2 December 2012


By IDU Analysis on December 2, 2012 

IDU Analysis on Jointness and Commands and Economy 

ACM NAK Browne and other luminaries have in hind sight stated emphatically that if the IAF had been employed in 1962, victory would have been India’s. Hence, if that be a possibility IDU argues that if Gen K Sundarji’s proposal in 1986 to have an AIR COMBAT BRIGADE with attack helicopters and some lift under Army command and control was agreed upon, then Kargil may have never exceeded beyond a week or two.

NSA Menon a brilliant diplomatic mind, it is reported took the bold decision to hand over ATTACK HELICOPTERS to the Army( as in most Armies). Sundarji cerebral stayed with IDU in Singapore post retirement and did discuss air warfare. He must be pleased in his grave. 

IDU is sure NSA must be attending to such bold decisions on defining first ‘roles and missions’ of the three services, CDS, Space, Cyber, Amphibious and Theatre commands. Then Jointness must emerge with 49% FDI in Defence to get India’s private defence sector going to save FFE and export as some SMes are already doing. Reliance with deep pockets is getting ready to go with Dassault on 126 Rafales worth $ 13 bill. Tatas, L&T, Pipavav and Mahindras are struggling with MOD. Indian security has to be a big bang change for India’s economy. Lack of jointness and turf battles in security are costing dearly in money and if a war like Kargil or skirmish or a 26/11 repeats, it will cost in men too. 

Key to our security lies in the water

Dec 02, 2012 

The defence of India’s strategic space in Indian Ocean cannot be conducted by raising unrealistic walls. It lies in more distant waters.

Following the cancellation of GMR’s airport contract in Male, there has been much hand-wringing in New Delhi. This is India’s backyard, it has been said, and the Male airport area itself was secured by Indian troops as recently as 1988, when the government of the Maldives was threatened by Tamil mercenaries from Sri Lanka. 

While all of that is true, it is also history. It offers no indicator to the future and India cannot despatch gunboats simply because an Indian company has been unfairly, and perhaps illegally, deprived of its assets. That is not how the world works.

Why has the problem occurred? There is lazy thinking that this is all the result of growing Chinese influence in the Maldives. While it is true a rising Islamisation and the spectre of China are threats to India, it cannot be denied that these forces will fill strategic gaps only if India vacates them. In the case of the GMR contract, there is no evidence the Chinese asked for the contract to be broken. However, it is likely the Chinese will benefit from the contract being broken. The two are different.

There are suggestions that the Indian company’s “environmental management” and its rather rapid replacing of local employees at the airport with Indians was not quite judicious. Was this alone the deal breaker? We don’t know. What we do know is that when Mohamed Nasheed, the democratically elected President of the Maldives, was overthrown by a coup earlier this year, India rushed to recognise the successor regime and did so as soon as it received guarantees about the airport contract being adhered to. In a sense, it linked an important foreign-policy decision to just one deal and refused to take a big-picture approach.

India’s youth power serious liability if it takes wrong turn!

Issue Net Edition | Date : 01 Dec , 2012 

In 1947, our population was 350 million. As per the 2011 census it stood at 1.02 billion. Today we already are 1.21 billion constituting 17.3 percent of world population, implying every sixth human being on earth is Indian. At current annual growth rate of 1.58 percent, our population will cross 1.53 billion surpassing China by 2025.Presently, 50 percent of our population is 25 years and below and if you count upto 35 years age it comes to 65 percent. Conversely, most countries are struggling with bulk population on wrong side of 60 years. 72.2 percent of our population lives in 6,38,000 villages while 27.8 percent is in 5,480 towns and cities. 

We also have the largest illiterate population in the world. 

Thomas Friedman says, “India is the sole country of 21stCentury with abundant youth power”. The million dollar question is how will India maximize this asset? 

Today, there are some 40 million illegal weapons (of total 73 million globally) circulating within India with an annual illegal trade of $4 million. These include the crude locally manufactured plus the sophisticated ones with terrorist and insurgent organizations bought on the world market and being supplied by both China and Pakistan. In December 2010, in a single district of Bihar (Munger District) the police seized 65 illegal weapons. 

In recent times there were reports of a rave party in Mumbai (attended by some cricketers as well) where media went berserk about 100 gms of drugs. The World drug Trade Report tells you that in year 2009 itself (one single year) 3.2 metric tons of drugs came from Pakistan to India through land borders. 

To Counter China's Military Build-Up, Taiwan Must Go Asymmetric

By Harry Kazianis, on 29 Nov 2012

Over the weekend, photos and video surfaced of China's newly commissioned aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, conducting carrier aircraft operations for the first time. The development marked a major milestone in the rapid modernization of China’s armed forces

Across the Taiwan Strait several weeks prior, however, another notable development occurred to less fanfare: Taiwan conducted tests of a new "carrier killer" anti-ship missile that many speculate was intended as a not so subtle signal to Beijing. The missile, according to multiple sources, was tested by the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology and is thought to be an advanced version of the Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missile. According to the Taipei Times, the missile "is reported to have a range of 250 miles and is capable of reaching Mach 3." Such a weapon would be difficult to defend against and poses a significant challenge to any potential foe if developed in sufficient numbers. 

While both nations possess advanced military weaponry, China has leapfrogged Taiwan in both quantity and quality over the past decade. As a result, the military balance in the Taiwan Strait has shifted dramatically in China’s favor. While its new aircraft carrier has stolen the headlines, it is China’s missile-centric approach to military strategy that has most greatly changed the status quo. With more than 1,000 missiles pointed at Taiwan combined with fourth-generation fighter aircraft, modern diesel-electric submarines, ever-growing numbers of modern naval surface combatants and long-range cruise and anti-ship missiles, Beijing enjoys an increasing balance of forces that could render Taiwan’s national defenses almost meaningless in the face of a Chinese attack. 

China’s “Great Global Thinkers” for 2012

As the season of lists gets underway, Foreign Policy has released its ranking of the 100 Top Global Thinkers of 2012. Fresh from his coronation as GQ magazine’s Rebel of the Year, and leading the Chinese contingent at number 9, is legal activist Chen Guangcheng

Chen shocked the world in April when he made a daring, next-to-impossible escape, climbing over the wall surrounding his house (breaking his foot in the process) and catching a ride some 350 miles to Beijing, where he took refuge in the U.S. Embassy. After a tense, days-long diplomatic standoff closely involving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 3), a deal was struck under which Chen would be allowed to travel to the United States to study. Now at New York University, Chen has embraced his new role as an evangelist for human rights, making the case that incremental change — one village or even one person at a time — can eventually transform a superpower. Against all odds, he remains optimistic, believing that China, taking a cue from Japan and South Korea, must “learn Eastern democracy.” He even thinks it’s inevitable: “Nobody can stop the progress of history,” he says. 

An interview with Chen Guangcheng by Isaac Stone Fish accompanies the list. In it, Chen discusses how the central government allows abuses by local authorities—see Guizhou journalist Li Yuanlong’s detention last week for a recent example—and the chances of change or even revolution in China’s near future. 

The central government definitely knew I was illegally detained at home. As for how the local authorities invented lies to frame me to put me in prison, as for how they persecuted my entire family, [the central government] didn’t necessarily know about the details. Yet now, six months later, I still haven’t seen the central government follow the country’s laws and keep its promise and investigate and deal with those officials who recklessly and illegally committed crimes. 

China’s military rise

There are ways to reduce the threat to stability that an emerging superpower poses 
Apr 7th 2012

NO MATTER how often China has emphasised the idea of a peaceful rise, the pace and nature of its military modernisation inevitably cause alarm. As America and the big European powers reduce their defence spending, China looks likely to maintain the past decade's increases of about 12% a year. Even though its defence budget is less than a quarter the size of America's today, China's generals are ambitious. The country is on course to become the world's largest military spender in just 20 years or so (see article). 

Much of its effort is aimed at deterring America from intervening in a future crisis over Taiwan. China is investing heavily in “asymmetric capabilities” designed to blunt America's once-overwhelming capacity to project power in the region. This “anti-access/area denial” approach includes thousands of accurate land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, modern jets with anti-ship missiles, a fleet of submarines (both conventionally and nuclear-powered), long-range radars and surveillance satellites, and cyber and space weapons intended to “blind” American forces. Most talked about is a new ballistic missile said to be able to put a manoeuvrable warhead onto the deck of an aircraft-carrier 2,700km (1,700 miles) out at sea. 

Unfriendly Fire

How the Taliban mastered the operational art of modern war 

Technicians detonate an IED in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 

The greatest intellectual challenge in Fourth Generation war—war against opponents that are not states—is how to fight it at the operational level. NATO in Afghanistan, like the Soviets three decades ago, has been unable to solve that riddle. But the Taliban appears to have done so. 

The operational level of war lies between strategy and tactics. While great commanders have always thought and fought at the operational level, the concept was not formally recognized until the 19th century. As usual, it was the Prussian army that led the way. Some historians think the operational level may have been formalized by Field Marshal von Moltke himself in the Franco-Prussian war as a way to keep Bismarck out of his business. (“Yes, my dear Bismarck, you are in charge of strategy, but you simply must not interfere in operational matters.”) 

The U.S. Army did not officially recognize the operational level of war until 1982, but the tsarist Russian army and later the Soviets picked up on it. By 1944-45, the Red Army was as competent at what they called “operational art” as the Wehrmacht. That was never true of the Western allies. 

The Russian term, operational art, is a good one, because unlike tactics or strategy it is not a thing but a link. It is the art, not science, of using tactical events, battles and refusals to give battle, victories and sometimes also defeats (from the North Vietnamese perspective, the Tet offensive was a tactical defeat but a decisive operational victory) to strike as directly as possible at the enemy’s strategic center. Because it resorts to battle only when and where necessary, operational art is a great economizer of fighting strength—even a battle won eats up soldiers, fuel, equipment, and, most importantly, time. 

A Depressing Curtain for Russian Naval Power: Admiral Sergei Gorshkov Fails Her Sea Trials

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 219 
November 30, 2012 06:29 PM Age: 2 days 

Admiral Sergei Gorshkov aircraft carrier (Source: RIA Novosti) 

Part One

After a year of encouraging progress in the refitting of a late Soviet–era carrier, which Russia plans to sell to India, the vessel’s latest sea trials in September 2012 ended in failure and disappointment. The discouraging results point to substantial structural problems in Russia’s domestic naval defense industry and undermine the country’s reputation as a dependable arms supplier.

The Kiev-class heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, completed in the late 1980s, has been what sailors call an “unlucky ship.” In 1992, she went into the dock yards at Murmansk for work on her steam pipes. But in those tight financial times the work was not done and in February 1994 an explosion in the same steam pipes resulted in six dead and many others injured (Krasnaya Zvezda, February 3, 5, 1994). Thereafter the ship spent another year in the dock yard and only re-entered active service in 1995 before again being withdrawn the following year. 

In early 2004, Russia agreed to donate the Admiral Gorshkov to India for free, but initially asked for $800 million for the upgrade and refit of the ship, as well as an additional $1 billion for the aircraft and weapons systems. The Indians wanted to refit the Admiral Gorshkov as a “short take-off but arrested recovery” (STOBAR) ship by adding a ski-jump bow and arresting gear for aircraft recovery. In this new configuration and major refit, the carrier was supposed to join the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya. Like many deals with Russian defense contractors, Sevmash, the Yard in Murmansk undertaking the ship’s conversion, began to speak of cost overruns in 2008. If India did not accept the increased costs, the Russians said that the Russian defense ministry would buy the carrier back and finish it itself. After hard negotiations, the two sides agreed to a price of $2.35 billion in March 2010 during then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to India. As work progressed, Sevmash announced that the vessel’s conversion would be completed at its yards by 2012. Given that all Soviet heavy aircraft carriers like the Admiral Gorshkov had been built at Nikolaev in the Ukraine, the task before Sevmash was a major one. Reports on progress in the last year had been positive, and in July the Russian press reported the first successful landing of a MiG-29 KUB aircraft on the deck of the Vikramaditya. At the end of the month the carrier took part in the display of warships at Murmansk on Russian Navy Day. As one source from the Russian Ministry of Defense declared: “The landing executed by the MiG on the Vikramaditya is a good answer to those skeptics who declared that Russia would not be able to fulfill this order from India. Yes, our country not only learned to build aircraft carriers but we already have our own unique approach in this area” (Oleg Roiskii, “Indiiskii avianosets vstaet v stroi,” Rossiiskie Vesti, July 30, 2012, p. 2)

Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

Added November 30, 2012 
Type: Book 
399 Pages 
Download Format: PDF 
Cost: Free 

Brief Synopsis 

To better understand the PLA’s ability to employ its developing capabilities in a variety of potential scenarios, this year’s workshop examined how the PLA learns by doing, specifically through its exercises and noncombat operations at home and overseas, and through key logistical and theoretical developments. Key findings are: 1) recent PLAN exercises and operations point to an increasing interest in developing expeditionary naval capabilities and a presence in distant seas, suggesting that a move beyond the current “near seas” focus is both possible and an extension of existing efforts; 2) PLA ground force exercises—rather than aiming to intimidate others by demonstrating the ability to project power beyond China’s borders—focus on moving military power within China, both to defend China’s borders and perhaps as a prelude to military restructuring in which smaller but more mobile formations could replace larger and more static ones; 3) through its participation in international military exercises as well as peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, the PLA is gaining greater capabilities to deploy outside of China’s borders for a a variety of missions; and, 4) PLA operations are increasingly supported by a modern, civilian-integrated military logistics network, though a lack of overseas bases continues to limit the effectiveness of this network as it pertains to overseas power projection capabilities.

Op-Ed: Getting to the Win

The Armed Forces that U.S. national leaders will have available to meet future contingencies and conflicts, in 2023 or 2029 for instance, will follow from U.S. strategic designs now being formulated. In September, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff released the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations: Joint Force 2020, which sets out globally integrated operations as one such design. Such design concepts are informed by the imperfect calculations that we make about future threats and risks. At the forefront of those calculations—much like an integrating mathematical function—is concern about the nation’s fiscal environment and specifically the U.S. national debt, which will be a key driver in determining the size, composition, and mix of U.S. Armed Forces for the remainder of this decade, and longer. Fiscal considerations will also condition strategic decisions that will determine where and how U.S. Armed Forces are used, with both “upstream” and “downstream” influences on when and how often they will be used. The impact of the choices that are being made now, regarding the form and capabilities of U.S. Landpower, will persist through the first half of the 21st century, just like those decisions that were made in the late 1970s continue to permeate our Army platforms, systems, and organizations today. 

The Army will make its design choices and recommendations within the framework of the Prevent, Shape, Win construct. Leaders will make the best possible estimates as to which tasks and for what purposes Joint Force and Army commanders will employ the land forces provided to them in accomplishing each specific, situation-driven definition of Win—from humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping, to gaining access and opening operational areas, to the destruction of opposing regular forces, to imposing defeat upon adversaries, to creating stability sufficient for a return to indigenous civil authority. The land forces executing these missions will be the Army in Being. What those forces are capable of, and how quickly the Army can place and sustain them to accomplish a durable change in circumstances to the advantage of the United States and its partners are the choices of Joint force design, sizing, and composition that the nation is undertaking. There is substantial ambiguity that makes the best possible estimates, as has been the case so often in the past, inaccurate forecasts. 

Paul Kennedy's warning on how the Royal Navy became irrelevant during World War II -- and are we doing the same now?

Posted By Thomas E. Ricks Friday, November 16, 2012 

OK, I have finished Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery. It has been a long time since a single book gave me so much to think and blog about. 

His bottom line is that military might rests on economic power, especially in the industrial era. But he says that the British Navy could have done better in World War II. 

He lists three major errors in the Royal Navy's understanding of conflict in the mid-20th century: 

--They overvalued the power of battleships and underestimated the threat to surface ships presented by aircraft and submarines. 

--They neglected the major naval lesson of World War I, which was that the submarine had forever altered the nature of maritime combat. 

--They didn't really understand the best role for aircraft carriers, which they saw more as scouting vessels for battleships than as the striking arm of the fleet. 

The result was that during World War II the British Navy was the biggest navy in the world, so it wasn't so much weak as it was irrelevant to the tasks at hand. 

This is an interesting warning to those who believe we don't really need to think as long as we are strong. I wonder if our military establishment today resembles the Royal Navy of 1938 more than we understand -- that is, big, powerful, and irrelevant. That's my scary thought for the day.

The Moral Corrosion within Our Military Professions

November 27, 2012 | Dr. Don M. Snider

We have now had several weeks of breathless punditry on the moral failure of David Petraeus. The press and online commentariat do love a scandal, and the more so when a deserving American hero tragically falls from grace. 

The commentary has evolved from who (just the two of them?), to who else (well, maybe another general…), to why (well, of course, the Bathsheba syndrome!) and more recently to why not (nothing illegal, coerced, kinky, or paid off, so why did he resign?). 

Fortunately, amid the frivolous clamor serious efforts at reform may be underway as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is very quickly conducting a review of the ethics training for generals and admirals. It is to be done in time for the Secretary of Defense to place it on the President’s desk by December 1st. 

The intent and context was clearly stated by General Dempsey: “If we really are a profession – a group of men and women who are committed to living an uncommon life with extraordinary responsibilities and high standards – we should want to figure it out before someone else figures it out for us.[1]

General Dempsey is spot-on contextually. He is leading an American military establishment of three military professions that have been deeply corroded by a decade of war. Most of America, largely isolated from the military, knows very little about the moral corrosiveness of prolonged combat, particularly against an enemy that routinely fights with no ethical constraints whatsoever. 

While the egregious behavior of senior uniformed officers, “moral-fading” as the psychologists call it, is perhaps only the latest sign of the effects of moral corrosion, the other indicators have long been there. How else does one account for the as-yet uncontrolled escalation in suicides among the military, the unprofessional levels of sexual harassment and assault within the ranks, the spiked divorce rate in military families, the amazingly harmful at-risk behavior of so many of our returned warriors, or the high rates of toxic leadership in command and resulting reliefs for cause? 

To be a profession, as General Dempsey correctly points out, is to be an introspective institution manned by reflective practitioners who rightly seek to maintain their institution as a self-policing meritocracy . So while the military’s critics are using recurring moral failures to call for steeper force and resource reductions, he is actively leading the professions’ introspection, much as he did earlier within the U.S. Army when he led, after a decade of war, a campaign of research and learning about the Army as a military profession.[2]

USMC 237: Austerity, Adaptation, and Innovation

Mr. Hoffman is a retired Marine Reserve Officer, who was born, raised, and educated in Philadelphia. He graduated from LaSalle College High School in 1974 and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He retired in 2001 after nearly 24 years of service. A member of the Board of Advisors at FPRI and a former Senior Fellow, Mr. Hoffman now serves as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU). These are his own remarks and do not reflect the position of the Department of Defense or any other institution. 

November 10, 2012 

This week marks the 237th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, an institution headquartered initially in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern. From this humble origin, one of the world’s most fiercely competitive fighting forces has emerged. In peacetime and in war, the U.S. Marines have consistently demonstrated a rigid adherence to discipline, an exemplary record of devoted service and sacrifice, and an uncanny ability to learn, adapt and innovate. The Nation’s security, and indeed the security of many others, owes much to this small armed force with a large historical record of success. 

A New Friendship: U.S.-India Relations

By: Ashley J. Tellis Thursday, November 29, 2012

The U.S.-India relationship is vital to maintaining a balance of power in Asia that is favorable to the United States. The two states have already overcome the most difficult challenge—integrating India into the global nonproliferation regime. But deepening the partnership requires President Obama to address institutional deficiencies in Washington, cooperate with New Delhi on Afghanistan and Iran, build up India’s defense capabilities, and encourage Indian economic reform.

Ashley J. Tellis
Senior Associate
South Asia Program More from Tellis...

Since the end of the Cold War, successive American presidents have pursued a geopolitical project of great significance for Asian stability: eliminating the estrangement between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India. Thanks to the actions of the two most recent administrations in Washington and in New Delhi, this transformation has been a stunning success. It is now clear that strong U.S.-India relations will continue to be important for American interests in the years ahead for multiple reasons, including preserving a favorable balance of power in Asia, achieving U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Iran, and strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. businesses globally.

Building on this evolution in American policy toward India since Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama has already underscored India’s strategic and economic significance for the United States. Future policies should build on Obama’s vision but even more importantly translate it into an “all of government” effort that deepens the partnership on multiple dimensions.

Houston Calling New Delhi

November 30, 2012 

Flickr/Sweetie187.U.S.-India relations reached a high point when the two countries signed the Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2005. But since then, relations between the two countries have drifted. 

While the Obama administration continues to reiterate that relations with India are vital, there have been several issues where Washington has expressed its displeasure. These include India’s nuclear liability bill, which Washington sees as unfair to U.S. companies; India’s decision to reject two different American jet fighters for India’s Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement; and India’s less-than-supportive role within the United Nations on a range of issues, including Libya, Iran and Syria. 

New Delhi is not without its own set of complaints about Washington. India feels that American pressure to deepen U.S.-India defense cooperation is premature, particularly given Indian questions about the United States’ credibility as a potential ally or partner. The Obama administration’s initial focus on China is still an irritant in New Delhi, although Washington has since corrected course. 

There is certainly no dearth of official statements from both capitals concerning the vitality of the relationship. But it is clear that what is needed is a grand project around which the relationship can grow and strengthen. Without this initiative, we may see US-India relations flounder. One such ideal place for the two countries to collaborate on a grand scale is space. 

Can 1962 be Repeated? Yes and No

November 26, 2012 by Team SAI
Filed under Analysis

The 1962 India-China war has been analyzed threadbare by experts and lay people on the 50th anniversary of the war. Articles and papers based on in-depth research of earlier documents and records have appeared in several countries, most notably India and China. Now that the analyses and discussions about India’s humiliation have tapered off, it is interesting to note that for reasons that remain inexplicable many inferences and lessons that should have been drawn by analysts in India have not been touched upon. A brief review of some of these omissions follows. 

To begin with tomes have been written on the perfidious Chinese. That they spurned the hand of friendship and deceived India by attacking it in strength. Deception on the part of Chinese has been writ large by practically every major presenter. While non military experts and those outside the diplomatic fraternity can be forgiven for roundly and soundly castigating the Chinese for their perfidy, the same cannot be said of military persons and diplomats. All of them seem to have forgotten or overlooked the fact that deception has been and remains the bedrock of the art of warfare. The number of times Chanakya, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli have been quoted by military writers can hardly be counted. And yet relating to the 1962 War practically everybody seems to have overlooked them. Lamenting that China deceived India in 1962 has almost been used as an excuse for India’s failures on many fronts in several writings that appeared – by government functionaries and military writers in India. The bigger danger is that India may come a cropper on this very count once again. There are still any number of officially sponsored think tank writers and security experts who maintain that the military threat from China has been exaggerated or that China’s concessions and professions of friendship from time to time should be taken at face value. Several newspapers also routinely expound this line of thinking. Mercifully the military hierarchy in India has begun to differ and see the Chinese threat for what it is. For the reality is that the military asymmetry created by China opposite India is so overwhelming that it would be foolish in the extreme to not take it seriously. 

On War

November 30, 2012 by Team SAI
Filed under Analysis

Definition of War 

Every age has its own kind of limiting conditions, its own preconditions and its own preconceptions. But war in all ages can be defined as the contest of human wills in which the sponsor wishes to subjugate the will of the opponent through all kinetic and non kinetic means available at his disposal. However, application of this definition mandates different rules of engagement for different countries based on their political behaviour and aspirations where they construe what constitutes war or an act of war. 

Questioning the Relevance of Wars. 

Wars shall remain relevant in all ages and times due to the nature of trinity they represent where culture, ideology and economy would be the fulcrum of the wars. However, the character and not the nature of war changes with changes in technology, means of waging full spectrum wars or choosing from a range of options available to wage wars. 

Wars will be fought in all geographical, spaces as well in space and cyber space and most importantly in the space between the two ears, that is the mind space, as also in the hearts and minds of the people and the civil population. It will be technologically intensive, ambiguous and complex. It shall be fought on all fronts – infact there would be no fronts at all. 

Wars will remain relevant as long as geographical, ideological, economic and social boundaries continue to divide nations. As per analysts, in the 21st century, social, economic and resource wars shall take precedence over geographical wars. 

Despite nuclear deterrence being in place, space exists for hybrid wars across the entire range of conflicts the world over. The basic quest of nations push them to wars and hence the relevance of wars in all domains of inter state activity would remain a live possibility. The changes in technology and RMA have only changed the character of war but its essential nature of being the test of human wills remains constant. 

SOUTH EAST ASIA: Strategically ‘The Great Game” is in Swing

by dr subhash kapila 28/11/2012 

Introductory Observations 

The geostrategic significance of South East Asia needs no introduction. This region was the cynosure of strategic attention during the heyday of the Colonial Era. The Second World War highlighted it further when Japan swept through the region to the very gates of India. 

During the Cold War when Communist China sponsored a number of Communist insurgencies in South East Asia a Russia-China sponsored to begin with challenged the United States in Vietnam with the aim of preventing it from gaining a foothold on Mainland Asia in addition to South Korea. 

During the Post-Cold era the United States as the reigning unipolar power was strategically distracted in the Balkans in the 1990s and in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s. 

The better part of these two decades were exploited by China to muscle into South East Asia by crafty use of soft power and a subtle velvet glove policy where South East Asia countries were given the impression that in the strategic vacuum caused by United States temporary inattention to South East Asia, strategic prudence would demand that South East Asia countries accommodate China’s strategic sensitivities in their respective strategic calculi. 

Strategically buoyant by its considerable military expansion in qualitative terms of firepower and reach and with no strategic countermoves by the USA in the last decade, China was emboldened to flex its military muscles in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. 

China’s military brinkmanship had multiple strategic aims directed both at the United States and its South East Asian neighbours which stand amplified in my earlier papers of the recent past. 

‘India, China long way from border solution’

PranabDhalSamanta : New Delhi, Sun Dec 02 2012

A joint status report of the 15 rounds of special representatives’ talks to resolve the vexed India-China boundary dispute has concluded that both sides are far from their goal despite some stated accomplishments. 

A bigger concern that has emerged is that there are serious differences in interpreting the 2005 agreement on the political parameters and guiding principles for the settlement of the boundary question, which is so far the most important achievement of the three-stage process to arrive at a political solution. Significantly, sources said, these differences seem to wax and wane depending on the strategic climate at that point in time. 

The proposal to prepare such a report card came at the last round in January from China’s Special Representative (SR) Dai Bingguo, who has been Beijing’s representative at all 15 rounds and is now expected to relinquish this responsibility. The speculation is that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi might be elevated to a state councillor and take this job up, but there is no information from Beijing on this yet. 

India agreed to the idea of the report, but the process has been tough with India’s SR, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, expected to hold last minute deliberations with Dai in Beijing this week to bridge some gaps so that the two interlocutors can, at least, present an agreed report to their respective political leadership. Dai and Menon had agreed that this exercise is important to ensure continuity with the interlocutor to be appointed by the new Chinese leadership. 

The World in 2013

 By: Jessica Tuchman Mathews Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 was a quiet year, a time of sorting out major changes previously set in motion. If there was a common theme, it is that while change can be breathtakingly swift in this globalized world, resolutions take longer than expected. 

Jessica Tuchman Mathews
President More from Mathews...
The World in 2012
The Lost Opportunity in Iraq

Few believed a year ago, myself definitely included, that Bashar al-Assad would see the beginning of 2013 still in office. Yet the killing in Syria continues with an end no more in sight than it was a year ago.

Similarly, after months and months of crises and innumerable all-night meetings, few thought it possible that the euro crisis could drag on for another year without some kind of resolution. Yet twelve months later, Greece is still in the eurozone; Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France under varying degrees of threat; Germany insisting that the euro will survive while resisting bold steps to make it so; and the euro’s future nearly as uncertain as Syria’s.

Russia began the year with an unexpected outbreak of civic protests surrounding its parliamentary elections that seemed to suggest major change in the offing. As the months passed, however, Mr. Putin was quietly reelected, and by the end of the year the surge for change in Russia had slipped underground. 

China Bhutan Relations and India

November 30, 2012 by Team SAI
Filed under geopolitics

India’s strategic concerns about China arise from latter’s emergence as the most influential player in Asia – one with the ability to shape the future balance of power. Despite a dominant Indian desire aimed at cooperation rather than competition with China, the vexed 5045 Kilometers undemarkated border complicates the relationship. China’s continued military modernization and incremental upgrade of its military posture in Tibet to enable rapid force deployment, backed by logistics capability and communication infrastructure are worrisome. 

Chinese land threats to India get greatly compounded as Bhutan and Nepal fall into the Chinese sphere of influence. The disputed borders with Bhutan sit at the centre of Sino Indian Eastern sector. As long as Bhutan continues to favour India, Chinese military adventurism in Chumbi valley and Tawang would be attritional frontal wars, if and when they take place. However, should territories of Nepal and and Bhutan be included in the Chinese calculus, cutting off the land routes through the Siliguri corridor would become a reality – isolating the entire eastern sect. It would also complete China’s containment policy towards India where China is leveraging economic and military relationships with India’s neighbors. 

Bhutan 21 (Photo credit: warwick_carter) 

Restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Bhutan is an inevitability which India is extremely weary of. In managing its periphery India has hostile neighbours in Pakistan and China land locking it from West and North. Nepal, Bangladesh Myammar & Sri Lanka are countries where India has ceded strategic space to China through acts of omission and commission in dealing with its smaller neighbours. 

Strategically, Bhutan sits at a critical location across the Himalayas where Indian influence has thus far been maintained from the paradigms of providing depth to Chumbi Valley leading to Siliguri Corridor and Tawang-the centre of Tibetan spiritual abode in India. Should Bhutan diplomatically ally with China – these two Indian vulnerabilities will be greatly exposed with attendant military ramifications. Access to Chumbi Valley through Bhutan, in addition to the traditional routes would severe & isolate North East in the event of a war with China. Simultaneously, Bhutan would open the Westen flank of Tawang-Tenga sector exposing the threat to plains of Assam. 

The Inequality Challenge

Uri Dadush, Kemal Derviş Current History, January 2013

High levels of inequality have become a subject of intense debate, particularly in the United States, where inequality has risen sharply over the past 30 years. The rise in inequality in most advanced countries and in many developing countries should be analyzed in the context of other big changes that have affected the global economy over the past three decades. These trends include major technological advances, mostly related to information technology; globalization, which has accelerated growth in many developing nations; and the changing role of the state. 

Avoiding Catastrophic Failure in Afghanistan

By: Sarah Chayes, Frederic Grare Thursday, November 29, 2012

The U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan seems to be driving the country toward disintegration. Without substantive changes in the U.S. approach, Afghan government institutions are unlikely to survive the withdrawal of international forces. Preventing an implosion and attendant regional chaos requires expanding stalled reconciliation talks to include a broader range of stakeholders, helping the Pakistani leadership espouse formal channels for addressing its regional interests rather than violent proxies, and cooperating with Central Asian actors.

Sarah Chayes
Senior Associate
South Asia Program More from Chayes.

It has been called the “signature attack” of the Afghanistan conflict. Shootings by Afghan soldiers and police officers of their International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mentors, which were sharply up in 2012, bear disturbing witness to the fault lines in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan. For many in America and other troop-contributing nations, they served as a symbolic last straw, justifying calls for accelerated withdrawal. These attacks have corroded the principal pillar of U.S. policy: development of the security forces. They highlight the error of emphasizing this one institution to the detriment of a wider political approach. And they reveal an ongoing American misunderstanding of the environment, both inside Afghanistan and in its immediate neighborhood.

These misunderstandings and miscalculations have resulted in a policy that may actually be driving Afghanistan toward the very civil conflict the U.S. government wishes to avert as it reduces its presence in the country in 2014.

Application of Theories of Just War to India and Pakistan

November 30, 2012 by Team SAI
Filed under Analysis

Just war theory (or Bellum iustum) is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a violent conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria. 

As per Wikipedia, the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, offers one of the first written discussions of a ‘just war’. In it, Arjun asks Krishna if the suffering caused by war can ever be justified, and then a long discussion ensues between the siblings, establishing criteria like proportionality (chariots cannot attack cavalry, only other chariots, no attacking people in distress), just means (no poisoned or barbed arrows), just cause (no attacking out of rage), and fair treatment of captives and the wounded. The war in Mahabharata is preceded by context that develops the “just cause” for the war including last minute efforts to reconcile differences to avoid war. At the beginning of the war, there is the discussion of “just conduct” appropriate to the context of war. 

In ancient Rome, a “just cause” for war might include the necessity of repelling an invasion, or retaliation for pillaging or a breach of treaty. War was always potentially nefas, “wrong, forbidden,” and risked religious pollution and divine disfavor. A just war (bellum iustum) thus required a ritualized declaration by the fetial priests. More broadly, conventions of war and treaty-making were part of the ius gentium, the “law of nations,” the customary moral obligations regarded as innate and universal to human beings. 

The quintessential explanation of just war theory in the ancient world is found in Cicero’s De Officiis, Book 1, sections 1.11.33–1.13.41. 



I feel honoured at being asked to speak today to such a distinguished audience on a subject that is of great interest to foreign policy practitioners and commentators alike. What are the challenges that Indian foreign policy faces in the future? 

Let me make a few preliminary observations. 

Indian foreign policy already faces many challenges. These challenges have not been met and will continue to confront us in the future. An understanding of what they are will help to devise future approaches. We must therefore identify what the existing challenges are. 

There is a caveat. “Future” covers an indefinite time span. Are we looking at the near future, mid-term future or the long term perspective? Many exercises of identifying issues and challenges in the 20 and 30-year horizons are being done by governments and non-governmental institutions. They are useful in indicating trends. But it is impossible to predict the unpredictable. 

No one could predict the collapse of the Soviet Union when it occurred though many wished for it. 

The rapidity of China’s rise at the pace at which it has occurred and its impact on global affairs was not predicted with assurance. 

The nature and timing of the financial crisis that has afflicted the US and its impact on its international role was not predicted by observers either, though many were warning that the US was living beyond its means. 

So soon after the collapse of one superpower, the Soviet Union, we are talking about the decline of another, United States. 


November 30, 2012 

The second India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) was convened in New Delhi on November 26, 2012. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, and Zhang Ping, the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), led the Indian and Chinese delegations respectively. The SED format is quite recent and probably the newest forum for contacts between Indian and Chinese officials. The first SED was held in China in September 2011. In fact, the idea that the two countries should hold a strategic economic dialogue regularly came up during Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2010 India visit. Incidentally, the only other country with which China holds this type of a dialogue is with the United States. 

The message that has gone out from the second SED is that India-China economic relations will continue to chart their independent course free from security concerns. 

The main objective of the strategic economic dialogue is to enhance cooperation in critically important sectors such as infrastructure and high-technology. Nevertheless, the canvass of the SED is quite broad. The joint handling of the present global economic situation, cooperation in international monetary and financial systems, global commodity markets, sustainable development and climate change, and food and energy security were the significant broad themes discussed at the second SED.1 In the light of these broad themes, important issues such as “strengthening communication on macroeconomic policies”, “deepening and expanding trade and investment” and “promoting bilateral cooperation in the financial and infrastructure sectors” were discussed on the occasion.2

To follow up the first SED held in 2011, five working groups were formed. The work done by these groups has been deliberated upon in the second SED. The five working groups were on policy coordination, infrastructure, energy, environmental protection and high-technology. The working group on policy coordination focused on “skills development and industrial park development”, improving “the investment environment”, and “skills development for employability”. The infrastructure working group worked on “high-speed rail development programme, heavy haul and station development”. The energy working group explored opportunities and underscored challenges in the wind energy sector and also looked into the business potential of power equipment for Chinese manufacturers in India. The working group on environmental protection worked on energy efficiency. The Hi-Technology Working Group endorsed cooperation in the Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (IT/ITES), to conduct joint business studies in this field. Importantly, this working group agreed to develop “common standards for digital TV, audio and video codec standards and mobile communication technology”.3

The three dangers to India

By Bharat Verma
Issue Vol 22.3 Jul-Sep 2007 | Date : 01 Dec , 2012

Map showing three dangers to India

Very few policy makers in India dare to acknowledge the danger to the nation’s territorial integrity. The security and integrity of the nation has become hostage to vote-bank politics. Democracy and more than eight percent economic growth will be of no avail if the country as such withers away. India is not only being frayed at its borders by insurgencies, but its very writ in the heartland is becoming increasingly questionable. The rise of a nation is predicated upon unity, peace and stability, which are essentially determined by good governance.

The prevailing security scenario poses the serious question — Is India’s development and economic growth becoming unsustainable due to poor handling of the security? There are three dangers to the territorial integrity that bedevil the nation.


By: Martin Fackler 

After years of watching its international influence eroded by a slow-motion economic decline, the pacifist nation of Japan is trying to raise its profile in a new way, offering military aid for the first time in decades and displaying its own armed forces in an effort to build regional alliances and shore up other countries’ defenses to counter a rising China. 

Already this year, Japan crossed a little-noted threshold by providing its first military aid abroad since the end of World War II, approving a $2 million package for its military engineers to train troops in Cambodia and East Timor in disaster relief and skills like road building. Japanese warships have not only conducted joint exercises with a growing number of military forces in the Pacific and Asia, but they have also begun making regular port visits to countries long fearful of a resurgence of Japan’s military. 

And after stepping up civilian aid programs to train and equip the coast guards of other nations, Japanese defense officials and analysts say, Japan could soon reach another milestone: beginning sales in the region of military hardware like seaplanes, and perhaps eventually the stealthy diesel-powered submarines considered well suited to the shallow waters where China is making increasingly assertive territorial claims

Taken together those steps, while modest, represent a significant shift for Japan, which had resisted repeated calls from the United States to become a true regional power for fear that doing so would move it too far from its postwar pacifism. The country’s quiet resolve to edge past that reluctance and become more of a player comes as the United States and China are staking their own claims to power in Asia, and as jitters over China’s ambitions appear to be softening bitterness toward Japan among some Southeast Asian countries trampled last century in its quest for colonial domination. 


China Military Online 2012-11-28 

   The command and confrontation drill of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) code-named “2012 Confrontation in Nanjing” was successfully held on November 27, 2012 in Nanjing, capital city of east China’s Jiangsu province. This is the PLA’s first independent confrontation drill between military academies and combat troop units. With five major highlights, the drill will play a positive role in promoting command capability of command-and-staff organs of the PLA troop units and post-oriented education level of military academies. 

Advanced operational concepts including “precision and rapid warfare” are enriched and developed 

  The confrontation drill applied the PLA’s advanced operational concepts in recent years including target-centric warfare, precision and rapid warfare, vertical lightning warfare and the like, which has thus made the setting of training contents more reasonable, the design of training situations more real, the innovative characteristics of fighting methods more distinctive, the actual-troop orientation more highlighted, and the combat command more accurate and efficient. 

Embryo of simulated “Blue Army” of academies is developed 

  In recent years, the simulated “Blue Army” acted by combat troop units has functioned as a grindstone in previous confrontation drills. In this drill, the PLA’s first simulated “Blue Army” consisting of experts, professors and scholars from military academies has exerted a positive effect on improving combat effectiveness of the PLA troop units with their theoretical attainment, strategies and professional skills.