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Showing posts from June 7, 2009

Sino-Russian baby comes of age

By M K Bhadrakumar By the yardstick of Jacques, the melancholy philosopher-clown in William Shakespeare's play As You Like It, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has indisputably passed the stage of "Mewing and pucking in the nurse's arms". Nor is SCO anymore the "whining schoolboy, with his satchel/And shining morning face, creeping like snail/Unwillingly to school". The SCO more and more resembles Jacques' lover, "Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad/Made to his mistress' eyebrow." Indeed, if all the world's a stage and the regional organizations are players who make their exits and entrances, the SCO is doing remarkably well playing many parts. That it has finally reached adulthood is beyond dispute. But growing up is never easy, especially adolescence, and the past year since the SCO summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, has been particularly transformational. What stands out when the SCO's ninth summit mee

Indian Maoists setting up arms factories, developing electronic IEDs

Indian Express Sunday , Jun 14, 2009 at 1128 hrs Giridh, Jharkhand : The Naxals, who surprised everyone by using rocket launchers for the first time during the Lok Sabha polls, have already set up about four units to manufacture weapons and ammunition, say central security agencies. The Naxals, who usually target security forces with manual improvised explosive devices, are now slowly developing remote-controlled IEDs which can be activated from a distance with just the push of a button. The improvement in fire-power is being supported by intensive training on the lines of regular forces,say sources. Central security agencies and local police sources say the Maoists have started two factories each in the dense forests and hills of both Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Sources say that though another such factory existed earlier in Bihar, the Naxals have dismantled it. Early last year, a combing team of the CRPF and the local police had

Step Up To The Task

Step Up To The Task 12 Jun 2009, 0000 hrs IST, Prakash Singh Times of India The president's address to Parliament unveiled an ambitious agenda for reforms in which internal security has been given high priority, and rightly so. The country has been reassured that the government would follow a policy of ''zero tolerance'' towards terrorism and that ''stern measures'' would be taken to deal with insurgency and left-wing extremism. Unfortunately, there is a sense of complacency that has set in here because there has been no major incident since 26/11. We must remember that the reason there has been no major terror strike since the Mumbai attacks has been more due to the international pressure on Pakistan and the action taken by that country against terrorists operating within its boundaries rather than any strengthening of the security apparatus by our government. As soon as Pakistan is able to get the economic assistance it desperately needs,

INDIA: Umranikar to head anti-naxal team in Maharastra

Correspondent Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 10:06 PM MUMBAI: Senior IPS officer and former Pune Police chief Jayant Umranikar was on Friday promoted as Director General of Police and has been tasked with combating Naxal violence in the Vidarbha region, where more than 30 policemen has been killed in two major ambushes this year. Umranikar, an officer of the 1973-batch of the IPS, is currently Additional Director General of Police in-charge of training. An experienced officer he had a stint with Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) in the eighties and nineties. The development of Umranikar being made the chief of ANO indicates that the post has been upgraded to the rank of DGP. On joining the Maharashtra-cadre, he has served in Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Bhiwandi, Thane and Satara. In the late eighties, he went to Cabinet Secretariat and during this stint with the R&AW he has served in Pakistan and some Gulf countries. In 2001, he returned to the parent cadre and joined as

Naxal attacks: Centre rushes high-level team to Jharkhand

Vinay Kumar Home Ministry reorienting strategy Naxals exploiting lack of coordination among government agencies and police Police not following standard operating procedures NEW DELHI: Concerned at the spate of deadly naxal attacks targeting police personnel, the Centre has rushed a high-level team to Jharkhand. Over the past two days 20 policemen have been killed in the State. Union Home Ministry officials said the team comprising an Additional Secretary and a Joint Secretary would assess the ground situation. Maoist cadres have attacked policemen in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh over the past two months, either blasting police vehicles by detonating landmines or ambushing police parties and shooting personnel dead. 100-day plan As the new UPA government is chalking out a 100-day action plan for all ministries and departments, the Home Ministry is also reorienting and fine-tuning its response to naxal violence. Officials say the attempt is to elicit


by Ahmar Mustikhan American Reporter Correspondent Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON -- He was forced to live like a blind man in a dark dungeon for eight months, so completely denied daylight that he could not know if it was day or night, after Pakistan's Military Intelligence secretly abducted him on suspicion of promioting U.S. interests. "I literally lived like a blind man," says Sohrab Sarki, 43, bursting into tears. A motel business owner from Yuba City, Calif., he recalls the horror he felt when he first saw his face in the mirror after 20 months of army torture. "I never cried as much [in my life]. I could not recognize my face. I thought I was looking at the skeleton of my father," he said, after he was allowed to shave and provided with a mirror. "The major question they asked was what is the agenda of the USA," he said. Sarki, a naturalized American, said he told his tormentors the U.S. was a friend of Pakistan and had poured billions of do

Hambantota & Gwadar -- An Update

By B. Raman The foundation for the construction of a modern port with Chinese assistance at Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka was formally laid in October, 2007. The construction actually started in January, 2008. 2. It is a 15-year project to be completed in stages. The entire project is estimated to cost US $ one billion. The present Chinese commitment is for the construction of the first stage only, which is estimated to cost US $ 360 million. China has agreed to give 85 per cent of this amount at concessional interest. The balance is being contributed by the Government of Sri Lanka. 3. The first stage of the 15-year (2008-2023) project is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. This stage envisages the construction of a 1000-metre jetty, which will enable the harbour to function as an industrial port for the import and export of industrial chemicals, fuel and heavy machinery. By 2023, Hambantota is projected to have a liquefied natural gas refinery, aviation fuel storage

Indo-US nuclear deal plays out in slow motion

11 Jun 2009, 0914 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN NEW DELHI: Although a nuclear deal between US and India is a wrap, the wheels are moving at a grinding slow pace on implementing the deal, with the US dithering on starting negotiations for the reprocessing agreement. Government sources said civil nuclear issues occupied a large part of the discussions between William Burns and foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Wednesday. It's likely they will come up for talks again when Burns meets NSA M K Narayanan on Thursday. Negotiations for a reprocessing agreement is yet to start, because Washington, Indian officials said, was yet to set a date. India is insistent that a reprocessing deal is absolutely necessary for the nuclear deal to be meaningful. The deal said negotiations would start within six months of the signing of the agreement, but the US is yet to do so. The newly nomin

Difference between Indian government and US

ORGANISER By Dr Jay Dubashi In India, it is a free house for foreigners. We are like a dharmashala where anybody can come and stay, and take any job and even become the president of a national political party. Any Tom, Dick and Harry from anywhere in the world can come and work in India, collect money by the bagful and go back—or remain here—no questions asked. Many people in the world, particularly the blacks and the browns, identify with the American President, Barack Obama, so much that they consider him as their President. After all, he looks like them, has more or less the same background, and also talks like them. Obama's father was an African, his mother, a white woman, married an Indonesian after she divorced his father, and Obama himself lived in Indonesia for some time and went to school there. Obama's grandmother still lives, or used to live, in Africa. But, as the whole world knows, Obama is neither an African nor an Asian. He is very much an American. After

INDIA: On security

Arun Kumar Singh,-diy.aspx June.12 : I must state at the outset that in my opinion good India-US relations, based on mutual benefits, are important for strategic, economic and technological reasons. Unfortunately, media reports indicate a growing chill in India-US ties since President Barack Obama took office in January this year. Past history shows that Republican administrations in the US have been friendlier towards India. This is, indeed, confusing since any country's foreign policy is presumably based on long-term vision and goals and not on which party is in power. On June 6, media reports leaked the worst-kept secret in South Asia — a confirmation by the Pentagon that Pakistan used over $5 billion of American aid, meant for the "war on terror", to acquire conventional military weapons for use against India. The list is known and, perhaps, someone in the American government may like to


B.RAMAN The "Global Times" is a a tabloid brought out by the "People's Daily" group, which is controlled by the Communist Party of China.It largely focusses on foreign affairs and has the reputation of being very nationalistic in its views on developments abroad.While the "People's Daily" sticks to the Party and Government lines on matters relating to China's relations with other countries, the "Global Times" takes a little more liberty in its comments. 2.Before April,2009, the "Global Times" was published in the Chinese language. Since April 20, 2009, the "People's Daily" group has been bringing out an English language edition, which is also available online. This new edition attracted attention recently when it came out with an article on the Tiananmen Square incident of !989, whereas the rest of the Chinese media had ignored its 20th anniversary. 3. In an article carried on June 1,2009, it made a re

Teaching High School Students To Be Intel Analysts (

The Erie City Schools, in cooperation with the Institute Of Intelligence Studies here at Mercyhurst, recently announced that they would begin to offer an intelligence analyst track in one of their high school career academies .The full news article is here but there is more to this story. This is another one of Bob Heibel's visionary initiatives and it appears to me to be a natural extension of the increasing number of colleges and universities that are offering intelligence courses or even full programs. While this may sound a bit too visionary for some, let me put it into perspective. We are in the middle of a study that is trying to get at the size, in dollars and people, of the "real" intelligence community. This real community includes all the law enforcement analysts and intelligence professionals in business as well as those in the national security community. Our initial estimates indicate that there are as many analysts in the US national security community