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Showing posts from November 29, 2009


B.RAMAN Al Qaeda looks upon its continuing jihad against the so-called Crusaders --- thereby meaning essentially the US, Israel and their supporters--- as a global intifada waged on many fronts and through many means. In this global jihad, Afghanistan, Somalia and Algeria are seen as battle fronts, which will determine the ultimate outcome. Afghanistan is seen as the core of the battle, Somalia as its southern front and Algeria as the Western front. 2. In a message disseminated on December 20,2006, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No.2 to Osama bin Laden in Al Qaeda, said: “Brothers in Islam and Jihad in Somalia: know that you are on the southern garrison of Islam, so don’t allow Islam to be attacked from your flank, and know that we are with you, and that the entire Muslim Ummah is with you. So don’t lose heart, or fall into despair, for you must dominate if you are true in faith. And know that you are fending off the same Crusade which is fighting your brothers in Islam in Chechnya, Afghani

A Wish List for Santa Putin

By Tom Balmforth Russia Profile Vladimir Putin’s Longest-Ever Question-and-Answer Session Was the Usual Combination of Politics and Conspicuous Munificence According to one analyst, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was like “Father Christmas dishing out presents” during his question-and-answer session on December 3, making a raft of promises and pledges to anxious callers. Reviving Russia’s single-industry cities and combating terrorism were the main topics at the four-hour phone-in session, as Putin tried to calm a nation shaken by the economic crisis and the Nevsky Express bombing last week. Several recent polls suggest the prime minister’s popularity has taken a tumble. So what did Putin set out to achieve in the call-in? And was it anything more than a long-winded exercise in self-promotion? “The peak of the crisis has been overcome ... But the exit from the crisis takes time, strength and no small amount of funds,” Putin said today at his second call-in session as prime minist

British School Makes Sanskrit Compulsory

"This is the most perfect and logical language in the world, the only one that is not named after the people who speak it. Indeed the word itself means 'perfected language." --Warwick Jessup, Head, Head, Sanskrit department "The Devnagri script and spoken Sanskrit are two of the best ways for a child to overcome stiffness of fingers and the tongue," says Moss. "Today's European languages do not use many parts of the tongue and mouth while speaking or many finger movements while writing, whereas Sanskrit helps immensely to develop cerebral dexterity through its phonetics." /A-British- School-Makes- Sanskrit- Compulsory


- India must abide by the US’s conditions to get its support Cutting Corners - Ashok Mitra Politicians over here — and, along with them, the media — are miffed no end. Why, oh why, is the United States of America so deferential towards China, while India is treated as a kid who is not yet fit to watch adult movies? During his recent visit to China, Barack Obama, for instance, went out of his way to reconfirm the American position that Tibet was an integral part of China. He carefully kept away from the entire range of sensitive issues relating to human rights, and only made a polite suggestion about the desirability of allowing the internet to roam free. The Chinese authorities could even persuade the US president to include in their joint statement a reference to the delicate state of Indo-Pakistan relations and how it impinges on Asian stability: the sly allusion to Kashmir was much too obvious. The US, it se

BALOCHISTAN: Pakistani promises/packages are show-business

Balochistan for Balochs...... Pakistani promises/packages are show-business If Pakistani establishment places moon on their one hand & sun on their other hand, Balochs shall never beleive their promises due to their past bitter experiences since 1948. The recent so-called package, it`s speculated, resembles the two committees formed by ex-dictator Parvez Musharaf. These false promises remind us the false deals, behind the locked-doors, between Pakistan & Khane Qalat which ended at the occupation of Balochistan in 1948. These false promises chained Prince Abdul Karim Agha Khan.This package, again, reminds us the false promises made to the Chief of Balochistan Lashker, Nawab Nouroz Khan. In short, the Pakistani promises/packages have brought catastrophic results to Balochs, who were compelled to walk through fire & blood, afterwards. This package is nothing but to place the guns on the shoulders of civilian Government, to bleed Balochs, like the bloody experien

A Gamble With High Stakes

Until Tuesday evening the Afghan war was a Bush legacy. It is now President Barack Obama’s war and history will judge him on the success or otherwise of his strategy in Afghanistan Bruce Riedel Until Tuesday evening the Afghan war was a Bush legacy. It is now President Barack Obama’s war and history will judge him on the success of his bold gamble to send more troops to Afghanistan. The situation there is dire and deteriorating. There is no guarantee more troops and a smart strategy will work to stabilize the country and defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But the alternatives – drawing down or standing pat – are certain to fail. The President’s approach is the best of the bad options Americans have. The stakes are enormous – preventing another 9/11, war in South Asia, the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the fate of NATO and future of the global Islamic jihad. To succeed, the President will have to invest not just more Ameri

The speech within the speech

K. Subrahmanyam Posted: Thursday , Dec 03, 2009 at 0401 hrs It will not be surprising if the initial reaction to Obama's Af-Pak strategy announced in his West Point speech on December 1 is one general lacking in enthusiasm, both in the US and abroad. He has agreed to the surge of 30,000 troops asked for by the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, General McChrystal. He has defended himself against the charge of dithering by pointing out that the General's proposal itself envisaged induction of troops only next year. The new points in his strategy over and above his March one are the following: 1. There will be a rapid surge of 30,000 US troops in 2010, to be followed by the beginning of withdrawal eighteen months later. 2. During this period, additional Afghan troops will be raised and trained to take over the responsibility from the US forces. 3. There will be improvements in civil administrat

Special areas scientific research: advancing the cause in India

Jayant Narlikar With fresh wind blowing in bringing global competitiveness and collaboration, attitudes to scientific research will change from that of a routine job to an adventure in creativity. On April 20, 2005, a 26.7-million cubic foot balloon carrying a 459-kg scientific payload with 38 kg of liquid neon was flown from the National Balloon Facility in Hyderabad operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). The payload collected air samples from different heights ranging from 20 to 41 km and it was parachuted down safely. The samples were independently analysed at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and the Natio nal Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, and live micro-organisms were found. Such findings have enormous implications for astrobiology, besides providing important inputs to go into the question of how life started on our planet. Astrobiology deals with life o

1947: Partition in the Indian Army

S.K. Sinha Dec.02 : The fact that the Indian Army also influenced the decision on Partition needs to be taken into account. After their experience with Cromwell’s military dictatorship, the British ardently nurtured the concept of an apolitical army. It suited them to transplant that concept in the Indian Army that they raised. While this concept continues to hold good in India, it was thrown overboard in Pakistan. After 1857, the British decided not to have one-class regiments except for Gorkhas and Garhwalis. All other combat units were composed of 50 per cent Muslims and 50 per cent non-Muslims. Different communities living together in war and peace and encouraged to remain apolitical developed a regimental ethos that held them together. I was commissioned in the Jat Regiment, which had two companies of Jat Hindus and two of Muslims. I served with a Punjabi Muslim company. I found the regimental spirit among the men strong. There was no communal divide. This continued in the Army

Down by the sea

Sushil Kumar December 02, 2009 First Published: 20:48 IST(2/12/2009) Last Updated: 20:49 IST(2/12/2009) Tomorrow is Navy Day. Proudly proclaiming its role and justifying the need for a strong navy has always been the standard Navy Week format. Yet, year in and year out it almost sounds like a lament. I went through this drill a decade ago and wonder if anything has changed. The Indian Navy knows deep within that it has to reckon with a nation besieged by a `continental' outlook. For the sailors, it predicates the ground reality where the navy remains the `Cinderella' among the armed services. Even the most profound advice that India is actually a maritime country with a maritime destiny is overshadowed by problems that plague our land frontiers. With a security paradigm conditioned by a Line of Control-(LOC) orientation, it's not without reason that our strategic focus rema

Karzai's Loya Jirga and Obama's Afghan Job

Uddipan Mukherjee There are speculations that Afghanistan’s embattled President Hamid Karzai may convene a Loya Jirga before parliamentary elections in June. He had announced plans for such a Grand Council in his inauguration speech, delineating it as a measure to promote peace. If one goes by juridical sense, then the “Loya Jirga”, as described in Article 110 (Chapter six) of the Afghan Constitution; “is the highest manifestation of the people of Afghanistan.” It comprises the members of the National Assembly and Chairpersons of the provincial and district councils. The ministers, Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court may also participate in the sessions, but without the right to vote. Interestingly, in accordance with Article 111 of the Afghan Constitution, the Loya Jirga is called upon to take decision on the issues related to independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and supreme interes

US policy will distract India

Shobori Ganguli US President Barack Obama has finally declared that American troops will be on their way home from Afghanistan in July 2011, a decade after the world’s sole superpower declared war on terror, a war yet unsuccessful. Inexplicably, Mr Obama ordered a simultaneous escalation of the ongoing war with 30,000 more troops to be expressly despatched to Afghanistan who will “help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans”. Republican rival Senator John McCain predictably pointed out, “The way that you win wars is to break the enemy’s will, not to announce dates that you are leaving.” However, truth is between two of America’s Republican and Democrat Presidents in the past decade, if one went blundering in Asia, the other seems to be floundering. That Mr Obama was charting an exit route from Afghanistan when he was in Beijing a fortnight ago was apparent in the jo


B.RAMAN On February 2, 2000, Pakistan's National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Gen.Pervez Musharraf, set up a National Command Authority (NCA) to co-ordinate and control policy-making relating to nuclear weapons. It consisted of an Employment Control Committee, a Development Control Committee and a Strategic Plans Division to act as the Secretariat of the NCA. 2.The Employment Control Committee was chaired by the head of the Government and included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Chairman), Defence and the Interior, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), the three Service Chiefs and the Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division, who acted as its Secretary. The Chairman was empowered to co-opt technical and other advisers. 3.The Development Control Committee was also chaired by the head of the Government and included the CJCSC (Deputy Chairman), the three Service Chiefs, the Director-General of the Strategic Plans Div

RUSSIA: An Old Grudge Revived

By Roland Oliphant Russia Profile The Russian Government Has Much More to Fear from Strasbourg than from the Hague The ruling by an ad-hoc arbitration tribunal in the Hague on Monday, stating that Russia is bound by the European Energy Charter Treaty, opened the way for Yukos shareholders to sue the Russian government over the state’s takeover of the once-powerful oil company. Group MENATEP Ltd. (GML), the holding company that owned Yukos, called it victory and plans to sue the Russian government for $100 billion. Most commentators are skeptical that the court would award that much or that Moscow would pay up if it did. But the ruling also has implications for other foreign investors in Russia. The decision turned on whether or not Russia, which signed but never ratified the treaty, is bound by the terms of the European Energy Charter, a multilateral investment protection treaty drawn up in the early 1990s to offer protection to European investors interested in financing th

Somalia’s Kool-Aid Syndrome

3 Dec 2009 'Naari meel qabow ma leh' is a Somali adage that says there are no cool corners in hell, and indeed, Somalia’s hopes seem to be fading, Sadia Ali Aden comments for ISN Security Watch. By Sadia Ali Aden for ISN Security Watch Approximately nine months ago, the UN-sponsored peace conference in Djibouti produced the current president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. His internationally supported unity government continues to be mired down in internal conflict; a conflict rooted in the 4.5 clan system formula. It is a system that remains the most persistent impediment to peace, justice and equality, because it promotes, legitimizes and generously rewards the warlords (and their militias) who for nearly two decades perpetuated violence and chaos, and tarnished the credibility of the Somali people and the state. Within this volatile mix are the president's former colleagues who feel profound contempt and a sense

World's 5 fastest computers

Tue, Dec 1 06:10 PM London, December 1 (ANI): The latest ranking of the Top500 project has made a list of the world's fastest computers. According to a report in New Scientist, the chart is based on the maximum rate at which a computer can crunch numbers using what are called floating point operations. November's list features the five fastest computers on the planet. On number 5 in the Top500 list is the Tianhe-1, which is China's fastest computer. At 563 teraflops, it proved capable of more than 500 trillion operations per second. Tianhe is housed at the National Super Computer Center, Tianjin, and is more than four times faster than the previous top computer in the country. The computer combines 6144 Intel processors with 5120 graphics processing units made by AMD, normally found in computer graphics cards. At number 4 is the Jugene at Julich Supercomputing Centre in Germany, which has a computing power of 825 teraflops. It is based on IBM's Blue Gene/P design

Contours of emerging US strategy in Af-Pak December 02, 2009 15:48 IST In the first part of his two-part series, Making sense of the Af-Pak cauldron, Colonel Anil Athale outlined why the developments in the region can be called the second jihad. In this concluding part he says a long-lasting solution to the Af-Pak situation is balkanisation of the region. It appears that the two-three month-long intensive brainstorming in the US over its future course in Af-Pak seems to have ended and a new strategy put in place. The salient points of that seem to be: The US has apparently settled for a much more modest aim in Afghanistan -- to 'contain' the Taliban [ Images ] and eliminate the Al Qaeda [ Images ]. All pretence of nation-building and 'modernising' Afghanistan has been given up. General James Jones, President Barack Obama's [ Images ] national security advisor, at a press briefing on March 27, outlined it as an