4 December 2012

Egypt and the Strategic Balance

December 4, 2012

Stratfor

By George Friedman

Immediately following the declaration of a cease-fire in Gaza, Egypt was plunged into a massive domestic crisis. Mohammed Morsi, elected in the first presidential election after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, passed a decree that would essentially neuter the independent judiciary by placing his executive powers above the high court and proposed changes to the constitution that would institutionalize the Muslim Brotherhood's power. Following the decree, Morsi's political opponents launched massive demonstrations that threw Egypt into domestic instability and uncertainty. 

In the case of most countries, this would not be a matter of international note. But Egypt is not just another country. It is the largest Arab country and one that has been the traditional center of the Arab world. Equally important, if Egypt's domestic changes translate into shifts in its foreign policy, it could affect the regional balance of power for decades to come. 
Morsi's Challenge to the Nasserite Model 

The Arab Spring was seen by some observers to be a largely secular movement aimed at establishing constitutional democracy. The problem with this theory was that while the demonstrators might have had the strength to force an election, it was not certain that the secular constitutionalists would win it. They didn't. Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and while there were numerous claims that he was a moderate member, it was simply not understood that he was a man of conviction and honor and that his membership in the Brotherhood was not casual or frivolous. His intention was to strengthen the role of Islam in Egypt and the control of the Muslim Brotherhood over the various arms of state. His rhetoric, speed and degree of Islamism might have been less extreme than others, but his intent was clear. 

The move on the judiciary signaled his intent to begin consolidating power. It galvanized opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood, which included secular constitutionalists, Copts and other groups who formed a coalition that was prepared to take to the streets to oppose his move. What it did not include, or at least did not visibly include through this point, was the Egyptian military, which refused to be drawn in on either side


Clear and present danger



Saturday, 17 November 2012

Koithara’s book can be a good guide in helping India manage its nuclear deterrence, says Gurmeet Kanwal 

India declared itself a state armed with nuclear weapons in May 1998 after the Pokhran tests. Despite the fact that almost 15 years have passed since then, the number of good books on the subject of managing India’s nuclear deterrence can be counted on the fingertips. 

This is partly because academics and strategic analysts find deterrence theory and the complexities of nuclear command and control too esoteric and partly because the Government of India has made no attempt to encourage such research. None of the Government-funded think tanks have thought it fit to conduct research on this issue. It is to the credit of Vice-Admiral Verghese Koithara (retd) that he has dared to enter what may be loosely termed as forbidden territory. In his book, Managing India’s Nuclear Forces, Admiral Koithara takes stock of the system in place for managing nuclear deterrence, carefully evaluates its efficacy and makes substantive recommendations to enhance its functionality. 

India’s nuclear doctrine is built around a ‘no first use’ policy with ‘credible minimum deterrence’. In the interest of strategic stability, India is willing to absorb a ‘first strike’ and will launching punitive nuclear strikes in retaliation to cause unacceptable damage to the adversary if it is attacked with nuclear weapons. India’s nuclear weapons are political weapons meant only to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons against India. It is clearly accepted in India that nuclear weapons are not weapons of warfighting. Hence, India has firmly rejected the use of tactical or theatre nuclear weapons — despite provocation from across its western border. However, India has not publicly demonstrated that it has done what it takes to ‘operationalise’ its nuclear deterrence. This is the essence of Admiral Koithara’s book. In fact, he goes one step further to state that by keeping the armed forces out of the nuclear decision making loop, the authorities have actually undermined the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrence. 

Both the NDA and UPA governments have tended to play down discussion of nuclear issues in the public domain. According to the strategic community grapevine, the late Brajesh Mishra, India’s first National Security Advisor, had issued an informal whip to the effect that no one in government will speak to the media about nuclear deterrence. No discussions or seminars have been held by the three Services to study issues like ‘targeting’ and deterrence breakdown that are in the military domain. Through various acts of commission and omission, successive governments have created the perception that acquiring nuclear weapons was an end in itself for power and prestige and that since nuclear weapons are political weapons and not weapons of warfighting, the barest minimum needs to be done to create nuclear forces that are robust and usable. 

China's Copycat Cities

The People's Republic is building life-size European villages, but not for the reasons you think. 
BY JACK CARLSON | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 



Chinese tourists may be flocking to Europe in record numbers, but now they can see some of the continent's top historical attractions without ever leaving the People's Republic. The Alpine village of Hallstatt, Austria, (a UNESCO World Heritage site on the picturesque shore of the Hallstätter See) has been re-created in full-scale replica in Boluo, in southern China. Complete with European-style wood houses and the town's signature Roman-numeral clock tower, the made-in-China version of Hallstatt opened this summer for visitors and new residents. The Chinese developers, Minmetals Land Ltd., even got the real mayor of Hallstatt to fly in from Austria to mark the occasion. 

Strange as it sounds, the Hallstatt replica is hardly unique in China. The Middle Kingdom is cloning Western monuments, palaces, and entire towns -- often at a frenetic pace and with uncanny accuracy. But why? 

American and European commentators -- not to mention residents of the original cities -- are variously amused, indignant, and, above all, puzzled. This is not, however, the first time China has imported Western architecture on a grand scale. Now, as in China's past, imitation isn't intended as flattery. The ancient parallels for these copycat projects suggest that they are not mere follies, but monumental assertions of China's global primacy. 

In addition to the wholesale replication of Hallstatt, countless other facsimile cities and monuments have popped up across China -- and more are in the works. Replica British towns near Shanghai and Chengdu, for example, feature Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian architecture complete with quaint market squares and signature red telephone booths. Likewise, a Bauhaus "German Town" near Shanghai designed by Albert Speer, son of the Third Reich's chief architect, boasts bronze statues of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. 

Beijing’s Goal: A New Normal

By James R. Holmes 
December 4, 2012 

A Vietnamese friend asks how Southeast Asian governments should counter China’s doubling-down on its maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea. Late last week the Hainan provincial government enacted regulations that provide for boarding or even seizing ships that “illegally” enter Chinese-claimed waters or land on Chinese-claimed islands. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese fishing boats cut the cables on a Vietnamese vessel exploring for oil over the weekend. And of course Beijing has taken to printing a map in newly issued passports that includes the “nine-dashed line” enclosing most of the South China Sea. Commentators rightly speculated about where Hainan’s directive applies, what constitutes illegality in Chinese eyes, and how the new regimen will affect freedom of navigation through regional shipping lanes. 

Whatever the particulars, this constitutes a clear effort to create a new normal. By acting as though it exercises jurisdiction over the islands and adjacent waters, Beijing surrounds its maritime territorial claims with an air of normalcy. Making and enforcing law to control territory is the essence of sovereignty. Left unchallenged, new facts on the ground will harden into a new status quo. What should Southeast Asians do? That’s a big question, but here’s one tip. They should start by thinking hard about what kind of behavior they want to reward and what kind they want to punish. Scant days before the Hainan government promulgated its regulations, the news broke that ASEAN governments intend to negotiate a regional trade bloc that also encompasses Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and ... China. 

This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will exclude the United States, which has been pushing an eleven-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.That seems a tad perverse at a time when Southeast Asians look to America as their balancer of first resort against China, which wants to modify the regional order to their detriment. Why should Beijing desist from objectionable policies if it knows it will pay no price for them? 

Note to ASEAN: unmix your messages.

The Big Kill

Sorry, Steven Pinker, the world isn't getting less violent. 
BY JOHN ARQUILLA | DECEMBER 3, 2012 


Writing their Lessons of History in the tumultuous year 1968, Will and Ariel Durant observed that in "the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war." The 44 years since they made this observation have added not a single year of peace to that meager total. Yet a number of remarkably hopeful studies published recently suggest war is on the wane. The Human Security Report arrived at this conclusion, which former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan affirmed in its foreword as offering proof that "[t]he world has become much less insecure over the past 20 years." At Harvard, psychology professor Steven Pinker has taken a very long view, finding that our era is far less brutal than ancient, medieval, or even early modern times. 

The Human Security Report bases its conclusion on some key trends. First, the number of ongoing conflicts in a given year in which more than 1,000 people die in battle has declined, if a bit choppily, from 25 in the mid-80s to five in 2006. (In 2012, the total I see is back up to about 10.) In addition to this, the number of battle deaths per year, worldwide, has dropped since the end of World War II -- with just a few spikes largely explained by the Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam from the mid-‘60's to mid-‘70s, and the strife in the Balkans and among former-Soviet republics in the ‘90s. In his Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker goes a little further, noting that over the past 70-plus years the number of battle deaths per 100,000 people has fallen dramatically -- with no spikes, just a couple of "blips." 

Obama's Moment

How the president can seize back the initiative on foreign policy. 
BY ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI | DECEMBER 3, 2012 


In foreign affairs, the central challenge now facing President Barack Obama is how to regain some of the ground lost in recent years in shaping U.S. national security policy. Historically and politically, in America's system of separation of powers, it is the president who has the greatest leeway for decisive action in foreign affairs. He is viewed by the country as responsible for Americans' safety in an increasingly turbulent world. He is seen as the ultimate definer of the goals that the United States should pursue through its diplomacy, economic leverage, and, if need be, military compulsion. And the world at large sees him -- for better or for worse -- as the authentic voice of America. 

To be sure, he is not a dictator. Congress has a voice. So does the public. And so do vested interests and foreign-policy lobbies. The congressional role in declaring war is especially important not when the United States is the victim of an attack, but when the United States is planning to wage war abroad. Because America is a democracy, public support for presidential foreign-policy decisions is essential. But no one in the government or outside it can match the president's authoritative voice when he speaks and then decisively acts for America. 

Why “No Drama Obama” might like Joe Dunford

McCain made similar points as Rice on Benghazi; Why “strategic communications” just became “communications synchronization” at the Pentagon; Petraeus as “Fat Elvis”? And more. 

BY GORDON LUBOLD | DECEMBER 4, 2012 

Will Joe Dunford really be "No Drama Obama's" dream general? Gen. Joe Dunford was confirmed by the Senate last night and will be headed to Kabul soon. You never know what will happen, but all indicators are that Dunford's deployment may be the first in a while to unfold without incident. He's a low-key Marine officer who's more Boy Scout than military rock star, one who's more likely to be seen standing in line at the Pentagon cafeteria getting his own lunch than zipping around Washington with a slew of Suburbans. Three of the last four ISAF commanders -- Allen, McChrystal, and McKiernan -- have left or will leave under a cloud. And the fourth is Petraeus. 

Dunford is not especially well-known. But his meteoric rise to the top -- essentially skipping the rank of two-star general altogether -- is still astonishing to many senior officers. And as an officer in Iraq in 2004, he experienced the hard lessons of complacency when four Marines within his area of responsibility were killed when they fell asleep on a rooftop in Anbar province even though they were supposed to be on watch. We've told the story before, but we remember during the same deployment, he caught a Marine sleeping on post, jostled him awake and told him, essentially, "complacency kills, wake up." http://bit.ly/Ysqnk4

The Senate also confirmed Lt. Gen. Jay Paxton, who will succeed Dunford as AC-MACK. 

"Totally unacceptable." President Barack Obama said there would be consequences if Syria uses any chemical weapons and that deploying them would be "totally unacceptable." As rebel forces make advances, new intelligence reports indicate that the Syrian regime is moving weaponry, even if it remains unclear just what Syria plans to do with the chemical munitions. But this doesn't appear to be Iraq all over again. The WaPo quotes an American intelligence official as saying "we have pretty good visibility" on Syria's chemical weapons. http://wapo.st/Uk4zRi

Part of the reason why American officials are worried: Danger Room reports on how the Syrian regime has been combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas. http://bit.ly/VgFO7f

Why should old soldiers fade away?

Date:28 Nov , 2012
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi The author is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS). 


Mrs. Indira Gandhi with Manekshaw 

General Douglas Macarthur, a very famous General of the Twentieth Century, who served his country, the United States of America, with dedication and élan for over half a century, both in peace and war, had made a famous speech on 19 April 1951, to both houses of the Congress at Capitol Hill. This was on his return from Japan, after his dispute over policy decisions with the President of the United States and after he was relieved of his command on 11 April 1951. It was a momentous speech, quoted extensively throughout the world, but this piece only focuses on one sentence of his long speech, which stated that ‘old soldiers never die, they only fade away’. 

Our jawans retire in their Thirties, our junior commissioned officers in their Forties and the bulk of our officers in their Fifties; instead of fading away, what they need is a second career. 

Although General Macarthur did tremendous service for his nation, I am afraid he did considerable harm, albeit inadvertently, to the armed forces of India, because of this sentence in his speech. The sentence was soon picked up by our redoubtable bureaucrats (mostly of the ICS variety at that time) and it was given the desired spin, including de-emphasising the word ‘old’! The result was that the political leadership, the media and even the intelligentsia became convinced that it was the best option for retired soldiers, irrespective of their age, who must quietly ‘fade away’. It may be recalled that these were the days when many nations were becoming independent from their colonial masters in quick succession. Unfortunately, many of these newly independent nations were also falling prey to military coups staged by some elements of their armed forces. Hence, this ‘fading away’ appealed immensely to these elites of the nation and they did everything to perpetuate such thinking. No one bothered to find out the circumstances under which General Macarthur had included this sentence in his speech. Let me enlighten everyone. 

Response: Why should old soldiers fade away?

Maj Gen C K Karumbaya | Date:29 Nov , 2012 

I have a lot of respect for Lt Gen S K Sinha; but I do not agree with his criticism of Gen V K Singh and accusing him of bringing disgrace to the Armed Forces ethos. Let us not deceive ourselves in thinking that in the past all the officers obeyed unquestioningly what was ordered from the higher authorities. 

Gen Rudra, the first Indian to be appointed as Military Secretary had reportedly posted then a General to take over the command of 19 Inf Div in the Valley during J&K operations; but he was so scared of being exposed to war that he went directly to Nehru and he ordered his postings to be cancelled necessitating Gen KS Thimayya to be posted instead. Nehru later also favoured him by appointing him COAS before the 1962 debacle. 


General was so scared of being exposed to war that he went directly to Nehru and he ordered his postings to be cancelled… 

Should we not protest about such favouritism? 

There are lot of rumours and questionable stories spread about Gen Cariappa’s appointment as first commander-in- chief of the Army, now that he is no more. Gen Sinha has added one more to them. The fact is, Gen Cariappa was the senior most officer then, very much Indian, scrupulously honest, highly professional, war experienced, very patriotic, disciplined, loyal to the troops, secular minded and led from the front, setting personal example to those below him. There is no doubt that because of his sterling qualities as an officer, gentleman and leader, even the outgoing British and Pak officers had high respects for him and trusted him as fair and dependable. This is definitely not a disqualification; but an asset. 

Is the 'Babu' scared of veterans’ skills?

Maj Gen S G Vombatkere | Date:30 Nov , 2012

Maj Gen S G Vombatkere retired as major general after 35 years in the Indian military, from the post of Additional DG in charge of Discipline & Vigilance in Army HQ. 

Under the banner of IESM (Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement), India’s armed forces veterans propose a nation-wide movement, starting with a rally on December 1, 2012, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. This article examines whether, in addition to pressing for their rightful demands, veterans have a national role that will simultaneously help their cause and achieve better governance. 

Indian veterans 

Veterans are physically fit (barring those disabled during military service), disciplined men, experienced in work in difficult, risky and dangerous conditions. The bulk of them have special economic problems because of their young age (32-40 years) at retirement with less than adequate pensionary benefits. The things that occupy the minds of veterans depend upon their experience during military service and the conditions to which they are exposed when pitch-forked into civilian life on retirement. 

…the bureaucracy is implacably hostile to veterans is evidenced by several factors, perhaps the most galling of which is that every judicial ruling favouring veterans is contested by government in higher courts. 

These past decades, the Indian soldier has carried his vaunted service discipline into retired life, raising individual issues and problems through normal official channels. But recently, the anomalies in the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (6CPC) have caused acute discontentment among serving military personnel (all ranks of the armed forces, referred to as “soldiers”) and among veterans, whose decades-long demand for One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) has been neglected. There was no member in 6CPC to represent soldiers, who form not merely the single largest segment affected by the decisions of 6CPC, but also form the only segment that is denied fundamental freedoms under Articles 19(a) and 19(c), and have conditions of service, promotion and retirement that are adverse when compared with other categories under consideration of the 6CPC.1 

India’s African “Safari”

December 04, 2012 
By Sudha Ramachandran 

Although its interests in the continent are broadly similar, India’s engagement with Africa differs significantly from China. Will it prove sustainable? 

India’s engagement with Africa has grown remarkably over the past decade. 

Trade with Africa jumped from U.S. $3 billion in 2000 to $52.81 billion in 2010-11 and is expected to exceed $90 billion by 2015. India has emerged as Africa’s fourth largest trade partner, after the European Union, China and the United States. Its cumulative investment in the continent exceeded $35 billion in 2011 in industries diverse as energy, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and telecommunications. 

Close ties between India and Africa are not new. Trade has flourished between East Africa and India’s west coast for centuries. India also supported Africa’s struggle against colonial rule and apartheid, and its freedom movement inspired the anti-colonial struggles of African countries, Ruchita Beri, an expert on India-Africa relations at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi told The Diplomat. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, India worked closely with the newly liberated African countries to forge common positions on global issues. 

However, New Delhi’s interest in Africa waned in the 1990s. With the end of the Cold War, India was preoccupied with mending relations with the West and establishing ties with the newly independent former Soviet republics in Central Asia. As a result Africa moved to the margins of India’s foreign policy. 

A Term Whose Time Has Come: The Indo-Pacific

By Rory Medcalf 
December 4, 2012 


We are constantly told that the world’s center of economic and strategic gravity is shifting to Asia. But what is Asia? More precisely, what is the Asia that matters to global security and prosperity? 

As a new regular contributor to The Diplomat’s Flashpoints blog, I would like to experiment with an answer. Let’s call it Indo-Pacific Asia. 

There are some sound arguments for this term as a coherent analytical description of the emerging strategic and economic order linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Indo-Pacific Asia, or the Indo-Pacific for short, is a more credible and contemporary name than the Asia-Pacific or some more narrow East Asian or Western Pacific formulation. 

What is the Indo-Pacific? I would suggest it is an emerging Asian strategic system that encompasses both the Pacific and Indian Oceans, defined in part by the geographically expanding interests and reach of China and India, and the continued strategic role and presence of the United States in both. An insightful new book by leading Indian strategic thinker C. Raja Mohan is premised on a similar point. 

Indo-Pacific terminology is hardly new. It has a long-standing acceptance as a distinct biogeographic region in marine science. It has also been used in ethnography since the 1850s, when “Indo-Pacific islanders” was one way of identifying the people of Indonesia. 

But in geopolitics, the term lay dormant for decades. It was occasionally used in the early and mid-20th century. Notably, it has reemerged in a gathering tempo of expert commentaries and official statements in recent years, including in the United States, India, and Australia – a nation whose two-ocean geography it naturally suits. 

There is no doubt that the Indo-Pacific idea is contested on at least two fronts, however. 

For starters, some will argue that this super-region is too big to be a coherent strategic system. To be sure, some of Asia’s most serious security flashpoints – from the Korean Peninsula to the India-Pakistan relationship – seem principally sub-regional. 

India’s Economic Woes Continue

By James Parker 
December 4, 2012 


The latest Indian economic data continues to paint a subdued picture. Third quarter GDP growth fell back to 5.3% year-on-year (YoY), the same level as in the first three months of the year, and lower than the 5.5% recorded in the second quarter. Despite this and the challenges of carrying out the necessary reforms, Indian markets ended November on a high. 

Underlying this low (for India) figure, weak manufacturing expansion – at 0.8% YoY, and weak agricultural numbers – 1.2% YoY growth, were only partially offset by the main financial/business services sectors (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services), which account for 55% of India’s total output, and grew by 9.4% on the previous year. 

As covered previously on this blog, Indian monetary policy is facing a dilemma, with high inflation remaining a dangerous check on any attempt by the government to stimulate growth. Friday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Industrial workers rose to 9.6% in October, up from 9.14% in September. Even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) faces this inflation/growth straitjacket, on the fiscal side a high budget deficit also constrains policy. India’s budget deficit is predicted to be 5.3% of GDP in the current year, slightly higher than the official target of 5.1%. The long term goal, announced by Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram in late October, is for the deficit to hit 3% by 2017. This target does not sit well with any hopes for further fiscal stimulus to the economy. 

As with the United States, the Indian current account deficit drags on growth and hinders the struggling economy. This year has already seen record monthly deficits recorded, even if the annual deficit is predicted to fall to U.S. $70.3 billion this year. Meanwhile the labor market remains sluggish, with the Financial Times recently highlighting labor market inflexibility in addition to a skills deficit as explanations of the phenomenon. Reforming labor laws will require much political capital, and with a looming election no later than 2014, the government is already expending excess political capital on other reforms in the country. 

Army chief reviews security situation along China border

Sunday, 02 December 2012


Operational preparedness of troops deployed along the border with China and security situation in the northeastern states was reviewed by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh here today. 

"Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag briefed the Army Chief on the operational preparedness and the security scenario in the eastern region," defence spokesperson Group Capt T K Singha said here. The Eastern Command of the Army is in-charge of securing the region east of Kolkata up to Arunachal Pradesh covering India's boundary with China. 

India is upgrading its defence preparedness along the eastern boundary by raising more troops, new formations and deploying more lethal assets such as the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This was Gen Singh's maiden visit to the Fort William-based Command headquarter since taking over as Army Chief on May 31, this year. 

The visit follows his earlier visits to the three Corps headquarters under Eastern Command based at Sukna, Dimapur and Tezpur in recent months. "It is virtually a homecoming," said Gen Singh on arrival. Having commanded the Eastern Command for over two years, this is one formation that is very close to my heart," he said. As a mark of respect to former Prime Minister I K Gujral, who passed away on Friday, several planned social events were cancelled during the visit, the spokesperson said. 

'Navy plans to induct 5 to 6 ships and submarines every year': Navy Chief

Issue Net Edition | Date : 03 Dec , 2012 

Admiral DK Joshi 

On the occasion of Navy Day on December 4, 2012, the Naval Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi announced the following in the press conference held at New Delhi: 

The world has acknowledged India’s economic trajectory and as the country continues to progress on the path of sustained growth, there is a growing acceptance that the maritime domain is the prime facilitator of our economic growth. More than 90% of our trade by volume and 77% by value is transported over the seas. 

Over 97% of our energy needs of oil are either imported or produced from offshore fields. Consequently, our economic growth is inextricably linked to the seas. 


…whilst the Navy is prepared to meet any form of traditional threat, it is constantly acquiring capabilities and realigning its operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges. 

The raison d’etre of our existence is thus, succinctly encapsulated in the theme for Navy Week 2012: ‘Indian Navy – Maritime Power for National Prosperity’. Our mandate is unambiguous – to be ‘Net Security Providers’ wherever the country’s sovereign interests may lie in the maritime domain. Therefore, whilst the Navy is prepared to meet any form of traditional threat, it is constantly acquiring capabilities and realigning its operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges. 

Accordingly, the Navy has maintained its momentum towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding our economic and strategic interests. Today, we stand committed to providing stability, not just to the Indian Ocean Region, but also for safeguarding our interests across the oceans. 

It is, therefore, with good reason that the tempo of Naval operations in 2012 was relatively higher. In the last six months alone, our ships have been deployed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Western Pacific, demonstrating our reach and endurance at extended ranges. We also continue to develop inter-operability with friendly foreign navies through bilateral exercises. Maintaining our focus on the diplomatic role, INS Sudarshini, the Navy’s sail training ship, is currently on a six month MEA sponsored voyage to ASEAN countries, in commemoration of 20 years of India-ASEAN diplomatic relations. 

Political - Civil - Military Participation in National Security


Opener

Analysis of India's approach towards it's national security reveals an unacceptable hiatus between the Political -Civil- Military systems. We perhaps were lucky enough to get away thus far even despite the 1962 China debacle.

New security realities, an assertive China, a highly probable Sino-Pak collusion, the emergence of non state actors, possible implosion in Pakistan, the Af-Pak mess all call for India to review and revamp its management of national security. Our bureaucracy has the sagacity, expertise and eclectic experience to optimise civil control mechanisms under political guidance. Our military and security forces have the commitment and wisdom to perpetuate democracy and secularism. Ours is a democracy wherein civil control of the military is absolute. We have mechanisms in place to optimally approach “national security and military readiness". This of course has to be politically understood, accepted, absorbed and be top down with sense of ownership, accountability and authority. This paper looks at the quantum and quality of civil- military participation, the higher defence decision making, the structures within the military and the way ahead.

Current Status of Political – Civil - Military Participation

Indian political -civil- military relationship needs to be seen in the context of the critical dichotomy between "Authority and Responsibility" resulting in the absence of ownership for military and security. The whole discussion often misses the forest for the trees. In the fog of this debate, the political leadership virtually goes unnoticed and hence never answers for this grave omission. Should our political leadership not take onus of ownership or at least assign responsibility for military and security readiness to an accountable entity. Six decades post independence has not seen any effective viable change.

Civil and military partnership needs to be seen in wider contours of nation’s Management, national security, foreign policy, technology self reliance, budgeting: in the frame work of sovereignty, sustainability and survivability as a nation state. It should also include internal security concerns. Intelligence and policing are inherent in this.

Illegal Migration as a Threat to India’s Internal Security


Among other things, one of the major aspects that have come out of the recent communal violence in Bodo areas of Assam is illegal migration. According to the Group of Ministers Report on National Security, illegal migration

has generated a host of destabilizing political, social, economic, ethnic and communal tensions. Politically, the Bangladeshi migrants are in a position to influence the results of the elections in a large number of constituencies in the North East (about 32% of the constituencies in Assam). Economically, increased pressure on land, resulting in depletion of forest wealth, undercutting of wages of unskilled jobs, forcible occupation of Government land by the migrants and a host of other such issues, generate a ripple effect in the entire North East. 1

Illegal migration mainly takes place in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country from neighbouring Bangladesh.

Bangladeshis have been moving out of their country due to economic, political and social reasons. There is a serious crisis of ‘lebensraum’ (living space) in Bangladesh due to alarming population growth rate without proportionate availability of land. This is going to worsen further in the future with the impact of climate change and natural disasters. As per 2011 estimates, the population density of Bangladesh is 964 per sq km, one of the highest in the world. Only Singapore and small city-states like Bahrain or the Vatican have higher figures.2 And, this is expected to increase further in the coming years.

As observed by the Group of Ministers Report, illegal immigration from Bangladesh has led to demographic upheaval and generated serious communal, political, social and economic tensions and conflicts in several areas of the northeast of India. The most affected states are West Bengal, Assam, Megalaya, Nagaland, Bihar, and Tripura, although migrants “have spread to far off states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi.” 3 Although the exact figure is not known, it is estimated that there are about 15-20 million Bangladeshis staying illegally in India. 4 The illegal migration of Bangladeshis in fact triggered the agitation in Assam by All Assam Students Union (AASU) in 1979-85. Despite the Assam Accord of 1985 5, the issue remains unresolved to this day and the “silent demographic invasion” persists. Due to vote-bank politics, the motivation to block illegal migrants from Bangladesh is absent. The gravity and scope of threats arising out of illegal migration was highlighted by the then Governor of Assam, Lt Gen S. K. Sinha in his report. Inter alia, he points out,

Strategic Posture Along China – India Borders is India Prepared?


The Context – Strategic Scenario

China’s rise as a major international actor is certainly a defining feature of the strategic landscape of 21st Century. It certainly has ramifications for the entire world but most definitely for the Far East and for India. If China has to emerge as a global power, it must first establish its unchallenged supremacy in its immediate neighborhood. India is the only country in the region, which is somewhat of a competitor on both economic and military fronts. So it has got to be put in place; only question, is as to when?

As far as offering a justification to the rest of the world, they have evolved a widely publicized strategy of “Self Defense Counter Attack”, which is a multipurpose formulation that they use to describe most instances where China has initiated the use of force; that means that the PLA will launch the “first strike”. China’s 1962 War with India and Border War with Russia of 1969 fall under this category. Some people may still argue that China gains nothing by attacking India but so was said even before 1962 war.

Militarily, economically or politically, what time slot suits Chinese the most? This could be within the next 3-5 years block; wherein the Indian Armed Force’s level of preparedness and readiness for war are issues of hot and active debate in the Country or later. Presently, the saving grace is that the Chinese themselves are no-where “close to their desired level” of modernization and are only half way through to their modernization” programme. Alternatively, this could take place after 2020-25, when they will be fully ready and the capability gap would have increased exponentially between the two forces, should we continue our modernization progamme on this sluggish pace!

India-Pakistan Relations: A Misplaced Euphoria


It is ironical that at a time when Pakistan’s standing in the international community is down in the dumps its relationship with India is on the mend. While the rationale for the former is clear there is no such simple explanation for the latter.

The downward spiral in Pakistan’s standing in the international community is due to numerous factors notably its having been exposed as a source of terrorism, its role as a spoiler in finding a satisfactory resolution to the Afghan problem, its unsavoury record as a proliferator, and finally its emergence as a nation whose democratic credentials are suspect and where the observance of the rule of law is more the exception than the norm.

In contrast, there is no such linear logic to explain the upward trend in Pakistan’s relations with India as would seem to be case from the near euphoric statements being made in this regard from many sections, official and non official, in the latter. Have the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks been brought to book by Pakistan? No. Instead terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are allowed to function freely and openly spew venom against India. Has Pakistan wound down the infrastructure of terror created by it for use against India? No. Indeed, after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 there have been at least three other major Pakistani inspired terrorist attacks against India. Has Pakistan handed over to India any of the 50 or so terrorists elements like Dawood Ibrahim whose extradition had been requested by the latter? No. Has Pakistan stopped trying to push infiltrators into Kashmir? No. Has Pakistan shown any indication of genuinely seeking reconciliation with India by giving up its opposition to India’s quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, by curbing the pumping in of fake currency into India or by desisting from pursuing an India centric nuclear policy? No. On the contrary it has encouraged the formation of the Defence of Pakistan Council led by extremists like Hafiz Saeed who revel in making aggressive anti Indian statements.

China’s Cyberwar Doctrine: Implications for India


In alarming front page news reports published by several Indian newspapers in 2009 and 2010, Chinese cyber spies were reported to have hacked into computers and stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the National Security Adviser and the Indian embassy in the US. Earlier it had been reported that the Chinese army uses more than 10,000 cyber warriors with degrees in information technology to maintain an e-vigil over China’s borders. “Chinese soldiers now swipe cards and work on laptops as they monitor the border with great efficiency… electronic sentinels functioning 24 hours a day.” This number will soon go up to one million laptop warriors.

While information about the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) cyber warriors has begun to appear in the public domain only recently, PLA watchers across the world have known for long about China’s well conceived doctrine on information operations and cyberwar. China’s cyberwar doctrine is designed to level the playing field in a future war with better equipped Western armed forces that rely on Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) technologies and enjoy immense superiority in terms of weapons platforms and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and command and control networks.

Early in the first decade of the new century, China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) had called for a detailed study of the concept of “people’s war under conditions of informationisation”, implying increasing attention to the application of information technology to the conduct of conventional conflict. Since then the scope of the cyber war doctrine has been expanded to develop the capabilities necessary to take control of all the major networks that drive the world’s economic engines such as banking, stock exchanges and telecommunications if it becomes necessary.

The Evolving Threat from PLA along Indo-Tibetan Border: Implications


Early this month the Research and Analysis Wing in its threat assessment conveyed to the government that "there was a possibility of a skirmish or an incident triggered by China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). ...Beijing was contemplating such an action to divert attention from its own domestic trouble."The above RAW report is not much different from its assessment of September 2009 when it ruled out any ‘major military adventure’ (but was silent on the possibility of a minor or limited conflict) by China against India in immediate future as this could derail its own economy. The report of 2009 also detailed the efforts being made by China in India’s neighbourhood aimed at isolating India. However, dwelling on PLA’s activity on Indo-Tibetan border R & AW’s assessment of 2009 had emphasized that China’s ‘recent incursions into India were part of the well-planned design to keep India on the tenterhooks and force it to divert attention from its primary development objectives’. “As such we feel that the pinpricks of incursion would continue”. And incursions or in some quarters ‘transgressions’ by PLA across the Line of Actual continue till today with impunity. Any of these incursions could become a prelude for limited conflict with India whether intended (by China) or unintended.

Whatever be the basis or inputs for coming to R&AW’s conclusions it cannot be denied that there would continue to be a near term threat from China as long as the border dispute remains unsolved.

In last three years the PLA has created capacities in Tibetan plateau which have distinctly enhanced the quality of threat being posed by China’s military posture in Tibet. With ever increasing defence budgets, increase in frequency of PLA training exercises in Tibet since 2010, improvements in military infrastructure as well as improvements in the weapons and equipment for high altitude and mountain warfare, the operational readiness of PLA to undertake agile and well-coordinated joint operations has been tremendously enhanced.

PLA Sharpening its Claws in Tibet


In the second week of June PLA conducted an exercise with live fire practice for their anti-tank units in Tibet to test their precision strike capabilities. This training exercise was a sequel to a major live-fire air attack drill conducted in March, by a brigade under the Tibet Military District which in turn is part of the Chengdu Military Region. Evidently the training exercise was aimed at encouraging the PLA troops to have confidence in their weapon systems and their own skills. It also needs to be noted that in recent times the frequency of PLA’s training exercises in Tibet have increased. Further, there is an emphasis on jointness and integration among the PLA Air Force and various arms and services of the PLA.

Earlier in October 2011 two other joint exercises were carried out in Chengdu Military Region and Lanzhou Military Region. The Chengdu Military Region and PLAAF air bases in Tibet are earmarked for operations against Indian targets. The level of the joint exercises was at the Group Army level with the objective of practicing a Division sized force in an integrated and joint environment that involved armour, artillery and PLAAF units of Tibetan plateau. Network centric operations in intense electromagnetic environment i.e. in conditions of ‘informationalisation’ were practiced.

Later, in March this year PLAAF practiced ground attacks in conjunction with army and artillery units. It has also been revealed that PLAAF has modified its J-10 fighter aircrafts to operate in the higher altitudes of Tibet which severely restricts its performance in many operational parameters. Tibetan plateau in winters is freezing cold when it becomes difficult for the PLAAF jet fighters to fly therefore usually it had been exercising in favourable weather conditions of summer. This exercise was also aimed at testing out the new improvements and modifications made to their jet fighters and associated equipment to operate in sub-zero temperatures. The degree of advantage enjoyed by India because the PLA jets have to take off from 10,000 to 12,000 feet high airfield (thus with less payload) would be narrowed. Further, PLAAF is modernising rapidly and the air fleet size is almost triple of our Air Force fleet.

The ISI’s Psychological Operations


The government has stated that recent distress migrations of northeastern Indians were triggered by electronic messages originating from Pakistan. Investigators have found that the first hints of pogrom-style killings appeared on Pakistani internet forums, and rapidly spread to India as part of a coordinated psyops offensive. The modus operandi was vaguely familiar: doctored images and vitriolic texts flooded telecommunications networks, gaining credibility before law enforcement agencies could react. The apparent purpose was to stir up public anger in an already polarized setting and prepare the political mood for an outbreak of communal violence. During 1989, Pakistan had adopted similar methods when it broadcast television footage of anti-communist revolts in Eastern Europe and urged Kashmiri Muslims to likewise rise up against New Delhi.

What intelligence agencies now need to assess is whether their Pakistani counterparts were merely out to embarrass India, or if the scare campaign had a deeper purpose. It is possible that the Inter Services Intelligence, if it was involved, has no strategic end-game regarding present tensions between Bangladeshi immigrants and Bodo tribesmen. The agency’s covert operations cells might just be taking opportunistic advantage of the situation in Assam. Provided Indian authorities maintain public order, the matter might rest there. However, past experience of ISI psyops suggests that the agency rarely desists from coordinating its propaganda offensives with paramilitary action. Its favourite tactic is to combine persistent low-visibility subversion with sporadic high-visibility attacks, conducted on a deniable basis using local assets or expendable mercenaries.

Pakistani Hindus protest destruction of temple


By Associated Press
Sunday, December 2, 2012

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani Hindus Sunday protested the destruction of a Hindu temple in the southern port city of Karachi. The temple was razed, along with some nearby homes, by a builder. 

Minority Hindus have complained of increasing harassment and discrimination in Muslim-dominated Pakistan in recent years, including the destruction or desecration of their places of worship. 

Residents and members of the Hindu community said Sunday a builder with a police escort razed the small temple in one of the older neighborhoods of Karachi, along with some surrounding buildings. 

The outer walls and roof of the temple were demolished, and rubble was strewn about the area. Local residents told an AP reporter on the scene that authorities took statues and artifacts out of the building before it was destroyed. 

One of the longtime residents, 75-year-old Kali Das, said he was born in the area and remembers when the temple, called Sri Rama Peer Naval, was built. He said more than a hundred families lived nearby and prayed at the temple. 

Residents protested at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, demanding compensation as well as the return of religious materials they said were taken during the incident. 

Ramesh Kumar Vankwani from the Pakistan Hindu Council said there is a long-running legal dispute between the builder and residents over the land, but it belongs to the Hindu residents. 

Zeenat Ahmad, who runs the department in charge of military land, said a court order allowed some of the buildings to be razed. A Pakistani police officer, Parvez Iqbal, denied anything was taken. 

The military owns vast tracts of land in Karachi and other parts of the country.

Vankwani said the incident was another example of the problems Hindus are facing in Pakistan. Hindus complain that girls are forcibly converted to Islam, there is no legal recognition for Hindu marriages, and Hindus are discriminated against when it comes to access to government jobs or schooling. 

"Every month there is an incident, like taking property of Hindu people or forced conversion of Hindu girls," he said.

During partition in 1947, the violent separation of Pakistan and India into separate countries, hundreds of thousands of Hindus decided to migrate to India, where Hinduism is the dominant religion. Those who remained and their descendants now make up a tiny fraction of Pakistan's estimated 190 million citizens. Most live in Sindh province in the southern part of the country. 

Formation of Afghanistan,Pakistan,China trilateral spells danger for India

Issue Courtesy: CLAWS | Date : 03 Dec , 2012 


Al-queda cadres giving punishment to the informers 

According to the Chinese science of strategy, national interest is both the starting point and destination of military strategy. 

…she had already inducted 15,000 Chinese in Afghanistan in year 2001 before the US invasion in Afghanistan got fully underway. 

As part of her military strategy, China is vigorously employing soft power in foreign countries by surreptitiously inducting People’s Liberation Army (PLA) under garb of development projects. China’s strategic footprints in Pakistan and POK may have come in recent times but she had already inducted 15,000 Chinese in Afghanistan in year 2001 before the US invasion in Afghanistan got fully underway. Presence of some three million Chinese in Myanmar is well known and so is presence of Chinese nationals in India’s neighbors including recent surge in Sri Lanka where it is believed that company strength of PLA is disguised as development workers in Hambantota. 

These are strategic moves that enable both enlargement of the economic agenda and a switch when required. 

Offensive Maneuver

Why does Leon Panetta hate democracy? 
BY MICAH ZENKO | NOVEMBER 27, 2012 


Once upon a time, at the end of significant and sustained global military commitments, the White House sought to reduce a defense budget that had been awarded steady increases year after year. Ordered to make cuts by a White House-Congress budget summit agreement, the Pentagon undertook a series of reviews to adjust the U.S. military's role in a transformed international environment. The National Military Strategy determined: "The real threat that we now face is the threat of the unknown, the uncertain. The threat is instability and being unprepared to handle a crisis or war that no one predicted or expected." The secretary of defense further warned that the United States still faced "[a] world that is full of instability, where there are threats and challenges to a stable world." 

Despite its newfound concern over uncertainty, instability, and the unknown, the Pentagon's updated military strategy allowed for a 25 percent reduction in defense spending over a five-year period. With the federal budget deficit having increased more than 50 percent over the preceding half decade, certain members of Congress sought even larger defense cuts of 40 percent over five years. During a contentious hearing, one of those congressional members -- the House Budget Committee chairman -- warned that "The days of big spending, free-wheeling defense budgets are clearly over." To which the secretary of defense fired back: "We've already cut the living daylights out of the defense budget, Mr. Chairman."