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Showing posts from June 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: K P S Gill

"If the Maoists are to be defeated, the state and its agencies will have to develop a detailed understanding of their strategies, tactics and underlying ideology. Such an understanding is now conspicuous by its absence, with the notable exception of the police leadership in Andhra Pradesh and a few officers in the intelligence establishment." -- K P S Gill

US$147/B One Year On : Political Winners and Strategic Losers

This paper examines the political implications of oil prices as high as $147/b in 2008 or as low as $33/b in 2009 on oil producing countries. After a five-year bull run from 2004-2008 oil producers became used to high receipts cementing support at home while buying influence abroad. Thus the political demise of producer regimes was expected to follow the sharp 2009 drop in prices. But amid a sustained economic crisis, the author argues, political resilience became the leitmotif of producer states. He concludes that, with prices and resource nationalism set to rise in tandem, the political impetus could shift back to producers once more , but unless lessons are learned from 2008-2009, all states will lose out. © 2009 Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich Download: English (PDF · 4 pages · 491 KB) Author: Matthew Hulbert Series: CSS Analyses in Security Policy Issue: 58 Publisher: Center for Security Studies (CSS), Zurich, Switzerland

Russian Hardliners' Military Doctrine: In Their Own Words

May 30, 1996 Russian Hardliners' Military Doctrine: In Their Own Words by Cohen, Ariel FYI #104 SOURCE: (Archived document, may contain errors) No. 104 May30,1996 RUSSIAN HARDLINERS9 MILITARY DOCTRINE: IN THEIR OWN WORDS By Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Senior Policy Analyst INTRODUCTION Some Western leaders and policyrnakers are remarkably unconcerned about the prospects of a vic- tory by Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov in the Russian presidential elections on June 16. Thinking that a communist return to power in Russia will be no different than it was in Po- land or Slovakia, these Westerners appear to believe that a communist victory in Russia will not dis- rupt the burgeoning "partnership" between Russia and the West. However, the report translated here paints a different picture. Written by hard-line members of a nationalist-communist coalition that supports Zyuganov for president but maintains cl

Barack Obama: a cult of personality

14:4103/07/2009 Vladimir Belaeff, President, Global Society Institute, Inc., San Francisco, CA Even before the vote of November 2008, a cult of personality has been evolving around Barack Obama. After his election, this cult of president Obama reached new heights, although it now seems to be abating. This wave of uncritical adulation may be understandable within the United States –Obama is indeed a historical figure for America. Also, considering the unfortunate qualities of his predecessor, it is quite reasonable that an articulate, intelligent, sophisticated and thinking president – capable of correctly pronouncing the word “nuclear” – enjoys a charisma somewhat reminiscent of John Kennedy. And so, even trivial actions by Obama are hurriedly qualified as “historic.” It is premature to make definitive assessments of a president who is only six months into his term in office. And it is a hyperbole to apply the qualifier “historic” to Obama’s actions so far in American international r

Obama-Medvedev summit: no shortage of advisors

14:4703/07/2009 Edward Lozansky, President, American University in Moscow There is no shortage of solicited and unsolicited advisors and pieces of advice for the upcoming Obama-Medvedev summit. Some of the advice is pretty reasonable; for the most part it is best ignored. One’s first instinct is to stay away from this cacophony and try to moderate one’s expectations so as not to be hugely disappointed later. However, the temptation to weigh in with one’s particular advice is very high. Since both Obama and Medvedev are Internet users one does not have to send a letter to the White House or the Kremlin and wait for the routine answer from some clerk. Chances are that both or at least one of them will surf the Net on the eve of the summit and pay attention to some of the items. My message to Obama is very simple and straightforward. Some people compare him to John Kennedy. This is fine, Kennedy was definitely a remarkable figure – but why not try to raise the sights to the level of R

Pak can tilt Indo-US ties only to a point S. Nihal Singh July.02 : With the advent of the Obama administration, a debate rages on whether America loves India — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made amply clear to George W. Bush Indians’ love for him. Two kinds of doubt have surfaced: the United States has downgraded India in its order of priorities and the old policy of hyphenation of New Delhi with Islamabad is back in vogue in Washington. These Indian fears reveal the country’s tunnel vision and propensity to forget the lessons of the past. Any unbiased observer would have perceived that given the problems left over by the Bush administration — two wars and economic meltdown — India was a low priority for the Obama administration for good reasons. President Obama had made the war in Afghanistan his own, in contrast to Iraq, and lavished much attention and money on Pakistan because it was considered essentia

US-Japan 'secret' nuke deal It is no longer possible for the government to maintain its official stance of denying the existence of a deal between Japan and the United States that tacitly allows US forces to bring nuclear weapons into Japanese territory. The time has come for the government to admit the existence of this accord and explain the facts surrounding it to the public. In a recent interview with news media, including The Yomiuri Shimbun, Ryohei Murata, a former administrative vice foreign minister, revealed the existence of the accord between the Japanese and US governments under which Japan tacitly approves port calls and passage through Japanese territorial waters by US warships carrying nuclear weapons. When the Japan-US Security Treaty was revised in 1960, the two countries agreed that US forces would only bring nuclear weapons onto Japanese soil if prior bilateral consultations were held. However, while this

INDIA: Report Card of Ministry of Home Affairs for June 2009

18:48 IST The Union Home Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram presented here today the report card of the Ministry of Home Affairs for June, 2009. The following is the text of his statement: “June was the first full month that the new Government has been in office. Hence, I thought it would be appropriate to submit a report on the activities of MHA in the month of June 2009. The most important event in June was the operations launched in Lalgarh, West Bengal. The operations are still under way, but I am glad to report that the Central Paramilitary Forces have ably assisted the West Bengal Police in reclaiming most of the territory that had been dominated by the CPI (Maoist) for nearly 8 months. We reiterated the principle that the primary responsibility for maintaining law and order rests with the State Government and that after committing its own forces, if the State Government makes a request for assistance, the Central Government will provide an adequate number of personnel from the

ISLAMISM – A historical background: The Saudi Angle

By R. Upadhyay A peep into the Arabian history during the time of Prophet Mohammad suggests that Mecca, the chief city of Hidjaz in Arabian Peninsula which was his birth place - was the assembly point of the caravans on the land route from southern Arabia and also the centre of annual pilgrimage to Kaba in a ritual called Hajj. Before the advent of Islam, Kaba was the sanctuary of over 300 idols representing the gods of various warring idolatrous Arab nomads who used to fight among themselves not only for their supremacy over each other but also for supremacy of their respective idol gods housed in Kaba which were supposed to be catering to every taste of pagan diversion. Thus, the warring Arabs used to fight for the custody of Kaba to prove the superiority of their respective gods. In fifth century AD, one Qosaiy belonging to the Hashimite sect of Quraysh tribe comprising of some scattered Bedouin clans in central Hizaz seized

Why dialogue with Pakistan is futile Considering that 2009 marks the 20th year of full-blown insurgency in Kashmir, it is somewhat surprising that there are not many books that go behind the scenes and beyond newspaper reports to lay bare what actually was happening on the ground and to the people of the state. In recent years, however, Praveen Swami and David Devadas have done some remarkable work to fill some of this empty space. But until now, very little was known of how the insurgency was guided from across the border in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Much of what we know is based on information handed out by the Indian security agencies. There was however no means to corroborate this information. The absence of any independent source of information, which was also reliable, left a huge gap in our knowledge of how the insurgency was planned and how it played itself out inside Pakistan. Also missing was the st

Sanitizing terrorism

No longer can it be hidden that locals were involved in the November 2008 Bombay attack, says N.V.Subramanian. 29 June 2009: The story of the November 2008 Bombay terrorist attack has one puzzling aspect. Were there only ten Pakistani terrorists involved (including Ajmal Kasab) in it, or did they get local help also? The Centre and the Maharashtra government insist that the ten Pakistani terrorists were on their own and did not get any local logistical help, aside from the earlier procurement of SIM cards, etc, by Lashkar-e-Toiba contacts in India. While this indeed might be the case, it is not convincing. What the Indian government wants the world to believe is that the Pakistani terrorists were so familiar with the geography of South Bombay (where the Taj and Oberoi hotels were, the location of the Jewish centre, the ins and outs of CST, and so on) that they went machine-like spreading terror absolutely without local support. If you believe this version, it makes India into a

IAF to take part in international air mobility competition Washington (PTI): The Indian Air Force will take part in the international air mobility competition to be held in the US this month, organisers of the event announced on Wednesday. To be staged from July 19 to July 25, 'Air Mobility RODEO 2009' is being hosted by Air Mobility Command at Washington- based McChord Air Force Base of the US Air Force. More than 100 teams and 2,500 people from the US and friendly nations are expected to compete or observe in the week-long event which focuses on improving worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities. The last RODEO readiness competition also took place at McChord Air Force Base in July 2007. The competition started in 1956 as the "Reserve Troop Carrier Rodeo", while the first active duty airdrop competition occurred in April 1962. An important long-term benefit, the US Air Force said, is increased cooperation between air mobility forces am

How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan's Nuclear Program From Day One

A CounterPunch Exclusive Report The Obama Adminstration is Helping to Upgrade Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons By ANDREW COCKBURN "If the worst, the unthinkable, were to happen,” Hillary Clinton recently told Fox News, “and this advancing Taliban encouraged and supported by Al Qaeda and other extremists were to essentially topple the government … then they would have keys to the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan.” Many will note that the extremists posing this unthinkable prospect were set up in business by the U.S. in the first place. Very well buried is the fact that the nuclear arsenal that must not be allowed to fall into the hands of our former allies has been itself the object of U.S. encouragement over the years and is to this very day in receipt of crucial U.S. financial assistance and technical support. Back in 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski, intent on his own jihad against the USSR, declared that the “Afghan resistance” should be supplied with money and arms. That, of cour

UN Unveil Initiative to Help Form New ‘Partnership Agenda’

UN: Top Peacekeeping Officials Brief Security Council on Need to Strengthen Links Between Organization, Contributors of Military, Police Forces Under-Secretaries-General Unveil Initiative to Help Form New ‘Partnership Agenda’ With demand for United Nations peacekeeping continuing to grow, conflict situations becoming more complex and resources more scarce, the success of current and future operations depended on strengthening relationships between the Organization and its Member States, especially those providing troops and police, senior peacekeeping officials told the Security Council today. Calling for a new partnership to ensure the requisite support and resources, Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said: “When all the partners are strongly united behind a peacekeeping operation, it sends an unequivocal signal of international commitment which reinforces the authority of the Security Council and the credibility and effectiveness of any individual