28 January 2013

A policy of denial and defiance

28 Jan , 2013

Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani 

What is with Pakistan’s rulers? Have they made their state a state in denial or are they themselves in a state of denial? It was both interesting and disturbing to see speakers from Pakistan coming on Indian TV channels with only one slogan: Deny and Defy. 

…this means that the Pakistan state will continue to nurture, train, equip and send these jehadis into Kashmir and this justifies the killing of innocent citizens and non-combatants. 

It was like playing one of those class 5 school cricket matches where the umpire was from the batting side. Instructions to him used to be that LBW was not out. A snick behind the stumps or a run out, could be a maybe; acceptable when there were no alternatives left. That is how the debate has been childishly denying wrongdoing, being petulant and insensitive, blaming the victim and then threatening with continued misbehaviour. 

There was a time when many nostalgic Indians romanced about a Greater India. That romance evaporated long ago, no one thinks about this anymore. The reality is that we are now two different nations on two different trajectories. Let us stay that way, happy or otherwise but reconciled to be being good, if not cordial, neighbours. Surely this should be attainable. 

There are however two main problems that negate this hope. One is the typical response to the Indian assertion that Pakistan harbours persons like Hafiz Saeed and Abdur Rehman Makki for terrorism against India is that there would be a thousand Hafiz Saeeds and Makkis if the Kashmir issue is not ‘settled’. Translated, this means that the Pakistan state will continue to nurture, train, equip and send these jehadis into Kashmir and this justifies the killing of innocent citizens and non-combatants. Pakistan cannot hold this threat of use of terrorists against India, say that these terrorists are not under the control of the state and then talk of peace. 

New military systems brighten Republic Day parade

By Ajai Shukla
26 Jan 2013

This year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi, a traditional showcase for India’s defence arsenal, featured an unusually large number of brand new military systems. At the very start four brand new Mi-17V5 helicopters flew past carrying the national flag, and these were followed by several other systems that were making their debut before the public.

This is noteworthy, given the flak that the defence ministry (MoD) has taken for endemic delays in procuring equipment for modernising the ageing military. But now, after years of restructuring its procurement institutions and regulations, the MoD appears to be delivering much-needed weaponry to the three services.

The most eye-popping new system on display today was the Agni-5 ballistic missile, which can carry a thermo-nuclear warhead to a target 5000 kilometres away. The giant 17.5-metre long, 50-tonne, three-stage missile rolled down Rajpath (New Delhi’s presidential avenue) on a special launcher vehicle built by a private Indian company. The Agni-5, built by the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) was successfully tested last April. After 2-3 more successful tests it will join the Strategic Forces Command.

The DRDO’s success in missile development was reflected in the awards won by three top DRDO scientists. Dr VK Saraswat, the DRDO chief and Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, a key member of India’s missile development programmes for decades, was awarded the Padma Bhushan. So too was Dr Sivathanu Pillai, who oversees the Brahmos cruise missile programme, while Dr Avinash Chander, the DRDO’s chief controller of missile development, was awarded the Padma Shri.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) was relieved to display, even though it was a scaled-down model, the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft that was recently procured from Swiss manufacturer, Pilatus, for Rs 1,800 crore. With the IAF’s basic trainer fleet of HPT-32 Deepak aircraft grounded after the deaths of 19 pilots in 17 crashes, this basic trainer aircraft will fill a crucial gap.

Jharkhand: Little Respite

By Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
28 Jan 2013

On October 8, 2012, Jharkhand formally launched a special security operation against People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in Khunti, Simdega, and Gumla Districts. Personnel from Central reserve Police Force (CRPF) including Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), Jharkhand Jaguar and Jharkhand Armed Police are participating in the offensive. This is the first time in the State that the CRPF has been involved in an operation against a Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) group other than the CPI-Maoist, though the State Police have, on earlier occasions, launched offensives against LWE groups other than the CPI-Maoist. The current offensive recognizes the growing threat from PLFI.

As on October 13, however, the offensive was yet to produce any significant success. S. N. Pradhan, Inspector General of Police, Special Branch (IG-SB), and spokesperson Jharkhand Police stated, "The rebels seem to have either left the jungles or gone underground. Around 12 active members of the PLFI have been arrested from the three Districts." PLFI ‘zonal commanders’ Jidan Gudiya and Jetha Kashyap, and ‘area commander’ Tilkeshwar Gope, were reportedly ‘surrounded’, but managed to escape.

Earlier, PLFI ‘sub-zonal commander’ Mangal Nagesiya had called a bandh (general shutdown) on October 9 and 10 in Gumla and Simdega Districts against the operation. However, the bandh received lukewarm response, though a bus was set ablaze at the Gumla bus stand on October 11 by PLFI cadres.

Unconfirmed media reports claim that suspected PLFI cadres have killed 96 persons in Khunti District over the past 10 months.

Incidents involving PLFI: 2006-2012

Years
Total No of LWE Incidents in Jharkhand
Incidents by PLFI
2006
307
3
2007
478
54
2008
436
85
2009
512
63
2010
496
72
2011
504
76
2012*
300
85
Source: Jharkhand Police, *Data till September, 2012

Major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities), in which PLFI has been involved, include:

Information Technology Act Section 66(A): An Analysis

27 Jan 2013


In the past few months, there has been widespread debate on the use of amended Information Technology Act 2000 (now IT Act 2008) section 66 (A) which relates to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The arrests of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahaptra, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi and businessman Ravi Srinivasan over cartoons or tweets posted in the social media have been widely discussed in the media. The arrest of two girls, Shaheen Dhada and her friend Rini Shrinivasan, in Palghar, Maharashtra, for posting comments criticising the bandh after Shiv Sena leader’s death also drew wide public condemnation. The above incidents occurred in the year gone by but an incident of 2011 also led to the arrest in May 2012, of two men from Mumbai, Mr K.V. Rao and Mr Mayank for allegedly posting offensive comments against some Congress leaders on their Facebook group. The two accused had shared a joke and distorted a political party's election flag to express their angst against the politicians. These incidents highlight not only the prickliness of Indian political parties but also the willingness of the law enforcement agencies to dance to their master’s tunes. 

The arrests of Shaheen and Rini for their personal innocuous comments on Facebook reflect a clear case of abuse of authority. The girls were neither disrespecting anyone nor were they promoting hatred towards any community. It was just expression of an opinion that there was no need for Mumbai to be shut down due to death of a leader. A certain section of the society, particularly the followers of a popular leader may not agree with this opinion. But this did not make a proper case for the arrest of two girls under IPC section 295A {later changed to IPC Section 505(2)} and the IT Act Section 66(A). Legal experts have opined that these arrests have led to curbing the freedom of speech which is fundamental to and the fulcrum of our democracy. To quote Supreme Court Counsel C A Sundaram“Freedom comes in expressing something that displeases you”. 

After the eruption of the controversy, the government has issued an advisory to states on how to implement the controversial Section 66(A) of the IT Act. No less than a police officer of a rank of DCP will be allowed to permit registration of a case under provisions of the Information Technology Act that deals with spreading hatred through electronic messages. In the case of metropolitan cities, such an approval would have to come at the level of Inspector General of Police. To quote "...the concerned police officer or police station may not register any complaints (under IT Act Section 66 (A)) unless he has obtained prior approval at the level of an officer not below the DCP rank in urban and rural areas and IG level in metros." This however is unlikely to resolve the problem. Given the fact that political discourse and influence, or even a surcharged atmosphere about some issues often dictates how the apparatus of the state behaves, Section 66A will continue to be open to misuse. 

Cooperation Between India and Bangladesh on Control of Arsenic Poisoning

January 28, 2013

Bangladesh and India are substantially affected by arsenic poisoning of ground water. The magnitude of the problem is very acute in the case of Bangladesh, with nearly 85 million out of 125 plus million and 59 out of 64 districts affected by this scourge. In India, in the adjoining state of West Bengal, nine districts and more than six million people are similarly facing this problem. According to UN organs and agencies like WHO and FAO, one third of the people in the Bengal basin are affected by arsenic poisoning of ground water. Against this backdrop, there is a dire need for India and Bangladesh to work together in the field of health and medical research to devise expedient measures to contain this menace. 

Arsenic poisoning of ground water is the result of extensive use of tube wells for drawing water for drinking and irrigation purposes as well as from failure to institute adequate measures at the macro, intra- and inter-basin levels for ensuring need-based river water flows. The failure by India and Bangladesh to: a) adopt a broad regional approach for water management and b) ensure that river water flows are maintained in tandem with economic needs of the people and sustenance of their livelihoods has been the basic cause behind the underground aquifers not being properly recharged. This, in turn, has led to the increase of arsenic content in the ground water tapped through tube wells. 

Though Bangladesh is relatively more affected by the phenomenon of arsenic poisoning than India, given the number of people and expanse of territory affected as well as the scientific and technical resources available to it, India could give a lead in working out a joint programme in mission-mode. Another reason why India needs to take the lead is because arsenic poisoning was first identified in India (the first arsenicosis patient was diagnosed in West Bengal in 1983) in the early 1980s. Moreover, institutions like the School of Environmental Sciences of Jadavpur University at Kolkata are already engaged in research to work out arsenic-remediation measures that can be socially embedded and are viable and sustainable harmoniously with socio-economic policies of governments and does not detract from the efficacy of programmes to increase agricultural productivity and food security. The national governments of India and Bangladesh need to consciously attune their policies to contain this health hazard induced by over more- than- two decades of insidious poisoning of ground water. 

Special Commentary: India and Bhutan

By Dil Bahadur Rahut & Medha Bisht
28 Jan 2013

His Majesty Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan is visiting India and was the chief guest at India's 64th Republic Day parade on 26 January 2013. This follows an earlier visit (in January 2013) by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Bhutan. 

How important is Bhutan to India and vice-versa? What are the contemporary issues between the two countries? 

India and Bhutan: Natural Partners

Owing to their geographic location, Bhutan and India are natural partners and their future is inseparable. The economic and political relationship between the two countries however underwent a paradigmatic shift after the visit of Jawaharlal Nehru to Bhutan in 1958 who undertook a strenuous week long trip on a horse back to Bhutan. Infact Nehru in his famous speech at Paro framed the parameters of Indo-Bhutan relations. He said, India and Bhutan “were members of the same Himalayan family and should live as friendly neighbours helping each other.” During the visit, Nehru discussed prospects of Indo-Bhutan bilateral ties including opportunities for Bhutan’s socio-economic development. Nehru’s friendly and candid gesture paved the way for Bhutan’s pro active engagement with India. Bhutan policy choice was further expedited by China’s aggressive posturing on territorial issues particularly during the 1950s (1954, 1958 and 1961) when China published maps showing Bhutan’s territory as part of China. 

Although, the trade relations between the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal dates back to colonial period , it witnessed new dimension since 1961 with the launch of first five year plan of Bhutan. Today India stands as Bhutan’s largest development partner. While bilaterally the partnership has broadened over a variety of issue areas, trust and good will between both countries has only deepened. With India being the destination for over 90 per cent of Bhutanese export and source of import for over 70% of total imports, trade relations between both countries are only growing. Given the long and open borders, huge informal trade is also taking place between the two countries. 

Which Way Did the Taliban Go?

The village was abandoned. Streets deserted. Houses empty. Behind the central mosque rose a steep escarpment. Behind the escarpment mountains upon mountains. Up there — above the timberline, among the peaks — a white Taliban flag whipped in the wind. Several Afghan soldiers were admiring it when a stunted and contorted person emerged from an alley. Dressed in rags, he waved a hennaed fist at them and wailed. Tears streamed down his face. Most of the soldiers ignored him. Some laughed uncomfortably. A few jabbed their rifles at his chest and simulated shooting. The man carried on undeterred — reproaching them in strange tongues. 

A truck pulled up, and Lt. Col. Mohammad Daowood, the battalion commander, stepped out. Everyone waited to see what he would do. Daowood is a man alive to his environment and adept at adjusting his behavior by severe or subtle degrees. He can transform, instantaneously, from empathetic ally to vicious disciplinarian. To be with him is to be in constant suspense over the direction of his mood. At the same time, there is a calculation to his temper. You feel it is always deliberately, never capriciously, employed. This only adds to his authority and makes it impossible to imagine him in a situation of which he is not the master. A flicker of recognition in the deranged man’s eyes suggested that he intuited this. He approached Daowood almost bashfully; only as he closed within striking range did he seem to regain his lunatic energy, emitting a low, threatening moan. We waited for Daowood to hit him. Instead, Daowood began to clap and sing. Instantly, the man’s face reorganized itself. Tearful indignation became pure, childish joy. He started to dance. 

Myanmar-China Relations Post Myitsone Suspension

Paper No. 5380, By C. S. Kuppuswamy 
28-Jan2013 

This paper may please be read in conjunction with Paper No. 4833 dated 29.12.2011 “Myanmar Balancing Relations with US and China” by the same author. 

Introduction 

There is a perceptible shift in Myanmar’s China policy since the suspension of Myitsone dam (being built by China in the Kachin State) in September 2011. According to analysts, the anti-China sentiment in Myanmar which has been there at the people’s level for a long time, has now pervaded into the Tatmadaw (armed forces) as well as the government. In fact the Chinese domination of Myanmar in all spheres is being touted as the main factor for Myanmar’s opening up to the US and other Western nations. However Myanmar is still heavily dependent upon China and China too has high stakes in Myanmar. 

People’s Reaction 

The people who were under many restrictions till last year have begun to give vent to their feelings on the anti-China sentiments especially in the areas where Chinese projects are underway. Now with the liberalisation of rules, freedom to strike work, form unions, stage demonstrations and protests there is public display of this anti-China sentiment. This was noticed in the case of the copper mine at Letpadaung (Monywa) being run by Wan Bao Company, a subsidiary of Norinco, as well as in some areas where the Chinese constructed dual (oil and gas) pipelines are passing through. The main greivances are land grabbing, inadequate compensation, migrant labour instead of employing locals, environmental damage and lack of social, cultural and educational amenities. 

Myanmar Government 

Despite seeking fresh sources for trade, investment and infrastructural needs from the Western nations, Myanmar is still very cautious in its dealings with China and makes repeated overtures to indicate that relations with China will continue to be as before and China’s interests in Myanmar will not be jeopardised. 

This was evident from a violent crackdown on the peaceful protesters on 29 November, 2012 by the government’s security forces at the Monywa copper mine run by a Chinese company. Several people including a few monks were injured, some with severe burns indicative of incendiary bombs being used. Aung Min, a minister attached to the President’s office who visited the mines publicly admitted “we are afraid of China…. If China asks for compensation, even the Myitsone Dam shut down would cost US $ 3 billion”. 

Will Western Intervention For Africa’s Minerals Also Check Mate China?

Saeed Naqvi
25.01.2013


The escalating conflict in Mali can best be understood if we pick up the narrative from NATO action in Libya.

Just when the Europeans were salivating on Libya, the Americans showed an early aversion to another adventure, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

The International Herald Tribune published a quarter page cartoon. Hatted European gents are sipping Campari under an umbrella. Uncle Sam, looking rather like a butler, reports, “there’s a fire next door”. One European, snapping his fingers, orders “don’t just stand there. Go put out the fire”. So, the US and NATO came in.

There were a dozen reasons why Qaddafi had to be killed. One of these was the Libyan strongman’s extensive influence in all of Africa, from the 70s when wars of National Liberation were in vogue. His influence extended from the remarkable intellectual Hasan Turabi in Sudan to the somewhat thuggish Charles Taylor in Liberia and beyond. Turabi was imprisoned. Taylor, ofcourse, was tried for war crimes and jailed. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with a Postgraduate degree from the US, (Like Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia) was installed President in 2006 for two terms of six years each. She has proceeded to outsource all logging and mining businesses. Democracy is on the march.

Likewise, when I turned up at El Fasher to see relief operations in Darfur, I expected to meet Africans since the African Union was managing relief camps. Instead I was introduced to Col. George D’Vione, a Frenchman who greeted me with great authority. He was as surprised by an Indian journalist in Darfur as I was meeting a Frenchman wearing an African union hat. It turned out he was representing the European Union on the AU’s ceasefire commission for Darfur.

Earlier I had met Brig. David Richards in Sierra Leone. He proceeded to become Britain’s Army Chief. Years ago Mrs. Thatcher’s son Mark Thatcher was placed under house arrest in Cape Town for attempting a coup in Equatorial Guinea with the help of Africans aching to be recolonized.

More recently, UN envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, has been making ominous statements. “It would be a serious miscalculation to believe that the status quo can last. “He said the threat to the status quo came from “extremists, terrorist and criminal elements in the Sahel region”.

INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO URBAN OPERATIONS

27 Jan 2013


This manual is designed primarily for the intelligence staffs and soldiers of units conducting intelligence support to operations in the urban environment. It can also be used by commanders, staffs, and intelligence personnel at all echelons, and applies equally to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and the United States Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.

With the continuing growth in the world’s urban areas and increasing population concentrations in urban areas, the probability that the US Army will conduct full spectrum operations in urban environments is evermore likely. As urbanization has changed the demographic landscape, potential enemies recognize the inherent danger and complexity of this environment to the attacker, and may view it as their best chance to negate the technological and firepower advantages of modernized opponents. Given the global population trends and the likely strategies and tactics of future threats, Army forces will likely conduct operations in, around, and over urban areas—not as a matter of fate, but as a deliberate choice linked to national security objectives and strategy. Stability operations––where keeping the social structure, economic structure, and political support institutions intact and functioning or having to almost simultaneously provide the services associated with those structures and institutions is the primary mission––may dominate urban operations. This requires specific and timely intelligence support, placing a tremendous demand on the Intelligence warfighting functions for operations, short-term planning, and long-term planning. 

Providing intelligence support to operations in the complex urban environment can be quite challenging and may at first seem overwhelming. The amount of detail required for operations in urban environments, along with the large amounts of varied information required to provide intelligence support to these operations, can be daunting. Intelligence professionals must be flexible and adaptive in applying doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) based on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, and civil considerations (METT-TC).

As with operations in any environment, a key to providing good intelligence support in the urban
environment lies in identifying and focusing on the critical information required for each specific mission. The complexity of the urban environment requires focused intelligence, and a comprehensive framework must be established to support the commander’s requirements while managing the vast amount of information and intelligence required for urban operations. By addressing the issues and considerations listed in this manual, the commander, G-2/S-2, and intelligence analyst will be able to address most of the critical aspects of the urban environment and identify both the gaps in the intelligence collection effort and those systems and procedures that may answer them. This will assist the commander in correctly identifying enemy actions so that US forces can focus on the enemy and seize the initiative while
maintaining an understanding of the overall situation

Critical Questions for 2013: Defense and Security

By Maren LeedClark A. MurdockAnthony H. CordesmanCarl W. Baker, Kelley Sayler, and Stephanie Spies 
Jan 25, 2013 
In Critical Questions 2013 CSIS's world class experts give their take on what they see as the most pressing challenges facing the world in 2013. Transitions in U.S. defense policy, regional flashpoints, and global-scale issues are likely to dominate what will be another year of international transformation. Read below to find the answers to next year's most critical questions on Defense and Security or follow the links to find additional answers. 


Maren Leed, senior adviser, Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies and Ground Forces Dialogue 

Clark Murdock, senior adviser and director, Project on Nuclear Issues
Kelley Sayler, research associate, Defense and National Security Group 

Carl Baker, director of programs, Pacific Forum CSIS 

Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy 

Clark Murdock, senior adviser and director, Project on Nuclear Issues 
Stephanie Spies, research assistant and program coordinator, Project on Nuclear Issues 

US Judgement - The Shoe Bomber is sentenced


28 Jan , 2013 

Richard Colvin Reid (born 12 August 1973), also known as the Shoe Bomber, is a British citizen who attempted to detonate American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami, wearing shoes packed with explosives. In 2002 Reid pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to eight criminal counts of terrorism based on his attempt to destroy a commercial aircraft in-flight. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole (LWOP) and is held in a super maximum security prison in the United States of America. (wikipedia) 

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court. 

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. 

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,’ defiantly stating, ‘I think I will not apologise for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’ 

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. 

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below: 

Judge Young: ‘Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. 

On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That’s 80 years.) 

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. 

Making them partners in growth

Overseas Indians can help India emerge as a global power and accelerate its economic growth. Affluence and knowledge coupled with love for their roots make overseas Indians a sought-after community back home 
Prabhjot Singh
28 Jan 2013 

Overseas Indians have to play a greater role not only in helping India sustain a 7 to 8 per cent annual growth but also help it wield the role of a global power after securing a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. The message was given loud and clear not only by leaders of India but also of countries with a substantial population of Indians at the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Kochi.

Mauritius, for example, has more than half of its population of Indian origin and contributes more than 30 per cent of India’s Foreign Direct Investment besides supporting the demand for a permanent seat for India in the Security Council. Mauritius has been a committed supporter of India at all international forums. 

Act as bridges 

The President of Mauritius, Rajkeswur Purryag, exhorted overseas Indians to act as bridges between the countries of their present abode and their ancestral land to help project this great nation as a global power. A similar message was give by the first woman of Indian origin to become the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago at the 2012 PBD. 

Punjab has not held any formal census of NRIs or overseas Indians from the state. A view of a recent gathering of NRIs in Jalandhar. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal were among those present 

The overseas Indian community, credited with producing several Nobel laureates, including Hargobind Khurana, besides world-class scientists, doctors, engineers, academicians, parliamentarians, businessmen, captains of industry and sportsmen, has created a niche for itself that commands global respect and honour. It is this elite group that is being called upon to augment India’s quest to be a global knowledge leader. In the US overseas Indians reportedly have the highest per capita income among all expatriates. 

Why was Bose diminished?

M J Akbar
Jan 28, 2013

We measure power through size. Check any political poster. The boss gets the biggest face. Others in the pecking order descend till the miniature at the end.

Why was Subhas Chandra Bose struggling among the also-rans in the Bengal Republic Day tableau? Swami Vivekananda, understandably, had pride of place. But it might have been better to keep Bose out of the jumble rather than literally reduce his stature. If Bengal forgets, how long will India remember the only Indian to head a government of united India?

Bose declared independence before the British gave it in 1947. His government in exile did not have Gandhi’s sanction. It fought on the wrong side of the Second World War: but it was a proud and free government whose contribution to our freedom has been reduced by the domestic political forces he challenged.
Bose is an embarrassment to Congress because he challenged Gandhi, and was a powerful parallel icon to Nehru. Bose asked Indians to give him their blood, and he would give them freedom. Gandhi promised freedom without violence. Gandhi refused to join the British war effort in 1939; Bose went a step further, and led Indian troops on the side of the Germany-Italy-Japan axis. However, their horizon, freedom, was the same.

More than six decades later the argument might seem pedantic, and yet it is worth revisiting. Invaluable Indian blood and treasure helped Britain win the First World War. After victory, Britain reneged on its commitment to Indian self-rule within the empire without batting an eyelid. Instead of dominion status, Indians got vicious brutality at Jallianwala Bagh and the pernicious Rowlatt Act.

It is not generally known that Gandhi was not a pacifist: he served on British frontlines in the Boer and Zulu wars in South Africa, and was very eager to lead a medical unit to the killing fields of France in 1914, at the onset of the First World War. In 1918, Gandhi worked so hard as a recruiting agent for the British army, urging Gujaratis to prove they were not “effeminate” by picking up a gun, that he almost died of exhaustion.

Pivoting towards Asia

Australian and American style 
by P. R. Chari
28 Jan 2013

A shorthand description of the common objectives but contrasting styles of American and Australian foreign policies would be to note that what the United States does today the Australians will do tomorrow, but in an exaggerated manner.

The American and Australian responses to India’s nuclear tests in 1998 might be recollected. The United States was greatly miffed with India and took the lead in widening the sanctions against India’s civilian nuclear programme. But Australia went further to break off its relations with India and expelling Indian officers doing courses in Australia’s military educational institutions. 

Australia’s behaviour is entirely explicable. During the Cold War its dependence on the United States was complete. It joined all the anti-eastern bloc military alliances promoted by Washington. They included ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and United States) that continued between 1952 and 1986. Also, SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation) comprising Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, which functioned between 1954 and 1977. Both these Treaties were designed to provide for mutual defence of the signatories. And ANZUS and SEATO were unequivocally focused against China and the former Soviet Union. 

Proceeding further, Australia has been unapologetic about its dependence on the United States. But there are nuanced differences in how this dependency relationship is perceived by its western and eastern regions. Briefly, the populous western and southern states have a Pacific orientation, and are more greatly inclined towards the United States. But eastern Australia looks expectantly towards Asia. Canberra is constantly balancing these domestic imperatives in framing its foreign policy. The rise of China, alongside the decline of American power, but renewed aggressiveness by both countries in seeking their national security has necessitated rethinking in Australia’s worldview and foreign policy. 

Eyeing rich bounty, China in line for Afghan role

By DENIS D. GRAY
26 Jan 2013



Associated Press/Musadeq 
Sadeq - ADVANCE FOR
SUNDAY JAN. 27 - In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 photo, An Afghan customer looks at clothes made in China in Kabul, Afghanistan. China, long a bystander to the …more 

KABUL (AP) China, long a bystander to the conflict in Afghanistan, is stepping up its involvement as U.S.-led forces prepare to withdraw, attracted by the country's vast mineral resources but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own territory. 

Cheered on by the U.S. and other Western governments, which see Asia's giant as a potentially stabilizing force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan having shed no blood and not much aid. 

Security or the lack of it  remains the key challenge: Chinese enterprises have already bagged three multibillion dollar investment projects, but they won't be able to go forward unless conditions get safer. While the Chinese do not appear ready to rush into any vacuum left by the withdrawal of foreign troops, a definite shift toward a more hands-on approach to Afghanistan is under way. 

EDITOR'S NOTE : This story is part of "China's Reach," a project tracking China's influence on its trading partners over three decades and exploring how that is changing business, politics and daily life. Keep up with AP's reporting on China's Reach, and join the conversation about it, using the hashtag (hash)APChinaReach on Twitter. 

Beijing signed a strategic partnership last summer with the war-torn country. This was followed in September with a trip to Kabul by its top security official, the first by a leading Chinese government figure in 46 years, and the announcement that China would train 300 Afghan police officers. China is also showing signs of willingness to help negotiate a peace agreement as NATO prepares to pull out in two years. 

Nation-Building in the Classroom

Has President Obama given up too soon on hopes for fixing Afghanistan? 
BY JAMES TRAUB
JAN 25, 2013 

I have spent the last two weeks teaching a class -- along with Bruce Jones, director of the Center on International Cooperation -- on the increasingly unfashionable topic of nation-building. Bruce and I did what we could to convey the difficulty, not to say the implausibility, of this endeavor by asking the students, from New York University's Abu Dhabi campus, to focus on ether Afghanistan or Haiti -- pathological patients which have resisted virtually every form of treatment available to the nation-building professional. But we never fully dented the kids' optimism, as they marshaled an impressive series of arguments for more international engagement, be it a second, third, or fourth try. 

Experience has certainly dented Barack Obama's optimism: A president who came to office arguing that failing states constituted a threat to U.S. national security now asserts that the time has come to do nation-building at home rather than abroad. Indeed, the biggest problem with nation-building is that the practice keeps making the theory look bad. Experts like James Dobbins at Rand emphasize that nation-building can work when outside forces put sufficient money and troops into the effort. But then the world pours money into places like Haiti or Afghanistan, or the Congo, and it disappears into quicksand, or people's pockets. These efforts seem to vindicate critics like William Easterly who insist that development assistance doesn't work, or scholars like Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, who argue in Why Nations Fail that dysfunctional political institutions cause states to fail, and outsiders can do very little to help. 

But the record is not quite so dreadful as we think, at least if we take in the long view. The last Australian peacekeeping troops recently left Timor Leste -- still a desperately poor and miserable place more than 12 years after foreign troops waded ashore -- but it's now standing on its own shaky legs. Both Liberia and Sierra Leone were killing fields not long ago, and now, after major international interventions, they are democratic and ever so slightly hopeful. Nation-building cannot spark prosperity, or infuse legitimacy into a corrupt political order; but it can build the capacity of feeble states, and give them the breathing room to establish their own bona fides. 

Inevitability of Globalization

By Kazi Anwarul Masud , Paper No. 5379
27-Jan-2013 

Regardless of positive or negative perception on globalization a globalized world is a reality and has come to stay. Its effects on the economy varies according to the state of the economy be it in the developed or the developing world. 

In the developed economies outsourcing of business to emerging economies like China and India has become the norm due to low cost of people who are no less qualified to do the assigned job as the people of the developed economies thus cutting production cost and remaining competitive. Consequently unemployment in developed countries is high, economies are in recession or stagnant, sovereign debt is very high and budgets are in deficit. 

The collapse of economies in Iceland and Greece, installation by parliament of a technocratic government till recently in Italy to solve the economic troubles in the country, increasing unpopularity of the center-right government in Germany due to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to bail out the ailing Greek economy by spending German tax payers’ money are some of the immediate results of the global economic downturn. 

By all accounts the largest economy in the world, the US, is not faring any better than many European nations. Unsurprisingly President Obama in his second inaugural address asked the American people to seize the moment: “so long as we seize it together. For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class…. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other - through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security - do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great”. 

By referring to climate change President Obama has shifted from Bush Jr’s policy of indifference to the catastrophe in varying degree waiting for the world, both developed and developing. But then it is easier said than done. What the world needs are transformational leaders who understand resilience and dynamism to face the multifarious problems. W Lee Howell of the World Economic Forum (Foreign Affairs-January 15 2013) considers resilience to be crucial “because, in a hyperconnected and interdependent world, no one country or organization can manage global challenges on its own. To be resilient is to be able to adapt to changing political and economic contexts and pursue critical goals while also being able to withstand and recover from sudden shocks. 

The Resource Race: China Dips Toes in Arctic Waters

25 Jan 2013

China is hungry for natural resources, and the Arctic is home to a wealth of them. Growing alarm about its ambitions has led Beijing to take a softer approach, stressing exploration and research over exploitation. 

You didn't hear much Chinese spoken on the Mackenzie River until the summer of 1999. But then excitement swept through the sleepy Tuktoyaktuk settlement in Canada's Northwest Territories, when a vast ship with a crew from the Asia-Pacific unexpectedly docked in the port. Local authorities were caught off-guard by the arrival of the research icebreaker Xue Long, which means "snow dragon." The vessel -- 170 meters (550 feet) long and weighing 21,000 metric tons -- had in fact informed faraway Ottawa of its intention to sail into Canada's arctic waters, but the message hadn't been passed on. 
Today, such an incident probably wouldn't happen. States around the North Pole keep careful and regular watch on visitors from China. Its "growing interest in the region raises concern -- even alarm -- in the international community," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently wrote. And this despite the fact that "the Arctic is not a foreign policy priority" for Beijing. 

The equation seems simple. China is hungry for natural resources, and the Arctic is rich in natural resources. What could be more straightforward? But Beijing insists that its interest in the region is first and foremost for research purposes, that the Arctic can help shed light on climate change, that it offers useful shipping routes, and so on and so forth. 

Indeed, for now, the Chinese government has no official Arctic strategy. And it doesn't say much at all about natural resources in the region, especially because the economic superpower can -- for the time being, at least -- get what it needs elsewhere, such as in Africa. 

Rethinking our China strategy

U.S. policy of engagement with Beijing has not been as effective in shaping its rise to superpower status as Washington had hoped. 

By Gary Schmitt and Dan Blumenthal 
January 27, 2013


China keeps its currency undervalued to promote its exports, limits foreign access to its markets and treats natural resources as exclusive national assets. (Jerome Favre / Bloomberg / January 25, 2013) 

Senate committees will soon be asked to vote on President Obama's nominees to head the departments of State and Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Many, if not most, of the senators' questions will be focused on the nominees' views on the pressing security problems the United States faces in the greater Middle East and Afghanistan. But it would be a mistake for the committees to let the hearings pass without also examining the administration's own stated policy priority — the "pivot" or "rebalance" to the Asia-Pacific region. 

A productive discussion of the pivot, however, will require a frank acknowledgment that the primary factor driving the change is increased nervousness in Washington and Asian capitals about China's rise and, in turn, recognition that the U.S. policy of engagement with China has not been as effective in shaping that rise as successive administrations, Republican and Democratic, had hoped. 

On this point, it is particularly useful to reread then-Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick's 2005 speech in which he famously invited Beijing to become a "responsible stakeholder" in the international system. Since the late 1970s, the U.S. had been, as Zoellick put it, "opening doors to China's membership into the international system" with the expectation that doing so would lead to change in Chinese behavior as it saw the security and economic benefits of that system. By no means a China "hawk," Zoellick provided a reasonable set of benchmarks for judging just how successful engagement would be in moving China along the path of a benign rise to great-power status. 

So, what does the score card look like? 

To start, Zoellick noted that, although China had "gained much from its membership in an open, rules-based international economic system," its mercantilist economic policies put in doubt its commitment to that system's underlying principles. And little has changed on that front. China keeps its currency undervalued to promote its exports, limits foreign access to its markets and treats natural resources as exclusive national assets. The government has done little to rein in intellectual property piracy or commercial cyber-espionage. State-owned banks still dominate China's financial sector, and Beijing-driven industrial policies have increased, not decreased, in recent years. 

Continental Shift

Why the Pentagon should pay less attention to Africa. 
JAN 25, 2013 

The U.S. military has left Iraq and will leave Afghanistan soon. One might assume that this means a lower level of U.S. military operations overseas. Not so fast. Military operations in Mali and the connected Algerian hostage crisis have highlighted a major shift in U.S. military strategy and overseas engagement, especially in our support for security forces in Africa. 

Gradually, through a growing security assistance program and special operations forces action, U.S. engagement in Africa is shifting from a focus on governance, health, and development to a deepening military engagement. And while the Pentagon portrays this expanding military engagement as a way to empower Africans, it is actually building security relationships that could backfire, harming our long-term foreign policy interests. 

The United States has had military relationships at a low level in Africa for some time. Before 9/11, these took the traditional form of educating African military officers in the United States though the International Military Education and Training Program (IMET), at a cost of roughly $10 million a year. And the United States has had for decades a small Foreign Military Financing program, providing equipment, training, and services to select African militaries at a cost of around $20 million a year. Neither program has been a centerpiece of U.S. overseas security assistance. 

The slide into Africa began in earnest after the Rwandan genocide and the 1998 embassy bombings. A larger U.S.-funded training program was started in the 1990s as a peacekeeping initiative, ultimately morphing into the Bush-era Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). Through GPOI, the United States has been providing more training to African militaries, seeking to enhance their ability to conduct peacekeeping operations. By now, hundreds of thousands of African soldiers have been trained and are involved in operations in the Horn of Africa -- and perhaps soon in Mali -- at a cost of nearly a billion dollars. 

Hoss Cartwright Heralds New Era In Warfare: 'No longer do we troll for trouble; we predict it'

January 24, 2013 

WASHINGTON: A combat patrol is four soldiers walking, under orders to look for trouble and react to it. For most of modern history, infantry squads have been the military's principal sensors, forcing an enemy to respond, allowing American forces to judge the situation and respond. But that is an always risky, often bloody way to generate intelligence.
"Essentially, you are asking them to troll for trouble," the retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Hoss Cartwright, told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies today. 

But the squad's role is changing, part of a monumental shift underway in the US military, as enormously powerful computers gather data from a huge array of sources and turn that data into predictive tools.

"Now we are telling those four solders, this is where you want to go at this time," Cartwright said. "No longer do we troll for trouble; we predict it."

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This is not, said the general famed for refusing to accept the Pentagon's conventional wisdom, about robots or unmanned systems substituting for troops. The data "doesn't replace them; it enables them," he said. In fact, the new availability to troops on patrol, combined with the power of the data "is fundamentally changing warfare."

(Some of these concepts seem painfully reminiscent of the "revolution in military affairs" beloved of 1990s pundits and former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, but Cartwright carefully avoided any reference to the now-reviled "RMA." And his emphasis on empowering foot troops rather than replacing them, on winning fights rather than magically avoiding them, is a distinct difference from the more radical proponents of the now-discredited "transformation").

Bill Gates: My Plan to Fix The World's Biggest Problems




By BILL GATES
25 Jan 2013

From the fight against polio to fixing education, what's missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand.
Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation /Prashant Panjiar 

By custom, many Ethiopian parents won't name a child for weeks, in case the baby dies. Sebsebila Nassir, pictured above with a health worker, named her newborn daughter Amira 'princess' in Arabicon her immunization card the day she was born. 

We can learn a lot about improving the 21st-century world from an icon of the industrial era: the steam engine. 

Harnessing steam power required many innovations, as William Rosen chronicles in the book "The Most Powerful Idea in the World." Among the most important were a new way to measure the energy output of engines and a micrometer dubbed the "Lord Chancellor" that could gauge tiny distances. 

Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. 

Such measuring tools, Mr. Rosen writes, allowed inventors to see if their incremental design changes led to the improvements—such as higher power and less coal consumption—needed to build better engines. There's a larger lesson here: Without feedback from precise measurement, Mr. Rosen writes, invention is "doomed to be rare and erratic." With it, invention becomes "commonplace." 

Strategic Implications of the Euro Crisis

January 25, 2013 

The crisis of the Eurozone is likely to have profound strategic implications that will impact Europe’s role in the world and the dynamism of the transatlantic alliance. While it is too early to know exactly how the crisis will shape relations between the United States and Europe, the issue deserves the attention of US policymakers in light of Europe’s importance to US foreign policy. Seen from a US perspective, the primary concerns are that the crisis will reduce Europe’s capacity and willingness to use military force, alter Europe’s geopolitical balance in ways unfavorable to US interests, and could, ultimately, result in the return of insecurity to Europe itself. 

The most obvious concern of policymakers in Washington regarding Europe’s future is that the crisis will erode the willingness and ability of America’s NATO allies to use military force in global contingencies alongside the US Shrinking defense budgets in Europe are a major concern of US policymakers and legislators, best captured by former US secretary of defense Robert Gates’ blistering farewell speech to the NATO allies in June 2011. According to a 2012 study by the RAND Corporation, the most significant European NATO allies are all making major cuts to defense, with the exception of Poland. The UK provides the most striking example of this trend as London slashes eight percent from its defense budget by 2015. Other European nations are following suit, as seen in 2013 defense spending reductions by ten percent in Italy, thirteen percent in the Netherlands, and $10 billion in cuts in Germany. France has largely avoided major cuts, but may not be able to forestall them for much longer as the Hollande administration adopts austerity measures. US policymakers fear that these cuts are taking place in a largely uncoordinated, ad-hoc fashion, will erode the core combat capabilities of key allies, and may be only the beginning of a long-term defense depression in Europe.