4 February 2013

Russia Hands Over Refitted Indian Sub

By Sebastian D'Souza

26 Jan 2013 

ARKHANGELSK, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - An Indian Navy diesel-electric submarine was handed back to the service in an official ceremony following a major refit at Russia's Zvezdochka shipyard on Saturday. 

The contract for the refit and modernization of the INS Sindhurakshak (S63), a Project 877 EKM (NATO Kilo-class) submarine was signed in June 2010. 

Part of the refit involved installation of equipment for Klub-S (3M54E1 anti-ship and 3M14E land attack) cruise missiles and over ten Indian and foreign-made systems including the Ushus hydro-acoustic (sonar) system and CSS-MK-2 radio communications system. In addition, the boat's cooling system was modified, a "Porpoise" radio-locater fitted and other work carried out "increasing the boat's military capacity and safety." 

The boat is due to set sail for Mumbai on January 29 via the northern sea route, accompanied by Russian ice-breakers. It will be the first time an Indian submarine has undertaken a handover in ice conditions. 

Sacked Kargil officer Surinder Singh rubbishes claims of Musharraf crossing LoC, calls it cheap publicity stunt

By Vikas Kahol
February 4, 2013


Brigadier Surinder Singh - who was commanding the Kargil-based 121 Infantry Brigade before the Kargil intrusion - has rubbished claims that General Pervez Musharraf, the then army chief of Pakistan, had flown across the LoC and travelled 11km into the Indian side weeks before the conflict. Brig Singh on Sunday said it was a "cheap publicity stunt" of former Pakistan Army officers who have made the claim.

Sacked for his alleged failure to report enemy intrusions in Kargil in time, Brig Singh is fighting a legal battle to save his honour. He claimed the army knew about the intrusion and that he had briefed the then army chief Gen V.P. Malik. "I had briefed the visiting chief of army staff (coas), Gen V.P. Malik, about the developments in the sector spreading across Mushkoh and Batalik under me," he said.
On Musharraf, he said it was not possible for anyone to fly into India and spend a night without even a hint to the Indian Army. "A chopper requires a helipad to land. Where did Musharraf land after 'flying' into India? Any helicopter is always visible or heard. It could have not remained invisible had Musharraf dared the misadventure," Brig. Singh said. 

Retired Pakistan Army Colonel Ashfaq Hussain recently blamed Musharraf for an unwarranted aggression against India in Kargil. He claimed Musharraf flew across the LoC and spent a night on the Indian side weeks before hostilities broke out.

IAF to order 37 more Pilatus trainers, worth Rs 1,250 crore


By Ajai Shukla 
4th Feb 13 

The Swiss-built Pilatus PC-21 trainer. The IAF is buying a slightly less powerful Pilatus PC-7 Mark II for training its rookie pilots. 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will order 37 additional Pilatus trainer aircraft from Swiss manufacturer, Pilatus Aircraft Company, over and above the 75 trainers that the IAF has already contracted for Rs 2,900 crore. That will take to 112 the number of Pilatus PC-7 Mark II trainers on order from the IAF. 

A top IAF official told Business Standard, “The contract for 75 Pilatus trainers, which was signed last year, includes an options clause that allows India to order an extra 50% of the contracted number of aircraft (i.e. 37 trainers) at the same price as the first 75 trainers. We will exercise this options clause this month.” 

The first 75 Pilatus trainers were procured at a unit price of about Rs 30 crore per aircraft. At that price, the additional order will be worth about Rs 1,250 crore to Pilatus Aircraft Company. 

The first three PC-7 Mark II aircraft have already been delivered by Pilatus. The IAF official who spoke to Business Standard said that 14 trainers, nearly a full squadron, would be delivered to the IAF by June. The IAF pilots course that begins initial training in June will learn to fly on the PC-7 Mark II. 

This is an enormous relief to the IAF. Its longstanding basic trainer aircraft, the indigenous HPT-32 Deepak, has been grounded since a crash in July 2009; a total of 19 pilots have died while flying this unreliable aircraft. Since then, IAF rookie pilots have undergone a greatly curtailed Stage-1 training (as basic training is called) on the Kiran Mark-I trainer, a complex aircraft that is normally flown by pilots who have already learned basic flying on a simpler machine. This compressed training has placed a question mark over the flying ability of recent IAF batches. 

Extent of Poverty in India

Vol - XLVIII No. 06, February 04, 2013
Kausik Gangopadhyay and Kamal Singh

A Different Dimension 



The poverty line in India is usually associated with a calorie threshold. This calorie threshold approach suffers from many problems. An alternative revealed preference-based approach has been provided by Jensen and Miller. In the JM approach, the staple calorie share reveals whether a household is calorie deprived. We use this approach to estimate the extent of poverty in India. Though our poverty estimates are very close to the Tendulkar Committee estimates for the urban sector, for the rural sector our estimates are considerably lower. We also fi nd by our method a remarkable rise in urban poverty between 2004-05 and 2007-08.






India and the World

Vol - XLVIII No. 06, February 04, 2013
By Sanjaya Baru

A Geoeconomics Perspective 

Strategic autonomy in an interdependent world is secured through creating mutually beneficial relationships of interdependence, not from the mere assertion of one's independence or non-alignment. It is the fruit of economic growth and development pursued in a globalised world wherein a nation is able to utilise the benefi ts of interdependence while managing the costs this imposes. Hence, the concepts of "autonomy" and "self-reliance" have to be defined in the context of the economic interdependence of nations, and India's need and ability to draw on the economic opportunities the world presents to us. 

Sanjaya Baru (sanjayabaru@gmail.com) is Director for Geoeconomics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. 


This article is based on the National Maritime Foundation Lecture that was delivered at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 26 October 2012. It is dedicated to the late K Subrahmanyam and the late Brajesh Mishra. My thinking on Indian strategic and foreign policy has also benefi ted from my interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

The most forthright articulation of the view that India’s rise as a modern power is contingent upon its economic performance was made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his very first union budget speech of July 1991, when he said, quoting Victor Hugo, “No power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come. I suggest to this august House that the emergence of India as a major economic power in the world happens to be one such idea.”1 

In relating India’s rise to its “economic power” and performance, Manmohan Singh was echoing a thought expressed by Jawaharlal Nehru, who told the Constituent Assembly in December 1947, “Talking about foreign policies, the House must remember that these are not empty struggles on a chessboard ...foreign policy is the outcome of economic policy”.2 

New York Times case sheds light on China's 'vast army of hackers'

By Jorge Benitez
February 01, 2013 


From Paul Harris and Jonathan Kaiman, Guardian: "This is business-as-usual from what we can tell for aspects of the Chinese government," said Marc Frons, head of the newspaper's digital technology and its chief information officer. Frons told The Guardian that the paper was expecting further such attempts to infiltrate its computer systems. "It is really spy versus spy," he said. "I don't think we can relax. I am pretty sure that they will be back. . . ." 

An investigation by Mandiant, a cyber-security company hired by the New York Times, concluded that the hacks were likely part of an elaborate spy campaign with links to the country's military. The company traced the source of the attacks to university computers that the "Chinese military had used to attack United States military contractors in the past", the Times said. 

Although the hackers gained passwords for every Times employee, Mandiant found that they only sought information that was related to the Wen story. "They were after David Barboza's source list; confidential names and numbers and looking to find out who he was talking to," said Frons. 

The Times said it worked with telecommunications company AT&T and the FBI to trace the hackers after AT&T noticed suspicious activity on the paper's computer networks on 25 October, one day after the article appeared in print. A later analysis concluded that hackers initially broke into Times computers on 13 September when reporting for the Wen story was in its final pre-publishing stages. . . . 

China’s New Himalayan Thrust

By Bhaskar Roy 
03 Feb , 2013 



Recent views of some Indian experts studying China are persuading the strategic community that China is very likely to attack India in 2012. This view has apparently begun to influence some in the government, too. The underlined some is to emphasize that this is not the dominant view. But the importance of the view is to keep those in charge alert and awake. 

Various reasons or evidence have been quoted to bolster this thesis. These include rapid Chinese infrastructures construction and up-gradation in Tibet which support military efficiency, high grade People’s Liberation Army (PLA) exercises in Tibet, possible missile back up and even the likelihood of a hard line commander or a crazy anti-India commander opening a front at some point along the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC). 

Chinese Defence White Papers make it clear that only strength can ensure peace and, on this basis, China’s perseverance in military modernization and preparedness. 

There appeared to be a syndrome of looking at China’s strategic thinking through a Pakistani prism, speculating that China’s internal problems may induce Beijing to engage in confrontational military skirmish with India to divert internal pressure. This, however, is not China’s strategic culture. They close up when faced with internal political and social challenges. 

It is, however, true that China in the last three years at least, has become highly assertive in its Asia Pacific neighbourhood over territorial claims. Low level skirmishes (non-military with Japan over the sovereignty over the Senkaku (in Japan)/Diaoyu (in China) Islands in the East China Sea and confrontations, especially with the Philippines and Vietnam, over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea have intensified. The issue of Taiwan’s return to the mainland is a major issue. The US pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, reinforcement of US-Philippines military agreement, new US-Vietnam contacts which have military overtones are all matters of concern to China. 

United States Global War on Terror: Exploding the Myths

By Dr Subhash Kapila, Paper No. 5384
04 Feb 2013 

The United States “Global War on Terror” launched by the United States in the wake of 9/11 Islamist terrorists’ attacks on New York and Washington marked the first decade of the 21st Century and overwhelmingly determined United States strategic, foreign policy and political policy formulations, virtually to the exclusion of anything else. 

Consequently, with US policies so dominated, it had a ripple effect on global and regional strategic calculi. Nowhere was the impact more deeply felt as on the Indian Sub-continent and particularly India which by US default was made to appease Pakistan Army’s strategic sensitivities so that the strategically delinquent Pakistan Army could be cajoled to serve US ends. 

With Osama bi Laden liquidated after a decade of 9/11 attacks and the decade of US military embedment in Afghanistan necessitated by the so-called “Global War on Terror”, in a process of winding down, it becomes appropriate to carry out a cold and surgical analysis of United States “Global War on Terror” strategy . Was it really a “Global War on Terror”. Soon after President Obama assumed the reins of power in Washington, a re-think seems to have taken place on this term, as evident from the quote below. 

“The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “Global War on Terror” a signature rhetorical legacy of his predecessor. In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department Office of Security Review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term’ Long War’ ‘Global War on Terror (GWOT). Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’. Washington Post March 25 2009. 

In the first flush of the stirring speeches by then US President following and his pledges to eliminate global terror with cooperation by US friends and allies, countries around the globe, including Russia and China were enthused that finally the United States had taken a rightful plunge against terrorism of all types and more specifically terrorism in the name of Islamic Jihad. 

India was even more enthused having been victimised by Pakistan Army state-sponsored terrorism for a full decade prior to the events of 9/11. The euphoria was short lived for India as the United States strategy towards elimination of religious terrorism started unfolding on its doorsteps and also US pressures on India becoming heavier not in the name of fighting “Global War on Terrorism” but in the name of acquiescing to US priorities of appeasement of Pakistan Army dictates in return for military cooperation with US on operations against Osama bin Laden. 

Performance Based Logistics(PBL)

By Manoj Shergill

04 Feb 2013

Logistics support for the modern weapons systems is changing wherein the decades old approach of investing in large inventories, controlling the issue of assets and contracting for procurement of components is giving way to a modern method of support ie Performance Based Logistics (PBL). As opposed to having to manage and direct every aspect of weapon system support, the PBL concept buys Performance rather than goods and services. PBL moves the focus from the management of parts and suppliers to management of the suppliers responsible for delivering required performance. It delineates performance goals such as weapons system availability and logistics response time, instead of focusing on measures such as parts, training, maintenance and technical services. PBL empowers the provider to decide how best to meet military objectives by focusing on operational readiness rather than just delivering a product. 

PBL is a support strategy that places primary emphasis on optimising weapon system support to meet the needs of the military. Its primary tenets are documentation of equipment performance requirements as measurable parameters in Performance Based Agreements (PBAs), designation of single point accountability for performance with a Product Support Integrator (PSI)/ Product Manager (PM), and development of support metrics and accompanying incentives to ensure that the performance objectives are met. In short, PBL emphasises on obtaining performance, and not transactional goods and services. PBL delineates outcome performance goals of weapon systems, ensures that responsibilities are assigned, provides incentives for attaining these goals, and facilitates the overall life-cycle management of system reliability, supportability, and total ownership costs. It is an integrated acquisition and logistics process for buying weapon system capability. 

Under a PBL environment, the provider has the freedom to create a network of capabilities and initiatives to achieve the prescribed performance, cost and customer satisfaction targets. Additional results are a streamlined logistics pipeline, lower costs and best value. In short, weapons system support is optimised at an affordable cost. The PBL provider’s compensation is based on achievement of these goals. 

A Map of the Global Internet So Pretty You Can Hang It on Your Wall

By Will Oremus
Feb. 1, 2013


Each year, a telecom market research firm called TeleGeography releases a map of the underwater cables that connect the global Internet. Past years’ maps have been merely fascinating. This year’s is flat-out gorgeous. 

The lines trace the paths that the world’s data take every day as packets of information zip between the continents. They don’t precisely track the cables’ actual underwater routes—that would look like “a big mess of spaghetti,” TeleGeography research director Alan Mauldin says. And they don’t convey how much traffic flows through each one. But they do accurately show the land-based taking-off points for this massive underwater series of tubes. 

At first glance, the lines appear to mirror long-proven global trade routes, with major hubs in global capitals like New York, Amsterdam, and Mumbai. But Mauldin notes that there have been no new cables across the Atlantic since 2003. The growth today is in historically under-served regions like Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Nor are all the hubs located in the big cities you’d expect. That phalanx of cables converging on Brazil, for instance, lands not in Sao Paolo or Rio de Janeiro but Fortaleza, simply because it’s an easier hop from the Northern Hemisphere. Another surprisingly popular destination is Djibouti, whose appeal becomes more clear when you consider the relative business-friendliness of its neighbors at the mouth of the Red Sea: Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen. 

Sandy Created a Black Hole of Communication

By Jim McKay
January 28, 2013 

Communication is a fundamental of emergency management and yet an inherent struggle during disasters. Superstorm Sandy was no exception as complaints about a lack of information were common. This came from communities in pockets of the East Coast where information was desperately needed but scarce, according to some community organizers. 

Although there were areas hit by the storms that fared well soon afterward, there were “black holes,” where printed paper and bullhorns were needed to get out the word. Social media was a bright spot, as Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker showed on Twitter, and in New York City where Emily Rahimi chained herself to her desk at the Fire Department for a day and a half, monitoring the department’s Twitter feed and proving heroic to desperate residents. 

The lessons from Sandy have been repeated over and over: Communities should be prepared to be self-sufficient for close to 10 days. That means having food, water, batteries and flashlights, among other things. Batteries were especially important during Sandy or perhaps more importantly, ways to charge them. 

The challenges of Sandy emphasized the need for community leaders to become informed about how their communities can help themselves during disasters. Questions about to what degree local, state and federal agencies are responsible immediately following a disaster and which agencies or levels of government were responsible for certain services was a source of confusion for some communities. 

Humanity Road is a nonprofit whose mission is connecting aid providers with those who need help. The organization has volunteers worldwide trained to data mine the Internet during disasters for the purpose of fulfilling its mission. 

Humanity Road was asked by Maryland and FEMA to help with projects and assisted the New York Virtual Operations Support Team in Suffolk County. The organization saw areas where public information was scarce and a misunderstanding among the public about the roles of state, local and federal government functions during an emergency. 

Defence clears new corps on China border

By PranabDhalSamanta
Feb 04 2013


After much back and forth, the Defence Ministry has cleared setting up of a mountain strike corps along the China border, signalling its intent to press ahead with plans to strengthen offensive military capabilities despite recent calls from Beijing for a "new type" of military relationship. 

The plan involves fresh accretion of close to 89,000 soldiers and 400 officers. The focus, sources said, is to be able to launch a counter-offensive into Tibet in case of a "Kargil-type adventure" by China. 

The proposal was first mooted in 2010 and given an in-principle go ahead by the Cabinet Committee on Security a year later, but was sent back last year with instructions for a re-look by all three services so that a common plan could be drawn up. 

It took the Chiefs of Staff Committee another six months to review the plan, which was also essential because the Army Chief had changed since the proposal was first moved. 

Sources said the proposal has now been reworked with some minor changes relating to additional Air Force elements. The projected amount too has gone up marginally from the earlier estimate of about Rs 65,000 crore. 

The new strike corps is expected to come up in Panagarh, West Bengal, along with two more divisions. An independent armoured brigade along with an artillery division may be part of the set-up. Already, two divisions are being raised in the eastern theatre. 

India must counter China's imperial ambitions

Issue Vol 24.4 Oct-Dec 2009, By Bharat Verma
03 Feb , 2013 

New Delhi cannot afford to sit around while others plot its destruction. 

Surrounded with sullied strategic environment and the spreading fire that engulfs the region, New Delhi can either continue to live in fear as it has in the past, or fight back. 

There are two distinct threats that endanger the existence of the Union. 

Equally true is the fact that Americans are fighting Indias war too. If they withdraw from the AF-PAK area, the entire Jihad factory will descend mercilessly upon India to create mayhem.

First are the imperial ambitions of China that threaten to ultimately dismember the Indian Union in twenty or thirty parts. To succeed in its aim, Beijing over a period of time unleashed the first phase of the strategy and intelligently encircled India. 

This initial phase resulted in shrinking New Delhi’s strategic frontiers in its vicinity. Indians unwittingly made the Chinese task a cakewalk, as they were preoccupied with internal bickering for short-term personal gains, overlooking the vicious expansionist agenda designed jointly by Beijing and Islamabad to tear apart the Union. 

Even as it pretended to withdraw its covert support to the rebels in India’s northeast in late seventies, China took advantage of Islamabad’s hatred for India, and deftly invested in Pakistan to carry out the task on its behalf. 

End the neglect of the Military

Issue Vol. 28.1 Jan-Mar 2013, By Bharat Verma
Date : 04 Feb , 2013 

Growing threat perceptions call for urgent sprucing up of the military machine which has been grossly neglected in India so far. 

The Pakistan Army’s strategy in the near future will be based primarily on two perceptions. First, it believes that the ‘Kashmir’ issue is dying down; fading away from international focus and ‘Kashmir’ is slipping from Pakistani control. Second, internal turmoil in Pakistan is seriously threatening its territorial integrity as it dodders on the verge of becoming a totally dysfunctional state. 

In the event of any future conflict, New Delhi’s political will and the capabilities of the Indian military should be such that China and Pakistan are hard-pressed to defend Tibet and Lahore respectively instead of threatening Arunachal and Kashmir. 

In this situation, GHQ Rawalpindi headed by General Kayani has two choices. If India attacks Pakistan, the country under an ‘anti-India’ sentiment will unite once again. However, New Delhi is not likely to oblige. In India’s perception, Pakistan is falling apart in any case and war, unless imposed by Pakistan, makes little sense. In such an eventuality, it would be prudent on the part of Kayani to hold his flock together, needle India in Kashmir thus enabling Pakistan to regain a degree of unity and simultaneously bring back ‘Kashmir’ onto the centre stage of its international agenda. 

The Western forces led by America require Pakistan’s assistance to ensure a smooth and honourable exit through Karachi port. Withdrawing forces would need to be escorted by the Pakistan Army to obviate the possibility of ambush by the local militia. Therefore, New Delhi is not likely to receive support against Islamabad from the international community till US withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete. General Kayani will utilise this opportunity to further Pakistan’s agenda against India. 

The road to Tashkent

By Inder Malhotra
Feb 04 2013


How the Soviet Union brought India and Pakistan to the negotiating table after the 1965 war 

As early as August 18, 1965, the Soviet prime minister, Alexei Kosygin, had written to his Indian counterpart, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Pakistan President Ayub Khan, asking them "not to take any steps that might lead to a major conflict". He wrote again on September 4 appealing for "an immediate cessation of hostilities and a reciprocal withdrawal of troops behind the ceasefire line". He also offered the Soviet Union's "good offices" in negotiating a peaceful settlement of differences between India and Pakistan. Neither country reacted to this offer for the obvious reason that two days later the war had escalated, and the Indian army was on the march to the prized Pakistani city of Lahore. 

On September 18, Kosygin sent his third letter to the two South Asian leaders, proposing that they "should meet in Tashkent or any other Soviet city for negotiations", and even offered to take part in the discussions himself, "if both sides so desired". He underscored his serious concern because the war was taking place "close to the Soviet Union's borders". 

Shastri waited until September 23, when the ceasefire came into force, before disclosing to Parliament the Soviet offer, adding that he had "informed Mr Kosygin that we would welcome his efforts and good offices". In Pakistan, however, there was complete silence on the subject because of its extreme reluctance to take part in Soviet-sponsored negotiations. 

"Ayub," records his closest confidant and biographer Altaf Gauhar, "was quite disturbed that the US and the British should leave the field to the Soviet Union... the subcontinent had been traditionally the area of Western influence, and the induction of the Soviet Union into the region as a mediator would only strengthen India's position". Consequently, even after agreeing to the Tashkent talks on November 11, he decided to go to London and Washington to persuade Harold Wilson, the British prime minister, and US President Lyndon Johnson to so arrange things that some "self-executing machinery" could be set up to resolve Kashmir, preferably before the Tashkent meeting. In both capitals he drew a blank. Wilson bluntly told Ayub that China was the "greatest danger in the region because it was far more expansionist than the Soviet Union or India". His foreign secretary added that in its present mood, "China was an extremely dangerous friend to have". Wilson's concluding remark at the end of a marathon meeting was: "We cannot hurry the Kashmir issue, though we realise the conflict is driving India and Pakistan to orbits we fear". 

Submarine import trap


By Bharat Karnad
Feb 04, 2013 

The Indian Navy needs to spearhead the amalgamation of nuclear and conventional submarine design and manufacturing capabilities

The Indian Navy has quietly and without fuss built up a great reputation for itself as a strategic-minded service. Its plans for distant defence are the best articulated, and its procurement of naval hardware mission-appropriate, reason why the government has accorded it the pivotal role in the strategic defence of the country. 

As commendable is the Navy’s role in driving the country’s agenda for self-sufficiency in armaments in the teeth of sustained efforts over the years by the bumbling Indian government with the defence ministry and its department of defence production (DPP) to undermine it. The DPP conceives its remit as only ensuring custom for defence public sector units while trying to trip up the private sector whose built-up capacity and capability can more quickly and substantively attain for the country the goal of self-reliance, which has so far only remained rhetoric. The Navy is the only service to have had a main weapon design directorate, generating designs for 43 of the 45 warships under construction in the country. The Navy, moreover, has prevented indigenous projects such as the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft programme from sinking, by investing in the development of a navalised variant, managing a technical consultancy with US Navy’s aviation experts to iron out design kinks and shepherding this aircraft to the prototype stage.

But the singular success story and its greatest accomplishment is the strategic submarine project. Starting from scratch, it has got to a point where the basic Russian Charlie-II class nuclear-powered ballistic missile firing submarine (SSBN) design has been enhanced, which changes will be reflected in the second and third units of the Arihant-class boats, and a nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine (SSN) as follow-on to the Akula-II class boat (INS Chakra) on lease from Russia, is in the works. The most heartening aspect is the driven nature of this programme leading to the Navy mastering the tasks of prime integrator and with, great foresight, nurturing this expertise in the private sector, which has acquired strategic submarine-production expertise and wherewithal.

If there’s a law, it must serve the larger good

By Joginder Singh 

04 Feb 2013

Senior officials in the UPA Government have been lamenting that a US court had let off Headley lightly with a 35-year jail term for his role in 26/11. But there are many cases in India where murder accused move freely 

Certain statements have been made by the Government to show that it means business, whereas in actual practice it is quite the opposite. A Union Cabinet Minister has expressed dissatisfaction with the 35-year jail sentence that has been awarded by a US court to Pakistani-American Dawood Gilani or David Coleman Headley, for his role in planning the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, in which a few American citizens were also killed. 

He says, “We would have wanted him to be produced in court here and face trial because we suffered the maximum damage from him. We will continue to strive to ensure that people like him are brought here and made to face trial, because I believe that if the trial took place here, the punishment would have been even more serious...We are a bit disappointed with the verdict. But we know that the judge also said that the punishment was limited because under their criminal justice system he (Headley) was entitled to enter into a plea bargain and evade death penalty and extradition.” 

The Minister, being a lawyer, knows very well that we have no effective law in this country against terrorism. And even if a terrorist makes a confession before a police officer, it is not admissible in the court of law. Moreover, a terrorist can attack, make a confession and still get away because nobody wants to get involved in court cases as a witness. With current pendency of 3.32 crore cases and less than 14,000 judges in position, it takes ages to get justice. The 1993 Mumbai blast cases were decided after nearly 15 years, in 2008. And similar is the lot of cases in States across India. 

There are certain crimes for which, apart from the statement of the accused, it is often impossible to get any independent evidence. These include terrorism, dacoity, Maoist killings, rape, or murder, (remember the infamous 1992 gang rape of Bhanwari Devi or the 2003 murder of Hindi poetess Madhumita Shukla in Lucknow to conceal the sexual peccadilloes of politicians) or even for fatal road accidents. 

How should India engage the new Chinese leadership

By B Raman
February 03, 2013

The challenge for India and China is to achieve a new web of strategic relationships without weakening the present momentum towards better bilateral relations, says B Raman

China, which already has a new party leadership since the Party Congress in November last, will be having a new State leadership from next month. 

Xi Jinping, who took over as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China and the Chairman of its Central Military Commission in November last, will be taking over as the State president from Hu Jintao at the end of the National People’s Congress next month. Li Kekiyang will be taking over as the prime minister from Wen Jiabao. 

One does not know much about the personal leadership style of Li, but from what one had seen since November, Xi will not be a carbon copy of Hu. He is more smiling and relaxed, more forthcoming, less bureaucratic and less formal in his interactions with his colleagues and juniors. 

He believes that military strength comes out of economic strength and that further developing the Chinese economy should have the primacy of attention. He also realises that China’s economic gains might be diluted if corruption is not controlled and that corruption among public servants comes not only out of greed, but also out of an unhealthy desire for status. Austerity in personal and public life is, therefore, stressed by him. 

During his first visit to Guangdong after taking over, many noticed the conscious lack of ostentation in his travels and interactions. Lack of ostentation is emerging as a defining characteristic of his leadership style. It remains to be seen whether he is able to retain it as the president. 

In China, the leadership transition takes different routes in the Centre at Beijing and in the provinces. At Beijing, it takes place first in the party and then in the State. In the provinces, it often takes place first in the provincial administration and then in the party. As a result, one can err in assessments. 

Musharraf hid Kargil intrusions from ISI: former general

By Daily News & Analysis
February 03, 2013

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf kept such a tight lid on intrusions by Pakistani troops into Indian territory in Kargil in 1999 that the Inter-Services Intelligence learnt of the development when it intercepted Indian Army communications, a retired general says in his new book. 

Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz, who headed the analysis wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence at the time, writes that when he brought "strange wireless intercepts" to the notice of then ISI chief, Lt Gen Ziauddin Butt on May 3 or 4, 1999, he asked Aziz to keep the documents with himself. 

Aziz says the intercepts made it clear that troops from 10 Corps had "carried out an aggressive operation" along the Line of Control. 

In his book "For How Long This Silence", written in Urdu and released last week, Aziz says the entire operation in Kargil was planned and executed by then army chief Musharraf, Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Aziz Muhammad Khan, 10 Corps chief Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmad, and Maj Gen Javed Hassan, the chief of the Force Command Northern Areas. 

Besides these four generals, "no other senior officer knew about the operation", Aziz writes. 

"Even the staff of 10 Corps headquarters was unaware of the operation in the beginning. The Military Operations directorate also knew later when everything had been done," he says. 

ISI chief Butt later acknowledged that Pakistani troops had taken control of many areas on the Indian side of the LoC that were empty or had for evacuated by Indian troops for winter. 

Aziz writes that the communications intercepts showed the "nervousness" and "confused talk" on the Indian side. 

"Indian forces seemed to be frightened. I said, 'It seems that our forces have conducted a major action in Kargil'," he writes. 

Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons


February 2, 2013
By Hasan Suroor 

The Hindu A file photo of Pakistani nuclear scientist Parvez Hoodbhoy. 

Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy has spoken of growing fears in Pakistan that its nuclear arsenal could be “hijacked” by extremists as a result of “increasing radicalisation” of the Army. 

He said such fears were initially expressed mostly in the west but were now widely shared within Pakistan after “repeated” extremist attacks on Army installations, including the ISI headquarters in Lahore. These could not have taken place without “some sort of inside information”. 

“There’s a fair degree of concern that because of increasing radicalisation of Pakistani Army, the country’s nuclear weapons could be hijacked by extremists,” he said speaking to a group of Indian journalists at the launch of his book, Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani & Indian Scientists Speak Out, a collection of essays by Indian and Pakistani scientists who believe that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the two countries was “undesirable” and had put the entire subcontinent in danger. 

Mr. Hoodbhoy, who has often been a target of the Pakistani establishment, said Pakistan’s nuclear capability had given a new dimension to its campaign against India. Islamabad saw it as a “counter-force” to overcome India’s military superiority and was providing a “nuclear umbrella” to jihadis engaged in anti-India activities. 

Pakistani military calls HRW report 'a pack of lies,' and 'fabricated'

By Bill Roggio
February 2, 2013

The Inter-Services Public Relations division (or ISPR) of the Pakistani military lashed out today against Human Rights Watch for its World Report for 2013, which accuses Pakistan's military and intelligence services of supporting terrorist groups that conduct sectarian attacks. The ISPR's press release practiced little "public relations," calling the HRW report "a pack of lies," "fabricated," and other such terms. The ISPR statement is reproduced below, in full, for your amusement: 
  • A spokesman of ISPR has termed the Human Rights Watch (HRW) recent report a pack of lies, propaganda driven and totally biased. He said it is yet another attempt to malign Pakistan and its institutions through fabricated and unverified reports, Completely favouring an anti Pakistan agenda. The HRW has based its opinion on imprecise facts and biased views. 
  • The HRW report seems to be a clear attempt to further fuel already ongoing scectarian violence and to create chaos and disorder in Pakistan. HRW has no credibility and has been criticized world wide for raising controversies through its biased reports and funding from certain quarters and its reports have been rejected by many countries of the world.
Here are some excerpts from the HRW report [in italics] which very likely raised the ire of the Pakistani military establishment. HRW accused the Pakistani military and government of: 

1) turning a blind eye to the Lashkar-e Jhangvi's slaughter of Shia and other minorities (it does; Malik Ishaq, the group's leader, was freed from prison in 2011 despite plotting attacks from jail); 
Sunni militant groups, including those with known links to the Pakistani military, its intelligence agencies, and affiliated paramilitaries--such as the ostensibly banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi--operated with widespread impunity across Pakistan, as law enforcement officials effectively turned a blind eye to attacks. 

Do Less Harm

By Sarah Holewinski
January/February 2013


Protecting and Compensat-
ing Civilians in War 

Blood money: an Afghan man displaying cash offered as compensation for the death of two of his sons, in Paktia Province, March 2010. 

Everyone knows that civilians suffer in war. Even in lawfully conducted conflicts waged for legitimate causes, they lose lives, limbs, and loved ones. What fewer understand is that there are no laws that oblige warring parties to help the civilians they've harmed, as long as the action that caused the harm is considered legal. A fighter jet can strike a weapons cache next to a home, a guard can shoot a suspicious biker at a checkpoint, and a convoy can speed through a playground, but so long as in each instance the armed forces follow the Geneva Conventions' rules of discrimination and proportionality, they never have to explain, apologize, or pay for those losses. 

Aside from being ethically bankrupt, indifference toward the plight of civilians has practical drawbacks: for survivors of war, nothing can generate more hatred toward a foreign government than never having their grief acknowledged. Responding is not simply an act of compassion; it is an act of strategic self-interest. 

The United States learned that lesson the hard way in Afghanistan and Iraq. For years, Afghans and Iraqis whose family members were killed or maimed took to the streets to protest what they saw as the Americans' callous indifference to civilian casualties. After the U.S. military finally came to understand that survivors' anger undermined the mission, it started tracking the damage it caused and responding directly to affected families. It managed to create a new culture geared toward understanding and addressing the civilian costs of its combat operations. 

Booming Bhutan

By John Berthelsen
January 30, 2013


The Happiest Place on Earth? 

Buddhist monks walk past a power station in Thimphu. (Adnan Abidi / Courtesy Reuters) 

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan, wedged into a Himalayan crevice between India and China, has experienced unprecedented growth in GDP -- an estimated eight percent between 2011 and 2012 and a projected 12.5 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) study. This growth spurt, which, according to the IMF World Economic Outlook, made Bhutan the fourth fastest-growing economy of 2012, is almost entirely thanks to the sale of hydropower to India, which accounted for 45 percent of the country’s revenue and 20 percent of its GDP in 2011. Flush with cash, the government plans to build ten new hydropower plants by 2020, bringing its total up to 40. 

Behind the impressive growth, however, are systemic problems. With a population of just over 700,000, Bhutan has one of the world’s smallest and least developed economies. Almost 70 percent of the country’s wealth comes from development assistance grants from India, in addition to substantial aid from the United States and European countries. Apart from the hydropower industry, other economic sectors, including agriculture, are struggling. Bhutan must import much of its food because only 2.3 percent of the country is arable land. Although GDP growth is robust, the country’s deficit has continued to grow and the inflation rate reached 13.5 percent late last year. Furthermore, credit growth, including loans to the private sector, has risen to the unhealthy rate of 26.2 percent, which could lead both to a high nonperforming loan rate and more inflation. 

Tibet faces a searing question

By JIM YARDLEY
03 Feb 2013


 As self-immolation count nears 100, Arab Spring contrast emerges 

New Delhi, Feb. 3: A crowd of Tibetans came here last week, bearing flags and political banners and a bittersweet mixture of hope and despair. A grim countdown was under way: the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule had reached 99, one short of an anguished milestone. 

Yet, as that milestone hung over the estimated 5,000 Tibetans who gathered in a small stadium, so did an uncertainty about whether the rest of the world was paying attention at all. In speeches, Tibetan leaders described the self-immolations as the desperate acts of people left with no other way to draw global attention to Chinese policies in their country. 

“What is forcing these self-immolations?” Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, asked in an interview. “There is no freedom of speech. There is no form of political protest allowed in Tibet.” 

Billed as the Tibetan People’s Solidarity Campaign, the four-day gathering featured protests, marches, Buddhist prayer sessions and political speeches in an attempt to push Tibet back onto a crowded international agenda. 

If the Arab Spring has inspired hope among some Tibetans that political change is always possible, it has also offered a sobering reminder that no two situations are the same, nor will the international community respond in the same fashion. 

“The world is paying attention, but not enough,” Sangay added. “There was a self-immolation in Tunisia which was labelled the catalyst for the Arab Spring. We’ve been committed to non-violence for many decades. And how come we have been given less support than what we witnessed in the Arab world?” 

Yet even as the self-immolations have become central to the Tibetan protest movement, a quiet debate has been under way among Tibetans who are anguished over the deaths of their young men and who question how the acts reconcile with Buddhist teachings. 

Japan’s Demographic Disaster

February 03, 2013 

By John W. Traphagan 

Japan is faced with an unprecedented population challenge that will have social, economic, and political consequences for years to come. 

Last August, I wrote an article for The Diplomat that discussed some of the issues Japan is facing in relation to population decline. As I noted, the population has dropped for three years in a row. Recently, the Japanese government announced that the population decrease for 2012 is expected to be 212,000 a new record while the number of births is expected to have fallen by 18,000 to 1,033,000 also a record low. Projections by the Japanese government indicate that if the current trend continues, the population of Japan will decline from its current 127.5 million to 116.6 million in 2030, and 97 million in 2050. This is truly astonishing and puts Japan at the forefront of uncharted demographic territory; but it is territory that many other industrial countries also are beginning to enter as well. 

Predicting the consequences of Japan's demographic shift is difficult. And it is important to remember that these are projections; it seems to me unlikely that this trend will continue for the next century without some sort of intervening political, cultural, or economic factors that generate increased immigration or more robust fertility rates. Indeed, there have been modest very modest increases in the number of foreign residents in Japan over the past twenty years, with a little over twice the number today (2,134,151) as compared to 1990 (1,075,317). Many towns have developed international centers where opportunities are developed and supported, creating contexts for interactions between local residents and foreigners such as a monthly English dinner hosted in the town where I have done fieldwork for several years. 

CHINA AND THE ASIA-PACIFIC: TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND DILEMMAS

By Teshu Singh, Research Officer, CRP, IPCS 
04 Feb 2013

The Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea (ECS) and the South China Sea (SCS) today have become major challenges for China in the Asia-Pacific. Besides posing a challenge to China, these regions have remained volatile in the recent months. What are the major trends? And more importantly, what are the major challenges for China in this region? 

Asia-Pacific: Major Trends 

Taiwan Strait: There has not been much change on China’s stand and the situation is relatively peaceful. China is hopeful of solidifying and deepening the political, cultural and social foundation for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations that can facilitate eventual unification. China would like to maintain this calm, given the turbulence in other regions. 

Korean Peninsula: China is facing a complex situation here. De-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and bringing Pyongyang back to the negotiating table of Six-Party talks will be a litmus test for the new leadership. In South Korea, the President elect is looking forward “to deepen the comprehensive strategic alliance with the United States and take the strategic cooperative partnership with China to the next level.” Here, the South Korean tilt towards the US will be a major challenge. China seems to be pursuing wait and watch strategy. 

Island Disputes: China has been assertive on the two island disputes. In the second half of December, Chinese surveillance planes flew near the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands four times and again on 5 January 2012. It was perhaps for the first time since 1958 that China sent a propeller plane over the Island. Further, four patrol vessels entered the territorial waters of the ECS. These developments have taken bilateral relations between the second largest and the third largest economies of the world to a worrying phase and can cast shadow on the Asia-Pacific century. 

In the SCS region, China claims almost ninety percent of the area. Recently it has been printing maps consisting of nine-dashes on new e-passports. Further, it announced that it will invest more than 10 billion RMB to build infrastructure on disputed islands. Chinese military forces held air and ground defence exercises in Sansha city. The Chinese plan of deploying of Haixun 21, an ocean-going patrol vessel equipped with a helipad, in contested water is contrary to UNCLOS. These alarming moves by China give an impression that it is prepared to take the Islands by force and does not care about international norms. In addition, China has put its own satellite GPS system into a trial operation. Guided by this system, China’s missiles and bombs will be much more accurate. Additionally, six more satellites have been launched to cover the Asia-Pacific region. 

State and the Stateswoman

Michael E. O'Hanlon
January 29, 2013


How Hillary Clinton Reshaped U.S. Foreign Policy But Not the World

To meet the range of challenges facing the United States and the world, Washington will have to strengthen and amplify its civilian power abroad. Diplomacy and development must work in tandem, offering countries the support to craft their own solutions. 

Secretary of State Clinton during an interview. (Gary Cameron / Courtesy Reuters) 

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to hand the reins of foreign policy over to Senator John Kerry, her legacy is a matter of hot debate. To be sure, with much of the Middle East in turmoil and U.S. relations with Russia and China shifting, broad assessments of her tenure, no matter how heated, are only provisional. Even so, some of the most important and enduring elements of the Clinton years -- steadiness and pragmatism coupled with a reinvigoration of ties with Europe and the so-called rebalancing with Asia -- are clear. 

For style and for collegiality, Clinton gets high marks. She understood that she was a part of President Barack Obama's team, not a co-president, as some might have once worried she would try to be coming out of the bruising 2008 election season. When Obama had strong views, she did not publicly dissent or allow any distance to open between her position and that of her boss. She understood that secretaries of state carry out the foreign policy determined by the president and that little good can come from public disagreements of the kind that plagued the Carter administration and the George W. Bush administration.

The Promise of the Arab Spring


By Sheri Berman
January/February 2013


In Political Development, No Gain Without Pain 


Enter Benito, democracy finito: Mussolini with Blackshirts, Rome, 1922. (Underwood & Underwood / Corbis) 

Two years after the outbreak of what has come to be known as the Arab Spring, the bloom is off the rose. Fledgling democracies in North Africa are struggling to move forward or even maintain control, government crackdowns in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere have kept liberalization at bay, and Syria is slipping ever deeper into a vicious civil war that threatens to ignite the Middle East. Instead of widespread elation about democracy finally coming to the region, one now hears pessimism about the many obstacles in the way, fear about what will happen next, and even open nostalgia for the old authoritarian order. Last June, when the Egyptian military dismissed parliament and tried to turn back the clock by gutting the civilian presidency, The Wall Street Journal's chief foreign policy columnist cracked, "Let's hope it works." (It didn't.) And Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's attempted power grab in November made such nostalgia commonplace. 

The skepticism is as predictable as it is misguided. Every surge of democratization over the last century after World War I, after World War II, during the so called third wave in recent decades has been followed by an undertow, accompanied by widespread questioning of the viability and even desirability of democratic governance in the areas in question. As soon as political progress stalls, a conservative reaction sets in as critics lament the turbulence of the new era and look back wistfully to the supposed stability and security of its authoritarian predecessor. One would have hoped that by now people would know better -- that they would understand that this is what political development actually looks like, what it has always looked like, in the West just as much as in the Middle East, and that the only way ahead is to plunge forward rather than turn back. 

Bombing the Syrian Reactor: The Untold Story

By Elliott Abrams
February 2013 


From above: A satellite image of the Syrian reactor site one month after it was bombed by Israeli forces in September 2007. 

As the civil war in Syria enters its third year, there is much discussion of the regime’s chemical weapons and whether Syria’s Bashar al-Assad will unleash them against Syrian rebels, or whether a power vacuum after Assad’s fall might make those horrific tools available to the highest bidder. The conversation centers on Syria’s chemical weaponry, not on something vastly more serious: its nuclear weaponry. It well might have. This is the inside story of why it does not. 

Relations between the United States and Israel had grown rocky after Israel’s incursion into Lebanon in 2006, for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believed the Israelis had mishandled both the military and the diplomatic sides of the conflict. While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s personal relations with President George W. Bush were excellent, those with Rice were sometimes confrontational—especially when Rice worked at the United Nations to bring the war to a close while Olmert sought more time to attack Hezbollah. Olmert always seemed to ask for 10 days more, while Rice believed the war was not going well and that more time was unlikely to turn the tables. 

By the war’s end on August 14, 2006, Olmert’s political status had been diminished and his ability to negotiate any sort of peace agreement with the Palestinians was in doubt. The autumn of 2006 and winter of 2007 saw no movement on the Israeli-Palestinian front, and all the Israeli analysts we consulted said there would be none. We were stuck. And there was another surprise in store. 

Israel reportedly struck additional targets in Syria, regime releases video

By David Barnett

February 2, 2013

Western intelligence officials have told TIME that "at least one to two additional targets" were struck by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in Syria earlier this week in addition to that which has already been publicly reported. The officials did not specify the additional targets. 

On Jan. 30, The Long War Journal reported that the IAF had carried out an airstrike on a Syrian weapons convoy which reportedly included Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, and noted the Syrian regime's claim that "a scientific research center responsible for raising the levels of resistance and self-defense in Jamraya area in Damascus Countryside" had also been hit. 

According to TIME, the "scientific research center" was the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D'Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques), and "warehouses [at the SSRC] stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons" were destroyed in the strike. 

While the TIME report provides new information regarding this week's incidents, it does not indicate whether the antiaircraft missiles struck were in the vicinity of the facility in question. However, on Feb. 1, a US official told Agence France Presse that Israel had struck "surface-to-air missiles on vehicles" as well as an "adjacent" military complex "on the outskirts of Damascus" believed to be "housing" chemical agents. Similarly, McClatchy reported, based on comments from unnamed Israeli intelligence officials, that the antiaircraft missiles "were on a military base" in Jamraya when they were struck. Both reports appear to confirm a Jan. 30 report in the Wall Street Journal that suggested the antiaircraft missiles "may have been close to a military facility" when hit. 

According to the US Department of the Treasury, the SSRC is the Syrian government's body "responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them." In addition, the activities of the SSRC are said to "focus substantively on the development of biological and chemical weapons." In September 2010, Brigadier General (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, then the director of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau at Israel's National Security Council, said that "[t]he international community must send a signal that next time the institute [SSRC] supports terrorism, it will be demolished." 

On Feb. 2, Syrian state television aired footage purporting to show the damage caused by Israel's airstrikes, but there is no independent confirmation that the footage is of the SSRC facility or that it was taken in recent days. Additionally, the damage seen in the video is extremely limited, and TIME reported that the facility had been "flattened." 

If the Chinese dragon is so mighty, why is it trembling inside?

By Jonathan Freedland

1 February 2013

Beijing's alleged hacking of the New York Times is a sign of both the regime's huge power and its fear of a Chinese spring 



'Today's generation, born after those crushed protests, has no interest in politics, only in getting on and making money.' Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA 

As luck would have it, I was in Beijing when word came of China's apparent hacking of the New York Times. The newspaper says it became the target of sustained cyber-attack immediately after it had revealed the vast fortune – estimated as "at least $2.7bn" – amassed by the family of China's outgoing premier, Wen Jiabao. Among the dead giveaways: hostile activity on the NYT's system dropped off during Chinese public holidays. It seems even state-sponsored hackers need a day off.

If CCTV, China's state broadcaster – now with its own 24-hour, English-language news channel – mentioned the story at all, then I missed it. But it raises an intriguing question: was this the act of a regime that is strong or weak? It takes nerve to attack a prestige institution of the global superpower. But it also looks nervy to be so clearly rattled by one disobliging media report. So which is it? After a week immersed in conversation with Chinese scholars, foreign diplomats and NGO observers, it's hard to disagree with the analyst who told me the answer is both: China's rulers are simultaneously "hugely powerful and hugely insecure".

Put the question another way. Two years ago, when the Arab spring first blossomed, there began a global guessing game as to who would be next. By rights, China should have been an obvious candidate. It's ruled by an authoritarian government, the trappings of totalitarianism still in place. (For a first-time visitor, it can be a shock to see the retro slogans – "Long Live the Spirit of the 18th Congress!" – projected on giant, high-definition TV screens, often alongside ads for western brands. I spotted a demand for "Patriotism, Innovation, Inclusiveness, Virtue" directly opposite a poster for L'Oreal Men Expert Hydrating Gel. That's modern Beijing: a cross between 1984 and a Westfield centre.) Add in public frustration with both widening inequality and the brazen corruption typified by the Wen case, and the ingredients for a Chinese spring should be in place.