20 December 2012

Navy to move long-range warplanes from US to India in 2013

PUBLISHED: 19 December 2012

The first of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft Boeing P-8I was delivered to the Indian Navy in the US. The navy will fly three of these to India next year. 

The P-8Is are the most sophisticated aircraft to be inducted into the navy to date, and have been delivered on time - unlike the other systems India is procuring from overseas including the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which has been delayed by several years. 

India, one of the first countries to select this new aircraft, ordered eight P-8Is in January 2009 for $2.1 billion (Rs 11,524 crore). 

The delivery schedule has been maintained as the induction will take place by 2013 as planned.

The P-8Is are based on Boeing's Next General 737-800 commercial airliner, which has been modified for the maritime surveillance role. 

The navy currently has Tu-142 long-range maritime surveillance aircraft which date from the Soviet era. Flying these planes is no longer feasible, as technology has moved ahead by several generations. 

India’s SSBN Shows Itself

A new satellite image appears to show part of India’s new SSBN partly concealed at the Visakhapatnam naval base on the Indian east coast (17°42’38.06″N, 83°16’4.90″E). 

By Hans M. Kristensen 

Could it be? It is not entirely clear, but a new satellite image might be showing part of India’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the Arihant. 

The image, taken by GeoEye’s satellite on March 18, 2012, and made available on Google Earth, shows what appears to be the conning tower (or sail) of a submarine in a gap of covers intended to conceal it deep inside the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) Naval Base on the Indian east coast. 

The image appears to show a gangway leading from the pier with service buildings and a large crane to the submarine hull just behind the conning tower. The outlines of what appear to be two horizontal diving planes extending from either side of the conning tower can also be seen on the grainy image. 

Report: China Top Economy in 2020, India in 2050

Mar. 30 – India, currently boasting the fourth-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), will become the largest by 2050, according to the 2012 edition of The Wealth Report released this week by global property firm Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank. The report also predicts China, currently the world’s second largest economy, will take the top spot from the United States by 2020. 

According to the report, by 2050 the Indian economy is expected to be worth $85.97 trillion while China’s GDP would stand at $80.02 trillion. Both figures are forecasted to be dramatically higher than that of the United States, which is expected to have a GDP of $39.07 trillion by 2050 – dropping two places from the current number one spot. 

Other nations ranked among the world’s top 10 largest economies in 2050 are Indonesia (4th), Brazil (5th), Nigeria (6th), Russia (7th), Mexico (8th), Japan (9th) and Egypt (10th). 

The report emphasizes the movement of wealth concentration from Western markets towards Eastern Markets; the West’s share of global real GDP is predicted to fall from 41 percent in 2010 to just 18 percent by 2050. 

From China To ASEAN: Rebalancing India’s Trade

New Delhi has actively worked with Beijing to address its massive bilateral trade deficit. However, it has another option. India can seek greater economic integration with ASEAN and substitute its imports from China with that of ASEAN. The India-ASEAN Summit on December 20 would be a good place to start. 

By Spike Nowak & Daniel Jacobius Morgan 

Dec. 19 – In August 2012, at the ninth meeting of the India-China Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology in New Delhi, the main point of concern for India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, was the widening trade deficit between the two countries – $40 billion for the year ending in March 2012. India’s trade deficit with China has increased by a massive 4,000% in the last 10 years. 

At the meeting, the Indian and Chinese commerce ministers agreed to set up a joint working group to address trade issues, including the trade deficit. However, India has another option. Instead of relying on the working group to fix India’s trade woes, New Delhi can actively seek greater economic integration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is important for India to pursue this option at the next ASEAN-India Summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 20-21. 

Nearly all the goods that India imports from China could potentially be imported from ASEAN countries. Substituting Chinese imports with ASEAN imports will not decrease India’s absolute trade deficit, but it will reduce the enormous bilateral trade deficit with China. This will result in a more equal trading relationship. UN data indicates that currently more than 50% of India’s imports in 36 product categories come from China. For trade security and diversification, it is important for India to find more sources for some of these products. 

China’s Territorial Disputes with India

By Shelly Zhao 

Jun. 10 – China and India have a number of territorial disputes along their roughly 4,000 kilometer-long border. Some of the disputed areas border the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and are geographically significant, with Tibetan refugees and the Tibetan government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration) in the neighboring Himachal Pradesh state. This article discusses how the main territorial disputes have challenged Sino-Indian relations, particularly in the context of both China and India’s rise, and examines a case study of the Asian Development Bank’s loans and Arunachal Pradesh. This is a follow-up piece to our article on China Briefing last week titled “China’s Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.” 

Sino-Indian relations and territorial issues
With India’s independence in 1947 and the People’s Republic of China established in 1949, both countries needed to reassess their roles, especially in the Cold War system, and saw a redefining of relations. After establishing diplomatic relations in 1950, a central component of border relations was Tibet. China and India signed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence/Panscheel Agreement in 1954, which lasted for eight years. Minor clashes occurred from the mid-1950s, and in 1959, Tibetan refugees settled in Himachal Pradesh to the north of India (south of Jammu and Kashmir), and China found this an encroachment of territory. 

Conflicts culminated in the 1962 border war that changed the political landscape – China taking control of much of the disputed territories to the west, and India gaining control of the Arunachal Pradesh region to the east. Sino-Indian relations deteriorated further in the 1960s and 1970s with China supporting Pakistan in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War; India signing a Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in 1971; and skirmishes occurring between China and India in 1967 (Chola Incident) in Sikkim and 1987 in Arunachal Pradesh. 

Bilateral relations have improved since the 1980s, with eight rounds of border negotiations occurring between 1981 and 1987 (though without concrete agreements achieved) and dialogue through the Indian-Chinese Joint Working Group on the Border Issue between 1988 and 1993, and a border agreement signed in 1993. In recent years, however, the disputes continue to affect bilateral relations and seem far from resolution. Below, the following tables summarize the major disputed territories, divided into the western and eastern areas. 

ASEAN REGION: India Needs to Stand Strategically Tall

Paper No. 5332 Dated 20-Dec-2012 

By Dr. Subhash Kapila 

“In the present day, the issues are no longer of parochial interest. Freedom of navigation and lawful commerce are universal interests. The statement of the Admiral (Indian Naval Chief) is a confirmation that it is a problem (South China Sea disputes escalation by China) that India cannot turn its back on”.-----Jejomar Cabanatuan, Vice President, Republic of the Philippines, December 18, 2012 

Indian Navy Document entitled ‘Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategy’ in 2007 asserts that India’s area of interest “extends from North of the Arabian Sea to South China Sea.” 

“India and ASEAN should not only work for shared prosperity and closer links between our peoples, but also to promote peace, security and stability in the region” ----- Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, November 19 2012 at 10th ASEAN Summit in Pnom Penh 

Perceptionally from the above three salient facts emerge about India from the above recount. India’s strategic interests in terms of area of influence in the east incorporate the ASEAN region, inclusive of the South China Sea. Further, India has a strategic interest in the security and stability of the ASEAN region. But the third perception articulated by the Vice President of The Philippines is of greater strategic significance for India and that is that India cannot afford to turn its back on ASEAN nations territorial sovereignty being challenged by China in the South China Sea. 

The India-ASEAN Summit is scheduled for November 19-21 to be held at New Delhi. It will be a historic occasion for India when nine Heads of State/ Government from ASEAN would be congregating in New Delhi and presumably giving an opportunity to India for closer consultations with ASEAN leaders on Indian soil. 

Indo-Pak ties: From incrementalism to big vision

M.K. Venu
20 December 2012

In spite of the cumulative historical baggage of bitter contests between India and Pakistan over a whole range of issues, economic engagement between the two nations has truly assumed a life of its own, disregarding much of the other negatives. In fact, it will not be surprising if deeper economic engagement and its outcome become significant anchors that positively impact other political aspects of the relationship. Nothing exemplifies this better than the fact that trade between India and Pakistan went up nearly five times from about $600 million in 2004-05 to nearly $2.8 billion in 2010-11. Mind you, this period was marked by some of the bloodiest events which had the potential to permanently derail every aspect of India-Pak relationship. In fact, they almost did after the Samjhauta train blasts in 2007 and the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. 

The question then to ask is if trade between two nations could go up nearly five-fold during a period marked by such negative events in their relationship, what would happen if there is relative peace and more openness in all round engagement. Actually, this is well beyond the imagination of most experts/pundits who sit on both sides of the divide. Experts and state actors alike are often prone to limiting their imagination in the name of realism. State actors are risk-averse and trained for enlightened incrementalism, even if this sounds like an oxymoron. The real dynamism comes from below as shown by the economic agents on the ground who, in spite of myriad restrictions on trade imposed by the suspicious state actors on both sides, have enabled commerce to leap by 400% in five years! And this is achieved with all manner of trade barriers still in place. Ironically, the only other country with whom India is growing its trade at such a rapid pace is China, which too has a historical baggage of disputes with India. It makes one wonder whether there is some odd correlation between heightened political bitterness and greater trade engagement, as also seen between China and Japan over the past decades. Or is there some subtle message coming from the economic agents on the ground telling the State actors to recognise the inflexion point when things have to change. 

Afghan officials meet with insurgents in France

By Jennifer Rowland
December 20, 2012

Editor's note: The New America Foundation is pleased to announce the participants in the South Asia 2020 Conference, to be held in Dubai from January 18-20, 2013 (NAF). 

Let's talk it out 

Afghan officials are meeting on Thursday and Friday with Taliban leaders and representatives of the militant Hezb-e-Islami group in a secretive meeting on the outskirts of Paris to discuss Afghanistan's future (AP). French officials familiar with the meeting says it's aim is to foster a discussion, and it is not expected to result in a possible peace or reconciliation agreement. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed Wednesday that the United Kingdom would bring 3,800 troops home from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, and said senior British officers on the ground believe Afghan forces will be able to hold Helmand, where most British troops are concentrated (Guardian, BBC, AP, Tel, Reuters). After Cameron's announcement, though, Defense Minister Philip Hammond conceded that NATO's withdrawal will have "messy compromises" and that "some parts of Afghanistan will not be under central government control." 

General Military Training

Standardization and Reduction Options 

Every uniformed service member, whether Active Component (AC) or Reserve Component (RC), must complete ancillary or general military training (GMT) requirements prescribed by his or her service. Individual services direct some topics, and some are stipulated by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). DoD has identified a need to reduce cyclic mandatory training requirements (especially for the RCs), thus reducing the training burden on the services and making the most of available training time. The RAND National Defense Research Institute was asked to examine the services' mandatory military training requirements and examine options to standardize requirements and reduce the training burden. This report responds to that request by providing a common definition of GMT and examining both the guidance that directs GMT completion and the services' approaches to conducting GMT. The authors identified GMT requirements directed by law and policy and interviewed service AC and RC subject-matter experts. 

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Democratization in the Arab World

Prospects and Lessons from Around the Globe 

Daunting challenges lie ahead for Arab countries where revolutions have upended longstanding authoritarian regimes. These unexpected events created new uncertainties in a troubled region: Would the Arab Spring lead to a flowering of democracy? Would loosening of the political systems in these countries unleash dangerous forces of extremism or ethno-sectarian conflict? Would new autocrats replace the old ones? Through a comparative analysis of past democratization experiences throughout the world over nearly four decades and a detailed look at recent uprisings in the Arab world, Democratization in the Arab World aims to help policymakers understand the challenges ahead, form well-founded expectations, shape diplomatic approaches, and take practical steps to foster positive change. The monograph explores the conditions and decisions that are most likely to influence whether democratization succeeds in Arab countries undergoing political transitions. It identifies the main challenges to democratization in these countries; analyzes how countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa have dealt with similar challenges in the past; and suggests what the United States and broader international community can do to help strengthen fledgling democracies in the Arab world. 

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Cyber War Tools For The Infantry

December 18, 2012: The U.S. Department of Defense is asking American firms for help in developing better tools for quickly analyzing captured electronic data (cell phones, storage devices, and specialized military electronics). This is nothing new. For over five years the military has been using similar tools developed for police departments. For example, five years ago troops began taking a hacker analysis tool (COFEE, or Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) with them on raids in Iraq. Microsoft developed COFEE for the police and military, followed by a similar tool that enables a non-hacker to analyze wireless network activity and determine which targets can be attacked with a variety of hacker tools and weapons. For nearly a decade DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has been developing versions of this cyberattack system. Details don’t get released, as that would aid potential targets. 

The navy and air force have been heavily involved with DARPA on these projects. This makes sense because both services have been developing similar tools for electronic warfare, particularly for aircraft. These systems tend to be largely automatic as pilots, or even weapons officers in the back seat of a fighter, don't have a lot of time to work a screen full of options. It's different with penetrating or disrupting Internet type wireless networks. These would be encountered by ground troops, both in combat or on patrol. The cyberattack system has to be simple enough for a soldier to learn how to use it with minimal (a few hours) instruction, but flexible and powerful enough for a more experience operator to get the most out of it. 

These wireless analysis and hacking tools first showed up five years ago, about the same time Microsoft quietly introduced a powerful tool for getting past security on laptops and PCs running the Windows operations system (which about 90 percent do). The device was a USB thumb drive called COFEE. When you capture an enemy computer, you plug in COFEE and then use over a hundred software tools to quickly get whatever information is on the machine. COFEE can quickly reveal passwords, decrypt files, reveal recent Internet activity, and much more. A lot of this can be done without COFEE but with the Microsoft device, intelligence collection is a lot faster. 

Cyber Operations Can Supplement a War, but They Cannot Be the War

December 19, 2012 

The Cold War was, in large part, about weapons of mass destruction. Today's hand-wringing over the villainies certain to visit us in cyberspace is primarily about weapons of mass distraction. 

Despite nearly twenty years of predictions, the total physical damage from cyberattacks so far has been low compared even to the smallest of real wars. No one has died. Very little machinery has been broken. One exception, Stuxnet, was a concentrated effort by first-rate cyber powers focused on a nuclear enrichment facility managed by a third-rate industrial power (Iran) with scant mastery of the process, a jerry-rigged collection of blackand gray-market parts, and very little help from the outside world. Extrapolating such limited success (80 percent of the centrifuges survived the attack) into a Cold War II is more than a bit of a stretch. What appear to have been revenge attacks against U.S. banks in September deprived bank customers of online access—an annoyance, to be sure—but the perpetrators have not managed to penetrate banking systems or challenge the integrity of the financial system. This kind of war we can survive easily. 

Granted, a great deal of espionage is carried out in cyberspace. It seems safe to say that if your internetconnected systems have something of interest to a state intelligence agency, it's probably not a secret anymore. But espionage is not war—and claims that China's cyber espionage constitutes the most serious threat to the U.S. economy are grossly exaggerated. After all, the theft of information does not necessarily deprive its owner of the information's use, and it would be easy enough to exaggerate the value it affords to the thieves. Technology transfer is hard enough when the exchange is mutually agreed upon; it is significantly harder when the primary means of exchange is theft of files with no context. 

Rising Up Down Under

By Richard Halloran 

The US and Australia are bolstering their close but quiet military relationship. 

Australia, long a close US ally, has become an even greater asset as the US has put new emphasis on security in the Asia-Pacific region. In large part, that added weight is based on Australia’s strategic location, its robust democracy, and the cultural similarities between 

Australians and Americans. 

US marines set up a 60 mm mortar during a training exercise in Australia, Southern Frontier 2012, with the Australian Defense Force. (USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Ian McMahon) 

"Australia is a key component in how we operate in Southeast Asia and South Asia," said Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle in an interview in the PACAF headquarters at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. "Australia is a component of how we manage our relationship with the [People’s Republic of China] and how all our friends and partners in the region manage their relations with the PRC." 

An Indispensable Alliance 

Since the Obama Administration devised a new national security strategy, military planners in Washington, D.C., and Hawaii have been tasked with refocusing their attention to Asia and the Pacific. As the "pivot" evolves, it has become evident that the strategy is mostly meant to reassure allies and friends that the US, war weary from Iraq and Afghanistan, will stay the course in Asia. Moreover, it seeks to deter a potential adversary in China and a present enemy in North Korea. 

Under the new guidance, the US continues to expand military, economic, and political relations and also is building relations with the Philippines and Indonesia, the archipelago on the southern flank of the South China Sea. Singapore and the US have been security partners since 1990. And the US and Vietnam, which has its own wary relations with China, have begun a gradual reconciliation. 

However, Australia is the critical relationship in the southwest Pacific. 

President Obama, in an address to Parliament in Canberra, Australia, in November 2011, said: "Our alliance continues to be indispensable to our future." 

Elusive Quest for Peace with the M23 in the DRC

Lova Rakotomalala on Tuesday, 18 December 2012
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M23 troops in Bunagana. Photo: Al Jazeera/Wikimedia Commons 

The current conflict in the Kivu Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threatens to linger on despite an international effort to broker a truce between the M23 rebellion and the Congolese government. The 2012 version of this conflict is difficult to grasp, particularly because the M23 is a shifting armed movement, both geographically and politically. Its leadership is interchangeable among commanders, and the movement is supported by foreign influences with an eye on the geological riches of the region. 

The evolution of the M23 Rebellion 

Who exactly are the M23 rebels? This is the question the Rift Valley Institute’s Usamala Project tries to unpack in its recent report “From CNDP to M23: The evolution of an armed movement in Eastern Congo” (PDF). While the armed branch of the rebellion is easy to define, its political leadership is more elusive. The report explains further: 

Media and Counter Terrorism Responses: Analysing the 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks

Well orchestrated and high profile symbolic terror strikes- 9/11 attacks in the United States, 7/7 terrorist strikes in the United Kingdom and 26/11 multiple terror attacks in Mumbai- have attracted enormous media attention with significant implications for counter terrorism response. Terror attacks are also about their explicit dramatic content. Their coverage by the news media evoke a range of responses, with some analysts accusing the media of becoming a ‘participant’ even a ‘combatant’, in such theatres. 

Both terrorists and the media are seen to share a symbiotic and/or a mutually reinforcing relationship and are often perceived to be feeding off each other. Terrorists, being ‘media- savvy’, have over time learnt to use the media as a tool in both the ‘propaganda of the deed’ and ‘propaganda of fear.’ The media on the other hand, providing gory details of the terrorist strikes mostly bordering on ‘sensationalism’ generates advertising revenues and Television Rating Points (TRP). This paper is a brief assessment of the nature of media reporting during the Mumbai terror attacks, a review of the consequent implications for the counter terror responses, and policy recommendations to deal with future scenarios. 

The Mumbai episode involved hostage taking as well as attacks on high profile symbolic targets with the objective of getting maximum domestic and international media attention. The television coverage of the 67-hour terrorist attack by over 30 channels turned the entire episode into a reality TV, with some analysts even dubbing it as ‘TV terror’. The coverage included disturbing imagery of gory scenes, with aggressive and sensational reporting catering to the upper class and international audience. The criticism was not entirely unwarranted as equal media attention was lacking in reporting the carnage at Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, where the bulk of the fatalities occurred. The coverage of the hotels captured the attention of a larger urban and international audience and in the process had the scope of gaining more mileage and TRPs. 

Estimated Nuclear Weapons Locations 2009

Some 23,300 nuclear weapons are stored at 111 locations around the world (click for map)
By Hans M. Kristensen 

The world’s approximately 23,300 nuclear weapons are stored at an estimated 111 locations in 14 countries, according to an overview produced by FAS and NRDC

Nearly half of the weapons are operationally deployed with delivery systems capable of launching on short notice. 

The overview is published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and includes the July 2009 START memorandum of understanding data. A previous version was included in the annual report from the International Panel of Fissile Materials published last month. 

Figure 2:
Saratov Nuclear Sites

More than 1,000 nuclear weapons surround Saratov. 

Russia has an estimated 48 permanent nuclear weapon storage sites, of which more than half are on bases for operational forces. There are approximately 19 storage sites, of which about half are national-level storage facilities. In addition, a significant number of temporary storage sites occasionally store nuclear weapons in transit between facilities. 

This is a significant consolidation from the estimated 90 Russian sites ten years ago, and more than 500 sites before 1991. 

Many of the Russian sites are in close proximity to each other and large populated areas. One example is the Saratov area where the city is surrounded by a missile division, a strategic bomber base, and a national-level storage site with probably well over 1,000 nuclear warheads combined (Figure 2). 

Fuel for serious thought

Dec 18, 2012 

What the government does not publicise is that total taxes on petrol are more than half its selling price and those on diesel over 30% of the price paid by a consumer

After food security, energy security is India’s biggest concern. It is also one of China’s major concerns. At a time when there is a surge of optimism in the United States about new findings of crude oil, shale gas/oil, as well as natural gas that are expected to soften energy prices and make America a significant net exporter of energy by 2020, the main way the Indian government believes it can alleviate the energy shortage in this country is by hiking prices of electricity and petroleum products and making them market-driven, thereby adding to the already-unbearable inflationary burden on the aam aadmi. 

The difficult decisions that need to be taken on acquiring land (for, among other things, coal mines and thermal power plants) in a humane manner, checking abuse of subsidies on electricity and petroleum products by improving governance, formulating a more integrated energy policy by encouraging use of renewable energy and also by taxing rich users of diesel cars — all of which are intimately linked to the energy crisis in India — have unfortunately been placed on the back-burner.

Imports meet roughly one-third of India’s total requirements of all kinds of energy. Over 80 per cent of the country’s total requirement of crude oil is currently imported, while around one-sixth (around 16 per cent) of coal consumed is also being imported. The fall in the value of the rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar in recent times has added to the strains on the economy.

It is well known that coal-based thermal power is critical to India’s energy security. Land acquisition and environment clearances pose major problems for public and private sector companies generating power as well as mining coal. Heated debates are raging in the country — including within different ministries of the government — on a range of issues relating to land acquisition and the modalities of rehabilitation of “project affected persons”.

Pakistan triumphs in India

Dec 20, 2012 

The good cop-bad cop routine is a common practice that investigative and interrogating agencies adopt to break a suspect. This technique is often used by others — politicians and diplomats — to convey a message and deny it subsequently. Pakistan has perfected this to a fine art. 

We saw evidence of this when Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s adviser on interior affairs, visited India a few days ago. The only thing was that this time, the affable and free-talking Malik was playing both roles with aplomb.

The Pakistani visitor was coming ostensibly to sign a liberalised visa agreement between India and Pakistan. Aware of the kind of statements he has been making in his own country about India in the past, it was not difficult to anticipate the kind of statements he could make. As good Indian hosts, we gave him that opportunity, he took it, sounded arrogant, made insensitive remarks at first and then pretended to back-track, claiming injured innocence.

Mr Malik was thus able to assert that Abu Jundal, deported from Saudi Arabia as he was wanted by the Indian authorities, was an Indian. Thus implying that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were not an act of the Pakistan state but non-state actors from India, Pakistan and the US. We should have known that Pakistan would continue forever to obfuscate and procrastinate on terrorism and on many other bilateral issues. As always, Mr Malik was evasive on Pakistan’s terror icon, “Mr” Hafiz Saeed, and that group, but promised to send a judicial commission to examine witnesses like Abu Jundal. Upon his return to Pakistan, Mr Malik also claimed that in his discussions with the Indian authorities he had taken up the issue of Indian interference in Balochistan.

The guilty men of seventy one

Author: Hiranmay Karlekar 

Crimes against humanity committed by the Pakistani Army and its collaborators during Bangladesh's Liberation War must not go unpunished 

On Sunday, December 16, Bangladesh observed the 41st anniversary of the defeat of the Pakistani occupation Army on its soil by the Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini. The formal surrender by the Pakistani Army in Dhaka that day ended a prolonged struggle for independence waged under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of Bangladesh as a nation, and the nightmare of genocide and mass rape and torture unleashed by Pakistani troops and their local collaborators from the night of March 25, 1971. 

Few other countries in history have had to earn their freedom at such enormous cost in blood and suffering. As noted human rights activist Shahriar Kabir has pointed out in Bangladeshe Amra ebong Ora (We and They in Bangladesh), the Pakistani Army, aided by activists of organisations like the Jamaat-e-Islami, al Badr and al Shams, had, in the nearly nine months between March 25, 1971, and their surrender, “killed three million people, raped 4,25,000 women, destroyed hundreds and thousands of habitations, and forced 10 million people to leave their homes and lead the unfortunate lives of refugees in India.” (Translated from Bengali by this columnist). 

These statistics, the authenticity of which has been established again and again, are chilling, but they do not reflect the enormity of the crimes of the Pakistani Army and its collaborators from the Jama'at-e-Islami, al Badr and al Shams, in full measure. There was not only genocide but an attempt to destroy the flower of Bangladesh's intelligentsia and professional elites to ensure that the people, if they gained independence, would be left leaderless in all critical sectors of life. A report in the Bengali-language daily, Dainik Azad, of December 27, 1971, stated, “Of all the parties that helped the raiding Pakistani Army, the most despicable was the role of the Jama'at-e-Islami....They had not stopped with helping Pakistani Army's indiscriminate mass slaughter, they had set up a secret, armed terrorist organisation which was known to the general public as Badr Army. Everybody has now come to know that in the last moment before the surrender by the raiding Pakistani Army, this Badr Army had taken away a large number of intellectuals and killed them mercilessly. Sufficient information has found indicating that had they a few days more, they would have implemented the history's worst spree of killing intellectuals by completely destroying Bangladesh's community of intellectuals.” 

He came, he scorned, he left

Author: Mayuri Mukherjee 

Rehman Malik enjoys the reputation of being a loudmouth who speaks without thought and thinks without substance. Yet, because he is Pakistan’s Interior Minister, he has to be considered with some amount of seriousness. It’s time we stopped treating him with kid gloves 

It has been some days since Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik ended his disastrous three-day trip to India, but the bitter aftertaste from his visit continues to linger. A delegation led by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs was expected to travel to Islamabad on December 19 — a tentative date agreed upon by both Indian and Pakistani officials — to finalise the details of a Pakistani Judicial Commission’s second visit to India to cross-examine key witnesses in the 26/11 terror case. But December 19 has come and gone without so much as an acknowledgment from the Pakistani side — even though it was Mr Malik who had insisted, while he was in India, that the commission be allowed to visit at the earliest. In fact, he had even said that the immediacy of the commission’s visit was directly related to how quickly the 26/11 trial could be concluded in Rawalpindi. Yet, once back in his country, Mr Malik seems to have all but forgotten about the promises made. 

But then again, as India’s political establishment has recently learnt, the Pakistani Minister may be a man of many words but scarcely is he a man who keeps his word. Ask Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who very graciously hosted his Pakistani counterpart only to find out that the latter had taken him for a jolly good ride. And so, it would be that a day after Mr Malik left this country, Mr Shinde found himself complaining to Parliament that the documents he received from the Pakistani Minister pertaining to the multiple arrests of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed were essentially a smokescreen. The documents were presented to New Delhi to buttress Pakistan’s argument that it had all the intentions in the world to punish that extremist but could not do so given the crying lack of evidence. Consequently, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa’ah chief had to be let off by Pakistani authorities even after he had been arrested. But on closer scrutiny, it has now become clear that the three Hafiz Saeed arrests that Mr Malik had been gloating about had absolutely no connection with the 26/11 charges. That the Pakistanis believed that they could pull such a trick on New Delhi and still get away with it does speak volumes. Indeed, it is against this background that Mr Malik’s slew of blood-curdling remarks, made during the course of his visit, that offended Indian sensibilities across the board, must be viewed. 

Government may rope in private sector to help check cyber threats

Published: December 18, 2012
Devesh K. Pandey 

The Union Government plans to rope in the private sector besides other stakeholders to build up necessary capabilities, expertise and infrastructure to put in place a capable set of overlapping institutions with clear mandates and responsibilities to respond to cyber threats faced by the country.

Addressing the first one-day national conference of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of various critical information, government and public sectors like energy, economy and transportation organised by the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) here on Monday, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said critical sectors -- interdependent physical and cyber-connected assets -- were sectors whose incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on national security, economy, public health and safety.

“Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure (a physical or virtual information system that controls, processes, stores or exchanges electronic information vital to the functioning of critical sectors) will also mean working not just in government but with other stakeholders, particularly the private sector whose networks and assets are integral to our cyber security and whose expertise is essential to this purpose. The NCIIPC is setting up a joint working group under Indian Institute of Science Associate Director N. Balakrishnan with representatives of industry associations to bring out guidelines for protection of CII,” said Mr. Menon, expressing hope that the conference would help formulate legal frameworks, create necessary expertise and suggest practical measures within a clear timeframe to achieve the goal.

Mandated under the Information Technology Act to undertake necessary measures including research and development to protect CII, nodal agency NCIIPC envisages prevention, issuing early warnings, detection, mitigation and response to cyber attacks, focusing simultaneously on resilience and recovery of the systems. At the conference attended by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) Chairman P.V. Kumar, Senior NTRO Adviser Alhad Apte and Adviser NTRO Dr. M. S. Vijayaraghavan besides over 200 representatives of the stakeholder community, NCIIPC centre director Muktesh Chander apprised the participants of the varied nature of internal and external cyber threats to critical sectors.

Writing is on the wall, but India doesn’t read

Author: Claude Arpi 

National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon could not even meet the new Chinese leadership during his recent visit to Beijing. On the other hand, the Maldives’ Defence Minister was given the red carpet treatment 

Is India a ‘big’ country? One should ask this question to the mandarins in Beijing. If they genuinely answer, one might be surprised. In any case, certain facts speak for themselves. 

Soon after the conclusion of the 18th Communist Party of China’s Congress in Beijing, Chinese official Li Junru headed towards Delhi as the leader of a goodwill delegation from the CPC. Mr Li also visited Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But who is Li Junru who was busy in Delhi meeting political leaders at the end of November? When you type his name on China Vitae, a website listing thousands of Chinese officials, you get, ‘no match’. 

According to the Chinese embassy in Delhi, Li Junru is a former Vice President of CPC’s Central Party School, and till March he was a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. One could ask: Why did Beijing not send a very senior Party official to India? A commentator in a ‘national’ newspaper rightly remarked that ‘much higher’ delegations were due to visit the West (and particularly the United States) to brief the Governments and local parties there about the outcome of the 18th Congress. 

At 65, Mr Li is still an active official. He is apparently Vice-Director of the China Reform Forum and Vice-Director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies. What these organisations are, is a separate issue. 

Mr Li’s unique selling proposition seems to be his fluency in English and the fact that he is able to eloquently convey the position of the Party in proper perspective; further he obviously enjoys the CPC’s trust. During the 18th Party Congress in Beijing, Mr Li was already spotted answering overseas TV channels’ reporters. His trip to South Asia was sponsored by the International Department under the Party’s Central Committee. 

Want to See Better US-Chinese Relations? American and Chinese Millennials Could Be Key

While it is still fashionable for politicians in both China and the United States to prove their domestic leadership credentials by taking tough stances against their nation’s chief economic rival, the results of recent Pew surveys conducted in the two countries suggest that this type of rhetoric is a holdover from an earlier era. An examination of the beliefs among the youngest generational cohorts in each country shows a distinct lack of the ideological vitriol so common in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, we might see a far more congenial relationship between the world’s two great powers --- at least once the older generations fade away. 

Let’s hope so, because older generations sometimes seem more committed to discord than accord. During the 2012 US presidential campaign both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney took full advantage of opportunities to criticize their opponent for the softness of his approach to China. Xi Jinping, who was named the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party about a week after Obama was reelected and will become China’s Premier early next year, has been no less willing to rhetorically censure the United States. 

Yet the Pew research indicates that the youngest generational cohort in both the US and China holds positive attitudes toward and favors contact with the other country. In the United States that youthful cohort is the Millennial Generation (born 1982-2003), America’s largest and most ethnically diverse and tolerant generation to date. Of the 95 million US Millennials, about four in ten are nonwhite and one in twenty is of Asian descent, with Chinese-Americans comprising the largest portion of that segment. By contrast, among U.S. seniors and Boomers, only about one in five is nonwhite and about two-percent of Asian heritage. 

The dragon in the room

C. Raja Mohan : Thu Dec 20 2012

ASEAN expects Delhi to play a bigger role in regional security 

A rare summit this week in Delhi, between the leaders of the ten-member ASEAN, marks one of the most productive periods of India’s interaction with Asia in modern times. Two decades of India’s Look East policy and ten years of annual high-level engagement with the Association of South East Asian Nations have produced one of India’s most robust international partnerships. 

The celebrations, however, must be tempered by the recognition that the next phase in the relations between India and the ASEAN will be a lot more demanding and test the skills of Delhi’s statecraft. As the rapidly changing geopolitical environment makes Asia look for a larger Indian security role in the region, Delhi appears hesitant and ambiguous. To be sure, the summit might call for greater maritime security cooperation between India and the ASEAN, underline the importance of the Law of the Sea in resolving maritime territorial disputes, and emphasise the principle of freedom of navigation. 

All these catch-phrases are meant to convey India’s diplomatic support to the current security concerns of the ASEAN members, especially their worries about the growing military capabilities of China and Beijing’s increasing political assertiveness in its territorial disputes in the South China Sea. 

But is Delhi really prepared to go beyond the diplomatic and meet the growing ASEAN expectations for a stronger Indian contribution to the regional balance of power? No one at the summit is likely to mention the “C” word, but there is no denying the dragon in the room. It is not that either India or ASEAN want to define their partnership in terms of China. But both are aware that most of the emerging security challenges in Southeast Asia are about the geopolitical consequences for China’s rise. 

"Declare victory and get out"?

Posted By Stephen M. Walt 
December 19, 2012 

In 1966, in the middle of the Vietnam War, the late Senator George Aiken of Vermont famously recommended that the United States simply "declare victory and get out." With the benefit of hindsight, that seems like pretty good advice. Today, it is more or less what the Obama administration is trying to do in Afghanistan. 

The president has already made it clear that he intends to withdraw virtually all U.S. troops by the end of 2014. But because Americans don't like to admit defeat and no administration likes to acknowledge mistakes, they have to pretend that their Afghan policy has been a great success. In particular, the administration would like us (and the world) to believe that their decision to escalate the war in 2009 was a game-changer that broke the back of the Taliban and enabled us to build an independent Afghan security force that will carry on the fight after we've left. As we head for the exits, therefore, get ready for a lot of upbeat stories and well-orchestrated spin. 

The only problem with this story is that it isn't true. The Taliban hasn't been defeated, the Karzai government isn't more effective or less corrupt, Pakistan hasn't stopped backing its various proxies, and efforts to train competent Afghan security forces haven't worked very well. The Afghan government can't even afford to pay its troops' salaries, so they'll have to stay on the Western dole for years to come. I don't know exactly what will happen after the United States and its NATO allies leave, but the outcome won't be much better than what we could have expected back when Obama took office. By that standard, the 2009 "surge" was a failure. 

A united Europe is not in America's interest

By Ed West Politics Last updated: December 19th, 2012 

As Britain drifts away from the EU, like a man quietly sidling towards the exit during an embarrassingly disastrous play, the US has begun to express concern. The Telegraph reports:

The Obama administration has expressed concern at what US officials see as Britain's slide towards the European exit door. 

Washington firmly believes that the departure of its strongest partner in Europe would also reduce American influence on the continent, as Britain so often shares American views. 

"It is important to state very clearly that a strong UK in a strong Europe is in America's national interest," said a senior US administration official. "We recognise national states but see the EU as a force multiplier." 

Britain's free trade philosophy is regarded as vital in preventing the union from drifting towards protectionism, while since World War Two, successive British governments have been more assertive on a variety of foreign policy issues, and more in line with American thinking, than other major European nations. 

France in 2013: Living on borrowed time?

December 18th, 2012 

This is the latest in a series of entries looking at what we can expect in 2013. Each weekday, a guest analyst will look at the key challenges facing a selected country – and what next year might hold in store. 

By James Shields, Special to CNN 

James Shields is professor of French politics and modern history at Aston University in the U.K.He is the first winner of the American Political Science Association’s Stanley Hoffmann Award for his writing on French politics. The views expressed are his own. 

While it could hardly be more eventful than 2012, with the toppling of a president and an emphatic swing of legislative power from right to left, 2013 could prove to be more decisive for France. As the electoral promises of the past year recede, they are replaced now by an urgent need to deliver. 

The three biggest questions hanging over France in 2013 are a potentially hazardous mix of the political and the economic. How will President François Hollande and his Socialists square their election pledges with the hard choices of governing in economic crisis? How will the center-right UMP recover from its bitterly divisive contest to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as leader and face down mounting pressure from a resurgent far-right Front National? And, as a second credit rating agency downgrades France, can the world’s fifth-largest, and the Eurozone’s second-largest, economy bring its public finances into balance for the first time in almost four decades? 

Peace in Afghanistan: Will Pakistan Play Ball?

A leaked peace plan sees Pakistan replacing the United States as kingmaker. Can the different sides come together? 
As the war in Afghanistan winds down, with the withdrawal of American combat troops scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, there’s a modest ratcheting up of movement towards a reconciliation with the Taliban. Though many analysts are skeptical a deal can be reached within the limited amount of time before the withdrawal, and though the Taliban has plenty of incentives to forestall real talks and wait out the United States, many agree that Pakistan still holds the key to an accord. 

In light of this, Afghanistan’s High Peace Council’s (HPC) leaked, five-step plan for reaching an accord, called the Peace Process Road Map to 2015, begins with “a focus on securing the cooperation of Pakistan.” The document says that was to have begun in earnest with a visit to Pakistan in November by Salahuddin Rabbani, the HPC’s chairman, who after meeting with high Pakistani officials, was to attempt to secure Islamabad’s agreement for the progressive release of imprisoned Taliban officials held in Pakistan. 

The plan proposes that in the first half of 2013, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States work together “to agree on terms and conditions for delisting, safe passage, and other requirements of Taliban leaders willing to engage in peace talks.” Formal talks, beginning with efforts to proclaim a ceasefire, will take place in the second half of next year, and, according to the plan, will pave the way for the ”transformation of the Taliban and other armed groups from militant groups to political movements.” The goal of the five-step plan to have a final peace accord and expanded regional cooperation in place by 2014.