January 26, 2008

India-France Joint Statement

India-France Joint Statement issued on the occasion of the Visit of H.E.Mr Nicolas SARKOZY, President of the Republic of France, to India, on 25 & 26 January 2008


25/01/2008


President Nicolas Sarkozy’s State visit to India and his presence as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day commemorations reflects the shared commitment of both India and France to provide fresh impetus to their strategic partnership.

India and France are democracies which share common values of freedom, human rights, secularism, rule of law, tolerance and believe in multilateralism in the international political and financial architecture as the means to tackle global challenges effectively. These human values are at the core of their enhanced cooperation and strategic partnership.

I. Strategic Partnership:

India and France hold convergent views on major regional and international issues. Both countries are committed to international peace & security, nuclear non-proliferation and counter terrorism.

France supports India’s inclusion as a permanent member of Security Council, thus making the UN more relevant to the needs of the 21st century and enabling India to play its role in world affairs. France also believes the G-8 needs to be expanded over time to G-13 including India.

Both countries are acutely aware of the serious dangers posed by extremism and terrorism worldwide. In order to face this common threat, both countries agreed to strengthen their cooperation against international terrorism through, inter-alia, increased operational contacts.

The two countries agree on the importance of an early, balanced and comprehensive outcome of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations with focus on the development dimension.



India and France are committed to environmental protection and in this context have issued a separate joint declaration.

To enhance their strategic dialogue, both countries will hold regular consultations between high ranking officials of their respective Foreign Ministries on issues of mutual interest.

II Bilateral Relations

In line with the excellent bilateral relations that already exist between the two countries, it was agreed to intensify the exchange of high-level visits in various areas of interaction.

Both countries will consolidate their relationship in the field of defence by increasing by increasing the range, level and frequency of their military joint-operations and cooperation. In this regard, it was agreed to deepen further their joint programmes and prospects in defence industry, conduct joint research and facilitate transfer of technology in this vital area. Both Sides welcomed the signing of the Agreement for the Protection of Classified Information and Security. Both Sides decided to initiate detailed discussion on Status of Forces Agreement.

Both countries agreed to maintain the momentum of cooperation in the Space Sector.

Convinced that strong economic ties can be further built in a spirit of social and environmental responsibility, India and France are eager to maintain the fast rising trend of their trade and the smart pace of their business to business relations. Both countries aimed to work towards achieving an ambitious target of reaching 12 billion euro bilateral trade by 2012 and significantly stepping up investments.



Acknowledging the considerable potential for bilateral trade, investment and services, the two Sides noted the importance of improving market access. The two Sides agreed to continue encouraging cooperation between their companies, especially the Small, Medium and Micro enterprises. They also agreed to enhance their engagement in consular matters including facilitation of visas for businessmen,professionals and interns. They would also endeavour to foster bilateral consultations regarding respective social security systems so that mutually benefitial arrangements for the citizens of both countries operating in France and India could be developed.

The two Sides welcomed the Agreement concluded concerning the establishment of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD – French Development Agency) in India. It was noted that France plans to support projects to address, inter alia, global challenges, in particular, climate change adaptation and mitigation.

India and France have signed an agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons.



The Sides paid tribute to the contribution of the Indo-French Forum to further bilateral links. They welcomed the idea of creation of an Indo-French Foundation to foster relations between economic partners and support projects in the fields of science, education and culture.

III. Development of Civil Nuclear Cooperation

France and India have decided to give a new impetus to their cooperation for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as an expression of their strategic partnership. Both Sides recognize that as a reliable source of sustainable and non-polluting energy, it could make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenge of achieving energy security, sustainable development, economic growth and limiting climate change. As responsible states with advanced nuclear technologies, including in the nuclear fuel cycle, France and India are interested to promote nuclear energy with the highest standards of safety and security and in accordance with their respective nuclear policies and international obligations. France and India share common concerns and objectives in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery including in view of possible linkages to terrorism. In this regard, France appreciates India’s long standing and continuing contributions to international non-proliferation.



Building on their on-going decades-old cooperation in the fields of fundamental and applied research, and nuclear safety, it was agreed to broaden and boost this partnership. To this end, France and India have finalized negotiation in regard to reaching a bilateral agreement for civil nuclear cooperation. This agreement will form the basis of wide ranging bilateral cooperation from basic and applied research to full civil nuclear cooperation including reactors, fuel supply and management. To this end, both Sides look forward to the finalization of India specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA and the adjustment of international civil nuclear cooperation framework. France expressed its support for the same.

Another agreement has been signed today in the field of nuclear research, which is a key for preparing for the future. It relates to the participation of the Indian Department of Atomic Energy in the research project, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, which will be built by the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (French Atomic Energy Commission) at Cadarache, France. An MOU that establishes cooperation between the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research on the one hand, and the Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds (GANIL), on the other hand, on the use of Spiral 2 high intensity beam production system at Caen, France will be signed in Mumbai. India and France also agreed to intensify exchanges between the scientists of both countries in the nuclear field; establish structures for training and undertake nuclear safety research. In addition, the existing dialogue between respective nuclear safety authorities will also be reinforced especially the context of future industrial cooperation. At the industrial and commercial levels, France and India agreed to work towards raising the level of bilateral cooperation guided by their deep mutual trust and the high technological capabilities of the two countries.



IV. People to People Contacts

India and France agreed to intensify cooperation in the fields of education, culture, tourism & scientific research. It was agreed that efforts will be made for early establishment of an Indian Cultural Centre in Paris and that France will facilitate this task. The two Sides decided to promote cooperation in the field of education, enhance linkages between their respective educational systems as also foster exchange of students. This, along with creation of joint international laboratories, cooperation on technologies for water management and the establishment of an Indo-French University Consortium, is expected to result in all round intensification of ties. To promote such wide ranging people-to-people contacts, both countries agreed to the reciprocal opening of Consulates in each other’s territory and, in this context, welcomed the opening by France of two new Consulates in India, in Kolkata and Bangalore, in 2008.

V. EU-India

Both countries reiterated the importance of the strategic partnership between India and the European Union. France is due to take over the Presidency of the EU beginning July 2008. During the French Presidency, efforts will be undertaken to enhance ties through the mechanism of the Joint India-EU Action Plan. Both Sides expressed their commitment for an early and mutually beneficial conclusion of the negotiations for India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement.



President Sarkozy extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of India to pay an official visit to France in 2008 on the occasion of EU-India summit. Prime Minister of India accepted the invitation in principle.




http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14595449
Saturday, 26 January , 2008, 22:57
Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January , 2008, 23:11

New Delhi: France is now aggressively courting Indian students and linking up with educational institutes here with the establishment of an Indo-French educational consortium and signing of 21 inter-university agreements.

At an Indo-French education seminar Saturday, N.R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, was conferred the French government's Officer of the Legion of Honour by French Minister of Higher Education and Research Valerie Pecresse.



Murthy received the highest award for outstanding service to France just a day after he was chosen for India's second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan.

Murthy and Pecresse also released a newsletter for the newly set-up Indo-French Alumni network.

One of the academic initiatives announced on the occasion was setting up the Indo-French Consortium of Universities that will initiate projects of joint research and enhanced cooperation at the Masters degree level


Besides, 21 agreements were signed at the seminar in the presence of the French minister in the field of student and faculty exchanges at masters and undergraduate levels.

For example, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi inked a deal with Groupement des Ecoles des Mines for cooperation in the field of advanced research at the doctorate level in applied mathematics and physics.

Similarly, one of France's best known institutes in political studies, Sciences-Po Paris signed two separate agreements with University of Madras and Delhi's St. Stephen's college for exchanges in social sciences and economics.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday had set the target of tripling the number of Indian students in France.

Compared to 17,000 Chinese students enrolled for higher education courses in France, there are only 1,700 Indian students.

According to French officials, visa rules for Indian students were recently liberalised to allow them to work part-time while pursuing their studies

France, India fire up military cooperation, nuclear energy ties


1 day ago

NEW DELHI (AFP) — India and France agreed Friday to push their military ties beyond arms sales, signing an accord on nuclear power cooperation as soon as New Delhi is allowed to enter the global atomic energy market.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he had agreed with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy to go beyond a "buyer-seller relationship," in which France is merely positioned as one of several international arms suppliers.

French officials said the two sides signed the framework of a planned bilateral accord on nuclear power research and supply, a key area of French expertise and seen as crucial to India's effort to fuel an economy currently expanding at a rate of nine percent.

"We have agreed to go beyond a buyer-seller relationship. We will increasingly focus on joint research and development projects, transfer of technology and greater military exchanges," Singh told reporters.

"It is very important that India and France should cooperate, share information and intelligence gathering for defence of the values which are dear to both our countries," he said in a joint news conference.

Sarkozy jetted into New Delhi early Friday without girlfriend Carla Bruni, although an Indian foreign ministry source said the ex-supermodel and pop singer may still join him.

The French president will be the chief guest at India's 59th Republic Day celebrations on Saturday, after which he will make a private visit the Taj Mahal -- India's 17th century monument to love.

But in India on Friday, Sarkozy focused on business -- with France lobbying hard for deals in a country ranked the biggest weapons buyer among emerging nations and expected to spend an estimated 30 billion dollars on arms over the next five years.

French-Indian defence ties took a blow last month when New Delhi cancelled a Eurocopter bid for a 600-million-dollar (410-million-euro) helicopter contract due to alleged irregularities. The alleged payment of bribes in a submarine deal is also being probed.

France was the second largest arms supplier to India after Russia but has now been overtaken by Israel. The United States is also pushing for a place in the Indian market.

However, French officials said India -- traditionally non-aligned and keen to maintain a careful balance of arms suppliers -- had agreed to invite a French consortium to upgrade its fleet of Mirage fighters in a contract worth up to 1.5 billion euros that Israel had also been chasing.

Nuclear cooperation has been in the works for years, aimed at allowing France to supply equipment and fuel to India once it has cleared hurdles with the UN's nuclear watchdog.

A joint statement Friday said "this agreement will form the basis of wide-ranging bilateral cooperation from basic and applied research to full civil nuclear cooperation including reactors, fuel supply and management."

India is currently banned from buying fuel for atomic reactors and related equipment because of nuclear weapons tests in 1974 and 1988, but signed a deal with the United States in 2006 as a way of getting off the blacklist.

The American and French deals hinge on the outcome of negotiations between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and with the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the global nuclear trade.

"The needs of India in energy are huge... If we do not let India accede to civilian nuclear energy it will have to go to more polluting means," Sarkozy said, adding he expected to see an international consensus emerge within "weeks".

The French nuclear energy group Areva says India, currently the world's fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, will need 25 to 30 nuclear reactors.

Singh said the process would "take time" -- alluding to domestic pressure from the government's Communist allies who say such a pact with the IAEA, which would involve some international inspections, compromises India's strategic programme.

India's Sikh community also used the visit to lobby against France's ban on wearing turbans in state schools.

"He (the Indian prime minister) will be wearing his turban when he meets the French President. It is the best evidence of how important a turban is to a Sikh," religious leader Manjeet Singh told a news conference in New Delhi.



Sarkozy Says France-India Trade May Double by 2012 (Update2)

By Francois de Beaupuy

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- France's President Nicolas Sarkozy said trade with India may double to 12 billion euros ($17.7 billion) by 2012 as both nations agreed to develop cooperation in fields including defense, nuclear energy and aerospace.

France and India will consider cooperation in steel, hydroelectric dams, power plants, trains and subways, the nations said in a joint statement.

India signed an agreement to take part in the construction and operation of a nuclear reactor research project in France, which is ready to increase cooperation in this field with the Asian nation as soon as it overcomes domestic opposition to an agreement with the international nuclear energy regulator.

``We want French companies to invest at least 10 billion euros in India and for at least 1,000 small- and medium-sized companies to enter the Indian market,'' Sarkozy said today at a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

The French president is seeking to increase exports to India, the world's second-fastest growing major economy, because the European nation's trade deficit is swelling to a record as it loses market share in global markets.

Sarkozy is in New Delhi for a two-day state visit with about five dozen French business leaders, including Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive of power-plant maker Areva SA, Jean- Pascal Tricoire, chief executive of Schneider Electric SA, the world's biggest maker of circuit breakers, and Jose Luis Duran, head of Carrefour SA, Europe's biggest retailer.

Trading Partners

Denis Ranque, chief executive officer of Thales, based in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris, Europe's largest military- electronics company, and Charles Edelstenne, chief executive of Dassault Aviation SA, are also part of the delegation.

France was India's 15th-biggest trading partner in 2006, representing 1.8 percent of imports that year, compared with a 4.1 percent market share for Germany and about 10 percent for the U.S.

Areva won an 18-million euro contract from Power Grid, and a 23 million-euro contract from NTPC to provide equipment for a power sub-station, France and India said in a joint statement.

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. and National Aviation Company of India signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly create a maintenance center for Airbus planes, and Carrefour said it will create cash and carry stores in India and select an Indian franchisee for all other retail stores.

Jet Tender

India will launch a tender for French companies to modernize its fleet of Mirage-2000 combat jet, said a Sarkozy aide, who briefed reporters on condition that he not be named.

Safran SA's Snecma unit is ``well placed'' in a project to develop the so-called ``Kaveri'' engine that India will develop for its planned ``light'' combat jets, the aide said. MBDA, Europe's largest missile maker, is also ``well placed'' to supply India with surface-to-air short-range missiles. The Sarkozy aide said that Dassault will propose its Rafale jet in India's tender for 126 combat jets.

In separate agreements, France and India said they will boost intelligence cooperation to fight terrorism and facilitate the transfer of sentenced prisoners between the two countries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in New Delhi at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: January 25, 2008 12:06 EST

Suspected Russia racketeer wanted in US arrested in Moscow

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/
Kiely Lewandowski at 10:56 AM ET



[JURIST] Suspected Russian crime lord Semyon Y. Mogilevich has been arrested in Moscow on tax evasion charges, Russian officials said Friday. Mogilevich was arrested late Wednesday and a court approved his arrest on Thursday. Mogilevich is also wanted in the US [FBI profile] on unrelated charges for allegedly manipulating the stock of the billion dollar Pennsylvania corporation YBM Magnex International.

Mogilevich and two associates were indicted [press release, PDF] in 2003 on 45 counts of racketeering, securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering charges. At the time charges were filed, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Patrick Meehan said that the defendants inflated the value of YBM stock "so that they could profit at the public's expense. Books were cooked, auditors were deceived, bribes were offered to accountants. The defendants profited to the tune of more than $33 million, while the total loss to investors was more than $150 million." The US and Russia do not currently have an extradition treaty. AP has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.

Baloch BSO member dead under misterious circumstances in Uppsala University



Dr. Arif Barakzai, a member of the BSO and a lecturer at Uppsala University in Sweden, died after 'falling' 11 floors from the balcony of his apartment on Jan 10, 2008.

Dr. Barakzai ran a website devoted to Baloch culture: http://bizmkaar.com. It is unknown what if anything Norwegian authorities have determined about the circumstances of Dr. Barkazai's death.



Death of a Baloch intellectual Dr. Arif Barakzai
Posted by admin on 2008/1/20 6:24:33 (11 reads)
May thy soul rest in peace!!!

The originator of “bizmkaar.com” (Baloch Izmkaar/The Baloch Artist) and lecturer at Uppsala University (Sweden) Dr. Arif Barakzai died suddenly on January 10, 2008 11:00 pm under conspicuously suspicious circumstances in Oslo, Norway allegedly after falling from the 11th floor balcony of his apartment.


Arif Barakzai was not an ordinary person but one of the greatest minds the Baloch nation has ever produced. He has always been one the most brilliant students wherever he studied. He was one of the well learnt student politicians the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) ever had.

All we demand to the Norwegian authorities is a swift and transparent investigation of the death of Dr. Arif Barakzai.

May Arif Barakzai’s Soul Rest in Peace in the Heaven

Administrator
Baloch Izmkaar


U.S.-Pakistan Relations : Assassination, Instability, and the Future of U.S. Policy

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Assassination, Instability, and the Future of U.S. Policy
C. CHRISTINE FAIR

CT-297
January 2008

Testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee,Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia on January 16, 2008

Before the Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia United States House of Representatives January 16, 2008

READ

Prime Minister Barzani condemns Mosul terrorist attack





Statement by KRG
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani

26 January 2008

On 23 January, terrorists committed yet another atrocity and an attack on freedom by targeting innocent civilians, among them women and children, in the Zinjille area of Mosul city. The attack also caused massive material damage.

On 24 January, during a visit to assess the damage, Brigadier Salih Mohammad Hassan, Mosul’s Chief of Police, was attacked by a suicide bomber and killed together with members of his security detail and civilians.

We strongly condemn these terrorist attacks and reiterate our offer of assistance to the citizens and administration of Mosul, which is outside the Kurdistan Region, to combat the terrorist threat and ensure stability and security.

We offer this in order to eradicate the barbaric terrorist threat to the historic fraternity, tolerance and coexistence of Mosul’s different ethnicities and religions – Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Chaldians, Assyrians, Muslims, Christians and Yezidis.

I offer my condolences to the people of Mosul and the families of the victims. Furthermore, I strongly urge all concerned parties to cooperate to expel the terrorists and to prevent the ongoing sabotage against peace in Mosul. The city deserves to be administered by its people in order to guarantee its peace, stability, and prosperity.

Pipedreams : Eastern Europe, America and Russia

Jan 24th 2008 | VILNIUS
From The Economist

America seems to care more than the European Union about eastern Europe


EUROPEANS may not always like it, but America still matters most for their security. As Kosovo edges towards independence, NATO ponders further expansion and Russia rips Europe's threadbare energy policy to rags, every debate involves America. And the mood is gloomy.

“Russia is getting stronger; we are getting weaker”, concludes one European political leader. That is alarmingly clear in Serbia, where a pro-Russian nationalist, Tomislav Nikolic, came out ahead in the first round of the presidential election on January 20th. Serbia has just signed an energy pact to distribute Russian gas exports to Europe; in return a Russian company (the oil arm of Gazprom, the state-run gas giant) is to get a controlling share in Serbia's national oil monopoly.

Europeans flinch at the idea of Kosovo, the mostly ethnic-Albanian province of Serbia, declaring independence immediately—something the Russians strongly oppose. The Americans fear that more delay risks violence by impatient Kosovars or by Serb provocateurs. Some Europeans plead for a few weeks longer, perhaps to allow yet more talks with Serbia after its presidential election, or simply to get more European waverers such as Spain and Romania to back European Union recognition of an independent Kosovo.

Serbia is one of what some analysts call “swing states”, places where Russia and the West are vying for influence. Others include Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova—and even a few EU members such as Latvia and Bulgaria. President Vladimir Putin of Russia, accompanied by his likely successor, Dmitry Medvedev, recently signed a deal with Bulgaria to build a new pipeline across the Black Sea. Called South Stream, this will pipe Russian gas direct to Europe, bypassing transit countries such as Ukraine and Poland. In this, it matches Nord Stream, a similar bypass under the Baltic (see map).


South Stream may stymie a rival EU effort, Nabucco, which was meant to bring gas from the Caspian and Central Asia to western Europe through the Balkans. Nabucco would be the only pipeline from the region not to cross Russian territory, giving Europe the hope of more diversified gas supplies. Nabucco's prospects already looked shaky: gas for it must come from either a trans-Caspian pipeline (which Russia has blocked) or Iran (which America dislikes). If South Stream were built, it would make Nabucco uneconomic.

Pipelines and dependence on Russian gas are not the only sources of controversy. American and European diplomats are also wrestling with the question of NATO expansion, which may feature at the alliance's summit in Bucharest in April. The leading candidate is Croatia. Albania and Macedonia are less prepared, but bringing them in might be seen as one way of countering instability caused by Serbia's hostility to Kosovo's independence.

That leaves Ukraine, whose new government says it wants eventually to join NATO, and Georgia, which tarnished its democratic credentials in a crackdown on opposition protests in November. Offering either country a membership action plan—a staging post to joining the alliance—would enrage Russia. But holding back might be seen as giving the Kremlin a veto over its neighbours' security arrangements. The hunt is on for something else to offer instead.

Largely silent is the EU, whose members appear more concerned over institutional reform and emissions targets (see article) than geopolitical issues. That worries the Americans. They seem to have settled a row with Poland over a planned missile-defence base. But not much else is going right. Ron Asmus, a former American diplomat now at the German Marshall Fund, a think-tank, frets publicly about a “rollback” of the West's influence in eastern Europe. He is not the only one.

January 25, 2008

Pakistan Is Turning on Musharraf

COMMENTARY


Wallstreet Journal
By HUSAIN HAQQANI
January 25, 2008; Page A15


Pakistan's embattled President Pervez Musharraf is touring European capitals to try and convince Western governments of the country's stability, and his own good intentions. He should instead face the evaporation of support for his authoritarian regime at home.

Opinion polls show that 68% of Pakistanis want Mr. Musharraf to step down immediately. While he was in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the World Economic Forum, 100 retired senior military officers signed a statement in Pakistan describing him as an embarrassment to the powerful military that has so far been his power base. Western governments should no longer accept Mr. Musharraf's sales pitch that he is a valuable ally in the war against terrorism. A ruler widely hated by his own people is unlikely to be effective in defeating the expanding insurgency waged by al Qaeda's Taliban allies.

Pakistanis are increasingly uniting in their disapproval of Mr. Musharraf, and of the civil-military oligarchy he represents. The first opinion poll after Benazir Bhutto's murder showed that nearly half of the sample suspected government agencies and government-allied politicians of killing the opposition leader. Mr. Musharraf's unpopular domestic policies helped al Qaeda get a free pass in an assassination widely mourned throughout the country.

Mr. Musharraf must recognize the widening gulf between state and society, and address its ramifications. If he does not, his Western backers, especially British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (whom he meets on Monday) and President George W. Bush, must make him realize that his policies are undermining the war against terror.

Mr. Musharraf could end the controversy about Ms. Bhutto's death by accepting an international inquiry under the aegis of the U.N., as demanded by Pakistan's opposition as well as several U.S. senators from both parties. But he insists that as long as he knows the truth, there is no need for an independent investigation.

Yesterday, Mr. Musharraf told the BBC that he would leave power when he is convinced the people of Pakistan want him to quit. But it would only be based on his "feeling" and personal knowledge, not the results of an election, opinion poll or any other mechanism that would determine when the people no longer support him.

Pakistan's armed forces have suffered a loss of reputation because Mr. Musharraf mired them in politics. In an attempt to forestall an expected electoral victory by Ms. Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party in polls scheduled for Feb. 18, Mr. Musharraf recently claimed that Ms. Bhutto was very unpopular with the military. The new army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, says he wants to restore harmony between the army and the people. But Mr. Musharraf is making his task difficult by creating the perception of the military favoring or opposing a specific political faction or leader.

Mr. Musharraf wants the world to simply take his word that the polls would be free and transparent. But in a recent report, the independent Pakistani Citizens Group on Electoral Process has termed the pre-poll electoral process in Pakistan highly unfair, giving it a score of 26 on a scale of 100 for overall fairness of the pre-poll environment spanning the previous 12 months. The U.S. National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, as well as the European International Crisis Group, have also identified several factors they say make honest elections unlikely. Since Mr. Musharraf's decision to "fire" senior Supreme Court judges, the judiciary is not free to pronounce on the fairness of the election.

Mr. Musharraf rules with the help of intelligence services that have a track record of supporting extremist jihadists. The security apparatus has also tortured, blackmailed, pressured or undermined too many civilian politicians, journalists and civil society activists to be a credible protector of the state. Most Pakistanis now know about the covert machinations of an all-powerful intelligence community, which fixes elections, divides parties and buys off politicians at will.

Pakistan needs a compromise that will stop the demonization of politicians by the military, restore the military's prestige and end its political role, limit the intelligence agencies to external security functions, and form a government that unites the Pakistani nation against terrorism and disintegration. Only a Pakistan that is run according to its constitution would have non-violent means of resolving its many disputes. An independent judiciary and a free media would then be the guardians against abuse of power by elected officials. A free and fair election, open to international observers and conducted by an independent election commission, could be a remedy for Pakistan's domestic conflict.

Mr. Musharraf can become part of this compromise, salvage some respect, and agree to a free and fair election. Or he could remain the major wound that must be dealt with before Pakistan's healing can begin.

Mr. Haqqani, professor of international relations at Boston University, is co-chair of the Hudson Institute's Project on Islam and Democracy and author of "Pakistan Between Mosque and Military," (Carnegie Endowment, 2005). He was an adviser to Benazir Bhutto.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on The Editorial Page.

BRIC and Emerging market companies



Friday, January 25, 2008

NEŞE YAHYA
ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

'New global challengers'

Big companies from the rich world are not globalization's only gainers. Another class of a global firm has emerged and it is the one with roots in emerging markets. This week, reading a report published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on how top companies from rapidly developing economies are changing the world, I had the chance to rethink this phenomenon. For the year 2008, the consulting group has identified 100 “new global challengers” from 14 emerging markets that are reshaping global industries. These are mainly local, but at the same time increasingly global players that have recorded high revenues and are threatening established players in markets around the world.

No doubt, companies from the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are leading the track; eighty out of the total one hundred companies are originally from these countries. Still, one is proud to notice that three Turkish conglomerates are included, namely Koç, Sabancı and Vestel Group. The rest of the companies are originally from countries like Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Malasia, Mexico, Poland and Thailand. The major industries represented by these companies are industrial goods (automotive equipment, steel and engineering products) followed by resource extraction (fossil fuels and nonferrous metals), consumer durables and food and beverages.

A historical perspective and the current trend

Historically, there has been concern about the power of multinationals from the developed world, which were gaining control in less developed countries. Even American companies – Ford, General Motors, IBM had been “accused” during the 60s of invading European land. Similarly, during the eighties Japanese firms were the surprising new kids on the block.

But now there is an unusual “wind of change.” Companies from relatively poor countries of the past century, China and India, are emerging as top players of the global economy and are there to set the rule of the game. The $2,500 Tata car, introduced to the world market two weeks ago is a reality hard to ignore. With the launch of this model, roughly half the price of its nearest rival, Tata Group successfully taps on the potential of the growing middle class in India as well as in other developing countries. Chery Auto from China, Bajaj Auto form India are following this trend. People are talking about the “Cemex way” of doing business. Cemex, a Mexican company which is one of the world's biggest suppliers of ready-mixed concrete has taken over a big British group, RMC and is challenging rich-world companies like Lafarge and Saint-Gobain.

Obviously, the desire for growth and access to new profit pools is the overriding rationale for these companies to go global. They move abroad to attain a scale that will enable them to compete with other global players. But decades ago when rich-world companies were going international, everything moved at a slower rate. Now, with the prevailing fast pace and the notion that “the winner takes it all” there is little room for organic, thus relatively slow growth. The newcomers' internationalization strategy is quite aggressive, especially when pursuing cross-border deals and finalizing mergers and acquisitions. They do not build out only from home markets, but amass businesses in all parts of the world. These companies are very good in creating superior value chains; they increasingly invest in R&D and have achieved huge purchasing power that in return enables them to gain a competitive edge in the market from the very beginning.

By many measures, the BCG 100 New Global Challengers are already outperforming established industry leaders. According to some of the advice given to established businesses; even though it might be difficult to pronounce the names of a number of these ambitious companies, it is better take them seriously and develop a clear strategy to get these as clients, suppliers or even strategic partners. For those, who fail to do so, challengers will represent fierce competition and in time may become potential acquirers. Just like the Indian originated international steel group Mittal bid for the European conglomerate Arcelor more than a year ago and the giant ArcelorMittal emerged.

Apparently, there are huge commercial opportunities in the emerging markets. They are growing at six to twelve per cent annually, compared with an average of two to three per cent in the OECD. Moreover, by 2050 BRIC economies are expected to reach the current level of development of western society. When looking ahead, the implication for Turkish businesses is to take advantage of the current leap, find a way to go beyond cost-based competition, expand aggressively and thus ensure a stable place in this game named globalization.

*Nese Yahya is the managing director of Expatia, a company providing services to foreigners who wish to settle in Turkey and foreign companies who invest here. www.expatia.net

Greece, Turkey: will former foes make friends?

18:55 | 25/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in the Turkish capital Wednesday for what experts had dubbed a landmark visit even before it started, the first visit to Turkey by a Greek premier in five decades.

The last Greek prime minister to pay an official visit to Turkey was also Costas Karamanlis, a namesake and an uncle of the current leader.

The relations between the two nations have gone through a number of crises since then, serious enough to be dubbed a "cold war" and invoke a threat of a real "hot" conflict.

But will Karamanlis' visit remain a landmark only because of the time lapse since the last such contact, or will the two countries' leaders reach some tangible agreements which will literally change the world's map this time?

The tensions between Greece and Turkey have been caused by their territorial disputes for many decades, primarily over Cyprus, which is still divided into two areas, the Greek part populated by Greek Cypriots, and the Turkish part, which is home to Turkish Cypriots and Turkish immigrants.

The Turkish forces invaded the northern part of the island in 1974, and repeated futile attempts to unify it have been made since then. The last one failed because of the Greek Cypriots, who voted down UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's unification plan in a 2004 referendum: they reckoned that too many concessions were required from them for the return of their own lands. Cyprus ended up joining the European Union as a divided nation, although legally the whole island is now a EU member.

The talk of the need to resolve the Cyprus problem as soon as possible reemerged late last year, brought up by all of the conflicting parties simultaneously: Greece and Cyprus on the one hand, and Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on the other.

Any specific steps, including direct talks on the issue, are likely to be scheduled after the February presidential elections in Cyprus. Prime Minister Karamanlis pledged at his meeting with Turkish officials that the last wall in Europe would come down soon.

Besides Cyprus, Greece and Turkey have a dispute over the continental shelf of the Aegean Sea, as Angara refuses to recognize Greece's right to extend its off-shore territory to 12 miles, and several small islands. These disputes have brought Athens and Ankara to the brink of an open armed conflict on several occasions, last time in January 1996. It was the interference of the United States and other NATO countries that helped prevent a military conflict then. Greece decided it was high time to put an end to this long confrontation and proposed settling the issue in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Turkey sounds ready to compromise on many issues, because its EU accession will be impossible without Greece and Cyprus's agreement. Athens' position has become milder lately as well. Greece has agreed to Turkey's EU accession, but put forth certain very specific requirements - that Turkey recognize Cyprus and normalize its relations with Greece first of all.

Incidentally, the two countries are pragmatic enough not to let their territorial disputes and political disagreements get in the way of economic cooperation. Their commodity circulation came close to $3 billion last year, up from a mere $200 million in 1995.

The pipeline which connected Greece and Turkey to ship Azerbaijan's natural gas to Europe, the latest major joint project, was commissioned in November 2007. This project could lay a foundation for normal relations, if not a real friendship, between the former enemies.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Is nuclear Pakistan really dangerous?

23:04 25/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Pyotr Goncharov) - The world panics whenever Pakistan conducts a test of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

A Muslim state with nuclear weapons and extremists is also testing missiles? But this criticism is hardly justified. What should Pakistan do if it has nuclear warheads? It couldn't possibly carry them by aircraft.

Needless to say, there are some risks for the world in the Pakistani nuclear potential, but they are not much more serious than those involved in the nuclear potentials of India or Israel, the United States or Russia. Everything depends on which capital looks at these risks.

Islamabad has never concealed that its nuclear weapons are meant exclusively for India, or, to be more precise, for deterring its aggression. India is fully aware of this and, judging by all, is not too worried. Moreover, since 2005, the sides have been developing their missile potentials without creating problems for each other.

Early last year, Pakistan and India resumed the discussion of problems in their relations. Last February, they signed an agreement on preventing the risk of accidents with nuclear weapons. It is aimed at removing the threat of nuclear confrontation and the development of reliable nuclear arms control systems.

Yet, Pakistan's recent missile test has made the world nervous. On January 25, Pakistan test-launched its medium-range Shaheen-1rail-based ballistic missile, which can hit targets at a distance of up to 700 km (435 miles). This solid fuel missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Judging by all, it is a modification of the Chinese M9 solid fuel tactical missile. Some sources report that China helped Pakistan develop its Abdali and Shaheen-1 missiles.

This was the second test of tactical missiles in the past month and a half. On December 11, Pakistan test-launched its Babur cruise missile, a land-based liquid fuel missile with a range of up to 700 km.

Pakistan is strictly observing the schedule of tests it has agreed with India. There are no deviations in the type or range of missiles. There is one important detail in this context. In 2007, Pakistan and India tested missiles, having notified each other in advance. They conducted some test launches almost simultaneously, as if emphasizing their commitment to the principle of parallel testing. This tradition goes back to 1998, when Pakistan tested nuclear weapons after India. But the principle of parallel testing is only limited to time. Comparison of missile systems' characteristics is obviously not in favor of Pakistan.

Not without help from the great powers, India has gone so far ahead in the sphere of arms that it is pursuing its national interests from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca archipelago. Islamabad justifiably believes that the United States is ready to support India's claims to the status of a world power in exchange for its efforts to deter China and Iran.

What should Pakistan do in this situation?

Early last December, the Pakistani government drafted and adopted its defense policy concept. According to this document, the Pakistani military doctrine is based on the potential of minimally guaranteed deterrence and is aimed at protecting the country's territorial integrity and securing peace in the region (South Asia).

Pakistan is using its potentialities to the utmost. In the past, its nuclear potential was a major deterrent but today it is no longer playing this role. A contribution to the change was made by the United States - its nuclear romance with India is more than obvious. Meanwhile, Pakistan still remains the main partner of the United States and Western Europe in the region's anti-terrorist coalition.

In this situation Pakistan will seek support in its relations with India from other countries with modern weapons, apart from China or the U.S. It may turn to Russia for this purpose.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

'Fighting terrorism since 1492'




Image: coyotescorner.com, ISN

American Indians have suffered under foreign invaders for 500 years. Now the descendents of Sitting Bull are fighting back, withdrawing from treaties with Washington..

By John C K Daly for ISN Security Watch (25/01/08)

Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series on separatist movements in the United States.

The Native American Lakota Sioux tribe has declared independence from the US unilaterally, citing a string of broken treaties dating back to the 19th century.

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration declared a dual global campaign, a war against terror and a US-led effort to promote democracy around the world. The latter campaign has resonated within the US, with secessionist movements agitating for the values that Washington proclaims abroad: from American Indians through secessionist movements in the two most recent states added to the Union, Alaska and Hawaii, all the way to one of the original 13 colonies, Vermont.

While the efforts have been largely ignored or ridiculed by the mainstream press, because of the internet and the evolving global communications network, their causes have attracted immense interest abroad.

On 17 December, the Sioux "Lakota Freedom Delegation" delivered a seven-page document of "unilateral withdrawal" from the US to the State Department in Washington. The withdrawal notice was hand-delivered to Daniel Turner, deputy director of Public Liaison at the State Department.

The document, entitled "Lakotah Unilateral Withdrawal from All Agreements and Treaties with the United States of America," states: "Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States government on the Lakota People."

The eight-member group included Lakota Sioux activist Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr and Wounded Knee incident veteran Gary Rowland.

Means, a long-time Sioux Indian activist, politician and actor, led the group, which also visited the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa to share the declaration.

According to Means, both Ireland and East Timor have expressed that they are "very interested" in the declaration; Iceland and Finland have also shown interest. Means said that the document would also be delivered to the UN and to state and county governments covered by treaties.

Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman, who attended the press conference at Washington's Plymouth Congregational Church out of solidarity, took the Lakotas' declaration of independence very seriously.

"We are here because the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands. We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything," he commented to those present.

Means' group, based in Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, is not an agency or branch of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Means joined the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 and became its first national director two years later. He has remained at the forefront of Indian activism, leading AIM's 1972 takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Washington, DC and the group's occupation of Wounded Knee a year later.

The Republic of Lakota, based on the 1851 treaty, includes parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

Age of communication, age of recognition

While the US media largely either ridiculed or ignored the declaration, it attracted intense interest abroad. In fact, The Republic of Lakota's website crashed after receiving more than 500,000 hits in the week following the declaration.

The Lakota initiative builds on more than 30 years of activism, beginning in 1974 with the first International Indian Council conference held at the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, which lies on the border of North and South Dakota. Five thousand people from 98 indigenous nations attended and issued "A Declaration of Continuing Independence," which sought to address grievances and treaty violations dating back to the beginning of the US.

At the time of the drafting of the US Constitution in 1787 there were over 60 distinct tribes of Indians in North America. During the first century of its existence the US government and Indian tribes concluded more than 800 treaties between 1778 and 1871, but the Senate only ratified 372.

The first agreement concluded by the US with an Indian tribe was the Treaty with the Delawares of 17 September 1778, which even envisioned that the Delaware and other tribes would ally with the US, form a state and send a delegate to Congress. Treaties were concluded with the Sioux nation in 1851 and 1868. In 1871, the Congress put a stop to the practice of concluding treaties with the Indians altogether without, however, invalidating the treaties concluded before that time.

The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty established the Great Sioux Reservation, setting aside nearly 93,000 square miles for the Sioux in present day South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. The Lakota Declaration is based on Washington's violations of these two treaties under Article 6 of the US Constitution.

Two years after the Fort Laramie Treaty was concluded the Black Hills Gold Rush began in the Lakota's Dakota Territory, peaking in 1876. George Armstrong Custer led the first 1,000 prospectors into land owned by the Sioux, who fiercely resisted the onslaught.

In 1876, Washington violated the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty by opening up 12,000 square miles in the Black Hills to white homesteaders and commercial interests in violation of Article 12 of the 1868 agreement.

The white incursion culminated in the two-day Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876. Sioux Indians led by renowned warriors Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse) and Tatanka Iyotanke (Sitting Bull) wiped out Custer and 262 US 7th Cavalry Regiment soldiers in one of the US Army's greatest defeats of the Indian wars. Sioux Chief Tasunka Duta (Red Horse) later told Colonel W H Wood that the Indians suffered 136 dead and 160 wounded during the battle.

"They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one: They promised to take our land [...] and they took it," Oglala Sioux Chief Makhpiya Luta (Red Cloud) was quoted as saying in 1900.

Cause for grievance

The Sioux have never reconciled to the loss of territory promised to them by federal treaty, and on 30 June 1980, won a legal victory in the United States vs Sioux Nation of Indians case when the US Supreme Court upheld an award of US$17.5 million for the market value of the land in 1877, along with 103 years' worth of interest at 5 percent, for an additional US$105 million. However, the Sioux nation declined the compensation, as it would have legally terminated their demands for the land's return. In early 2008, the settlement with attendant interest rose to over US$1 billion.

By any reasonable measure the American Indian population has legitimate grievances against Washington. According to the US Census Bureau's The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2000, Census 2000 Brief, of the 4,119,301 US citizens defined as "American Indian and Alaska Native tribe," 153,360 are Sioux.

While today 50 percent of all Sioux (defined as 25 percent Sioux lineage) reside outside the reservation system, there still exists an extensive network of reservations scattered across America's northern Great Plains states of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The census found that 25.7 percent of all Indian households lived in poverty, defined as income of US$13,738 for a family of three, the highest percentage of all groups surveyed, with 34.5 percent of all Indian children under five living in poverty along with 26.3 percent of all Indians aged 75 or older. According to the census, 27.2 percent of all Indian women live in poverty.

The situation at South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation is typical. Pine Ridge is the eighth largest reservation in the US, and also the poorest, with an unemployment rate of around 35 percent and 61 percent of its residents living below the federal poverty line. Teenage suicide is four times the national average, while life expectancy is one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere, approximately 47 years for men and in the low 50s for women. Pine Ridge's infant mortality rate is five times the US national average.

Higher education is largely beyond the grasp of most American Indians. A 2002 National Science Foundation survey found that of the 39,665 doctorates awarded that year, American Indians received only 0.5 percent of the Ph.Ds, the lowest percentage among the white, African American, Asian/Pacific and Hispanic categories surveyed. Of associate collegiate degrees, Indians earned 1.1 percent, bachelor's 0.7 percent and master's 0.5 percent.

Whatever form the Republic of Lakota might take, it could hardly have a more dismal track record than governmental oversight of Indian affairs up to now.

Means means business

The Sioux activists are not limiting their legal claims to US precedents, however, also citing Articles 49 and 60 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the non-binding September 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Lakota representatives say if Washington does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five-state region, disputing title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property.

Means said the republic tried to file liens against property that the South Dakota state government had seized for nonpayment of taxes on 1 January, declaring liens on real estate held by "foreign" governments but not on private real estate. The county in which the attempt was made however refused to accept the liens because it claimed not to know what a "sovereign nation" was.

The State Department has handed the issue over to the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). BIA spokesman Gary Garrison dismissed the withdrawal announcement, saying that it "doesn't mean anything. These are not legitimate tribal governments elected by the people [...] when they begin the process of violating other people's rights, breaking the law, they're going to end up like all the other groups that have declared themselves independent - usually getting arrested and being put in jail," according to a 4 January report.

Internal Sioux controversy

The announcement has stirred up controversy in the Sioux nation as well.

On 3 January, Rosebud Sioux Tribe President Rodney Bordeaux told Indiancountrytoday.com that the group led by Means represented "individuals acting on their own."

"They did not come to the Rosebud Sioux tribal council or our government in any way to get our support and we do not support what they've done [...] Russell made some good points. All of the treaties have not been lived up to by the federal government, but the treaties are the basis for our relationship with the federal government […] We're trying to recover the lands that were wrongfully taken from us, so we are going by the treaties. We need to uphold them. We do not support what Means and his group are doing and they don't have any support from any tribal government I know of. They don't speak for us."

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Joseph Brings Plenty echoed those sentiments: "What has been said by these individuals has been talked about from dinner table to dinner table since I was a young kid; but the thing is, these individuals are not representative of the nation I represent. I may agree, I may disagree, but they have not gone out and received the blessing of the people they say they are speaking for," the South Dakota paper Rapid City Journal reported on 7 January.

Means responded to these sentiments, saying: "I maintained from the get-go I do not represent, nor do the free-thinking, free-seeking Lakota want to have anything to do with, the 'hang around the fort' Indians, those collaborators with the government who perpetuate our poverty, misery and our sickness - in other words, our genocide. They are part and parcel of that genocide."

He does have his supporters; according to news reports, a representative for the Pine Ridge Reservation's council will "consider the proposal."

Means believes that his movement's struggle for sovereignty has spread far beyond US borders, and international interest will support his group's cause; "If the US violates the law, the whole world will know it," he told the Rapid City Journal on 7 January.

During a 24 January telephone interview, Means told ISN Security Watch that Washington had so far failed to respond to the declaration, but "they longer they take, the better for us.

"It's better for us because it allows us to strengthen our provisional government, which includes investors in our energy company."

When queried about the response from abroad and other Indian tribes, Means said: "We have no concerns about the response from other governments as yet because we are too busy being free. We have been contacted by other reservations because other Indian tribes want to do the same thing, including the northern Cheyenne in Montana and the Objibay in Wisconsin."

"We are making sure that we follow all the laws of the US Constitution and international law, thereby avoiding any confrontation," Means emphasized.

In an interview with ISN Security Watch, Jerry Collette, the Republic of Lakota's provisional government interim attorney general, echoed Mean's observations, noting Washington's silence by saying: "They have not left yet. In spite of being given a very polite notice, they have continued to trespass on Lakota land."

According to Collette, other Indian nations have shown "overwhelming support."

As for foreign interest in the Sioux cause, Collette noted that the greatest empathy was displayed by another long-suffering nation. "Our most supportive response has come from the longest colonized people in Europe - the Irish."

America's Indian population has waited 221 years for Washington to live up to its treaty obligations. While it would be nice to see them finally get justice, the current administration's cavalier attitude towards its international treaty responsibilities would seem to indicate that America's long-suffering indigenous population is in for a long wait.


Dr John C K Daly is a Washington DC-based consultant and an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute.

US Women in Combat Compendium


Source: Strategic Studies Institute
Edited by Colonel Michele M. Putko, Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II.



These facts involving women in combat are: Women comprise approximately 15 percent of the U.S. Army today, and as of September 2007, 70 Army women have been killed and a significantly larger number wounded; the American public is vaguely aware of this state of affairs and has raised no outcry.

The nature of the current battlefield makes it impossible to apply the existing rules for excluding women from combat without serious reduction in combat capabilities, degrading the professional development and thus status of women, and producing a potentially serious reduction in overall readiness.

Two major conclusions are reached:

(1) the nature of combat for the U.S. Army has changed, and the existing rules governing the employment of women do not fit this new situation; and

(2) there is not the slightest doubt that women can perform their assigned duties in the combat zone, including engaging in combat actions essential to their personal and unit’s self-defense, with skill and valor equal to their male comrades.

Issues for the Australian air combat review



by Andrew Davies
11 January 2008

The new government has announced that it will conduct a review of Australia’s future air combat capability. Given the huge sums required to acquire the aircraft, weapons and systems that constitute a modern air capability, it is important that the review be rigorous and systematic. One of the immediate drivers of the review will be the $12–15 billion decision on acquisition of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which is currently scheduled to occur late in 2008. This ASPI Policy Analysis looks at the key issues that the review should address before multi-billion dollar decisions are made.


Two possible approaches


Broadly speaking, the government has two options. It could continue down the path
established by the previous government with possible variations in numbers and timing, or it
could decide to take a different approach, regarding any liabilities accrued from past decisions
as sunk costs.


At the end of 2007 the government made several public comments about the future air combat
force, apparently accepting that the JSF and Super Hornet would both be part of Australia’s air
capability mix. If that were to be the case, then the review of future air combat capability would
become a ‘numbers study’—how many Super Hornets and JSFs will be in the force past 2020
(with the number of both ranging between zero and one hundred) and how will the force be
managed pending maturity of the JSF. Any other option involving the acquisition of another
type will very quickly prove to be unaffordable when through life costs are considered. Every
new aircraft type has a new set of fixed costs, for simulators, facilities, logistics chains etc.
More recently, there have been reports that the government will go back to the proverbial
‘blank sheet of paper’. Given that a new Defence White Paper has been promised for later this
year, this could be an opportunity to develop the force mix that is best matched with the
government’s high-level strategic goals and budgetary constraints.


Strategic questions


Before deciding upon either approach, the government will want to determine its strategic
goals, against which force structuring decisions will be weighed. Much of the public debate on
air combat in the last few years has focused on the relative capabilities of different aircraft
types. Of course, that should be part of the process of deciding on the future force structure,
but it leaves out some critical earlier steps. Before worrying about flight performance or radar
parameters it is important to have a clear idea of exactly what the RAAF is expected to be able
to do, and in what circumstances.


The set of potential air combat contingencies covers a very wide range. At the lower end, the
RAAF might be called upon to neutralise the threat from a handful of aircraft operated by a
regional air force without the assistance of an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS)
or air-to-air refuelling. At the upper end, operations against a major regional power in the next decade could be opposed by hundreds of capable aircraft backed by AWACS and an
integrated air defence system. Between those extremes is a range of scenarios with different
levels of capability required for success. And the picture is a dynamic one—acquisition of
advanced technologies and systems by regional nations will lead to increasing challenges over
time.


The force structure currently in train for the RAAF from 2010 until the JSF is available later in
the decade—Hornets and Super Hornets operating in conjunction with Wedgetail AWACS and
air-to-air refuellers—is more than capable of meeting the lower end scenarios. It is not, by
itself, capable of missions at the upper end of the spectrum. Somewhere in between is the
‘break even point’ where the RAAF’s capability is matched by a potential adversary. Exactly
where that point is requires detailed knowledge of both RAAF and adversary capabilities,
including electronic warfare and countermeasure performance. Even then there will be
uncertainties.


The government needs to decide which scenarios it regards as credible and, importantly, how
much it wants to spend on the capability required to prosecute them. For example, does the
RAAF really need to be able to operate independently against the air forces of major regional
powers, or would such operations always occur in a coalition context? Are deep penetration
strike operations against well-defended targets required to meet strategic goals? What level of
sophistication of attacking forces can be assumed for defensive air operations?
The answer to those questions, which are really part of the Defence White Paper to be
developed in 2008, will provide the guidance against which RAAF capability will be developed.
Ideally, the White Paper, which will detail the government’s strategic outlook, would be used to
determine the ADF’s future combat capability. However, the development of a White Paper is
a lengthy process and it is unlikely to be delivered before late 2008. If the White Paper
post-dates the others, it is not clear how alignment of resources and strategic priorities can be
guaranteed. However, as we will see below, there are other timeframes that favour an earlier
determination of the direction of the air combat capability.


In practice, any decisions on the air combat capability will amount to an early statement of
strategic intent. The 2000 White Paper was unequivocal about the air combat capability. It
stated that Australia should‘… maintain the air combat capability at a level at least comparable qualitatively to any in the region, and with a sufficient margin of superiority to provide an acceptable likelihood of success in combat’.

That (ambiguously worded) aim would be achieved by maintaining forces ‘… large enough to provide a high level of confidence that we could defeat any credible air attack on Australia or in our approaches, and capable enough to provide options to deploy an air-combat capability to support a regional coalition’.


Assuming that the priority accorded in the 2000 White Paper is maintained, the review must
establish a solution that will ensure qualitative superiority while being affordable enough to
meet the second quantitative requirement.

Super Hornets and JSF

The centrepiece of the current plan is the JSF, a multi-role stealthy type with advanced sensor
and networking capability. But the JSF is not an operational capability today. One test aircraft
has flown and has demonstrated few of the capabilities required for operational effectiveness.
While proponents of the program are confident of success, further slippages remain likely (the
sole test aircraft was grounded for six months in 2007 while a systems problem was rectified)
and more problems may emerge. But, given the importance of the JSF to US forces—the
USAF is planning to acquire over 1,700 to replace several aging types—it remains likely that
the program will progress to maturity.

The questions for Australia are exactly when that will occur, and how much the aircraft will
cost. The earlier we buy, the greater the costs and the lower the initial capability will be. The
originally planned 2012 initial operating capability for JSF in the RAAF has slipped a couple of
years already.

If the JSF timetable slips further, there will be a problem in maintaining a viable number of
frontline aircraft. The upgrade program for the ‘classic’ Hornet fleet will keep them flying in
reasonable numbers, albeit with reducing comparative capability, until around 2018. If the JSF
has matured into a suitable front-line aircraft by then, transition will be manageable. If not,
Australia could be in the market for more ‘bridging capability’.


In terms of cost, the Australian Government has already paid several hundred million dollars
for participation in the JSF program. As a sunk cost, it is irrelevant to future decisions. But,
as a result of program participation, Australian industry has been able to win JSF work.
Withdrawal from the program in future would result in those opportunities being lost.
Currently, the ‘second pass’ decision on the JSF for Australia is scheduled for the second half
of 2008. However, there appears to be no external driver of this timeline, and there would be
little downside of deferring that decision until later. An incidental benefit would be the additional
schedule, cost and performance data that would be available from the JSF program.
Noting the JSF schedule and cost uncertainties outlined above, the Super Hornet acquisition
was announced as a bridging capability to allow the RAAF some breathing space. Under that
scenario, the Super Hornet could either serve for a relatively short time before giving way to
the JSF, or remain in the force structure after the acquisition of the JSF.


The Australian Government has entered into a contract through the US Foreign Military Sales
(FMS) process for the Super Hornets and their associated systems and weapons. It has been
suggested in some quarters that the Super Hornet contract be terminated. If that were to
occur, under FMS regulations, the Australian Government would be responsible for all costs
accrued to the date of termination and may also face a termination liability. The accrued cost
of the Super Hornet acquisition will increase with time. As a result, the cost of proceeding or
not with the Super Hornet acquisition—and the impact of the timing of any decision—must be
factored into any cost-benefit decision making.


Balanced against a decision to terminate the contract is the observation that the Super Hornet
undeniably provides an improvement on the current Hornet fleet and therefore provides a
boost in capability at little project risk. It is a mature design that is readily available to Australia
and the RAAF has indicated that it also has advantages in terms of transitioning pilots from the
Hornets. The concerns of many critics of the Super Hornet centre on its capability relative to
other aircraft being acquired around the region. As a matter of priority, the review should
examine hard data on relative performance—much of which is not public—and decide whether
the Super Hornet is a viable bridging capability that will allow time to develop a long-term
solution.


In summary, the ‘stick to current plans’ approach boils down to managing the fleet until a
mature JSF is available. Longer term, the question would be whether the JSF completely
replaces all other types—one of the strong selling points of the program back in 2002—or
whether the Super Hornet is retained as part of the force mix. If the review assumed the Super
Hornet and JSF acquisitions as given, the outcome would be a new transition plan with
contingency plans in the event of JSF program problems.


The blank sheet approach If the government decides to start from scratch, then a combination of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottomup’ analysis should give the best outcome. The former would start with the strategic aims and force structure determinants derived during the Defence White Paper process. The bottom-up part of the review would gather information from the world market on aircraft capabilities, costs of acquisition and operations and, where appropriate, program risks. Ideally, the full range of credible options would be included. According to public statements, Defence has conducted a watching brief since (at least) 2002, when the decision was taken by the former government to curtail the analytic effort and buy into the Joint Strike Fighter program. That should mean that a good baseline set of data and suitable analytic tools are available for the review. The government must satisfy itself that the analysis is based on a neutral set of assumptions. It is possible to formulate mission scenarios and adversary capabilities that produce specific outcomes. As a simple example, including only missions that require short transit times from bases or tanker aircraft will not allow range to play a significant role in distinguishing between types.

With the best will in the world, it is often difficult for those who have been involved in past
decisions to step back and start afresh. For that reason—and to provide a measure of
protection against the inevitable furious lobbying that will follow the release of any report—the
review should be headed up by a well-credentialed independent analyst with experience in the
aerospace industry.

The analysis must look at potential aircraft acquisitions in the context of their future operating
environment. It should test the capabilities of these aircraft against the full spectrum of regional
fighter and air defence capabilities currently in service or expected in the post-2015 timeframe.
The analysis must also look beyond the fast jet combat aircraft and consider the numbers of
supporting assets such as aerial refuelling tankers and Wedgetail airborne early warning and
control (AEW&C) aircraft required for the fighters to perform key tasks effectively. The
cost-benefit analysis should take a ‘whole of capability’ approach. For the same reason,
operating costs over the aircraft’s lifetime must be included.


The world market currently offers a range of aircraft capabilities at prices that range from
expensive to very expensive. All of these are multi-role aircraft to some degree, though
performance of the types will differ in various roles. Some types that might come under
consideration are (in no particular order):


Boeing F-15 E/K/SG Eagle
F/A-18 E/F/G Super Hornet
Dassault Rafale
Eurofighter Typhoon
Lockheed F-22 Raptor
Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
SAAB Gripen


The F-22 Raptor is something of a special case in this list. The US has not released the Raptor
for export to date. The block on export is reviewed periodically by Congress. The Australian
Government should determine definitively, through a formal request, whether an export to
Australia would be considered and, if so, at what cost. Then the Raptor can be included or
excluded in cost-benefit analyses.


There will be costs associated with a ‘blank sheet’ review. Information gathering is
time-consuming and can be expensive. Nonetheless, if the review finds that a significant
change of direction is required, the funds saved by avoiding acquisition errors will dwarf any
review costs.


Conclusions


There are tensions between the timeframes for the air combat review, the development of a
Defence White Paper and the decision points for the JSF acquisition and Super Hornet FMS
deal. The government may wish to wait until it has fully developed its strategic thinking, but
additional costs will accrue if it decides to change direction later on.


A ‘blank sheet’ approach that makes no assumptions about the types to be operated makes
sense, but will consume time and resources.


Assuming that the new White Paper will assign a similar priority to air combat capability as the
2000 version, the review must establish a solution that provides Australia with qualitative air
combat superiority but is affordable enough to field in numbers that can meet credible
operational requirements.


Given the public interest and debate surrounding air combat decisions, the review should be
headed up by a well-credentialed independent analyst with extensive experience in the
aerospace industry. As many of the underlying assumptions as possible should be made
available to the public.


If the review leads to a change of direction, costs for terminating the Super Hornet contract will
grow with time. The review should examine the performance of the Super Hornet against
credible regional threats as a matter of priority.


Other types will take longer to acquire. Any decision to terminate the Super Hornet contract
will need to be accompanied by a plan to manage the air combat capability in the period
2010–2015.


There seems to be no real impediment to deferring a decision on Australia’s acquisition of the
JSF beyond 2008. As well as giving the review time to determine a long-term solution,
additional schedule, cost and performance data from the JSF program will be available at a
later date.

______________________
About the Author


Dr Andrew Davies
Dr Andrew Davies is ASPI’s Operations and Capability Program Director.


About Policy Analysis


Generally written by ASPI experts, POLICY ANALYSIS is provided online to give
readers timely, insightful opinion pieces on current strategic issues, with clear policy
recommendations when appropriate. They reflect the personal views of the author and
do not in any way express or reflect the views of the Australian Government or
represent the formal position of ASPI on any particular issue.


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INDIA : An officer and a Gentleman



http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/catalyst/2008/01/24/stories/2008012450120300.htm

Lessons in management from the tough and honest cop who had the underworld ducking for cover.


D. Sivanandhan, CoP, Thane


It was sometime around 1998-99 when the then Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, introduced me to his “blue-eyed boy,” D. Sivanandhan, I.P.S., then Joint Commissioner (Crime). It was a difficult time for Mumbai. The ‘Bhais’ had been making a fine art of extortion. Public confidence was at an all-time low. People were running scared. If you bought a car, you could expect a dreaded extortion call.

Special situations somehow throw up special people. And Siva, as he is called by friends, was the man of the moment. He became what was called the barrier between the bullet and the businessman. He also needed to be prominent in the media in order to reassure people. There couldn’t have been a better man for the job. Siva is genial, informal, has a flair for publicity and public relations, is very accessible, and most important, has a reputation of being a tough, honest cop.

The media loved Siva and he did a wonderful job. He was seen standing outside wedding halls introducing himself to anxious parents, telling them to call the police if they were contacted by extortionists.

He and his elite team focused on a multi-pronged strategy that included encounters, rounding up illegal arms, detaining known trouble-makers, arresting gangsters fearlessly, introducing new and effective legislation and making the police presence felt all over the city.

‘Not one builder was shot after July 1, 1998” says Siva, “and there was not a single bomb blast during that tenure. I kept the people busy running.”

I comment about his larger-than-life image. Something that grew even bigger after the release of the movie Company where South Indian and Malayalam superstar Mohanlal plays the role of a policeman modelled on Sivanandhan.

“Bombay was becoming like Beirut. I had to win the trust of the people,” says Siva. “I used the media to say that no gangster can harm you if you approach the police. I was in Gadchiroli before that time fighting Naxalites. I came to Mumbai and realised I was being seen as the only hope people had. Consular officers would call me and enquire if it was safe for their personnel to be stationed in Mumbai. The choice was between winning and failing. Between making money and making a name for myself. I chose to win. And make a name.” Siva has a unique capability of making grand statements without sounding immodest. In fact, he comes across as a humble person.

He also spearheaded a unique initiative called Alert Citizen where citizens were asked to call in to a designated telephone number and report any crime they saw, all with the assurance of complete anonymity. Siva was able to get the complete cooperation of the advertising and media community for this initiative, and I was able to observe his functioning at close quarters.

I had marvelled at the fact that even at the height of those troubled times, when he was taking on the entire underworld, Siva could be seen walking alone down Marine Drive every morning.

No escorts or gun-toting lackeys around him, unlike other senior I.P.S. officers. “I still walk alone,” he says quietly. “I am not afraid. If you send out a signal that you are scared how can you possibly make the general public feel secure?”

“In an atmosphere where policemen are generally considered corrupt, how have you built an honest reputation for yourself?” I enquire. Siva looks philosophical.

“Whether you talk about the crumbling Roman Empire or any decadent system, there is always an enviable corner reserved for honest people. That is a nice corner to occupy. Yet, being honest alone can make you a liability. You must combine honesty with action and the result will be widespread appreciation. You will enjoy the glow of acknowledgement.”

I try baiting him by asking him how he handles political interference. He is cool as he says, “Political interference begins with signals you send out. I have never experienced any political interference.”

Few people know that Sivanandhan began his professional life as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the CBM College in Coimbatore. He appeared for the UPSC examination, qualified for the I.P.S. and the rest, as they say is history.

Along the way Siva managed to “organise life in a manner where you make time for the family”. His stints at the IB and CBI were phases that did not demand the 24X7 rigour of policing. “I have moved 27 houses in 30 years,” he adds, smiling. “So how do you cope with the stress that is obvious in your life?” I enquire.

Siva loves organising and managing events. He organises cultural programmes, lectures and the like. And likes attending talks by people like Stephen Covey. He is an avid reader as well. He opens his drawer and pulls out three books he is currently reading. I notice one is by Robin Sharma and the other by me.

His advice for young managers is “hard work, honesty, positive thinking and productive work”. He does not like people unproductively quoting from a rule book. He exhorts young people to take risks, face criticism and build character.

As Commissioner of Police in Thane off Mumbai, Siva has been involved in making something quite miraculous happen. He has raised about Rs 10 crore and built a modern, well-equipped school. Initially for policemen’s children, the school now opens its doors to the entire community. An educational trust runs the school.

He has also built a hospital that is going to be run by a private company.

A trendy café outside his office is run by wives of policemen, a monument to policemen who lost their lives in the line of duty has come up and a huge modern structure encompasses the parade ground.

His efforts are a sterling example of how a public spirited officer with a vision can get around the labyrinth of red-tapism and governmental apathy and do something that benefits his force and the community it is meant to protect.

“Life is so simple if you don’t expect anything from anyone. You just give your best. And life will be rewarding,” says Siva. Well said, Sir! May there be more officers and good human beings like you.

January 24, 2008

Indra Nooyi in Davos : Corporate Global Citizenship in the 21st Century

Indra K. Nooyi

Corporate Global Citizenship in the 21st Century

Live Tomorrow 25/01/2008 10:45 CET


As the global agenda is increasingly shaped outside the traditional framework of nation states, corporations not only have licence to operate in the global system, but also a civic duty to contribute to its sustainable health.

How should corporations exercise their civic duty with regard to major global issues?

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco Systems, USA
Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008
H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum
Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, United Kingdom Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia
Wang Jianzhou, Chairman and Chief Executive, China Mobile Communications Corporation, People's Republic of China; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008

Chaired by

Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School, USA

Three Crucial Questions for Pakistan : WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

WATCH this clip

Virtual world: rogue state?

Source: OXFORD ANALYTICA

There are quirkier items on the agenda than stock market sturm und drang and terrorism at the 38th annual World Economic Forum in Davos. On Saturday, one of the presentations, 'Virtual Worlds – Fiction or Reality', muses on the impact of virtual worlds on different generations, and asks how this world of immediate access, limitless social skills and unrestrained behaviour influence our moral framework.


Second Life is one of the new ways of extending life to the virtual space, for example, allowing us to attend Wimbledon while standing next to one of the players or living out our social desires anonymously without restraints or risk of sanctions. More and more people are turning to virtual reality to establish who they are, what they know, who they interact with and how. This will influence how society is structured in the future and how real or fictive this virtual world will be.

1) In the context of the virtual worlds we are creating, what is the difference between fiction and reality?
2) With the ease of access to these virtual worlds, how do different generations react?
3) How does this world of immediate access, limitless social skills and unrestrained behaviour influence our moral framework?
4) Should the focus be on the technological or human side of progress?


All this fretting over artificial environment mores is a sign that virtual worlds are gradually being accepted as extensions of the real world. The social and economic evolution of these worlds raises challenging questions about their governance; in particular, how they can be developed in a sustainable and desirable fashion as both economies and communities.

Intellectual property minefield
The latest projections indicate that participation in virtual worlds will expand significantly in the years ahead. By some estimates, up to 80% of active internet users will inhabit a virtual world by 2012. As they have attracted users, virtual worlds have become economies in their own right. The incorporation of a formal currency into multi-functional environments such as Second Life helped power a wave of economic growth, enabling users to buy, sell and rent digital properties such as virtual islands or space stations.

This has attracted the attention of governments: following South Korea's lead, the United Kingdom and Australia have formulated plans to impose taxes on virtual profits. But regulating these spaces by negotiating the multitude of large, diverse populations across various real and virtual jurisdictions is a legal Gordian knot.

The appropriation of intellectual property is illustrative. Virtual worlds enable the sharing of digital information, which may be copyrighted, patented or trademarked in the real world. In Second Life, cinemas exhibit Hollywood movies, bars and shops play the latest hit songs, while street traders sell ‘counterfeit’ goods such as clothing and fashion accessories. However, the task of punishing IP infringements is complicated by the identification of users, who are veiled by their own digital avatar.

These worries may make big corporations think twice before diving into virtual worlds, despite the obvious commercial advantages of doing business without the costs and restrictions of physical trade. This pleases some; the encroachment of advertising billboards and global brands has created tensions with some users, who claim that the homogeneity of commercialisation will tarnish the mystical and unearthly quality of virtual worlds.

Communities, democratisation and moral values

The technology underpinning virtual worlds is likely to become more open and less proprietary. Already, web-based tools such as Metaplace enable users to build micro-scale virtual worlds, which can then be used as a space to interact with friends and other users. And so, as the technology improves, the creation of virtual worlds is likely to undergo a steady process of democratisation similar to other web-based tools, such as blogs, file sharing or social networks.

Virtual worlds also provide a space where individuals can interact, learn and work in novel ways. For example, some of the world’s largest companies use virtual worlds to enhance collaboration between different teams, most notably in the process of research and development. Meanwhile, academics have studied patterns of behaviour in virtual worlds to develop a range of theoretical models, including social responses to disasters or the diffusion of disease. There is also scope to use virtual worlds as training grounds for the next generation of artificial intelligence software.

A key challenge will be creating worlds that embody a basic core of moral values. There are concerns, for example, that the current generation of ‘digital natives’ -- the youngsters who regularly use the internet -- will be exposed to undesirable influences through their participation in virtual worlds. Worlds such as Disney’s Club Penguin (with 3.9 million users) or WebKinz (with 7.3 million users) are relatively safe environments, but arguably infuse commercialism into every encounter. On the other hand, worlds such as Second Life enable a relatively greater amount of creativity and freedom, but are thereby vulnerable to subversive behaviour, such as child pornography or violence.