February 19, 2005

FOIL member Shalini Gera supports Maoist kidnappings : She says it's "Impressive"


PSMI = Patriotic Sons of Mother India

Our Intelligence Wing RGS, Rashtriya Guptachar Sangh has collected belwo piece of information . http://geocities.com/guptacharsangh

Shalini Gera made waves during gujarat crisis by launching online petitions and writing letters to PM , Persident etc under the grab of a "Coalition Against
Communalism "

As mentioned earlier she is a Hindu hating , Pro paki , marxist , naxalite supporter . To prove our point here is a piece in her words on Maoists kidnappings of Businessmen and school kids in Nepal she says "If it's(Kidnappings of Businessmen and kids) just a show of strength by the Maoists, it's pretty impressive "

--------------------------------- COMPLETE

Some bizarre news reports are coming out of Nepal and I was wondering if someone on the list has an understanding/ analysis of what is going on there.
Over the last two days, hundreds of schoolchildren and youth have been "abducted" by Maoists for "indoctrination" purposes and have been released 48 hours later. Today, over 400 "businessmen" have been abducted so that theycan set up a district businessmen's committee ... If it's just a show
of strength by the Maoists, it's pretty impressive, but how long before the Royal Nepal Army retaliates (with help from US and India)?

Maoists kidnap over 1,000 students, teachers in Nepal

Maoists kidnap 400 businessmen in Nepal
http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?slug=Maoists+kidnap+400+in+Nepal&id=67624 "

February 18, 2005

The essence of Terrorism

Excerpt from Americas Secret war

The essence of terrorism is this : In a society with many unguarded targets, a group with courage and explosives is extraordinarily difficult to stop. It is this combination of sparseness of groups and the richness of targets that has traditionally made combating terrorism a nightmare .

The material damage caused by the terrorists was trivial compared to the psychological , and therefore political effect .

Terror came from the awarness of one’s own vulnerability and the sense that terroristsUS forced unequivocably could strike where and when they wanted – that they were in control and held life or death in their hands. The psychological strength of terrorism rested in the IDEA that no one was safe anywhere – that death is omnipresent .

You could not protect yourself , and more important , the state could not protect you. The frequency of attack is less important than their effectiveness.
In war enemy’s next move is usually predictable . War is a game played with most of the pieces on the table most of the time .A general can understand and predict the behaviour of his opponent.

What gives terrorism its strength is its extraordinarily unpredictability .In a world of many targets and very few terrorists , the terrorists always hold the advantage

February 17, 2005

Japan’s new defence posture

Japan’s new defence posture

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi - the architect of Japan's new security policy
Towards power-projection

At the turn of this year, Japan is set to conclude a major review that will determine the trajectory of its defence policy and capabilities for the next decade. The first stage of this review comprised the release in October 2004 of the report of the prime minister’s Council on Security and Defense Capabilities. The final and most important stage of the review will be the release by the Japan Defense Agency (JDA) in late 2004 or early 2005 of the revised National Defense Program Outline (NDPO), the document that sets out Japan’s defence doctrine alongside the military capabilities required to fulfill it.

The NDPO was first revised in 1995, in an attempt to reorient the Japan Self Defense Forces’ (JSDF) missions and capabilities to meet the challenges of the post-Cold War security environment. It was notable in stressing the need for closer US–Japan alliance cooperation – under the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security – for the defence of not only Japan, but also the surrounding East Asia region. The amended NDPO paved the way for the 1997 revision of the Japan–US Guidelines for Defense Cooperation and a strengthened Japanese role to provide logistic support for US military operations in regional contingencies. In turn, the prime minister’s council report and the forthcoming NDPO are notable in calling for enhanced US–Japan alliance cooperation in East Asia and for the JSDF to undertake an enhanced role in ‘international peace and security’ outside East Asia, in conjunction with UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) and US-led ‘coalitions of the willing’. In this way, the council’s report and the NDPO are set to confirm the trend since 11 September 2001 of JSDF ‘out-of-area’ despatch to support the campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan and post-war reconstruction in Iraq.

The inevitable corollary of the JSDF’s expanded regional and global roles is that it is for the first time acquiring significant power projection capabilities. These new capabilities serve as a further challenge to the already eroding post-war constitutional restrictions on Japan’s use of military force, and will open up a range of options for the utilisation of its military power independently and within multilateral frameworks, but most especially within the context of the US–Japan bilateral alliance.

From defence to projection

Japan’s security policy in the post-war period, determined in large part by Article 9 of the 1947 constitution, has traditionally been characterised by the avoidance of overseas military responsibilities and entanglements. The signing of the bilateral security treaty with the US involved the bargain of Japan’s limited rearmament and the acceptance of US military protection in return for the provision of bases in Japan for the US to project power for the security of East Asia. Japan developed an ‘exclusively defence-oriented defence policy’; enunciated the constitutional prohibition that it would not acquire weaponry of an offensive nature, such as power projection capabilities like ballistic missiles, long-range strategic bombers, in-flight refuelling aircraft or aircraft carriers; and deliberately avoided developing the type of expeditionary warfare capabilities that could have made enlistment in support of US operations in East Asia practicable.

Tokyo shifted its stance to a limited degree in the face of intensifying Cold War pressures in the 1980s and US calls for burden-sharing. Japan expanded its quantitative and qualitative defence build-up – with the Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) shifting its heavy forces and tank deployments to Hokkaido; the Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) acquiring advanced interceptors; and the Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) large numbers of destroyers for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and the patrol of sea lanes – in order to provide a defensive shield for US offensive power projection from Japan against the USSR. But Japan’s military capabilities still remained essentially focused on the defence of its own territory, lacking long-range power-projection capabilities and effective interoperability with US forces.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London is a "Partner of Worldsecuritynetwork" and periodically contributes its analyses to the WSN Newsletter.
In the post-Cold War period the priorities of Japan, the US–Japan alliance and the international community have shifted, forcing a rethink of the JSDF’s missions and capabilities. In East Asia, security concerns revolving around North Korea, the Taiwan Strait and the rise of China have persuaded Japan’s policy-makers of the need to boost its national defence capabilities and meet Washington’s demands to strengthen the functions of the bilateral alliance to deal with region-wide contingencies. At the global level, the 1991 Gulf War persuaded Japan of the need to participate in non-combat UN PKOs, a role performed since 1992. Meanwhile, the campaign against terrorism demonstrated that Japan could perform a new role in US-led multinational coalitions as far ‘out-of-area’ as the Indian Ocean and Middle East. For Japan’s security policy-makers this new fluid environment necessitates new JSDF power projection capabilities independently, in the service of the UN, and/or in the service of the US–Japan alliance.

JSDF restructuring

The prime minister’s council report and the NDPO are likely to reach similar conclusions in stressing that the JSDF should abandon its existing ‘standard defence force structure’, designed principally for the territorial defence of Japan, as a remnant of the Cold War. The council’s report has argued that the JSDF should instead create a ‘multi-functional flexible force’, modelled on the rapid-reaction forces seen in NATO countries, and capable of inter-service joint operations for Japan’s immediate defence and for international cooperation overseas, to prevent the emergence of threats to Japan’s security. Similarly, the revised NDPO itself is to call for the creation of a standby force – exclusively for overseas dispatch – that can deploy two units, each of 1,300 GSDF troops, to two different locations simultaneously. This force would be available for a range of missions, including UN PKO and ‘coalitions of the willing’-style operations led by the US. In order to realise these new JSDF roles, the revised NDPO will point the way towards Japan’s continued procurement of various forms of power-projection equipment in its ongoing Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) for 2001–05, and the new MTDP scheduled for 2005–09.

The GSDF will seek to convert itself into a lighter and mobile force for overseas operations. This entails the further loss of up to a third of its Cold War main battle tank force, although it will continue to introduce the sophisticated Type-90 tank, the AH-1S Cobra anti-tank and ground-attack helicopter, the UH-60JA multi-role helicopter and upgraded Hawk surface-to-air-missiles. GSDF losses in heavy equipment may be compensated for by an increase of 7,000 front-line troops to enable a rapid-reaction force, and an expanded role in dealing with domestic terrorism, guerrilla incursions and nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

The MSDF will lose another six of its Cold War-era destroyer force, but its power-projection capabilities will be boosted by the procurement of three Osumi-class Landing Ship Tank (LST) vessels, with flat decks for helicopter operations and an internal dock at the stern for air-cushion landing craft capable of landing tanks. The MSDF justifies these ships as necessary for UN PKO and other international peace-support operations; the first of the class has already deployed to East Timor and Iraq. The MSDF also plans to construct four new DDH (Destroyer-Helicopter) ships, each carrying four helicopters. Although these vessels originally had an ASW function, they are now ascribed a similar role to the Osumi-class, as well as the evacuation of Japanese nationals from natural disaster or conflict zones. However, the displacement of the proposed DDH vessels, combined with their bow-to-stern flat tops and below-deck hangars, has raised suspicions that they could be suitable for use as small aircraft carriers, possibly operating the maritime version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), or at the very least that Japan is once again rehearsing aircraft carrier technologies. The MSDF’s procurement from the US of an off-the-shelf Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system will further add to its power projection capabilities. Japan’s seaborne BMD will enable it to project a fully interoperable missile shield in support of its US ally in contingencies in East Asia and beyond.

The ASDF’s defensive, and even potentially offensive, power projection capabilities are to be strengthened through the continued procurement of the F-2 interceptor (although in fewer numbers than originally hoped for), and the indigenous development of a P-X replacement for its P-3C Orion early warning aircraft (although Japan might opt for purchasing the US Multimission Maritime Aircraft) and a C-X replacement for its C-1 transports. The P-X will assist Japan’s defensive power projection through its ability to gather surveillance information from as far away as the South China Sea, while the C-X will serve as the principal means of air transport for a GSDF rapid-reaction force to regional contingencies and beyond. The ASDF will also procure four Boeing-767 tanker aircraft, giving for the first time an indigenous in-flight refuelling capability – the most obvious of power projection capabilities and potentially enabling sorties overseas. The revised NDPO and MTDP for 2005–09 are expected to double this number of tanker aircraft. In addition, the ASDF under the new MTDP is expected to replace its ageing F-4 fighter-bomber with a version of the F-35 JSF, again increasing interoperability with the US and the likely ability to operate out-of-area.

Japan and the geo-strategic neighbourhood
The NDPO is expected to consider other forms of weaponry that suggest a power-projection role for the JSDF. The GSDF is believed to be interested in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for battlefield surveillance, the most obvious uses being outside Japan’s own territory; the MSDF in Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike against enemy missile bases; and the ASDF in Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), again to strike enemy missile bases in combination with the new in-flight refuelling assets. JSDF efforts for enhanced joint operations will be promoted through the creation of common command-and-control systems and a new Joint Staff Organisation (JSO) modelled on the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Finally, Japan’s overall ability to project power has been strengthened through the establishment of a Japan Defense Intelligence Headquarters (JDIH) since 1997, designed to integrate Japan’s previously poorly coordinated intelligence capabilities; and the programme since 1998 to launch four of its own intelligence satellites. These satellites have already proved of some use in monitoring North Korea’s missile bases, although they lack the resolution of US systems.

How power will be used

Japan has moved to acquire power projection capabilities that, with the exception of those of its American ally, are pre-eminent in East Asia and provide the JSDF with an expanded role in regional and now global security. Japan’s enhanced military capabilities give it greater flexibility in the types of frameworks through which its military power can be channelled. Its ability to project defensive and even offensive power, might increase its autonomy by allowing it to respond to contingencies independently – witness recent speculation that Japan might strike against North Korean missile bases (although the speculation that these strikes might be pre-emptive is unfounded). Japan might also be able to undertake a greater role in the multilateral framework of UN PKOs, given its capacity to deploy the GSDF globally with greater flexibility.

However, recent evidence suggests that Japan’s power projection capabilities are most likely to be channelled through the US–Japan alliance, either in the shape of the bilateral security treaty in East Asia or ‘coalitions of the willing’ globally. The types of capabilities that Japan is acquiring are ones most suited to project defensive and fully interoperable power in support of US expeditionary warfare – an expanded defensive shield role to complement the US offensive sword – rather than for an autonomous or UN-centred defence policy and international contribution. Above all, Japan’s defence build-up, in a similar fashion to its first major build-up in the 1980s, is a US–Japan alliance-oriented enterprise. Japan is challenging the spirit, if not entirely the letter, of its own constitutional prohibition on power projection, and overturning its own post-war tradition of seeking to avoid acquiring the means, and therefore the opportunity, for entanglement in US-led military operations overseas.

This article is taken from the latest issue of Strategic Comments and appears by permission of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which retains the copyright. Strategic Comments, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, provides fact-based analysis on issues of strategic significance. It responds to breaking developments in international affairs and anticipates policy questions that are likely to loom large in the calculations of governments, analysts and businesses. Ten issues, each containing five 1,700-word illustrated articles, are published each year. If you would like to subscribe to Strategic Comments, please email James Hackett at hackett@iiss.org or click here

The International Institute for Strategic Studies, founded in 1958, is a London-based independent think-tank providing information and analysis relevant to the prospects, course, and consequences of conflict. It publishes The Military Balance, the annual reckoning of each country's military resources, Strategic Survey, an annual review of world affairs, the Adelphi Papers, scholarly essays relevant to policy-makers, and Survival, a quarterly on international affairs. If you are interested in learning more about the institute and its publications, or in joining the IISS, visit the website at www.iiss.org


India is not just a Regional Super Power it's an Inter-Continental Super Power

India is not just a Regional Super Power :

Foreign analysts says," India is a Regional Super Power". And we repeat it.

In which region is India acting as a Super Power. For that answer also we look at the foreign analysts. To them, India is only a Super power among Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Burma and Pakistan. In short, South Asia.

And our mind is also set to believe like that.

Is that our Region? How many Indians do believe like that. If you believe like that then you are not seeing the broad picture.

India's region consists of a wide area which exists around the Indian Ocean Rim. India's position is of strategic importance in that region. If we have a will, within years, we can assert our supremacy in the IOR region.

We should get out of the mind set that we are only a South Asian super power. We are an Inter-Continental Power. What should we do to acquire that status?

First of all, make a point that we are an Inter-Continental Power. We can assert our power among some important African nations such as S. Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia etc. Somalia is a breeding ground for terrorism and our fight against terrorism should include Somalia. We should think about establishing naval bases near Africa.

Friendly countries like Mauritius, Seychelles or Madagascar should be used to build our Naval bases. Currently India has only two fleets in its Navy. That should be changed. The current wars involving the US is showing that a growing power needs a strong navy and airforce. India should develop atleast 2 more fleets of which one will manage the African area and the second will manage the ASEAN region.

A good chunk of Indian narcotics are transmitted through Kenya. To prevent narcotics transaction from India, we have to assert some pressure in that region. And East African region imports a large amount of automobiles, steel and plastics. Including it in India's economic zone will only improve Indian exports.

A naval and air power presence in that region will also help India to assert its influence in the Gulf region. India's growing Oil demands will force India to consider Gulf in its economic zone.

In order to check the growing American influence in the Indian Ocean region, we also have to develop a defensive structure in Maldives. A kind of Early Warning system should establish in Maldives which could counter a surprise attack by US from their Diego Garcia bases.

Developing a 2nd Eastern Naval Fleet is a necessary situation because of the growing Chinese presence in Bay of Bengal region. In order to keep the Chinese out and to check Burma in the future we need a big naval and airforce presence in that region. And South East Asia is one of the largest economic zone in the world. India should develop its Andaman and Nicobar Islands into both a Defense Zone and a tourist zone. Andamans will certainly attract the tourists who come to South East Asia from Europe and US and also tourists from South East Asia looking for a new location.

That area is also a growing base for terrorists. So in order to check that we need to establish our presence there.

Australia seems to be a peaceful nation, but it is also a growing threat to India's supremacy in that region. If Australia decides to establish a naval presence in its Cocos islands, then it will be a threat to India. The Andaman naval/air establishment will be able to make sure India's interest in those regions are safe guarded.

In order to achieve these our Political leadership should began to think that India is an Inter-Continental Super Power.


NATO, U.S., rebuffed on deploying AWACS aircraft in Kyrgyzstan


Recent events within Central Asia, ranging from maneuvers toward Western military deployment in Kyrgyzstan to political statements from Bishkek indicating the intention of closer security integration with Russia, coupled with accusations from Uzbek officials that Kazakhstan is harboring terrorists, highlight the complexity of post-9/11 security dynamics within the region and the predisposition of many key players to look towards Moscow for solutions to these problems. In this context, as former Soviet republics recognize both the weakness of CIS collective security and the limitations of Western assistance, many are looking at Russia as a guarantor of regional stability.

Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Minister, Askar Aitmatov, said on February 14 that the United States and NATO had approached the Kyrgyz government concerning the possibility of deploying AWACS surveillance aircraft in Kyrgyzstan. Aitmatov confirmed that the offer had been rejected after close consultations with Kyrgyzstan's allies within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), clearly implying opposition from other Central Asian states, Russia, and China. General Vladimir Mikhailov, Russian Air Force Chief, confirmed on February 10 Moscow's plan to double the size of its military commitment to its airbase in Kant, 20 kilometers east of Bishkek. This move demonstrated the apparent ease with which Moscow can secure agreement from Bishkek on security matters and provides further proof of Moscow's security credentials in the region.

Similarly, within two days, Aitmatov suggested that security cooperation should be stepped up "primarily with Russia by implementing agreements under the CSTO and strengthening the contractual and legal base aimed at further strengthening the collective security system in Central Asia." The official Kyrgyz government position, open to cooperation with Western countries on a bilateral basis and also with NATO, extends to regional multilateral bodies such as the CSTO and SCO, which Aitmatov believes should be strengthened at bilateral level -- prioritizing Russia in the process. It could be an indication of nervousness on the part of the Kyrgyz that regional partners, as well as interested great powers, have reservations about the continued Western military presence within the country and alarm triggered by any hint of increased openness to Western initiatives.

Yet, underlying these concerns in Bishkek has been the reappearance of the ugly side of the Kazakh-Uzbek regional rivalry. Senior Uzbek officials accused their neighbor of harboring terrorists, which Astana flatly denied.

Unfortunately the allegations came from Uzbekistan's General Vyacheslav Kasymov, Director of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO headquartered in Tashkent. This has left Beijing and Moscow in the middle of an embarrassing regional row. Kasymov was quite emphatic: "In our activity we take advantage of all methods of fighting terrorism: intelligence, counterintelligence and operational-investigatory, search, and military operations." Placing the RATS at the center of assertions of Kazakhstani involvement in contributing to the regional problem of terrorism has raised fears in Moscow that the organization itself was being undermined in the process. Notably, when the denial came, it appeared from within the RATS infrastructure itself: duly issued by Beksultan Sarsekov, the Kazakhstani RATS representative and Kasymov's deputy.

Simultaneously, CIS security structures, long under suspicion of being a paper tiger rather than an effective mechanism to promote security in the former Soviet space, appear weakened still further. Speculation has grown in Moscow that the CIS collective defense system has begun to disintegrate. This has shown itself in the imminent abolition of the CIS Staff for Coordinating Military Cooperation (ShKVS). The proposal to abolish the ShKVS came from Astana. It is now anticipated that its formal abolition will be confirmed during the CIS summit in Kazan in August. Its architects, such as Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, see the move as a dangerous one that will only serve to weaken Russian influence throughout the former Soviet Union.

These developments serve to highlight both the complex nature of the continued evolution of Central Asian security dynamics and the regional quest for stability and potentially long-term sources of assistance. The whole process is undermined by the absence of genuine regional cooperation, revealed in the upsurge of rivalry between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Each state pounces on the initiatives of Western powers and multilateral organizations in order to promote its own case for winning the role of regional arbiter. In that vicious and unending cycle of accusation and counter accusation, while suggesting to international partners their general hopes for cooperation within Central Asia, China and Russia readily identify a political opportunity to counter growing Western influence.

Aitmatov's call for Kyrgyzstan's closer integration with Moscow should be seen in this specific context: there can be no genuine progress in Central Asian security until the rivalry between Astana and Tashkent can be set aside. Until then, weak states in the region can only look to Moscow to fill the void created by their own failed attempts to develop cooperative security.

(Itar-Tass, February 10; Vremya novosti, February 11; Nezavisimaya gazeta, Moscow, February 14; Kabar News Agency, February 16.)

--Roger N. McDermott

Pak-Saudi N-link alive

Pak-Saudi N-link alive

9 February 2005: While Pakistan has denied a Time magazine report that its disgraced nuclear scientist, A.Q.Khan, was proliferating to Saudi Arabia, there is new surfacing evidence that suggests a broader government-to-government Pak-Saudi atomic collaboration, and this could be continuing.

Top diplomatic sources said that chartered Saudi C-130 Hercules transporters made scores of trips between the Dhahran military base and several Pakistani cities, including Lahore and Karachi, between October 2003-October 2004, and thereafter, considerable contacts were reported between Pakistani and Saudi nuclear scientists.

Between October 2004-January 2005, under cover of Haj, several Pakistani scientists visited Riyadh, and they were missing from their designated hotels for periods of between fifteen to twenty days, but overall, sources said, the Saudis and Pakistanis became selective in their contacts.

After Khan’s first admission of proliferating to Iran, Libya and North Korea in January 2004, Saudi Arabia intriguingly pulled out more that eighty-five ambassador-rank and senior diplomats from its missions around the world, but mainly in Europe and Asia, and sources said this was meant to plug any likely leak of the Pak-Saudi nuclear link.

But sources insisted that the link was alive, and continuing, despite American investigations, and hinted at wider Pakistan government involvement in the proliferation than merely Khan’s nuclear blackmarket.

Powering India

Powering India
In South Asia, as elsewhere, offense is the best form of defence.

Source : India React

16 February 2005: The cycles of history, in relation to national powers, can rarely be altered. What goes up must come down. But sometimes, some powers understand the power matrix better, and work it to prolong their preeminence if not always glory.

The Twentieth Century was the American century, but the Twenty-first was not expected to be, but footloose America will still survive the challenges to its power, and remain a superpower for considerable more decades if not always a hyperpower. Iraq has blown its prestige somebit, and Iran would slide it down further, if it is mad enough to provoke a war there.

Britain was truer to the cycle of history, or rather couldn’t counter it, when the sun set on the empire soon after World War II. The Soviet Union collapsed to Russia at the end of the Cold War, and as the former Axis powers, Germany and Japan were militarily bridled, and they have reached the top economically, and it is now gradually downhill for them, the erstwhile East Germany taking down one, while Japan remains economically overheated.

The greatest survivor and prosperer of the Eighties-Nineties, and the early Twenty-first Century, is China, which has outpaced everyone in significance among the NPT powers, bar America. Such is it perceived as a countervailing force to the United States that Russia and France have decided to rearm it in a major way. China itself has broken its silence of decades by taking the opposite line of the US on Iran, incidentally the only big power to do so forcefully and publicly.

If you study the powers which have survived and prospered, examine those which have clawed their way to the top, or scan the others who have thrown it all away, you can make out somethings, but the most important is to have a complete and realistic understanding of national interests. Those who have grasped at their national interests completely and realistically, and pursued it to the end, have survived and prospered better than others, and this is truest in the case of the US and China.

To put it in crude terms, there has very rarely been a mismatch between American economic and military power, one always complementing the other. And China, which started out wretchedly poor at the close of World War II, also, through misses and hits, understood the crucial correlation between a powerful economy and a powerful military.

The UK, depleted at the end of World War II, could never stand on its own, not on the same pre-war terms, that is, and has survived since in the shadow of America. A sort of US pro-consul, if you like. It is in that capacity that it is now urging Pakistan to go democratic. In Germany and Japan’s case, their tragedy was historical. For having provoked World War II, they were barred for a specified time from rearmament, and it built enormous defensiveness into their collective psyche.

For Japan, this has turned out worse, because despite its obvious economic muscles, it has willy nilly accepted Chinese hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. Occasionally, it does stand up to China, as it did in a recent case of Chinese submarine intrusion, but this is like a fleabite to China, because China has won the war, so to say, blocking off Japan from permanent membership in the UN Security Council with veto power. Germany, on the other hand, has had to play second fiddle to France in Europe, if you assume Britain to be in the US camp. Also, Germany has lost its chance to get to the top power table, denied the permanent Security Council membership like Japan and India.

What of India? How has it fared in the power game? The cycle of history has taken it to where it is now, but much more individual and institutional efforts are necessary to take it to the top, and keep it there for a respectable length of time. For that to happen, and for individuals, governments and institutions to help, India has to imaginatively, openly reexamine its national interests all over again, and determine the best ways to achieve them.

In the full grid of national interest, India and its role in South Asia forms a key component, and the foreign secretary, Shyam Saran, did some plain speaking on it two days ago (Features, “India and its neighbours”). The plainspeak came in the background of criticism about India’s decision to stay away from the SAARC summit in Bangladesh, the provocation being King Gyanendra’s coup in Nepal, and Saran has admirably articulated India’s interests through it all.

But one thing is missing, or rather, not elaborated in his speech, understandably perhaps, which is India’s willingness and capability to advantageously change the environment in the neighbourhood. This is a prerequisite to great power status, and India cannot shy away from it. How this happens in case, for example, India wants democracy in the neighbourhood is by actively encouraging the pro-democracy forces, but if stability is sought, that has to be chased after separately. Indira Gandhi actively changed the environment by creating Bangladesh and annexing Sikkim, but the spirit has become less willing since, although the instrumentalities of change are stronger.

Without a suitably changed environment, India’s security cannot be guaranteed. The pressure on Bhutan and now Myanmar to squeeze North-East terrorist groups but mainly ULFA is part of this environment-control mechanism, but more needs to be done. In India’s present ranking as a “super regional power”, Gyanendra should not have been allowed his coup, if the Royal Nepalese Army, essential to the king’s power, had been consistently cultivated and won over. In Bangladesh, we did not take suitable care of our friends, and did not commence offensive covert action after anti-India Khalida Zia came to power with her Islamist cabinet. While Zia refused Indian investigative assistance in the Chittagong arms haul of April 2004, the FBI, Scotland Yard, and Interpol are forcing a reopening of the case (Intelligence, “FBI, Yard seek Chittagong arms haul probe,” 15 February 2005).

Today, security cannot be gained by turning inward and hiding behind a fortress. As for fortresses, the German forces outflanked the great Maginot Line in 1940. Defensive security is meaningless in an age of smart munitions, long-range missiles, and human bombs masquerading as international travelers, and offense remains the best form of defence. The sole surviving superpower, the US, and the emerging great power, China, are absolutely fiendish and offensive about their security and national interests, and they are clear about sanitising the environment, near and far. So should India be.

Armed north east terrorists are simply fronts for conversion

In fact, conversion is taking place on a mass-scale in large parts of the North-east where poor, backward tribals fall easy prey to the lure of money and other inducements to embrace Christianity. But if they don't, the job is taken over by the militant groups, most of which are operating in the region only to convert people to Christianity under the guise of insurgent outfits


Wanted: Anti-conversion Law

The findings by the expert committee headed by Prof Ashish Bose of the National Commission for Minorities about certain intriguing facts of the growth of Christian population in the North-east, have busted the myth propagated by Christian leaders that there have been absolutely no inducements or coercion for conversion of the downtrodden people among the Hindus to Christianity. But more than this, the findings have also revealed that illegal Muslim migrants from Bangladesh too have been increasingly reporting as Christians "guided by survival strategy and adverse economic conditions." Obviously, the Christian leaders are using
militancy to intimidate the illegal migrants, particularly in the
Christian-dominated hilly regions, to convert them to Christianity. They too, like the Hindus, are being lured with all kinds of economic benefits to
get converted. In fact, the expert committee has said this in so many
words about the scenario in Assam, "The possibility of some forced c!
onversion to Christianity by militant groups cannot be ruled out." The
findings need to be viewed with the deep concern that they deserve by
all the State governments of the North-east particularly those where the
Christians are still not the dominant population, because they reveal
clearly that it is primarily the North-east where the Christian leaders
have been resorting to conversion without any let or hindrance.
According to the findings, however, the overall proportion of Christians in
the country was static during the last two decades. However, against the
national growth rate of 22.6 per cent, Nagaland reported as high as
69.2 per cent growth, followed intriguingly enough, by Gujarat with 56.3
per cent growth of Christian population, by Orissa 34.8 per cent,
Meghalaya 42.1 per cent, Chhattisgarh 32.5 per cent, West Bengal 34.3 per
cent, Punjab 30 per cent and Mizoram 30.7 per cent. However, Kerala which
accounted for the largest share of Christians in the country, reg!
istered only 7.8 per cent growth while Andhra Pradesh reported minus
growth (-2.8), the findings said.

The expert panel itself is intrigued over the above findings, when it
said, "Our analysis data on religion in the North-east leads to some
intriguing questions about the role of illegal migration and also the role
of conversion to Christianity. In Tripura for example, during
1991-2001, the Hindu population grew by 15 per cent while the Christian
population grew by 121 per cent. There is no evidence that there is large-scale
migration of Christians from Bangladesh. This will make conversion a
dominant factor explaining the high growth rate figures of Christians."
In fact, conversion is taking place on a mass-scale in large parts of
the North-east where poor, backward tribals fall easy prey to the lure of
money and other inducements to embrace Christianity. But if they don't,
the job is taken over by the militant groups, most of which are
operating in the region only to convert people to Christianity under the guise
of insurgent outfits. There are a couple of such outfits oper!
ating in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills in Assam,
where they are converting the local, poverty-stricken population to
Christianity. Reports about other organizations in those areas condemning
these militant groups operating by proxy of Church leaders, suggest
that there is resistance to such conversions but about which the victims
can do precious little in the face of the bayonet. This is beside the
fact that they are being lured with all kinds of sops.

The demographic situation as it is emerging today in Assam and the
other States of the North-east will leave behind very marginal population
of the Hindus and followers of religions like Buddhism, Jainism,
Sikhism, etc., and where the Muslims and Christians would be the dominant
religions in the next couple of decades. While nobody should have any
objection to such a development in a secular country, what every secularist
must object to is the fact that, while the Muslim population is rising
alarmingly due to illegal influx from Bangladesh, the Christian
population is rising due to conversion, both forced and induced, of mostly the
gullible Hindus who do not have any means to defend themselves. It is
high time the States like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura
passed anti-conversion laws with stringent penal provisions to at least
partially check this demographic slide without any further delay.

February 15, 2005

The slaying of Theo Van Gogh al-Qaida inspired?

The slaying of Theo Van Gogh al-Qaida inspired?

In a new

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI report, researcher Petter Nesser makes the case that the murder of Van Gogh was a terrorist attack implemented by an al-Qaida inspired radical Islamist group within the framework of global jihad.

This report surveys in depth the available open source information about the ritualistic murder of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam on November 2, 2004.

The report makes the case that the murder of Van Gogh was a terrorist attack implemented by an al-Qaida inspired radical Islamist group within the framework of global jihad, and not an act of religious violence by a lone fanatic.

The report also argues that the invasion of Iraq was an important motivational factor for the assassin and his accomplices, in addition to grievances related to the Dutch government’s policies concerning immigration and Dutch counter-terrorism measures.

Petter Nesser's FFI report (pdf-file):
The slaying of the dutch filmmaker - Religiously motivated violence or Islamist terrorism in the name of global jihad?

Norwegian Defence Research Establishmenthttp://rapporter.ffi.no/rapporter/2005/00376.pdf

Pak will be failed state by 2015: CIA

Pak will be failed state by 2015: CIA

PTI[ SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2005 10:11:09 AM ]

NEW DELHI: Pakistan will be a "failed" state by 2015 as it would be
affected by civil war, complete Talibanisation and struggle for
control of its nuclear weapons, premier US intelligence agencies have
said in an assessment report.

Forecasting a "Yugoslavia-like fate" for Pakistan, the US National
Intelligence Council (NIC) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a
jointly prepared Global Futures Assessment Report have said "by year
2015 Pakistan would be a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed,
inter-provincial rivalries and a struggle for control of its nuclear
weapons and complete Talibanisation".

"Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of political and
economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness, corruption and
ethnic friction," said the report quoted by former Pakistan High
Commissioner to United Kingdom Wajid Shamsul Hasan in an article in
the ' South Asia Tribune '.

Titled 'Will Pakistan Army invade Balochistan as per the NIC-CIA
Plan', the former senior diplomat said "in the context of Balochistan,
one would like to refer to the 2015 NIC report. It forecast a
Yugoslavia-like fate for Pakistan.

"The military operation that has been put in motion there would
further distance the Baloch people from rest of the country. That
perhaps is the (NIC-CIA) Plan," Hasan said.

"Nascent democratic reforms will produce little change in the face of
opposition from an entrenched political elite and radical Islamic
parties. In a climate of continuing domestic turmoil, the Central
government's control probably will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland
and the economic hub of Karachi," the former diplomat quoted the
NIC-CIA report as saying.

Expressing apprehension, Hasan asked, "are our military rulers working
on a similar agenda or something that has been laid out for them in
the various assessment reports over the years by the National
Intelligence Council in joint collaboration with CIA?"

His article comes in the backdrop of growing violence between the
Balochis and the Pakistani security forces stationed in the gas-rich

The recent moves by the security forces to evict all residents within
a 15-km radius of the Pakistan's biggest Sui gas plant and the
decision to create a cantonment near it has given a fillip to the
anti-Islamabad insurgent activities of Balochi groups like the
Balochistan Liberation Army, reports said.

The reports said Pakistan was taking the "most drastic step yet" in
its bid to crush a deadly tribal rebellion by forcibly evicting all
residents from around 500 dwellings within 15 kilometres of the
country's biggest Sui gasfield.

The Army says such a step would prevent further attacks and protect
residents from the devastating consequences of a major explosion, the
reports said.


Russia's Northeast Asian multilateral energy game


As maneuvering continues around Russia's major oil and gas pipeline projects, Russian experts seek to clarify trends in the ongoing multilateral energy game. There appears to be a consensus that Siberia's hydrocarbon riches are set to become an important source of energy supplies for Northeast Asia, notably China. Despite the recent decision to build a pipeline to Japan, not China, Russian experts claim that Beijing could still be interested in oil pipelines from Siberia.

This changing landscape provided the background for an academic conference in Moscow on February 10. Jointly sponsored by the oil giant BP and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), the conference focused on "Energy Parameters of International Relations in Northeast Asia." Speaking at the gathering, Alexei Voskressenski noted that Russia's natural resource reserves have global significance, because they are important for both East and West. They are also attractive to China, which is working to secure its energy needs by assigning its state-controlled firms to consider energy imports as well as investments outside China, Voskressenski explained.

International oil players agree that Siberia's hydrocarbon riches are now attracting attention, mainly due to their proximity to the rapidly growing Northeast Asia energy markets. As BP is focusing on oil and gas in new regions, Russia is increasingly important to us, said Billy Mitchell, President of BP Korea.

China considers the security of oil supplies to be a matter of major concern. Apart from risks related to political destabilization in the Middle East, China's maritime oil supply routes now also face a terrorist threat, argues MGIMO's Vyacheslav Belokrenitsky. Therefore, oil and gas pipelines from the north now look safer for China, although a planned oil pipeline from Kazakhstan would also run through Xinjiang, he said.

Consequently, presenters indicated that the need to secure energy supplies tends to affect Chinese policies in Central Eurasia. Beijing could move to boost its influence in Central Asia and Eastern Siberia to satisfy its energy needs, according to Belokrenitsky. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) represents an important move towards institutionalizing this trend, Voskressenski said.

However, experts concede that Moscow's December 2004 decision to approve a Japan-bound East Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline did little to encourage China. The fate of the Angarsk-Daqing pipeline project has demonstrated that the Russian market remains risky for China, said Sergei Luzyanin. Apart from energy and military supplies, he argued, Russia is not an economic priority for China.

Although Russia now has only a vague commitment to build a branch from the Pacific pipeline to China by 2020, Moscow has not completely ruled out a pipeline branch to China. Analysts argue that the lack of an oil pipeline to China may eventually create negative repercussions for Russian hydrocarbon export plans in Northeast Asia.

Russia now must take into consideration the possibility that China and Japan could eventually clinch a deal and re-orient their respective energy needs towards the oil rich Central Asian and Caspian regions, according to Sergei Trush. This scenario would marginalize Russia, which would be left without access to energy markets in Northeast Asia, he said.

On the other hand, Moscow understands that Asia's ongoing rivalry for energy supplies makes any possible deals between China and Japan unlikely in the immediate future. The current level of multilateral energy cooperation in Northeast Asia is still far from adequate, Voskressenski said, referring to competition between China and Japan over Russia's pipeline routes.

In order to deal with oil export challenges in Northeast Asia, MGIMO's experts suggest coordinated efforts among the former Soviet oil-producing states. Russia and Kazakhstan could eventually form a sort of oil consortium that could help both Moscow and Astana to secure a niche on the Chinese energy market before pipelines to China are built, Luzyanin suggested.

Moreover, some Russian experts question the wisdom of planning pipeline mega-projects to connect Siberia and Russia's neighbors in Northeast Asia. In the past three years, China has dramatically boosted its domestic coal output and consumption, seemingly a move towards energy self-reliance, argued Alexander Salitsky. Given this trend, Russian oil supplies to China by rail -- being flexible in terms of volume -- would remain economically viable, while oil and gas pipelines from Siberia to China could prove an expensive economic mistake, he said.

In the meantime, the Northeast Asian energy game is also seen as a part of China's larger geopolitical strategy. Beijing views multi-polarity as means to achieve its geopolitical and economic goals, argued Voskressenski. China is now challenging the concept of weakening state sovereignty in the wake of expanding globalization. However, Voskressenski said, a self-reliance model for China seems no longer feasible, as Beijing has to work out its development strategy bearing in mind the country's growing demand for imported energy resources.

Hence, most Russian experts consider it unlikely that Beijing will adopt an energy strategy based on self-reliance. Therefore, China is still seen as an important partner in the drive to utilize Siberia's hydrocarbon riches.

--Sergei Blagov

Conflicting word on US drones over Iran

US sources have given conflicting signals about the veracity of a Washington Post report that said America has been using unmanned flights for the past year to gather intelligence on Iran's nuclear capability.

Three senior U.S. military officials disputed the article Sunday, but two well-placed U.S. government sources confirmed it, saying that the overflights have indeed been taking place.

The newspaper -- citing three U.S. officials -- reported that Washington has been using drones to look for evidence of nuclear weapons programs and to "detect weaknesses in air defenses."

Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon would comment Sunday on the apparent discrepancy.

The Bush administration has been working to build international pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program, arguing that the country is operating a clandestine weapons program.

Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is designed for civilian energy production only.

Because U.S. intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction turned out to be wrong, some critics of the Bush administration have questioned whether U.S. intelligence on Iran can be trusted.

Britain, France and Germany have been holding talks with Tehran in an attempt to have Iran's uranium-enrichment program permanently frozen. The United States has said it would work with European countries in their efforts.

Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "Late Edition" Sunday that the United States is not flying drones over Iran.

But the Kansas Republican did say that unmanned aerial vehicles -- or UAVs -- have the capability to collect such intelligence.

"I think we ought to be using all of our capabilities in terms of collecting the intelligence we need," said Roberts, who recently commissioned his staff to conduct a review of U.S. intelligence on Iran, in order to avoid the kind of faulty assessments that preceded the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

"It was a world community intelligence failure; we can't let that happen again," Roberts said.

Meanwhile, another U.S. senator said Iran was a greater problem than Iraq was and America needed to have "all eyes on the ground that we can possibly get."

"They are a dangerous country," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat.

"They're much more sophisticated than Iraq."

Several U.S. military officials said they have no information on any U.S. operations over Iran.

A senior military official with knowledge of the region told CNN last week that there were no aircraft, including UAVs, flying over Iranian airspace.

He said no U.S. military aircraft were violating Iranian airspace and that the United States was keeping its assets 12 miles (19 kilometers) off Iranian shores.

In January, the Pentagon criticized an article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that says the United States has been carrying out reconnaissance missions in Iran for possible airstrikes as soon as this summer. (Full story)

In December, the Iranian newspaper "Etemaad" reported Iranian citizens' apparent sightings of unidentified flying objects.

People said they saw illuminated objects flying over eastern and western parts of Iran, including the cities of Bushehr and Esfahan.

The objects were flying at an altitude of about 30,000 feet, the report said.


Pakistan Nukes Can be Stolen: CIA-NIC Report

For the complete 119 Page NIC Report Click here. The Report is in PDF Format


Latest CIA Report says Pak Nukes Can be Stolen by Terrorists

WASHINGTON, February 14: Use of stolen or purchased nuclear weapons from Pakistan or Russia by terrorists cannot be ruled out within the next 15 years, the latest CIA report prepared by the prestigious nerve center of strategic thinking in the US intelligence community, the National Intelligence Council (NIC), reveals.

The 119-Page Report is issued every 5 years and was declassified by the CIA in December 2004.

"Terrorists will continue to seek to acquire fissile material in order to construct a nuclear weapon. Concurrently, they can be expected to continue attempting to purchase or steal a weapon, particularly in Russia or Pakistan. Given the possibility that terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons, the use of such weapons by extremists before 2020 cannot be ruled out," the report titled "Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project," says. It is available on the CIA's Web site (Link given below). The two previous reports were issued in 1995 and 2000.

To launch the NIC 2020 Project, the NIC brought together some 25 leading outside experts from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds in November 2003 to engage in a broad-gauged discussion with Intelligence Community analysts. Experts of the UN's Millennium Project, the RAND Corporation's Center for Longer Range Global Policy, Princeton and other Universities were invited to a series of seminars and conferences, the Report explains.

NIC also surveyed and studied various methodologies and reviewed a number of recent "futures" studies. Besides convening a meeting of counterparts in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to learn their thinking, NIC organized six regional conferences in countries on four continents - one in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, and Chile, two in Hungary - to solicit the views of foreign experts from a variety of backgrounds - academics, business people, government officials, members of nongovernmental organizations and other institutions - who could speak authoritatively on the key drivers of change and conceptualize broad regional themes.

Numerous organizations and individuals were consulted on the substantive aspects of this study, as well as on methodologies and approaches for thinking about the future, the report said.

The report is a comprehensive overview of what scenarios may develop in the next 15 years and even some nightmare fictional situations have been projected one of which includes the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate and a fictional letter written by the grandson of Osama bin Laden mapping Islamic strategies in year 2020.

The 10-Page Executive Summary of the report says at no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux.

In Asia it predicts although a military confrontation between China and Taiwan would derail Beijing's efforts to gain acceptance as a regional and global power, we cannot discount such a possibility. Events such as Taiwan's proclamation of independence could lead Beijing to take steps it otherwise might want to avoid, just as China's military buildup enabling it to bring overwhelming force against Taiwan increases the risk of military conflict.

"India and Pakistan appear to understand the likely prices to be paid by triggering a conflict. But nationalistic feelings run high and are not likely to abate. Under plausible scenarios Pakistan might use nuclear weapons to counter success by the larger Indian conventional forces, particularly given Pakistan's lack of strategic depth."

Other significant characteristics include: the rise of new powers, new challenges to governance, and a more pervasive sense of insecurity, including terrorism. As we map the future, the prospects for increasing global prosperity and the limited likelihood of great power conflict provide an overall favorable environment for coping with what are otherwise daunting challenges

It says the most terrorist attacks will continue to employ primarily conventional weapons, incorporating new twists to keep counterterrorist planners off balance. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they employ but rather in their operational concepts - i.e., the scope, design, or support arrangements for attacks.

One such concept that is likely to continue is a large number of simultaneous attacks, possibly in widely separated locations. While vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices will remain popular as asymmetric weapons, terrorists are likely to move up the technology ladder to employ advanced explosives and unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The religious zeal of extremist Muslim terrorists increases their desire to perpetrate attacks resulting in high casualties. Historically, religiously inspired terrorism has been most destructive because such groups are bound by few constraints.

"The most worrisome trend has been an intensified search by some terrorist groups to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Our greatest concern is that these groups might acquire biological agents or less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen, and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster.

Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely, and the range of options will grow. Because the recognition of anthrax, smallpox or other diseases is typically delayed, under a "nightmare scenario" an attack could be well under way before authorities would be cognizant of it.

"The use of radiological dispersal devices can be effective in creating panic because of the public's misconception of the capacity of such attacks to kill large numbers of people. With advances in the design of simplified nuclear weapons, terrorists will continue to seek to acquire fissile material in order to construct a nuclear weapon.

"Countries without nuclear weapons, especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia, may decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals already are doing so.

"The assistance of proliferators, including former private entrepreneurs such as the AQ Khan network, will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons.

"Concurrently, they can be expected to continue attempting to purchase or steal a weapon, particularly in Russia or Pakistan. Given the possibility that terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons, the use of such weapons by extremists before 2020 cannot be ruled out. We expect that terrorists also will try to acquire and develop the capabilities to conduct cyber attacks to cause physical damage to computer systems and to disrupt critical information networks.

"The United States and its interests abroad will remain prime terrorist targets, but more terrorist attacks might forced, large-scale expulsions of populations-are particularly likely to generate migration and massive, intractable humanitarian needs."

"Some internal conflicts, particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries, risk escalating into regional conflicts. At their most extreme, internal conflicts can produce a failing or failed state, with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective
governmental control. In such instances, those territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (like Al-Qaeda'ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia).

Talking about rising powers and possibilities of conflict, the NIC report says: "Even if conflict would break out over Taiwan or between India and Pakistan, outside powers as well as the primary actors would want to limit its extent. Additionally, the growing dependence on global financial and trade networks increasingly will act as a deterrent to conflict among the great powers - the US, Europe, China, India, Japan and Russia.

"This does not eliminate the possibility of great power conflict, however. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions, the rise of nationalism in some states, and the raw emotions on both sides of key issues increase the chances for miscalculation.

"Although a military confrontation between China and Taiwan would derail Beijing's efforts to gain acceptance as a regional and global power, we cannot discount such a possibility. Events such as Taiwan's proclamation of independence could lead Beijing to take steps it otherwise might want to avoid, just as China's military buildup enabling it to bring overwhelming force against Taiwan increases the risk of military conflict.

"India and Pakistan appear to understand the likely prices to be paid by triggering a conflict. But nationalistic feelings run high and are not likely to abate. Under plausible scenarios Pakistan might use nuclear weapons to counter success by the larger Indian conventional forces, particularly given Pakistan's lack of strategic depth.

"Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers, the consequences would be significant.

Discussing emergence of new global players the NIC report says: "The likely emergence of China and India, as well as others, as new major global players-similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century-will transform the geopolitical landscape, with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries.

"In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the American Century, the 21st century may be seen as the time when Asia, led by China and India, comes into its own. A combination of sustained high economic growth, expanding military capabilities, and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries.

"Barring an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or any major upheavals in these countries, the rise of these new powers is a virtual certainty. Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties.

"The economies of other developing countries, such as Brazil, could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020; Indonesia's economy could also approach the economies of individual European countries by 2020."

"By most measures - market size, single currency, highly skilled work force, stable democratic governments, and unified trade bloc -an enlarged Europe will be able to increase its weight on the international scene. Europe's strength could be in providing a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers. But aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent. Either European countries adapt their work forces, reform their social welfare, education, and tax systems, and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries), or they face a period of protracted economic stasis.

"Japan faces a similar aging crisis that could crimp its longer run economic recovery, but it also will be challenged to evaluate its regional status and role. Tokyo may have to choose between "balancing" against or "bandwagoning" with China.

"Meanwhile, the crisis over North Korea is likely to come to a head sometime over the next 15 years. Asians' lingering resentments and concerns over Korean unification and cross-Taiwan Strait tensions point to a complicated process for achieving regional equilibrium.

Russia has the potential to enhance its international role with others due to its position as a major oil and gas exporter. However, Russia faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates, poor medical care, and a potentially explosive AIDS situation.

"To the south, it borders an unstable region in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the effects of which-Muslim extremism, terrorism, and endemic conflict-are likely to continue spilling over into Russia. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player, Moscow is likely to be an important partner both for the established powers, the United States and Europe, and for the rising powers of China and India.

It says: "China and India are well positioned to become technology leaders, and even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific, cheap technologies to fuel-although at a slower rate-their own development.

Discussing new challenges to governance, the NIC says the nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order, but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies, especially information technologies, will place enormous new strains on governments.

Growing connectivity will be accompanied by the proliferation of virtual communities of interest, complicating the ability of states to govern. The Internet in particular will spur the creation of even more global movements, which may emerge as a robust force in international affairs.

"In particular, political Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020, rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. A combination of factors-youth bulges in many Arab states, poor economic prospects, the influence of religious education, and the Islamization of such institutions as trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, and political parties-will ensure that political Islam remains a major force.

"Outside the Middle East, political Islam will continue to appeal to Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien and hostile culture.

"Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize, but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop.

"The so-called "third wave" of democratization may be partially reversed by 2020-particularly among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia, some of which never really embraced democracy. Yet democratization and greater pluralism could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes.

On the issue of insecurity, the NIC says: " We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity - which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats - by 2020. "Weak governments, lagging economies, religious extremism, and youth bulges will align to create a perfect storm for internal conflict in certain regions.

"Although a leveling off point has been reached where we can expect fewer such conflicts than during the last decade, the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states means that such conflicts will continue to occur. Some internal conflicts, particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries, risk escalating into regional conflicts.

"At their most extreme, internal conflicts can result in failing or failed states, with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control. Such territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (such as Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia).

On International Terrorism the NIC says: "The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. Facilitated by global communications, the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East, including Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Western Europe, where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong.

This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, and southern Thailand, and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrassas, hawalas, and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements; alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.

"We expect that by 2020 Al-Qaeda'ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups, and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to Al-Qaeda will merge with local separatist movements. Information technology, allowing for instant connectivity, communication, and learning, will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations.

"Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will become virtual i.e. online. Terrorist attacks will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons, incorporating new twists and constantly adapting to counterterrorist efforts. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they use but rather in their operational concepts-i.e., the scope, design, or support arrangements for attacks.

Strong terrorist interest in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons increases the risk of a major terrorist attack involving WMD. Our greatest concern is that terrorists might acquire biological agents or, less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause mass casualties.

Projecting the possible futures scenarios, its says: "In this era of great flux, we see several ways in which major global changes could take shape in the next 15 years, from seriously challenging the nation-state system to establishing a more robust and inclusive globalization.

Four fictional scenarios have been developed in the report which were extrapolated from the key trends discuss in it. These scenarios are not meant as actual forecasts, but they describe possible worlds upon whose threshold we may be entering, depending on how trends interweave and play out:

. Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth, led by China and India, over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process-giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well.

. Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order.

. A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system.

. Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks, possibly introducing an Orwellian world.

"Of course, these scenarios illustrate just a few of the possible futures that may develop over the next 15 years, but the wide range of possibilities we can imagine suggests that this period will be characterized by increased flux, particularly in contrast to the relative stasis of the Cold War era.

"The scenarios are not mutually exclusive: we may see two or three of these scenarios unfold in some combination or a wide range of other scenarios."

February 14, 2005

After yoga and Sunday shopping, Croatia's Catholic Church targets condoms

AFP, February 16, 2004


ZAGREB (AFP) - After "defeating" yoga classes for teachers and Sunday shopping, Croatia's Catholic Church is again testing its power in this conservative society by opposing a safe-sex programme in schools.

"Under the pretext of protecting adolescents against AIDS (news - web sites), a technique on how to use preventive means is actually being practised," the Croatian Conference of Bishops fumed in a recent statement.

The bishops labelled the programme as "explicitly against Christian moral teaching," in line with the Catholic Church's general opposition to contraception and condom distribution.

Mirjana Krizmanic, a social psychologist, said the Church had no right to meddle in the health policies of a secular state.

"It is unacceptable that the Church interferes in matters which should be decided upon by experts, since these are public schools and we are a secular state," she said.

"This is a demonstration of power. The Church has been gradually testing its power, first with yoga, and then with Sunday shopping ... However it has never raised its voice against fraudulent privatisations, social injustice or the rights of Roma children."
The government last year abandoned plans to introduce optional yoga classes for high school teachers after the Church slammed such physical exercises as heretical.

The Church also claimed to have the workers' interests at heart when it initiated a law banning Sunday trading. Many Croatians however see the move as a bid to stem declining church attendances.

The bishops have not explicitly demanded an end to the AIDS awareness programme but their position has been made all too clear by priests with little understanding of the science and medical issues involved.

The programme is taught by experts and peer educators through optional workshops in public high schools. It has been approved by the health ministry and is designed to help adolescents learn about HIV-AIDS.

The proper use of condoms is, of course, only a small part of the programme.

Even so, Bishop Valter Zupan has argued that the use of condoms "increases the risk of HIV infection." He has outraged the medical community with similar distortions of science, including claims that the HIV virus passed through "pores" in condoms which offered no real protection.

"This is outrageous misinformation," said Zagreb Children's Hospital head of reproductive health and an epidemiologist Vlasta Hirsl-Hecej.

"The Church may say that in accordance with Christian morals condoms are not acceptable, but their lies are dangerous. We are talking about a lethal disease."

Out of Croatia's population of 4.4 million some 400 people are estimated to have the HIV virus and there are 216 people with AIDS, officials said.

The Roman Catholic Church, which was marginalized during more than 40 years of communist rule after World War II, has regained a prominent role in society since the Balkan republic broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

During the 1991-95 war against rebel ethnic Serbs, who are Orthodox Christians, many Croatians found national and cultural identity in the Catholic Church, a fact exploited by the then nationalist regime.

The Vatican was among the first to recognize Croatia's independence in January 1992. Pope John Paul II made his third trip to Croatia, a country where almost 88 percent of the people are Roman Catholics, last June.

Croatia's new conservative prime minister, Ivo Sanader, went to the Vatican on his first official visit after winning elections in November.

February 13, 2005

Truth About Religious Freedom Mother of All fears

Truth About Religious Freedom Mother of All fears

The greatest fear of all humans has been the fear of losing one's
personal freedom. Personal freedom is cherished by all humans in one
form or another. That is one reason why the fear of going into
incarceration keeps most human beings from violating the law of the
land. That is why a child made to stand in a corner in a class room as
a punishment will shun from doing mischief in a class room. To the
child it is an entirely different feeling of exuberance, if he or she
has to sit or stand in the same corner whilst enjoying his favourite
hobby. The basic fear of losing freedom to move about at will is what
does matter. Even any and all perceived curtailment of freedom and
civil liberties is fought tooth and nail in the USA by liberal groups.
Whist unfortunately, these liberal groups seem to have gone too far in
their opposition, in that there has been a trend to fight for the
freedom of those who basically want to usurp all the freedom we are
enjoying, it is only a misconceived form of resistance. That is the
USA but Indian libertarians and pseudo-secular are a different matter
all together.

The pseudo-secular in India have several agendas up their sleeves and
thus find support from various groups within the major groups of Hindu
haters. The very secularity they profess to cherish is based on the
premise that they harbour an inbred hatred for Hinduism or that the
Hindus be forced to practice the Gandhian motto of unlimited
tolerance. Such groups know no boundaries. Their collective membership
can be from the poor to rich, Brahmans to the Dalits, powerful to the
down trodden, oppressors to the oppressed and even within our own
family members who somewhere along the line due to a misguided
subliminal input from secular media, films and other sources find it
hard to conceive that there are forces within the Indian national
boundaries that are out to dismember the very nation which is the
cradle of true civilization, free thought and speech. India has known
freedom of religion longer than any other faiths or beliefs. In other
words, India is secular because of Hinduism and in spite of the
presence of Islam and Christianity. Unless the march of these so
called religions is put to a screeching halt, the very freedom we have
cherished for thousands of years is in severe danger of total

While it is hard to believe that Conservative Radio Talk Show Hosts
in the USA, who seem to be so educated, well versed, intelligent and
aware of all situations and at the same time be staunch Christians and
would have it no other way, it is much harder to believe that a person
born of Hindu parents and fairly well versed in the philosophy of
Hinduism will support the rights of missionaries to convert poor
Hindus to the enslavement of Christianity or Islam. During the last
few days when Benny Hinn, the fraudulent miracle performer was in
India, things went far beyond just supporting his rights to convert,
it took a worse turn. Some Hindus in high political and social
positions took it upon themselves to be a part of conversion process.
They did all they could to grease the process of destroying the
freedom of worship in India. Christianity and Islam do not stand for
that freedom, never have and never will. Both of these faiths stand
for spiritual enslavement and terror. They are the manifestation of
spiritual terrorism. The very god they profess to worship is so vane
that he gets angry and curses eternal fires of hell upon those who do
not accept him or believe in his son or prophet ! Funny as it may
sound, these people can easily say this with a straight face!

To make things even worse, they have created Christ and Mohammad who
speak on behalf of god as if God is not already speaking for himself
by the very rules and nature of His creation. My Hindu core even is
ready to accept that they have a right to their belief, that
reluctantly though, but the same core does not allow me to accept that
these two questionable individuals can be the only ones to lead human
beings to true salvation or Moksha. My firm belief stands for many
paths and one God. God's Kingdom can be achieved through knowledge,
service to Him, Love for Him, service to mankind and other living
creatures or just minding your own business and following your beliefs
and reach God at the speed one sets for himself. Minding one's own
business is one aspect these Semitic beliefs do not seem to understand
or accept. They make it their business to bring your spiritual
advancement down to screeching halt with their shallow dogmas. "Pigma"
could also be used a a new word in the English language to refer to
these faiths.

Is it even believable that in this day and age, the Semitics believe
that animals have no souls? That fish do not suffer when hooked by a
fishermen? That goats can be killed in the name of what they perceive
as god? And that animal sacrifice reaches their god? That the cruel
manner in which these hapless creatures are killed can actually bring
satisfaction to their god or whatever it is they believe in? Is their
god a blood thirsty mean and vain creature? These misguided humans
can only look at an animal and call it an unintelligent creature and
thus fit for consumption. Well, my question is how many humans,
including themselves lack intellect and thus would be fit for
consumption if their pretext has any merit? Why do they not eat their
own dogs and cats as well? Their belief that animals are created for
the enjoyment of humans makes me wonder, why enjoy their meat alone?
Why do Christians not practice bestiality? If their "Books" were
accepted as truth, the earth would still be flat, the modern day
Galileos would be under house arrest and the concept of educational
libraries be a thing of a distant past.

What is a surprising part, is that the followers of these false faiths
actually believe that they are the guardians of religious freedom and
at the same time follow what is in fact spiritual slavery. They take
it upon themselves to spread the same slavery to lands which have
known freedom of worship long before the advent of their false faiths.
What is a born again Christian? He or she is nothing but a human being
who was spiritually free and chose to be a slave. A slave knows only
slavery, a Christian knows only Christ and Muslims know only
Mohamad/allah. What happened to all those who lived before Christ or
Mohammad were even born? Must be burning in eternal fires of hell. If
that can be accepted then their god is not only mean, blood thirsty
but also unfair. How dare they bring such primitive dogmas to India,
the land that God Himself blessed?

Alas! the longevity of blessing from God Himself seems to have
expired. The very people who have lived in total religious freedom for
thousands of years are now spiritually being enslaved by the followers
of false prophets and dooms day predictors. A thousand years of
Islamic slavery, about 200 yrs of British Christian colonisation and
55 yrs of Indian slave masters in Hindu garb has made it a fashion to
be a slave. The last bastion of spiritual resistance, Hindu women of
the land, is systematically being crumbled brick by brick. When the
female of a nation lose their morality, the end of that culture,
civilization and religion is a certainty. Hindu woman is converting to
Islam, mimicking the film industry and chasing Muslim males as if they
are the last males on earth. They are willingly degrading themselves
to the religions of slavery and baseless philosophies purported by
prophets of questionable characters. How can a Hindu woman marry a man
who has a right to marry 3 more? If this Muslim agrees not to marry
more, what will stop him from doing it once the honeymoon is over? If
the love of this Muslim man is so strong why does he not give up his
false faith for the freedom of Hinduism?

The choices today is for Hindus in India, are they going to hang on
tight to the religious freedom as known by their forefathers or will
they willingly slide into blind faiths and cults. Are they willing to
take a proactive roll in this gigantic struggle or will they end up
fighting for the enemies of freedom and fight for either of the two
two evil forces at work in India? Will the formerly Hindu blood be
spilt for Christianity and Islam when they realize that there are no
more Hindus left to convert and take on each other? That war may not
be far and someday our grand kids will be the ones to die for these
foreign and false ideologies, not different from present day
Pakistanis and Afghanis fighting for Islam in today's world.

The only thing that will stop these evil forces is the Mother of All
Fears - the warning that their own religious places of worship at the
highest level may be destroyed by attacks from freedom loving people
of the world. None of their holy places should be out of bounds. In
this war any place will have to be fair game. This is the only way to
strike fear in the hearts of enemies of freedom. As for the Indian
Hindus please remember that there are far more important things in
life than cricket, Pakistani Serials, films, paan and chai.

Please do not wait till the curse of mankind knocks your door bell. It
may be too late

Rishi Dwivedi

Attack on Geelani : Nandita Haskar -Naga Seperatists-ISI links

The interesting case of SAR Geelani raises its head again...

Everybody's heard about the unsuccessful attack on SAR Geelani - the truth about Geelani is actually quite interesting...

1. Why is SAR Geelani a threat to India and what are his connections?

Pramod Singh reveals a few details about SAR Geelani in Daily Pioneer

Intelligence agencies have evidence to prove that Geelani is a darling of the ISI. He is such an important cog in their scheme of things that if the ISI were to nominate the president of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), it would be none other than Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani. His younger brother Syed Abdulla, who defected to POK and is currently based in Rawalpindi, is a hero for many terrorist outfits since he happens to be the brother of SAR Geelani, who has been openly castigating India and espousing the cause of an independent Kashmir.

2. Who could behind this attack - was it really the Delhi Police?

The obvious needs to be asked, why would the "police" attack Geelani, when they know, that they'll be the first to be blamed...of course interesting little tidbits about Haksar's own statements are begining to emerge...(from yet another Pioneer article)

Investigations by the police so far, have an altogether different story to tell. Circumstantial and material evidence suggests that there is more to it than meets the eye. The conduct of Haksar and her husband Sebastian Hongray after Geelani was reportedly shot, has forced the police to rethink about them. Police have not only picked holes in their statements, but have gathered enough evidence to negate the claim that cops wanted to kill Geelani.

3. Could it be the secessionist Haksar clan?

Questions must be asked if Haksar who is married to a naga secessionist, had a hand in this...much more plausible than the Delhi Police suddenly "attracting" so much attention to themselves...idle ramblings, you think, well here's another report...

With the modus operandi of the person who shot at SAR Geelani, pointing towards the involvement of a North East militant group, the pitch in the sensational attack has been further queered. The weapon, a 7.65 calibre pistol used by the assailant, is commonly used by North East militant groups...Sleuths of the Inter State Cell (ISC) quizzed Haksar and her husband Sebastian Muviah San Hongray regarding the incident at their residence. Sebastian Muviah San Hongray, a Thankul Naga and an activist of
the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muviah group), was present in their residence at 163, Vasant Enclave on Tuesday night when Geelani was shot...Police have also picked holes in the statements of Ms Nandita Haksar given to Delhi Police. Contradictions have been found in the statements of Ms Haksar given to the police after the incident and her recorded statements by the investigators

4. What is the official Paki line on all this?

But, how does the pro-pakistani cabal from JNU play all this out..."bhaad mei jaaye truth-shruth, let us defend the terrorist, and accuse India, like our pay-masters would like us to" again,

Geelani was suspected of being part of a plot to attack the Indian legislature for reasons that had nothing to do with his overt or covert political activity: he was of Kashmiri origin and in contact with relatives still living in the Valley, he was a Muslim in the regime of a "BJP-led" coalition government, and he taught Arabic at a college in Delhi.