10 November 2015

Prejudiced Bias of the Human Rights Groups and Media in Kashmir

By Col Jaibans Singh
Date : 07 Nov , 2015

Two brave soldiers of the Indian Army, hailing from the Kashmir valley, made the supreme sacrifice in service of the Nation on November, 03. They were killed due to unprovoked fire by Pakistani troops from across the line of control in the Gurez sector. 

While reflecting on the death of two patriotic and brave Kashmiri soldiers due to Pakistani fire, one wonders as to why the Human Rights organisations, that are otherwise so active in the Valley, have not raised any voice of concern at this wanton killing.

The soldiers, Rifleman Tariq Ahmed Lone, resident of Baktoor, Gurez and Rifleman Waseem Ahmad Lone resident of Bandipora were serving with 160 Battalion (Territorial Army). They were killed while patrolling the forward areas in the Gurez sector where there was indication of infiltration attempts by some Pakistani terrorist groups. 

The visibly upset troops if 3 Sikh and 13 Sikh, with whom these brave soldiers were attached, gave a befitting response to Pakistan with heavy retaliatory fire. 

The bodies of the soldiers were handed over to their families with full military honours. The Corps Commander of the Chinar Corps, Lt General SK Dua, paid tribute to the bravery and devotion to duty of the fallen soldiers. The units with which the soldiers had operating were full of praise for their heroism, while guarding the borders of their country in very treacherous terrain and difficult conditions. 

China's New Banking Superstar, Fang Xinghai, Is No Hero

November 9, 2015

The public’s confidence in China’s stock market is at an all-time low. Firms and individuals were fined two billion yuan last month for “manipulating the market,” the president of a state-owned securities firm hanged himself as a result of the probe, and one of the most successful fund managers was arrestedby the police, and his office was raided. As government intervention in markets deepens in China, investor participation and trust continue to fall.

India and China : The Order of Next War

By admin
November 8, 2015 | 

2014 Chumar Incident was just a teaser, The future incursions in this particular region will be just like a slap but the feisty blow will come from Yunnan which covers the “Eastern Sector” of the Order. And, let us be clear about one thing – India may raise couple of mountain strike corps in a short period of time but a deficiency induced air power capabilities will break India’s defensive lines as well as offensive dreams. The Order of Next War between India and China, will be decided in the thin mountain air’s of Aksai Chin and Tibet. Is India really prepared?

China’s Grand Design: Pivot to Eurasia

By George Yeo
November 8, 2015

Eurasia is a large part of the world. In a few decades, it will be the principal driver of the global economy.

China accounts for less than 15% of global GDP. It contributed around 40% to global growth in 2014.

Coastal China has become more expensive than all of Southeast Asia, except Singapore.

Throughout history, Imperial China and Imperial Persia always had good relations.
China is probably the only major country that is able to exercise a national will on a range of topics.

This summer, for the first time, financial turmoil in China created turbulence around the world and even hit New York. This is a historic event and is a portent of things to come.

Yes, China fumbled. It could have avoided certain obvious mistakes which many saw coming, but the Chinese will learn from it. What the episode shows is how the relative weights are shifting in the world way beyond just trade.

China still accounts for less than 15% of global GDP, but its contribution to global growth last year was in the range of 40%. So when that growth slackens, pretty much everyone around the world feels it.

Not surprisingly, people all over the world are concerned about China’s prospects. Is this the beginning of a decline? Are the internal contradictions sharpening, portending further, more serious problems?

Chinese Military Strategy: War Zone Campaign Concept

By Lt Gen JS Bajwa
07 Nov , 2015

The end of the Cold War, denied the PLA the opportunity to fight a protracted, manpower-based total war with deep depth as prospects of foreign invasion on China had reduced. On the other hand, local, limited wars involving national unification and disputes over maritime and land territories were more likely to take place. All these had somewhat reduced the relevance of the PLA’s old comparative advantage in space, manpower and time to PLA’s war planning. Also, the two-decade-long defense modernization had produced some “pockets of technological excellence” within a generally backward PLA.

The traditional PLA MR was a land force, geographic and regional political-based concept while the WZC is an operational-based doctrine and involves all services of the PLA. The WZC, simplified, is the doctrine for conducting a limited war under high-tech conditions. It started with the realization by the PLA planners of their comparative technological inferiority compared to their potential adversaries. The goal of WZC is to use PLA’s selective “Pockets of Excellence” to offset the adversaries’ technological edge.” 1

Our Spies Are Running Hard Trying to Keep Up With the ISIS Threat

Sam Jones
November 7, 2015

Intelligence agencies race to keep up with evolving Isis threat

The trajectory is clear enough: with Russia also suspending all flights to Egypt, there is a growing belief that the disaster was indeed a terrorist attack — potentially making it one of the worst such militant Islamist strikes since September 11 2001.

UK and Middle Eastern intelligence officials told the Financial Times that compelling evidence of a terror plot was now in circulation — shared through bilateral relationships with regional and European governments, Washington and Moscow.

The intelligence picture is nevertheless still confused. Many question why the US, in particular, has not been more outspoken.

The UK — the first country to suspend flights, and dispatch security teams to Egypt — has been the most vociferous in publicly asserting that the attack was a bomb plot. Britain’s evidence, according to those familiar with it, is gleaned from sensitive signals intelligence that picked up conversations between members of the militant group Isis discussing the attack.

With Saudi Weapons and Logistical Support, Syrian Rebels Have Slowed Syrian Army Offensive to a Virtual Standstill

November 8, 2015

Saudi support to rebels slows Assad attacks: pro-Damascus sources

Offensives by the Syrian army and its allies backed by Russian air strikes are going more slowly than expected due to increased Saudi support to rebels, senior sources close to the Syrian government said, as the insurgents pressed a counter attack on Friday.

Rebels captured the village of Atshan in Hama province, the second setback for the government and its allies in that area in as many days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and rebels said. The nearby town of Morek fell to rebels on Thursday.

Backed by Russian air strikes, the Syrian army and allies including the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have launched several offensives in areas vital to President Bashar al-Assad’s control of western Syria.

But analysts say the government gains have been at best modest, one saying earlier this week the only breakthrough thus far was a minimal advance south of Aleppo. U.S. officials have voiced a similar view, while rebels have said the Russian-backed attacks are failing and they expect more gains for their side.

In a frank assessment of the situation facing the government side, the two senior sources - neither of them Syrian - said the course of battle had been slowed by more military support to the rebels from Saudi Arabia, which is vying for influence with Iran across the Middle East and wants Assad gone from power.

Turkey and Qatar: Close Allies, Sharing a Doomed Syria Policy

November 9, 2015

In recent years, Turkey and Qatar have found much common ground on a host of foreign policy issues. Both Ankara and Doha have sponsored a variety of Sunni Islamist groups, seen as conduits for their geopolitical influence in the fluid Middle East. However, both countries have experienced setbacks from their engagement in some of the region’s conflicts, most notably in Syria.

Last month, the Turkish and Qatari representatives left the Vienna talks on Syria maintaining their conviction that Bashar al-Assad must relinquish power as a precondition for peace. Although Turkey’s shared border with Syria and Qatar’s deep pockets provide the two nations much potential to prolong insurgencies against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, it appears unrealistic to imagine Ankara and Doha achieving their objective of toppling the Syrian regime through their current strategies, especially in light of Russia’s military intervention in the country.

Turkey and Qatar’s Quest for Regional Influence:

The Russian Military's 5 Next Generation Super Weapons

November 8, 2015

The Soviet Union might have collapsed in 1991, but modern Russia continues to develop state-of-the-art weapons even if its defense industry is a shadow of what it once was.

In recent years, Russia has launched a host of new developmental programs to replace its Soviet-era arsenal. Though development work has been hurt by economic sanctions and low oil prices, work on myriad projects continue.

While not every part of Russia’s defense industrial complex has weathered the Soviet collapse equally, there are certain areas where Moscow excels. Russia still makes excellent aircraft, armored vehicles, submarines and electronic warfare systems--certainly systems NATO should have its collective eyes on in the months and years to come.


Acknowledging Reality in the U.S.-Israeli Relationship

November 7, 2015

On the eve of a visit by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington, we have gotten yet another of the statements from members of his government that are sufficiently unrestrained or unhinged to cause a flap both in the United States and Israel. While Netanyahu's own comment about the Holocaust being a Palestinian idea is still fresh in our minds, the latest ear-catching remarks come from Ran Baratz, an inhabitant of a West Bank settlement whom Netanyahu has chosen to be chief of hasbara, the selling of Israeli policies overseas. Baratz has posted a trail of entries on Facebook that have insulted, among others, President Rivlin of Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Baratz says has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, and President Obama, whom he accuses of being anti-Semitic.

Netanyahu has reacted to the flap by saying that these postings do not represent the views of his government and that he will be reviewing the appointment of Baratz. But whether Baratz keeps or loses the job of chief propagandist doesn't really matter. The backtracking that customarily follows these sorts of Israeli comments (including Netanyahu's sort-of retraction of his assertion about the origin of the Holocaust) are less representative of what this Israeli government is about than were the original comments. The government's insulting or embarrassing of senior U.S. officials is nothing new and has happened repeatedly in the past, such as when it announced new construction of settlements in East Jerusalem while Vice President Biden was visiting Israel. The playing of the anti-Semitism card as a response to criticism of Israeli government policy is habitual, on the part of not only the Israeli government but also some of its most loyal supporters in the United States. Throughout the history of Netanyahu occasionally being pushed into saying something that could be interpreted as support for a Palestinian state, his more genuine statements, as indicated by their consistency with his actual policies, have come when he has not been pushed—such as his statement most recently that he intended to “control all of the territory” and “live forever by the sword.”

How to Get Kim Jong-un Out of the U.S.-ROK Alliance's 'Head'

November 9, 2015

North Korea remains the most explosive flashpoint in Asia because of the potential for escalation and major war. As the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, puts it, “I don't know when, I don't know how, but at some point in the future, it is highly probable that Korea will be one country again.” He adds, "Whether that happens peacefully or violently is a $64,000 question.”

The question of Korea’s future is further complicated by ceding first-mover advantage to Kim Jong-un. Kim is far more likely to surprise us than we are to surprise him. That’s a problem because we resign the U.S.-Korean alliance to a reactive strategy.

Take the near certainty that Kim would launch a missile to mark the 70thanniversary of the North Korean Workers’ Party on October 10th. The launch never happened and analysts are still debating why. Forecasting Kim’s decisions is a precarious business. Indeed, predicting a date certain for Kim’s provocations may be the best way to prevent them from taking place. But North Korea’s inaction suggests that Pyongyang has crept inside our decision-making loop. Kim thinks he understands what we will do, when we will do it, and how to get under our skin.

How Good Is the SIGINT Intercept Evidence Regarding the Downing of the Russian Airliner in Sinai?

Mark Mazzetti
November 7, 2015

Spotty Intelligence Prompts U.S. Caution in Assessing Jet Crash in Egypt

WASHINGTON — The United States has spent billions over the past 14 years improving its ability to gather intelligence across the globe, much of that money intended to ensure that acts of airborne terrorism like the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, never happen again.

But since a Russian charter jet crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt last week, a combination of factors has limited the ability of the United States to quickly piece together information sufficient to determine with confidence why the plane fell from the sky.

The Federal Reserve Finds a New, Global Way to Evade Transparency

November 9, 2015

Policy transparency from the Federal Reserve, otherwise known as the Yellen Accord, allows other central banks to anticipate its actions and respond accordingly in their best interest. But forward guidance and transparency are now posing a problem for the Fed, and its recently articulated global mandate is a mechanism for diffusing it.

Global economic conditions can have an effect on the domestic economy of the U.S. This is the context in which the Fed laid out its reasoning for not raising rates in September. But in doing so, the Fed allowed for the potential impacts of the global economy—not the tangible impacts—to influence monetary policy decisions. Potential impacts can be interpreted broadly, and makes it difficult to see the boundaries of the reasoning.

Washington Misreads Beijing's South China Sea Ambitions

November 9, 2015

The South China Sea has become increasingly contested in 2015. Prompted by China’s extensive reclamation program, the complex and multilayered dispute has become a dominant feature in regional diplomacy and strategic dialogue. The contest has been keenly watched, not because it is likely to trigger a great-power conflict, but because of what it tells us about the broader regional dynamics of Sino-American contestation. Indeed nothing seems to illustrate Asia’s period of power transition than the brash upstart defying the dominant power by building islands with strategic intent.

How the GOP Establishment Backed Jeb...and Could End Up with Trump

November 8, 2015
Last month, a warning bell was rung in the pages of National Review. An article appeared there by Eliana Johnson reporting that Republican insiders were now taking seriously the notion that Donald Trump could win their party’s presidential nomination. A piece at NBC News the next day made clear the GOP was no longer complacent about the tirade tycoon and was plotting to take him down.

They have reason to be worried. The Republican establishment’s pretext for dismissing Trump has always been that he’s a bearded lady dancing to calliope music—an indulgent diversion, in other words, but one that voters will inevitably abandon once they spot the big-letter attractions. That hasn’t happened. Trump has now sat at or near the top of the polls for almost 110 days. There are only 87 days left until the Iowa caucuses. Nothing—not even a comparatively feeble debate performance last week—has shaken a quarter of the Republican electorate out of its Trump stupor.

Korea-Japan: No End to the Backroom Brawl

By Kyu Seok Shim
November 08, 2015

The long-awaited bilateral summit between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on November 2 represented an important and positive step in the troubled relationship between the two most important American allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Though lacking substance and obstructed by disagreement on the comfort women issue, the resumption of track 1 dialogue bodes well for the possibility of further interchange between the two nations. For the Obama Administration, which has been pushing for greater cooperation among its allies in the past few years, the summit signals a positive development for its strategy of building a common front to pressure an increasingly assertive China.

Yet this ostensible goodwill comes at a time when the two East Asian nations have been engaged in a protracted public relations war in the United States, pouring money into securing influence and support from American politicians and civic groups in a manner not much more dignified than mud-slinging.

Japan’s Train Diplomacy

By Shang-su Wu
November 09, 2015

Since the first operational line between Shinbashi and Yokohama opened in 1872, rail has become a major Japanese industry, even creating several milestones, such as the Asia Express and Shinkansen. Although Japan’s exports in this industry are considerable and the country also builds railroad facilities overseas, those deals are mainly either commercial or aid, such as Official Development Assistance (ODA). With its active foreign policy, the second Abe administration offers the Japanese railroad industry the potential to play a salient role in diplomacy.

First, given demographic changes and competition from highways and aviation, domestic Japanese demand for trains is decreasing. Since the period of the “bubble” economy, a number of railroad lines, especially in remote areas, have gone out of service, and this trend is unlikely to stop any time soon, with JR Hokkaido just announcing another wave of local line closures. As a result, Japanese rail manufacturers need to look overseas for new markets.

The forgotten Indians who fought WWI for the Raj


To wear a red poppy in your lapel is a ubiquitous form of homage in the U.K. to soldiers who died in the First World War. Yet in the ceremonies that mark Remembrance Day, there has till now been only a token recall of the contribution of a significant section of the British armed forces – soldiers from the subjugated colonies of British Empire who stood in the frontlines of the Great War.

One and a half million soldiers from undivided India fought in freezing trenches dressed only in khaki cotton gear on the western frontier; in Africa and West Asia; in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and Egypt. Of them, 72,000 died.

The gap in our historical knowledge of soldiers from undivided India, who constituted the biggest segment of troops from the colonies, will now significantly narrow with the publication of a new book by the London-based journalist and author Shrabani Basu.

In For King and Another Country, Ms. Basu — whose earlier biography of Noor Inayat Khan, the courageous Special Operations Executive of Indian origin in WW2, received much critical acclaim — seeks to shine a light on the lives and contributions of soldiers from the subcontinent in WW1.

America's Lethal F-16 Fighter Jet Could Fly for 92 Years (In Theory)

November 8, 2015

Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the iconic F-16 jet fighter, just completed a two-year test that simulated a staggering 92 years of normal flying for one of the single-engine planes.

That’s a long time. And amazingly, the F-16 — a 1990s-vintage Block 50 version — held up just fine. “The airframe was then subjected to several maximum-load conditions to demonstrate that the airframe still had sufficient strength to operate within its full operational flight envelope,” Lockheed noted in a press release.

The point of the test was to provide data for Lockheed’s coming effort to rebuild 300 or so U.S. Air Force F-16s — Block 50s and earlier Block 40s — so they can keep flying at least into the 2030s. The Air Force is struggling to maintain its roughly 1,900-strong fleet of F-15s, F-16s, F-22 and A-10s while also buying new F-35s to replace the oldest F-16s, for starters.

A Lot of What We Think We Know About World War II Is Terribly Wrong

November 6, 2015
The Second World War remains an enduringly fascinating subject, but despite the large number of films, documentaries, books and even comics on the subject, our understanding of this catastrophic conflict, even seven decades on, remains heavily dependent on conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available. In my new book The War in the West: Germany Ascendant 1939-1941, first in a three-volume history, I am challenging a number of long-held assumptions about the war, many of which are based on truth by common knowledge, rather than through detailed and painstaking research.

My Damascene moment came some years ago when I was being given a tour of the Small Arms Unit at the British Staff College at Shrivenham. I was glancing at aGerman MG42, known as a “Spandau” by the Allies. “Of course, that was the best machine gun of the war,’ I commented, relaying what I’d read in many books.

Misfire: 5 Wars America Should Never Have Fought

November 8, 2015

In the debate that preceded the 2003 Iraq War, we became enamored of the distinction between “wars of choice” and “wars of necessity.” Opponents of the Iraq War decried it as a “choice,” while supporters insisted on its “necessity.” Unfortunately, like many aspects of that debate, that framing was entirely wrong; America has faced vanishingly few wars of “necessity,” but some of our wars of “choice” have nevertheless been good choices. Some, sadly, have not.

As we would expect of any country, not all of America’s wars have been wisely fought, and not all of them were wise to fight. Here are five wars that the United States could have, and should have, stayed out of.

War of 1812:

U.S. Navy: Time to Bring Back the S-3 Viking?

By Ben Ho Wan Beng
November 09, 2015

The boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the U.S. state of Arizona may offer the solution – an interim one perhaps – to two critical capability gaps that carrier air wings (CVWs) of the United States Navy are facing for the foreseeable future. A Hudson Institute report, Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force and High-End Conflict, which was released earlier this month highlights, among other issues, the relatively short range of the CVW’s strike aircraft and its limited anti-submarine warfare (ASW) repertoire. Also released this month was Retreat from Range: The Rise and Fall of Carrier Aviation, a hard-hitting analysis by Dr. Jerry Hendrix of the Center for a New American Century (CNAS) that alludes to the CVW’s lack of deep-strike capabilities.

The S-3 Viking, which was taken out of service in 2009 in the name of cost savings – a move that has been criticized as short-sighted – could arguably fill these two shortfalls. Eighty-seven S-3s are being kept in mothballs at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Resurrecting most of them could go some way towards addressing the aforementioned capability gaps. After all, the innocuous-looking aircraft had a diverse operational portfolio that included ASW and aerial tanking. Moreover, developing new aircraft, whether manned or otherwise, to address the two shortcomings would take time, and the Viking could serve as a stop-gap measure until these new platforms are brought into service; indeed, the S-3 is believed to be able to fly for another 10,000 to 12,000 hours.

9 November 2015



1. On retirement recently I have shifted to Dwarka from the comfort zone of Dhaula Kuan Part 1. Though one is mentally prepared for the paradigm shift, even then you feel the jhatka. You realize how thoroughly one has been spoiled by the great Indian Army where everything is catered for. Getting a plumber for a small repair job made my life no easier, On top of it staying inside the house 24 hours is not good for own health and family.

2. So I decided to attend some seminars/ round table discussions last week.

3. On Tuesday 5th Nov I went to Taj Mahal Hotel at Man Singh Road to attend a Panel Discussion on "Innovate in India" organized by ORF. It had an impressive array of speakers like Bibek Debroy, Kenneth Frazier, Chairman and CEO, Merck and Co, USA, Robert Shapiro, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University and former US Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, US Government, Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, TeamLease Services, India. Deb Roy gave the key note address and enthusiastically engaging in discussions. Innovation, IPR, WTO, Skill Development , …. The foreign speakers had their own agenda which was understandable. Deb Roy asserted that it is the Govt’s job to provide world class infrastructure. But let the market decide where the innovations should take place. Govt has no role in it. Something Gurcharan Das has been telling for a long time. I found Manish Sabharwal’s talk very interesting on skill development. Though I raised my hand during Q&A Session, understandably the foreign delegates were given chance to speak. I had following comments / questions in mind :
  • IPR is all right for money making, what happens for common good of the people. There are so many instances where inventors have shared their invention free for benefit of mankind. We have ongoing issues with Basmati Rice, Earlier we had problems with haldi, neem, ayurveda and even yoga!
  • Will the Govt consider education also as critical infrastructure. India is not Luyten’sDelhi. Please visit any district/ sub divisional towns in the heartland of India and see the state of education. People getting out from there are simply unemployable.
  • Lot of work is being done on skill development. It is too early to comment. How is the natural aptitude is being utilized for placing an individual to a particular skill set. It seems everything is market driven.

4. On 4th November there was as heavy duty seminar by CLAWS in conjunction with ARTRAC held at USI. All the hoi polloi of Army were there! The first session till lunch was chaired by Prof Gautam Sen. As his wont he handled the session deftly. Except one, speakers were excellent in their deliberations and there were some searching questions. I also decided to join the bandwagon and raised the following issues as comments and questions.
  • Everybody was talking of 2004 and 2010 doctrine. People have forgotten that the first IA doctrine was published by ARTRAC during Lt Gen Oberoi’s time as Army Commander ARTRAC. It had a red cover page. Requested ARTRAC when the new doctrine gets published they should at least supersede the older one which has not been done.
  • The process of strategy / doctrine making normally is : National Security Strategy( signed by head of the state in our case the PM to be made by NSCS) à National Defence Strategy to be made by MoD signed by RM à National Military Strategy made by HQ IDS followed by joint doctrine. The individual services doctrine should come out of the broad parameters of joint doctrine, so is the case of others eg. NDS should come out of NSS and so on. In our case we are all talking of NSS and Army Doctrine what about the other missing links.
  • We may also like to have a look at how Indian Navy has published National Maritime Doctrine though there is no NSS. MoD has neither approved it, nor rejected it. But it is there! In our case Army doctrine is made independently. Actually it does not matter as long as it is there. Strategies and doctrines are generic in nature. NSS covers all non traditional security issues like energy, health, economic, environment, water security etc . NSS of USA is only of 29 pages.
  • We need to be practical. Do we really believe that as per our newly formulated doctrine we will reorg our force structure, our capacity building, our training, our personal policies. We know how our procurement takes place, how we function. Come on, this is an academic exercise only. The chair interrupted and asked me what is my recommendations. I replied I had already forwarded that in the form of an e mail as Eliot Cohen gave his testimony in the Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on 22 Oct 2015 only. He said rather getting into fruitless periodic exercise of writing the QDR they should try to do the following :

Remake our system for selecting and promoting general officer

Renew professional military education at the top.

Re-discover mobilization

Overhaul the current system for producing strategy documents on a regular basis.
  • I drew the attention of a slide shown by Lt Gen Anil Chait where the recent statement of NSA was shown wherein for 4 GW police is being designated as lead agency. Have we already left that space for the police without contesting? We do not want to do CI Ops, govt keeps on increasing CAPF, we do not want to be the lead agency, NDRF has been created. We will still do riot control at the drop of a hat, recent example is there, there is no graduated response, no CAPF, Military became first responder. Same with Disaster Management. What is our take. Karna kya hai.

The most interesting observation came from a civilian a retired official from Finance. He asked has there been any study carried out about the effect of the doctrines published earlier in 5 years time frame. What are the financial effects. He also told me in lunch break, everybody is taliking about Arth shashtra but forgets it is the economy which drives everything! Understandably there was no response to his query from anybody.

5. On 5th Nov I attended CLAWS – Carnegie – Stimson Dialog org by CLAWS. It was an excellent one. The panel was very good. Walter Ladwig III was there. I had circulated his papers on India’s Strategic Options and earlier India’s cold start doctrine, both outstanding papers. It was nice to listen to ex SFC C in C and now Director CLAWS asserting that Indian Army will fight through Tac Nuc Weapons, if it happens, and willing to take on the casualty. The political leadership is aware of what is required to be done and will take action accordingly. One only wish, in view of the recent nuc saber rattling by Pak somebody responsible from the Govt does give some response and send signals across. After all signaling is very important.

6. Prof Gautam Sen before leaving gave some comments and not questions, as he emphasized. These were :
  • Is there any methodology to measure intent.
  • Capacity building, innovation, infrastructure development are of no significance unless there is intent to use it.
  • To Varun Sahney in an asymmetric conflict on nuc issues Pak can come to the red line. He should not stop there, please elaborate on what will happen in case of a nuc war.
  • What is the micro miniaturization that has been done to deliver a TNW through arty shell. What is the flexibility.
  • To Monica Chansoria : She began well with Marxist theory and Mao to Xi Jinping ’s thought of China producing capability of deterrence. She should postulate what the new regime going to do. Imposition of economic and strategic conglomeration through one road one belt and other means is not like to succeed because of political compulsions.
7. I raised the following points ;

No two democracies have ever fought war, no two nuc powered states have either. The closest that happened was in Kargil which was localized and IA and IAF did not cross LC. PAF was not in picture. It is the most potential nuc flash point where whole world is concerned.

I drew their attention to the Shasank Joshi’s paper in CSIS where he writes that there is a calculation by Ashley Tellis which suggests that Pakistan would need as many as 436 nuclear weapons of 15 kiloton yield to destroy at least half of a single Indian armored division. Since the size of the Nasr missile indicates it could only accommodate warheads of much smaller yield than this, these requirements grow more onerous still. Indians assume that two ordinary, non tactical nuclear weapons dropped from Pakistani F /16 aircraft could effectively halt an armored division/ the tanks could get through a nuclear battlefield but their supply lines could not, and Indian forces could not disperse quickly enough anyway. Indian armored divisions are assumed to move at a speed of approximately 20 kilometers per hour. In the several minutes it would take to target and drop a bomb, Indian tanks could not disperse more than a few kilometers. That would be within the range of, say, a 15 kiloton device. Every year our armd formations do exercises, the terrain is known, is there a study which can tell us how many TNWs will be required to stop, say one Armd Div. We have three, all poised against Pak. As per India what is the red line for Pak. Ladwig said that Zimmerman had carried out some analysis at Princeton and he will send the paper. And promptly he sent me that paper next day. Interested?

China very effectively has boxed in India by giving Pak nuc technology and delivery means of Missiles through North Korea. They are providing another reactor now. There is news of deployment of ballistic missiles in TAR. What is the chance of China giving DF 21 or DF 26 to Pak. It will be a complete game changer, our Career battle groups will be in range and will have grave repercussions.

China is a cyber super power. Is there any information whether China shares their cyber expertise with Pak.

8. George Perkovich made some very interesting observation. He said the questionof Pak use of TNW arises when IA fights within Pak territory. Can we take recourse to other means like international pressure, financial sanctions, other economic measures to attain the same objective.

9. On 7th Nov I attended an international conference on India and WW I org by Shiv Nader University and USI. It was for two days first day in USI and second day at SNU. Since SNU is beyond Greater Noida they provided us transport to go from USI and Arun Vihar Institute in NOIDA to SNU. I was highly impressed by this initiative where the academia was partnering such an event. There was enthusiastic participation from the students of SNU. The panels were excellent including scholars from France and Belgium I have been following the writing of Dr Kaushik Roy of Jadavpur University and it was nice to interact with him. One really gets impressed by their knowledge om matters military . I asked him about Apoorva Kundu who wrote a seminal book on India’s Martyr class system and Sunil Dasgupta. His observations on Combat Motivation interms of Pre Combat and In combat was extremely interesting. I picked up the word homo erotic bond of German soldiers. Some of the statistics like the number of casualties the allies, the Germans took proportional to their population was mind boggling

10. The Vice Chancellor of SNU very proudly in his inaugural address talked about 2/Lt Girish Narain Singh who joined IA in 1947 and fought in all the major wars. He emphasized that his father was from 3rd Kumaon Rifles not Regt and how Sharon Day used to be observed. 

11. Some of the facts which came out are ;
  • More than 50% soldiers were from the then Punjab consisting of Sikhs, Jats, Dogras, Ahirs and Punjabi Mussalmans.
  • At the outbreak of WWI strength of IA was 2, 39, 561 incl 77,000 Britishers, it was quickly increased to 1.4 million .
  • There was a very huge number of people who went as labour force.
  • Max number of people were in Middle East, Mesopotamia, but we get more coverage of European battlefields.

12. On 7th there was recitation of letters from Indian soldiers, an art exhibition by Sumantra Sengupta and a panel discussion.

13. I had given the following comments ;

In defence of why there was not much importance given to WWI post independence I drew the attention to the following;

For whatever reason mostly wrongly the political class wanted to keep armed forces away from mainstream. The happenings like military rule at Pak, Burma and other countries post WWII did not help.

Countries which got independence Post WW-II, there are not many countries which has done better than India.

In 1918, during the same time Jalianwala Bag massacre took place. It is Indian Army’s Gorkha soldiers who fired at the peaceful gathering. There were deep wounds which take time to heal.

After WW-II INA soldiers were put on trial, no less than Jawharlal Nehru probably for the first time wore the black coat and pleaded their case, but INA soldiers were not rehabilitated in Indian Army.

Requested them to put these excellent papers in the web so that everybody can read those.

14. Though it was Saturday when we went to SNU, it was worth the effort.

15. Who said, there is no free lunch? Every day of the week I had sumptuous lunch. To compensate I had to play tennis in the afternoons followed by getting caught in Delhi’s mad traffic jams of Diwali shopping. Driving to Dwarka specially approach to Dwarka fly over was a painstaking effort. And boy, after all these in the day what a sleep I had everyday.

16. I think I have to take a break from seminar hopping!

      -- PKM

The Pakistan Nuclear Nightmare

NOV. 7, 2015 
Source Link

With as many as 120 warheads, Pakistan could in a decade become the world’s third-ranked nuclear power, behind the United States and Russia, but ahead of China, France and Britain. Its arsenal is growing faster than any other country’s, and it has become even more lethal in recent years with the addition of small tactical nuclear weapons that can hit India and longer-range nuclear missiles that can reach farther.

Arguments over caste spread from India to Britain

THE LIST of things on which Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the British Labour party, disagrees with David Cameron is, of course, very long. But here is one that you may not have thought about, unless you happen to be a politically active member of the Hindu or Sikh community in Britain. Mr Corbyn is a long-standing and passionate advocate of the Dalits, people from India who complain of being treated terribly by their compatriots because of their low status under the caste system; such discrimination was supposedly abolished by independent India's constitution but it remains a powerful social reality.

Indeed, advocates of the Dalits remember him gratefully as one of the first British politicians to take up their cause. Specifically, Mr Corbyn wants British law to prohibit discrimination on grounds of caste, a step which the government seems reluctant to take, and one which some prominent British Hindus adamantly oppose. These opponents insist that the existence of caste discrimination in Britain is unproven, and that outlawing it would be an insult to the Indian community. 

In 2012, Mr Corbyn told parliament:

How We Valued Value

Bibek Debroy
6 November 2015

Bibek Debroy is an economist and member of the NITI Aayog. He is the author of Mahabharata in 10 volumes 

Wealth is a neglected domain in our scriptures because they were written by brahmins and that is also why artha is intertwined with dharma

कर्मण्यवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन This is a famous shloka from the Bhagavad Gita. “You indeed have a right to the action, never to the fruits.” In advancing a proposition that Hinduism is concerned more about the world hereafter and is concerned relatively less with material prosperity in the present world, this shloka is also cited.[1] If the fruits are irrelevant, why should I be motivated to do anything? Why should I try to improve my material prosperity? Let me instead focus on the world hereafter. It so happens that this is not a shloka from the Bhagavad Gita, it is half of ashloka, from shloka 2.47, the 47th shloka in the 2nd Chapter. The remaining half of the shloka, often not quoted, is as follows. मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गः अस्त्वकर्मणि। “Never should action originate because of the fruits. Nor should you be attached to lack of action.” With both halves of the shloka taken together, one forms a slightly different impression. In discussing Hinduism, with its immensely huge corpus, and attitudes of Hinduism towards specific topics, one must therefore be careful in quoting selectively. What’s the point of quoting half a shloka, without considering the rest of the Bhagavad Gita? How can one quote from a text, ignoring the context of who it was composed for and by whom? Not to speak of issues about when it was composed.

What do historians do? A perfect lesson for Chetan Bhagat from the Indian Army

What inspires an Indian soldier to brave the odds in a battlefield? It is the history, the izzat, of his paltan.

So what do historians really do?

To Chetan Bhagat, a popular writer and a “five point someone”, the answer is not very obvious. He believes that they write this happened, then this happened and, ok, their work for the day is done. But this isn’t how others view the purpose of historians and history – for them it is history that defines the present, which creates traditions that define a nation and its fortunes. This is truer for the Indian Army.

Few people outside the military know what motivates the men of an infantry battalion of the Army to face impossible odds in battle. The soldiers call it izzat, the Urdu word for honour that motivates them to climb mountains under fire, in sub-zero temperatures where the exposed skin freezes and peels off.

History to live up to

Downstream concerns on the Brahmaputra

November 3, 2015

It is in India’s interests to start a serious conversation with China on some of the larger questions of benefit sharing, risk allocation and trade-offs on the Brahmaputra.

As China’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Brahmaputra, or Yarlung Tsangpo, became fully operational this month, it has once again evoked concerns in India. The $1.5 billion Zangmu hydroelectric dam has stoked a virtual paranoia over China’s resource choices and their likely downstream impact. But the debate has generated more heat than light. It has also unwittingly ended up being a single-issue debate, fixated on water diversion and its likely impact. But is that all there is to it?

An overwhelming focus on diversion has moved attention away from other critical issues such as water quality that India needs to raise with China. There are growing concerns over worsening environmental degradation facing Tibet’s ‘Three Rivers area’ comprising the Yarlung Tsangpo, Lhasa river and Nyangchu basins in central Tibet. One of the most intensely exploited areas in this region is the Gyama valley, situated south of the Lhasa river, with large polymetallic deposits of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead and zinc. Studies by Chinese scientists are pointing to the possibility of a high content of heavy metals in the stream sediments and tailings that could pose a potential threat to downstream water users. Global warming could further accelerate the movement of these heavy metals besides projected spatial and temporal variations in water availability. By 2050, the annual runoff in the Brahmaputra is projected to decline by 14 per cent. This will have significant implications for food security and social stability, given the impact on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture.

The Road to a US-Pakistan Nuclear Deal Begins in Islamabad

By Saira Bano
November 06, 2015

Before the official visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to the U.S. on October 22, the media inPakistan and India were buzzing with reports that the United States was exploring a nuclear deal with Pakistan in order to constrain its nuclear weapons program, believed to be the most rapidly expanding on earth. Pakistan, on the other hand, has ruled out any possibility of a deal that places conditions on its nuclear weapons program. Pakistan is looking for a deal similar to the one India got, in which New Delhi was given access to the international market for its civilian nuclear program without putting significant constraints on its nuclear weapons program.

Tomgram: Ann Jones, The Never-Ending War

by Ann Jones 
November 5, 2015.

In an effort to attack Taliban fighters, an air strike by a U.S. plane killed dozens of civilians in Kunduz, Afghanistan. In the wake of the attack, an American general responded in unequivocal fashion. “I take this possible loss of life or injury to innocent Afghans very seriously,” he said. “I have ordered a complete investigation into the reasons and results of this attack, which I will share with the Afghan people.”

In an effort to attack Taliban fighters, an air strike by a U.S. plane killed dozens of civilians in Kunduz, Afghanistan. In the wake of the attack, an American general responded in unequivocal fashion. “I want to offer my deepest condolences to those innocent civilians who were harmed and killed on Saturday,” he said. “I've ordered a thorough investigation into this tragic incident... we will share the results of the investigation once it is complete.”

Pakistan’s Increasing Nuclear Stockpile: India the only threat factor?

October 28, 2015 

In 2014, the Council of Foreign Relations reported that Pakistan now has the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, and estimates that by 2020, Islamabad could have as many as 200 nuclear weapons. Gregory Koblentz, an expert on arms control, has termed this development as “aggressive.” In 2011, reports suggested that Pakistan could overtake Britain as the fifth largest nuclear weapon state in the world. While a reportpublished in August 2015 by Michael Krepon and Toby Dalton, predicts that Pakistan could exceed the nuclear weapons capabilities of France and China, making it the third largest nuclear weapon state.

Krepon and Dalton further suggest that Pakistan should shift its focus from full spectrum deterrence to strategic deterrence. However, as recent as in September 2015, the National Command Authority on the other hand, made clear that Pakistan is working towards maintaining ‘full spectrum deterrence.’ Pakistan aspires to achieve ‘full spectrum deterrence’ and would potentially increase its nuclear stockpile as a road towards achieving this capability. In addition to this, is the issue of a possible nuclear deal between the U.S. and Pakistan, which further raises concerns. While it is being assumed that the deal, if fructifies, may check Pakistan’s growing fissile material, Pakistan could divert its nuclear program towards nuclear weapons.