July 29, 2005

Birth Anniversary of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee

To celebrate the Birth Anniversary of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee, a function under the auspices of the Indian Parliamentary Group was held on Wednesday, the 6th July, 2005 ,in the Central Hall, Parliament House, New Delhi where the portrait of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee was put up. Dignitaries and Members of Parliament paid floral tributes on the occasion.



A booklet entitled “Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee – a Profile” (in both English and Hindi) has been brought out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat to mark the occasion. A copy of the publication in both the languages is being sent to each member at their Delhi addresses.

Bomb blast in Delhi-bound Shramjeevi Express kills 10

HT Correspondents

Lucknow/Jaunpur, July 28, 2005

A powerful blast ripped through a general coach of the moving Shramjeevi Express near Singramau railway station, some 40 km from Sultanpur, killing at least 10 people on the spot and injuring over 50 on Thursday. The explosion took place around 5.20 pm.

The Delhi-bound train from Patna was on its way to Lucknow. The blast, near the toilet, was so powerful that the bodies were blown into pieces. The dead included a young girl.

Investigating officers are not yet clear whether a time device or any other method was used to trigger the explosion. A team of explosive experts from Agra has been rushed to the site. The intensity of the blast indicates that it was a terrorist act, said senior officials. The bomb was kept in a bag near the toilet, they said. Minister of State for Railways Narain Bhai Rathwa too said the terrorist angle could not be ruled out.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said in Patna that investigations had begun to ascertain the nature of the explosion. He did not rule out the possibility of a gas cylinder explosion either.

As a result of the explosion, the second coach from the engine was blown off, while another was partially damaged. The police have cordoned off the entire area.

“There were many people seated on the entrance of the ill-fated coach. Therefore, the toll would not be less than 20,” said an eyewitness, Ram Balak. Another eyewitness said the impact of the explosion was such that several passengers were thrown in the air.

The Lucknow division of the Northern Railways has rushed an accident relief train to the spot. The train, according to the villagers, reached the spot almost two hours after the blast. The villagers helped the blast victims reach hospitals by private vehicles.

PTI quoted DGP Yashpal Singh as saying that 80 persons have been injured, 20 of them seriously. Those injured seriously have been taken to a Jaunpur hospital while the others have been admitted to public health centres at Badlapur. Some have been rushed to the BHU hospital.

The GRP and the civil police got the passengers removed from the coaches and sent them in batches to Sultanpur for their onward journey.

UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the relatives of the dead, Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.

www.hindustantimes.com/ne...010004.htm

July 28, 2005

Nano-App Summit to Open NANO Week

Three-day program will explore nano products in automotive, aerospace and
consumer products industries

CLEVELAND, July 27 -- New products and applications based on
nanotechnology will be the focus of the Nano-App Summit to be held at the
Wyndham Hotel at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland during NANO Week,
October 17-19.
The Nano-App Summit is being jointly hosted by ASM International, the
society for materials engineers and scientists, and by the Nano-Network, the
Ohio-based nanotechnology educational, networking and advocacy group.
Each day of the three-day summit will focus on a different industry --
automotive, aerospace, and consumer products. Leading researchers and product
development experts from each industry will participate in the summit.
Speakers scheduled to present at the summit include:

- Monday, Oct. 17 - The Aerospace Industry and Nanotechnology -
John Belk of Boeing Co.; Jim Murday of the Office of Naval Research;
David Diehl of PPG Corp.; Dustin Carr of Sandia National Laboratories;
Sankar Sambasivan of Applied Thin Films; Suraj Rawal senior manager of
the Advanced Materials and Structures division at Lockheed Martin Space
Systems.

- Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Opportunities for Nanotechnology in the Automotive
Industry - John M. Ginder of Ford Motor Co.'s Physical and
Environmental Sciences Department; Mark Verbrugge, director of
Materials and Processes Lab for General Motors Corp.; and Dan Rardon,
manager of Nanotechnology Initiatives for PPG Corp.

- Wednesday, Oct. 19 - The Nanotechnology Revolution in Consumer Products
- Nabil Y. Sakkab, senior vice president of the research and
development for global fabric and home care at Procter & Gamble;
Nirmalya Maity of Cabot Corp.; Keith Blakely, chief executive officer
of NanoDynamics Corp; Patricia Glaza, chief executive officer of
Small Times.

Mike Kenney, director of business development for ASM, said the summit
will focus attention on "real world" applications of nanotechnology that are
being deployed in the marketplace now or in the near future.
"We want suppliers, marketers and manufacturers to leave the conference
with an appreciation of how nanotechnology is influencing their markets today
and how that will evolve over the next few years," Kenney said.
The conference will also feature the University Research Showcase, which
will highlight the latest research emerging from leading nanotech research
universities. Among the universities scheduled to participate are Case Western
Reserve University, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, Purdue
University, and University of Pittsburgh.
"The research on display will be the most promising for commercial
applications," said Mark Brandt, co-founder of the Nano-Network, an industry-
led effort to improve and expand nanotechnology research and commercialization
activities and capacities in Northeast Ohio. "Executives attending the
conference will get a great idea of the opportunities awaiting them in the
labs."
Business executives unfamiliar with the promise and potential of
nanotechnology will be able to attend a NanoTech 101 class taught by leading
nano researchers. The course will be offered on Oct. 17 and 18.
"Nanotechnology is behind many of the new products we enjoy -- from
scratch resistant glasses to stain-free pants -- but it's also driving
innovation in the automotive and aerospace sectors," said Chris Mather,
executive director of Nano-Network.

The Nano-App Summit is designed for:
- CTOs, engineering executives, corporate researchers and product
development specialists interested in how the opportunities in
nanotechnology can improve their companies' offerings and sales
- Venture capitalists looking to fund the next wave of nano products
- Nanotechnology company executives focused on delivering products to the
marketplace
- University researchers with strong materials science and nanotechnology
programs

For registration information and more details on the Summit visit
http://www.nanoappsummit.com. For more information on NANO Week visit
http://www.nano-network.org.

About the Nano-Network
The Nano-Network was formed by scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers to
improve and expand nanotechnology research and commercialization activities
and capacities in Northeast Ohio, and throughout the nation. More information
about the Nano-Network is available at http://www.nano-network.org.

About ASM International
ASM International, The Materials Information Society, is the world's
leading society for reliable information and data on metals, engineered
materials and processes. The 37,000-member society is headquartered near
Cleveland, Ohio. http://www.asminternational.org



SOURCE Nano-Network
Web Site: http://www.nano-network.org
http://www.nanoappsummit.com http://www.asminternational.org

NASA Research Helps Develop New Light Jet Aircraft

WASHINGTON, July 27 -- NASA has contributed to the
development of a new class of aircraft called Very Light Jets (VLJs). Some of
the new jets are making debut public flights at AirVenture 2005, the
Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisc.
Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Greensboro, N.C., tested new designs at the
National Transonic Facility (NTF) at NASA's Langley Research Center in
Hampton, Va. The tests provided data for engineers designing the experimental
HondaJet. It's an experimental VLJ that's scheduled to debut at the air show
today.
Honda used the unique capabilities of the NTF to assess aspects of high-
speed performance prior to flight tests. "It was a win-win situation for both
of us," said NTF manager Allen Kilgore. "They got good data, and we got the
chance to demonstrate the new high-pressure air capability of our wind
tunnel."
NASA also worked with Eclipse Aviation to develop aluminum structures for
their jet, the Eclipse 500. A pioneer in VLJ development, the Eclipse 500 is
making its first public flight demonstrations at Oshkosh.
VLJs and thousands of air travelers may benefit from NASA research into a
Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS). Last month, the SATS public-
private partnership, which includes NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration
and the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, demonstrated technologies
and operating capabilities that will allow advanced small planes to fly safely
and reliably into small community airports.
The demonstration, at the Danville Regional Airport, Danville, Va. was the
culmination of a five-year project led by a research team based at Langley.
It may have marked the start of a more personalized form of point-to-point air
travel.
SATS technologies and operating capabilities enhance pilot situational
awareness; provide pilots notification about potentially hazardous terrain,
weather; and information about how to fit into the air traffic flow. SATS
technologies may allow higher volume operations at airports that don't have
control towers or terminal radar. Pilots will be able to land safely in low
visibility at minimally equipped airports. SATS aircraft could eventually
integrate seamlessly into the complex national airspace
The SATS project is part of the Airspace Systems Program of NASA's
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The Directorate is advancing NASA's
long tradition of aviation research and developing technologies to make planes
and airspace safer, quieter and more efficient.
The NTF wind tunnel was used to test Honda's 1/9th scale full-span VLJ
model. The model's size allowed duplication of full-scale flight conditions.
The NTF wind tunnel provided critical and essential tests to accurately assess
the aerodynamic characteristics of the HondaJet's unusual configuration.
The NTF is a pressurized, cryogenic wind tunnel able to duplicate
characteristics of full-scale transport configurations on sub-scale wind
tunnel models. The cryogenic mode uses liquid nitrogen gas to cool the tunnel
structure.

For information about NASA's SATS project on the Web, visit:

http://sats.nasa.gov

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home.index/html

US Navy to Commission New Guided Missile Destroyer Halsey

The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Halsey, Saturday, July 30, 2005, during an 11 a.m. PDT ceremony at Pier J, Naval Air Station, Coronado, Calif.



Sen. John McCain of Arizona will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Heidi Cooke Halsey, Anne Halsey-Smith, and Alice “Missy” Spruance Talbot will serve as sponsors of the ship named for their grandfather. In a time-honored Navy tradition, they will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"



Halsey honors U.S. Naval Academy graduate Fleet Adm. William F. Halsey Jr. (1882-1959). During World War I, Cmdr. Halsey was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions while in command of the USS Benham and the USS Shaw during convoy escort duties. Designated a naval aviator in 1935 at the age of 52, he took command of the USS Saratoga from 1935 until 1937. In February 1942, then Vice Adm. Halsey, while serving as commander, Carrier Division Two aboard the USS Enterprise, led the first counter-strikes of World War II against the Japanese with carrier raids on the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. Later that year, his task force launched the famous "Doolittle Raid" against targets on the Japanese homeland.



Assigned as commander, South Pacific Force and South Pacific Area on Oct. 18, 1942, Halsey led the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army forces that conquered the strategically important Solomon Islands. Subsequently as commander, Third Fleet, his task forces consistently won hard fought victories during campaigns in the Philippines, Okinawa, and other islands. Nicknamed "Bull" Halsey, he embodied his slogan, "hit hard, hit fast, hit often." On Dec. 11, 1945, he became the fourth officer to hold the rank of fleet admiral.



One previous ship has been named Halsey (DLG/CG-23), a guided missile destroyer leader, later classified a guided missile cruiser. The USS Halsey’s service (1963-1994) included eight battle stars for Vietnam Service in addition to a Navy Unit Commendation and a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and participation in contingency operations in Korean waters (1969-1971) and in the Indian Ocean (1980).



Halsey is the 47th ship of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. In support of the National Military Strategy, this highly capable multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.. Halsey will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains a number of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.



Cmdr. James L. Autrey, of Moore, Okla., will become the first commanding officer of the ship with a crew of approximately 32 officers and 348 enlisted. The 9,300-ton Halsey was built by Northrop-Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations, and is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, an overall beam of 66.5 feet, and a navigational draft of 31.9 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.



For more information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers, visit .

New epicentre of terror could be Bangladesh, warns BJP

Pioneer News Service / New Delhi

The BJP on Wednesday cautioned the Union Government of the likely emergence of Bangladesh as the new epicentre of terrorism and demanded a White Paper on illegal immigration into the country through its eastern border.

Expressing grave concern over the internal security of the country, specially in the insurgency-infested north eastern parts, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh said, "What we have witnessed on the Western border is a live reality today in the eastern border. The situation in Bangladesh today is far worse and so unstable that we ignore it at our own peril."

While initiating a debate on the increasing incidents of terrorism, with special reference to Ayodhya, Mr Singh recalled his talks with Bhutan King to flush out ULFA insurgents. Mr Singh said that the Bhutan King, while expressing his willingness to dismantle the ULFA's northern command camps located there, had apprehended that India will never be able to persuade Bangladesh to dismantle ULFA's southern command camps there.

"I now find that Bhutan's fears are coming true," Mr Singh said, adding that India has not been able till now to persuade Bangladesh to flush out ULFA terrorists from there.

The Prime Minister should recognise the reality of the situation as the solution lies in a perfect and clear awareness and understanding of the problem, Mr Singh added.

Referring to how the Taliban in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden were armed by "a super power" through Pakistan, to become a tool for radical Islam to serve its interests in the region and how both countries had become "a crucible for terrorism", Mr Singh stressed that there should be no laxity in responding to the developing situation.

Mr Jaswant Singh said cross-border terrorism, which is ultimately the cause for internal trouble cannot be tackled with an "ad hoc approach."

"It is not like traffic management where once you give green, then red, and then amber. It should be tackled with a fixity of purpose," he stressed.

Coming down heavily on the Centre for its handling of Naxalism, Mr Singh said the way the Congress-led government was handling the PWG in Andhra Pradesh and insurgency in Manipur and other Northeast states, showed that it was considering party interests above those of the nation.

Mr Jaswant Singh read out some excerpts from the transcript of an interview of the People's War Group military commander aired on a domestic TV channel last year to show to what extent extremism and anarchy had taken roots in some Andhra Pradesh districts.

Mr Singh also castigated the government for its handling of the NSCN (IM). Mr Singh said that NSCN (I-M) military commanders have been thronging the whole of what they consider the Nagalim, comprising parts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to extend their hold over the area. But the government is simply ignoring them, while they are spreading the impression that their ceasefire agreement with the Centre entitles them to take care of their rival groups through violence against them.

Mr Singh also expressed concern over the continuing economic blockade by a Naga student organisation and the government ''silence'' over it.

The government should clarify its stand on all these points and should come out with a statement, he said.

On the Assam situation, Mr Singh said: ''It saddens me to note that the present government does not recognise the extent of illegal migration into the state. Assam is a state with a fractured identity.''

Ironically, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, in his reply to the debate ignored most of the concerns raised by Mr Singh. All he did was reel out some obscure statistics and crack a not-so-funny joke about two wives bragging about their husbands' bravery. One was able to scare tigers by showing them his gun and the other merely by showing his license.

''Intelligence Brief: Islamist Terrorism in Europe''

he wave of terrorism that has swept through London in recent weeks is causing much concern in European capitals. Beginning with the deadly July 7, 2005 terror attacks on London's transportation system, and ending with the July 21, 2005 attempted terror attacks on that same system, there is concern that extremist elements among the European Muslim community are attempting to further the interests of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. [See: "The Threat of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Revolutionary Movement"]

The July 2005 attacks in London came more than a year after the last major terror attack in Europe, the deadly March 2004 train bombings in Madrid that had the intention of altering the upcoming Spanish presidential elections -- a strategy that was successful.

While the attacks in London could very well be an isolated incident and not predictive of a future terrorism trend, there is growing concern throughout Europe since the July 7 attackers were raised in Great Britain and had British citizenship; this knowledge has caused other European governments to worry over their own potential "home-grown" Islamist terrorists. The coming months will answer the question as to whether what just occurred in London is the forefront of future conflict or whether it is another isolated incident of Islamic extremism against the interests of U.S. allies in the "war on terrorism."

The London Attacks

The July 2005 London attacks were claimed by Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, an Islamist militant group that was formed in 2001. Their first attributed attack occurred on March 9, 2004, when two suicide bombers detonated themselves in Istanbul, killing one person and injuring five others. Then, on May 11, 2004, the group claimed responsibility for the terror attack on Madrid's transportation system, where 191 people were killed and over 600 wounded when ten bombs were detonated on the train line. The brigades claimed that the attack was in response to Spain's military support of the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq.

The relatively unknown group appears to be decentralized and it is unclear what organizational capacity it retains. For instance, the organization claimed responsibility for the August 5, 2005 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, in addition to the power blackout in August 2003 that affected the northeast United States; both claims turned out to be false. Yet, because of some of the organization's past claims did bear fruit, the organization must be taken into account.

Threats Levied at Europe

After the July attacks in London, the brigades reiterated its threats to Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands; the aforementioned countries, except for the Netherlands which withdrew its troop contingents in June 2005, currently have troops in Iraq supporting U.S.-led operations there. For instance, on July 25, the organization reportedly warned that, "After London, it is Rome's turn." The threat, released on the Internet, says that if Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi does not withdraw Italian troops immediately, he would be responsible for Rome turning into a "graveyard."

But a complete Italian withdrawal from Iraq cannot realistically occur in August. Although before the July 7 London bombings Berlusconi hinted at the possibility of a gradual withdrawal to be initiated in Fall 2005, it is now clear that such a pull-out could become even more difficult to perform due to the recent wave of terrorist attacks. A complete withdrawal within the mid-August deadline would appear like a full retreat. The militants know this, and their Internet messages appear to be a form of psychological warfare aimed at destabilizing Washington's allies, making their citizens fearful of future attacks. [See: "Intelligence Brief: Italy"]

Different Interpretations

The new wave of terrorist attacks occurring in July 2005 is modifying the security perception in European countries. The two London attacks and the Sharm el-Sheikh bombing on July 22 -- which struck tourist facilities known for its vacationers from the West, and an important source of income for the Egyptian economy – already changed the previously widespread belief that al-Qaeda-affiliated militants are rarely able to carry out high-impact attacks in the West.

Henceforth, politicians and the populations in the E.U. now ask themselves whether the American and European anti-terrorist policy is bringing results. Those that support current U.S. strategy believe that the current wave of terrorist attacks is the result of radical Islamic ideology, hence denying any direct cause-effect relation between the Iraq war and the terrorist attacks against European countries aligned with Washington.

On the contrary, many other observers and a growing number of citizens now believe that taking part in U.S.-led operations in Iraq has led to a loss of national security and has endangered the plans for an enhanced cooperation between the European Union's members and Muslim governments. Italy, for instance, is developing a common policy with Libya, aimed at containing the mass immigration that passes through the North African state. Similar policies could be envisaged to tackle terror cells. Whereas some politicians believe the Iraq war is making these relationships more difficult, others maintain that the U.S. and Western grip of the Middle East will force Arab governments to cooperate more seriously.

The Bottom Line

Despite concern over appearing to give in to the demands of terrorists, expect European countries to scale back their efforts in Iraq. Such an action would not be a direct result of the recent attacks in London, but more due to the failure of the U.S.-led coalition to quell the ongoing insurgency. Washington, too, has been considering withdrawal strategies in order to limit its involvement in Iraq. Indeed, General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told reporters on July 27 that a substantial withdrawal of U.S. forces could begin in Spring 2006. [See: "U.S. Faces Pressure to Pull Troops from Iraq"]

An important date to watch will be August 15, which is the current demand by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades for the withdrawal of Italian and Danish troops. If another European country involved in ongoing U.S.-led operations in Iraq suffers a terrorist attack within a short period of time after the deadline, it will accelerate public debate in European capitals as to whether supporting U.S. operations in Muslim countries is worth the fallout from Islamist groups.

Furthermore, an attack soon after the deadline will mean that either al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations have reorganized, or that U.S. actions in the Middle East have led more Muslims down the path of al-Qaeda's confrontational ideology. Considering that those responsible for the recent attacks in London were raised in Britain and not recent immigrants, the latter scenario appears to be a growing possibility.

Report Drafted By:
Erich Marquardt, Federico Bordonaro



The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of inquiries@pinr.com. All comments should be directed to content@pinr.com.

''The Threat of Islamic Extremism to Bangladesh''

The Bangladesh government's current measures against Islamic extremists operating on its soil could put the country's interests in danger. With conditions in the country conducive to the spread of Islamic extremism, the government's relaxed approach to this issue could enhance Bangladesh's attractiveness as a haven for terrorists fleeing counter-terrorism operations elsewhere.

Incidents of extremism and terrorism have witnessed a sharp increase in Bangladesh in recent years, with the number of attacks last year exceeding the total number of incidents in the preceding five years. Most of the attacks have been directed against religious minorities, secular intellectuals and journalists as well as against politicians belonging to secular parties and leftist activists. Islamist extremists have sought to impose an Islamic way of life on people in rural areas, often through the use of force. Women have been coerced into veiling themselves and men have been forced to grow beards and wear skull caps.

Many who defy these rules have been tortured and killed. Cultural groups and cinema halls have been targeted as well. In August 2004, a bomb blast at a rally being addressed by Sheikh Hasina Wajed, former prime minister and leader of the secular, center-left Awami League, killed 21 people and injured hundreds. This was the second attempt on her life, the first being in 2000 when she was prime minister. In January this year, former finance minister Shah M.S. Kibria, also of the Awami League, was assassinated.

These attacks are believed to be the work of Islamist terror outfits like the Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (H.U.J.I.-B.), the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (J.M.J.B.) and the Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (A.H.A.B.). H.U.J.I.-B.'s links with al-Qaeda are well known. It is said to have been set up with seed money provided by Osama bin Laden, and the group is a member of his International Islamic Front (I.I.F.).

History of Islamic Fundamentalism in Bangladesh

Neither Islamic fundamentalism nor extremism is new to Bangladesh. Although it was linguistic nationalism not religious nationalism that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, Islamist forces have grown in strength thanks to patronage by successive governments. Following the assassination of its founding father, the secular Sheikh Mujibur Rehman in 1975, the hold of fundamentalist forces over the government -- whether military or democratic -- witnessed a sharp increase.

Successive governments openly courted the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami. Discredited in 1971 for its collaboration with the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh liberation war, Jamaat-e-Islami was resurrected by General Ziaur Rehman in the late '70s. Jamaat leaders, who had fled to Pakistan in the aftermath of the 1971 war, were brought back to Bangladesh by Rehman. Jamaat's influence grew rapidly thereafter. For instance, in the 1980s, General Hussain Mohammad Ershad went a step further and used Jamaat to counter the secular Awami League.

But it was not just Bangladesh's military rulers who wooed the fundamentalists. Political parties and politicians courted them as well. During Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's first stint at the helm in the first half of the 1990s, Jamaat and other fundamentalist outfits were given free rein. Over the years, Jamaat set up thousands of madrassas in Bangladesh, many of which are known to recruit and train jihadi fighters.

Fundamentalist activism in Bangladesh received a big boost in 2001. General elections in October brought to power a four party coalition led by the center-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party (B.N.P.) and including two fundamentalist parties -- Jamaat-e-Islami and the Islamic Oikya Jote. Jamaat has two ministers in government. Even if Jamaat is not directly involved in the recent terrorist attacks, its inclusion in the coalition government has encouraged radical Islamist groups to feel that they enjoy protection from the government and can act with impunity. The links between terror outfits and sections of the government has sent out a strong signal to the local police to refrain from apprehending those who are engaging in gun-running and violence.

Jamaat and Islamic Oikya Jote are not just fundamentalist organizations. They support and have links with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and both parties have supported the terrorist activities of the H.U.J.I.-B. Islamic Oikya Jote's chairman, Azizul Huq, is said to be a member of H.U.J.I.-B.'s advisory council.

The coming to power of a fundamentalist-friendly coalition in Bangladesh coincided with the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the loss of training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Their bases were disrupted by counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, so al-Qaeda fighters were forced to look for new nests. Bangladesh emerged as an attractive sanctuary. In April 2002, Bertil Lintner wrote in the Far Eastern Economic Review that after the fall of Kandahar in Afghanistan in late 2001, hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters arrived by ship from Karachi to the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong. A few months later, Time magazine's Alex Perry provided details on southern Bangladesh having become "a haven for hundreds of jihadis." The Bangladeshi media too has reported extensively about the activities of the extremists, especially of the violence engineered by Bangla Bhai, leader of the J.M.J.B.

Bangladesh's attractiveness as a safe haven for terrorists is not new. Anti-India militants fighting Indian security forces in the insurgency-wracked states of India's northeast have used Bangladesh as a sanctuary for decades. Groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (U.L.F.A.) and the National Liberation Front of Tripura (N.L.F.T.) are known to have set up training camps on Bangladeshi soil and militants under pressure from counter-insurgency operations in India have taken refuge there.

India, which for years has been calling rather unsuccessfully on the Bangladesh government to close down anti-India militant training camps on Bangladeshi soil, has also drawn attention to the nexus between militants active in India's insurgency-wracked northeast, Bangladesh's Islamist extremists and al-Qaeda. It has called attention to the cooperation between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (I.S.I.) and Bangladesh's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence in fostering the terrorist network in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh government has reacted fiercely to suggestions that the country is becoming a haven for Islamic extremism. It banned the distribution of the Far Eastern Economic Review issue that carried Lintner's "baseless" article. Newspaper offices have been raided and journalists taken into custody for investigating al-Qaeda activities in the country. Its standard response to India's allegations, for instance, has been outright denial.

It was only on February 23, 2005 that the Bangladesh government, under pressure from the European Union, took some steps against terror outfits. The J.M.J.B. and the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (J.M.B.) were banned. Incidentally, until February 23, the government had been dismissing reports of the J.M.J.B.'s vigilante violence as a figment of the media's imagination. Some leaders and cadres were taken into custody in February but neither Bangla Bhai nor Moulana Abdur Rahman, a former activist of Jamaat-e-Islami who is now the leader of the J.M.J.B., were arrested. Strangely, the government did not take action against H.U.J.I.-B. either.

Responding to the U.S. listing of H.U.J.I.-B. as a terrorist group, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Moshed Khan said that he had not seen "such activity [terrorism] in Bangladesh. … The way Bangladesh is being painted with the same brush time and again it seems that it is a conspiracy and an orchestrated campaign by some vested quarters." While the Bangladesh government is now reluctantly admitting to the presence of terrorist groups in the country, it remains adamant that there are no al-Qaeda operatives on its soil.

In addition to political compulsions to keep her fundamentalist partners in the coalition government happy, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's inadequate response against terrorists and jihadis is prompted by her intense political and personal rivalry with Sheikh Hasina. Informed observers of the political scene in Bangladesh say that the B.N.P. sees its fundamentalist friends as useful weapons to keep the Awami League in check.

The prime minister's reluctance to rein in her fundamentalist partners in government and take firm action against terrorism could prove costly. Bangladesh's terror outfits are by no means insignificant. H.U.J.I.-B., for instance, is said to have thousands of fighters. Its original mission might have been to set up Islamic rule in Bangladesh but, over the years, its ambitions and the geographical spread of its role have grown substantially.

During the 1990s, it was involved in training Muslim Rohingya insurgents from Myanmar and it sent its cadres to fight in Afghanistan and against Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. Post-9/11, its responsibilities in the global jihad have grown. It appears to have been made responsible for training jihadi fighters from southern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Brunei and it is sending its own fighters to Indonesia, the Philippines and Chechnya.

Conclusion

It would, however, be an exaggeration to describe Bangladesh as being on the brink of "Talibanization" as some reports in the media have claimed. The average Bangladeshi is uneasy with the steady Islamization of the country. The country has a history of linguistic nationalism triumphing over religious nationalism and there is still a strong Bengali culture that Bangladeshi Muslims and Hindus share. This has acted as a brake against the rising tide of extremism to some extent so far.

However, more powerful brakes will be needed. And unless the Bangladesh government acts to crack down on extremism and terrorism, the potential threat that Islamic extremism in Bangladesh poses to global security could turn imminent.

Report Drafted By:
Dr. Sudha Ramachandran

DEBATE in RS : Increasing incidents of cross border terrorism and terrorist acts

SHORT DURATION DISCUSSION
The situation arising due to increasing incidents of cross border terrorism and terrorist acts in the country, particularly with reference to the recent attack in Ayodhya

THE LEADER OF OPPOSITION (SHRI JASWANT SINGH), initiating the discussion, said: Today's subject terrorism defines as cross border or internal variety. It is, of course, the internal variety which quite often is a consequence of the cross border the international terrorism. Cross border terrorism that we have witnessed is a fallout and a consequence of the play of interests of external powers in our region.

A seed of disorder that was sown in the region has now become not just a tree, but a kind of poison evil that has spread all over the region. I cautioned the Western Powers that the evil that has visited India already shall visit your soils be forewarned. Terrorism has now acquired ideological dimensions which we must honestly, squarely confront because what we earlier witnessed from our Western border is now a very live reality in our Eastern border. Bangladesh is far worse than we think it is, and is certainly much more unstable than today's Afghanistan or today's Pakistan. If we neglect it, we do it at our own peril. I do believe that the answer to this challenge that we have attempted to find in the last quarter century does lie in a perfectly clear awareness of the problem and understanding of it.

There is, in the subcontinent, a constituency of peace a much larger number of citizens believe in abjuring violence. It is that constituency which must be encouraged and expanded.

Let me share some concerns about Manipur. The state in which Manipur is today, we could well say we are all responsible. The interests of the Party have overridden the interests of the country repeatedly. My apprehensions have been proven correct and Manipur has descended into a kind of ungovernable chaos as never earlier witnessed only because the Chief Minister of a particular Party must be preserved in office at all costs.

One important bridge has been blown away. The two National Highways 39 and 53 have been non-functional and there is no road communication. It is necessary that the Government now spell out the stand that they intend to take in this regard. Hon. Home Minister must spell out the Government's stand with regard to the demand of the NSCN (IM) for Greater Nagaland, which proposes to include not just parts of Manipur but also parts of Assam and Arunahcal Pradesh. I believe that Assam and the whole of the North-East of India are today in a situation that is of far greater concern. So, as far as Nagaland is concerned, the military cadres of the NSCN (IM) are freely moving over additional designated camps has actually been given by representatives of the Government. These camps are safe heavens and provide shelter to all kinds of other insurgent groups in Nagaland.

The ceasefire is applicable to all Nagaareas and they do not recognise anybody, any boundary between the States of the Government of India or the international border with Myanmar. Government of India gave a commitment that the NSCN (IM) can, on their own, deal with the rival group. It is a very serious trend. I would recommend to the hon. Minister to get rid of the existing lacuna in the ceasefire agreement. If ceasefire is extended, please make it explicit that the ceasefire is only for the State of Nagaland and it would be ensured that the NSCN (IM) does not interpret, act or take it otherwise.

The question of terrorism in Assam is closely linked with the reality of infiltration. Assam today, is a State with fractured and endangered identity, cultural and democratic. Since 1949 the perils of illegal immigration exist in Assam. It is when today’s Government denies the very existence of illegal immigration there. But it is a reality that endangers further peace in that State, the illegality of unauthorised immigration and thereafer, the illegality of the State itself. The dispute is of Assam and some districts of India adjacent to East Pakistan is as important as of Kashmir. This the reality. The hon. Home Minister knows how it is directly linked with terrorism, where from the ULFA finds its shelter. India is dealing with the problem of ULFA worse than dealt by Bhutan. Consequences of permitting illegal immigration are directly related to terrorism. About 85 per cent of the reserved forest areas of Assam are today illegally occupied by the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

What happened in Ayodhya is very much a terrorist act. It is as much a challenge to the State of India as any other terrorist act that we have witnessed. This country cannot have two separate laws for dealing with the question of illegal immigration of foreigners. I urge upon the Government to issue a White Paper on today’s situation of illegal immigration in the country. I do appeal to the Government to address again the question of POTA, that we need. We also need a National Register of Citizens and a Multipurpose Identity Cards for all the citizens of our country. We will be judged not by what we say here, but by what we are able to do in the service of our country.

SHRI ASHWANI KUMAR: India needs to expand the constituency of peace. If the constituency of peace is enlarged, instances of terrorism would decline. We are combating terrorism for years together. While combating terrorism, a united country should respond to the call when summoned. The Ayodhya attack was reported in the press as a security failure. But, Ayodhya incident was an attack on the national prestige. The Prime Minister also appealed for peace, calm and tranquillity. The seeds of terrorism have their bearings in our neighbourhood. The blood of our martyrs in the cause of the nation’s integrity will have its effect and this nation will be able to combat terrorism. But, we will have to work together. We have to speak in one voice. And, we the people of the country, have to have a national perspective on terrorism. Therefore, we should speak of Sarva Dharm Sambhav.

The collective religious sensitivity of the people of India refuses to be inflamed by dastardly acts such as the one that took place in Ayodhya. I would like to compliment the Government for the steps taken in the last one year to further streamline the security apparatus and the intelligence agencies. The security forces are doing good job as is evident from the reduced incidents of infiltration. It is true that you cannot allow yourself to become a soft State. But it is equally true that a draconian legal measure is counterproductive. The Unlawful Activities Act retains the necessary rigors of POTA and yet contains certain benign provisions lest it be said that it was State-sponsored terrorism through the legitimacy of a legal process that incited terrorism.

I implore the Principle Opposition Party that, at least, as far as terrorism is concerned, rise to the occasion, treat this as a national challenge and not to attempt to score political points.

SHRI A. VIJAYARAGHAVAN : We are discussing a very serious issue relating to terrorism. Thousands of innocent people fell prey to the terrorist actions in various parts of this country. We have to stop this menace. Terrorism does not emerge just like a tree. There are deep rooted reasons for it. A war against terrorism is going on the world - over. There is a visible shift in the attitude of perpetrators of war. They are now saying that this should be discussed diplomatically, economically, politically than militarily. That very approach should be ours also against this menace of terrorism. We have to address the root cause and resolve the issue.

Immediately, after the new Government came to power, we have started taking some Confidence Building Measures. Because of the new economic order as emerging throughout the world these days and the domination of the US and its economy and its ramifications, there is an attempt from the people of the poorest nations and backward countries to come together to defend their economic sovereignty and political sovereignty. Unfortunately, whenever this kind of friendship is emerging, there will be some terrorist attack.



There has to be a political approach to tackle the issue of terrorism. Otherwise, we will not be able to contain it. We have to strengthen and streamlines our intelligence agencies to take preventive measures well in advance to foil the nefarious and sinister designs of the terrorists who are out and out to destroy and tear apart the unity and integrity of the country. The secular character of India needs to be protected at all costs.

DR. K. MALAISAMY : Terrorism can penetrate any part of the world, be it USA, UK, or Egypt. All the powerful States find themselves helpless in this regard. In India, day-in-and-day-out, numerous instances of terrorist activities and attacks take place with the result that our entire sovereignty, internal security is at stake.

I would like to know whether this Government are going to give top priority and seriousness to this menace of terrorism? Whether the UPA Government has got the political will ? And whether you have got the real skill to do that? The State of Tamil Nadu is free from all this kind of a menace of terrorism because of the political will and the required skill.

I have got one more reservation on the point of terrorism. It relates to the rehabilitation of terrorists who have surrendered before the authority. We are told that these people have been recruited in the Border Security Force (BSF). I would like to ask from the hon. Minister whether it is sane, sensible and wise enough to recruit a nexalite, a terrorist in our Border Security Force? Would they not continue to keep their linkage with their old friends? Should we take that kind of a risk? Should we go to the extent of recruiting those elements in our Border Security Force? This is my question.



POTA is very important legislation, which was rightly enacted. It is withdrawn or watered down in such a way that there is no other such Act at all. It may be a fact that POTA had been misused. Does it mean that if an Act is misused, it should be scrapped once and for all? If there is any misuse of any legislation, there are umpteen number of administrative and other measures to check its misuse and implement it effectively. Instead, they have scrapped it. Terrorism cannot be controlled by means of ordinary laws. We need a law like POTA very much.

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH : This particular subject has been discussed umpteen number of times in this august House. And, successively, the Home Ministers have been assuring the nation, but, in spite of that, these incidents do recur. Recently, we have witnessed the Ayodhya incident. Terrorism has now assumed international proportion. There is not a single place which is exempt from it. So, this has to be taken into proper perspective. What are the exact constraints in solving this menace which is perpetually eroding the confidence of people in the democracy, rule of law and the administration.

Terrorism is a very serious problem, which has to be tackled. Pakistan is a stalwart ally of the US and intrusions are taking place in Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan side. Who is preventing it? Why are you unable to ask Musharraf to keep his commitment? Till today the Government has not told the nation that who are the culprits of attack in Ayodhya. What is the reason of it? What sort of normalization of relation we are going to achieve with Pakistan? You have been doing things as per political convenience and now, you advise others not to take political advantage out of it.

MAULANA OBAIDULLAH KHAN AZMI: Terrorism is like cancer for humanity. It is necessary to eliminate this malaise. But we condemn one kind terrorism whereas overlook other kind of terrorism. Some world powers launched attack on one country, for which they have no justifiable reason. Even United Nation cautions against such attack. Even after that the country namely United States of America launches attack on Iraq. Such attack gives rise to terrorism. U.S. discarded the advice of whole world. If we do not raise our voice against these powerful nations, it will be difficult to curb the menace of terrorism. Our Government opposed the incidents of terrorism, wherever they occurred in the world. Therefore you should bring a resolution against such powerful nations, who are preparing favourable pitch for terrorism.

SHRI KALRAJ MISHRA: The terrorists made many attempts of attack on Ayodhya prior to this incident. There have been different statements on behalf of the Government on this issue. There has been laxity on security. A top most Police Officer had said that there were adequate security arrangements. Therefore if some security is removed it would make no difference. This issue should be looked into. As per the intelligence reports these squads were sent from Pak Occupied Kashmir with the connivance of I.S.I. There has been lack of coordination between the State Government and the Centre and it has international dimensions. This incident must be looked into in total perspective. Whole country and all parties are unanimous on the issue of terrorism. I would like that some other legislation on the line of POTA should be brought to eradicate the ideology of terrorism.

PROF. RAM DEO BHANDARY: Terrorism is a national problem. Therefore, we must look into it in national perspective. Politics should not come into it. Our country is struggling with the malaise of terrorism for past 20-25 years. Wherever the incidents of terrorism occurred, our security forces protected our lives by laying down their lives. These terrorists have nothing to do with any religion or creed. They intend to destroy our security, peacefulness and communal harmony. Fundamentalism, whichever religion it concerns, is very dangerous for the country. Fundamentalism cannot be fought by another fundamentalism. UPA Government is strong in its willpower. This Government will resolve this problem soon.

SHRI SHANKAR ROY CHOWDHURY: This is an on-going struggle and every Government has been doing its best to tackle this problem.

The attack on Ayodhya is a good example of what is the subject of this discussion. The preparation for the attack started off in Nander in Jammu and Kashmir. Arms were brought across, put in a specially constructed Tata Sumo, brought all the way from Nander to Panipat. The people who carried out the attack came from Nepal. They stayed in a safe house, married up with the arms and ammunition and then they carried out this attack. There are people inside the border also who support them. The fight is against the both. The Pakistan border is reasonably well defended. The terrorists from Pakistan who are coming across, are finding it more and more difficult to get across. But our gaps are in the east and on the Nepal border. The eastern border is wide open. In the eastern sector in West Bengal, Tripura and Assam a single BSF Battalion is covering nearly 70 to 80 kilometres. Our border with Nepal is not manned because of our special relationship with that country. But now we have felt the necessity to keep a border guarding force on the Nepal border also. We have given it to the SSB. But this is not a very high grade force as yet. We should ensure to it that the SSB comes up to the standards of the BSF as soon as possible.

Out of the three types of terrorism in India, that is, Jehadi terrorism, Naxalite terrorism and North Eastern terrorism, the biggest threat is the Naxalite terrorism, which is holding the entire centre of India. In this, the biggest weapon is good governance and police reform. There has to be a coordinated activity between the States for combating Naxalite terrorism. Until these States seriously set up organisations like unified headquarters on the pattern of the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir, it will not work. All the areas where the Naxalite activities take place are the tribal areas, in underdeveloped States. Though a vast amount of resources are going into good governance, but the delivery system at the grassroots level remains the same. So, my suggestion is, please create Special Development Zones.

As far as police reforms are concerned, the police force has to be reformed not only at the top level, but, at the lowest level of the Thana. Unlessyou get good, well-trained, well-equipped, well-motivated police force, this is not going to work. The aim of these attacks on temples are obviously to weaken the communal harmony. But, our people have got enough common sense, enough goodwill. That is why there are no major communal outbreak in this country. The people of India want peace.

DR. PRABHA THAKUR: Terrorism is an issue of grave concern today not only for India but also for the entire world. The recent bomb explosions in some of the most powerful countries of the world, reflect that terrorism has engulfed the whole of the world. While discussing the attack on temple in Ayodhya, all of us are united whether one is in the power or in the opposition. I would like to thank all the CRPF and PAC personal deployed there at that time. On account of their alertness, neither any damage was caused to the idol of Ramlala nor to the temple. The State Government should ensure the security of all places of historical and religious importance in a manner that there is no repitition of such incidents. Cross-border terrorism particularly in North-East and in Jammu and Kashmir has become a grave problem for us. Our country has its border with Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

While on one hand, some political parties tried to politicise this issue, on the other hand, our hon. President called the entire country to fight against terrorism unitedly. Hon. Prime Minister also cancelled his visit to Gujarat and issued direction of necessary action. Whenever there is a question of the integrity and harmony in the country, it is the responsibility of each political party to speak a language that can unite the country and do not break its fraternity. But, the BJP and VHP people called for an agitation at that time also. The place of Rama temple is not a place of devotion for them, rather it is an issue for them, whereas it is a place of devotion for us.

We condemn with one voice every attack of terrorism and we appeal to the Government that strictest measures should be taken in this direction so that the lives of innocent people could be saved and an atmosphere of cordiality could be maintained in the country. Such an action should also be taken that no party can try to take political advantage of such sensitive matters. I had opportunity to visit Pakistan with a team. I observed common people of the both country, whether belonging to India or Pakistan, have a feeling of cordiality and they want to meet each other. There is a need to detect those faces with whom links of the terrorist organisations are connected. People feel that an atmosphere of cordiality be created in all countries so that the terrorism is removed and there is happiness and friendship.



PROF. SAIF-UD-DIN SOZ: Whatever has happened in Ayodhya recently, has shown that cross border terrorism is still persists and there are indications of it in Kashmir also. This matter should be raised with the Pakistan. Now, terrorism has got no place in Kashmir. Our colleagues in BJP say that we should rise above party politics lines but they have not heartily appreciated those persons who fought terrorist risking their own lives and killed all terrorists. I pray that there is a day when BJP becomes national political party and gives up this narrow religious shape of things in the minds. It appears that General Musharraf is also very troubled by the terrorism there. Our Prime Minister might have raised this matter that ISI of Pakistan is involved in the activities in Kashmir. There is an atmosphere against terrorism in India and the whole country is having similar view in this regard. If there is no Government school and there is Madarassa, then it is all right. We should feel concerned only when narrow mindedness crops up in Madarassas. There are large settlements of Muslims at many places in Eastern U.P. but there are no Government schools. Ministry of Education should set up Government Schools there so that the children of all caste and creed people can study. The BJP is still mentioning POTA continuously. We have 34 Acts for maintaining internal security. It means that with Indian Penal Code we can not only fight with terrorism but also with those who harbour such terrorist activities. The State Governments do not accept the decision of the POTA Review Committee even today. Therefore, there should be a law in this country so that you can fight with the terrorists and you should also have the same feeling for protecting the innocent people. Together we have to build India cutting across party lines and rising above political consideration. Therefore, speak the truth that can build a strong and united India.
PROF. ALKA BALRAM KSHATRIYA: Today, we are discussing the serious problem of terrorism prevailing in the country and the world. India is affected with terrorism for the last two decades due to which our two ex-Prime Ministers have lost their lives and there has been heavy loss of life and property. On 5th July there was a terrorist attack in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid Complex on the sacred place of Ayodhya. But, our brave and vigilant security personnel killed all those terrorists within a few moments. This incident in Ayodhya has put a big question mark before our country, our security forces and our democracy about the security of our country and terrorism.

Today, the world is affected with terrorism. Two days after the Ayodhya incident there were blasts in London in which more than 50 people were killed and hundreds of them were injured. There cannot be any talk about development or peace without rooting out terrorism. I want to draw the attention of the developed countries of the world towards the fact that there cannot be double standards with regard to terrorism. There is no place for terrorism in a civilized society. I want to congratulate our countrymen for maintaining communal harmony on this occasion. The courage and the communal harmony with which the people of the country have faced this incident, that should be a lesson for the communal forces along the border and within the border also. I appeal to all the political parties to abjure narrow-mindedness and come together to fight terrorism and maintain communal harmony in national interest.

SHRI ABU ASIM AZMI: Today, the country is facing the threat of two types of terrorism. There is a threat of cross-border terrorism. The terrorists coming from other countries to our country are posing threat but the threat from the people who are residing here and are spreading hatred among the people, is also not less than those terrorists. The Uttar Pradesh Government should be congratulated on the Ayodhya matter that all the terrorists were killed.

The first biggest terrorist incident took place in the country when Gandhiji was assassinated and the second biggest terrorist incident took place when the Babri Masjid was demolished on 6th December, 1992. When the fundamentalists, whether they are Hindu fundamentalists or the Muslim fundamentalists will be killed, then only terrorism will be eliminated from this country.

Therefore, I have to say that if we really want to eliminate terrorism from the country, we will have to come together and talk about justice for all. If today, terrorism is growing in the country, it is because of tyranny and injustice. Therefore, we should enact a uniform law for all the people by ending tyranny and injustice in the country.

SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI: There are some people who find themselves culturally and technically incapable of terrorism, and therefore, they are finding new philosophies to justify that. We have people who are economic terrorists and therefore, make excuses out of economic injustices. The one principle that I enunciated earlier is that there is no justification for terrorism. That is the basic principle. No injustice, no hardship can justify terrorism.

http://164.100.24.167/rsdebate/synopsis/205/27072005.htm

National monuments , some individuals ,modern industries are vulnerable : Shiv Raj Patil

Scientific installations face terror threat: Patil

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi July 28, 2005


Government has received information that some individuals, vital scientific installations and some national monuments were under terrorist threat, home minister Shivraj Patil told the Rajya Sabha today.

Security had been beefed up to guard against any terrorist attack, he said adding such information was not given publicity as this could create a scare.

"There is information that important national monuments, important scientific installations, important modern industries and some individuals who are respected in the country have become vulnerable." Patil told Congress member Anand Sharma during question hour.

Stating that this information had been provided to state governments, he said all assistance would be provided to deal with the situation.

In reply to a query, he said that the CISF had been entrusted with the task of providing security to airports, the Taj mahal and the Ayodhya structure.

Asserting the system of counter-attack would alone not be enough to deal with the problem, patil said in jammu and kashmir and the north-east, the government was open to rehabilitate those who were willing to give up militancy.

He said the J & K Government had introduced a scheme for rehabilitating persons who had taken to militancy due to unemployment or economic problem and were wanting to give it up and lead an ordinary life.

Under this scheme, such persons were required to spend three months in a rehabilitation camp during which period they would be given a salary of rs 2000 per month and trained in various employment-oriented programmes.

He said about 4000 militants had surrendered in the state. In assam, out of 1000 militants who had surrendered, as many as 550 had been recruited to the state police force, Patil said.

While the schemes in J & K and n-e states were identical, there were some variations in schemes being implemented in naxalite-hit states, Patil added.

The benefits of these schemes were, however, not available to foreign terrorists and espionage agents, Patil said.

In reply to a query, he said there was need to strengthen state intelligence agencies to counter terrorist moves.

The minister said it was difficult to know the mind of terrorists and this problem was being faced by other countries also.

July 27, 2005

Pakistani mullah and military or one and the same

Say mullah and you also say military
Mike Marqusee

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's image has been shattered by the bombs.


PERVEZ MUSHARRAF has expressed irritation at the "aspersions" cast on Pakistan in the British media. After his extensive efforts to prove his loyalty to the United States-British "war on terror" — efforts that have exposed him to assassination attempts — the General's frustration is understandable. The alleged Pakistani links of the London bombers are a major inconvenience for this image-conscious military dictator.

Yet Gen. Musharraf has been a prime beneficiary of the Western double standards of which he now complains. Just as previous autocrats (in Pakistan and elsewhere) were embraced because of their usefulness in the Cold War, so Gen. Musharraf is embraced because of his willingness to fight the war on terror — and his crimes against democracy, serial and ongoing, are forgiven.

The parliamentary trappings should deceive nobody. This is a regime in which the final say on all policies rests with the military. Since seizing power in 1999, Gen. Musharraf has made himself President, repeatedly extended his powers and amended Pakistan's constitution out of recognition. Through the establishment of the National Security Council, he has institutionalised the military veto over elected politicians.

Weary scepticism


In Pakistan, the recent roundup of suspected terrorists and the announcement of yet another crackdown on extremism have been met with weary scepticism. "When you say mullah, you say military" is commonplace in Pakistan, where people have experienced the symbiosis between the two forces for decades. U.S.-sponsored jihadism took thousands of Pakistani lives long before it blew back on the U.S. on 9/11.

Since then, Gen. Musharraf has sought to package himself as a champion of "enlightened moderation." But the mullah-military symbiosis remains. As a result of the army's manipulation of the elections in 2002, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of religious parties that never achieved electoral success, became the official Opposition and took power in the North West Frontier Province, where it has sought to ban music and impose restrictions on women.

While Gen. Musharraf worked to exclude the main parties from the public arena, he treated the MMA as a kind of licensed Opposition — not least as a safety valve for popular anger at the U.S. over Iraq. In return, the MMA helped increase his powers. Gen. Musharraf placates the West by high-profile security sweeps, while at the same time making one concession after another to the fundamentalists. He has refused to repeal the blasphemy law or the detested Hudood ordinances, which discriminate against women. Cadres from the religious parties are permitted to harass and even murder women's rights activists with impunity.

Gen. Musharraf has talked about increasing women's participation in sport, but in May, women who sought to run marathons were assaulted by his police. Shortly after, Mukhtaran Mai, an outspoken victim of an officially sanctioned gang rape, was gagged and blocked from leaving the country. For the military rulers, the greater danger is posed not by rapists but by NGOs bad-mouthing the country in the foreign media.

Under Gen. Musharraf, the military has insinuated itself into civil society as never before. In the two years following the coup, more than 1,000 armed forces personnel were inducted into posts previously held by civilians. From universities to the cricket board, there are few institutions in which the military does not have a say.

A recent edict on the electronic media has created a military-dominated panel with powers to "regulate" what is broadcast.

Military spending, at 4.9 per cent of GDP already proportionately larger than in India, the U.S. or Britain, has recently increased by 15 per cent — despite the peace process with India.

In addition, the military is one of the major landowners and controls massive financial resources (exempt from scrutiny). Retired and serving military officers also run a multitude of corporate ventures, ranging from fertilizer production to airlines.

As elsewhere, the war on terror has licensed increased lawlessness by state agencies. In the latest sweeps, Gen. Musharraf's men assaulted women students at a seminary in Islamabad and are reported to have killed at least 15 women and children in a raid on a village in Waziristan. Meanwhile, it appears no connections have been found between those rounded up and the events in London.

Military rule offers no antidote to fundamentalism. Indeed, the latter has prospered in tandem with the former. Gen. Musharraf will continue his crackdowns for the benefit of Western patrons, but in the end only democracy and accountability, not PR, can tackle sources of violent obscurantism.

- Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

(A new edition of Mike Marqusee's Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties has just been published by Verso.)

Why Muslim Extrimists want to attack MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE ?

TAMILIAN EXPRESS 28.7.2005 A WEEKLY MAGAZINE OF INDIAN EXPRESS GROUP HAS GIVEN AN ALARMING REPORT OF MUSLIM EXTREMISTS. AFTER ATTACKING AYODHYA, LONDON AND EGYPT ARE TARGETTING MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE. IT IS A SHOCKING REPORT.

SOME EXTRACTS:

* IN JUNE LAST SRI GANGADHARAN,THE POOJARI OF ARASAMARAM PILLAYAR KOIL, WAS MURDERED. THERE WERE 16 CUT WOUNDS ON HIS BODY. THE POLICE THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A MURDER FOR GAIN.BUT THE ASSASINS HAD NOT TAKEN THE MONEY FORM THE POCKET OF THE MURDERED POOJARI.

*SOON AFTER SHRI KALIDAS OF HINDU MAKKAL KATCHI WAS MURDERED IN BROAD LIGHT. IN THIS CONTEXT THE POLICE ARRESTED SOME MEMBERS OF IMAM ALI GANG. A MEMBER OF THE GANG SURRENDERD IN TRICHY. THE POLICE TOOK HIM TO SOME FOREST NEAR MADURAI AND INTEROGGATED. SHOCKIG DETAILS CAME OUT.

* HE CONFESSED THAT THEY WERE REPONSIBLE FOR BOTH THE MURDERS.

-AFTER COIMBATORE BOMB BLASTS THE INTELLIGENCE THERE IS VERY ALERT.SO 

THE MUSLIM EXTREMISTS HAVE VACATED COIMBATORE FOR MADURAI. THERE ARE TWO STREETS WHERE EVEN SENOIR POLICE OFFICIALS ARE AFRAID TO ENTER.THE EXTREMIST DENIED THE FOOD OFFERED BY THE POLICE AND DEMANDED FOR DATE FRUITS AND MILK..SOME OF THE CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT.........

"we not met the muslim youth in madurai, but also in other cities of Tamil Nadu. We brain wash them....those who accept our terms.. are brought to our midst... we provide arms training for them in Andhra and Kerala forests. booklets with the following titles are circulated to muslim youth containg messages of " free arms training" , "will islam win in Iraq" "whats is your contribution to Iraq and islam "...those who are trained are provided a body identification in the form of tatoo under their thumb, a crescent and star. on further enquiries,it was foun that a group of these tattoted individual had met in madurai, suburbs.In that meeting The Taj has been the world's wonders.Now they are trying to change it by including Madurai Meenakshi temple as the eighth wonder.(unesco's proposal) "We muslims should not allow this to happen".

"The Police who have interoggated the arrested terrorists have stated that the extremists are keen to stop the meenakshi temple from acquring the wonder status.So Madurai may become another next London."

An officer is said to have remarked after Ayodhya and Madurai may be the next target". In 1996 a bomb exploded inside the temple. Even some months ago a second bomb was planted. ...Already in Thanjavur, Dindigul, Thirunelveli, some extremists memebers were active. So we have to prevent the muslim youth from being washed and taken on the extremists track.There two islands of geographical area in madurai populated by muslim extremists. Immediate raids have to be conducted in these pockets, and find out what is happening. Or else it may be the replica of another Kottaimedu (where Muslims were making bombs before exploding them in 1998)of Coimbatore. It will too late. Madurai may be another place where similar explosions like Coimbatore may happen... and the threat is very real."

The report concluded: "We were shocked.We were glad that the duty conscious police officers were brave enough to warn."

Courtesy: Tamizhan express:28.7.2005

July 26, 2005

CACI awarded contracts to support national security and intelligence activities

CACI International Inc (NYSE: CAI) announced today that it has won approximately $89 million in contracts to support national security and intelligence activities for clients in the federal government. The awards call for CACI to provide systems
engineering, knowledge management, and intelligence support, among other
solutions. Approximately 50 percent of the work is new for CACI. The awards continue CACI's success in expanding its core offerings for national security and intelligence.

The contracts include efforts in which CACI will support national counter-
terrorism programs, such as providing communications and staffing services for
a 24/7 counter-terrorism watch center. On other projects, CACI will provide
technical and engineering expertise to help test automated intelligence
systems. This includes offering support for a military facility that will
develop, prototype, and evaluate surveillance collection systems and
processing technologies.

Additional CACI work will focus on enhancing the financial management
infrastructure at a key intelligence agency. CACI's services will not only
increase productivity and cost savings, but also help the agency meet the
President's mandate for improved financial accountability and efficiency.

Dr. J.P. (Jack) London, CACI Chairman, President, and CEO, said, "CACI is
experiencing continued strong growth in our work for the national security and
intelligence communities. We are not only delivering operational solutions in
such areas as intelligence analysis and training, but are also providing
dedicated infrastructure support, helping our clients ensure that their
technical environment enables them to fulfill mission-critical requirements
effectively and on time. We remain steadfastly committed to providing the
technologies and expertise our government needs to secure our homeland and win
the war on terrorism."

CACI International Inc provides the IT and network solutions needed to
prevail in today's new era of defense, intelligence, and e-government. From
systems integration and managed network solutions to knowledge management,
engineering, simulation, and information assurance, we deliver the IT
applications and infrastructures our federal customers use to improve
communications and collaboration, secure the integrity of information systems
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Comentary on Terrorism perceived by WEST and EAST

This is a difficult call. It might, at first sight, appear sensible
to make common cause with America against Islamic terrorism. But it
is not so simple, since we generally see the situation only from our
own perspective. As the article very appropriately points out,
America does not define terrorism the same way as we do; that is why for America
(and ONLY for America) the so-called "War on Terror" started the day
after 9/11. For the US, attacks on London and New York are terrorism;
attacks on Ayodhya, Bombay, Srinagar, Godhra and Moscow are
insurgencies. For the US, Al Qaeda is terrorist, Taliban freedom
fighters, and the ISI are allies... never mind that they are mostly
the same people, using a common infrastructure. The situation hasn't
changed and never will. The reason for this is the US Christian
right's virulent and deep-seated antipathy to (what they consider
pantheistic) Hinduism. The US Christian right's opposition to Islam
is fairly recent: Muhammed misled the true believers, but Hinduism is
satanic. This hatred might be dormant at the moment, but will
resurface as soonas the immediate perceived threat is past. In light of this, the US
will NEVER make common cause with so-called "Hindu India" against
Islamic enemies, no matter how much Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan
Singh bend over backwards to appease shrub. Just look at lapdog
Blair: fat lot of concessions he got for all his services; the shrub
wouldn't even give him a token concession on global warming!

On the other hand, it makes even less sense to make common cause with
the Islamic Asians against Western Imperialism. The secularists
amongst us may see the peoples of the Indian subcontinent and all the
way
to the Middle East as people of a common stock, the same history and
shared ethnicity. But to Islamic fundamentalists, we are merely
residents of their promised (and once theirs) land. Remember that the
history taught in Pakistan and Bangladesh leapfrogs all the way from
Mohenjo-Daro/Harappa to Mahmouds Khilji, Ghazni and Ghori. Inspite
of the lifesaving assistance of the Indian Army to the Mukti Bahini
in stopping the '71 Pakistani Army genocide and rescuing Bangladesh
from the dustbin of history, what is taught in their textbooks today
is
that they gained independence FROM India! For Pakistan and Iran we are
Dar-ul-Harb and they are prohibited by their religion from practicing
peace with us (unless they rule over us). Peace translates as Islam
and can only be practiced in Dar-ul-Islam.
Until and unless the people of these countries can be weaned away
from the more fanatical practices of their faith, their support for
cross-border terrorism will not ebb.

Caught between the twin horns of this dilemna, our ONLY recourse is
self-reliance. Kashmir might be the "core issue" for Pakistan today,
but giving them Kashmir will not bring peace; the next "core issue"
will be Kerela... Of course, no need to be against either peace or
cooperation with the US; both can be pursued, but on our own terms.
They will come around when the time is ripe.
I'm gratified that, despite all their other faults and myriad
conflicting political compulsions, the successive governments of
India all the way from Indira Gandhi's to Manmohan Singh's have
generally practised a course in international affairs unrelated to
the political rhetoric of the day.

--Dr. N. Sukumar

JNU 's Secular image is bit dented but Secular Character is preserved

The Telegraph--Calcutta India July 25-Tuesday

JNU doors reopen for madarsa pupils

CHARU SUDAN KASTURI

New Delhi, July 25: The Jawaharlal Nehru University has taken back its controversial decision to reject admission to madarsa students. The university administration said the decision, taken on Friday, was a "mistake and had also been "misinterpreted". "We have been admitting madarsa students for over 15 years. There has been no change in admission policy or procedure," said Harjit Singh, JNU's director of admissions.Most, however, see the turnaround as a result of the demand of the powerful students' and teachers' unions to maintain the varsity's "secular image".

An equivalence committee scans madarsa degrees of admission seekers every year to check if their education matches that of the Class XII degree. The committee is believed to have recommended this year that madarsa students be denied admission.

Several students from madarsas apply to JNU for religious studies and languages after having studied for a year in Aligarh Muslim University or Jamia Milia Islamia. This year, some were apparently told "to go back" as their Amiliyat Fazeelat madarsa degrees "were not adequate".

While some teachers and students feel today's announcement may have come too late to prevent JNU's secular credentials from being tarnished, madarsa students heaved a sigh of relief.

"I am so relieved to find out that I can study here," said Faiz-ur-Rehman, who has applied for the German studies undergraduate programme.

The madarsa students cannot fathom why the controversy arose at all. "When the departments we had applied to recommended us for admission, why should the equivalence committee suddenly find a problem?" asked Rehman.

Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy, of the JNU Teachers' Association, said: "It is really sad that the students had to go through the trauma of not knowing if they were eligible to study here."

He added: "The equivalence committee never found problems with madarsa students before. JNU's secular image has definitely been tainted."

According to university officials, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), which recognises all central and state boards, had this year written to them, advising them against accepting madarsa degrees. "The AIU does not recognise madarsa education as equivalent to a 12th class degree. However, since AMU and Jamia are central universities of repute, we will accept their students," said Singh.

The administration clarified that the initial decision to ban madarsa students was "not due to political considerations". "Secular education is the hallmark of JNU," said acting students' dean V.K. Jain.

There is an urgency about producing a White Paper on madrasas

Madrasas can only breed fanatics : Tavleen Singh
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Madrasas can only breed fanatics

Tavleen Singh

This week I really had no wish to write about Islam and terrorism. Yes, my mailbox was filled with letters from angry Muslims and there was at least one death threat, but had bombs not gone off again in London I would have preferred to write about something else. Once the bombs went off, mercifully killing nobody this time, there was no choice but to return to the subject of Islamic terrorists because events usually dictate the subject in a column like this.

Let me begin by quoting Christina Lamb who in last week’s Sunday Times (London) described a visit to a madrasa she calls the ‘‘Eton of budding Islamic warriors’’ — the Darul Uloom Haqqania in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province. During my visit to our own Darul Uloom in Deoband I caused too much aggravation to get into conversation with the students so I was unable to gauge their general knowledge or general understanding of what lies outside their 7th century world. Christina Lamb had more luck and this is what she writes, ‘‘the teenagers I spoke to were unable to do simple calculations and had never heard of dinosaurs. They laughed uproariously at the idea that man could walk on the moon. When I asked what they wanted to be when they graduated, they talked of becoming mullahs. One or two spoke of embracing shahadat, martyrdom, and of going to Paradise with its 72 virgins, almost as though this world was just a grade to get through.’’

It is my humble submission that given an education system of the madrasa kind you could turn Pravin Togadia and Ashok Singhal into Islamic suicide bombers (Allah be praised) and Bal Thackeray into a mullah.

I have said it before and I will say it again, madrasas can only breed fanatics because it is fanaticism that automatically comes to little children who are taught that they belong to the only perfect religion in the world and that all they ever need to learn is the Koran by rote because what knowledge can exist beyond a book written personally by Allah.

After last week’s bombings in London our friendly neighbourhood military dictator went on international television to aver, as he usually does after an act of terrorism, that Pakistan would never allow itself to become a breeding ground for terrorists. What he did not mention was that he has little control over the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government in his Northwest Frontier Province which just passed (July 14) the Northwest Frontier Province Hisba Act, 2005 which will effectively set up an Islamic government of Taliban genre. When it becomes law, one of the first things that will happen is the creation of a governmental department to ‘‘discourage vice and encourage virtue’’. Sound familiar? A mullah will be appointed to head it and his job will be the protection of Islamic values and traditions according to the rules laid down by the Prophet 1400 years ago.

This cleric or Mohtasib will be helped by Hisba (Islamic) policemen and he will effectively become the Supreme Court in the NWFP. What can General Musharraf do to stop the official Talibanisation of one of his provinces? Nothing. What is likely to come out of the Islamic regime that the MMA government is setting up? More Islamic terrorists because undoubtedly all schools will be made to teach the madrasa way and graduates from this system of education are unemployable except as mullahs or suicide bombers.

What can us infidels do to protect our heathen temples and heathen way of life from the jihad brewing next door? Quite a lot if we can persuade political leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav of the dangers of patronising mullahs and madrasas in an attempt to set themselves apart from what they call ‘‘communal forces’’. There is an urgency about producing a White Paper on madrasas that the ‘‘secular’’ political class remains oblivious too.

It is not just government though that has a responsibility to bear, moderate Indian Muslims do too and so far there is no indication that they are doing anything beyond being apologists for their more rabid brethren. When Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was trying to hijack the Sikh religion prominent Sikhs spoke out openly and often. Khushwant Singh needed 24-hour police protection because of his views and your humble columnist was threatened with dire consequences after a piece I wrote called ‘‘Why I am ashamed to be a Sikh’’ caught the good Sant’s eye.

As for Hindutva, on a daily basis in the Indian media you see it attacked. The likes of Togadia and Thackeray have been demonised and the RSS is routinely attacked for spreading hatred and poison. The early attacks always come from Hindus.

Moderate Muslims rarely speak out against the Islamists and the handful that do nearly always add a ‘‘but’’. Terrible what is happening in London but America is to blame. Terrible that small children should be killed by suicide bombers but what about the children dying in Iraq and Palestine. Indian Muslims do not add Kashmir, foreign Muslims do. As soon as a ‘‘but’’ gets added you get justification for evil deeds and an evil ideology of hatred and violence.

An ideology that is being generated by the sort of madrasa Christina Lamb visited in Akora Khattak. If that is the Eton of budding Islamic warriors then our own Darul Uloom in Deoband is the Harrow. I, heathen and unveiled, did not have much success in unveiling its curriculum but I am sure a Muslim journalist would have more success. Why does nobody go? Where do our combatants against communalism disappear when it comes to combating communalism of the Islamic kind?

Write to tavleensingh@expressindia.com



URL: www.expressindia.com/full...wsid=51491

July 24, 2005

Interview with General Bryan D. Brown : ISOF Warrior

Interview with General Bryan D. Brown
Commander U.S. Special Operations Command



General Bryan “Doug” Brown is the commander, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, FL. As commander, he is responsible for all special operations forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps; active duty and reserve.

He entered the Army in 1967 as a private in the Infantry and later served on a Special Forces “A Team” at Fort Bragg, NC; earning the rank of Sergeant. Other assignments include: 129th Aviation Company, Republic of Vietnam; commander, headquarters and headquarters battery, 2/17th Field Artillery, Camp Pelham, Republic of Korea; commander, C Company, 158th Aviation Battalion, Fort Campbell, KY; and Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg. At Fort Campbell, he served as commander, C Company and deputy commander for operations, 160th Special Operations Aviation Group (Airborne); commander, 5/101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); commander, 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne); commander, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).

As a general officer, he served as assistant division commander (Maneuver), 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, KS. He also served as director of plans, policy and strategic assessments (J5/J7) at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, and most recently, deputy commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB. His combat tours include Vietnam as well as Operations Urgent Fury (Grenada), Desert Shield/Storm, and others.

His military schools include: Airborne School, Special Forces Qualifications Course, Field Artillery Officer Advance Course, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Army War College. Brown is a graduate of the Harvard Executive Education Program’s National and International Security Managers Course. General Brown has a bachelor’s degree in history from Cameron University and a master’s degree in business from Webster University.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with “V” Device, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He also wears the Special Forces Tab, Master Army Aviator Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

Interviewed By SOTECH Editor Jeff McKaughan

Q: Can you tell us a little about International SOF Week, about its importance and why USSOCOM is hosting it?

A: United States Special Operations Command is proud to co-host, along with our partners in industry, our inaugural International SOF Week. The theme for this event is “Partners in International Security.” We think this is more than a slogan or catchphrase and applies equally to international SOF as well as international industry. “Partners in International Security” is an affirmation of the current trans-regional strategic reality.

Security impacts in one country today can and will impact a second country tomorrow and a third country the day after. It’s synergistic, evolutionary and interwoven. Partner nations can no longer be content to react to a security concern only after a situation has occurred. We must work collaboratively and proactively to identify real solutions to these growing security threats.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when security threats such as narco-traffickers, high-seas pirates, terrorists and common criminals desperately seek to exploit the operational, legal and cultural seams that may exist between governments. Many of these criminals watch and learn from one another. As soon as a new seam or technique is identified, they will all attempt to exploit it. We cannot allow this to continue.

Security now requires global cooperation and global solutions. That’s why USSOCOM feels it is vitally important to bring together a coalition of international special operational forces. In times of crisis, many governments turn first to their special operations units. Superb training, physical conditioning, specialized skills and equipment put these forces on the leading edge of the security battle. USSOCOM wants to hear what our partners have to say and we will find ways to help each other win this battle.

ISOF Week represents USSOCOM’s effort to identify common security concerns and to search for common security solutions. Sixty-four nations have sent a SOF delegation to Tampa and all have an equal opportunity to share their lessons and to learn from one another. This conference will be an ideal venue for building and reinforcing lasting relationships of professional respect and trust. From these lasting relationships will come understanding and friendship and a recognition that we must work together to solve these international, regional and local security issues.

Q: Could you give SOTECH updates on some key technology programs?

A: As I’ve said in the past, one of the real strengths of USSOCOM is the command’s acquisition authority, which is similar to that of the military departments [MILDEPs]. It is one of the things that enables USSOCOM to make our operators more capable, more quickly. With exceptional support from Congress, the secretary of defense, the MILDEPS and services, and our industry partners, this authority has been instrumental in equipping today’s world-class SOF team to perform a broad range of missions.

Our flagship programs, the CV-22 Osprey and the Advanced Seal Delivery System [ASDS], continue to be a very important part of SOF’s future. Moreover, we have recently added two new flagship programs, our SOF Warrior Systems and Joint SOF Training.

Having the combination of vertical lift capability and the speed and range of a turbo-prop aircraft, the CV-22 will provide the SOF warfighter with tools to complete long range missions in a single period of darkness.

The CV-22 developmental testing is progressing well with SOF-unique systems performing as expected. CV-22 flight testing has been restructured to accommodate aircraft availability issues. A CV-22 has been delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, and will soon begin flight test operations. Fabrication of the first two CV-22 production representative test vehicles [PRTV] is progressing. The first PRTV arrives in June to support developmental testing and the second PRTV arrives in December to support pilot training for CV-22 initial operational test and evaluation [IOT&E]. IOT&E starts in October 2007. Initial operational capability [IOC] for the CV-22 remains February 2009.

Planning is underway for evolving the CV-22 design through a Block 20 upgrade that will begin development in 2006 with this upgrade being delivered to the SOF operator in the 2011-2012 timeframe. Block 20 will expand the special mission capability of the CV-22 and provide reliability and maintainability improvements.

ASDS is a flagship program for USSOCOM because it provides a significant enhancement to SOF undersea mobility and multi-mission capabilities. ASDS number 1 is currently an operational asset. However, there are some key items that we need to accomplish before the Milestone C decision scheduled for the first quarter of FY06.

In June, we will begin installation of the new lithium ion battery and the titanium tail. The lithium ion battery will replace the current silver zinc battery because the silver zinc battery never achieved the required battery life, recharging time and reliability. Lithium ion developmental testing has been positive and is projected to meet or exceed all battery requirements. A new titanium tail was developed to address unsteady loads from water turbulence discovered when the ASDS was mated to a host submarine. The unsteady loads caused high fatigue stress in the original aluminum tail and reduced the tail life. This titanium tail can now withstand these loads and will last the life of the vehicle. We are also pursuing options to modify the host submarine mating equipment to reduce the effects of the unsteady loads.

Following the installation of the lithium ion battery and the titanium tail, we will conduct follow-on test and evaluation in September focusing primarily on the improvements in the battery and tail section. Concurrently, the Cost Analysis Improvement Group in the Office of the Secretary of Defense is conducting an independent cost estimate.

Another key technology being worked is the unmanned aerial vehicle concept. USSOCOM has valid mission requirements for a family of UAVs that range from the very small or micro UAV, up to and including the Predator class of UAVs. In 2002 USSOCOM began fielding several types of small, man-portable UAVs in response to combat mission need statements from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. For example, we have procured both the Pointer and Raven UAVs as interim solutions to our man-portable UAV requirement.

During my overseas visits, SOF warriors have consistently emphasized the value of these assets and made a strong case for expanding this capability. The surveillance and reconnaissance information obtained by using these systems has directly benefited the small unit commander’s capability to fight the global war on terror.

We are currently working closely with the Army to field the small UAV, a service-common solution to what is in effect a Joint requirement. The SUAV program received a much needed jump start by adopting the USSOCOM operational requirements document for a rucksack-portable UAV. Together, the Army and USSOCOM will procure the next generation of man-portable UAV technology, and use it to begin replacing our Pointer and Raven UAV systems in FY06.

On the opposite end of the capability scale is the medium altitude long endurance tactical UAV. USSOCOM recently recognized the need for employing dedicated assets that operate at higher altitudes for extended periods, effectively providing an unblinking eye in the sky. The persistent nature of this asset, coupled with sophisticated, mission-tailored sensors, represents a host of capabilities that will significantly enhance the success of the USSOCOM global mission.

As far as air assets, USSOCOM is converting its MH-47E and older MH-47D fleet into a fleet-common MH-47G Chinook. We are growing our MH-47 fleet from 37 to 61 aircraft in the process. Boeing Helicopter Corporation is currently delivering two remanufactured aircraft to USSOCOM per month, and we are on track to complete fielding in 2010. The aircraft are flown to the Special Operations Support Facility for postproduction modifications prior to fielding to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The remanufactured MH-47G aircraft come equipped with the Common Avionics Architecture System [CAAS], 2,000 gallon fuel tanks, aerial refueling probe, multi-mode radar, forward looking infrared radar, and several other improvements to ensure this aircraft will continue to be the primary heavy assault aircraft for SOF well into the 21st century.

USSOCOM relies heavily on the MH-60 Black Hawk fleet in both the assault and direct action/close air support roles. Our current fleet of MH-60L/K aircraft is rapidly approaching the end of their useful life. As such, USSOCOM has begun transforming to a fleet-common MH-60M. The MH-60M aircraft will standardize our medium lift rotary wing fleet while providing our SOF commanders with maximum flexibility since the aircraft will be configurable into either the assault or direct action role.

The Army will transfer new-build UH-60M aircraft to USSOCOM for modification into an MH-60M at the Special Operations Support Facility. The UH-60M aircraft will be provisioned with fly-by-wire flight controls, a composite tail cone, and the CAAS cockpit. We will incorporate our special mission equipment into this aircraft and begin testing in FY06. We will receive our first two production aircraft from the Army in 2008 and continue inducting the Army UH-60M into our SOFSA production line until program completion in 2014.

SOF C-130 technology programs include upgrading the Infrared countermeasures to the next generation laser turret on both the gunships and Talons as well as integrating a common electro-optical infrared sensor package into the gunships. The sensor package design will permit future integration into the Talons, Shadows, and CV-22 for enhanced performance and a common sustainment strategy. USSOCOM continues to replace obsolete technology including transition to a 30 mm gun suite on the AC-130U gunships.

We are continuing with the acquisition of four additional gunships and ten additional Talon IIs, while modernizing the SOF C-130 fleet with our Common Avionics Architecture for Penetration Program in conjunction with the Air Force managed C-130 Avionics Modernization Program. This will bring the fleet up-to-date avionics with flexibility for mission management using multifunctional and heads-up displays, navigation and traffic management safety mandated improvements, and enhanced survivability.

Q: The POM06 cycle took a long hard look at various programs, including those that were in the later stages of their developmental cycle. Can you shed some light on the process?

A: The Future Years Defense Program [DP] in which we are now operating, covering fiscal years 04-09, was largely developed pre-9/11. Accordingly, it remained generally platform-centric and reflected the existing DoD guidance with respect to anticipated threats and the major combat operations that revolved around those threats. Fortunately, DoD gave us an opportunity late in the process to make some short-notice changes that were necessary to combat the post-9/11 terrorist threat.

The resulting program decision memorandum [PDM] enabled us to address some critical GWOT readiness issues by providing resources for some of the most apparent capability gaps. Still, Program Objective Memorandum 04-09 and the PDM did not fully anticipate the types and extent of operations that would be needed to conduct a synchronized, global campaign against terrorists, their networks and the infrastructure that supports such networks. This is not to say USSOCOM has been unable to make adjustments to the FYDP in order to focus more on the post-9/11 realities and lessons learned from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Thanks to aggressive efforts by both DoD and Congress to provide supplemental resources, we have made major adjustments within the execution and budget years to reflect a different focus.

Such adjustments in the short-term, however, were not enough. As we progressed through USSOCOM’s strategic planning process [SPP] to build POM 06-11, we recognized up front that we needed to take a thorough look at our capabilities and our materiel programs. We also needed to examine the anticipated environments in which we would have to operate and the resulting priorities we needed to address to ensure our nation’s success in the GWOT. Throughout the SPP, we scrutinized materiel programs that were not focused on the GWOT or were becoming too expensive to operate. We took a tough look at new ideas for redesigns of some of our organizations so they would be more robust, more capable, and more flexible. We looked hard at our mix of active duty and reserve component units to determine where we could make adjustments to improve our responsiveness to the nation’s needs. We looked hard at developmental programs, as you mentioned in your question, to determine if we needed to shift resources to other priorities. We examined in detail the equipment carried by our soldiers, sailors, and airmen to determine where we needed to place more focus in order to ensure we lived up to the SOF Truth, “Humans are more important than hardware.”

As the staff did these and other assessments, in coordination with our subordinate commands, we developed what we saw as vectors necessary to establish a capabilities-based POM. These vectors became guidelines for our SPP effort. Number one was institutional training. We already knew we needed to grow our force to provide the responsiveness necessary for the increasing GWOT challenges. By extension, we also knew we had to improve our ability to recruit, assess, and train the right people for the high demands of SOF missions. Accordingly, we had to place some resourcing focus on an increase in our schoolhouses’ ability to get those SOF warriors trained and out to their units.

Our number two vector was SOF Warrior Systems. We recognized that, as important as it was to ensure our SOF platforms were well-equipped for survival in threatening environments, it was just as important to ensure our SOF warriors had the best possible night vision, weapons, ammunition, body armor, vehicles, etc., in order to ensure their operational success and safety. Consequently, we shifted some resources toward accelerated advances in such equipment.

Other vectors included specialized training, organizational restructure, leap-ahead technology and increased force structure and manpower. Combining my guidance on the vectors with my three vision areas of GWOT, readiness and transformation, the USSOCOM staff did a great job of closely evaluating our relatively limited total obligation authority and recommending reallocation of resources within the POM. I am confident the result will be more capable organizations, better-equipped SOF warriors, more survivable aircraft, better communications capabilities, better intelligence, and ultimately, success in the GWOT.

We’re far from done, though. DoD’s processes for resourcing and the long lead times required to train SOF warriors and manufacture SOF-unique equipment prevent us from meeting every resource challenge in just one or even two POM cycles. USSOCOM is continuing its aggressive assessment of programs, capabilities, lessons learned, and requirements to determine how we can do it even better, for example, make needed course corrections in Program/Budget Review 07 and POM 08-13. We are presently in the midst of the SPP’s capability assessments phase for the next POM and we’re actively involved in DoD’s quadrennial defense review process to articulate potential GWOT capability gaps that the command needs help to resolve. We’re also revising our SPP itself in order to ensure responsiveness to the uncertainty and rapidly changing circumstances of the GWOT. Through that SPP and associated budgeting processes, we will keep pressing to obtain only those resources we truly need to achieve what’s expected of this command as it continues to play a major role in our nation’s success in the GWOT.

Q: Are the SOF National Guard and reserve units getting the equipment and training that they need to work seamlessly with the active units?

A: SOF Guard units like the 19th and 20th Special Forces Groups are, by necessity, getting the equipment and training they need. Operationally speaking, these guard forces are receiving better training and deploying more frequently than ever before. USSOCOM relies heavily on these units to support and sustain SOF’s prosecution of the GWOT. Elements of the 19th and 20th Groups have deployed several times in support of OEF. In fact, these units have accumulated more than 60 months of deployment time in Afghanistan.

Additionally, SOF guard forces have participated in many Joint Combined Exchange Training events. This has been a tremendous help to our active duty SOF who have been pressed into sustained rotational support for OEF and OIF. In effect, our guardsmen have enabled SOF to remain engaged in many Theater Security Cooperation Program events that would have otherwise gone unsourced. Most importantly, they have proven themselves to be a reliable SOF partner in the GWOT.

The type and quantity of equipment being fielded to the Army National Guard Special Forces groups is on par with that going to the active duty component.

The fielding process, however, needs to be seriously reviewed due to the inability of the guard units to properly forecast new equipment in order to program for New Equipment Training [NET] (National Guard Pay and Allowances) funds. The Guard Advisor’s Office at USSOCOM, working in conjunction with National Guard Bureau and U.S. Army Special Forces Command, is in the process of mapping a new way of doing business. We do not want to slow the rate of equipment to the ARNG SF. We are just trying to streamline the funding of the NET piece of the fielding process.

Operationally, most of our reservists serve in our civil affairs and PSYOP units. CENTCOM’s extensive requirements for these unique capabilities during the post combat reconstruction efforts underway in Afghanistan and Iraq have put a dramatic stress on these forces. Mobilizations have severely depleted the availability of CA and PSYOP units and individual augmentees. Sourcing solutions are currently being worked, but the challenge remains.

The vast majority of CA and PSYOP forces have been committed to the CENTCOM theater. They have performed superbly in direct support of other SOF and the many conventional units they assist. As reconstruction continues, their role in bringing about and achieving stability will remain important.

Q: The importance of civil affairs and psychological operations is monumental. In the broad scheme of things, how important is it that these skill sets remain directly under the USSOCOM umbrella within USASOC?

A: USSOCOM would be unable to successfully prosecute the GWOT without civil affairs and psychological operations forces assigned to this command. The skill sets that CA and PSYOP soldiers offer are critical to both near and long-term efforts to defeat terrorism globally. CA and PSYOP skill sets derive from SOF-specific training, competencies and experiences. Working with the geographic combatant commands through their theater special operations commands, USSOCOM will continue to provide force packages, including CA and PSYOP, to support the GCC’s Theater Security Cooperation Plans and current operations in USCENTCOM, USEUCOM, USSOUTHCOM and USPACOM.

PSYOP is historically, organizationally and functionally an integral component of the special operations community. Through its mission, ubiquitous presence, and access to critical regions around the world, PSYOP uniquely supports USSOCOM’s leadership role in the GWOT. PSYOP embodies the SOF characteristics of a mature, highly trained, rapidly deployable, linguistically capable, culturally attuned, regionally oriented, and technologically equipped force. These forces are playing a prominent role in supporting other SOF in the Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and the GWOT. As lead for DoD PSYOP, our command is making significant capital investments to accelerate and advance PSYOP’s capacity in the areas of increased force structure, modernized equipment, and creation of the Joint PSYOP Support Element.

In the near term, CA soldiers come to the fight with planning, language, cultural and diplomatic skills that not only enable the rest of SOF, but enhance the broader conventional force and interagency civil-military operations effort. This brings military, economic and diplomatic capabilities into a more coordinated package. Moreover, CA is critical to working with indigenous forces, which allows SOF to better interact with the local leadership and allows this leadership to take ownership of the fight. It is this ownership that will help turn the hearts and minds of the populace away from terrorist rhetoric. This is key to a durable solution.

In the long-term, CA skill sets allow USSOCOM to address the root causes of terrorism. Being able to assist communities to build infrastructure and develop needed skills to overcome debilitating poverty and really goes to the heart of the GWOT. This is a generational effort. Reaching maturing sectors of a populace and giving them hope and constructive options for their future diminishes the hold terrorism can exert on their lives. CA gives SOF this leverage. Special Forces, CA and PSYOP were founded on the principle that on the human battlefield these units must work in concert to achieve the desired effect.

CA and PSYOP require skill sets that cannot be readily taught in traditional Army schools. Moreover, CA and PSYOP skill sets are inherent in most SOF core tasks. Civil affairs and psychological operations are indispensable elements of the USSOCOM team in support of GWOT full-spectrum operations.

Q: How would you characterize USSOCOM doctrine in relation to the tasks and role that it is responsible for?

A: I think USSOCOM’s doctrine has always been pretty much on target with our core tasks and responsibilities. I’ll tell you that our doctrine has been very dynamic since 9-11 with the command being designated as the DoD lead agent for the GWOT. That designation has provided us with additional tasks and responsibilities. Prosecuting the GWOT has produced new areas in our doctrine as well as our tactics, techniques and procedures [TTP]. Not only are we concerned with SOF doctrine and TTPs, now we must more carefully review and provide appropriate input to all Joint doctrine and TTPs. As I said, it’s a very dynamic process for USSOCOM and the entire Joint community and we’re working through all issues as rapidly as possible.

Q: What needs to be done to align doctrine and practice?

A: I firmly believe in order to align doctrine with practice you must practice the application of doctrine. I also believe that Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have validated both SOF and joint doctrine. They have provided a solid basis for planning and conducting operations, as well as flexibility for commanders who execute those plans and operations.

One of the related success stories is our ability to enhance our TTPs by getting our most time-sensitive lessons learned injected into the training base quickly. We’ve had great success with that. One example is our improvements to convoy procedures in high threat environments. We needed to get the information out to our forces quickly and my staff found the way to do that without short-circuiting the system. We provided the tools our SOF warriors needed, when they needed them, and concurrently ran these lessons learned through the formal process in order to codify the training and TTPs while remaining consistent with our doctrine process.

Q: Mobility played an important role in the success of SOF in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Is SOF as tactically mobile as you would like to be on the ground, in the air and on/under the water?

A: SOF has readily adapted its ground mobility to both the environment and the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the obvious effects is a dramatic transformation of mobility platforms and a significant increase in the numbers of vehicle requirements. SOF currently has more than 2,500 vehicles committed to the GWOT. More importantly, we’ve become a more mobile and lethal force than at any time in our history. In Iraq, for example, SOF has performed magnificently in an area support role working for the Multi-National Coalition-Iraq tactical commanders. We’re operating with a broad array of platforms, from tactical Strykers and up-armored HMMWVs to several variants of modified stock vehicles.

There is no doubt that our newly developed mobility is robust and has given us more agility. In Iraq and Afghanistan, SOF is now able to conduct operations across large tracts of varying terrain in several different geographic regions. The tyranny of distance is mitigated and the tactical commander clearly has a more responsive special operations force.

Another important benefit we achieve from our ground mobility is that we ease the burden on SOF air. In other words, we reduce the competition for low density, high demand resources. I talked about adapting to the battlespace. Well, our tactics, techniques and procedures are being adapted accordingly. So, this is truly a good news story. However, there is a cost. With this ramped up mobility also comes the inherent challenge of managing the capability; Modified table of organization and equipment changes, communications, weapons, ammunition, maintenance and infrastructure requirements must all be developed and integrated into ongoing special operations.

Our air mobility is not as robust as we need to be but we are moving in the right direction. Our ground force commanders can select from attack and assault variants of our helicopters in small, medium and heavy platforms providing unparalleled flexibility. Our fixed wing fleet is very capable and about the right mix.

As I stated earlier, USSOCOM is moving forward with the CV-22 and we will benefit from the leap-ahead technology it will bring us. In 30 years of Army aviation, we gained 30 knots of airspeed; the CV-22 will double it and greatly increase the ability to move SOF around the battlespace. The 24 additional MH-47G’s will expand USSOCOM’s high/hot and heavy assault capability. What we have is the best in the world, but there is always the need to be able to move SOF farther and faster to respond to threats.

SOF maritime mobility is composed of a range of surface and subsurface options including combatant craft and submersibles specifically configured to operate in maritime, littoral and riverine environments. Furthermore, the Navy has made a significant investment in present and future SOF support capability.

While we would like a little more depth in maritime air insertion platforms, tactical air mobility is provided by a high/low mix of SOF and conventional air assets that provide a range of options tailored to the threat. Additionally, we have made considerable investment in a range of ground mobility options to support our forces engaged in OEF and OIF. We are preparing to deploy the high speed vessel Joint Venture in a proof of concept demonstration that will enable us to explore future capabilities to further expand our effectiveness in the GWOT.

All of our platforms are being considered for incorporation of SOF common and interoperable C4I architectures with improved mission planning and battlefield deconfliction capabilities. While we are experiencing some quantitative shortfalls, we believe that we, in cooperation with the services, have wisely invested in providing a spectrum of options to meet our requirements in land, sea and air mobility and are committed to recapitalizing legacy assets with enhanced technologies.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: Yes, as I stated in my congressional testimony, the struggle against global terrorism is different from any other war in our history. We will not triumph solely or even primarily through military might. We must fight terrorist networks and their supporters using every instrument of national power of the United States. Progress will come through the persistent accumulation of successes—some seen, some unseen. Our goal will be reached when Americans and other civilized people around the world can lead their lives free of fear from terrorist attacks.

SOF will continue to play a lead role in this war by bringing terrorists, their supporters and their state facilitators to justice, or by bringing justice to them. But winning this war will require new capabilities, sustainable increases in capacity, and significant improvements in the global reach and speed of SOF forces. To meet the demands of the new environment, we must ensure that our capabilities are well-tuned to meet emerging needs. U.S. special operators have been the cornerstone of our military operations since the beginning of the GWOT. From Tampa to Tikrit to Toibalawe, all of USSOCOM is in high gear. We expect to maintain at this tempo for a long time.

Our efforts will remain focused on our mission. Our success will come from the finest trained and prepared warriors in the world who are in the right place at the right time against the right adversary. Special operations forces play a key role in America’s and the world’s defeat of terrorism. In an environment of asymmetric threats, we are this Nation’s asymmetric force. With energy, focus, skill and determination, we will take the fight to the enemy and win. Your continued support of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and DoD civilians is the foundation of our success.