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Showing posts from November 15, 2009

PM-Obama Summit : Time for plain speaking

by Rajinder Puri http://www.boloji.com/myword/mw159.html As Dr Manmohan Singh visits Washington for his meeting with President Obama one thing is clear. Unless President Obama satisfies Dr Singh with the private briefing of his China visit India should be prepared to fundamentally alter its attitude and policy towards America. President Obama’s public posture regarding China’s role in South Asia may not conform to his private endeavor. America is critically dependent on China’s goodwill right now. Only Dr Singh from his closed door talks will be able to assess the direction of President Obama’s roadmap in South Asia. The rest of us will have to watch both the US and Indian government very closely in order to judge whether or not India’s national interest is being irrevocably compromised. In their joint statement President Obama and President Hu agreed that USA and China together would “support the improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan”. This

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Obama - China

"......it is an amazingly shocking act of insensitivity on the part of Obama and his policy advisers to project China as a benign power with a benevolent role in South Asia---- " "It is politically naive on the part of Obama to expect that Indian political and public opinion will accept any role for China in South Asia in matters which impact on India's core interests......" -- B Raman

Obama's Failure to Understand Indian Distrust of China

by B. Raman http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers36/paper3511.html The failure of President Barack Obama to understand the distrust of China in large sections of the Indian civil society has landed the US in a situation in which the considerable goodwill between India and the US created during the administration of his predecessor George Bush stands in danger of being diluted by his unthinking words and actions. 2. The distrust of China in the Indian civil society is much deeper than even the distrust of Pakistan. Even today, despite Pakistan's continued use of terrorism against India, there is some goodwill for the people of Pakistan in many sections of the Indian civil society. As against this, outside the traditional communist and other leftist circles, one would hardly find any section which trusts China ---its Government as well as its people. 3. The Indian distrust of China arises mainly from three factors. First, the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Second, China's role

The Big Picture

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/2009/11/the-big-picture.html By Bharat Verma Issue: Vol 24.4 Oct-Dec 200 9New Delhi cannot afford to sit around while others plot its destruction. Surrounded with sullied strategic environment and the spreading fire that engulfs the region, New Delhi can either continue to live in fear as it has in the past, or fight back. There are two distinct threats that endanger the existence of the Union. First are the imperial ambitions of China that threaten to ultimately dismember the Indian Union in twenty or thirty parts. To succeed in its aim, Beijing over a period of time unleashed the first phase of the strategy and intelligently encircled India. This initial phase resulted in shrinking New Delhi’s strategic frontiers in its vicinity. Indians unwittingly made the Chinese task a cakewalk, as they were preoccupied with internal bickering for short-term personal gains, overlooking the vicious expansionist agenda designed jointly by Beijing and Islam

To please China, US slights India

Shobori Ganguli http://www.dailypioneer.com/216752/To-please-China-US-slights-India.html US President Barack Obama’s China visit has put the writing on the wall in bold: China is the next superpower the world must watch out for. Clearly, the US realises there is little it can do to prevent China’s phenomenal rise and growing influence; it has therefore decided to partner that growth. And, what better way than to use a presidential visit to Beijing to declare America’s most serious geopolitical rival Asia’s Big Boss and cozy up to a major global player in a rapidly multipolarising world. Admittedly, none can deny that China has been moving in that direction with very sure steps; it was only a matter of time before the US acknowledged that. Following his summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mr Obama therefore said, “The Sino-US relationship has never been more important in our collective future.” Except, the declaration comes at a huge cost for India which, following the Indo-US n

Panda-Hugger Oba-maO damages India-US relationship

Panda-Hugger Oba-maO damages India-US relationship further by inflicting slow death by thousand cuts!! Steps to take Manmohan Singh has actively to counter and overcome India's strategic isolation, says N.V.Subramanian. http://www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno=1913 18 November 2009: A week ago, this writer anticipated both the end of the Indo-US nuclear deal and a US-China entente to India's disadvantage in a commentary titled "The coming isolation" (11 November 2009). The commentary also advised to pursue Dengian calm and to build India economically and militarily in this calm while striving for internal political unity alongside healthy democratic competitiveness. In the immediate and short-term, the Manmohan Singh government has to take five steps to counter this strategic isolation of India, and a beginning has to be made in the days leading to the prime minister's "state visit" to the US at the invitation of president Barack

IRAN: Dangerous But Not Omnipotent

Source: RAND.ORG DOWNLOAD : http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG781/ Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East By: Frederic Wehrey, David E. Thaler, Nora Bensahel, Kim Cragin, Jerrold D. Green, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Nadia Oweidat, Jennifer Li Following the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian threat to U.S. interests has taken on seemingly unprecedented qualities of aggressiveness and urgency. Added to its provocative positions on the nuclear program, support for non-state militants, and development of threatening military capabilities is the sense that Iran is trying to effect far-reaching changes on the regional and even global stage. Within this context, this report aims to provide policy planners with a new framework for anticipating and preparing for the strategic challenges Iran will present over the next ten to fifteen years. In an analysis grounded in the observation that although Iranian power projection is marked by strengths,

French Foreign Policy under Sarkozy

http://www.e-ir.info/?p=486 Written by Arthur Goldhammer on June 14, 2008 – 9:04 am The presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy has certainly brought a change in the style of French foreign policy, but has it altered the substance? The answer, I will argue, is a qualified yes, not least because it is characteristic of the new French president to blend style and substance until the two become indistinguishable. Sarkozy, who transformed his party, the UMP, into a vehicle of personal power, may have inherited the Gaullist mantle, but he shares little of the Gaullist ethos of la grandeur. On June 27, 1958, the General, shortly after returning to power, described France as “a nation that the world needs if it is to avoid cataclysm.” Sympathetically parsed, this hyperbole might have made a kind of sense as the founding myth of Gaullist foreign policy in a world riven by the bipolar confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. But by the time Sarkozy assumed office just under hal

Intel Brief: Poland On Edge Over Russian Drills

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Strategic Operations Excercise Centre, 2008 Russia's largest ever post-Cold War military games near the border with Poland, simulating a nuclear attack against its smaller neighbor, has put Warsaw on edge and sent it looking for new security assurances, Anna Dunin writes for ISN Security Watch. By Anna Dunin for ISN Security Watch Joint Russian-Belarusian war games, conducted in mid-September in Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, were part of the largest war games Russia has conducted at the eastern border of NATO territory since the end of the Cold War. The exercises, code named operation ‘Zapad-2009,'' included a simulated nuclear attack against Poland, suppression of an uprising by a Polish minority in Belarus and, despite being classified as defensive, included many operations of an offensive nature. The war games likely were Russia's demonstration of strength and

Bypassing the Aid Trap in Pakistan

By R. Glenn Hubbard | Washington Post Friday, November 13, 2009 The United States has committed $7.5 billion to aid Pakistan's social and economic development, but there is little evidence the funding will be effective. A better strategy, with proven results, is to utilize 'Marshall Plan' model to fit Pakistan's circumstances. This arrangement would aim to develop the domestic business sector, instead of allowing relatively ineffective foreign aid to supplant prosperity and security. Congress recently approved $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan for social and economic development. The bill incited controversy by requiring that the U.S. secretary of state report to lawmakers on whether Pakistan's civilian government keeps effective control over its military, because many observers accuse some in the Pakistani military of having tolerated or even aided Islamic extremists since the 1980s. But the bill itself should raise questions. After all, does Pakistan

Israel, Pakistan and US

Jeff Gates (WORLD VIEW) 17 November 2009 When waging war “by way of deception,” the motto of Israel’s Mossad, well-timed crises play a critical agenda-setting role by displacing facts with what a target population can be deceived to believe. Thus the force-multiplier effect, when staged crises are reinforced with pre-staged intelligence. In combination, the two often prove persuasive. Such agent provocateur operations typically include collateral incidents as pre-staging for the intended main event. Ongoing incidents suggest a follow-on operation is underway. Recent history suggests we’ll see an orgy of evidence that plausibly indicts a pre-staged Evil Doer. Though Iran is an obvious candidate, Pakistan is also a possibility where outside forces have been destabilising this nuclear Islamic nation with a series of violent incidents. Will it be coincidence if the next war—like the last—is consistent with the expansive goals of Jewish nationalists? December 2007 saw the murder of for

OBAMA'S FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND INDIAN DISTRUST OF CHINA

B.RAMAN The failure of President Barack Obama to understand the distrust of China in large sections of the Indian civil society has landed the US in a situation in which the considerable goodwill between India and the US created during the administration of his predecessor George Bush stands in danger of being diluted by his unthinking words and actions. 2. The distrust of China in the Indian civil society is much deeper than even the distrust of Pakistan. Even today, despite Pakistan's continued use of terrorism against India, there is some goodwill for the people of Pakistan in many sections of the Indian civil society. As against this, outside the traditional communist and other leftist circles, one would hardly find any section which trusts China ---its Government as well as its people. 3. The Indian distrust of China arises mainly from three factors. First, the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Second, China's role in giving Pakistan a military nuclear and missile capability

Resignation Letter from US Foreign Service Officer Matthew P. Hoh

US Foreign Service Officer Matthew P. Hoh, Senior Civilian Representative, Afghanistan September 10, 2009 Ambassador Nancy J. Powell Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, D.C. 20520 Dear Ambassador Powell, It is with great regret and disappointment I submit my resignation from my appointment as a Political Officer in the Foreign Service and my post as the Senior Civilian Representative for the US Government in Zabul Province. I have served six of the previous ten years in service to our country overseas, to include deployment as a US Marine office and Department of Defense civilian in the Euphrates and Tigris River Valleys of Iraq in 2004-2005 and 2006-2007. I did not enter into this position lightly or with any undue expectations nor did I believe my assignment would be without sacrifice, hardship or difficulty. However, in the course of my five months of service in Afghanistan, in both Regio

Obama's China(credit)card casts shadow on PM's US visit

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN 18 November 2009, 06:28pm IST http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obamas-Chinacreditcard-casts-shadow-on-PMs-US-visit/articleshow/5243984.cms WASHINGTON: He bowed deeply before the Japan emperor out of respect in a moment captured by the cameras, but did he bend unseen before the Chinese leadership in acknowledgment of the Beijing's growing clout? As President Barack Obama winds up his four-country East Asia tour with a final stop in South Korea on Wednesday before returning to Washington DC in time for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit next week, it's the China leg of his travels that has pundits of all aflutter. The question agitating their minds is whether his engagement with Beijing marked a visible shift in the international power dynamic, with the US openly acquiescing to Chinese influence in the world, with the possible return of a bi-polar world. In the past few months Japan, Australia, New Zealand among others have bo

India rules out third party role in ties with Pak

November 18, 2009 17:33 IST http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/nov/18/india-rules-out-third-party-role-in-ties-with-pak.htm India's [ Images ] irritation at the reference to Indo-Pak ties in the joint communiqué issued by United States President Barack Obama [ Images ] and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao was apparent from an official statement issued on Wednesday making it clear that a third party role was not necessary. Sticking to its stand that no 'meaningful dialogue' can take place unless there was a terror-free environment, Union External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said, "The government of India is committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a peaceful bilateral dialogue in accordance with the Simla Agreement. A third country role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary. We also believe that a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can take place only in an environment free from terror or the threat of terror." The reaction came

From Kabul to Kashmir

By Selig S. Harrison NEWSWEEK Published Nov 13, 2009 From the magazine issue dated Nov 23, 2009 http://www.newsweek.com/id/222631?from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+newsweek/WorldNews+(UPDATED+-+Newsweek-++World+News)>1=43002 By all rights, the United States and India should be bound together by the shared tragedies of 9/11 and last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai. India's size, economic-growth trajectory, and rising power as a stable, secular democracy in a dangerous part of the world ought to make it a key U.S. partner. Instead, Washington's single-minded focus on India's much smaller unstable neighbor, Pakistan, in carrying out the war on terror has increasingly strained its relations with New Delhi. To India's dismay, the U.S. has looked the other way while much of the $10.5 billion in military hardware and cash subsidies provided to the Pakistan Army for use against the Taliban has been diverted to building up

SINGAPORE DESIGN FESTIVAL 2009

http://www.singaporedesignfestival.com/designfest09/about.aspx?id=32 From 20 to 30 November 2009, design will once again take centrestage in Singapore. The third Singapore Design Festival will continue to be a meeting place for designers, design thought leaders and design clients of the world to establish how design can make a difference to improve lives and create possibilities for tomorrow Highlights of the 2009 Festival include: ICSID WORLD DESIGN CONGRESS SINGAPORE 2009 9 Design2050 studios, 4 keynote speakers and Congress facilitators will come together in an engaging interactive forum to propose solutions to many of today’s critical issues and challenges. INDEX: ‘DESIGN TO IMPROVE LIFE’ EXHIBITION An inspiring exhibition that presents design in 5 categories - Body, Home, Work, Play and Community, to address concerns relevant to people of all ages from all walks of life. PORTFOLIO SHOW FOR YOUNG DESIGNERS A curated showcase of the best collection of portfolios by young S

OBAMA & CHINA: THE COMING SHOCKS ( WHAT I WROTE ON OCTOBER 6,2009)

B.RAMAN Extracts from my article at http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers35/paper3445.html The Obama Administration is showing signs of greater sensitivity to the concerns and interests of China than those of India. Reliable reports indicate that it is veering towards a policy of neutrality on the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, which has been a major bone of contention between India and China. It is believed to be dragging its feet on the implementation of the understanding reached between the preceding Bush Administration and the Govt. of India for the US Air Force to undertake searches in Arunachal Pradesh territory for US Air Force personnel, who were missing in action during the Second World War. It is learnt that the formats of the joint exercices between the three wings of the Armed Forces of the two countries, which were agreed upon during the Bush Administration, are being reviewed in order to delete elements, which could cause concern to not only China, but also Pakistan-