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Showing posts from February 26, 2012

Row over national security: Dim prospects for political harmony

by G. Parthasarathy A fter turmoil across the country and in both Houses of Parliament over corruption, throughout 2011, one was hoping that the country and its leaders would be able to get back to addressing the serious internal and external problems we now confront and even reach consensus on key legislative issues of national governance. While inflation affecting the common man was showing some welcome signs of decline towards the end of 2011, it still remains at unacceptably high and indeed backbreaking levels for the majority of our citizens. There is also considerable uncertainty and confusion on how the government will deal with the fallout of the Supreme Court judgement cancelling 122 telecom licences approved by Mr A. Raja. Political controversy, however, has suddenly arisen from an issue of national security, on which there should normally have been a wide consensus, if not total unity. The 26/11 terrorist attack exposed glaring shortcomings in our intelligence and intern

When insanity rules the world

PREM SHANKAR JHA Hindu @ March 2012 India should resist the West's brazen efforts to use championship of democracy as a cover for regime change. In June 1914, Serbian ultra-nationalists calling themselves the Black Hand managed to kill Archduke Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in Sarajevo and ignited the First World War. None of the Great Powers wanted that war. None expected it to last more than four weeks. It lasted four years and took 19.5 million lives. Today, three apparently coordinated attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia, India and Thailand, for which Tel Aviv is strenuously blaming Iran, could become the spark for a similar conflagration in the Middle East. The comparison is not as fanciful as it sounds, for the configuration of forces in the international state system is beginning to resemble what existed in the decade before the First World War. The most


B.RAMAN The need for balancing our strategic need for close relations with the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam in order to be able to cope with present and future security challenges from China with the tactical need for avoiding any action that could sound the alarm bells in policy-making circles in the Chinese Government and Communist Party has been a defining characteristic of our foreign and strategic policy and should continue to be so. 2. Both these needs are clearly understood in policy-making circles in New Delhi and in our intelligence community. We are not yet in a position to change the gear of our policy from a defensively cautious to a confidently activist mode. Our projects for infrastructure development in the areas bordering China are still in the process of implementation. Our plans for the modernisation of our armed forces lack the required urgency and have been hampered in implementation by the widespread atmosphere of suspicion in respect of defence

Saudi Arabia's Terror:What Hillary Clinton Knows

by Jeffrey Steinberg [ PDF version of this article ] Dec. 14—Soon after being sworn in as Secretary of State, and just months after the deadly terrorist assault on the Indian city of Mumbai (Nov. 26, 2008), Hillary Clinton established an interagency task force with the Treasury Department to identify and disrupt terrorist funding conduits. The Interagency Illicit Finance Task Force (IFTF) was placed under the control of Richard Holbrooke, the special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and chaired by Assistant Secretary of Treasury David Cohen, the top aide to Treasury Enforcement chief Stuart Levey. According to a Dec. 30, 2009 secret State Department memo, recently made public by Wikileaks and the Guardian newspaper, "The IFTF's activities are a vital component of the USG's Afghanistan and Pakistan (Af/Pak) strategy dedicated to disrupting illicit finance flows between the Gulf countries and Afghanistan and Pakistan." The December 2009 document, circulated to U.S.

The Right Role for Top Teams

Analysis of informal networks offers a potent leadership model for the C-suite: Make top teams the hub of the enterprise, and watch performance improve. by Rob Cross and Jon Katzenbach Think of the top teams you’ve known that have had the greatest impact. Did their value come from the meetings they conducted and the decisions they made together? Or did it derive from something else? In most companies, the phrase top team is a misnomer. Senior executives throughout the company may clamor for a seat on the leadership committee because that is where the key strategic decisions are supposedly made. But in actuality, the group rarely conducts its work in unison, as a deliberative body or a source of command. Instead, its power comes from its members’ informal and social networks, their determination to make the most of those connections, and their ability to work well in subgroups formed to address specific issues. The most effective top teams are those that recognize this reality and exp

‘Armoured Vehicles 2012’ industry report

This article is a summary of Defence IQ’s ‘Armoured Vehicles 2012’ industry report, which explores how the future of the global armoured vehicle market is likely to evolve over the next decade. The report is based on a survey of 196 senior executives and professionals within the armoured vehicle domain, which includes both commercial and military respondents. Topics examined include; armoured vehicle design requirements, key emerging global markets, the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the impact of the global economic meltdown as defence budgets (at least in the traditionally big-spending defence nations) continue to wane. The majority of survey respondents derived from the commercial sector, accounting for 69% of total responses. Military personnel form the remaining 31%, which includes ranking Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, and Captains. Almost half of survey participants are based in either the UK (28%) or the United States (19%). However, with the armoured vehicle c

Rise of the iSoldier: smart communication in battle

Richard de Silva, Defence IQ February 2012 Last year, Defence IQ reported on the use of Apple iPads within the British School of Artillery as a way to enhance training. In this instance, a bespoke app was created to familiarise soldiers with terminology and procedures in a more hands-on fashion, designed to speed up their grasp of operations before deploying to Afghanistan. In recent months, the US Army has also been making leaps and bounds into the incorporation of smart technology into the wider battlefield network, under what has been called “an accelerated approval process.” Speaking ahead of his address at the 2012 Tactical Communications event in London this April, Michael McCarthy, director of operations for the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command Mission Command Complex (MCC), said that the plan was to give troops the right phones for the right reasons. The US Army is just one of the armed forces investing heavily into the race to equip troops with smart phones. “It’s not j

The Landscape of business–university collaboration 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Landscape and domains 3.3 Relationship management and the emergence of strategic partnerships Case study: Siemens – University of Lincoln Case study: Proctor and Gamble – Durham University Case study: BAE systems – University of Bristol 3.4 Collaborative advantage 3.5 First enquiry connectivity 3.6 Responsiveness of universities to business needs 3.7 Reflections 3.1 Introduction The landscape of business–university collaboration is hugely diverse; it has grown immensely in both breadth and depth since the 2003 Lambert Review, as the content of this Review demonstrates. However, the totality of evidence collected during this Review cannot be reflected in a single document; the vast majority of the submitted work will receive neither praise nor acknowledgement here, but that does not diminish its quality or its impact. 3.2 Landscape and domains The landscape of coll

Business-University Collaboration “We also want our universities to look again at how they work with business across their teaching and research activities, to promote better teaching, employer sponsorship, innovation and enterprise. We have asked Professor Sir Tim Wilson, former vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, to undertake a review into how we make the UK the best place in the world for university-industry collaboration.” White Paper: Putting Students at the heart of higher education. paragraph 13, June 2011 Universities and their activities are integral parts of economic and business development; they are key players in the many supply chains that feed diverse aspects of business activities. Large companies interface with many different universities; depending upon their capabilities and expertise; equally many SMEs interact with their local university as they have the capacity and capability to meet their needs. Other SMEs, especially in leading edge technologie

Time to recognise independent Balochistan: US Congressman

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 00:03 Washington: A top American lawmaker has underlined the need for the US to support the cause of independent Balochistan in a bid to combat Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists. "Perhaps it is time to recognize an independent Balochistan, where we'd have a friend who would not keep supplying the enemy of America, those people train and prepare for 9/11 to kill as many thousands of Americans as they could," said Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. "We don't want to leave Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban and all of the American life and treasure be for nothing. But there is an easy answer," Gohmert said in his remarks on the floor of the US House of Representatives. "We leave, but we empower the enemy of our enemy, the Northern Alliance and the Baluch people. Let them take care of their own area. Let them prevent the Taliban from taking over. Let them prevent Pakistan from becoming such a focuse

INDIA AND THE NEW U.S. DEFENSE STRATEGY CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES India and the New U.S. Defense Strategy By S. Amer Latif Feb 23, 2012 Recently the U.S. Department of Defense released its new strategic guidance, which reflected the expected shift toward the Asia-Pacific region, touted by U.S. officials since the fall of last year. What was a bit unexpected was the attention given to India in such a key document. Long-standing Asian allies such as Australia, Japan, Korea, and others were lumped under the label of “existing alliances,” while India was singled out with the following passage: “The United States is also investing in a long term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region.” The specific mention of India raises interesting questions about how India fits into the United States’ vision for security in the Asia


Kapil Sibal, Mail Today India is criticized in US circles for its reluctance to take position on difficult issues facing the international community, for fence-sitting and avoiding decisions that could carry political costs. It is accused of piggy-backing on the exertions the West makes to uphold the international order, without assuming its share of the resonsibility. Many Indian commentators join in such disparagement of India’s foreign policy. DISCRIMINATION But is India really a freeloader on the international system, enjoying its benefits but shirking responsibility for sustaining it? India, in reality, has been discriminated against and even punished by those who created the system in 1945 and who still resist calls to restructure it to reflect contemporary shifts in global power. India’s permanent membership of the Security Council is still a far away prospect. Without this India’s role is to implement decisions, not shape them, apart from having to tolerate an inferior inter

Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

by Syed Atiq ul Hassan (Tuesday, February 28, 2012) "There is no question that the situation in Baluchistan is alarming and needs urgent attention....Military operation cannot be the solution – Pakistan should not forget what happened in East Pakistan." First East Pakistan to Bangladesh and now towards Baluchistan to Independent Baluchistan, political reasons may be un-identical but the tale of injustices; ignorance and autocratic behaviour of Pakistani establishment and civilian federal bureaucracy remain the same. In May 1954, Army dictator and then Governor-General, General Malik Ghulam Mohammed appointed Mr. Iskandar Mirza as the Governor of then East Pakistan supposedly to maintain peace in troubling East Pakistan. Iskandar’s first step, as a Governor, was put up more than 300 prominent political leaders including Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman (the pioneer of Bangladesh) and Mr. Yousuf Ali Chaudhary behind bars. W