12 April 2013

In a first, pvt Indian firms can bid to make artillery guns

PranabDhalSamanta : New Delhi, Fri Apr 12 2013

Crossing an important milestone at the last meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the Ministry of Defence has, for the first time, decided to allow Indian private entities to participate in a bid for making artillery guns.

It is learnt that while approving the Army's proposal for upgunning of 300 more 130 mm M-46 field guns to a 155 mm gun system, the DAC on April 2 also decided that the request for proposal (RFP) would also go to interested private players. The Ordnance Factory Board, which used to automatically get these orders, will now be one of the contestants.

This is the first time that South Block has decided to let the Indian private sector make an offensive weapon platform. While companies have been keen, the opportunity has never come. However, private entities such as the Tatas and L&T have been involved in making important ancillary equipment such as launchers for the Pinaka missile.

The upgunning of 130 mm guns was originally awarded to Israeli firm Soltam which completed the first lot of 180 guns but it was then blacklisted. It was no longer possible to proceed with the original plan of upgunning all 480 guns of 130 mm.

Some transfer of technology did take place but it has all remained mothballed with the gun carriage factory in Jabalpur, sources said. In 2010, the Army did float a request for information for the remaining 300 guns but the process ran into delays.

For an Army facing shortage of artillery guns, this move is also being seen as a test case for opening the doors to the Indian private sector to manufacture lethal weapon systems given the problems India faces as a major global arms importer.

Besides, the DAC meeting, headed by Defence Minister A K Antony, also gave its stamp of approval to a new process of acquisition by which buying globally would be the last option. A new gradation has now been set under which the first priority would be to 'buy Indian', the next would be 'buy and make Indian' that would allow private entities room for collaboration, after which would come options of 'buy and make global' and then 'buy global'.

This, sources said, is another step aimed at giving priority to the Indian private sector so that they can set up defence manufacturing units in India, either on their own or through collaboration. All this will be part of the new Defence Procurement Policy, which is expected to be finalised at the next DAC meeting on April 20.

India-Pakistan: Business First

April 11, 2013
By Manjeet Kripalani

The road to reconciliation between India and Pakistan is likely to be a long one. But perhaps economic compulsions can overtake political ones.

On May 11, Pakistanis will go to the polls and elect a new government. For the first time in its history, the country will see a peaceful, civilian handover of the reins of state. This is an exhilarating moment in South Asia, for democratic progress in Pakistan will positively impact the dynamics of the region. Pakistan is keenly aware of this – but also of the fragility of the moment.

Nowhere is this better reflected than in the elegant port city of Karachi, which until just a few decades ago competed with Beirut for the title of ‘Paris of the East.’ It was cosmopolitan, fashionable, and creative, its people progressive, educated and secular. The population comprised of émigrés from India, many of whom carried their genetic business acumen with them, native Sindhis both Hindu and Muslim, Parsis, Christians and others from across the land, both Shia and Sunni. Like Mumbai, it was also a wealthy city, the financial center with access to the port.

Karachi still retains some of that flavor, but the population arithmetic has changed, and so has its self-definition. Of an estimated population of 20 million – the minority Parsis – Hindus and Christians are a handful. The Muhajirs, or Indian émigrés, are also dwindling. Growing in number are the Pathans, now over 5 million, who have fled their homes in the Northwest to find work in Karachi. The native Sindhi population is just 7% – and even the Governor of Sindh, who resides in a palatial colonial home in Karachi and has a sensitive post, is a non-Sindhi. The Taliban have moved into the city, and have begun an anti-Shia campaign, terrorizing and assassinating members of the community in mosques, in the streets, and demoralizing them by targeting their intellectuals – doctors and teachers.

Instead of the festive mood that typically accompanies pre-election season in India, Karachi is a city of silence. Very few of its intrepid millions are visible on the streets – afraid, say local residents. Election posters which should be hung like birthday buntings and plastered across the hoardings, have only a muted presence. A large number of Karachi’s elite have dual citizenship, and its businessmen have multinational operations from compulsion – having an office in Dubai or even in Tehran helps to hedge their bets. Under normal circumstances it would be the sign of confident, expanding business; here it is the opposite.

Still, many of Karachi’s commercial leaders are now cautiously optimistic about the future. The violence is visible, but so is the pushback from gutsy institutions like the media, the Election Commission, and the courts, making it somewhat reminiscent of India in the early 1990s. Pakistani business sees trade with India as the key to early economic progress at home. At a conference on South Asian Strategic Leadership organized this week by Karachi’s Nutshell Forum, businessman after businessman expressed this exact sentiment. Refreshingly absent from the discussion was any mention of Kashmir, of the military in Rawalpindi and its preoccupations with the border or with U.S. perfidy.

Jaya Jaitly responds to WikiLeaks cable on George Fernandes


The recent revelations made by WikiLeaks concerns the Kissinger Cables and the “intelligence” provided to him as Secretary of State from outposts all over the world. The Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi would have been of great interest to the U.S. as the self-appointed head of democracy-loving nations. The report, fed by a local official of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, in 1976, is full of half-baked speculation, misperceptions and a considerable amount of hearsay. It says George Fernandes asked to meet CIA officials in the U.S. Embassy through an intermediary in the French Embassy. It is this person’s version and impression that the U.S. official conveys to his bosses. Rather like the game of Chinese whispers it is very likely to be a Frenchman’s impression of a supposed conversation with George Fernandes conveyed to an American who passes his own version to the State Department would be mutilated and off track.

All those who know George Fernandes intimately during the days of the Emergency and for the past almost 25 years (excluding the years of his illness) and have heard his detailed stories of the days of struggle against the Emergency know who worked and helped. The CIA was nowhere in the picture. In fact, he often joked about how Indira Gandhi loved to call him an agent of the CIA and other bodies while it was she who was reported to have had links with them and the KGB, according to published writings of prominent people in the U.S. and Russia. George Fernandes always sought out socialists and trade union bodies all over the world, both during the famous Railway Strike and the Emergency. If it had not been for European socialist leaders like Willy Brandt and Olaf Palme pressurising Indira Gandhi to keep him safe, he could have been shot dead between the time of his arrest and jail.

He always made it clear in his dynamite plans that his socialist comrades would blow up small railway culverts and the like, and never ever believed in taking human lives. It was merely a show of defiance and fight back on behalf of the Indian people with no destruction of buildings or harm to people. To say that George Fernandes is “anti-American” would be totally incorrect. He is a proud nationalist, patriot and democratic socialist who wanted to strengthen the manufacturing capabilities of India. He fought unbridled capitalism and the domination of multinationals. He fought against IMF and World Bank dictates but had firm friends in the U.S. who were true democrats and socialists. He had no special fascination for the country, nor was he its ideological opponent. He admired its commitment to democracy and the transparency and accountability of its politics, including its effect on Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. However, he would never have approached the CIA as he hated the secretive, ruthless and oppressive nature of intelligence agencies, including the ones in his own country.

Had he been anti-American, he would have not allowed his wife and young child to be in the U.S. during the days of the Emergency. His more recent antagonism was against the indignity of being searched by security staff while on an official visit as Defence Minister of India, which he saw as an insult to an important representative of India. His wife held a U.S. green card and stayed in the U.S. for months every year over the past decades. WikiLeaks does not create its material. It is for political historians to piece together whatever information is in the public domain and analyse it for accuracy, context and meaning.

(Jaya Jaitly is the former president of the Samata Party.)

India Military in Afghanistan

A study released by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, USA on 14 Jan 2013 has totaled the direct spending by the US on the war in Afghanistan for the period FY2001 to FY2013 as $641.7 billion. Of this, $198.2 billion (over 30 per cent) will be spent in FY2012 and FY2013. Bulk of the total spending and aid has been allocated since FY2009 – after insurgency reached high levels - clear case of too much, too late. More significantly, it states that vast majority of aid went to the ANSF and ‘not’ on development. This indicates a US priority weighted on military expenditure and not on economic development. The emerging overall US doctrine implies US will not take primary responsibility for events but allow regional crises to play out until a new regional balance is reached. However, US will continue controlled engagement in accordance with its national interests. This is how the game will play out in Afghanistan, Syria and other conflict areas including Asia-Pacific. This matches Obama’s January 2013 speech of “a decade of war having ended and time having come for reviving economy”. Barry Cooper, Senior Fellow, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, wrote thus on 8th January 2013 in Calgary Herald…“Most important are our own interests: we are willing to let Pakistan (and even Iran) establish spheres of influence in Afghanistan because at the end of the day, we really don’t care how Afghans govern themselves”.

A run up to future instability and chaos in Afghanistan has already commenced. John M Gillete wrote in Small Wars Journal on 05 Feb, 2013, “ANSF has committed extraordinary assets to road clearing/ security… over large parts of the country offensive operations have ceased entirely and, in cases even resulted in a withdrawal of security forces from key terrain… without adequate supplies and effective communications large portions of the east, south and west are effectively isolated from Kabul... abandonment of key terrain have caused increasing numbers of security force personnel to become disillusioned and normally high attrition rates have swelled to epidemic levels that greatly exceed the rate at which new recruits are being added.” Earlier, in December 2012, John Glaser writing in AntiWar.com had reported that around 50,000 Afghan soldiers (about 26 per cent) quit the army annually, so do eight per cent of Afghan police officers every year quite contrary to the “rosy picture” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and top US military officials have been painting. 

As per Chris Sands (Global Post, Kabul - 20 Feb 2013), parts of Afghanistan have already descended into ethnic violence and civil conflict. In the southern province of Urugzan, a militia headed by a Hazara (ostensibly backed by US) is accused of deliberately destroying houses, raping women and murdering dozens of civilians. Up north, Northern Alliance is remobilising in case internationally supported talks with the Taliban see them return to power. Then there also have been reports of extremists from CAR, particularly from Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The US will be content if Northern Afghanistan holds as a buffer between Taliban and CAR. The power vacuum in southern and eastern Afghanistan may not be addressed if the US decides to restrict itself to training role and the ANSF resorts to fortress defence in face of mounting Taliban pressure. SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) will likely have increased influence in Afghanistan but China will unlikely commit any troops unless Chinese interests are directly threatened. However, there is possibility of increased NATO-CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) cooperation since China cannot provide security for her investments in the region and Russia understands the adverse effect of Taliban reaching Kabul. There has been some speculation of another international force like that from OIC countries but this remains speculative. A force under the UN flag too is unlikely as it comes into being only when both parties agree. So who is the other party besides Afghanistan; Taliban will not agree and Pakistan will say it was never involved. Can a UN force thus be deployed only on Afghanistan’s request to fight terror?

The record of our arms industry remains one of failure and disappointment

Manoj Joshi Mail Today April 11, 2013

The report that Rajiv Gandhi was involved in promoting a Swedish fighter during the Emergency (1975-1977) should not surprise.Thirty five years down the line it helps us locate the beginnings of the dysfunctionality of the country's military industrial complex which depends 70 per cent or more on imported products and components.

In themselves, the Wikileaks documents do not prove much, but they are the smoking gun that point to the manner in which decisions have since been taken despite spending hundreds of thousands of crores in trying to create a military industrial complex that services our huge requirements.

The story line is not familiar to many.

But by the time she declared Emergency, Indira Gandhi realised that she had carried the Left maneuver too far.Indeed, she was convinced that the Nav Nirman agitations of 1974-5 were the handiwork of the Americans.

A course correction was needed, and one of its elements was to signal her intent by beginning to purchase defence equipment from the West. This was the era of Sanjay Gandhi where deals and dealmaking was the norm - for projects, real estate development, you name it.

It is not surprising that the prospect of purchases from the West also attracted entrepreneurs, and who better than the elder son of the prime minister.

The Soviet equipment that India was getting was at throwaway "friendship" prices, so there was nothing to be skimmed off there, but five or six per cent from a western deal was eminently doable.

This was the template that was used, with the bulk of the money going not to the "agent" who represented the company, but to the political leader who had the power to ensure that a deal could, or could not, go through.

The more recent AgustaWestland helicopter deal has suggested that money may have been made for every single import deal, barring the US FMS category. All efforts to utilise deals to create a defence industrial base have failed on account of that reality.

They have done so not because Indians are bad managers and bad at learning technology, but because there have been powerful parties at work to ensure that we continue to import, so that they can get their cuts.

At first sight this would seem to be far too sinister an explanation for the phenomenon. There is some truth in that.It is not as though some politicians have sat together and conspired to sabotage indigenisation.

But the net effect of their policies have been that.

The demand for cash that all political parties have to contest elections has been the fountainhead that has created a bureaucratic, military and defence decision-making structure which ensures that we keep running at the same place when it comes to creating a vibrant military industry complex in the country.

While other sectors of the manufacturing industry, notably automobiles, have become world class, the record of our arms industry remains one of failure and disappointment.

Today we have 9 defence public sector units and 41 ordnance factories as well as the laboratories of the DRDO, all of which are reported to employ nearly 1.5 million workers, including 30,000 DRDO employees, of which 7,000 are scientists.

The Arun Singh Committee on Defence Expenditure was the first to point out the obsolescence of the Ordnance Factories and recommended the shutting down of five and letting the private sector handle items like clothing. To this we could now add trucks.

The premier Ordnance Factory, the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur is today merely assembling Ashok Leyland Stallion and Tata LPTA 713 trucks.

According to a report of the Boston Consulting Group, the annual output per employee in the Ordnance Factories and DPSUs is of the order of Rs 15.4 lakh against an average of Rs 30.4 lakh across the manufacturing sector.

Yet, in 2012-13 as much as Rs 556 crore had been allotted for overtime in the Ordnance Factories' budget. Take the case of the Tatra truck.

Not the border, nor the ocean

Raja Menon : Fri Apr 12 2013

For India-China ties, China's nuclear assistance to Pakistan is the real problem

Some high-level exchanges between China and India at the BRICS summit have been in the news. The Chinese president has sounded off on five ideas to maintain peace between the Asian giants. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put across the plea that China's ties with others must not hurt India. Both leaders have been sagacious in their demands. Because, if there is space, as the Chinese say, for two tigers on the same mountain, and India has to be convinced that China's rise is peaceful, Beijing is going to have to change its foreign policy in a major way.

It is not the boundary dispute that is worrying. Despite its length and the vagueness of the line in some areas, the boundary has been a line of peace and tranquillity for two decades. Neither side has any intention to disturb the peaceful status quo despite disputed claims. Nor is there a real worry that either side has plans to break the peace with a blitzkrieg. All the manoeuvring around with movements of troops, airfields and rocket batteries on either side of the line doesn't quite convince the other side that an attack is imminent or being seriously planned. If a permanent settlement is decades away, it doesn't really matter — as the Chinese say, leave the dispute to the next generation.

China's presence in the Indian Ocean could have been another worry, but it has already taken place amidst some huge yawns. The Chinese task group off Somalia now has a refuelling base in the Seychelles instead of the Omani coast, but neither its size nor its activities are of concern to maritime strategists. True, one day when China has built its navy sufficiently to meet its needs in the west Pacific and has another aircraft carrier and, more importantly, a working carrier air group, it will come to the Indian Ocean and disturb the balance.

If the reason why China wants to operate in the Indian Ocean is to protect its huge inflow of resources, it could discuss the issue with India or India's navy, but it is perfectly alright if it chooses not to do so. China's southward expansion to connect its hinterland to the Indian Ocean is understandable to Indian maritime strategists. So misunderstandings can be avoided even without talks. Tibet could have been a possible source of trouble, but India has confirmed Chinese sovereignty in that region and if Beijing apprehends trouble there, it is purely an internal matter for the Chinese government. Tibetan separatism is an issue between the Tibetans and Beijing, with no role for India, which has done more than enough to restrict the freedom of the Dalai Lama in India.

So what could come in the way of these two countries maintaining a historical Asian relationship without wandering into realpolitik and Western theories of international relations? The answer is Beijing's long, tenacious, unremitting and viciously anti-Indian stance of helping Pakistan with nuclear weapons and nuclear technology. The history of this assistance began in 1983, when India was inoffensive and weak, bumbling along at a Hindu rate of growth. Since then, the Chinese have been at the heart of Pakistan's nuclear weapon capability. From the M9 (Shaheen1) missile factory at Fatehjung to the nuclear bomb design, to the use of the Chinese explosive test facility, to technical assistance in both missile and weapon technology, the Chinese have armed Pakistan over three decades. Part of the Chinese deceit is that, during every goodwill visit of the Chinese or Indian premier to the other country, there has been a simultaneous and clandestine transfer of weapon or missile technology to Pakistan. Any number of Indian experts have confronted the Chinese with their aggressive and duplicitous help to Pakistan, but except for one Chinese scholar there has always been stony silence.

Polls in Pak just a sideshow of the ruling military-dominant civilian leadership

APRIL 10, 2013

New Delhi, April 10 (ANI): Mr. Tarek Fatah, a Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin, an author and a journalist, said on Wednesday that the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan should just be seen as a sideshow of the ruling military-dominant civilian leadership, adding that it wouldn't matter who wins or loses, as political power will remain in the hands of Pakistan's armed forces and its intelligence wing - the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Speaking to ANI in an exclusive interview here, Fatah said: "For the Pakistani ruling establishment, which is the military civilian complex that rules the country ,elections are a side show at the federal level. Who wins and who loses, power will still remain in the hands of the Pakistan armed forces and the ISI."

"This has been the case for a long time, because of U.S. Congress restrictions. Even if the military stages a coup, they (the U.S. Congress) can in an instant, immediately stop all military and civilian aid," Fatah said.

"Elections will have a greater impact at the provincial and not much at the federal level. Take for example the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the Awami National Party (ANP) is in power. They have been decimated and systematically assassinated by the Taliban and other Jehadi groups that are funded and supported by the Pakistan military. The real question is what will happen if the ANP is overthrown and defeated in the next election? Then, there is the 2014 withdrawal of U.S. troops and other foreign troops from Afghanistan, which could mean that the Pakistan-based Taliban will take over Kabul. That is a broader strategic issue," Fatah said.

Commenting on developments in the south of the country i.e. Balochistan, Fatah said there was a rift between Baloch nationalists, Akhtar Mengal and the national party of Bizenjo.

There are leaders like Harbiyar Marri , Mehran and Brahamdagh Bugti who have declared the elections invalid because the Pakistan Army is still picking up Baloch youth and dropping them from helicopters, Fatah claimed.

"The latest is they are stealing organs of dead Baloch youth and selling them in markets. So, there is a division in the Baloch nationalist vote, but I think Akthar Mengal of the BNP has some understanding, therefore, he is popular and will form the government in the province. He will, however, face restrictions because the Pakistan armed forces will be on the margins, watching his every move and decision," Fatah said.

The Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin author and a journalist further said that Pakistan is a country that has been living under the shadow of gun since its creation in August 1947.

"Since 1953, Pakistan is been under military rule or military authority. The difference this time is that there is widespread insurgency, that has resulted in sectarian killings, and where every political party now has their own armed wings. Previously, politicians used to campaign in jeeps or trucks with few supporters. Now, they have to move around in armed convoys. So, Pakistan will always be under a gun, and it is not some foreign gun, it is their own military guns, plus their own creation of Jihadi groups like the Pakistani Taliban, which in the end, will cause Pakistan to self destruct," Fatah said.

In Afghan peace, the Pakistan factor


With 2014 close, Islamabad’s continued demand for primacy in its relationship with Kabul is fuelling tensions between the two neighbours

TRIGGER POINT: Pakistan’s unwillingness to act against the Taliban in Quetta or Miramshah is a major obstacle. 

In Pakistan these days, a strange kind of schizophrenia is afoot, as the excitement over completing five, fulsome years of democratic rule competes with a growing tension with Afghanistan. Over the past couple of weeks, Pakistani officials and Afghan leaders have accused each other of fomenting terrorism, disturbingly raising the pitch and dropping all pretence of good neighbourly relations.

According to the Afghans, the Pakistani military in late March indulged in unprovoked shelling and illegal construction along the Durand Line in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan — which Pakistan denies — which has so angered Kabul that it has cancelled its offer to train some of its military personnel in Pakistan.

War of words

An accompanying war of words has since claimed the air between the two neighbours. An unnamed Pakistani official told Reuters that the “biggest impediment to the (Afghan) peace process is Karzai. In trying to look like a saviour, he is taking Afghanistan straight to hell.”

The Afghan Foreign Ministry made its anger known through a statement. “This demonstrates the interfering but delusional tendency of some in Pakistan who choose to ignore Afghanistan’s sovereignty...and continue to want to...re-exert control in Afghanistan through armed proxies,” it said.

About the same time, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), told its Supreme Court that the Afghan government was providing “strong support” to several anti-Pakistan terrorist groups, including the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Clearly, as the clock moves inexorably towards the drawdown by the U.S. and international troops in April 2014, exactly a year from now, questions about the kind of role Pakistan can — and should play — in the region, lie at the heart of the escalating tension between the Afghan and Pakistan leadership.

The Afghans argue that the Pakistanis have done little since the 9/11 incidents to eliminate terrorist havens and safe spaces inside their country, which the Taliban brazenly uses as sanctuary to mount attacks inside Afghanistan and then return home to Pakistan.

But Pakistan continues to demand a position of primacy in the Pakistan-Afghan relationship, citing its front line state status as well as deep ethnic, civilisational and religious links between Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line.

Pakistan: Dynamics of Failing State Theory

April 11, 2013 by Team SAISA

“Pakistan speaks of America’s continual betrayal. America finds Pakistan duplicitous wants it to focus on global threats, be it communalism or Jihadist. Pakistan wants to concentrate on the threat next door –India. 

Bruce Riedel in Deadly Embrace


As the promised 2014 deadline for NATO pullout from Afghanistan draws to a close analysts in the West are developing cold feet. They are increasingly worried that geopolitically a precipitous withdrawal (under a deal with Taliban) may signal a victory for al Qaeda and global Jihad, Lebonise Afghanistan and brighten the prospects of a jihadist takeover in Pakistan. Therefore, books of experts such as Bruce Riedel ( Deadly Embrace, 2011) and Ian Talbot (The New History of Pakistan, 2013) , which recommend ISAF staying the course in Afghanistan and preventing a collapse of Pakistan have gained great currency.

This discussion focuses on the dynamics of the theory of Pakistan failing as a part of this larger discourse propagated by the Western thinkers to provide a face-saving formula for the West to stay on in the region.

Before we analyse the theory, a closer look at what Pakistan stands for today merits a deeper look.

Pakistan Today

In a resource strapped country, with weak economic indices such at tax to GDP ratio of 9.4, a total public debt of about $124 Billion (debt to GDP ratio of 55.9) out of which external debt was about $59.5 Billion, forex reserves at just $17.1 Billion while government expenditure continues to mount (figures Jul 2010-Mar 2011 Pakistan Government), with marginal growth(which is termed as “borrowed growth” by Maleeha Lodhi), there technically should be every effort to reverse the trend of deep recession and high inflation rate. This assumes added significance when there is shortage of 5,700 MW in the energy sector and there is little money to pay for the oil, gas, milk and cooking oil.

AS per lan Talbot, in his recently released book, “A new History of Pakistan” such a country is also sitting on a demographic time bomb. The present population (49 million in 1947) may rise to 335 million by 2050 and 450 million if fertility rates are not decreased. Such a population level world place an enormous strain on resources – resources that Pakistan does not have. The failure of education has contributed to and mirrored the failure of Pakistan state to widen the ‘commitment’ and ‘implementation’ gap. If the West Point study points towards the well-known fact that the educated youth bulge too is opting for radical Islam philosophies of Lashkar, they cannot be faulted.

The Deep State

To top it all, a country with such indices has its security paradigm out of sync with the economic and political capacity of the state. Pakistan today just cannot afford to be guided by an army driven strategic thinking – that of parity with India by all means. Worse still, the Jihadi Military Complex (JMC) has contributed to extreme radicalisation of the Deep State.

Radicalisation of the military, as evident in Meharan Naval base incident, killing of OBL by US Navy Seals and common recruitment areas for army and the Lashkar all point towards a tilt in balance from the military to the Jihadis. This can prove disastrous in a 3 to 7 years time window should Pakistan find another Zia-Ul-Haq in the Army.

The “One Unit Pakistan” philosophy practiced by the Punjab centric military has driven the country towards a genocidal path. As per a report In SATP, since 1989, there have been 2,582 sectarian incidents in Pakistan, in which 3,719 persons have lost their lives and 7727 were injured. For more on the sectarian strife read this by Alok Bansal.


April 9, 2013: 

China is expanding its force of female operators. Chinese SOF (special operations forces, including commandos and troops similar to American rangers and special forces) are a relatively recent development but have been growing rapidly over the last decade. The latest addition is women. Last year ground forces commanders were ordered to find ways to recruit, train, and organize female special operations units. The use of women in “special operations” is not entirely new in Chinese history, but melding that tradition with modern special operations units is.

Various army units called for volunteers and thousands responded. There are over 150,000 women in the Chinese military, most of them in the army. Out of that group there are always some willing to try something new and challenging. Nothing is quite as challenging as special operations. Since women have become competitive as police snipers and on SWAT teams, it is believed the many new female special operations units (usually squads or platoons for recon or intelligence gathering) are more than just for show.

While the first Chinese special operations units were formed in the late 1980s, in the last decade China has let its SOF troops get out more, sending them to participate in international operations and even a NATO sponsored International Competition of Special Forces. Chinese commandos who participated in a 2009 international special operations competition walked away with the largest number of wins and broke several records.

The Chinese term for the SOF is Quantou Budui (fist units), an allusion to martial arts where a powerful blow in the right spot can quickly bring down a foe. Chinese SOF remains small, well equipped, and well trained. There are fewer than 5,000 troops in the Chinese SOF, organized into 6th Special Warfare Group, 8th Special Warfare Group, 12th Special Warfare Detachment, and Naval Commando Unit. The 15th Airborne Corps is used as a major source of recruits. Thus Chinese soldiers know that if they want to become commandos they have to get into an airborne unit first. China has over 20,000 second-tier special operations troops (rangers, special recon, and raiding personnel), which is where nearly all of the new women operators probably ended up.

At the time of the 1991 Gulf War, the Chinese only had a few hundred commando type troops and they were intended mainly for long range recon missions. But after seeing what American SOF soldiers did in the Persian Gulf, the Chinese began forming units similar to American Rangers. By the time the 2001 war in Afghanistan came along, the Chinese decided to develop more commandos along the lines of American Special Forces, Delta Force, and British SAS.

For a long time Chinese SOF units mainly trained and planned for operations against Taiwan. This included attacks on key targets, as well as kidnapping or killing senior military and political leaders. Some of this would involve Chinese SOF operators who snuck on to the island as tourists or commercial travelers beforehand.

China now has hundreds of very experienced operators, each with over a decade of SOF experience. China has also been sending SOF personnel around to train troops in foreign nations. For example, seven years ago several hundred instructors from the Chinese special forces were in Venezuela for about six months, training Venezuelan troops in recon techniques and counter-terrorism tactics. The Chinese spoke good Spanish. The Chinese were apparently very interested in finding out about the training techniques used by the American Special Forces instructors (who had trained Venezuelan troops until 2003) and the Venezuelans told all they knew. Since then, a lot more of these training/intelligence missions have been conducted, finding that this half century old American technique is very useful.


11 April,2013

The People’s Republic of China was approved as a participating government at the 14th plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in May 2004. The NSG is a voluntary export control group of nations agreeing to coordinate export controls governing transfers of civilian nuclear material and technology. The original mandate of the 46 nation-NSG is to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports. It has been clearly stated that supplier states under NSG guidelines are not permitted to sell reactors to states that do not adhere to full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

By joining the NSG, China demonstrated its willingness, at least on paper, to undertake necessary steps for combating nuclear weapons proliferation and also put its updated non-proliferation and export control policies into practice for nuclear and dual-use technology transfers. Established in 1975, the NSG, inclusive of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have agreed to voluntary restrictions on nuclear commerce in order to ensure that benign exports do not contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation. China’s addition was viewed as a positive step for the NSG in its endeavours to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology.

China’s State Council announced updating of Chinese export controls on nuclear technology in December 2006, originally issued in 1997, intending to give the government “more control over the end use” of exported nuclear technology. The revised regulations also provided more explicit guidance for importers and exporters of Chinese nuclear technology and spoke of specific penalties for export control violations. Recipients of Chinese uranium-enrichment technology are now prohibited from using it to produce uranium containing more than 20 percent uranium-235. Significantly, the regulation also has the provision allowing Beijing to “suspend” nuclear exports to a recipient in case there is a danger of nuclear terrorism. Besides, in 2002, Beijing adopted regulations governing the export of missiles and related components, as well as chemical and biological materials and related equipment.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Beijing adopted a series of measures to strengthen its export control mechanisms including more comprehensive regulations on export control and an improved legal system for non-proliferation export control. It appears that Beijing wants to balance its non-proliferation objectives with efforts to provide access to emergent nuclear technologies. In December 2003, China issued a White Paper titled, “China's Non-proliferation Policy and Measures,” in which the three principles governing China’s nuclear exports were outlined. These principles stated that a client must: (1) guarantee any technology transferred from China must be intended for peaceful purposes only, (2) accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and, (3) agree not to re-transfer technology to a third party without China’s approval. The Chinese government acknowledged that nuclear and dual-use technology supplied to client states should not be used in an illicit manner.

Ancient Chinese general’s strategies should guide U.S. in dealing with N. Korea

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Five centuries before Christ, Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War,” which teaches enduring principles of combat:

Position troops so the enemy must face the sun. If an enemy leaves a door open, rush through. If outnumbered, retreat.

The book by the ancient Chinese general and military strategist is well-known among those in the military and in the business world. Its underlying theme was the axiom, “All warfare is based on deception.”

It is through this lens that Americans and others must view the situation with young North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. For if he has not yet had time to digest Sun Tzu, his generals certainly have, experts say.

A wise general who wanted to attack wouldn't announce it beforehand. He wouldn't pound war drums for weeks, giving an enemy time to reinforce already superior forces. He definitely wouldn't say he intended to incinerate several American cities and then move missiles into firing position in broad daylight.

Even launching a medium-range missile out to sea — which North Korea may do Wednesday — or at any time — is not really intended to ignite a war, experts told the Tribune-Review.
This is a bluff, said David Maxwell, associate director of the Center for Security Studies at George Washington University.

“The North Koreans read Sun Tzu,” said Maxwell, a retired Special Forces colonel who served five tours in South Korea. “I don't think they want to go to war at all. This is not how you go to war.”
Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, agreed. The North Koreans, he said, “do not want to go to war.”

But Maxwell, Roy and other experts interviewed by the Tribune-Review over the recent course of rising North Korean stakes each separately used the exact same word — “miscalculation” — to describe deep concerns about what could happen.

“This situation is the most serious since the Korean War in the 1950s,” said Ellen Kim, a Korean scholar with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.


The danger, Kim and the other experts say, is two-fold. First, the North's rhetoric this time is so bizarre that to do nothing after such a build-up would involve a loss of face. Likewise, Kim Jong-un may launch a missile to sea to save face, Kim said.

Losing face is one of the most dreaded things for a Korean or others in East Asia. In the Koreas, the concept is known as Kibun. There is no literal English translation, but it means to disrupt the balanced harmony in a relationship by hurting someone's pride or causing them to lose dignity.

South Korea's new leader, Park Geun-hye, “has made it clear that she will respond,” Kim said. Maxwell, Roy and Kim agree that opinion has changed in South Korea since 2010, when the North killed 50 South Koreans by sinking the naval ship Cheonan and firing shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

The second danger is that in the past, South Koreans responded to threats from the North with nonchalance that often surprised people in the West. Not anymore, said Kim, who was raised in the South. “They killed Koreans.”

“If the North launches a kinetic operation (against the South), the South Korean military is going to respond,” Maxwell agreed.

The key, he said, is that the reaction be strong, swift and “at the point of provocation.” If it is delayed or non-proportional, it could produce a dreaded miscalculation.

Chinese leaders have soaked up Sun Tzu since grade school. Nowhere in “The Art of War” does it say a great power (China) should let a minor one (North Korea) determine the timing or place of a conflict with a deadly enemy regardless of any agreement.

Unlike the past, China has remained mostly quiet as the United States and its friends beef up forces in the region. The carrier USS John C. Stennis is paying a visit to the newly welcoming port of Singapore. B-2 stealth bombers made practice bomb runs during a visit to South Korea as part of annual war games with its ally that the North has blamed for its rancor. The most advanced fighter jets in the world, F-22s, are landing in the South.

(Continued at the link below)

Mining Concessions in Afghanistan Take Centre-Stage

Monish Gulati


Afghan President Karzai during a visit to the Helmand province on 12 March continued, from the week before, his criticism of the US/NATO intentions in Afghanistan.He made a pointed reference to the US, claiming that it was ‘eyeing’ Afghan minerals and warned that Afghan government is aware of their intent. "Americans have asked Afghans to give them Afghanistan's mining contracts … from the start they have been doing their investigations and finishing their photography. But now they understand that we know about them".1

Karzai’s assertion may be high on rhetoric and less on substance as US commercial interests in the Afghan mining sector are, at present, far and few. However, developments in the Afghan mining sector match the hectic pace of events in the country’s surcharged political space. It is not Afghanistan’s immense mineral riches that are causing the excitement, but how the mining sector is being looked at in the present circumstances. An entire range of stakeholders see Afghanistan’s mineral deposits as a panacea for the country’s current problems. Mining, as the prospects of large international aid packages are dim, is the quick fire solution to secure finances to pay for country’s armed forces, draw investors, build infrastructure, create jobs, bring in industrial growth and development and alleviate poverty. The Afghan Ministry of Mines has identified 1,400 mines in different parts of the country and it is expected that the income from the mining sector will reach over US $1.5 billion to cover nearly half of the government’s budget by 2016.

The Afghan government concurs with the joint assessment of the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and USAID, that Afghanistan possess “previously unknown” and untapped mineral reserves including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium with an estimated worth of one trillion dollars. One estimate details this as Iron: $421bn, Copper: $274bn and Gold: $25bn besides other rare earths and minerals. According to some analysts the likely royalties and taxes that could be generated in Afghanistan could reach $3 trillion.2 The World Bank estimates that if the situation stabilises mining and agriculture together could raise annual growth rates by 3 to 4 percentage points between now and 2025.

It is true that the US, as was the case with the Soviet Union before it, has extensively mapped and estimated Afghanistan’s mineral deposits. Detailed Soviet exploration had produced excellent geological maps and reports that listed more than 1,400 mineral deposits, including about 70 of which are commercially viable. The Soviet Union subsequently committed more than $650 million for resource exploration and development in Afghanistan, and the proposed projects included a smelting complex for the Aynak mines that was to produce 1.5 million tons of copper per year.

Afghanistan has become the first country whose surface minerals have been mapped from the air by "hyper-spectral imaging”, in which reflections of light from the ground are analysed. As different minerals - as well as snow or vegetation - reflect specific colours, a “spectral mineral map" can be created. The Afghan map comprises more than 800 million data points corresponding to an area of 440,000 sq km, about 70% of the country. The USGS public release of the data includes two maps: one of iron and iron-bearing minerals, and other of minerals principally containing carbon, silicon, or sulphur. The survey was jointly funded by the US Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) and the Afghan government.3

One of the recent developments in the Afghan mining sector is the decision of the UK government on 06 March this year, to put in its bid for Afghanistan’s untapped mineral wealth, through a three-year, $15 million (£10m) plan to support mining and oil and gas projects in the country.4 David Cameron announced the funding programme to aid the Afghan Ministry of Mines at an event at Downing Street where dozens of UK investors and mining contractors were in attendance. British mining companies welcomed the announcement and called for a level playing field to compete.

The award of the 30-year Aynak copper mine contract to a Chinese consortium in 2007 had come under suspicion of bribery and kick-backs. The World Bank had appealed for future Afghan mining concessions to be better regulated and more competitive; UK's support is aimed at improving that process. It was felt that enhancing Afghan technical competence and ensuring transparent processes in the mining sector would provide a more conducive business environment. The decision, coming after the recent Afghanistan-Pakistan-UK trilateral meet in London, is significant for Afghanistan, particularly its mining sector. In an era of fiscal constraints and uncertain Afghan security environment, the move sends a positive signal.

The second important development has been the preliminary approval by the Afghan Council of Ministers of the Mines Law. The approval, which had been previously stalled because the Council of Ministers thought the law gave foreign companies too much space to exploit country’s natural resources, is an important step for Afghanistan to attract large investors in the mining sector. Pending approval of the Mines Law no mining agreements were being signed by the Afghan government even though it had identified ‘preferred bidders’ for a number of projects. Earlier the Mines Law had also called for separate bids for exploration and mining in an area, which it was felt was not favourable to the agency/company carrying out the exploration process.5

Winning the South China Sea Fight without Firing a Shot

April 11, 2013

China's launch of its first aircraft carrier caught the world's attention in 2012. With the reconditioned Russian vessel, China would enforce its extensive claims on the South China Sea, observers speculated, though pressing the Liaoning into active duty was years away.

Earlier this month China introduced of a more effective weapons system to assert its territorial claims - a cruise ship with thousands of tourists. Deployment of a tourist boat along with myriad other vessels to establish its claims in the South China Sea has given new meaning to China's claim of a "peaceful rise."

Since the 1950s, Chinese maps have shown nine elongated lines along the coastline of China and Southeast Asia to mark its territorial control. Effort to clarify meaning of that U-shaped line tended to become lost in a miasma of contradictory, confusing statements. Even if intended as a sovereign boundary, the lines were not taken seriously. But in 2009, China submitted that map to the UN as marking its "indisputable sovereignty." China's actions since have left no doubt that the most senior levels of the Chinese government view the U-shaped line as a legitimate, enforceable, maritime boundary.

A series of incidents with Southeast Asian neighbors involving Chinese fishing and patrol vessels and strident public claims raised public awareness in July 2010 when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on China to resolve the dispute peacefully. China responded by stepping up enforcement capabilities and deploying a smorgasbord of government maritime agencies: the Maritime Safety Administration, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command, the State Oceanic Administration, and China Marine Surveillance, not to mention the China Coast Guard under the Ministry of Public Security and provincial-level maritime authorities, most notably those of Hainan Island - all distinct from rapid growth of the Chinese navy and air force.
China's first aircraft carrier received much attention, but for the near future it's a training platform, not an operational military asset. Maritime police in their multiple manifestations are another matter.

Growth of that force is spelled out by the Beijing correspondent for The Los Angeles Times: For example, since 2000 the Chinese military has transferred 11 former warships to the Marine Surveillance agency, which has built 13 ships of its own and plans 36 more. The Fisheries Law Enforcement Command recently took control of a former warship equipped with a helicopter landing pad. Those new vessels are kept busy. The US Pacific Command estimates that the number of long-range patrols by Chinese maritime police in the South China Sea has tripled since 2008. As one US naval officer observed in the Times article, "Chinese maritime surveillance cutters have no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China's expansive claims." They have cut cables towing Vietnamese sonar arrays, arrested and intimidated Southeast Asian fishermen, harassed US naval vessels and, in one case, erected a barrier to establish China's exclusive control. These non-naval Chinese vessels are not equipped with military weapons, but demonstrate prowess with water cannons and grappling hooks - sparking frustration and a sense of helplessness among China's neighboring countries.
China may have shot itself in the foot strategically, but not at the tactical level. Southeast Asian countries lack the capability to match the Chinese on or over the water with military or coast guard assets, a gap in capabilities growing monthly. Bluntly put, Chinese maritime enforcement agencies can muscle other Southeast Asians aside at will - with Vietnamese military outposts being the principle possible exception. Meanwhile, the US has long declared that it takes no position on territorial claims in the South China Sea, insisting on two principles: maintenance of international sea lanes in the area as a "global commons" and resolution of territorial disputes without using military force. By using unarmed coast guard forces to enforce claims, China exploits vulnerability in the US position.

What to Do When North Korea Goes South

By Andrei Lankov Apr 11, 2013

From time to time, newspapers shower readers with predictions of a looming mass starvation in North Korea, usually in springtime. In March 2011, the New York Times wrote: “North Korea: 6 Million Are Hungry.” One year earlier, in March 2010, the Times of London warned: “Catastrophe in North Korea; China must pressure Pyongyang to allow food aid to millions threatened by famine.” In March 2009, a Washington Post headline read: “At the Heart of North Korea’s Troubles, an Intractable Hunger Crisis.”

The predictions come every year, but famine does not. Indeed, the last five to 10 years have been a time of modest, but undeniable, improvement in the North Korean economy. According to estimates from the Bank of Korea, gross-domestic- product growth from 2000 to 2011 averaged 1.4 percent per year. Anecdotal evidence and observations support such mildly optimistic estimates.

Malnourishment remains common, but few if any North Koreans have starved to death since 2000. A new middle class can now afford items that were unheard of in Kim Il Sung’s time.DVD players are common. Refrigerators remain rare but are no longer exceptional, and even a computer in a private house is no longer a sign of extreme wealth.

Pyongyang Opulence

The improvement is especially noticeable in Pyongyang. The huge avenues of the North Korean capital, once empty, are now reminiscent of 1970s Moscow: Traffic is not too heavy, but clearly present. In older parts of the city, where streets are not that wide, one can occasionally even encounter traffic jams. Visitors and richer Pyongyangites alike can feast in posh restaurants. Gone are the days when a bottle of cheap Chinese shampoo was seen as a great luxury; nowadays one can easily buy Chanel in a Pyongyang boutique.

This slow improvement in the economic situation may actually be as dangerous for the regime as a famine. Without radical reforms, North Korea might continue to grow moderately, but it is not going to achieve growth rates like that of China or South Korea. The huge income gapbetween North Korea and its neighbors -- the major potential source of political discontent at home -- is sure to keep growing.

At the same time, less daily economic pressure means that citizens have more time to think, talk and socialize. Contrary to the common perception, people seldom start revolutions when they are really desperate: In such times, they are too busy fighting for physical survival. A minor, but insufficient, improvement in people’s lives is what authoritarian regimes should fear most.

An ongoing generational shift poses an especially dangerous challenge. North Koreans below the age of 35 have not been subjected to intense ideological indoctrination, and they have grown up in a world where everybody knows newspapers are not telling the complete and only truth. They don’t remember the times when the state was seen as a natural giver of all things; for many of them, the state and its officials are merely a swarm of parasites. They know that the North lags hopelessly behind the South. They also grew up in more relaxed times, when state terror was scaled down, and hence they are less afraid to speak about such dangerous topics. All these changes in mindset don’t bode well for the long-term stability of the regime. A reckoning might be years off, but it is almost inevitable.

Four Scenarios

There are four likely scenarios that might trigger a dramatic crisis. The first is an attempt at reforms more or less similar to those undertaken in China and Vietnam. I have argued that the North Korean leadership understands the inherent danger of Chinese-style reforms and will not take the risk. However, this was said in the context of the Kim Jong Il era’s North Korean leadership -- and this leadership is changing. New leaders -- including, above all, Kim Jong Un himself -- might be seduced by the prospect of opening up the economy, hoping to enrich themselves as Chinese party cadres have. They would thus ensure their own downfall, as increasingly dissatisfied citizens pushed to reunify with the much richer South.

Another possible trigger of unrest would be serious factional infighting within the top leadership -- a purge of prominent officials, for instance, or an attempted coup. Alternatively, the loser in a factional clash might decide to go down fighting. Such an open clash would be perceived as a sign of the elite’s inability to keep the situation under control. In that case, many people who would otherwise remain docile might start expressing their grievances -- with predictably dangerous consequences.

The third possible endgame involves a spontaneous outbreak of popular discontent -- a local riot that quickly develops into a nationwide revolutionary movement, somewhat similar to what we saw in 2011 in the Arab world. Nowadays, North Koreans appear to be too terrified, isolated and distrustful of one another to emulate the Tunisians or Egyptians. Nonetheless, the regime’s control is steadily getting weaker, fear is diminishing, and the knowledge of available alternatives is spreading. So in the long run, a “Pyongyang Spring” isn’t impossible.

The fourth scenario would involve the spread of unrest from China -- the only country where an outbreak of civilian disobedience or a riot might produce some impact on North Korea. Of course, the above-mentioned scenarios can combine, and I’m not sufficiently vain to believe that I’ve listed all the possibilities in this short sketch. Nonetheless, one thing appears to be almost certain: Due to the peculiarities of North Korea’s domestic and international situation, neither a gradual and manageable transformation of the regime nor its perpetual survival appears to be a likely outcome. Sooner or later, it will go down in crisis -- in all probability, suddenly and violently.

Elite’s Fears

The North Korean elite fear that if the regime collapses, they will be persecuted by victorious southerners or lynched by angry mobs of their own compatriots. Therefore they might choose to fight, assuming that they will be fighting for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Their initial instinct will be to put down disturbances, slaughter the ringleaders and attempt to restore what the Kim family regime defines as “law and order.”

If unsuccessful, they will beg for Chinese help. A very significant part of the current North Korean elite would much prefer a Chinese-controlled satellite regime to unification under South Korean tutelage.

Will Beijing listen to these demands? So far, Chinese policy on the Korean peninsula has been largely aimed at keeping the North afloat at a moderate cost. Chinese intervention would restore order in North Korea, thus preventing a refugee crisis and greatly curtailing the likelihood of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation. It would also ensure that North Korea continued to exist as a strategically useful buffer zone and that Chinese corporations were able to maintain their privileged access to North Korea’s resources.

However, these geopolitical gains would come with a large price tag. To start with, a Chinese takeover of the North would produce a tidal wave of anti-Chinese sentiment in South Korea. China would instantly become the major target of Korean nationalist passions, and the South Korea-U.S. alliance would be strengthened dramatically.

Inside North Korea, nationalism would surge, as well. The Soviet experience in Eastern Europe serves as a good guide. In 1956, Soviet tanks crushed a popular rebellion and installed a pro-Soviet client regime in Hungary. This regime was more successful than anyone had anticipated and soon made Hungary, according to a popular joke of the time, “the merriest barrack of the Soviet camp.” But this didn’t make either the Soviet Union or its Hungarian clients popular with the Hungarian people. Common Hungarians still despised their government and blamed the Russians for more or less everything that didn’t go right in Hungary. There’s little reason to believe that Chinese domination of North Korea would be any more popular.

China’s Rise

Last but not least, openly intervening in a North Korean domestic crisis would undercut the myth of China’s “peaceful rise,” which plays such an important role in Beijing’s global image-building efforts. All of China’s neighbors will see themselves as potential victims of Beijing’s rediscovered “imperial ambitions,” which will lead many of them to tighten their relations with the U.S.

For South Korea and the U.S., as well as for the majority of the North Korean population, the emergence of a pro-Chinese satellite regime in North Korea would be better than indefinite continuation of the status quo. But a unification of the Koreas is still the most preferable outcome. Therefore officials in Washington and Seoul need to consider ways to convince China that a unified Korea is less unacceptable than an intervention.

First of all, the Chinese government should be assured that a unified Korea will not become a strategic bridgehead for U.S. military influence in continental Northeast Asia. A joint statement from South Korea and the U.S., promising that upon unification no U.S. forces and/or U.S. military installations would be located north of the present-day demilitarized-zone area, would help to ameliorate Chinese strategic concerns.

Secondly, South Korea’s recurrent support of irredentism in northeastern China and semi-official claims about alleged Korean territorial rights to large chunks of China are counterproductive. They strengthen suspicions that a unified Korea would strive to seed discontent in borderland areas of the mainland itself. The South Korean government should explicitly state that a unified Korea will respect earlier agreements pertaining to Sino-Korean borders. It will also be necessary to assure China that the government of a unified Korea will respect and honor all Chinese concessions and mining rights that were granted by the North Korean state.

Alas, the widespread hope that reformist groups in Pyongyang will finally emerge and bring about a nonnuclear, non- threatening, and peacefully developing North Korea seems to be wishful thinking. At the same time, the status quo isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later the current regime will go down. Now is the time for the world to start planning for that moment.

(Andrei Lankov is a professor of history at Kookmin University in Seoul, and the author of “North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea” and “From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea, 1945-1960.” This is the second of three excerpts from his new book, “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia,” which will be published May 8 by Oxford University Press. The opinions expressed are his own. Read Part 1.)