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Showing posts from January 19, 2014

A mismatch of nuclear doctrines

   http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-mismatch-of-nuclear-doctrines/article5602609.ece RAJA MENON    VITAL QUESTIONS: The ‘massive’ retaliation promised in the Indian nuclear doctrine is being increasingly questioned by scholars and analysts. This handout photograph released by the Defence Research and Development Organisation shows the launch of Agni V intercontinental ballistic missile at Wheeler Island, Odisha, on September 15, 2013. India intends to deter nuclear use by Pakistan while Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are meant to compensate for conventional arms asymmetry. Manufacturing a nuclear weapon does not, as a senior Indian Minister in 1998 claimed, create credible deterrence. Deterrence is entirely a matter of perceptions, a mental effect that is created on the adversary that nuclear use will entail assured retaliatory holocaust. The possibility of nuclear use is thereby pre-empted. The Indian nuclear doctrine, in that sense, is well articulated — on paper. Since

Pakistani forces kill 5 and detain 17 Baloch citizens in Panjgur, Balochistan

Sat Jan 25, 2014 PANJGUR: Five Baloch citizens were killed and 17 others were detained by Pakistani occupying FC forces in Panjgur district, in Balochistan, after FC soldiers fired rockets on the house of a suspected Baloch militant, in Washbood Village, in the District of Panjgur. According to the local sources, on Friday after Pakistani occupying forces surrounded the house of Shahmir Baloch in Washbood area of Panjgur district, as a part of their search operation that was being conducted by Pakistani FC forces in different parts of Balochistan. The shooting started between the residents of the house and the FC soldiers after FC men tried to force break-in and enter the house compound. The search and military operation in Balochistan comes after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI, DG Military Operations, DG Military Intelligence, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Chau

Russia's Growing Regional Debts Threaten Stability

Analysis JANUARY 20, 2014 | Russia's New Crisis: Regional DebtStratfor Summary Editor's Note: The following is the first installment of a three-part series on growing debt for Russia's regional governments. Since the 2009 financial crisis, the Kremlin has allowed Russia's regions to take the brunt of the country's economic decline in order to keep the federal government seemingly healthy, with a nominally small budget deficit and large currency reserves. But now most of Russia's regional governments' debt is so high, it is becoming dangerous for the federal government and big banks and could soon become unmanageable. Analysis Russia is so large that the Kremlin lacks the resources to run each region of the country directly. Currently Russia is split into 83 regions of all shapes and sizes, which fall into categories of oblasts, republics, krais, federal cities and autonomous okrugs. Historically, the Kremlin has given regional leaders (mayors, g

The Barriers to Iranian – American Rapprochement: Israel and Saudi Arabia (II)

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/01/24/barriers-iranian-american-rapprochement-within-iran-and-us-ii.html Mahdi Darius NAZEMROAYA | 24.01.2014 | 00:00 Part I Among US clients and allies in the Middle East there are fears that the security of their regimes had been compromised or that the US has secretly sold them off during its bilateral and multilateral negotiations with Iran. The Saudi-controlled media and its propagandists went into overdrive frantically deriding and lamenting Washington’s decision to engage Tehran in direct and public high-level diplomatic dialogue whereas Israeli leaders said that the agreement should be rescinded… As a result both the US and Iranian government have sought to reassure some of the different players in the Middle East to calm down. Washington has had to repeatedly assure Israeli leaders and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regimes about the deal with Iran. US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Israel several times. Kerry

US, India step forward tentatively as iced out ties starts to thaw

Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN | Jan 25, 2014, 04.23 AM IST http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-India-step-forward-tentatively-as-iced-out-ties-starts-to-thaw/articleshow/29327017.cms WASHINGTON: Not a word was said about the toxic, month-long spat that seemed to poison the much-vaunted strategic relationship between the two sides. Instead, there was gloss and platitude aimed ostensibly at healing the lacerations caused by the so-called Khobragade episode, which both sides are trying to consign to the back-burner. At the reception to mark India's Republic Day, hosted on Thursday by S Jaishankar, India's new ambassador to the United States, there was modest representation from the US administration, with what was unsaid on the occasion being as important as what as said. There was no reference at all, not even in passing, to the recent diplomatic skirmishes (some of which is still ongoing) stemming from the ugly face-off. On the contrary, belying the icy, sub-zero weat

US, India start discussions on diplomatic immunity

Washington, Jan 25, 2014 (AP) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/382666/us-india-start-discussions-diplomatic.html  India's Ambassador to the United States, Dr. S. Jaishankar, gestures during an interviewed with The Associated Press in Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. AP photo India and the US are holding preliminary discussions to resolve their differing interpretations of diplomatic immunity as they look to mend ties damaged by the row over American treatment of an Indian diplomat who was arrested and strip-searched in New York, India's ambassador said. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's new envoy in Washington, said yesterday his priority is to raise the "morale" of a relationship that remains fundamentally good despite the spat over Devyani Khobragade, who was expelled from the US this month after she was indicted on accusations of exploiting her housekeeper. "As you would say in the markets, the fundamentals are good, it's the sentiment

Pakistan Protection Ordinance - President approves

ISLAMABAD: The government reinforced its anti-terror legislation on Sunday as President Mamnoon Hussain approved the Pakistan Protection Ordinance, a document that declares all peace-disrupting elements as ‘enemies of the state’, and states protection of life to be the state’s top priority. The President stamped his approval following advice from the Prime Minister. This is a separate ordinance which promises to bring in new legislation to improve the country’s precarious security situation and strengthen the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013. According to the new Ordinance, “Security of life, property and dignified living of our own people shall be the prime goal for all functionaries of the state.” “Writ of the state shall be restored with full might of the law; those to pursue fruit of terror and fear, regardless of nationality, color, creed or religion shall be treated as enemy aliens and dealt with strictly without any compunction”, the ordinance stated. The gover

Manohar Parrikar: The real common man

If you are a visitor to the sunny State of Goa, watch out! You might bump into the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a place you least expect. You might find him riding a humble scooter in a sleepy village somewhere or you might find him enjoying his chai at a simple, unpretentious cafe! READ MORE

Modi to address Vijay Shankhnad Rally in Gorakhpur at 1 pm today

Niticentral Staff 23 Jan 2014 http://www.niticentral.com/2014/01/23/modi-to-address-vijay-shankhnad-rally-in-gorakhpur-at-1-pm-today-182313.html Modi to address Vijay Shankhnad Rally in Gorakhpur at 1 pm today BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address the ‘Vijay Shankhnad Rally’ at Manbela in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh at 1.00 pm on Thursday. Modi will address a large gathering of around three lakh karyakartas and supporters. BJP’s UP chief Laxmikant Vajpayee said live streaming of audio and video of the rally will be telecast in 37 countries. All arrangements are in place to provide fool proof security for the rally, apart from deployment of special police team from Gujarat, sources said. Top BJP leaders have started coming in Gorakhpur on Wednesday for the rally to be held at Manbela ground, 20 kilometres from the city. The State BJP chief said that, “it will be the greatest of all Modi’s rally so far held in UP.” The rally is exclusively for eastern

Saudi Arabia Has Always Acted against Iran’s Interests

http://irdiplomacy.ir/en/page/1927146/Saudi+Arabia+Has+Always+Acted+against+Iran’s+Interests.html A speech made by Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharrazi, Iran’s former ambassador to France, in the roundtable meeting entitled ‘Regional and International Impacts of the Geneva Agreement’ There are many arguments in favor and against the Geneva Agreement. It is quite obvious that the Geneva Agreement is the start of the policy of a government whose slogan is wisdom, prudence and hope. The most important achievement in Geneva was negotiation. Before, there was no such thing as negotiation but this time they negotiated with us and gave and took and we were able to gain significant achievements under the direction of our respected Foreign Minister and prominent diplomat Dr. Zarif. Our policies and diplomacy during the past eight years had changed and were completely different from the policies that we pursue at present. Before that we had also been able to create an expanded diplomatic atmos

IRAN: The Quintessential Conservative

http://irdiplomacy.ir/en/page/1927195/The+Quintessential+Conservative.html Alireza Zakani comes from the very core of Islamic Republic loyal base, and can prove more influential in the upcoming years, as his anti-corruption agenda might appeal to the public. Iranian Diplomacy- A biography of Alireza Zakani, published by a conservative political alliance with the pompous title “The Islamic Revolution’s Epic-Makers’ Front”, opens with verification of two basic qualities every Iranian politician could boast of: that he was born in a pious family, and in southern (less prosperous) part of Tehran. The biography also reminds of his ‘revolutionary presence’ in all fields of activity, from the eight-year war against Iraq to his step-by-step promotion in the Student Basij Organization by ‘his trust in God’ and his own capacity, to his confrontation with ‘sedition’ –that is, the Green Movement, ‘deviation’ –the inner circle of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led by his Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Ma

INS Vikramaditya – Deployment Options for India

Abhijit Singh January 21, 2014 http://idsa.in/issuebrief/INSVikramadityaDeploymentOptionsforIndia_asingh_210114 Six weeks after it set sail from Severodvinsk in North Russia, India’s newly commissioned aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, home-ported at the Karwar naval base in Karnataka recently. The ship, escorted along nearly its entire passage by INS Trikand – the Indian navy’s latest and the last of the six Talwar class ‘stealth’ frigates ordered from Russia - the INS Delhi and the tanker-ship INS Deepak, traversed a distance of nearly 10,000 nautical miles before reaching Indian waters. On entering the Indian navy’s area of operations in the Indian Ocean, it was greeted by the entire Western Fleet that had sailed all the way from Mumbai to receive the ship. The Indian navy is understandably elated at the development. For naval planners, it has been a long wait for their premier operational platform. It was almost nine years ago that the Vikramaditya’s procurement process