6 January 2013

Battle for the soul of Pakistan

Bruce Riedel Washington DC, January 4, 2013

A blast in Karachi on Jan 1, 2013 which left 30 injured during a large political rally of the MQM.

2013 will be a pivotal year in Pakistani history. National elections, turnover at the top military position and the denouement in the war in Afghanistan; all promise to make it a critical year for a country that is both, under siege by terrorism and the center of the global jihadist movement. The changes in Pakistan are unlikely to come peacefully and will have major implications for India and America. The stakes are huge in the most dangerous country in the world.

Pakistan is a country in the midst of a long and painful crisis. According to the government, since 2001 45,000 Pakistanis have died in terrorism related violence, including 7,000 security personnel. Suicide bombings were unheard of before 9/11; there have been 300 since then. The country's biggest city, Karachi, is a battlefield. 

One measure of Pakistan's instability is that the country now has between 300 and 500 private security firms, employing 3,00,000 armed guards, most run by ex-generals. The American intelligence community's new global estimate rates Pakistan among the most likely states in the world to fail by 2030.

Pakistan also remains a state sponsor of terror. Three of the five most-wanted on America's counter-terrorism list live in Pakistan. The mastermind of the Mumbai massacre and head of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafeez Saeed, makes no effort to hide. He is feted by the army and the political elite, appears on television and calls for the destruction of India frequently and jihad against America and Israel. 

The head of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Omar, shuttles between ISI safe houses in Quetta and Karachi. The Amir of Al Qaeda, Ayman Zawahiri, is probably hiding in a villa not much different than the one his predecessor was living in, with his wives and children, in Abbottabad until May 2011.

No change in Pakistan’s Military Doctrine!

Issue Net Edition | Date : 06 Jan , 2013 

Media reports emanating from Pakistan’s civilian Government as well as from the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Army speak of an on-going review of Pakistan’s military doctrine in order to give priority to the creation of a sub-conventional warfare capability to fight domestically against non-State actors posing a threat to Pakistan’s internal security. 

The Pakistan Army is not about to give up its use of jihadi terrorism as a strategic weapon against India and its further strengthening of its nuclear and missile capability against India with Chinese assistance. We must avoid any naïve assessment of the reports from Pakistan on this subject. 

While these non-State actors have not been specifically named, it is apparent they have in mind the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) and the Baloch nationalist elements which are waging a struggle for Baloch independence. 

The Pakistan Army has not been able to prevail over any of these organisations. The TTP has maintained a capability for fighting against the Pakistani security forces in the tribal as well as non-tribal areas and there have been indications of its extending its activities to Karachi, thereby adding to the instability there. 

The LEJ continues to indulge in large-scale massacre of Shias all over Pakistan—- and particularly in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, the Kurram Agency and Karachi. The freedom struggle of the Baloch nationalists continues to gather momentum. 

The New Eyes in East Asia’s Skies

January 04, 2013 

By James Hardy 

With heightened tensions between the major players of East Asia, UAV development and purchases could offer nations in the region increased military capabilities. 

South Korea finally seems to be getting its hands on the reconnaissance drones it thinks it needs to keep an eye on its noisy neighbor to the north. 

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced in late December that Seoul is pushing ahead with its purchase of four Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawks, only 11 months after South Korean officials rejected the high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on cost grounds. 

The DSCA notification, which does not mean a sale is assured but does mean that the U.S. government has given it the green light, notes that the South Korean government requested the UAVs and that the four Global Hawks will be fitted with Raytheon's Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS), which features an electro-optical/infrared sensor turret and a synthetic aperture radar. 

The Global Hawk is in U.S. and German service (the latter under the Eurohawk name) and is one of the largest UAVs in operation. Basically an unmanned U-2, it operates from 15,240 meters to 19,810 meters (50,000 feet to 65,000 feet) and has a loiter time on station of 24+ hours. The U.S. Air Force used it to monitor the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant after the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake, while the Japanese government is also believed to have “borrowed” Global Hawks to monitor areas of the East China Sea close to Okinawa Prefecture. (Japan is also interested in buying the UAV, with reports out of Tokyo saying that two to three could be inducted by FY 2015) 

If the South Korea sale goes ahead, it will be notable for a number of reasons. First, it reverses a cancellation announced in January by the head of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Agency (DAPA). DAPA Commissioner Noh Dae-lae said the proposed $899 million cost of the four UAVs plus associated systems was prohibitive. Cost is apparently no longer an issue as the DSCA notification estimates the new deal to be worth $1.2 billion. 

Putin’s India Visit: A Review


January 4, 2013 

President Putin paid an official visit to India on 24 December 2012 as part of the 13th Annual India-Russia summit. This was his first visit to New Delhi after assuming the office of President for the third time. President Putin held detailed discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also met President Pranab Mukherjee. Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the Opposition, and Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of UPA, called on the Russian President. But there was no customary media briefing by the External Affairs Ministry prior to the summit nor was there any joint press conference of the two Heads of States. Putin’s official engagement itself was an extremely short one and got over in less than a day. 

Historically, India has shared a multidimensional and strong partnership with the Soviet Union and then with Russia. The year 2012 marks 65 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations. It is Putin who is often referred to as the main architect of the current strategic dialogue because it was under his aegis that the "Declaration of Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian Federation" was signed in the year 2000. It is against this backdrop that one needs to analyze whether Putin’s visit added any real substance and value to the strategic partnership. 

Despite the low media attention, 10 bilateral documents were signed during Putin’s visit. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an Indo-Russia Joint Investment Fund, worth US$ 2 billion, will encourage direct investment and acquisition of assets in critical infrastructural, manufacturing and hydrocarbon extraction sectors. The Joint Venture (JV) to set up a modern industrial facility for the manufacture of Russian helicopters in India will promote the development of a high technology based domestic aerospace industry. The joint collaboration to manufacture pharmaceuticals in Russia along with the IT agreement for developing software, systems integration and emergency response systems can help in producing niche products. The pilot project to assess the feasibility of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) in areas such as disaster management, telephony and long distance communications can pave the way for India to have a useful alternative for the American Global Positioning System (GPS). The two contracts for the supply of 71 Mi-17 helicopters and 42 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets worth US$ 3.5 to 4 billion were signed will give a boost to India-Russia defence cooperation. 

While there are many areas of cooperation between the two countries, yet some irritants continue to trouble the relationship. It is important to highlight some of these, which need to be addressed in order to further cement bilateral ties. 

Putin’s Very Significant 24 Hour Dash.

He Came Like Santa Claus But.......... 

IDU Analysis With Preamble 

It is jokingly said China and Russia know more about India than India knows about itself, as we are a terribly diverse nation. BJP and Congress are at each other’s throats till the next elections and courts have taken on executive functions, RTIs, PILs and Sotheby type auctions more seriously than law. The Italian killing case completed 4 months ago has no decision yet so the Marines went away to holiday in Italy. CAG has gone to town to tell us, what we knew in whispers. Rape case tells us all is not well with our Police or Democracy as Jag Suriaya explains. 

IDU is clear. Indians do not have one language in which we can cry and sing together, or read as Chinese and Russians do. Our IFS breed go from hard postings to soft postings so are not fluent in Russian and Chinese an essential ingredient in intelligence, foreign relations and research today, to know what is going on especially in China and Russia, so critical for India.

Many Russian and Chinese diplomats and staff speak better Hindi than some Indian leaders including our Presidents who broadcast their messages in English on national TV. Language will be difficult to solve and IDU feels India’s potential will not be reached till we have a national interests agreement between all political parties, despite other differences. Till then we will have reactive strategies at which we excel. Putin’s visit was just that. 

Russia’s Ambassador Kadakin is a good example who spent time in India and speaks smattering Hindi and knows many Indians. Chinese have appointed many translators in their Embassies, even as Ambassadors. In Dubai at the DUBAI PIRACY CONFERENCE earlier this year, with worldwide leaders present, the Chinese Ambassador gave his address in Arabic. Surprisingly no Indian leader accepted the invite to Dubai though India is head of the Piracy Contact Group so a Joint Secretary MEA, a rep from DG Shipping and naval commodore from Cab Sec were seen in the audience and IDU was lucky to join a top panel with Defence Minister of Somalia and Foreign Minister of Yemen on what Navies can do for Somalia which now has a Government and funds, collected in London and Istanbul and Dubai conferences. 

Connecting Asia: India Talks, China Builds

C. Raja Mohan : New Delhi, Sat Jan 05 2013, 16:35 hrs 

At the recently concluded summit in Delhi with the leaders of South East Asia, India declared its strong political commitment to improving connectivity between the two regions. 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the South East Asian leaders showed up at a celebration in the national capital to mark the conclusion of the ASEAN-India car rally. The participants in the rally drove nearly 8000 km through South East Asia and eastern India to arrive in Delhi in time for the special summit. 

If Delhi is good at declarations and symbolic gestures, Beijing has set a scorching pace for the construction of infrastructure projects and the promotion of connectivity between China and the nations across its borders. 

This week alone a clutch of mega Chinese infrastructure initiatives have been reported from South East Asia. 

In the first a large Chinese iron and steel company in Cambodia has tied up with China Railway to build a 400 km rail line to connect a green field steel plant in the northern part of the country to a port on Koh Kong, the southern commercial island in the Gulf of Thailand. 

The steel plant could cost up to $2 billion and the rail link will come at an estimated price tag of nearly $10 billion, according a report by the Reuters. Analysts following Cambodian economy say this could be the largest project ever in the nation. 

Meanwhile another Chinese company Sinomach Perfect Machinery has tied up with Cambodian Petrochemical to build an oil refinery capable of processing five million metric tons of crude oil a year. The price tag is nearly $2.5 billion. 

In the neighbouring land-locked Laos, the ‘New York Times’ reported, China has announced plans to build a high-speed train link between Kunming in the South Western Yunnan province and Vientiane, the capital of Laos. 

The cost of the 400 km railway line estimated at $7 billion will be borne by Laos. Chinese banks will lend the money. Laos is said to be pledging its national mineral wealth as collateral. 

Experts with the international development agencies have strongly criticized the deal as imposing massive future financial burden on Laos. The ruling communists in Vientiane appear to have taken a political decision in favour of the project. 

While international development experts and a few voices in Laos and Cambodia fear that the two countries are being subject to China’s ‘neo-colonialism’, there is no denying the dramatic expansion of Beijing’s influence in a critical region of South East Asia. 

Anglo-Indians: Is their culture dying out?

A product of the British Empire, with a mixture of Western and Indian names, customs and complexions, 2,000 Anglo-Indians are to attend a reunion in Calcutta. But their communities in both the UK and the subcontinent are disappearing, writes Anglo-Indian Kris Griffiths. 

Southall in west London is home to Britain's first pub accepting rupees, railway station signs in English and Punjabi, and main thoroughfares alive all year with street food stalls, colourful saris and Bhangra music. 

It's my hometown, where I spent my first 20 years among the country's most concentrated population of Indians, but as one of the minority 10% white British inhabitants. Indeed, I was the only white person on my avenue in the years before I left. 

My mother is Anglo-Indian, raised in Jamshedpur, near Calcutta, before moving eventually to London's own "Little India". After she married a Welshman, I and my siblings were born fair with blue eyes. 

About the author 
Journalist Kris Griffiths was born to a Welsh father and Anglo-Indian mother. 

He was brought up in the Indian community of Southall, in West London. 

We are symptomatic of the biggest problem facing the global Anglo-Indian community - it is dying out. In the UK and the Commonwealth, it is losing its "Indianness", while back home in India its "Anglo" element is fading. 

The definition of Anglo-Indian has become looser in recent decades. It can now denote any mixed British-Indian parentage, but for many its primary meaning refers to people of longstanding mixed lineage, dating back up to 300 years into the subcontinent's colonial past. 


Sudhir Rajput, C3S Paper No: 1089 dated January 2, 2013 

With the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, a new situation has emerged in Pakistan. Many contradictions and myths within Islam have begun to the surface. The controversial view expressed in the Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington has assumed a new significance (i). 

That is not to affirm Huntington’s viewpoint. On the other hand, the increasing pace of sectarian violence within Pakistan since 1979 serves to negate Huntington’s thesis. Similarly , the fact that Iran never supported the Taliban in another case in point. 

In the context of Pakistan, sectarian violence means conflict between the two main sects of Islam – Sunni and Shia. During the movement to establish an independent Pakistan, this was not an issue. Mohammad Ali Jinnah (founder and first Viceroy of Pakistan) was himself a Shia. 

When Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet, was assassinated in AD 660, his son Husayn was expected by some to become his successor. But the succession was contested by Amir Muawiya, who wanted to shift the Caliphate from Madina to Damascus. Amir Muawiya was a powerful man with considerable support and Husayn acquiesced in order to avoid a serious split in the young Muslim community (Umma). However, Ali’s younger son Husayn did not accept Muawiya’s right to the Caliphate. Husayn shifted to Kufa, where his father had ruled the Umma for some years(ii). 

Husayn left Madina with a handful followers to join his supporters at Kufa, but on the way he was ambushed by Yazid’s troops at Karbala. Husayn was pressurized by Yazid to recognize the superiority of Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus. But he rejected this offer and was assassinated at Karbala in AD 680(iii). Yazid was then able to establish the hereditary Umayyad dynasty. The assassination of Husayn is a key point in Shia belief, and is the subject of ritual grief and waving during the annual festival of Muharram. This violent historical episode , however, has nothing to do with the teaching of the Holy Quran. 

Despite these conflicts, sectarian violence was not a significant feature in Pakistani society. The number of Shias is disputed, but according to various sources they make up between 20% and 25% of the population. Shias are scattered across Pakistan but they are equal to Sunnis in the Jhang District of Punjab and, along with the Ismailis (similar to Shias –in social and religious rituals) are the majority in northern areas of Pakistan. Although small in numbers, Shias are influential minority in terms of possession of land property, education and their comparatively liberal attitudes in comparison with their Sunni brethren. 


By admin on January 2, 2013 

2013-01-02 (China Military News by China-defense-mashup) — In recent Chinese CCTV military news report, China has develop a new air combat simulation system for PLA Air Force. It is interesting that TV screen show that the single unit of simulation is marked with Chinese and Indian national flags. This may indicate that Chinese Air Force has eyed Indian air power as its main counterpart. 

This so-called “Air Force tactical level combat simulation system” is co-developed by Air Force Command College and Sichuan Wisesoft Co.,Ltd. including 4 sub-systems: air combat simulation, Tactics Research, Tactical command confrontation and AWACS simulation. This new system builds a platform for multi-level and real-time air combat simulation for pilots to be familiar with modern air war in context of information age. Besides, this system will help Chinese Air Force to dig new theory and doctrines for its strategic power transformation. 

Huang Anxiang, the engineer of PLA Air Force Command College Training Center, introduces that the simulation system can be easily converted into the corresponding fighters or attackers, such as J-10, J-11, Q-5 and JH-7. The Pilots can be turned from rookie to be “ACE” in the shortest time to fully play the greatest effectiveness of combat aircraft and other weapons. The interface of simulation system 

In recent years, China has built and converted five large strategic airports near the Sino-Indian border, which are all high-grade airport for large transport aircraft taking off and landing. 

Nyingchi Airport: located at the Mainling territory’s Brahmaputra valley and only kilometers from the southern Tibet Sino-Indian border area. China started construction in October 2003, a total investment of 780 million yuan, 2,949 meters above sea level. Nyingchi Airport opened at the end of 2005. 

Shigatse Pingan airport: Shigatse Pingan airport’s location is near the highway of China and Nepal border. From Shigatse Pingan airport, people can easily reach of the Himalayas Mountain area. Airport is 3782m above sea level. Shigatse Pingan airport opened at the October, 2010. 

TV screen show that the single unit of simulation is marked with Chinese and Indian national flags 

U.S. Intelligence's New Year's Wish

January 5, 2013

Think of it as a simple formula: if you've been hired (and paid handsomely) to protect what is, you're going to be congenitally ill-equipped to imagine what might be. And yet the urge not just to know the contours of the future, but to plant the Stars and Stripes in that future has had the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) in its grip since the mid-1990s. That was the moment when it first occurred to some in Washington that U.S. power might be capable of controlling just about everything worth the bother globally for, if not an eternity, then long enough to make the future American property. 

Ever since, every few years the National Intelligence Council (NIC), the IC's "center for long-term strategic analysis," has been intent on producing a document it calls serially Global Trends [fill in the future year]. The latest edition, out just in time for Barack Obama's second term, is Global Trends 2030. Here's one utterly predictable thing about it: it's bigger and more elaborate than Global Trends 2025. And here's a prediction that, hard as it is to get anything right about the future, has a 99.9% chance of being accurate: when Global Trends 2035 comes out, it'll be bigger and more elaborate yet. It'll cost more and still, like its predecessor, offer a hem for every haw, a hedge for every faintly bold possibility, a trap-door escape from any prediction that might not stick.

None of this should be surprising. In recent years, with a $75 billion collective budget, the IC, that historically unprecedented labyrinth of 17 intelligence agencies and outfits, has been one of Washington's major growth industries. In return for almost unfettered funding and a more-than-decade-long expansion of its powers, it's promised one thing to the American people: safety, especially from "terrorism." As part of a national security complex that has benefitted enormously from a post-9/11 lockdown of the country and the creation of a permanent war state, it also suffers from the classic bureaucratic disease of bloat. 

So no one should be shocked to discover that its forays into an anxiety-producing future, which started relatively modestly in 1997, have turned into ever more massive operations. In this fifth iteration of the series, the authors have given birth to a book-length paean to the future and its dangers. 

For this, they convened groups of "experts" in too many American universities to count, consulted too many individual academics to name despite pages of acknowledgements, and held "meetings on the initial draft in close to 20 countries." In other words, a monumental effort was made to mount the future and reassure Washington that, while a "relative economic decline vis-à-vis the rising states is inevitable," the coming decades might still prove an American plaything (even if shared, to some extent, with China and those rising powers). 

Will this be the year that Israel goes to war with Iran?

By Daniel Serwer 
January 3, 2013 
Israel did not bomb Iran last year. Why should it happen this year? 

Because it did not happen last year. The Iranians are proceeding apace with their nuclear program. The Americans are determined to stop them. Sanctions are biting, but the diplomatic process produced nothing visible in 2012. Knowledgeable observers believe there is no “zone of possible agreement.” Both the United States and Iran may believe that they have viable alternatives to a negotiated agreement. 

While Israel has signaled that its “red line” (no nuclear weapons capability) won’t be reached before mid-2013, it seems likely it will be reached before the end of the year. President Barack Obama has refused to specify his red line, but he has made it amply clear that he prefers intensified sanctions and eventual military action to a nuclear Iran that needs to be contained and provides incentives for other countries to go nuclear. If and when he takes the decision for war, there is little doubt about a bipartisan majority in Congress supporting the effort. 

Still, attitudes on the subject have shifted in the past year. Some have concluded that the consequences of war with Iran are so bad and uncertain that every attempt should be made to avoid it. Most have also concluded that Israel could do relatively little damage to the Iranian nuclear program. It might even be counter-productive, as the Iranians would redouble their efforts. The military responsibility lies with President Obama. 

There has been a recent flurry of hope that the Iranians are preparing to come clean on their past nuclear weapons activities, which could be a prelude to progress on the diplomatic track. The issue is allegedly one of timing and sequencing: the Iranians want sanctions relief up front. The Americans want to see enrichment to 20 percent stopped and the enriched material shipped out of the country, as well as a full accounting for past activities, before considering any but minor sanctions relief. Some would also like to see dismantling of the hardened enrichment plant at Fordow. 


By James R. Holmes 

Is it true that the United States, India, and other outsiders harbor no territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea? 

Not strictly. 

That may be what official policy says, and the motives behind such self-denying statements are doubtless sincere. Washington and other stakeholders have no claims to land features, the waters immediately adjoining them, or the airspace above. But here’s the rub. Every seafaring nation has a territorial claim to regional waters and skies beyond the 12-nautical-mile limit prescribed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. These expanses belong to no one, and everyone. 

Beijing defines offshore waters as “blue national soil.” If that’s more than a catchy phrase, it envisions exercising the absolute territorial sovereignty at sea that governments exercise within their land frontiers. It would reserve the right to infringe on freedom of navigation. (And yes, of course there are a few other outliers that make similar claims. But they’re too weak to pose more than a nuisance.) By custom and international covenant, the global commons belongs to no one. It is blue international soil, open to unfettered commercial and military use by all nations and off-limits to ownership by any. 

The commons must remain the commons, lest the system of liberal trade and commerce collapse on itself. All nations have an interest in preventing any contender from fencing off parts of the maritime domain. 

What can guardians of free navigation do about this challenge? Channeling Clausewitz, Sir Julian Corbett would describe this as a contest of negative object, an endeavor aimed at keeping an adversary from taking something. In wartime, negative aims bestow certain advantages on the defender, who mostly wants to frustrate his opponent. But the advantages of protecting the status quo are less pronounced in peacetime strategic competition. In fact, the initiative and passion probably go to the antagonist entertaining a positive aim—the antagonist intent on wresting something away. He has the incentive to amend or overturn what looks like an unjust state of affairs. Otherwise he would never have opened the struggle in the first place. 

And perhaps most critically, it’s hard for custodians of the status quo to turn the tables, seizing the offensive in peacetime competition. Corbett proclaims that “true defensive” is not passive defense—parrying an enemy’s blows without seeking offensive action—but biding one’s time while awaiting a chance to strike. That idea is readily intelligible in wartime. A combatant waging “active defense” looks for opportunities to use his forces to land a heavy counterpunch. The process isn’t so straightforward in peace. If Beijing keeps asserting title to the waters and airspace within the nine-dashed line, for instance, and if it deploys ships and aircraft to uphold its claim, what precisely would be the equivalent to a wartime counterattack?