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Showing posts from August 3, 2014

Arvind Gupta : Deputy NSA named

Deputy NSA named, days after Sandhu quit IDSA director-general Arvind Gupta appointed to the post The Narendra Modi government on Monday appointed Arvind Gupta, a former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, of the 1979 batch, as deputy national security advisor (NSA). This appointment comes within days of Nehchal Sandhu quitting as deputy NSA, citing personal reasons.  According to sources, Sandhu's exit might have been linked to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) appointees being replaced in top offices under the new dispensation. Both National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Sandhu have headed the Intelligence Bureau.  Sixty-one-year-old Gupta takes over as deputy NSA in the Prime Minister's South Block office after relinquishing the post of director-general at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). Gupta has been appointed deputy NSA and secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), in the rank and pay of secretary to the government of India,

India Has A Strategic Culture Our Naval Diplomat notes that learning from others can advance its cause of self-discovery. James-R-Holmes_q By James R. Holmes April 19, 2013   Last month the Economist published a brace of articles setting in motion a spirited debate over whether India has a strategic culture. The authors draw an unfavorable contrast between neighboring China, whose "rise is a given," and India, which "is still widely seen as a nearly-power that cannot quite get its act together." They catalogue several factors that purportedly explain New Delhi's underperformance in diplomacy and strategy. They pronounce the diplomatic apparatus "ridiculously feeble," for example, not to mention trivial in size; the political class evinces little interest in or taste for grand strategy; civilian officials at the Defense Ministry are "chronically short of military expertise." The authors mention ideas mostly in

ZARB-e-AZB: Phony War or Paradigm Shift? Sushant Sareen July 31, 2014 Touted as the 'mother of all' anti-insurgency operations, the much demanded (by the US) and long delayed (by Pakistan) military operation in North Waziristan (NWA), Operation Zarb-e-Azb has turned out to be quite an anti-climax. A few weeks into the operation, the Pakistan Army has been 'valiantly' reconquering its own territory from its own proxies and 'strategic assets'. Ironically, the Pakistan army had itself allowed 'the terror central' NWA to become a 'protectorate' where all sorts of despicable gun-totting, suicide jacket wearing, rocket wielding bunch of terrorists set up base and blithely peddled their wares in not just Afghanistan but also in Pakistan and beyond. Quite amazingly, the Islamist terror groups were living cheek-by-jowl with the Pakistan military. For close to a decade now, the Pakistan army kept denying and de

Is Putin Gearing Up for Intervening in Asia Next?

  P. Stobdan August 01, 2014 Few may have paid attention to the recently held (June 21-28) massive military "snap inspection" drill by Russia in its Central Military District (CMD) that involved 65,000 troops including Russian troops stationed in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. More than 180 aircraft and 60 helicopters took part in the war game. According to media reports, President Vladimir Putin had ordered the drill to keep the armed forces on constant alert.1 In fact, when this author was on a visit to Central Asia in June, the "snap inspection" had begun at the Russian Kant air base in Kyrgyzstan and the 201st Russian military base in Tajikistan. Media had quoted Yaroslav Roshchupkin, District Assistant Commander of CMD that a comprehensive inspection was taking place simultaneously in all military units of CMD's 29 regions. According to Eurasia Daily Monitor quoting Russian news agency Interfax (June 20–29) and Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozrenuya (June 29), the

Is Russian ready to face the Afghan fallouts? P. Stobdan August 05, 2014 Dealing with Afghanistan remains a puzzle for Russians. It was different in 2001, when Putin acquiesced to the US request and facilitated the deployment and transit of NATO troops and cargo to neighboring Afghanistan via Central Asia. Putin had to agree then because it was not the NATO forces but the Chechen separatists, trained in Afghanistan by Al-Qaida that threatened Russia's territorial integrity. However, of late, Putin has pressed hard for eviction of the US base from Manas Airport. The US has left Manas in June this year. In the changed context, Russia seem both happy as well as worried about the US withdrawal, for it is not sure about the future momentum of change in Afghanistan. Concerns about Central Asian security apart, now with the sectarian strife in West Asia especially in Iraq and Syria is flaring up, the Russian anxieties would heighten about possi

The rise of the digital bank As European consumers move online, retail banks will have to follow. The problem is that most banks aren't ready. July 2014 | by'Tunde Olanrewaju Across Europe, retail banks have digitized only 20 to 40 percent of their processes; 90 percent of European banks invest less than 0.5 percent of their total spending on digital. As a result, most have relatively shallow digital offerings focused on enabling basic customer transactions. Neither customers nor digital upstarts are likely to wait for retail banks to catch up. Recent analysis shows that over the next five years, more than two-thirds of banking customers in Europe are likely to be "self-directed" and highly adapted to the online world. In fact, these same consumers already take great advantage of digital technologies in other industries—booking flights and holidays, buying books and music, and

US Failure: Unintended Consequence

Politics / US PoliticsJul 31, 2014 - 10:08 PM GMT By: Jim_Willie_CB Politics   The contributors are many as actors in the American Tragedy, to cause the systemic breakdown failed state. Faulty monetary policy, economic policy, and political policy have caused the resulting failure. The primary perpetrators are the central bankers, led by Greenspan and Bernanke. These two men have done more to destroy the US Economy, the US financial structure, the US currency, than any two men of prominence. To be sure, the Bush, Clinton, and Rubin gang played a huge role in the collapse. Their supporting cast of destructive actors is very long, like the serial bank criminals residing on Wall Street. To be sure, the system itself has played a key role in the harmful factors. The two most apparent harmful resident factors are the strong US labor unions and the influential environmental movement, which together encouraged the vast outsourcing of US indust

Will Modi-Obama Summit Succeed Despite the WTO Setback? By TP Sreenivasan, Former Ambassador of India: No one can be faulted for thinking that India-US relations has hit a historic low due to India's unique stand on the WTO food subsidy issue, that has annoyed America much. But TP Sreenivasan, former Ambassador of India, while writing exclusively for Seasonal Magazine, argues that neither WTO nor the nuclear liability act nor any other such issue would hinder the inevitable success of Modi-Obama summit scheduled in September. Sreenivasan is a noted foreign affairs expert, especially so in Indo-US relations. He served in Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in various roles during a 37 year old career, including as the Permanent Representative of India to the UN, as the Governor for India of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and as the Ambassador to Austria and Slovenia. The only time I met Narendra Modi was in Washington, before he became the Chief M

The untold stories of Narendra Modi’s social media plan in Lok Sabha polls

By Krishna Kumar, ET Bureau | 5 Aug, 2014, 04.00AM IST   READ MORE ON » Social media | settlement option | Radhakrishnan Pillai director | Modi | Lok Sabha | Insurability | Facebook Led by its national co-convenor Vinit Goenka, the party got in touch with the army officers, professors and other experts.   MUMBAI: Narendra Modi's successful prime ministerial bid was attributed in large part to the aggressive social media campaign unleashed by the BJP's IT cell. Not many outside the party know, however, that the strategy included exploring Kautilya's 'Arthashastra' - the ancient Indian text on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy - to taking tips from retired lieutenant generals on psychological warfare and picking the brains of an IIM-A professor.  The BJP is set to deploy much the same strategy in the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra and other states that resulted in the blitzkrieg that eclipsed the competition's efforts in the run-u