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Showing posts from February 23, 2014

Asia’s New Security Trifecta

By Jaswant Singh NEW DELHI – Winter is India’s diplomatic high season, with the cool, sunny weather forming an ideal backdrop for pageantry, photo ops at the Taj Mahal or Delhi’s Red Fort, and bilateral deal-making. But this winter has been particularly impressive, with leaders from Japan and South Korea visiting to advance the cause of security cooperation in Asia. The first to arrive was South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Despite a strong economic foundation, the bilateral relationship has long lacked a meaningful security dimension. But China’s recent assertiveness – including its unilateral declaration last November of a new Air Defense Identification Zone, which overlaps about 3,000 square kilometers of South Korea’s own ADIZ, in the Sea of Japan – has encouraged Park to shore up her country’s security ties with India. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s unpredictable and often provocative poli

Six Steps to a Done Deal on Nuclear Iran

By Joe Cirincione The stakes could not be higher, or the issues tougher, as the world's six major powers and Iran launch talks on February 18 on a final resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis. The goal "is to reach a mutually agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful," says the temporary Joint Plan of Action, which calls for six months of negotiations. If talks fail, the prospects of military action and potentially another Middle East conflict soar. Six issues are pivotal to an accord. The terms on each must be accepted by all parties - Iran on one side and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States on the other - or there is no deal. The Joint Plan notes, "This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed." 1. Limiting Uranium Enrichment Iran's ability to enrich uranium is at the heart of

Plugging heroin smuggling in Punjab

Since 2005, there has been a shift in the ISI strategy. It wants to push more and more heroin into India through Punjab to generate funds for its covert operations. With its corrosive effect on the youth, heroin is the new weapon to wound India.  Rohit Choudhary Heroin from the opium fields of Afghanistan accounts for 83 per cent of the global production (left) and  Drugs are regularly intercepted at the Indo-Pak border in Amritsar IN 2012, of the total 1,110 kg heroin seized in South Asia, 1,029 kg was seized in India. Out of this haul, 278 kg was seized in Punjab alone. Over the last few years smuggling of heroin in the state has shown an alarmingly phenomenal increase. Last year, the recovery in Punjab touched 416 kg, up from less than 50 kg till 2005. Though the Indo-Pak border manned by the BSF is more than 2,300 km, out of which only 550 km falls in Punjab — the remaining being in J&K, Rajasthan and Gujarat — the recoveries in Punjab are far beyond their share of the

The Partitioning of Iraq: Will the Country Remain on the Map?

Anton VESELOV | 26.02.2014 | 00:00 ____________________ The West, headed by the United States, as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and obviously Israel, have an interest in keeping Iraq from ever again rising to the position of a powerful regional state; they need it to remain a manageable supplier of high-quality petroleum with minimal costs for extraction and export, and also to serve as a bargaining chip in resolving problems of another order. Most likely the future state structure of Iraq and the country's fate are being decided now not in Baghdad, but in back room negotiations between «very interested parties»... There have been many examples in the history of the Middle East where states appeared or disappeared from the political map during a game of bridge, and the borders between them were drawn with an ordinary ruler. In spite of all the technological achievements of

QUOTE OF THE DAY : G Parthasarathy

"  India should make it clear (to US)  that it will not tolerate events like Mrs. Sonia Gandhi being threatened with prosecution while undergoing medical treatment in New York, or the supercilious attitude adopted towards Mr. Narendra Modi, who is a constitutionally elected Chief Minister. We should not accept a situation where Americans believe that they can behave high-handedly towards our elected politicians because of their domestic lobbies. The US should also be left in no doubt that on such issues, including consular and diplomatic privileges, India will firmly adhere to a policy of strict reciprocity." G Parthasarathy

Challenges in India-US ties

Washington becoming strident in economic relations G Parthasarathy TRAVELLING across the US as the winter Olympics in Sochi commenced, one was saddened to witness how India's international credibility had been shaken when television audiences across the world saw three forlorn Indian athletes marching without the national flag. India faced this disgrace, thanks to the avariciousness and nepotism of an internationally disgraced Indian Olympic Association. Sadly, this was accompanied by charges of corruption, nepotism, match fixing and worse involving the President of the BCCI. Many Indian friends in the US asked in anguish: "Is there no section of national life left in India which is free from corruption and venality?" The mood in Washington, where one had an occasion to meet a cross section of senior officials, business executives, analysts and scholars, was quite different. In marked contrast to the earlier yea

The Asian Status Quo

STRATFOR Global Affairs WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2014 - 04:01   Global Affairs with Robert D. KaplanStratfor By Robert D. Kaplan and Matt Gertken Arguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as "the maintenance of the distribution of power that exists at a particular moment in history." In other words, things shall stay as they are. But it is not quite that clear. For as Morgenthau also explains, "the concept of the 'status quo' derives from status quo ante bellum," which, in turn, implies a return to the distribution of power before a war. The war's aggressor shall give up his conquered territory, and everything will return to how it was. The status quo also connotes the victors' peace: a peace that may be unfair, or even oppre