16 December 2012

1971: Making Bangladesh a reality - I

Issue Book Excerpt: Indian Army After Independence | Date : 16 Dec , 2012 

The Indian cabinet met on 28 April 1971. General Manekshaw was told to attend the meeting as he was Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Without much ado, he was told to take charge of the situation. When he asked what was actually required, he was told: “Go into East Pakistan”. He pointed out that this would mean war. ‘We don’t mind it,’ was the reply.1 

Till the middle of April the Army had not even been told of the BSF­ backed Mukti Bahini operations. Manekshaw now explained that war was not something one started casually. No plans had yet been made and a good deal of preparation was necessary. Even the time was not opportune. A war with Pakistan now would mean fighting on two fronts – in Bengal and in Punjab and possibly on a third front, if the Chinese decided to intervene. This was harvest-time in Punjab and if the troops moved forward at this juncture, it would not be possible to reap the harvest. This would mean famine in the land. Also, the Himalayan passes would soon open and the Chinese might give an ultimatum, as they did in 1965. That would make it impossible for him to pull out any troops facing the Chinese for operations in East Pakistan. 

1971: Making Bangladesh a reality - II

Issue Book Excerpt: Indian Army After Independence | Date : 29 Mar , 2011 

2 Corps: (South-Western area of operations) 

Like other senior commanders of the time, Lieutenant General Raina, Commander 2 Corps, had had his first battle experience during the Second World War. After service in the Middle East he had fought in Burma. We have earlier seen evidence of his leadership in the defence of Chushul in 1962. There Raina had fought against heavy odds. Things were different this time; with a corps of two divisions plus, he now faced Pakistan’s 9 Infantry Division, which had only two regular brigades, one ad hoc brigade, two field regiments of artillery and one reconnaissance and support battalion. Major General M.H. Ansari commanded this division, with Headquarters at Jessore. Given to piety and prayers, Ansari had during the counter-insurgency operations earned the Hilal-i-Jurat and promotion to major general, which had earlier been denied to him. 

The border in this sector ran for about 600 kilometres, from the South bank of the Ganga to the Bay of Bengal. A North-South railway that had its terminus at Chalna in the South ran by way of Khulna, Jessore and Kushtia over the Hardinge Bridge to Bogra and Rangpur in the North-Western Sector (see Fig. 13.2). Another line, running West-East, connected the Indian border by way of Darsana and Kushtia to Goalundo Ghat and Faridpur, both ferry points for Dacca. The main arterial road ran between 50 and 80 kilometres from the Indian border and almost parallel to it. It connected Khulna, Jessore, Jhenida and Kushtia. 

Boeing Appoints Pratyush Kumar to Lead Boeing Business in India

Issue Net Edition | Date : 13 Dec , 2012 

Pratyush Kumar 

Boeing named Pratyush “Prat” Kumar as president of Boeing India, effective December 14. He joins Boeing with significant business leadership experience and insight into the Indian market, having served in senior executive positions at GE Transportation since 2003. Kumar succeeds Dinesh Keskar, who earlier this year returned to Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a senior Sales leadership role. 

As the company’s senior in-country leader, Kumar is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Boeing India strategy. He will coordinate business activities, align priorities, expand the Boeing presence and develop, maintain and enhance local relationships and in-country partnerships with India’s business and government stakeholders. 

“Prat has a distinguished business career and brings considerable experience and success in the Indian market to Boeing,” said Shep Hill, president of Boeing International and senior vice president of Business Development and Strategy. “Prat will focus on growing our business and build on Dinesh Keskar’s outstanding accomplishments as president of Boeing India.” 

Kumar was Delhi-based president and CEO, GE Transportation for South Asia. Previously, he led GE Infrastructure businesses in India, which included Aviation, Transportation, Energy, Oil & Gas, and Water business lines. Before joining GE in 2003, Kumar founded a biotech start-up in Boston, Mass. He began his career as a McKinsey & Company management consultant in its Atlanta and Delhi offices. 

He is co-chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Infrastructure Committee. He is also chair of American Chamber of Commerce India’s Infrastructure and Energy committee and a member of The Energy & Resources Institute advisory board. 

Kumar earned a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) doctorate in materials manufacturing in 1994 and holds an Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi) Bachelor of Technology degree in mechanical engineering. 

The close relationship between Boeing and India dates back 70 years to when Tata Airlines first flew DC-3 passenger aircraft. India entered the jet age on the wings of Boeing commercial jetliners, and Boeing jets continue to be the mainstay of the country’s domestic and intercontinental commercial fleets. 

Insensitive timing of Rehman Malik's visit

Issue Net Edition | Date : 13 Dec , 2012 

Rehman Malik, Interior Minister of Pakistan 

If NaMo, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, had been well-advised, instead of raising the issue of Sir Creek, he would have raised the insensitive timing of the official visit of Mr. Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister of Pakistan, to India at the invitation of Shri Shushil Kumar Shinde, our Home Minister. His visit is scheduled to take place from December 14,2012,a day after the 11th anniversary of the attack on the Indian Parliament by Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorists on December 13,2001. This is not only an insult to the memory of the security forces personnel who were killed during the attack, but a reminder of the embarrassing fact that 40 years after Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) started using sponsored-terrorism against India, we are still without an effective answer to it. 

ISI officers will see in the timing of the visit a confirmation of their belief that India does not have the will to fight their use of terrorism against us. 

One can’t have an objection to Mr.Malik being invited to India to launch the new visa liberalisation measures, but this was not the time to do so. ISI officers will see in the timing of the visit a confirmation of their belief that India does not have the will to fight their use of terrorism against us. 

Peace and Stability in Afghanistan: The Role of Neighbours

IDSA COMMENT 

December 13, 2012 

At the July 2012 Tokyo summit, donor nations pledged USD 16 billion up to 2015 for the socio-economic development of Afghanistan. The 70 nations that participated in the summit sent a strong message to the effect that Afghanistan will not be left to fend for itself after the withdrawal of NATO-ISAF forces. However, strong messages are not enough if these are not followed by strong measures in critical areas. 

No plans have yet been made to put in place post–exit arrangements to supplement the capabilities of the Afghan security forces. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are unlikely to be in a position to assume independent responsibility for security by end-2014. The completion of the drawdown will create a security vacuum, particularly in the south-eastern and southern provinces, and the Taliban are likely to fill it. Unless Afghanistan’s key regional neighbours, including India, Iran and Pakistan, contribute meaningfully to the efforts to stabilise the country, instead of pursuing narrow national agendas, Afghanistan may plunge into a civil war. This will reverse the gains made in socio-economic development over the last 11 years. 

Capacity of ANSF 

The Afghan National Army (ANA) now numbers 195,000 troops and the strength of the Afghan National Police (ANP) has gone up to 149,208. The ANSF (ANA plus ANP) are being increasingly called upon to assume responsibility for security in districts from which the NATO-ISAF troops are gradually withdrawing. While the number of ANSF personnel is growing steadily, they are not yet operationally and logistically ready to assume independent charge of security operations in areas vacated by NATO-ISAF troops. 

Besides numbers, ANSF personnel lack the requisite weapons and equipment, and are inadequately trained and motivated – desertions and incidents of fratricide are fairly frequent. The standards of junior leadership – the bedrock of counter-insurgency operations – are far from satisfactory. Also, the ANA lacks critical logistics support such as helicopters and high-mobility vehicles and is completely dependent on the NATO-ISAF logistics and casualty evacuation system. 

Boeing Demos Unmanned Little Bird for Republic of Korea Army

Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Dec , 2012 


Affordable pilotless technology could expand ROKA MD 500 helicopters’ mission capabilities 

Boeing demonstrated affordable unmanned aircraft technology that could be integrated onto Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) MD 500 helicopters to expand the fleet’s mission capabilities. 

A Boeing Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) demonstrator aircraft, a variant of the highly successful MD 500 helicopter, autonomously flew for approximately 25 minutes at the ROKA Aviation School in Nonsan. The demonstration showcased proven pilotless capabilities available for integration onto rotorcraft to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), resupply and other missions. 

Korean Air supported transportation of the ULB for today’s demonstration. Korea Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) assembled ROKA MD 500s from 1976 to 1987 under license from Boeing heritage companies Hughes Helicopters and McDonnell Douglas. KAL delivered approximately 500 MD 500s to Hughes Helicopters, opening the Korean aircraft export market. 

“Boeing and KAL continue to build on a history of collaboration to offer our customers innovative solutions, grow new business, and expand Korea’s aerospace and defense industry capabilities,” said Joseph Song, vice president and managing director for Boeing’s defense, space and security business in the Republic of Korea.

The world won't wait for China to change

By Francesco Sisci 


BEIJING - Washington's aggressive pursuit of containment of China and Beijing's difficulty in launching major economic and political reforms will likely prove an explosive mixture. Meanwhile, Japan, India, and other Asian powers exploit the logic of "two ovens". 

The 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was to be the springboard for economic and political renewal in the world's second power. Many Chinese - and others - hoped it would mark the beginning of a new era of reform. 

The main challenge was, and remains, the fate of state-owned industries (state-owned enterprises, SOEs), which are often controlled or influenced by top party leaders or their families. The reform and even partial privatization of SOEs would on the one hand promote growth and expand the economic base of China with a view to better distribution of wealth and consumption. On the other, it could be accompanied by a gradual opening to democratic competition in the political system, which is still dominated by the party-state. 

Democracy and the rule of law, albeit in a Chinese cloak, would give greater guarantees primarily to private investors, domestic and foreign. On the geopolitical level, they would rein in the crisis of negative propaganda coming from America, Europe, and China's Asian neighbors - especially India, Japan, and Vietnam - condemning the closed-off authoritarian regime in Beijing and keeping China under constant pressure. 

But the harshness of the political struggle that preceded and accompanied the ascent of the new Chinese communists leadership at the recent congress has slowed the momentum of reformers. After outgoing supreme leader Hu Jintao decided to leave all the posts, including that of president of the strategic Central Military Commission, the balance found by the new secretary-general and the next president, Xi Jinping, who seems open to reform, must take into account the resistance of conservatives. 

Pakistan and boorishness in the guise of diplomacy for peace

By Shankkar Aiyar
15th December 2012

It was Benjamin Franklin who famously said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Some guests, it would seem, stink on arrival. Rehman Malik, the Minister for Interior from Pakistan visiting India, transcended levels and created a new low in this dialogue of the deaf with his utterances. 

On Friday, he declared on arrival the level of his intellect and the honesty of his intent with a string of statements. Captain Saurabh Kalia, who died of torture by the Pakistani Army during the Kargil War, he said may have died of a bullet or the weather. The evidence delivered by India against LeT chief Hafiz Saeed was dismissed as mere “information”. Malik then went on to say “we want no 26/11, no Samjhauta blast, no Bombay blasts, no Babri Masjid demolition” and advised India to “forget the dark days of the past and move ahead”. His brief was clear: obfuscate the facts of what was done to the war hero, deny the role of the arms of the Pakistani state in sponsoring terrorism repeatedly and persist with the artifice of non-state actors to shirk responsibility. To ask India to forget— while Pakistan will remember at will—is nothing but barbarism in the guise of diplomacy for peace. 

Imagine this. Malik goes to Washington. In a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he says, “We don’t want another 9/11” and in the same sentence justifies the attack by alluding to US foreign policy position on the Israeli-Palestine dispute casually as the causative of a horrific consequence of terrorism. Imagine Malik telling the Americans to “forget the past and move ahead” and drop the drone campaign to hunt for terrorists. Would he have got away with it? 

India-China ‘battle for Buddha’ reaches Myanmar


Anirban Bhaumik New Delhi, Dec 14, 2012, DHNS 

The India-China “battle for Buddha” has now reached Myanmar, with New Delhi sponsoring an International Conference on Buddhist Cultural Heritage in Yangon over the weekend, while Beijing has since last year been trying to leverage the legacy of “Shakya Muni” to connect with the religious majority in its south-western neighbour. 

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will join Myanmar’s Vice-President U Sai Mauk to inaugurate the international conference at Sitagu International Buddhist Academy in Yangon on Saturday. The three-day conclave is expected to bring together Buddhist scholars, not only from India and Myanmar, but also from other countries in the region, like Cambodia, Lao PDR, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia. The Indian government is co-sponsoring the event along with the ministry of religious affairs of Myanmar.

A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday stated that Khurshid would also attend a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a 15-foot-statue of Gautama Buddha in Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist shrine in Myanmar. India had gifted the statue to Myanmar during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the neighbouring country last May.

India’s move to bring Buddha at the centre of its cultural engagement with Myanmar is intended to reach out to the country’s 89 per cent people, who practice Theravada Buddhism. And it came apparently in response to communist China’s move to invoke Buddha to widen its influence in Myanmar. 

China in November 2011 sent the Buddha’s tooth relic preserved and worshipped at Lingguang Si Temple in Beijing to Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and other cities of Myanmar. A large number of people offered obeisance to the sacred relic for more than 40 days and China’s state-controlled media widely reported ceremonial processions and rituals held across Myanmar for several weeks. Beijing followed it up with an agreement between Lingguang Si Temple and the Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon for religious ties.

The RMA with Chinese Characteristics in the Future Security Environment

By Timothy Thomas

China’s ongoing Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is often defined as strategic thinking based on “Chinese characteristics.” Chinese characteristics, according to Hu Jintao, appear to include the informatization of the military system, to include military weaponry and equipment, theory, training, management, logistics, and political work. This focus somewhat follows a 1997 Chinese Military Affairs Dictionary definition of the RMA as “a reflection of qualitative changes in military technology, weapons and equipment, unit structure, war fighting methods, and military thought and theory.” Other Chinese RMA characteristics stressed by Hu and others include military reform and science and technology innovation, the latter described not only as the decisive factor and core competency of a modern military but also as the precursor and soul of the RMA. These advances shift China’s combat power generation model to one that relies on science and technology innovation in the opinion of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). 

Advancing the RMA is a strategic task whose goal is to control the strategic initiative in international military competition. In 2011 these RMA goals were advanced, according to a Nanfang Zhoumo Online article that stated that the General Staff created or reorganized three departments, the Informatization Department, the Strategic Planning Department, and the Military Training Department. These departments, according to the authors, provide the top-down design for military reform and innovation, and they help coordinate military-wide strategic planning and information command and control support. They serve as future design blueprints for seizing decisive opportunities and advantages, and they help build an informatized military that can seize the initiative and win local wars under informatized conditions. Accelerating the RMA transformation and improving joint operations through the establishment of system-of-systems (SoS) capabilities allows for responding to multiple security threats. To adapt to the world’s RMA, Hu Jintao stressed that the basic form of combat power is the SoS operations capability; the fundamental point of enhancing RMA capabilities is SoS capabilities; and the fundamental point of endeavor for military preparations is SoS capabilities. All of these Chinese RMA characteristics have appeared in the Chinese military press over the past two years. 

The world won't wait for China to change

By Francesco Sisci 


BEIJING - Washington's aggressive pursuit of containment of China and Beijing's difficulty in launching major economic and political reforms will likely prove an explosive mixture. Meanwhile, Japan, India, and other Asian powers exploit the logic of "two ovens". 

The 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was to be the springboard for economic and political renewal in the world's second power. Many Chinese - and others - hoped it would mark the beginning of a new era of reform. 

The main challenge was, and remains, the fate of state-owned industries (state-owned enterprises, SOEs), which are often controlled or influenced by top party leaders or their families. The reform and even partial privatization of SOEs would on the one hand promote growth and expand the economic base of China with a view to better distribution of wealth and consumption. On the other, it could be accompanied by a gradual opening to democratic competition in the political system, which is still dominated by the party-state. 

Democracy and the rule of law, albeit in a Chinese cloak, would give greater guarantees primarily to private investors, domestic and foreign. On the geopolitical level, they would rein in the crisis of negative propaganda coming from America, Europe, and China's Asian neighbors - especially India, Japan, and Vietnam - condemning the closed-off authoritarian regime in Beijing and keeping China under constant pressure. 

But the harshness of the political struggle that preceded and accompanied the ascent of the new Chinese communists leadership at the recent congress has slowed the momentum of reformers. After outgoing supreme leader Hu Jintao decided to leave all the posts, including that of president of the strategic Central Military Commission, the balance found by the new secretary-general and the next president, Xi Jinping, who seems open to reform, must take into account the resistance of conservatives. 

So next to Xi and his number-two, Li Keqiang, who have been installed at the head of the government in the Politburo Standing Committee, the inner sanctum of power, there are five older members who could be more inclined to conservatism than to accepting the risks of the reforms. However, looking at the whole Politburo, one sees also many new faces, including Sun Zhencai and Hu Chunhua (born in 1963), who are meant to rise to the highest offices of the party and the state in 2022, at the end of the decade of Xi and Li. As for the Central Committee's 205 members, 80% were born after 1950, and nine after 1960. 

Will China Have the World’s Largest Economy by 2030?


14 December 2012 

On Monday, the National Intelligence Council released its fifth “Global Trends” report. Among its conclusions, the study predicted that the Chinese economy would surpass the American one to become the world’s largest “a few years before 2030.” The report, a blend of analysis from the American intel community and experts in almost 20 other countries, is consistent with most assessments of the subject. The World Bank, for instance, made the same prediction (pdf) this year. 

As the Global Trends report notes, predicting the future is “an impossible feat,” but spotting the flaws in this report is quite easy. For one thing, its recommendations rest on a flawed premise, that “China’s current economic growth rate” is “8 to 10 percent.” Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics claims that growth in the third quarter of this year was 7.4 percent, and that calculation is highly debatable. 

By far the best indicator of Chinese economic activity is the production of electricity. In the third quarter of this year, the average monthly increase in electricity production was just 2.1 percent. And electricity growth was on a downward trend at the end of the quarter. In September, the growth of electricity was just 1.5 percent.

Because the growth of electricity historically outpaces the growth of gross domestic product, it is unlikely that China’s economic growth could have been much beyond zero during the quarter. And as bad as recent electricity numbers were, there is growing evidence, documented in the New York Times in June, that they were inflated to make the economy look better than it actually was. 

On the Front Lines of a New Pacific War

December 14, 2012 


In Seoul, 5,000 anti-base protesters joined Gangjeong villagers who had marched, over a four-week period, up the length of the nation to the capitol. Credit: Fielding Hong

On the small, spectacular island of Jeju, off the southern tip of Korea, indigenous villagers have been putting their bodies in the way of construction of a joint South Korean–US naval base that would be an environmental, cultural and political disaster. If completed, the base would hold more than 7,000 navy personnel, plus twenty warships including US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers carrying the latest Aegis missiles—all aimed at China, only 300 miles away.

The Bullies of Beijing: China’s Image Problem

December 15, 2012



Actions by the People's Republic -- intentional or not -- have created the worst regional environment for China since Tiananmen.


One of the elementary rules of foreign policy is when you are in a hole, stop digging. But judging by their recent behavior, Beijing’s foreign policy mandarins and national security establishment are clearly in violation of this rule. Despite the diplomat heat China has received for its tough stance on territorial disputes in recent months, the Chinese Foreign Ministry apparently seemed to believe that it could strengthen Chinese claims symbolically by issuing a new passport containing a map that claims the disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea and the contested territories along the Sino-Indian border. The reaction was predictable. Southeast Asian countries, particularly Vietnam and the Philippines, protested loudly. India retaliated by promising to stamp visas containing its own map on Chinese passports.

At around the same time as the diplomatic uproar over the new Chinese passport design, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) conducted its first successful landing and take-off operations from its retrofitted aircraft carrier. The televised test might have boosted the Chinese military’s image and self-confidence, but the message this event sent around the region, given China’s hardline position on territorial disputes and its neighbors’ fears of the PLA’s growing military capabilities, cannot be very reassuring. 

Long Reliant on China, Myanmar Now Turns to Japan


October 10, 2012


YANGON, Myanmar — On a street in central Yangon, the final moments of Kenji Nagai’s life were captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, an image that exemplified the brutality of military rule in Myanmar. Mr. Nagai, a Japanese journalist, was shot five years ago during a crackdown on protesters by security forces, and his death was a low point in relations between Myanmar and Japan

Now, as Myanmar seeks to shed its authoritarian past, a much different picture is emerging. Japan is rapidly ramping up its presence in the country with a heavyweight deployment of government assistance and corporate investment that is challenging China’s dominant position in Myanmar. 

One block away from the spot where Mr. Nagai was killed, on the fourth floor of City Hall, two dozen Japanese engineers are drawing up a master plan to remake the roads, telephone and Internet networks, and water supply and sewage systems of Yangon, the country’s long-neglected commercial capital. 

“Myanmar is saying, ‘Welcome! Please help us,’ ” said Ichiro Maruyama, the deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Yangon.

President Thein Sein, who traveled to Tokyo this year to plead for help, is outsourcing to the Japanese crucial parts of his drive to redevelop the country. In addition to the makeover of Yangon, a Japanese consortium has been asked to build a large industrial zone and satellite city on the city’s outskirts. 

“I’ve been somewhat astonished by the extent of the Japanese involvement and alacrity with which they’ve moved,” said Sean Turnell, an expert on Myanmar’s economy at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. 

A Competitive Turn: How increased Chinese Maritime Actions Complicate U.S Partnerships

Date: December 14, 2012

Chinese maritime actions in the East and South China Seas became increasingly competitive during 2012, further complicating U.S. efforts to fashion maritime-security coalitions and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific. This has entangled the U.S. desire to maintain freedom of the seas with its hesitance to become involved in contentious territorial disputes.

By resisting the temptation to overreact, taking a stand on excessive maritime claims, reconciling its interest in freedom of navigation with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and continuing its rebalancing to Asia, the United States can stem the repercussions from China’s assertive maritime behavior. China’s two-month standoff with the Philippine Navy at Scarborough Shoal and its incursions into territorial waters claimed by Japan represented the low points in an eventful year, which was scattered with incidents.

The velocity at which events hurtled along during the late spring and summer, however, did come as a surprise. China’s leadership may have decided the time had arrived to pursue an endgame for the territorial disputes in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, and elsewhere within the waters bounded by the “ninedashed line” that Beijing has inscribed on its map of the region. China claims “indisputable sovereignty” within the nine-dashed line, which, as of November 2012, also appears on new Chinese passports, irritating many of China’s neighbors.

Democracy takes root in Bhutan

By Medha Bisht 


As Bhutan prepares for its second-ever parliamentary elections in 2013, it can look back on five years of experimentation and internalization that have seen formal structures of democracy grow. 

Criteria for assessing the success of democratization should include gauging the growth of "effective components" of democracy. Although one often comes across the description of democracy as a "gift” (kidu) by the King, analysis reveals that the process of democratization has given rise to various stakeholders in internal politics. 

That the basic parameters of democracy are well respected shows Bhutan has passed part of the test. The Kingdom's constitution guarantees basic fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and to form associations. There is an independent media and citizens have protection from arbitrary actions of the state, particularly bodily injury and physical harm. 

There is also certainly separation of powers where different institutions like the Election Commission, the Royal Court of Justice, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Assembly and the National Council effectively guard and stand by their respective turfs. 

On electoral procedures, Bhutan has embraced the first-past-the-post system, which typically makes way for two main parties to contest the elections. However, unlike 2008, next year five political parties will compete in the vote. These are: Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party (BKP), Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT). 

The DPT is the incumbent party and has the best chances of retaining power next year, while the PDP is the main opposition. Led by Tsering Tobgay, the PDP has spoken out against various socio-economic policies being implemented by the ruling party. 

Cyber Warfare: The New Threat

Issue Vol. 26.4 Oct-Dec 2011 | Date : 14 Dec , 2012 

The cyber warriors will identify own networks weakness which will be followed up by regular patch up of vulnerabilities. In addition their actual target could include blowing up electric generators / motors; use of high power microwave to upset fly by control of combat aircraft and more. 

Some contemporary thinkers have equated Cyber-Warfare as another new form of warfare which is on par with Land, Naval and Air Warfare. This is partly reflected in USA creating a new Cyber Command headed by a General, who is also the boss of Central Security Services and Director of National Security Agency. In the 2010 strategic review of security and defense in UK, while many major defense programmes have been cut and overall defense budget is reduced by eight percent, Cyber War has been allotted £ 650 m for the period 2010-14. A significant increase indeed! 

Cyber War has become a major subset of warfare now, because the militaries and their equipments rely on many systems, each of which has computers, often many computers in each system.

After Hegemony: America's Global Exit Strategy

on 14 Dec 2012

What will America look like in a post-American world? The National Intelligence Council, with its just-released Global 2030 forecast, has become the latest voice to join the chorus of those who see U.S. hegemony giving way to a leading but less-dominant position. It is worth considering what the loss of hegemony is likely to mean for America in terms of its trade, influence, reach and voice in international forums. What impact will these and any other consequences have on the way America engages with the world, as well as on its ability to provide the kinds of leadership that make it a hegemon? And how will all this affect the ways Americans live? 

Examinations of hegemonic decline have historically focused on the world beyond the imperial center. The barbarian invaders get most of the glory and attention, with the subjects of historical empires who lived in what is called the “metropole,” that is, the imperial center or “homeland,” as understudied as the nature of these places following a hegemonic collapse. In fact, the fate of some more-recent metropoles has been relatively positive over the long run. Austria, Turkey, Britain and even Russia continue to survive as viable countries. Some of them even thrive and may offer useful lessons. Austria, for example, is a small, prosperous, secure and mainly conservative imperial successor state. So is Japan. The question is how Americans will cope with such a changed condition.

A loss of hegemony generally means a loss of access to markets and resources. In the case of the U.S., that would include the loss of global reserve status for the dollar, with implications for trade, government borrowing and interest rates. It will cost Americans more to get what they want, and, at the same time, they will have less to spend. As a result, they will have to do much more to live within their means. 

South Korea's Forgotten War

By Doyeun Kim 

Dec 14 2012

The battle over the 38th parallel is fading from memory -- even as its legacy continues to dominate life on the Peninsula. 

South Korean soldiers are seen through barbed wire at their checkpoint near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas on November 26, 2010. (Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters)

Many young South Korean men today describe the two years they are required to serve in the military as "wasted time." It is an imposition on their prime years -- when they could be getting ahead in their education, getting a job, or meeting their life partner, they spend 21 to 24 months in a sort of man camp. Of course, they are trained to defend the country from North Korea, but that is usually the third or fourth thing they mention, when asked to talk about what the military experience means for them. 

"The day I completed my service was the best day of my life by far," said Chung Minjae, 24, who served 23 months as a Korean Augmentation To the United States Army (KATUSA) at the American base in Seoul from 2008 to 2009. 

KATUSA conscripts serve alongside approximately 28,500 U.S. troops that remain stationed in South Korea today since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, in 1953. The American presence and joint operation with South Korea continue to play a major role in deterrence efforts against aggression from North Korea. 

Sex, lies and slaughter

Basharat Peer, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 15, 2012 

William Dalrymple can be deceptive. He cultivates an image of nonchalance. It is rare to see him pontificate about the difficulties of research across languages, and the art of popular history in a social setting. He is most likely to speak about a hike or a trip to Istanbul. Then, a few years pass and he has produced another tome of meticulously researched history. Dalrymple's gregarious exterior hides a disciplined writer, who disappears from public view for months, looking for unused manuscripts, finding the right translators, and typing for hours on a wooden desk in a hut in a corner of the garden of his house in Mehrauli. For his new book, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839-42, Dalrymple worked in archives in Delhi, Lahore, and Kabul, and found the most important Afghan accounts of the first British-Afghan war in an old Kabul bookshop. Here are excerpts from an interview:

What made you write this book? 

There are a lot of books about Afghanistan, but few about Afghan history. What brought me to write this book was thinking about Afghan history after rereading Peter Hopkirk's classic The Great Game. It is a bit dated and features a lot of "treacherous Orientals". Return of a King is the first book about the first Afghan war using Afghan sources, telling the stories from an Afghan point of view as well. It is the defining conflict that the Afghans remember as the source of their independence that they alone in this region never succumbed to colonial rule. 18,000 soldiers of the East India Company marched into Afghanistan in 1839 and, according to legend, one man returns alive from this debacle. The British army is destroyed at the peak of the British Empire.