5 July 2016

*** Dhaka Terror Attack – What to Expect?

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
04 Jul , 2016

Much has been written about the horrific terrorist attack in Dhaka on July 1 and what it portends for India. The ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack – was this claim genuine or an attempt by ISIS to steal the march over Al Qaeda has also been speculated upon. Why was Dhaka struck when India was comparatively quiet (was it?) so on and so forth. But before we get to the Dhaka massacre, it would be prudent remember what MK Dhar, former Joint Director IB scripted in his book ‘Open Secrets – India’s Intelligence unveiled’ wherein he said:

“Way back in 1992-93, the process of ‘transplanting armed modules’ in the heartland of India had started taking cognizable shape. Some of these cells were identified in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kota/Ajmer region of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. SIMI had already started deputing ‘volunteers’ to Pakistan for training along with the mujahideen, Taliban and Al Qaeda cadres. They established firm linkages with Islamic Chhatra Shibir, Al Qaeda affiliated HUJI, Al Badr, Al Jihad and other organizations in Bangladesh and were trained in facilities located inside Bangladesh and under the very noses of DGFI and BDR.”

But in backdrop of the above, it is equally important to acknowledge the following: Pakistan’s ISI is inexorably linked to AHAB, ABT, JMB / JMJB and HUJI in Bangladesh; Pakistani terrorist Asim Umar heading Al Qaeda’s South Asia branch, tasked to cover the region from Afghanistan to Myanmar, sprouted from his mother organization HUJI that used to run branches in Kashmir, Bangladesh and Myanmar; in December last 2015, our media had quoted intelligence agencies assessing that there may be 23 Indians in Iraq and Syria fighting for the ISIS; the internet is being optimized for radicalization within India and abroad and needs to be monitored continuously; busting of three terror modules in recent months from Roorkee and Hyderabad had pan-India profiles, with one module in Hyderabad preparing the explosive traicetone triperoxide (TATP) used in the Paris and Brussels attacks; the JMB in Bangladesh has aligned with the ISIS with Shaykh Abu Ibrahim, JMB chief declaring ISIS intends to use fighters from Pakistan and Bangladesh to mount guerilla type of attacks, and; most significantly the China-Pakistan sub-conventional nexus will continue to encourage / use terrorism against India.

*** Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw died this day in 2008. A daughter remembers.

June 27, 2016 
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw led the Indian Army to victory in East Pakistan. (Photo: Express Archive)

Perhaps because there are so few of us around, people feel obliged to email and SMS me snippets of news and views, blogs, pictures and videos about Parsees. The complimentary pieces are bittersweet gestures of affection for a friend. They come tinged with regret that seems to mourn the inevitable passing away of our tiny community. The last little video I got came with the message “You should be proud” and opened into a montage of the usual greats. I watched with only tepid interest as the pictures and names in blazoned heroic script passed across the screen. There was Jamshedji, and Dorabji, Nani, Fali and Soli. There was Bhikhaji Cama and atomic energy Bhabha and Rattan of course, Adi, and apro Zubin and Cyrus. I’d seen them all before. At the very end, the video stalled and I realised I was mildly miffed at the producers who had missed one name.

Still and sad, I stared hard at the little dots going round and round as the video buffered into its last five seconds. In those long moments, I felt my chest tighten and my eyes prick as I remembered the missing man. He had meant so much to us. Eight years dead this week, he was still right there at every family gathering, lighting up the room with silly teasing and laughter, telling funny stories about the cook in Amritsar whose kheema my mother could never match, or the fair girl who’d given him his first innocent kiss by the back loo in exchange for a promise not to tell the elders she was meeting with the local rake, or the tale of how he had exasperated his mother into throwing a bunch of keys at him for explaining to all the household that his hazel eyes came from being born in Egypt. When we asked; “Why Egypt? His only explanation was “Baby, that’s the only name I knew!”.

*** India’s Nuclear Force Structure 2025

June 30, 2016

Summary: India’s nuclear deterrence policy should work in parallel along twin tracks: continuing to enhance the quality of India’s nuclear deterrence while simultaneously working to achieve total nuclear disarmament in the shortest possible time frame.

This piece is part of a compilation bringing together Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia.

“In the foreseeable future, the Asian reliance on nuclear weapons will increase.”1
—Ashley J. Tellis

“Nuclear competition in Southern Asia represents a classic conundrum of international relations: enormously high stakes, conflicting and entrenched interests, and at least in the near term, few realistic avenues for mitigating threats.”2
—Daniel Markey

With a pacifist strategic culture steeped in Gandhian nonviolence, India is a reluctant nuclear power. Reluctant though it may be, India shares borders with China and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed neighbours with which it has territorial disputes. India sought but was denied nuclear guarantees and had no option but to acquire nuclear weapons. India believes that nuclear weapons are political weapons, not weapons of warfighting: their sole purpose is to deter the use of nuclear weapons and the threat thereof. 3

After conducting five nuclear tests over two days in May 1998, India declared itself a state armed with nuclear weapons. India’s nuclear doctrine professes credible minimum deterrence and is built around a no-first-use posture. This means that India is willing to absorb a first strike and has declared its intention of launching massive retaliation to cause unacceptable damage in response to a first strike. India follows a policy of deterrence by punishment, which uses a countervalue targeting strategy aimed at inflicting unacceptable damage not a counterforce strategy aimed at destroying the adversary’s nuclear forces.4

*** India’s Evolving Civil-Military Institutions in an Operational Nuclear Context

June 30, 2016

Summary: Unless India’s conventional and nuclear commands closely coordinate their operations planning, an Indian nuclear response threatens either to be unsuccessful or to escalate out of control.


Gaurav Kampani is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.In the decade and a half since India conducted nuclear tests and formally claimed nuclear status, a revolutionary transformation has occurred in the way that Indian national security managers have approached nuclear weapons. This transformation concerns a serious effort on their part to operationalize India’s nuclear arsenal. India’s shift toward an operationalized nuclear force has upended the earlier consensual view among policymakers and academics that successive Indian governments did not take the demands of nuclear planning seriously.

Beginning when India first tested a nuclear device in 1974, a belief grew that Indian policy planners primarily cared for the political symbolism and prestige associated with nuclear weapons.1 By 1993, when it was generally assumed that India had secretly built a basement nuclear arsenal, some scholars pointed to the absence of visible signs of operational planning as evidence that Indian national security managers were invested in a normative regime of nuclear restraint.2Others attributed the apparent restraint to a unique strategic culture that foreswore the use of nuclear weaponry.3 And still other scholars argued that the dysfunction in India’s civil-military institutions and the distrust that pervaded them precluded India from fielding an operational arsenal.4Even in the aftermath of the 1998 round of nuclear tests, it became an accepted truism that India would likely continue its institutional path dependency in favor of politically symbolic but operationally dormant nuclear weaponry.5

The trajectory of India’s nuclear force development and planning in the last decade, however, defies all these neat categorizations. Not only is India attempting to develop all the technical elements of a classic triad nuclear force, but it has also paid attention to the infrastructure—such as communications, transportation, storage, and logistics—as well as the institutional and organizational aspects that give any force its teeth.6 India’s efforts in all three spheres are ongoing, and it will likely take another decade until many of these efforts enter a phase of maturity and begin to bear fruit. Nonetheless, these efforts are evidence that Asia is now in the midst of a second nuclear age, with China, India, and Pakistan at its center.

** Signs of Trouble for Deutsche Bank

By Jacob L. Shapiro and Lili Bayer
July 1, 2016

A crisis in Germany’s largest bank would be felt by financial markets worldwide.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a damning 63-page report on the German banking and insurance sector yesterday. It is a long and thorough report, with the key point buried on page 42: “Deutsche Bank appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks in the global banking system.” 

Then, the U.S. Federal Reserve said that the U.S. subsidiary of Deutsche Bank was one of two banks (the other was Santander) that failed an annual stress test. Deutsche Bank failed the same test last year, and while the Fed noted that the U.S. subsidiary had strengthened its capital position since its previous failure, it said there was still much more work to be done. The markets punished Deutsche Bank, already reeling from Brexit, forcing shares down at one point to their lowest level in 30 years. 

With all the news surrounding volatility in the markets due to Brexit, there is a temptation to dismiss this as more of the same. But in reality, these two developments, particularly the IMF report, are of far greater importance. If Deutsche Bank really is on the verge of a crisis – and we believe it is – the implications will be felt worldwide and the global financial system will shudder. First, however, the effects will be felt by Germany, and before we can explain why, Deutsche Bank’s unique and important role in Germany’s history and development must be placed in context. 

India and Ballistic Missile Defense: Furthering a Defensive Deterrent

June 30, 2016

Summary: Limited ballistic missile defense remains vital for India’s effort to maintain strategic stability.


Lieutenant General Balraj Nagal (retired) is the director of the Center for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi.During the Cold War, mutual vulnerability emerged as a central pillar of strategic stability between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both states took steps to maintain mutual vulnerability by engaging in arms control talks that produced many agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The treaty ensured that mutual vulnerability and maintaining an offensive capability would still be the basis of nuclear deterrence. The treaty allowed both sides to build defenses against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.1 In 2001, the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the bilateral Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to pursue the development of sophisticated anti–ballistic missile systems.2 The United States reasoned that it should be able to defend itself and its allies and partners from a limited ballistic missile attack by “rogue nations as well as nonstate actors.”3 Since then, the U.S. program has progressed well, with numerous tests proving the ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability against long-range and short-range ballistic missiles. The program’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) units are currently deployed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and in Hawaii.4The United States is considering deployment of a THAAD battery to West Asia. Four such batteries are on active duty around the world, and a fifth one is set to start training in 2016.5

Since the United States left the ABM Treaty, Russia’s missile defense systems too have become more technologically advanced. Moscow is creating its own equivalent of the U.S. missile defense systems—THAAD and Ground-Based Midcourse Defense—which are likely to deploy in the very near future.6 According to Russian news agency Interfax, quoting a Russian source, “‘Russia is creating an analogue of the missile defense system THAAD, which helps intercept medium-range ballistic missiles and some warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The testing of this system will begin in the very near future.’ . . . Russia is creating an analogue of a different U.S. missile defense system, CMD, which is equipped with GBI missiles. A series of tests has already been performed on this system.”7

India’s Nuclear Doctrine Debate

June 30, 2016 

Summary: Though there continue to be significant disagreements within the Indian strategic community about many elements of nuclear doctrine, the debate no longer produces new ideas about how to deal with the most pressing dilemma that New Delhi faces: countering Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons.


Rajesh Rajagopalan is a professor at the Center for International Politics, Organization, and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

India’s nuclear doctrine is an important variable determining nuclear stability in South Asia, especially because the doctrine is generally considered to be restrained. So any indication of change in the doctrine is a cause for concern. Such an indication of change happened most recently in 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, in which it promised to “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine to “make it relevant to challenges of current time.”1 This led to some speculation that a key element of India’s nuclear doctrine, India’s no-first-use commitment (NFU) for nuclear weapons, might be altered.2 Though the BJP leaders quickly denied that the NFU policy would be altered, this episode indicated the continuing discomfort among sections of the Indian strategic elite about India’s NFU pledge.3 This essay surveys the debate over India’s nuclear doctrine for signs of any imminent changes. It suggests that though there continue to be significant disagreements within the Indian strategic community about many elements of nuclear doctrine, the debate has stagnated, and no longer produces new ideas about how to deal with the most pressing dilemma that New Delhi faces: countering Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs). India might need to shift its massive retaliation nuclear strategy to some form of modulated retaliation to deal with this challenge.

The 7th Central Pay Commission: only cool heads shall prevail

What good is the mind of a man if it’s run by another ~ Prince

There are some individuals who remarked that I did not stoutly condemn the regressive ‘recommendations’ of the 7th Central Pay Commission (7th CPC) insofar they pertain to the Armed Forces. Some even floated some kind of a conspiracy theory stating that I was ‘supporting’ the ‘recommendations’ since I was a Member of a Committee constituted by the Defence Minister to look into the resolution of service and pensionary issues, forgetting in the bargain that I and other Members were a part of the same in an Honorary apolitical capacity and the said Committee is no longer in existence since we submitted our recommendations way back in November 2015, and those recommendations, currently under active examination, were highly objective, and could not, by any stretch of imagination, be termed pro-government (or anti-government for that matter). We were given a task which was undertaken honestly, objectively, without fear or favour and without any interference from any quarter.

Having said that, though I do not wish to think much about theories of fertile minds who wish to politicize such important issues, let us get some things clear here.

Firstly, it is a fact that there were some totally absurd recommendations rendered by the 7th CPC. And it is also a fact that I had fully brought them out on my blog and those posts can be perused to get an idea about some of the faulty parts of the 7th CPC. In fact, some observations of the 7th CPC were not just illogical, but also factually incorrect and against law laid down by Constitutional Courts. Some of these issues were discussed on this bloghere, and also here. If that was not enough, the total benefit recommended by the 7th CPC, to both civil and military employees, was meagre, to say the least. 

What Swu’s death means for Nagaland

The passing of Isak Chishi Swu, chairman of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (I-M), is a seismic event in several ways

A file photo of Isak Chishi Swu, chairman of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (I-M). Photo: Hindustan Times

Nagalim, or Greater Nagaland, is back with a bang on the negotiating table.

Isak Chishi Swu, chairman of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (I-M), the largest and most powerful faction of Naga rebels, died on 28 June in a New Delhi hospital, aged 87, after a lifetime of battle to secure a future for the Naga people. At his premonitory insistence, last August NSCN (I-M) scaled up a ceasefire of 18 years with the government of India to a formal framework peace agreement.

Swu’s passing is a seismic event in several ways.

As his body lay in state at New Delhi’s Nagaland House on 29 June, attended by his family, comrades, senior politicians, media and, notably, India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval and R.N. Ravi, interlocutor for talks with NSCN (I-M), the loudest statement was the flag draping Swu’s coffin. Common to Naga rebel factions, it is of a light-blue background with three ribbons of red, yellow and green curving from about mid-section to the left and arcing to the right. A white six-pointed star of Bethlehem is at the top left corner of the flag that highlights one rebel slogan: “Nagaland for Christ”.

The Price of Nonconventional Security

June 30, 2016 

Summary: Although military security is no doubt essential for Pakistan, it is high time for the state to assign a high priority to investing in human capital, lest the country’s miserable state of human development continue indefinitely.

The author is a PhD scholar in the Department of Economics and Finance, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be construed as necessarily represent the IBA. The usual disclaimer applies.

This study is not an oft-repeated conventional narrative on Pakistan’s nuclear security doctrine; nor does it critique, evaluate, or comment on the design, operations, and expansion of the program. It does not assess the strategic calculus or security doctrine. It is abundantly clear that investing in nonconventional security assets is vital for the modern security paradigm and serves as a peace-preserving investment given the multifaceted threats Pakistan is facing. I do agree with Crockett that “without nuclear weapons, Pakistan looses military parity,” and would thus have an incentive to keep a nuclear-capable military.1 This view is seconded by Krasner and Evans, who say that “nuclear weapons work for Pakistan: They are a deterrent against a much larger and stronger India.”2

This study is just an economist’s attempt to establish the opportunity cost of Pakistan’s nuclear program by estimating the cost of its nonconventional security assets and then computing an estimated opportunity cost in terms of conventional military expenditures and human security. All facts and figures referred are from secondary sources, with complete citation.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Force Structure in 2025

June 30, 2016

Summary: Pakistan’s nuclear posture and the size of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal have been subjects of considerable speculation and debate since Pakistan first tested nuclear weapons, and increasingly so in recent years.

Brigadier Naeem Salik (retired) is a senior fellow at the Center for International Strategic Studies. Before his retirement from the Pakistani military, he served as director of arms control and disarmament affairs in the Strategic Plans Division, the secretariat of Pakistan’s National Command Authority.Pakistan’s nuclear posture and the size of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal have been subjects of considerable speculation and debate since Pakistan first tested nuclear weapons, and increasingly so in recent years. Within the vast debate, however, many outside Pakistan seem to have agreed that Pakistan has the fastest growing arsenal in the world.1 Alarmists estimate that by 2025, Pakistan will become the third-largest nuclear weapon power, leapfrogging ahead of France, China, and the United Kingdom, behind only the United States and Russia.2 Others conjecture that its growth will make it only the fifth-largest arsenal.3 Even the best of these estimates are still highly speculative, based on assumptions about Pakistan’s goals, the capacity and efficiency of Pakistan’s nuclear materials production facilities, its ability to convert these materials into weapons components, and its ability to build an inventory of adequate numbers of delivery systems. Estimates also assume that 100 percent of available fissile material is being converted into weapons, and that Pakistan’s reprocessing and weapons core fabrication can keep pace with the production of plutonium at the Khushab nuclear complex. These estimates draw criticism and angry responses from Pakistani officials, but a vast majority of the people in Pakistan feel elated reading such reports. The people of Pakistan might be disappointed to learn that, contrary to the prevailing perceptions, the size of Pakistan’s arsenal is, and will remain, substantially smaller than recent reports published in the United States suggest.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Use Doctrine

June 30, 2016 

Summary: A close look at official statements, interviews, and developments related to nuclear weapons provide substantive clues about the contours of Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine in practice

This piece is part of a compilation bringing together Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia.

“Notwithstanding the growing conventional asymmetries, the development and possession of sufficient numbers and varieties of nuclear weapons by both India and Pakistan has made war as an instrument of policy near redundant. The tried-and-tested concept of MAD has ensured that.”

—Lieutenant General (retired) Khalid Kidwai, Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference, 2015

Sadia Tasleem

Sadia Tasleem is a lecturer at Quaid-i-Azam University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan.

On March 9, 2015, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations agency announced the “successful test launch of Shaheen III surface to surface ballistic missile, capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 2,750 kilometers.”1 Responding to a question about the rationale for testing the Shaheen III missile, adviser to Pakistan’s National Command Authority Khalid Kidwai said the Shaheen III missile is meant to reach India’s nascent strategic bases on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.2 The purpose is to deny India a second-strike capability.3 Does this mean that Pakistan is moving toward a counterforce targeting or war-fighting doctrine? The Shaheen III tests have certainly caused speculation, but they may just be another sign of evolving trends in Pakistan’s doctrinal thinking.4The Shaheen III has piqued curiosity recently, much as perceptions about Pakistan’s nuclear use doctrine have for the past twenty-plus years.

Fork in the road Save Pakistan NOW or forever regret it

26th June 2016 

Two events took place last week: the abominable murder in Karachi of the irreplaceable Sufi singer Amjad Sabri and Britain’s momentous vote to exit the European Union. There’s a lesson for us here: Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif clings on to office despite having lost all moral and legal authority while the British prime minister David Cameron resigns within hours of losing the Brexit vote. That’s real democracy; Pakistan is an electoral dictatorship. 

Prime Minister David Cameron resigned without batting an eyelid. He did not muddy the waters by questioning the obvious, ask for a judicial commission and begin making terms of reference like Nawaz Sharif has done to delay the inevitable. Cameron is what democracy is all about; Nawaz Sharif is what democracy is not. Cameron did not start speaking lies. He bowed to the will of the people and resigned. Like Nawaz Sharif he did not say, “I have a mandate that I stole fair and square. My Supreme Court says so. My Election Commission says so. Who the hell are you to question it? How dare you take my throne away from me?” He will have to be thrown out kicking and screaming. 

But I was so heartbroken after the martyrdom of the great Amjad Sabri that I didn’t feel like putting pen to paper. But then I thought that the best catharsis is to write and get it out of my system. We kill those who do any good to Pakistan and crown those who harm it with plunder and mass murder. Pathetic indeed. 

An Introduction to the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia

June 30, 2016 

Summary: To better understand the implications of the continuing growth in size and complexity of the nuclear capabilities in Southern Asia, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, undertook this study of the prospects for nuclear deterrence stability among China, India, and Pakistan over the next decade.

This piece is part of a compilation bringing together Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia.

Although the three nuclear powers in Southern Asia—China, India, and Pakistan—have had a complex history of disdain, reluctance, and even outright opposition to nuclear weapons at different times in the past, they remain today the only countries whose nuclear-weapons inventories are growing as nuclear stockpiles gradually shrink in the rest of the world. The fact that China, India, and Pakistan have been, comparatively speaking, late nuclearizers accounts for this anomalous trend. The large disparities in nuclear capability between the advanced nuclear powers and the Southern Asian trio exacerbates this trend further, as China, responding to U.S. and Russian nuclear capabilities, provokes Indian, and in turn Pakistani, nuclear modernization in response. Furthermore, the trio’s strong belief that they are still some ways from achieving the kind of nuclear capabilities required to protect their national interests ensures that China, India, and Pakistan will likely continue to expand their nuclear arsenals, albeit at different rates, for many years to come—even if the other established nuclear powers continue to pursue progressive reductions in stockpile size.

In Bangladesh, an attack aimed at foreigners and the country’s elite

By Joseph Allchin 
July 2 2016

A Bangladeshi police officer gestures during a rescue operation Saturday morning during a deadly standoff with gunmen at a restaurant in the upscale diplomatic enclave in Dhaka, the capital. 

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh just realized one of its worst fears. The South Asian nation, no stranger to either vicious politics or targeted Islamist killings, this weekend experienced its deadliest and most sophisticated attack yet, in what appeared to be a calculated blow against the country’s elite, including its foreign residents.

The Holey Artisan Bakery and its restaurant, known as O’Kitchen, is a modest establishment that represents global dreams — and wallets. Located in the Bangladeshi capital’s diplomatic quarter, it has a handsome garden featuring some of the last green space in the city and is the only place in the country of 160 million to sell sourdough bread and Greek yogurt. Late Friday, 40 or so customers were in the restaurant, along with a large contingent of employees, including two foreign chefs.

Shortly after 9 p.m, a group of gunmen stormed the building, according to witnesses, precipitating a 12-hour standoff that left at least 28 people dead, including 20 hostages, six of the seven suspected gunmen and two police officers. Thirteen hostages were rescued, and at least one assailant was reportedly taken into custody.

China’s Nuclear Doctrine: Debates and Evolution

June 30, 2016

Summary: At present, there are ongoing debates in China about the future of China’s nuclear doctrine. The way these debates are eventually resolved will have important consequences for the future of China’s doctrine and arsenal.


Liping Xia is dean and professor at the School of Political Science and International Relations at Tongji University in Shanghai. He is vice president of the Shanghai Institute for International Strategic Studies (SIISS), vice chairman of the Shanghai Association of International Studies, and vice president of the Shanghai Center for RimPac Strategic and International Studies (CPSIS). He is also a senior guest fellow at the Institute of International Technology and Economics in Center for Development Studies under the PRC State Council. He specializes in Asian security, nuclear nonproliferation, and China’s foreign strategy.At present, there are ongoing debates in China about the future of China’s nuclear doctrine. The way these debates are eventually resolved will have important consequences for the future of China’s doctrine and arsenal. This publication maps the current debates in three sections: first, a survey of the four schools of thought that influence China’s existing doctrine; second, an assessment of the current debates; and third, a forecast of how China’s nuclear doctrine is likely to evolve in the future.


China’s Nuclear Deterrence in the Asian and Global Contexts

June 30, 2016

Summary: China’s nuclear deterrence thinking comes from its classic military thought, which will be still the driving force for the theory and practice of its nuclear deterrence in the future.


Jianqun Teng is the director of the Department for American Studies and a senior research fellow at the Chinese Institute of International Studies (CIIS). He has worked at CIIS since he was discharged from 25 years of active military service in 2004.The end of the Cold War sharply reduced the importance of nuclear weapons in national security. In April 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced an ambitious initiative: a world free of nuclear weapons. In the years that followed, the world witnessed solid cooperation among major countries on nuclear disarmament and nuclear security. Chinese President Hu Jintao voiced his support at the United Nations: “When conditions are ripe, other nuclear weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.”1

However, the momentum for disarmament dissipated when the relationships among the major powers deteriorated. Today, instead of cooperation, there is a standoff between China and the United States over the South China Sea, there is a standoff between Russia and the United States over Ukraine, and a U.S. missile defense system has been deployed in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, regional nuclear dynamics still pose challenges for maintaining peace and stability. Just recently, North Korea conducted its fourth round of nuclear tests and pledged to become a nuclear-armed state.

China’s Perceptions of India as a Nuclear Weapons Power

June 30, 2016

Summary: Given the substantial tensions concerning the unresolved Sino-Indian border issue, China’s perception of India as a nuclear weapons power is important not only for the future evolution of the international nuclear regime but also for the ongoing Sino-Indian security situation.

Visiting Scholar

South Asia ProgramChina does not believe that the common story of India’s nuclear program—that India developed nuclear weapons in response to China’s own nuclear program—is complete without also including India’s own aspiration to become a great power as a major motivation. China also believes that India’s domestic politics has always played an important role in determining India’s policy options, in the context of its interaction with other international actors, such as Pakistan and the United States. Therefore, if considering India’s capabilities and intentions statically, China does not see India as a security threat due to the capability (especially technology) gap and the no-war bottom-line intention threshold. However, if examining India’s capabilities and intentions dynamically, a multidimensional scenario of security challenges would be possible in the midterm with the evolution of India’s strategic interaction in the Asia-Pacific region, the enhancement of India’s conventional weapons capability, and the ascendance of the Tibet and border factors. To ameliorate this threat, the traditional nuclear logic based on counterforce targeting and flexibility should be transformed into a crisis-management-oriented, counter-deficit-targeted way of thinking. In this process, international efforts should be made to address the disconnection between India’s great power recognition and its nuclear weapons modernization; to encourage policy consolidation between the United States and China on strategic stability in South Asia; and, to increase trust, to foster cooperation on economic and development between India and China.

China’s Sea-Based Nuclear Deterrent

June 30, 2016

China has a choice to make to ensure that its sea-based nuclear capability can be a helpful addition to its existing nuclear deterrent without destabilizing regional security.

This piece is part of a compilation bringing together Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia.


China is investing heavily in its nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) capability. Western analysts point out that China’s first-generation SSBN, the 092-class, yielded only one submarine, which never conducted any patrols.1 But in a few short years, China has already built and deployed four second-generation SSBNs, the 094-class, according to the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress in 2015.2 The same report predicts that “up to five [094-class submarines] may enter service before China begins developing and fielding its next-generation SSBN, the Type 096, over the coming decade.” Some American officials believe the size of China’s 094 SSBN fleet could grow larger. In April 2015, the then–commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, testified to Congress that “China now has three operational JIN-class ballistic missile submarines (Type 094), and up to five more may enter service by the end of the decade.”3 By expecting “five more” 094 submarines to be built, he was predicting that China may have a fleet of up to eight 094-class SSBNs by 2020. But beyond just building a large second-generation SSBN fleet, China is also having them conduct patrols, which it never did with the 092-class. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Defense Department, China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines may start to conduct patrols in 2016.4This, if true, would represent a major milestone in the development of China’s strategic nuclear submarine capability, which could raise alert and cause reactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Living With The Islamic State


posted on 30 June 2016


-- this post authored by Scott Stewart

After over a month of fighting, the Iraqi government has at last reclaimed the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State's grasp. Clearing the city of any remaining fighters could take weeks, and removing the booby traps left behind will almost certainly take months. Nevertheless, the June 26 defeat is a huge symbolic loss for the jihadist group and a significant victory for the forces trying to discredit and destroy it.

Fallujah has a history as a hotbed for jihadist insurgency. In 2004, the U.S. military had to invade the city twice to wrest it from the hands of the jihadists controlling it.The second attempt, an operation that lasted more than six weeks, resulted in some of the heaviest urban combat that American troops experienced during their occupation of Iraq.

It came as no surprise when, a decade later, Fallujah became the first Iraqi city to fall to jihadists trying to expand their territory. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levantseized the town in January 2014, six months before it swept through Mosul. A few weeks after Mosul's highly publicized fall, the group declared that it had re-established the Islamic Caliphate and changed its name to one that better reflected its global ambitions: the Islamic State.
Finding Reality in the Quest for Utopia

Don't discount military bands' strategic value, supporters warn Congress

Leo Shane III
June 27, 2016

Supporters of military bands are pushing back against legislative attacks on the musicians’ work, arguing the benefits the groups provide outweigh the costs cited by critics.

Earlier this month, House lawmakers approved new restrictions on military ensemble performances at social functions outside official duties. The move would not directly cut any performance funds, but would stop service musicians’ appearances at military social events, if approved by the Senate later this year.

The House has already included a full review of band costs and manning in its draft of the annual defense authorization bill, arguing that “the services may be able to conserve end strength by reducing the number of military bands.”

According to Defense Department estimates, military bands spend about $437 million on instruments, uniforms and travel expenses each year. Lawmakers argue that money could be better spent elsewhere, given the strict spending caps placed on defense spending.

But supporters of the bands call the moves short-sighted and ignorant of the scope of the performers’ work.

Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia

JUNE 30, 2016

To better understand the implications of the continuing growth in size and complexity of the nuclear capabilities in Southern Asia, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, undertook this study of the prospects for nuclear deterrence stability among China, India, and Pakistan over the next decade.
Regional Insight
JUNE 30, 2016

At present, there are ongoing debates in China about the future of China’s nuclear doctrine. The way these debates are eventually resolved will have important consequences for the future of China’s doctrine and arsenal.
Regional Insight
JUNE 30, 2016

Regional Voices on the Challenges of Nuclear Deterrence Stability in Southern Asia

JUNE 30, 2016

To better understand the implications of the continuing growth in size and complexity of the nuclear capabilities in Southern Asia, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, undertook this study of the prospects for nuclear deterrence stability among China, India, and Pakistan over the next decade.
Regional Insight
JUNE 30, 2016

At present, there are ongoing debates in China about the future of China’s nuclear doctrine. The way these debates are eventually resolved will have important consequences for the future of China’s doctrine and arsenal.
Regional Insight
JUNE 30, 2016

China’s nuclear deterrence thinking comes from its classic military thought, which will be still the driving force for the theory and practice of its nuclear deterrence in the future.
Regional Insight
JUNE 30, 2016

rticle McKinsey Quarterly May 2016 Ahead of the curve: The future of performance management By Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, and Asmus Komm

What happens after companies jettison traditional year-end evaluations?

The worst-kept secret in companies has long been the fact that the yearly ritual of evaluating (and sometimes rating and ranking) the performance of employees epitomizes the absurdities of corporate life. Managers and staff alike too often view performance management as time consuming, excessively subjective, demotivating, and ultimately unhelpful. In these cases, it does little to improve the performance of employees. It may even undermine their performance as they struggle with ratings, worry about compensation, and try to make sense of performance feedback.

These aren’t new issues, but they have become increasingly blatant as jobs in many businesses have evolved over the past 15 years. More and more positions require employees with deeper expertise, more independent judgment, and better problem-solving skills. They are shouldering ever-greater responsibilities in their interactions with customers and business partners and creating value in ways that industrial-era performance-management systems struggle to identify. Soon enough, a ritual most executives say they dislike will be so outdated that it will resemble trying to conduct modern financial transactions with carrier pigeons.

Yet nearly nine out of ten companies around the world continue not only to generate performance scores for employees but also to use them as the basis for compensation decisions.1The problem that prevents managers’ dissatisfaction with the process from actually changing it is uncertainty over what a revamped performance-management system ought to look like. If we jettison year-end evaluations—well, then what? Will employees just lean back? Will performance drop? And how will people be paid?


UKIP’s triumph in securing a majority to leave the EU in the UK referendum was only the start of a broader trend of insurgent parties destabilising the EU.

• Insurgent parties currently hold 1,329 seats in 25 EU countries – and are playing a direct role in government in eight member states.

• Their weapon of choice is undoubtedly the referendum, and insurgent parties across te EU are pushing for at least 34 referenda in the coming years on various issues such as EU membership, eurozone membership, and refugee relocation quotas.

• Some key trends can be identified in their views on international affairs: they are sceptical about the EU, resent the United States, and are sympathetic to Russia. Most prefer borders closed, migration low, and trade protected. They all want to return power to the people through direct democracy.

• These parties could act as a significant block in upcoming EU Council plans for a migration compact with neighbouring transit countries, and many will oppose the exten

home UK world sport football opinion selected culture business lifestyle fashion environment tech travel all sections Economic growth (GDP) Opinion For 300 years Britain has outsourced mayhem. Finally it's coming home

Opium, famine and banks all played their part in this country's plundering of the globe. Now it's over, we find it hard to accept

Why now? It's not as if this is the first time Britain's representatives have been caught out. The history of governments in all countries is the history of scandal, as those who rise to the top are generally the most ambitious, ruthless and unscrupulous people politics can produce. Pushing their own interests to the limit, they teeter perennially on the brink of disgrace, except when they fly clean over the edge. So why does the current ballyhoo threaten to destroy not only the government but also our antediluvian political system?

The past 15 years have produced the cash-for-questions racket, the Hinduja andEcclestone affairs, the lies and fabrications that led to the invasion of Iraq, the forced abandonment of the BAE corruption probe, the cash-for-honours caper and the cash-for-amendments scandal. By comparison to the outright subversion of the functions of government in some of these cases, the is small beer. Any one of them should have prompted the sweeping political reforms we are now debating. But they didn't.

The stories you need to read, in one handy email

John Carlin on "Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber

By Benjamin Wittes 
June 21, 2016

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who runs the Justice Department's National Security Division, has a new paper out in the Harvard National Security Journal entitled "Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats." I have not read it yet and may have comments after I do. In the meantime, the introduction reads as follows:

The United States faces an inflection point when it comes to the Internet’s effect on daily life. What has enriched our economy and quality of life for the past several decades may start to hurt us more than help us, unless we confront its cybersecurity challenges. Waves of network intrusions—increasing in number, sophistication, and severity—have hit American companies and the U.S. government. In 2012, former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described the nation’s cybersecurity weaknesses as presenting a “pre-9/11 moment.” And in July 2014, the 9/11 Commission itself warned: “We are at September 10th levels in terms of cyber preparedness.” Following that ominous prediction, in a span of less than two years, the United States was besieged by intrusions originating from around the globe. There was no single target, and no common perpetrator. Our adversaries stated or demonstrated that they hacked on behalf of China, North Korea, Syria, Iran, and many others. They stole sensitive information from government databases, damaged and destroyed private companies’ computer systems, and—in a new twist—even targeted individuals’ personally identifiable information to benefit terrorist organizations. The list of victims is broad and varied—the private sector, the government, and individual citizens. The past two years have publicly demonstrated the extent of the threat.


June 28, 2016

It was the refugee crisis whot won it. 

Many of the British citizens who voted to leave the European Union on June 23 clearly had two related issues on their mind, exit polls show. The most prominent consideration was the wish to control Britain’s borders. Second was the wish to keep immigrants out.

Of course, the second issue directly influenced the first. Stopping immigration was the motivation, closing borders the means.

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party on Friday morning was himself almost surprised at the Leave campaign’s success. When a Dutch television news crew asked him what in his opinion had turned the tide, he replied “Immigration!” with eyes wide in positive astonishment. Polls had been showing a neck-and-neck race between the Remain and Leave campaigns, but it was only when Leave dropped everything else and focused solely on immigration fears in the last three weeks that the Leave campaign got a boost, Farage said.

Whether the theme changed people’s minds, increased turnout for the Leave campaign, or both, is yet to be established. What is certain is that immigration is very much a hot topic on many a European’s mind thanks to the refugee crisis of the past two years.

If anything, the events of the past two years show that the European Union has failed in delivering what many Europeans want: an end to the apparently unstoppable influx of refugees. On the one hand this can be attributed to a failure of the European Union as an institution.

Infographic Of The Day: Billion Dollar Companies That Started In A Garage

They say that we should begin with something - at least some place to live, some cash to contribute, some encouragement from our relatives, friends.

Infographic Of The Day: Is Your Company Just 1 Weak Password Away From A Security Breach?

Today, just about everything we need to do is available as a cloud offering. With services like Office 365, Google Apps, and Dropbox,businesses are putting some of their most valuable intellectual property into the cloud. With all this convenience comes risk. With the use of a large number of 3rd party services, the enterprise landscape is far more complex. Corporate assets are now available from anywhere, with only a password protecting access to them.

A new survey conducted by Spiceworks on behalf of LastPass asked ~250 IT decision makers working in companies with 500 or more employees how they are protecting their business data. We found that their first line of defense is a strong password, but the majority–62% –say that employees using weak passwords is their primary password management challenge. In addition, 73% of employees don’t reset their passwords after sharing it with someone else. [click here to enlarge infographic]

Marine Corps Makes Biggest Changes To Fitness Standards In 40 Years

July 1, 2016

In an administrative message, the Marines announced big changes to their physical standards and tests.

The Marine Corps announced big changes to its physical fitness standards in a July 1, 2016 administrative message. The message, signed by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller, unveiled the elimination of the flexed arm hang as the upper body strength test for female Marines in the annual physical fitness test. All Marines and recruits, male and female, will be subjected to a new test that will involve a “hybrid” of pull-ups and push ups, the announcement revealed.

According to the Marine Corps Times, the flexed arm hang will be “phased out” in January 2017.

The Marines’ deputy director of fitness at its training and education command told the Marine Corps Times that the flexed arm hang was an inadequate test of upper body strength, and that the pull-up requires Marines to lift their entire body weight. Push ups were included, the deputy director, Brian McGuire, told the Times, because the Corps didn’t “want to create a manpower problem by having some female Marines failing.”

Behind enemy lines

We were soldiers
England was the first country in the world to acquire a modern industrial economy, based on growth and the application of science and technology to productive process. This resulted in the creation of wealth and affluence at an unprecedented level.

In becoming the first affluent country, England gave a new message to the world — in order to become rich and richer, a country needed wealth and resources which could only be obtained by a conquest over other countries, and by controlling their resources. In order to conquer other countries, a country needed to possess arms and other modern weapons of destruction. All the European powers were quick to learn this lesson. The net result was a search for colonies which were found in Asia and Africa. After all of Asia and Africa had been conquered, the European powers had to fight among themselves to protect one’s colonial possessions and encroach upon others’. Japan was the last and the only non-European Asian country to join this race.

Capturing other countries economically and politically, and using them to enrich one’s own economy was a singularly European idea and the world as a whole paid a very heavy cost for this. Two big wars were fought among the European superpowers, taking as many as 115 million lives. The rest of the world was sucked into these wars among European superpowers, on account of being under their control. And so, India being a British colony, became a party to the War, declared by England against Germany in September 1939, much against her wishes. Strictly speaking, this was not India’s war; it was imposed on her. Yet, no other war fought by India has affected Indian society and politics as profoundly as the Second World War. It would be no exaggeration to say that the War shaped Independent India in many ways.