May 31, 2008

INDIA : 374 Chefs for cops on Maoists’ trail,help them stay focussed

Chefs for cops on Maoists’ trail
- 374 cooks to serve policemen, help them stay focussed

Ranchi, May 31: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the Jharkhand government has only now realised. For, in a move to keep its anti-rebel combat forces fighting fit and content, the state government has decided to recruit cooks to be stationed at 145 police stations in Maoist-affected areas.

According to DIG (personnel) R.K. Mallick, the government’s decision follows a series of complaints from the forces, that instead of concentrating on operations, they also had to deploy their own men to cook meals at various police stations.

“If after hours of combing operations, the men did not get proper food, you can’t blame them for being demoralised. So, we decided to man every police station, located in Naxalite-hit zones, with a cook and water carriers,” he told The Telegraph.

The state government has advertised for 374 cooks and 195 water carriers. Apart from 145 police stations in Maoist-hit areas, some of them would be deployed with special task forces (STFs) too.

In fact, 22 cooks would be deployed at the Jungle Warfare School that was coming up at Netarhat to train personnel in anti-Naxalite operations.

This was the first time the state government was recruiting cooks for police stations. And police officials admitted privately that the government must move cautiously as earlier attempts proved counter-productive in some cases.

And if some of the men in uniform were downright sceptical, they had their reasons. In 2005, some 70 cooks were appointed for the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP). But, around 24 cooks supposed to accompany the forces in anti-Naxalite operations were apparently cooling their heels in Ranchi cooking for senior officers.

Worse, some IPS officers, who were on central deputation, had taken their favourite cooks with them!

As per rules, a battalion was to be accompanied by two cooks, two water carriers, one sweeper and one barber. But this rule was being bent by several senior police officers to suit their convenience.

Inspector-general (JAP) Rezi Dungdung, who had requested senior officials to return the cooks meant for battalions some time back, refused to comment. But sources in the JAP said some cooks were still serving senior IPS officers.

Fed up with the attitude of the seniors, the state government, Mallick said, would soon introduce a “permanent follower system” which would ensure IPS officers get two orderlies, including a cook.

“The system is in practice in several states. Also, we will deploy cooks at other police stations next year,” he added.

Police stations in Maoist-infested areas would be the initial beneficiary of the government’s latest move. This would put an end to some peculiar complications and make their lives easier.

Till now, these police stations would often engage local boys to cook for them. “This practice invariably created trouble as the local cooks were being threatened by the rebels,” said a police officer manning one such police station.

“The rebels would threaten them. Either they would ask them to stop cooking for the police or double up as spies to provide them information about police strategy,” he added.

Mallick, who was also state police spokesperson, said the government’s latest move would put an end to the practice of running canteens on caste lines at various police stations and barracks.

“The move to provide cooks will ensure that even if he was a Dalit, all policemen would eat meals prepared by him,” he pointed out.

Mobile phone revolution in Indian rural areas

Fosaactv editor Biplab Pal blogged from Indian villages -how mobile is changing rural eonomics-some exciting scenes from remotest of remote India where Mobile is new Mantra of life style

UAS 2008 - Unmanned Aircraft Systems 10th International Conference & Exhibition

From : UVS International

86 rue Michel Ange

75016 Paris


Tel. : 33-1-

Fax : 33-1-


10th Annual Edition

Paris, France

10-12 June 2008


Featuring: 70 Speakers from 17 countries:

- 1 Global Regulatory Organization (ICAO)

- 12 National & Multi-National Military Organizations

- 6 Governmental Organizations

- 11 National & Multi-National Regulatory Authorities

- 2 International Standards Organizations

- 6 International Stakeholder Organizations

- 30 Industry Representatives from 16 Countries

- 3 Academic Representatives

In the attachment you will find:

l UAS 2008 Conference Delegate Information File

This document includes the updated conference programme & the delegate registration form, as well as other useful information.

Additional information concerning UAS 2008, the world’s largest UAS conference and the only one to deal in-depth with UAS-related regulatory issues, is posted on the following “open” web site (no registration required):

Do not miss this important event

If you have not yet registered, please hurry to do so.

The deadline for receipt of delegate registrations is June 6, 2008.

Please Note:

- All delegate registrations are now to be paid by credit card.

- On-site delegate registration will not be possible.

We look forward to seeing you at UAS 2008.

Cordial regards,
Peter van Blyenburgh

Rama Setu talk by Dr. Subramanian Swamy on youtube

Below is a video link of brilliant talk on Rama Sethu and its relevance to the what is happening to Hinduism, delivered by Dr. Subramanian Swamy during his recent visit to US when he released his book on Rama Sethu.

Every Indian must watch this. For those who may not know, it is Dr. Swamy's brilliant arguments in Supreme Court that blocked destruction of Rama Sethu.

Listen to how Dr. Swamy, who is an economist and not a lawyer, relate how he argued for 8 hours at a stretch with Supreme Court justices and successfully convinced them to stop destruction of Rama Sethu. Listen to why he took up this case because he clearly saw it as another example of undermining Hindu society. Hear about the gross corruption involved, total lack of values and simple decency in the leaders of current government.

(Note: This is link to play list and all the parts will be automatically played)

Rama Sethu book can be ordered from Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation at 908-244-3258.


Synopsis of the lecture
(High level summary)

Dr. Swamy started with introductory remarks to show Rama Sethu matter in perspective. He got interested in the problems Hindu Society is facing after Kanchi Sankaracharya was arrested on foisted charges and jailed like a common criminal, for which Supreme Court of India found no prima facie charges. It brought his attention to the forces that are working to undermine Hindu Society by making them feel impotent and inferior. As he looked around, he found the same way the Hindu society targeted in several areas. Whether it is the terrorism where Hindus and Hindu temples are targeted and claimed the number of lives next to Iraq in last 4 years, large scale religious conversions of Hindus, rubbishing of Hinduism in history books in India,

He explains how Hindus who constitute large percentage can be under sieze. He gave example how numbers do not matter, because thousands of goats can be made to run for life by one tiger. Strength or capacity does not matter, because a thin whip master in circus can make powerful lions obey him. The problem he says is lack of Hindu mindset. What is happening today is mental subversion, unlike physical brutalities of Islamic invasions of the past. He says he took up Rama Sethu because it is just another example of the way Hindu society is being targeted in subtle psychological way.

What does he mean by Hindu Mind set? He goes on, it is not about doing Pujas or celebrating Diwali only. It is the corporate psychology that is needed. When 500,000 Hindus were driven out Kashmir by Islamic terrorists and living in squalid camps since 1989, we need to feel annoyed, upset and take action. We worry about one Masjid broken, every day Hindu temples are broken in Kashmir and outside India like Malayasia. When Hindus and Hindu temples are targeted by terrorists, we need to stand up against it.

What are forces against Hinduism? He gave examples of Christian fundamentalist Pat Robertson openly declaring that he would convert 100 millions to Christianity. Money does not matter. He gave example of christian CM of Andhra Pradesh YSR. As for Islam, he says they are more clearer than Christian fundamentalists in their objective. He explained how the Islamic scriptures (Koran, Sira and Hadith) drive the behavior of Islamists and how Islam sanctions terrorism. He showed it is not just in Kashmir where Hindus are targeted, it is happening in district level in India. He detailed how in every single Panchayat in Tamilnadu (40 of them) where Muslims gained majority, they stopped providing civic services such as water, school, garbage cleanup to Hindus for last 10 years with notices in Urdu that they need to convert to get those services. Failing which, they destroyed their agriculture by directing the water from their tanneries into their fields. He related how he successfully fought this in High Court of Tamilnadu that ordered Governor to take action. He explained the concepts of Dar-Ul-Harab and Dar-Ul-Islam, where this mentality comes from.

However, he does not blame Islam or Christian fundamentalists. He says they are clear in their mind what they want to do and they go about doing it. But it is Hindu who are confused about what he(or she) is and what to do. That confusion he was trying to remove by placing the whole conspiracy behind destruction of Rama Sethu.

Having given this perspective he goes about the Rama Sethu's significance in our history. He detailed how there were committees since 1860, nine of them before independence and six after the independence and not a single committee ever recommended the route that destroys Rama Sethu. How the current Government took on its own to destroy at the behest of Karunanidhi and his chela Baalu. Why so many alternative routes not considered and why every clearance required by law was simply ignored? Why the precedent where Governments in India always changed project plans in order not to hurt religious sentiments would not be followed in finding alternative to the proposed route that would hurt the sentiments of one billion Hindus (e.g, Government in 2001 rerouted Delhi Metro at cost of 500 crores and delay of 1 year, because of simple complaint from a Muslim NGO that the Metro route can cause cracks to three graves near Qutub Minar)? Why did the Government ignore 35 Lakhs verifiable signatures requesting not to destroy Rama Sethu and the protest of 5 lakh people? The same Government that will bend backwards for even slightest dissent from their vote banks, has decidedly chosen the path of breaking the back of Hindu society.

He showed with detailed calculations how it is the greatest economic disaster and the only beneficiaries are TR Baalu who owns the shipping company with ships of the size that can go thro' the proposed route thro' Rama Sethu and his son who has company that needs to clear the sand that will be thrown by sea into the dredged area every year, worth multiple crores.

Listen to the talk to become aware of the extent of corruption, debasement of our current political leaders and the conspiracy going on to destroy Hinduism from India. Listen to how he brilliantly argued with justices with wit and humor and made the defense counsel eat their words. Hear the options he has to offer to revive Hindu society and create a stronger India.

Dr. Swamy's book on Rama Sethu also provides all the details. Rama Sethu book can be ordered from Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation at 908-244-3258.

May 29, 2008

Balochistan :Nationalists observe ‘black day’

WASHINGTON DC: The Baloch in United States staged a protest rally in Washington DC against the nuclear tests carried out in Chagi 10 years ago, describing it as a crime against humanity and called for extradition of A.Q. Khan, founder of the Islamic Bomb, to the United States.

They gathered outside the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday to raise slogans “No More Islamic Bombs,” Extradite A.Q. Khan”, " Denuclearize Balochistan" and “Extradite Bin Laden” the rally called for right to self-determination for the Baloch people in Pakistan and Iran.

Robert Selle, president of the American Friends of Baluchistan, addressing the protest rally called for the right of self-determination for the people of Balochistan “a land rich in resources” and said he has written to President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to help the Baloch.

Selle informed Bush and Rice that Baluchistan was an independent state and had its own bicameral parliament before its forced annexation by Pakistan. “The Baloch have been discriminated against in multifarious ways by the Punjabi-dominated central government in Islamabad,” Selle said.

Selle also urged redrawing of international boundaries to do justice to the Baloch.

The protesters condemned the arrest of Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and Wahab Baloch in Karachi, commercial capital of Pakistan, as their only crime was organizing a protest rally in Karachi against the environmental damage to Balochistan.

In a message from London, the de jure ruler of Balochistan, Khan of Kalat Suleman Daud Ahmedzai, who is now in self-exile, deplored the nuclear fallout.

“Environmental damage is so great that Balochistans contaminated land may not recover for a few hundred years to come, but immediate report from Kharan, Chaigi & western Balochistan are shocking,” he said. “Early death, high level of strokes, sudden nose bleeding and immediate dead are common illnesses in western Balochistan. Crops are failing; end product is not the same as before the nuclear test, some crops failed completely.

In a joint letter with Dr. Wahid Baloch, president of the Baloch Society of North America, Sent in a memorandum to Pakistan’s new ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani, said the nuclear tests in Balochistan were carried out “without lawful authority and in clear violation of international law as Balochistan was never part of Pakistan and remained an independent state until March 27, 1948—seven months after the departure of the British from the subcontinent.”

They said, “The killing of former governor and chief minister of Baluchistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, and member of the provincial assembly Nawabzada Bala’ach Marri and the hanging of Baluch dissidents in Iran clearly demonstrates that no Baloch is safe in the states of Pakistan and Iran,” adding. “It’s even more regrettable that Pakistan Army has never carried out any real operation to arrest Osama bin Laden.”

In the memorandum to Haqqani, they called for Pakistan to allow U.N. inspectors to conduct an international inquiry into the radiation caused in Chagi because of the nuclear tests .

Taking a swipe against the new ambassador’s political past, Selle and Baloch said, “We also regret to note that you started your political career as a leader of the Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba, allied with the Jama'at Islami at Karachi University. Secular, nationalist and liberal student groups came under armed attack of the group you headed at that point of time.”

They were referring to an incident from the early eighties when Yunus Shad, now a Karachi lawyer, received gunshots wounds on the day when Haqqani became the president at the Karachi University as a leader of the Islami Jamiat Tulaba.

Demanding extradition of A.Q. Khan to the U.S., Wahid Baloch in his speech said, “A.Q. Khan was in the hills of Chagi on this day 10 years ago and since then has launched a multibillion dollar nuclear materials smuggling racket with Pakistani generals as his partners. The generals, including Musharraf, are shielding him, so he does not spill the beans on them.”

A Pakistan People’s Party activist from Panjgur, Mohammed Ali Baloch, held Pakistan army responsible for the radioactivity in Balochistan.

“What kind of strange creatures are these generals who come test their Islamic Bomb in our lands,” Mohammed Ali Baloch said, saying he has adopted Christianity as the nuclear tests carried out in Baluchistan in the name of Islam is without logic and is directed against humanity.

Journalist and poet Ahmar Mustikhan recited his poem “Mushroom Clouds-Rape of My Motherland.”

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, May 28: Baloch nationalist parties and student organisations observed a ‘black day’ on Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of Pakistan’s first nuclear tests.

Rallies against N-tests were held in Quetta, Khuzdar, Mastung, Dalbandin, Chagai, Kalat, Gwadar and other towns of Balochistan.

In Quetta, processions were taken out by the Baloch Students Organisation, BNF and Anjuman Ittehad Marri.

People in the procession carried banners and placards inscribed with anti-nuclear slogans. A large number of women and children took part in the processions.

A gathering held at the Manan Chowk was addressed by Salam Sabir, Nasar Baloch, Hakim Pervez Baloch, Shahzain Baloch and Ms Salma Baloch, who condemned the use of Balochistan’s land for nuclear tests and described it “rubbing salt on the wounds of the Baloch people”.

They claimed that radiation emitted by the blasts had affected health of many people in the Chagai area and the government did nothing to provide medical treatment to such people.

They said on the one hand the government wanted reconciliation with the Baloch people, but on the other it continued the military operation in the province. Hundreds of people, including political workers and leaders were still missing or in jails, they said, adding that BNF president Ghulam Mohammad Baloch and Wahab Baloch had been taken into custody by intelligence agencies in Karachi.

They said the Baloch people had nothing to do with the reconciliation efforts and they would not compromise on their rights and would continue their struggle.

The speakers urged Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani to stop the handing over of a political activist, Ghulam haider Raisani, to Iran.

The activists of the Baloch Students Organisation took out a procession from the Science College and later gathered outside the Quetta Press Club.

Addressing the protesters, BSO chairman Mohyuddin Baloch, vice-chairman Changaiz Baloch, Javed Baloch and Ataullah Baloch described the nuclear blasts as an “act against humanity”.

They urged the United Nations and other international organisations to send medical teams for providing treatment to the people affected by radiation in the Chagai area.


By Dr. Subhash Kapila

Contextual Reference: Author’s SAAG Paper No. 2154 dated 28.02.2007 “Russia’s President Putin’s Second Strategic Foray in the Middle East (February 2007)

Introductory Observations

Saudi Arabia’s tentative strategic shift away from the United States was significantly discernible when during Gulf War II against Iraq in 2003, Saudi Arabia denied the United States the military use of its bases for the Iraq military intervention.

Saudi Arabia had been the most unreservedly staunch ally of the United States for the better part of the last century. Relations became strained, though not breakable following the 9/11 Islamic Jihadi bombings in New York and Washington. The majority of those involved in the 9/11 bombings were Saudis. While the 9/11 bombers were trained, financed and their plans operationalised by Pakistan intelligence agencies, the Saudi label became stuck in US public memory and moreso with Osama bin Laden also being a Saudi.

Contextually, the above along with other strategic shifts at the global level and the regional level led to a visible shift in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy stances. At the global level, Russia’s strategic resurgence and its strong influence over Iran and Syria could not be ignored by Saudi Arabia.

At the regional level, the growing regional profile of Iran in the Middle East strategic profile along with the prospect of Iran’s nuclear weapons, threatened Saudi Arabia’s traditional pre-eminence in the Middle East and the Islamic world.

Saudi Arabia’s traditional strategic support of the United States stood diluted by US military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, a downslide in US image in the Islamic world and the United States inability to rein in Iran.

Saudi Arabia under its new monarch, consequently have carried out course corrections in their foreign policy attitudinal stances by making their foreign policy more multi-directional and broad based. Saudi Arabia’s initiatives manifested themselves in the Saudi Arabian monarch’s visits to China and India. More significantly the increased stress on building good relations with Russia in the last couple of years was visible.

Russia too responded likewise and more forcefully. Evidence of this were the three forays by President Putin in the period 2005-2007 to the Middle East with special emphasis on visits to countries closely allied with the United States.

The strategic significance of these two way Russia-Saudi Arabia initiatives stand analysed in the above referred Paper of this Author, including the likelihood of an arms deal.

This month firm evidence has surfaced of a Saudi Arabia arms deal totaling $ 4 billion which is a significant shift from existing Saudi military purchases pattern from the United States and European countries.

This Paper attempts to analyse this Saudi Arabian strategic shift under the following heads:

Saudi Arabian – Russia Arms Deal: Background, Extent & Western Reactions
Strategic Significance of the Saudi Arabia-Russia Arms Deals
Russia Preferred Over China for Arms Deal by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia-United States Relationship: The Impact of the Deal and Future Prospects
Saudi Arabian – Russia Arms Deal: Background, Extent & Western Reactions

The Saudi Arabia-Russia arms deal though kept under wraps till recently was not a stunning surprise. There were enough indicators suggesting that it was in the offing.

In the above referred Paper, this possibility was reported along with President Putin’s offer during his Saudi Arabia visit of nuclear reactors, space program cooperation, investment in the GLONASS program and launching Saudi satellites into space.

Saudi Arabia seems to have picked its choice on the more substantive and potent component of the Russian President’s offer.

Following President Putin’s visit there commenced a flurry of visits to Russia by Saudi dignitaries and officials for discussions on the arms deal. The more notable of the visits was by the Saudi Defense Minister in August 2007 and by Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz in November 2007. During his visit, the Crown Prince had meetings with President Putin also.

Earlier Russia had dispatched Russia T-90 tanks to Saudi Arabia for field trials.

Known details of the Saudi Arabia – Russia arms deal are as follows:

Value of the deal - $ 4 billion
Major military hardware purchase
Tanks T-90 - 150
Helicopters MI-17 and MI-35 - 100
BMP Armoured Infantry Combat Vehicles - In hundreds
Air defense systems BVIC M2 F - 20
Other military equipment - Details undisclosed
Russian T-90 tanks will be delivered to Saudi Arabia in the time frame 2008-2009.

Saudi Arabia has earmarked over $12 billion for purchase of military hardware. A $ 4 billion order to Russia implies that nearly 33% of the $ 12 billion planned expenditure on arms purchases would go to Russia.

United States and European countries have reacted with dismay over the Saudi Arabia-Russia arms deal because besides the geo-political implications it means a sizeable loss in arms sales for defense industries. A sampling of their reactions is as follows:

Saudi Arabia turned to Russia for arms deal after the US Senate over-ruled US arms requests from Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia then turned to France but the deal fell through after France insisted on extending the deal to include naval equipment
Saudi Arabia was attracted to Russian purchases by their economical prices and thereby more bang for the buck
Saudi Arabia was attracted to Russian tanks because of the T-72 performance in Gulf War and as opposed to US Abrams tanks in desert terrain
Western opinion however was that Saudi Arabia will revert back to US and the West for military equipment as Russian arms deliveries lag behind schedules.
Whatever be the truth of the above, the fact still remains that this Deal carries a lot of strategic significance and political significance in a traditionally pro-American Middle East.

Strategic Significance of the Saudi Arabia- Russia Arms Deal

The overall geo-strategic and geo-political significance stands covered in the above referred Paper. The conclusion of the Saudi Arabia – Russia arms deal further reinforces the conclusions contained therein.

Geo-strategically, some aspects which need to be highlighted are:

Saudi Arabia was the only major Arab and Islamic country which had not turned to Russia for its military hardware inventories so far.
With induction of Russian military hardware as enumerated above, Saudi Arabia’s military inventories in terms of firepower and mobility would rest heavily on Russian equipment
Saudi Arabia and Iran as the two contenders for regional pre-eminence on both littorals of The Gulf would now possess sizeable Russian military hardware on their inventories.
Russian dependence of both Saudi Arabia and Iran in terms of military hardware gives Russia a “controlling power” in terms of conflict escalation and conflict resolution over these two countries and enhances Russian salience in the Middle East strategic calculus.
Geo-politically, the following factors need to be high lighted:

Russia has been able to wean over a number of US traditional allies in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia being the most notable.
Comparatively, Russia today can claim a better political influence in the Middle East as opposed to the United States. This affects the global balance of power.
Russia under Putin has been able to reassert and solidity its strategic and political influence in the Middle East. Russia can no longer be dismissed from the strategic calculus of the Middle East by the United States.
Russia’s concretizing the relationship with Saudi Arabia enables considerable political gain for Russia in the Islamic World
Sizeable arms deals like the Saudi Arabia-Russia Arms Deal are not mere commercial transactions. Such deals have the potential to alter the regional military balance besides heralding new political preferences by the regional actors.

Russia Preferred Over China for Arms Deal by Saudi Arabia

This question becomes pertinent for analysis when it is taken into account that in the late 1980s Saudi Arabia, despite being a more staunch ally then of the United States, turned to China for supply of CSS-2 Chinese Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs). It was the Saudi acquisition of IRBMs from China which stirred the missile race in the Middle East.

With such a record and the Saudi Monarch’s visit to China in 2006, China should have been a natural preferred choice for Saudi Arabia for a sizeable arms deal.

That it has not happened so, can be attributed to any or a combination of the following reasons.

Russia is the preferred choice because of the salience in global and regional affairs made possible by Russia’s resurgence.
Russia is the preferred choice because Russia has been in unequivocal in vocal support on all contentious issues that plague the Arab world despite that the fact such Arab stands are in conflict with the United States. China is relatively silent or muted on these issues.
Russia exercises a potent strategic and political influence in restraining Iranian regional adventurism. In Saudi perceptions, Iran is considered as a major threat.
China itself depends on Russian military weapons and equipment for its armed forces.
One short deduction that can be made here is that China is a long way off from displacing the United States or Russia from the Middle East strategic calculus. Despite China’s strong economic presence in the Middle East it does not seem to carry strategic and political clout.

Saudi Arabia-United States Relationship: The Impact of the Deal and Future Prospects

Saudi Arabia’s arms deal with Russia and that too a sizeable one, is surely going to displease US Senators and the Pentagon. It will add fuel to the fire of those who have been critical of Saudi Arabia after 9/11 and its reluctance thereafter to host US military presence in Gulf War.

However, the US Administration presumably views this development as one of political signaling to USA over its contemporary strategic policies in the Middle East. Presently the US Administration would be less likely to assess it as a long term strategic shift in Saudi policy formulations towards the United States.

Realistically, Saudi Arabia in its strategic calculations towards this strengthening of its relations with Russia has been prompted by a couple of reasons, namely (1) Perception that certain sections in USA have become hostile to Saudi Arabia (2) Diversifying its sources of strategic and political support with US power getting diffused (3) Strong perception that in its Cold War with Iran, Russia is better placed than USA to exercise restraint on Iran’s regional adventurism.

At the same time, the Saudi’s would equally and realistically be expected to conclude that United States global and regional power is likely to predominate for many decades to come. It is a strategic reality that cannot be ignored by Saudi Arabia even as it opens up to Russia.

In the overall analysis what can be summmed- up is as follows:

US-Saudi Arabia relationship would continue on an even keel but minus the implicit warmth and trust that prevailed for decades.
United States would have to factor-in in its Middle East strategic calculus that Saudi Arabia is no longer a “strategic pillar” to protect US security interests in the region, but at the same time it will not join any anti-US Arab or Muslim coalition.
Concluding Observations

The Middle East today finds itself in a state of strategic flux post-9/11 and US military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Strategically, new leaves being turned in terms of relationships would be a logical development. Moreso, with Russia’s growing resurgence and a determined Russian effort to embed itself firmly in the Middle East.

In such a strategic and political environment, regional actors like Saudi Arabia are becoming better placed to resort to political signaling in terms of their relationships with major powers.

Possibly, one could place the discernible strategic shift in Saudi Arabia towards Russia in this category. The Saudi shift cannot be ignored by the United States whatever be the longevity of the shift.

Russia can smugly sit in the Middle East conscious of the fact that the United States today has to operate in this region in a reactive mode and that geo-politically Russia is better placed to win strategic gains in the regions..

(The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group.

Pakistan: economic troubles

Pakistan's economic woes will be in the spotlight this week.

A budget for fiscal 2008-09 (starting July) is due for presentation on June 7. It comes shortly after the resignation of the finance minister -- one of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) representatives who withdrew from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party-led cabinet earlier this month in a dispute over the judiciary.

Pakistan is facing growing trade and budget deficits, surging inflation and critical shortages of foodstuffs and energy. To tackle the latter, the country moves its clock forward by one hour this week in an attempt to alleviate demand pressures. Electricity cuts are common and emotive. They have fuelled riots before.

Hardship is one of the factors that cost President Pervez Musharraf 's allies their jobs in the February election. A struggle to address it may also be the downfall of the incumbent administration. Hence its refusal to accept a World Bank recommendation that it abolish subsidies for fuel, wheat and fertiliser, despite the fiscal strain they incur.

The wealthy are expected to be the targets of tax changes this week, though reforms are unlikely to widen the tax base and thereby address one of the major structural weaknesses in the economy.

The figures will not ease growing concerns about national finances, particularly as they come in the context of political uncertainties that show little sign of being resolved in the near term.

Indeed, the week's events could be overshadowed by major developments here. Rumours at the end of last week suggested Musharraf was on the brink of standing down. They may prove to be misplaced, but illustrate the unresolved questions surrounding his status.

Bubbling Baltics


Latvia hosts the Baltic Sea States Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday this week -- an opportunity to attempt a fresh start in regional diplomacy, especially in relations with Russia.

Relations between Russia and countries formerly controlled by Moscow, especially the Baltic republics and Poland, have often been less than amicable. Since these countries joined the EU in 2004, mutual mistrust has also increasingly tainted EU-Russia relations, particularly as Russia regained geopolitical clout under the Putin presidency.

Yet ties with Moscow have improved markedly since the low-point in May 2007, which saw the near-cancellation of the EU-Russia summit:

Following Russia's move to end the Polish meat embargo, Warsaw dropped its veto, which had prevented the start of negotiations on the long-delayed EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

Similarly, Lithuania last week abandoned its veto of the PCA, which means that negotiations can now begin as early as next month’s EU-Russia summit.
Last week’s Polish-Swedish proposal for an ‘Eastern Initiative’ -- initially expected to establish a ‘Baltic Union’ exclusive to littoral states along the lines of Nicolas Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union scheme -– might have angered Moscow ahead of this week’s Baltic summit. Yet it proved so weak that Russia’s leaders seem hardly to have noticed it.

Similarly, a non-binding yet symbolically important European Parliament report adopted this week, which was extremely critical of the Russian-German Nordstream pipeline project under the Baltic Sea, did not prompt any Russian fury.
Russia will continue to arouse suspicions among its western neighbours. The Baltic Republics and Poland will continue to try and reduce their energy dependency on their former master: Poland and Lithuania will build a power link connecting the two countries' electricity grids by 2012, while the three Baltic states are also planning a 'power bridge' with Sweden.

Yet this week’s Baltic summit will provide an excellent opportunity for confidence building on all sides:

The agenda does not include any over-ambitious items, which could cause the summit to fail. Most importantly, unrealistic hopes and fears about this summit trying to establish a powerful ‘Baltic Union’ have been silenced, thanks to the almost pre-emptive announcement of the ‘Eastern initiative’.

The relatively low profile and small membership of the Baltic Sea States Council will give ample opportunity for both multilateral and bilateral informal talks. Member states will be able to learn more about Russia’s new president and his plans, even though he is unlikely to attend in person.

Russia, for its part, will not be isolated at the summit. Germany will show solidarity in an effort to get some support for the Nordstream pipeline from the other littoral states, all of whom remain extremely sceptical about the project.

May 28, 2008

U.S. Fourth Fleet in Venezuelan Waters

May 27th 2008, by Nikolas Kozloff - CounterPunch

With U.S. saber rattling towards Venezuela now at its height, the Pentagon has decided to reactivate the Navy’s fourth fleet in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

It’s a bold move, and has already stirred controversy within the wider region.

The fleet, which will start patrolling in July, will be based at the Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida and will answer to the U.S. Southern Command in Miami. Rear Admiral Joseph Keran, current commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, will oversee operations. About 11 vessels are currently under the Southern Command, a number that could increase in future. The Navy plans to assign a nuclear-powered air craft carrier, USS George Washington, to the force.

It’s difficult to see how the revival of the Fourth Fleet is warranted at the present time. The move has only served to further antagonize Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, already rattled by a U.S. navy plane’s violation of Venezuelan airspace over the weekend. In the long-term, the Pentagon’s saber rattling may encourage South American militaries to assert great independence from Washington, a trend which is already well under way as I discuss in my new book, Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan).

Reacting angrily to the Navy’s announcement, Chávez said: ``They don't scare us in the least.'' Chávez remarked that ``along with Brazil we're studying the creation of a South American Defense Council'' which would defend South America from foreign intervention. “If a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exists,” the Venezuelan leader postulated, “why can’t a SATO exist, a South Atlantic Treaty Organization?"

Though the resuscitation of the Fourth Fleet has led many to believe that the U.S. is pursuing a course of gunboat diplomacy in the region, there was a time when the force arguably served a real need. What is the history of the Fourth Fleet in Venezuelan waters?

Venezuela in World War II

On the eve of the Second World War, Venezuela was the world’s leading oil exporter and during the conflict the oil rich Maracaibo fields, located in the westernmost Venezuelan state of Zulia, were considered a crucial resource for both the axis and allied powers.

British and American oil subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil and Gulf had in fact long operated in the Maracaibo Basin prior to the outbreak of European hostilities. Transportation of crude from Jersey Standard’s producing fields in Lake Maracaibo region was carried out through use of specially constructed shallow draft tankers. A refinery owned by Royal Dutch Shell located on the island of Aruba, which processed Maracaibo crude, was strategically important as it supplied products not only to Britain but also to France.

In 1940, Britain received fully 40 percent of her total oil imports from Venezuela, and during the first years of the war that total jumped to as high as 80 percent. Venezuelan oil also represented a vital commodity for the Nazis and the ability of the German state to wage war in Europe. As late as 1938, oil produced from Aruba, Curacao and Venezuela accounted for 44 percent of German oil imports. Germany did not buy oil directly from Venezuela but from U.S. and British-Dutch oil companies which shipped Venezuelan crude to refineries in Aruba and Curacao and then sold the final product in Europe. Venezuelan-German trade remained at normal levels but ended abruptly in September 1939 with the beginning of the British naval blockade of Germany.

By 1940, with Britain increasingly isolated as the result of German attack and prior to the entrance of the U.S. into the war, Venezuelan sentiment was bitterly anti-German. Meanwhile Venezuela moved into the U.S. orbit and became a chief recipient of American economic aid. U.S. military officials preferred that Venezuela publicly stay neutral in an effort to preempt any German moves to shell Venezuela’s coast.

Venezuelan neutrality however was a mere legal fiction: in reality, the South American nation had granted U.S. ships and airplanes special access to ports and airstrips. Two days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Venezuela declared its solidarity with the United States and on December 31, 1941 the Andean nation severed relations with the Axis powers.

Operation “Roll of Drums”

It wasn’t long before the Venezuelan government’s decision to sell oil to the allies resulted in Nazi counter measures. On December 12, 1941 Hitler met with his naval advisers and approved PAUKENSCHLAG or “ROLL OF DRUMS” a U-boat operation in Western Atlantic/Caribbean waters. In February, 1942 German submarines plied the Caribbean, sinking 25 tankers in one month.

The Nazis were chiefly concerned with the Dutch islands of Curacao and Aruba, Dutch colonies where U.S. forces had set up defensive fortifications in order to protect refineries processing Venezuelan crude from Maracaibo (with an estimated crude capacity of 480,000 barrels a day, the Aruba refinery, owned by Standard Oil of New Jersey, and the Curacao refinery, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, outranked Abadan in Iran with 250,000 barrels; the Baku complex in the U.S.S.R. with about 230,000 barrels; and the largest plants in the United States at Baytown, Port Arthur, Bayonne, Baton Rouge, and Whiting with over 100,000 barrels each).

On 15 February 1942, a convoy of oil tankers and ships left the Maracaibo Bar. The first ships in line were the ‘Monagas,’ of the Mene Grande Oil Company, followed by the ‘Tia Juana’ and ‘Pedernales’ both belonging to the Lago Petroleum Corporation. These tankers were followed by the ‘Rafaela’ belonging to Shell, and the ‘San Nicolas’and ‘Orangestad,’ belonging to Lago Oil and Transport Co, based in Aruba. A number of other tankers joined the column.

German U-Boat Attack and Creation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet

Suddenly a German U-boat torpedoed the ‘Monagas’ which sank immediately. The tankers ‘Tia Juana,’ ‘Pedernales,’ ‘Rafaela,’ ‘San Nicolas,’ and ‘Orangestad’ were also hit and sustained casualties. On the same day, the oil refinery on Aruba was attacked by German submarine shellfire. The political fallout from the attack was predictable: soon, angry street protesters hit the streets of Caracas, denouncing German aggression.

In response to stepped up German escalation in the Caribbean, the U.S. Navy created the Fourth Fleet to hunt submarines in the South Atlantic. The U.S. moves came none too soon: as the naval war raged in the Caribbean, Venezuela suffered tremendous economic losses. As a result of the lost tankers, production in the Lake Maracaibo Basin had to be cut back by nearly 100,000 tons of crude daily. By July 1942 the situation was still dire, with tankers operating at only one-third their average capacity of 30,000 barrels.

German attacks on the Aruba refinery marked the beginning of the Battle of the Caribbean. It wasn’t until August, 1943 that the Fourth Fleet was able to turn the tables on the submarine menace in Venezuelan waters. In 1950, with German U-boats now long gone, the U.S. Navy disbanded the fleet.

Reviving the Fourth Fleet

The Navy claims that it needs to resuscitate the Fourth Fleet now to combat terrorism, to keep the economic sea lanes of communication free and open, to counter illicit trafficking and to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

However, the move comes at a particularly sensitive moment within the region. U.S. ally Colombia launched a deadly raid across the Ecuadoran border in March, killing 16 members of the FARC guerilla insurgency including the organization’s number two, Raúl Reyes. Last weekend, Chávez accused Colombia of launching a cross-border incursion, while the Pentagon routinely lambastes Venezuela for its arms buildup including acquisition of high performance fighter aircraft, attack helicopters and diesel submarines.

Unlike the Second World War, when many South Americans welcomed the Fourth Fleet in Caribbean waters, some view the current U.S. naval presence as a veiled threat directed at the region’s new Pink Tide countries. In an interview with Cuban television, Bolivian President Evo Morales remarked that the U.S. naval force constituted "the Fourth Fleet of intervention."

Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro has asked why the U.S. has sought to revive the Fourth Fleet at this precise moment. Writing in the Cuban newspaper Granma, Castro suggested that the move constituted a return to U.S. gunboat diplomacy. Castro, whose island nation confronted a U.S. naval blockade during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, remarked "The aircraft carriers and nuclear bombs that threaten our countries are used to sow terror and death, but not to combat terrorism and illegal activities.”

Nikolas Kozloff is the author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan)

MPs Elect Larijani New Parliament Speaker

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's new parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly elected leading conservative and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as its speaker.

Larijani won 232 votes out of a total of 263 ballots cast in parliament, which has a total of 287 members.

One of the top conservative figures in Iran, Larijani has held posts including top nuclear negotiator, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary, state broadcasting chief, culture minister as well as unsuccessfully standing for president against Ahmadinejad in 2005.

In his first words after his election as the speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Larijani warned that Tehran may restrict its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Moments after the former nuclear negotiator was elected to his new role, he said a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency was "deplorable".

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammad ElBaradei submitted his latest report on Iran's nuclear activities to the members of IAEA's Board of Governors late Monday.

Many analysts view the report as "two-sided", and say that ElBaradei seems to have been under the United States' heavy pressure when compiling the report.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and says it will only negotiate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency's questions about the history of its nuclear program.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Tehran says it wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

Our impotent fight against terrorism

By Vikram Sood
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

At least the US has managed to ensure that there has been no repeat of 9/11 for seven years

SOME weeks ago US President George Bush announced that there had been no successful terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001 claiming that he and his policies had made America safe for Americans. Maybe, but US nationals continue to die in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course, he forgot to mention that there were hardly any incidents before 9/ 11. Also that neither Canada nor Mexico harbour, train and equip terrorists who plan to dismember the US. Soon after 9/11, apart from bombing Afghanistan and Iraq out of existence, the Bush administration armed itself with the most draconian anti- terror laws and has not relented despite objections from human rights organisations and the liberal sections of American society. The intelligence, security and counter- terrorist organisations were strengthened and reorganised. Hampered by inadequate human intelligence, the Administration concentrated on enhancing its electronic capabilities.

Millions of dollars were spent on research designed to increase intelligence surveillance capabilities. There is no cash crunch and considerable intelligence related activity is now outsourced to the private sector. The British too plan to build amassive government data base of every phone call, e- mail and time spent on the internet by the public. This is in continuation of asimilar EU directive in operation since last October. In India, every terrorist action evokes the same national response. Important politicians visit the scene, promise zero tolerance, suspend afew policemen, dole out compensation, the media pronounces intelligence failure, allegations and counter allegations fly, experts pontificate on TV, momentous decisions that bicycles can be purchased only with ID cards are taken and we move on till the next incident takes place. In arecent commentary, Dr Ajai Sahni of Institute of Conflict Management, has referred to recommendations made by the Intelligence Task Force following the Kargil War. Two of these recommendations related, rather optimistically, to the establishment of aMulti Agency Centre (MAC) for collecting and co- ordinating terrorism related information from all over the country and aJoint Task Force on Intelligence (JTFI) responsible for passing on this information to state governments in real time. “Regrettably”, Dr. Sahni asserts, “both MAC and JTFI remain understaffed, under equipped and ineffective, with even basic issues relating to their administration unsettled. Their principal objective, creation of anational terrorism data base, has made little progress.” He also pointed out that the police force in our country averages only 126 per 100,000 apart from being illequipped and ill- trained, whereas in the Western countries this figure is double. In the years ahead terrorists will select soft targets for maximum effect and ease of operation. They will also target the private sector, the economy and the more networked India gets, the more vulnerable we become to cyber terror that could cripple government networks and financial institutions. 23 per cent of British business was attacked by malicious software in 2007.

Even the character of the terrorist has changed from the stereotyped version to the boy or girl next door — well educated and techno savvy. Terrorist organisations have been using the Internet as adiscussion forum, library, sounding board; it is also used for spreading hate, planning attacks, recruitment, messaging and training. Funds are raised on the internet and e- mail addresses, account numbers and names changed frequently. Al Qaeda (which is estimated to have 5,600 websites with 900 added each year), Hamas, Hezbollah, Lashkar- e- Tayyaba and Jaish- e- Mohammed have all used this technology. BRaman had warned in 2000 that the Pakistanis had launched aproject to systematically develop IT capability to reduce the gap between the non- Islamic and Islamic world. He wrote about aproject called Operation Badar designed to provide high quality low cost web application education. The founder of this project was Ziaullah Khan, resident in the US, who wanted to raise 313 “Java Mujahedeen architects” spread all over the world and 10,000 developers. The battle of Badar was the most important battle in the life of Prophet Mohammed who had only 313 warriors to fight the battle and later 10,000 saint soldiers —Faran —( Muslim soldiers) had assembled to join Him in the march to Mecca. Whether this is just aPakistani obsession with religious symbolism or it signifies battles of another kind, is difficult to say but it is also difficult to ignore, considering the contribution the Pakistani state has made to terror in India and globally. There is no magic solution for the various kinds of problems we have in India. We need to strengthen existing counter terror bodies, including intelligence agencies before creating new ones, if we want to succeed. It has to be accepted that beyond apoint intelligence agencies find it hard to share information about sources with other agencies. This is auniversal truth and not India- specific. Inadequate information leads to indiscriminate arrests and creates more terrorists in almost the same manner as aPredator attack does. The citizen must be given the confidence that the State is working for him and not at him; only then will he share information with the State. Governance has to improve —vastly in some parts of the country, justice has to be speedy and the writ of the state must be visible. Our IT protocols have to be tightened.

Publicity is oxygen to the terrorist's cause and he has to be starved of this. All of us, especially the media, have to ensure that in our reporting, the terrorist or his act is not lionised. The terrorist wins each time gruesome pictures reach families in their homes as they sit down to watch their favourite programmes on the box or read newspapers. The choice between what to report and how is always going to be adifficult one. Describing him as amilitant instead of aterrorist is to give him respectability and calling him afedayeen is to glorify akiller. Battling terror is going to be long, hard and frustrating because the terrorist is often one of us and does not wear aspecial badge.

Source : Mail Today , 28th May 2008


Source: Excerpt from "My Country My Life"
by L K Advani

I realised early on in my political life that politics in India is an occupation in which the fame, power, honour and recognition associated with its practitioners often have no relation to their inherent qualities. If a person enters politics, he is automatically seen as a neta (leader). Before long, he starts receiving the kind of media publicity that would be the envy of persons in other professions who are far more talented and have a markedly superior record of service to society. In addition, if the person has the capacity to be a rabble-rouser or a troublemaker, he can be sure of becoming more widely popular simply because notoriety, unfortunately, has its assured benefi ts in politics. While I readily admit that such persons do not constitute a majority among politicians, the negative image of the political class that they create often makes people wonder if there ever can be ideal persons in politics. This chapter is about one such ideal political leader. It is about a leader who detested fame, and actually felt embarrassed talking about himself. He practiced what he preached. His leadership was rooted in a holistic philosophical outlook that embraced Nature, Humanity, Nation and the Individual. He was a politician who was least fascinated by power, but still wielded enormous moral authority over tens of thousands of his followers. Together with them, he built the solid foundation of a party which, in its new avatar in a few decades, would emerge as a worthy alternative to the Congress.

This chapter is my tribute to my political guru, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.


As I have expressed earlier, two people—Rajpal Puri and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya—exerted the deepest infl uence on my public life. Rajpalji moulded my character in my teens, an impressionable age when ideas and ideals, once engraved on the mind, are not easily erasable. He was the one who taught me patriotism and showed me the path of selfl ess service to the nation. The fact that I worked with him in Karachi in the tumultuous years preceding India’s Partition added to the emotional content of his influence on me. The land where I played, studied and roamed about was on the verge of having a new and unfamiliar name: Pakistan. It was at this cataclysmic juncture that Rajpalji came into my life, giving it the proper orientation of patriotism and idealism, and intensifying my passion to serve my Motherland. In many ways, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s infl uence on me was, both intellectually and emotionally, a continuation of what I had received from Rajpalji. It provided the right foundation to my life as a political activist.

Politics is the life-breath of a democracy. It is an important and necessary medium of serving the nation. However, politics can also be a pollutant. Unprincipled quest for power can be murky and confrontational, degrading both its practitioners and the society in which they operate. It frequently becomes the arena where political parties jettison the larger national interests for narrow and myopic considerations; ideals are sacrifi ced for the pursuit of individual ambitions; camaraderie is killed by conspiracies against one’s own colleagues; and high-sounding words about public good become a camoufl age for fulfi llment of private greed. True, these negative attributes of Indian politics were not as marked in the 1950s and ’60s as they are now.

The Jana Sangh had been formed to strengthen India’s democratic system by presenting itself before the people as a superior alternative to the Congress Party. However, both Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, its founder, and Deendayalji, who was its chief ideologue and organiser, were very clear that the pursuit of power by any means was not to be our objective. The new party had to be a party with a difference. And the difference had to manifest itself not only in its ideology and policies, but also in the conduct of its activists and leaders. Deendayalji was well aware of the possibility of the Jana Sangh falling prey to the emerging political culture in India. Therefore, with an audacity and determination rarely seen in the post-Independence era, he set about building the new party on a completely new footing of discipline and dedication, ideology and idealism. I deem it my good fortune that I began my own political life at the feet of this ideal leader.


Deendayalji was born on 25 September 1916 in a modest family in a village near Mathura. Fate brought many tragedies, bereavements and hardships to him, both in his early and later years. Braving the odds, he passed the intermediate board examination with distinction from Birla College in Pilani, BA from Kanpur, and MA from Agra. But he was not inclined to take up a job and raise a family. Having come under the spell of the RSS, which he joined in 1937, he decided to devote his entire life to the Sangh as a pracharak. In a remarkable letter to his uncle in 1942, he wrote: God has blessed our family with some means. Can we not offer at least one of our members for the service of the nation? Having provided me with education, moral instruction and all sorts of qualifi cations, can you not turn me over to the Samaj (society), to which we owe so much? This will hardly be any kind of sacrifi ce, it will rather be an investment. It is like providing the farm of the Samaj with manure. We are nowadays interested only in reaping the harvest and have forgotten to provide the fi eld with manure. There is thus the danger of our land becoming barren and unproductive. Can we not forgo a few worthless ambitions for the protection and benefi t of a Samaj and a faith, for which Rama suffered exile, Krishna bore innumerable hardships, Rana Pratap wandered about from forest to forest, Shivaji staked his all, and Guru Govind Singh allowed his little sons to be buried alive?

If this letter gives a glimpse of his early resolve to devote his life to the service of the Motherland, the quintessentially moral nature of his personality is borne out by an incident narrated by Nanaji Deshmukh, who was his roommate during his MA years in Agra and later became an important leader of the Jana Sangh.

One morning we both went to the market and bought vegetables worth two paise. We returned and had almost reached home when Deendayalji suddenly stopped. His hand was in his pocket and he said, ‘Nana, there has been a mistake.’ When I asked him, he replied, ‘I had four paise in my pocket, and one of them was a bad coin. I have given that bad coin to the old woman selling vegetables. What would she say? Come, let us go back and give her a good coin.’ A sense of guilt could be seen on his face. We returned to the vegetable-seller and told her what happened. She said to him, ‘Who will fi nd out your bad coin? Go along, whatever you have given is ok.’ But Deendayalji would not listen. He searched in the old woman’s heap of coins and found out the bad paisa. Only after he had given her a good one did a look of relief and satisfaction light up his face. The old woman’s eyes became moist and she said, ‘Son, you are a good boy. May God bless you.’


When the Jana Sangh was formed in October 1951, Deendayalji was one of the fi rst batch of pracharaks that Shri Guruji deputed to assist Dr Mookerjee in building the new party. At the party’s fi rst national conference in Kanpur in January 1953, Dr Mookerjee made him the party’s all-India General Secretary. Indeed, he was so impressed with this thirty-seven-year-old trusted lieutenant that he remarked, ‘If I could get two or three more Deendayals, I will change the entire political map of India.’ Tragically, destiny snatched away Dr Mookerjee within a few months and the party was robbed of a towering leader. All its other offi ce-bearers were young and inexperienced. This prompted quite a few political pundits to write-off the Jana Sangh. In that hour of gloom and despair, Deendayalji assumed the reins of leadership and, after fi fteen years of untiring efforts, brought the party to a level where a new set of political pundits began to see it as a distinct alternative to the Congress. Although the Jana Sangh had a succession of Presidents between 1953 and 1967, as its constitution stipulated that the President’s tenure could be of only one year, everybody knew that Deendayalji, its General Secretary in charge of the organisation, was the mind, heart and soul of the party. As a matter of fact, he was more than the organisational head of the party. He was its philosopher, guide and motivator all rolled into one.

It was Deendayalji’s conscious choice not to become the party President and, instead, remain in relative anonymity to build the party, patiently and meticulously. He travelled across the country, training thousands of young men and women with his motivational lectures, encouraging them to live a life of struggle and sacrifi ce in service of the nation, grooming new leaders, and giving the right guidance to the fl edgling party on a wide variety of political, economic and social issues that dominated the national scene. Deendayalji loved to interact with people of all categories and of diverse ideological inclinations, giving them a patient hearing and also communicating his own thoughts to them. Thus, he soon had admirers all across the political spectrum.

In view of Deendayalji’s track record of service to the party and his growing stature in national politics, his colleagues at the Central level as well as the state units of the party would, almost every year, urge him to become the party chief. But he would politely decline each time. Such was the level of his natural inclination for self-effacement that he was uncomfortable carrying the designation of presidentship of the party; attachment to any symbol of power was out of sync with his personality.


It is only towards the end of 1967, when Balraj Madhok’s presidency the previous year had created serious destabilising problems for the party, that Deendayalji could no longer resist accepting the call from colleagues all over the country. Accordingly, he was elected the party President at its plenary session in Calicut in Kerala in December 1967. About this, Shri Guruji later wrote: ‘He really never wanted this high honour, nor did I wish to burden him with it. But circumstances so contrived that I had to ask him to accept the presidentship. He obeyed like a true swayamsevak that he was.’ The Calicut session was an unforgettable landmark in the history of the Jana Sangh, generating a new wave of self-confi dence and hope among members and sympathisers of the party, and heralding a new possibility of change in the Congress-dominated politics in India. I regard his Presidential speech in Calicut as one of the most signifi cant documents in Independent India’s political history.

The decade of the 1960s saw a major upsurge in mass protests in various parts of the country. This was due to the Congress governments’ failure to fulfil people’s legitimate expectations. There was a minority view within the Jana Sangh that the party should not get associated with agitational politics. Deendayalji refuted this view in his Presidential speech by saying, ‘People’s agitations are natural and necessary in a rapidly changing social system. As a matter of fact, they are a manifestation of a new awareness in society.… Hence, we have to go along with them and provide leadership to them. Those who want to perpetuate the status quo in the political, economic and social fi elds, are fearful of people’s agitations. I am afraid we cannot cooperate with them. They want to stop the wheel of time, they want to halt India’s pre-destined march, which is not possible.’

In his inspirational address, Deendayalji gave another proof of his forward-looking vision. ‘We are energised by the glory of India’s past, but we do not regard it as the pinnacle of our national life. We have a realistic understanding of the present, but we are not tied to the present. Our eyes are entranced by the golden dreams about India’s future, but we are not given to sleep and sloth; we are karmayogis who are determined to translate those dreams into reality. We are worshippers of India’s timeless past, dynamic present and eternal future. Confident of victory, let us pledge to endeavour in this direction.’1


Inscrutable are the ways of the Almighty. Just when the Jana Sangh had ascended one peak of glory, and was all set to scale further summits of success in the years to come, tragedy struck. The cruel hand of destiny took away Deendayalji’s life within two months of his becoming the party President. He was murdered by unknown assailants while travelling in a night-train from Lucknow to Patna on 11 February 1968. His body was found near the tracks at Mughal Sarai railway station.

I went numb with shock hearing the tragic news. Rarely in my life have I been shaken so completely as I was on that day. Indeed, the entire nation was shell-shocked. Till date, his murder has remained an unsolved mystery, although outwardly it appeared to have been a case of ordinary crime. The government accepted the demand of a group of MPs belonging to different political parties for a judicial enquiry, which was headed by Justice Y.V. Chandrachud. (He later became the Chief Justice of India.) The report he submitted, in which he said that he found no political angle to the murder and that it was a case of ordinary crime, satisfi ed no one. All of us in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh found ourselves suddenly pushed under a pall of gloom. It was the second calamity to have struck our young party in less than fi fteen years. The fi rst was the death of Dr Mookerjee, founder of the Jana Sangh, in 1953, under equally mysterious circumstances while he was under arrest in Srinagar.

Rail journey was almost an inseparable part of Deendayalji’s political life. A leader who led the life of an ascetic, he mostly travelled by passenger train, and rarely by air. ‘This gives me two advantages,’ he would say. ‘Firstly, it gives me an opportunity to meet common people. Secondly, it gives me time to read and write.’ He travelled light, carrying with him a small suitcase with a couple of sets of clothes, bedding and a bag full of books, notebooks and letters. The last was always the heaviest item in his luggage!

Years later, at the founding session of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Mumbai in 1980, Atalji would recall the loss of Dr Mookerjee and Deendayalji in his own inimitable style. Reminding workers of the newly born party of the Herculean task that lay in front of them, he said, ‘Dr Mookerjee and Pandit Deendayalji have been our tallest leaders. One died in prison, and the other breathed his last on a train. Our entire political journey has been so full of hardships and sacrifi ces that it can be summed up as—Ek pair rail mein, ek pair jail mein (one foot in the train and the other in prison). But we remain undeterred. We have decided that we shall rebuild the party on the basis of three points of action: sangathan (organisation), sangharsh (struggle) and samrachana (constructive social service).’ Who could have any motive in killing an ajatashatru (a person without enemies) like Deendayalji? I asked myself, after recovering from the initial shock. I haven’t found an answer to the question yet. My only surmise is that: It was a crime not so much against an individual as against the nation, since Deendayalji embodied the best of the Indian tradition in politics and was by far the most promising political leader towards the end of the 1960s. And at the time of his death, he was not even fi fty-two years old!


Deendayalji’s personality was a rare combination of commitment, clarity and pragmatism. I recall an incident that took place at the Calicut session of the Jana Sangh. An issue that caused a heated debate was whether the Jana Sangh should have joined hands with the CPI to form the SVD governments in Bihar and Punjab in 1967. Several delegates argued that it was wrong on the part of the Jana Sangh to have allied with the CPI. In particular, Vishwanathan, a Tamilian whose family had settled in Punjab, delivered a powerful speech criticising Deendayalji’s line. He was a compelling public speaker of those days. He said, ‘Let not the Jana Sangh delude itself that by cohabiting with the communists, we will be able to change them.’ He then tried to drive home his point with a vivid metaphor: ‘Kharbooja chakkoo par gire ya chakkoo kharbooje par, katega to kharbooja hi.’ (Whether the melon falls on the knife or the knife falls on the melon, it is the melon that gets cut.)

Deendayalji’s speech that day at the end of the debate was full of practical wisdom, and has served as a beacon of light for the party till today. He said, ‘It is an irony of the country’s political situation that while untouchability in the social field is considered to be evil, it is sometimes extolled as a virtue in the political fi eld. If a party does not wish to practise untouchability towards its rivals in the political establishment, it is supposed to be doing something wrong. We, in the Jana Sangh, certainly do not agree with the communists’ strategy, tactics and their political culture. But that does not justify an attitude of untouchability towards them. If they are willing to work with us on the basis of issues, or as part of a government committed to an agreed programme, I see nothing wrong in it…. These (SVD) governments are a step towards ending political untouchability. The spirit of accommodation shown by all parties, despite their sharp differences, is a good omen for democracy.’

This sage advice by Deendayalji would later guide our party both in our fight against the Emergency rule (1975–77) and also in the post-Emergency period. It was on this basis that the BJP decided, in 1989, to lend outside support to V.P. Singh’s government, which also received support from the communists. In fact, it has been the guiding principle in the various strategic alliances adopted by the Jana Sangh and the BJP in later years.


Another example of Deendayalji’s creative and non-doctrinaire approach is the following important joint statement for the Indo-Pak confederation that he signed, on 12 April 1964, with Dr Lohia. They were both good friends despite differences on certain ideological issues. Their friendship became stronger after the Chinese aggression of 1962, when Dr Lohia endorsed the Jana Sangh’s demand for India to produce its own nuclear weapon. Their joint statement said:

“Large-scale riots in East Pakistan have compelled over two lakh Hindus and other minorities to come over to India. Indians naturally feel incensed by the happenings in East Bengal. To bring the situation under control and to prescribe the right remedy for the situation it is essential that the malady be properly diagnosed. And even in this state of mental agony, the basic values of our national life must never be forgotten. It is our fi rm conviction that guaranteeing the protection of the life and property of Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan is the responsibility of the Government of India. To take a nice legalistic view about the matter that Hindus in Pakistan are Pakistani nationals would be dangerous and can only result in killings and reprisals in the two countries, in greater or lesser measure. When the Government of India fails to fulfi ll this obligation towards the minorities in Pakistan, the people understandably become indignant. Our appeal to the people is that this indignation should be directed against the Government and should in no case be given vent to against the Indian Muslims. If the latter thing happens, it only provides the Government with a cloak to cover its own inertia and failure, and an opportunity to malign the people and repress them. So far as the Indian Muslims are concerned, it is our definite view that, like all other citizens, their life and property must be protected in all circumstances. No incident and no logic can justify any compromise with truth in this regard. A state, which cannot guarantee the right of living to its citizens, and citizens who cannot assure safety of their neighbours, would belong to the barbaric age. Freedom and security to every citizen irrespective of his faith has indeed been India’s sacred tradition. We would like to reassure every Indian Muslim in this regard and would wish this message to reach every Hindu home that it is their civic and national duty to ensure the fulfi llment of this assurance.

“We hold that the existence of India and Pakistan as two separate entities is an artifi cial situation. The estrangement of relations between the two Governments is the result of lop-sided attitudes and the tendency to indulge in piecemeal talks. Let the dialogue carried on by the two Governments be candid and not just piecemeal. It is out of such frank talk that solutions of various problems can emerge, goodwill created and a beginning made towards the formation of some sort of Indo-Pak Confederation.”

The idea of an Indo-Pak Confederation was born out of an intensive discussion between Deendayalji and Dr Lohia. It had its origin in the latter’s concern that the Jana Sangh’s and RSS’s belief in the concept of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (India Undivided) put Muslims in Pakistan at unease and posed a hurdle in the progress of Indo-Pak relations. Dr Lohia told Deendayalji: ‘Many Pakistanis believe that if the Jana Sangh came to power in New Delhi, it would forcibly reunify Pakistan with India.’ Deendayalji replied: ‘We have no such intentions. And we are willing to put to rest Pakistani people’s concerns on this score.’

This dialogue, and its outcome, is one of the fi nest examples in India’s political history of cooperation and consensus-building between two leaders with divergent ideologies, but common commitment to national interest. In later years, I have often approvingly reiterated the concept of an Indo-Pak Confederation by referring to the joint statement of these two great leaders.

When the Arab-Israel war broke out and almost everybody in the Jana Sangh was pro-Israeli, Deendayalji issued a word of caution: ‘We should not become blindly pro-Israeli just because the Congress is blindly pro- Arab. We should not view the world as if it were peopled by angels and devils. We must judge every issue on its own merit.’

The same principled fl exibility, the same readiness to revise one’s previous views on a subject in the larger interests of the nation was also evident in his approach to the issue of language. Deendayalji, like most leaders of the Jana Sangh those days, was a strong proponent of Hindi. But when the anti-Hindi agitation in Tamil Nadu in the mid-1960s took a virulent turn, and some of its infl uential leaders started to threaten the state’s secession from the Indian Union, he agreed to the continuation of according offi cial language status to English. He was criticised for doing so, by several North Indian colleagues in the party, but he stood his ground. Also, in a clear departure from the Jana Sangh’s tradition, he got his Presidential speech at Calicut printed in both Hindi and English, on facing pages, in the same booklet. Earlier, the offi cial version of the presidential speeches would invariably be printed fi rst in Hindi, and only later in English.

Around the same time, another issue that was being hotly discussed in the media was whether the Civil Services examination should be conducted only in Hindi besides English, or in other Indian languages too. The debate had assumed a confrontational form of Hindi versus regional languages. When Deendayalji’s opinion was sought on this issue, he said, ‘Leave the question to be decided by the candidates themselves. Those who opt for service in any state of India, outside their own, will naturally choose Hindi. Others will choose their own regional language.’ The only time Deendayalji entered the electoral fray was in 1963, when he contested and lost a by-election to the Lok Sabha from Jaunpur in UP. In spite of the defeat, he proved to be a leader of unshakeable principles. An election in Jaunpur, and in many other constituencies in eastern UP, invariably used to be fought on caste lines, mainly between Rajputs and Brahmins. Since Deendayalji was born into a Brahmin family, the Congress fi elded a Rajput candidate and conducted an aggressive campaign to woo Rajput votes. When some local Jana Sangh leaders wanted to play the Brahmin card, Deendayalji warned them: ‘If you try to win the election on caste lines, I shall immediately withdraw from the contest.’


I first met Deendayalji in Delhi sometime in late 1947. It was a very brief meeting. I came in closer contact with him only after 1948. My early interaction with him was during extremely diffi cult times of the ban on the RSS after Gandhiji’s assassination on 30 January 1948. I was a pracharak in Rajasthan at the time. After my release from prison, I had come to Delhi. Shri Guruji, the RSS Chief, was also in town. I went to meet him at the residence of Lala Hansraj on Barakhamba Road, where he was staying. It was here that I met Deendayalji, bespectacled, soft-spoken, and completely unassuming in his dhoti and kurta.

When I started interacting with him more closely in later years, what struck me was that Deendayalji was very creative in his thinking. The notion that conventional wisdom was necessarily right was alien to him, just as the rebuke of juniors for questioning the beliefs of seniors was abhorrent to him. He once asked me: ‘There is a quotation that says, “The younger generation these days has no respect for elders. They are not carrying forward the traditions of the past. They are getting corrupted. Things were so good when we were young.” Tell me whose quotation is it?’ I said it was Socrates. To which Deendayalji said, ‘So now you see that this complaint against the younger generation has been going on since the past 2,000 years. And it will continue in the future too.’ Deendayalji would regularly come to our house at Pandara Road and spend hours together in the balcony reading or writing. He was fluent in English but Hindi was his natural language of communication. I used to translate his speeches and statements in Hindi, into English. A powerful writer, Deendayalji had a flair for conveying motivational thoughts by invoking familiar idioms. For instance, he once wrote an article in a special issue of a Hindi magazine on the occasion of Navaratri festival, when it is common in many families to play the traditional Indian game of stakes. (Pandavas and Kauravas played it in the Mahabharata). It is especially popular among Vaishyas (the business community), who have to take risks and gamble in order to succeed in their profession. Titled ‘Dao lagaao zindagi pe’ (put a stake on your life), Deendayalji’s article, after giving a fascinating history of the dice game, exhorted the readers: ‘A monotonous life, lived without any purpose or direction, is not worth much. To achieve anything big in life, you should be prepared to risk your all and take a leap of faith for whatever they believed in.’ I always remember this advice of Deendayalji whenever there is risk involved in taking an important but necessary decision in politics.


No tribute to Deendayalji would be complete without introducing the philosophical dimension of his life to contemporary readers. He will be remembered not only as the principal architect of the Jana Sangh, but also as the author of a profoundly original political treatise, which has come to be known as ‘Integral Humanism’. India after Independence has produced few leaders who were also political philosophers. Deendayalji was one of the few, and the finest.

After the formation of the Jana Sangh in 1951, there was an intense urge to anchor it in a distinctive and comprehensive ideology of its own. Dr Mookerjee’s life at the helm of the party was too short, and too eventful, for him to undertake this exercise. After his demise, the need for a guiding ideology continued to hover in Deendayalji’s mind. It was a time when the world was witnessing a conflict between two rival ideologies—Capitalism and Communism. The debate had also dominated the political thinking in India after Independence, with various parties subscribing to either of the two theories with different degrees of rigidity.

Deendayalji felt that both Capitalism and Communism were fl awed philosophies, which view the human being and society essentially from a partial, materialistic perspective. One considers man a mere selfi sh being hankering after money, having only one law, the law of fi erce competition, in essence the law of the jungle; whereas the other views him as a feeble lifeless cog in the whole scheme of things, regulated by rigid rules, and incapable of any good, unless directed. The centralisation of power, economic and political, is implied in both. They pit one section of society against the other, the individual against the collective, man against nature, etc. This is one of the root causes of all the poverty, injustice, strife and violence in the world. Both, therefore, result in dehumanisation of man. In contrast, according to Deendayalji, the Indian perspective of viewing human aspirations in a four-fold manner—dharma, artha, kama and moksha, and its well-conceived four-stage progression of individual’s life through brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyasa—promised the balanced development of both the individual and society. ‘The keynote of Bharatiya sanskriti (Indian ethos),’ Deendayalji noted, ‘is its integral approach to life.… Man, the highest creation of God, is losing his own identity. We must re-establish him in his rightful position, bring him the realisation of his greatness, reawaken his abilities and encourage him to exert for attaining divine heights of his latent personality.’

Deendayalji presented his thoughts for the first time at a four-day Chintan Shibir (camp for collective thinking) at Gwalior in 1964, in which some fi ve hundred Jana Sangh activists participated. A fuller version of the same philosophy was presented at the party’s plenary meeting in Vijayawada in 1965. Shortly thereafter, he presented it in its fi nal form in a series of four lectures in Bombay. The title ‘Integral Humanism’ was deliberately chosen by him to contrast it with the thesis of ‘Radical Humanism’ put forward by M.N. Roy, a renowned one-time communist leader. I was present both at Gwalior and Vijayawada, and was witness to a new persona of Deendayalji.

The great merit of ‘Integral Humanism’ lies in its successful attempt to deal with a problem that has defi ed so many political philosophers of our age: how to conceptualise a practical approach to achieve peace and harmony within man and society. Hence, rejecting the theory of class confl ict (as in communism), it posits inter-dependence between various sections of society and working together for common welfare. Similarly, rejecting notions of any inherent contradiction between the individual and society (as in capitalism), it emphasises the essential concord between the two. ‘A flower is what it is because of its petals, and the worth of the petals lies in remaining with the fl ower and adding to its beauty.’ Deendayalji was anything but doctrinaire in his approach. Though a strong critic of imitating the western way of life, he accepts that ‘western principles are a product of a revolution in human thought and it is not proper to ignore them’. His critique of the western political and economic thought does not call for its total rejection; it only highlights its inadequacy. Referring to ‘nationalism, democracy, socialism, world peace and world unity’, which were the hotly debated ‘Big Ideas’ in India and elsewhere in the sixties, he says, ‘All these are good ideals. They reflect the higher aspirations of mankind.’ But the manner in which the West has voiced them shows that ‘each stands opposed to the rest in practice.’

To those who criticised Hinduism as an oppressive, change-resisting belief-system, Deendayalji gave a reply befi tting a social revolutionary. For ‘Integral Humanism’ calls for rejection of all those customs (‘untouchability, caste discrimination, dowry, neglect of women’) that are symptoms of ‘ill-heath and degeneration’ of our society. It affi rms the self-regenerative impulse of Indian society by saying: ‘We have taken due note of our ancient culture. But we are no archaeologists. We have no intention to become the custodians of a vast archaeological museum.’ Deendayalji’s espousal of Dharma Rajya (which does not connote theocracy but only a law-governed state and a duty-oriented citizenry) echoes Gandhiji’s concept of Ram Rajya. ‘Dharma sustains the nation. If dharma is destroyed, the nation perishes.’

Does Dharma Rajya negate democracy? Not at all. Deendayalji creatively expands the meaning of Lincoln’s famous words: ‘In the defi nition of democracy as “government of the people, by the people and for the people”, of stands for independence, by stands for people’s rule, and for indicates dharma. Dharma Rajya encompasses all these concepts.’

A unique conceptual contribution of ‘Integral Humanism’ is that it resurrects, from the works of ancient Indian rishis (sages), two defi nitional traits of nationhood—called chiti, the nation’s soul, and virat, the power that energises the nation. ‘The ideals of the nation constitute its chiti, which is analogous to the soul of an individual. Chiti determines the direction in which the nation is to advance culturally. Whatever is in accordance with chiti is included in the national culture. On the strength of this chiti, a nation arises, strong and virile. It is this chiti that is demonstrated in the actions of every great man of a nation.’

‘Integral Humanism’ likens virat in the life of a nation to that of prana (life force) in the human body. ‘Just as prana infuses strength in various organs of the body, refreshes the intellect and keeps body and soul together; so also in a nation. With a strong virat alone can democracy succeed and the government be effective. Then the diversity of our nation does not prove an obstacle to our national unity. When the virat is awake, diversity does not lead to confl icts and people co-operate with each other like the various limbs of the human body or like the members of a family. We have to undertake the task of awakening our nation’s virat. Let us go forward in this task with a sense of pride for our heritage, with a realistic assessment of the present and a great ambition for the future. We wish neither to make this country a shadow of some distant past nor an imitation of Russia or America.’

Deendayalji concludes his treatise on a note of supreme self-confi dence and unshakeable resolve. ‘With the support of Universal knowledge and our heritage, we shall create a Bharat which will excel all its past glories, and will enable every citizen in its fold to steadily progress in the development of his manifold latent possibilities and to achieve through a sense of unity with the entire creation, a state even higher than that of a complete human being; to become Narayan from nar (man). This is the external divine form of our culture. This is our message to humanity at a cross roads. May God give us strength to succeed in this mission.’

The Jana Sangh adopted ‘Integral Humanism’ as its guiding ideology at the party’s Vijayawada session in 1965. Similarly, the BJP, in its constitution, has enshrined it as the ‘basic philosophy of the Party’. Deendayalji’s basic impulse in developing his discourse was humanistic, and not political in the narrow sense of aiding a particular party. No wonder, its appeal transcends its political affi liation and resonates in the mind of every rightthinking person in the world.

The reasons for devoting so many pages to the life of a person that ended four decades ago are two-fold. Firstly, Deendayalji was, and still remains, a central fi gure in my political life. Secondly, I fi rmly believe that the India of today—and tomorrow—has as much of a need to know him and his philosophy as it did during his lifetime. ‘Integral Humanism’ may not have received the kind of attention that has been showered on various shades of Marxism and other western political theories in India. However, I have no doubt that serious and unbiased seekers of truth will fi nd it illuminating and inspiring, and worthy of being placed alongside the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, with both of whom Deendayalji had so much in common.

Executives in charge of Booz Allen intelligence Contracts

Source: IntelligenceOnline
Who Deals with Agencies at Booz Allen?

Among the 80 vice presidents of the governmental branch of Booz Allen Hamilton, which has been acquired by the Carlyle Group (see Page 1), a dozen deal explicitly with one of the American intelligence services.

At Booz Allen Hamilton’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the firm’s vice presidents specializing in intelligence oversee two types of contract: offer two types of services: training executives and supplying critical systems to the agencies. Virtually all of the latter call on its services: NSA, DIA, CIA, FBI, NRO, and NGA (see graph). Even IARPA, the newly- established R&D unit of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), relies of the firm’s technology assessments.

The training of senior intelligence officials brings in steady revenue for Booz Allen. For nearly 10 years the group has been grooming executives of NRO in the framework of the Future Focus program. At the Joint Military Intelligence Center the firm has found itself briefing 1,500 analysts from DIA on sharing of intelligence.

In 2005, the FBI retained Booz Allen to provide fast-track training for 1,000 new analysts (the ACES Program). In its work with ODNI, it has not only developed modules for inter-agency training but also does considerable work on managing human resources.

As for equipping the agencies, the firm has positioned itself on the most sensitive contracts: designing new encryption tools (NSA’s Cryptographic Modernization Program); modernization of computer infrastructure (NSA’s Ground Breaker and DISA’s Encore II); and implementation of the DIA’s intelligence sharing system (Diescon 3).