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Showing posts from June 22, 2008

25th Oxford Analytica International Conference

17–19 September 2008 Christ Church Oxford Today's financial uncertainty and challenging business environment is placing a real pressure on profitability. Keeping intelligently informed is critical to your success in our fast changing global landscape. We invite you to join a select group of international business leaders for two days of intensive debate and discussion on the Global Outlook 2009 in the splendid setting of Christ Church, Oxford. Our renowned group of over 70 world-class experts will provide you with strategic intelligence on all the world regions as well as on specific challenges such as the outlook for the global economy, terrorism and the internet. We offer a participant-expert ratio of 2:1 as well as one-on-one sessions on request. This highly personalised approach is very much the hallmark of our Conference. In addition, we offer a partners' programme, a social programme with plenty of opportunity for relationship building, and the Blenheim Banquet, w

ImageSat : Public/Private Partnership in Intelligence Imagery

Source: INTELLIGENCEONLINE Supplying observation satellites on a turn-key basis to its customers (see article on Page 5), the Israeli firm ImageSat is an intriguing example of how Israeli state-owned groups can hitch up with private investors. ImageSat’s Eros A and B satellites sprang out of Israel’s Ofeq military program. Israel Aerospace Industries, architect of Ofeq, is the main stakeholder in ImageSat with a 37% holding (see graph below). But ImageSat also employs a lot of former Israeli intelligence officials. The company’s present commercial director, Rani Hellerman, is a former SIGINT and IMINT specialist in the Israeli armed forces. One of the founders of ImageSat, Haim Yifrah, was chief intelligence officer of the Israeli Defense Forces between 1995-99. The close ties between ImageSat and Israel’s military-industrial complex can go some way towards explaining why certain of the group’s contracts, although never fully carried out, were paid in full by customers. Angola, whic


Source: SAAG by Dr. Subhash Kapila Introductory Observations Asia’s strategic calculus contemporarily is in a state of flux and dominated by strategic uncertainties due to a complex power-play within Asia itself. The global strategic calculus too reflects this state of flux as the Asian landmass extends geo-strategically from the Mediterranean to the Pacific and from Russia in the North to the tip of the Indian Peninsula, jutting prominently into the Indian Ocean, in the South. Asia’s strategic complexion therefore vitally affects the global power-play between the United States and Russia. Lately, far too much has been made in policy analysis circles of the prospects of the “Asian Century” being on the horizon. Such summations basically emerge from an overwhelming weightage being given to Asia’s economic resurgence without taking into account Asia’s strategic uncertainties. Such summations also arise from a disproportionate weightage being given to the so-called strategic d

INDIA : Full text of the nuclear scientists' letter to PM

In a press release issued Tuesday, three top scientists expressed their ‘grave concerns’ over the Indo-US nuclear deal. This is what they said: We were part of a group of senior nuclear scientists who had in the past expressed our grave concerns and objections to India entering into a nuclear co-operation agreement with the US under the aegis of the Hyde Act 2006. We had written to the Parliamentarians on this matter, and the Prime Minister had given us an opportunity to meet with him and discuss our views. At this critical juncture, when the Government is about to rush the safeguards agreement to the IAEA without giving its details even to their own UPA-Left Committee created specifically for a joint evaluation of the Deal, there is a great deal of disquiet among the scientific community at large in this country. We, therefore, are strongly of the opinion that the Government should not proceed to seek IAEA Board approval for the current draft safeguards agreement, until i

INDIA : Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos gets airborne variant news

Source: 21 June 2008 New Delhi: The Indo-Russian BrahMos Aerospace joint venture has completed the development of the airborne version of an advanced supersonic missile , according to a statement by the company's managing director , Dr Sivathanu Pillai. BrahMos Aerospace designs, produces, and markets the BrahMos, which is a unique missile, the world's only supersonic cruise missile. The project was started in 1998, and its sea-based and land-based versions have been tested and successfully deployed into service with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. The airborne version, primarily for use by the Air Force, was the only pending variant to complete the deployment suite of the supersonic cruise missile. According to Dr Pillai, the mass of the missile had to be reduced to maintain the requisite aerodynamic stability post launch from an aircraft. On launch from an aircraft, the missile is already in motion and has some initial speed, which necessitates

Russia’s nuclear interest revived

Source: AirforceTimes By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer Posted : Monday Jun 23, 2008 10:49:37 EDT The Russian nuclear threat crumbled not long after the Berlin Wall fell. But almost two decades later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is warning that the Russian military is reinvesting in its nuclear mission — at the same time the U.S. Air Force has allowed its nuclear standards to slip. “For a whole bunch of reasons, demographics and everything else, it seems clear that the Russians are focused ... on strengthening their nuclear capabilities,” Gates told reporters as he flew June 9 from Langley Air Force Base, Va., to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gates described a Russian military with a renewed commitment to building up its nuclear enterprise rather than focusing solely on strengthening the conventionally armed Russian army. “To the extent that they rely more and more on their nuclear capabilities as opposed to what historically has been a huge conventional military capabil

Shortage of officer-level personnel in the army and signals from the border

ORGANISER By V. Shanmuganathan India wants to maintain good relations with her neighbours. Our armed forces are not provocative. India never tried to enter into any confrontation with any country. We always try to develop friendly relations with our neighbours. Of late, certain tensions are mounting on the borders. We cannot ignore our neighbouring country’s army personnel crossing our border and making incursions. We have to be alert, ever vigilant and our armed forces must be fully prepared to face any eventuality at any time. We share a border of thousands of kilometers with China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. World knows that Pakistan is encouraging the cross border terrorism to create tension on day-to-day basis. In spite of our long history of continuous friendship with the people of Nepal, developments during and after elections draw our attention. The track record of the Maiosts who have staked their claim to power in Nepal is not positive. Attacks in the past by them o

India, France to float joint venture to make SAMs

A K Dhar Paris, Jun 22 (PTI) India and France may soon join hands to make the latest variants of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) with a lethal hundred per cent kill probability, on the lines of the highly successful Indo-Russian Brahmos supersonic cruise missile. The proposed joint venture, for which intense groundwork has been done by the missile industry officials from both countries, could take shape in a year's time. The name of the new series of lethal co-produced missile has been proposed as 'Maitri' and it aims to fulfil the demand of the Army, Navy and Air Force in India for procuring thousands of such missiles to cover up the "yawning" gap in country's air defence. India is currently in the process of replacing its entire range of surface-to-air missile defence system to weed out the ageing SAM series of missile procured from the erstwhile Soviet Union in the late 60's and 70's. The procurement of the new range of such missiles is to give m

China, Japan agree on East China Sea gas deposits

20:14 | 23/ 06/ 2008 MOSCOW. ( RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Fesyun ) - Japan and China have agreed to jointly develop part of the gas deposits in the East China Sea. The deal allows Japan to invest in and claim proportional profits from several projects at the Chunxiao fields, which Japan calls Shirakaba. Two Chinese companies are already drilling the site. In the past, China and Japan disputed the right to develop offshore gas reserves of the Senkaku Islands (or Diaoyu Islands under their Chinese name). Senkaku is a group of five small volcanic islands and three "rocks" considered too small for human habitation, located in the East China Sea 410 km (255 miles) southwest of mainland Okinawa, 170 km (106 miles) northeast of Keelung, Taiwan, and 145 km (90 miles) northwest of the Japanese Ishigaki Islands. Energy-hungry China was exploring the area and preparing to develop the gas fields. Japan was anxious to stop it. After years of negotiations, histori

Deepening Political Crisis in Sri Lanka

Guest Column by R. Swaminathan The theme “Deepening Political Crisis in Sri Lanka”, may be an under-statement. The current situation in Sri Lanka is in reality more than just a political crisis. It is a military crisis (that has already caused nearly 70,000 deaths), a crisis of governance (with fairness and equity), a crisis of confidence between the different ethnic groups – all of which threaten the very existence a united and integrated Sri Lanka. What started as apparent linguistic chauvinism (and the reaction to it) has taken on most of the aspects of an ethnic civil war. The India Factor India, with its growing influence in international affairs, should reasonably be expected to make her overall national interest the primary and supreme consideration in formulating foreign and security policies. Domestic politics and partisan interests would continue to provide major inputs during the stage of consultations, but are unlikely to become reasons for casting doubts on the credi

Benazir Bhutto's Assassination Case In Cold Storage

International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 403 by B. Raman As Pakistan observed on June 21 the 55th birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated at Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, there has been an intriguing reluctance on the part of the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) to pursue the investigation into her assassination vigorously and to prosecute those already arrested. 2. While Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the former Amir of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), who had been named by her as a principal suspect in the failed attempt to kill her at Karachi on October 18, 2007, has been quietly released after being in police custody for some time, the police investigation into her assassination on December 27, 2007, has been discontinued. While legal proceedings have been delayed against those who have already been arrested and who have confessed about their role in the assassination, no action to arrest others, who had been declared as procl

Iraq's KRG: Managing political Islam

Iraq's Kurdish autonomy faces significant challenges as it seeks to negotiate its relations with political Islam, writes Dominic Moran for ISN Security Watch. By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv for ISN Security Watch (20/06/08) With its soaring economy and relative stability, Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has a window of opportunity to manage its relations with Sunni Islamic political movements as it plays on the challenge posed by radical militant offshoots. The Kurdish nationalist movement in Iraq's north is dominated by the avowedly secular nationalist Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and it has proved difficult to gauge the extent and influence of Sunni Islamic parties and groups. Three of the primary movements within this trend, the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK), Islamic Group of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) have failed to win significant support in previous Kurdish regional polls and the 2005 Ira

Czech Republic: Issues 'under the radar'

Parliamentary deal-making, vendettas and the US presidential election further complicate the US missile defense radar system proposal for the Czech Republic. Image: Photo Courtesy of US Army Commentary by Andrew Thompson for ISN Security Watch (23/06/08) No issue has dominated US-Czech relations in the past year as substantially as the proposal to station a US missile defense system X band radar in the Brdy military area 90 kilometers southwest of Prague. While US policymakers and negotiators would have hoped to keep the issue low-key and under the radar, so to speak, a complex mix of basic political opposition, pacifist activism, anti-US sentiment, a personal tug-of-war between the center-right prime minister and the social-democratic opposition leader, as well as external Soviet-style power posturing by Russia, have brought the issue to the forefront of Czech public attention and to the center of the national political agenda (See The Prague-Washington swindle by Jeremy Druker