9 November 2013

Civil wars ***

Nov 9th 2013 
BEIRUT 

How to stop the fighting, sometimes
Bringing an end to conflicts within states is vexatious. But history provides a guide to the ways that work best

WHEN Hussein el-Husseini moved into a modest flat with a sea view in Beirut in 1983, the surrounding streets were littered with the detritus of an eight-year-old civil war. When Mr Husseini became Speaker of the Lebanese parliament the following year, the war still had six years to run. By the time it ended it had claimed 150,000 lives.

Yet the solution, says Mr Husseini, was clear more or less from the beginning. The country’s various religious groups, each with its own militias, had to share power. Lebanon could not be conquered by one side, nor divided among all. Its people are too mixed; Mr Husseini’s prominent Shia Muslim family includes Christians and Sunnis, and that is par for the course. “But the militias were against it,” he says.

Attempts by Mr Husseini and others, notably the tycoon Rafik Hariri, to reach the obvious but fugitive solution took him to the outside powers sponsoring the militias: America, France, Iran, Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia. He was repeatedly rebuffed until, in 1989, finally despairing of the war, the outsiders agreed to stop paying their proxies. Mr Husseini quickly convened representatives from the various communities and militias in Taif, a resort in Saudi Arabia. After a lot of haggling, they signed an accord that led to peace a year later.

Ending civil wars is hard. Hatreds within countries often run far deeper than between them. The fighting rarely sticks to battlefields, as it can do between states. Civilians are rarely spared. And there are no borders to fall back behind. A war between two states can end much where it began without the adversaries feeling in mortal danger. With nowhere safe to go home to, both sides in a civil war often feel they must carry on fighting if they are to escape slaughter. As those fighting in Syria know, defeat often looks like death, rather than retreat (see article).

New mutiny

Yet civil wars do end. Of 150 large intrastate wars since 1945 fewer than ten are ongoing. Angola, Chad, Sri Lanka and other places long known for bloodletting are now at peace, though hardly democratic.

And recently civil wars have been ending sooner. The rate at which they start is the same today as it has been for 60 years; they kick off every year in 1-2% of countries. But the number of medium-to-large civil wars under way—there are six in which more than 1,000 people died last year—is low by the standards of the period. This is because they are coming to an end a little sooner. The average length of civil wars dropped from 4.6 to 3.7 years after 1991, according to Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, a professor at the University of Essex.

Preventing Nuclear War in South Asia: Unprecedented Challenges, Unprecedented Solutions

Source: Getty
George Perkovich Other Publications November 8, 2013 Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Summary
The Indian tradition of strategic nonviolence, however imperfect, is less risky and more conducive to long-term success than a militaristic strategy to counter terrorism in a nuclearized environment.

I became acquainted with Secretary McNamara in the mid- 1990s when I helped organize a series of Track II dialogues between Americans and Indians and Pakistanis. This was before India and Pakistan became overt nuclear-armed states with their tests in 1998. In these dialogues the aim was to discuss with influential Indians and Pakistanis – former generals, foreign secretaries, and the like – the risks and burdens that arise from nuclear-armed competition. No one had wrestled so hard and openly with these challenges as Robert McNamara. He had done so while serving as Secretary of Defense during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and then in the decades following his government service. Thus, we were honored and moved that he would volunteer his time and subject his body to the wear and tear of travel to South Asia to share his experiences and perspectives.

By the mid-1990s when we were conducting our dialogues in South Asia, the Cold War was over. McNamara had even earlier concluded that the military utility of nuclear weapons was a dangerous illusion. He had come to this view in large part through the Cuban Missile Crisis and the subsequent attempt he led to develop a strategy of “flexible response.” That strategy – which has bearing on Indo-Pak relations today as I will elaborate – was McNamara’s and NATO’s answer to the problem posed by the apparent superiority of Warsaw Pact conventional forces over those of NATO. McNamara’s team had concluded that NATO could not simply rely on massive nuclear retaliation to deter Soviet conventional aggression – this would not be credible. Instead, NATO needed to develop more symmetrical means to deter or fight Warsaw Pact conventional forces.

Thus, Flexible Response called for NATO to expand its conventional military forces and diversify its theater nuclear forces so that NATO could “counter an attack at whatever level the aggressor chose to fight.”1U.S. strategic nuclear forces, designed to attack the Soviet homeland, would be held in reserve as the ultimate deterrent (but also at the ultimate cost, as retaliatory strikes on the U.S. would be inevitable).

Yet, as McNamara later acknowledged, Flexible Response was never really operationalized. NATO did not build the envisioned conventional capabilities. The problem of asymmetry did not go away for the U.S. until the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended.2

India and Pakistan are now wrestling with problems like those posed by the perceived asymmetry in NATO and Warsaw Pact military capabilities. Indeed, for years observers of the South Asian scene have said that Pakistan is struggling with security threats similar to those that NATO faced in the Cold War, and so, naturally, Pakistan must rely increasingly on nuclear weapons to offset India’s growing conventional power, much as NATO did to balance the Warsaw Pact. (Pakistani elites do not discourage these comparisons.)

But such comparisons are both misleading and incomplete. What is misleading – and I mean misleading in effect, not intention – is that the asymmetries between India and Pakistan are much more complicated than those that confronted the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The South Asian asymmetries exist at the level of overall power, and nuclear and conventional capabilities, and the policies that India and Pakistan use to impose their will on each other. Indeed, the structure of the relationship between India and Pakistan creates unprecedented complexities and difficulties as I will explore later.

The Final Countdown: Prospects for Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030 (Report)

April 2013
By: Laurence Chandy, Natasha Ledlie and Veronika Penciakova 

Editor’s Note: An interactive feature, highlighting the key findings from this report, can be found here.


Over a billion people worldwide live on less than $1.25 a day. But that number is falling. This has given credence to the idea that extreme poverty can be eliminated in a generation. A new study by Brookings researchers examines the prospects for ending extreme poverty by 2030 and the factors that will determine progress toward this goal. Below are some of the key findings:

1. We are at a unique point in history where there are more people in the world living right around the $1.25 mark than at any other income level. This implies that equitable growth in the developing world will result in more movement of people across the poverty line than across any other level.

2. Sustaining the trend rate of global poverty reduction requires that each year a new set of individuals is primed to cross the international poverty line. This will become increasingly difficult as some of the poorest of the poor struggle to make enough progress to approach the $1.25 threshold over the next twenty years.

3. The period from 1990 to 2030 resembles a relay race in which responsibility for leading the charge on global poverty reduction passes between China, India and sub-Saharan Africa. China has driven progress over the last twenty years, but with its poverty rate now down in the single digits, the baton is being passed to India. India has the capacity to deliver sustained progress on global poverty reduction over the next decade based on modest assumptions of equitable growth. Once India’s poverty is largely exhausted, it will be up to sub-Saharan Africa to run the final relay leg and bring the baton home. This poses a significant challenge as most of Africa’s poor people start a long way behind the poverty line.

4. As global poverty approaches zero, it becomes increasingly concentrated in countries where the record of and prospects for poverty reduction are weakest. Today, a third of the world’s poor live in fragile states but this share could rise to half in 2018 and nearly two-thirds in 2030.

5. The World Bank has recently set a goal to reduce extreme poverty around the world to under 3 percent by 2030. It is unlikely that this goal can be achieved by stronger than expected growth across the developing world, or greater income equality within each developing country, alone. Both factors are needed simultaneously.

Pakistan: When Enemy No. 1 Becomes Martyr No.1, The War is Lost

Published Date: 8th November 2013

What is to be made of a society, people and country whose political leadership erupts in anger and weaves bizarre conspiracy theories because its self-declared ‘enemy no. 1’ is eliminated in a drone attack by a country which has not only accorded it the status of a ‘major non-NATO ally’, but is the largest aid giver, and one of the largest trading partners, source of remittances and arms supplier? The words ‘strategic confusion’, ‘policy disarray’, ‘social schizophrenia’ and ‘national Stockholm Syndrome’ immediately come to mind. The drone attack on November 1, 2013, that killed Hakimullah Mehsud, Emir of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has resulted in total reversal of roles with the USA being designated as Pakistan's ‘enemy no. 1’ by top political and religious leaders in Pakistan, and Mehsud, who is responsible for the killings of thousands of Pakistani civilians and security force officials, being labelled as a ‘martyr’.

While the Pakistan Army has so far refrained from any comment on the drone attack on Hakimullah, there has been an almost hysterical reaction from the political and religious leadership which is not just willing to take on the US and NATO by threatening to block the Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs) – some quarters are even demanding that Pakistan Air Force be ordered to shoot down the drones – but is also leaning over backwards with entreaties and pleas to the Taliban to spare them from any retaliatory terror attacks to avenge the killing of Hakimullah. There is a desperate effort underway to convince the Taliban that the Pakistan government had nothing whatsoever to do with the US attack and is genuine in its desire to enter into negotiations and dialogue with the Taliban leadership without any pre-conditions. In fact, according to some reports, which haven’t as yet been denied, the Pakistani authorities were offering major political and economic concessions to the Taliban (virtually conceding an autonomous Emirate with Dubai-like privileges for local people of FATA) to woo them to the negotiating table.

Not only is the US being accused of deliberately sabotaging the ‘peace talks’ that the Pakistan government was set to start with the Pakistani Taliban, some leaders like Imran Khan and the Jamaat Islami chief Munawar Hasan have even gone to the extent of insinuating, if not outrightly blaming, the US of being behind the major terror attacks – bombing of the Church in Peshawar, the Kissa-Khwani bazaar bombing in Peshawar and the killing of the GOC, 17 Infantry Division in Swat – which followed the All Parties Conference that decided on opening a dialogue with the Taliban. Clearly, in the minds of the Pakistani political and religious leadership it is not just that the fear of the Taliban that over-rides any fear of the US, but also their loathing for the Americans which far outweighs any such sentiment that they might harbour for the depredations and devastation caused by the Taliban.

The genuflection of the civilian establishment of Pakistan (which claims the complete backing of the military establishment in this) before the Taliban betrays, at one level, the sheer defeatism with which the Pakistani authorities are approaching the Taliban for peace negotiations. But there is also a political angle to the whole thing. The anti-US tirade of the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali (whose wife and kids incidentally are US citizens!) has stolen the thunder from Imran Khan who has for long positioned himself as the anti-American and pro-Taliban champion in Pakistani politics. At the same time, there are reports in the Pakistani media that Nisar was unleashed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who wanted to avoid Taliban retaliation in the Punjab. Apparently, Nawaz Sharif had received intelligence reports that over a 100 Taliban suicide bombers had been placed in Punjab and were waiting to strike as soon as they received orders. Nawaz Sharif was therefore indulging in a dissemble to defuse this threat by taking a strident anti-US position to assuage the Taliban and dissuade them from another devastating terror bombing campaign.

India To Upgrade Submarine Capabilities

By Ankit Panda
November 8, 2013 

The Indian Navy is reportedly looking to upgrade its submarines with advanced sonar and torpedoes in the near future. According to The New Indian Express, the navy "has chosen the German firm Atlas Elektronik to help it upgrade the heavyweight torpedoes, the most reliable weapons that can hit surface and underwater targets (SUT), for the four HDW Type 209 Shishumar class submarines, also of German origin.”

Atlas Elektronik is also one of the firms likely to win a contract to supply the Indian Navy with Active Towed Array Sonars (ATAS). The ATAS systems would be fixed on non-submarine vessels, including the Delhi-class destroyers and Talwar-class frigates. The New Indian Express reports that "The contract winning company would be required to transfer the technology of the ATAS system to Indian defence public sector Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to produce 10 more of the sonars for the Kolkata-class destroyers, Shivalik-class frigates and the Kamorta-class corvette.”

The planned torpedo upgrades are intended to affect 64 current-generation surface and underwater target (SUT) torpedoes and add around 15 years to their operational lifespan.

A robust submarine force is critical for the Indian Navy’s strategic objectives in the Indian Ocean, and for India’s national defense against maritime threats. Indian naval strategist, C. Uday Bhaskar, writes "Viewed holistically, the submarine is emerging as a critical platform in the contest that is shaping up in the Indian Ocean region. The nature of the naval and nuclear-cum-missile cooperation between Pakistan and its benefactor China adds to the complexity of the challenges that India is likely to face in the years ahead.” 

Although India has made some impressive advances in its submarine capabilities in the past decade – including the indigenously-developed-and-built sea-ready INS Arihant SSBN – it has faced some setbacks as well. Earlier this year, the INS Sindhurakshak, one of India’s 10 older Russian Kilo-class diesel-eletric submarines, sank at Mumbai’s naval dockyard after a series of explosions. The controversy from the incident overshadowed the INS Arihant’s launch, as well as that of the indigenously-developed Vikrant-class aircraft carrier. With the sinking of the Sindhurakshak, India’s submarine fleet stands at 12 boats, with only 6 to 8 fit for patrolling.

India’s long-stated intention to purchase six Scorpène-class submarines has not yet materialized. Its failure to procure submarines is in line with a general trend in India of bureaucratic mismanagement delaying arms procurement. According to Defense Industry Insider, "A poor Indian procurement approach, and state-run inefficiency, are pushing the country’s overall submarine force toward an aging crisis.” During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow last month, it was reported that he brought up the notion of leasing a second nuclear submarine for the Indian navy. 

The Indian Navy is on its way to developing a modernized and expanded submarine force in the coming years. These upgrades are a small step in that direction. 

Letter from Senior Security Adviser, Home Ministry K. Vijay Kumar on our

Paper No. 5562 Dated 17-Sept-2013 and the response from the author.
Paper No. 5592 Dated 05-Nov-2013

Mr. K. S. Subramanian has started his article by saying it was ‘disappointing’ to read the interview. Seems it is now my turn to feel so. Even in my reply to the first question I emphasised on development. 

To question 2, on strategy, again I mentioned of security and development. (Has any known CI doctrine said anything else or in any other order?). My approach all through, including while at CRPF, has been on of ‘security & development’ and never – unifocal – stressing on ‘security’ alone, although being a security man I have always held security acion should be very professional. I subscribe to the view of Col McCuen (who applied Mao’s exiom in reverse) that “counter – insurgency is 20% security action and 80% non-security action”. Robert Thompson D.Galula, McCuen and, of late, David Kill Cullen are my favourites. I maintain that if CI is like a hand, then security is its thumb. While the other 4 fingers may be said to represent development, rule of law, info ops and culture sensitization. Without the thumb, the fingers can’t do much. To be an effective thumb, the SF should be adept in jungle craft and be able to neutralize the insurgent’s ‘first mover’s’ advantage. While I have not delved deeply into Elwin’s books, I have read the salient parts. Nehru faced the dilemma of leaving tribal where they were – in the earlier era or let modernity embrace them. We chose the via media. Mr. Subramanian says that “appropriate institutional mechanisms for tribal development were set up in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which remained for years the nodal Ministry for Scheduled Castes (SC and Scheduled Tribes (ST). After Nehru, Elwin’s approach was abandoned and reckless development took over. But Mr. Subramanian fails to substantiate further and suggest any alternative. When I personally approached him, Mr. Subramanian could not dilate on this. Whether transfer of Tribes Division in the Ministry were “thoughtlessly transferred to other Ministries and R & D divisions wound up is throughtless”, I wonder. True, over the years gargantuan MHA has shed some wings and added a few, and many experts feel that transfer to Tribal Affairs Division is a sensible move. He should have known that once upon a time Tribal Affairs, just as a diminutive Division of MHA, was functioning out of Shastri Bhavan. Later, it became “Tribal Welfare” with a full-fledged Ministry, (just as ‘Social Welfare Division’ grew into a Ministry). But Mr. K. S. Subramanian feels that MHA should run this one too. I have also read 2006 report of Planning Commission advocating development strategy. Neither MHA nor I have contradicted their view.

2. Mr. Subramanian goes on to lay a huge chunk of blame at the doors of Police Stations. “No State rises without the fault of its Governor, “said SANTA CRUZ MACENADO 18th Century. I fully agree there have been deep grouses. I believe lack of faith in police stations should be addressed by improving the policing rather than simply trashing the institution (of police stations). Mr. Subramanian must remember we are also talking of most-infested areas – like parts of Bastar or AP-Orissa border where at places, no police stations function-leave alone aggrieved walking into these to get abused. Some of the security posts are air maintained and we have still huge no. of vacancies in local police despite Mr. P. Chidambaram’s huge push then and Mr. Shinde’s now.

3. A lot more needs to be done no doubt, but the GoI has initiated special packages like a hugely popular Integrated Action Plan (IAP) by which each of the District Collector of the most affected 80 or odd districts accessed Rs. 80 crores each last three years for Road Projects, Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), etc.

4. True, Schedule V needs resuscitation. Development issues are quotidian and Maoism is not merely a L & O issue. I believe in Robert Thompson’s dictum, “Govt. should function according to rule of Law”.

5. Very recently – on 25/9 when Home Minister addressed a meeting of 8 LWE State Chief Secretaries and DGs the thrust was on blending security and development. It is nobody’s case that security and development are mutually exclusive. During the Tehlka interview I focussed on security, as the interviewer’s questions tended that way.

Tracking the source of ‘Weapon Providers’ for NE Rebels

IDSA COMMENT

November 7, 2013

Time and again, Indian security personnel have indicated that the armed groups in Northeast India have sustained their armed violence due to the uninterrupted flow of weapons from across the border in Myanmar. The suspects in Myanmar are the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). True these two armed ethnic groups have acted as the interlocking chain for the illegal weapons flow from Yunnan in China via Myanmar to Northeast India. However, the most effective illegal weapons trader in Myanmar is the armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

Figure I: UWSA Territories and Arms Network
Source: Namrata Goswami

The UWSA is the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP) founded in 1989 with members of Wa National Council (WNC), which represent the Wa ethnic group and former members of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). The UWSA declared its own Wa State Government Special Administrative Region within Myanmar on January 1, 2009, but not recognized by the Government of Myanmar. The Wa State is modeled after China, having a Central Committee and the UWSP. The UWSA is not demanding a separate independent state and has signed a cease-fire with the Myanmar government in 1989. The reality, however, is that the Wa territories are completely under the Chinese radar. Because of the absence of a written script, the Wa State government conducts its official activities in Chinese. Most commodities within the Wa State are from China and the currency of exchange is the Renminbi. The Chinese Phoenix TV is very popular and the cellular phone network is dominated by China Mobile. Even the Chinese postal codes are used for mail delivery. For China, its linkage with the UWSA is of strategic priority, even more so than its bilateral relationship with the democratizing Myanmar government. The opening up of Myanmar and its political reform have rendered Chinese influence thinner and other countries like the US are upping their stakes in Myanmar. The US interest is vindicated by the fact that the first foreign visit by President Barack Obama in his second term was to Myanmar.

The geographic reality and strategic vulnerability of the China-Myanmar border explains why the UWSA is of critical importance to China. Five divisions of the UWSA are deployed along the Thai-Myanmar border and three divisions along the China-Myanmar border. The total strength of the UWSA is 30, 000 armed cadres with 10, 000 auxiliary force. Its writ is written large in these border areas and its dependence on China for financial and other support makes the UWSA a stakeholder in increased Chinese influence in Northeastern Myanmar. According toJane's Intelligence Review of April 2008, China became the main source of arms to the UWSA, displacing countries like Thailand and Cambodia who formed part of the traditional black market sources.1 In a December 2008 report, Jane's Intelligence Review reported that “China…provided the Wa with advanced weapons to build up their defenses. The transfers included surface to air missiles and, for the first time, at least 12 armored vehicles the report refers to as 'tank destroyers.'”2 In 2013, Jane’s reported that several Mil Mi-17 helicopters armed with TY-90 air-to-air missiles were supplied to UWSA by China.3 These allegations have been dismissed by China but the Wa-China connection is deep seated and actively supported by the Chinese government and the PLA. China’s supply of the Mil Mi-17 helicopters has been corroborated by Southeast Asia specialist Bertil Litner in his June 25, 2013 article for the Asia Times4.

The UWSA’s biggest source of revenue is its involvement in the illegal small arms network across South and Southeast Asia. It manufactures Chinese weapons with an “informal franchise”, procured from Chinese ordnance factories. The main motive is to sell these weapons for huge profit to Northeastern Indian armed groups who are lucrative consumers of such weapons. The arms manufacturing unit in the Wa territories are supported by the Chinese factories in Yunnan. Most of the weapons manufactured include machine guns, pistols, rifles and revolvers. The fact that some of the UWSA members were earlier members of the CPB helps establish connection within China especially with Chinese arms factories across the border in Yunnan.

Geography’s Curse: India’s Vulnerable ‘Chicken’s Neck’

By Ankit Panda
November 8, 2013

If you’ve been following The Pulse here at The Diplomat recently, you may have noted a few recent pieces (including one by yours truly) on India’s North-Eastern states. In any discussion of the governance problems or border issues in India’s North-East, a commonly mentioned word is “isolation.” The North-Eastern states are politically and geographically distant from New Delhi, and certain parts of the region share more in common culturally with Burma than they do with Punjab, or even West Bengal. A quirk of South Asian political geography has made it quite challenging for New Delhi to effectively integrate the North-Eastern states: the Siliguri Corridor.

Like most of the borders in South Asia, the Siliguri Corridor – known also as the “Chicken’s Neck”– is a cartographic relic of the British decolonization process. As the British Empire withdrew and partitioned British India along religious lines to create the modern states of India and Pakistan (which was then divided into East and West Pakistan), it drew the lines that lead to the Siliguri in an attempt to maintain contiguity between Bengal and Assam. The creation of East Pakistan (which became Bangladesh in 1971) along religious lines necessitated the awkward choke point in India’s contemporary geography. The Siliguri, at its slimmest point, puts less than a marathon’s distance between the Bangladeshi and Nepalese borders (14 miles). 

All land trade between North-East India’s 40 million denizens and the rest of the country traverses the Siliguri owing to the lack of a free-trade agreement between India and Bangladesh. In 2002, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh joined India in discussing a proposal to create a free-trade agreement that would have facilitated the movement of goods across the Siliguri corridor, but no such agreement has been established. Further reinforcing the strategic precariousness of the region is the fact that a single-line railway is all that carries rail-based freight across the Siliguri. The harsh topography of the region makes the railway and roads subject to damage from frequent landslides and natural disaster; India’s North-East is known for its record-breaking levels of rainfall. 

As if natural disasters were not enough to send the Siliguri to the top of the list of India’s strategic anxieties, the corridor has a complex and troubled political history. The situation has somewhat improved since the pre-1971 era, when icy relations with China in the north and East Pakistan meant that the region was a constant source of cross-border tension. Since the 1962 war with China, Indian strategists have envisioned a future scenario where "the Chinese may simply bypass and drop Special Forces to choke vulnerable Siliguri Corridor and cut off the Northeast.” China’s diplomacy with Bhutan gives reason to take this possibility seriously; in 1996, China began a concerted diplomatic effort to yield a border claim with Bhutan in exchange for the Doklam Plateau. The territorial swap with Bhutan would place in China’s hands the key to India’s choke point in the Siliguri.

India’s fortunes in the Siliguri were slightly ameliorated when the tiny monarchy of Sikkim – situated just north of the Siliguri, between Nepal, China, and Bhutan – merged with India in 1975 to become its second-smallest state. Sikkim had long been a subject of controversy between India and China. In the early 2000s, China refused to acknowledge Sikkim as part of India, maintaining that it was an independent state. The decision to do so was sparked by a controversy around the 17th Karmapa of the Black Hat branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Nevertheless, in 2003, China granted de facto recognition of Sikkim as a part of India by ceasing to list it as a separate state on its official documents and maps. 

Tourism Threatens the Environment in India’s Andaman Islands

Source Link
By Sanjay Kumar
November 8, 2013 

Not only are India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands an entryway into a world of pristine beaches and natural wonder, they are also home to wonderful people.

Tanaz Noble is one of them. The 29 year-old is a certified instructor of kayaking who not only trains tourists in water sports but also promotes ecological and environmental preservation.

For the eight months from October to May – the peak tourist season – Noble shifts her base from Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar, to Havelock, one of the main tourist destinations located around 50 kilometers north of the capital.

Through kayaking and snorkeling, she exposes both domestic and international tourists to the sea. However, she never forgets to give her customers a lesson in environmental preservation.

In an interview with The Diplomat, she said that “the ecology in Andaman is very beautiful but very fragile and delicate. What I have seen underwater 20 years ago as a child is dead due to the tsunami in 2004 and global warming. Earlier it was easy to see coral life within three meters [of the surface]; now you have to dive 20 meters to see coral life.”

Noble strongly believes that Andaman needs regulated tourism and that commercial interests have to be balanced with the ecological interests.

She promotes this belief through Andaman Kayak, an organization she founded in 2010. A former journalist who worked with some of the leading national publications in Delhi and Mumbai, Noble left the profession and decided to become a kayak instructor at the age of 24. Her passion for the environment and adventure sports brought her to this small island with a population of 8000. Internet and mobile network connectivity are poor in Havelock, but these shortcomings do not deter Noble from honing her passions.

“When the tsunami struck in 2004, a shift in the continental shelf took place. One end of the shelf sank and the other came out. Havelock is part of the shelf that came out. [Across these shelves], there were lots of mangroves which just died and and completely disappeared,” she recalls. “Therefore it is very important to handle the fragile ecosystem in a very sensitive way. Andaman needs tourism but without compromising its fragile ecology," she adds.

In the last five years, tourist inflow into the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has doubled and Havelock receives the majority of the attention. According to a rough estimate, Havelock receives more than 2000 tourists per day. The main attractions include a variety of watersports including diving, snorkeling and kayaking, bolstered by its clean beaches. According to a survey by Time magazine, Havelock’s Radhanagar beach is one of the top beaches in all Asia.

The Kashmir Dispute—the Faultlines


In the dynamics of history and the variables which govern the course of political sociology, historians do not make history. They only record its course and describe the forces and narrate the events, which are a reality that the historians cannot distort or deny. There is a method in all historical processes. And there is a method in all political development. For Hitler, the invasion of Russia was a historical necessity. Nazism was an ideology and Germany was an ideological state. So were Italy and Japan. Japan also struck Pearl Harbor out of a historical necessity. That they would be defeated is a matter of the course, history of the Second World War took. Historical facts cannot be manipulated.

There was a time, a century before the Second World War, which ushered in the worldwide movement for decolonization, when the flag bearers of the Concert of European Imperialist Powers, manipulated history to serve their power interests. The British called India a geographical expression. So did the Muslim League. Both sought to bat for the perpetuation of the British Empire in India. They realized deep inside them, that India was a nation, the expression of a six-thousand year old civilisational grid, an incredible continuity of history and a stunning expanse of civilisational frontiers, when they faced India in revolt in 1942, the Naval Mutiny of 1946, and the dogged resistance the State Army of Jammu and Kashmir offered to the invading forces of Pakistan for five days, till the Indian Army arrived in Srinagar.

History is relentless. It doesn’t forgive. It doesn’t forget. Political Commentator A G Noorani and many like him in India have rationalized Muslim separatist movement in India of which the Muslim separatist movement of Jammu and Kashmir has been a part. Jinnah agreed with the Congress leaders, till the Congress leaders professed faith in Indian destiny within the British Empire. Why should the Muslim League have taken birth in 1906, when the Swaraj and Swadeshi resolution of the Indian National Congress was adopted the same year? Why did Sir Mohammad Iqbal, in his presidential address to the Muslim League Session at Allahabad in 1930 call for a Muslim confederacy in the North-West, North-East, the north and south of India, after the Indian National Congress adopted the Purna Swaraj Resolution in early 1930? Why did Jinnah threaten Gandhi with non-cooperate with the Congress, if the Congress extended its movement to the princely States and virtually compelled the latter to exclude the States peoples’ movements from the national movement of India, a course the Congress adopted, which brought it to the brink of disaster in 1947? Why should the Muslim League have adopted the Lahore Resolution for Pakistan in 1940 when the British were fighting with their back to the wall? Had the Muslim League realized that the end of British Empire in India had come?

Jinnah was no votary of the Indian freedom from the British rule, nor did he visualize a united India. Instead when he insisted upon the lapse of the Paramountcy, he envisioned Pakistan, spread across the whole of India, with its mainland constituted of the Muslim majority areas of the British India in the north-east and north-west and pockets of its territory constituted of the Muslim majority States and the Muslim ruled States, interspersed among the provinces and the acceding States of the Indian Dominion.

Noorani, the author of the two volumes of Kashmir Dispute, and many like him who masquerade as experts on Jammu and Kashmir have perhaps been never aware of the fact that Jammu and Kashmir was geographically a part of the northern India and not the North West of India. It formed the central spur of the frontier of India in the north, which is crucially important for the unity of India and the security of its entire northern frontier. Only a small part of the borders of Jammu and Kashmir were contiguous to the borders of Pakistan in the south and north-west. A larger part of the border of the State stretched along the borders of Afghanistan, mainly the Wakhan Valley, Chinese Sinkiang in the north-east and the Tibet in the east, with a long border contiguous with East Punjab in the south and the Punjab Hill States in the south-east. The much maligned Radcliff Award, did not do anything wrong in its Boundary Award. Sir Radcliff was not a British politician and he, contrary to the fond hopes of the Muslim League leaders, that he would oblige them on the biding of the British, at home and in India, did not do so.

South Asia: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth


Two decades back—February 1993 to be precise—James Woolsey, the incumbent Director of the CIA, identified South Asia as presenting “the most probable prospect for future use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.” A nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan made that “probable prospect” credible, if not certain. Fast forward to 2013, and the present competition between the two South Asian adversaries to flight test and deploy missiles of steadily increasing ranges. They had revealed their nuclear explosive capabilities in May 1998. It can be surmised that they must have taken further steps to improve the weight-to-yield ratio of their nuclear warheads.

The statement issued by India after it conducted its nuclear tests in May 1998 informed inter alia that three sub-kiloton devices had been tested, indicating that India’s scientific establishment had miniaturized its nuclear warheads, which can arm tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons. India’s nuclear weapons, incidentally, use weapons grade plutonium, which are superior to enriched uranium to fashion more compact ‘cores’ for equipping ‘implosion-type’ nuclear warheads. Pakistan uses weapons grade uranium; it is trying to set up facilities now to obtain plutonium for its nuclear weapons. Some doubts must, therefore, attend Pakistan’s claims that its Hatf IX Nasr low-yield battlefield nuclear missiles are operational, unless China has provided Pakistan with the relevant warheads.

This esoteric issue gains significance because Pakistan has threatened to deploy its Hatf IX Nasr missiles along the India-Pakistan border to defeat India’s Cold Start strategy that envisages conventional forces being positioned along the border to attack, wrest and hold territory in Pakistan. Since the Hatf IX Nasr missile is much in the news its technical details will interest. It is said to have been indigenously developed by Pakistan and has a 60 km range. But it is carried by a Chinese-origin mobile transporter erector launcher that can carry four missiles, which must cast some doubt on the missile’s indigenous content. Reportedly, they have high lethality and accuracy because of their in-flight maneuver capability, which also permits them to evade missile defense systems. They can also rapidly shift their position after firing to avoid counter-attack, viz ‘shoot and scoot’. Finally, they can have conventional or nuclear warheads.Pakistan has developed the Hatf IX Nasr as a low-yield battlefield nuclear weapon to attack advancing mechanized or armored forces to counter India's Cold Start strategy. Arguably, it is intended to support Pakistan’s promotion of cross-border terrorism and militancy under the aegis of nuclear deterrence, while inhibiting India from retaliating against a Mumbai-style assault

The End of India's Sovereignty Hawks?

It’s time for the world’s largest democracy to start promoting human rights.
BY SUMIT GANGULY, ESWARAN SRIDHARAN | NOVEMBER 7, 2013

With the exception of China, Russia, and perhaps Brazil, few regional powers of any consequence are as protective of their sovereignty as India. Its policymakers have expressed reservations about the emergent norm of the "responsibility to protect"; it abstained from voting on the 1998 Rome Statute, which led to the creation of the International Criminal Court, arguing that such a body would infringe on national sovereignty; it has mostly shied away from attempts to promote democracy abroad. That needs to change -- at least at the regional level, to start -- if trust, peace, and meaningful cooperation are to be established in South Asia, all of which are in the interests of both India and its neighbors.

All of India's neighbors are struggling with the challenges of liberalism and the tasks of forging representative and inclusive governance in diverse societies. Sri Lanka, for example, is rapidly turning into an illiberal democracy in which the Tamil minority is systematically marginalized, and it still refuses to acknowledge the anti-Tamil pogrom that swept through Colombo in 1983. Pakistan has, at best, made a tenuous transition to democracy, and its military still bears the taint of the East Pakistan genocide of 1971. In Bangladesh, Hindus and Buddhists face routine discrimination. And Nepal has only the trappings of an electoral democracy after the overthrow of its anachronistic monarchy and confrontation with a Maoist insurgency.

Admittedly, as a sprawling, post-colonial society riven with ethnic and class cleavages, India has seen more than its fair share of human rights violations, and despite the existence of an independent judiciary, its ability to mete out justice has been wanting. It failed to prosecute those who directed the pogrom in New Delhi against the Sikh population that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. And only last year did it succeed in incarcerating one of the key perpetrators of the Gujarat pogrom of February 2002 -- Mayaben Kodnani, a Bharatiya Janata Party politician -- for her role in instigating anti-Muslim mobs.

India's uneven performance on human rights, however, should not prevent it from advocating for their protection and for inclusive democracy in its neighborhood and beyond. Few countries that promote human rights abroad enjoy an unblemished record at home, whether historical or contemporary. And India's limitations, while real, are not so outlandish as to prevent it from embracing a vigorous human rights and democracy agenda.

India's Policy towards Afghanistan

Programme Paper
Gareth Price, August 2013


This paper maps out the manner in which India engages with Afghanistan economically, politically and socially.

Afghanistan's stability is important for India's own security but, since 9/11 India was side-lined from many Western-led discussions regarding the country. 

Following the announcement that 2014 would mark the end of large-scale Western troop deployment many Indian policy-makers have felt somewhat vindicated in their parallel bilateral engagement with Afghanistan.

Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan

Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight.

While the kingdom's quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran's atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic.

Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.

Last month Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, "the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring."

Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if Iran crossed the threshold, "we will get nuclear weapons", the kingdom has sent the Americans numerous signals of its intentions.

Gary Samore, until March 2013 President Barack Obama's counter-proliferation adviser, has told Newsnight:
 Gary Samore served as President Barack Obama's WMD tsar

"I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extremis, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan."

“Start Quote

What did we think the Saudis were giving us all that money for? It wasn't charity”Senior Pakistani official

The story of Saudi Arabia's project - including the acquisition of missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads over long ranges - goes back decades.

In the late 1980s they secretly bought dozens of CSS-2 ballistic missiles from China.

These rockets, considered by many experts too inaccurate for use as conventional weapons, were deployed 20 years ago.

This summer experts at defence publishers Jane's reported the completion of a new Saudi CSS-2 base with missile launch rails aligned with Israel and Iran.

It has also been clear for many years that Saudi Arabia has given generous financial assistance to Pakistan's defence sector, including, western experts allege, to its missile and nuclear labs.

Why the U.S. Should Wage Its Pakistani Drone War in Public

David Rohde The Atlantic 
November 7, 2013

Six days after an American drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Pakistani politicians are accusing the United States of “murder.” And a militant leader responsible for attacks that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Pakistani civilians is being viewed as a victim.

On one level, the response was nothing new in the warped, post-2001 relationship between Pakistan and the United States. For 12 years, interactions between these purported “allies” have been marked by distrust, recriminations and lies.

Author

David Rohde is a columnist for Reuters, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a former reporter for The New York Times. His latest book, Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East, was published in April. More He is the author, with Kristen Mulvihill, of A Rope and a ... Full Bio

American officials should admit that covert U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are now counterproductive. The strikes cause Pakistanis to vilify the United States, glorify militants and coddle duplicitous elements of the Pakistani military.

For the last decade, the Bush and Obama administrations have allowed Pakistani military officials to lie to their own people about Pakistan’s tacit support of the strikes. In exchange for the ability to carry out drone strikes, the United States serves as the Pakistan military’s punching bag.

Pakistan’s military and its ultra-nationalist allies blame foreign powers for the country’s woes. They whip up anti-American street demonstrations and say that American drones kill only civilians. They declare that civilian politicians who threaten the military’s power are “American agents.”

The only thing surprising about the dynamic is Washington’s wholehearted embrace of it. Since 2001, the United States has provided Pakistan with a staggering $17 billion in military aid, despite reports that the funds were being pilfered.

In an increasingly absurd stance, the Obama administration refuses to officially acknowledge the more than 300 CIA drone strikes carried out in Pakistan since 2004. Instead, it describes the strikes in off-the-record briefings and refuses to give a detailed accounting of how many of the estimated 3,000 people killed have been civilians.

“This whole confused, convoluted discourse would change,” Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, told me Monday, “if the Americans were a little forthcoming in officially declaring who was targeted and how many people were killed.”

The essential problem is Washington’s appeasement of Pakistan’s military.

Last month, the Washington Post obtained top secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos showing that Pakistani military officials — even while bitterly complaining about drone strikes — had secretly been choosing some of the targets. Pakistani officials also received regular briefings about the results of the strikes.

Pakistan’s Energy Crisis and the New Great Game


The recent incident of suicide bombing in a Church in Peshawar reflects Pakistan’s half hearted approach in dealing with terrorism. Islamabad’s policies will continue to affect the fragile ethnic situation in Pakistan. These policies stems from the fact that the military establishment in Pakistan continues to rely on some of these groups to promote their foreign policy agenda in India and Afghanistan. Withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan post 2014 may lead to a series of dramatic events in the country. The security vacuum resulting from this withdrawal may lead to the resumption of a New Great Game in the region, as predicted by several analysts. Before Pakistan resumes playing the game, it must re-consider the consequences of its possible actions on the domestic energy situation. As of now, the country is at the peak of an energy crisis as its domestic energy reserves are depleting at alarming levels. Currently, it is dependent on energy imports to sustain its developmental and industrial needs. The answer to Pakistan’s energy crisis lies in its neighbourhood.

Pakistan’s unique geographical location provides it with an opportunity to tap into the enormous hydrocarbon potential of its immediate neighbours. Currently there are proposals underway to build cross border energy pipelines emanating from Central Asia, West Asia (Iran) and from India. These Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines would ensure for Pakistan transit fees and access to energy resources at affordable prices. Proposals also exist for Pakistan to seek hydro power from neighbouring countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Northern Afghanistan. Such projects can ensure access to electricity for Western and North Western areas of Pakistan. On its eastern front, Pakistan can access electricity and petroleum products from India, thereby ensuring energy sufficiency for its eastern regions like Sindh and Punjab.

But given Pakistan’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and its troubled bilateral relations with India, prospects for cross border energy cooperation seems very difficult to achieve. Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment have been involved in encouraging groups like Taliban to continue fighting the ruling government in Afghanistan. Such abetment of Taliban and its associated groups is consistent with its long standing endeavour to pave way for an energy trade corridor cutting through Afghanistan into Central Asia[1] and also creating a strategic depth vis-à-vis India. But seldom does Pakistan realise that installation of Taliban government in the past did not result in the development of any energy trade corridor which it had long desired as Afghanistan plunged into inter ethnic fighting. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops in the late 1980s, Pakistan’s military establishment became more pre-occupied in creating a strategic depth vis-à-vis India and carry out anti-Indian activities than focus on developing the energy trade corridor. Training of jihadi groups with varying ideological agendas became the sole preoccupation of Pakistani military establishment. Such activities only led to a systematic deterioration in security of the region thereby paving way for extra regional powers intervention in Afghanistan.

After Hakeemullah Mehsud: Peace Process, American Drones and TTP’s Future

7 November 2013
D Suba Chandran
Director, IPCS 

Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban, perceived as Pakistan’s public enemy number one, was killed last week in his own stronghold by an American drone fired from the other side of the Durand Line. More than solving primary questions, Mehsud’s killing seems to have raised multiple questions. 

What will happen to the dialogue with the TTP, which the political leadership in Pakistan, cutting across party lines seem to be supporting and anxious? Second, will the killing affect Pakistan-US relations, as there are serious questions under the garb of protecting country’s sovereignty? Third, what will happen to the TTP?

Post Hakeemullah Mehsud: Will the Dialogue with the TTP Continue?
For the last many months, there has been a serious debate within Pakistan, whether the government should engage in a dialogue with the TTP. Negotiating with the TTP is not a new phenomenon within Pakistan; there have been multiple attempts in the past, starting with Nek Mohammad during 2003-04. Since then, there were multiple attempts in negotiating with the TTP leadership and multiple fractions.

A major difference between the earlier attempts to negotiate with the TTP and the present one, is the extent of support and opposition. Most of the earlier attempts were more in the form of short term negotiations between the military and its ISI with specific groups or individual TTP leaders. In particular, the primary target of these negotiations was the Mehsud and Wazir tribes in North and South Waziristan. It was led by military and intelligence officials either directly, or through tribal elders, some of them are pro-State.

The latest initiative however is political, where the demands have come from leading political parties, with enormous pressure from Imran Khan, Fazlur Rehman and their political parties. Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N seem also to agree with the same, and certainly not pressurized by the former to initiate a dialogue with the TTP.

While the TTP did not speak in one voice in terms of negotiating with the State, there was a general perception that it had come around to the idea by the end of last year. After the elections early this year, the pace picked up, and before Nawaz Sharif’s visit to US in October, it was a foregone conclusion and the question was: when would this dialogue start?

China’s Coming Terrorism Wave

By Max Abrahms
November 8, 2013 

Prediction time: China will experience unprecedented terrorism over the next few years.

On October 27, a carload of Xinjiang residents made headlines by crashing into a Tiananmen Square crowd, killing two people while injuring 38. Then, on Wednesday, a series of explosions rocked the provincial Communist Party headquarters in Shanxi province, killing one person while injuring 8.

This recent uptick in political violence is not an anomaly for China, but a harbinger of terrorist violence to come. 

Several long-term trends put China at risk.

China’s footprint on the world stage is growing while the United States is retrenching internationally. The recent travel schedules of Xi Jinping and Barack Obama are telling. At a time when Barack was cancelling trips to attend the APEC Summit in Indonesia, the East Asia Summit in Brunei, and his planned visits to the Philippines and Malaysia, Xi was wrapping up tours of Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, the Congo, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan, and Turkmenistan. Look for Xi and he’s probably overseas. Look for Obama and he’s probably at home, wrangling with Congress.

Historically, Americans have been the preferred target of international terrorism, while China has been virtually spared. Americans have been the most popular target because of their country’s hegemonic position around the globe, which inevitably breeds mistrust, resentment, and ultimately counterbalancing. Professor Robert Pape at the University of Chicago has found that foreign meddling is highly correlated with incurring suicide terrorist campaigns. With its comparatively insular foreign policy, China has understandably elicited less passion and violence among foreign terrorists.

But the trajectories of the U.S. and China are now inverting. Reeling from its botched counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is engulfed in an unmistakable wave of isolationism. Meanwhile, China is rapidly converting its rising economic power into ever greater international leverage. This newfound orientation makes sense geopolitically, but will not come without costs. 

CHINA: Can Coming Political Conclave Resolve Internal Contradictions?

Paper No. 5594 Dated 07-Nov-2013
By Bhaskar Roy

The third plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is to be held from November 09 to 12. One will have to read the report of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping and come to some conclusion.

Gradually, the CCP will edit and make available some more information through party and state controlled media. Finally, there will be some crucial issues discussed and personalities involved that will not come out anytime soon.

Notwithstanding this, the people of China and the world are eagerly awaiting the policies that emanate from this conclave. Whatever happens in China today affects the world. Therefore, it shoulders a heavy responsibility. The third plenum has also become a watershed meeting. The architect of China’s modernization, Deng Xiaojping, unveiled his “reform and opening up” at the third plenum of the 11th Central Committee in 1978. Since then, the two “third plenums” consolidated this policy and rolled it to the world. History was made.

Xi Jinping took over as the party chief last November in the midst of a major scandal involving the Chongqing municipality party chief Bo Xilai and his wife. His wife was found guilty of murdering a British business partner and sentenced with suspended death sentence.

Bo Xilai was finally sentenced to life imprisonment recently on charges of corruption. This, however, was not a simple case of corruption. Otherwise, Bo Xilai, a powerful princeling and son of Bo Yibo, one of the popularly known “seven immortals of China” which included Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun, could not have been brought down. He was already a member of the party’s politburo and was expected to rise to the core Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC).

Bo Xilai had scant respect for the political acumen of his seniors and colleagues. He brought back Cultural Revolution style of culture in Chongqing, moved in the Maoist direction, and reportedly was planning a coup. His more than normal contacts with some senior military officials were also viewed with suspicion. He was also tapping telephone conversations of senior leaders visiting Chongqing.

The Bo Xilai issue is not over yet. Xi will have to deal with the leftism that has been spreading. A decision would have to be taken if Bo’s mentor, Zhou Yanqkang, PBSC member who retired at the 18th Party Congress should be prosecuted or not, and the effect it would have. It was an unwritten law that PBSC members would remain beyond the reach of law. Till date only up to politburo members have been punished, that too rarely. Although the main reasons have been political, on paper they have been shown as corruption. This issue is expected to remain in discussion in the party central committee and above.

The third plenum is expected to establish economic reforms more firmly, though there is a call from some sections that without political reforms real economic reforms will be near impossible, and anti-reformists will drag the country to the Cultural Revolution era. The main votary for this line was Premier Wen Jiabao who retired in March. There would be other supporters like Guangdong Party Chief Wang Yang, who could not make it to the PBSC this time.

Two other categories of major challenges include strengthening the party and maintaining a political balance.