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Showing posts from March 1, 2009


B.RAMAN How secure is Pakistan's nuclear arsenal from a commando-style attack by jihadi terrorists operating from sanctuaries inside Pakistan? 2. That is the question which should be worrying security experts all over the world as they learn with horror----based on visual evidence from closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras and oral evidence from members of the Sri Lankan cricket team and the British match umpires and referees--- how the 12 or so terrorists who attacked the SL cricket team had the Liberty Square of Lahore at their disposal for about 30 minutes and walked away after the attack without the least fear of being chased and caught either by the security forces or the public. 3. It was as if they were walking away from a golf green after a game of golf---unhurried, unconcerned and totally relaxed.. 4. Seven police officers, who were in the escort party of the convoy, died in the exchange of fire. Their bravery must be acknowledged and saluted. But how about the dozens of


B.RAMAN In our preoccupation with what is happening and what could happen in Pakistan, we should not overlook the urgent need for having a relook at our physical security architecture in sensitive establishments such as the nuclear establishments, oil refineries, gas production infrastructure, road, rail and air transport, critical information infrastructure etc . As I have emphasised repeatedly in the past, physical security is the most important component of counter-terrorism. If it is strong, a terrorist attack can be thwarted even if the intelligence agencies fail. If it is weak, even the best of intelligence may not be able to thwart a terrorist attack. In both India and Pakistan, we have a weak culture of physical security. The main reason why the US has been able thus far to prevent a repeat of 9/11 is the strengthening of the physical security apparatus by the newly-created Department of Homeland Security. 2. What happened at Mumbai, Kabul and Lahore---namely, commando-

Abu Dhabi A Public-Private Space Intelligence Center

05/03/2009 Source : Abu Dhabi A Public-Private Space Intelligence Center The emirate of Abu Dhabi has entrusted a well connected consortium of local companies and Western industrial groups with building its space intelligence center. The first stage in the United Arab Emirate’s space intelligence program - the construction of a land station to receive satellite images -is due to be operational by mid-2009, with work being coordinated by 4C Controls . A firm run by former executives of France’s defense industry (IOL 581/587), the company has teamed up with Hydra Trading , an offshoot of the holding concern Royal Group headed by Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (younger brother son of the UAE’s president) and with the local defense firm Baynuna Aviation .Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi is putting together the financial package for its Gulf Satellites Program, a first system of high resolution radar satellites that is scheduled to come on stream by 2013. At the same time, th

Taliban bombed Pashtun poet Rehman Baba’s mausoleum

(Source: The Hindu , India) PESHAWAR: Islamist terrorists on Thursday blew up the mausoleum of a 17th century poet in Peshawar, apparently because women visited it. It was revered in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Dedicated to Pashto poet Abdul Rehman, commonly known as Rehman Baba, the shrine drew thousands of followers, particularly at gatherings where his mystical love poetry was sung. Reports said the poet’s grave was totally destroyed and the surrounding marble building badly damaged. However, there were no casualties. A letter to the mausoleum’s management warned against “shrine culture” three days before the attack, said Sahibzada Mohammad Anees, a government official here. Local residents told Dawn News television that Islamists had warned the local residents to stop visiting the shrine. Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Geelani has condemned the attack. — Agencies Praveen Swami reports from New Delhi: Neo-fundamentalist groups like the Taliban, as well as some


B.RAMAN Six players of the Sri Lankan cricket team, which had arrived on a visit to Pakistan, are reported to have been injured and four policemen killed when 10 or more persons wielding hand-held weapons, including hand-grenades, attacked a bus in which the team was going to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on the morning of March 3,2009. The attack has been recorded on closed circuit TV and should enable the Pakistani authorities to identify the terrorists and the organisation to which they belong. The Sri Lankan Government is reported to have advised the team to cancel the visit and return to Sri Lanka. 2. While it is too early to assess as to who might have been responsible for the attack and why, one has to recall past instances of contacts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM---known before 1997 as the Harkat-ul-Ansar), a member of the International Islamic Front (IIF) of Al Qaeda and the role played by the commercial ships of the

Baloch Nationalism as a Forestaller for Talibanization

By Divya Kumar Soti Baloch Leadership should make the struggle compatible with strategic aims of the International Community Taking into account the present political and strategic circumstances as well as future likelihoods, Baloch nationalism will have to develop and re-orient itself according to changed times, in a way, so as to factor in the long term strategic calculations of West and not just tactical ones. Baloch nationalism has in it, lot of potential of being developed as a modal antithesis to radical Islam that is fast engulfing the region. Secular nationalisms are best antidotes for epidemic called Taliban which after spinning out of control of political establishment in Islamabad is making ingress into Punjab and is trying to spread its influence in Balochistan. Baloch leaders should advertise the Baloch freedom struggle as an instrumentality for nurturing temperate and modern Islam in the region. Baloch leaders should now sincerely contemplate the establishme

Why U.S. is Losing Growing Number of Immigrants Who Spur Innovation and Economic Growth

Kauffman Foundation Study Presents Insights Contact:Rossana Weitekamp, 516-792-1462, Barbara Pruitt, 816-932-1288; , Kauffman Foundation Economic and professional opportunities top list of reasons (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) March 2, 2009 – The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released a study today that indicates placing limits on foreign workers in the U.S. is not the answer to the country's rising unemployment rate and may undermine efforts to spur technological innovation. For the study by Harvard professor Vivek Wadhwa titled America's loss is the world's gain: America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part IV, researchers surveyed highly skilled immigrants who had studied and/or worked in the United States and subsequently returned to their home countries. "A substantial number of highly skilled immigrants have started returning to their home countries in recent years, draining a key source of brain power and innovation,&quo

Curse of the Khyber Pass

The National Intrest by Milton Bearden 03.02.2009 AS THE United States settles into its eighth year of military operations in Afghanistan, and as plans for ramping up U.S. troop strength are under way, we might reflect on an observation made by the Chinese military sage, Sun Tzu, about twenty-five hundred years ago: In military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare. These words tell the tale of the string of superpowers that have found themselves drawn into a fight in the inhospitable terrain we now call Afghanistan. Their stories of easy conquest followed by unyielding rebellion are hauntingly similar, from the earliest accounts of Alexander’s Afghan campaign, when, in 329 BC, the great warrior found the struggle longer, more brutal and more costly than his battle in Persia. And through six centuries the Mughals never managed to bring the Afghans to heel, and most certa

How the Crash Will Reshape America

Source : THE ATLANTIC March 2009 The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide—destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. On the other side of the crisis, America’s economic landscape will look very different than it does today. What fate will the coming years hold for New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas? Will the suburbs be ineffably changed? Which cities and regions can come back strong? And which will never come back at all? by Richard Florida Image credit: Sean McCabe This article has been corrected since it was published in the print magazine. My father was a child of the Great Depression. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1921 to Italian immigrant parents, he experienced the economic crisis head-on. He took a job working in an eyeglass factory in the city’s Ironbound section in 1934, at age 13, combining his wages with those of his father, mother, and si