Showing posts with label Blog Master Recommended Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog Master Recommended Reading. Show all posts

9 September 2019

US OPEN MEN’S FINALS

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Tonight is the US Open Men’s Finals. By all account Rafa is overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy and win his 19th grand slam tournament. The three time US Open champion Spaniard will play his sixth final at Flushing Meadows. Nadal lost one set in five encounters to advance into the 28th Grand Slam final.

Will it be a repeat of womens finals? Not likely. Though there is a lot of similarity. Rafa is not Serena. Coming to this tournament his preparation is impeccable.

Against Nadal across the net will be Daniil Medvedev, a 6 ft 6 inches tall and gaunt twenty three year old Russian, with a patchy mustache under his long, sharp nose and a scrappy goatee on his chin. His light brown hair is retreating at the temples. He has high cheekbones and hooded eyes, and sometimes wears a faint smirk, although he is capable of appearing angelic. He likes to play video games and chess. He looks more like a professor than like a professional athlete. He acts more like a professional wrestler than like a tennis star.

Daniil Medvedev will be a tired man. He has played more singles tennis matches in the month than anyone on the tour. Medvedev reached three consecutive finals since the start of August, at tournaments in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati.

BIANCA ANDREESCU WINS US OPEN

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu has upset Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 in the US Open final to claim her first Grand Slam title. The 19-year-old Andreescu is the first woman to win the trophy at Flushing Meadows in her tournament debut in the Open era. When Serena won her first grand slam in US Open 20 years back Andreescu was not even born. She got a check of $3.85 million. Much more will follow in endorsements.

Was the result an upset? After all she was playing unarguably the GOAT of women’s tennis, holder of 23 grand slam trophies in front of a stadium full of screaming fans of Serena. Serena had been annihilating her opponents this year in US Open with her power play.I don’t think it was an upset.

One has to look at CV this year of teenager Bianca Andreescu. Just to remind everybody of her mental toughness, She has won 12 consecutive 3 set matches, her record in 44 – 4 win lose this season is the best. If you take out the injury withdrawal in two tournaments she has hardly been beaten this year. She had made her presence felt by storming to the Indian Wells title in March and after a knee injury forced her to pull out of the Miami and Rome tournaments earlier this year after just one match. She won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last month. In the finals she was leading Serena 3-1 when Serena withdrew due to injury. The way the teenager reacted there after Serena threw in the towels won praise from Serena who is not known for praising others.

6 September 2019

Research and Development in Cyber Domain and Indian Perspective

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… India has to develop its own technologies, an electronic manufacturing base, R&D infrastructure and a highly skilled human resource… talented professionals available in the cyber eco system have to be brought in for research on indigenization of cyber technologies… Though a little late, but given the required priority, funding and impetus India has the capability to develop indigenous technology in cyber domain …

Download 1.48 MB


5 September 2019

US Open Tennis

Maj Gen P K mallick, VSM (Retd)

We are now at the business end of US Open tennis championship. Today the second set of QFs will be played to determine the semifinals line up in the bottom half of the draw. 

Baby Fed Grigor Dimitrov has beaten the GOAT Roger Federer in 5 sets. 

Before the tournament started nobody in his wildest dream would have put money on Dimitrov to reach semis in current form. The 78th ranked Bulgarian lost 7 of his last 8 first round matches in first round. The other one he lost was in second round! 

He is called baby Fed because of his similar style of play like Roger Federer. His serve, volley, slices, forehand, one handed backhand, speed on court are remarkably similar. He was touted as next big thing when he won the year ending 2017 Nitto ATP finals. Then inexplicably he came under tough weather. He has been No 3 in the world. He had reached two grand slam semifinals in 2014 and 2017. He has won two junior grand slams. He has the pedigree to reach the top. 

This year he had hired Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek as Coach. Both were missing from his box today. When asked in post match talk he was evasive, meant you have to ask them for an answer. 

28 August 2019

China’s Defence White Paper – An Analysis

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… Beijing’s latest Defence White Paper reads more as a report card on the status of PLA reforms than a strategic policy document. This White Paper identifies the United States as the single most precarious threat to China’s national security and strikes an increasingly assertive tone towards Taiwan…


25 June 2019

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think

Source Link
ARTHUR C. BROOKS

"It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.”

These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of “I wish I was dead.”

Again, the woman: “Oh, stop saying that.”

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.

At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.

10 June 2019

Tennis : French Open Finals

In the French Open finals it was business as usual. Nadal grinding down Thiem with his relentless game. Rafa easily won the first set at 3.

Second set was going with serve. But Thiem could take only one yes only one point in Nadal's first five service games. Serving at 5 - 6 Rafa played an exquisite drop volley on his back hand side. In fact all through the match Rafa's volleying was out of the world. Out of nowhere unforced error from Rafa and winner from Thiem brought a break and set point which Thiem duly converted. Set all, game on.

Rafa came out like a raging bull, pulverized Thiem to win the third set at 1.

In the fourth set Rafa was leading three love. In a now or never scene Thiem down at love 30, played some big booming serve and outstanding ground shots managed to hold serve.

But he is just delaying the inevitability. Rafa is leading 4-1 in fourth set. It is matter of time before Rafa gets his 12th title. King of clay has won the fourth set at 1 and the French Open title.

Problem is there is no new balls. Only players who can give trouble to Rafa, not necessarily winning are those 30 plus warhorses Novac, Stan or Roger.

Old balls are holding on. All 30 plus. The GOAT at 37 plus.
Njoy till they hang up.Except possibly Tsitsipas there is nobody who can hold a candle to these Mohicans.

We all want new guns. Sadly they cannot match the dedication discipline and work ethics of these galectos.

People like me can take heart from these aging superstars, but what about youngstars.

There lies the problem. Throne will not be vacated, has to be won!


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I am now bored to see the same three faces winning all the grand slams. Stan the Man and Andy Murray got three each in between but both of them are out with injuries. Stan is on his way to come back.

If Thiem wins it will be such a change. He has all the credentials to do that. He has beaten Rafa in clay like last year.

But Rafa is the greatest clay court player the planet has ever seen. He has won 11 titles here. He owns this piece of land at Ronald Garros.

This year Rafa was beaten in clay by the merculian Italian, the Greek Tsitsipas and Thiem. But will anybody bet against Rafa for the French Open title. I doubt.

Remember. Last year finals. Rafa just ate up Thiem. The way Nadal is devouring his opponents, I am afraid we are going to see another one sided finals.

My heart is with Thiem but my brain is with Rafa.

Unless some miracle happens. Look at the ladies half. All new faces coming up to the top. Men's tennis requires young guns. New balls please. Except Tsitsipas nobody is in the horizon to challenge the three aging superstars. Old balls still reign supreme.

That is why winning by Thiem is so important.

Alas, if that could happen!

7 March 2019

The Afghanistan Conundrum

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)



The location of Afghanistan is geostrategically critical. It is a land bridge that links China, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Geo-politically, Afghanistan is located conveniently close to “the soft underbelly” of Russia and China and its neighbor Iran. Will the Americans leave this geo-strategically important location? However the country is constantly at war for several decades. For the country to prosper Afghanistan must have some semblance of peace. For ending the 17 year old war the United States is pushing the Taliban to join peace talks with present Afghan Government. The problem is how to balance the Taliban's demand for a complete withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces with Kabul's desire for U.S. troops to stay.Download Pdf 

28 February 2019

Pulwama and After

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

At least 44 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and 70 injured when a Maruti Eeco car laden with explosives rammed into a CRPF bus—part of a massive convoy—in Awantipora town of Pulwama District in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on 14 February, in one of the deadliest terror attacks yet on government forces in J&K. The incident took place at Lethpora, about 30 km from Srinagar on the Jammu-Srinagar highway around 3.15 pm. The scene of the attack is not very far from the CRPF Commando Training Centre at Lethpora, which was stormed by Jaish militants on December 31, 2017, killing five personnel. This was the first suicide car bomb attack in Kashmir since the 2001 strike on the J&K Legislative Assembly in which 41 people, including three suicide attackers, were killed.  Read More......


20 February 2019

PULWAMA AND AFTER

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

A targeted operation was launched a little after midnight on a tip-off that three Jaish terrorists, including the handler of the Pulwama suicide bomber, were hiding in the Pinglan area. Personnel of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, the CRPF and the Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police were involved in the encounter.

The encounter took place about 12 km away from Lethpora where a JeM suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, drove his explosives laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, killing 40 personnel and injuring many others on Thursday. The encounter began after the security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants. The search operation triggered a gun battle early on Monday morning, which continued intermittently till Monday evening..

Three militants affiliated to the extremist group were killed in a 17-hour gunfight with security forces. Two terrorists have been identified as Pakistanis. All the three killed terrorists were affiliated with JeM and were wanted in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. One of the Pakistani terrorists identified as Kamran had taken over as operational commander of JeM after Mufti Waqas who was killed in an encounter in February last year. Kamran was a key aide of Jaish chief Masood Azhar. Kamran, the mastermind of the Pulwama terror attack and top commander of Jaish, remained active in Pulwama and Awantipora since 2017 and had a history of terror crime records. He was responsible for the recruitment of people to the terror fold and several terror crime cases were registered against him. "Kamran's role in the February 14 suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy was under the scanner of investigators," a senior police official said.

19 January 2019

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Changing the Nature of War?

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The professional military body differentiates between an objective nature and a subjective character of war by drawing upon Clausewitz. Nature of war describes what war is and character of war describes how it is actually fought. Nature of war is violent, interactive between opposing wills and fundamentally political. War’s character is influenced by technology, law, ethics, culture, methods of social, political, and military organization and other factors that change across time and place. Character of warfare changes in concert with the tools that become available and how they influence the ways militaries organize themselves to fight wars.

In his book On War, Carl von Clausewitz highlighted how failing to understand the character of war leads to disaster. He chastised Prussian generals for using the old tactics of Frederick the Great against a Napoleonic army waging a new type of warfare. They had not appreciated the changes in how war was being fought or in the character of war. Future development and deployment of human-machine teams and autonomous weapons systems represents such a shift in the character of war.

5 November 2018

My Blog http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.in today has crossed 8 Million views.


On 21 July 2018 my blog crossed seven million mark. It took three and half months to reach from seven million to 8 million hits. 

The page views of last month is as under : 


My observations on the page views are : 

Language Issue. Latin America does not view this blog probably for language reasons. Same for Russia, Japan. 

China has banned my site for viewing. When in China I could not access. 

No idea why hits from Africa is very less. 

In India very few people read serious issues. A blog on Bollywood would have attracted much more eyeballs. Same is the condition in South Asian countries. Many a times Singapore has more page views than India. 

Google is not willing to put ads because of some policy issues. I don’t want to make it a paid site. Any idea how can I generate some revenue so that I can employ some people to carry this forward. Doing it alone is a tough job. 

I am not getting younger!

6 October 2018

Excerpts from my yet to be published paper on TWO + TWO DIALOGUE AND INDO U.S. RELATIONS

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

CAATSA

U.S. congress’s enactment of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which President Trump signed into law in August 2017. Sections 231 and 235 of the law struck at the heart of the Indo U.S. strategic partnership. Section 231 requires that the president impose sanctions on any entity that “engages in a significant transaction with . . . the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation”. Section 235 describes the sanctions that may be imposed, which include, but are not limited to, prohibiting “any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest” and forbidding “any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person.”

7 September 2018

TWO + TWO DIALOGUE BETWEEN INDIA AND USA – CRITICAL ISSUES

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM(Retd)

A joint statement issued at the end of the bilateral dialogue declared.“They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defence systems and enable India to optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms.”

I am reproducing the portion of COMCASA from my paper.

Sensitive Issues

Though no doubt that Indo – U.S relations have improved considerable since the cold war days, there are number of issues which need to be addressed to take the relationship forward. These are sensitive in nature and would required highest forms of diplomatic tight rope working, sagacity and maturity.

Trade. While the United States and India have made tremendous strides on defense cooperation and counterterrorism efforts, that progress has not translated into smooth and successful trade relations. India's exports to the US in 2016-17 stood at $42.21 billion, while imports were $22.3 billion. India has taken steps to increase imports from USA which helped narrow the gap by over $1 billion last year. India will be importing oil worth $2.5 billion from the US this year.

22 August 2018

A Second Class Seat on the Security Council Express?

MOHAN GURUSWAMY:

Membership of the UN Security Council had become a permanent and key focus of India’s foreign policy goals for over a decade. India’s position is that it would like the UNSC to have a P-9 with it and Brazil, Japan and Germany added to perpetuate the old system. To that extent it is not a reform of the Un system but a little tweak to it. This idea has so infatuated us that we now insist that support for India’s membership is a part of every joint communiqué with any foreign government. Except for an obvious handful most governments oblige. Even China, which probably most resists the expansion of the P-5, says it would like to see India on the UNSC.

29 June 2018

DIAGNOSING ISLAM'S DISQUIET

Priyadarshi Dutta

Bernard Lewis, who passed away recently, was a doyen of Ottoman and Arab history. In his work, he explained why Muslims have shared an uneasy relationship with modernity and the West  Bernard Lewis (1916-2018), the renowned American scholar of Islamic and Middle Eastern history, passed away recently at 102. He will be remembered for his penetrating insight into the Ottoman Turkish and Arab history. He coined the term “clash of civilisations”, which later became famous in an essay for The Atlantic magazine in 1990. Lewis was one of the illustrious alumni of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Born in a Jewish family in London in 1916, he grew up through times when Islam had ceased to be a factor in global discourse.

28 June 2018

My Blogsite https://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.in

In my blog I routinely put lot of important papers every day. For example please see today's blog.




However it is the Europeans and the Americans who are reading these. Today's page view by countries is given below.


Pageviews by Countries

Entry                                      Pageviews

United States                         3318
Netherlands                           2570
Turkey                                    229
Norway                                   210
India                                       172
Italy                                        158
France                                    148
Ukraine                                   138
Germany                                 83
Portugal                                   75

I am seriously wondering why should I continue doing this when nobody is willing to support my effort. It takes huge amount of time, energy and money to keep this blog going.

Very soon I will take a call. Kindly don't send me any mail saying : well done, keep it going, great effort etc. I get pissed off.

3 May 2018

Testimony of Admiral Michael S. Rogers and Implications for India

By Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM(Retd)

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) since April 3, 2014. He is going to be replaced by US Army’s Army Cyber Command Chief Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone. On 27 February 2018 Admiral Michael Rogers testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. In his prepared speech the Admiral explained the various progress made by the USCYBERCOM. This was his last testimony to the Senate.

In the USA the top officials of the Government are madae to undergo hearings before taking over, during the tenure and while handing over the responsibilities. They are grilled by the Senators and often asked very searching and sometime uncomfortable questions. The top official has to answer on his own without any support from his staff.

25 April 2018

What is Happening in Tibet

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM(Retd)

On November 26, 2017 a 63-year-old Tibetan popular monk and volunteer teacher of village children named Tenga from Kardze self-immolated in Sichuan province's Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He called out for freedom in Tibet before he set himself aflame. These self-immolation protests have explicitly called for greater freedom for the Tibetan people. They represent the deep frustrations and yearnings of the Tibetan people. Since 2008-2009, the unrest of resorting to self immolation by the Tibetans to protest against the Chinese has gained huge momentum and till now more than 150 Tibetans have resorted to this extreme step of protest. Even sending a picture like this abroad can, and has, cost Tibetan men and women their freedom and resulted in lengthy prison sentences. Read More.......

19 March 2018

Super Dan and Roger Federer

Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

Two days back I wrote in my FB page: 

Only person who has a realistic chance to defeat Roger will be standing across the net at the finals. The beanpole from Tanda is in impressive form. He is serving bombs, his forehand has the most devastating power in the game. To add his backhand up the line has now added lot of venom, he is not depending on his slices alone in his back hand side. 

But Federer being the supreme artist and craftsman is still my favourite. He has not been at his best in this tournament, though lost only a set in the semifinals where he has again made a Houdini act. But his impeccable serve is bailing him out, 

Best wishes to Roger, sorry Del Potro. 

My premonition has come true. The tall and handsome man from Argentina has beaten Roger in 3 sets. Juan Martín del Potro rallied from three match points down in the third set and beat top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 to win the BNP Paribas Open, handing the world No1 his first loss of the year. 

Del Potro held a match point at 8-7 in the second-set tiebreaker, but he lost the final three points on his own errors and allowed Federer to force a third set. They were on serve in the third until Federer broke for a 5-4 lead with a backhand winner off del Potro’s serve. Federer had a chance to serve out the match, holding two match points but del Potro staved both off to force deuce and broke to force a deciding tiebreak. In the tiebreaker, Del Potro raced to a 6-1 lead, helped by two Federer double faults. He closed out the win on his third match point when Federer’s forehand failed. Roger serving 2 double faults in the decider tie break! After all the GOAT is human. 

This year the biggest threat to Roger is the Argentine. Make no mistake about it. Of all the players playing now only he has the game and numbers of Roger. 

Lets see how Roger plans to counter that humungous forehand of Del Potro. 

On Sunday it was All England Open badminton championships in Birmingham. On one side stood the aging superstar, the GOAT, 6 times All England champion Lin Dan, the Super Dan and on the other side the rising Chinese star last year's finalist Shi Yuqi. It was a pulsating match. Lin Dan fought hard in the first game but lost narrowly at 19. The grate man levelled the match by winning the second game. But in the third he was blown away by the power of the young pretender. Shi Yuqi toiled for 75 minutes to beat his senior 21-19, 16-21, 21-9 for his first All-England title. The 22-year-old Shi lost to Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles final last year. 

It was not a nice sight to see one time alpha male of badminton world sprawling on the ground to retrieve the powerful smashes of his opponent though he managed to make winners even from there. 

Old order changeth yielding place to new. Surely. But the great man ( October 83 born) is still good enough to reach the finals! The familiar debate will start. Look at Super Dan’s achievements : 

  • He is a two-time Olympic champion, five-time World champion, as well as a six-time All England champion. 
  • He won Malaysia open in April, 2017 by defeating Lee Chong Wei in straight sets to complete winning all the major world titles available in the world of badminton. 
  • He is the first and only player to complete the “Super Grand Slam” by the age of 28, which includes all nine major titles in the international badminton. 
  • Dan was nicknamed “Super Dan” by his fans for his amazing achievements including 5 gold and a silver in World Championships, 2 gold medal in badminton World Cup, 5 gold and 2 bronze medal in Thomas Cup, 3 gold medal in Asian Games, 3 gold medal in Asian Championships and the title of Hong Kong East Asian Games in 2009. 
  • He is the only badminton player in history to win the Olympic gold medal twice consecutively in 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. 
In his younger days fans used to soon over his powerful acrobatic smashes and diving retrievals. Today he is more of a craftsman, uses a cat and mouse game, though the old power comes out once in a while. 

Let’s leave it to the Super Dan to decide when he quits. Till then NJOY his game. 

Is there an uncanny similarity between the two GOATS: Roger and Lin Dan?