September 07, 2013

ISI and other foreign covert agencies are subverting India.

Operating locally, the ISI and other foreign covert agencies are subverting India.

By Gautam Sen (2 September 2013)

London: The Indian trait of being easily gratified and eager to please is a fascinating contrast to self-serving Pakistani truculence. Despite being bankrolled and armed by the United States over fifty years, Pakistan not only refused to play ball with US plans for Afghanistan, it used US-supplied weaponry to embark on a murderously effective counteroffensive against Western forces. It also mobilized its citizens against the US by instigating a relentless hate campaign. By comparison, India has lost no opportunity to prostrate itself to the US in apparent infinite gratitude for the Indo-US nuclear accord.

The shameless United Progressive Alliance government now wishes to mortgage India’s energy security for the next generation by purchasing untried US nuclear reactors though superior contenders are available elsewhere. If prominent Indian politicians are not poised to receive consideration for this devastating betrayal, they are bigger fools than hitherto presumed. But pigs will fly first before such an opportunity fails to prompt Pharaonic enrichment of India’s elite. The alternatives to US nuclear reactors include domestic and international thorium ones that might allow India significant energy autonomy, its principal source of external vulnerability.

India earlier also leapt into the Afghan cauldron and spent unconscionable sums for no obvious long-term gain. It was this unthinking and opportunistic policy impulse that prompted Pakistan’s 26/11 terror assault against Mumbai though no commentator was astute enough to recognize it as such. Evidently, India has also suspended belief, in an example of the triumph of hope over experience, by outsourcing Indian policy towards Pakistan to Washington.

In recent months, a schoolboy penchant for short-cuts and an entirely supine mind-set resulted in a sharp border rebuff from China. Indian initiatives along the Ladakh LAC, in response to calculated earlier Chinese belligerence, failed to adequately prepare for likely retaliatory countermeasures. The antecedent status quo would have been preferable to the humiliating political and legal setback for India of conceding to China, as it has evidently done. Further political and military consequences may follow as the Indian government is impaled on fiscal insolvency and its people lose their fighting spirit in despair.

A more immediate political denouement is looming large as US rapprochement with Pakistan unfolds below the radar. No, the US is not about to settle scores with Pakistan for being thwarted by it in Afghanistan and instigate a state of affairs to provide India regional victory on a platter. The ISI, like the Italian secret service, was created by the US in the context of the Cold War, and their relationship runs deep. The Pakistanis have no doubt reminded the US that its historic, global victory in the Cold War, in the aftermath of the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, was facilitated by unstinting Pakistani support. Quite clearly, the outcome was of unprecedented importance to the US and its Western allies. Besides, only by having Pakistan on board can the US realistically hope to secure its residual interests in Afghanistan, as I have been warning since 2005.

No doubt, the US is also aware that if push comes to shove, Pakistan’s professional and reliable military levies will do its dirty work in the Middle East, as the infamous Zia-ul-Haq did, as a mercenary commander, to crush Jordan’s Palestinian militants in 1970. In addition, the Saudi monarchy will surely have interceded on behalf of their cherished Pakistani co-religionists, who may be called upon to save them from the wrath of its own people. The recent dispatch of Pakistani Taliban military trainers to Syria to help unseat Bashar-al Assad of Syria is a clear reaffirmation that the Anglo-Americans never allowed their intimate historic ties with global Jihadis, as researcher Mark Curtis has affirmed, to deteriorate. Their disagreements over the future of Afghanistan are an isolated local difficulty and the larger usefulness of Islamists to Anglo-US policy remains intact. India counts for nothing by comparison.

An even greater calamity that has now overtaken India is deep penetration of its national institutions and body politic by foreign intelligence agencies. The phenomenon always existed though the extraordinary scale of the Anglo-American infiltration of India has been revealed recently by massive leaks about US intelligence activities. Most frighteningly, ISI penetration of India at the highest levels of government and society is unmistakably perceptible. So successful has Pakistan’s ISI become that it is possible that they surreptitiously promoted the shocking warfare between Indian intelligence and investigative agencies through its Indian proxies.

Revealingly, senior RAW officers are publicly denouncing the fabrication of evidence to distract attention from global terrorism, sponsored by the Pakistani ISI and funded by the Saudis, by blaming alleged Hindu extremists. Some of the falsehoods are brazen and there is not even an attempt by suborned Indian decision-makers to explain why their accusations against alleged majority-community perpetrators of terrorism are flatly contradicted by US agencies and the UN Security Council.

Underlying the alarming penetration of India by the Pakistani ISI is India’s vote-bank politics, which has granted extraordinary latitude to terrorist activities. Some of India’s top elected politicians routinely and respectfully refer to the ideological mentors of terrorists by appending ‘ji’ after their names. One Indian chief minister visited Pakistan in order to advertise his political party’s magnanimity towards the assumed loyalties of their votebanks. Indeed, they are inciting emotional attachments towards India’s sworn tormentor where little may have existed before.

Intrusive investigation to interdict terrorist plotters is well nigh impossible in much of India as well. It is opposed by most ruling parties who live and breathe a treasonous Indian version of secularism. The impugning of the Batla House terror encounter by Indian politicians was an illustration of the degree of subversion of the Indian state by foreign interests. A few years ago, one of India’s most senior RAW officers lamented privately that the bombers who caused mayhem in Delhi during 2005 were given an official escort up to the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. It was also shocking to learn from an apolitical senior bank executive of the sighting of Dawood Ibrahim in the Mumbai airport VIP lounge in 2003 in the company of Maharashtra’s most formidable politician.

Politicians, officials, NGOs and media personalities openly cavort with terrorist sympathisers even after their anti-national activities have been exposed by Indian security organizations. Numerous fraudulent human rights’ NGOs have been sponsored in India by foreign agencies specifically designated to undermine Indian security efforts. Family members of India’s ruling establishment are also known to be in contact with Pakistani missions in Europe. Useful individuals in India, high and low, are being discreetly gifted international credit cards issued abroad and payments due on them are settled in venues like Dubai and London by both foreign intelligence services and terrorist groups. Such bribery is virtually untraceable. 

The downfall of the Indian state is proceeding apace, a version of the phenomenon that is especially starkly evident across the Middle East today. The Anglo-Americans are engaged in mass murder and change regimes routinely to the bogus chorus of human rights’ violations. As far as India is concerned, the task of subverting its one relatively-unaffected institution, its armed forces, remains to be accomplished, though Manmohan Singh’s UPA II has made some determined progress in this regard as well. This is why it is absolutely imperative to stop Narendra Modi becoming prime minister of India. He may have the temerity to resist the dismantling of India.

Dr Gautam Sen has taught Political Economy at the London School of Economics.

World's Biggest Old Age Home with the Cheapest Canteen..!!!

World's Biggest Old Age Home with the Cheapest Canteen..!!!


The Only Place in India where the Food is cheap.

Tea- 1.00
Soup- 5.50
Daal- 1.50
Meals- 2.00
Chapati- 1.00
Chicken- 24.50
Dosa- 4.00
Biryani- 8.00

These items are meant for Poor People but
they are available at Indian Parliament Canteen.

The Salary of those poor people are
Rs.80,000/- per month ( 
Without Income Tax).

Please circulate this to at least
Ten Nagriks…. (Indian Citizens)


September 06, 2013

Obama’s search for lost say in Middle East

Divya Kumar Soti (The writer is a national security analyst). (VIEWS OF THE WRITER ARE PERSONAL).


As the United States (US) inches towards diving in Syrian conflict, dilemmas afflicting Obama’s Middle-East policy become more evident. Since the Arab Spring got spontaneously triggered on Tahrir square in Cairo, White House had to repeatedly make distasteful choices in the Middle-East.

Arab spring has unsettled the “old order” of cold-war vintage in Middle-East which consisted of US and Soviet backed dictators.

This “old order” had provisions for geo-political balance among regional powers and Shia-Sunni blocks and provided greatest stability one could hope for in Middle-East.

This has led to Washington’s regional allies like Saudi and Qatar Royals make their own choices in Egyptian and Syrian conflicts.

These regional powers are now locked in bitter proxy wars where they sponsor groups which they see as best furthering their interests.

The conflict in Middle-East now transcends Shia-Sunni or pro-anti US dividing lines and ideological hues are getting increasingly blurred.

As US given its pro-democracy rhetoric was left with no option but to publicly support anti-Mubarak forces in Egypt; Saudi Royals, who are extremely uncomfortable with rise of Muslim Brotherhood which they see as greatest threat to their regime, teamed up with the Egyptian Army and got the Morsi regime overthrown.
Again White House had to favour the new military backed government and toe the Saudi line. In the meantime, Qatar continues to lend covert support to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Arab spring’s jasmine revolutions have destabilized the nations like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. Whatever choices US made willingly or unwillingly in these countries are turning out to be wrong. New governments are struggling and Islamists are gaining in all these countries.

In Syria, Obama has but all the bad choices. With Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey sponsoring different opposition groups which include Al- Qaeda and its affiliate Al-Nusra Front, CIA remains perplexed as to implementing Obama’s decision of supplying arms to Syrian rebels through Turkey.
Throughout last year, White House could do little but to watch the different GCC countries compete with each for influence in Syria through their proxies
Admitting to this Secretary of State John Kerry told a Congressional hearing that unless US attacks Syria, US allies that are funding Al-Qaeda-aligned Syrian rebels will fund them even more.

However, Syria is not Iraq. Here there are real chemical weapons stockpiles and Al-Qaeda already has a strong presence on the ground. Obama came to office with an anti-war stance and Americans have no appetite left for ground operations. A limited air offensive has evident limitations.

As Obama is pushed towards launching military strikes against Assad regime by GCC States and Israel, which share the same aim of dismantling the Iran led “Resistance Axis”, we are all set to witness the greatest of ironies of our times, that is, US and Al-Qaeda working on the same object.

However, US intervention in Syria can only aggravate the Middle-East crisis. Obama has the option of just punishing Assad and refrain from massive bombardment but there are no guarantees that violence will not spill out in Middle-East.

On t he other hand, a larger air offensive which can topple Assad will l eave Chemical Weapon stockpiles unsecured and put Al-Qaeda linked groups in government.

The only policy objective which Obama may hope to fulfill by intervening in Syria is that US will again be taking lead in Middle-East politics and not just dragged along by the policy of its allies.

September 05, 2013

Can the nation expect PM to stop swimming in slush?

By Lt Gen Prakash KatochIssue Net Edition | Date : 03 Sep , 2013

In one crisp interview to Spiegel, Jayati Ghosh has disrobed the government in deflecting blame on “foreign factors” for the economic slush that they have landed this country into. Both the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister have been crucified by Jayati by elucidating:

In Chumar the PLA is making frequent transgressions, claiming 85 sq km of Indian territory despite the international border defining the two countries.

One, desperate  attempts to attract more foreign capital by easing rules for external commercial borrowing worsens structural causes of the rupee crisis;

Two, the  much vaunted economic boom was essentially a debt-driven consumption spree, financed by short term capital inflows (she did not qualify how the Food Security Bill will compound this folly);

Three, profits went mostly to construction companies and the real estate sector (isn’t that where all the black money of political bigwigs in India is);

Four, this so called boom did not generate any new jobs and instead deepened the rich-poor gap;
Five, multinationals don’t create jobs;

Six, we need “real” democracy not hierarchical one which is immune to crass injustice, to name a few. So, assertions by the government that our fundamentals are strong are a blatant lie and a desperate attempt to fool the public. Not only are our economic fundamentals weak, they are being systematically weakened more. More alarming is Jayati’s prediction that we are sitting on a ticking time bomb; when the 15 million unemployed youth will hit urban centres. Isn’t that what the Maoist revolution is all about? Government’s policy makers may feel secure surrounded by ‘black cats’ but so did their counterparts in China before the ‘Great Leap’ in which millions were killed.

Mentioning the above in a publication like the Indian Defence Review may appear unwarranted to some but then this is intimately linked to national security. Insurgencies in India are already being exploited by China and Pakistan and why would they not? The slush that we are compounding internally is going to cost us very dearly. But the irony is that the slush that the government has created externally is even more putrid and the muck is already flowing across our borders. Why this double tragedy is being authored by our Faustian policy makers and where it will lead us is anybody’s guess.

Is your Defence Minister in league with China in having brought the military industrial complex to such a state that even assault rifles and carbines have to be imported?

Shishir Gupta writes in the Hindustan Times on 3rd September that a spot report, commissioned by the PMO on the India-China border issue, confirmed  government’s worst fears that PLA was not allowing our security forces to patrol up to our perception of the LAC in eastern Ladakh and a “grim scenario of Chinese transgressions in the Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) sector, Depsang Bulge and Chumar. Shishir writes the spot commission was headed by NSAB Chairperson Shyam Saran who had been asked to visit Ladakh for reviewing border infrastructure development and LAC situation and that the last such visit by him was in 2007. He also writes that an inter-ministerial committee headed by Home Secretary Anil Goswami has reportedly been set up to monitor the LAC situation and the existing empowered committee on border infrastructure development, led by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, has been asked to remove the bureaucratic bottlenecks in Ladakh. More damaging are the following findings of the report:

Though the LAC runs through Pangong Tso lake, a beefed up PLA firmly entrenched in their position in the Srijap area was noticed in 2007.

Today, limits of our patrolling have become the new LAC for India in certain areas of Ladakh sector, which is 2 to 20 kms short of India’s claim to LAC till now.

Chinese have built a motorable kutcha road to a sensitive Track Junction area in the DBO sector, thus changing the position on ground and in violation of the 2005 protocol.
The Depsang incursion at Raki Nullah in April 2013 was designed to prevent the Indian patrols from reaching Points 10, 11, 11A and 13 with Point 12 outside the patrol line.

In Chumar the PLA is making frequent transgressions, claiming 85 sq km of Indian territory despite the international border defining the two countries.

Why have you still not placed all security forces like the ITBP in sensitive areas under command the Army? Is it to facilitate Chinese intrusions?

The fact that such a spot commission was detailed after a gap of six years (after 2007) indicates the urgency the government accords to issues of national security especially in face of increased aggressiveness of the Chinese PLA. In the first case, where is need of such spot commissions when the Daily Situation Report, not known to Indian public, is on the desk of the Prime Minister every single morning. The Prime Minister is answerable to the Indian public on the following counts:

In 2007, when Mr Shyam Saran flying with the then Army Commander Northern Command discovered a beefed up PLA firmly entrenched in their position in the Srijap area, what action did GoI take?

During the Raki Nala intrusion in April 2013, why did your Foreign Minister refer to it as “small acme on the face”? Why was he not sacked for abdicating responsibility under the oath to Constitution when appointed Minister.

Similarly, what business has the Home Minister in saying, “We have no jurisdiction in the area”?

Have your Ministers been specially chosen for gifting India Territory to the Chinese?

Does not the territory you have surrendered to China make Kargil intrusions insignificant especially since you are presenting the former as permanent fait accompli to the nation?

Is that the reason you and your Defence Minister shut down the Technical Support Division under the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) with the DG DIA directly under the Defence Minster (not Army HQ as released to the media) that was undertaking cross border surveillance under pretext that this was being misused by the then COAS, Gen VK Singh? Was this not to facilitate Chinese intrusions?

Is your Defence Minister in league with China in having brought the military industrial complex to such a state that even assault rifles and carbines have to be imported?

Why have you and your Defence Minister permitted the capability gap between the PLA and Indian Military to widen exponentially?
Why has your Defence Minister (or is it you / your PMO) gagged the Army that they can speak anything to media about Pakistan but not one word about China and that denial by your Defence Minister means yet another lie

Prime Minister, do not feel any shame that you still want to visit China later this year or is it the compulsion that you must go to beg for FDI?

What games are you and your Defence Minister playing by trumpeting aircraft landing at DBO, the C-17 Globe Master induction, underwater test firing of BrahMos when the submarine that can fire it will come only by 2030? Do you think that this scares the Chinese when your willingly rolling the LAC backward or are these antics to amuse China?

Is ignoring ground realities and appointing fresh commissions and committees part of your pussyfooting policy (as in all domains) to fool the public? Is this routine for you, like your Defence Minister who himself directs news to be published OROP is fully sanctioned and then appoints a committee to look into anomalies?

Why have you still not placed all security forces like the ITBP in sensitive areas under command the Army? Is it to facilitate Chinese intrusions?
Why has the Home Secretary heading the inter-ministerial committee to monitor the LAC situation? Is the defence of LAC responsibility with the Home Minister or the Defence Minister.

Why have you allowed the PLA to restrict Indian patrols and not allowed the Indian Army to restrict PLA patrols? Are you and your Defence Minister not ashamed of having a 1.1 million strong Indian Army?

What border infrastructure development has taken place in the last 10 years by your government especially after Shyam Saran’s spot commission visit in 2007 and considering Border Roads who develop such infrastructure is directly under the MoD?

Can you muster guts to speak to the nation and tell them that with your pussyfooting and abject surrender to this new LAC enforced by the PLA how much of Indian Territory you have surrendered, on what basis and should you not be held accountable to motherland India or do you feel content that Shyam Saran will be addressing club goers at the Delhi Gymkhana Club this evening as part of the Security Conclave?
Prime Minister, do not feel any shame that you still want to visit China later this year or is it the compulsion that you must go to beg for FDI?

What else are you prepared to barter away to keep your government in power?

Can the nation expect you to stop swimming in slush? If you cannot muster the guts to do so, can you at least shift permanently out and give the nation breathing space.

Then of course is the spontaneous urge of the Prime Minister to meet Nawaz Sharif end of the week despite all the sane advice not do so. Media says hotel bookings for this meeting are being made by Indian Embassy. But the signs are ominous with the sudden spurt in terrorist catches – Tunda for post retirement medical tourism and Bhatkal having served his purpose to Pakis. The Foreign Minister’s exuberance and definitive that Dawood Ibrahim will be caught soon is perhaps giving the game away. If Pakistanis are giving up Dawood (which may just be a promise to be forgotten) what is the Prime Minister giving in lieu – Siachen, Sir Creek, what else? Considering the findings of the spot commission, this is very much on the cards. Was this the reason for the Pakistani Embassy and Atlantic Council of the US gone hyperactive over the last seven days?

Prime Minister, are you aware and even bothered about the intrusions by Myanmar? Are you not ashamed of the TV visuals shown this morning on our national news channel showing unabated Bangladeshi immigrants crossing over through the pathetic wall with wide gaps in the wire fence atop and the BSF authorities openly telling the media they are under orders not to do anything? Are these your orders? Have you ever played scabble and juggled with the words H, A, M, E, S? They add up to SHAME. Can the nation expect you to stop swimming in slush? If you cannot muster the guts to do so, can you at least shift permanently out and give the nation breathing space.

Iran: Managing U.S. Military Action in Syria

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 |


Conventional wisdom says that a weakened Syria would undermine Iran's regional influence, but a U.S. military intervention in the country could actually benefit Tehran. The government there has devised a sophisticated strategy for responding to a U.S. attack. Of course, Tehran would activate its militant proxies in the region, including Hezbollah, in the event that the United States launches an attack, but it would also exploit Washington's visceral opposition to Sunni jihadist and Islamist groups to gain concessions elsewhere.

Iran already has engaged diplomatically with many of those involved in the Syrian conflict. Over the past weekend, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the foreign affairs and national security head for the Iranian parliament, led a delegation to Damascus, presumably to discuss the potential U.S. attack. Earlier on Aug. 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the phone. Their conversation followed U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman's visit to Tehran, where he and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likewise discussed Syria. Even the Omani sultan paid a rare visit to Iran, reportedly carrying with him positive messages from the Obama administration for Iran's new government.

Notably, the rhetoric from Tehran -- particularly from its military leadership -- has been relatively tame. Typically the government antagonizes Washington when U.S.-Iranian tensions heat up, and indeed the Syria situation has aggravated tensions. Syria is a critical Iranian ally, and the survival of the al Assad regime is a national security interest for Tehran. Iran cannot afford to directly retaliate against the United States, but it is widely expected to retaliate indirectly through militant proxies.

Skillful Maneuvers

Iran's strategy involves more than just activating these proxy groups. It entails the kind of skillful maneuvering it displayed as the United States sought regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tehran cooperated with Washington, and it benefited greatly from the downfall of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein accordingly. The Iranian strategists who helped devise those approaches are once again in power. Zarif, for example, was Tehran's point of contact with the George W. Bush administration in the early days after 9/11.

However, the Syria situation differs from those of Afghanistan and Iraq. This time it is Washington's aversion to regime change that Tehran is trying to exploit. In fact, the only real reason the United States would want to replace al Assad is to curb Iran's regional influence, which grew considerably after Saddam's ouster. But Washington does not want to supplant al Assad only to see Damascus come under al Qaeda's control. This partly explains why Hossein Mousavian, a close associate of Rouhani, wrote an op-ed Aug. 29 that said regime change in Kabul is "a blueprint for new collaboration" between Washington and Tehran. Mousavian called for U.S.-Iranian cooperation to extend beyond Syria to better manage the crisis-ridden region.

Syria and Iran
While the potential exists for U.S.-Iranian cooperation on Syria, U.S. military action undoubtedly would weaken the country. This carries serious risks for Iranian interests. An unfriendly Syria could cut Tehran off from Hezbollah, its pre-eminent non-state Arab ally, and jeopardize the position of its Iraqi allies.

However, limited airstrikes on Syria that do not undermine the al Assad regime could actually work in Iran's favor. Such airstrikes could divide the rebellion between factions that oppose military intervention and those that favor it. Through their Syrian, Lebanese and Iraqi allies, the Iranians would then be able to better manage the rebellion, which includes radical Islamist elements.

Because these elements have been gaining more territory, the United States may need Iranian cooperation in forging a new Syrian polity. Washington is currently preparing to speak directly to Tehran over the controversial Iranian nuclear program. The Iranian government has already linked these two issues, and it believes it could use Syria to its advantage as it negotiates the nuclear problem.

Welcoming Disruption

Iran cannot rule out the possibility that even limited U.S. action will weaken the regime. Nor can it conclude that Washington does not intend to conduct a more extensive, less symbolic air campaign against al Assad. But it can, however, prepare for either outcome. Strategists in Tehran know that the Americans have air superiority, but they know Iran has the advantage on the ground in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

Iran is thus positioned to foment an insurgency. (And the U.S. invasion of Iraq enhanced Iran's experience in fomenting insurgencies.) Any insurgency would worsen sectarian tensions in Syria and throughout the region, in turn further radicalizing Sunni militias. Jihadists gaining ground would force the United States to work with Tehran to contain Sunni radicalism.

In the unlikely scenario that the United States becomes embroiled in another major war, extricating itself from that war would necessarily require Iran's cooperation. But what really gives Iran leverage is the fact that since 9/11, jihadists and Islamist groups have had the opportunity to gain power when Arab regimes collapse.

Unlike Syria's Arab neighbors, which want stability in the region, Iran welcomes disruption. It is reasonably secure internally, and it knows its spheres of influence may weaken but ultimately will not dissolve. Strategists also believe that having lived under sanctions for decades, Iran has grown accustomed to suffering. So while chaos in Syria would threaten inherently weak Arab states, it would not affect Iran quite as much. Tehran could then exploit Arab chaos to its advantage.

In light of these risks, it is unlikely that the United States would deliberately engage in a large-scale military intervention in Syria. But Iran can never be too sure about U.S. intentions, and it has to account for the unintended consequences of even minimal military action. It is for this reason that Tehran has planned for multiple contingencies.

A lot can go wrong when plans are executed, especially when the situation is as fluid as it is in Syria. For Iran, this fluidity offers some risks, but it also offers some opportunities. The commonly held belief that a post-al Assad Syria invariably would be bad for Iran is not a guarantee

Read more: Iran: Managing U.S. Military Action in Syria | Stratfor
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75,000 troops needed to secure chemical weapons if Damascus falls
5 September, 2013

The potential of strategic US strikes in Syria has sparked fears Damascus’ chemical weapons could fall into the wrong hands if the government is toppled. A recent congressional report says 75,000 troops would be needed to safeguard the WMD caches.

The Congressional Research Center (CRS) report, issued just one day before the alleged August 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, was compiled with the aim of “responding to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons.”

It states that Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles, which a French intelligence report recently estimated at over 1,000 tons, have been secured by Syrian Special Forces.
“Due to the urgency of preventing access to these weapons by unauthorized groups, including terrorists, the United States government has been preparing for scenarios to secure the weapons in the event of the Assad regime’s loss of control,” the document reads

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned the ouster of Assad would present a scenario “100 times worse than what we dealt with in Libya.”

In order to secure the 50 chemical weapon and production sites spread across Syria, in addition to storage and research facilities, “The Pentagon has estimated that it would take over 75,000 troops to neutralize the chemical weapons,” the document continues, citing a February 2012 CNN report.
Meanwhile, a resolution backing the use of force against President Bashar Assad's government cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a 10-7 vote on Wednesday, although section 3 of the draft ostensibly ruled out US combat operations on the ground.

The wording of the text, however, could potentially allow for troops on the ground for the sake of non-offensive operations, including securing chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities.
While the Senate committee initially opted to limit US military involvement in the country to 90 days with no potential of ground operations, Republican Senator John McCain joined forces with Democratic Senator Chris Coons to add a provision calling for "decisive changes to the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria."

The Obama administration’s vacillations on Syria were perhaps best exemplified by Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry suggested it would be preferable to give the White House the power to send in ground forces in the event that Syria “imploded” or if chemical weapons were at risk of being obtained by extremists.
"I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country," he told the committee in the run up to the vote.
After being told by Senator Bob Corker –  the top Republican on the committee –  his sentiments regarding boots on the ground were not “a very appropriate response,” Kerry quickly backtracked.
"Let's shut the door now," Kerry said. "The answer is, whatever prohibition clarifies it to Congress or the American people, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war."

Having cleared committee, the measure authorizing force in Syria is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. Senator Rand Paul, a republican with strong ties to the Tea Party movement, has threatened a filibuster

Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun nationalists protest in front of the White House


WASHINGTON, D.C - The members  of the Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun community in United States held a protest rally in front of the White House to draw the attention of President Obama to the ongoing Pakistani military operation, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and genocide in Balochistan, Sindh and Pakhtunistan.

The protest rally was organized by Dr. Wahid Baloch, the President of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA).

 Arshad Umrani, from Balochistan Strategic Forum and President of BNC - Chicago Chapter, came all the way from Chicago to attend the rally.

Ghulam Nabi Unar, President of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) also came along with his Sindhi friends from New York to join the rally.

A prominent Sindhi human right activist and journalist Khalid Hashmani also joined the protest to show his support.

Andrew Eiva, who is working with Sudanese resistance forces in Sudan came with Sudanese community members along with several other American friends to join the rally.

The participants were chanting slogans;

PAKISTAN: STOP the human Right Violations in BalochistanPAKISTAN: STOP the human Right Violations in SindhPAKISTAN: STOP the human Right Violations in PaktunistanPAKISTAN: STOP Killing in BalochistanPAKISTAN: STOP Killing in SindhPAKISTAN: STOP Killing in PakhtunistanPAKISTAN: STOP "Kill and Dump" in BalochistanPAKISTAN: STOP Disappearances in BalochistanPAKISTAN: STOP Disappearances in SindhPAKISTAN: STOP Disappearances in PakhtunistanPAKISTAN: STOP Genocide in BalochistanPAKISTAN: STOP Genocide in SindhPAKISTAN: STOP military Operation in BalochistanOBAMA: STOP Funding Terrorist PakistanOBAMA: We want intervention in BalochistanOBAMA: We want FreedomFREE FREE BalochistanFREE FREE SindhFREE FREE PakhtunistanChina:  Hands OFF Balochistan

Speaking to the rally, Dr. Wahid Baloch, the organizer and President of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA) said that the Pakistani and Iranian occupying forces have intensified their military aggression and Baloch genocide in Balochistan. Target killings, arrests, kidnappings and raids on Baloch houses have increased manifold and he asked president Obama to intervene in Balochistan without any further delay.
He said, Balochistan is burning and Baloch citizens are being kidnapped and target killed every day by Pakistani  occupying forces.

"Balochistan has been turned into the killing field and the Baloch peoples are living under siege, in fear and in hopelessness in their own homeland, Balochistan", he said.

"How long this has to continue and go on Mr. President?", he asked President Obama.
He applaud President Obama for taking a bold stand on Syrian crisis to physically intervene in Syria, but also demanded the same intervention in Balochistan to save the lives of Baloch citizens.

"Mr. President, As we all are worry about the syrian crisis and are getting ready to physically intervene in Syria to rescue the syrian citizens from being slaughtered and gassed by Baishar-Al-Asad regime, a smilier situation exists and is going on in Pakistani and Iranian occupied Balochistan, where Baloch citizens are being extrajudicially killed by Pakistan and Iranian terrorist armies everyday and which deserve equal attention and international intervention", he said.

He said, Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan but an Independent sovereign state and was illegally occupied, divided and forcefully annexed into Pakistan against the will and consent of Baloch people.

He said, both Pakistan and Iran are in violation of International law for occupying Balochisnan illegally against the will and consent of the Baloch citizens.

He said, Balochistan, the land of 16 millions worldwide Balochs, despite being rich in natural resources has been kept by the occupying forces poor and extremely backward. There are no roads or any other infrastructures of modern conveniences and the Baloch people live below the poverty line.
"The Balochs despite being weak with no international support are bravely fighting the occupying Pakistani and Iranian forces against all odds and have demonstrated their resolve to free their homeland from the occupying Pakistani and Iranian forces', he said.

He asked president Obama to direct State Department and CIA to reach out to the Baloch freedom fighters and help them in their fight for freedom and justice.

"Mr. President, We strongly believe that a FREE, United, Democratic and Independent Balochistan is the answer of all the problem that the US and the world community are facing in the region. It will not only protect the US interests in the region but will also help to secure the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats, help stabilizes Afghanistan by eliminating and eradicating Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorist safe heavens in Balochistan, provided to them by Pakistan army", he said.

"If US can intervene in Libya, Sudan and Syria, why not in Balochistan?",  he asked President Obama.

Here is the full text of his speech:

Dr. Wahid Baloch's speech at the Washington, D.C Rally on Sept 4, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we have gathered here in front of the most powerful house in the world, the White House to draw the attention of President Obama to the ongoing Pakistani military aggression, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra‐judicial killings, disappearances, and Genocide in Occupied Balochistan.

Mr. President, Here we are again knocking at your door for help. Today, Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun people have come to your doorstep asking for your help.

Mr. President, As we all are worry about the syrian crisis and are getting ready to physically intervene in Syria to rescue the syrian citizens from being slaughtered and gassed by Baishar-Al-Asad regime, a smilier situation exists and is going on in Pakistani and Iranian Balochistan, where Baloch citizens are being extrajudicially killed by Pakistan's terrorist army everyday and which deserve equal attention and international intervention.

Mr. President, Balochistan is burning. Baloch citizens are being kidnapped and target killed every day by Pakistani and Iranian occupying forces. Balochistan has been turned into the killing fields and Baloch people are living under siege in fear and in hopelessness in their own homeland Balochistan.
How long this has to go on Mr. President?

Mr. President, certain facts are to be told here. Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan but an Independent sovereign state and was illegally occupied, divided and forcefully annexed into Pakistan against the will and consent of Baloch citizens.

Mr. President, Both Pakistan is in violation of International law for occupying Balochisnan illegally against the will and consent of the Baloch citizens.

Mr. President, Ever since the illegal occupation of Balochistan, the Baloch people are fighting Pakistan to regain their freedom. Thousands Baloch citizens have died in this un-ending and unresolved conflict and several hundred thousands are living as IDPs with no food, water and shelter.
Mr. President, The Baloch freedom fighters, despite being weak with no international support are bravely fighting the occupying Pakistani forces against all odds and have demonstrated their resolve to free their homeland from the occupying Pakistani forces.

Mr. President, The situation in Balochistan is getting worse everyday. There passes not a single day when a Baloch political activist is not being murdered or kidnapped by the Pakistan's terrorist army. Target killings, arrests, kidnappings and raids on Baloch, political activist's houses have increased manifold.

Mr. President, Balochistan calls for International intervention. The International intervention is long over due in Balochistan and it must be carried out without any further delays to save the lives of Baloch citizens in their own homeland, Balochistan.

Mr. President, Balochistan, the land of 16 millions worldwide Balochs, despite being rich in natural resources has been kept by the occupying forces poor and extremely backward. There are no roads or any other infrastructures of modern conveniences and the Baloch people live below the poverty line.
The Baloch people, who are secular, moderate and pro-democratic, share nothing with extremist Pakistan. Our language, culture and secular traditions are completely different from that of these terrorists and extremists.

Mr. President, Pakistan in violation of International law by occupying Balochistan illegally against the will and consent of Baloch citizens.
Mr. President, All occupying foreign Pakistani forces must leave Balochistan and Balochistan’s status as an independent sovereign state must be restored according to the international laws. Baloch citizens must be allowed to exercise their inalienable right to life, liberty and pursue of happiness freely and independently without any fear, intimidation or persecution.  It is unjust to force Baloch people to live with terrorists and extremists against their will.
Mr. President, We believe that a free independent democratic Balochistan is in the best interest of the larger cause of liberty, human rights, and democracy. It, will, not only help defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists, but, will also weaken Pakistan’s and Iran’s ability to export terror and keep China off of Gwadar and Persian Gulf.

Mr. President, The United States has an obligation to protect the weak and oppressed defenseless nations around the world and Balochistan should not be excluded or exempt from this obligation. The US should not be selective when it comes to the human right violations and the violations of the UN charters and international laws. The pro-US Baloch people should not be left to stand-alone against the terrorist and extremist Jihadist armies of Pakistan and Iran.

Mr. President, Baloch are the strategic asset of United States in the region against terrorists and extremists. They must win this war. Losing this war is not an option. If Baloch lose, we will all lose to terrorists and extremists and Chinese expansion in the region.

Mr. President, We strongly believe that a FREE, United, Democratic and Independent Balochistan is the answer to all the problems that the US and the world community are facing in the region. It will not only protect the US interests in the region but will also help to secure the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats, help stabilize Afghanistan by eliminating and eradicating the Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists safe heavens, provided to them by Pakistan's army. It will also help to build peace and stability in the entire region.

Mr. President, We are asking for your help. Please ask our State Department and CIA to reach out to the Baloch freedom fighters and help them in their fight for freedom and justice.

Mr. President, If we can reach out to Syrian freedom fighters why can’t we reach out to the Baloch freedom fighters in the greater interest of the larger cause of human freedom and liberty?
If US can intervene in Libya, Sudan and Syria, why not in Balochistan -- Mr. President?

Thank you Mr. President.

Dr. Wahid Baloch, President
Baloch Society of North America (BSO‐NA)
1629 K Street NW, Suit 300Washington D.C., 20036

September 04, 2013

US: The indispensable (bombing) nation

By Pepe Escobar

Yes We Scan. Yes We Drone. And Yes We Bomb. The White House's propaganda blitzkrieg to sell the Tomahawking of Syria to the US Congress is already reaching pre-bombing maximum spin - gleefully reproduced by US corporate media.

And yes, all parallels to Iraq 2.0 duly came to fruition when US Secretary of State John Kerry pontificated that Bashar al-Assad "now joins the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein" as an evil monster. Why is Cambodia's Pol Pot never mentioned? Oh yes, because the US supported him.

Every single tumbleweed in the Nevada desert knows who's itching for war on Syria; vast sectors of the industrial-military complex; Israel; the House of Saud; the "socialist" Francois Hollande in France, who has wet dreams with Sykes-Picot. Virtually nobody is lobbying Congress NOT to go to war.

And all the frantic war lobbying may even be superfluous; Nobel Peace Prize winner and prospective bomber Barack Obama has already implied - via hardcore hedging of the "I have decided that the United States should take military action" kind - that he's bent on attacking Syria no matter what Congress says.

Obama's self-inflicted "red line" is a mutant virus; from "a shot across the bow" it morphed into a "slap on the wrist" and now seems to be "I'm the Bomb Decider". Speculation about his real motives is idle. His Hail Mary pass of resorting to an extremely unpopular Congress packed with certified morons may be a cry for help (save me from my stupid "red line"); or - considering the humanitarian imperialists of the Susan Rice kind who surround him - he's hell bent on entering another war for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the House of Saud lobby under the cover of "moral high ground". Part of the spin is that "Israel must be protected". But the fact is Israel is already over-protected by an AIPAC remote-controlled United States Congress. [1]

What about the evidence? 
The former "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" are doing their part, enthusiastically supporting the White House "evidence" with a dodgy report of their own, largely based on YouTube intel. [2]

Even Fox News admitted that the US electronic intel essentially came from the 8200 unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) - their version of the NSA. [3] Here, former UK ambassador Craig Murray convincingly debunks the Israeli intercepted intel scam.

The most startling counterpunch to the White House spin remains the Mint Press News report by AP correspondent Dale Gavlak on the spot, in Ghouta, Damascus, with anti-Assad residents stressing that "certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack''.

I had a jolt when I first read it - as I have been stressing the role of Bandar Bush as the dark arts mastermind behind the new Syria war strategy (See Bandar Bush, 'liberator' of Syria, Asia Times Online, August 13, 2013).

Then there's the fact that Syrian Army commandos, on August 24, raiding "rebel" tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, seized a warehouse crammed with chemicals required for mixing "kitchen sarin". The commando was hit by some form of nerve agent and sent samples for analysis in Russia. This evidence certainly is part of President Vladimir Putin's assessment of the White House claims as totally unconvincing.

On August 27, Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Reuters the attack was "aimed at framing Assad''. And in case the UN inspectors found the "rebels" did it, "everybody would forget it". The clincher; "Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdogan of Turkey?"

So, in a nutshell, no matter how it happened, the locals in Ghouta said Jabhat al-Nusra did it; and Syrian Kurds believe this was a false flag to frame Damascus.

By now, any decent lawyer would be asking cui bono? What would be Assad's motive - to cross the "red line" and launch a chemical weapons attack on the day UN inspectors arrive in Damascus, just 15 kilometers away from their hotel?

This is the same US government who sold the world the narrative of a bunch of unskilled Arabs armed with box cutters hijacking passenger jets and turning them into missiles smack in the middle of the most protected airspace on the planet, on behalf of an evil transnational organization.

So now this same evil organization is incapable of launching a rudimentary chemical weapons attack with DIY rockets - a scenario I first outlined even before Gavlak's report. [4] Here is a good round-up of the "rebels" dabbling with chemical weapons. Additionally, in late May, Turkish security forces had already found sarin gas held by hardcore Jabhat al-Nusra jihadis.

So why not ask Bandar Bush?
We need to keep coming back over and over again to that fateful meeting in Moscow barely four weeks ago between Putin and Bandar Bush. [5]

Bandar was brazen enough to tell Putin he would "protect" the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He was brazen enough to say he controls all Chechens jihadis from the Caucasus to Syria. All they needed was a Saudi green light to go crazy in Russia's underbelly. 

He even telegraphed his next move; "There is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation."

That's a monster understatement - because the Saudis never wanted Geneva II in the first place. Under the House of Saud's ultra-sectarian agenda of fomenting the Sunni-Shi'ite divide everywhere, the only thing that matters is to break the alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah by all means necessary.

The House of Saud's spin du jour is that the world must "prevent aggression against the Syrian people". But if "the Syrian people" agrees to be bombed by the US, the House of Saud also agrees. [6]

Compared to this absurdity, Muqtada al-Sadr's reaction in Iraq stands as the voice of reason. Muqtada supports the "rebels" in Syria - unlike most Shi'ites in Iraq; in fact he supports the non-armed opposition, stressing the best solution is free and fair elections. He rejects sectarianism - as fomented by the House of Saud. And as he knows what an American military occupation is all about, he also totally rejects any US bombing.

The Bandar Bush-AIPAC strategic alliance will take no prisoners to get its war. In Israel, Obama is predictably being scorned for his "betrayal and cowardice" in the face of "evil". The Israeli PR avalanche on congress centers on the threat of a unilateral strike on Iran if the US government does not attack Syria. As a matter of fact congress would gleefully vote for both. Their collective IQ may be sub-moronic, but some may be led to conclude that the only way to "punish" the Assad government is to have the US doing the heavy work as the Air Force for the myriad "rebels" and of course jihadis - in the way the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the Kurdish peshmerga in Iraq and the anti-Gaddafi mercenaries in Libya duly profited.

So here, in a nutshell, we have the indispensable nation that drenched North Vietnam with napalm and agent orange, showered Fallujah with white phosphorus and large swathes of Iraq with depleted uranium getting ready to unleash a "limited", "kinetic" whatever against a country that has not attacked it, or any US allies, and everything based on extremely dodgy evidence and taking the "moral high-ground".

Anyone who believes the White House spin that this will be just about a few Tomahawks landing on some deserted military barracks should rent a condo in Alice in Wonderland. The draft already circulating in Capitol Hill is positively scary. [7]

And even if this turns out to be a "limited", "kinetic" whatever, it will only perpetuate the chaos. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has referred to it as "controlled chaos". Not really; the Empire of Chaos is now totally out of control.

1. White House to Congress: Help protect Israel, Politico, September 2, 2013.
2. Le document des services de renseignement sur l'attaque chimique syrienne, Liberation, September 2, 2013.
3. Israeli intelligence first confirmed Assad regime behind alleged chemical attack, Fox News, August 28, 2013.
4. 'War on chemical weapons': Obama traps himself into Syrian combat, Russia Today, August 28, 2013.
5. Russian President, Saudi Spy Chief Discussed Syria, Egypt, Al Monitor, August 21, 2013.
6. Arab states urge action against Syrian government, Reuters, September 2, 2013.
7. President Obama's draft legislation regarding the Syrian conflict, Washington Post, September 1, 2013.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. He has also written Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

September 03, 2013

Turkey’s ailing sultan

The response of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to this summer’s protest movement in Turkey made clear his worsening authoritarianism. Yet his AKP party was founded on inclusivity and pragmatic compromise.

by Wendy Kristianasen

As Turks struggled to grasp the impact of this summer’s protests in Istanbul and other cities across the country, Yeşim Arat, professor of political science at Bogazici University, pointed to a paradox: “Increasingly, democratisation and authoritarianism are going hand in hand, and not just in Turkey.”

If the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is not directly threatened by the protests, the events have implications for the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with three elections due in 2014-2015: local elections in March 2014, presidential that August and parliamentary in June 2015. Erdogan’s ambition to institute an enhanced presidency with himself as a new “sultan” now looks unlikely to succeed after his imperious response to the protests over the development of Gezi Park, a little green area in Istanbul’s treeless centre. There was a sharp drop in the lira immediately after the protests, and questions over his Syria policy increased after car bombings killed at least 50 people in Reyhanli, near the Syrian border, on 11 May.

For the first time, Erdogan, who had confidently steered Turkey through choppy waters, seemed at a loss. Why did he seek a confrontation when the Gezi project was under judicial review and was then turned down in July? Once the crisis began, he could not be seen to have his authority challenged.  He needed to shore up support from the 50% of the population who had voted for him in 2011, so he accused protestors of being “agents provocateurs”, said foreign media coverage was biased, and silenced domestic media. His other recent attempts at social control (restrictions on the sale of alcohol or moves to end abortion, which he has described as murder) infuriated secular Turks, but were aimed at winning votes from Muslim conservatives in this still divided society.

Some on the AKP’s liberal wing criticised Erdogan’s handling of Gezi. Nursuna Memecan, a deputy for Istanbul, said: “I was angry at the police tactics at the start; it was a miscalculation. The party needs closer contact with those it has alienated.”

Secular intellectuals regard Gezi as a turning point: in the first major political protests since the 1970s, an apolitical younger generation has become politicised — not by big ideas like democracy or nationalism, but for their rights. They were joined by activists for Kurdish, Alevi and gay rights — a coming together of separate causes that is new to Turkey.

Reversal of founding principles

Erdogan is now setting one side of Turkey against the other in a bid for greater power, although the AKP was founded on pragmatism and inclusivity. Its initial landslide on 3 November 2002 — with almost two thirds of the seats in parliament (363 out of 550) — included votes from middle-class Turks unemployed after a severe economic crisis in February 2001. Based on this broad support, AKP rule ended weak coalition governments and provided the stability needed to address Turkey’s many problems. As it built its own coalitions at home, it set out internationally to demonstrate that Islam was compatible with democracy. The policy worked. The AKP was re-elected on 22 July 2007, and won a triumphant third term in the 12 June 2011 elections, with 50% of the vote — the first party since the start of multi-party politics in Turkey in 1946 to win a third consecutive term and to increase its share of the vote.

So a new, confident Turkey has taken its place as a regional power, strong in its economic development, social progress and foreign policy — a reliable international player and ally for the West. Social reforms in health and infrastructure are undeniable. The AKP, though not democratic, became a democratising force, giving a new sense of belonging and empowerment to a majority of Turks, previously excluded by the old secular elites. Erdogan’s own charisma and can-do attitude won admiration, even adulation, in the Arab world.

His worsening authoritarianism escaped the world’s attention, although in Turkey, there were worries about unaccountability and crony capitalism, the penetration of Fethullah Gulen’s Islamist movement into the police and judiciary, the silencing of the media, and the arrest of many journalists and other critics of the government.

If the AKP’s record, after a decade in power, is mixed, there have been significant achievements. The biggest has been the transition to a civilian-led state, quietly concluded on 29 July 2011 with the resignations of the chief of general staff and heads of the army, air force and navy. This would once have been a major crisis, but was met with general indifference. It followed a 10-year struggle between the military and the AKP. Attempts to ban the AKP for seeking to impose religious rule backfired: its popularity increased. The military were weakened by charges of involvement in coup attempts against the AKP: the five-year prosecution of the Ergenekon conspiracy ended on 5 August this year with prison sentences for military officers, politicians and journalists, and a life term for former chief of staff, Ilker Basbug. It is clear the justice system is not free of politics and has failed to investigate evidence of wider involvement in criminal activity and human rights abuses, particularly in the southeast. Yet with the verdicts, Turkey’s demilitarisation has been underlined.

Much of the AKP success story was based on the economy, which it opened up, building on structural adjustment reforms by the former economy minister Kemal Derviş (2001-02). The AKP government proved fiscally responsible and good managers; the country seemed to have escaped the global financial crisis as GDP more than doubled over 10 years (1); the IMF now expects a more modest growth of 3.4% in 2013 and 3.7% in 2014. External debt has reached record levels (51% of GDP) and unemployment is at 9.4%. That threatens Erdogan’s dream of making Turkey one of the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2023.

Underlying weakness

Gezi emphasised this relative weakness, as the lira plummeted. Şevket Pamuk, professor of economics at Bogazici University, stressed the link between politics and economics: “Until 2005 there were institutional improvements as part of the EU accession process. That process has stopped, and the EU is partly responsible; it’s a pity because the AKP could have done something more constructive.” Since then, the emphasis has been on monetary stability: “The private sector began to take on more debt, risky as the global crisis caught up with Turkey.” Yet Erdogan has blocked all criticism or advice, and begun to tap state resources to pay for continuing growth. His erratic reputation could make Turkey a less reliable place to invest in.

The AKP made its most notable social reforms in the early years. The hope of EU accession pushed Turkey to address the Kurdish, Armenian and Cypriot questions, creating a new openness. The taboo that affected Armenians within Turkey was broken, and relations with Armenia, though complicated by land disputes over Karabakh and other Azerbaijani-occupied territories, pointed to an opening of borders after protocols were signed in October 2009. On Cyprus, there is a sense that the AKP government has done what it can, backing the UN peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan for a federal solution. But while the Turkish Cypriots voted for the project in the referendum of 24 April 2004, the Greek Cypriots voted against. Hopes of federation ended when they separately joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

The AKP government’s biggest achievement so far — and greatest remaining challenge — is its attempt at a solution to the Kurdish question. Secret talks with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) to end 35 years of armed resistance and separatist struggle led this March to the announcement of a ceasefire followed a month later by a pledge to withdraw from Turkey to autonomous Kurdistan (northern Iraq). The AKP’s earlier opening to Iraq had already brought social and economic dividends, as well as security to the region. The government’s initiative has brought cultural and social reforms for Kurds within Turkey, under the umbrella of the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party). A moderate Kurdish observer said: “We used to see self-determination as the only solution... Now our Kurds want to look west. Both for economic benefits and because of the regional conjunction, Kurds here see their future in a democratising Turkey that recognises their rights.” Those rights mean an end to ethnic discrimination, full recognition of Kurdish identity with the right to teach Kurdish at school and a decentralisation that will lead to a form of autonomy. For this, constitutional reform is needed.

Greater autonomy in the southeast, if successful, should also have an impact on the situation of Alevis, Greeks and Armenians.

‘A Turkey calling its own shots’

Under AKP foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey opened up to the world diplomatically and commercially: Africa, Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Greece and the Middle East. There was continuity in foreign policy under the AKP, which was overlooked as foreign headlines stressed Turkey’s “neo-Ottoman ambitions”. Soli Ozel, professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, said: “The eastern axis fuss is about the West’s inability to accept a Turkey that is calling its own shots.”

Turkey remains firmly allied to the West, to the US first, and to Europe, even if its hopes for accession to the EU have been rebuffed in recent years. Ozel points out that the AKP has solid relations with the US, where there is an appreciation of Turkey: “The AKP’s task was to make Turkey a functional democracy.”

In the Middle East, Davutoglu put in place his “zero problems with neighbours policy”, leading to mediation between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Syria (terminated by “a negative context” of Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2008-09). By 2010 he boasted that he had signed over 60 agreements with Syria and 50 with Iraq, and had lifted visa requirements with eight neighbours. There were attempts to mediate with Iran over its nuclear capability. Erdogan was most outspoken with Israel. In January 2009 he told President Shimon Peres: “You are killing people.” Further diplomatic incidents led to Turkey’s suspension of military, though not economic, ties with Israel that October. This made Erdogan the darling of the Arab world and played well with the Turkish public. Washington under Obama was not dissatisfied. Then came the Mavi Mamari affair, when a Turkish flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza was attacked in international waters on 31 May 2010 and nine Turkish activists killed. This year, after a very public row, the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologised.

Have Erdogan and Davutoglu overreached themselves? After the Israeli apology, Erdogan announced his visit to Gaza. But Washington insisted he could not go to Hamas-controlled Gaza without first visiting the Fatah-controlled West Bank and Israeli-controlled Jerusalem. Meanwhile in Egypt, his close friend Mohammed Morsi was removed from power. On 20 August Erdogan went so far as to suggest that Israel was behind the coup, earning White House condemnation for his “offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong” comments (2).

There were miscalculations on Syria. After Turkey’s close alliance with President Bashar al-Assad was swiftly reversed at the start of the uprising, Turkey facilitated the rebels, set up refugee camps along the shared border and allowed the opposition Syrian National Council to set up its headquarters in Istanbul. Ordinary Turks welcomed Syria’s refugees but there was no enthusiasm for military involvement, with the risks of unrest among the country’s own Alevi minority (3) and concern at the porous borders that allow infiltration of Al-Qaida-linked jihadists into Turkey. The dangers of the Syrian conflict spilling over the border became clearer with the bombings in Reyhanlı, close to the Syrian border and home to hundreds of thousands of Alevis, for which the Assad regime was held responsible. However, with Hizbullah’s entry into the civil war, then the international furore over the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, alongside that of the West, is set to grow.

The AKP government, which rushed to back each rebellion in the Arab world, has ultimately proved unable to shape outcomes in the region. And within the country, Erdogan is now putting earlier achievements at risk. As he sees his chances of an enhanced presidency decreasing, he needs allies. The Kurds of the BDP are waiting patiently, though it is now harder to cut a deal with the government that was so violent with the young Gezi demonstrators, who could well vote for the BDP since the centre-left opposition CHP (Cumhuriyet ve Halk Partesi) seems unable to profit from the protests. The Kurds’ patience now depends on the AKP’s active pursuit of the halting process to bring peace to the southeast.

Erdogan could call early parliamentary elections in the hope of winning enough seats to change the constitution so as to allow his enhanced presidency, although that tactic doesn’t seems likely to succeed. Or he could introduce a party byelaw allowing him to run for a fourth term as prime minister. But the knives are out in the AKP, and so no one is ruling out a Margaret Thatcher fate, or the Putin scenario, which Erdogan most fears, with President Abdullah Gul as prime minister, putting in his own team. Orhan Pamuk recently likened Erdogan to an ailing sultan. Can the party find a way to restrain him and get back to bridge building?

1) OECD;

(2) The Washington Post, 20 and 22 August 2013.

(3) The Turkish Alevis are a sect close to Shiism, not dissimilar from Syria’s Alawite population.

Wendy Kristianasen is editorial director of Le Monde diplomatique’s English edition

Australia crafts special relations with India

When Ms Julia Gillard left office earlier this year, many in New Delhi had worried if her successor, Mr Kevin Rudd, would carry forward the gains in India-Australia relations that she had crafted. The new Prime Minister, who had previously led Australia between 2007 and 2010, was not expected to take a personal initiative in foreign policy matters given that he has his hands full with pressing domestic concerns. Also, he has often been perceived as more ‘pro-China' than ‘pro-India'. And his earlier opposition to Australia supplying uranium to India because New Delhi has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty had done little to endear him to South Block. Few in India had forgotten that when he came to power in 2007, he was quick to reverse his predecessor John Howard's decision to allow uranium exports. But then again, it was Mr Rudd who in 2009 had come to New Delhi and elevated the India-Australia relationship to a ‘strategic partnership'. Now, if the Rudd Government's outline for Australia's future engagement with India is anything to go by, fears of a lull in the India-Australia bilateral can be put to rest. The ‘country strategy', released late last month by the Prime Minister, is part of the larger ‘Australia in the Asian Century' plan that focuses on Australia's five major relationships in Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea. The foundation for this plan was of course laid by the Gillard Government, but the fact that the Rudd regime has demonstrated equal commitment to it, augurs well for India. It signals that there is consensus in Canberra that India should be an important partner for Australia. This is in India's interest too since the two countries have a strong value-based relationship that stands on a collective commitment to democracy, diversity and civil liberties.

As the Strategy document points out, of Australia's five Asian partnerships, it is its relationship with India that has the most potential for growth. Canberra is determined to bridge the gap by putting businesses at the forefront. Currently, India is Australia's 10th largest trading partner with trade worth $17.5 billion; the Strategy aims to triple two-way trade by 2025. That would make India one of Australia's top five trading partners, and the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, already in the works, should help significantly. Regional security is another key area of cooperation as both countries want to keep the sea-lanes of the Indo-Pacific free and open for business. Towards that end, greater collaboration has been envisaged at international forums such as the East Asia Summit and the G-20. Finally, the emphasis on people-to-people contacts through collaborations in the social sector, media and education — think of the growing Indian diaspora in Australia, the hugely successful Oz Fest in India and the introduction of Hindi classes in Australian schools — should go a long way in strengthening the India-Australia relationship.

So-Called Spring; Su-Shi Strife and The South-West Asia

by Dr. A. Adityanjee

Arab Spring, Arab Winter, Arab Summer, Arab Renaissance, Arab Awakening, Islamic Awakening and Islamic Rise are just few of the epithets used to describe the complex and multidimensional geopolitical changes in the middle-east region that comprises of West Asia and Northern Africa. Depending upon one’s perspective, each of these adjectives is inadequate to describe the complex geopolitical phenomena that have engulfed the region. It is important to recapitulate that barring three nations, viz. Iran, Turkey an Israel all other countries in this region are Arab. Despite Francis Fukuyama’s puerile musings about the “end of history”, we are now witnessing tectonic changes of historic proportions. However, it will be a very slow and bloody change that would be unstoppable despite numerous western interventions.
As the geopolitical events unfold, we will witness a quasi-permanent fratricidal intra-Islamic sectarian war for decades in the west Asian region culminating in major cartographic changes.
The genie of historic change had been unleashed much earlier in 2003 when the Baathist regime was toppled in Iraq ostensibly to chase the now non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. The ten year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and “the ensuing mother of all battles” does not witness peace and tranquility in that nation, divided de facto, on sectarian and ethnic fault-lines. The Iraqi Kurdistan, nominally under the central government of Iraq is on a rapid trajectory to peace, prosperity and development while Baghdad continues to witness sectarian violence and bomb attacks. The Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is grabbing executive powers and has inadvertently encouraged sectarian divide and Shia identity politics. Besides the Iraqi Kurds, the real beneficiary of the US invasion worth $ 870 billion has been the Islamic Republic of Iran.

If one chooses to be historically correct, the Islamic revolution of 1979 in Iran is the real harbinger of the so-called Arab spring. A US supported dictator was overthrown by popular revolt in Iran. The popular revolution was usurped and captured by Islamist Ayatollah Khomeini leading to a lot of blood-shed and massacre of democratic and liberal sections of the Iranian society in a targeted manner. A mini-version of this so-called (“Persian”) spring was again manifest in Iran, a non-Arab Shia theocracy in 2009 under the name of “green revolution”. However, the US administration led by Barak Hussain Obama “rightly” failed to capitalize on the situation leading to brutal suppression of young Iranians by the theocratic regime and its revolutionary guards. For the first time the US and its cronies missed an opportunity for externally driven regime change in Iran.

Starting with Tunisia, the Arab Spring phenomena later on engulfed Egypt and Yemen. In Yemen, an extended “managed” political change was indeed brought in grudgingly under the patronage of Western imperialistic powers. Both Tunisia and Egypt saw subsequent take-over by Islamists in democratic elections. After over-throwing of Ben-Ali, the fundamentalist An-Nahda Islamists were the victors of the Tunisian democratic elections in October 2011. The Jihadists and the Salafists are now working in tandem with the conservative An-Nahda Islamists to infiltrate the previously secular Tunisian state from within. The story in Egypt is not very much different where the popular revolution against Hosni Mubarak and the Armed Forces has already been annexed by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Mohammad Morsey. The Egyptian judiciary, especially the Supreme Court has resisted the Muslim Brotherhood and its attempts to foist an Islamist constitution. Furthermore, the Egyptian Supreme court has postponed yet again the parliamentary elections denying the MB an opportunity to control the entire state. Parts of the civil police force have already stopped obeying orders of the Islamist government to fight against fellow citizens forcing the MB to spare its cadre for law enforcement duties.

Using the fig-leaf of so-called Arab Spring, the opportunistic Western powers militarily intervened in Libya, another socialist Baathist party ruled Arab dictatorship and brought out a regime change they had craved for long. The subsequent Islamist take-over of Libya, the barbaric treatment (victor’s justice) given to the quixotic dictator Col Mommar Gadaffi and killings of the US ambassador and other personnel by Al Qaeda in Ben Ghazi is illustrative of the nature of the beast. Interestingly, the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussain and Col Mommar Gadaffi, all three had indeed served with great distinction as the “useful idiots” of the Western imperialism. The ideological hollowness of the West and the cheer-leaders of the so-called Arab Spring was noted again in Bahrain where popular and public demands for political change were exterminated brutally by foreign military intervention undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Pakistan in order to prevent take-over of the Sunni ruled nation by a Shia majority population.

Syrian example shows the true colors of the cheer-leaders of the so-called Arab spring. Another socialist and secular Arab country ruled by the Baath party is being systematically destabilized from outside intervention for the last two years and sacrificed at the altar of Sunni-Salafi-Jihadi-Wahabi (SSJW) geopolitical interests. Foreign Sunni fighters are leading the war against the Assad regime, fully supported by the regional Sunni monarchies. What we see now is essentially a Sunni-Shia (SU-SHI) sectarian power struggle in the Islamic nations of the West Asian region with Western imperialistic intervention in a systematic manner to defeat the secular and socialist Baath party regimes and of course to safeguard the interests of the Sunni-Salafi-Jihadi-Wahabi (SSJW) alliance. This bloody sectarian conflict will not be resolved in next few months or years. As the geopolitical events unfold, we will witness a quasi-permanent fratricidal intra-Islamic sectarian war for decades in the west Asian region culminating in major cartographic changes. There will be multiple incarnations of Arab & Islamist “Tianamen Squares” during which the despotic rulers will brutally suppress the revolting citizens. The US strategic retreat from the middle- east and pivot to Asia will finally allow the history to emerge in the middle-east uncontaminated by the hegemonic order imposed by the US hyper-power.

Right now all the Arab monarchies have tried to buy out the demands for freedom and socio-political change by bribing their respective populations with yet more goodies financed by petro-dollars. This monetary intervention would at best delay the clamor for freedom and political change only by a few years in the oil-rich nations. There will be Islamist take-over of one-kind or other in all these countries. But political Islam would not be able to provide stability and strategic security to these nations. Just like in the communist countries as they vied with one another for title of the adherents of the true nature of communism practiced in the former communist countries, one would witness competitive claims of “true or genuine Islamism” by various ruling dispensions in this region. Fundamentalist competitive “political Islam” in alliance with Jihadis would hijack liberal and democratic popular uprisings. Indeed, there will be immense loss of human life and Jihadi terrorism will rule the roost. Transfer of power and change of regimes will be an inherently bloody process. There will be serious human rights violations and genocide by all the sides in the name of “true Islam”. Western apologists and backers for these despotic countries under severe financial crunch would no longer be interested in maintaining the geo-political status quo ante.

These geopolitical tectonic changes are likely to result in emergence of new nation states. Syria might be balkanized into multiple small entities or state-lets analogous to the former Republic of Yugoslavia. One would not be surprised if an Independent Kurdistan finally emerges as the 4th non-Arab country in the middle-east. Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey may lose their respective Kurdish populations to a newly independent and democratic Kurdistan. Since the fall of the Ottoman empire, the Western imperialistic powers while arbitrarily carving out state-lets to safeguard their own economic and hydrocarbon interests, chose to sacrifice the Kurdish national interests and denied them right to a state. West Asia has app 35 million Kurdish (non-Arab) people with app half (18 million) in Turkey, 8 million in Iran, 7 million in Iraq and 2 million in Syria. Unraveling of Syria will serve as a catalyst for Turkish Kurds to revolt against the increasingly Islamist Sunni dispension of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara that has systematically deviated from the secular ideology of Kemal Ata-Turk, the founding father of modern Turkey.

Both the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan have successfully orchestrated staggered, coordinated hunger strikes for more than two months by thousands of Kurdish prisoners in Turkish jails. Turkey is going through a schizophrenic struggle between its European aspirations and Islamic moorings. However, political Islam will not be able to hold the Turks and the Kurds together. With increasing Sunniazation of the Turkish polity, this large ethnic and linguistic Kurdish minority will eventually assert itself in this chaotic geopolitical transition. Islamic glue will not be able to hold together Turkish and Kurdish ethnic identities and a volcanic eruption of nationalist fervor will unravel Turkey as we know it. If Turkish and Syrian Kurds turn more nationalistic and declare an independent Kurdistan, Iraqi and Iranian Kurds will be forced to follow suit.

As a result of this, a truncated Iraq would eventually come out as a Shia-Arab theocracy with a Sunni minority supported by the neighboring Shia-Persian theocracy, Iran. Iran would not be insulated from demands of political freedom and change if there is no external intervention. Young, educated and emancipated Iranians will eventually overthrow the conservative Ayatollah-cracy leading to a more democratic and liberal regime change. A non-theocratic and more democratic and liberal Iran will re-emerge as a major regional power with friendly Shia majority governments in Iraq, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and elsewhere including in Lebanon. Iran will be a long-term winner in the despite losing some territory to Kurdistan and Baluchistan. A loose federation of Shia states may become a power grouping in the region.

In such a geopolitical scenario, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) would no longer be safeguarded by a strategically retreating USA. By 2017, the USA will surpass the Saudis as the largest petroleum producing nation that will become a net exporter of hydro-carbons in 2020. Future US administrations will be forced by domestic isolationists to give up the stability mantra leaving the middle-east region to its own devices. The ultra-geriatric conservative clan of Saudi princelings with all their extremities in the grave will not be able to hold the country together especially in the face of increasingly restive and un-employed young men. Increasing modernization and “secularization” of this tribal society will be resisted violently by the ruling political establishment. There have already been small demonstrations by Sunni Muslims calling for the release of people held on security charges. Saudi women will demand equal rights and driving privileges. The Saudi women would like to emulate their more emancipated Iranian counter-parts in public discourse. If Al Qaeda or its various mutants take-over the Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud will be brutally slaughtered in the name of “liberating Islam”. The internal strife in Saudi Arabia will manifest openly in an explosive manner when the oil-fields dry up in few decades.
The only unrest to hit Saudi Arabia during the so-called Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings was among its Shi'ite Muslim minority. The Shia populations in the Eastern region of Saudi Arabia will eventually revolt against a Sunni-Salafi-Jihadi-Wahabi (SSJW) complex leading to emergence of another Shia state-let. Bahraini Shia population is likely to over-throw the ruling Sunni dynasty, leading to emergence of another Shia nation. A Palestinian state-let may eventually be established as a joint protectorate of Egypt and Jordan. Egypt and Turkey will have much diminished geo-political influence. Egypt will have to deal with the issue of human rights of an increasingly vocal Coptic Christian minority. Some countries might eventually disappear by 2030. The most putative candidates are Lebanon, Kuwait and the Palestine.

The impact of these geo-political changes will without doubt creep eastwards towards the Af-Pak region of the South-Asia leading to cartographic changes in national boundaries. Pakistan-occupied Baluch principalities, exploited by the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani army will successfully revolt for an independent Baluchistan as the Chinese footprint increases in the Gwadar port. After taking over the Gwadar port, China will seriously attempt to exploit the mineral and hydrocarbon wealth of Pakistan-occupied Baluch areas, thereby, increasing the sense of alienation and marginalization amongst the Baluch tribes. The separatist Baluchistan Liberation Army will target Chinese companies and personnel in the ensuing war of independence. The Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran will take its own time joining an Independent Baluchistan. The consequent undoing of the artificial geographic boundaries arbitrarily determined by the British colonialists will lead to emergence of newer states carved out of the Af-Pak region.

Another fall-out of these changes would be emergence of an independent and greater Pakhtoonistan comprising of the Khyber-Pakhtoonwah province of Pakistan and the Pakhtoon areas of the Afghanistan across the now defunct Durand line. The result would a truncated but more stable Afghanistan controlled by the northern alliance comprising of the Tajeks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. A truncated Pakistan will continue to remain as a rent-seeking failed state. It may implode eventually, leading to its fragmentation followed by multi-lateral external intervention under supervision of the UN and the IAEA to secure the nuclear weapons and the fissile materials. Further to north-east, a restive Uighurs’ population will force the emergence of Eastern Turkistan while throwing away the 300 years’ old occupation by the Han Chinese and subsequent annexation by the Communist China led by Comrade Mao.

Will this tectonic change engulf the central Asian states or the “stans” is not clear at this time as the geopolitical dynamics are entirely different in the Central Asia in comparison to the South and West Asia.

There will be following major discernible evolutionary geo-political trends underlying the so-called Arab spring. The despotic regimes headed by dictators, monarchs, military strongmen, presidents-for-life and supreme leaders-for-life would eventually be overthrown by the popular revolt. The middle-east is surely due for a major cartographic make-over in the next few decades. The fault-lines would be sectarian, ethnic and linguistic. The glue of Political Islam supported by embedded Jihadi elements would be torn asunder while facing the sectarian, ethnic and linguistic divide.

Whether some kind of democracy will eventually prevail in this region in near future is doubtful, at best. Political Islam with its Jihadi mutant will be on the ascendance temporarily as an essential bloody interim phase in the long-term development of liberal democracy in the West Asia, North Africa and Af-Pak regions of South Asia. Increasing modernization, secularization and intellectual emancipation of the common masses will eventually defeat the Islamist counter-reaction in each of these countries. Iran which is way ahead in the trajectory of civilizational change and democratic evolution will emerge as the most influential regional player while Egypt, Turkey and the KSA will eclipse relatively.

Pak military plotted to kill Asma Jehangir in India: US intelligence report
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Sep 4, 2013, 01.55 AM IST

Pak military plotted to kill Asma Jehangir in India: US intelligence report The plan was evidently aborted after she learned of it and went public.
WASHINGTON: Pakistani military officials plotted to kill prominent human rights activist Asma Jahangir while she was on a visit to India, according to new US intelligence disclosures arising from the Snowden affair.

The plan was evidently aborted after she learned of it and went public. But it is just one incident in a pattern of extrajudicial killings orchestrated by Pakistani military and intelligence leaders, according to classified documents given by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, which reported some episodes and extracts to protect perceived US interests vis-a-vis Pakistan.

US spy agencies have for years reported senior Pakistani military and intelligence leaders were orchestrating a wave of extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects and other militants, the paper said.

It added in July 2011, an assessment of communications intercepts and other intelligence by the NSA concluded that the Pakistani military intelligence had continued over the preceding 16 months a pattern of lethally targeting perceived enemies without trial or due process.

The killings, according to the NSA, occurred ''with the knowledge, if not consent, of senior officers''.

The disclosure is important in the context of Pakistan's persistent denials of its use of terrorism, both domestically and against India.

New Delhi alleges attacks against India, on the border and inside the country, are carried out by the Pakistani military intelligence.

But Islamabad insists it is done by ''non-state actors,'' and on occasions has even gone to the extent of claiming India conducts terrorist attacks on itself and blames Pakistan.

The US assessment of Pakistani behavior in this regard, particularly in its domestic context, is blunt, stark, and even self-incriminating.

In fact, the Post report says, US officials repeatedly sought to keep evidence of Pakistani human rights abuses out of the public eye.

A classified diplomatic cable sent from the US Embassy in Islamabad to officials in Washington in September 2009, raising concern about the extrajudicial killings of militants by Pakistani army units, advised against public disclosure of the incidents. It said it was more important to maintain support for the Pakistani armed forces.

But while US publicly portrays Islamabad as an ally, the 178-page summary of the US intelligence community's so-called ''black budget'' reveals an intense focus on Pakistan as a toxic swamp of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

''Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical US intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else,'' the Post report says, alluding to the fact that despite such concerns, Washington has lavished $26 billion aid to the country over the past 12 years.

The Snowden disclosures reveal the US is devoting tremendous amount of money, resources, and energy to assess Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and its safeguards.

US agencies are focused on two particularly worrisome scenarios, the report said: the possibility that Pakistan's nuclear facilities might come under attack by Islamist militants, as its army headquarters in Rawalpindi did in 2009, and even greater concern that they might have penetrated the ranks of military or intelligence, putting them in a position to launch an insider attack or smuggle out nuclear material.

Some success was reported in understanding the security of Pakistan nuclear arsenal. The black budget describes the creation of a Pakistan WMD Analysis Cell to track movements of nuclear materials.

Agencies, including the CIA and the Defense Department, were able ''to develop and deploy a new compartmented collection capability'' that delivered a ''more comprehensive understanding of strategic weapons security in Pakistan''.

Even so, ''the number of gaps associated with Pakistani nuclear security remains the same,'' the document said, and ''the questions associated with this intractable target are more complex''.

The budget documents indicate US intelligence agencies are also focused on the security of the nuclear program in India, the report said, without providing details.

Disclosure that India is also under US scrutiny in this regard should disabuse planners in New Delhi that Washington treats it as an ally in such matters.