March 29, 2013
The PLA Daily of March 29,2013, has carried the following report on the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the margins of the BRICS summit at Durban on March 27.
Xi says world needs common development of China, India
(Source: Xinhua) 2013-03-29
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Durban, South Africa, March 27, 2013. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
DURBAN, South Africa, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Wednesday that the world needs the common development of China and India and can provide sufficient room for the two neighbors' development.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of a summit of BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- in the South African port city of Durban.
China and India, as the world's two largest developing nations, have a similar historic mission to boost their social and economic development, Xi said.
Both countries are in an important period of strategic opportunities, he said, adding that China-India relations have broad prospects for development.
China, which regards its ties with India as one of the most important bilateral relationship, commits itself to pushing forward the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership, Xi said.
He called on the two sides to maintain high-level reciprocal visits and contacts, make full use of political dialogues and consultations at various levels to strengthen strategic and political communication.
China and India should broaden exchanges and cooperation between their armed forces and deepen mutual military and security trust, Xi said.
The Chinese president said the two countries, with the help of such cooperative mechanisms as strategic and economic dialogue, should also discuss their cooperation on large-scale infrastructure projects.
Xi also called for enhancing people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, and broadening youth exchanges.
He said the two sides should strengthen coordination and cooperation within the United Nations, BRICS, the G20 and other multilateral groupings, support each other's participation in regional cooperation, and promote peace, stability and development in Asia.
On the border issue, Xi said China and India should improve and make good use of the mechanism of special representatives to strive for a fair, rational solution framework acceptable to both sides as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, he said, the two sides should continue to safeguard peace in their border areas and prevent the issue from affecting bilateral relations.
Singh expressed admiration for China's achievements in development, saying that developing good-neighborly and friendly relations with China and realizing common development along with China is a priority of the country's foreign policy.
India hopes to continue to maintain high-level exchanges, dialogue and communication with China, he added.
He also voiced the hope that the two countries would respect each other's core interests and major concerns, deepen mutual strategic trust, strengthen coordination and cooperation on international affairs, and safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
Singh said his country, which adheres to an independent foreign policy, will not be used as a tool to contain China, adding that India is willing to make concerted efforts with China to show the world that they are cooperative partners instead of rivals.
India will abide by political guidelines set by both sides and seek a solution to the bilateral border issue from a strategic height with a commitment to safeguard peace in their border areas, he said.
The Indian prime minister said his country recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region is a part of the Chinese territory and that India will not allow Tibetans to conduct political activities against China in India.
2. As this writer has been pointing out in the past, there are nuances in Chinese references to its territorial disputes with India and with some ASEAN countries and Japan in the South and East China Seas.
3.While China continues to project its maritime disputes as its "core interests" not permitting any compromise, it projects its dispute with India as calling for a mutually acceptable solution.
4.This comes out once again in the PLA Daily's report on the talks between the Prime Minister and Mr.Xi. It says: "On the border issue, Xi said China and India should improve and make good use of the mechanism of special representatives to strive for a fair, rational solution framework acceptable to both sides as soon as possible.Meanwhile, he said, the two sides should continue to safeguard peace in their border areas and prevent the issue from affecting bilateral relations"
5.The Chinese formulation is more or less the same as in the past except significantly its reference to finding a solution " as soon as possible." Past Chinese formulations used to refer to the border dispute as a complex historical legacy which will require time to solve. The need for a solution "as soon as possible" is stressed now. It is not yet clear as to why this change.
6.If the PLA Daily's references to our Prime Minister's assurances on Tibet are correct, one would wonder what was the need for us to take the initiative in raising this on our own when China continues to maintain a silence on our core concerns regarding its increasing presence in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltisan and in Gwadar and regarding its continuing nuclear supply relationship with Pakistan.( 29-3-13)
( 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 )
March 27, 2013
The Indian navy is prepared to deploy vessels to the South China Sea to protect India's oil interests there, the navy chief said on Monday amid growing international fears over the potential for naval clashes in the disputed region.
India has sparred diplomatically with China in the past over its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of Vietnam. China claims virtually the entire mineral-rich South China Sea and has stepped up its military presence there. Other nations such as Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia have competing claims.
Indian state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has a stake in a gas field in the Nam Con Son basin, off Vietnam's south coast.
Indian Navy Chief Admiral D.K Joshi said while India was not a claimant in the dispute over territorial rights in the South China Sea, it was prepared to act, if necessary, to protect its maritime and economic interests in the region.
"When the requirement is there, for example, in situations where our country's interests are involved, for example ONGC ... we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that," Joshi told a news conference.
"Now, are we preparing for it? Are we having exercises of that nature? The short answer is yes," he said.
He described the modernization of China's navy as "truly impressive" and acknowledged that it was a source of major concern for India.
Any display of naval assertiveness by India in the South China Sea would likely fuel concern that the navies of the two rapidly growing Asian giants could be on a collision course as they seek to protect trade routes and lock in the supply of coal, minerals and other raw material from foreign sources.
"It is one of the most important international waterways and freedom of navigation there is an issue of utmost concern to India because a large portion of India's trade is through the South China Sea," said Brahma Chellaney, analyst at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.
Chellaney, however, played down Joshi's comments, saying the Indian navy's focus would remain on the Indian Ocean, which the Asian nation views as its strategic backyard.
March 26, 2013
March 25, 2013 by admin2
Ravi Shanker Kapoor
Three days after presenting Budget 20114, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram wondered why Indian companies, both public sector undertakings (PSUs) as well as private enterprises, were not investing. “PSUs are sitting on piles of cash, private business houses are also sitting on piles of cash. I am in constant touch with bankers. While some enquiries have begun to come to bankers, I am told there is not a flood of enquiries.”
The Finance Minister’s wonderment reminds me of Ghalib’s famous couplet: Is saadgi pe kaun na mar jaaye ai khuda/ladte hain aur haath mein talwar bhi nahin (Who would not be floored by the simplicity of my beloved’s panache, Oh Lord/She fights and she doesn’t even have a sword in her hand). For it is clear why companies are not investing in India: the Congress-led government has fostered rules, regulations, myths, mindsets, and activists that are manifestly anti-business. And, of course, corruption has scaled new peaks.
So, according to an expert estimate, PSUs alone have investible surplus of Rs 2.5 lakh crore, of which Coal India has got Rs 60,000 crore. If the government is not able to coerce even PSUs, it has much less chance of coaxing business tycoons invest in the country.
But the equally big problem is that even if the finance ministry and other UPA functionaries who are said to be pro-reforms are able to convince the captains of industry to play ball, chances are that the projects would get stuck somewhere on the way to completion. According to a news report in The Times Of India (March 21), “Projects worth over Rs 7 lakh crore—which is equivalent to almost half the government spending in the current financial year—are held up in the absence of environmental and forest clearances, land and fuel, putting strain on the creaky infrastructure in the country and becoming an obstacle for an economy striving to get into a high growth trajectory.”
The report is based on the data compiled by state-run banks; “the amount is locked up in 215 projects spread across power, roads, ports, cement and steel, each with an estimated cost of Rs 250 crore or more. Any delay will push up the overall cost of setting up the projects, bankers said. It also increases the risk for the public sector banks, which have already disbursed loans amounting to Rs 54,000 crore.”
The worst hit is the power sector, with projects worth Rs 5.39 lakh crore languishing; Rs 1.23 lakh crore are stuck in roads and over Rs 32,500 crore in steel. This is as amazing as it is depressing in a country which desperately needs improvement in infrastructure. Policy grandees have emphasized the important of infrastructure on so many occasions. There is even a Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI). The result, though, is (to paraphrase Churchill) a big cipher, wrapped in officialese, inside pompous claptrap.
Even HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, who is very close to the Establishment, told The Economic Times(March 31), “I do not see Indian or foreign companies making large investments. The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has not acted as fast as expected.”
Max India chairman Analjit Singh was more precise: “On the one hand, there are segments/ministries of government which are very keen to promote business and investment; on the other, there are departments and individuals who get a perverse pleasure in harassing industry and sabotaging growth plans.”
Singh has hit the nail on the head. The individuals he mentioned are Left-leaning activists who (doctrinally) regard private enterprise as evil which needs to be combated at any cost. They also man many government organs—the most notorious of them being the Ministry of Environment.
Moreover, their antics are of great use for the venal: the hurdles they put in the path of businessmen are removed at considerable cost. So, while the pleasure is perverse for some, it is pecuniary for others. And those who raise their voice against the hurdles are dubbed as stooges of Big Business by the politician-intellectual complex.
India, meanwhile, wonders what would restore the 8% growth.
The author is a fellow at SAISA. Views expressed are personal.
By Ziad Haider Monday, March 25, 2013 - 11:23 AM
As the Obama administration seeks to "responsibly withdraw" from Afghanistan by 2014, it must also retool its policy toward a more strategically important, nuclear-armed, and volatile Pakistan. Given U.S. engagement and leverage with Pakistan will only further decline, and its current single digit approval rating in Pakistan, it needs all the help it can get to contain a hydra of militant groups from tearing Pakistan apart or triggering a war with India. To the extent that external actors have a role to play in Pakistan's internal stability - the onus, after all, lies with its own leadership - the United States might find the most unlikely of partners in Pakistan's northern neighbor and "all-weather friend:" China.
Sino-Pakistan relations have consisted of four phases. After diplomatic ties were established in 1951, relations cooled as Pakistan sided with the United States against seating China in the United Nations. The 1962 Sino-Indian war and 1963 Sino-Pak boundary agreement cemented ties against a common adversary; China became and remains a vital source of military and nuclear technology for Pakistan. In the late eighties, a thaw in Sino-Indian ties - trade between the two rising economic giants is now six times that between China and Pakistan - and the spread of militancy into China's restive Xinjiang region from Pakistan diluted the relationship. Since 9/11, Chinese concerns about Pakistan's stability have only deepened with attacks on some of the 13,000 Chinese workers living in Pakistan.
Three lessons for the United States emerge from this narrative.
First, while China remains committed to Pakistan, especially to balance India, its position on Indo-Pak relations has shifted. From threatening intervention in the 1965 Indo-Pak war to former President Jiang Zemin urging the Pakistani Parliament to put Kashmir on the back burner and focus on development in the nineties, to the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister engaging in unprecedented shuttle diplomacy following the 2008 Mumbai attacks that nearly brought both sides to war, China is emerging as a key crisis-manager in South Asia - in large part to maintain regional stability for its own economic growth.
Second, despite these shifts, China retains a high favorability rating in Pakistan at 90%. Underpinning this credibility is China's perceived unstinting support vis a vis India and economic assistance, generally in the form of soft loans with no grating conditionalities, that have resulted in a range of prominent infrastructure and defense-related projects in Pakistan.
Third, China is increasingly focused westward. Since 2000, China's "Go West" policy has sought to tackle underdevelopment in its vast western regions, including Xinjiang. Pakistan can potentially provide an outbound route for goods from Xinjiang and an inbound maritime route through its struggling Gwadar port for an increasingly Persian Gulf-oil dependent China. Similarly, an influential essay titled "Marching West" making the rounds in China's policy circles argues for expanding ties with China's western neighbors. In contrast to a tense Pacific, China's west, the essay contends, is also fertile ground for Sino-U.S. cooperation, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Given China's potential crisis-manager role in South Asia, its standing in Pakistan, and its concerns about militancy therein, China and U.S. interests seem to converge. This runs askance of the "string of pearls" theory that views Pakistan as a central element in China's evolving grand strategy in the Indian Ocean, potentially to U.S. detriment. Consider, however, the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030 report. In one of four scenarios for the future of geopolitics it outlines, the optimal one is a "fusion" of Sino-U.S. interests - sparked by their jointly defusing a looming war between Pakistan and India.
Operationalizing this convergence will not be easy. The Chinese have less reason to press Pakistan on militancy given its forthcoming assistance in clamping down on the group of greatest concern to Beijing: the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. Here, the United States must flag to the Chinese the risk of "mission creep" by other more sophisticated militant groups based in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a lethal terrorist group that has primarily targeted India, has also noted the mistreatment of Chinese Muslims in its manifesto, "Why We Wage Jihad." On Indo-Pak relations, China's role is complicated by its balancing strategy; border tensions with India; and Pakistan having ceded a portion of the disputed Kashmir territory to China in their 1963 boundary agreement over Indian objections, technically making China a party to the Kashmir dispute. Indeed, India strongly opposes Chinese involvement in South Asia, including a mere reference to U.S.-China cooperation in the region in a 2009 joint statement. However, its view might change if it perceived China to be playing a stabilizing role.
Despite a crowded agenda, the United States and China must think boldly at the highest levels about their strategic convergence in Pakistan. The administration should encourage Beijing to host the next meeting of the Friends of a Democratic Pakistan - revitalizing the group and widening China's role as a stakeholder in Pakistan. The process of putting together and hosting the meeting may nudge Beijing to more broadly assess its interests and exposure in Pakistan as U.S. engagement in the region scales back. Additionally, both sides should quietly consider a crisis-management and coordination mechanism on Pakistan - one that will require the State Department to think across traditionally siloed regional Bureaus.
A final lesson from history: citing Pakistan's pivotal backchannel role in the normalization of Sino-US relations, Premier Zhou En Lai subsequently remarked to Henry Kissinger that "the bridge that helped them cross (the divide)" must not be forgotten. As the Obama administration scales back in South Asia and rebalances to the Asia-Pacific, navigating new chasms with a rising China, Pakistan might yet again serve as a bridge.
Ziad Haider is an attorney at White & Case LLP and Co-Director of the Truman National Security Project's Asia Expert Group. He served as a White House Fellow in the US Department of Justice and a national security aide in the US Senate. Follow him on Twitter: @Asia_Hand.
WASHINGTON D.C -- Dr. Wahid Baloch, President of Balochistan National Congress (BNC), Washington D.C Chapter, welcomed Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal's return to Balochistan and asked all other exiled Baloch leaders to follow his lead and return to Balochistan and be among their own people to lead and organize them instead of being apart, useless and non-functional in exile.
"Those who are making Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal's return a big deal and are in hue and cry are less worried about Baochistan and more worried about their personal and political vendetta", said Dr. Wahid Baloch.
"I hope Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal will consider taking part in the upcoming elections for the greater interest of Balochistan and Baloch nation," he said.
He said, Baloch must take part in election, as boycotting them will only help the Baloch enemies to impose their writ and agenda on Baloch people and help them and their agents, opportunists, drug dealers and JUI extremists to take over the Baloch assemblies and represent themselves as the "elected Baloch leaders", to not only fool the world but also to cause more harm to Baloch people. Assemblies, though powerless or rubber stamped' can and should be used as tools to counter the games of establishment to politically marginalize and alienate Baloch people and to continue their loot and plunder of Baloch resources through their agents without being challenged.
All the Baloch parliamentarian should work in unity to promote the Genuine Baloch demands within the federation", he said.
"Balochistan is bleeding and anything that can be done to save Baloch lives, secure Balochistan and it's coasts and resources for Baloch people must be done with unity, through strategic planing and wisdom," he continued.
He asked Saradar Akhtar Jan to include the BNC 14 point in their election agenda and take all Baloch stakeholders into confidence and on board in order to steer Balochistan out of this crisis and looming civil war.
He said a lot of innocent Baloch blood has been shed and Baloch people are sick and tired of collecting bullet riddle mutilated tortured dead bodies of their loved one every day. "It has to stop now"' he said.
He said Baloch should shun this so called war of independence that is being imposed upon them by Baloch enemies so that they can use this as a pretext to eliminate the Baloch intelligentsia and leadership so that they can continue the loot and plunder of Baloch resources without being challenged or stopped.
He said, instead of shouting for freedom, Baloch should unite on a single democratic platform and work within the Pakistani federation to safeguard their rights, including the right of self-determination by using all democratic and peaceful means of struggle.
He said, Baloch are weak and divided and they have no international support. The International community have not only ignored the Baloch killings, disappearances and genocide but their criminal silence have added to the sufferings and misery of Baloch people . Therefore, it is befitting that we should not be suicidal and follow any fancy and emotional slogan.
He said freedom is priceless, but without proper resources and International support Balochistan can not be free by empty emotional slogans and hungry stomach.
He said, Baloch must come out of the closet of their fancy dream world and be realistic. A war of independence can not be fought and won merely on emotional slogans and fancy dreams of Azadee. It is time to change the course and re-think of a new strategy based upon facts and ground realities not just on fancy emotional slogans and dreams. We must not get our youths killed unnecessarily without providing them protection and security. Instead, we should save them for the future challenges, educate them and help them to support their families. Those who are pushing Baloch youths into this suicidal war are equally responsible of their killings.
He said," Balochistan is going though its critical time in its history and the only way it can be saved and secured is by joining hands together instead of opposing each-other or putting each-other down".
The Balochistan National Congress (BNC) 14 points:
- Military operation must end unconditionally and immediately.
- All those Baloch who have been forcibly disappeared by FC and are missing must be released and allowed to re-join with their family members and law-enforcement officers, including military officers, who broke the law or committed crimes against Baloch citizens must be brought to justice.
- Hefty and direct compensation in a transparent mode to the families of all those who got killed, kidnapped and tortured.
- Homeless IDP's must be returned to their hearth and home with honor and dignity, rehabilitated and compensated.
- The mostly Pashtun-based Frontier Corps, which have intentionally been deployed to create bad blood between the Baloch and Pashtuns, must be removed from all Baloch cities and towns in Balochistan and replaced by local Balochs; all the FC check post should be dismantled in Balochistan; the Pastun-based Frontier Corps should be deployed along the Afghan border in Pashtun areas.
- All Afghan refugees living in Balochistan must be returned back to Afghanistan and their names removed from the voter registration lists.
- The historic territorial integrity and demography of Balochistan, land of the Baloch, must not be changed.
- Balochistan’s boundaries to be re-drawn based on historical, ethnic and linguistic line and all Pashtun areas of Balochistan should be joined with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur must be added back to Balochistan.
- Gwadar port and Balochistan's natural resources must be used to uplift the Baloch people.
- Baloch secular national identity and culture must be honored, preserved, restored and respected.
- Balochi language must be declared Balochistan's primary language of learning.
- Baloch, especially the ordinary middle classes, must be well represented at all the federal level and in foreign services to remove their sense of deprivation and alienation to make them feel as counted citizens.
- Pakistan should be re-named as the United States of Pakistan (USP) and be declared as a federation of four autonomous individual States, Viz,Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa, where all federating units should be treated and represented equally in all federal departments,including the armed forces and foreign services.
- Center should only keep the defense, currency and foreign affairs and all other departments, including the foreign trade, taxation and Communication, should be given to the federating units with full autonomy. Every federating unit should be allowed to take care of their internal security apparatus according to their needs and resources and all federating units should be free to promote their National identity, language, culture and traditions without any fear, intimidation or coercing.
In order to bring peace and harmony in Pakistan, an atmosphere of friendship, co-operation, tolerance, mutual respect, understanding and accommodation among all nationalities in Pakistan should be promoted, supported and encouraged. The terrorism, religious extremism and violence should be denounced in its all forms and shapes.
Supreme Court Bar Association's 14 points resolution: (Attached pdf file) Link >> http://www.scribd.com/doc/94908333/Resolution
Balochistan National Congress (BNC)
1629 K Street NW, Suit 300
Washington D.C., 20036
Tel: (202) 349-1682 Fax: (202) 331-3759
Contributor: Andrew Elwell
Posted: 03/14/2013 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
What’s the focus of the Defense and Strategic Studies Program at the United States Military Academy? What is your role?
The Defense and Strategic Studies Program is an academic major in the Department of Military Instruction at the United States Military Academy, West Point. It is a multi-disciplinary major where our cadets are challenged to apply history, policy, and theory; frame complex strategic problems; and generate viable and innovative solutions to contemporary military problems. I am an academic instructor and course director for "DS385: Sustaining the Force." In DS385 we look at a country's ability to Generate, Transport, Sustain, and Reallocate/Redeploy its fighting forces as a factor of military, and thus national, power. This includes historical and contemporary studies of military logistics at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war. This position is one of many that Army officers can apply for after their company command. I served in Baghdad, Iraq as a Platoon Leader in 2005 and as a planner and company commander in 2007-08. The Army then sent me to get my Masters Degree at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy in preparation for this assignment. It’s worth pointing out here that as a U.S. Army Armor Officer - not a logistician or aviation officer – I must emphasise that all of my contributions to the Gulf Military Helicopter Conference are academic and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Army, or the U.S. Department of Defense.
Could you please discuss and summarise your thoughts on the use of Cargo UAVs for the U.S. Army? What are the pros and cons?
The last 11 years of combat have forced the US military to consider a number of new technologies and systems. While tactics revolving around counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism gain a lot of attention, logistics considerations can often go underappreciated, and therefore under-analysed. Although unmanned technological integration is currently popular, it is not sensible for the Army to pursue a supply-oriented UAV when the funds for such a project could be used to augment current rotary-wing assets. Recent accolades for the United States Marine Corps’ use of Lockheed Martin’s K-MAX optionally-manned helicopter are, in my opinion, overblown, and fall short from legitimating widespread acquisition of the platform, or concept.
There are certainly pros and cons on both sides of the argument. Some argue that every load a cargo UAV carries reduces ground convoys that are vulnerable to threats inherent in modern warfare. Further, the current Syrian conflict has shown the vulnerability of cargo helicopters in the face of hybrid threats. Taking the pilot out of harm’s way when supplies are being moved across the battlefield seems to be a good idea. Finally, UAVs could alleviate the pilot rest cycle for aviation units, especially given that autonomous flight and tethering may be future capabilities.
My skepticism is rooted mainly in organisational issues. In order to carry loads that are meaningful in the resupply mission, the size of the craft will ultimately lack the flexibility found in reconnaissance UAVs, such as the Shadow. The large aircraft (the KMAX is as big as an AH-64 Apache) have requisite service personnel and maintenance that demand protected maintenance facilities. Furthermore, delivery accuracy assumes the existence of trained crews to be on the ground where the supplies are being delivered. One study on the topic implies that six crews are needed for each UAV. This would represent a significant increase in manpower in the “tail’ of the force for a capability that has a marginal net benefit. I say this with all due respect to those logisticians
A closing thought for those who argue that the U.S. Army should adopt these platforms. It is important to consider that no pilot is endangered when one of these choppers crashes or is shot down. One cannot forget, however, that the sensitive nature of the equipment on the UAV will still require an extensive recovery process, ground forces approaching a known objective. This should limit the argument that their use eliminates all risk. I look forward to discussing the concept with true aviators and members of the industry.
What about the drawdown from Afghanistan next year - could the logistics challenge there be aided with improvements to current rotary cargo aircraft?
I think that the reverse logistics of wide area security operations in terrain like Afghanistan places uniquely strenuous demands on rotary airlift units. It is easy enough to drop tonnage from fixed wing assets in large quantities, but when the equipment and personnel have to be extracted, rotary wing lift is critical. As the strength of the force reduces, it will be that much more difficult to secure the ground lines of communications. This brings up another point about the Cargo UAV problem. While transferring cargo and equipment between larger Forward/Main Operating Bases (FOBs) seems feasible, there would be significant additional requirements to allow cargo to be lifted by UAVs out of the smaller Combat Outposts (COPs) like those in Afghanistan.
Most importantly, I believe that the apparent direction modern warfare demands robust tactical airlift capabilities within modern forces. Manned, rotary, cargo lift provides flexibility and operational options to ground force commanders as they face the prospect of hybrid threats, a lack of a rear area, and dilapidated infrastructure.
What are you hoping to get out of the Gulf Military Helicopter conference? What will make it a successful conference for you?
As a professional officer, I look forward to this opportunity to learn. What better way than to do so from service members from so many different countries in the phenomenal setting of the Armed Forces Officers’ Club in the UAE? This experience can only make me a better officer. I hope that my presentation will contribute to any dialogue surrounding the testing, acquisition, and fielding of cargo UAVs. Moreover, I hope to generate discussion about helicopters’ roles in military logistics. I teach my cadets at West Point that military logistics, a country’s ability to generate-transport-sustain-redeploy its armed forces, is a key factor of military power, and therefore national power. The presence of organic cargo helicopters can therefore, in the words of Colin Gray, be the arbiter of military strategies.
Contributor: Andrew Elwell
Posted: 03/14/2013 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Wilson is the Head of Air Operations, J3 at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters. He was the commander of the first of two Swedish units sent during Operation Unified Protector (OUP) in Libya. Defence IQ recently spoke to Lt Col Wilson about his experience in Libya and how the operation is shaping Sweden’s outlook on acting in future missions.
“One must bear in mind that it was almost 50 years ago since Sweden last participated in a live operation with fighter aircraft [the Congo crisis during the 1960s],” said Lt Col Wilson.
“I think that the speed in which we deployed to Italy, which was just 23 hours after the Swedish parliament made its decision, was quite fast. As a non-NATO country Sweden did not have access to NATO secret systems and it took weeks or even months to get that. But despite the set-backs we declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) after just one week, which during those conditions, was impressive.”
Notwithstanding the complex operational environment and difficult command structure of OUP, Lt Col Wilson listed a number of the key lessons that he took away from the mission. These included: Interoperability on a technical level, with communications and the use of link 16, as well as on the procedure and documentation side; establishing and maintaining a clear chain of command; always ensure you retain an expeditionary mind set; and the understanding that live training exercises both domestically and in collaboration with other nations are essential – tactical evaluation (TACEVAL) of exercises such as Loyal Arrow and Joint Warrior should not be forgotten.
“Regarding operational efficiency and interoperability with other nations Sweden is still participating in international exercises. During this past January and February, eight JAS 39 Gripen from Blekinge wing participated in Red Flag -2 2013. Furthermore, this week Sweden is hosting an exercise in the northern part of Sweden with fighters from both Norway and Finland participating. This is just a few examples of how Sweden maintains and even improves its capabilities in regards to interoperability.”
Considering Sweden’s future fighter capabilities, Lt Col Wilson said that the Swedish government have ordered 60 new JAS 39 Gripen (also known as the E/F version) and that over the next few years will also integrate the GBU 39 (a small diameter bomb) and the new BVR missile (Meteor) to the JAS 39 Gripen system.
The Gripen has been a true success story. I asked if that had played the key role in the rise of the Nordic region as a heavyweight in the fighter aircraft sector. The announcement of the first ever Fighter Nordic conference in May is surely testament to that?
“In Operation Unified Protector, Denmark and Norway also participated with their fighters. At Sigonella NAS we had a very good cooperation with the Danish unit – that collaboration was one of the reasons why we could declare IOC so early.
“I therefore think that all three countries together, not the Swedish Gripen by itself, has led to the Nordic rise that you are referring to.”
March 25, 2013
Despite the serious death threat from Taliban against his life and looming assassination charges of Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, hanging on over his head, Mush landed in Karachi wearing a bullet proof jacket under his shirt (see Photo), in tight security provided by his military men with rent-a- crowd paid supporters to show that he is not a wanted fugitive man but a popular politician who can steer the country out of its problems and save Pakistan form collapsing and failure.
The purpose of his return is clear and that is to give 'Mush card' also a chance.
Since the Pakistan's military is not in a position to attempt a military coup to take over, (as they did that so many times in the past), because, this time it will be a suicidal adventure if they try to do so as this will not only destabilize the already fragile Pakistan but it will also send the entire country into an ugly civil war, anarchy and complete collapse that the country can not afford and could never recover from.
So, therefore, the military and it's ISI are looking into other options, like the Plan B, which is to use it's proxy political parties, like Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (TIP) of cricketer-turn-politician Mr. Imran Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) of the Cleric in the container Mr. Mullah Tahir-ul Qadri, Pro-Taliban extremist groups like Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Jamit-Islam (JI), Defa-e-Pakista- Council (DPC), a coalitions of 40 Islamic extremist group formed and headed by ISI man JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, the most wanted terrorist of US and Indian Governments, and the PML (Q) of Mush to Plant them through bogus votes and election drama to fool the world and insted of being in the front seat, run the country's affairs through these proxy puppets to give this whole thing a civilian face so that the world community accept it and do business with it as usual.
In this regard, Mush, an ex-military Gen of their own can make the best acceptable candidate and trustworthy man for the military and it's ISI to give the 'Mush card' a chance.
All these ISI cards, (TIP, PAT, JUI-F, JI, DPC, JuD, MQM and Mush card) are on the table to make sure one or more of these military's proxy political parties win the upcoming election to out number the PPP and PML (N), the two major parties in Pakistan whom's leaders relationship with Pakistan's military are not good.
The game is on and only the time will tell how the Pakistan's military and it's ISI will manipulate the elections and who they will declare as winner through the bogus and fraudulent votes. Let's wait and see.
Anti-Muslim rumours projecting Muslims negatively have spread to Rangoon from Meikhtila which has been placed under a State of Emergency following three days of Buddhist-Muslim clashes last week.
2.While no fresh fatalities have been reported from Meikhtila, there have been reports of fresh attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned properties in the villages and townships around Meikhtila.
3. There have been reports of fear among the Muslima of Rangoon, many of them of Indian origin, following circulation of rumours regarding possible attacks on Muslims and their properties there. The Myanmar Government has placed security forces in Rangoon in a state of alert. There have been no violent incidents so far.
4. Muslims suspect that the attacks on Muslims and the rumours are being instigated by anti-reform elements in the Army to discredit President TheinSein and Aung San SuuKyi.
5.The privately-owned Irrawaddy Journal has reported as follows: " Fear gripped Rangoon's Muslim communities on Sunday night after reports and rumors began to emerge that groups of rioters were planning to attack their neighborhoods. Muslim residents reacted by closing shops and holding nighttime patrols, but eventually there were few incidents in Burma's biggest city.
"Over the weekend the violence directed at Islamic communities spread southward through Mandalay Division from Meikhtila Township, where 8,000 Muslims were displaced and dozens of people were killed after violence erupted last Wednesday.
"Some Islamic leaders and Burmese activists now allege that the rapidly spreading communal violence—which appears to pit Buddhists against Muslims—is in fact being incited by outside interests.
"On Sunday night, reports and rumors that groups of anti-Muslim rioters were on their way to Muslim neighborhoods in central Rangoon first began to appear. Around midnight an unidentified group allegedly tried to set fire to buildings in Ma U Gone, a Muslim quarter in Tamwe Township, according to local resident Tha Aye.
"It was near midnight, around seven or eight people came in a van and tried to set buildings on fire. When people tried to catch them they ran away," said Tha Aye, who is also chairman of the Union National Development Party, an Islamic political organization.
"They threw [Molotov cocktails] at a mosque but it was in vain," he said, adding that the attackers revisited the area more than one hour later, but they were chased away by residents who carried knives and sticks.
'News of the incident quickly reached other Islamic communities who formed vigilante groups to patrol the streets, according to Aye Lwin, a Muslim representative from Burma's Interfaith Friendship Organization.
'At around 3 am Monday morning Muslim crowds could be heard chanting 'God is Great' as they marched through central Rangoon's Pabedan Township.
'Residents of MingalarTaungNyunt Township, a predominantly Muslim market area, were also on alert after they received repeated anonymous phone calls on Sunday night, saying that the area would be the target of mobs.
'Businesses in the area remained closed during a visit by a reporter on Monday. "We want the government to help stop these rumors and reassure the community's safety," local community leader KhinHlaing said.
'Some Muslim leaders believed that the violence directed at their communities was being orchestrated by outsiders. "In my opinion, a group of people is trying to instigate public unrest by targeting Muslim people," Aye Lwin said.
'"Tha Aye alleged that elements in the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party were involved in the supposed organization of the anti-Muslim riots, adding that they wanted to hinder President TheinSein's political and socio-economic reform agenda."
6.Our security agencies should step up online monitoring to prevent dissemination of morphed images of the violence by extremist elements as happened last year after the violent incidents in the Rakhine State.( 26-3-13)
(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 )