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Showing posts from April 19, 2009

Islamic extremism in India

Source : The International Institute For Strategic Studies Strategic Comments – Volume 15, Issue 3 – April 2009 Rise of home-grown terrorism In March, India announced that its prestigious cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), would move to South Africa, citing security fears during the country’s elections, which also take place in April–May. Organisers were most concerned about a ‘spectacular’ like that in Mumbai in 2008, or an attack similar to that on the Sri Lankan cricket team recently in Pakistan. Islamic activists demonstrate in Hyderabad, calling for the reconstruction of the Babri mosque, whose destruction by Hindu mobs in 1992 helped to radicalise Indian Muslims But the move also focused attention on the rise in home-grown Indian jihadi terrorism. Although it long insisted that Islamic extremism had not developed among its Muslim communities, India is now having to accept that a small section of its 160-million-strong Muslim community – the seco

Russia launches military transport plane project with India

15:52 | 23/ 04/ 2009 MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government allocated $64 million in 2009 to part finance a joint project with India to develop a new military transport plane, a defense industry official said on Thursday. Russia and India signed an intergovernmental agreement on the joint development of a multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) in 2007. The cost of the $600-mln project is being equally shared by the two countries. "The Russian government has signed a directive to launch the Russian-Indian project for the development of the MTA military transport plane, 2.156 billion rubles ($64 mln) has been allocated from the federal budget for this project in 2009," said Viktor Livanov, general director of the Ilyushin design bureau. The transport plane, with a 20-ton cargo capacity, is expected to go in service with the Russian and Indian air forces in about eight years, the official said. The Russian participants in the project include the Ily

Fifth-generation fighter to be developed in joint project

20:26 | 21/ 04/ 2009 MOSCOW. (Ilya Kramnik, RIA Novosti military commentator) - The development of the fifth-generation jet fighter is one of the most widely discussed issues in Russia's military. What's more, with its potential involvement in developing the jet fighter, India, one of Russia's long-standing partners in military technical cooperation, confirms its interest in Russia's future project. The new jet fighter is being developed under the PAK FA (Prospective (promising) Aircraft System of the Frontline Aviation) program to replace fourth-generation models now in service in Russian and Indian air forces. The Soviet Union launched fifth-generation fighter programs in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s, the Mikoyan Design Bureau developed the Project 1.44 warplane, also known as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG MFI. The Sukhoi Design Bureau came up with the S-37 Berkut experimental supersonic forward swept-wing jet fighter. The S-37 aircraft was an advanced technol

Russian spy chief relieved of post after retirement request - ministry

18:06 | 24/ 04/ 2009 MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - The chief of Russia's military intelligence (GRU), Gen. Valentin Korabelnikov, was relieved of his post after handing in his notice, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday. He has also been discharged from military service. According to the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree earlier in the day appointing Korabelnikov's first deputy, Lt. Gen. Alexander Shlyakhturov, as the new military intelligence chief and deputy chief of the General Staff. "Valentin Korabelnikov submitted a resignation request due to his retirement age. His request has been satisfied," the official said. A highly-placed ministry official later told RIA Novosti that Korabelnikov had been appointed advisor to the chief of the General Staff in a civilian capacity. The compulsory retirement age for senior officers in the Russian Armed Forces is 60. However, Korabelnikov's contract was earlier extend

PAK TALIBAN: FROM A BUNCH OF SUICIDE BOMBERS TO A CONVENTIONAL ARMY

PAK TALIBAN: FROM A BUNCH OF SUICIDE BOMBERS TO A CONVENTIONAL ARMY B.RAMAN Like the Neo Taliban of Afghanistan, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has evolved in less than a year from a bunch of suicide bombers to a conventional army capable of set-piece, stand and fight battles with the Pakistani Army and para-military forces. This conversion has been facilitated by the recruitment of a large number of retired Pashtun ex-servicemen living in the Pashtun tribal belt in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in the Malakand Division of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). The Swat Valley and the Buner District, less than a hundred kms from Islamabad, which was occupied by the TTP earlier this week without any resistance from the local security forces, form part of the Malakand Division. 2. The agreement signed earlier this year by the coalition Government in the NWFP headed by the Awami National Party (ANP) with Sufi Mohammad of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-a-Shariat-e

The Foreign Policy of Iran

Ideology and pragmatism in the Islamic Republic Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen katrine@barnekow.dk This publication is part of DIIS’s Defence and Security Studies project which is funded by a grant from the Danish Ministry of Defence Summary This is a brief English version of a Danish DIIS Report on the foreign policy of Iran. In the Report, Iran’s foreign policy is investigated both ideologically and in respect of its pragmatic motivations. It is argued that, since the revolution, and especially since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran has shown itself to be a rational, pragmatic actor in foreign policy, even though actions and rhetorical outbursts from parts of the country’s leadership have at times suggested otherwise. It is also suggested that a dialogue between Iran and the West – and with the United States in particular – could very well turn out to be a prerequisite for peace in the Middle East. DOWNLOAD COMPLETE BRIEF

Torture Tape Implicates UAE Royal Sheikh

ABC News Exclusive: Torture Tape Implicates UAE Royal Sheikh Police in Uniform Join In as Victim Is Whipped, Beaten, Electrocuted, Run Over by SUV By VIC WALTER, REHAB EL-BURI, ANGELA HILL and BRIAN ROSS April 22, 2009 A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country's royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails. An investigation into a savage torture by a royal family member of a close ally. A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim's arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man's wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV. In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed. "The incidents depicted in the video tapes were no

Maoists rule India's 'Red Corridor'

By Sudha Ramachandran Asia Times Online BANGALORE - Indian Maoists hijacked a train with 800 passengers in the eastern state of Jharkhand on Wednesday morning. Although the crisis was defused within five hours, when the Maoists released the train and its passengers, the incident has sparked grave concern throughout the security establishment. The ease with which the Maoists were able to stage an operation of this magnitude - and at a time when security has been tightened for general elections - has laid bare yet again that it is the Maoists' writ, not that of the government that runs through this part of the country. The train was on its way from Barkakana in Jharkhand to Mugalsarai in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh when it was hijacked near Hehegarha railway station in Latehar district. Around 200 Maoists are said to have carried out the operation. A railway station in Palamu was bombed as well. In March 2006, a train was hijacked in the same district. Passen

From Strategy to Implementation:The Future of the U.S.-Pakistan Relationship

Full Committee http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/hearing_notice.asp?id=1068 Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Chairman From Strategy to Implementation:The Future of the U.S.-Pakistan Relationship You are respectfully requested to attend the following open hearing of the Full Committee to be held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Date Wednesday, April 29, 2009 Time 1:30 PM Location Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building witnesses Panel I The Honorable Richard C. HolbrookeSpecial Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Panel II TBD Note Witnesses may be added.

After The LTTE, What?

By B. Raman The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is in its death rattle. It was decisively defeated by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces weeks ago, but a handful of its leadership headed by Prabhakaran has cynically and cruelly prolonged the agony of the Tamil civilians by using them as a buffer and human-shield in order to delay the re-establishment of the writ of the Sri Lankan Government in a miniscule piece of territory (about 20 sq.kms), which has been declared by the Government as a no-fire zone to avoid collateral casualties among the civilians still under the control of the LTTE and to enable them to escape from the clutches of the LTTE. 2. Prabhakaran is a leader with a split personality. During the 26 years he has dominated the Tamil landscape in Sri Lanka, he had shown a remarkable organizing capacity and an ability to motivate his followers to perform virtual miracles. His motivating his cadres to acquire a capability for action by air and sea would go down in the histo

Address delivered by Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir at the AGM of the Central Bank of Iceland

Dear Guests Trust is a key word – not only during the economic downturn we are currently experiencing and in financial markets, but in all areas of society and in government. Trust is the foundation of all our relations, and the foundation of a healthy, everyday society. The government currently in power has had just over two months to build trust and begin the reconstruction of the country’s economy. It has had a short time to restore trust both domestically and internationally, and to reconstruct the economy, which is the basis for work and welfare and thereby for our common future. By restoring trust we lay the foundation for savings, a healthy financial and equity market, and the reconstruction of business and industry in the future. During this short time many things have happened and positive signs are appearing. Inflation is falling rapidly and interest rates are dropping, the balance of trade in goods is positive and, for the first time in a long time, figures on unemploymen

PAKISTAN’S TALIBANIZATION: INGLORIOUS RETREAT BY PAKISTAN ARMY OR CALIBRATED COLLUSIVE COLLABORATION?

By Dr. Subhash Kapila Introductory Observations Pakistan today is in dire straits where its very existence as a nation state is at stake. Pakistan’s creeping Talibanization is no longer creeping but now galloping from its explosive western peripheries to the very heartland of Punjab. The United States and the West stand focused on this menacing development for months now. Pakistan’s galloping Talibanization is no longer a strategic menace for the United States and NATO Forces in Afghanistan only, or far that matter to India. Pakistan’s Talibanization has emerged today as an untreatable or malignant cancer afflicting Pakistan’s survival. The United States and the West, long sedated by General Musharraf during his eight years military rule with duplications assurances on Pakistan Army’s committal to liquidate the Al Qaeda and the Taliban, continued in a “state of denial” on Pakistan Army’s perfidy, constantly highlighted by this Author in his Papers on Pakistan on SAAG website

Finland expected to opt out of joint Nordic air patrols over Iceland

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finland+expected+to+opt+out+of+joint+Nordic+air+patrols+over+Iceland/1135245308980 Disagreements in ministries over Nordic projects in Arctic Ocean print this Finnish jet fighters are unlikely to be seen patrolling the air space of NATO member Iceland in the near future. Sources in the Finnish civil service have told Helsingin Sanomat that there are economic, political, and legal impediments to Finland’s participation in the proposed joint Nordic project. “It would be a bridge too far. Even if there were enough money, there would be political questions”, says one source. The participation of the Finnish and Swedish air forces in air patrols over Iceland were one of the proposals put forward by Norway’s former foreign minister Thorvald Stoltenberg in February on ways to increase Nordic foreign and security policy cooperation. NATO members Norway and Denmark are already taking part in the surveillance. Stoltenberg also propose

Mexico's Dirty Cash

As much as US$25 billion in drug money is laundered in Mexico annually, and some experts say the Mexican financial system is set up to facilitate money laundering rather than impede it, writes Samuel Logan for ISN Security Watch. By Samuel Logan for ISN Security Watch With billions of dollars being laundering through the Mexican financial system every year, authorities in Mexico and in the US seem to overlook this essential factor in the gun and drug trade between the two countries. Estimates vary, but between the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Mexican Attorney General’s office (PGR), and other independent sources, cash smuggled in bulk - or through remittance systems - varies from US$10 billion to US$45 billion a year in illicit funds, with US$25 billion as the average that many agree as a realistic sum. The PGR targets five major drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Mexico, and each one potentially earns as much as US

Drone Wars

20 Apr 2009 A new report on the sources of violent death in Iraq is relevant to an assessment of the changing nature of the air-war over Pakistan, Paul Rogers writes for openDemocracy. By Paul Rogers for openDemocracy.net The phrase "war on terror" might have been quietly dropped from the United States's military lexicon - to be replaced (according to a memo to Pentagon staff) by "overseas contingency operation". But it is clear that to some degree there is continuity in practice in the tactics being pursued by the coalition in Afghanistan and Pakistan. An example is the relatively little reported campaign in western Pakistan characterised by what (in another euphemism) are commonly termed "drone incidents" but which would be better called air-raids. The term "drone" has a serviceable analytical use, but the suggestion it conveys - of a very small pilot-less aircraft that is more of a scaled-up version of a model aircraft - is mi