February 01, 2013

The volatility of Gas, Geo-Politics and the Greater Middle East. An Interview with Major Agha H. Amin

The volatility of Gas, Geo-Politics and the Greater Middle East. An Interview with Major Agha H. Amin

Posted on February 1, 2013 by 

The volatility of Gas, Geo-Politics and the Greater Middle East. An Interview with Major Agha H. Amin

Mijn fotoMajor Agha H. Amin is a retired Pakistani military officer and the author of various books, including "Development of Taliban Factions in Afghanistan", "Taliban War in Afghanistan" and "History of Pakistan Army". He studied at the Forman Christian College and at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kalkul. Agha H. Amin has been working as Assistant Editor of Defense Journal, Executive Editor at the Globe, and as Editor of the Journal of Afghanistan Studies. He is an active member of the Think Tank ORBAT and the Alexandrian Defense Group and he is working as security management consultant. Agha H. Amin has been working as consultant on various oil, gas and energy projects in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the TAPI pipeline, CASA 100, the Uzbekistan Afghanistan Pakistan line and the Turkmenistan Mazar Sharif line. He is an expert on national and regional security, energy security and geo-political issues. The following is the full text of an interview by Christof Lehmann with Major Agha H. Amin from 30 January 2013.

CL. Not long ago we were discussing the situation in Syria, and the fact that the root cause for the attempted subversion of Syria is the 10 billion USD PARS gas pipeline project from Iran, via Iraq and Syria to the Easter Mediterranean Coast, the most important factors being the political leverage Iran would acquire if it, together with Russia provided more than 40 % of the gas consumed in the EU over the coming 100 – 120 years, a US and a US and UK attempt to sabotage the further integration of the continental European and Russian national economies and energy sectors. Both high ranking members of the Workers Party Turkey and retired Turkish military officers accuse the AKP government of Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan of being involved in the implementation of the Greater Middle East Project, developed by the RAND Corporation for the US Defense Department in 1996. This plan includes the "balkanization" of Turkey into smaller states. We discussed a possible plan to establish a NATO Corridor from Turkey to India. In our discussion you said: "I would like to add to them that the establishment of the Kurdistan part of the corridor would significantly change the security dynamics of the Russian South Stream gas pipeline which is part of the causes for the war on Syria." Could you please brief us on the most important factors with regard to the security dynamics of the Russian South Stream gas pipeline ?

AHA. The strategic idea of NATO, is aiming at securing the northern borders of Israel against Hezbollah and the southern borders against Hamas; to eliminate the Russian naval base in the eastern Mediterranean, Syrian city of Tartous. NATO is planning to create a western strategic corridor to maintain energy-security in the case that oil supplies through the Strait of Hormuz are disrupted because of a war with Iran or otherwise.

Kurdish+Syrian+Strat+ScenarioOne of the first steps toward the implementation of the long-term strategic plan, is the partition of Turkey by creating separate Kurdish areas, thereby providing NATO a direct access to Russia´s soft underbelly in the Caucasus.

This can ideally be used to dominate the Caucasian oil as well as support the Chechen against Russia in a low intensity conflict. Also, to create a viable independent Kurd state, it would need a windpipe access to the sea. This can be provided via the southern coast of Turkey and the Northern Coast of Syria. Whether a Syrian government soldier or a Syrian Islamist "Nut" dies in the process, "both are equally beneficial to the US/NATO".

The cardinal strategic idea is to internalize the war within the Islamic world so that Europe and the USA become safer while the enemies of western civilization destroy each other.

NATO is a club of wolves and Turkey is the odd wolf in NATO. Once the wolves have eaten Syria, they will eat the odd wolf Turkey. Yes, Turkey has been getting huge funds from Saudi Arabia, especially the clown Islamist Freedom and Justice Party. The clown Islamist Party is corrupting Turkey´s secularism. On the other side, Turkey is playing as NATO´s best chattel.

To use a historic comparison. When Hitler started eating the lambs of Europe like the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia and Austria, the world tolerated it. The limit was reached in 1939. It is comparable with the NATO, led by the USA, eating the lambs since 1991. First Serbia was destroyed, then came Kosovo, then came Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

I think and hope that Syria would be the turning point. With Libya a most negative practice of using Islamist mad dogs and proxies started. Al Qaeda and other most rabid Islamist groups were used in Libya and now again in Syria. The NATO is unleashing the same savages that it claims to fight in Afghanistan on secular states like Libya and Syria.

If Russia had not asserted itself, the wolves would have attacked Syria by now. These wolves only fear Weapons of Mass Destruction, WMD´s, and any state not having WMD´s will be shred into bits and devoured by the wolves. Lets hope that Putin proves to be like a new Moses who challenges the wolves who have the souls of Pagans.

CL. Considering the volatility of the situation in Syria and that a conflict of that nature easily can develop a dynamic on its own, even a dynamic that was neither planned nor wanted by any of the stakeholders, and considering that the aggravation of the crisis into a regional war with the involvement of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, the Gulf Arab States, Turkey and NATO countries as well as Russia could have catastrophic consequences,- furthermore considering that the situation as it is seems so that non of the stakeholders can win, but all can loose, which diplomatic, political and economic initiatives would you consider necessary and feasible to solve the crisis ?

AHA. "We are moving toward a great global war and supreme strategic anarchy by remote pilot".

This happened, because the pilots who were supposed to man policy and regulate the tide of history did not have the talent to exercise their due role in history ! These pilots in reality wore the uniforms of pilots but had the caliber of air stewards and air pursers! This includes Obama, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Man Mohan Singh and the Saudi king. This brought us into a Sarajevo situation, where events started moving decision makers rather than decision makers moving events.

Till 2008 the USA was led by an impetuous pilot with a low IQ but a definite strategic decisiveness. A man with limited intellect, but one who could take strategic decisions. After 2008 the USA got a social climber who looked outwardly smart and bright but lacked statesmanship and had near zero strategic vision. Thus Afghanistan, after 2008, moved from relative calm into anarchy, as far as the South was concerned.

Pakistan was the worst case. It was led by an opportunist who attempted to please all parties, including the Americans, Islamists, Pakistani liberals and the Indians. As as result Pakistan developed such a fatal "confusion of principle" that the whole Pakistani society was fractured down into its deepest foundations. This military opportunist in turn, made peace with the corrupt politicians to prolong his rule. Subsequently, the whole political fabric of Pakistan was shattered.

The Pakistani military was attacked by Islamists, for allegedly being in league with the Christian powers. The Pakistani military lost its entire credibility when it emerged as the main party in the controversial NRO deal, which legitimized past corruption of Pakistan´s politicians, which the army had prosecuted with zeal from 1999 to 2002. Pakistan became engulfed in two major insurgencies. One with the Islamists and the other in Baluchistan. Both have the potential to destabilize and even to destroy Pakistan.

The USA has no strategy in Afghanistan and is in a catch 22, unless it decides on a strategy of decisive action. While the US policy makers saw Pakistan as a center of gravity of Islamists, including the Afghan Taliban, the US failed to frame a decisive strategy for dealing with Pakistan. Pakistan´s nuclear assets, Chinese support, and a growing Russian support are principal obstacles that the USA faces in formulating a strategy of decisive action against Pakistan. Both Iran and Pakistan remain two strategic thorn lands that the USA faces and which are being constantly watered by China and Russia.

The Osama Raid and the Salala incident forced Pakistan´s military and political elite to close the NATO supply line to Afghanistan. The memogate scandal also increased the civil military divide in Pakistan but this appears to be more of a US ploy to divide and weaken Pakistan.

The key strategic trends in this scenario are the following:

Any US withdrawal, in totality or partially, would strengthen the Islamists in Afghanistan who will see full or partial defeat of the US as a great victory for Islam. This would destabilize Pakistan and increase the chances of a war between India and Pakistan.

The US missile shield has permanently alienated Russia, and Russia will re-assert itself and take the lead in aiding all anti US forces. US failure to correctly deal with Iran and Pakistan will further destabilize the situation. Pakistan´s nuclear assets will deter the US from any grand adventure against Pakistan.

The US´s chances of an internal pro US coup in Pakistan by the PPP have become week after the Osama bin Laden incident and the Salala incident. The chances of a military coup in Pakistan will get stronger as the situation moves and if the Pakistani´s ISI´s (Inters Services Intelligence-service) plan to bring a national government led by Imran Khan fails.

India still perceives Pakistan as a grave strategic threat and remains apprehensive of Pakistan's strategic nukes. This will ensure that the Indians will continue with aiding the low intensity war in Pakistan. The US will try to follow a policy that reduces Pakistan to a smaller size and confines Pakistan´s nukes to Punjab.

In the case of Baluchistan, it will not be difficult for the USA to Balkanize Pakistan if the USA decides to support Baloch secessionists. Karachi remains a strategic US asset with the MQM and other elements who can paralyze Karachi at few hours notice.

US policy will be difficult to formulate and execute. No nuclear state was ever denuclearized by war. The policy that the US will follow will be to destabilize Pakistan and to present it as a danger to world peace, like the Democratic Peoples´ Republic North Korea. In the process, even a small incident can initiate a grand strategic earthquake. God help the USA, Pakistan, India and the world.

CL. The US-led war on Afghanistan has now lasted for more than ten years. After NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago in 2012 it transpired that NATO will maintain a presence in Afghanistan until at least 2014, and most likely until 2025 and beyond. NATO and western mainstream media continue marketing the argument that the NATO presence is necessary for fighting "the Taliban" and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the US Aggressions in Pakistan, predominantly in the form of drone attacks increase, and are also being marketed under the slogan of combating "the Taliban". Could you please help us deconstruct the tale of "the Taliban" and elicit who is meant with "the Taliban", which nuances should we should be aware of. It seems that the USA in many regards is fighting an enemy which it creates.

AHA. To answer your questions, let me refer to my 2008 assessment. "Note that Obama is just a clever social climber, a mixed breed who was kicked upwards, a President with no control over anything."

The objectives are not Al Qaeda, the Taliban or bin Laden. The objectives are to attack Iran, Russia´s soft Central Asian State and oil-rich belly, to destabilize China´s Sinkiang province with an Islamist insurrection, to denuclearize Pakistan and to consolidate the US – India base against China after Pakistan has been Balkanized.

The objectives on the ground are neither Al Qaeda, the Taliban or Bin Laden. The droning of random targets continues to convince public opinion and gives the rich friends in the defense industry more ammunition and equipment contracts. US troops consolidate the oil transmission route on the herat Kandahar road.

GRAND+LIES+1+jpgNo real offensive is launched against the Taliban. They are the good reason for why the USA is in Afghanistan, so why would the US/NATO want to eliminate "them". US policy is pressuring Pakistan by the means of drone attacks, forcing Pakistan to take military action in Fata is designed to destabilize Pakistan so that final grounds for the denuclearization of Pakistan are being set in place. The US tools in this exercise are US contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan, US and British security companies in Pakistan, US or EX-US Bankers and Corporate Executives in Pakistan who are subverting civil and military brass. Through the 2008 elections the US has already achieved a political regime change in Pakistan, while the Pakistani military, who are safeguarding Pakistan´s nuclear assets are the next target.

The objective to attack Iran and Russia´s soft Central Asian State oil-rich belly has so far been a miserable failure, with US proxies being checked bu Central Asia, Iran and China. However, secret training of proxies is going on in US bases in Afghanistan. With regard to the objective to destabilize the Chinese Sinkiang province with an Islamist insurrection, it is a logical objective, but there is the independent will of the enemy, backed with WMDs. China is "not" Iraq.

The denuclearization of Pakistan is proceeding at a good pace, although no major success has been achieved. The Pakistani civilian government is fully on the US payroll while it may take 2 – 5 years for the Pakistani military to become a full-time US chattel. With regard to the objective of consolidating the US – India base after Pakistan is Balkanized, the program for Balkanization includes a Baloch State, a Pashtunistan, a City State of Karachi, Sindhu Desh. A denuclearized Pakistan will only be consisting of Punjab and northern areas controlled by China. This is to take five to ten years. With Pakistan Balkanized the US and India will have a complete, contiguous base against China and Russia.

The Analysis.

The present US strategic position is the silent registration of targets in Pakistan, Iran, Chinese Sinkiang and Russian dominated Central Asia. By trying to base logistics on Russian Ex Soviet Central Asian states, the USA is trying to bring economic benefits to Central Asia, so that the Russian hold can be weakened. However, Russia is convinced, that the US must fail in Afghanistan and it has made considerable efforts to aid anti US forces in Afghanistan through Iran and through Central Asian republics. US forces will not be able to control Afghanistan unless Pakistan is Balkanized and this would at least take 3 to 5 years.

The first state to secede with US support would be Baluchistan. This is so, because the Base of anti US forces in Afghanistan is Pakistani Baluchistan, and Russia, Iran, and China have a combined interest in making the USA bleed in Afghanistan through Pakistani proxies known as Taliban. When Pakistan aids the Taliban in Afghanistan it is actually defending Pakistan. The maneuver to fix the situation for the USA would be an US manipulated India Pakistan war that would be leaving Pakistan severely damaged and India less damaged, followed by a denuclearization of Pakistan.

China, Russia and Iran are the US opponents. They have the potential to throw a spanner in US plans. There is the unforeseen Factor X.

There appears to be a strong evolving consensus in the USA as well as its NATO allies that Pakistan is the center of gravity of the Islamists in the ongoing, so-called war on terror. The idea gained currency in various high US policy making circles as well as think tanks around 1987 – 89 and then assumed a solid shape in the decade 1990 – 2000. After it was adopted as policy and concrete albeit top-secret planning was started to deal with Pakistan, which at the ulterior level was seen as part of the problem rather than a solution.

Let me also refer a 2006 assessment that is still validA Brief Strategic Assessment of US Presence in Afghanistan Made in September 2005. By Agha Amin.

The distinction between Islamist and non Islamist is being fast transformed into US versus Anti US Forces. Afghanistan may prove to be an area of strategic convergence for Islamists, China, Russia and even Pakistan and Iran which are logically phase two US targets. It is naive to think that the USA came to Afghanistan to deal with Talibs.

The choices of the USA: The USA has several choices. It can deal with Afghanistan alone and consolidate. This would not be cost-effective for the USA. The investment it has made is too big. It could widen the front to Phase Two, Pakistan and Iran. Phase Three may be Chinese Sinkiang and Phase Four Central Asian Republics. The US can also chose to withdraw from Afghanistan while retaining a central position to strike at any target in the area. Possibly and independent Baloch State, carved out of Iran and Pakistan alone at first and Pakistani Baluchistan later.

China´s and Russia´s Choices: China and Russia can allow the USA an uncontested stay and risk a Muslim rising in Sinkiang within the next ten years and US domination of Central Asian Republics. They can aid anti US forces, using non state actors in Pakistan and state actors in other areas, and they can strengthen alliances with Iranian and Pakistani states.

Pakistan and Iran's choices: Pakistan and Iran can either accept US domination and scrap WMD programs, strengthen alliances with China and Russia, or aid anti US forces in Afghanistan with Chinese and Russian blessings.

The Major Actors: The anti US forces are divided in two parts , state and non state actors. The main bases of non state actors are in Pakistan,Iran and Middle East. The Pakistani and Iranian states are the forward states having direct borders with Afghanistan and are involved in the Afghan game via state and non state actors.

Key Strategic trends: A realization in Pakistan, that the Pakistani WMD apparatus is a future target of the USA which will have Afghanistan as its base. A realization in both China and Russia that the strategic salvation of both lies in aiding anti US groups , particularly those in Afghanistan. The development of Pakistan as the best base area of anti US groups operating in Afghanistan more because of non state actors. In order to deal with non state actors, the USA at some stage, will have to deal with both Pakistan and Iran. The USA seems strategically clueless and is playing a waiting game. Time is the key. Anti US forces can wait for ten years but every second, the USA is losing money. The USA has to achieve a tangible strategical objective. Both China and Russia will use the Islamic card, like the USA used it in Afghanistan from 1979 till 1989.

Militarily, an anti US war in Afghanistan aided by China and Russia can prove to be USA's Spanish ulcer. Anti US forces in Afghanistan Pakistan and Iran are intact and can change the strategic balance. The USAs hold in Afghanistan is confined to key cities only.

The drug mafia is a major US opponent and can sustain anti US forces in Afghanistan. Islamists have realized that they must have China and Russia as allies. The same realization is taking place in China and Russia. Thus, there arises the convergence of interest.

The strategic options of the USA are: To create an alternate drug mafia which is non Pashtun and create new states, which are US allies like Baluchistan,Kurdistan. Possibly the USA could also work toward a non Pashtun state in North Afghanistan.

CL. In one of our discussions you said that there was a significant discrepancy between the areas where the USA is deploying drones and where the so-called "Taliban" attacks US troops. You also stated that many of the drone attacks are carried out in areas where the Pakistani military controls and secures the Af-Pak border while very few, if any drone attacks are carried out in areas where it would actually make sense. Could you please describe this in some detail and elicit the most important strategic as well as political implications ?

AHA. Drone attacks are being carried out in the two agencies North and South Waziristan and 90 % are carried out in the Datta Khel Sub District. These are aimed at Haqqani Group which is regarded as an ISI asset by the USA.

PROXY+WAR+IN+AFGHANISTANA major aim with the drone attacks is also to benefit private contractors who are involved in these attacks at all levels from intelligence gathering down to munitions and drone suppliers. Another major idea is to demoralize the Pashtuns, so that any war against the USA would bring such a retribution that they will be unable to answer or match it with equal fire.

CL. You stated that Iran has a significant interest in South West Afghanistan. WE hear very little about this in western media and I have not been able to find any detailed analysis in Iranian media either. Could you please give us your position on which role Iran is playing in Afghanistan ?

AHA. Iran is active in West Afghanistan as well as Central Afghanistan. Iran is a most important supporter of the Northern Alliance after Russia and India . Iran views the Taliban as an existential threat. It regards non Pashtuns as well as moderate Pashtuns as its allies.

CL. There is little doubt among analysts that the USA and some NATO member states are attempting to "balkanize" Pakistan into smaller nations. We observe increased activities of often Soros-funded UN agencies and NGOs, especially in Northern Pakistan, indicating an attempt to play on ethnicity. It is a standard strategy which has been used by the West in Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the strategy is currently being implemented in Nepal, and it is being implemented in Myanmar, in an attempt to create so-called inter-communal violence in Myanmar´s Rakhine State. Could you give us your perspective about attempts to destruct the nation-state Pakistan ?

AHA. Let me also here refer to a previous assessment which I made in April 2009. Every movement in history has a direction, a quantum, a modus operandi. According to the father of the philosophy of war Carl Von Clausewitz everything in strategy moves slowly, imperceptibly, subtly, somewhat mysteriously and sometimes invisibly.

The greatness of a military commander or statesman lies in assessing these strategic movements. The USA inherited a historical situation in the shape of 9/11.At this point in time it was not making history if we agree that 9/11 was the work of Al Qaeda for which so far the USA has failed to furnish any solid evidence.

After 9/11 when the USA attacked Afghanistan ,US leaders and key military commanders were making history. They had a certain plan in mind. The stated objectives of these plan were the elimination of Al Qaeda. The unstated objective was the denuclearization of Pakistan. This scribe has continuously held this position, held consistently, in articles published in Nation from September 2001,all through 2002,2003,2004,2005 and till 2009.

The US strategic plan followed the following distinct phases

*An initial maneuver occupying Afghanistan in 2001.

*Establishing and consolidating US military bases near the Afghan Pakistan border. Most prominent being the Khost, Jalalabad, Sharan and Kunar US bases. Some military bases like Dasht I Margo in Nimroz and three other bases in Kandahar, Badakhshan and Logar were so secret that their construction was not even advertised. Even in the case of sensitive areas the contracts were awarded to the US Government owned Shaw Inc and the CIA proxy operated Dyncorps Corporation.

Patriotic Afghans trained in the USSR were removed from Afghan Intelligence because they would not agree to be a party to USA's dirty game in between 2001 and 2007. Similarly many patriotic Afghan officers trained in USSR were removed from the Afghan military establishment.

* Cultivating various tribes in ethnic groups on the Pakistan Afghan border by awarding them lucrative construction and logistic sub contracts.

* Forcing the Pakistani military to act against the FATA tribes thus destabilizing Pakistan's North West area close to the strategic heartland of Peshawar-Islamabad-Lahore where Pakistan's political and military nucleus is located.

* Creating a situation where mysterious insurgencies erupted in various parts of Pakistan including FATA, Swat and Baluchistan.

* Carrying forward urban terrorism into Punjab through various proxies. Now it appears that the strategic plan is entering its final stage of launching a strategic coup de grace to Pakistan.

These may be assessed as following

* A US military buildup in Afghanistan and the launching of an offensive against Taliban, with an aim of pushing them into Pakistan.

* Simultaneously pressuring the Pakistan Army into launching an operation in Waziristan. Thus Pakistan´s Army gets severely bogged down and hundreds of thousands of refugees enter Pakistan's NWFP and Baluchistan provinces. Infiltrators and fifth columnists being a heavy promiscuous mixture of this movement.

* Since 2001 the USA has spent a great fortune collecting information on Pakistan's strategic nuclear assets. It appears that in 2009 it has sufficient data to launch a covert operation. The covert nuclear operation could have a civilian and a military part. The civilian part may involve an attack on Pakistan's non-military nuclear reactors like Chashma and KANUPP. The military covert operation could involve an attack on any of Pakistan's strategic nuclear groups anywhere in Pakistan.

Once this type of attack is done the USA with its NATO lackeys like Britain, France and Germany would go the UN and maneuver an international resolution, demanding the denuclearization of Pakistan. The international opinion may be so strong that Pakistan's government may capitulate.

* Once Pakistan is denuclearized, the USA would encourage Pakistan's Balkanization into a Baloch US satellite, a city-state of MQM in Karachi, a Pashtunistan badly bombed and in tatters and a Punjab stripped of nuclear potential, kicked and bullied by India. A Northern Area republic which is an US lackey unless China decides to call the US bluff by occupying the Northern Area.

CL. At closing, I remember that you stated, that international law was irrelevant because nothing had changed since the time of Alexander the Great. I agree that for instance the International Criminal Court has more to do with victor's justice than with international law. We see over the last decade a serious explosion of international law at its very root. The Geneva Conventions are circumvented by creating artificial constructs such as unlawful combatant, enhanced interrogation methods, the use of "contractors", as if they were workers to build public schools and hospitals, being deployed to maintain military tasks. Extraordinary rendition, just to mention a few of the most obvious problems. As a man of military education, which risks do you see in the deterioration of international law ?

AHA. We are heading towards an international new order where the power of the state will be totally in hands of a corrupt mafia, who will usurp all human rights on pretext of controlling terrorism. This would result in grand strategic anarchy and even the US will Balkanize. The boomerang will come back and as they say the wheel turns !

Interview with Maj. Agha H. Amin by Christof Lehmann

PAKISTAN INDUCTS CHINA INTO BALOCHISTAN TO COUNTER INDIA

 



B.RAMAN


Despite its continuing concerns over the freedom struggle of the Balochs which shows no signs of letting up, China, which originally constructed the languishing commercial port of Gwadar on the Mekran Coast of Balochistan, is reported to have agreed in principle to take over the responsibility for the operation of the port.


2.The 40-year-old contract awarded by the Pakistan Government in 2007 to Singapore's PSA international for the operation of the port has been a non-starter due to disputes between the Pakistan Navy and the PSA International over the free transfer of land to the PSA international for the construction of warehouses for containers and other infrastructure facilities and over the failure of the Pakistani authorities to improve the road and rail connectivity of the port as promised in the contract.


3.The Pakistan Government agreed to the request of the PSA International to withdraw from the contract. Islamabad has now approved in principle the signing of a contract with the Chinese Overseas Port Holdings giving it the responsibility for operating the port.


4.The problems created by the Pakistan Navy in the transfer of land for the PSA International indicated a lack of enthusiasm in the Pakistan Navy for the operation of the port by a Singapore  company and its preference for handing it over to the Chinese company.


5.In the eyes of the Pakistan Navy, the Chinese taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port will have two advantages. Firstly, the Chinese, with their reputation for the timely construction of projects, will be able to get the languishing operations revived quickly. Secondly, it could prove to be the first step towards China agreeing to a Pakistani request for upgrading the port into a naval base, available for joint use by the Pakistani and Chinese navies.


6. Taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port, will have strategic advantages for China. It can bring oil and gas from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Gwadar and have them transported to Xinjiang through pipelines. Secondly, it will provide a port of call for ships of China's Indian Ocean fleet for refitting and other purposes. At present. Beijing has not shown any open interest in helping Pakistan by upgrading the existing Chinese-aided commercial port into a Naval base for joint use by the two navies.


7. The Chinese took nearly two years to make up their mind as to whether they should get involved in the operation of the port due to the deteriorating security situation in Balochistan because of the on-going freedom struggle of the Balochs. The Balochs are opposed to a Chinese presence in Gwadar because they look upon the area as their traditional homeland over which the Pakistan Government has no right to negotiate with any foreign power. Moreover, the Balochs fear that the Chinese taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port would result in an induction of a large number of Punjabis into the Gwadar area to work.


8.The Pakistani authorities are hoping that the Chinese agreement to take over the operation of the port could act as a deterrent to India whom they suspect of helping the Baloch freedom-fighters.


9. Beijing's agreement in principle to take over the operations of the port speaks of its confidence that they could meet any security threats from the Baloch freedom-fighters. Whether their confidence will be sustained or belied has to be seen. The Pakistan Army will not be able to assure the security of the Chinese working in Gwadar. Unless the PLA decides to post its own security contingents in Gwadar as it has done for the security of its nationals working on the upgradation of the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit-Baltistan, security for the Chinese in Gwadar will be uncertain.


10.What the Pakistan Government announced on January 30, is an agreement in principle for the Chinese company to take over the responsibility from the Singapore company. The details of the final agreement are still to be worked out.


11.There is a case regarding the security situation in Balochistan presently pending before the Pakistan Supreme Court. The Gwadar project is also linked up in the case. The Supreme Court has to agree to the Gwadar agreement with China being treated as a stand alone issue before the final agreement with China is signed. This should not pose any difficulty


( 1-2-13)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75)

 

 

 

January 30, 2013

Weasel Words


The weasel, charming animal that it is, attacks eggs in bird
nests using a very particular method: it pierces them and
sucks them, then leaves them there. The mama bird thinks
she sees her egg, but it is only the shell emptied of its precious
contents.

Weasel words do the same thing, but with propositions.
Thus, one can be under the impression that a statement
is full of rich content, but the presence of a little word has
emptied it of substance.

Advertising relies on this strategy often; an attentive observer
will find a great number of incidences. Who hasn't received
an envelope marked, "You could have won $1,000,000"?
Here are a few other examples:
A product can produce such and such effect.
A product diminishes or augments something up to
such and such level.
A product helps to . . .
A product contributes to . . .
A product is a component of . . .
A product makes you feel like . . .
A product is like . . .
A product is in some ways . . .
Some researchers say that . . .
Research suggests that . . .
Research tends to demonstrate . . .
It is claimed that . . .
A product is almost . . .
Advertising, however, is hardly the only domain in
which these weasel words are used. A critical thinker has
to know how to recognize them right away in order not to
misinterpret the message. At the same time, one must remember
that, in certain cases, it is important to nuance
one's thinking. But that should not be confused with using
weasel words in a conscious effort to deceive or mystify.

Is a Revolution possible in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

 

Almost since WWII, US led West has dominated, controlled and exploited the resources of West Asia and South West Asia through its axis with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan .The axis can be enlarged to into US/UK/Israel-Saudi Dynasty/ Wahabis –Pak Military/ ISI.
 
The US-Saudi-Wahabi Nexus
 
In 1979 Washington lost Shah of Iran its Gendarme in the Middle East region ,but it made up amply by lining up Saudi led Gulf and other Muslim states and Pakistan in ousting from Afghanistan Soviet presence and threat to its oil wells in the Middle East in the process creating nurseries of terrorism in Pak Afghan region , which have since proliferated as Jihadis of various hues like various Taleban , Al Qaeda with local branches all over north Africa , West Asia and elsewhere. Al Qaeda is only a franchise since in Afghanistan iit is said to be no more than a few hundred or even less.
 
Washington acts as a protector of Saud Dynasty and other regimes in the Gulf who open their money spigots to finance and help achieve US foreign policy and strategic objectives in the Arab and Muslim world .Except for the ruling elite, authoritarian and oppressive in these states, the masses have continued to suffer and forced into silence as in Communist regimes earlier.
 
Some hopes have since emerged for  a change after the prairie like fire of revolts by the Arab masses in North Africa and West Asia ,right up to the Gulf and Saudi Arabia ,although US led west , NATO and Gulf States have tried to co-opt some of the protests and revolutions or redirect them , say in Yemen, Egypt and opened military and other aid against secular Assad regime in Syria .After the brutal assassination of Qaddafi , the rich and prosperous Libyan state has become a gathering place for all sorts of terrorists with blow backs in Benghazi and Mali .More blowbacks would follow .
 
 
In spite of being almost bankrupt, US, UK and France continue to indulge in military aggressions, misadventures and expenditure, having been sent packing from the killing fields of Iraq and soon from Afghanistan too.
 
In this scenario, tiny but hyper rich Qatar is punching much above its weight
 
 
but possibilities of dis- affection .protests and revolts in Saudi Arabia would be game changer not for the region but for the entire world , with Saudi led Gulf states being major energy suppliers and providing employment to tens of millions of expatriates including 6 million Indians.
 
Below are some news items on the subject.
 
K.Gajendra Singh 30 January, 2013.


Has the Saudi Head of Intelligence been assassinated?

First Post: 2012-07-31 18:00
The head of Saudi Intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan has not appeared in public or in the media since July 22nd, the same date on which an attack was carried out against Saudi General Intelligence headquarters. Saudi Arabia has not issued any statements regarding the attack either, a fact that has deeply worried leaders in Middle Eastern Capitals, as well as in Washington and Jerusalem. They fear that the Saudi leadership has gone into shock following these events and is no longer functioning. A string of security related events, the center of which is the success of the Iranian Intelligence in breaching the heart of the Saudi governmental and intelligence systems in the capital, Riyadh, and carrying out terrorist attacks there, increases these fears.
 
Huffington Post
Opinion | January 20, 2013

Revolution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

 
Saudi Arabia is the world's last absolute monarchy. Like Louis XIV, King Abdullah has complete authority to do as he likes. But while a revolution in Saudi Arabia is still not likely, the Arab Awakening has made one possible for the first time, and it could come in President Obama's second term.
Revolutionary change in the kingdom would be a disaster for American interests across the board. Saudi Arabia is America's oldest ally in the Middle East, a partnership that dates to 1945. The United States has no serious option for heading off a revolution if it is coming; we are already too deeply wedded to the kingdom. Obama should ensure the best possible intelligence is available to see a crisis coming and then try to ride the storm.
Still, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a proven survivor. Two earlier Saudi kingdoms were defeated by the Ottoman Empire and eradicated. The Sauds came back. They survived a wave of revolutions against Arab monarchies in the 1950s and 1960s. A jihadist coup attempt in 1979 seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca but was crushed. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda staged a four-year insurrection to topple the Sauds and failed less than a decade ago. Saudi al Qaeda cadres remain in the kingdom and next door in Yemen.
Today the Arab Awakening presents the kingdom with its most severe test to date. The same demographic challenges that prompted revolution in Egypt and Yemen, a very young population and very high underemployment, apply in Saudi Arabia. Extreme gender discrimination, long-standing regional differences, and a restive Shia minority add to the explosive potential. In recognition of their vulnerability, the Saudi royals have spent more than $130 billion since the Arab Awakening began to try to buy off dissent at home. They have made cosmetic reforms to let women sit in a powerless consulting council.
Abroad they have sent tanks and troops across the King Fahd Causeway to stifle revolution in Bahrain, brokered a political deal in Yemen to replace Ali Abdullah Salih with his deputy, and sought closer unity among the six Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies. They also have invited Jordan and Morocco to join the kings' club. But they are pragmatists too and have backed revolutions in Libya and Syria that fight old enemies of the kingdom.
The Saudis fear, probably rightly, that real power sharing is impossible in an absolutist state. But we should plan very quietly for the worst.
If an awakening takes place in Saudi Arabia, it will probably look a lot like the revolutions in the other Arab states. Already demonstrations, peaceful and violent, have wracked the oil rich Eastern Province for more than a year. These are Shia protests and thus atypical of the rest of the kingdom. Shia dissidents in ARAMCO, the Saudi oil company, also have used cyberwarfare to attack its computer systems, crashing more than 30,000 work stations this August. They probably received Iranian help.
Much more disturbing to the royals would be protests in Sunni parts of the kingdom. These might start in the so-called Quran Belt north of the capital, where dissent is endemic, or in the poor Asir province on the Yemeni border. Once they begin, they could snowball and reach the major cities of the Hejaz, including Jeddah, Mecca, Taif, and Medina. The Saudi opposition has a vibrant information technology component that could ensure rapid communication of dissent within the kingdom and to the outside world.
The critical defender of the regime would be the National Guard. Abdullah has spent his life building this Praetorian elite force. The United States has trained and equipped it with tens of billions in helicopters and armored vehicles. But the key unknown is whether the Guard will shoot on its brothers and sisters in the street. It may fragment or it may simply refuse to suppress dissent if it is largely peaceful, especially at the start.
The succession issue adds another layer of complication. Every succession in the kingdom since its founder, Abdel Aziz bin Saud, died in 1953 has been to his brothers. King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman are the end of the brood; only a couple of possible remaining half brothers are suitable. Both the king and crown prince are ill, and both are often unfit for duty. If Abdullah and/or Salman die as unrest begins—a real possibility—and a succession crisis ensues, then the kingdom could be even more vulnerable to revolution.
As in other Arab revolutions, the opposition revolutionaries will not be united on anything except ousting the monarchy. There will be secular democrats but also al Qaeda elements in the opposition. Trying to pick and choose will be very difficult. The unity of the kingdom could collapse as the Hejaz separates from the rest, the east falls to Shia, and the center becomes a jihadist stronghold.
For the United States, revolution in Saudi Arabia would be a game changer. While the U.S. can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan, and Europe cannot. Any disruption in Saudi oil exports—whether due to unrest, cyberattacks, or a new regime's decision to reduce exports substantially—will have a major impact on the global economy. In addition, the CIA war against al Qaeda is heavily dependent on the kingdom: Saudi intelligence operations foiled the last two attacks by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on the American homeland. The U.S. military training mission in the kingdom, founded in 1953, is the largest of its kind in the world. The Saudis also have been a key player in containing Iran for decades.
The other monarchs of Arabia, meanwhile, would be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia. The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Despite all their money, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are city states that would be unable to defend themselves against a revolutionary regime in what had been the kingdom. The Hashemite dynasty in Jordan would be at risk as well without Saudi and Gulf money and oil. Only Oman is probably isolated and strong enough to endure.
America has no serious options for effecting gradual reform in the kingdom. The Saudis fear, probably rightly, that real power sharing is impossible in an absolutist state. But we should plan very quietly for the worst. The intelligence community should be directed to make internal developments, not just counterterrorism, its top priority in the kingdom now. We cannot afford a surprise like Iran in 1978, and we need to know the players in the opposition, especially the Wahhabi clerics, in depth. This will be a formidable challenge, but it is essential to preparing for a very dark swan.
Brookings' Bruce Riedel Urges Intensified US Support for Saudi Despots

Every now and then, leading mavens of the Foreign Policy Community have an uncharacteristic outburst of candor
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33747.htm
By Glenn Greenwald
January 29, 2013 "The Guardian" --  When it comes to the US "foreign policy community", few if any people are more representative of it than Bruce Riedel. A 30-year CIA officer and adviser to the last four US presidents, he is now a senior fellow at the wing of the Brookings Institution funded by entertainment mogul Haim Saban (whom the New York Times described as "a tireless cheerleader for Israel" and who described himself this way: "I'm a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel"). In 2012, Riedel contributed to a book on Iran by Brookings "scholars" which argued that the US could launch a war against Iran by covertly provoking its government into responses that could then falsely be depicted by the US to the world "as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression" - exactly what Brookings' Ken Pollack proposed be done in 2002 to deceitfully justify the attack on Iraq. According to Brookings, "in January 2009, President Barack Obama asked Riedel to chair a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009."
When they speak publicly, the mavens of the Foreign Policy Community - whose primary function is to justify US militarism and aggression - typically disguise their real beliefs and objectives with specialized obfuscating jargon. But every now and then, they have an outburst of uncharacteristic candor that clarifies their actual worldview. Such is the case with a remarkably clear memorandum to President Obama that Riedel just authored and Brooking published regarding the extremely close US alliance with the regime in Saudi Arabia.
Riedel begins by noting that "Saudi Arabia is the world's last absolute monarchy" and "like Louis XIV, King Abdallah has complete authority." Moreover, "the Saudi royal family has shown no interest in sharing power or in an elected legislature." The Saudi regime not only imposes total repression on its own people but is also vital, he argues, in maintaining tyranny in multiple neighboring states: "they have helped ensure that revolution has not unseated any Arab monarch" and "the other monarchs of Arabia would inevitably be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia." Specifically:
"The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are city-states that would be unable to defend themselves against a Saudi revolutionary regime, despite all their money."
So given this extreme human suffering and repression imposed by the Saudi monarchy in multiple countries, what should the US - the Leader of the Free World and the self-proclaimed Deliverer of Freedom and Democracy - do? To Riedel, the answer is obvious: work even harder, do even more, to strengthen the Saudi regime as well as the neighboring tyrannies in order to crush the "Arab Awakenings" and ensure that democratic revolution cannot succeed in those nations.
Riedel stridently argues that the US must remain steadfastly opposed to any democratic revolutions in the region. That's because Saudi Arabia is "America's oldest ally in the Middle East, a partnership that dates back to 1945." Thus, "since American interests are so intimately tied to the House of Saud, the US does not have the choice of distancing the United States from it in an effort to get on the right side of history."
Instead, he insists, while Obama should "encourage" the Saudi King to accelerate the modest reforms he has abstractly embraced, the overarching principle driving US actions should be that "the overthrow of the monarchy would represent a severe setback to America's position in the region and provide a dramatic strategic windfall for Iran." And the US should not only prop up the Saudi dictatorship, but also must "be ready to shore up the neighboring kingdoms and sheikhdoms." As a Bahraini correspondent wrote about this Riedel memo: "Brookings is basically telling Obama to make sure we remain ruled by dictatorial regimes."

The only thing unclear about Riedel's memo is why he perceives any urgency to write it. As he notes, US policy long has been and still is exactly what he advocates: to ensure that the people of Saudi Arabia remain tyrannized by this monarchy:
"The critical defender of the regime would be the National Guard. King Abdallah has spent his life building this Praetorian elite force. The United States has trained and equipped it with tens of billions of dollars' worth of helicopters and armored vehicles."
Just last week, President Obama emphasized how critical his alliance with the House of Saud is by doing something a US president rarely does: hosting not a fellow head of state but a mere minister (Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud) in the Oval Office. Afterward, the White House proclaimed that Obama and the Saudi Prince "affirmed the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia".
Indeed, the Obama administration has continuously lavished the Saudi Kingdom with a record amount of arms and other weapons, and has done the same for the Bahraini tyranny. He has done all this while maintaining close-as-ever alliances with the Gulf State despots as they crush their own democratic movements.
As always, the rationale for this steadfast US support for Arab tyranny is dubious at best. Riedel notes that "while the United States can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan and Europe cannot" - but it's absurd to think that whoever rules Saudi Arabia would refuse to sell its oil on the world market. Riedel also argues that "the CIA war against al-Qaida is heavily dependent on the Kingdom" - that gets closer to the truth, but it just shows how this endless "war" is the author of most of America's bad acts in the region, and it's ironic indeed that the only government with valid links to the 9/11 perpetrators has become the closest US ally in the "war on terror", while governments with no such links - starting with Iran - have become perpetual US enemies.
Riedel also says that "the Saudis have also been a key player in containing Iran for decades." But when it comes to repression and tyranny, Iran - as atrocious as its regime is capable of being - is no match for the Saudis. There is zero reason to view Iran as an implacable enemy of the US, and it is certainly no justification for imposing absolute tyranny on millions of people in the Arab world merely because those regimes are similarly hostile to Iran.
But as I emphasized last week, the point here is not to object to US support for the world's worst dictators; it is, instead, to urge that this reality be acknowledged. Despite this obvious truth - that the US has no objection whatsoever to tyranny but rather loves and supports it when tyrants are faithful to its interests - hordes of foreign policy "experts" shamelessly pretend that the US and its Nato allies are committed to spreading freedom and democracy and fighting despotism in order to justify every new US and Nato intervention.
Just listen to the patently deceitful rhetoric that spews forth from US political leaders and their servants in the Foreign Policy Community when it comes time to rail against anti-US regimes in Libya, Syria and Iran. That the US and its Nato allies - eager benefactors of the world's worst tyrants - are opposed to those regimes out of concern for democracy and human rights is a pretense, a conceit, so glaring and obvious that it really defies belief that people are willing to advocate it in public with a straight face. Even Riedel notes the real reason for those interventions: the Saudis, he writes, are "pragmatists and have backed revolutions in Libya and Syria that undermine longstanding enemies of the Kingdom, especially Iran."
The same inane rhetoric is pouring forth in the debate over the Mali intervention. The same countriesthat are arming the worst human rights abusers on the African continent are simultaneously flattering themselves as crusaders for human rights by bombing Mali. Meanwhile, those who point out that bombing Muslims in yet another country will be used by al-Qaida to strengthen itself further - as theNYT put it: "the backlash might end up being worse than the original threat" - are predictably smeared as Terrorist sympathizers by the self-proclaimed experts of the Foreign Policy Community who exist to justify US and Nato militarism (see here and here as examples).
It's the same warped, flagrantly propagandistic debate that has been taking place over and over for decades. It's how the Saudi-loving George Bush and Tony Blair were able to tell their citizens that their former ally, Saddam Hussein, had to be attacked and removed from power in part because of how tyrannical he was (citing past human rights abuses that took place when he was supported by the US and Nato allies). And it's how those who pointed out all of the contradictions and hypocrisies in these pro-freedom claims were systematically smeared as being pro-Saddam.
Critically, this propaganda about the commitment to human rights and democracy of the US and its Nato allies is aimed at, and only works on, the domestic populations of those countries. People in the region where these pro-tyranny policies are imposed by Nato members are fully aware of this reality, aspublic opinion polls unambiguously prove. But when there exists a massive apparatus of self-proclaimed experts calling itself the Foreign Policy Community that exists to propagate these myths, and a US media that similarly views the world through the prism of the US government, it is easy to see why these myths, despite how patently absurd they are, work so effectively. The fact that one can have a memo like Riedel's so clearly explaining US policy to support the worst tyrannies that serve its interests, sitting right next to endless US pro-war rhetoric about the urgency of fighting for freedom and democracy, is an outstanding testament to that myth-making.
© 2013 Guardian News and Media

January 29, 2013

Refused to hand over David Headley to India or grant him death, yet US says justice for 26/11 a priority

 
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The US today said bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 was still an "unfinished business" high on its priority, days after Pakistani American LeT terrorist David Headley was sent to 35 years in prison by a Chicago court, a sentence that has left India disappointed.
Defending the 'lenient' sentence, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Headley had yielded significant information to help India and the US prevent Mumbai-like attacks in future.
"I think it is unfinished business that we are not in any way walking away from. I'm leaving office, but I can assure you and the Indian people this remains one of our very highest priorities," Clinton said when asked if she was satisfied with the success that she had in bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice during her tenure.
Clinton, 65, who is set to leave the State Department on February 1, was interacting with global audiences at a farewell talk through a satellite link.
"A lot of useful information was obtained. And I think that this sentence represents both the punishment that he (Headley) richly deserves for his participation but also a recognition of the role that he has played and is expected to continue to play in supporting Indian and American efforts to prevent the kind of horrific attack that occurred in Mumbai," she said while responding to an Indian journalist's query on bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11.
The sentence for Headley for his role in plotting the Mumbai attack of 2008 left India majorly disappointed.
Under the plea bargain agreement Headley reached with the US government, he could have been sentenced to a life in prison, but the prosecutors only sought a maximum of 35 years for the rogue DEA agent, leaving a slight possibility that the 52-year-old might walk out of prison.
India had pressed for extradition of Headley but that too was ruled out after the LeT operative agreed to cooperate with the US agencies.
Clinton said Headley had undergone an intensive amount of investigation and interrogation by both Indian as well as American authorities.
She also reminded Pakistan of the need to take action against militants operating from its soil.
"We were successful in capturing and eliminating a number of the most dangerous terrorists who have safe haven inside Pakistan. We have continued to press the Pakistani government because of course, the terrorists inside Pakistan are first and foremost an ongoing threat to the stability of Pakistan, and they need to deal with it because of that as well as the implications for India, Afghanistan, the United States and elsewhere," she said.
She also commended efforts by the Indian and Pakistani leadership in restoring bilateral ties, and said this will help create a better environment of cooperation.
"I also think that the efforts that both Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh and President (Asif Ali) Zardari in Pakistan have made to improve communication, business, trade, commerce between India and Pakistan helps to create a more receptive environment for dealing with these serious threats," she said.
"So of course I'm not satisfied. I believe going after terrorism is an obligation of every country everywhere, every sensible person. We can have disagreements, but they cannot be in any way using violence or condoning the use of violence," Clinton said.
"We are not giving up. We are on this job literally every single day. We have improved our information-sharing, our law enforcement cooperation with India. I think that will pay dividends in years to come," said Clinton, who is making way for John Kerry.
The interaction included questions from a select six prominent news channels from across the world. This was Clinton's 59th town hall, three of which were held in India.
Networks participating via satellite included BBC from UK, Channels TV from Nigeria, MBC from Lebanon, NHK from Japan, NTN24 from Columbia and NDTV from India.



Congressmen seek US postage stamp on Diwali festival


Washington, Jan 29, 2013 (PTI)




Next time you receive a post parcel from the US, don't be surprised to see a colourful display of Diwali on it as some American lawmakers have introduced a resolution seeking issuence of a postage stamp on the popular Indian festival.

Congresswomen Carolyn B Maloney and Grace Meng, besides Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, have introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives, urging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to create a stamp as per the Diwali Stamp resolution.

The USPS has recognised other major religious holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Eid, with a commemorative stamp earlier. "Meaning 'row of lights,' Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, the awareness of one's inner light, the dispelling of ignorance, and bringing peace and joy through the awakening gained from this higher knowledge," Maloney said in her remarks on the House floor.

She added that this festive and important Indian holiday is also observed in America. "But despite the significance of this holiday, the United States Postal Service has yet to merit Diwali with the same recognition as other major religious holidays for which stamps are issued such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Eid," Maloney said.

"It is long overdue that we honor this significant holiday with a postage stamp of its own," she said. Adding to this, Congressman Ami Bera said that he felt honored to celebrate the Republic Day with Ambassador Rao and other Indian leaders in DC.

"Congratulations to India on 63 years of democracy. As the world's largest democracy, India has a special relationship with the world's oldest democracy, the United States" he said.
 

January 27, 2013

INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO URBAN OPERATIONS


This manual is designed primarily  for the intelligence staffs and soldiers of units conducting intelligence
support to operations in the urban environment.  It can also be used by commanders, staffs, and intelligence
personnel at all echelons, and applies equally to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National
Guard of the United States, and the United States Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.


With the continuing growth in the world’s urban areas and increasing population concentrations in urban
areas, the probability that the US Army will conduct full spectrum operations in urban environments is ever
more likely.  As urbanization has changed the demographic landscape, potential enemies recognize the
inherent danger and complexity of this environment to the attacker, and may view it as their best chance to
negate the technological and firepower advantages of modernized opponents. Given the global population
trends and the likely strategies and tactics of future threats, Army forces will likely conduct operations in,
around, and over urban areas—not as a matter of fate, but as a deliberate choice linked to national security
objectives and strategy. Stability operations––where keeping the social structure, economic structure, and
political support institutions intact and functioning or having to almost simultaneously provide the services
associated with those structures and institutions is the primary mission––may dominate urban operations.
This requires specific and timely intelligence support, placing a tremendous demand on the Intelligence
warfighting functions for operations, short-term planning, and long-term planning.  

Providing intelligence support to operations in the complex urban environment can be quite challenging
and may at first seem overwhelming.  The amount of detail required for operations in urban environments,
along with the large amounts of varied information required to provide intelligence support to these
operations, can be daunting.  Intelligence professionals must be flexible and adaptive in applying doctrine
and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) based on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and
support available, time available, and civil considerations (METT-TC).

As with operations in any environment, a key to providing good intelligence support in the urban
environment lies in identifying and focusing on the critical information required for each specific mission.  
The complexity of the urban environment requires focused intelligence, and a comprehensive framework
must be established to support the commander’s  requirements while managing the vast amount of
information and intelligence required for urban operations. By addressing the issues and considerations
listed in this manual, the commander, G-2/S-2, and intelligence analyst will be able to address most of the
critical aspects of the urban environment and identify both the gaps in the intelligence collection effort and
those systems and procedures that may answer them. This will assist the commander in correctly
identifying enemy actions so that US forces can focus on the enemy and seize the initiative while
maintaining an understanding of the overall situation

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