9 September 2015

Nuclear Armed Submarines: The Indo-Pacific's Great Destabilizer?

September 7, 2015

Last week in Beijing, China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two with a massive military parade. Examples of modern military equipment, such as the DF-21D ‘Carrier Killer’ missile, were displayed in public for the first time.

However, a significant new capability that is moving from a lengthy testing phase to active deployment could not be shown in Tiananmen Square: the Type-094, or what will likely be China's first actively deployed ballistic missile-carrying nuclear submarine (SSBN).

In the Indo-Pacific, China is not the only regional power that is investing in these powerful, complex and expensive strategic platforms. India, and potentially Pakistan and North Korea, are also at various stages of development. Among the three, India's program is the most advanced, with New Delhi launching its first SSBN, the INS Arihant in 2009. A second and third are also under construction.

In a new Lowy Institute Report, Nuclear-armed submarines in Indo-Pacific Asia: Stabilizer or menace?, Rory Medcalf and I argue that over the long-term, SSBNs could reduce the risk of major war in the region, as no adversary would want to strike first against a country with so invulnerable a nuclear arsenal.

Sorry, Democrats: The GOP Has a Bright Future

September 7, 2015

For the past several years, there has been a persistent drumbeat in the mainstream press proclaiming the pending demise of the Grand Old Party. Most recently, a Los Angeles Times headline proclaimed: “Demographic trends favor Democrats, but GOP could still win in 2016.” The Washington Postweighed in with its own doom and gloom for the GOP: “Dems Head into 2016 with a Clear Demographic Advantage.” The theme of such analysis is that America is changing and the GOP cannot or will not compete for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, LGBT and millennial voters, who will give Democrats a lock on political power in America.

Russia and China in the Arctic: Is the US Facing an Icebreaker Gap?

September 07, 2015

Last week, the White House announced its intention to accelerate the acquisition of new Coast Guard icebreakers amidst criticism that the United States is falling behind Russia and possibly even China in jockeying for advantageous positions in the strategically important and resource rich Arctic region.

“[T]he Administration will propose to accelerate acquisition of a replacement heavy icebreaker to 2020 from 2022, begin planning for construction of additional icebreakers, and call on Congress to work with the Administration to provide sufficient resources to fund these critical investments,” according to a White House fact sheet.

“These heavy icebreakers will ensure that the United States can meet our national interests, protect and manage our natural resources, and strengthen our international, state, local, and tribal relationships,” it continues.

US and Philippine ships during CARAT Philippines 2014.

September 08, 2015

The Philippines will receive four new patrol vessels from a U.S. company in November 2015, the firm announced September 3.

According Willard Marine Inc., the U.S. State Department had awarded it a contract to provide the Philippine National Police Maritime Group with patrol vessels equipped for search and rescue operations along the country’s maritime borders.

The move is consistent with efforts by the United States to build the capacity of its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific such as the Philippines to tackle maritime security challenges. In addition to such assistance, Washington and Manila also inked an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2014 that, if approved by the Philippine legislature, would grant access to US troops, planes and ships in the country on a rotational basis.

What Thailand's Rejected Constitution Means

September 08, 2015

Thailand’s National Reform Council (NRC) on Sunday voted down a draft constitution that critics claimed aimed to create a “state within a state” by giving the military overarching powers to suspend democratic rule during times of crisis. The “no” vote will restart the charter-drafting process, extend the junta’s already delayed roadmap to new elections and likely extend coup-installed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s stay in unelected power well into 2017.

Appointed by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta, the 247-member NRC voted narrowly against the draft, with 135 opposed, 105 in support, and seven abstentions. Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chairman Borwornsak Uwanno hinted in news reports that senior generals had discreetly leaned on NRC members to scrap the draft, despite former army commander Prayut’s strong public lobbying for its passage, including a combative appeal during his nationally televised weekly address on Friday.

Let's Make Sure That Cleaning Up The World's Water Doesn't Send Our Climate Targets Down The Gurgler

from The Conversation, The Conversation

-- this post authored by Peter Fisher, RMIT University

Much of the world still lacks clean, safe water. Progress on sanitation is falling far short of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. The scale of the problem is highlighted by India, where half the population - some 665 million people - still defecate in the open, and where most sewage, even from toilets, is dumped untreated into rivers and streams. Worldwide, contaminated water is implicated in85% of all illness.

An even more pernicious problem with the world's water is widespreadcontamination with antibiotics, fuelling the rise of resistant superbugs. A recent survey in China, for instance, estimated that 53,800 tons of waste drugs are entering the environment each year, even after wastewater treatment. Meanwhile paraben, an antimicrobial preservative used in cosmetics, food and medicines, has now beendetected in Indian sewage treatment plants, and antimicrobial resistance is now seen as an increasingly serious threat to global public health.

Some home economics


India needs to pursue reforms more effectively if it wants to benefit from the decline in China’s economy.
The efforts to reduce ‘tax terrorism’ have smacked of two steps forward one step backward, undermining the credibility of government.

Indian gross domestic product (GDP) data seems to have become a constantly evolving puzzle. In February 2015, Ruchir Sharma, Managing Director and Head of Emerging Market Strategy, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, wrote, “the dramatic upward revision of the GDP growth rate is a bad joke, smashing India’s credibility and making its statistics bureau a laughing stock in global financial circles” and “Nobody really believes that the Indian economy grew at anywhere close to 7 per cent last year, and shockingly no one is willing to put an end to this nonsense.” I disagree strongly.

TIME FOR A PRIVATE-SECTOR PIVOT ON MILITARY TECHNOLOGY

MAY 14, 2015


The Department of Defense’s pivot to Asia has been well documented and debated, but the department is also pursuing a less discussed pivot toward commercial technology. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s recent visit to Silicon Valley highlights this growing anxiety throughout the defense community — that the commercial sector is the locus of cutting edge technology with military importance, but the department is poorly positioned to capitalize on this development. Carter’s trip demonstrates high-level interest in commercial technology within the Pentagon, as senior leaders like Carter, Deputy Secretary Bob Work and acquisitions chief Frank Kendall continue to push the organization to adapt. Big questions remain for this pivot, most notably whether or not the department will be able to undertake the necessary reforms to access the commercial technology it desires. But these are only the first order questions. Even if the department’s leadership succeeds in its pivot to commercial technology, how will the U.S. military maintain its unique warfighting advantages when using widely available technology?

Seven Teams Hack Their Way to the 2016 DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge Final Competition

OUTREACH@DARPA.MIL
7/8/2015

Seven teams from around the country have earned the right to play in the final competition of DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC), a first-of-its-kind tournament designed to speed the development of automated security systems able to defend against cyberattacks as fast as they are launched. The winners successfully squared off against dozens of other teams for the opportunity to compete head to head next year for nearly $4 million in prizes—and the chance to help revolutionize cybersecurity going forward.

Computers are important for detecting known network vulnerabilities and the swarms of malicious programs that are constantly seeking to take advantage of those weaknesses, but cyber defense today still ultimately depends on experts to patch those weaknesses and stymie new attacks—a process that can take months or longer, by which time critical systems may have been breached. CGC aims to automate the cyber defense process to identify weaknesses instantly and counter attacks in real time.

Out of 104 teams that had originally registered in 2014, 28 teams made it through two DARPA-sponsored dry runs and into last month’s CGC Qualifying Event. In that contest, teams tested the high-performance computers they had built and programmed to play a round of “capture the flag” (CTF)—a game that experts use to test their cyber defense skills. CTF games require competitors to reverse engineer software created by contest organizers and locate and heal its hidden weaknesses in networked competition. The CGC final event will take place in Las Vegas in August 2016, in conjunction with DEF CON, home of the longest-running annual CTF competition for experts.

DoD's top secret smartphone expected in the fall

Amber Corrin
September 4, 2015 

Government agencies have made significant strides in incorporating smartphones and tablets into their offices and missions, even at the Defense Department. But the caveat always has been that those devices could only be used for non-classified purposes. That's changing.
A program allowing military officials to use smartphones on classified networks is gaining more momentum, with a top-secret-level option expected this fall, according to DoD CIO Terry Halvorsen.

The top secret classified smartphone comes on the heels of the secret classified smartphone unveiled earlier this year by the Defense Information Systems Agency. A new pilot reportedly will test devices for use within top secret/sensitive compartmented information, or TS/SCI, classification.

DISA this summer announced that their Defense Mobile Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) is fully operational after an expansive pilot program test-driving the offering. Now, the goal is 3,000 users by the second quarter of fiscal 2016, which triples the number of users previously supported.

Halvorsen counts himself among the current 760-plus users of the DMCC-S, which connects to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet.

Iran Exposes the Myth of GCC Unity

September 7, 2015

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) seeks to portray itself to the outside world as a unified entity, particularly during periods of heightened regional instability, such as Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the 2011 Arab uprisings. Yet below the surface, the Council’s six monarchies are divided internally by historic rivalries, changes in leadership and a myriad of significant regional developments. The most significant current source of division among the GCC states relates to Iran’s role in the Middle East’s evolving geopolitical order. Strategic shifts in the regional balance of power following the P5+1 and Iran’s nuclear agreement are prompting the Council’s disunity to surface in new ways, further exposing the gap between Gulf Arab unity on paper and in practice.

A Council Divided

Dreadnought 2050: Is This the Battleship of the Future?

September 07, 2015

Locally 3-D printed drones, a 3-D holographic command table, “supercavitating” torpedoes evaporating the water around them, laser weapons and an electro-magnetic railgun are just a few of the features of the battleship of the future, according to a team of young British engineers.

Designed as part of an informal challenge by the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Royal Navy, the concept ship — dubbed the Dreadnought 2050 (the original HMS Dreadnought was a Royal Naval battleship commissioned in 1906, “which represented such an advance that all other major warships were rendered obsolete” according to a press release — is a trimaran made of ultra-strong acrylic see-thru composites and powered by a fusion reactor or highly efficient turbines rendering it an extremely silent and quite deadly stealth vessel.

Is Jokowi Turning His Back on ASEAN?

By Avery Poole
September 07, 2015

Under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Indonesia appears less oriented toward the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). While this may be true, the explanation is more nuanced than proposed by many regional analyses. Many observers see Jokowi as more inward-looking than his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and point to his lack of foreign policy experience. I would argue that Jokowi is, in fact, not less oriented than Yudhoyono to Indonesia’s foreign relations as a policy priority; rather, he approaches it differently, for reasons that reflect a distinct approach to contemporary East Asia.

Indonesia under Jokowi is less oriented towards multilateralism in general. Yudhoyono emphasized Indonesia’s role in international organizations, including the G20 (in which Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian member), the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations. He also sought to advance Indonesia’s role in regional forums, including ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Bali Democracy Forum. His Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, pointed to the importance of Indonesian diplomacy in “high-level forums” as helping to address challenges which require international cooperation (such as food security, natural disasters and transnational crime).

Hacking + Securities Fraud = New Face of Insider Trading

Ajey Lele and Munish Sharma
September 02, 2015

An important indictor to judge a country’s financial health is the behaviour of the Stock Market Index. All over the world, investors in stock markets trade on the basis of both analysis and speculation. On many occasions stock prices fluctuate in a matter of seconds, involving enormous financial transactions. Individual stock prices are influenced by information released by publicly listed companies about their business plans, deals, mergers and acquisitions or balance sheets. Many brokers are keen to acquire information about a company’s profile well in advance before it is made available officially. This helps them earn profit by trading appropriately and for making investment decisions. Some people do use unfair practices (such as insider trading) to acquire such knowledge in advance. The present generation of stock market operations is fully IT enabled. In this digital era, critical information traverses through various computing resources and communication channels, processed, stored or disseminated both internally and externally. In one technically savvy insider trading practice, an amalgamation of hackers and fraudsters has startled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Hackers were able to gain access to the release data on the servers of distributors such as Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire. Equipped with this information, a little ahead of the time it went public, investors traded on stocks and made extraordinary profits.

Cyber War and the deficiences of cyber weapons

By Martin Lee
07/09/2015

Cyber war is often in the headlines. The hype centered on state sponsored malware means that the lines defining fact and fiction often become blurred leading to increasing fear bordering on hysteria.
However, cyber weapons have a very specific weakness that means that they might be less effective than anticipated in the real world.

The discovery of Stuxnet in 2010 and the subsequent information leaks confirming that the trojan was indeed a state sponsored malware designed to damage the nuclear processing infrastructure of an independent nation showed that cyber weapons were no longer a theoretical issue. Developing such malware takes a lot of resources and skill. There are many stages in the life cycle of the malware that must be completed before any putative cyber weapon can be described as having successfully completed its mission.

As the U.S. government faces cyber attack, 'there's no playbook' for fighting back


Nice nations don't retaliate, but the more hackers steal, the harder it is to maintain that stance.

WASHINGTON—Fight back, critics argue, as the U.S. government faces increasing cyber attacks, with rival nations as the most likely suspects. A passive approach by the U.S. government only emboldens perpetrators—draw a red line, they urge. Most recently, the massive Office of Personnel Management breach has inspired calls for a decisive response.

India to have the World's Deadliest Technology

By : Mrityunjay Chaubey
September 08, 2015

The time is not too far when Pakistan will itself stop threatening India with nuclear toys and China won't measure its strength by missile technology as India is all set to become a missile-proof country where no uninvited missiles could dare to touch Indian soil.

The time is not too far when Pakistan will itself stop threatening India with nuclear toys and China won't measure its strength by missile technology as India is all set to become a missile-proof country where no uninvited missiles could dare to touch Indian soil. Indian scientists are working on a top secret project under which the smartest military weapon of the 21st century is being developed which is named after Hindu goddess Kali. 

In Scientific term, KALI stands for 'Kilo Ampere Linear Injector'. www.DefenceNews.in brings you an inside update on how the world's deadliest weapon system works. It is designed to work in such a way that if an enemy missile is launched in Indian direction, it will quickly emit powerful pulses of Relativistic Electrons Beams (REB) and destroy the target in no time. Unlike laser beams, it does not bore a hole in the target but thoroughly damages the on-board electronic systems.

Why I Write in PowerPoint

JULY 27, 2015

When writing business documents (aside from emails), most people turn to word-processing software. That’s not the only option. You can do everything — outlines, drafts, revisions, and even layouts, if you’d like — in PowerPoint or similar presentation programs.

That’s what I’ve used to write my books, internal documents, sales collateral, and web copy, for several reasons:

I can brainstorm with abandon. Because PowerPoint is so modular, it allows me to block out major themes (potential sections or chapters) and quickly see if I can generate ample ideas to support them. In early stages, each slide resembles a Pinterest board, with a simple but descriptive title, some rough text, and a few sketched or found images that clarify the concepts. If I can’t produce enough insights for a particular theme, I abandon it before spending too much time crafting language. It’s easy to drag individual slides to the end of the deck, in case I’d like to revisit them later, or just delete them.


Below you can see an excerpt from the PowerPoint draft of my second book, Resonate. Every slide represents a two-page spread. The content is much denser than it would be on a typical slide, but that’s okay because it’s meant to be printed, not projected. And anyway, it’s a work in progress.

Work: Better Buying Power 3.0 Strives to Enhance U.S. Tech Edge

By Jim GaramoneDoD News, Defense Media Activity

Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall conduct a briefing on innovation and Better Buying Power 3.0 at the Pentagon April 9, 2015. DoD photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2015 — The United States must maintain technological superiority over potential adversaries and competitors, and the latest iteration of the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power initiative is designed to maintain that edge, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said here today.

Called Better Buying Power 3.0, the program builds on previous versions, Work told Pentagon reporters.

“Better Buying Power 3.0 really is animated by an urgent concern of ours, and that is what we see to be a steady erosion of our technological superiority that we have relied upon for so long in all of our defense strategies,” he said. “We all think this is one of the biggest issues facing our department and our nation.”

Other countries have been investing heavily in advanced capabilities, DoD’s acquisition chief said, while the U.S. military’s modernization account has been the department’s emergency fund. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, added that modernization dollars have been raided to pay for readiness in the face of sequestration and flat budgets.

THE MILITARY’S PURPOSE IS NOT TO KILL PEOPLE AND BREAK THINGS

AUGUST 26, 2015

An Army officer reflects on an oft-repeated and inaccurate maxim.

I have killed people and broken things in war, but, as a military officer, that was never the end. There was a purpose, a reason, a goal. Always. My country, profession, and family demand this, as is the case for all in uniform.

So when, in the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee responded to an open question from moderator Bret Baier on the “changing” culture of the American military by saying, “The purpose of the military is kill people and break things,” the audience applause appalled me.

The military’s purpose is not to kill people and break things. This idea is factually, historically, professionally, and philosophically wrong — and must itself be remorselessly killed and violently broken. This 11-word platitude has no place in modern society.

Inbox 101: Army experts offer email guidance

By Kevin Lilley
September 5, 2015 

Inbox bursting at the seams? Trying to decipher a message chain that goes back so far you’ve forgotten the original message? Enough names on the "reply-all" line to staff a battalion?
While some recent military email-related concernshave made headlines, most just cause headaches or slow down servers. For instance, a popular thread on the social-media site Reddit last month tracked the progress of a noncommissioned officer's errant personal message that reportedly spread across the Army via a large distribution list that had nothing to do with the email's contents.

An Army public affairs official couldn't confirm the email's authenticity, but the service is no stranger to such stumbles, according to officials with the Army Knowledge Management Proponent Office. That agency, part of the Combined Arms Center, is charged with educating the force on proper email protocol, among other information-management duties.

The office's director, Lt. Col. Drew Fletcher, and program manager Joe Koskey spoke with Army Times late last month to offer some guidance and discuss common missteps when it comes to cyber communications throughout the service. Some highlights:

Australia's New Submarines: Run Silent, Run German?

September 7, 2015

Germany’s bid for Australia’s SEA 1000 Future Submarine project could reasonably be described as coming from a safe pair of hands.

Since 1960, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) through its Howaldwerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) subsidiary has delivered 161 diesel-electric submarines to 20 navies. Of this total, 123 have been built for international customers —including six NATO navies—51 of them in South Korea, Turkey, Greece and Brazil.

All have been built to fixed price contracts, a model which clearly works otherwise, as noted by TKMS Board member Torsten Konker “we’d be broke.”

Notwithstanding the company’s experience, TKMS has yet to construct a submarine in the 4,000 tons range that’s generally regarded as the size needed to meet Australia’s requirements.

That isn’t seen as a problem by TKMS, whose designs have steadily grown in size and capability to meet customers’ specifications.

Democracies vs. Autocracies: State Capitalism's Uncertain Future

September 7, 2015

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Scott MacDonald and Jonathan Lemco’s new book State Capitalism’s Uncertain Future. It is republished with permission.

For economic policymakers, business managers, and citizens, the shifts in the global system since 2008, in particular the rivalry between two broadly defined political-economic models, are impinging on day-to-day reality. It becomes even more daunting when other factors are added: Islamic terrorism, continent-crossing disease like Ebola, longstanding border disputes, a surplus of available weapons in places like Africa, and climate change, with major swings in the weather. For the average citizen, this translates into employment, health, and lifestyle issues. Is public transportation safe? Does a political struggle elsewhere end up being fought in their neighborhood shopping mall? Is it safe to fly during the holidays, or is a bomb likely to go off? Do pollution problems elsewhere end up affecting the local weather or result in flooding of coastal areas? Does another government’s support for the local state-owned company translate into the loss of a job elsewhere by someone working for a private sector company? As the public grapples with these issues, so do economic policymakers, seeking to find solutions. In turn, finding solutions has its own set of political considerations that can determine the economic outcome. When people are angry, they are more likely to vote against those sitting in office.

The 5 Most Lethal Battleships That Never Set Sail

September 7, 2015

Battleships represented huge, long term investments of national treasure. The took a long time to design, and a long time to construct. In the complex geopolitical and technological environment of the 20th century, battleships planned did not always become battleships built. This article examines five powerful classes of battleships that never saw the sea.

South Dakota (United States):


At the end of World War I, the British, Japanese, and American navies each embarked on an impressive battleship construction spree. The United States, relatively untouched by the war and with the world’s largest economy, was best positioned to win this incipient naval race. The first two American entries were the Lexington class battlecruisers and the South Dakota class battleships.

The U.S. South Dakotas were among the most powerful of these designs. On a relatively modest 48,000 ton displacement, the South Dakotas would have made 23 knots, and carried 12 16” guns in four triple turrets. This main armament would have made them as powerful as any battleships ever constructed. The South Dakotas were designed to serve with the squadron of “standard type” American battleships, although they did enjoy the first increase in speed since 1910.

Evolution of the US-ROK Alliance: Is There a Post-Unification Future? Pt. 1

By Leon Whyte
September 07, 2015

This two-part piece is the eighth installment in a series on the U.S. alliance with South Korea. Previous articles can be found in The Diplomat’s Koreas section.

Ever since the end of the Cold War, scholars have predicted the end of North Korea, especially as it regressed while South Korea experienced its growth miracle. It is beyond the scope of this article to consider if and when North Korea will collapse, or to consider a reunification under DPRK control, but since unification would have a transformational effect on the alliance, planning for different possible reunification scenarios needs to start now. If reunification happens in the aftermath of a North Korean collapse, than the U.S. military will likely have to play a vital, if limited, role in the immediate aftermath. Beyond that, and no matter how the unification occurs, the viewpoints and perspectives of the ROK, the United States, Japan, and China will all play an important role in the future of the alliance, and in the security framework of East Asia. In part 1 of this article, the U.S. and ROK viewpoint will be considered. Part 2 will look at China and Japan’s.

The ROK Perspective

Origins, Agitation And Resolution: All You Need To Know About OROP

Nitin Gokhale
7 Sep, 2015
An authoritative defence analyst, media trainer and a multi-media reporter who started his career in 1983, Gokhale has worked across web, print and broadcast mediums over the last three decades. He has a rare distinction of living and reporting from India's North-eastern region for 23 years.

Nitin Gokhale neatly summarises everything you need to know on why the armed forces lost their ‘One Rank One Pension’ privileges, the agitation to get it reinstated and how the government settled the issue.

It may just be a coincidence, but two significant events in India’s recent military history have happened on 5 September. In 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Defence Minister YB Chavan gave the final go-ahead for Operation Riddle–Indian Army’s plan to cross the international border and threaten Lahore. Half a century later, on the same date, the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, righted a historic wrong done to the Indian military by the Indira Gandhi government in 1973, by meeting the long-standing demand of One Rank One Pension or OROP for retired military veterans.

8 September 2015

Military’s Izzat – who is responsible?

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
07 Sep , 2015

Much that remains under cover various administrations, by now it is well known that as per the Rules of Business of Government of India, the responsibility of the defence of the country remains officially with the Defence Secretary, not the Defence Minister. While some 100 amendments have been made to the India Constitution, no government has made any effort to amend the Rules of Business, the second major advantage being that the Army, Navy and Air Force headquarters remain as ‘Attached Offices’, which implies that the MoD bureaucracy remains unaccountable and yet supreme because the military has been kept away from higher defence organizations and even the official defence-industrial set up. This system suits the mafia with many successive governments who have used the Defence Minister for boosting the ruling party’s kitty, as well as lining individual pockets.

Indo-Pak Conflict of 1965 - Surrendering Victory

By Vice Admiral Mihir K. Roy
05 Sep , 2015

Field Marshal Ayub Khan brushed aside the corrupt civilian coterie and with the support of bureaucrats assumed the presidentship of Pakistan in 1958. This military dictatorship within the Commonwealth was meekly accepted by those who had fought to remove dictators in Europe. India continued to be the only big nation practising democracy but her security needs were sidelined, both by the United States and Britain.

The Nehru era had also ended with the debacle in the Himalayas. But nonetheless, the political stability endured under Lal Bahadur Shastri, a staunch follower of Gandhiji, who maintained his faith in non-alignment and the moral force of non-violence. In a conflict-ridden decolonizing environment the military power blocks became the link between big powers and pliable client states in the Indian Ocean.

Islamabad was encouraged to confront India which they felt was flabby and divisive with Kashmir being the prize which Ayub Khan was sure would make him President for life.

Lieutenant did you die in vain?

By Sarvar Bali
Issue: Net Edition | Date : 05 Sep , 2015

I learnt about your demise from the ticker tape on one of the news channels, last evening. It was a big encounter and a very fierce one at that. A feeling of deep saddness enveloped me as I reflected on your youth which had been sacrificed in Gurez Sector, in the line of duty. What does your death mean?

Your name will not be read out in any obituary reference in Parliament, as is done in the UK for all soldiers who fall in combat in the line of duty.

By now your mortal body would be lying embalmed at the Base Hospital and will be flown out of Srinagar later in the day, on its final journey to the cremation ground in your native town or village.

You were too young to die, far too young! For whom and for what did you die then? This question haunted me last night and I will attempt to answer you.

Mountbatten on CDS

By viewpoint
07 Sep , 2015

Letter from Lord Mountbatten of Burma to Lt Gen (then Major General) ML Chibber, (Retd) PVSM, AVSM, PhD.

Broadlands, Ramsey
Hampshire, S05 9ZD
27th September 1977

Dear Chib,

Thank you so much for your letter of the 20th September which I have read with the greatest of interest.

It is nice to see a Subaltern from the days when you mounted guard at Viceroy’s House now a Major General and Director of Military Operations. Many congratulations.

To answer your questions in your paragraph 6 :

One Rank One Pension Scheme for Ex-Servicemen

By IDR News Network
Issue: Net Edition | Date : 05 Sep , 2015

The Government has announced the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the Ex-Servicemen. This was announced by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 05-September-2015. The following is the statement of the Defence Minister:

…to implement OROP, the estimated cost to the exchequer would be Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 crore at present, and will increase further in future.

“Government of India respects its Defence Forces and Ex-Servicemen for their valour, patriotism and sacrifices. The Government is proud of their devotion to duty and bravery. Our forces, besides vigilantly and gallantly defending the nation, have displayed exemplary standards of courage and bravery in natural calamities, law and order situations and other difficult circumstances.

Veterans call off indefinite hunger strike after Modi issues clarification on OROP


Relay hunger strike to continue
Veterans protesting the delay in the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme called off their indefinite hunger strike after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday ssued a clarification on the programme. Modi said that those seeking early retirement from the armed forces would also be eligible to receive the benefits of the pension programme. However, some ex-servicemen said that they would continue to hold a relay hunger strike until all their demands were met. They added that they would hold a “mega rally” in New Delhi on September 12. Veteran's associations have listed four points of disagreement with the government's plan, including the time period set for the equalisation of pensions and the base year for the calculation of salaries.

VHP calls on Muslims to control population

A DISCUSSION WITH BEN ANDERSON OF VICE ABOUT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

SEPTEMBER 7, 2015

I recently spoke with journalist, filmmaker, and author Ben Anderson about his recent episode of VICE on HBO. In his film, Afghanistan After Us, Anderson chronicled the current state of the Afghan Local Police. In our conversation, he expands on how a village in Helmand Province came to have a 53-year-old woman in charge of a local police unit (ALP), the challenges that Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) face, as well as his opinion of recent negotiations with the Taliban. Anderson’s observations are of particular interest considering the reporting of Mullah Omar’s death, and accounts of further fragmentation occurring daily.

Suzanne Schroeder: In December 2013, the New York Times reported that an Afghan National Army (ANA) commander and the Taliban had reached an agreement in Sangin. The Army then launched a quick investigation. Obviously, this news was problematic, as it was without official approval. But what is to keep ALP groups from entering into similar arrangements?

Germany and Sweden Helping the U.S. Target Its Drone Strikes in Afghanistan

Rod Nordland
September 4, 2015

Germany and Sweden Are Said to Help Make Afghan ‘Kill Decisions’

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two European allies of the United States have been directly participating in so-called kill decisions against insurgents in Afghanistandespite rules prohibiting them from doing so, according to two senior Western officials with knowledge of the operations.

The accusations concern airstrikes, mostly by drones, that American officials have justified as part of a lasting counterterrorism mission agreed to with the Afghan government. However, some of the strikes have come under question as being far more aggressive than the security deal allows for.

The two countries said to be improperly involved in approving strike decisions —Germany, a NATO member of the coalition in Afghanistan, and Sweden, which is not a member of NATO — as well as a spokesmen for the American-led military coalition all denied that anyone other than the United States military had been involved in targeting insurgents.

But the two senior officials said that the issue, which has not been publicly disclosed previously, has been quietly increasing tensions between the American military and its NATO and other allies. And the accusations are likely to cause a particular stir in Germany, where constitutional rules forbid offensive military operations in most cases and where human rights groups have joined lawsuitsthat alleged even indirect German assistance for American drone strikes.

If Pakistan Wants a 'Normal' Nuclear Status, It Must Give Up Terrorism

By Seema Sirohi
September 05, 2015

Ever since India and the United States concluded their 2005 civil nuclear agreement, which essentially recognized India as the sixth nuclear weapons power in the global order, Pakistan has argued for a similar agreement with the U.S., despite its dubious record of proliferation.

Pakistan seeks parity with India in every realm, even if its size and history make that a questionable project. Undeterred, it has mounted a massive diplomatic campaign in Western capitals over the last several years to block India from reaching the next stage of legitimacy for its nuclear program, i.e. entry into the four international technology-control regimes starting with the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Islamabad’s anti-India campaign can be considered somewhat successful, since it has managed to chip away at the resistance against its own proliferation record while raising questions about accepting India as a de factonuclear power. Conventional wisdom in Washington, which once considered Pakistan as a nuclear pariah because of A.Q. Khan’s enterprise of selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, has shifted to finding ways of rationalizing its behavior.

The reasons are two-fold: Pakistan is apparently making 20 nuclear weapons a year and in a decade could amass the world’s third largest arsenal. Some U.S. experts believe that something must be done to treat this suicidal/homicidal behavior.

Russia’s turn to China: A gap between rhetoric and reality

By Julia Smirnova 
September 6 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, observe a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat from Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Sept. 3, as South Korean President Park Geun-hye, seated at left, looks on. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping share a love of military parades.

Both Russian and Chinese presidents appreciate the symbolic meaning of tanks and missiles rolling and soldiers marching through squares, showing their domestic and international audience that they are fully in control and their countries are superpowers.

On Thursday, Putin visited Beijing to celebrate with Xi Japan’s defeat in World War II. He watched Russian soldiers marching together with Chinese, and Russia also staged its own parade – on a much smaller scale – on the same day in the far eastern city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.