September 07, 2019

The Bridge: Articles from the Journal

 The Bridge...

Technology, Military Genius, and the Improbable Victory

By Joanne C. Lo on Sep 07, 2019 12:01 am
The true revolution of technology-enabled warfare will only happen through empowering the tactical edge to lead technical development throughout the entire country. The revolution that will allow the United States to unequivocally regain technological dominance on the world stage cannot happen with timid, localized, politically correct actions that only generate a few talking points. It can only happen with bold, sweeping actions that put the nation’s warfighters  at center stage.
Read in browser »

Don’t Say No One Warned You: #Reviewing China’s Vision of Victory

By T.S. Allen on Sep 04, 2019 12:01 am
In contrast to commentators who focus on China’s relative rise, Ward emphasizes that the U.S. must focus on sustaining and expanding American power. The key question, in his mind, is how much power will be ceded to China in the future.
Read in browser »

The Positive Impact of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence

By Steven Maguire on Sep 03, 2019 12:01 am
The Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroups have multiple strategic objectives from reassuring countries on NATO’s eastern flank, demonstrating alliance resolve, and providing a hard measure of deterrence.
Read in browser »

Penetrate Uncertainty: Descriptive Planning in a Complex Tactical Environment

By Patrick C. Mulloy on Sep 02, 2019 12:01 am
The U.S. Army’s Military Decision Making Process provides a step-by-step model for decision-making and order production. However, it provides insufficient direction for how to adapt when confronted with complexity. Commanders and staffs often scramble to re-plan when faced with adversity, consuming the entire organization in an attempt to get back on the plan or develop a new one.
Read in browser »

September 06, 2019

Afghanistan: Ahmad Massoud seizes father’s torch

AFGHANISTANAHMAD MASSOUD

SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Asia Times

Eighteen years after the assassination of legendary anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, his only son is hoping to continue the mission against the insurgents by jumping into Afghanistan’s chaotic political fray. Photo by Wakil Kohsar AFP

Son of famed commander Ahmad Shah Massoud steps into political arena as US says it is on the verge of an accord with the Taliban

ByALISON TAHMIZIAN MEUSE, BEIRUT

In the heart of Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, before thousands of devotees of his late father, Ahmad Massoud on Thursday put himself forward as the figure capable of unifying the Afghan people and challenging an ascendent Taliban. 

“At this moment, [the Taliban] are intoxicated. They think they are victorious,” Massoud, 30, told Asia Times ahead of the gathering. 

“Someone needs to detox them to bring them to reality that it is no longer their way, and will never be their way.”

The Taliban, who routed Ahmad Shah Massoud’s government forces in Kabul in 1996, before getting routed themselves in the aftermath of 9/11, appear to be scenting their moment once again.

The US this week said it was on the “threshold” of reaching an accord with the Taliban after nearly two decades of war, even as the extremist group stepped up deadly attacks across the country. 

The deal is expected to see the US launch a staged withdrawal of its nearly 15,000 troops in the country. In return, the Taliban should pledge to prevent Al-Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base for future attacks against America.

With the Afghan government sidelined from talks and the Taliban poised for a US pullout, Massoud’s entrance into the political arena communicates that “someone” to detox the Taliban could be him. 

Loyalists of the late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud gather to pledge allegiance to his son, Ahmad Massoud, in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan on September 5. Photo courtesy of Ali Nazary.

Asked to lead

Massoud was 12 years old when his father was assassinated on September 9, 2001, by two Tunisians believed to be acting on the orders of Ossama bin Laden.

At the time, his father’s United Islamic Front for Salvation of Afghanistan (the Northern Alliance), a coalition of armed factions opposed to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, was cornered in the northeast of the country.

Even at that young age, Massoud says he was conscious of the faith people had in his father.

He said: “I remember in the valley of Panjshir even when we were surrounded by Taliban and they were just 100 kilometers away, people were very calm. They would say, ‘Thank God commander Massoud is here and he’s alive.’

“They had tremendous trust in him.” 

That trust, he laments, is missing in Afghanistan today.

An upcoming presidential election scheduled for September 28 is in doubt amid threats from the Taliban and a possible pullout from the leading opponent. Previous elections have been marred by reports of vote-rigging and other irregularities, in addition to the security threats faced by voters.

In contrast, the late Ahmad Shah Massoud has attained a cult-like status, his omnipresent image associated with integrity and patriotism.

In this photo taken on May 4, a bodybuilder wears a T-shirt with a portrait of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the late military and political Afghan leader also known as the “Lion of Panjshir,” at a gym in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP

It is that national affection for the “Lion of Panjshir,” as he was known, which supporters believe could help his son gain traction in a divided political landscape.

The ultimate sacrifice of his father, Massoud told Asia Times, had a significant impact on his decision to assume the risks of a political gambit. 

“I saw his shattered body after the attack, and I always remember he accepted that death – that way of going from this world – because of the values and beliefs he had. And I share those beliefs,” he told Asia Times.

‘He is prepared’

Asked who his allies are, the young Massoud declines to specify names but says he was approached by a cross-section of influential figures.

“They are very big figures from different ethnicities who have the same mentality and believe that Afghanistan is in a very serious and delicate situation – one that requires a new generation and group of people to heal old wounds,” he said.

Abdullah Anas, a veteran of the Afghan jihad who served for years under the nationalist commander, says the young Massoud faces risks, but also goodwill because of his legacy. 

“Publicly no one can be against him. It’s a political liability to say I’m not with him, because that means you’re not okay with his father,” Anas told Asia Times.

“But the real support, real backing … this will be witnessed in the future.”

While Massoud may seem young, Abdullah points out he is much older than his father was when he began his struggle against the Soviets in the 1970s. 

And this will not be his first time in the spotlight. The young Massoud made his first speech at just 13 years old, on the first anniversary of his father’s death.

He also has experience in the region and in Europe, completing his secondary schooling in Iran and later attending military school at the prestigious Sandhurst Academy in the UK. 

“When his father started he wasn’t aware of what was going on outside Afghanistan. But Ahmad is now starting his movement where he knows Iran, he knows the Arab world, he studied in London, he speaks another language. 

“I think he is prepared,” said Anas.  

Ahmad Shah Massoud (right) is seen on April 5, 2001, in Strasbourg; his son Ahmad Massoud on August 25, 2019, in Kabul. Photos: Wakil Kohsar and Franck Fife / AFP

Winner takes all

As US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad completed his ninth round of talks with the Taliban this week, the group continued claiming deadly attacks in Kabul. A Thursday car bombing in the capital left 10 people dead, most of them Afghans. 

U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad

 · Sep 1, 2019

We’ve concluded this round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. I’ll be traveling to #Kabul later today for consultations.


U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad

@US4AfghanPeace

We are at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honorable & sustainable peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United States, its allies, or any other country.

341

5:10 AM - Sep 1, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy


211 people are talking about this

Massoud says the talks, which Khalilzad says are on the cusp of becoming an accord, are not benefiting reconciliation on the domestic level, but rather emboldening the Taliban.

Massoud says the United States, by excluding the Afghan government and other factions, is essentially coronating the group as the de facto authority in the land and skewing the power dynamic of future talks with other Afghan parties.

“It doesn’t matter how many conditions they put on top of the Taliban,” said Massoud. “As soon as a picture of the Taliban and anyone from the American government comes out, the Taliban are the victors, they will call themselves the true mujahideen and the resistance group that won the war.”

That winner-takes-all mentality, he acknowledges, is an old dilemma.

In the memoirs of Abdullah Anas, his father’s loyal comrade, one of the most telling reflections is of the day the Soviet-backed Afghan government submitted itself to the victorious mujahideen, asking only that other political parties be allowed in the new Afghanistan, including the Communists. Massoud brushed off the request. In retrospect, Anas reflected, that was wrong.

The young Massoud is equally critical of the past. 

“When we [the mujahideen] spoke to the Soviets directly, we didn’t care about the government of [Soviet-backed former president] Najibullah, and we didn’t care about any other people – we were the winners and we were victorious.”

The difference between his father’s mujahideen and the Taliban, Massoud argues, is that the Taliban is set on imposing an extremist form of Islam on the country.

Ahmad Massoud addresses supporters of his late father in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan on September 5. Photo courtesy of Ali Nazary.

On Thursday in Panjshir, he told the crowd that the biggest problem Afghanistan has faced over the past two centuries has been the centralization of the political system with “where power and wealth rests with one person and city in Afghanistan.”

Decentralization, he believes, can help bring about fairer governance to the country, in addition to an emphasis on moderate Islam and a tolerance for divergent views.

But most of all, he says, Afghans are looking for a unifying figure to offer them hope, irrespective of the outcome of the peace talks.

In the coming period, he hopes to gain their trust.

Pakistani nation celebrates Sept 6 as Defence Day

Pakistani nation celebrates Sept 6 as Defence Day. On this national holiday, the patriots stand with their military to honor its successes and achievements. Below is the list of some of the successes of Pakistani military. Let us salute PAK armed forces Inc.

A Very Happy Defence Day to all Pakistanis and Kashmiris......

Happy FF Hospitals Day
Happy Bahria Commercial Businesses Day
Happy Air Eagle Aviation Academy Day
Happy Fauji Foundation College, Rawalpindi Day
Happy Askari Bakeries Day
Happy Bahria deep sea fisheries Day
Happy Bahria Harbour Services Day
Happy FF Medical Systems Pvt Ltd Day
Happy Shaheen Radio Pvt Ltd Day
Happy Fazaia Housing society Day
Happy SAPS Aviation College Day
Happy Shaheen Welfare Housing Peshawar Day
Happy Bahria Estates Day
Bahria Maritime Works Org Day
Happy Foundation Gas Day
Happy Overseas Employment Services Day
Happy FFBL Power Co Day
Happy FF Experiment Seed Multiplication Farm Day
Happy Mari Petroleum Co Day
Happy FF Securities Pvt Ltd Day
Happy Fresh & Freeze Day
Happy FFC Energy LTD Day
Happy Frontier Oil Company Day
Happy Mobil Pakistan Day
Happy Askari Airlines Day
Happy Askari Towers Day
Happy AWT Investments Day
Happy FWO Day
Happy Askari Project Lahore Day
Happy FF Healthcare System Day
Happy FF Vocational Training Co Day
Happy Hawk Advertising Day
Happy Fazaia Welfare Education System Day
Happy Shaheen Welfare Housing Scheme Day
Happy Fauji Kabirwala Power Co Ltd Day
Happy Fauji Cement Co Day
Happy National Logistic Cell Day
Happy Special Communications Org Day
Happy Noon Pakistan Ltd Day
Happy Fauji Meat Ltd Day
Happy Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim Day
Happy Fauji Marine Terminal Ltd Day
Happy Pakistan Maroc Phosphore Day
Happy Shaheen Knitwear Day
Happy Shaheen Complex Day
Happy Shaheen Aerotraders Day
Happy Askari Apparel Day
Happy Askari Lagoons Day
Happy Fauji Cereals Day
Happy Fauji Foundation Gas Day
Happy Fauji Fertilizers Day
Happy Fauji Oil Terminal & Distillery Day
Happy Fauji Kabirwala Power Co. Day
Happy Foundation Wind Energy Day
Happy Askari Woollens Day
Happy Askari Welfare Mess Day
Happy Askari Aviation Services Day
Happy MAL Pakistan Day
Happy Askari Guards Day
Happy Askari Fuels Day
Happy Askari Seeds Day
Happy Askari Enterprises Day
Happy Fauji Security Services Day
Happy Defence Housing Authority Day
Happy Askari Cement Day
Happy Askari Bank Day
Happy Fouji Foundation Day
Happy Askari Stud Farms Day
Happy Army Welfare Mills Day
Happy Askari Shoes Day
Happy Shaheen & Bahria Foundation Day
Happy Askari Insurance Day

-- Senge Hasnan Sering

September 05, 2019

Opeds on Kashmiri Muslim ego: A comment

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/et-commentary/jk-and-ladakh-layered-nuanced-governance/

J&K , Ladakh: Layered Nuanced governance

"A third reason, perhaps most vital, is psychological. Kashmiris have a very strong sense of identity, more than most others. Ego, or a sense of superiority, is a strong part of that identity. It needs to be nurtured."
〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰

https://thewire.in/rights/the-great-trick-which-left-kashmir-with-nothing-to-lose 

Great Magic Trick. Which left Kashmir with nothing to lose

"Kashmiris have been exposed to Shock-and-Awe tactics. Belittled and humiliated, they have lost the chief ministership and command over Jammu and Ladakh... Ruled by authoritarian, cruel outsiders including the Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras, the special, signed, legally binding Article 370 deal, protected Kashmir’s identity and gave it for the first time in 400 years, a major say in its own future."

➡➡➡➡➡➡➡
🔴 Get Smarter
〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
The cautious commentary on Kashmir rightly points out that the the manner in which the govt changed the status quo was unconstitutional and that the curbs on freedoms in the valley are illegal. But directly or indirectly it also refers to Kashmiri Muslim ego and admits that dominating Buddhist-Shia Ladakh, Hindu Jammu, and Sunni Gujjar-Bakerwals nurtures that ego. Kashmiri Muslim leadership has never treated any of these communities as equals. Incidentally, the Kashmiri Muslim does not want to dominate Aksai Chin or Shaksgam.

But if Kashmiris should have a say in their future, what about Ladakh and Jammu? Should they not have a say in their own future? There are no easy answers.

Anglophone Pakistani Journalists shifted to Right of the Center

https://www.dawn.com/news/1503645/islamist-militants

"a paladin doesn’t believe in targeting civilians as a matter of policy, as terrorists do — 9/11, 7/7, APS Peshawar, Eid prayers, taraweeh congregations, Shia mosques, churches, concerts and nightclubs."
〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
COMMENT
➡➡➡➡➡
Mumbai 26/11, etc do not figure here. Even the liberal Anglophone Pakistani has shifted to the right of the centre. Even if they have not, on things Indian they defer to ISPR. We need to note this shift in Pakistan.

Note that they cannot ignore attacks in the English-speaking world 9/11 & 7/7. Visas, green cards and children's education and jobs are at stake. But India is not essential for their existence. Instead of crying why these double standards, India should focus on its economy and make it unavoidably attractive.

September 02, 2019

Global community favours bilateral framework on Kashmir, but Pak refuses to see writing on wall

Global community favours bilateral framework on Kashmir, but Pak refuses to see writing on wall

Pakistan has sought UN mediation despite being bound by the principle of bilateralism under the 1972 Simla Agreement.

Written by Sujan R Chinoy |Updated: September 2, 2019 9:33:21 am

Pakistan knows that India totally rejects third-party involvement. Barring a few aberrant acolytes of Pakistan, the global community, including the US, has openly favoured the bilateral framework to address all the issues between India and Pakistan.

After failing to get the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take formal notice of its antics over Article 370 and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Pakistan has yet again attempted to internationalise J&K by writing to the president of the UNSC. It has asked for “doubling the strength of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) Observers and to persuade India to allow them to patrol on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) as well”. In the letter, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi further requested the UNSC to consider “all possible avenues available under the UN Charter to fulfil its responsibility of maintaining peace in the region”.

Pakistan knows that India totally rejects third-party involvement. Barring a few aberrant acolytes of Pakistan, the global community, including the US, has openly favoured the bilateral framework to address all the issues between India and Pakistan. Yet, Pakistan clings on to the idea of third-party mediation or a UN role in order to create a false alibi for continuing with the use of terrorism as an instrument to wage a low-intensity war against India. Pakistan has sought UN mediation despite being bound by the principle of bilateralism under the 1972 Simla Agreement.

UN resolutions have proved ineffective in the past in getting Pakistan to withdraw its occupying forces from Jammu and Kashmir, as was required under the UN Resolutions of April 21 and August 13, 1948, which have since been overtaken by the bilateral Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.

This has not prevented a desperate Pakistan from turning its attention to UNMOGIP, another redundant vestige of the past, long overtaken by the bilateral process agreed to under the Simla Agreement. Its genesis can be traced to the UN Commission for India & Pakistan (UNCIP), which was set up through UNSCR 39 on January 20, 1948.

Advertising

By way of background, UNSCR 47 of April 21, 1948 and the UNCIP Resolution of August 13, 1948, provided the basis for the UNMOGIP’s establishment. The ceasefire was bilaterally agreed to by India and Pakistan on January 1, 1949, one day before the UNCIP Military Adviser reached the mission area. The first of the UN military observers arrived there only on January 24, 1949.

As outlined in para 3 of the UNSG’s Report S/6651 of September 3, 1965, UNMOGIP’s role was very limited, confined to observation of the Cease Fire Line (CFL) and monitoring of violations, if any. The limited mandate was related to the CFL and the Karachi Ceasefire Agreement of July 27, 1949, from which it flowed, both of which ceased to be operative when Pakistan committed aggression against India on December 3, 1971 and declared a state of war against India the following day. The UNMOGIP’s mandate lapsed as a result, and did not legally extend to the LoC, a materially different line which came into being on December 17, 1971, following India’s unilateral declaration of a ceasefire, later accepted by Pakistan. The Simla Agreement, which superceded all previous agreements and committed both sides to a bilateral framework, delivered the coup de grâce with regard to UNMOGIP’s locus standi.

The UNMOGIP’s limited mandate renders it incapable of monitoring the terrorist havens on the Pakistani side of the LoC or preventing cross-border infiltration. Nor is it capable of preventing the frequent ceasefire violations.

The Indian side has not lodged any complaint over the ceasefire violations by Pakistan since January 1972, which further buttresses India’s standpoint on the UNMOGIP and denies it any role. Pakistan continues to lodge “complaints about ceasefire violations by India” with the UNMOGIP, which issues reports containing the unilateral “complaints” made by Pakistan. This is yet another example of obfuscation by Pakistan of facts relating to Jammu and Kashmir.

In recent years, the Government of India (GoI) has taken the right steps vis-à-vis the UNMOGIP. In response to a question in Parliament on August 13, 2014, the then Minister of State for External Affairs, V K Singh, stated that the UNMOGIP was mandated to supervise the CFL established in July 1949 under the agreement between military representatives of India and Pakistan, and that with the signing of the Simla Agreement and the establishment of the LoC, its role had become redundant, and further, that it had “outlived its relevance”. The GoI has taken various steps asking the UNMOGIP to vacate government properties in India, which had been provided free of charge until then. Action has also been taken to monetise various other facilities that were earlier being provided free of cost to the UNMOGIP.


https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/jammu-kashmir-article-370-abrogation-imran-khan-modi-govt-5957242/

China and Russia’s sky-high strategy

East Asia Forum

28 August 2019

Author: Artyom Lukin, Far Eastern Federal University

On 23 July 2019, Russian and Chinese warplanes — long-range nuclear-capable bombers accompanied by fighter jets and surveillance aircraft — conducted a ‘joint patrol’ over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. This marked the first ever joint air force operation by Russia and China beyond their borders.The show of force in the Northeast Asian skies was meant to signal the growing strength of the China–Russia strategic bond and the main target of this message was Seoul.

The patrol’s route ran over the Dokdo (Takeshima) islands, one of the most politically sensitive areas in East Asia. The islands are disputed between South Korea and Japan, so the China–Russia operation caused a commotion. Seoul and Tokyo both claimed that a Russian military plane from the joint patrol group twice violated Dokdo’s airspace, prompting South Korean interceptor jets to fire hundreds of warning shots. The Russian and Chinese governments categorically state that the mission took place over international waters and did not breach any sovereign airspace.

Whether or not an actual violation of the airspace over Dokdo took place, this first joint mission by Russian and Chinese air forces carries major diplomatic and strategic significance. By executing an operation in the Northeast Asian skies, Moscow and Beijing are sending the message that their ‘strategic partnership’ is not a paper tiger — it is becoming a political–military force to be reckoned with.

In 2016, Chinese and Russian warships simultaneously sailed close to the Japan-administered but China-claimed Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands, raising suspicions that the manoeuvres were coordinated. Then, Moscow and Beijing refrained from any comments, neither confirming nor denying Japanese suspicions. But this time China and Russia apparently sought a maximum demonstration effect.

Apart from displaying the strengthening political–military ties between Moscow and Beijing, the joint operation had the practical purpose of enhancing interoperability of Russian and Chinese air forces. According to Russian sources, the objective was also to collect valuable military data about the South Korean air defence system by deliberately provoking its response, something called ‘cracking the hedgehog’ in Russian military jargon.

Russia and China are now negotiating a new military cooperation agreement. It will replace the previous agreement concluded in 1993 and will likely reflect a new level of their political–military partnership. There is little doubt that the joint patrol on 23 July is just a harbinger of what may come next. The China–Russia military missions outside their borders are bound to continue, with increasing scale and sophistication.

Some Russian analysts believe one of the next steps in the military collaboration could be forming a shared pool of support assets, such as AWACS aircraft and tanker aircraft, to assist Russian and Chinese forces operating in the Pacific. Russia and China are also likely to enhance already established patterns of their military cooperation, including weapons sales and large-scale military drills like the Vostok 2018 exercise held in Russia’s Far East.

If the China–Russia military partnership continues its upward trend, it will inevitably affect the security order in the Western Pacific. The joint actions by Russia and China are most likely seeking to challenge the system of US-centred alliances in the Asia Pacific and change the strategic balance. By acting individually, neither could hope to undercut US hegemony in the Pacific.

Are China–Russia patrols and other combined military missions beyond East Asia possible in the near future — for example, in the Atlantic, Middle East, Arctic or even the Caribbean? This cannot be ruled out, especially as China grows its power projection capabilities and builds a network of overseas military bases (such as in Djibouti and Gwadar).

On the other hand, Northeast Asia is currently the most suitable theatre to operationalise a China–Russia military alliance. Russia and China have a direct presence in the region, where they maintain substantial military potentials that — if combined — can complement each other. And importantly, it is in the North Pacific that they interact with the United States. If the China–Russia military alliance is to materialise, it will most likely start from Northeast Asia.

The joint patrol of Russian and Chinese warplanes was a message to Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. But it was Seoul that appears to be the main target. The bombers could have flown by the Senkakus or Okinawa, but they chose the Korean-controlled Dokdo. It was the first violation of South Korean airspace by a foreign military plane since the end of the Korean War.

Beijing and Moscow see South Korea as a relatively weak link in the US alliance network in Asia, compared to the two other main US allies, Japan and Australia. South Korea is more vulnerable than Japan to pressure from the China–Russia coalition. If Beijing and Moscow adroitly use the carrot and stick approach toward Seoul, it could perhaps even weaken the US–South Korea alliance.

Displays of military might is just one of the ways to influence Seoul. South Korea’s economy is highly dependent on China. Moreover, Beijing and Moscow’s ties with North Korea give them power to affect the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Russia and China might be looking to turn South Korea into a neutral state that would refrain from policies the two countries view as compromising their security. If this ‘Finlandisation’ was achieved, it would be a major blow to the United States, both in Northeast Asia and globally.

Artyom Lukin is Associate Professor and Deputy Director of Research at the School of Regional and International Studies, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok.

September 01, 2019

Broccoli: better latte than never


By Nikki Galovic

Just when you thought coffee trends couldn’t get any crazier, enter the broccoli latte. You’ve heard of turmeric lattes and even a coffee served in an avocado, but is the broccoli latte the next product to hit the tables of your local hipster café? We’re here to tell you, it’s possible.

You might be asking why we would even suggest such an outrageous concept but it could actually help address two very real challenges our society is facing: food loss and poor diets.

Just eat it

With almost two in three Australian adults overweight or obese, being healthy, and eating a healthy diet, is a huge focus for many of us. But despite the increasing popularity of ‘superfoods’ and health and wellness, Australian diets are still poor.

Our research shows the average Australian is still not eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables a day. And we know it can be hard to get those five serves of veg everyday while also trying to drink enough water, getting in your 30 minutes of daily exercise and doing all of the other things you have to do. So, we’re trying to make it easier to squeeze in a couple of extra veggies, especially if you have fussy kids who don’t fall for the ‘they’re cute little trees’ line.

Taste the waste

Over one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted. In Australian households alone, 4 million tonnes of food is wasted every year. All of the food we waste takes water and energy to produce, transport, prepare and sell. And all these resources are wasted when we throw food in the bin. Waste occurs all the way along the chain from farms to supermarkets and households. But we can help reduce food loss on farms and create a new revenue stream for farmers at the same time. On a broccoli farm, the heads are usually separated from the leaves and stalks, which are ploughed in as a fertiliser replacement. Unsexy, or ugly, broccoli too won’t make the cut. That’s why we’re looking at new and creative ways to use produce from the farm.

Powder power

With funding from vegetable growers through Hort Innovation, we’ve developed a broccoli powder that could help pack extra veggies into your diet. The 100 per cent broccoli powder is made from whole broccoli, and produced using a combination of selected pre-treatment and drying processes to retain the natural colour, flavour and nutrient composition of fresh broccoli.

Broccoli contains protein, fibre and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals, making it an ideal candidate for being turned into a powder ingredient. We’ve also developed powders from a range of vegetables like beetroot, carrot and cauliflower. The powder packs a healthy punch with approximately one serve of your five a day vegetables in every two tablespoons of powder.

While broccoli lattes might not take off, the powder could be used for smoothies, dips, soups and baking. In fact, we’ve already used it to make extruded ‘Twistie-like’ snacks with high vegetable content. We’ve tested this with parents and even kids who thought they were a pretty tasty way to help bump up their veggie intake.

The broccoli powder is being developed as part of a larger research and development project which aims to reduce vegetable loss by creating healthy food products from ‘ugly’ produce or produce or produce that otherwise doesn’t make it to the market. The next steps are to take the powder into further product development and consumer sensory evaluation trials to see if it’s a product you might actually see on the supermarket shelves or in your coffee cup.

While broccoli – or cauliflower – lattes might not take off, we’re seeking partners to help commercialise a range of food products with broccoli powder. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about doing business with us.


https://blog.csiro.au/broccoli-better-latte-than-never/

Cauliflower and broccoli pills: Turning vegetable waste into nutrient-rich powders and supplements

By national regional and rural reporterJess Davis

Posted1 day ago, updated1 day ago

IMAGEUp to one third of fruit and vegies are wasted before they even reach the supermarket shelves.(ABC News: Jess Davis)

It seems far-fetched but Australian farmers could soon be producing broccoli and cauliflower pills: one serve of vegetables in a tiny capsule.

The horticulture industry hopes a demand for nutrient-rich powders and supplements will create a new market for vegetables and solve the problem of farm waste in the process.

It's an idea John Said, who grows vegetables on 2,000 hectares across the country, is helping to develop.

"I mean it's a pretty big ask to say to someone, 'Here, just take this pill and it's a broccoli pill', but in the future, who knows?" he said.


"I mean if it's got other vitamins and minerals and perhaps other oils as well and it serves a really good purpose for the body, then by all means let's develop that."

IMAGEThe nutraceutical industry believes new products can be developed from fruit and vegies.(ABC News)

It's also a chance to make something of the cauliflowers and broccolis that aren't picked at harvest time, with about 15 per cent of his crop left on the ground.

"We've always thought about food waste, we've always thought about yield, but we've never been able to truly get a market or a particular process that addresses that issue," he said.


"So I think we're the closest we've ever been to being able to address an issue like that."

IMAGEJohn Said hopes to harvest and sell 100 per cent of his crops in the near future.(ABC News: Jess Davis)

Broccoli powder

The CSIRO approached Mr Said two years ago and asked if it could turn his waste into powders.

Scientists started with broccoli because it's the most nutritious vegetable.

"It's very high in protein," said project leader Luz Sanguansri.

"Imagine 30 per cent of broccoli is protein on a dry basis, so we thought that's a good start."

It took 18 months to develop a powder that contains nearly all the same nutrients as fresh broccoli.

The team then developed food products with the powder, including broccoli lattes and snacks.

The CSIRO is talking to a number of food companies and hopes to have products on supermarket shelves within a year.

"While you're sipping away your coffee you can have some snack with a [broccoli-infused] dip or a broccoli muffin and altogether you'll increase your vegetable intake by having that," Mrs Sanguansri said.

IMAGEThe CSIRO aims to have broccoli powder on supermarket shelves in the next 12 months.(ABC News: Jess Davis)

Millions of tonnes wasted

IMAGE1.5 million tonnes of produce is wasted even before it gets to the supermarket.(Supplied: CSIRO)

As well as developing food products, the CSIRO carried out a widespread study to find out how many fruit and vegetables go to waste and where.

It found 1.5 million tonnes is lost before reaching supermarket shelves.

"From the national map we have done, we have identified key regions of the losses and the waste Australia is generating," said principal research scientist Pablo Juliano.

"So now the idea is to locate and build facilities for processing where we can turn this waste into ingredients."

Work is already underway on facilities in Gippsland in Victoria and Townsville in Queensland.

Future of regional processors

IMAGEKagome has developed a food product out of carrot fibre and sees nutraceutical potential.(ABC News: Jess Davis)

It's an idea Victorian tomato and carrot processor Kagome is also pursuing.

The company's Echuca factory processes 18,000 tonnes of carrots each year, with up to a quarter of that traditionally going to waste.

"In the carrot process, we're actually extracting the juice. We're separating the fibre from the juice and making a carrot concentrate and then at the moment the fibre is just going as a waste product," said general manager of operations Brad Free.

With many regional food processors under financial strain from rising transport, energy and labour costs, Mr Free said finding a market for the waste had never been more important.

The carrot fibre is already used in meat patties and sausages and the company is developing higher-value products to sell into the nutraceutical market, which specialises in supplements.

Nutraceuticals future

IMAGECompanies are trialling supplements that combine oils and vegetable powders.(ABC News: Jess Davis)

For supplements, local nutraceutical companies like Swisse currently import ingredients, including grapes, which often go to waste in Australia.

It sees plenty of potential for local fruit and vegetables to replace some imports and inspire new products.

"All of them have specific areas [where] … we could probably pioneer some great new extracts for the industry," said Justin Howden from Swisse.

Farmer John Said agreed there was huge potential in nutraceuticals.

"We're doing things like encapsulating omega 3 into broccoli powder as we speak, so the market will evolve," he said.

"We're starting to create a new industry for the vegetable farmers of Australia."

IMAGEThe CSIRO developed broccoli powder first because of its high protein and nutritional value.(ABC News: Jess Davis)