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Showing posts from January 1, 2012

Security-driven ties with Israel: India needs to review its policy

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120106/edit.htm#4 by G. Parthasarathy ON November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a Partition Plan, with a two-thirds majority, dividing the British Mandate of Palestine into two states — Jewish and Muslim. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish leadership and rejected by the Arabs. A newly independent India, torn apart by the massacres that followed its communal partition, predictably voted against the partition of Palestine on communal lines. Just over two years later, responding to international realities, India recognised Israel. But the seeds of partition of Palestine were sown half a century earlier, when the First Zionist Congress held in Switzerland in 1897, called for the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the “Land of the Pure”, or Palestine. Arab intellectuals responded two decades later, demanding the independence from the Ottoman Empire of all Arab provinces, including Palestine. Refusing to recognise the State of Israe

US senators write to Obama to get BIT with India going

Washington, Jan 6 (PTI) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/217125/us-senators-write-obama-get.html Top 10 American Senators have urged US President Barack Obama to expedite on going negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with India, noting that this has the potential to produce tremendous benefits to companies from both the countries. In a letter to the US President, 10 US Senators from both the parties, who are members of the powerful Senate India Caucus, commended Obama on resuming negotiations on BIT with India. "As members of the Senate India Caucus, we urge you to expedite the ongoing discussions about the treaty as part of a proactive engagement strategy that will produce tremendous benefits for American companies and investors, as well as for their Indian counterparts," the letter said. The bi-partisan letter was signed by Senate India Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Warner John Cornyn and eight others: Joseph Lieberman, Kay Hutchison, Robert Menendez, Jeanne

Stratfor: Beware of false communications

To verify the validity of this communication from Stratfor, please view this video of our VP of Intelligence, Fred Burton , which references and authenticates this email. Dear Stratfor Reader, While addressing matters related to the breach of Stratfor’s data systems, the company has been made aware of false and misleading communications that have circulated within recent days. Specifically, there is a fraudulent email that appears to come from George.Friedman[at]Stratfor. com. I want to assure everyone that this is not my email address and that any communication from this address is not from me. I also want to assure everyone that Stratfor would never ask customers and friends to provide personal information through the type of attachment that was part of the email at issue. This email, and all similar ones, are false and attempt to prey on the privacy concerns of customers and friends. We strongly discourage you from opening such attachments. We deeply regret the inconvenience this

Why the West is Losing Wars and the Peace?

January 3, 2012 by Team SAI http://southasianidea.com/war-on-terror/why-the-west-is-losing-wars-and-the-peace/ No this title by no means is a sequel to “Why the West Rules for Now” by Ian Morris, nor is it contemplating comparing West with East to decide who is winning. It is a sad commentary of the biggest military alliance in the world losing peace in all the wars it is fighting globally. We had discussed the Af Pak component of this narrative here last month. The wider ramifications of a post US Iraq were analysed here. In a soul searching article, How we lost the peace in Iraq in Small Wars Journal, organisational failings of West in fighting the war in Iraq have been analysed. We go beyond this and analyse basic causes for the political and military defeats or whereabouts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. As both these wars were being fought simultaneously, mistakes from one were being replicated in the other. We also discuss if the West has something to learn from Indian ex

Kishenji, Maoists and the Battle Ahead

Geopolitics, January 2012, pp 60 -64 http://www.geopolitics.in/jan2012.aspx Uddipan Mukherjee Squeezed between Palamau in the north and Gumla in the south, Latehar district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand is strategically located.Carved out of the old Palamau district, Latehar was created on 4th April 2001. Nearly half of its area is under dense forest. Furthermore, it abuts on Chattisgarh to the west and hence becomes a fertile region for the Maoist infiltrators. Latehar’s hilly terrain makes it a perfect destination for a Maoist stronghold. It was no wonder that within 24 hours, the Maoists claimed, with considerable equanimity, the responsibility of ambushing the convoy of independent Member of Parliament (MP) Inder Singh Namdhari at Latehar on 3rd December 2011. Though such attacks were highly expected, still a validation came from Sudhir, the Maoist spokesperson for the local committee. He said: “We own the responsibility for the attack on the police party to a

India: Naval superpower?

Contributor: Andrew Elwell Posted: 01/02/2012 12:00:00 AM EST | 0 Defence IQ.com Contributor: Andrew Elwell As we set sail in 2012 with global navy power swinging to the East, how well placed is India to emerge as the dominant naval superpower over the next decade? The Indian Navy has 132 ships under its command, 14 of which are submarines. As we speak India has commissioned 49 ships and submarines which are under construction both in-country and abroad. “49 ships and submarines, which are under construction, would be inducted in the next five years. Out of these, 45 are being built indigenously at the Indian shipyards, while four are being built outside India,” Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command, told IBN. With India doing an admirable job on coastal security and anti-piracy operations recently, and with the induction of this new fleet, the Navy seems well placed to increase efficiency and tackle future threats. But is it?

Enter the year of the Taliban

By M K Bhadrakumar http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/NA04Df01.html No matter what the Chinese may say about 2012 being the year of the dragon, this is going to be the year of the Taliban so far as the United States is concerned. The New Year began with an exciting media "leak" by senior United States officials in Washington that the Barack Obama administration was considering the transfer to Afghan custody of a senior Taliban official, Mullah Mohammed Fazl, who has been detained at the US facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for the past nine years. The officials claimed Fazl might be released (or transferred to Qatar) in response to a longstanding request by Kabul as a "confidence-building measure" intended to underscore to the Taliban the US's seriousness in engaging them. To be sure, the Obama administration is raring to go. Just about four months are left for the summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Chicago, an event s

BALOCHISTAN: No respite

No respite —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur The establishment and the armed forces here do not seem to learn from their mistakes. Obsessive self-interest has made them lose touch with reality Establishments never tire of exploring ways and means to perpetuate their rule. Interestingly, the word ‘establishment’ is generally used in Pakistan to refer to those who exercise de facto power; it includes the military high command and the intelligence agencies, together with the top leadership of certain political parties, high-level members of the bureaucracy and business persons that work in alliance with them. The military high command and the intelligence agencies form the core of the establishment and are its most permanent and influential components. The real power rests with its ‘most permanent and influential components’, i.e. the armed forces. All is not hunky-dory within the establishment as struggles occur, but the most organised and powerful part is invariably the winner. The media dut

Constitutional limits and fundamental rights? —Sana Baloch

Monday, December 12, 2011 Rather than counselling and redressing their grievances, the less harmful moderate Baloch activists are simply executed extra-judicially The distasteful feature of Pakistani polity and disrespect for constitutional rights can easily be précised by a careful examination of the worsening human rights violations of non-core groups by dominant institutions. Violation of human rights is a global phenomenon. The difference is one of degree. The violation of the rights of certain non-core groups by dominant security establishment is a permanent feature of Pakistani society, where in non-core group areas such as Balochistan, the violations of human rights are towering with mounting cases of enforced disappearances, a kill and dump policy, political assignations, targeted killings and systematic deprivation of socio-economic development — a common but institutionalised trend. Despite a proclaimed independent judiciary, these violations are taking place under th

Imran Khan’s hollow apology on Balochistan

By Sanaullah Baloch Published: December 28, 2011 The writer was a member of the Senate from 2003-08 and of the National Assembly from 1997-99 It used to be said that ‘sorry’ was the hardest word to say, but no longer, at least for politicians in Pakistan. They do apologise, usually without realising the gravity of the miseries, pain and suffering of the victimised people — and without offering proper, practical remedies or measures for healing wounds. Following Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari’s footsteps, the PTI’s Imran Khan has also publicly apologised to the people of Balochistan. However, he did this without mentioning the military’s excessive and inhuman policies, human rights violations, political assassinations and the ‘kill and dump’ policy of moderate Baloch political activists and the systematic subjugation of the Baloch people. In a carefully-crafted apology, ignoring the ongoing human rights violations, the PTI chairman spoke in the past tense. He said human righ

POSITION: Research Associate for IDSA

The Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has initiated a year long study on Strategic Trends 2050. The objective of this study is to analyze the strategic and security challenges faced by India in and on the way to 2050. The study looks at both traditional and non-traditional themes, and develops a number of working papers and scenarios for various state and non-state actors relevant to Indian security. IDSA is seeking a proactive and enthusiastic Research Associate for the Project. Research Associate Academic Qualifications A minimum of a Masters degree in International Relations, Strategic Studies, Security Studies, or Futures Studies is mandatory. Consistent high academic performance from Higher Secondary School onwards will be given due weight. Work Experience At least two years work experience in reputed organisations in a relevant field is strongly preferable. As this is a multi-disc

The Coming Collapse of China: 2012 Edition

BY GORDON G. CHANG | DECEMBER 29, 2011 http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/29/the_coming_collapse_of_china_2012_edition?page=full In the middle of 2001, I predicted in my book, The Coming Collapse of China, that the Communist Party would fall from power in a decade, in large measure because of the changes that accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) would cause. A decade has passed; the Communist Party is still in power. But don't think I'm taking my prediction back. Why has China as we know it survived? First and foremost, the Chinese central government has managed to avoid adhering to many of its obligations made when it joined the WTO in 2001 to open its economy and play by the rules, and the international community maintained a generally tolerant attitude toward this noncompliant behavior. As a result, Beijing has been able to protect much of its home market from foreign competitors while ramping up exports. By any measure, China has been phenomenall

CHINA: A BAD TASTE IN INDIA’S MOUTH

B.RAMAN The alleged ill-treatment of S.Balachandran, an Indian diplomat posted in the Consulate in Shanghai, and two Indian employees of an Yemeni firm by local Chinese authorities in the city of Yiwu , about 300 kms from Shanghai, has led to a strong protest by the Government of India to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on January 2,2012. 2.The incident started with the illegal detention and ill-treatment of the two Indian employees of the Yemeni firm by local Chinese traders and authorities who allegedly held them accountable for the failure of the Yemeni firm to pay its dues to local Chinese traders. It has been further alleged that the China-based Yemeni head of the company disappeared making the Indian employees face the wrath of the Chinese traders and authorities. 3.WhenBalachandran went to the city to provide consular assistance to the two Indians and get them released, he himself became the victim of ill-treatment by the authorities and the court which was dealing with t

The Mystery Called Surkov

While the Consequences of Surkov’s Dismissal Remain to Be Seen, All Signs Point to Putin Consolidating Power By Dan Peleschuk Russia Profile http://russiaprofile.org/politics/52297.html 12/29/2011 In what some are calling a concession to the scores of anti-establishment protesters who have flooded the streets in recent weeks, the Kremlin bumped chief ideologue Vladislav Surkov from his post as deputy head of the presidential staff. Yet the consequences of his departure – he’ll reportedly refrain from participating in domestic politics – remain unclear. Experts said the move is the latest in a political reshuffle intended to consolidate power ahead of the March presidential elections. Removing Surkov, long painted as the Kremlin’s shadowy “gray cardinal,” from the inner workings of domestic politics means removing the very mastermind of the system that has buoyed Vladimir Putin and United Russia throughout Putin’s tenure. Credited with crafting his unique form of “sovereign de

Obama signs bill freezing Pak aid

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c112:7:./temp/~c112gNMfu8:e1050799:   SEC. 1220. EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF PAKISTAN COUNTERINSURGENCY FUND. (a) In General- Section 1224(h) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84; 123 Stat. 2521), as amended by section 1220 of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Public Law 111-383; 124 Stat. 4395), is further amended by striking `September 30, 2011' both places it appears and inserting `September 30, 2012'. (b) Limitation on Funds Subject to Report and Updates- (1) LIMITATION ON FUNDS; REPORT REQUIRED- (A) IN GENERAL- Of the amounts appropriated or transferred to the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the `Fund') for fiscal year 2012, not more than 40 percent of such amounts may be obligated or expended until such time as the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, subm