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Showing posts from June 10, 2012

America persuades India to expand Afghan footprint

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Jun 14, 2012, 08.25PM IST http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/America-persuades-India-to-expand-Afghan-footprint/articleshow/14131322.cms India and the United States on Wednesday pledged to hold a regular trilateral dialogue with Afghanistan, signaling a long-term commitment to stability in the war-ravaged country in the face of Pakistan's depredations. WASHINGTON: India and the United States on Wednesday pledged to hold a regular trilateral dialogue with Afghanistan, signaling a long-term commitment to stability in the war-ravaged country in the face of Pakistan's depredations. The forceful pledge, buried deep in a 13-page joint U.S-India statement of some 4200 words, signals an expanded Indian footprint amid a diminishing American military intervention in Afghanistan, and outflanks Pakistan, which is seen as a spoiler in the region.  The broadening Indian involvement includes training greater number of Afghan military personnel, but no

In 'an affair of the heart' with US, India has an independent mind

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Jun 14, 2012, 10.24PM IST http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/In-an-affair-of-the-heart-with-US-India-has-an-independent-mind/articleshow/14133475.cms External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a joint news conference after India-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington on Wednesday.(PTI Photo) WASHINGTON: Any questions whether New Delhi would serve as a US stooge and become a patsy following the American strategic embrace disappeared in vapor trails as India's foreign minister flew out of Washington DC on Thursday after what officials from both sides agreed was a successful engagement. The route he took itself was illustrative of the complexity international relations. To go south to Havana, S M Krishna had to first fly north to Toronto, Canada, because the United States forbids direct flights to its bete noir Cuba.  Heading out to Cuba on an official trip soon after a visit to the US is just one ex

Will America's Afghan gamble pay off?

June 15, 2012 11:42 IST http://www.rediff.com/news/column/will-americas-afghan-gamble-pay-off/20120615.htm By letting Delhi [ Images ] keep an open line with Tehran, the United States seeks to balance its dependency on Pakistan in managing Afghanistan, says Jyoti Malhotra The US decision to remove India [ Images ] from its list of sanctions against nations who continue to trade in Iran oil has, expectedly, given a boost to the India-US strategic dialogue that has just concluded in Washington, especially, since one of the main motives for the waiver is to encourage India to expand its relationship with Afghanistan. Since timing is everything in diplomacy, the US has shown by its action that despite the scores of mistakes it has made in the region, it at least understands the nature of the great game still unfolding here. On its part, India ostensibly stuck to its public position that it would only acknowledge UN sanctions -- and ignore those applied by the US. But, in practice,

Indian Ocean Global Forum 2012

"Enhancing Partnerships for Trade, Infrastructure and Resource Development" 25 – 26 September 2012: Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi   The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India is organizing the "Indian Ocean Global Forum" from 25 – 26 September 2012 at the Le Meridien Hotel, New Delhi.   The Hon'ble Minister of Commerce and Industry & Textiles, Mr Anand Sharma has very kindly agreed to inaugurate the Forum on 25th September morning.   The focus of the Forum will be on the potential of the Indian Ocean countries with a particular emphasis on building new global economic partnerships for trade, investment and sustainable development in key sectors like energy, mining/ mineral, education, skills/ training and infrastructure.   Under the theme, "Enhancing Partnerships for Trade, infrastructure and Resource Development", the forum

THE DRAMA OVER THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

B.RAMAN Political controversies before and during the Presidential elections are nothing new. We have seen them before. They are part of the democratic process, 2. I still remember the debate and unhappiness triggered among large sections of the admirers of Rajaji, particularly in the then undivided Madras State, over the perceived reluctance of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, to support the nomination of Rajaji, the then Governor-General,  for election as the first President of the Republic of India after the promulgation of the Constitution. 3.Nehru worked hard for the nomination of Dr.Rajendra Prasad as the first President and he was ultimately elected.Nehru explained his decision not to support the continuance of Rajaji as the head of state with the argument that the Congress required his services in the Madras State, where the Dravidian movement was gathering strength.. 4. Nehru's argument did not convince many of us---including me---in Madras. We believed in

Baloch Leader welcomed USS Enterprise in Pakistani water near Balochistan

US moves USS Enterprise into Pakistani water near Balochistan By Shahid Abbasi - Jun 14th, 2012   26 Karachi: After failing to strike a deal on Nato supply with Pakistan, violating international laws the US has moved its USS Enterprise, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, into Pakistani territorial waters near Gawadar city of Balochistan province. "After the deployment of the aircraft in Pakistani sea the country's security agencies are now investing into the matter. The movement apparently shows the increasing interest of the US in Balochistan province of Pakistan," sources said. "The US has moved its biggest aircraft carrier 65 to 70 nautical miles away from Gawadar in the second week of June," a well informed source told The News Tribe correspondent. The USS Enterprise, which holds a crew of over 4,000, had taken part in several wars. Prominent Baloch leader in US Dr.Wahid Baloch welcomed the move and said "We welcome US Enterprise and NATO forc

'Dark Angel' and the Mexican Meth Connection

'Dark Angel' and the Mexican Meth Connection June 14, 2012 | 0901 GMT     Stratfor By Ben West In a U.S. operation dubbed "Dark Angel," local and federal law enforcement officers on May 30 arrested 20 individuals involved in methamphetamine trafficking across five states. Authorities confirmed that the leader of the trafficking network, Armando Mendoza-Haro, has links to Mexico, where the methamphetamine was likely produced. The group appears to have used legitimate companies to transport methamphetamine from California to the Denver area and elsewhere in the Western and Midwestern United States. The group then sent the profits back to California, where the cash was wired to banks in China and the Cayman Islands. Mexico's methamphetamine trade seems to be booming these days. Earlier in 2012, the Mexican military made the largest single seizure of methamphetamine ever (15 tons, worth around $1 billion) outside Guadalajara. As the United States increased its restr

U.S. Escalates Military Penetration of Africa

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford "Africa is to be dominated by military means." According to the Army Times newspaper, the United States will soon deploy a brigade of about 3,000 troops – "and likely more" – for duty "across the continent" of Africa. The "pilot program" has all the markings of a permanent, roving presence, joining the 1,200 U.S. soldiers stationed in Djibouti and the 100-plus Special Forces dispatched to Central Africa by President Obama, last October. As always and everywhere, the U.S. is looking for bases to occupy – although the U.S. military command in Africa doesn't call them bases. Rather, "as part of a 'regionally' aligned force concept,' soldiers will live and work among Africans in safe communities approved by the U.S. government," said AFRICOM's Maj. Gen. David Hogg. The First Black U.S. President, who in 2009 lectured Africans that "corruption" and "poor governance,&quo

What might the third Indo-US strategic dialogue be about?

COMMON CHALLENGES - What might the third Indo-US strategic dialogue be about? Ronen Sen http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120613/jsp/opinion/story_15600923.jsp#.T9isSXk5Cig The third annual Indo-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington DC today provides a timely opportunity for a comprehensive high-level review of our most broad-based and important relationship. The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the external affairs minister, S.M. Krishna, and their ministerial colleagues would cover a wide vista of bilateral partnerships encompassing strategic co-operation, clean energy, climate change, economy, trade, agriculture and food security, higher education, health, science and technology, innovation and related areas. A number of these collaborative programmes holds great promise of transforming the lives of millions of our people. I will, however, limit myself to an analysis of some security-related issues. India and the United States of America have many common challenges

Manmohan Singh: Economic Hitman

By Ambi Whenever I see manmohan singh and today's India's economic situation, it reminds me of a joke which ex US President Ronald Regan told to ex fed chairman alan greenspan. I first burst into laughter when i read it, but as i realize the depth and seriousness behind it, chill goes down my spine. As the joke goes: in earlier USSR Comrade Brezhnev was observing the annual military parade at red square. first came the army, then commandos, then navy followed by airforce, then tanks followed, later missiles. And now program was about to end then only spectators found a bizarre scene. After the missiles a bunch of civilians was following the missiles, they were extremely shabby looking, without any military drill, looking here n there, waving hands to spectators. They were looking so odd. All the fellow comrades got cold feet. They knew there ass is going to get kicked. One of them hurriedly went to Comrade Brezhnev "forgive me sir, but i really don't know how these

BALOCHISTAN: Efforts on to explore oil, gas

From the Newspaper | Saleem Shahid | 21 hours ago    0 Kurd said that the Balochistan government has purchased a new airplane, adding, "This would benefit the future government which would come in power after next general elections." QUETTA: The government is making an all-out effort to explore new oil and gas reserves sites in different parts of Balochistan. This was stated by Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd at a post-budget press conference here on Tuesday. He was accompanied by provincial minister for information Younis Mullahzai and finance secretary Mir Dostain Khan Jamaldani. "The provincial government is well aware of the depleting gas reserves and realises that the situation would also affect Balochistan's share in the federal resources. At present, different companies are working in Zain Koh area of Dera Bugti district, Jhal Magsi and some others area. Huge gas reserves have been found in Zain Koh area. This reserve is much bigger than the Sui

How to bring down a nation

-- Colonel Dan (2001) How to Bring Down a Nation Colonel Dan, SASS #24025, Life/Regulator If you were intent on bringing down a powerful rival whose philosophy, as originally founded, was strong, independent and entirely opposite from your own—a country that you would not want to confront militarily—how would you go about it? The answer is simple; orchestrate the society's destruction from within.  Although possibly taking longer than a military victory and requiring great patience, the damage would be just as effective if not more so. When you destroy from within, you do it by using that country's own people, no blood is spilled in combat and the physical infrastructure is left intact.  In any country, there are but a few key areas that determine how the citizens mature, live, and develop their beliefs. These are the focal points that must be attacked. In his book, On War, Clausewitz referred to this concept of identifying and then focusing on select points as attacking th

CONGRESS CAUGHT IN A BIND--AN INTRACTABLE POLITICAL SITUATION

B.RAMAN The Congress Party finds itself caught in a bind by the decision of the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Trinamool Congress of Miss Mamata Banerjee to propose in public their own options as possible Presidential candidates which are totally different from  the preferences of the Congress. 2. According to the TMC, the preferences of the Congress  are Shri Pranab Mukherjee , the Finance Minister, and Dr.Hamid Ansari, the Vice-President. Shri Yadav and Miss Banerjee have sought to circumvent the preferences of the Congress without having to reject them by proposing three options of their own, namely,Dr.Abdul Kalam, former President, Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh and Shri Somnath Chatterjee, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha. 3. Through their preferences indicated in public, Shri Yadav and Miss Banerjee have sought to convey three messages to Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President.Firstly, the political paralysis and the economic melt-down in the country can be

RAKHINE STATE OF MYANMAR NOT YET NORMAL

B.RAMAN Despite the proclamation of a state of emergency in the Rakhine State (old Arakan State) of Myanmar on the night of June 10,2012, and the patrolling of the streets of the capital Sittwe and other Townships by the security forces, the TheinSein Government has not yet been able to restore normalcy. 2. Incidents of sectarian violence between the Buddhists and the Bengali-speaking Rohingya Muslims continue to be reported. Though there are no reports of any new fatalities, incidents of arson with the Muslimsallegedly  setting fire to the houses of Buddhists are being reported. Muslims carrying small-arms have been patrolling the Muslim-inhabited areas of Townships to protect the Muslims from retaliatory attacks by the Buddhists. This reflects their lack of confidence in the ability of the security forces to protect them. 3.Representatives of the Rohingyas have accused the TheinSein Government of imposing a news black-out in the State in order to prevent news of the real state

CALL PRIYANKA: AN OPEN LETTER TO SONIA GANDHI

Dear Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, The country is facing a crisis of major proportions due to the inexorable withering away of the credibility of the Government headed by Dr.Manmohan Singh.The undoubted economic crisis is the outcome of the melt-down of political credibility. Unless the downfall of the political credibility is arrested, the economic melt-down is not going to stop. This is the time for action. Since it is the Congress Party that is in power at the head of a coalition, only you can act to arrest this downfall. If you fail to act, history will judge you and your party cruelly. The forthcoming Presidential elections provide an opportunuity for a mid-course correction.The nation needs some electrifying decisions that can re-awaken our brain and limbs and make us active again. Dr.Manmohan Singh is commanding less and less attention and his authority is less and less visible and palpable. I feel sincerely that you should avail of the opportunity provided by the Presidential electio

Why India Snubbed U.S.

June 12, 2012 By Nitin Gokhale   http://the-diplomat.com/2012/06/12/why-india-snubbed-u-s/?all=true   The U.S. might hope for a closer military and strategic alliance with India. But don't expect New Delhi to get excited about the proposal.   If he felt any disappointment at not achieving any substantial breakthrough in talks with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta didn't show it publicly. On a swing through Asia that started with Singapore's annual Shangri-La Dialogue, Panetta had hoped to bring the Indian defense establishment on board for a rebalancing strategy that many believe is aimed squarely at China. But it wasn't to be. Antony, known as a particularly cautious policymaker, reportedly told Panetta politely but firmly that India doesn't wish to be seen as a U.S. alliance partner as it embarks on its Asia-Pacific strategy. His comments came within days of Panetta's announcement in Singapore that the United States

US OFFER CALLS FOR FINESSE

Kunwal Sibal US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta's recent visit to India brings to the fore again the question of    the depth India should impart to India-US defence ties. Panetta has been explicit about US interest in deepening them. The itinerary that took him to the US Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii, Singapore, Cam Ranh Bay and Hanoi in Vietnam, New Delhi and Kabul illustrates the new US defence priorities in Asia, a counter "pearl of strings" strategy of sorts that includes India. STRATEGY This new defence strategy, Panetta acknowledged, consists of "rebalancing" toward the Asia-Pacific region, with an expansion of US military partnerships and presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia.The US will shift the bulk of its naval fleet including as many as six aircraft carriers to the Pacific Ocean by 2020.  Panetta said candidly in Delhi that defence cooperation with India is a ly

Spain, Debt and Sovereignty

June 12, 2012 | 0900 GMT   Stratfor By George Friedman  Eurozone countries on June 9 agreed to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to stabilize the Spanish banking system. Because the bailout dealt with Spain's financial sector directly rather than involving the country's sovereign debt, Madrid did not face the kind of demands for more onerous austerity measures in exchange for the loan that have led to political instability in countries such as Greece. There are two important aspects to this. First, yet another European financial problem has emerged requiring concerted action. Second, unlike previous incidents, this bailout was not accompanied by much melodrama, infighting or politically destabilizing threats. The Europeans have not solved the underlying problems that have led to these periodic crises, but they have now calibrated their management of the situation to minimize drama and thereby limit political fallout. The Spanish request for help without condit