4 December 2013

Sham secularism, feudal democracy

Dec 04, 2013 http://www.asianage.com/columnists/sham-secularism-feudal-democracy-874

S.K. Sinha
Secularism is a European concept. It stands for separation of the church from the state. It flowered among people who believed in the same religion, albeit from different sects. Our founding fathers adopted secularism as an article of faith for our multi-religious nation. It was embedded in our Constitution though the word secularism initially found no mention. Indira Gandhi got it incorporated through an amendment.

Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of secularism was based on pluralism, implying equality of all religions. This was in keeping with the genius of our nation. Nehru’s secularism was that of an agnostic based on the European concept. Nehru reached out to Muslims to ensure that they did not suffer from any complex in the wake of Partition and felt they were equal citizens of India without any feeling of insecurity.
No communal riot took place in his regime. Haj subsidy, not available in any Muslim country, was introduced in India to boost their morale and not for gathering votes. He and his party could easily win elections with or without their support.

The Muslims realised that they had got carried away by the Two Nation Theory wave which split the country. Muslim film stars Mehrunissa and Yusuf Khan adopted Hindu names, Meena Kumari and Dilip Kumar respectively for greater acceptability. We have come a long way since.
Our Muslim citizens or film stars no longer harbour any complex. Today, they have no hesitation in asserting their identity, much more than they did before Partition. It is pertinent that no one raised any objection to India adopting a national emblem, national anthem or national song more associated with the culture and history of the majority community. If these were to be chosen today, there would be strong opposition from so-called secularists and some religious fundamentalists.
Unlike her father, Indira Gandhi was not an agnostic and observed religious rituals. Her secularism was for building the votebank. Nehru never held iftaar parties at government expense but that is now done with a vengeance. No state functions are held for other religious communities.

National security and national interests are being compromised by sham secularists. Illegal migration from Bangladesh in Assam is encouraged for the vote bank. Similarly, a soft policy is followed in Kashmir and against jihadi terrorism. The plight of Kashmiri Pandits is ignored. The fact that about a hundred temples were vandalised in the Valley earlier is kept under wraps, while the reprehensible demolition of the Babri Masjid is kept alive even after 20 years.
The BJP with several prominent Muslim leaders is considered a communal party and is treated as untouchable. Exclusively Muslim parties with a communal agenda, like Muslim League, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and All India United Democratic Front, are honoured coalition partners of the Congress Party. The Prime Minister violates the provisions of the Constitution when he declares that Muslims are his first priority for the development bonanza. He seems to be not bothered about non-Muslims, no matter how disadvantaged.

The wrong choice, baby?

Don't blink in Bali

Tue Dec 03 2013,
Yoginder K Alagh
The very models that argue against food security can be used to argue for it.

THE WTO's proposed restrictions on the UPA's Food Security Act are sourced from its Indian pundits, who also work as experts with the Manmohan Singh government. But first, a bit of totally non-representative field reporting: during my wanderings in my old van, I crossed the border of Gujarat into Rajasthan, driving on the NH8 from Ratanpur to Udaipur. As it was election season, I got off the road and walked into an Adivasi village. The Congress was overwhelmingly popular there. The only two things that mattered in the village were the 100 days of guaranteed employment and the subsidised wheat rations. The news that wheat would become even cheaper had also reached the people there. With bated breath, they also asked whether the rations would stop if Ashok Gehlot loses the election. Such forest areas are thinly represented in poll samples. As in Gujarat, pollsters don't like going to villages that are not connected with pucca roads.

Studies on poverty removal by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation show that a two-track approach — providing subsidised grains along with a price support programme — is a viable option if government budgets can support it. The counterfactual argument uses similar general equilibrium models to show how lower prices will hurt agricultural incomes and food consumption, and result in poorer calorific intake. A little history of the WTO's opposition to India's price support programmes is required at this point. Earlier, World Bank studies by Ashok Gulati, currently chief of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Gary Purcell had asserted that India taxed its agriculture. But, in this century, both cannot be argued: that India taxes its agriculture and that it should cut down on its agricultural subsidies. Pursell and the World Bank have subsequently changed their stance and now argue that India subsidises its agriculture. Statements of the following kind have become common. Mary Whelan, chairing India's trade policy review, said, "Concerns were expressed over subsidies for agricultural products and inputs, which have contributed to large grain stocks and export restrictions on agricultural goods." In a 2005 piece, Gulati admitted that "we report less disprotection of Indian agriculture in the 1990s than in earlier studies". The present argument, which is supposedly pro-agriculture and anti-subsidies, harks back to those World Bank studies. The attack is on food security.

The WTO has picked up on the general equilibrium calculations that were presented by Gulati. According to his argument, poverty will decline more through agricultural investment than through food security entitlements. This conclusion rests on the assumption that we must choose between agricultural investment and food security. Of course, agricultural growth reduces poverty. However, many of the poor still remain poor. Why must we make this terrible choice? Can we not cut down on some other not-so-desirable expenditures? The same models can be used to show how it is possible to incentivise agriculture and feed the poor at the same time. This could provide the basis for the "no-challenge clause", which the commerce ministry was reportedly working on, to defend public stockholding over the 10 per cent subsidy limit. This is important if India wants to escape the so-called "peace clause", which would give us temporary relief but ultimately force us to abandon food security. The problem is all the more severe for the fact that the Food Security Act also provides for non-grain subsidies to the poor, like a glass of milk for lactating mothers. It should be easy to establish a knowledge network to support the no-challenge clause.

We need to take a stand. When the WTO was set up, Rajiv Gandhi and his Brazilian counterpart held out till the end and changed the discourse. At Doha, Murasoli Maran fought up to the end for the livelihood clause, inspite of his poor health. This is terribly important, for in a county with widespread smallholder agriculture and malnourishment, models that do not take the nuances of size into account can do more harm than good. We must take a strong stand at Bali, for as the director general of the WTO pointed out, they will press for trade facilitation, and our bargaining space is set to get narrower.

The writer is chancellor, Central University of Gujarat

At Bali WTO meet, India stands alone in defence of domestic food subsidy


Bali WTO talks

India stood isolated at the WTO ministerial level talks Tuesday, insisting on its right to maintain domestic food subsidy and public stock holding norms, even as its major trading partner China and host Indonesia asked New Delhi to show flexibility to push stalled global trade talks.
India's stance, highly placed government sources told The Indian Express, was prompted by clear instructions to Commerce Minister Anand Sharma that "it may not be desirable" to "endorse" the negotiations even if "India may be blamed for a failure at Bali".
Sharma accordingly held a series of bilateral meetings at the island resort but differences remained.
Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng told Sharma, "We respect your stand but we are working for a positive outcome here. Doha round is a development round. We have worked very hard and every party has made compromises".
Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan too said India must understand "where the other guys are coming from", for which there has to be some flexibility.
Egypt had voiced similar concerns in bilateral talks with India Monday. Tuesday was the first day of the three-day ninth ministerial conference.
Sharma maintained that while it was the collective responsibility of all 159 WTO members to reach an outcome, a balanced result is only possible if the "genuine concerns of all developing nations were addressed". 

Sources said the Union cabinet explored three potential options for the Indian negotiators and zeroed in on option B, which sought exemption for the Indian food security scheme from WTO restrictions on subsidies for an "indefinite duration". New Delhi will want the exemptions to run until a permanent mechanism is evolved to accommodate food subsidy schemes as a condition for endorsing the Bali declaration. This is stiffer than the four-year peace clause that has been seen as a possible way out.
Sources also said the choice was made given the possible objections by the BJP and other stakeholders to the moderate peace clause. 

Although the cabinet was also apprised that "it is unlikely that this would be accepted in WTO", it has approved the position. In such situation, since India has consistently insisted on a balance in the Bali package, it may not be desirable to endorse the (final) agreement even though "it is likely that India may be blamed for a failure at Bali".
But Wirjawan warned that the absence of a positive outcome at Bali would have "negative implications. Every country has its own national interest but for the spirit of multi-lateralism to work, one needs to show flexibility and compromise. I think that may be required for the agriculture package". 

Towards an economy of mutualism

Published: December 4, 2013
 Madhav Gadgil

Modern economy must come to assume a mutualistic, and not a predatory, role toward the natural resource-based, labour-intensive sector of the economy

J.C. Kumarappa, the Gandhian economist who worked with the Planning Commission in the early years of Indian Independence, favoured industrialisation but insisted that its pursuit should not lead to the creation of an economy of violence. Recent disturbances linked to control over, and fate of, the rich water, mineral, forest and biodiversity resources of the Western Ghats of Kerala suggest that Kumarappa’s worst fears of a lopsided development have come true. As Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz emphasises in his recent book, The Price of Inequality, any nation must aim at a harmonious development of its four capital stocks: not just man-made capital that GDP highlights, but natural capital, human capital and social capital as well. A GDP-centric viewpoint focusses exclusively on economic activity in the organised industries-services sector.

Chembanmudy quarries

Thus, in the case of the controversial Chembanmudy hill stone quarries of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, what will count as positive development gains are not only quarrying, crushing and truck transport, but also the boosting of sales of anti-cancer and anti-asthmatic drugs as a result of the ill-health caused by quarrying activities. In the absence of proper records, other relevant elements of economic activities such as the decline in agricultural productivity and loss of employment for agricultural labour that ought to be counted on the debit side will be overlooked. In addition, the GDP-centric view totally ignores the ongoing grave depletion of natural capital, human capital and social capital. Thus, in the case of Chembanmudy, landslips and blockage of streams are adversely impacting land, water, forest and biodiversity resources. Health, education and employment are three important components of human capital. In the Chembanmudy case, health has suffered, with even young children developing lung cancer. Mothers have petitioned that the unceasing truck traffic does not permit their children to focus on studies.

As for employment, there is little for local community members. Most of the small number of labour employed is from tribal tracts of Orissa or Jharkhand, people whose livelihood has been destroyed by rampant mining in their own native districts. There are horror stories making rounds of how this disorganised labour force is ill-treated, with no compensation for accidental injuries or even death. Indeed, the claim that India’s rapid economic growth is helping create much-needed employment is dubious; the annual rate of growth in employment in the organised sector that was 2 per cent when the GDP was growing at 3 per cent, actually declined to one per cent as the GDP growth rate soared to 7 per cent. So what we are witnessing is jobless growth, with accompanying erosion of human and social capital.

JAPAN: Historic Visit to India of The Imperial Majesties

Paper No. 5614 Dated 03-Dec-2013 

By Dr Subhash Kapila 

Currently under way is a visit to India of The Imperial Majesties, The Emperor and Empress of Japan. The visit is a historic visit, rich in symbolism, of the close and historic ties that exist between Japan and India. 

Media coverage of this historic visit tended to reach too much in the geopolitical context of the current strategic tensions that China has generated both with Japan and India. Japan had to officially point out that it was wrong to read the current visit in the geopolitical context of China. 

One would tend to agree with this assertion for two reasons. The first reason is that the Japanese Emperor is above politics as Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The second reason is that Japan and India’s relations with China are politically independent of each other. 

Having made these points, it would be true to acknowledge that in the strategic domain and in the military domains, there is a growing convergence of interests in view of the ‘China Threat’ to both nations. 

Admittedly, India had extended the invitation for the monarchical visit a decade back but its acceptance now at this stage when China has upped the ante’ with both Japan and India on territorial issues presumably leads to the above conclusion. 

China can be expected to read the visit any way they like to. That is not India’s concern. But India needs to view it as a further validation of Japan-India friendship going back in decades. 

India stands greatly honoured that it would be the second imperial visit to India. Earlier the Emperor and Empress had visited India when the Emperor was Crown Prince. 

Further, that The Imperial Majesties should have made the effort to visit India at an advanced age speaks volumes of the high regard that India is held by both of them. 

Moreover, if memory serves me correctly then I think India is the only Asian country which The Imperial Majesties have visited twice. 

Japan and India has an evolving and constantly strengthening strategic partnership and to which more substantial contours can be expected to be added when Japanese Prime Minister Abe comes visiting India shortly. 

The Japanese Prime Minister is expected to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day Parade on January 2 2014. That would be a fitting acknowledgement of the growing strategic convergence of interests between Japan and India. 

In keeping with the overall tenor and spirit of the visit by The Imperial Majesties their programme is confined to ceremonials demanded by protocols of a State visit. 

Japan holds its monarchy in great and deep respect and that flows from the traditional and historical respect bordering on the spiritual 

Having spent four years in Japan on a diplomatic assignment one was witness to the above. In that period Emperor Hirohito, the father of the present Emperor was on the throne and one had the honour and privilege to participate in the presentation of credentials by incoming Indian Ambassador, Mr K P S Menon. 

The memory of the Spartan grandeur of the Audience Hall in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo where the ceremony took place and paying respects to Emperor Hirohito who had seen so much of history was a moving, stirring and unforgettable moment for me. 

Japan can be expected to carve its moment in history once again and India needs to stand on the right side of history. 

Overall, the India visit of The Imperial Majesties currently underway needs to be cherished as one more link added to the chain of the historical friendship and respect that Japan and India have for each other.

Solution to J & K problem lies in New Delhi...

 Date : 02 Dec , 2013 

J&K is an integral part of India. The only problem that can be called J&K Problem is the non- comprehension by India, its people and the government to this ultimate truth of its being the integral part of India and not distinct or separate entity in any way from the other states of India. The problem that would remain to be settled then is the need to free the areas of J&K illegally occupied by Pakistan and China. Once this fact is understood and fully comprehended by us, all else will fall in place. 

It is proposed to discuss this very complex and muddled up situation, erroneously called “The Jammu & Kashmir Problem”, as under: 
Strategic Importance of J&K 
The Problem and its historic Mishandling 

Strategic Importance of J&K 

The illegally occupied part of J&K by Pakistan is in two parts, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (the so called Azad Kashmir by Pakistan) and Gilgit- Baltistan(GB) (earlier called the Northern Areas). China is in possession of Akshai Chin and the Shaksgam valley illegally ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963. 

J&K forms the head of the Indian sub continent, and has been the traditional trade route of Central and South Asia to the East and Tibet, generally called the ‘Silk Route’. It is bounded by more countries than any other state of India; in the North East with Tibet, and further North with Xinjiang province of China, in the North West with the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, in the West with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and further South with Punjab of Pakistan. This geographic layout is strategically so important that no power of the world wants to remain away from the area, as it gives them access to the sensitive areas of the neighbouring countries.. Its high mountains provide strategic depth and domination over the surrounding area. For hundreds of years in the past, the Russian, Persian, Chinese, Tibetan and the British Indian empires, sought the passes of this region to dominate each other. The region rests along “the ancient axis of Asia” where South, Central and East Asia converge and, since time immemorial, has been the gateway for both India and China to Central Asia. 

The maps below show the geo strategic location and its dominating position. 

Distorted Pak map: Erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir showing illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan and Shaksgam and Akshai Chin by China The map is not accurate for boundaries, particularly the alignment of the line shown to Karakorum pass, leaving Siachin glacier in Pak occupied territory. 

Akshai Chin detailed map showing all the landmarks recently in the news. Map not to scale. 

The state of Jammu and Kashmir consists of two parts, one that is with India and the other that is under the occupation of Pakistan and China. The part with India consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu’s numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. The illegally occupied part of J&K by Pakistan is in two parts, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (the so called Azad Kashmir by Pakistan) and Gilgit- Baltistan(GB) (earlier called the Northern Areas). China is in possession of Akshai Chin and the Shaksgam valley illegally ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963. 

India-Pakistan: Talking to Both the Sharifs

3 December 2013
D Suba Chandran
Director, IPCS
Email: subachandran@ipcs.org

Now that Pakistan has a new Chief of Army Staff, Gen Raheel Sharif, replacing Gen Kayani, what should India do? Should we ignore him, and dialogue only with Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister? Or should we accept the real politics of Pakistan, and consider starting a dialogue with the COAS? (See Sushil Aaron, 'Talk to the Other Sharif', Business Line, 29 November 2013). Or should India speak to the COAS as well as Nawaz Sharif?

Will Gen Raheel Sharif be Any Different?
Along with nuclear weapons and Afghanistan, India is a part of Pakistan General Head Quarters’ sensitive triumvirate, and Rawalpindi would not like Islamabad to play a major role in creating an independent strategy. No Prime Minister in the history of Pakistan has succeeded in establishing an independent policy vis-à-vis India.

Nawaz Sharif would understand this more than anyone else in Pakistan. It was the bus diplomacy along with secret negotiations through Niaz Naik that made the Sharif-Vajpayee dialogue possible and alarmed the GHQ. The GHQ invariably factored in Kargil intrusions and ousted Nawaz Sharif through a coup. It was followed by jail term and exile, and more importantly, the rupture of the relationship between Nawaz Sharif and the military.

Fast forward to 2013. After the elections and a stupendous victory in 2013, Nawaz Sharif attempted to chart his own course vis-à-vis India. Perhaps he feels that strong Indo-Pak relations would undermine the political position that the GHQ enjoys within Pakistan. It is precisely for this reason that the LoC has suddenly become violent in the last few months. There is no other explanation why the military in Pakistan would like to upset the ceasefire that has been in place since 2004.

Clearly, the GHQ is unlikely to allow any independent dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi. Will Gen Raheel Sharif be any different? Unlikely. He may have been chosen over two other Generals, but he is not likely to be any different from his predecessors when it comes to Indo-Pak relations. He would represent the larger interests of the GHQ, as the other Chiefs have done in the past.

An important question here is: if he is unlikely to be different, why should we speak to him?

What should be New Delhi’s Strategy?
India’s strategy has been so far primarily focused on investing in one person – either the elected leadership, or the President, who has assumed power through a coup. Outside of the formal dialogue led by South Block, New Delhi has also attempted a confidential dialogue through a trusted emissary, as was the case between Vajpayee and Sharif through RK Mishra and Niaz Naik.

Mullah Fazlullah Returns to Pakistan From Afghanistan to Take Command of Pakistani Taliban

December 3, 2013

New Pakistani Taliban Chief Returns to Lead Group

Associated Press

December 3, 2013

ISLAMABAD — Intelligence officials say the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban has returned to the country from Afghanistan to lead the militant group.

The officials said Tuesday that Mullah Fazlullah arrived in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region along the Afghan border several days ago. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Fazlullah was appointed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban in November after the former chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Fazlullah was the leader of the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest Swat Valley and fled to Afghanistan after the army launched an offensive there in 2009. He is known as a particularly ruthless militant who planned the attempted assassination of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai

The New Head of Pakistan’s Army Holds the Country’s Most Important Job

Photo by Aamir Quereshi/AFP/Getty
By Bruce Riedel
November 30th 20135:45 am
Raheel Sharif now heads Pakistan’s army. He replaces Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, whose double-dealing ways—including the outing of a CIA station chief—shredded relations with the U.S.

The Pakistani army changed commanders this weekend, putting a new man in the most important job in the country. General Raheel Sharif replaced General Ashfaq Kayani as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The job has been the vantage point from whence all four of Pakistan’s military dictators took over the country; it oversees the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world and Pakistan’s network of connections to terrorist groups and the Afghan Taliban. The COAS also is America’s main interlocutor to the Pakistan army and the deep state it controls.

Kayani’s tour was due to expire, so the transition was months in the making. Kayani epitomizes the paradoxes and contradictions that are at the heart of Pakistan’s troubles today. A professional career army officer, he was selected by Pakistan’s last dictator, Pervez Musharraf, to run the country’s intelligence service in 2004 after a number of assassination attempts on Musharraf. As director general of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Kayani was directly responsible for helping the Afghan Taliban recover from their defeat in Afghanistan in 2001 by American and allied forces. 

By 2004 the Taliban had resumed the war inside Afghanistan. Pakistan gave it critical help and assistance. Without it, the Taliban would never have recovered. A secret NATO study leaked in 2012 based on the interrogations of 4,000 captured Taliban, al Qaeda, and other fighters in Afghanistan in over 27,000 interrogations concluded that ISI support was critical to the survival and revival of the Taliban after 2001. It provides sanctuary, training camps, expertise, and help with fund raising. Pakistani ISI officers have been killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan operating undercover with Taliban forces. The NATO report concluded, “the ISI is thoroughly aware of Taliban activities and the whereabouts of all senior Taliban personnel.” 

Kayani ran the ISI’s covert operation assisting the Taliban directly until his promotion to COAS in 2007, when Musharraf’s regime began to fall apart. As DG/ISI, Kayani would also have been in charge of the early planning for the attack on Mumbai by the Pakistani terror group Lashkar e Tayyiba, which killed 166 people including six Americans in 2008. Kayani as the spymaster of ISI undoubtedly knew his organization had recruited an American, David Headley, to assist in doing the reconnaissance for the attack, which began in 2005. 

Cooperation between the ISI and the Afghan Taliban and LeT continued after Kayani moved up, but in 2009 he confronted Pakistan’s own terror nightmare, the Pakistani Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban turned on the army’s deep state that had nourished and patronized jihadists for decades as too moderate and too willing to take America’s money. Kayani oversaw the army’s offensive into the Swat Valley that drove the Pakistan Taliban back into the border region with Afghanistan. Today the army is still engaged in a bloody and vicious war with the Pakistani Taliban even as it continues to assist the Afghan Taliban fight against America and NATO in Afghanistan and helps LeT plan more attacks in India. 

I was with National Security Advisor Jim Jones in February 2009 when he confronted Kayani with the contradictions in Pakistani policy toward terrorism in his office in the West Wing of the White House. President Obama had just come into office and was reviewing policy toward Pakistan. Jones asked Kayani to explain his complicated relations with jihadist groups. Kayani mumbled a reply and changed the subject to Pakistan’s enemy India.
At the moment of truth in U.S.-Pakistan relations, Obama rightly decided he could not trust Kayani.

Obama chose not to tell Kayani that the CIA had found Osama bin Laden hiding less than a mile from the front door of the Kakul military academy, Pakistan’s West Point, in 2011. It was a remarkable decision since the United States had provided Pakistan over $25 billion in military and economic aid since 9/11 precisely to fight al Qaeda. At the moment of truth in U.S.-Pakistan relations, Obama rightly decided he could not trust Kayani. 

The COAS also runs Pakistan’s nuclear program. Today it is probably the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Under Kayani’s watch, Pakistan has embarked on an ambitious program to develop and deploy tactical nuclear weapons that can be used on a battlefield. Pakistani officials argue that the development of these weapons is essential to confront India‘s conventional military superiority. It also significantly increases both the security risks to maintaining control of nukes and lowers the threshold to use them in a future conflict.

America’s dysfunctional relationship with Pakistan continued to go downhill even in the last days of the Kayani era. After a drone strike killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban, the country’s number one terrorist threat, many Pakistani politicians demanded the strikes cease for good. One party outed the top American intelligence officer in Islamabad and demanded he and CIA Director John Brennan be put on trial for the drone attacks. It’s the third time since 2010 that the CIA’s man has been outed in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took great care in picking Kayani’s successor. The last time Sharif was prime minister, in 1999, he picked Musharraf to replace another general in the COAS position. Within months Musharraf had started a war with India in Kashmir and was taking the country to the brink of Armageddon. When Sharif tried to fire Musharraf, the army overthrew Sharif instead and he spent a decade in exile. Now in a twist of fate Musharraf is on trial for treason. Sharif is not the only Pakistani civilian leader who chose a COAS poorly. Zuflikar Bhutto chose General Zia ul Huq to be COAS in the 70s. Zia overthrew Zulfi and had him executed in 1977.

Sharif’s choice now, General Raheel Sharif, is not a relative. Born in 1956, Raheel comes from a military family. His elder brother died in the 1971 war with India and is a national hero. He is a graduate of the Kakul academy and was also its commandant at one point in his career. He was apparently not Kayani’s top choice for his successor but is likely to continue the army’s policies on backing terror and building nukes. Whether Prime Minister Sharif has chosen better than he did in 1999, of course, remains to be seen.

Iran Asks Afghan President Karzai Not to Sign Security Pact With U.S.

December 3, 2013
Iran Doesn’t Want Afghanistan to Sign US Deal

Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday asked Afghanistan not to sign a security deal with the U.S. that could keep thousands of American and allied forces in its neighboring country for another decade
The request comes ahead of an expected visit to Iran next week by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has endorsed the deal but introduced new conditions before approving it and deferred its signature to his successor in next April’s elections.
Iranian ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the “Islamic Republic of Iran does not consider the signing and approval of the pact useful for the long term expedience and interests of Afghanistan.”

She added that “we think approval and implementation of the deal will have negative effects on the trend of regional issues.”

Iran has long opposed the agreement that keeps U.S. forces in its doorstep in neighboring Afghanistan. The two countries have about 945 kilometers (580 miles) of joint borders.
The United States is pressing for Karzai to sign the deal to extend a military presence past 2014, when NATO and United Nations mandates expire and all foreign troops leave the country. The U.S. says the deal will keep forces in Afghanistan to train and mentor the Afghan army and police, while a smaller presence will go after the remnants of al-Qaida.

A national assembly of Afghan dignitaries approved the deal and demanded that Karzai sign it by the end of next month — which is also America’s deadline before it starts planning a full withdrawal at the end of 2014. Karzai has so far refused.

Afkham also confirmed reports that Karzai will visit Tehran next week. He last visited Tehran in August to attend the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani. Kabul has not officially confirmed the trip.

The False Search for a 'Chinese Model'

By Li Huafang
This analysis first appeared in Caixin
BEIJING - The recent government shutdown in the United States prompted a chorus of comparisons in China of the two countries' political systems. The general sentiment? "The American model of democracy is not the only way. The Chinese style may be another option."
But the comparison is inappropriate because it is based on two false assumptions. First, there is the belief that the political institution is the only variable that affects economic growth. Second, the idea that rapid economic growth is always positive.

Herbert Simon, the late American Nobel laureate in economics, explained that the factors that lead to growth are a subject that should be studied scientifically. Simply declaring growth a good thing is a value judgment, not a scientific one.
In the face of rapid economic growth, people might have different views. For example, those who haven't seen their share of the benefits from growth may be more inclined to focus on the corruption that accompanies it.

We can of course agree that "American democracy is not the only way." After all, the only country that exercises American democracy is indeed the United States itself. There are no two identical democratic states in the world. But we must also remember that "democracy" is a principle, which can be applied in many ways.
More than 2,000 years
As for China's institutional evolution, it follows a unique path linked to its traditions. At the heart are two different approaches: one is Confucian constitutionalism, the other is social constitutionalism. The Confucian culture has more than 2,000 years of history, compared to the socialist imprint of just the past 64 years. Whatever impact these two principles together can have on China remains to be seen.
The crucial point that people often ignore is the interruption of Confucianism by socialism, in particular between 1949 and 1978, before China's reform and opening-up. A variety of Chinese Communist Party movements landed fatal blows upon the Confucian tradition. It will take a lot for Chinese society to reconnect with this ancient tradition.

The End of History Ends

December 2, 2013   

Walter Russell Mead 

Sometime in 2013, we reached a new stage in world history. A coalition of great powers has long sought to overturn the post Cold War Eurasian settlement that the United States and its allies imposed after 1990; in the second half of 2013 that coalition began to gain ground. The revisionist coalition hasn’t achieved its objectives, and the Eurasian status is still quo, but from this point on we will have to speak of that situation as contested, and American policymakers will increasingly have to respond to a challenge that, until recently, most chose to ignore. 

Call the challengers the Central Powers; they hate and fear one another as much as they loathe the current geopolitical order, but they are joined at the hip by the belief that the order favored by the United States and its chief allies is more than an inconvenience. The big three challengers – Russia, China and Iran — all hate, fear and resent the current state of Eurasia. The balance of power it enshrines thwarts their ambitions; the norms and values it promotes pose deadly threats to their current regimes. Until recently there wasn’t much they could do but resent the world order; now, increasingly, they think they have found a way to challenge and ultimately to change the way global politics work. 

This is not, yet, a pre-war situation. The Central Powers know that they can’t challenge the United States, the EU, Japan and the various affiliates and associates of what we might call the Maritime Association head on. The military and economic facts on the ground would make such a challenge suicidal. But if they can’t challenge the world system head on, they can chip away at its weak spots and, where the maritime powers leave a door unlatched or a window open, they can make a quick move. They can use our own strategic shortsightedness against us, they can weaken the adhesion of our core alliances, and they can use the mechanisms of the international system (above all, the United Nations Security Council where Russia and China both wield the veto) to throw bananas in our path. 

Lacking the strength for a head on confrontation, they are opportunistic feeders. They look for special circumstances where the inattention, poor judgment or domestic political constraints of the status quo powers offer opportunities. Russia’s strike against Georgia was one such move; both Russia and Iran have skillfully exploited the divisions among the Americans and their allies over the horror in Syria. 

A Military Strategy to Deter China

December 1, 2013

China’s announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone last weekend made Seth Cropsey’s commentary “America Has No Military Strategy for China” extremely timely. He is absolutely correct on two key statements. First, an escalation between China and Japan would be disastrous and, even more importantly, the United States has no strategy for a conflict with China. Secretary Cropsey notes that the AirSea Battle concept is the “sole U.S. preparation” but that it is not a strategy. 

While no set of actions can guarantee continued peace between China and the United States, carefully considered national and military strategies will reduce the probability of a conflict. The United States National Strategy makes that an explicit goal. In his November 2011 address to the Australian Parliament, President Barack Obama stated U.S. National Strategy would: 

“continue our effort to build a cooperative relationship with China. … all of our nations have a profound interest in the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China.” 

This year, Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, clarified and reinforced the Administration’s determination to continue its rebalance to Asia. 

“To pursue this vision, the United States is implementing a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy: strengthening alliances; deepening partnerships with emerging powers; building a stable, productive, and constructive relationship with China; empowering regional institutions; and helping to build a regional economic architecture that can sustain shared prosperity.”

Thus, the United States has a clearly articulated national strategy to encourage peaceful growth in the region. Unfortunately, as Cropsey noted, the United States has failed to express a coherent military strategy to support its national strategy. 

Deepening the confusion concerning U.S. military strategy is the tendency of many observers to assume that CSBA’s paper, AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept, expressed the U.S. military strategy for a conflict with China. The paper postulated that in the “unthinkable” case of a war with China, U.S. efforts would include a “executing a blinding campaign against PLA battle networks, executing a suppression campaign against PLA long-range, principally strike systems, seizing and sustaining the initiative in air, sea, space and cyber domains.” This paper stated it was not proposing a strategy but only a concept for overcoming China’s area denial/anti-access capabilities. 

Perhaps the biggest weakness of the ASB concept is that it scares our allies without deterring China. Since most ASB technology is top secret, U.S. officials are unable to discuss it with our allies. As a result, many allies assume the United States will follow the plan described in CSBA’s paper and initiate immediate, extensive attacks on Chinese territory. Our allies are obviously concerned that China will see such attacks as emanating from allied territory and respond in kind. In short, U.S. allies are being asked to offer bases without any knowledge of what actions the U.S. intends to take from those bases. Not a great way to reassure allies. Unfortunately because this operational approach relies heavily on cyber and space capabilities, it creates the unintended consequence of raising the value of a first strike. Thus it is escalatory. In a crisis, both militaries will know that the one that strikes first will achieve significant tactical and operational advantages. 

ASB also fails to deter China. Because it is apparently dependent upon space and cyber systems, China may well feel it can degrade those systems enough to defeat the operational approach. Further, China may well believe the United States cannot afford ASB or at very least will not field the capabilities for a decade or more. A military strategy that offers a relative inexpensive defeat mechanism or a window of vulnerability has little deterrent value. 

To eliminate the confusion and reassure other nations, the United States needs to go beyond simply declaring that ASB is not a strategy. It must clearly state U.S. military strategy for a possible conflict with China. 

What Should a Military Strategy Do? 

The first and most important function of a military strategy is to support the national strategy. Therefore, any military strategy must encourage or, at very least, not discourage the continued growth and integration of China’s economy with that of the global economy. A U.S. military strategy for Asia must achieve five objectives: 

1. Deter China from military action to resolve disputes while encouraging its continued economic growth; 

2. Assure Asian nations that the United States is both willing to and capable of remaining engaged in Asia; 

3. Ensure access for U.S. forces and allied commercial interests to the global commons; 

4. Achieve victory with minimal risk of nuclear escalation in the event of conflict; and 

5. Be visibly credible today. 

Ideally, a military strategy would also provide guidance for matching limited defense resources to appropriate force structures and equipment buys. Given the fact that China has a thermonuclear arsenal, a military strategy must emphasize deterrence and, if that fails, should escalate in a deliberate, transparent way. 

Outline for a Strategy 

Professor Eliot Cohen proposes that a strategy should include critical assumptions, ends-ways-means coherence, priorities, sequencing, and a theory of victory. Without listing, examining and challenging assumptions, it is not possible to understand a strategy. With assumptions identified, coherence in ends-ways-means becomes possible. These elements should not be treated separately. If goals are selected that exceed available means, one does not have a strategy. Priorities are required because a nation will not have the resources to do everything at once. Sequencing flows from priorities. Finally, a strategy must have a theory of victory – an answer to the question “how does this end?” It must express how the strategy achieves war termination on favorable terms. 

A Proposed Military Strategy 

I propose a military strategy I am calling Offshore Control: Defense of the First Island Chain that takes advantage of geography to block China’s exports and thus severely weaken its economy.   


I have listed five key assumptions below. 

1. China starts the conflict. Assuming China initiates the conflict presents the most difficult military situation for the United States. 

2. There is a high probability that a conflict with China will be a long war. For the last 200 years, wars between major powers have generally run for years rather than months. Further, the United States would find a protracted conflict most challenging. 

3. Any major conflict between the United States and China will result in massive damage to the global economy. The integrated global economy means that, like WWI, the opening of the conflict will cause major economic contraction. 

4. The United States does not understand China’s nuclear decision process. Therefore, it is critically important that the U.S. strategic approach minimize escalation. If escalation is required, deliberate and transparent escalation is better than a sudden surprise that could be misinterpreted. This approach certainly violates the generally accepted precept that escalation in war be violent and sudden to achieve maximum effect. However, that maxim was developed before the advent of offsetting nuclear arsenals. 

5. In space or cyber domains, a first strike provides major advantages. Thus any operational approach that requires the robust use of space and cyber capabilities is inherently destabilizing in a crisis.

China’s Hubris on the High Seas

James Holmes

Despite all the hype, the PLA Navy’s achievements remain relatively modest.

By James R. Holmes
December 02, 2013

Hubris is a prime mover in human affairs. Those who yield to overweening pride hear what they want to hear. Herodotus, the father crazy uncle of history, relates how King Croesus of Lydia consulted the oracle at Delphi to determine whether to wage preemptive war against a rising Persia ruled by Cyrus the Great. The oracle’s reply: you will destroy a great empire if you march against Persia. Whereupon the doughty king led his army onto the battlefield…

…and lost everything in combat.

The empire destroyed was Croesus’ own. Lesson #1: Think twice before tangling with an enemy nicknamed The Great. Lesson #2: Nemesis requites hubris. Just ask any classical Greek historian, philosopher or playwright about punishment meted out by Fate. Pride goeth before a fall. Lesson #3: Beware of oracles. Better to heed the hardscrabble counsel of a Machiavelli. The Florentine philosopher admits that “fortune is the arbiter of half our actions.” We’re the arbiters of the other half. Those cursed with ill fortune can escape it through wisdom and resolve. Those who enjoy fortune’s favor can squander it.

China’s leadership appears prone to hubris. Whether that failing is mostly a Chinese thing, or a communist thing, or a Chinese Communist thing, is open to debate. Whatever the case, a parable of China’s inexorable rise appears to beguile folk in Beijing and other power centers. History, they believe, is on China’s side. It’s their oracle. For evidence of hubris, check out Reuters reporter David Lague’s story from last Wednesday. (David quotes — sniff, sniff — only the most eminent of sources. Call me Croesus of Newport.) The story details how China’s navy has commenced operating on the Western Pacific high seas. Task forces exit and reenter the China seas through straits offering passage through the Japanese archipelago.

A weird triumphalism courses through sea-power pundits’ words. The PLA Navy has scored a “breakthrough.” Its task forces have “fragmented” and “dismembered” the first island chain, which is “no longer existent.” Their cruises put Tokyo and Washington on notice that they can no longer “contain China within the first island chain.” The results of the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War — when the Imperial Japanese Navy thrashed its Chinese counterpart, wresting Taiwan and a big wad of cash from the Qing Dynasty — have been overturned. Take that, imperialist aggressors!!

Yet reports of Chinese naval mastery are greatly exaggerated. PLA Navy mariners have proved that they can … navigate through straits traversed by merchantmen and warships as a matter of routine. They have resolutely … operated a few hundred miles offshore for a short time. They have accomplished these great feats … unopposed. Yawn.

This hardly amounts to ruling the waves. Indeed, nothing China’s navy has done demonstrates that it can force the straits open should the U.S.-Japan alliance decide to close them. Shore-based anti-ship missiles already in the Japan Self-Defense Force inventory sport the range and accuracy to give any adversary a very bad day. Commentators such as myself and Toshi Yoshihara, T. X. Hammes, and a team of johnny-come-latelies from RAND have been urging the JSDF to expand its missile capacity. This remains a critical niche advantage for Japan over China, and one for which the PLA has no obvious answer.

China's Selective Access-Denial Strategy

James Holmes|
December 3, 2013


"Access denial" is a misnomer. Or rather, it oversimplifies, implying that either the door is wide open or a coastal state like China slams the door shut to all foreign shipping and aircraft, military and commercial. Not so. Selective access denial is a more accurate term for Chinese strategy. Beijing covets control over passage through regional sea and air routes, and it wants others to acknowledge its say-so. It has no quarrel with commercial access. It welcomes trade. Nor is military access entirely off-limits. China wishes only to curtail certain types of martial endeavors. At sea it concedes freedom of navigation for foreign merchantmen and warships. The same goes for aircraft transiting the air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) it proclaimed in the East China Sea recently.

That sounds harmless at first blush. But Chinese officials are quick to insist that navigation means navigation—the right to pass through, and nothing more. Beijing, that is, accepts that others will use the sea-lanes as a thoroughfare for transportation but denies their right to conduct activities that enhance readiness for combat. Surveillance flights, underwater surveys, and aircraft-carrier flight operations are some undertakings China wants to proscribe—much as the law of the sea forbids these activities in the "territorial sea" within 12 nautical miles of a coastal state's shorelines. In effect Beijing demands that ships and aircraft transiting seas and airspace it claims obey the "innocent passage" rules governing territorial waters.

U.S. officials such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unwittingly encourage China to interpret seafaring states' rights narrowly. They phrase U.S. national interests in terms of freedom of navigation rather than freedom to use the global commons without interference. Hugo Grotius, the father of the law of the sea, called unfettered use of the oceans mare liberum, the free sea. Freedom is about more than mere transportation. For naval historian Alfred Thayer Mahan, waters beyond the territorial sea were a "wide common." No one needed permission to use them. It behooves Washington to debunk Beijing's linguistic sleight-of-hand, restoring the commons to its rightful place at the center of the maritime order. Freedom of navigation, U.S. officials must insist, is indivisible from the other freedoms Grotius and Mahan espoused, and that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea codifies. Access is access.

Which brings us back to selective access denial. By cheerfully ratifying most uses of the commons, China has turned cost/benefit logic against the United States. Strategic theorist Carl von Clausewitz teaches, sensibly enough, that the value a nation assigns its political goals determines how much effort—treasure, hardware, lives—it expends to obtain those goals, and for how long. Should Beijing try to bar foreign access to Asian seas and skies entirely, it would simplify the problem for Washington. No U.S. president could tolerate blanket access denial. Prying and keeping the commons open would warrant an effort of maximum "magnitude" and "duration," to borrow Clausewitz's words. Straightforward Chinese challenge, straightforward U.S. reply.

Safeguarding the Seas

How to Defend Against China's New Air Defense Zone
By Michael J. Green
December 3, 2013

A helicopter of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force lifts off from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington during Annual Exercise 2013. (U.S. Navy Handout)

Much of the coverage of China’s November 23 announcement of a new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over waters claimed by Japan and South Korea has focused on the reactive and blundering nature of Chinese diplomacy. China’s sudden insistence on its right to take defensive action against foreign aircraft in this zone, the argument goes, was either an attempt to play to domestic nationalism or else to respond to Japan’s own increasing assertiveness in the region. Either way, the coverage concludes, China underestimated how quickly and vigorously other countries in the region would respond, including with flights directly into that airspace.

The implication of this analysis, which may be tempting to the overstretched Obama administration, is that Beijing made a hasty move that the region will now correct with a little help from Washington. Unfortunately for the administration, however, this was not just an ill-conceived slap by Beijing against a testy Japan. The reality is that the new ADIZ is part of a longer-term attempt by Beijing to chip away at the regional status quo and assert greater control over the East and South China Seas.

To understand this reality, one must begin the story of the ADIZ before Japan’s nationalization of three of the eight disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands in 2012, which is where most assessments start. Over three decades ago, China and Japan agreed to set aside their disagreement over the islands and focus on a common problem: the Soviet Union. It was China that first nullified the understanding by staking claim to the islands in 1992. It was also China that, in 2008, began significantly expanding its maritime patrols in and around those waters. In recent years, the Chinese maritime services have conducted patrols at least once a day near the islands and have crossed Japan’s 12-nautical-mile border around the islands on hundreds of occasions. Meanwhile, Chinese navy units have circumnavigated Japan and conducted major military exercises on all sides of the Japanese archipelago. In other words, by the time Tokyo purchased some of the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands from private landowners in 2012, Chinese pressure had reached alarming levels for Tokyo.

Both Japanese and Chinese diplomacy on the issue have been inept at times, of course, but the difference is that Japan -- which has effective administrative control of the islands -- is trying to preserve the status quo, whereas China is bent on using coercive pressure to try to change it. And Japan is not China’s only target. Beijing has also been pressing Manila over the Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island) in the South China Sea. China has increased its maritime and air presence around the contested area and imposed export bans on key products from the Philippines. (This strategy smacks of the same mercantilism China showed when it halted rare earth exports to Japan because of those two countries’ island disputes.)

*** Israel's New Strategic Position

Geopolitical WeeklyTuesday, December 3, 2013  

By George Friedman

Read more: Israel's New Strategic Position | Stratfor

Israel has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program. That was to be expected. Less obvious is why the Israeli government is concerned and how it will change Israel's strategic position.

Israel's current strategic position is excellent. After two years of stress, its peace treaty with Egypt remains in place. Syria is in a state of civil war that remains insoluble. Some sort of terrorist threat might originate there, but no strategic threat is possible. In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not seem inclined to wage another war with Israel, and while the group's missile capacity has grown, Israel appears able to contain the threat they pose without creating a strategic threat to Israeli national interests. The Jordanian regime, which is aligned with Israel, probably will withstand the pressure put on it by its political opponents.

In other words, the situation that has existed since the Camp David Accords were signed remains in place. Israel's frontiers are secure from conventional military attack. In addition, the Palestinians are divided among themselves, and while ineffective, intermittent rocket attacks from Gaza are likely, there is no Intifada underway in the West Bank.

Therefore, Israel faces no existential threats, save one: the possibility that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon and a delivery system and use it to destroy Israel before it or the United States can prevent it from doing so. Clearly, a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv would be catastrophic for Israel. Its ability to tolerate that threat, regardless of how improbable it may be, is a pressing concern for Israel.

In this context, Iran's nuclear program supersedes all of Israel's other security priorities. Israeli officials believe their allies, particularly those in the United States, should share this view. As a strategic principle, this is understandable. But it is unclear how Israel intends to apply it. It is also unclear how its application will affect relations with the United States, without which it cannot cope with the Iranian threat.

Israel understands that however satisfactory its current circumstances are, those circumstances are mercurial and to some extent unpredictable. Israel may not rely heavily on the United States under these circumstances, but these circumstances may not be permanent. There are plenty of scenarios in which Israel would not be able to manage security threats without American assistance. Thus, Israel has an overriding interest in maintaining its relationship with the United States and in ensuring Iran never becomes a nuclear state. So any sense that the United States is moving away from its commitment to Israel, or that it is moving in a direction where it might permit an Iranian nuclear weapon, is a crisis. Israel's response to the Iran talks -- profound unhappiness without outright condemnation -- has to be understood in this context, and the assumptions behind it have to be examined.
More than Uranium

Iran does not appear to have a deliverable nuclear weapon at this point. Refining uranium is a necessary but completely insufficient step in developing a weapon. A nuclear weapon is much more than uranium. It is a set of complex technologies, not the least of which are advanced electrical systems and sensors that, given the amount of time the Iranians have needed just to develop not-quite-enough enriched uranium, seems beyond them. Iran simply does not have sufficient fuel to produce a device.

On Shaky Ground

As Africa faces demographic growth of historic dimensions, hopes for corresponding economic development are high. But the continent is unprepared, and the recent economic improvements are threatened.

If you wish to gain insight into Africa’s recent economic rise, go to the border crossing between Burundi and Rwanda. On the Rwandan side you will find colorful posters advertising mobile phones, whereas in Burundi the asphalt street ends after a few kilometers and turns into an unpaved road. The two countries could not be more distinct from each other.
Rwanda represents progress and hope. Like in other African countries, a middle class and a service sector have emerged. In contrast, Burundi is regularly ranked amongst the world’s worst countries in a diversity of aspects – no matter which study – and is part of the “Africa” that has defined the continent´s public perception for the past decades. For some journalists and experts, it seems to be clear that Burundi is first and foremost Africa’s past, while Rwanda’s model casts a light for the future of the continent. Indeed, cover stories such as TIME’s “Africa Rising” from 2012 are based on solid numbers. The World Bank projects GDP growth to continue at around 5 percent throughout the next years.
It is a danger.
However, these indicators are misleading: The prospects of sub-Saharan Africa do not depend on foreign investors’ money and cannot be analyzed based on the amount of advertisement posters. Instead, it is Africa’s mothers who will decide what their continent is going to look like in the not-too-distant future. In around 100 years Nigeria’s population will be comparable to China’s, but in an area the size of Texas. Within the same time span, Africa’s population is likely to quadruple. Instead of one billion people, four billion Africans will have to make do with resources that are already scarce and insufficient today. In Burundi, this evolution could prevent any possible economic and political development and even sources of hope such as Rwanda face major challenges.
Population growth does not necessarily have to be a problem: It can become an opportunity if certain positive economic conditions are met. Sub-Saharan population growth, however, is strongest in those countries that perform worst economically. To imitate Asia’s rise, first of all, African governments would have to create an enormous amount of jobs. Demographic change is a catalyst: If it develops parallel to a strengthening economy, it can cause long-term wealth.
In Africa, on the other hand, the population growth is more likely to lead to a catastrophe because parallel to the growth itself, an additional shift will impact any outcome. While children have made up the largest part of Africa´s population so far, the average age is rising. Instead of defenseless children, we will see more young adults with families who want and need to work. But over the last ten years, African economic growth has outrun employment rates, implying that working-age Africans do not fully benefit from the rising GDP. Inequality combined with growing competition for employment will have another, even more important consequence: In contrast to children, young adults are victims who can defend themselves. Young men in particular tend to use violence if they consider their future prospects to be bleak. The resulting political instability would disrupt the fragile economic improvements African countries have witnessed recently and scare foreign investors. Hence, to the south of the Sahara, demographic change is not an opportunity. It is a danger.

Friends or Allies?

By Richard Halloran

The US and India have many common goals, but are slow to expand their military relationsip.

For two years, the Obama Administration has sought to forge robust security relations with India as a vital element in the “rebalance” toward the Pacific-Asian region. Progress has been uneven, however, as India has been hampered by a zealous defense of sovereignty.

Slowed by the continued influence of its nonaligned policy during the Cold War, India has also been hobbled by internal political and bureaucratic infighting.

A report produced in early 2013 by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service was pointed: “Frustrations among many ... in the United States have arisen from the sense that India’s enthusiasm for further deepening bilateral security cooperation is limited and that New Delhi’s reciprocity has been insufficient.” A CRS analysis in 2011 said: “Indian leaders continue to demonstrate an aversion to assuming the kinds of new security-related postures and activities the United States seeks for India.”

Lt. Col. Douglas Woodard, the Pacific Air Forces officer charged with planning contacts with India’s air service, offered a diplomatic assessment: “It is a PACAF priority to develop a routine and reliable Air Force-to-Air Force relationship with India, but we recognize that we have to be patient and move at a pace with which India is comfortable.”

Woodard is secretary of the PACAF Executive Steering Group, co-chaired at the three-star level at both PACAF and in the Indian Air Staff. The Navy’s Pacific Fleet and US Army Pacific, other components of Pacific Command, have similar steering groups to plan training and exchanges with Indian counterparts. At the political level, a Defense Policy Group is co-chaired by the undersecretary of defense for policy in Washington and by the Indian Defense Secretary in New Delhi.

Despite the obstacles, if all goes as planned, aircraft and pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) will make their second visit to Nellis AFB, Nev., next summer, to join USAF air and ground crews in a demanding Red Flag combat exercise.

The IAF crews and aircraft were set to fly in a Red Flag this past July, but the exercise was canceled at the last minute because of the US budget sequester.

The first IAF visit to Red Flag was five years ago, in 2008, when some 250 IAF airmen flew to Nellis with eight Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, one Il-76 airlifter, and two Il-78 tankers. Anecdotally, USAF airmen were impressed by the flying skills displayed by the IAF.

Drilling Together

In India, PACAF pilots flew in four Cope India exercises between 2004 and 2009. During the 2009 iteration, PACAF and IAF crews flew day and night parachute drops, airdrops of light vehicles, assault landings, and medical evacuation missions. Joint planning sessions gave both sides an education. In other venues, PACAF and IAF have exchanged instructor pilots, safety specialists, and security personnel. The Indians and Americans have also occasionally met at multilateral drills elsewhere in Asia, such as Cobra Gold in Thailand.