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Showing posts from May 3, 2009

India: Electoral Intelligence

Indian Express Asha S Menon First Published : 03 May 2009 10:20:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 03 May 2009 08:15:41 AM IST Few members of Parliament bother to return after winning, so how do they know what their constituents want? Simple, hire someone to get the inside information. This is where the trench coats come in. And it isn’t just a few of them. “We’ve got 15,000 private detectives working for the various candidates in this election,” says Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairperson of the Association of Private Security Industry. And what do they do? Just about everything, according to Singh. “We profile constituencies for candidates, keep tab on the party cadre to see if they are slacking off and track dissidents. It’s a lot of work, so we usually start two to three months before the elections.” An assiduous task for sure. Sometimes the detectives know far more about the constituency than the MP himself. “For instance, there’s this neta who was advised by an operative to drill a bore-

DEFENDING AUSTRALIA in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030

Australian Government's Defence white Paper READ COMLETE WHITE PAPER Excerps about India 11.18 India is an important partner for Australia given our shared democratic values, our maritime interests, and our commitment to combating regional and global terrorism and maintaining a rules-based global security order. As India extends its reach and influence into areas of shared strategic interest, we will need to strengthen our defence relationship and our understanding of Indian strategic thinking. In the near term, we are looking for opportunities to expand high-level defence dialogue, building upon annual talks between the Chief of the Defence Force and his Indian counterpart. We should also increase education and training exchanges and practical cooperation in areas such as defence information sharing, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. 11.19 Australia and India will have a strong mutual interest in enhancing maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean, where we both ha

A Dreadful Future

By Sergei Balashov Russia Profile Eurasia Group’s Apocalyptic View of Russia’s Future Is not Unfeasible It appears that Russia might be in for some grave consequences of the raging financial crisis. It won’t be long until the country is hit by a new wave of protests forcing President Dmitry Medvedev to resign, and paving the way for Vladimir Putin back to power. The country will dispose of any liberalist sentiments after Putin carries out some political purges, and will turn more authoritarian in order to combat separatism and deep public discontent. Or at least this is the scenario that the experts at the Eurasia Group believe has a 20 percent chance of coming to pass. The report, titled Fat Tails in an Uncertain World, released by the global political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, outlined some rather dreadful scenarios for ten countries, including Pakistan, UAE, Japan, Ukraine and Russia. The report also incorporated some details of Russia’s political meltdown. Russia’s de

Treaty with Obama: will Moscow want to seal strategic imbalance?

20:48 | 06/ 05/ 2009 MOSCOW. (Yevgeny Kozhokhin for RIA Novosti) - On May 7, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss strategic offensive arms. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that in the second and third week of May, the two sides will hold the first round of full-scale talks on signing a new treaty on strategic offensive arms. At their forthcoming summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will focus on the same subject. The intensity of the negotiating process will grow as December 5 approaches, the date when the 1991 Soviet-U.S. treaty on strategic offensive arms expires. There is very little time left for the drafting of a new document, which is designed to become a cornerstone of the international security system. Who needs this treaty and why? What it should be all about? Even in the late 1980s-early 1990s, when the Soviet Union was hit by a severe crisis


B.RAMAN The on-again and off-again military operations by the Pakistani security forces against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan ( TTP) and its Pashtun allies such as the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in the South Waziristan and Bajaur Agencies of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in the Swat and other districts of the Malakand Division in the North-West FrontierProvince (NWFP) are causing an immense humanitarian disaster affecting the Pashtuns. This disaster is similar to the disaster faced by the Sri Lankan Tamils due to the Sri Lankan Army's counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). 2. In an interview to "Der Spiegel" of Germany published by it in its issue of May 6,2009, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan has stated that as a result of the military operations launched in the Bajaur Agency last year, about 500,000 out of the Agency's 800,000 population have been for

Pakistan’s Future Continues to Hang in the Balance

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman There is no consensus about the future of Pakistan among Pakistan experts (scholars and previous diplomats), Pakistani government spokesmen, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Optimists believe that despite the encroachment of the Taliban, lopping off town after town, the Pakistani military can take those areas back. Pessimists note that while it is true that the army could smash the fanatics, they see no evidence that it will. Although the modern secular population of Pakistan is alarmed by the prospect of a Taliban Pakistan, they don’t seem to have the will to fight, but the Taliban does. The imminent collapse of Pakistan did not drop out of the clouds; it has a long history, starting with the country’s beginnings. When the British were negotiating a peaceful turnover of colonial rule to the handful of India’s revolutionary leadership (led by Jawaharlal Nehru, a secular Indian nationalist), another member of the leadership, Mohammad Ali Jinna, a secul

Dr. Wahid Baloch -- A Baluch Dissent

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE REPORT : PAKISTAN STATE OF THE UNION Wahid Baloch Contrary to this report , the Baluch people are not fighting Pakistan for a greater share of resources,provincial autonomy or restoration of the 1973 Constitution. It is a great injustice, distortion of fact and misleading to say that Baluch are fighting for such things. Baluch demands are simple and clear. “End the illegal occupation of Baluchistan.” The only solution that is acceptable to the Baluch people is the end of the Pakistani illegal occupation, the withdrawal of all Pakistani forces from occupied Baluchistan, the unification of all three parts of Baluchistan (i.e., the Iranian Occupied Baluchistan, the Pakistani Occupied Baluchistan and the Afghan portion of Baluchistan) into one United Baluchistan, with the restoration of Baluch sovereignty over Baluch lands, coasts and resources. Nothing less than that will be acceptable to the Baluch people. Baluch do not consider themselves as Pakistani. We ar

RUSSIA: Main Intelligence Directorate gets new chief

17:00 | 28/ 04/ 2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - On April 24, President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed Army General Valentin Korabelnikov from the position of chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Russia's military intelligence agency, and deputy chief of the General Staff and appointed Korabelnikov's deputy, Lieutenant General Alexander Shlyakhturov, in his place. Korabelnikov's possible resignation, which was long surrounded by rumors, is now a reality. The Russian media says Korabelnikov opposed the Kremlin's sweeping reforms for the country's Armed Forces. In the past few months, top GRU officials and the Defense Ministry were divided on the military reform, primarily its aspects concerning the military intelligence agency. The sides disagreed on the proposed reduction of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) GRU brigades and their re-subordination to military district headquarters. This process became the focus of

Costs of War: The Fear Virus

A swine flu 'protective' kit A virulent disease sweeps the US, but it isn't swine flu. The fear virus, spawned by the war on terrorism, causes an over-reaction to the H1N1 flu that could be more dangerous and costly than the actual disease, Shaun Waterman writes for ISN Security Watch. By Shaun Waterman in Washington, DC for ISN Security Watch One of the key challenges for government in any public health emergency is the calibration of its messages to the population. Panicked residents can easily overwhelm the health services of any town or city if enough of them only think they are sick; so officials are supposed to stick carefully to the script government scientists and doctors prepare for them to ensure the delivery of a consistent and credible message to the public. Since the 26 April declaration of a federal public health emergency in relation to the emergence of a new strain of influenza virus - Novel A H1N1, initially popularly called swine flu - US offici


B.RAMAN In a televised address to the nation on the afternoon of May 4,2009, the Maoist Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, dramatically announced his resignation in the wake of opposition to his decision the previous day to sack the 61-year-old Army Chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal following the General’s opposition to the demand of Prachanda for the integration of the members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) raised by the Maoists during their days in the insurgency into the Army. Gen. Kul Bahadur Khadka, the No.2 in the Army, was asked by Prachanda to act as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) until further orders. 2. Before announcing his decision, Prachanda met with Katawal and Khadka separately first, then jointly, before seeking the approval of the Cabinet for sacking the COAS. His decision was opposed by the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) with 108 members in the Constituent Assembly, which decided to quit the

Being A Spy; Europe, Iran And The Bomb; How Organized Crime Got Hooked On Drugs -- And Other Interesting Stuff (

Source : Being A Spy; Europe, Iran And The Bomb; How Organized Crime Got Hooked On Drugs -- And Other Interesting Stuff ( is a streaming video service that hosts speeches and presentations by world class experts in a variety of areas. A number of their recent offerings should be particularly interesting to intelligence professionals (Note: The descriptions below come directly from Fora but have been lightly edited for length, etc.):Stella Remington on Being A SpyStella Remington says she's had 4 careers. First as a librarian/archivist, then a diplomat's wife, in MI5, and now as an author. She has written four books, her first a memoir titled Open Secret: the Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5. She has published three spy-thriller novels Secret Asset, Illegal Action and Dead Line. She's currently working on a fourth novel.Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009Location: Sydney, Australia, Dymocks Literary LunchProgram and disc


B.RAMAN During the current election campaign, there has been a debate initiated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the action taken or not taken to identify the secret overseas bank accounts of Indian nationals and to bring the money back for use in our development projects. The BJP and the Congress (I) have been accusing each other of inaction in this regard. 2. The banking secrecy laws of countries such as Switzerland protect the secrecy of only the accounts of individual account-holders. Nations do not enjoy the protection of secrecy. Thus, while the Swiss Federal Government in Berne protects the secrecy of individual accounts, it has been publishing every year since the 1980s the total value of the deposits held in Swiss banks by residents of different countries. 3. The Government of India became aware of this in the 1980s when a Sindhi nationalist organization of Pakistan got hold of this annual statement, made an analysis of the deposits held by residents in Pakist