21 December 2012

Demilitarizing Siachen: Looking for a Soft Option?

IssueNet Edition| Date : 21 Dec , 2012 

At what is commonly referred to as Siachen, India hold the dominating high ground on Saltoro Ridge. To the west of this is Gilgit and Baltistan, which is proposed to be leased by Pakistan to China, to the north Sakshgam valley already ceded to China by Pakistan and to its south east, Aksai Chin already occupied by China. Legally, this area is part of the Indian Union although some in illegal occupation of Pakistan and China. Parliament’s unanimous Resolution of 22 February 1994 states that ‘Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir which they have occupied through aggression’. 

India holds high ground, which in the event of being occupied by Pakistan or China post any demilitarization, will be almost impossible to recapture. 

Strategically, India’s present position prevents any possibility of a Pakistan China link up in the area whilst tactically India holds high ground, which in the event of being occupied by Pakistan or China post any demilitarization, will be almost impossible to recapture. Visiting the Base camp in Siachen on 13 June 2005, the Prime Minister told the troops that Siachen would be converted from a point of conflict to a zone of peace. 

The last round of Indo-Pakistan Defence Secretary level talks on resolution of the Siachen dispute held on 12 Jun 12 ended with both sides reiterating their known positions. But even as these talks were being held both sides were acutely conscious that a series of Track II talks had been going for nearly a year between groups of both sides. That neither the Indian government nor the media shared this with the public perhaps tells its own story. 

Boeing delivers first P-8I maritime aircraft to navy

By Ajai Shukla 
Business Standard, 21st Dec 12 

The first three P-8Is at Boeing's Seattle facility this morning, where the first aircraft was handed over to the Indian Navy 

The Indian Navy got a significant boost today with the receipt of its first P-8I multi-mission maritime aircraft (MMA). In a small ceremony at the Seattle facility of Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS), a ribbon was cut and an Indian Navy officer was ceremonially handed over the keys to the aircraft. 

The Indian Navy’s US $2.1 billion purchase of eight P-8I aircraft makes it the first military outside the US to operate this aircraft. With cutting edge sensors and weaponry mounted on a modified Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the P-8I will maintain “maritime domain awareness” over the Indian Ocean. For the navy, this means knowing exactly what is happening on its oceanic turf. 

Based on INS Rajali, a naval base at Arakonam, near Chennai, the P-8I will fly 8-hour missions to seek out pirates, suspicious cargo vessels, or hostile warships and submarines. Its enhanced internal fuel tanks allow it to fly 1,100 kilometers to a patrol area, remain “on station” for six hours, and then fly back 1,100 kilometres to Arakonam. Using aerial refuelling, this range could be doubled. 

The P-8I’s key strength lies in its sophisticated sensors. A multi-mode radar picks up aircraft, surface ships and submarines. Another belly-mounted radar looks backwards, like an electronic rear-view-mirror. Any suspected threat could be investigated further: sonobuoys are dropped to zero in on suspected enemy submarines, radioing back any suspicious sounds that they pick up. A submarine would be picked up also by a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) on the P-8I’s tail. 

There is plenty of heavy weaponry to deal with such threats. This includes anti-ship Harpoon missiles, and the Mark 82 depth charge that is standard equipment with the US Navy. To destroy enemy submarines, five Mark 54 torpedoes lie warm in a special compartment in the aircraft’s belly. 

The P-8 aircraft being built for India are designated the P8-I (I for India), distinguishing them from the US version, the P8-A. The aircraft handed over today will remain in Seattle for the next 3-4 months, while Indian Navy crews carry out flight tests of all the systems and sensors. It is expected to fly to India by about May 2013. 

Two more P-8I aircraft that are nearing completion will also be handed over in 2013, say Boeing spokespersons. The entire order of 8 aircraft will be delivered by 2015. 

The navy plays an increasingly visible role in maintaining vigil over India’s 7,500 kilometre coastline and over the maritime stretch from the Strait of Malacca in the east to the Strait of Hormuz in the west. In August, then navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma revealed that, in addition to eight P-8I aircraft, the navy would also augment its surveillance and reconnaissance capability with eight Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft, and a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Imperial Expansion from 1860 to 1914

By jk on December 19, 2012 in History: General

Japanese Troops, Sino-Japanese War, 1894 

When we look at the period between the Anglo-Indian war of 1857 and Indian independence in 1947, it is important to view it not in isolation, but in the backdrop of global events during that 90 year period. Instead of viewing that 90 year period as one block, we will look at the common themes till the start of World War I as it was a period of imperial expansion and reactions to it. 

Mercantilism and tributary system was replaced by capitalism. Spurred by the second industrial revolution, big companies came into existence and there was a need for cheap access to raw materials for the industrial complex. Goods that were the result of mass production could now, due to improvements in transportation, be shipped around the world easily. The rise of joint stock companies and large financial institutions helped scale the industrial production. Also, thanks to war, technologies like steam powered gunships and breech loading rifles helped imperialists conquer countries which would provide them with raw materials and also serve as captive markets. During this period, we United States, Europe, Japan and Russia became new economic titans and started competing with Britain. 

Another source of imperial expansion was the rise of nation states and a part of nation building involved conquering new territories, like what Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama did in the 15th century. Newly formed countries like Germany and Italy competed with the other industrialized countries in this matter. This also allowed “Enlightenment” driven countries to display their hypocrisy as they colonized people around the world. 

Imminent Domain

Published on U.S. Naval Institute (http://www.usni.org
Imminent Domain 

By Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy 

Future conflicts will be won in a new arena—that of the electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace. We must merge, then master those realms. 

The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is an essential, and invisible, part of modern life—so much so that we often forget how much we depend on it. We unlock our cars and change our television channels using remote controls, keep in touch with smart phones and wireless computer networks, and depend on EM sensors to avoid collisions whether driving in a car or flying in a passenger plane. The EM spectrum is also essential to modern warfare. On the battlefield our military forces use radios and satellite communications to coordinate operations and order supplies, use radars and infrared sensors to locate the enemy (and each other) and use electronic jammers to blind enemy radars or cut off communications. 

Over the past two decades the EM spectrum has also become an integral part of cyberspace, creating a single EM-cyber environment. Computer networks that once relied on wires and cables for high-speed communication now operate at similar speeds with EM transmitters and receivers. Entire offices, hotels, and cities are going wireless, whereby the only part of the network that is plugged in is a router that serves hundreds of users. And now a router isn’t even necessary to obtain high-speed network access. Newer smart phones and mobile devices can access information via a cell phone signal as easily as computers that are physically connected to a network. 

Our military forces have taken advantage of this rapid advance in EM-cyber technology. Modern precision weapons rely on EM seekers and computer-aided navigation to hit their targets. So-called “non-kinetic” weapons such as radar and communication jammers, electronic decoys, and computer viruses can cause military effects directly in the EM spectrum and enemy computer networks. We use EM systems such as radar, signals detectors, and electro-optical or infrared sensors to find targets for our weapons and locate our own troops, and the unmanned vehicles that often carry those sensors are themselves operated via EM transmissions and computer controls. Meanwhile, the large amount of information generated by our growing portfolio of EM sensors is rendered manageable only through the use of computer-based command-and-control systems. 

7 Codes You’ll Never Ever Break


The history of encryption is a tale of broken secrets. But some mysteries remain unraveled. Among the thousands of broken codes and ciphers solved by cryptologists from the NSA and the KGB to amateurs at home, there are the few elusive codes that no one has ever managed to crack. 

What makes these ciphers even more intriguing are the people who supposedly wrote them: an estranged lover; a serial killer who sent encrypted letters in a kind of twisted mind game; an esoteric 15th century alchemist for reasons still unknown today. Some of the codes turned up in the pockets of dead men: some unidentified to this day, others who were murdered by strangers for no discernible reason why. 

Some may even be hoaxes. But even figuring out which ciphers are real and which are not can be nearly insurmountable. And even if we can spot the authentic codes amidst the hoaxes, some of these rare and challenging codes may still be impossible to solve, in our lifetimes at least. We've asked Kevin Knight – the University of Southern California computer scientist who recently helped crack the 250-year-old Copiale cipher – to walk us through seven of the most confounding codes and give us an idea of what makes these things so tough to break. 

The Voynich Manuscript (1400-1500s) 

Few encrypted texts are as mysterious – or as tantalizing – as the Voynich manuscript, a book dating to either 15th- or 16th-century Italy and written in a language no one understands, about a subject that no one can figure out, and involving illustrations of plants that don't exist. Plus it's got Zodiac symbols, astrological charts, illustrations of medicinal herbs, and drawings of naked women bathing while hooked up to tubes. The manuscript's 246 calfskin pages were perhaps meant for alchemy or medieval medicine, but no one knows for sure. 

Making Intelligence Relevant for the Missions of the 21st Century

The international challenges which threaten the security of the United States and our partners in the 21st century are not primarily posed by conventional military forces. Despite the “pivot” toward a conventional peer competitor in Asia, the predominant source of conflict in the 21st century has been and will continue to be driven by events in fragile or failing states. Of the 27 active conflicts in the world today, only one is a traditional interstate war. Due to the forces of globalization, strife and conflict in these regions now can directly impact the security of citizens within our borders. Unaddressed conflict in these regions gives rise to organized crime networks which engage in trafficking of weapons, drugs, people and WMD components. Ethnic violence results in civil wars which often lead to humanitarian catastrophes and refugee migrations. Ungoverned space may result in terrorist sanctuaries and the spread of radical ideologies and beliefs. The most likely deployment mission will not be to engage against a traditional state’s military, but to engage in an unconventional conflict against non-state foes that use asymmetric tactics. 

International security organizations and individual nations have various terms and definitions to address the range of possible operations to address security problems in fragile or failing states: Peace Operations, Peace Support Operations or Stability Operations are commonly used terms. The U.S Department of Defense (DOD) describes Stability Operations as: Military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction and humanitarian relief (Department of Defense Instruction 3000.05, “Stability Operations,” September 16, 2009, para. 3). Most often, regional security organizations, such as NATO or the African Union, empowered by the legitimacy of a UN Security Council mandate, form the headquarters or nucleus for ad hoc “coalitions of the willing” to carry out these missions. ISAF in Afghanistan, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the NATO-led coalition operations in Libya are recent examples of this model. Due to the nature of the missions the military, while a major actor, is only one member of a wider interagency, comprehensive, “whole of government” team assembled to address security, governance, humanitarian and economic developmental needs. 

A Marine general takes on our LT: I spent a career thinking and being heard

Posted By Thomas E. Ricks  
December 19, 2012

By Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor (USMC, ret.) 

Best Defense voice of experience 

Of course any hierarchical and conservative institution can be resistant to change and unwelcoming of out-of-lane independent thought. But I believe the Marine Corps has a pretty good record of being an exception, i.e. many officers in the chain encourage that sort of thinking and help get a subordinate's message a hearing at a higher level. 

I was the recipient of such support from the time I was a new lieutenant and over the years came to expect it. And I don't think I was an exception. Let me cite some milestones in my career: 

1952 -- Korea -- 2d Lt. Rifle Platoon Leader -- We were taking unwarranted patrol casualties following prescribed techniques. I proposed some changes to the Bn. CO during a visit to my platoon. He rejected them out of hand, but the S-3, Maj. J.K. Hogan, accompanying him, saw merit in my ideas and successfully went to bat for me and overcame the CO's resistance. 

1953 -- 8th Marines -- 1st Lt. At an Officers Call I argued that the USMC triangular organization was less effective than a square formation in the embryonic days of helicopters. The Regt. CO Col. DeWolf Schatzel (one of the notorious "Chowder Society" members in the Unification fight) encouraged me to put my arguments in writing and submit it to the Marine Corps Gazette. It was published as "The Triangle and the Square." It was a voice crying in the wilderness, but I was encouraged, not discouraged by my seniors. 

In Pakistan, Mixed Results From a Peshawar Attack

December 20, 2012


By Ben West 

The Pakistani Taliban continue to undermine Pakistan's government and military establishment, and in doing so, they continue to raise questions over the security of the country's nuclear arsenal. On Dec. 15, 10 militants armed with suicide vests and grenades attacked Peshawar Air Force Base, the site of a third major operation by the Pakistani Taliban since May 2011. Tactically, the attack was relatively unsuccessful -- all the militants were killed, and the perimeter of the air base was not breached -- but the Pakistani Taliban nonetheless achieved their objective. 

The attack began the night of Dec. 15 with a volley of three to five mortar shells. As the shells were fired, militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near the perimeter wall of the air base. Reports indicate that all five militants inside the vehicle were killed. The other five militants engaged security forces in a nearby residential area and eventually were driven back before they could enter the air base. The next day, security forces acting on a report of suspicious activity confronted the militants, who all died in the resultant shootout. 

Pakistani security forces came away from the incident looking very good. They prevented a large and seemingly coordinated team of militants from entering the confines of the base and thus from damaging civilian and military aircraft. Some of Pakistan's newly acquired Chinese-Pakistani made JF-17s, are stationed at the air base, and worth roughly $20 million each, they were probably the militants ultimate targets. 

Tough times call for more bold decisions

Author: G Parthasarathy 

India has already provided Afghanistan with substantial economic assistance and is preparing the ground for large-scale investments. But now it must help out with military equipment like battle tanks as well 

On December 6, Asadullah Khalid, the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence set-up, the National Directorate of Security, was seriously injured in a bomb attack by a Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace envoy. President Hamid Karzai announced the following day that the suicide bomber had come from Pakistan. While not directly naming the ISI, President Karzai described the suicide bombing as a “very sophisticated and complicated act by a professional intelligence service”. Mr Khalid is one of President Karzai’s closest aides. He has held crucial gubernatorial appointments in Ghazni and Kandahar and had escaped Taliban assassination attempts in 2007 and 2011. He has been playing a crucial role in attempts to wean away Pashtun tribal support from the Taliban, as the American ‘end game’ in Afghanistan picks up momentum. Mr Khalid is seen as a dangerous adversary in Pakistan. Unlike his Tajik predecessor Amrollah Saleh, against whom the ISI could whip up Pashtun nationalistic sentiments, he is a blue blooded Pashtun, who can better deal with Pakistani machinations of seeking to unite Pashtuns under the tutelage of the Mullah Omar led-Quetta Shura and their protégés in the North Waziristan based Haqqani network. 

In its quest for ‘strategic depth’, the Pakistan military establishment has based its entire political strategy on pretending to champion the cause of Pashtuns, who constitute 40 per cent of the country’s population, with the Tajiks constituting 33 per cent of the population and the Shia Hazaras and Uzbeks constituting 11 per cent and nine per cent respectively. Interestingly, the language which unites Afghanistan is not Pashtu, which is spoken by 35 per cent of the population and almost exclusively by Pashtuns, but Dari, which is spoken by 50 per cent of the country’s people. Within the Pashtuns, the ruling class has predominantly been drawn from the land-owning Durrani clan. Apart from Nur Mohammed Tarraki and his Soviet backed successors, the only non-Durrani leader of Afghanistan, from the influential Ghilzai clan was Mullah Omar. Two thirds of all Pashtuns belong to the Durrani-Ghilzai confederacy. The Taliban, though led by a Ghilzai, have drawn in a large number of Durrani fighters. In addition, they enjoy the backing of the Haqqani network, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, operating out of the tribal belt of Pakistan in North Waziristan. The Haqqani network also exercises predominant control of the bordering Afghan Provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika. 

After ruinous Rehman visit

India must rue invitation to him
by Inder Malhotra 

IF the government's objective were to damage India-Pakistan relations rather than improve them subject to the neighbouring country's appropriate and effective action against the masterminds and perpetrators of 26/11 — which most certainly is not the case — it could not have done better than to invite Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik to Delhi. Two other factors compound this folly: the invitation's provenance and the visit's timing.

Nobody has contradicted widespread reports that the Ministry of External Affairs was opposed to the visit but Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was insistent on playing host to his Pakistani opposite number. His reasons for doing so are not known, but shouldn't the Prime Minister have intervened to prevent a visit that was clearly unnecessary and has proved to be so offensive, indeed ruinous? The truth is that Mr Rehman virtually invited himself. The new visa agreement between the two countries — undoubtedly beneficial to the people on both sides — was due to be signed by the two home secretaries at their meeting in Islamabad in September. At the last minute the ceremony was cancelled and Mr Rehman announced that he would personally sign the agreement, together with the Indian Home Minister, in New Delhi. Apart from this, there was no other item on his agenda although, as has eventually turned out, he had planned to be rude and rough to India ostensibly to earn brownie points from his mentors back home.

It is in this context that the timing of the Rehman visit became doubly inappropriate, which also underscores how casually Indian policy makers take their decisions. For, Mr Rehman landed in Delhi a day after this country had observed the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament for which Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani outfit, has accepted full responsibility. Had the original schedule been adhered to, Mr Rehman would have been in Agra on December 11 to celebrate his birthday and in New Delhi on December 13, when this country was paying homage to the martyrs of the Pakistani terrorist attack on Parliament.

India, ASEAN Celebrate 20th Anniversary With Two FTAs

By Zachary Keck 
December 21, 2012 

India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) began a two-day meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, to commemorate twenty years of relations between New Delhi and the ten-member organization. 

A press release from the Indian government said: 

"India is hosting the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on December 20 and 21, 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership and the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-India Summit-level partnership. The theme of the summit is ‘ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity’." 

Although ASEAN-India ties stretch back to 1992, the past few years have seen rapid growth. India’s July 2003 accession to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was one impetus for this expansion. During the same year, at the 2nd ASEAN-India Summit, India and the ten-member organization signed the ASEAN-India Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, which pledged both sides would work to establish an ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (FTA) covering goods, services, and investments. 

The first of these came in 2009 when, after six years of negotiations, the two sides signed the ASEAN-India Trade In Goods (TIG) Agreement. The AITIG came into force the following year and ASEAN-India economic relations have enjoyed a boom in the years since. 

Now spring to defence

Premila Nazareth Satyanand : Fri Dec 21 2012

Military production should be the next front of the FDI fight 

The government seems to have won its long and bruising battle to permit FDI in multi-brand retail. Given how hard it has had to fight and how much political capital it has expended, should it not have fought for a bigger, more strategic issue — the raising of the 26 per cent foreign equity cap in defence to 51 per cent or even 74 per cent? 

Permitting foreign defence firms majority control of their India investments is likely to have an immeasurably superior impact on Indian technological capability, economic strength and global competitiveness than permitting Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour to give us a bigger, better version of what lndian entrepreneurs have already built since 1991: larger, better-lit shops; a wider (not necessarily cheaper) array of international offerings; more cold chain and storage facilities; and better-paid and better-dressed shop assistants. Multi-brand retail can bring no transformational benefits to farmers in the absence of reform in the laws on the marketing of agricultural produce. Also, it might not bring in the billions of FDI dollars envisaged. Trading has brought in just $3.6 billion of the $272 billion in FDI that India received from 2000-2012. 

If the government had to contest an FDI taboo, perhaps it should have marshalled the energy and internal consensus to fight the big FDI fight on defence. Across political parties, there is near-unanimity that our public-sector defence complex is too slow and out of date, and that we must quickly bring in more effective players. By the defence ministry’s own account, half of all existing defence equipment is obsolete. 

A false consensus is broken Parminder Jeet Singh

Published: December 21, 2012

The U.S. rejection of new global telecom regulations should not overshadow the need for an Internet-powered social agenda for the world 

The United States’s decision to walk out of the International Telecommunication Union’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai along with some of its allies last week could represent a turning point in global Internet governance. These countries refused to sign the new International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) that contain some basic principles governing the technical architecture of the global communication system. They said they could not agree to the ITRs, and the ITU’s remit, extending to the Internet. However, the new ITRs contain no reference to the Internet, all such language having been assiduously weeded out over the two weeks of intense negotiations. Also, the ITU has been undertaking Internet-related activities for more than a decade, with the U.S. participating in them. 

In a full-blown Internet age, the new ITRs make no reference to naming and addressing the system of the Internet or its routing structures, make no effort to make ITU ‘the’ Internet standards making body, and make a clear statement that ‘content is not included’ in their remit. This could, in fact, have been taken to be a significant acknowledgement of the existing naming and addressing regime (ICANN) and Internet standards making processes (IETF or Internet Engineering Task Force). However, the U.S. remained adamant. 

Outcast reaches a hard-won orbit

Published: December 21, 2012
N. Gopal Raj 

AP North Korean soldiers attend a mass rally organized to celebrate the successful launch of the Unha-3 rocket, on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. 

The rocket launch was possible not just because of outside help. North Korea has tenaciously pursued the technology. By 1990 the North Koreans had scaled up their early missiles based on the Soviet Scud B. The new powerful missile, designated as Nodong, made it to Iran and Pakistan, where it became Shahab-3 and Ghauri respectively. 

After three, possibly four, previous attempts that failed, North Korea achieved its ambition of putting a satellite in orbit on December 12 and became the 10th country in the world with that capability. 

The Unha-3 launch vehicle placed an imaging satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3, in orbit about 500 km above the earth. Recent media reports indicate that the satellite has stopped functioning and is tumbling as it circles overhead. 

Launch vehicles are immensely complicated machines, with a large number of components and systems that must work as planned under conditions of considerable stress. Despite its poverty and relative international isolation, North Korea has shown the ability to doggedly persist in the face of failure in order to master the technology. 

The dual-use nature of such technology allowed the country to draw on its experience with ballistic missiles to build satellite launchers. Now, with the progress that it has achieved in launch vehicles, the country could, if it chose, develop more powerful ballistic missiles than those it possesses. 

Second-Language Skills for All?

Analyzing a Proposed Language Requirement for U.S. Air Force Officers 

Would it be feasible to require all Air Force officers to attain a specific level of proficiency in a second language at commissioning? Would there be unintended consequences? To find out, the authors asked Air Force officers about their own language-learning experiences, what they thought about language learning and mandatory language proficiency policies, what incentives and disincentives they perceived, among other questions. While the officers felt language proficiency was important for mission success, they were not convinced about its importance for career success. They also noted that the time and commitment required to attain proficiency might interfere with other, more pressing academic demands. The languages most have studied already are not among those most critical to national security, and those who were required to study a language considered themselves less proficient than those who had studied it voluntarily. Language skills were, however, associated with other desirable outcomes, such as greater interest in and tolerance of other cultures and being interested in and capable of learning another language in the future. But requiring all to attain such proficiency before commissioning would mean fewer would be eligible for it. Instead, we suggest implementing a variety of pre- and postcommissioning language-learning incentives and opportunities designed to accommodate learners at all levels (from those just starting out to those who are at more advanced levels) and to increase acquisition of underrepresented and strategic languages. Career-long policies for maintaining and increasing language proficiency would be needed to make precommissioning and early career efforts worthwhile. 

Download eBook for Free
Full Document 
FormatFile SizeNotes 
PDF file 3.3 MB

The U.S. Plan to Nuke Everyone

Why LBJ vetoed the Dr. Strangelove option. 

This newly declassified document from the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, released on appeal to the National Security Archive, illuminates one of the most sensitive secrets of the Cold War, right out of Dr. Strangelove. On October 14, 1968, in the middle of lengthy discussions with advisors about Vietnam War strategy, President Johnson set aside a few minutes to hear recommendations about the existing top-secret instructions for the emergency use of nuclear weapons by top military commanders if the United States came under attack and the president was either killed or had gone missing. The instructions to "predelegate" nuclear weapons use authority had been on the books since 1959 and updated in 1964, but National Security Adviser Walt Rostow told Johnson bluntly that they were "dangerous" and had to be changed. 

What worried Rostow and other advisors was that the current instructions, approved by Johnson in 1964, called for an automatic "full nuclear response" against both the Soviet Union and China in the event of a nuclear attack. Moreover, the instructions stipulated a full-scale nuclear counter-attack even if the initial strike was conventional, or the result of an accident. And both communist giants would be targeted regardless of whether either of them had launched the attack. 

At the meeting, Johnson's military and civilian aides unanimously recommended that the standing orders, code-named "Furtherance," be revised in order to reduce the risk of a nuclear holocaust. Instead of a "full" response, top commanders could initiate a "limited response," implying that the retaliation could be tailored so that it was proportionate to the attack. Moreover, commanders would be instructed to respond to a conventional attack with conventional weapons. At the session, speaking of the new approach, Rostow advised Johnson: "We think it is an essential change." The entire Joint Chiefs of Staff concurred and President Johnson changed the policy the next day. 


Why are so many Asian countries run by families? 

In the United States, it's the Kennedys and Bushs; in South Korea, it's the Parks. On December 19, South Korea elected Park Geun-Hye as president -- but she's not just the country's first female head of state, she's heir to a controversial political legacy. Her father, Park Chung-hee, was South Korea's dictator in the 1960s and 1970s. And Park's not the only recent ruler with family ties. Across Asia, heirs of political dynasties have taken power. 

Three days before Park's win, Japan chose as prime minister the right wing Shinzo Abe, son of a Japanese foreign minister and grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, who as a cabinet member in 1941 signed the declaration of war against the United States, and served as prime minister almost two decades later. (Abe himself was also prime minister from 2006 to 2007.) In China, there's a new princeling-in-chief, too. In November, Xi Jinping became Communist Party chairman, 30 years after his popular father Xi Zhongxun, respected for his principles and his decency, ascended to China's elite decision-making body, the Politburo. And when Kim Jong Un became supreme leader of North Korea in December 2011, he too was following a family tradition: two generations of Kims had preceded him. 

Why the government needs think tanks and academics

Posted By Peter Feaver
December 20, 2012

We are pleased to run this guest post from Nadia Schadlow, a friend of Shadow Government and a valued member of the security studies expert community. 

By Nadia Schadlow 

Is government likely to be more successful by cutting off outside sources of information and expertise? The answer is no. While Rajiv Chandrasekaran's recent Washington Post article covered a range of concerns regarding the influence of two think tank analysts, the wider think tank community should reflect upon the implications of the article before Washington starts the holiday season with too much schadenfraude in the air. Anyone who has worked in or closely with the government knows that its reactions and counter-responses are hardly nimble, and that the tendency is toward overreaction. It would be a shame if Washington drew the wrong lessons from the profile. However one might view specific policy ideas offered by particular analysts, efforts by government officials to reach out to experts outside of their organizations should be actively encouraged. The U.S. military, like any government agency or private-sector corporation, does not have a monopoly on wisdom. 

The husband and wife Kagan team profiled in the article are controversial figures for their role in advocating for a surge of troops first in Iraq, and then, in Afghanistan. As we know, wars are profoundly political events -- both at home and where they are actually fought -- and most anyone involved in thinking and writing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been caught, at some point, in the ensuing maelstrom. While the Kagans' ideas might have been controversial and disputed and even wrong, it would be short sighted for the government to make it yet more difficult to interact with outside experts. 

Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

By Indur M. Goklany 
December 19, 2012 

For most of its existence, mankind’s well being was dictated by disease, the elements and other natural factors, and the occasional conflict. Virtually everything it needed—food, fuel, clothing, medicine, transport, mechanical power—was the direct or indirect product of living nature. 

Good harvests reduced hunger, improved health, and increased life expectancy and population—until the next inevitable epidemic, crop failure, natural disaster, or conflict. These Malthusian checks ensured little or no sustained growth in population or well-being. 

Then mankind began to develop technologies to augment or displace living nature’s uncertain bounty. Gradually food supplies and nutrition improved and population, living standards, and human well-being advanced haltingly. The Industrial Revolution accelerated these trends. Mankind broke its Malthusian bonds. Growth became the norm. Population exploded, along with living standards and well-being. 

Technologies dependent on cheap fossil fuels enabled these improving trends. Nothing can be made, transported, or used without energy, and fossil fuels provide 80 percent of mankind’s energy and 60 percent of its food and clothing. Thus, absent fossil fuels, global cropland would have to increase by 150 percent to meet current food demand, but conversion of habitat to cropland is already the greatest threat to biodiversity. By lowering humanity’s reliance on living nature, fossil fuels not only saved humanity from nature’s whims, but nature from humanity’s demands. 

Key to these developments was that these technologies accelerated the generation of ideas that spawned even better technologies through, among other things, greater accumulation of human capital (via greater populations, time expanding illumination, and time-saving machinery) and faster exchange of ideas and knowledge (via greater and faster trade and communications). 
Read the Full Policy Analysis

A Sobering Assessment

By Rory Medcalf 
December 21, 2012
There are plenty of big stories in Asian security this month – the North Korean rocket test, China-Japan tensions, and the implications of the Japanese and South Korean elections for regional order. But taking the long view, there is one story that the region's security watchers should not ignore — the release of the U.S. National Intelligence Council's 2030 report on global futures, titled Alternative Worlds. 

This document is full of thoughtful and in many instances worrying assessments about where the Asian strategic order is going, and about the risks of instability and conflict in the years ahead. It may in theory be a global report, but many of its more troubling projections have an Asian angle, unsurprisingly given the shift of economic and strategic centrality to this region. 

To be fair, much of the document is occupied with an impartial examination of megatrends, and some of this is good news, for instance the growth of the global middle-class. But one of the key so-called game changers highlighted in the survey is about the potential for increased conflict. And here, although there is the usual homage paid to the war-constraining qualities of economic interdependence, we find some grim observations. 

“The risks of interstate conflict are increasing owing to changes in the international system”: that is, power shifts, notably but not only the rise of China, are upsetting the Asian power equilibrium. 

Peace in Afghanistan: Will Pakistan Play Ball?

December 20, 2012 

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. 

Could South Korea “Save” America’s Relations with Pakistan?

By Arif Rafiq

While imperfect, America's experience with South Korea could provide important lessons on how to develop stronger ties with Pakistan. 

It might be difficult to overestimate the iniquitousness of Korean pop star Psy's hit single “Gangnam Style.” From supermarkets in the United States to cricket matches in South Asia, “Gangnam Style” has been played and imitated a countless number of times. In an era of viral media, the song has proved to be a cultural epidemic. 

“Gangnam Style,” though criticizing materialism in contemporary Korean society, is in many ways the de-facto theme song for Brand Korea, whose exports were once seen as second-rate, but now is giving its Japanese and American competitors a run for their money. Hyundai, Samsung, and K-Pop all signal the emergence of corporate Korea on the world stage. It is a transition that perhaps began with the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, but is reaching new heights today. 

Americans were shocked to learn this month that Psy took part in anti-U.S. rallies in 2002 and 2004 and, in the latter incident, sang lyrics from another Korean band that exhorted his countrymen to “Kill those Yankees.” Not only is the anti-Americanism virulent, but, more generally, the expressly political nature of the lyrics is glaring. Psy contradicts the American stereotype of the apolitical, business or fun-only Asian. But beyond this stereotype, what the shock in the U.S. points toward is an unfortunate American tone-deafness toward the politics — especially the politics at the sub-elite level — of other countries. 

Chart of the day: globalization vastly improves death

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NYT story. Simply fascinating. 

There's no arguing this: over the last 20 years, or the apogee of globalization's rapid expansion, more babies live into childhood, more children live into adulthood, and adults live longer. 

So much for globalization impoverishing everyone and making their lives more miserable. 

Check it out: communicable yields to lifestyle diseases. 

The tough work for any global progressive effort is already done. Now it's all about living that much longer - primarily - because we'll eat that much healthier. Obesity feeds all the major lifestyle diseases. 

Overall, striking evidence that globalization has improved lives the world over: 

The shift reflects improvements in sanitation, medical services and access to food throughout the developing world, as well as the success of broad public health efforts like vaccine programs. The results are striking:infant mortality declined by more than half from 1990 to 2010, and malnutrition, the No. 1 risk factor for death and years of life lost in 1990, has fallen to No. 8. 

At the same time, chronic diseases like cancer now account for about two out of every three deaths worldwide, up from just over half in 1990. Eight million people died of cancer in 2010, 38 percent more than in 1990. Diabetes claimed 1.3 million lives in 2010, double the number in 1990. 

“The growth of these rich-country diseases, like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, is in a strange way good news,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, chairman of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “It shows that many parts of the globe have largely overcome infectious and communicable diseases as a pervasive threat, and that people on average are living longer.” 

The truth is good.

Life Expectancy Rises Around the World, Study Finds

December 13, 2012 

A sharp decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases like measles and tuberculosis has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, according to a report published on Thursday, with far more of the world’s population now living into old age and dying from diseases mostly associated with rich countries, like cancer and heart disease. 

The shift reflects improvements in sanitation, medical services and access to food throughout the developing world, as well as the success of broad public health efforts like vaccine programs. The results are striking: infant mortality declined by more than half from 1990 to 2010, and malnutrition, the No. 1 risk factor for death and years of life lost in 1990, has fallen to No. 8. 

At the same time, chronic diseases like cancer now account for about two out of every three deaths worldwide, up from just over half in 1990. Eight million people died of cancer in 2010, 38 percent more than in 1990. Diabetes claimed 1.3 million lives in 2010, double the number in 1990. 

“The growth of these rich-country diseases, like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, is in a strange way good news,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, chairman of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “It shows that many parts of the globe have largely overcome infectious and communicable diseases as a pervasive threat, and that people on average are living longer.” 

In 2010, 43 percent of deaths in the world occurred at age 70 and older, compared with 33 percent of deaths in 1990, the report said. And fewer child deaths have brought up the mean age of death, which in Brazil and Paraguay jumped to 63 in 2010, up from 30 in 1970, the report said. The measure, an average of all deaths in a given year, is different from life expectancy, and is lower when large numbers of children die. 

But while developing countries made big strides the United States stagnated. American women registered the smallest gains in life expectancy of all high-income countries’ female populations between 1990 and 2010. American women gained just under two years of life, compared with women in Cyprus, who lived 2.3 years longer and Canadian women who gained 2.4 years. The slow increase caused American women to fall to 36th place in the report’s global ranking of life expectancy, down from 22nd in 1990. Life expectancy for American women was 80.5 in 2010, up from 78.6 in 1990. 

US on Arunachal

C. Raja Mohan : Fri Dec 21 2012

US on Arunachal 

As territorial disputes between China and its neighbours acquire a sharper edge, how America talks about them becomes an important part of the unfolding geopolitical dynamic in Asia. 

In the East and South China Seas, which have become the new theatres of regional rivalry, Washington has carefully avoided backing the territorial claims of any of the parties — neither those of China nor of its allies. On the India-China border dispute, in contrast, we have been just reminded that Washington recognises India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh. 

During her visit to Guwahati last week, the US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, reportedly said that the US acknowledges the McMahon Line as the legitimate border between India and China. Powell’s comments apparently came in response to questions from local reporters. The US envoy added that this is not a new American position and has been in place since 1962, when New Delhi and Beijing clashed with each other. 

While that is a separate story in itself, Powell’s decision to reaffirm the US approach to Arunachal and the McMahon Line might be of some political significance. It has been years since the US formally articulated this long-standing position on the India-China border dispute. It is one thing for a country to have a position and entirely another for it to state it, or restate it, in public. What matters is the context. 

At a moment when US-China relations have entered an uncertain phase, and the India-China boundary dispute remains unresolved, American support to India’s sovereignty over Arunachal adds one more layer to the complex triangular relationship between Delhi, Beijing and Washington. 

People's Power

Eight ways China's military is catching up to the United States. 

Although the Pentagon has routinely dismissed some of China's very publicly touted military advances as being decades behind the United States, they are still significant. Just because someone gets a new piece of tech later than you doesn't mean that you will always be better at using it than they are. So, we thought we'd bring you a list of the eight most noteworthy military enhancements that China is making by buying, stealing, and innovating: 

Sex assault at military academies underreported, survey finds

By Larry Shaughnessy and Barbara Starr 

The risk of sexual assault is growing at the elite military service academies, but victims are reluctant to report the problem, according to a Pentagon report obtained by CNN. 

The survey of three military academies was ordered by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and will be released Thursday. CNN obtained advance details of the survey, which shows that the problem is getting worse with a rise in reported assaults and evidence that many more are never discussed. 

Some of the most disturbing new information comes from the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. The survey found that 225 midshipmen, mainly females, reported that they were the victims of unwanted sexual contact in the most recent academic year. That contact includes everything from touching to rape. But only 12 filed formal reports, down nearly 50 percent from last year. The belief is the women still are not confident that their reports will be taken seriously.

At the Army's U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado, the number of sexual assault incidents reported rose as well. The survey also found that at these schools, women appear to be more comfortable about reporting harassment and assault, though there were many cases of unreported incidents at those academies as well. 

"The problem, as I see it, is no heads have rolled, all the generals come before congress and (say) the same thing over again, there is zero tolerance, but nothing ever changes," said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California who has worked hard for years to end this problem.