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Showing posts from April 27, 2008

Copy-Cat Attack on Karzai

- International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 390 By B. Raman President John F. Kennedy of the US was assassinated on November 22, 1963, at Dallas, Texas, as he was being taken in a tightly-protected motorcade. In view of the strict access control, which might not have allowed access to his car, Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, took up position in an unoccupied room on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Repository and fired at Kennedy. The incident highlighted the need for perimeter security, meaning the physical security of buildings in the vicinity of a VIP motorcade or a place of meeting of the VIP to prevent anyone taking shelter in a building and opening fire. 2.On October 6, 1981, the then President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated during the annual 6th October parade in Cairo marking the eighth anniversary of what the Egyptians view as their victory over Israel in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. As Sadat and his security staff were engrossed watching a spectacular fly-pa

Security Threats Facing India: External and Internal by A. K. Verma Threats are a matter of perception. Their assessments take into account capacities, not so much intentions, of a potential adversary. For an accurate reading, the short term and long term objectives of all leading players in the world have to be judged. Applying this criterion will reveal that India is living in an environment of threat from many corners of the earth. Is there a threat from the United States? To answer the question one must first identify the basic interests of the US and then examine whether similar interests of India are supplementary or contradictory to those of the US. An objective study will lead to the conclusion whether the relation ship between the two countries is essentially benevolent or malignant. The broad national interests of the US can be summed as the following: 1. Geopolitical containment of Russia and China. 2. Nonproliferation. 3. Countering and eradicating Islamism or

Russia’s view of US missiles

‘A world in which there is one master, one sovereign’ Le Monde diplomatique. To Moscow, the US bases about to be installed in Poland and the Czech Republic look like less like defence against incoming missiles from rogue states, and more like encirclement of Russia and a return to the costly arms race of the cold war. By Olivier Zajec The extension of the United States’ National Missile Defence system to Europe has played a significant role in increasing tensions between Russia and the West in the past year. Under recent agreements with Washington, the Czech Republic is to host a missile-defence radar system near its border with Germany at Jince. Warsaw has also agreed to site interceptor missiles in northern Poland (1). The US has justified these plans by citing the need to protect itself and Europe from possible ballistic missile attack by Iran. Most Poles and Czechs are sceptical about whether this is necessary, and Nato, which has been working on missile-defence plans of i

De Gaulle, Nato and France

‘A world in which there is one master, one sovereign’ Le Monde diplomatique. More than 40 years ago de Gaulle took the decision to withdraw from Nato’s military command. President Sarkozy has promised to reverse that decision. By Dominique Vidal “France considers that the changes which have been accomplished or begun since 1949 in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, together with the development of her own situation and her strength, no longer justify from her point of view the military arrangements made after the conclusion of the Alliance.” On 7 March 1966 Charles de Gaulle, who had defeated François Mitterrand three months earlier and been re-elected president of France, announced to US president Lyndon B Johnson the withdrawal of his country from the integrated military command of Nato – an organisation of which France had been a founder member. De Gaulle went on to explain that in practical terms France “proposes to regain the control of sovereignty over her whole territory, w

Rethinking European defense policy

With Sarkozy contemplating bringing France back into the NATO fold, the need for a strong European defense force is at the forefront, writes Daniel Rackowski for ISN Security Watch. Commentary by Daniel Rackowski in Brussels for ISN Security Watch (02/05/08) At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that they would jointly host NATO's 60th anniversary summit next year in Strasbourg and its German sister town of Kehl - shortly after Sarkozy plans to announce his decision on whether France will become a full NATO member. What better timing could there be to show a much needed political breakthrough for the alliance? Recent statements made by Merkel, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Sarkozy regarding the sorry state of European defense capabilities have spurred the debate over struggling armies on the continent and the need for enhanced military cooperation. But this debate predates even the European

Nigeria, US ties may chart AFRICOM path

Amid opposition to AFRICOM, Nigeria is pushing a different vision of military partnership that could make US troops less visible but still effective, Dulue Mbachu writes for ISN Security Watch. By Dulue Mbachu in Lagos for ISN Security Watch (02/05/08) US Africa Command (AFRICOM) envisages US military cooperation with African governments where possible and direct interventions in the continent as necessary; but the idea of US troops on African soil rankles observers across the Africa, rendering local leaders reluctant to offer their countries as bases. AFRICOM, which is currently based in Stuttgart, Germany, was established in 2007 by the Bush administration. It is scheduled to be fully operational by September this year. A different vision of military partnership with Washington being espoused by Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua appears set to get AFRICOM going and possibly chart its future. During a visit to the White House in December last year, Yar'Adua argued that wha

Iran Begins $1.2 bln Upgrade for Sri Lanka Refinery

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week launched a $1.2 billion project to upgrade Sri Lanka's sole refinery at Sapugaskande, outside Colombo, the island nation's capital. Sri Lanka's Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said the 4-year upgrade will triple his country's refinery capacity to 150,000 b/d from the current 50,000 b/d. Earlier plans had called for an increase to 100,000 b/d. Iran, which supplies 70% of Sri Lanka's oil needs, agreed to finance $700 million of the upgrade in the form of a 10-year loan, with a 5-year exemption period from payment of the loan's installments. Sri Lanka will provide the remaining $500,000 for the project. In March, Saudi Arabia expressed its willingness to assist Sri Lanka with its oil needs-including the Sapugaskande refinery-following a meeting in Riyadh between Fowsie and his Saudi counterpart, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. "We have plans to improve our refining capacity from 50,000 b/d

The Arctic - melting ice reveals mineral wealth

13:03 | 01/ 05/ 2008 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Tatyana Sinitsyna) - The Russian Academy of Sciences has summed up the first results of its expedition to the Kara Sea in October 2007. The voyage of the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh was devoted not only to national scientific programs, but also to the International Polar Year, designed to study changes in wildlife and inorganic nature, which have been caused by the global warming. Deputy Director of the Institute of Oceanology (Russian Academy of Sciences) Professor Mikhail Flint, who headed the expedition, explained: "We have chosen the Kara Sea for several reasons. On the one hand, it is influenced by the waters flowing into the Arctic Sea from the Atlantic; on the other, it is a classic Siberian sea with an enormous shelf, into which two mighty rivers - the Ob and the Yenisey discharge their waters." A shelf affects the Arctic climate. "The Arctic is changing under the impact of global pro

Russian equipment for Bushehr NPP in Iran - Tehran

12:56 | 03/ 05/ 2008 TEHRAN, May 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian equipment for the Bushehr nuclear power plant earlier held up on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border has been finally delivered to Iran, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Saturday. "The cargo is on its way to the Bushehr NPP after Azerbaijan received all documents required from the Russian side," Mohammad Al Hosseini told Iranian satellite TV channel Alalam. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said Thursday Azerbaijan has allowed the Russian equipment for Bushehr, detained on the border more than a month ago, into Iran. A column of vehicles carrying heat insulators for the Bushehr NPP, which Russian contractor Atomstroyexport is building in the southwest of the Islamic Republic, was stopped at the border between Azerbaijan and Iran in late March. Atomstroyexport earlier said the cargo destined for Bushehr was not a dual-purpose product or nuclear material, but insulating equipment. "The sh

World Food Crisis: Jewel in whose crown?

02.05.2008 Source: URL: The much-vaunted political and economic model the world has so readily adopted and whose virtues so many have for so long expounded, simply does not work. The market-based economy is based on fundamentals too easily swayed by speculation and Social Democracy would have all the ingredients for a perfect mix, but for the fact that it is neither democratic, nor is its social component minimally sufficient to meet the needs of the citizens of the world. The current food crisis is a shining example of the disaster this model has become. According to the UNO, at least 100 million people are at risk of enduring food shortages because of soaring costs – a growing trend which is particularly hard felt by families in the developing world, where typically up to 80% of the family budget is spend on feeding the family. From 2006 to 2007, food prices rose by 37%, and from 2007 to 2008, by 56% while t

Africa: India-Africa Summit

Daily Trust (Abuja) EDITORIAL 2 May 2008 Posted to the web 2 May 2008 An impressive number of African delegations attended the first India-Africa Summit recently convened in Delhi by the government of India. Although China similarly attempted to strengthen its economic and diplomatic ties with African countries two years ago, Indian officials were keen to stress that the Delhi summit was more than an attempt to counterbalance China's growing influence in Africa. There is little doubt however that the increasing focus of Asia's emerging giants is predicated on a renewed scramble for Africa's natural resources, for hydrocarbons in particular, as well as their mutual determination to counter each other's influence in the region. India is reported to be especially worried about China's "encroachment" on the African rim of the Indian Ocean which Delhi has long considered its strategic backyard. The "Framework for Cooperation" issued at the end of

Honeytrap reason for RAW official's repatriation?

2 May 2008, 0211 hrs IST, Saibal Dasgupta,TNN BEIJING: A day after sections of the Indian media reported that an Indian Embassy official in Beijing was recalled to New Delhi for falling to the charms of a Chinese honeytrap, the Indian Embassy on Thursday tried to play down the controversy involving the decision to send back Manmohan Sharma, a senior officer of Research and Analysis Wing, to New Delhi. An Embassy official said the government had merely acted on Sharma's request that he be sent back as his wife had a serious ailment and had to be attended. Other sources here, however, endorse reports that Sharma was in a romantic affair with his Chinese language teacher. The government decided to move him out of Beijing before the "situation went out of hand". A source said New Delhi was concerned that the woman in question could have been an informant of the Chinese government. If true, it could mean the Chinese side knew about India's moves and counter-move

INDIA : Wheat procurement tops target

Wheat procurement tops target The Hindu Our Bureau Chennai, May 2 Wheat procurement this year has exceeded the Centre’s target of 150 lakh tonnes (lt) within a month of the crop arrival this year. An official statement said the total procurement by various government agencies as on May 1 was 154.2 lt. This is against 82.4 lt procured during the same period last year. The Centre had set a target of procuring 150 lt wheat this year against last year’s procurement of 111 lt tonnes. Lion’s share Once again, Punjab and Haryana have contributed a lion’s share to the procurement programme, meant to beef up the buffer stocks. In fact, Punjab’s share is more than 50 per cent of the total wheat procured this year. Punjab’s contribution is 82.9 lt, while that of Haryana is 46.5 lt. Among other States, Madhya Pradesh contributed 9.5 lt, Uttar Pradesh 8.2 lt, Rajasthan 5.5 lt and Gujarat 1.1 lt. Other States that contributed to wheat procurement were Bihar, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and

Gujarat shows the way

By Balbir Punj Daily Pioneer During last winter's Assembly election in Gujarat, the 'secularists', while demonising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, sniggered at his claim that the State's development is the best in the country. Union Ministers like Mr Kapil Sibal were at pains to pick holes in his statistics. But the people stood like a rock behind Mr Modi and he was retuned to power with a solid majority. Now, in these times of crushing inflation, skyrocketing food prices and global decline in agricultural production, comes the report that Gujarat has achieved 33 per cent increase in wheat production during the rabi season. The State's wheat acreage has gone up from 6.64 hectares in 2005 to 13.93 lakh hectares in December 2007. Production has gone up from 27 lakh tonnes to 37 lakh tones in just one year. This when the countrywide increase in wheat output is stated to be only marginally higher while global wheat production has declined substantially. At l

Russia upgrades its strategic bombers

18:15 | 30/ 04/ 2008 MOSCOW. (Nikita Petrov for RIA Novosti) - On April 29, representatives of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO) presented the 121st Heavy Bomber Regiment of the Russian Air Force's 37th Army with a brand-new Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber. The warplane is named after Vitaly Kopylov, who headed the company in 1973-1993. Russia now has 16 front-line Tu-160 bombers, each of which can carry 12 X-55 subsonic nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of over 3,000 km. Each bomber can carry up to 40 metric tons of ordnance, including conventional X-55 missiles. Before December 1991, the Soviet Union had 36 Tu-160 bombers. After the break-up of the U.S.S.R., Ukraine seized 20 of these in the city of Priluki. Under the Lisbon Agreement between Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the United States and Russia, the former three countries were not allowed to have any nuclear weapons or their delivery vehicles. Twelve Ukrainian strategic bombe

Will gas OPEC have final say on pipeline plans?

13:05 | 30/ 04/ 2008 MOSCOW. (Igor Tomberg for RIA Novosti) - Last week, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and India signed a framework agreement to build a Trans-Afghan Pipeline (TAP) by 2015. This news once again shows that energy security and the high demand for Central Asian hydrocarbons continue to be at the top of the global agenda. At the same time, on April 28, experts from the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) met in Tehran to discuss the charter of the so-called gas OPEC. GECF energy ministers are expected to finalize the latter's formation this summer in Moscow. This event may seriously change the situation on the global gas market. With a projected capacity of over 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year and a length of 1,680 kilometers, TAP will cost almost $8 billion. As before, Russian experts are doubtful about this project's success for a whole number of economic, technical and political reasons. The pipeline is supposed to be filled with g