach. China knows that its global ambitions have to begin with its neighbors, and that differentiated approaches to different neighbors make the most sense in creating an overall favorable neighborhood environment.

To the east, China overlooks North Korea, South Korea and Japan, each a hard nut to crack.

Why Is Counterterrorism Cooperation So Difficult?

By Shannon Tiezzi

Every country agrees terrorism is a threat. So why is it so hard to get states to work together? 

Representatives from China, Germany, India, and the United States agreed this week that terrorism is one of the most pressing threats for their respective nations – so why is it proving so difficult to forge multilateral cooperation?

The comments came at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum on November 29, in a panel of foreign policy heavyweights: Niels Annen, German MP and spokesman on Foreign Affairs for the SPD Parliamentary Group; S. Jaishankar, India’s foreign secretary; Susan Thornton, principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department; and Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, director-emeritus of the Center on China-American Defense Relations at China’s Academy of Military Sciences. When asked to identify the global security issues considered as a top priority for their country, each speaker put terrorism at or near the top of the list (Yao was the only figure who didn’t list it first – she started with nuclear non-proliferation).

How Can China's Renminbi Deal With The Rising Dollar Risk?

Dan Steinbock

In the long-term, Chinese renminbi enjoys strong prospects. In the short-term, it must cope with domestic and international pressures - and the US dollar as the new “fear gauge."

Recently, the Chinese renminbi fell to its lowest level since late 2008. Currently, it trades around 6.88 to US dollar.

The plunge is typically explained with the anticipated Federal Reserve rate increase in December and President-elect Trump's threat to label China a currency manipulator and slap tariffs on Chinese exports.

In reality, there is much more to the story.

Long-term strengths, short-term challenges

In the long-term, China’s growth will translate to might in foreign-exchange markets. In October, the renminbi officially joined the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) international reserve assets. In the coming decade, the renminbi will expand rapidly through the IMF reserve basket, the allocations of central banks, and those of public, private, sovereign and individual investors.

Security Issues South Asia » China PLA » China New Long March to Military Reform

China on new "Long March" to deepening military reform

Nov. 24, 2015 marked a fresh start in the history of the Chinese Armed Forces, as the nation embarked on a long march of deepening military reform. One year on, the blueprint of the reform are clearer, and the commitment to building a strong military has become stronger. Amid profound and complicated changes in the international situation and the country's ongoing efforts in revitalizing the Chinese nation, China has entered a key stage of transforming itself from a big country to a strong power, which calls for greater courage in advancing military reform. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the central authority has championed improving combat capabilities as the ultimate goal of building a strong army. Hence, a new round of reforms focusing on removing systematic barriers that hinder military development have been rolled out.

In December 2015, military flags were conferred on the general command for the PLA Army, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force; Days later, China reshuffled its military headquarters under the Central Military Commission, the country's top military organ; In February, the military was regrouped into five PLA theater commands. However. Reform does not end here. China has also been working hard to build up its military capacity through civilian-military integration and innovation-driven development.

Cash Crisis: Pain May End Only By January-End; 30 December Deadline Can’t Be Met

R Jagannathan 

The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the cash crisis won’t end by Narendra Modi’s promised 30 December.

It will last at least a month longer, assuming some notes are printed abroad.

Here’s the new math on how soon the currency shortage will end.

We know that a little over Rs 14 lakh crore became illegal tender from the midnight of 8 November. But not all of it needs replacing, since the currency used for storing black wealth or the money held by even ordinary people in reserve for meeting sudden emergencies need to be excluded from immediate requirements. The money anyway would now be parked in banks.

Plus, one needs to factor in the big shift in transactions to digital channels, including cards and e-wallets, that has taken place since 8 November.

A road map for integrating Europe’s refugees

A surge of refugees and asylum seekers has strained the continent. Managing the asylum procedure and integrating those refugees well could not only mitigate risks but also benefit the economy. 

A major study from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI),People on the move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity, maps the patterns of migration and calculates its impact on the world economy. To complement this global perspective, a companion report takes a deeper look at how these issues are playing out in real time across Europe today. 

Europe’s new refugees: A road map for better integration outcomesexamines the surge of 2.3 million refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Europe during 2015 and 2016. Although this episode is only a small part of the broader global phenomenon, it presented Europe with the most dramatic wave of forced migration the continent has experienced since the aftermath of World War II. 

This cohort is unique in some ways. More than half of the asylum seekers originally came from the war-torn regions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (exhibit). Their movement occurred in two steps: after initially fleeing to safety in a neighboring country, many found harsh conditions and subsequently undertook longer, and often perilous, journeys to Europe, hoping to find a more viable life. Given recent trends in the acceptance rates of asylum applications, we expect that roughly 1.3 million will attain refugee status, which grants them the right to stay—and many could decide to put down roots for the long term. 

Poland Takes Its Military Might Seriously

Agnia Grigas

Unlike most of its NATO and European peers, Poland has consistently viewed defense as a priority issue.

A call earlier this week between President-elect Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May — in which they agreed on the need for more NATO member states to commit two percent of their GDP on defense spending — brought European security debate back into the limelight.

Although Trump gained notoriety in Europe for his skepticism of America’s alliances, there has been a surge of high-ranking politicians and government officials on both sides of the Atlantic saying that Europe is not doing enough for its defense. Earlier British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Europe should “step up to the plate” to meet NATO defense spending targets, and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg noted that “more defense spending in Europe is important for the transatlantic bond.” A resurgent Russia and an increasingly inward looking political mood in the United States have prompted this reassessment.

The good news is that new key players such as Poland have emerged ascendant in Europe’s security architecture.

Are We Prepared Against Hybrid Threats

By Brig Anil Gupta

Samba, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Pampore, Uri, Macchail , about 200 ceasefire violations targeting civilians and now Nagrota, the list is endless and increasing. After every incident strong statements are made, Pakistan is blamed, provocative debates are held on TV channels, an inquiry is ordered, gradually it fades away from the nation’s memory and things return to square one till we are awakened by another rude shock.

Pakistan remains in the denial mode as usual and resorts to mutual blame game till conclusive evidence is produced of its involvement and even then it has the audacity to continue to harp about home grown militancy. In fact, ever since 1947 Pakistan has never ever agreed initially of its involvement in tribal raids in J&K, 1965, 1971, Khalistan movement, Kashmir, Kandhar, Parliament attack, Kargil, and current unrest in Kashmir. It is part of its strategy.

One of Russia's Most Lethal Fighter Jets Has a Strange New Role

Dave Majumdar

The Russian Aerospace Forces are starting to convert their aerial demonstration team onto the powerful new Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H.

The Russian Knights aerial demonstration team currently flies the original Su-27 version of the Flanker. But exactly why the Russians would allocate some of their best operational combat aircraft to an aerobatics team is somewhat puzzling. The Su-30SM is gross overkill for a mission that is mostly formation flying over the public at airshows. A cheaper, less sophisticated aircraft such as the Su-30M2 would have made more sense if the Russian military absolutely needed a new frontline fighter to showcase at such events.

“A second batch of Su-30sm have just arrived in Kubinka from the factory for the Russian Knights,” a Russian defense ministry spokesman told the Moscow-based TASS news agency. “The air group is fully equipped with new fighters for the new training period. Starting on Dec. 1, the pilots will fly the new aircraft.”

A Texas-Based Arms Dealer Is Selling Super Lethal Russian Military Gear (And We Aren't Talking AK-47s)

Dave Majumdar

Have you ever wanted to own your own Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship or Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot close air support aircraft? How about a small arsenal of anti-tank guided missiles?

Well, I know I have. And this Christmas, you can buy that special someone their very own Mi-24 gunship that they have always wanted. A small Texas-based arms-dealer called the Redfish Trading Company is selling a veritable arsenal to anyone who can furnish a valid end user certificate and a formal request for quotation or letter of interest.

According to both an email sent to me and a company Facebook post, the company has four Soviet-made Mi-24V and two Mi-24D attack helicopters available for export. “After the overhaul in certified plant all helicopter will have life extension: 7 years or 1000 flight hours,” writes Redfish managing director Jesse Clements. “First helicopters, after overhaul, will be delivered in 6 months from US State Dept. approval & license for export, and so forth, delivered monthly.”

China's New 'Cybersecurity' Rules Look Like Cyberprotectionism Instead

By Huan Zhu

China’s new laws on cybersecurity are no better than trade protectionism in a new guise. 

A recently published U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report notes China’s stricter new security requirements for information and communication technology due to purported cyber security concerns. The report comes on the heels of a hearing last month at the Office of the U.S Trade Representative, where U.S. telecommunications industry raised specific concerns about the new Chinese cybersecurity rules, which some fear may create market access barriers and discriminate against foreign information and communication technologies.

Several Chinese cybersecurity-related laws are the targets of this criticism, including the National Security Law. The Law requires the data and technology supporting crucial sectors to be “secure and controllable.” U.S. telecoms are concerned that such vague wording will grant authorities too much discretion to interpret the law in a way that favors domestic products.

Congress set to elevate CYBERCOM to unified combatant command

Mark Pomerleau

Congress is set to authorize the elevation of US Cyber Command, taking it from under the purview of US Strategic Command and making it a fully unified combatant command.

In the finalized National Defense Authorization Act that passed House and Senate conference committees, the legislation authorizes the secretary of defense to establish a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces. Currently, CYBERCOM is a sub-unified command beneath STRATCOM, which oversees a bevy of areas from the nation’s nuclear capabilities to space and cyber.

What this designation means in practical terms is greater scope in global campaign planning, funding, authorities, personnel and policy, said Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

This elevation also makes cyber a core and priority mission for the Department of Defense, according to Eaglen.

While short-term change may be limited, changes over the long haul could be significant, she said, such as authorities given to the commander to conduct force planning on defensive operations, offensive operations and building concepts for tackling problems within the cyber domain.

The emergence of a smart and connected world

Nivruti Rai

The digitization of our analog world is fueling a revolution, with the potential to disrupt industries and transform the world

We are amidst one of the most profound and pervasive transformations that the world has ever experienced. Fueled by the relentless march of technology and driven by economic promise, the way we live, act, react, and interact as a society, as well as conduct business, is being fundamentally redefined. And each day, the pace of this transformation towards a truly smart and connected world is accelerating.

This shift is evident in a deluge of devices, applications and services surrounding us. And, with the rapid democratization of technology, we expect more than 50 billion devices to be connected worldwide by 2020 (as per industry estimates), enabling unparalleled access to real-time data and insights. This dramatic shift—the digitization of our analog world—is fueling a revolution, with the potential to disrupt industries and transform the world.

What we learned from Zero Days, a doc about the self-replicating computer virus developed by the U.S. to cripple Iran’s nuclear program

Chris Knight

Alex Gibney has been busy. The documentary director released two films last year – Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – in addition to TV work and producing credits. His newest, Zero Days, is about a self-replicating computer virus called Stuxnet, developed by the U.S. and Israeli governments to cripple Iran’s nuclear industry, but which ultimately spread around the world.

Here are five things we learned from the doc: It’s not officially called Stuxnet

Actually, it’s not officially called anything, since no one seems willing to go on the record about it. But off the record, says one source, it was known as Olympic Games, or OG. “Saying Stuxnet out loud was like saying Voldemort in Harry Potter.” The next cyber weapon, still in the bottle, is Nitro Zeus, and it is “ready to corrupt, degrade and destroy” civilian as well as military systems.

3 December 2016

*** Donald Trump’s Phone Conversation With the Leader of Pakistan Was Reckless and Bizarre

Nikhil Kumar 

The U.S. President-elect's ill-considered words could have serious regional and global consequences 

There are few foreign policy topics quite as complicated as the relationship between India and Pakistan, South Asia’s nuclear-armed nemeses. Any world leader approaching the issue even obliquely must surely see the “Handle With Care” label from miles away, given the possibility of nuclear conflict.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, however, doesn’t seem to have read the memo, injecting a pronounced element of uncertainty about the position of the world’s only remaining superpower on this most complex of subjects in a call with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

According to a readout of the conversation from the Pakistani authorities, he apparently agreed to visit the country and said he was “ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.” He reportedly added: “You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way.”

*** Some ’62 lessons to remember

Mohan Guruswamy

The writer, a policy analyst studying economic and security issues, held senior positions in government and industry. He also specialises in the Chinese economy

Nikita Khrushchev blinked first and the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its nuclear missiles from Cuba.

In recent times we have had some articles suggesting that the Chinese attack on India in 1962 was coordinated to coincide with the missiles being sent to Cuba. (Photo: AP/File )

On October 14, 1962 US U-2 spy planes over flying Cuba detected Soviet military personnel erecting intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) capable missile launchers. On October 22, President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba. The two superpowers were now eyeball to eyeball and unless one blinked there would be Armageddon. Nikita Khrushchev blinked first and the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its nuclear missiles from Cuba.

In recent times we have had some articles suggesting that the Chinese attack on India in 1962 was coordinated to coincide with the missiles being sent to Cuba. The facts seem to suggest otherwise.

*** What Trump Should Do in Syria

Kenneth Roth

All wars are frightening for those stuck in the middle, but the five-and-a-half-year conflict in Syria has proven to be especially horrific. What kind of policy might President-elect Donald Trump adopt toward it? How different would his approach be from Barack Obama’s? Despite his early rhetoric about joining with the Russian and Syrian governments to fight the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, Trump is likely to encounter a far more complicated terrain than he seems to understand, which will require a much tougher approach toward Moscow than he so far envisions. 

What makes the Syrian war so dangerous is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s determination to fight not simply by attacking opposing combatants, as the laws of war allow, but by targeting and indiscriminately firing upon civilians and civilian infrastructure in opposition-held areas, blatantly flouting those laws. Hospitals, markets, schools, and apartment buildings—the institutions of modern urban life—have all been targeted with unrelenting cruelty. For the past year, Assad’s attacks have been supplemented and intensified by the Russian air force under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s command without a discernible change in targeting strategy. 

President Obama has made sporadic and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to stop this slaughter of civilians; his main preoccupation has been fighting ISIS. Trump seems inclined toward a similar focus, and has suggested a willingness to team up in fighting ISIS with Assad and Putin despite their attacks on civilians and their relative inattention to ISIS. In September, for example, Trump said: 

*** The Uncertain Trends and Metrics of Terrorism in 2016

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The global trends in terrorism present some of the most complex problems for analysis in U.S. national security. The Burke Chair at CSIS has updated a survey of such trends that highlights a wide range of developments since 1970, as well as more recent trends in 2015 and 2016. This analysis is entitled The Uncertain Trends in Terrorism and is available on the CSIS web site at https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/161129_Trends_Metrics_Terrorism_Updated.pdf. The analysis includes both broad trends as presented in the U.S. State Department Country Reports on Terrorism and START data base, and key trend metrics from other sources and NGOs.

The report’s Table of Contents include:

** A Water War in Asia?


Tensions over water are rising in Asia — and not only because of conflicting maritime claims. While territorial disputes, such as in the South China Sea, attract the most attention — after all, they threaten the safety of sea lanes and freedom of navigation, which affects outside powers as well — the strategic ramifications of competition over transnationally shared freshwater resources are just as ominous.

Asia has less fresh water per capita than any other continent, and it is already facing a water crisis that, according to an MIT study, will continue to intensify, with severe water shortages expected by 2050. At a time of widespread geopolitical discord, competition over freshwater resources could emerge as a serious threat to long-term peace and stability in Asia.

Already, the battle is underway, with China as the main aggressor. Indeed, China’s territorial grab in the South China Sea has been accompanied by a quieter grab of resources in transnational river basins. Reengineering cross-border riparian flows is integral to China’s strategy to assert greater control and influence over Asia.

Exit Raheel Sharif

Khaled Ahmed

General Raheel Sharif retired as Pakistan’s chief of the army staff on November 29. He was a popular army chief because he didn’t overthrow the elected government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) despite a lot of suggestive agitation by opposition politicians. People wanted him to stay on through a three-year extension of his tenure because he had made their lives easy by bringing down the incidence of terrorism in Pakistan by 70 per cent through his Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the Taliban and by going after the target-killers of Karachi.

If you want to know Pakistan you have to know who the army chief there is. So paramount is the power of the army because of Pakistan’s India-centric nationalism. Pakistan’s most popular elected leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was killed by his army chief, General Zia ul Haq, who strengthened the other aspect of Pakistani nationalism, Islamic ideology, by bringing in new constitutional amendments. (Bangladesh generals did that too.) As president he ran the country successfully by helping America bring down the Soviet Union, leaning on money from Saudi Arabia to run an economy, which would otherwise have collapsed.

‘It’s in Pak’s interest to keep eastern front with India quiet’


Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd), who has commanded an infantry brigade in the Gurez sector on the Line of Control in Kashmir and an artillery regiment in counter-insurgency operations, says that India’s actions against Pakistan have been carefully calculated to avoid escalation. In an interview to Sanjib Kr Baruah. Brig. Kanwal talks about the latest developments in the vexed India-Pakistan relationship.

Indo-Pak hostilities have spiralled in recent days. What is your assessment of the current scenario? Where are we headed?

The India-Pakistan relationship has touched a new low. Unless Pakistan’s deep state — the Army and ISI — stops sponsoring terrorism into India and Afghanistan, we may be headed for a short, sharp conflict.

It is said that cross-border raids between the armies of the two countries were fairly common in the pre-2003 days. How correct is it?

This is factually incorrect. On the Indian side there were clear orders to refrain from crossing the LoC, except in retaliation for the barbaric actions of Pakistan’s rogue army. Such trans-LoC raids were few and far between.

Chinese subs for Dhaka: A new worry

Abhijit Bhattacharyya

The very characteristics of the submarine which is being deployed by Bangladesh would reveal the possible future scenario.

Two developments in November linked to India’s strategic interests virtually went unnoticed owing to media hype on demonetisation in India and Donald Trump’s election victory in the United States. Stealthily, China’s money and military power penetrated deeper than ever before in the western and eastern flanks of India. On November 13, Chinese ships opened a new trade route via Gwadar port in Pakistan and set off for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE and the European Union.

Since China is adept at playing diplomacy through symbols like that of picture script alphabets, the destinations of the ships spoke louder than announcements. The voyage to Dhaka and Colombo constituted the eastern and southern flank (water bodies) of India while the UAE and EU indicated China’s prosperous customers from the oil-producing basin of the Persian Gulf and the quintessential “one Europe-one market” for Chinese products.

The second event happened on November 14, in India’s eastern flank, Bangladesh took delivery of its first submarines, bought from China, as it seeks to boost its naval power in the Bay of Bengal. Bought at an estimated price of $203 million, its genesis goes back to the December 2010 announcement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for enhancement of “effectiveness” of the Bangladesh Navy.

I don’t think Trump will declare Pak as a sponsor of terrorism: Kanwal Sibal


Trump has large financial interests in the Arab world.

The election of Republican Donald Trump as the next US President has triggered a political storm there but there are many in India who are cautiously optimistic about India-US ties during his presidency. In this email interview, former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal talks with Sridhar Kumaraswami on what Mr Trump’s victory indicates and its implications for India.

What does the victory of Donald Trump represent in the internal evolution of the United States? Is this a “whitelash”?

One would have thought that the election of Barack Obama — the first black President of the US and his re-election — represented a fundamental evolution of race relations in the country. Obviously, this was a misreading. There is certainly a white backlash in the country, fed by insecurities that the white working class of the country is prey to because of the loss of manufacturing jobs in America. If income inequalities in the US had not expanded, if economic growth in the US had picked up faster, if those unemployed had been re-trained for jobs in other sectors and so on, the white backlash may not have occurred to the degree it has. Now we see the surfacing of a strong anti-immigrant and racist sentiment amongst the white population. The country is divided today, but not entirely along racial lines. Many whites too are strongly anti-Trump for what he stands for. The issue is complex.

Kashmir will be a ‘long war’, warns outgoing Northern Army chief DS Hooda

Rahul Singh

On his last day in office, Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda said he didn’t see an easy solution to end the Kashmir conflict, calling it a “long war” that would require a “long-term approach”. 

His comments are significant as government sources predict that the conflict with home-grown militants will end soon. 

A day after seven soldiers were killed in the Nagrota strike, Hooda said on Wednesday that the situation along the Line of Control was not cooling down anytime soon and the hinterland would also remain hot. 

He warned against calling “the first shot fired against a garrison” a security lapse, saying 100% success each time in preventing attacks reflected “little understanding of the battle the army is fighting”. 

“If we look at everything from a two-month perspective, we will end up adopting a short-term view. That will be counter-productive in terms of dealing with Pakistan.”