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Showing posts from June 3, 2012

Wary of China but leery of alliance, US and India go into third strategic dialogue

Chidanand Rajghatta   Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Jun 8, 2012, 09.31PM IST   WASHINGTON: The audience at the Carnegie Endowment event on US-India relations ahead of the strategic dialogue spilled out into an overflow room on Thursday evening. A key state department official working on the nuts and bolts of the relationship outlined the energy and intensity of the engagement between the two sides. ''We are not even into June and already five US cabinet officials have visit India this year,'' gushed deputy assistant secretary of state Alyssa Ayres, reeling off the names of secretary of state Hillary Clinton, defense secretary Leon Panetta, commerce secretary John Bryson, health secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and treasury secretary Tim Geithner (upcoming) who have been New Delhi-bound in recent weeks.  India is set to rec

'US focus on Asia-Pacific will help India contain China'

New Delhi, June 8 ,2012 (IANS) The US military's new focus on the Asia-Pacific region, as enunciated by Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, is welcome and will aid in India's efforts to contain China, security experts say, adding that this country's navy should develop the capacity to operate in areas afar as the Pacific Ocean. "This was in the making for a long time. After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the Atlantic is a dead duck and with the power centre shifting from the west to the east, the Asia-Pacific region is going to be the cockpit of power for the next 50 years," former Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash told IANS. "So, how should India react? Each country should react if its sovereignty and security is impinged. This not so in this case. Therefore, we should welcome it. We are worried about the rise of China.  This will help us in the containment process in the

India enjoys strategic autonomy in ties: Blake

Washington, Jun 8, 2012, (PTI)   Despite a strategic engagement that has brought the two countries into closer convergence, the US does not always expect India to toe its line and recognises New Delhi's strategic autonomy, a top official has said. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said in his address to a Washington-based prestigious think-tank that the US and India can together will influence the course of the 21st century. Blake said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that the third round of Indo-US Strategic Dialogue is scheduled to be held on June 13, which would be co-chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna. Under the Strategic Dialogue, the two governments will have substantive exchanges in more than 20 distinct policy areas this year. The Strategic Dialogue, he said, has resulted

US military seeks greater engagement with India

Washington, June 8, 2012, (IANS)   The United States aspires to have greater engagement with India sitting on an enormously important geostrategic location on the sea lines of communication from the Mideast into Pacific, according to a top US military officer. "We have for some time said that we aspired to a closer relationship and greater engagement with India," General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told foreign media Thursday. "I mean, they are currently the second and soon, you know, depending on who you believe, soon to be the largest country in the world," he said in response to a question asking him to compare Washington's relationship with India and Pakistan. "They sit at an enormously important geostrategic location on the sea lines of communication from the Mideast into Pacific.  And they're the world's largest democracy,&

Let IMF manage eurozone restructuring, urges think-tank

07 June 2012 With European leadership severely lacking - only the IMF has the 'necessary detachment and economic credibility' to sort out the eurozone crisis, claims Ryan Bourne The structural flaws of the eurozone as currently configured have long been identified. A Centre for Policy Studies paper published today reviews the three options open to the European Union in trying to solve the crisis. The first, which the EU has so far tried to pursue, entails eliminating the competitiveness differentials between northern and southern countries through domestic price adjustments. So far, Germany has been unwilling to accept inflation of its own production costs as part of this, meaning that the burden has been expected to fall on the southern European countries through internal devaluation. This is clearly not working.  An unpublished compliance report, which found its way onto the web recently concluded that Greece -

Still seriously unmatched   Teresita, Howard Schaffer India is taken more seriously now in China than before, but is still not seen as an equal External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's visit to China is emphasising the prospects for India-China cooperation, in the aura of good feeling that high-level visits usually generate. A well-connected academic, Wang Dehua, in an interview about the visit, refers to India and China as "a rising and an emerging power." He concludes that "India's interests lie in wider economic and cultural cooperation with China. This is China's opportunity to break up the U.S. intention to contain China." A recent visit to Beijing and Shanghai after a long absence gave us a more complicated picture of how the rise of India and China, so central to U.S. strategic thinking, looks from the east.The India-China relationship is still asymmetrical. This theme ran through a dozen or so meetings with Chine


  B.RAMAN President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan was in Beijing from June 5 to 7,2012, to attend the summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) of which Pakistan, like India, Iran and Afghanistan, is an observer.It has sought regular membership of the SCO on which no decision has so far been taken. 2. Zardari combined his visit for the SCO summit with a bilateral visit for talks with Chinese leaders and businessmen on bilateral relations. Among the Chinese leaders he met for bilateral discussions were President Hu Jintao and Vice-President Xi Jinping. 3. The official Xinhua news agency reported that during his meeting with  Zardari on June 7, Hu said  that China encouraged and supported its enterprises to participate in energy and electric power projects in Pakistan.He hoped that the two countrieswould deepen pragmatic cooperation, especially in the sectors of trade, energy, transportation infrastructure construction, agriculture, telecommunic

Tensions and Operational Challenges in Pakistan

June 7, 2012 | 0900 GMT     Stratfor By Scott Stewart On June 4, four U.S. diplomats assigned to the Consulate General of the United States in Peshawar, Pakistan, were stopped at a military checkpoint and temporarily detained after refusing to allow their two vehicles to be searched. The diplomats -- including a vice consul -- were traveling in a two-vehicle motorcade and were accompanied by three Pakistani Foreign Service National (FSN) security officers.  According to media reports, the Pakistani military has charged that the diplomats had traveled to Malakand without first obtaining permission from the Pakistani government. Malakand is a city located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Peshawar in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, formerly known as the Northwest Frontier Province. Because of the problems Pakistan has had with foreign jihadists in its border badlands, all foreigners are required to obtain something called a No Objection Certificate from Pakistan's Inter

In Syria; Fierce Battle for Strategic Space & Energy Resources

  A great geo-political strategic struggle is now underway in Syria, with balance slightly tilted in favor of Syria and Iran with full support from Russia along with China. My assessment is that if peace is not brought to Syria and a political settlement sought, destruction of this crucial strategic key stone in Middle East will have very serious repercussions and strategic consequences not only for the region but also for the strategic balance and the economic and strategic health of the world for a long time.   Apart from other contentious issues including US led Western attempt to ignite the Shia-Sunni conflict as in Iraq , a link up of territories from the East of Caspian via Iran, Shia ruled Iraq, Alwaite ruled Syria and Hezbollah dominated Lebanon will provide routes to carry oil and gas bypassing US led projects over Azeri and Turkish territories.   A major actor in the struggle is Russia's newly re-elected and invigorated Vladimir Putin, who saw how his motherland, form

Worried over US’ defence focus on Asia, India tells Panetta to re-calibrate strategy

Ajay Banerjee/TNS New Delhi, June 6 Worried over United States' new defence focus on Asia, New Delhi today told Washington to re-calibrate its strategy, as India fears that it could lead to increased militarisation of its neighbourhood. The two sides also reached an understanding that will enable transfer of cutting edge defence technology to India. At a bilateral meeting, Defence Minister AK Antony today told his US counterpart, Secretary Defence Leon Panetta "to move at a pace (in implementing the new military strategy) which is comfortable to all countries concerned." India was concerned at the eastward swing of the US, officials said. Under its new strategy, termed as 're-balancing', the US wants 60 per cent of its naval assets, including six sea-borne aircraft carriers, under its Pacific Area Command (PACOM). India is under the area of influence of the PACOM, the US perceives. China has already termed

US, China woo India for control over Asia-Pacific

Rajat Pandit & Sachin Parashar, TNN | Jun 7, 2012, 02.37AM IST While visiting US secretary of defence Leon Panetta said India would be a linchpin in America's new defence strategy, the Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang told foreign minister SM Krishna that Sino-Indian ties would be the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century. NEW DELHI: With the Asia-Pacific region emerging as the theatre of escalating US-China rivalry, India on Wednesday found itself in a rare and enviable situation: of being wooed by the competing giants.  Visiting US defence secretary Leon Panetta said India would be "a linchpin" in America's unfolding new defence strategy that revolves around "re-balancing" its forces "towards" Asia-Pacific, while Chinese vice premier Li Keqiangtold foreign minister SM Krishna that Sino-Indian ties would b

Panetta defends Pak strikes, seeks ‘deep’ security ties with India

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times New Delhi, June 07, 2012 First Published: 00:18 IST(7/6/2012) Last Updated: 02:18 IST(7/6/2012) US defence secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday pitched for deepening security and defence ties with India while defending America's drone strikes in Pakistan. Panetta said the US had made it "very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves". However, he termed  US-Pakistan ties a "necessary relationship". Terming the defence partnership with India "strategic, practical and collaborative", US defence secretary Leon Panetta underlined his country's commitment to a greater role in the region, extending "all the way to the Indian Ocean". Washington sees New Delhi as central to its new doctrine of re-balancing in the Asia-Pacific region. Though the Chinese assertion o


  B.RAMAN According to JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command)   of the US, 78,000 Americans are still missing from World War II, 1,632 of them in the China/Burma/India theatre. It is believed that about 430 of these, mainly World War II pilots of the US Air Force, died in plane crashes in India's Arunachal Pradesh while carrying out air-drops in the Kachin State of North Burma and ferrying supplies to the KMT troops in Yunnan. 2.In the beginning of 2008, when Mr.George Bush was the President of the US, the BBC reported that a US team was visiting  Arunachal Pradesh  to search for the remains of the US pilots. It quoted the then US Consul-General in Kolkata, Mr.HenryJardine, as saying that the mission  "was in its preliminary stages". He added: "We are just going to Arunachal Pradesh to speak to various people in the government who could help in the search." The BBC reported that the groundwork for the investigation mission to Aru

Is Greece European? By Robert D. Kaplan

  June 6, 2012 | 0900 GMT   Stratfor By Robert D. Kaplan Greece is where the West both begins and ends. The West -- as a humanist ideal -- began in ancient Athens where compassion for the individual began to replace the crushing brutality of the nearby civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. The war that Herodotus chronicles between Greece and Persia in the 5th century B.C. established a contrast between West and East that has persisted for millennia. Greece is Christian, but it is also Eastern Orthodox, as spiritually close to Russia as it is to the West, and geographically equidistant between Brussels and Moscow. Greece may have invented the West with the democratic innovations of the Age of Pericles, but for more than a thousand years it was a child of Byzantine and Turkish despotism. And while Greece was the northwestern bastion of the anciently civilized Near East, ever since history moved north into colder climates following the collapse of Rome, the inhabitants of Peninsular