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Showing posts from June 3, 2007

War Made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History: 1500 to Today Max Boot is a Power Line reader and, more importantly, the author of the new military history War Made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History: 1500 to Today. I asked Max if he would write briefly about the book for our readers, and he has kindly responded: I wrote War Made New to provide historical perspective on the challenges we face in coping with warfare in the Information Age. Ever since America’s victory in the 1991 Gulf War—a victory made possible by stealth aircraft, smart bombs, GPS locators, and other advanced technologies—there has been a lot of heated debate over how and whether the U.S. military should transform itself to meet future threats. I don’t have any easy answers, but I do try to introduce ordinary readers to this important discussion by looking at how previous Great Powers have coped with epochal changes—the Gunpowder Revolution (1500-1700), the First Industrial Revolution (1850-1914), the Second Ind

Promise and Peril for India in the 21st Century--Edward Luce

World Affairs Council of Northern California - San Francisco, CA Promise and Peril for India in the 21st Century with Edward Luce. India will become the world's third largest economy within a generation and by 2032 will surpass China in population. By 2050, it will also boast more English speakers than the United States. Yet the rising power of India remains a mystery to many Americans. In his new book, In Spite of the Gods, journalist Edward Luce attempts to shed light on the forces shaping India, a country caught between a stubborn past and a modernizing present. In Spite of the Gods illuminates a land of many contradictions. The booming tech sector we read so much about in the West, Luce points out, employs no more than one million of India's 1.1 billion people. Only 35 million people, in fact, have formal enough jobs to pay taxes, while three-quarters of the country lives in extreme deprivation in India's 600,000 villages. Yet amid all these extremes, and despite

Europe becoming a haven for crooks

Organiser , June 10, 2007 By M.D. Nalapat Internationally, thanks to the network of financial institutions that accept money without getting an assurance that it was made legally, scams such as the current smuggling of oil out of Iraq multiply. Those within the region say that at least $ 5 billion in slush funds is getting generated by such illegal sales of oil from that tortured country, and the actual sums may be much more. However, as yet, the international media has ignored this trade. Terrorists need to be fought on both the military as well as the monetary fronts. So long as funds continue to flow into their hands, terrorists will continue to survive assaults on them, recruiting new zealots and rebuilding infrastructure. As much as the Home Ministry, it is Finance Ministry that needs to work overtime to ensure that terrorist strikes get reduced and finally eliminated. The US has been conspicously successful in this regard, combing through money transfers worldwide to check for

India cannot sleep on Chinese meddling on Arunachal

Source: Organiser ,June 10, 2007 By Rahul Kashyap Not many in India take politicians very seriously. The same happened when Arunachal Pradesh representative in Lok Sabha Khiren Rijiju complained that China had set its eye on the state. It was taken as just another attempt to steal newspaper headlines. But events that unfolded shortly after, quite unfortunately, proved that his fears were not completely unfounded. The denial of visa to an IAS officer Ganesh Koyu from the state by China cannot be looked at as an ordinary event. If at all the Government does, the fact would only reinforce India’a position as a soft state and the incident as yet another attempt by the Communist state to peddle this image. And let’s not forget, it happened to a pet proposal by none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself. With the benefit of hindsight now, especially Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi’s comments last November that China claimed ownership over entire Arunachal Pradesh

Border Line Case

The story of a map and how India should learn from its old mistakes The US Congressional Research Service (CRS) releases its report on US-India relations. The report is meant for members of the US Congress. On the last page of this document is a map of India (right inset). It is a two-tone map showing India in yellow and the neighbourhood in brown. This brings into sharp focus what the CRS considers to be India. It is an India with its crown, Jammu and Kashmir, knocked off substantially. The entire Gilgit and Baltistan region of Kashmir is shown as a contiguous part of Pakistan right up to the Karakoram Pass on the Chinese border. The map depicts Aksai Chin as an ‘Indian claim'. The report is on the internet. So apart from the Congressmen reading this report, thousands of others who would have seen this map would have concluded that this is how India looks on the map. New Delhi February 14, 2007. There is no visible reaction to the depiction of this map. Brussels, May 8, 2007.

The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis

Cody's Books - Berkeley, CA Jonathan Cohn uncovers Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis - and the People Who Pay the Price. In a tiny village tucked into the Catskill mountains, a man whose job stopped providing insurance watches his wife die from cancer. In a booming suburb outside of Austin, a mother fights with an insurance company so that her disabled baby can get the therapy that might someday help him walk. And in the middle of the prairie heartland, a retiree sells his house because it's the only way he can pay for the medications that keep him and his aging wife alive. To uncover the startling truth about the state of America's health care system, Jonathan Cohn raveled the country, listening to stories of those who are learning the hard way that citizenship in no way guarantees access to medical care. "Sick" is a fascinating, first-hand account of our failing health care system and the consequences that could someday affect us a

Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of Nuclear Poor

May 19th, 2007 Book Passage - Corte Madera, CA William Langewiesche talks about Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of Nuclear Poor. In his shocking and revelatory new work, a celebrated journalist investigates the burgeoning global threat of nuclear weapons production. From Hiroshima to the present day, Langewiesche describes a reality of urgent consequence to all - Book Passage

Armed Madhouse: Mind Map

On Bering Strait Project

Russian Magazine FORUM International Releases Special Issue On Bering Strait Project June 6 (EIRNS)—FORUM International, a Moscow-based bilingual print publication, today released a special issue devoted to the project to link Eurasian and American infrastructure networks via a tunnel under the Bering Strait. The contents of the 80-page, color-illustrated magazine are centered on the proceedings of the Megaprojects of Russia's East international conference on ``An Intercontinental Eurasia-America Transport Link Via The Bering Strait,'' held in Moscow on April 24 of this year. All of the transcripts and articles are published in both Russian and English. FORUM International appears as the G-8 summit opens in Heiligendamm, Germany, amid persistent reports that Russia will raise the Bering Strait rail-road-energy project at that meeting. The magazine’s opening spread is the text of an Appeal from the April 24 conference participants, addressed to the heads of state of Russ

An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

May 21st, 2007 Commonwealth Club of California - San Francisco, CA An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East with Sandy Tolan. Before Israel was created, the Palestinian Al-Khairi family built a house and planted a lemon tree. In 1948, the Al-Khairis were displaced by a Bulgarian Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust. The two families met in 1967 and formed a tenuous but lasting friendship. Tolan tells the story of these families riven by conflict but entwined by a simple lemon tree.

Iraq: Is the U.S. Starting to Maneuver? Speaking at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden recently, President George W. Bush said that the U.S.'s massive offensive in Iraq would end in September, after which the American troops there would be redeployed into defensive positions. This suggests that Bush has accepted the Baker-Hamilton report. It may be recalled that this report, prepared by a Congressional commission, contains two main requirements: set a clear timeframe on the pullout of U.S. troops, and open negotiations on the situation in Iraq with neighboring countries - Iran and Syria. Bush has now described the report, which he effectively rejected six months ago, as a "road map" for peace in Iraq. All of that was said hours before the House of Representatives was to consider a bill on additional $100 billion funding for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approved earlier by the U.S. Senate, the bill was later adopted by the lower

Assessing the New Cold War

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Assessing the New Cold War Introduced by Vladimir Frolov Russia Profile Contributors: Anatol Lieven, Stephen Blank, Nikolas Gvosdev, Eugene Kolesnikov, Andrei Lebedev, Edward Lozansky, Anthony T. Salvia, Ira Straus, Andrei Tsygankov, Andrei Zagorski It is now official. The growing Cold War style rhetoric between Russia and the West has finally acquired an ideological underpinning – it will be about U.S. new imperialism pushing back Russia’s new revisionism. President Vladimir Putin said at a Kremlin news conference on May 31: "There is a clear desire by some international players to dictate their will to everyone without adhering to international law... This behavior is nothing different from diktat, nothing different from imperialism." Putin also insisted that the United States is responsible for a "new round of the arms race" because of its planned missile defense system. In response, Russia recently successfully te

Russia among top 5 in terms of GDP by 2020 - Ivanov

14:01 | 09/ 06/ 2007 ST. PETERSBURG, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - A first Russian deputy prime minister set the goal of making the country one of the five largest economies in terms of GDP by 2020 Saturday. In his report on the national economic strategy until 2020, which opened the 11th economic forum in St. Petersburg, Sergei Ivanov, seen by many as a possible presidential successor after 2008, said the economic goal could be achieved through a liberal economic policy based on high technologies, broader and transparent investment, and high competitiveness. In the past few years, Russia's GDP has been exceeding 6%. President Vladimir Putin has set the goal of doubling the GDP by 2010. "GDP per capita by consumer spending parity will be around $30,000 in 2005 prices [by 2020], compared to the current $12,000," Ivanov forecasted. Investment Ivanov said Russia was ahead of the majority of emerging economies in terms of foreign investment. As an example, the official s

Will America agree to swap ABM systems?

18:58 | 08/ 06/ 2007 MOSCOW. (Military commentator Viktor Safonov for RIA Novosti) - At this year's G8 summit in Heiligendamm, President Vladimir Putin made George W. Bush an offer he will have difficulty refusing. Why deploy missile interceptors and a radar in the Czech Republic and Poland to protect Europe against "rogue countries" when there is a much simpler, cheaper and more effective solution? The Daryal early-warning missile radar is located in Gabala, Azerbaijan, just 180 km to the north of Baku - that is, close to the Iranian border. Using it instead of placing new ABM elements in Europe would benefit everyone. Washington would remove Moscow's natural concern that the American ground-based interceptors on the Baltic Sea coast are meant for Russian strategic missiles in the Tver, Kaluga, Ivanovo and Vladimir regions. Warsaw, Prague and their European neighbors would no longer be afraid of the Russian Topol-M and Iskander-M missiles that, as Putin has

Indian Military Academy : 649 cadets pass out

9 Jun, 2007 l 1307 hrs ISTlPTI DEHRADUN: The largest single batch of 649 cadets, including 24 foreigners, on Saturday passed out of the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) here in a smartly turned-out parade. Chief of Naval Staff Sureesh Mehta reviewed the parade and took salute from the cadets who marched in files at drill square set against the historic Chetwode building. Three helicopters of the Army aviation crops flew over the parade and showered petals on the cadets. Twenty-four cadets from friendly nations like Tajikistan, Bhutan and Mauritius also passed out of the academy which is celebrating its platinum jubilee this year. Security in and around the IMA was tightened with police deploying additional force to keep vigil. The hallmark of the function was a motorcycle expedition to Siachen, the highest military post in the world, which was flagged off by Admiral Mehta. Nearly five officers and 16 cadets of the IMA are participating in the expedition. Imme

Indian community joins relief work in Oman

Dubai, June 9 (PTI) In the aftermath of the devastation caused by the Cyclone Gonu in Oman, Indian community has decided to join the massive relief efforts launched by the Omani Government, especially in Muscat Municipality. However, realizing that the Indian community effort required coordination, the Indian Embassy in Muscat has requested two construction firms - Galfar & Teejan and the Hindu Mahajan Association to establish logistic hubs at several locations. "The local Indian business houses and communities have been requested to channelize their resources to these hubs. Local Indian volunteers and Indian Embassy officials have fanned out to various regions of Muscat Municipality to determine areas of need and coordinate efforts with these hubs for distribution of supplies," said J K Tripathi, Charge de Affaires, at the Indian embassy in Oman. The engineering firms and local volunteers have also been roped in to clear the debris and sand in the area. Giving details

The CIA is not having a good day

Source: A new trial in Italy against 26 U.S citizens, almost all believed to be CIA agents, threatens to expose the inner workings of the U.S and Italian intelligence agencies. On February 7th, 2003 a terrorism suspect, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, was abducted outside a mosque in Milan as part of a CIA program known as “extraordinary rendition”, in which terrorism suspects are seized and sent to other countries for interrogation, including some in which torture is used, the New York Times reports today. These suspects are moved without the right to any public legal proceedings. This method has been used on numerous occasions in the years since September 11th; however Italian officials are trying this case in order to determine whether this action is legal on Italian soil. The opening of this trial just happens to coincide perfectly with President Bush’s arrival in Italy to meet with Italian heads of state and the Pope, and is occurring on the same day reports have c