June 06, 2009

MBA Follies: Two Years at Harvard Business

Philip Delves Broughton In the News
Ahead of the Curve delightfully funny guide to MBA life - The book review
List of articles written By Broughton on dailymail.co.uk
Boughton's profile on good reads
MBA Follies: Two Years at Harvard Business

These Harvard business gurus will ruin us all

By Philip Delves Broughton
Last updated at 10:10 PM on 16th August 2008

'If you can't explain it to your mother, you don't understand what you're talking about.' That was one of my Harvard professor's top rules of finance - and one our beleaguered captains of industry would do well to follow.
Perhaps if a sensible fiftysomething mother presided over the City or Wall Street, she might have been able to stop the madness currently gripping our financial markets.
Earlier this month, the Royal Bank of Scotland announced the second largest quarterly loss ever for a British bank: £691million.
On Wall Street, Merrill Lynch has written off billions of pounds of assets - and yet its chief executive, Stan O'Neill, who led the bank into its present inferno, left with an £80million retirement package.
Wall Street's HBS-educated powers are growing ever more cynical

O'Neill is an MBA - he has a master's degree in business administration - from Harvard Business School (HBS). So, too, is his successor, John Thain.
HBS is arguably the world's most influential graduate institution. Its alumni include George W. Bush, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not to mention dozens of chief executives of international companies. HBS graduates also dominate the newer industries of private equity and hedge funds.
Harvard MBAs, and MBAs in general, decide how we work, how much we earn, even how much holiday we have.
I gained a sobering insight into the high-achieving world of finance while studying at HBS from 2004 until 2006.
My fellow students were a ferociously talented bunch who referred to themselves as 'insecure overachievers'. Even by their late 20s, their CVs were a glittering list of academic and professional achievements.
Yet their greatest fear was not living up to their potential. A classmate called HBS a 'factory for unhappy people'. They were graduating racked with fear of not becoming wealthy or powerful, or of seeing their personal lives wrecked by work.
At Harvard, I had expected an education in business basics. What I got was something more akin to a two-year session on the capitalists' career couch, surrounded by 900 classmates.

Masters of the universe: George Bush and his US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are both Harvard Business School graduates
My peers divided into two groups. The first was made up of 'finance motorheads', the ones who had come from Wall Street, were going straight back and wanted lots of money. For them, classes came second to parties, holidays and drinking.
I noticed some of them had expensive cars. When I asked about it, I was told that they emptied their accounts by buying a $20,000 car so they could qualify for grants - of about $20,000. Cars didn't have to be declared on their financial aid forms, so HBS was basically buying them BMWs.
The second group of students included the 'ethical jihadists', the pious types who acted as though business was free of the trickery and cruelty that has defined it throughout history. They talked about 'corporate social responsibility' as if it was something for which we should be grateful.
Of course, such high-minded morals rarely exist. In fact, two sets of economic laws now apply: one for the MBA elite and one for everyone else.
For instance, the elite use bogus arguments to justify their vast incomes. It's a competitive market for executives, they say, so you have to pay for the best.
Nonsense. No one begrudges great entrepreneurs their wealth, but paying millions to a mediocre careerist to lead his company to near oblivion? It doesn't make sense.
One of the main reasons Britain and America are in an economic mess is because business has driven a wedge between itself and the rest of society.
Businessmen talk of 'leverage' when they mean debt and 'outsourcing' when they mean cutting jobs at home. They talk of 'off-sites' when they mean executives loafing around a hotel supposedly coming up with ideas.
Even at HBS students talked about ' takeaways' rather than lessons, 'going forward' instead of the future, and 'consensus building' rather than agreeing.
When talking during a lesson about a company having to make more greetings cards, a fellow student actually said: 'We need to do a deep dive on production to improve our metrics.'
Management consultants and bankers have forgotten how to talk in paragraphs but communicate in bullet points and PowerPoint presentations.
If you can make business seem like voodoo, you can charge more for helping people to understand it. Except it isn't voodoo. Business is just not that complicated.
How can you take a mortgage, sell it in ten pieces and then keep on selling it and borrowing against it? How can it make sense to lend to people who don't even have a payslip?
These are not difficult questions. Yet none of the geniuses who run the financial universe seems to have asked them before the credit crunch hit us all.
The truth is that the further the business world drifts from normality, the more cynical it becomes.
I've lost count of the number of management consultants who have told me their work is bogus. Or the bankers who say their job is not to help clients, but win big fees by forcing them into a deal.
All too often, these people are MBAs - and the consequences of having these insecure overachievers running our economies are becoming more pronounced every day.
• Philip Delves Broughton's book, What They Teach You At Harvard Business School, is published by Viking. To order your copy at £12.99 with free p&p call The Review Bookstore on 0845 155 0713.



The Pakistani military operation against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates in the Swat Valley and the adjoining areas of the Malakand Division of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is increasingly being seen by sections of the local population as an anti-Pashtun operation forced on the Pakistani Army by the US.

2.Tribal sources report that pamphlets and posters accusing the Army of waging a war against the Pashtuns under the pretext of a war against the Taliban have started appearing in the interior areas of the NWFP. US analysts are being accused of over-projecting the alleged threat from the Pakistani Taliban in order to force the Pakistani Army to mount a full-scale military operation in the Swat Valley and the neighbouring areas. Well-informed sources in the NWFP say that it is also being alleged that some American experts deliberately exaggerated the number of the Taliban volunteers who entered the Buner District some weeks ago in order to create a scare that the Taliban was marching towards Islamabad.

3. The large-scale exodus of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) ------estimated at a little over 2.5 million--- from the areas where the Pakistan Army has mounted a military operation against the Taliban, the failure of the Federal Government to make satisfactory arrangements for looking after them, the opposition to them from the local population in Sindh, Balochistan and the Punjab and the reported plans of the Army to create a cantonment in Swat are leading to a fresh polarisation between

the Pashtuns and the non-Pashtuns. According to these sources, the Pashtun refugees have started blaming the US for all their troubles.

4.The Pakistan Army, which has claimed to have freed large parts of the Swat Valley from the control of the Taliban, has intriguingly refused to allow the Pashtun refugees from the Valley to move back to their villages from the camps for IDPs. No satisfactory explanation for this has been given. While the Army has allowed the IDPs from the Buner District to go back to their homes, it is not allowing the IDPs from the Swat Valley to go back to their villages. This is adding to the resentment of the Pashtuns.

5. One possible reason for the Army's refusal is that it does not want the IDPs to move back till the semblance of a civil administration is restored in the valley. These sources say that the Army does not want to take up the responsibility for looking after the re-settlement of the returning IDPs when its hands are full with the military operations against the Taliban.

6. Maj.Gen.Athar Abbas, a spokesman of the Army, told a media briefing on June 6,2009, as follows: “The Army would stay in the area till a sense of security among the people is revived, a credible defence system by the law enforcement agencies, including police, is put in place and the possibility of the terrorists hiding in mountains coming back to launch a second phase of insurgency is obviated. This would not take less than a year.”

7. The visit of Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, to Pakistan from June 3 to 5, was projected as a humanitarian mission to monitor arrangements for looking after the IDPs and assess their requirements. The US has already contributed US $ 120 million for this purpose. The Obama Administration has promised to give US $ 200 million more after Congressional approval.

8.The UN authorities have reportedly estimated the total requirements at present as US $ 543 million of which the US has already given US $ 120 million and others US $ 137 million.

9. While there are already pledges amounting to more than 60 per cent of the requirements, there is no relief and rehabilitation infrastructure on the ground to handle the disbursement of this amount. Apart from the UN High Commission For Refugees, no other international organisation is well-placed to co-ordinate. In the absence of a national and an international humanitarian relief architecture, jihadi and anti-US organisations such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the political wing of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), with well-tested and devoted cadres to handle humanitarian relief, have moved in.

10.In addition to organising the humanitarian relief with greater efficiency than the Government, they are also indulging in anti-Government and anti-US propaganda. Al Qaeda, which sees a new opportunity in the humanitarian situation created by
the military operations, has left it to the JUD to handle ground relief operations, but it has started adding to the anger of the IDPs by blaming the US for their plight.

11. Apart from some high-profile, photo-opp visits to some camps of the IDPs, Holbrooke seems to have devoted little time to working out the requirements for a humanitarian relief infrastructure on the ground. He is essentially a diplomat par excellence. Humanitarian relief is not his strong point. There is a need for the US to appoint a humanitarian relief co-ordinator, who can assist Holbrooke. (6-6-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

The Tormented Triangle: the regionalisation of conflict in Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic

Author(s): Jennifer Giroux, David Lanz, Damiano Sguiatamatti In: Working Paper no. 47: Regional and Global Axes of Conflict

Issue number: 47

Date of publication: Apr 2009

Pages: 1 - 24

Publisher(s): Crisis State Research Centre (CSRC) Series: Crisis States Working Papers Series No.2

Description: The authors employ a generic analytical framework to analyse conflicts in the three case study countries, which differentiates between conflict dynamics (actions and events) and the more profound calculations of the conflict parties, based on material incentives, normative frameworks and other structural preconditions. Guided by the analytical framework, the paper includes a descriptive account of how the 'tormented triangle' took shape and then goes on to highlight the structural elements pertaining to why it emerged. The authors examine the theoretical literature on other regional conflicts in Africa and elsewhere and assess the relevance for the 'tormented triangle'. The paper concludes with a series of policy implications for conflict management and resolution in the context of regionalised conflicts in north and central Africa.

Document Download: English Version

"Who Controls the Internet? Beyond the Obstinacy of Obsolescence of the State"

National Security and the Internet: Distributed Security through Distributed Responsibility
Contribution to the Forum: "Who Controls the Internet? Beyond the Obstinacy of Obsolescence of the State"
Author(s): Myriam Dunn Cavelty
Editor(s): Johan Eriksson, Giampiero Giacomello
In: International Studies Review
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 1
Date of publication: Feb 2009
Pages: 214 - 218
Publisher(s): Wiley-Blackwell


Does the global diffusion of the Internet signify the final end of the state's ability to control society, or is the state on the contrary maintaining or even strengthening its hold of society? The goal of this ISR Forum is to reexamine and ultimately problematize this debate by discussing what actors are controlling what aspects of Internet usage, and under what conditions. Myriam Dunn Cavelty unravels in her contribution the complexity of public–private partnerships in Internet control.

Document Download:

Understanding the Surge in Iraq and What’s Ahead

By Thomas Ricks

Source: Foreign Policy Research Institute
May 2009

Thomas E. Ricks is a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is also a contributing editor for Foreign Policy and serves as a special military correspondent for the Washington Post. He was part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2000 for a series on the U.S. military in the 21st century and a Washington Post team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for reporting about the U.S. counterterrorism offensive. His books include Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (Penguin, 2006) and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006–2008 (Penguin, Feb. 2009). This essay is based on his talk at FPRI’s 5th Annual Champagne Brunch for Bronze Partners held April 19, 2009 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia.

There are three things the American people don’t understand about the war in Iraq right now: (1) how difficult the surge was and how different it was from the previous four years of the war; (2) that the surge failed, judged on its own terms; and (3) that the war is not over. In fact, I suspect we might be only halfway through it, which is to say that President Obama’s war in Iraq may well be longer than George Bush’s war in Iraq, which was five years and ten months old when Bush left office.

The difficulty of the surge is a major point of my new book, The Gamble. Americans at home either never understood or have forgotten just how hard the first six months of the surge were, from January 2007 into the summer of 2007. This period saw the six toughest months of fighting in the war to date. Gen. David Petraeus, looking back on it in my last interview with him, called the spring of 2007 a “horrific nightmare,” and this is not a man given to overstatement.

In the spring of 2007, U.S. forces in Iraq went through several months with casualties rising and no signs of success. Seventy U.S. soldiers and marines were killed in action in February 2007; 71 in March 2007; 96 in April 2007; 120 in May 2007. One unit encountered fifty buried bombs on its way to establishing an outpost. Another unit of 38 soldiers at an outpost in Tarmiyah, about 20 miles north of downtown Baghdad on the Tigris River, was awakened at 7:00 am one morning by a truck bomb at their front gate. The bomb knocked down the gate, the front wall, and the front wall of their barracks; destroyed their generator, which powered their communications; and buried the batteries for the back-up communications. The unit was then attacked by rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and machine-gun fire.

They fought for several hours and held off the attackers. One soldier restored communications by digging out the batteries, which were under rubble. He had found that if he took out the shard of glass protruding from his neck, there would be a pulsing pump of blood. So he put the shard back in and dug out the batteries with only his left hand while holding the shard with his right hand. He put the batteries back in and the unit established communication with their battalion commander, but they told him not to pull them out of Tarmiyah. They held the place, and at the end of the fight, of the 38 soldiers, two were dead and 29 wounded. That’s casualties of 31 out of 38.

Why were our troops getting into such tough fighting? The key to the surge was not the addition of troops, but that the American effort in Iraq was given a new top priority: protecting the Iraqi people. That sounds like common sense, but for years the top priority, formally listed in the American mission statement, was to transition to Iraqi security forces—to toss the ball to the Iraqi army and police.

In order to protect the people, U.S. troops had to be moved off their big bases and into small outposts in neighborhoods. The thinking behind that change was that if soldiers are in a neighborhood for one hour a day on a patrol, and they spend most of their time on their big “Forward Operating Base,” then somebody else controls that neighborhood for the other 23 hours a day. Somebody else intimidates the neighbors or dominates the neighborhood, preventing the neighborhood’s people from talking to our troops. But several conditions are altered if the troops are based in the neighborhood. Their reaction time is faster. The predictability of their movements is reduced—nobody knows when they are coming. They develop a sense of what’s familiar. “Does that truck arrive every day at noon, or has it never been in this neighborhood before? Maybe I should ask about it.” They even start to talk to people, who might start talking to them in turn. But in order to get off the big bases and out into neighborhoods, we needed more troops. That’s where the additional troops for the surge came from, as a consequence, not a reason in itself.

Also poorly understood is what a change the surge was. Arguably, the transition to the Obama administration began in Iraq two years before it began here. The 2006 midterm election knocked President Bush over the head with a two by four. It told him that he was losing the war and the American people, who didn’t believe what he was telling them about Iraq anymore. I am no fan of George Bush, but I do believe that the two months following that election were his finest moment. After four years of being the cheerleader-in-chief, he finally stepped up and became the commander-in-chief. That is, he finally started asking these generals the tough questions that a commander-in-chief is supposed to ask. He challenged Gen. George Casey on why neither Together Forward I or Together Forward II had improved security in Baghdad. Ultimately he removed Casey and several other key figures. Gen. John Abizaid, the head of Central Command, went; along with the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who was replaced with Robert M. Gates, who remains President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. A new war was started.

With the advent of the surge, the Army effectively turned the war over to its internal dissidents. Of the personnel who went to Iraq, some had opposed the war itself, and many had been critical of the conduct of the occupation. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, for example, reveals in my book that he had essentially opposed the original invasion of Iraq. Petraeus took command in Iraq having just completed overseeing the writing of a new manual on counterinsurgency that can be read as a scathing critique of the conduct of the war over its first four years. They brought in a group of people who had been sharply critical of how the war had been fought from 2003 through 2006.

But I think the most important change was that the new team came in with a new attitude, which I would go so far as to call a new humility. No longer were they saying “our way or the highway.” In fact, they were saying that the American way was probably not going to work in Iraq. The only sustainable solutions were going to be locally bred solutions that they could find and encourage, and built on local power structures, such as the tribes.

After years of talking to Iraqis, they began listening. David Kilcullen, an Australian infantry officer turned anthropologist who became an advisor to Petraeus, went one day in Spring 2007 to a safe house to meet with three representatives from Sadr City, the big eastern slum in Baghdad controlled by the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. One representative was a retired Iraqi army officer; another was a civil engineer; the third was an accountant. Kilcullen told the men that they represented the three aspects of what we were trying to do—army officer/security; civil engineer/reconstruction of infrastructure; accountant/financial matters—and asked them how they would recommend securing Sadr City. They turned away and huddled among themselves, talking very urgently. Kilcullen apologized if he’d offended them, and they replied that no offense had been taken, it was just that in four years no American had ever asked them that question.

The Americans had finally started listening. In addition to Kilcullen, they brought in two other foreigners. One was Sadi Othman, a 6′7″ Palestinian American, born in Brazil, reared in Jordan, the first person ever to dunk a basketball in a Jordanian university competition. He later came to America, where he was educated at a Mennonite college. He became a pacifist. He was a taxi driver in New York City on 9/11, which he said outraged him as a New Yorker, as an American, and as an Arab. Deciding to do something about it, he went to Iraq to become an interpreter for the American military. One day, walking out of a military latrine in Mosul, he ran into a small man with whom he wound up in a long discussion about Iraq. At the end of the hour, the smaller man, who was dressed in a simple gym outfit, asked Othman to come work for him. Othman thought perhaps the man was a contractor and asked him what he did. The reply was “I’m David Petraeus, I command this division.” So Othman went to work for Petraeus and became his ambassador to the Iraqi government, still maintaining his pacifism.

The third significant foreign advisor to the new effort was perhaps the most surprising of all, a tiny, birdlike British woman named Emma Sky. Sky was anti-military, anti-American, and an expert on the Middle East, fluent in Hebrew and Arabic. In the course of a year, she became one of Odierno’s closest advisors. One day Petraeus quoted to Odierno one of her comments, saying, “Well, your political advisor says…” and Odierno responded, “She’s not my advisor, she’s my insurgent.”

It shows how much the American leadership had changed that they were willing to listen to new voices like these. I asked Sky one day, “If you’re a pacifist, anti-American, anti-military, why are you advising the Americans here?” She replied that she wanted to help the Americans “undo some of the damage they’d done.” Kilcullen said something similar to me once, when I asked him why he was in Iraq since he was against the war to begin with. He replied, “Just because you Americans invade a country stupidly doesn’t mean you have to leave it stupidly.”

I’ve talked about fighting, but as you can see, talking in 2007-08 was just as important if not more important than fighting. At the strategic level, Petraeus cut a deal with the Sunni insurgency, putting nearly 100,000 of them on the payroll, at a cost of $30 million a month, which I think was worth it. I asked Petraeus once, “For several years, President Bush had talked about the enemy in Iraq as the evildoers. How did you break it to him that you were going to put the evildoers on the payroll?” He replied that he didn’t need to bring it up, saying it was within his existing authorities. Well, it wasn’t, but if we want our generals to be audacious, and we do, that’s audacity. Petraeus knew that putting the insurgents on the American payroll was risky. If it blew up, he was going to be the person blamed for it. But he went ahead and did it.

At the tactical level, similar things were taking place. My favorite part of The Gamble is called “The Insurgent who loved Titanic.” It’s about a young captain named Sam Cook in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based fairly far north in the Sunni Triangle. Cook heard one day of a local insurgent who boasted of having planted over 200 bombs against the Americans since becoming radicalized by the Abu Ghraib scandal. Now, a couple of years earlier, any smart, tough young army captain, hearing about a local insurgent bombing the Americans, would locate the man, launch a raid one night and capture or kill him. But Cook had been around Iraq a while and knew that all that tended to do was decapitate the network, and a new head would pop up. So Cook did something almost un-American. He sent an invitation to the man to come in for a cup of tea.

The delivery of that invitation told the insurgent two key things—that Cook knew who he was and where he was. The insurgent showed up, puzzled, and asked why, if Cook knew who and where he was, he didn’t arrest him. Cook told him that if he saw him on the street tomorrow, he might shoot him, but that it would be an abuse of the rules of hospitality to arrest him then. Cook invited the Iraqi to stay for a cup of tea, assuring him he was free to go anytime. They began to talk, and had a series of weekly conversations.

One day, after several of these meetings, the insurgent told Cook he would never come over to our side, that he hated everything about America. Cook knew that the most popular ring tone on Iraqi cell phones that year was the theme from the 1997 movie, Titanic. Almost on a whim, Cook asked Sarhan if he hadn’t at least liked the movie Titanic. The insurgent looked stunned. He answered that he’d watched it seven times and cried every time at the end Leonardo DiCaprio slips into the water at the end.

This was the beginning not of any great conversion, but at least of some kind of emotional understanding. The two men could listen to each other. Three weeks later, the insurgent told Cook he could not surrender to him as a matter of self-respect, honor, and dignity. But, he continued, if Cook would arrange his surrender to the Iraqis and then came and get him and put him on the payroll, he would tell Cook a few things. Cook thought, “Al Qaeda has been paying these guys, let’s use American economic power to outweigh them. We can pay more than Al Qaeda.” He put Sarhan and other surrendering insurgents on the payroll, and learned from them that the Iraqi police at the checkpoint were warning insurgents when the Americans approached; it was recommended that their cell phones be taken away. The Iraqi police officer responsible for informing insurgents of planned raids was identified. Similarly, in another conversation like this with another officer, an Iraqi insurgent divulged that the sniper rifle he was caught with was a gift from the U.S. officer’s Iraqi counterpart, a major. Conversations like this took place all over Iraq over the past couple of years. Cook said that his conversations “flipped the light switch on and allowed us to see the insurgency, the leaders, the structure, their tactics, everything.”

Why, then, do I maintain that the surge didn’t work? Militarily, or tactically, it did. It improved security. But its stated goal was to create a breathing space in which a political breakthrough could occur, and that did not happen. In fact, Odierno says at the end of my book that the surge did create a breathing space, and that to our surprise, some Iraqis used it to move backwards rather than forward.

But no breakthrough occurred. All the basic questions that vexed Iraq before the surge are still out there unanswered: How do you share oil revenue? What’s the relationship between Sunni, Shia, and Kurd? For that matter, who speaks for the Shiites? What’s the role of Iran, which for my money is the biggest winner in this war so far? Will Iraq have a strong central government or be a loose confederation? All of these questions have led to violence in the past, and all of them almost certainly are going to lead to violence again.

So now it is President Obama’s war. I have a great deal of sympathy for him. I believe he’s a good strategic thinker, but I also think he has inherited the worst foreign policy situation that any new president has ever taken on—and foreign policy isn’t even his top-priority problem, which would have to be the economy. It’s a huge load to take on. But Obama’s handling of it thus far worries me.

Obama’s got a tough year ahead of him in Iraq for three reasons. First, Iraq has three rounds of elections this year, and elections there tend to be destabilizing, the beginning rather than the end of contention. In our country, politics is the art of compromise. In Iraq, politics tends to be the art of winner taking all.

Second, the more troops we withdraw, the riskier the situation becomes. American troops right now are the glue holding Iraq together. In The Gamble General Odierno describes how the first withdrawals are from the easy areas, from the areas deemed more secure or where Iraqi troops are deemed more reliable. The more troops we withdraw, the more we start withdrawing them from the riskier areas that are less secure or where Iraqi forces are unreliable. There are a lot of little Saddams in the Iraqi military. The fewer American eyes on them, the more that Saddamishness will come out. This is why, when the last retreat of the Bush administration is “At least we got Saddam out,” I’m not sure we did. I worry that ten or fifteen years from now the new strongman who emerges will be a tougher, smarter, meaner version of Saddam Hussein. The Saddam we took on was a toothless tiger and dumb as a box of rocks, the only world leader who thought he could take on the U.S. military with conventional forces. The next Saddam is not going to make that mistake.

Third, the longer Iraq goes without a political breakthrough, the more likely it is that violence will resume. And Maliki doesn’t seem to me to be particularly interested in breakthroughs, particularly those having to do with reconciliation. Instead, he seems to me to be trying to consolidate his power and undermines his enemies.

To conclude, the war is not over. It is different, but it has continually morphed, beginning in 2003 as a blitzkrieg invasion, then becoming a botched occupation, a durable insurgency, and a small civil war, followed by a pretty effective American counteroffensive. Now it is in a post-Bush lull—but don’t confuse that with being over. Americans may still be fighting and dying in Iraq when Obama leaves office. General Odierno told me in the book that he would like to see 35,000 troops there in the year 2015, which would be well into what would be Obama’s second term.

What does that get us? Not much, I suspect. The best-case scenario is that Iraq isn’t going to look anything like a success to Americans. It’s not going to be democratic, it’s not going to be stable, and it’s not going to be pro-American. Ambassador Crocker predicts in the book that the future of Iraq is probably something like Lebanon today. Most of the other experts I’ve talked to consider that wildly optimistic.

Why stay in Iraq, then? I’ve thought long and hard about this and concluded that staying in Iraq is immoral. But—and this is a very big “but”—I think leaving Iraq right now would be even more immoral. This dilemma goes to the nature of strategy. Secretary Gates said this the other day at the Army War College: “By the time a decision gets to the president or the secretary of Defense, more often than not, you're having to choose the least bad option.”[1] Iraq is a least-bad-option war.

What is the least bad option? Leaving Iraq would be hugely risky. Almost certainly you’d have a civil war. That outcome would only confirm widespread Arab suspicions that we invaded Iraq not to save it but to destroy it. There’s a good chance that a civil war would become a regional war—and right in the middle of the world’s oil patch, so we may wind up paying $12/gallon or the like for gasoline.

So, I think, there are only bad answers in Iraq. Everything is tainted by the original sin of invading a country preemptively on false premises. Our job now is to find the least bad answers. I suspect President Obama is likely only now realizing just how bad the trouble he is in, that talking about getting out quickly is not a departure from the Bush administration but a repetition of it, and that he’s eventually going to have to settle into a long war with much smaller numbers of forces—35,000-50,000 troops—but probably for several more years of fighting.

^ “Secretary Gates Speaks to the Army War College,” April 16, 2009.
You may forward this email as you like provided that you send it in its entirety, attribute it to the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and include our web address (www.fpri.org). If you post it on a mailing list, please contact FPRI with the name, location, purpose, and number of recipients of the mailing list.

If you receive this as a forward and would like to be placed directly on our mailing lists, send email to FPRI@fpri.org. Include your name, address, and affiliation. For further information, contact Alan Luxenberg at (215) 732-3774 x105.

Commentary: Develop your vision

Commentary by Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz
Commander, Air Education and Training Command

6/2/2009 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Imagine, if you will, an adaptive training environment that sits inside a bare room. This environment can be manipulated to simulate any task; from simple to complex. With the flick of a switch or push of a button, the bare room transforms into a living, breathing, interactive experience. Sounds and smells abound, people appear and interact, and objects can be held and manipulated. Once the training is complete, the same switch or button disengages the system, making the entire simulation disappear, leaving the original stark, bare room.

In the "Star Trek" series, such an innovation was part of their daily routine. The "holodeck" permitted personnel aboard the Starship Enterprise to experience an interactive learning simulation. Imagine how such an innovation could help members of our Air Force. Not only would it save space, but also it would help manage risk, reduce training costs and permit personalized learning programs built specifically for the individual. The holodeck would revolutionize all aspects of how we operate in the Air Force.

The holodeck is my vision of the perfect training and education aide. In fact, I wish every installation had hundreds of these interactive rooms throughout the base. The possibilities are endless. Sadly, I must temper my vision with reality and the realm of the possible. Although my vision may not be feasible today, it doesn't mean that I should give up. Our job is to make dreams come true each and every day. I know you all have similar dreams, visions that could benefit our Airmen both today and tomorrow. Such visions must be pursued: You should never, ever, ever give up.

In order to realize a vision, several things need to happen. First, you must align the vision with one of our core service functions. The closer to the core, the easier it will be to gain support and, eventually, resourcing. Next, take the vision and develop a strategy. Depending on your vision, the strategy may involve acquisition, implementation, execution, modification or one of many other aspects. Let your strategy start at the 40 percent solution and then let it evolve to 80 percent and eventually to 98 percent. Realize that the process is continual; you will never get to 100 percent.

With the strategy in place, you can start socializing the vision. Socialization will also help your vision progress and grow roots through increased organizational support and understanding. The support will help you champion the concept for resourcing. After all, your vision must have resourcing in order to come true. Those resources will go to winners, not to losers. Invest the time and energy to be a winner.

In life, and especially in the Air Force, priorities and personnel are always changing. Over time, your vision will need to adapt to the realities of change. It will require even greater persistence and objectivity. Giving your vision roots and aligning it with core functions will create something that can be handed off and sustained through change. The best ideas, sustained by hard work, can be carried forward by any leader.

You may also find yourself joining an organization and accepting someone else's vision. In this situation, evaluate their vision against current realities and resourcing priorities. If they've done their homework, the project will be easy to move forward. If they haven't, assess the vision to determine if it should move ahead or if its time has passed.

Last month, while visiting Fort Dix, N.J., and the Air Force Expeditionary Center, I came as close as I've ever been to a functioning holodeck. I watched in awe as deploying Airmen entered a series of rooms at the Medical Training Simulation Center. They fought through heavy smoke to reach bloodied bodies that littered the floor. Sirens wailed and explosions shook the room, all interrupting their efforts to save the simulated wounded.

Once their training was complete, instructors activated a switch that disengaged the simulation. In this situation, the switch did not make the entire interactive experience disappear. Although the smoke cleared and sirens stopped wailing, the "original stark, bare room" still held the medical training dummies. It was more than enough to get my heart racing.

My vision still needs some time to evolve and mature. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up. I simply need to work a little harder. Our Air Force needs you to champion your vision as well. Develop it along our service core functions and socialize it; let it grow roots and evolve. Don't let your vision disappear like the end of a holodeck simulation exercise. Do your homework and the resources will follow. After all, it is your initiatives that fuel the positive change that makes our Air Force the finest in the world.

Interview : Ensuring the SOF Warrior is the Best Equipped in the World

Ensuring the SOF Warrior is the Best Equipped in the World

Source: Special Operations Technology

James W. Cluck
Acquisition Executive and Senior Procurement Executive
U.S. Special Operations Command

James W. Cluck is currently the acquisition executive and senior procurement executive for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., with responsibility for all special operations forces research, development, acquisition, procurement and logistics.
Cluck has more than 36 years of combined military and civilian federal service, including more than 24 years of experience in Department of Defense acquisition. His specific acquisition experience includes both corporate and government program manager assignments for intelligence and telecommunications programs.

Cluck started his government service in 1968 upon enlisting in the Marine Corps as an aviation photographic-electronics technician. He was selected in 1974 to attend the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program at The Citadel, where he was commissioned as an air defense officer. Cluck served in this capacity until 1982, when he was accepted to the Naval Postgraduate School. After graduation, Cluck was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked as a signals intelligence systems engineer until his reassignment to the Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Center in 1987. His tenure there was spent as a program manager for signals intelligence systems until 1989, when he transitioned to the private sector to become a senior program manager for a telecommunications firm with oversight of U.S. Army and DoD intelligence support contracts.

Since accepting a position at U.S. Special Operations Command in 1992, Cluck has served as the chief information officer and director, Special Operations Networks and Communications Center; director of management, Special Operations Acquisition and Logistics Center; deputy program executive officer, Intelligence and Information Systems; program manager, Intelligence Systems; and program manager, C4I Automation Systems. Throughout these assignments, he consolidated diverse intelligence, command and control, and information programs through common migration and technical management techniques to minimize MFP-11 resourcing and enhance interoperability. Cluck received the USCINCSOC Quality Award in 1997 and the David Packard Award in 1996 for acquisition excellence.

Cluck graduated from The Citadel in 1976. He also earned a master’s degree in telecommunications systems management in 1984 from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. Cluck completed the Defense Systems Management College–Program Management Course in 1987 and is designated as a Level III-qualified acquisition professional within the DoD Acquisition Corps.

Cluck was interviewed by SOTECH Editor Jeff McKaughan.

Q: As the acquisition arm for Special Operations Command, what is the primary mission of the Special Operations Acquisition and Logistics Center [SOAL], and what are its inherent responsibilities and functions?

A: SOAL’s core mission is to provide rapid and focused acquisition, technology and logistics support to special operations forces [SOF] warfighters. Last year we executed more than $4.2 billion in funding for programs and projects ranging from leading-edge research and development to sustainment of fielded items. We currently have 191 military and government civilian acquisition professionals supported by a cadre of contracted subject matter experts managing 362 internal and external acquisition and logistics efforts.

The U.S. Special Operations Command commander, Admiral Eric Olson, has unique acquisition authorities and responsibilities. Title 10 United States Code, Section 167, vests the USSOCOM commander with the responsibility and authority for the development and acquisition of special operations-peculiar equipment, the authority to exercise the functions of the head of agency, and the authority to execute funds. The commander has delegated those authorities to me, the USSOCOM acquisition executive [SOAE], and I lead the Special Operations Acquisition and Logistics Center in executing those authorities.

Congress has also provided us with specific appropriation funding, Major Force Program-11 [MFP-11], to support our development, acquisition and sustainment activities for SO-peculiar equipment. The unique situation of acquisition authorities and appropriated investment funds provided to a combatant command is both a tremendous responsibility and a powerful combination.

Q: Would you please expand on what this combination of authorities and resources does for USSOCOM acquisition?

A: Our MFP-11 funding gives us the ability to optimize equipment to satisfy our unique mission requirements, and our unique authorities allow us to carry out our acquisition functions to fulfill these requirements in a streamlined fashion. A key to taking full advantage of this is the colocation of the USSOCOM commander, the SOAE, and the program executive offices [PEOs], along with the staffs that administer the command’s requirements, strategic planning, finance, programming and acquisition functions. This close association facilitates and enhances the effectiveness of acquisition coordination and allows decisions to be made in a short time frame.

Q: Having just taken over as the acquisition executive, what are your priorities?

A: My vision for USSOCOM acquisition is to create a streamlined organization, focus our acquisition work force, and increase industry engagement so they know that we’re open for business. I have started to minimize the bureaucracy by delegating acquisition decision authority to the lowest level, establishing metrics for accountability and deploying modern information systems and collaboration tools to maximize the transparency of our plans and actions.

I strongly agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates that developing and maintaining a professional, competent acquisition work force is essential to success. Accordingly, we plan to train and empower our work force as well as provide them career progression opportunities to continue their development. Simultaneously, I am aligning our resources to ensure that our PEOs and program management offices have the right number and mix of personnel to rapidly exploit unplanned opportunities.

To respond to such unplanned acquisition priorities, we are implementing a joint acquisition task force approach to address actions that are beyond a PEO’s or program manager’s [PM] approved program baseline. A joint acquisition task force is a team comprising functional experts from USSOCOM and our supporting organizations who engage in a collaborative approach to resolve critical and unexpected acquisition concerns.

Finally, we are making ourselves even more visible and available to industry through our technical industrial liaison officer by engaging in frequent dialogue. This helps our industry partners better understand our current technology gaps and requirements and helps us understand what they can “bring to the fight” to address those gaps. To reinforce the importance I place on industry engagement, I have specifically reserved schedule time each week for visits with senior industry representatives to discuss USSOCOM’s acquisition requirements.

Q: Please describe SOAL’s organization structure and how that structure positions you to manage the full range of life cycle activities from research and development through sustainment.

A: Our organizational structure is driven by our acquisition and sustainment environment. Where we leverage off of the services and other external organizations for materiel solutions, our organizational structure is optimized to interface with these organizations and systems. Internally we have delegated much of the execution authority to the PEOs and PMs while implementing streamlined processes, providing highly competent staff— including embedded contracting and legal staff—and organizing for the shortest possible chain of command to ensure that the complexity of our environment doesn’t slow down our service to the warfighters.

Specifically, SOAL is a mix of PEOs and direct reporting PMs supported by functional directorates. The PEOs oversee portfolios of systems throughout the acquisition and sustainment life cycle in areas including fixed wing and rotary wing platforms; naval systems; individual warrior equipment; special mission systems; special reconnaissance, surveillance and exploitation systems; and preparation and training systems. Our direct reporting PMs are colocated with the operational directorates they support in the C4, intelligence and PSYOPs mission areas, thereby increasing productivity and improving coordination between PMs and these operational directorates. Our directorates of logistics, procurement, management, and science and technology support all of our PEOs and PMs with dedicated and matrixed subject matter expertise.

Additionally, we have a substantial operational logistics responsibility to coordinate and synchronize SOF support to ongoing worldwide SOF operations. Our J4 logistics staff officers are embedded within each PEO as well as within the command’s Center for Special Operations organization and provide sustainment planning for SOF operators in the field, along with the associated special operations-peculiar materiel support and training they need.

Q: How is USSOCOM acquisition different from that of the larger military departments?

A: Given the common basis in public law, USSOCOM acquisition has many similarities to acquisition in the services. There are, however, several notable exceptions. First, we support and are part of USSOCOM—a unique command with combined COCOM, MILDEP and service-like roles. Having a four-star commander leading both highly trained and experienced war fighting forces and a streamlined, agile acquisition organization provides some unique opportunities to focus everyone’s activities.

We use our MFP-11 funds to develop, implement, field and sustain platforms and equipment to meet our special operations-peculiar requirements. We also rely on service-common equipment and leverage the services’ materiel solutions whenever feasible. In addition, we have the ability to compete the testing that we require among many testing organizations and agencies.

We also support a much different force than the services. In almost every case, the average age of SOF operators exceeds that of their general purpose counterparts. As a result, the SOF operators who receive our equipment are highly trained and experienced professionals with several specialized operational tours under their belts. Involving this type of mature operator in the beginning of the acquisition process allows SOAL to develop sufficient materiel solutions very quickly. Because our customers possess an exceptional skill set, they can utilize a wider range of possible materiel solutions, broadening our options for faster delivery.

Q: How do you use the services’ platforms?

A: Since our investment funding only reflects approximately 1.1 percent of the DoD budget, we rely on the services to provide many service-common platforms that we then modify for our requirements. Our SOF MH-47G Chinooks, MH-60M Black Hawks and MC-130Js are good examples of rotary wing and fixed wing assets that evolved from the services’ platforms. For all of these types of activities, starting with a service platform enables us to provide a fully capable SOF asset for only the cost of modification.

Q: USSOCOM prides itself on being highly nimble and responsive, traits not normally associated with acquisition. How does SOAL respond to rapid operational requirements?

A: When a material solution is required for a combat mission need, our focus is fielding a capability within six months with a minimum of one year of support. An important factor in rapidly fielding a capability is early involvement of the SOF warfighter in defining the requirement and in completing the test and evaluation assessment. Using urgent deployment acquisition [UDA] authorities, we minimize the amount of documentation for rapid acquisitions while ensuring that equipment limits and risks are identified and that adequate training and maintenance procedures are in place. This rapid acquisition approach was possible only through the tremendous support from Congress and OSD. In the conduct of OEF and OIF, we have fielded a total of 97 discrete systems in response to combat mission needs from the field.

As mentioned earlier, we are also implementing a joint acquisition task force approach to build on the success of the UDA process. By identifying a pool of functional experts across USSOCOM, we’ll be able to rapidly form an acquisition task force to capture and fully exploit complex, unplanned acquisition opportunities.

Our Science and Technology Directorate is also increasing SOAL’s agility by emphasizing rapid insertion of innovative and adaptive technologies through joint experimentation, combat development, evaluations and evolutionary technology insertions into our programs of record.

Q: Contract strategies and vehicles are critical aspects of acquisition activities. What innovative contracting tools and methods does SOAL employ to expedite materiel solutions to the warfighter?

A: Weapons and information systems are acquired through open, competitive procurement strategies that are supplemented by industry involvement through our Office of Small Business Programs, Small Business Innovative Research activities, Foreign Competitive Testing, and science and technology initiatives. External acquisitions benefit from the close relationships we have with the acquisition professionals in the services’ program offices and the contracting strategies they implement for each program’s specific situation.

The command has several major service contracts that give us maximum support and flexibility. Our Acquisition, Logistics, Management and Business Operations Support contract supports the entire command and is the primary vehicle that provides much of the specialized acquisition and acquisition support subject matter expertise for SOAL.

A similar service contract for information technology services is the Enterprise Information Technology Contract, which provides operational information technology services across the SOF Information Enterprise.

A third service contract is in place for the Special Operations Forces Support Activity [SOFSA]. The SOFSA contract provides the SOF components and respective PEOs with a wide range of contractor logistic support capability to support and sustain fielded equipment. SOFSA provides robust aviation and ground mobility systems with a repair, modification and integration center.

Additionally, SOFSA provides the associated manufacturing, warehousing, supply, maintenance and sustainment support services, including deployed logistics support teams. While award of undefinitized contract actions [UCAs] are still an option for warfighter emergency needs, the flexibility and responsiveness of our service contracts minimize UCAs while still supporting USSOCOM’s needs.

Q: What business practices and methods do you utilize to improve the management of acquisition programs?

A: We are constantly evolving or, when necessary, revolutionizing our business practices and methods to improve our acquisition performance. As mentioned previously, we deliberately push acquisition authorities, such as milestone decision authority, down the chain to the PEOs and PMs and provide them direct access to my support so that they can be responsive to our warfighters. With that authority comes responsibility, so we are refining our metrics to provide more quantitative accountability as well as expanding our modern information systems and collaborative tools to give all stakeholders visibility into those metrics. To ensure that we’re listening as well as broadcasting, we conduct quarterly execution reviews with the components to discuss the status of the programs we execute for them and receive clear, unambiguous, unfiltered feedback.

Many of our efforts are small enough that they do not have to be conducted as formal acquisition programs. For those types of activities, we execute streamlined projects that provide the appropriate levels of oversight and control while minimizing the administrative overhead associated with acquisition programs. Projects are one way that our Science and Technology Directorate can quickly involve the operational user in technology assessments and tests. Warfighter involvement provides valuable insight into a technology’s operational utility and greatly increases the chance of success for any follow-on acquisition efforts.

Q: The need for certified acquisition professionals continues to grow across DoD. Is USSOCOM experiencing this same increase in demand for certified acquisition professionals? If so, what are you doing to meet this growing need?

A: The demand for certified acquisition professionals is growing at USSOCOM as well as across DoD. As recently emphasized by Secretary Gates, a professional acquisition work force is critical to rapidly providing quality materiel solutions to our warfighters. We are empowering and training our work force as well as providing them with career development opportunities through a variety of initiatives. The Air Force—as our executive agent—Acquisition Professional Development Program provides technical training, leadership training, developmental education and professional military education to increase the proficiency of acquisition work force members in their current positions and to afford them opportunities for career-broadening development and progression commensurate with their abilities.

In SOAL, our Office of Manpower and Personnel Services provides support to our work force by keeping them informed about education, training and experience requirements and by ensuring that they have completed the necessary steps to maintaining their personal records. This service helps our people keep their career development plans on schedule. In coordination with Air Force Personnel Center, we’ve also recently added four career-broadening positions specifically designed to broaden the skills and enhance the leadership perspective of highpotential and exceptional personnel to our organization.

We have enlisted the help of Headquarters USSOCOM and SAF/AQ for a thorough and very successful audit of our acquisition personnel to validate required DAWIA acquisition certifications. Additionally, we have received Section 852 funding for intern positions to help plan for future requirements.

Q: What can the industry partners supporting USSOCOM do to help themselves in preparing for USSOCOM’s acquisition demands for the future?

A: USSOCOM is always interested in new and emerging technologies and capabilities. Information about current programs and technology areas of interest can be found at the SOAL Website: www.socom.mil/soal.

The USSOCOM technical industrial liaison officer [TILO] exists to help industry understand USSOCOM’s needs and how to do business with USSOCOM. The TILO can support staffing and coordination of a company’s technical information with the appropriate command personnel to determine whether there is a need or interest and in the transition of that capability to the warfighter.

Small business industry partners can also consult the Office of Small Business Programs, the advocate for small business utilization within USSOCOM. Other resources available to potential and current industry partners include events such as Special Operations Forces Industry Conference and venues that highlight USSOCOM’s mission needs and objectives.

In addition, industry partners are encouraged to actively monitor DoD RDT&E activities and agencies—e.g., OSD’s RRTO, DARPA and JCTDs—that support common or sponsored USSOCOM technology objectives and to seek out nontraditional contracting opportunities, e.g., CRADAs and OTs, that foster cooperative partnerships on technology transfer and developmental projects.

Q: Do you have any closing comments?

A: Thank you for the opportunity to discuss acquisition at USSOCOM. The strength of our success has not been a function of authorities but rather has been due to the dedication, innovation and aggressiveness of our acquisition professionals. I am honored to be a part of the team. I look forward to continued partnership with our service counterparts and jointly providing solutions to our operational challenges. ♦

Anees Ibrahim shot at in Karachi

6 Jun 2009, 0356 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

According to sources, a disputed Rs 500-crore land deal in Karachi is alleged to be the motive behind the attack on Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees by a rival gang in Karachi last night.

NEW DELHI: Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Anees Ibrahim has been shot at by unidentified assailants in
Karachi, according to unconfirmed reports.

Anees, who virtually controls the D-company’s illegal businesses, was reportedly fired at in front of an Al-Habib Bank ATM on Thursday night. He was walking towards his car when he was targetted with multiple gunshots. There is no word as yet on the injuries suffered by Anees or his present condition.

Though the agencies here are not confirming the reports about the shootout against Anees Ibrahim, they do not rule out the possibility as ISI latest gameplan is to bump off the Ibrahim brothers one by one. And this is essentially because the brothers have been wanting to return to India one by one, even at the risk of being arrested upon their return.

Earlier in March, another of Dawood’s brothers, Noora Ibrahim, was shot dead in Karachi. Though his death was attributed to kidney failure, it was later confirmed by the Indian intelligence agencies that Noora had indeed figured on ISI’s hitlist. The ISI bosses, before whom Noora had expressed his desire to return to India, had reprimanded him and asked him to stay put.

It was after he failed to negotiate his return to India with the ISI that Noora, during one of his business trips to Dubai, contacted a lawyer in Mumbai to discuss his possible return to India and its legal implications. The ISI, fearing that Noora would on his arrest by the Indian police let out the secrets regarding its anti-India activities, decided to bump him off. He was reportedly shot dead by hired killers and his body dumped outside Dawood’s residence in Karachi.

Anees Ibrahim may have also made it to the ISI hitlist for precisely the same reasons that brought about the violent death of brother Noora, although some reports blamed the shootout on a Baloch gang.

Anees Ibrahim is an accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, in which 257 people were killed. CBI investigators concluded that the attacks had been engineered by ISI with the aid of Anees Ibrahim's brother and D-comany boss, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, along with Ibrahim Razzak 'Tiger' Memon.

Anees Ibrahim, who joined the gang after the killing of elder brother Shabbir Ibrahim in a mafia war, had taken charge of D-Company operations here after Dawood moved to the UAE in 1984. Many of its most brutal operatives, such as ‘Chhota’ Shakeel Ahmad Babu, Rajendra Nikhalje and Sunil `Sawtya' Sawant, were his recruits.

In 1986, Anees Ibrahim was arrested on an Arms Act charge, but he managed to get bail within weeks. After this, he spent much of his time building up the network's overground assets, investing heavily in Mumbai real estate and businesses. After the Mumbai blasts, Anees, like other gang members, fled to Pakistan, flying out on fake travel documents provided by the gang’s bases in the UAE. By the mid-1990s, however, he was again running the D-Company's business affairs, most of them centred in the UAE.

In essence, Anees Ibrahim presided over the organisation's diversification into narcotics, contract killings and money laundering. Anees Ibrahim was detained in 1997 by the UAE authorites in the Irfan Goga murder case. Ironically enough, his connections with Pakistan's religious set helped him ease out of the situation.

Source: Midday, Mumbai

According to sources, a disputed Rs 500-crore land deal in Karachi is alleged to be the motive behind the attack on Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees by a rival gang in Karachi last night.

Though the Mumbai police and family members of Dawood have denied the incident, there is a strong buzz among khabris (police informers) based in Mumbai. According to sources in the gang, it is alleged that around 12.45 (IST) last night, members of a rival gang arrived near Dawood's Clifton house in Karachi and fired indiscriminately.

A bullet hit Anees on the neck, and Dawood, who rushed out, also received bullet injuries. In all the assailants fired around 12 rounds, minutes before Anees was to sit in his car.

Just rumours

"Yeh beh bunidyaad khabar hai" (these are baseless stories) was how the family members of India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim reacted to the media reports of the attack at their Nagpada residence.

Advocate Shyam Keshwani, the family lawyer for Hasina Parkar said, "The family is very much upset over the baseless media reports. Dawood's relatives have told me that the television channels are running a false story and nothing untoward has happened to either Dawood or Anees".

When asked if the relatives in Mumbai spoke to Dawood in Karachi, Keshwani refused to comment. Meanwhile the Nagpada police haven't seen any public movement outside Parkar's building, which falls in their jurisdiction. This was confirmed by Senior Inspector Jaywant Shelar of Nagpada Police station.

Meanwhile, Hasina Parkar is said to be out of Mumbai and Iqbal Kaskar is fuming over the media reports, said sources. A senior IPS official from the State intelligence said, "We have not received any official report from our external agencies."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Kandahar, Parliamant attack, Mumbai Attack

The attack on the Parliament was not an instance of security failure. It was an instance of security success. That was why the terrorists did not succeed. Kandahar was an instance of failure by the then Government. An enquiry should have been held, but the fact that no enquiry was held by the BJP-led Government should not be cited as a ground for not holding an independent enquiry into the Mumbai attack.

-- B Raman



We have had enquiries in the past into national security lapses and disasters such as our humiliation at the hands of China in 1962, intelligence failures during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and the revolt in Mizoram in 1966, the security failures resulting in the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in October,1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in May,1991, and our being taken by surprise by the Pakistan Army in the Kargil heights in 1999.

2. The report of the enquiry into the Chinese occupation of our territory was never released to the public, but we do know that many of the actions taken by the Government of India post-1962 for revamping our national security management were the result of the deficiencies identified during the enquiry. Similarly, the report of the enquiries into the lapses during the 1965 war and the Mizo uprising was not released to the public, but we do know that the creation of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) was a result of these enquiries. The reports of the other enquiries were released to the public by the Governments of Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee. Whatever be the merits of the follow-up action, no attempt was made by any of those governments to cover up the failures and deficiencies.

3. Since 2000 the world has seen a series of major terrorist strikes--- the attack on the US naval ship USS Cole off Aden in October,2000, 9/11 in the US, the explosion in Bali in October 2002, the Madrid explosions in March 2004 and the London explosions in July,2005. Each and every one of those terrorist strikes was followed by a detailed enquiry ordered by the Government in power in order to identify deficiencies and faults, which enabled the terrorists to succeed. No attempt was made by any of those Governments to cover up the sins of omission and commission, which made those terrorist strikes possible. Follow-up action was taken to see that similar acts of negligence were not repeated in future and that identified deficiencies were rectified. The conclusions of the enquiries were made known to the public and were discussed by their respective legislatures.

4. On February 27,2008, Mas Selamat Kastari, said to be a leader of the Singapore branch of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), escaped from a high security detention centre of Singapore. The escape of this dreaded terrorist created alarm and concern in Singapore about the state of their security agencies. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his word of honour to the Parliament and the public that he would see that a thorough enquiry would be held to find out how he escaped, to identify the acts of negligence and take necessary follow-up action. He promised that there would be no cover-up and that the enquiry report would be released to the public and discussed in Parliament. He kept his word of honour.

5.Between November 26 and 28,2008,Mumbai witnessed what has been described by many international terrorism experts as the most daring terrorist strike anywhere in the world since the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US. Nearly 170 persons, the majority of them civilians, including some foreigners of different nationalities and some brave police officers, were killed. The terrorists had virtual control of two leading hotels of Mumbai and a Jewish religious-cum-cultural centre for three days.

6. The terrorist strike, which was seen by the entire world on TV, caused such an alarm that some leading think-tanks of the world such as the Rand Corporation have already brought out detailed studies on the incident. The Homeland Security Committees of the US Congress held detailed sessions on the incident for which they invited leading experts to give their assessment of the incident.

7.The conclusion of some of these studies was that India neither had the required preventive capability nor the retaliatory capability to deal satisfactorily with incidents of this nature and hence, one cannot rule out repeats of Mumbai style attacks.

8. The terrorist strike took place in our territory. Our people were killed. An attempt was made tro shake the confidence of foreigners----specially businessmen--- about the security of life and property in India. We should have been the most concerned to find out what happened so that we can see that this does not happen again.

9. One would have expected the Governments of India and Maharashtra to order a joint comprehensive and independent enquiry similar to the enquiries held in our own country in the past and similar to those held in other countries since 2000 to identify the sins of commission and omission and the weak points in our counter-terrorism management and to take follow-up action. Unfortunately, the Government of India focussed largely on Pakistan's involvement in the strike and avoided any independent enquiry into its own responsibility and that of the Government of Maharashtra, which made the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Lashkar-e-Toiba succeed in such a spectacular manner.

10.The Government of India was successful in its cover-up exercise because neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership nor the other opposition parties, whose responsibility it was to see that there was no cover-up, failed to exercise this responsibility. By their confused inaction, the BJP and other opposition parties played into the hands of the Government and unwittingly facilitated its cover-up exercise. Nobody asked questions about our own failures at New Delhi as well as in Mumbai.

11. While the Government of India successfully avoided any enquiry, the Government of Maharashtra did order an enquiry into the role of the Mumbai police. It set up a two-member enquiry commiittee consisting of R.D.Pradhan, an officer of the IAS cadre of Maharashtra, who had served as the Union Home Secretary, and V.Balachandran, an officer of the IPS cadre of Maharashtra, who had served for two decades in the R&AW and retired in June,1995, as a Special Secretary. The enquiry committee has completed its work and submitted its report to the Government. The Government of Maharashtra has reportedly promised to lay the report on the table of the State Assembly along with an action taken report.

12.This was what the Vajpayee Government did in respect of the enquiry report by the Kargil Review Committee, headed by K.Subramanyam, the strategic analyst, who was at that time Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board. While there was a wide dissemination of the report and its critical findings, the only substantial discussion of the report was in the media.As a follow-up, the Government also set up a number of Special Task Forces to look into various aspects of national security management such as internal security, border security management, higher defence management and the revamping of the intelligence set-up. An exercise for strengthening national security management on the basis of the recommendations of these task forces was undertaken. Details of the recommendations of all the task forces except the one on the intelligence set-up were released to the public.

13. Anybody who had watched the TV during those three horrible days and read everything that was available to read about the terrorist strike would have noticed that there were apparent lapses which made the strike possible.According to sections of the New Delhi-based national newspapers, intelligence was available, but not complete and continuous. Two reports in September,none in October and one just before the strike. The follow-up action even on the available intelligence was ill-co-ordinated. Emergency response after the strike left much to be desired. There were complaints about inadequate and unsatisfactory protective equipment. The quality of the operational leadership at the counter-terrorism nodal points was criticised. There was an inadequate culture of joint action by various agencies responsible for counter-terrorism.

14. In his statement to the Lok Sabha after taking over as the Home Minister after the Mumbai attack, Shri P.Chidambaram admitted that the responsibility for follow-up action on even the available intelligence was diffused. It must be said to his credit that even though a formal enquiry of an independent nature was not held, he apparently made his own in-house enquiry to determine the deficiencies and correct them. He has tightened up our internal security management system and has been taking active interest in ensuring that the system would function as it should. The fact that an independent enquiry was not held does not mean that a comprehensive in-house exercise was not undertaken to identify and correct deficiencies.

15.But the public of this country and its legislators have a right to know what went wrong and why. The national security management system is funded by the tax-payers' money. When a terrorist strike takes place, it is their lives and those of their relatives that are affected. By denying the public knowledge of the acts of commission and omission, the political leadership is denying the public and the opposition an opportunity to judge whether the tax-payers' money allocated for counter-terrorism is being spent efficiently. The successful functioning of the national security management system depends not only on the quality of the various components of the system, but also on the co-operation which it is able to get from the public. The readiness of the public to co-operate will depend on the system's credibility in the eyes of the public. If the public is kept in the dark, how can it have the required confidence in the system? Today's terrorism is trans-national. Our ability to deal with it depends not only on our capabilities, but also on the co-operation received from other countries. If the others find that we do not have the moral courage to look into our deficiencies and admit them, what incentive they will have to improve their co-operation with us?

16. In the light of this, we should have followed the example of other countries and held a comprehensive and independent enquiry, different from an in-house enquiry. One was surprised to note that Shri Chidambaram firmly rejected on June 5,2009, the demand of Shri L.K.Advani, the leader of the opposition, for such an enquiry. In an interview to some journalists, he gave the following reasons for his rejecting the demand: Firstly, the demand is belated as it came six months after the terrorist attack. Secondly, the Vajpayee Government did not hold an enquiry into the hijacking of an aircraft of the Indian Airlines by some terrorists to Kandahar in December 1999 and into the attempted attack on the Indian Parliament in December,2001.

17. The attack on the Parliament was not an instance of security failure. It was an instance of security success. That was why the terrorists did not succeed. Kandahar was an instance of failure by the then Government. An enquiry should have been held, but the fact that no enquiry was held by the BJP-led Government should not be cited as a ground for not holding an independent enquiry into the Mumbai attack.

18.Shri Chidambaram is right in pointing out the belated nature of the BJP demand, but this should not be allowed to stand in the way of a comprehensive and independent enquiry, which would be in the national interest. I have been pointing out since 2004 that one of the reasons for things going wrong in counter-terrorism management in our country is the lack of activism by the relatives of the victims of terrorist strikes. It was the activism of the relatives of the victims which ensured a thorough enquiry in the US, the UK and other countries. One saw on the TV the way the relatives of the victims by rotation attended the hearings of the Congressional committees on the 9/11 strikes and the interest which they took in ensuring that the recommendations of the National Commission were implemented. Unfortunately, in our country, that kind of activism is not there. The Governments are consequently able to get away with their stonewalling.(6-6-2009)

(The writer is Additional Secretary(retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

June 05, 2009

Tehran Declaration: Adding a New Dimension to the New Great Game in Central Eurasia

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

The Tehran summit involving three crucial Muslim nations of Central Eurasian region on 24 May 2009 is significant owing to three reasons. First, it shows the emerging clout of Iran among the neighbouring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan with which the US has developed special relationship. Second, Iran’s strong criticism against the foreign troops (an indirect reference to the presence of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan) might not match well to the policies of the West particularly to the US which has invested heavily in the region. Third, the Tehran declaration signed at the end of the summit called for a trilateral approach amongst the three countries to fight the menace of religious extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking, thus giving rise the possibility of exclusion other powers in solving regional issues.

The holding of the Tehran summit was perhaps due since the beginning of this year. It was on expected lines after the meeting of the leaders of three countries at the sidelines of 10th ECO Summit in March 2009 in Tehran and the meeting of their foreign ministers in April in Kabul. At the Tehran summit, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Asif Ali Zardarai and Hamid Karzai, leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively, while emphasising their deep historical, religious, cultural bonds, common heritage and geographical commonalties expressed growing concern arising from the insecurity, terrorism, extremism and drug production and trafficking in the region. The 24-item declaration in its first item aims at establishing a mechanism for holding regular and periodical trilateral consultations on special issues by Senior Officials, Foreign Ministers and the Heads of State/Government of the three countries. The declaration also emphasises on trilateral institution building to establish trilateral economic, industrial, planning commissions and Chambers of Commerce. Item 2 emphasises on the joint commitment to make every effort to tackle the regional issues and address their root causes.

There are fundamental issues which need to be analysed with regard to feasibility of the trilateral approach as envisaged by the declaration. Whether Pakistan and Afghanistan would follow the line of Iran, which perceives the US role in the region as antithetical to their interests, is a matter that needs to be watched in coming days. On the eve of the summit Ahmedinejad was highly critical of the presence of foreign troops in the region. He stated, “Although the presence of foreign forces in our region was under the pretext of establishing security ... it has not been much of a help to the establishment of permanent security and political and economic growth.” On the next day of the summit he challenged the US President for face-to-face debate at the United Nations if he is re-elected next month as Iran’s president.

The US congress, recently under Biden-Lugar Bill, has tripled the civilian aid to Pakistan, and also enhanced the assistance to fight terrorism and fundamentalism. It is a temptation hard to be resisted by Pakistan. The same is the case with Afghanistan. There are tens of thousands of US and NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan. Recently their numbers have increased. In this context it will be interesting to see how far the trilateral platform, if at all it comes to life, succeeds to fight the menace of religious fundamentalism and terrorism without external support. Similar is the case in the context of fighting drug trafficking and smuggling. It is common news that Afghanistan alone is the home to 90 per cent of poppy cultivation in the world. Reportedly on 23 May 2009, just a before a day of summit, one of the largest-ever drugs seizure in Afghanistan was undertaken in a Taliban stronghold and opium-production centre in the south of the country that led to the killing of 60 Taliban militants.

The point that needs emphasis is whether Afghanistan or Pakistan or the combined force have the entire wherewithal to fight the menace of terrorism, fundamentalism and drug trafficking that are so much embedded in their systems? From a broader point of view, it may be asked whether the US and the NATO presence in this region would suffice to counter the growing menace of terrorism and extremism and drug trafficking? Or there needs to be the urgency to tackle these issues by evolving an international approach which will have the acceptability by the countries of the region as well as other regional and international powers? Perhaps the Tehran declaration will goad the international powers to think in these terms.

The nuclear angle might make the balance of relations among the three countries a difficult enterprise. In April 2009 Russia, the US, and other powers such as China, France, UK and Germany stated they invite Iran for deliberation and dialogue to find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear tangle. Their joint statement on 8 April 2009 read, “we strongly urge Iran to take advantage of this opportunity to engage seriously with all of us in a spirit of mutual respect.” While the West has expressed concern at Iran’s nuclear programme which might be channelled to build nuclear weapons, Iran has rejected all these charges and argued its nuclear programme is meant for civilian purposes. However, after North Korea’s test of nuclear device on 25 May 2009, the international pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear programme might increase. The new US administration may use its leverage over Pakistan and Afghanistan in persuading Iran to stop its nuclear programme. In this likely mounting pressure Iran may find it in a fix to balance its relations with these two neighbours.

Iran the fifth largest exporter of oil in the world is no doubt a regional power in Central Eurasia. Its huge resources, its cultural capital, and policy projections have become a mater of concern as well as attraction for other powers. That Iran and Pakistan have not been always in good terms owing to their sectarian differences (Pakistan is Sunni dominated while Iran is Shia dominated), as well as their approaches to international issues, e.g. Pakistan is closer to the US, Iran is not, may make the success of the trilateral framework a difficult proposition though not impossible.

However, the implications of the Tehran declaration for international politics, particularly for the politics of Central Eurasia cannot be overlooked. That Iran has asserted itself as a regional power and that it could attract immediate neighbours despite differences is no way a small achievement. It has shown its increasing clout in the region as well as its increasing acceptability by the neighbours. It is no surprise, hence, the summit took place just after a few weeks Zardari and Karzai attended the Washington summit hosted by Obama. Iran’s rich natural resources, its nuclear programme, its approach to domestic and international issues and its regional clout need to be factored in the geostrategic calculus of the region. The declaration will no doubt affect the policy orientations in the region in coming days and add a new dimension to the new great game in Central Eurasia.

The Pearls and String of the Theory

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)

One of the noted Indian national dailies recently in its editorial on 22 May 2009, while outlining the possible policy options before the newly formed Indian government, articulated the concerns of a section of Indian policy makers about the rising clout of China in India’s neighbourhood. While pointing out Chinese initiated string of pearls strategy, the editorial observed that from a medium to long-term perspective the China question is likely to be an important part of the government’s action plan.

During the recent ongoing war between Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan army, the weapons from other countries including China that helped Sri Lanka win over the tigers. India’s refusal to give weapons to Sri Lanka had moved the beleaguered nation to opt for China and Pakistan, which were eager to offer arms. The increasing relationship earned China the opportunity to develop the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota. While Indian policy makers did not openly comment on this development, it appears Indian establishment has factored this and related developments in the policy projections for the future.

This Chinese string of pearls strategy is the latest in a series of strategies China initiated in the post-cold war world to build its international stature. Let us take into account the following developments over the last decade. In 2002, China started developing Gwader port of Pakistan and established a naval base there. It has invested four times more than Pakistan in developing this port. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao visited Pakistan in August 2005 to commemorate the completion of first phase of the port, not far from the straits of Hormuz at the throat of the Persian Gulf. Below in the Indian Ocean, as mentioned, it is developing the Hambantota port. The Chinese President Hu Jintao made a whirlwind tour to Saudi Arabia and four African states Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius in February 2009 to boost relations. With the Indian Ocean state of Mauritius he signed deals worth more than 270 million dollars to fund infrastructure projects. In the Bay of Bengal China has developed a container shipping facility at Chittagong port in Bangladesh. It has also developed a deep water port at Sittwe of Myanmar and established a base in Coco Island (not far from the Indian island of Andaman and Nicobar). It has developed an upgraded airstrip at Woody Island off the coast of Vietnam at 300 nautical miles and established a submarine base in Hainan Island in South China Sea. Connecting all these points or the ‘pearls’ is the string that the Chinese policy makers have in mind which can enhance its interests in the region.

The concept ‘string of pearls’ first found mention in a report titled ‘Energy Futures in Asia’ commissioned by the US Department of Defence in 2005. This strategy of string of pearls is a recent strategy, which China has pursued vigorously. The question then arises-what does exactly explain the Chinese vigour in pursuing a strategy which would enable it to stretch its bases from the South China Sea through Malacca straits to Bay of Bengal, thence further through the Indian Ocean towards Arabian Sea which touches West Asia?

Three factors explain this policy of China. First, China is interested to ensure energy security. China one of the fastest growing economies in the world is going to be the highest consumer of energy in coming years. For this, it needs to have secure routes in blue waters to enhance its oil accessibility in the countries in Arab and in Africa. Second, probably it is more of strategic and geopolitical interests. In the emerging world order, when the US influence appears to be in a decline mode, China intends to rise as a super power, to have its policies as guiding principles in international politics for which it needs to have control over major sea routes and presence in far off places. Third, and related, China has been apprehensive of threats to its territorial sovereignty and integrity. Whether it is the issue of Taiwan, or Xinjiang or Tibet, China in its defence white paper of 2008 has made it clear that it would not tolerate any move which threaten its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

India’s troubled relationship with China and their differences of interests in the countries of South and Southeast Asia, China’s friendly relations with Pakistan and its building of Karakoram highway in the Kashmir region to Gwader port have shaped the relations and raised apprehensions in policy quarters of India. Some sections in Indian strategic thinking has expressed believe that the string of pearls theory is a means adopted by China to encircle India by controlling the levers of powers in surrounding seas and Indian Ocean.

Whatever may be the implications of string of pearls theory, China like other powers can adopt policies to secure energy, thwart attempts which threaten its integrity and protect and enhance its national interests. China has already stated on many occasions that its moves have aimed at peaceful realisation of its interests. In April 2009 while speaking before the delegations from the naval fleets of 14 nations at the Chinese port of Qingdao, Hu Jintao assured China ‘would never seek hegemony, nor would it turn to arms races with other nations.’

The vigorous pursuit of string of pearls strategy has no doubt increased China’s clout in international affairs, at which various powers have expressed concerns. The US policy makers have taken this development into account while making policy postures towards Asia. Australia in its white paper released in May 2009 has expressed concern at the military programmes of China. However, the string theory may be taken as a policy measure which is non-antagonistic in its ambitions so far China, as Hu Jintao spoke to the delegates mentioned earlier, pursues policies of ‘harmonious seas’. India can do well to reenergise its strategy in the surrounding seas and ocean to protect and promote its national interests. It is on the balance or imbalance of diverse national interests in the blue waters of Asia the future of the string of pearls theory as well as the future course of international politics will depend a lot.

US Agenda & Foreign Policy

US Agenda & Foreign Policy

-- Author wish to be anonymous
(Note : This Article was originally posted in January 2007)

In order to understand the present US foreign policy we need to understand the various global political agendas of various groups in US. Depending on the administration one group or the other or a combination these groups will be in power.

Agenda-1: Neo-Con Agenda

This agenda's main philosophy is making US super powerful even at the cost of other nations or other people. People who follow this agenda are generally Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield etc. The present US administration is mainly controlled by the people who believe in this ideology. This group believes that

1. US should be the only leader/king nation in this World. US should be able to subjugate any nation which does not follow US order (famous words "you are with us or against us"). This implies only US needs to have most sophisticated weapons. As there are some nations which already have nukes, hence this group wishes that US develop more sophisticated weapons like "space nukes" by which they can even control nuclear weapon states. This also involves discouraging and also threatening other nations who wish to develop nukes.

2. This group believes only pure White Christian Americans should rule the World. They believe in a hierarchy of power structure based on the races and religions. In their belief US comes first and next comes Europe's some main states like UK, France, and Germany etc. Next in the order are Israel, Russia, China and India. The bottoms of this list are Islamic nations like Pakistan, Iraq, Iran etc.

3. This group also believes US should have the first right on entire World's resources. Presently if they don't have such a right they try to get that control through various means. Adding to this if US can't have the resource then make the region messy so that no other nation will be able to use those resources.

4. This group also believes that there should be continuous conflict in the Middle East so that US will have complete control over the resources. This group also wants to have a permanent US military in this region so that they control the region better.

5. This group supported and wanted the "Iraq War" mainly because it showed the World US military strength (by hanging Saddam) and they wish to have permanent presence in Iraq. They really don't really care about the chaos in Iraq as long as US causalities are minimum. The logic is that as long as Iraq is under civil war the resources are used by none. And the US force in Iraq will enable it control the control the wreaked country after few years of civil war. The only problem now is that US causalities are increasing daily and it is becoming difficult with US electorate (Republicans lost US congress).

6. This group doesn't mind India having nukes as long they are minimal and US has control over India's foreign policy. Adding to this India's nukes will never be a threat to US as US will develop more sophisticated nukes by which small time nuclear states like India will be no match.

Agenda-2: Conservative Agenda

This is a slightly milder version of Neo-Con agenda. This is basically a modified colonial agenda. This agenda involves making US a superpower and making other powerful nations like China, Russia, Europe perpetually dependent on US economy and technology. This group mainly believes in using political and financial strengths of US. The best example of a person who propagates this agenda is "Henry Kissinger". The US administration which closely resembles this agenda was Ronald Regan's US administration.

1. This agenda involves "Anglo-White" imperialistic World order (Ronald Regan + Margaret Thatcher does this ring the bell?). This group in the olden times used to believe in colonial power structure. In order to maintain power these people employ generally the following strategies viz. creating client states by bribing the leaders or continuously keeping certain regions of the World under conflict or arming the guerillas. These strategies fail with democratic states and hence the US never creates any democratic state. US only created puppet client states.

2. This agenda involves sharing the World resources only with the worthy nations or people. The first in the list of worthy nations are obviously the western nations. Reluctantly these people have come to the conclusion that they need to share some resources with China. Adding to this China is managing the US administration very

3. This group believes in creating huge number of client states globally like Iran under Shaw, entire Latin America under dummy governments etc. These people don't like if a country becomes extremely nationalistic. They try some way or the other to create problems. They hate the present Venezuela's president Chavez as his
policies are complete contrary to their political vision.

4. This group also supported and wanted the Iraq war. The reason is that after 911 attack they felt the "Anglo-White" order was threatened and US needed to show them (Muslims and others) who controls the World. This was the reason Henry Kissinger said just attacking Afghanistan was not enough after the 911 attacks; US needed to remove Saddam also. His exact words were "we need to teach them a lesson". Teach whom the answer is obvious!!

5. This group after winning the Iraq war would have setup a puppet Iraq regime and left the country once satisfied the Iraq's resources are under their control. These people will be satisfied if Iraq becomes a client state like Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately the present Iraq war has strengthen Iran as US will be leaving Iraq in about a year.

6. This group also supports India-US nuclear deal but want to make sure US is getting enough in return for their "kindness". Like support for squeezing Iran etc. These people always hated India's independent foreign policy as it gives ideas for other states and also their opponents. They must have wished for India's democracy to become failure as that didn't happen they wish to control India through some
carrots. Adding to this India's independent behavior didn't fit in their "Anglo-White" supremacy principle.

Agenda-3: Realistic Agenda

This agenda is followed by people like Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright etc. This involves making the US a World leader by proving to the World that US is the only country which can solve all the World's problems (because US is powerful and has money). This group is neither racists nor anti-religious. This group believes in pluralistic World order having leadership centered on US. This group has lot of

1. This group is willing to cut down some US nuclear weapons if other countries are willing to give up their nuclear weapons. This vision will never happen because as Agenda-1&2 groups will block any attempt to make US a less nuclear weapon state. Remember the way they have rejected the CTBT during Clinton's regime.

2. This group will try to settle the World's disputes with whatever way it is possible, which may not be fair and they try to create balance. Generally they have soft corner for Islamic nations, I guess because they are more noisier. As India is a soft state they squeeze India.

3. This group will always try to keep India and Pakistan at the same level. And they will always support Pakistan over India. The main reason being by supporting Pakistan they get extra leverage with other Islamic nations.

4. War is the last resort for this group and they try to rally all the nations if they wish to punish a dictator like Saddam.

5. This group wants neither India nor Pakistan have any nukes. Hence they will try very hard to push both these countries for peaceful talks (remember during Clinton's time Vajpayee invited Musharaff). This group is very bad for India remember the sanctions slapped on India after the 1998 nuclear tests.

6. This group will aggressively push NPT and they are not happy with the India-US nuke deal. They agreed for the deal as they could get NPT+CTBT in the final deal. US have already tightened the NSG rules so that India is denied any help if US decides not to support India. India will end up in multi-level Tarapore traps with this US-India nuclear deal.

Agenda-4: Puritan Agenda

This is a highly fair agenda for the World. These people are very honest and sincere. People like Horward Dean (Dem) follow this agenda. They neither want the US to be the World leader nor a superpower. They want total Worldwide nuclear disarmament (including US) and US not getting involved in World's conflicts. These people would like the US to become like Canada. As we all know Islamic terrorists only want to bomb US but they are not bothering with Canada.


I have always noticed US administration following Agenda-1 or Agenda-2 or Agenda-1+2 or Agenda-2+3 only. Agenda-4 is purely academic. Even Clinton administration followed Agenda-3+2, it was not purely Agenda-3. I have also noticed India gained maximum by making deals with US administration that follows Agenda-1 or Agenda-2. Other US administrations (i.e mainly Agenda-3 administrations) generally sermon India rather than helping India with anything worth mentioning.

It is always better for India to evaluate the behavior of all the groups before getting in to any deals with US. Most of the times US gives guarantees only orally which means they are valid only for that administration, while they extract perpetual guarantees from the other nations. The best example is India-US nuclear deal. The conditions attached by the US congress may be considered as advisory by the present Bush administration but the next president of the US most certainly will act differently.