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Showing posts from November 23, 2008

War on Mumbai spurs Pakistan Apologists

SOURCE : OFFSTUMPED The operations to flush out the remaining few terrorists holed up in the 3 flashpoints in South Mumbai are yet to be completed. That however has not restrained two species of public commentators in the Indian and International media from their insta-punditry. The first species in the Indian media, in its eagerness to ascribe guilt is in no mood to wait for official investigations to be completed before confirming a Pakistan connection. Given the carelessness with which the Pakistan wolf is routinely called, this species is unconcerned with the credibility problem this poses with the puzzle yet to be put together in its entirety. (As this post goes to press Praveen Swami in The Hindu confirms the arrest of Pakistani Citizens including one Ajmal Amir Kamal of Faridkot from one of the hotels) As if acting on cue from the first species, is this second species in the International Media which has once again begun to demonstrate its obsessive complusive disorder of

War on Mumbai - Thinking our response

Source: OFFSTUMPED The War on Mumbai is a few hours short of touching the 48 hour mark. Operations continue at Taj and Nariman House while Oberoi has been cleared. The casualty rate continues to climb as more bodies are recovered. Meanwhile it is becoming clear that with some of the Terrorists were of Pakistani origin the Government of India is reacting along predictable lines. While External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was vague in blaming “some elements” from Pakistan, we are told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked his counterpart in Pakistan to send the ISI Chief to New Delhi. Unofficial stories are doing the rounds of specific Intelligence having been given to the Congress Government in New Delhi and in Maharashtra of a boat having left Karachi, Intelligence we are told was ignored and not acted upon. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s mini-address of sorts to the nation via the media at Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai and the subsequent lull from the BJP leadership on th

A rare police officer who had a fan following Mumbai, November 27 : For many police officials and contemporaries of Ashok Kamte, ACP (east region), the death of the upright officer is not just a personal loss, but a devastation to the Mumbai police force itself. Kamte, who died fighting terrorists on Wednesday night near Cama Hospital, was one of those rare officials who even had a fan following. The AK (Ashok Kamte) Fan Club of Solapur has called a bandh to pay homage to their hero. A third generation policeman — his great-grandfather was in the police force, his grandfather Ganpatrao Kamte was the first Indian to rise to the rank of the police chief (Inspector General in the Imperial Police of Bombay) and his father was a Colonel in the Army — Kamte was a man of several facets. “He was not only an efficient and daredevil officer, but a gem of a person. Though he was senior to me, we shared a good rapport,” said Prashant Burde, ACP (Cr

Under attack, India reels

Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai, scene of terror attack. As the Indian public panics amid spectacular terror attacks, it is clear that urgent police and security reforms are needed, Ravi Prasad writes for ISN Security Watch. By Ravi Prasad in New Delhi for ISN Security Watch Appeals to maintain unity and communal harmony and demands for more concerted action reverberated throughout the country, as India reeled under unprecedented terror attacks at the heart of its commercial capital, Mumbai. Terrorists chose the most high-profile targets to stage the attacks and drive home the message that India is still ill-prepared and under-equipped to deal with such exigencies. Nearly two dozen heavily armed men shot their way through crowded railway stations and barged into two-star hotels, taking several foreigners hostage on Wednesday evening. For almost 40 hours, the insurgents carried out a string of attacks at 10 different locations, killing more than 125 people, including nine foreigners

Mumbai Terror Strikes: Some Quick Thoughts

By Divya Kumar Soti Although, it is still going on and situation is not clear, it is worth reviewing some technical aspects associated with yester night's widespread terror strikes in Mumbai. Main themes and patterns are discussed as under:- 1. Terrorists primarily targeted posh areas, high end cafes and hotels frequented by foreigners. Terrorists are trying to paint India as an unsafe place for tourism and business. 2. It seems that a separate module of terrorists planted IEDs at different places to spread panic, uncertainty and confuse the thrust of retaliatory action of Police. 3. Thus, it may be deduced that terrorists were grouped in different type of sabotage teams; some were involved in opening direct fire and engaging security forces while other teams planted IED's to make it difficult for administration to quantify the scale and gain an early upper hand. 4. Strikes of this kind require lot of logistic support. Most probable source of that is local underworld whic

India: Another lunar advance

India plants its flag on the moon in yet another testament to the remarkable space strides it has made in the last few years, Harsh V Pant writes for ISN Security Watch. By Harsh V Pant for ISN Security Watch India has successfully planted its flag on the lunar surface, thus becoming the fourth nation in the world to accomplish this feat. India's two-year lunar mission is a historic milestone for the country's space program and is aimed at laying the groundwork for further space expeditions. The Indian government has already approved the follow-on Chandrayaan-2 mission, a collaborative venture with Russia. The data relayed by Chandrayaan-1 about its descent to the moon and the nature of its surface will pave the way for the soft landing of the rover that Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to take to the moon. For India, the lunar probe is yet another testament to the remarkable strides that it has made in the last few years as an economic and technological power. The mission

QUOTE OF THE DAY : Mumbai Attack

"They should have sent the lame duck Home Minister Patil to face the terrorists. How many innocent lives have to be lost due to such inept politicians only interested in their positions. Patil still claims that the Naxalite problem "is blown out of proportions" has ever been to even one site exploration trip on this issue ? Rest assured Congress will pay heavily in the forth coming elections due **** like Patil " ---- A.Singh,Sydney

War on Mumbai exposes India’s Soft Underbelly

Source: OFFSTUMPED At the time of writing this post 2:30am IST, the War on Mumbai continues unabated. It is unclear when it will be over and if it will be over anytime soon and at what cost. More than 80 killed, hundreds injured, ATS Chief Hemant Karkare has fallen but more importantly confidence in the Indian State has been shattered. For years now laments by this blog and many others have fallen on deaf ears of the Manmohan Singh Sonia Gandhi lead UPA dispensation. In a brazen act of shamelessness and crass opportunism the Prime Minister had the audacity to put up the pretense of acting against terror and even when he did so he did not “order it” he did not make a decisive announcement of taking executive action. Instead he reminded us of the spineless wimp that he is with merely making a “suggestion”. When the post mortem of the War on Mumbai is conducted it will be incomplete if it didnt look into how the Government and the media lost perspective from the unfinished war in

India's Day of Infamy

B.Raman The war of civilisation between the Muslims and the infidels has begun in Indian territory. 2.So said the first statement issued in the name of the so-called Indian Mujahideen (IM) in November,2007, after the three orchestrated explosions in three towns of Uttar Pradesh outside local courts. 3.We saw the latest round of this war in Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008, as an unestimated number of terrorists----divided into small groups and wielding hand-held weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs)--- literally took control of Mumbai and targeted with frightening precision famous hotels preferred by the rich of the country and foreign tourists, railway stations, a hospital and many other places scattered across this business capital of India. 4. It is not just 9/11. It is not just Madrid,March,2004. It is not just London,2006. 5.It is --- I am using the present tense because the situation is still not under control at 5-30 AM despite the Army's assistance be

Trying to learn history's lessons

18:52 | 25/ 11/ 2008 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The main lesson of history is that nobody learns anything from it. This truth is as ancient as the world, but its age does not make it less relevant. Considering global developments, namely the wars conducted by the United States, one can't help getting the feeling of deja vu. The same events already happened in the past. Only the details were different. The similarity of wars in Iraq and Vietnam, as well as the resemblance of the Soviet and U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan, is evident to everybody. The development of conflicts, especially the war in Afghanistan, repeats past events with uncanny accuracy, and one can't give up the idea that other people's mistakes do not teach anyone anything. The United States is now repeating one of such errors: it is building up its Afghan contingent aiming to boost it to 52,000. Washington hopes that having a larger contingent, coupled with several its

Russia to overhaul its most famous army divisions

13:46 | 24/ 11/ 2008 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The Russian Defense Ministry is moving to disband the Moscow Military District's 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle Division and 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, and to convert them into four brigades. Both divisions now have 12,000 to 14,000 officers and men. The four brigades will have 50% more personnel, or between 18,000 and 20,000 officers and men. This makes up for 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers per brigade. Other army divisions will also be converted into brigades. Unfortunately, brigade level tables of organization, as well as the organization of their battalions, companies and platoons, are not yet known. Moreover, it is unclear whether the new brigades will have infantry-heavy or tank-heavy battalions with light infantry regiment status, as some analysts predict. No plans for dividing divisional artillery and air defense units, for subordinating the brigades to tactical command

Medvedev: The Name Venezuelans Pronounce Correctly

Nil NIKANDROV Russian Embassy in Caracas sits in a picturesque little street Las Lomas de las Mercedes, steeply rising uphill. The shining plaque reading “Quinta “Soyuz” on the stone wall has been here since the time of the Soviet Union. Quite often the embassy personnel stay long hours, but at present this is even more noticeable. Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev will pay an official visit to Venezuela on November 26. Throughout the history of bilateral diplomatic relations Russian, and before them – Soviet - leaders of the same level never visited the exotic faraway Venezuela, “the land of eternal spring” for geopolitical, pragmatic and ideological reasons. First, they were wary of exasperating the United States by becoming more active right in the underpinning of the distrustful and jealous superpower. Second, it hardly made sense to fly a government liner across the Atlantic for the only reason of demonstrating to Venezuelans the hammer and sickle on the red background of the

Afghanistan abyss awaits Obama

SOURCE: Strategic Culture Foundation M.K. BHADRAKUMAR (India) The struggle for influencing Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda has begun in right earnest. The maneuvering by influential establishment figures - including Congressional voices, Obama advisors and even military officials - who are projecting incumbent Robert Gates as secretary of defense in the incoming administration highlights the pressures working on the president-elect. The focus is on the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in promoting the basic George W Bush policies promoted since the 1990s by nationalist and neo-conservative Republicans. These are policies animated by long-term ambitions for US economic and military hegemony. A Gates appointment will signal that Obama may turn his back on his campaign pledge to withdraw US troops from Iraq in 16 months. Gates, of course, disfavors any set timeline or timetable for a withdrawal plan. Equally, his accent is on fighting the war in Afghanistan more

Global Scenario III: BRICs’ Bust-Up

Excerpts from 2025 Global Trends In this fictionalized scenario, Chinese fears of disruption of China’s energy supplies spark a clash with India. With increasing resource constraints likely out to 2025, disputes over resources appear to us to be a growing potential source of conflict. The sense of vulnerability is heightened by the dwindling number of energy producers and increasing concentration in unstable regions such as the Middle East. A world in which there are more confrontations over other issues—such as new trade barriers—is likely to increase the potential for any dispute to escalate into conflict. As outlined in this scenario, misperceptions—along with miscommunications— could play as important a role as any actual threats. Also illustrated by this scenario is the competition by rising powers for resources. Both China and India—though rich in coal—have limited and dwindling oil and gas reserves and must rely on foreign sources. In thinking about the increased potentia

The NIC 2025 Report: Right on Nuclear Arms; Wrong on Terrorism

The NIC 2025 Report: Right on Nuclear Arms; Wrong on Terrorism Source: The media and blogosphere have been buzzing all day about the National Intelligence Council's latest forward-looking report on what the state of the world will be in twenty years. " Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed " is a far reaching report, hitting on a myriad of topics including diminishing global energy resources, future global financial systems, rising world powers, etc. The council also addressed more salient national security issues, such as the spread of nuclear weapons, and the evolution of terrorism. In the former, the NIC highlights the most serious issue related the proliferation of these weapons, and for that I commend them; however, their assertions on terrorism border on uninformed and present a backward perspective on where terrorist come from. Making a nuclear weapon is hard. First you need fissile material ( arguable the easiest elemen

Ties between Russia’s Orenburg Region and India

14:46 | 21/ 11/ 2008 Orenburg Governor Alexei Chernyshov gave an interview to RIA Novosti’s New Theme on Russian-Indian Affairs magazine during his visit to New Delhi Q: Mr Chernyshov, the Orenburg Region has been posting sustainable growth rates in the last few years. How do you manage to ensure such growth? A: True, the gross regional product (GRP), industrial and agricultural output has swelled by 80%, 100% and 50%, respectively, since 2000. The investment climate has improved considerably. In all, the regional economy has received 270 billion roubles ($10 billion) since 2000. The Orenburg Region, one of Russia’s donor regions, channels 63% of local proceeds into the federal budget. The 2009 consolidated budget’s projected revenues are estimated at 67 billion roubles ($2.5 billion), a 38% increase on 2007. This allows us to fulfil our growing social commitments, primarily efforts to raise average income. Positive socio-economic development trends are facilitated b

How much will it cost to overcome the crisis?

14:59 | 17/ 11/ 2008 MOSCOW. (Tatyana Marchenko and Marina Titova for RIA Novosti) - The methods for combating the financial crisis differ between Russia and most other countries. Most of the government allocations in other countries are spent on state guarantees for banks, people and companies. The Russian government prefers to inject funds directly into the economy. Why? As much as $9.4 trillion, or 15% of global GDP, has been allocated in the world to combat the financial crisis, with a spread of between 1% of GDP in Denmark and 225% in Ireland. In September 2008, Russia launched a large-scale program of financial assistance to companies and banks, estimated at 6 trillion rubles (nearly $217 billion) or 13.9% of GDP. This assessment does not include allocations from regional budgets. These huge investments in fighting the crisis belie the government's assurances that there is no fundamental crisis in Russia. Like in the rest of the world, the fundamental reason b

China’s Cyber Advantage and it’s Potential Impact in a U.S. - China Conflict The U.S. - China Economic and Security Review Commission released its 2008 Annual Report to Congress today. The Commission cites Chinese cyber attacks, authoritarian rule, and trade violations as impedments to U.S. Economic and national security interests, and offers 45 recommendations to Congress. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on China’s Cyber activities: China’s government is devoting a great deal of attention and resources to developing outer space and cyber space capabilities. China’s military strategists view the U.S.’ dependence on space assets and information technology as its ‘‘soft ribs and strategic weaknesses.’’ These investments by China’s military potentially could provide it with an asymmetric * capability enabling it to prevail in a conflict with U.S. forces. Recommendations include the following: The Commission recommends that Congress assess the adequacy of and, if needed, provide additional funding for military, intelligence, and homela