5 January 2014

News Letters Jan 2014


January–February 2014 “Air and Space Power Journal” issue is now available for downloading from the Air University website

 Please take a moment to visit us at http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/. We appreciate your patience and hope that you enjoy the issue.

In this issue. . . . 

General Mark A. Welsh III, USAF
General Hawk Carlisle, USAF

Maj Gen Kenneth S. Wilsbach, USAF
Lt Col David J. Lyle, USAF

Capt Adam B. Young, USAF

Lt Col Aaron D. Burgstein, USAF

Capt Albert C. Harris III, USAF

LTC Kelvin Mote, USA
The Editor 
Air and Space Power Journal 

Air, Space Power Journal, November-December 2013, v. 27, no. 6
  • Search and Rescue in the High North: An Air Force Mission?
  • Cyberspace Superiority: A Conceptual Model
  • A Strategic Assessment of Infrastructure Asset-Management Modeling
  • Who's in Charge? Commander, Air Force Forces or Air Force Commander?
  • Deployed Communications in an Austere Environment: A Delphi Study
  • Missile-Warning Augmentation: A Low-Risk Approach
Combating Terrorism Exchange (CTX), November 2013, v. 3, no. 4 
  • Protecting Soft Networks: Time to Counter the Enemy’s Logical Strategy
  • The Ideologies of Anti-Technology Violence
  • De-radicalizing Muslim Youth in Western Societies
  • The Role of Medical Development in Support of Security
  • The Challenge of Combat Search and Rescue for Colombian National Army Aviation
  • The Future of SOF Education: A Vision for Global Special Forces Education
  • The Haqqani Network: Pursuing Feuds under the Guise of Jihad?
  • To Pay or Not to Pay: Criminal Extortion from a Game Theory Perspective
  • CTAP INTERVIEW - COL Billy Shaw, U.S. Army Special Forces, with Doug Borer
  • Kill v. Capture—With a Twist
  • The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle
  • The Deceptive American

Year in Review
China and Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)
Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

Perspectives on Terrorism, December 2013, v. 7, no. 6
  • Media Metrics: How Arab and Western Media Construct Success and Failure in the ‘Global War on Terror’ 
  • Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Strategy: Restorative Justice for Rebels and Rebuilding of Conflict-affected Communities
  • Salafi Violence and Sufi Tolerance? Rethinking Conventional Wisdom
  • Simultaneous Attacks by Terrorist Organisations
  • Al-Shabaab’s Somali Safe Havens: A Springboard for Terror
  • Rethinking International Counterterrorism Assistance to the Greater Horn of Africa: Toward a Regional Risk Reduction Strategy
  • Research Note on the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD)
  • Risks of Terrorism, Homicide and Illness: a Methodological Consideration
  • Literature on the Conflict in Syria (2011 – November 2013)
  • Selected Dissertations and Theses on Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Political Violence, 1980 – 2013 

Parameters, Winter 2013-14

Special Commentary
American Power in Transition
Fighting Irregular Fighters
Conflict by Other Means
Preparing for Netwars
Of Note


The Tactical Reach and Requirement of the Indian Navy 

State of India’s Cities and Towns—A Book of Charts on the NCT Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram 

Construction Finishing of Likely New Indian Centrifuge Facility at Rare Materials Plant 

India and Asian Geopolitics

India Should Rebalance Regional Focus 

India’s Policy Objectives in Afghanistan 

India and China—Exploring Partnership in Afghanistan


Manoj Joshi



Shyam Saran


by Toral Varia

by Howard Schultz and Miles White

Issue Net Edition


Ravi Joshi

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Wajahat Habibullah


Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013: 3. India 

Islam, Jamhooriyat and Pakistan (Islam, Democracy and Pakistan)

Pakistan’s New Taliban Challenge

China’s Reactor Sale to Pakistan: The Known Unknowns 

Pakistan's Strategic Agenda and Security Policy

Pakistan's Security Today and Tomorrow: Highlights from the Conference 22-23 January 2009, Ottawa 

Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS)

Conflict & Peace Studies, Spring 2013, v. 5, no. 1 http://san-pips.com/download.php?f=250.pdf
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan: A Common Security Perspective 
  • Pak-Iran Relations: Views of Political and Religious Parties and Militant Groups
  • Anti-Americanism Deconstructed
  • Culture of Violence versus Culture of Silence
  • The Role of Religious Scholars in Counter-Radicalization
  • Evolution of Militant Groups in Pakistan (3)

Afghanistan: Future Scenarios 

Pakistan's Illegal Nuclear Procurement Exposed in 1987

Charting the Data for US Airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2013 [updated November 22, 2013] 

Further Construction Progress on the Fourth Heavy Water Reactor at Khushab Nuclear Site http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Khushab_November_2013.pdf

Counterinsurgency, Local Militias, and Statebuilding in Afghanistan 

United States Should Include Pakistan in its Rebalance Policy Toward Asia, Argues CFR Special Report

Afghanistan: Can India and Pakistan work Together?

Post 2014 Afghanistan: India’s Interests and Concerns

Grabbing the Wolf's Tail

Keep Foreign Troops in Afghanistan

The Looming Narco-State in Afghanistan

Karzai's Future and the Afghan Elections

Al-Qaeda has no future in the Arab world

Was our Afghan saga useless – or worse?
The Globe and Mail

Pakistan 2013: Civil-Military Relations

Real Assumptions for the Way Forward in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The Desert of Death

Assisting Afghanistan Militarily

Murder on the Roof of the World

Making sense of the Kishenganga final award
Bharat H Desai and Balraj K Sigh


Imran Khan, a Pakistani provincial leader, complicates NATO plans for Afghanistan

The intelligence assessment is too pessimistic about Afghanistan
By Michael O’Hanlon

Afghanistan after the US drawdown
by Daveed Gartenstein Ros

Afghanistan gains will be lost quickly after drawdown, U.S. intelligence estimate warns
By Ernesto Londoño, Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller

Brookings Institute Analyst Says New CIA Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan Is Wrong

Afghanistan-Pakistan: The Covert War
By Umar Farooq


Afghanistan: Security Trends and Implications for India


China’s Strategic Capabilities and Intent 

*** Balancing Without Containment: An American Strategy for Managing China

2013 Annual Report to Congress
November 20, 2013
Report PDFs: 

China Brief, November 7, 2013, v. 13, no. 22 

  • Diplomacy Work Forum: Xi Steps Up Efforts to Shape a China-Centered Regional Order
  • Hunting Season for Multinationals in China?
  • Moscow Talks Business, Beijing Answers with Geo-strategy
  • Mixed Views of China’s “One Size Fits All” Trade Diplomacy in Central Asia

Chinese Intrusions Across the LAC 

Taking Stock of Chinese Leader Xi Jinping’s One Year Rule 

China Brief, December 5, 2013, v. 13, no. 24 

  • East China Sea Air Defense Moves: What for and Why Now?
  • Philippine Military Modernization More Urgent and Less Likely after Hurricane
  • China’s East China Sea ADIZ: Framing Japan to Help Washington Understand
  • AirSea Battle and ADIZ: A Reaction to a Reaction
  • Critical Node: Taiwan’s Cyber Defense and Chinese Cyber-Espionage
  • Ending the Sino-Mongolia Chill

  • Taiwan Trade Agreements with Singapore, Japan, Should Calm Fears of PRC Economic Domination
  • Major Party Meeting Calls for PLA Reform and Restructuring
  • Xi’s Power Grab Towers Over Market Reform
  • Economic Reform in the Third Plenum: Balancing State and Market
  • Firm Warning, Light Consequences: China’s DPRK Policy Upholds Status Quo
  • China’s New Exit-Entry Law: Strike Hard Against Immigration

China and the Arctic: China's Interests and Participation in the Region 


Stability and Growth in South Asia
Publisher: Pantagon Press
ISBN 978-81-8274-748-7
Price: Rs.995/- [Download Now]

Preventing Nuclear War in South Asia: Unprecedented Challenges, Unprecedented Solutions 

Combating Islamism in South Asia: Keeping Bangladesh on the Democratic Path 

Iran, Afghanistan, and South Asia—Resolving Regional Sources of Instability

Ethnic Conflict in Burma/Myanmar: From Aspirations to Solutions 

Myanmar Stumbles on Press Freedom
By Bridget Di Certo

Expanse of Federalism: South Asia Sui Generis?
IPCS DEBATE, D Suba Chandran,  Director, IPCS 

Japan: Death by Demographics?

Northeast 2013: A Year of Peace and Violence

South Korea Calling India
By Sreeram Chaulia

North East Asia Strategically Notices India
By Dr Subhash Kapila

Stirring the pot

Out With a Whimper

Bangladesh under Siege
By Bhaskar Roy

Bangladesh Elections 2013: Fate of a Nation
Chiranjib Haldar 

A Troubling Turn for the Worse in Bangladesh

For Bangladesh, Elections Bring Little Relief

South Asia: 2013
N Sathiya Moorthy

Maldives: President Yameen: Problems being faced in settling down
By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan

A Year-end Security Review of Southern Asia

How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan
By Kishore Mahbubani

Bangladesh Liberation 1971: Recalling United States and China’s Record
By Dr. Subhash Kapila

China adapts to new Myanmar reality
By Yun Sun 

Nepal: Parties Back to their Old Ways Despite a Fresh Mandate: Update No. 290
By Dr. S.Chandrasekharan

Terror in Burma: Buddhists vs. Muslims

Burma's Senseless Census

Sorry Bangladesh…..Once Again
Raza Habib Raja


The ASEAN Economic Community: A Work in Progress

Border Roads Organisation in the North-East: Need for Priority 

Japan is Back: Unbundling Abe’s Grand Strategy

North East Asia Strategically Notices India

Easing China's One-Child Policy Won't Stop Demographic Decline

Southeast Asia: 10 Trends to Watch For in 2014
By Prashanth Parameswaran

South China Sea and ASEAN Chairmanship
By Dr. Subhash Kapila

Democracy in Peril in Asia

Russia and China Headed for an Inevitable Geopolitical Clash
By Dr Subhash Kapila

Why is Thailand's democracy so dysfunctional? Blame the king.

The Year of the Horse

Japan as a Unique Bulwark to Chinese Hegemony in Asia

The awkward state of U.S.-China relations
By Nina Hachigian

South China Sea and The United States
By Dr Subhash Kapila

India's Newly Aspirational Classes Change Stakes for 2014 Elections

Kerry’s Return to Vietnam Is All About Blocking China


The Thawing Arctic: Risks and Opportunities http://www.cfr.org/arctic/thawing-arctic-risks-opportunities/p32082

Europe's Societal Challenges: An analysis of global societal trends to 2030 and their impact on the EU 

The FP transcript (Xth and last): What the last 9 segments tell us about the state of the American confrontation with Iran
Source Link

Crisis in Ukraine Not the same movie
Source Link

The Fall of France
By Janine di Giovanni

Why Did Ukraine’s Eurolution Fail?
ByVijai Maheshwari

Russia and China Headed for an Inevitable Geopolitical Clash
By Dr Subhash Kapila

Europe’s Tea Parties
Source Link

Nations vie for clout in Arctic; US far from lead
By Deb Riechmann

Sochi Watch: Everything You Need to Know about Russia's Massive Olympic Security Operation
Source Link

Drill Down
Source Link

Can Europe Frack Itself to Energy Independence?
Source Link

The Celtic Cougar
Source Link

The Realist Prism: For U.S., Keeping Ukraine on Side No Longer a Vital Interest
Source Link

Germany Faces Tough Choices on Russia
Source Link
By Stephen Szabo

Garry Kasparov: How Putin's poker game makes fools of the West
Garry Kasparov


Iran and The Gulf Military Balance II: The Nuclear and Missile Dimensions http://csis.org/files/publication/131207_gulf_military_balance.pdf

Sunni-Shia Relations After the Iraq War http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/PB160.pdf
How to Think About the Middle East Before the “Arab Spring” – and After http://www.fpri.org/docs/Garfinkle_-_HI_-_ME_Before_and_After_Arab_Spring.pdf

The Rhyme of History: Lessons from the Great War http://www.brookings.edu/research/essays/2013/rhyme-of-history

The Moscow Riots, Russian Nationalism and the Eurasian Union http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/Brief_42_Russian_nationalism.pdf

Stratfor By Reva Bhalla

The P5+1 and Iranian Joint Plan of Action on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program: Assessing the Details and Risks

How Spying Props Up the Decaying American Empire

The West's Catastrophic Defeat in the Middle East

The Possibility of Regime Change in the Middle East: The Egyptian, Syrian, Saudi Arabian and Iranian Case Models

The End of Erdogan’s Islamization?

Nuke deal looks better yet for Iran

Mali: Reform or Relapse
Africa Report N°210
The full report is available in French.

*** The Gaza Withdrawal and Israel's Permanent Dilemma
By George Friedman

Africa’s Information Revolution : Implications for Crime, Policing, and Citizen Security 

Africa’s Rising Exposure to China: How Large Are Spillovers Through Trade?

What Is Next for Mali? The Roots of Conflict and Challenges to Stability 

These Are the Wars That Will Rage in Africa in 2014
Peter Dörrie in War is Boring

Breakdown in South Sudan What Went Wrong -- and How to Fix It

Green Rush

Why Do African States Fail? Don't Blame Neo-Colonialism

We're Not Sending Poor Countries the Stuff They Want


Kazakhstan’s National Development Strategies: An Assessment 

Reforming the Police in Post-Soviet States: Georgia and Kyrgyzstan

China vs. Central Asia. The achievements of the past two decades 

CAR: Back to chaos and lawlessness
Maneo Kayina


Rebalancing the US Army Towards Asia 

Arctic Strategy

America's Secret War in 134 Countries
Source Link
By Nick Turse

Elections Don't Matter, Institutions Do
By Robert Kaplan

U.S. Military Begins Testing ‘Smart’ Rifles

Rand Paul Rethinks the Art of Diplomacy
Source Link

Elections Don't Matter, Institutions Do
Global Affairs
By Robert D. Kaplan

Why Europe Can't Leave Asia to the U.S.
By Richard Gowan & Hans Kundani

Nuclear Scholars Initiative
By Sarah Weiner

Robert Gates' Indictment of Obama's White House

Time for U.S. to focus on Western Sahara
Source Link
By Michael Rubin, Special to CNN

A Safer World, Filled With Nukes

Strategy 101
Source Link

Frank Hoffman

Ryan Evans

Culpable Complacency & U.S. National Security Strategy
Source Link
Frank Hoffman

America to China: Do as We Say...
by Greg Scoblete
Source Link

The Year America’s Post-9/11 Foreign Policy Failed
Source Link

Defining a New Type of Major Country Relationship Between the U.S. and China
Source Link
By Ely Ratner

As Indian Diplomat Exits After Arrest, a Culture Clash Lingers

10 Reasons U.S. Influence Has Fallen in the Middle East
By Brian Michael Jenkins
Source Link

The Realpolitik of the American People
Source Link
By Zachary Keck

Chicago and Toronto became safe places. Can other cities?
Source Link

U.S. Strategy in Syria: Having Lost Sight of the Objective…
By Anthony H. Cordesman

Opinion: Navy Needs Intellectual Diversity
By: Lt. Alexander P. Smith, USN

State of American Energy

Misreading Obama
David Shorr

The Future of War (III): Some questions for consideration in light of the changes
Source Link


The Cyberspace Operations Planner: Challenges to Education and Understanding of Offensive Cyberspace Operations 

White paper: The Intelligence Community’s Role Within U.S. Cyber R&D 

U.S. Governmental Information Operations and Strategic Communications: A Discredited Tool or User Failure? Implications for Future Conflict 

Future Technology Landscapes: Insights, Analysis and Implications for Defence: Case Study Documentation 

NSA Will Keep Breaking Encryption, No Matter What a White House Panel Says

Germany's NSA Naivete

The Cyber Security Challenge

Vietnam's 'Cyber Troops" Take Fight to the U.S. and France

NSA Surveillance Will Change. Just Not Very Much

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Calls for Greater Transparency at NSA

***Coming next in military tech
Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know
By: P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman
New York: Oxford University Press, 2014

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

Why Google Paid Three Billion Dollars for a Thermostat Company

When's the Best Time to Launch a Cyberattack?
Posted by Alex B. Berezow

China’s Crackdown on Cyber Activism

Cybersecurity and Tailored Deterrence
By Franklin D. Kramer and Melanie J. Teplinsky

What Was Edward Snowden Doing in India? ***

What about deterrence in an era of cyberwar?
By Peter W. Singer and Allan Friedman

Matters Mil

Military Review: November-December 2013

The complete edition as well as all articles are in pdf format. Complete issues may have large file sizes that may take some time to download. Individual articles can be accessed by clicking on the article title below.

Mission Command in the Regionally Aligned Division Headquarters by Brig. Gen. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., U.S. Army; Col. Patrick Matlock, U.S. Army; Lt. Col. Christopher R. Norrie, U.S. Army; and Maj. Karen Radka, U.S. Army

1st Armored Division provides a force generation model for a regionally aligned headquarters based on a mission command philosophy and forward-focused mindset.

The Strategic Planning “Problem” by Maj. Gen. Gordon B. "Skip" Davis Jr., U.S. Army; Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Graves, U.S. Army; and Col. Christopher N. Prigge, U.S. Army

A group of senior officers call for further education of our officer corps to develop better collaboration, communication, and influence skills at the strategic level and critical and creative thinking skills in general.

Delivering the Command and General Staff Officer Course at the Operational Edge by Lt. Col. John A. Schatzel, U.S. Army, Retired, and Lt. Col. Wendell Stevens, U.S. Army, Retired

Professional military education is critical to developing leaders who run the Army and lead our soldiers in unified land operations. The Command and General Staff College educates officers serving throughout the world with its resident and nonresident courses.

Taking Ownership of Mission Command by Maj. Demetrios A. Ghikas, U.S. Army

An award winning author posits that mission command is the Army’s answer to the uncertainty, ambiguity, and fog of war and conflict. Leaders in every situation and every setting must practice mission command.

If we are to have leaders who truly practice mission command and can win the peace, our Army requires a fundamental reorientation, one that supports deep changes to Army culture, doctrine, training, personnel management, and education.

Leader Preparation to Support Rebuilding by Lt. Gen. Frederic J. (Rick) Brown, Ph.D., U.S. Army, Retired

To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of operating and generating forces, one accomplished author suggests teams of leaders using high performing leader team building and intensive collaboration across borders.

Fighting and Winning Like Women by Dr. Robert M. Hill

Success in the Army, or any military service, should not be determined by race, gender, sexual orientation, or even sexual identity but by one’s competence.

Commanders Intent and Concept of Operations by Maj. Richard Dempsey, U.S. Army, and Maj. Jonathan M. Chavous, U.S. Army

The author argues that the “expert” multi-paged concept of operations in electronic media used now could lead to a disjointed understanding of the concept of operations. He calls for a return to doctrinally complete mission orders.

Fighting sexual assault in the Army is in some ways like fighting an insurgency. Using the principles of COIN to identify possible predators, their territory, and their weapons will help stop sexual assaults.

The Electron Theory of Leadership: Enabling Senior Leaders to Really See Their Organizations by Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, U.S. Army, and Lt. Col. Joe Doty, Ph.D., U.S. Army, Retired

The authors offer five methods commanders can use to help assess their subordinate units without having to wonder if they are seeing the real deal or a “dog and pony show.”

A Role for Land Warfare Forces in Overcoming A2/AD by Col. Vincent Alcazar, U.S. Air Force, and Col. Thomas M. Lafleur, U.S. Army

Preparing for land warfare in the future begins today with an emphasis on future tactics, techniques, and procedures and associated concept of operations to maximize U.S. technologies in innovate ways.

REVIEW ESSAY - Captain Witold Pilecki by Daniel Paliwoda, Ph.D.

Witold Pilecki just about signs his own death warrant by allowing himself to be sent to Auschwitz; for that reason, one realizes immediately that Pilecki was a special man whose moral code is rare.

MANPADS Threat and International Efforts to Address It 

Joint Pub 2-0, Joint Intelligence, 22 October 2013 

Joint Pub 1-05, Religious Affairs in Joint Operations, 20 November 2013

Joint Pub 3-06, Joint Urban Operations, 20 November 2013

Educating the Force for Strategic Land Power 

State Collapse, Insurgency, and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Somalia 

From ‘Three Blocks’ to ‘Three Islands’: The Thin Line Between Police and Military Operations in Contested Maritime Spaces 

The Network vs the BCT: Organizational Overmatch in Hybrid Strategies

Russia & Iran: Strategic Alliance or Marriage of Convenience 

Security Of Cities—Ecology And Conflict On An Urbanizing Planet

The United States and the Middle East: Avoiding Miscalculation and Preparing for Conflict 

IDA Research Notes, Fall 2013 
  • DOD Acquisition—Starting Viable Programs
  • Defining acquisition trade space through “DERIVE”
  • Supporting acquisition decisions in air mobility
  • Assessing system reliability with limited flight testing
  • Promise, reality, and limitations of software defined radios
  • Implications of contractor working capital on contract pricing and financing
  • The mechanisms and value of competition
  • Initiation and early management of acquisition programs

Lessons From Previous Competitive Strategies
Journal Article, Octavian Manea

Understanding War’s Enduring Nature Alongside its Changing Character

Is Precision the Future of CAS?

Conference: Modern Warfare's Complexity and the Human Dimension
SWJ Blog Post 

Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

David Axe in War is Boring

America's Emaciated Army

America's Secret War in 134 Countries


The Politics of Plenty: Balancing Climate and Energy Security 

Beyond Crisis Management: A Practical Lifeline for Decision-makers in the Dark

Poverty, Peace, and China: PKSOI and World Bank Perspectives

Common Goals and Differential Commitments. The Role of Emerging Economies in Global Development 

4 January 2014


Friday, 03 January 2014 | 

G Parthasarathy

How should India judge whether Nawaz Sharif is going to respect the sanctity of the Line of Control? In his first term as Prime Minister, his handpicked ISI chief staged the 1993 Mumbai blasts

The return of Mr Nawaz Sharif to power in Pakistan was marked by pious statements by him on peace and stability on the one hand and by inflammatory rhetoric describing Kashmir as Pakistan’s ‘jugular vein’ on the other. Whether it was at the United Nations in New York or at the White House, Mr Sharif chose to return to his stale rhetoric of Kashmir being the ‘core issue’ between India and Pakistan, implicitly asserting that there could be a nuclear holocaust unless Pakistan reached a satisfactory solution to the issue with India. This rhetoric was accompanied by the unleashing of an old Sharif family retainer Hafiz Mohammed Saeed to spew venom, threatening conflict against India not only on Kashmir, but also for allegedly diverting and depriving Pakistan’s people of their vital water resources. The Pakistan Army has augmented this diplomatic effort, by claiming that it will use tactical nuclear weapons in the event of Indian retribution to future 26/11 Mumbai style terrorist attacks.

Mr Sharif’s apologists in South Block, of course claimed that he had really had a “change of heart” and that he cherished nothing more than peace and harmony with India. Yet, Mr Sharif’s return to power was marked by 195 cease-fire violations, with the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba even choosing to attack an Army officers’ mess in the Jammu Sector and with Indian jawans being beheaded elsewhere, by infiltrators crossing the Line of Control. South Block did not do its credibility any good by misleading the Union Minister for Defence AK Antony to first claim and then retract from a statement he made, absolving the Pakistan Army of its sins. It was against this background that it was agreed at the New York Summit that the Directors General of Military Operations would meet and devise measures to deescalate tensions across the LoC.

Given their desire for a civilian shield, behind which they like to avoid responsibility for their actions on the LoC the Pakistan Army stalled on the proposal, by insisting that delegations should by headed by civilian officials. But, they ultimately had to yield when India insisted that the talks should be between DGMOs as agreed to in New York. Firmness pays and the DGMO talks held on the Wagah border yielded some positive results. The most important part of the Joint Statement issued at Wagah on December 24 was agreement between the DGMO’s to “maintain the sanctity (of) and ceasefire on the Line of Control”. They also agreed to make the existing hotline between them more effective. Two flag meetings between Brigade Commanders on the LoC were also agreed to, for maintaining peace and tranquillity across the LoC.

The successful meeting of the DGMOs was followed by a meeting between Commanders of the Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers in which there was forward movement on effective use of existing communications and on illegal constructions close to the border. Most importantly, people who cross the border inadvertently do not, hopefully, have to spend months incarcerated.

While some tend to link these developments to the exit of the hard-nosed former General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, this ignores the reality that there is nothing to suggest that there is any change in the Pakistani Army’s long-term policies of supporting radical groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, for promoting violence across Pakistan’s borders with India and Afghanistan. It also now appears that there are differences between the Army and the political establishment on using force against the Tehriq-e-Taliban e Pakistan, in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Mr Sharif, Imran Khan’s Tehriq-e-Insaf, which rules the Pakhtunkhwa Province and Islamist Parties like the Jamat-e-Islami are all opposed to the use of force against the TTP. But, the Army has interestingly commenced operations against the TTP, in North Waziristan, home of the infamous Haqqani network, which operates from this area against Afghan and Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Bitcoins: missing the real revolution

January 4, 2014 
Vasudevan Mukunth

APBTC: Some investors have been smart enough to spot the potential for innovations that are proliferating on diverse fronts. A representational picture.

The strength of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins has little to do with its monetary potential and more to do with its technical potential

The year 2013 was unequivocally the year of bitcoins, more than it will be the year of the commercialisation of 3D printers or the advent of private space flight. The bitcoins mining and transactions network first came online in late 2008, saw an adoption boom in early 2012, and got the attention of investors and governments late last year. It’s not really been as much a roller-coaster ride as an initiation into the Gartner hype cycle, and the slope of enlightenment is nowhere in the vicinity.

Unfortunately for it, there’s a bigger problem: people have been having the wrong debate, all the way from those who want to get on the bandwagon because they know a bitcoin is worth $825.43 (1616 IST, January 3), to regulators arguing over whether or not cryptocurrencies can replace American dollars, to political economists asking if this is a libertarian agenda plotting to subvert the federal reserve. Needless to say, they’re all wrong.

There are two aspects to bitcoins: one as the digital currency that uses complex mathematical functions to be acquired, moved around and secured; the other as the transaction verification system. The former is the honey that attracts the bees, the occupant of mainstream imagination; the latter is the hive of the future, the real revolution.

The strength of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins has little to do with its monetary potential and more to do with its technical potential. What Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic Japanese programmer(s) who conceived the bitcoins system, created is pertinent to the notion of a transaction cost: the price of mobilising your resources, irrespective of the nature of these resources.

Within the bitcoins transaction verification network, both value and validity are established democratically. The person who intends to use a bitcoin needs to show proof of work — that he mined or acquired the coin through legitimate means — and proof of knowledge — that the transaction being requested is verifiable. If most users on the network agree that a transaction was legitimate to the tune of some amount, then that’s that. The identities of the transactors are irrelevant.

India: Security and Strategic Challenges in 2014

2 January 2014

C Uday Bhaskar
Member, Executive Committee, IPCS

The twin terrorist attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd that have killed more than 30 innocent people and grievously injured scores of others on two successive days (29 and 30 December 2013) which are suspected to be the handiwork of an Islamist separatist group are illustrative of the most complex and abiding internal security challenge that India will have to confront in 2014. The scars of 26/11 that terrorised Mumbai in November 2008 serve as a reminder of the worst-case exigency that the Indian security establishment needs to successfully pre-empt – often unobtrusively – given the undesirable polarisation of the terrorism discourse in India.

In like fashion, the April 2013 Depsang incident with China and the more recent politico-diplomatic tension with the US over the Khobragade case are indicative of the complexity and the fragility of the two most critical strategic bilateral relationships for Delhi as the new year dawns.

The nature of the challenges in the security and strategic spectrum that are likely to acquire greater salience for India in 2014 will be compounded by the fact that the UPA II government is in its last lap and the country will be in election mode for the early part of the year. Whether the new central government in Delhi in mid 2014 will be a stable coalition led by one of the major political parties (BJP or Congress), or an uneasy coalition of a Third Front type remains moot. 

Concurrently, the security environment in the extended South Asian region with specific implications for India will be shaped by two regions – Afghanistan-Pakistan in the first instance and Bangladesh at a remove. The withdrawal of US and ISAF military presence from Afghanistan will also take place in mid 2014 and the ability of the Afghan security forces to maintain the necessary level of peace and stability in the face of a resurgent Taliban will be severely tested. 

The Afghan elections and a post Karzai scenario are fraught with many uncertainties and for Delhi, the recall of December 1999 and the IC 814 hijacking episode reiterate the truth that the ideological orientation of Kabul can impact India’s internal security situation. In like fashion, the current turbulence in Dhaka between the caretaker ANP and the right-wing BNP could adversely impact the Indian security environment. The worst-case scenario for Delhi would be the rise of radical right-wing Islamist forces in the domestic political framework of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Indian Air Force: Is it an Expeditionary Force?

2 January 2014

Gp Capt (Retd) PI Muralidharan

Reporting on the recent assumption of office by the new Chief of the Indian Air Force,The Times of India on 31 December 2013 carried a piece by Rajat Pandit stating that the new Chief would have to focus on faster induction of planned air assets if his force has to eventually become a truly ‘expeditionary aerospace power’ (sic). Whilst this may just be misplaced reportage and not an official policy declaration by the IAF or the government, it needs gainsaying that as per the IAP 2000 IAF Air Power Manual, the IAF does not have an expeditionary role.

Doctrinal Background

Whilst it is true that the IAF now has the assets to function effectively in ‘Out of Area Operations’ (such as Aerial Refuellers, strategic airlifters like the C17s , the AWACS, Special Forces aircraft like the C130 Js and long-range fighters such as the Sukhoi 30s), India’s polity does not expect the IAF to function in an expeditionary role. This is reinforced in the Union War Book and the RM’s Op Directive emanating there from. An Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) - the USAF recently and the Allied Air Forces during WWII would fall under this definition - is one that, in today’s’ context, is capable of deploying a package of ‘shooter’ air power, including air- to-air, precision air-to-ground and defence suppression aircraft into a theatre to begin delivering combat air power within a short period - 48 hours or so. For the USAF, an expeditionary element has been a long felt need, mainly on account of their shrinking overseas basing infrastructure. Thus they look to expeditionary elements to give them a ‘plug- and-play’ 911 policing capability in a theatre in keeping with their strategy of global engagement’. This, in effect, gives them the option, in a contingency, of not having to rely on direct overseas deployment of air power from mainland US. Hence the evolution of their expeditionary air elements to seek to provide rapid, responsive air power tailored to the obtaining geopolitical situation - read ‘adventurism by a rogue nation’ in US parlance - often to give them a ’filler’ capability to overcome naval air power gaps such as absence of an aircraft carrier in the vicinity. The genesis of the USAF Expeditionary Air Force can be traced to Gulf War II around Oct 1994 when Saddam’s forces were threatening to invade Kuwait for a second time a la Gulf War I in 1990, and the USAF had to re -position itself in the region at short call. Later, USAF‘s AEF II deployed to Jordan for several months in 1996. These deployments indeed demonstrated the real ‘speed’ characteristic of air power. Now, the IAF is firstly not geared for a theatre type of military scenario, not still having a CDS nor Theatre Commanders yet. Nor does our country officially advocate functioning like a regional policeman, regardless of what we may have done over the Maldives during Op Cactus Lily or Sri Lanka during Op Pawan, enforcing the writ of the Indian State over a ‘rogue’ neighbouring State.

Out of Area Ops vs. Expedition

So what is the real difference between having Out of Area air capability and being an expeditionary air force? Clearly, it is the prevailing political stance that governs IAF’s operational employment. Like we do not subscribe to employing air power against our own citizens, our country surely would not like to be seen as a regional hegemon that enforces its political will through use of offensive air power, as the US is wont to do globally, especially post 9/11. Also, the USAF sees the AEF as a via media for coalition-building and regional cooperation. The IAF may have carried out a Maldives, a Goa or a Sri Lanka, but an expeditionary military is not in our national psyche. That is not to say that a repeat air action as was done in the cases mentioned is not foreseeable or doable. However, should the Indian government decide in the future to task the IAF with an expeditionary role, the IAF will not only have to buttress its Out Of Area capabilities in terms of further increased inventory in key assets, but more importantly perhaps, exercise the same periodically, to be effective when called upon to do so. There are several aspects to an expeditionary role than just deploying Out of Area. There are airfield management, academic and doctrinal training, flight safety and ground safety, joint exercises etc to be considered. Incidentally, the USAF expeditionary elements do not believe in having ‘full spectrum’ capability, so as not to lose out on staying ‘lean and mean’. This again is an area that would demand rigorous planning and training, were the IAF to assume on an expeditionary avatar.