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India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China)
Topic: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) (Read 37259 times)
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #50 on:
February 16, 2009, 08:03:55 AM »
The goal of the projector is to make the "projectee" feel the pain they feel. This is what I have referred to in many of my earlier articles as a collective group unconscious fantasy. In psychoanalytic terms this is known as projective identification, a most useful concept with patients who exhibit primitive defenses, but also helpful in understanding horrific crimes and torturous acts committed on innocent victims by terrorist militant organizations. I believe the answer lies in this concept and is applicable to such groups as Hamas who share similar characteristics. To state this more bluntly: I collectively diagnose them as having a severe malignant borderline personality disorder.
It all comes down to victimization. Using innocent women and children as human shields is a good example. Muslims have learned the art of how to evoke world sympathy. "Look what the bad Americans and Israeli's have done to us. They have destroyed our mosques and schools." The LA Times has even been coerced to referring to them as "Courageous Victims (1/8/08, p1). Al Jazeera uses such phrases as "war crimes" and Palestinian Holocaust." This resorts back to the primitive mind because Arabs have been brainwashed through dogmatic verses paralyzing the capacity to think.
Victimization is the outcome of projective identification that which strips the psyche of all rational thought, the capacity to think, action without critical thinking (Taqlid). "So I will cut off the Rabbi's head so he won't be able think, (the Talmudic mind), and cut off his penis so he won't make more babies (envy as the replacement for thought). "Now you can go to hell and show the devil how you have sinned (Israeli analyst Ronit Brautbar, personal communication). One could say there is a clash of logic, "Inshallah" (the will of Allah), and the other by reason. This can explain why Islam holds a double standard. "You can't make fun of Mohammad but we can make buffoons out of your Rabbis (not only make fun of but mutilate them.)"
According to Klein, all children have murderous and mutilation fantasies, the difference is that as the child evolves the child learns the difference between the fantasy and the act itself. In other words, it is one thing to fantasize about cutting up mother's breast or daddy's penis (as did her children do in play therapy with dolls), but it is another thing to actually do it. I believe O.J. Simpson is a good example of this. I believe this is what is meant by "primitive defenses" or the primitive mind.
This brings our attention to the whole enigma that Islam is allegedly a religion of peace. Why would the terrorists sexually humiliate the guests before killing them? An example of this lies in the concept of peace. Islam has become a political ideology more than a religion. What most people don't realize is that what peace may mean to a Westerner or an Israeli has a different meaning to a Muslim. Peace in the generic terms means "peace." To an Arab it means "honor" (sharaf). Honor means to save face which ultimately leads to revenge and retaliation at any cost.
I completely agree with Guttman's analysis as he associates these savage acts to Palestinian shame and perversion which lurks behind an entire "shame culture," or what Chesler aptly refers to as "cleansing." What I might like to add to the mix is how perversion is inextricably linked to sadism and erotic voyeurism. Robert Stoller (1975) in Hostility of Sex explains how the voyeur derives pleasure through hostility, revenge and being in complete control.
They know how to play the shame/blame game. The Muslim ego never admits to defeat, even if they lose they pretend they won or else blame the Americans or the West. To preserve the group's identity away from shame the preservation of self becomes a more pervasive force than life itself. In sum, terrorism is designed not only to brutalize their victims but also to threaten our freedom, our democracy and our safety. Thus we have beheadings and mutilated genitals.
Gutmann: My co-contributors have added much to our understanding of the motivations driving the Mumbai (and other) Islamic terrorists. But as has been pointed out, there is a limit to what even the most sensitive clinicians can infer from data that lacks forensic detail and personal information.
So I will switch my focus from questions of motive, to questions of prevention.
If, as has been suggested, Islamic terrorism is a product of an Islamic culture devoted to overcoming the sense of humiliation, then how – short of allowing ourselves to be humiliated by the Jihadists – can we Americans, Jews and Europeans of the Democratic West defeat the extremists without adding to the sense of shame that fuelled the sadistic rage of Mumbai?
Not an easy task: the Islamists hoard their shame: they still remember, bitterly, the crusades, and their loss of Spanish Andalucia to the Catholics in the fifteenth century. Nevertheless, the United States has successfully fought and tamed Shame/Honor societies in the past. The Confederacy, the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians, all paradigm Shame/Honor societies, were all overcome in total wars, and all became either part of our nation, or our trusted Democratic allies. And it now begins to appear that Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan will join their company.
There appears to be a uniquely American approach to war – one combining ruthlessness and mercy - that can lead to such unexpectedly good outcomes. Thus, as with the Germans and Japanese in WWII, we first ruthlessly firebombed and A-bombed their cities, destroyed their air forces, sank their fleets, demanded unconditional surrender, and decapitated their wartime leadership. But then, against all precedents, as victors we did not pilfer their industry, turn their men into slaves or their women into whores. Instead, in peace-time we showed a quality of mercy that could not have been predicted from our practice of total war - the mercy that a humiliated enemy would not expect from a triumphant conqueror. Thus, we sponsored the rise of hitherto suppressed moderate leaders, we helped to rebuild the enemy’s shattered cities; and under the Marshall Plan we encouraged their economies to the point where the Germans and Japanese became, for awhile, our major competitors for world markets.
Perhaps, and more important, we may have changed the cultural bases of Japanese and German self-esteem, away from shame-avoidant systems based on autocratic rule over inferiors and women, to a system in which self-esteem is based on tangible accomplishments in the market-place of goods and ideas.
Unfortunately, in bringing about such benign outcomes, total war is as important as mercy and must precede it. The warriors of a Shame/Honor society must be crushed militarily, before they are ready to appreciate, and to respond to, the healing quality of mercy.
Chesler: I love Kobrin's references and how she uses them. I agree with the concept that "mutilation expresses rage that cannot be satiated by murder" and that it renders the "imagined persecutor" as "deader than dead."
I also very much like what Lakhar says, especially that "Arabs have been brainwashed through dogmatic verses paralyzing the capacity to think." I think we all agree that a "shame and honor" culture means that the "shamed" or "humiliated" children (and brainwashed adults) will perpetually be seeking "honor," over and over again. Gutmann is right to want to switch to prevention.
Alas, it is too late to prevent what is already upon the West in Europe. The Intifada of 2000 has gone global in a frightening, almost "sudden" kind of way. From their perches at the universities and the UN, the Muslim mobs have taken to the streets. Gaza is global. The same kind of Muslim mob that accounts for the intimidation and murder of most other Muslims--is now unleashed in Europe and on North American campuses and political demonstrations.
If Europe does not immediately deport the radical mullahs and their faithful followers they really are doomed. And, if North America allows them entry (via sermons on al-Jazeera, satellite television, poisonous academics) then we too will find ourselves increasingly at risk. There are only 5-8 million Muslims in America as compared to 30-50 million Muslims in Europe. Of course, America should remain a safe haven for Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents, feminists and secularists but I no longer think we can afford to "tolerate" the intolerant, to "negotiate" with the sadistic death-eaters.
The idea that President Obama has already dispatched George Mitchell -- not to solve the crises in Darfur or Congo--but in Gaza -- fills me with sorrow. We now know that no more than 600, mainly Hamas terrorists, died while fighting in Gaza, and that very few civilians died. We also know that Israel kept Gaza supplied with humanitarian aid--something America and our allies did not do during the bombing of Dresden, Berlin, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
The Dalai Lama recently admitted that "non-violence" against terrorism is useless and will not work because their minds are "closed." One cannot negotiate with closed minds.
I agree with Gutmann in terms of his analogy to how World War Two was won. The de-programming that has to take place cannot even begin until the West has won the day militarily and economically.
Kobrin: I agree with Gutmann in his view wanting to shift us away from mere discussion to that of prevention. Understanding the root causes helps us think more clearly about what needs to be done.
For example, understanding the shame-honor aspect that runs throughout Islamic ideologies and death like fusional imagery dovetailing with tribe and clan cultures, the combination reinforces a concept known in psychoanalytic terms as splitting, i.e. thinking in terms of good and bad, black and white, love and hate thinking -- which promotes hatred and violence because there is no room for areas in between.
With shame and blame comes the inability to think. A closed mind, instilled in early childhood, leads to deprivation, which in turn leads to envy. which then leads to revenge and retaliation at all costs -- even self-sacrifice.
This kind of closed mind has an insatiable reservoir of rage at its core, the likes of which engages in the theme of our symposium – mutilation. This kind of perversion has no boundaries and it profusely bonds and fuses with its victims through mutilation and murder.
Now I will turn to prevention. One way that I have learned well from Lachkar is that when you are in such a hostile environment where the blaming and the threats are non-stop, boundaries maintain safety. Is this not too the ultimate function of war? Establishing a firm boundary. You have to draw a line in the sand and defend it. Hamas still needs to be brought to its knees as well as Hezbollah. The entire culture has to be rebuilt as Gutmann rightly suggests.
Chesler opens the next avenue which must be explored more systematically and that is the media – what to do with it and how should we counter a media that is now identified with the aggressor? What are our options? As Nacos has written, we have mass mediated terrorism. One might refer to this as covert terrorism. Terrorism that is implicit, so most people do not recognize its destructive nature. That is why scapegoating occurs so frequently.
We are now all connected and attached via its imagery. Lachkar points out though that there is a difference between what American news carries concerning images and Arab news channels. It seems that so much more needs to be understood. Indeed some would argue that our attachment to the internet and the media especially during a terrorist attack like Mumbai is addictive in nature and I would argue, expresses a kind of traumatic bonding concerning our mothers. This is the hidden realm of our own terrors, which we share in common with the terrorists. This is how the terrorists speak to us even though we may not know Arabic. They speak in a nonverbal language which I call Desperanto. We get hooked into their terrors as human beings.
As I have said before terrorists don’t have a normative sense of intimacy; their intimacy is violence, blood, mass murder, hysteria of suicide, threats, etc. While this region is foreboding to most, it is key to dismantling the blunt force of terrorism. It is also the "gift of terror" to expand upon the work of Gavin De Becker's Gift of Fear. We have the potential to turn the tables on the terrorists and to call their bluff, even though the work is deadly and serious.
Lachkar: I am very much impressed with Guttman's courage and bravado that although he values our contributors’ psychological insights and motivations, his focus moves the attention to prevention. I agree and appreciate his hard core stance that one must create strong hard-line boundaries or as Chesler reminds us: that even the Dalai Lama admits that "non-violence" against terrorism is useless."
So where do prevention and psychology meet? I believe they go together. Before we "prevent" we must "understand." Kobrin focuses on the early internal mother as a symbolic representation of projected rage via sadism and mutilation fantasies. I expand the notion to the idea that all children have sadistic and mutilation fantasies, and eventually evolve learning the difference between an act of "doing" from an act of "thinking about doing."
Knowing how to play the shame/blame game leads to what I refer to as a collective ego dysfunctionality -- with all the components of victimization, envy and distortions in thinking, judgment and perception, and a media that knows how to manipulate public opinion.
The transparent nature of the Muslim culture must be exposed. For example, when confronted about human rights abuse, the Muslim world often turns it around claiming human rights is a Western concept and not applicable to the Muslim world. How about educating young Muslim potential terrorist recruits, lonely isolated young men who get seduced and enticed into the brotherhood as they are met with warm welcoming embraces, let alone good food, hospitality, music and promises belonging to assuage their isolation and endless feelings of desolation? Finally, I conclude with what I mentioned in our last symposium: we must train and instil worldwide peace counsellors throughout the world, providing education and insights along with cultural events (music, dance, art etc.)
FP: Dr. Joanie Lachkar, Dr. David Gutmann, Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Dr. Nancy Kobrin, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #51 on:
February 16, 2009, 11:08:09 AM »
Ummm , , , why is this good post , , , in this thread?
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #52 on:
February 16, 2009, 03:21:45 PM »
The Mumbai hostages were sexually assaulted and mutilated.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #53 on:
February 16, 2009, 03:56:23 PM »
A point that is rather tangential to the subject of this piece I'm thinking , , , how about here
Recommended by an astute Indian friend
Reply #54 on:
February 25, 2009, 02:09:38 PM »
For those intertested in Af-Pak-India affairs two perceptive sites...which have a good track record...
Nuke expert missing
Reply #55 on:
June 12, 2009, 02:52:39 PM »
Top nuclear expert missing in India
One of India's leading nuclear scientists has gone missing in mysterious circumstances provoking fears he has been kidnapped for classified information
By Barney Henderson in Mumbai
Published: 5:13PM BST 12 Jun 2009
Lokanathan Mahalingam had access to some of the country's most sensitive nuclear information and the government has ordered an inquiry into his disappearance.
Mr Mahalingam, 47, worked at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka, close to Project Seabird, a major military base.
He went for a walk early on Monday morning and has not been seen since.
Authorities are not yet sure whether his disappearance poses a security threat and the Indian Intelligence Bureau is investigating whether he has been eaten by leopards, committed suicide, disappeared wilfully or been kidnapped.
Colleagues said that Mr Mahalingam, who works in the simulator training division of the nuclear power plant, is an introvert with few friends but no enemies.
A manhunt is under way in the 1000 acres of dense forest of the Western Ghats that surrounds the Kaiga plant.
Police played down the threat to classified information, but they have not ruled out the possibility that Mr Mahalingam has been kidnapped by a group attempting to sabotage the plant.
Five years ago, a heavily armed gang attempted to kidnap an official from India's Nuclear Power Corporation in the same forest, but he managed to escape.
"The investigation is being handled at a very high level due to the sensitive nature of the case," an investigating officer said. "At the moment it is a complete mystery and we are looking at every possibility.
"There are man-eating leopards in the jungle so that is a possibility and we are of course looking into whether he has been kidnapped too. There are four separate teams searching for clues and we hope to make a breakthrough soon."
Our man in India reports
Reply #56 on:
June 13, 2009, 09:46:35 AM »
From a well regarded friend in India in response to my forwarding the previous post to him:
Unless, there is a big cover up...it seems that there is not much to worry, no one is talking about a possible kidnapping.
"Mr Mahalingam is a fairly low level employee who was moved to HR and training duties because he was not found appropriate for placement elsewhere. Mr Mahalingam trains some apprentices and others who work at the power plant.
Mr Mahalingam worked at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka. This facility is used solely for power generation and is not the repository of any state or atomic secrets. Its a profit center for the NPCIL which is headquartered in Bombay. Most of the Kaiga activities are controlled from there, like from any headquarters.
"Top nuclear expert missing in India" is a motivated and prejudiced media hype that is being perpetrated by interested parties ( US and our good neighbors, both pakis and the chinks.) and our very own DDM (desi dork media) who is definitely being paid off.
Top nuclear expert is not something that even Mr Mahalingam would describe himself, even in his wildest dreams.
He was, in an earlier posting also found "missing" for a number of days and created a similar controversy. On his return, he claimed that he had gone to seek spiritual solace.
Let us hope that he finds the solace that he seeks and soon so that he can return to his family at the earliest."
Pak missiles mods?
Reply #57 on:
August 29, 2009, 06:10:59 PM »
U.S. Accuses Pakistan of Altering Missiles
August 30, 2009
U.S. Accuses Pakistan of Altering Missiles
By ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER
The United States has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand its capability to strike land targets, a potential threat to India, according to senior administration and Congressional officials.
The charge, which set off a new outbreak of tensions between the United States and Pakistan, was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials.
The accusation comes at a particularly delicate time, when the administration is asking Congress to approve $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next five years, and when Washington is pressing a reluctant Pakistani military to focus its attentions on fighting the Taliban, rather than expanding its nuclear and conventional forces aimed at India.
While American officials say that the weapon in the latest dispute is a conventional one — based on the Harpoon antiship missiles that were sold to Pakistan by the Reagan administration as a defensive weapon in the cold war — the subtext of the argument is growing concern about the speed with which Pakistan is developing new generations of both conventional and nuclear weapons.
“There’s a concerted effort to get these guys to slow down,” one senior administration official said. “Their energies are misdirected.”
At issue is the detection by American intelligence agencies of a suspicious missile test on April 23 — a test never announced by the Pakistanis — that appeared to give the country a new offensive weapon.
American military and intelligence officials say they suspect that Pakistan has modified the Harpoon antiship missiles that the United States sold the country in the 1980s, a move that would be a violation of the Arms Control Export Act. Pakistan has denied the charge, saying it developed the missile itself. The United States has also accused Pakistan of modifying American-made P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions, another violation of United States law that the Obama administration has protested.
Whatever their origin, the missiles would be a significant new entry into Pakistan’s arsenal against India. They would enable Pakistan’s small navy to strike targets on land, complementing the sizable land-based missile arsenal that Pakistan has developed. That, in turn, would be likely to spur another round of an arms race with India that the United States has been trying, unsuccessfully, to halt. “The focus of our concern is that this is a potential unauthorized modification of a maritime antiship defensive capability to an offensive land-attack missile,” said another senior administration official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter involves classified information.
“The potential for proliferation and end-use violations are things we watch very closely,” the official added. “When we have concerns, we act aggressively.”
A senior Pakistani official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because the interchanges with Washington have been both delicate and highly classified, said the American accusation was “incorrect.” The official said that the missile tested was developed by Pakistan, just as it had modified North Korean designs to build a range of land-based missiles that could strike India. He said that Pakistan had taken the unusual step of agreeing to allow American officials to inspect the country’s Harpoon inventory to prove that it had not violated the law, a step that administration officials praised.
Some experts are also skeptical of the American claims. Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, a yearbook and Web-based data service, said the Harpoon missile did not have the necessary range for a land-attack missile, which would lend credibility to Pakistani claims that they are developing their own new missile. Moreover, he said, Pakistan already has more modern land-attack missiles that it developed itself or acquired from China.
“They’re beyond the need to reverse-engineer old U.S. kit,” Mr. Hewson said in a telephone interview. “They’re more sophisticated than that.” Mr. Hewson said the ship-to-shore missile that Pakistan was testing was part of a concerted effort to develop an array of conventional missiles that could be fired from the air, land or sea to address India’s much more formidable conventional missile arsenal.
The dispute highlights the level of mistrust that remains between the United States and a Pakistani military that American officials like to portray as an increasingly reliable partner in the effort to root out the forces of the Taliban and Al Qaeda on Pakistani territory. A central element of the American effort has been to get the military refocused on the internal threat facing the country, rather than on threat the country believes it still faces from India.
Pakistani officials have insisted that they are making that shift. But the evidence continues to point to heavy investments in both nuclear and conventional weapons that experts say have no utility in the battle against insurgents.
Over the years, the United States has provided a total of 165 Harpoon missiles to Pakistan, including 37 of the older-model weapons that were delivered from 1985 to 1988, said Charles Taylor, a spokesman for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The country’s nuclear arsenal is expanding faster than any other nation’s. In May, Pakistan conducted a test firing of its Babur medium-range cruise missile, a weapon that military experts say could potentially be tipped with a nuclear warhead. The test was conducted on May 6, during a visit to Washington by President Asif Ali Zardari, but was not made public by Pakistani officials until three days after the meetings had ended to avoid upsetting the talks. While it may be technically possible to arm the Harpoons with small nuclear weapons, outside experts say it would probably not be necessary.
Before Congress departed for its summer recess, administration officials briefed crucial legislators on the protest to Pakistan. The dispute has the potential to delay or possibly even derail the legislation to provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in civilian aid over five years; lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the aid package when they return from their recess next month.
The legislation is sponsored by Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Democrat and Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Representative Howard L. Berman, a California Democrat who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressional aides are now reconciling House and Senate versions of the legislation.
Frederick Jones, a spokesman for Mr. Kerry, declined to comment on the details of the dispute citing its classified nature but suggested that the pending multifaceted aid bill would clear Congress “in a few weeks” and would help cooperation between the two countries.
“There have been irritants in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in the past and there will be in the future,” Mr. Jones said in a statement, noting that the pending legislation would provide President Obama “with new tools to address troubling behavior.”
Reply #58 on:
November 04, 2009, 01:07:38 PM »
Bear mauls, kills two high-ranking separatists hiding in cave in Kashmir
By Ethan Sacks
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Originally Published:Tuesday, November 3rd 2009, 10:35 AM
Updated: Tuesday, November 3rd 2009, 10:35 AM
Mustafa/GettyA Himilayan Black bear like this one mauled two Muslim separatists in Kashmir, police said.
A group of Muslim separatists in Kashmir picked the wrong cave for a hideout.
A police spokesman said an angry bear mauled two high-ranking Hizbul Mujahideen commanders who had set up camp inside its cave in the southern part of the Indian-run state, the Hindustan Times reported.
Though the men were armed with AK-47 machine guns, "the attack seems to have been so violent that both the militants got no chance to fire back at the wild animal," the spokesman, Col. JS Brar, told the Indian newspaper.
Two other militants were injured by the Himilayan black bear, but managed to escape and make their way to a nearby village for help, the BBC reported.
One of the dead men was later identified as Siafullah, the insurgency group's district commander.
Police believe it's the first such mauling of its kind since Muslim separatists launched their 1989 campaign against Indian rule in 1989.
Ironically, wild animal populations like bears and leopards have flourished since the armed conflict intensified - a fact attributed to the absence of poachers in areas of heavy fighting, the BBC reported.
Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:10:11 PM by G M
Re: India and India-afpakia
Reply #59 on:
November 28, 2009, 06:16:04 PM »
Pakistan, India: Nuclear Rivalry on the Subcontinent
Stratfor Today » November 25, 2009 | 1516 GMT
ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani ballistic missiles on display in Karachi in November 2008Summary
Pakistan and India have been locked in a bitter regional rivalry since their partition into separate entities on the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Three wars and a nuclear arms race later, the two countries are miles apart in terms of strategic capability. India had a head start in developing nuclear weapons and thus has more confidence in their utility, while Pakistan remains geopolitically exposed and vulnerable — with a greater need for a nuclear deterrent.
The Geopolitics of India: A Shifting, Self-Contained World
Part 1: The Perils of Using Islamism to Protect the Core
Part 2: A Crisis in Indian-Pakistani Relations
Part 3: Making It on Its Own
Nuclear Weapons: Devices and Deliverable Warheads
Nuclear Weapons: The Question of Relevance in the 21st Century
Nuclear Weapons: Terrorism and the Nonstate Actor
The North Korean Nuclear Test and Geopolitical Reality
Debunking Myths About Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism
Related Special Topic Page
Special Series: Countries In Crisis
In August, a pair of independent U.S. nuclear experts estimated that Pakistan had 70 to 90 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, an increase over their 2007 estimate of 60 weapons. But it was only in a follow-on publication of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists released Nov. 10 that the latest figure appeared, along with the estimate of the size of India’s arsenal — a lower figure of 60 to 80 warheads (the last full assessment of India’s arsenal was published in 2008). The report was picked up a week later in the Indian press, on the heels of an article in the Nov. 16 issue of The New Yorker on Pakistani nuclear security.
These are only the most recent high points in the ongoing media clamor over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the status of nuclear forces on the subcontinent and a pending Bush-era civilian nuclear deal between India and the United States (Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Washington on Nov. 22 to discuss the deal). But the latest figures on the size of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are only estimates and provide little perspective on the more complex underlying issues. While STRATFOR continues to examine and closely monitor Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, we thought it timely and appropriate to focus now on the realities of the nuclear rivalry on the subcontinent.
A Brief History
India tested its first nuclear device in 1974, but it began planning to construct the facility in which to reprocess the plutonium that would ultimately produce the fissile material for that test in 1964. By comparison, Pakistan’s program began in earnest in 1972, following the country’s devastating defeat by India in 1971 that resulted in the loss of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). But even though the program was initiated, much needed to be done to consolidate control over the country and reconstitute the military in the wake of that conflict. In other words, when Pakistan began its nuclear program, India was already nearing completion of its first full-scale nuclear device.
Nevertheless, then-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto made it clear following India’s 1974 nuclear test that Pakistan would develop a nuclear weapon even if the Pakistani people had to eat grass. Perhaps no other statement better reflects Pakistan’s determination to develop and maintain a nuclear deterrent against India.
From its 1974 test until 1998, India had nearly a quarter century to learn from the data and experience that came from the test and to focus on refining the design of its warheads. By the time the two countries faced off with a spate of nuclear tests in 1998, India had a series of second-generation warheads — and what was reported to be a crude thermonuclear configuration — ready to go. The relative maturity of India’s program given its previous experience and the comparative wealth of intellectual, human and fiscal resources that New Delhi enjoyed meant that India was in a position to take a much greater leap forward in terms of nuclear weapons sophistication in 1998 than Pakistan was.
The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons
Despite this comparative advantage, however, India’s five 1998 tests saw only one or two clear, full-scale nuclear detonations. The larger detonation, estimated to have been in the 12-25 kiloton range (i.e., from just smaller than the Hiroshima bomb to just larger than the Nagasaki bomb), is thought to have been the crude thermonuclear design — experts suggest that the second stage may have failed to ignite. India claims a yield roughly three times that which was measured and that several of the remaining tests were intended to have subkiloton yields. The fact is, in the nearly half century since India began making plans to reprocess plutonium for weapons purposes, it has not demonstrated a full-scale weapons test indicative of destructive power beyond that of the basic implosion device used against Nagasaki in 1945.
No doubt India has deployed nuclear weapons that are considerably smaller in size and more efficient than those first American designs from 1945. And it has no doubt adjusted its weapons designs based on the 1998 test data. But India’s position today as a nuclear power serves as a reminder of the challenges of weaponization. Even relatively crude and simple nuclear warhead configurations are incredibly complex, involving highly sophisticated metallurgy, explosives, quality assurance and hardened and reliable circuitry. Having a high degree of confidence that these weapons will work as designed in a crisis when they reach their target is no small matter. After hasty assembly and dispersal, a warhead will experience a wide range of extremes in terms of acceleration, vibration and temperature during the delivery process.
PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
India’s Agni II medium-range ballistic missileTo attain a high degree of confidence, engineers must have an experimental understanding of their warhead designs and configurations that is as close as possible to an understanding of the weapon in its operational environment. Much “subcritical” and other non-nuclear testing can be done, but until these complex and sophisticated designs are validated through actual testing, only relatively small and conservative tweaks are likely to make it into final production weapons.
As a point of comparison, the United States has carried out more than 1,000 nuclear tests over the years, the Soviet Union more than 700. It is on this basis and with this background that the world’s most modern and sophisticated nuclear weapons have been built. A modern and capable country hardly needs hundreds of nuclear tests to build a credible nuclear deterrent, but India’s dearth of testing experience and data is a pivotal constraint on the complexity and sophistication of its deployed arsenal.
And Pakistan suffers from even more profound constraints. The country is geopolitically fractious and fragile. It must expend a great deal of effort to control peripheral territories and dissident populations while mustering enormous resources to build and maintain a standing army to defend Punjab — the country’s core — from India’s qualitatively and quantitatively superior military. Meanwhile, its economy requires considerable capital investment merely to function. For a country like Pakistan to build and field a nuclear arsenal at all is an impressive achievement.
But the existence of a Pakistani nuclear arsenal must first be understood as a testament to the disadvantages Pakistan faces in its rivalry with India. The intensity of this rivalry, even in times of relative tranquility, is difficult to overstate. It is the omnipresence of India and the Pakistani fear of Indian aggression — perhaps the one thing that all the ethnic and religious groups in Pakistan can agree on — that has made the immense investment in the nuclear arsenal over the course of decades possible.
And at the end of the day, no matter what Pakistan does to further develop its nuclear program, as long as the fundamental dynamics that define the rivalry on the subcontinent persist, Pakistan is unlikely to ever catch up with India. India started its program earlier and enjoyed a considerable lead in terms of testing, and it continues to work diligently to maintain that lead. And this gap is one India has a strong incentive to maintain by continuing its own program development, which means that Pakistan must work frantically simply to prevent the gap from getting any wider.
Though Pakistan reportedly obtained some nuclear test data from China (which was probably old test data) and some designs (which also may have come from China) for the configuration of nuclear warheads, the real trick was the application of this data. Testing data is far more applicable to the arsenal of the country of origin and has only limited applicability to a foreign country independently developing its own arsenal. One country’s test data also does not validate another country’s manufacturing or quality assurance processes. Because of this, even if Pakistan received test data from a number of other countries, it would not give Pakistan the boost it needed to surpass India.
Similarly, blueprints for proven weapons designs are certainly helpful, but it is the testing of indigenously manufactured versions that really validates a country’s attempts to re-create or modify the designs. In the case of both outside weapons designs and testing data, it is the application of foreign data or other assistance and subsequent validation that really matters.
This application began with Pakistan’s six tests in 1998. Only two produced yields in the kiloton range, and neither reached even the low threshold of the roughly 16 kilotons of the Hiroshima bomb. (Pakistan claims that several were intended to be subkiloton tests.) Though Pakistan undoubtedly learned a great deal from these tests, it has not had the opportunity — as India has had — to subject lessons learned from those tests to a second round.
Correlation of Forces
This is not to say that the nuclear rivalry on the subcontinent is not the most dynamic and fast-paced in the world today. It is. And this certainly is not to say that the programs of both countries are not advancing at a considerable pace. They are. But while estimates of the size of their nuclear arsenals may spark some international concern or have some geopolitical significance, they tell us next to nothing about the strategic military balance on the subcontinent. This is because each country approaches the issue of maintaining its nuclear arsenal from a very different perspective.
India enjoys considerable strategic depth and holds the advantage in terms of the range of its delivery systems. Its qualitative and quantitative advantages extend to the conventional battlefield, and its core is not immediately vulnerable to conventional Pakistani aggression. In short, it has more time to react and can store some of its weapons outside of Pakistan’s reach, meaning that New Delhi can feel more secure with fewer weapons.
Every weapon in Pakistan, by comparison, is within range of India’s arsenal. Indian forces poised on the Pakistani border are also poised on the Punjabi core, the demographic, industrial, agricultural and geographic heartland of Pakistan. Pakistan must have more nuclear weapons to account for attrition of its arsenal and also to react on the battlefield to overwhelming conventional Indian force. Islamabad does not enjoy the luxury of time that New Delhi does. Similarly, Pakistan has far more reason to be concerned about the reliability and operational performance of its weapons in combat, which means that for each target or operational need it must dedicate additional bombs to account for that uncertainty.
Pakistan’s strategic disadvantages, in other words, present a substantial need for nuclear weapons. On the other hand, India enjoys considerably more room to maneuver, allowing it to rely less on its nuclear arsenal for its strategic security. Given (in all likelihood) India’s considerably higher degree of confidence in its weapons, its ideal nuclear strength may actually be less than Pakistan’s.
In any case, debating the precise status of the arsenals when the details of each are a matter of national security — and especially when estimates place them so close together — is largely academic. What is knowable about the strategic balance between India and Pakistan is defined by clear constraints and geopolitical realities. Despite progress in developing the Pakistani arsenal, nothing in the last decade has altered the fundamental realities of the nuclear rivalry on the subcontinent.
Stratfor: a big picture read
Reply #60 on:
September 10, 2010, 07:14:15 PM »
Rumors are circulating on the Indian subcontinent over the reported presence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, ostensibly to provide protection for aid and construction workers. STRATFOR sources in the area have indicated that these reports are overblown, but China’s growing reassertion of territorial claims in the region will not go ignored by India and will give New Delhi and Washington another cause for cooperation. The prospect of greater U.S.-Indian defense cooperation and waning U.S. interest in Afghanistan will meanwhile drive Pakistan closer to China, creating a series of self-perpetuating threats on the subcontinent.
U.S. Pacific Command head Adm. Robert F. Willard is on a two-day visit to India to meet with the Indian defense leadership Sept. 9-10. Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony will follow up his meetings with Willard when he meets with U.S. defense leaders in Washington at the end of September. With an arduous war being fought in Afghanistan and India’s fears growing over Pakistan-based militancy, there is no shortage of issues for the two sides to discuss. But there is one additional topic of discussion that is now elevating in importance: Chinese military moves on the Indian subcontinent.
Allegations over a major increase of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops in northern Kashmir have been circulating over the past several weeks, with an Op-Ed in The New York Times claiming that as many as 7,000 to 11,000 PLA troops have flooded into the northern part of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, known as the Gilgit-Baltistan region. This is an area through which China has been rebuilding the Karakoram Highway, which connects the Chinese region of Xinjiang by road and rail to Pakistan’s Chinese-built and funded ports on the Arabian Sea. Though Chinese engineers have been working on this infrastructure for some time, new reports suggest that several thousand PLA troops are stationed on the Khunjerab Pass on the Xinjiang border to provide security to the Karakoram Highway construction crews. Handfuls of militants have been suspected of transiting this region in the past to travel between Central Asia, Afghanistan and China’s Xinjiang province, and Chinese construction crews in Pakistan have been targeted a number of times by jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. That said, a large Chinese troop presence in the region is likely to serve a larger purpose than simply stand-by protection for Chinese workers.
(click here to enlarge image)
Pakistan responded by describing the reports as fabricated and said a small Chinese presence was in the area to provide humanitarian assistance in the ongoing flood relief effort. Chinese state media also discussed recently how the Chinese government was shipping emergency aid to Pakistan via Kashgar, Xinjiang province, through the Khunjerab Pass to the Sost dry port in northern Pakistan. India expressed its concern over the reports of Chinese troops in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said it was working to independently verify the claims, and then claimed to confirm at least 1,000 PLA troops had entered the region.
Such claims of troop deployments in the region are often exaggerated for various political aims, and these latest reports are no exception. STRATFOR is in the process of verifying the exact number of PLA troops in and around Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan and what percentage of those are combat troops. STRATFOR sources reported that a convoy of approximately 110 Chinese trucks recently delivered some 2,000 metric tons of mostly food aid through the Khunjerab Pass to the Gojal Valley, an area devastated by recent flooding and landslides. Chinese Bridges and Roads Co. (CBRC) has been working on expanding the Karakoram Highway for the past three years and has roughly 700 Chinese laborers and engineers working on the project. The highway expansion is expected to be completed by 2013, but the deadline is likely to be extended as a result of recent flooding.
Though STRATFOR’s on-ground reports so far track closest with the Chinese claims of flood relief operations, such relief and construction work can also provide useful cover for a more gradual buildup and sustained military presence in the region. This prospect is on the minds of many U.S. and Indian defense officials who would not be pleased with the idea of China reinforcing military support for Pakistan through overland supply routes.
Motives Behind the Buildup
Though Pakistan has reacted defiantly to the rumors, Islamabad has much to gain from merely having the rumor out in the open. Pakistan’s geopolitical vulnerability cannot be overstated. The country already faces a host of internally wrenching issues but must also contend with the fact that the Pakistani heartland in the Indus River Valley sits near the border with Pakistan’s much bigger and more powerful Indian rival, denying Islamabad any meaningful strategic depth to adequately defend itself. Pakistan is thus on an interminable search for a reliable, external power patron for its security, and its preferred choice is the United States, which has the military might and economic heft to buttress Pakistani defenses. However, Washington must maintain a delicate balance on the subcontinent, moving between its deepening partnership with India and keeping Pakistan on life support to avoid having India become the unchallenged South Asian hegemon.
Though Pakistan will do whatever it can to hold U.S. interest in an alliance with Islamabad — and keeping the militant threat alive is very much a part of that calculus — it will more often than not be left feeling betrayed by its allies in Washington. With U.S. patience wearing thin on Afghanistan, talk of a U.S. betrayal is naturally creeping up again among Pakistani policymakers as Pakistan fears that a U.S. withdrawal from the region will leave Pakistan with little to defend against India, a massive militant mess to clean up and a weaker hand in Afghanistan. China, while unwilling to put its neck out for Pakistan and provoke retaliation by India, provides Islamabad with a vital military backup that Pakistan can not only use to elicit more defense support against the Indians, but also to capture Washington’s attention with a reminder that a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could open the door for Chinese military expansion in South Asia.
Chinese motives in the Kashmir affair are more complex. Even before the rumors, India and China were diplomatically sparring over the Chinese government’s recent refusal to issue a visa to a senior Indian army general on grounds that his command includes Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Such diplomatic flare-ups have become more frequent over the past couple of years, as China has used visa issuances in disputed territory in Kashmir and in Arunachal Pradesh along the northern Indian border to assert its territorial claims while trying to discredit Indian claims. Even beyond Kashmir, China has injected life into its territorial claims throughout the East and South China seas, much to the consternation of the Pacific Rim states.
China’s renewed assertiveness in these disputed territories can be explained in large part by the country’s resource acquisition strategy. As China has scaled up its efforts to scour the globe for energy resources to sustain its elephantine economy, it has increasingly sought to develop a military that can safeguard vital supply lines running through the Indian Ocean basin to and from the Persian Gulf. Building the Karakoram Highway through Kashmir, for example, allows China to substantially cut down the time it takes to transit supplies between the Pakistani coast and China’s western front.
China’s increasing reliance on the military to secure its supply lines for commercial interests, along with other trends, has thus given the PLA a much more prominent say in Chinese policymaking in recent years. This trend has been reinforced by the Chinese government’s need to modernize the military and meet its growing budgetary needs following a large-scale recentralization effort in the 1990s that stripped the PLA of much of its business interests. Over the past decade, the PLA has taken a more prominent role in maintaining internal stability — including responses to natural disasters, riots and other disturbances — while increasing its participation in international peacekeeping efforts. As the PLA’s clout has grown in recent years, Chinese military officials have gone from remaining virtually silent on political affairs to becoming commentators for the Chinese state press on issues concerning Chinese foreign policy.
The PLA’s political influence could also be factoring into the rising political tensions in Kashmir. After all, China’s naval expansion into the Indian Ocean basin for its primarily commercial interests has inevitably driven the modernization and expansion of the Indian navy, a process the United States supports out of its own interest to hedge against China. By both asserting its claims to territory in Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir and raising the prospect of more robust Chinese military support for Pakistan, the Chinese military can benefit from having India’s military focus on ground forces, which require a great deal of resources to maintain a large troop presence in rough terrain, while reducing the amount of attention and resources the Indian military can give to its naval modernization plans.
The Indian Response
There may be a number of commercial, political and military factors contributing to China’s military extensions into South Asia, but India is not as interested in the multifaceted purposes behind China’s moves as it is in the actual movement of troops along the Indian border. From the Indian point of view, the Chinese military is building up naval assets and fortifying its alliance with Pakistan to hem in India. However remote the possibility may be of another futile ground war with China (recall the Sino-Indian war of 1962) across the world’s roughest mountainous terrain, India is unlikely to downplay any notable shifts in China’s military disposition and infrastructure development in the region. India’s traditional response is to highlight the levers it holds with Tibet, which is crucial buffer territory for the Chinese. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit with the Dalai Lama was certainly not lost on Beijing. Chinese media have already reported recently that India is reinforcing its troop presence in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, which flanks the Tibetan plateau. Singh also recently warned that India would have to “take adequate precautions” against Chinese “pinpricks” in Jammu and Kashmir, while maintaining hope of peaceful dialogue.
The Chinese relief work in the area so far does not appear to have reached the level of criticality that would prompt India to reinforce its troop presence in Kashmir. However, tensions are continuing to escalate in the region and any meaningful shift in India’s troop disposition would carry significant military implications for the wider region.
India has been attempting at least symbolically to lower its war posture with Pakistan and better manage its territorial claims by reducing its troop presence in select parts of Indian-administered Kashmir. If India is instead compelled to beef up its military presence in the region in reaction to Sino-Pakistani defense cooperation, Pakistan will be tempted to respond in kind, creating another set of issues for the United States to try to manage on the subcontinent. Washington has faced a persistent struggle in trying to convince Pakistan’s military to focus on the counterinsurgency effort in Pakistan and Afghanistan and leave it to the United States to ensure the Indian threat remains in check. Though the Pakistani security establishment is gradually adjusting its threat matrix to acknowledge the war right now is at home and not with India, Pakistan’s troop disposition remains largely unchanged, with 147,000 troops devoted to the counterinsurgency effort in northwestern Pakistan and roughly 150,000 troops in standard deployment formation along the eastern border with India.
The United States, like India, is keeping a watchful eye on China’s military movements on the subcontinent, providing another reason for the two to collaborate more closely on military affairs. Willard was quoted by the Indian state press Sept. 10 as saying that “any change in military relations or military maneuvers by China that raises concerns of India” could fall within U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility, while also maintaining this is an issue for the Indian military to handle on its own. Though the United States is being exceedingly cautious in defining its role in this affair, it cannot avoid the fact that every time U.S. and Indian defense officials get together to discuss Pakistan and China, Islamabad’s fears of a U.S.-Indian military partnership are reinforced, drawing the Pakistanis closer to China. This combination of insecurities is creating a self-perpetuating threat matrix on the subcontinent with implications for U.S., Indian, Chinese and Pakistani defense strategy.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #61 on:
September 10, 2010, 08:35:36 PM »
Guro Marc as i'm reading this post it's funny because yesterday we received in our federal court house 6 Chinese, two women and 2 males. It is not very common to see them crossing the border, since all federal cases come to us they were there. Anyways just curios about it.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #62 on:
September 10, 2010, 08:36:54 PM »
Sorry 2 females and 4 males. sorry im tired...
China Weapons - Raw Materials
Reply #63 on:
September 11, 2010, 09:32:10 AM »
Sometimes we overlook the essential little things....
In the race to build advanced industrial and military products, China has a key advantage: the world's biggest reserves of rare earth minerals that are essential to many of these products.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #64 on:
September 11, 2010, 09:36:30 AM »
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #65 on:
September 11, 2010, 10:07:20 AM »
Absolutely correct JDN.
And a hat tip from me to GM for having spotted this a ways back. I am up over 50% in TIE and MCP thanks to his having drawn this to my attention
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #66 on:
September 13, 2010, 05:54:08 PM »
I just reread the Stratfor piece I posted in this thread on the 10th and there is a lot there worthy of consideration. One thought of many: Strong alliance with India seems to make sense in many ways.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #67 on:
September 13, 2010, 05:59:34 PM »
President Bush did a lot to develop ties with India. Our current resident of the white house has done his best to undo those improved relations.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #68 on:
September 13, 2010, 08:40:32 PM »
I have said for a long time that if there is a nuclear war in our lifetime it will take place in this area.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #69 on:
September 13, 2010, 09:12:13 PM »
That is true, including strengthening nuclear relations even though India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Agreement.
I suspect the Paks see their nukes as a counter to India's military superiority/numbers; my greater concern is into whose hands the Pak's nukes, technology, and/or materials may wind up.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #70 on:
September 13, 2010, 09:29:17 PM »
You hit it on the head, the situation there is sufficiently unstable to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I think about it.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #71 on:
September 13, 2010, 11:08:36 PM »
As best as I can tell, our current strategy in Afg is completely untenable and we do not seem to be thinking outside the box to change it; therefore it seems to me that things may well evolve along the lines/variables that Stratfor describes. IMHO this piece deserves considerable contemplation.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #72 on:
September 14, 2010, 01:09:37 AM »
Well the first thing we need to do is stop looking at Afghanistan as a nation with a central government and recognise it as a multi regional, tribal ruled primitive society, with an extremist Islamic bent; which it is. Secondly, after we realistically see it for what it is, stop trying to change that and start working within that society to get the stability and cooperartion that we need to secure it region by region. It would take about twenty years to get the most populated areas working together and the rest will never be controlled. So at best you could possibly have one third of the country relatively secure with the rest being a patchwork of no-man's-lands full of people that want us dead that will have to be policed by drone attacks and small level incursions till the end of time or make the point that if another threat of attack on the U.S. comes from there that since they are already in the stone age we plan to squeeze a number of them into an area where we can nuke them out of existence and be done with them.
Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 02:52:00 AM by prentice crawford
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #73 on:
September 14, 2010, 03:07:02 AM »
I continue to entertain the possibility that solutions will entail recognizing the reality of Pashtunistan, forming alliance with India, and breakiing down the contradiction currently known as Pakistan while bringing central Asian gas down to the sea.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #74 on:
September 14, 2010, 03:19:45 AM »
I believe the status quo will only be broken by a major conflict that results in the deaths of millions.
Stratfor: Unrest in Kashmir
Reply #75 on:
September 16, 2010, 07:17:46 AM »
Civilian Unrest, Not Militancy, in Indian-Controlled Kashmir
Indian authorities deployed thousands of additional federal police personnel across the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday to enforce a curfew, and all flights to Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, were canceled due to security fears. The move comes a day after 18 protesters were killed in police shootings — the worst violence in three months of protests in the region. Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony called the situation “very serious” and said that an all-party meeting would be held in New Delhi on Wednesday. After the meeting, Antony said, the government will decide whether to partially lift a 20-year-old emergency law that many in Kashmir despise: the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which protects army and paramilitary troops from prosecution and gives them sweeping powers to open fire, detain suspects and confiscate property.
Unrest involving the Muslim majority community in the Kashmir Valley region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is not new. Demonstrations by the Muslim community opposing Indian rule in the region have been routine in recent years but were contained by Indian authorities. The latest wave of protests, however, is being described as the worst unrest since the beginning of the uprising in 1989. Certainly, the current round of protests is the longest period of street agitation in the region, and its staying power has forced the Indian government to acknowledge that the situation is no longer business as usual.
“The current unrest in Kashmir is clearly not the handiwork of Islamist militants; it is quite the contrary.”
The region of Kashmir normally is seen as the main point of contention in the historic conflict between South Asia’s two nuclear rivals, India and Pakistan. Within this context, the key issue is seen as Pakistani-backed Islamist militant groups fighting India in Kashmir and in areas far south of the western Himalayan region. Even though the insurgency that broke out in Indian-administered Kashmir in the late 1980s and early 1990s was an indigenous phenomenon, it very quickly became an issue of Pakistani-sponsored Islamist militancy.
The Pakistani-backed militancy reached a climax in the mini-war between India and Pakistan during the summer of 1999 in the Kargil region along the line of control dividing Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir. The Pakistani move to try to capture territory on the Indian side of the border failed, and then the post-Sept. 11 global atmosphere made it increasingly difficult for Pakistan to use its Islamist militant proxies against India, particularly in Kashmir. By 2007, Pakistan was in the throes of a domestic insurgency waged by Islamist militants. Then, in November 2008, elements affiliated with the one of the largest Pakistan-based Kashmiri Islamist militant groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba, staged attacks in the Indian financial hub, Mumbai.
The Mumbai attacks brought India and Pakistan very close to war, which was avoided via mediation by the United States. More importantly, though, it became clear to Islamabad that not only could it no longer back militants staging attacks in India, it also had to make sure that militants acting independent of the Pakistani state were curbed. Otherwise, it was risking war with India.
Within months of the Mumbai crisis, the Pakistanis were forced into a position where they had to mount a major counterinsurgency offensive in their own northwestern areas that had come under the control of Taliban rebels. As a result, Islamabad is no longer employing militancy as its main tool against India. In fact, Indian officials are saying that Pakistan has changed its strategy and, rather than backing militant groups, is stoking civilian unrest — which brings us back to the problem in Kashmir.
The current unrest in Kashmir is clearly not the handiwork of Islamist militants; it is quite the contrary. There are mass protests and rioting that is much harder to control than militancy. Militant activity can easily be painted as a foreign-backed (read Pakistani-backed) threat, which India achieved rather successfully by containing the militancy in Kashmir. But public agitation, which is indigenous in nature, is not easily dismissed as a Pakistani-backed movement. Furthermore, a violent military response to militant attacks is easier to justify than a violent response to civilian unrest.
Of course, Pakistan is exploiting the issue to its advantage, but that is very different from actually engineering the unrest from the ground up. This explains New Delhi’s concern and the dilemma it faces. India will have to address a new, more sophisticated threat to its authority in Kashmir with a new, more sophisticated response. Pakistan will have an advantage in Kashmir in the meantime. India also faces international pressure over Kashmir, because the crackdowns make India look bad, yet New Delhi has been trying not to internationalize the conflict since it wants to deal with Kashmir on its own terms.
A thoughtful read sent by an Indian friend
Reply #76 on:
September 18, 2010, 11:45:05 PM »
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:39 AM
Subject: fak-ap solution ?
An Afghan bone for Obama to chew on
By M K Bhadrakumar
When Robert Blackwill, who was former United States secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's deputy as national security adviser and George W Bush's presidential envoy to Iraq, took the podium at the International Institute of Strategic Studies think-tank in London on Monday to present his "Plan B" on Afghanistan, readers of the Wall Street Journal would have wondered what was afoot.
Blackwill is wired deep into the bowels of the US establishment, especially the Pentagon headed by Robert Gates. And the IISS prides itself as having been "hugely influential in setting the intellectual structures for managing the Cold War". Thus, the setting on Monday was perfect.
Blackwill has remarkable credentials to undertake exploratory
voyages into the trajectory of US foreign policy. In a memorable opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in March 2005 titled "A New Deal for New Delhi", he accurately predicted the blossoming of the US-India strategic partnership. He wrote:
The US should integrate India into the evolving global non-proliferation regime as a friendly nuclear weapons state ... Why should the US want to check India's missile capability in ways that could lead to China's permanent nuclear dominance over democratic India? ... We should sell advanced weaponry to India ... Given the strategic challenges ahead, the US should want the Indian armed forces to be equipped with the best weapons systems ... To make this happen, the US has to become a reliable long-term supplier, including through co-production and licensed manufacture arrangements.
Blackwill's construct almost verbatim did become US policy. Again, in December 2007 he penned a most thoughtful article titled "Forgive Russia, Confront Iran". He wrote:
To engage Russia, we need to substantially change our current policy approach to Moscow ... This is not to underrate the difficulties of interacting with Moscow on its external policies and its often-raw pursuit of power politics and spheres of influence ... But there are strategic priorities, substantive trade-offs and creative compromises that Western governments should consider. The West needs to adopt tactical flexibility and moderate compromise with Moscow.
Again, he hit the bull's eye in anticipating the US's reset with Russia. So, an interesting question arises: Is he sprinting indefatigably toward a hat-trick?
There can be no two opinions that the crisis situation in Afghanistan demands out-of-the-box thinking. Blackwill's radically original mind has come up with an intellectual construct when hardly 10 weeks are left for US President Barack Obama to take the plunge into his Afghanistan strategy review.
Blackwill foresees that the US's Afghan counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy is unlikely to succeed and an accommodation of the Taliban in its strongholds becomes inevitable in the near future. The current indications are that the process is already underway. (See Taliban and US get down to talks Asia Times Online, September 10, 2010.)
The Blackwill plan probes the downstream of this "accommodation". Blackwill flatly rules out a rapid withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan as that would be a "strategic calamity" for regional stability, would hand over a tremendous propaganda victory to the world syndicate of Islamist radicals, would "profoundly undermine" the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and would be seen as a failure of US leadership and strategic resolve.
Therefore, he proposes as a US policy goal a rationalization of the tangled, uneven Afghan battlefield so that it becomes more level and predictable and far less bloody, and enforcement of the game can come under new ground rules.
Prima facie, it appears scandalous as a plan calling for the "partition" of Afghanistan, but in actuality it is something else. In short, US forces should vacate the Taliban's historic strongholds in the Pashtun south and east and should relocate to the northern, central and western regions inhabited by non-Pashtun tribes.
Blackwill suggests the US should "enlist" the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras to do more of the anti-Taliban resistance, instead of COIN. And the US should only take recourse to massive air power and the use of special forces if contingencies arise to meet any residual threats from the Taliban after their politicalaccommodation in their strongholds.
A striking aspect of the Blackwill plan is that it is rooted in Afghan history and politics, the regional milieu and the interplay of global politics. Since 1761, Afghanistan has survived essentially as a loose-knit federation of ethnic groups under Kabul's notional leadership. The plan taps into the interplay of ethnicity in Afghan politics. The political reality today is that the Taliban have come to be the best-organized Afghan group and they are disinterested in a genuinely broad-based power-sharing arrangement in Kabul.
Unsurprisingly, the non-Pashtun groups feel uneasy. Their fears are not without justification insofar as the erstwhile anti-Taliban Northern Alliance has disintegrated and regional powers that are opposed to the Taliban, such as Russia, Iran and India, have such vastly divergent policy objectives (and priorities) that they cannot join hands, leave alone finance or equip another anti-Taliban resistance.
The Kabul government headed by President Hamid Karzai is far too weak to perform such a role. (Blackwill, curiously, doesn't visualize Karzai surviving.) According to Blackwill's plan, the US offers itself as the bulwark against an outright Taliban takeover. It envisages the US using decisive force against any Taliban attempt to expand beyond its Pashtun strongholds in the south and east, and to this end it promises security to non-Pashtun groups.
If it works, the plan could be a geopolitical coup for the US. It quintessentially means the US would hand over to the Taliban (which is heavily under the influence of the Pakistani military) the south and east bordering Pakistan while US forces would relocate to the regions bordering Central Asia and Iran.
The US would be extricating itself from fighting and bloodshed, while at the same time perpetuating its military presence in the region to provide a security guarantee to the weak Kabul government and as a bulwark against anarchy and extremism - on the pattern in Iraq.
The US's and NATO's profile as real-time providers of regional security and stability can only boost their influence in Central Asian capitals.
Seemingly recent random "happenings" mesh with Blackwill's plan, including:
A base to be built for US special forces in Mazar-i-Sharif.
The expansion of the air bases at Bagram and Shindand.
The overhaul of the massive Soviet-era air base in Termez by the US and NATO.
An agreement between the German Bundeswehr and the Uzbek government regarding Termez as a stop-off point for NATO military flights.
Fresh deployments of US special forces in Kunduz.
The US's parleys with non-Pashtun leaders in Berlin.
Mounting pressure on Hamid Karzai's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai to vacate Kandahar
(Blackwill said in an interview with the British Telegraph newspaper last week, "How many people really believe that Kandahar is central to Western civilization? We did not go to Afghanistan to control Kandahar.")
As a seasoned diplomat, Blackwill argues that China and Russia will choose to be stakeholders in an enterprise in which Washington underwrites Central Asia's security. True, China and Russia will be hard-pressed to contest the US's open-ended military presence in Afghanistan that is on the face of it projected as the unfinished business of the "war on terrorism". Central Asian states will be delighted at the prospect of the US joining the fight against creeping Islamism from Afghanistan.
The Blackwill plan brilliantly turns around the Taliban's ascendancy since 2005, which had occurred under Pakistani tutelage and, in retrospect, thanks to US passivity.
Blackwill admits that his plan "would allow Washington to focus on four issues more vital to its national interests: the rise of Chinese power, the Iranian nuclear program, nuclear terrorism and the future of Iraq".
Without suffering a strategic defeat, the US would be able to extricate itself from the war while the drop in war casualties would placate US opinion so that a long-term troop presence (as in Iraq) at the level of 50,000 or so would become sustainable. This was exactly what General David Petraeus, now the top US man in Afghanistan, achieved in Iraq.
Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #77 on:
October 19, 2010, 12:57:13 PM »
Quote from: G M on January 28, 2009, 05:17:23 PM
Want to defeat the Talibs in Afghanistan? Kill the head of the snake. It's Pakistan's ISI.
Pakistan's powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by the Guardian.
A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.
Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
He claims a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups.
Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai for the operation, claims that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched.
More than 160 people were killed by militants from LeT who arrived by sea to attack luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a café, a hospital and the main railway station in Mumbai, the Indian commercial capital. Casualties included citizens from 25 countries, including four Americans killed and seven Britons injured. The attacks dominated media for days and badly damaged already poor Indian-Pakistan relations.
European and American security services now fear that LeT, which has thousands of militants, runs dozens of training camps and has extensive logistic networks overseas, is moving from what has been a largely regional agenda – focused on the disputed Himalayan former princely state of Kashmir – to a global agenda involving strikes against the west or western interests. The documents suggest the fierce internal argument within the organisation over its strategic direction is being won by hardliners.
Headley, interviewed over 34 hours by Indian investigators in America in June, described how "a debate had begun among the terrorist outfits" and "a clash of ideology" leading to "splits".
"The aggression and commitment to jihad shown by several splinter groups in Afghanistan influenced many committed fighters to leave [LeT]," Headley said. "I understand this compelled the LeT to consider a spectacular terrorist strike in India."
Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, told the investigators that the ISI hoped the Mumbai attack would slow or stop growing "integration" between groups active in Kashmir, with whom the agency had maintained a long relationship, and "Taliban-based outfits" in Pakistan and Afghanistan which were a threat to the Pakistani state.
"The ISI … had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India," Headley is reported to have said. The aim of the agency was "controlling further split in the Kashmir-based outfits, providing them a sense of achievement and shifting … the theatre of violence from the domestic soil of Pakistan to India."
Headley describes meeting once with a "Colonel Kamran" from the military intelligence service and having a series of meetings with a "Major Iqbal" and a "Major Sameer Ali". A fellow conspirator was handled by a Colonel Shah, he claims. Headley also alleges that he was given $25,000 by his ISI handler to finance one of eight surveillance missions in India.
O-Barry's India trip
Reply #78 on:
November 05, 2010, 09:53:19 AM »
As the president hits India this weekend, he will find it is still George W. Bush country. Tunku Varadarajan on an alliance that Obama has allowed to wither on the vine.
Barack Obama’s visit to India, starting Saturday, may offer him some small respite from the drubbing that has made this week the nadir of his political life; but if he’s looking (a la Elizabeth Gilbert/Julia Roberts) for some Eastern salve for his battered soul, he isn’t going to find it in Mumbai or New Delhi. Obama will encounter a hospitable people, of course: Indians are never unkind to their guests. Why, they’re even stripping coconuts from trees that line a path he’s scheduled to walk down, lest a hard nut ping him on his un-turbanned head. But he will find little of the spontaneous warmth and genuine bonhomie that was lavished on George W. Bush when the latter visited India in 2006.
Two years after Bush’s departure from the White House, India is still Bush Country—a giant (if foreign) Red State, to use the American political taxonomy. By that I mean that the political establishment and much of the non-leftist intelligentsia still looks back with dewy-eyed fondness to the time when India’s relations with the United States flowered extravagantly under Bush. It wasn’t just a matter of securing a mold-breaking nuclear deal with Washington; it was a case of India dealing, for the first time in the uneven history of its relations with the United States, with an American president who saw India as a partner-in-civilization.
Bogged down in health care and bailouts at home, and in “Afpak” abroad, Obama has let the alliance with India wither on the vine. This has frustrated India deeply, especially as a perception came to grip New Delhi that some of Obama’s neglect was payback to India for its closeness to his predecessor. India pushed back hard and furiously at Obama’s early, tone-deaf attempt to foist Richard Holbrooke on the Indian subcontinent as some sort of “Kashmir czar,” and New Delhi has returned, to a noticeable extent, to the pre-Bush method of dealing with America: watch first, and closely; trust later, and sparingly. It is remarkable how an alliance that had seemed so electrifying—indeed, one that had all the hallmarks of a “paradigm shift” in international relations—has been so quickly squandered.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #79 on:
November 06, 2010, 08:28:05 AM »
India knows the players of Afpakia and details of their histories and interactions far better than we do. I have posted some Indian intel pieces here along the way and they always seem to me to have insight and big picture perspective that we would do well to add to our mix.
Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?)
Reply #80 on:
November 06, 2010, 12:13:09 PM »
In reading a variety of foreign writers thoughts on America, the only ones who really seemed to get us were Indian.
Obama acknowledges decline of US dominance-in India
Reply #81 on:
November 07, 2010, 05:36:04 PM »
Obama acknowledges decline of US dominance
TNN, Nov 8, 2010, 01.14am IST
MUMBAI: Implicitly acknowledging the decline of American dominance, Barack Obama on Sunday said the US was no longer in a position to "meet the rest of the world economically on our terms".
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Mumbai, he said, "I do think that one of the challenges that we are going face in the US, at a time when we are still recovering from the financial crisis is, how do we respond to some of the challenges of globalisation? The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I'll turn 50 next year - the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms. And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition."
"This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalisation as a threat and those who accept we live in a open integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities."
The US leader disagreed with those who saw globalisation as unmitigated evil. But while acknowledging that the Chindia factor had made the world flatter, he said protectionist impulses in US will get stronger if people don't see trade bringing in gains for them.
"If the American people feel that trade is just a one-way street where everybody is selling to the enormous US market but we can never sell what we make anywhere else, then the people of the US will start thinking that this is a bad deal for us and it could end up leading to a more protectionist instinct in both parties, not just among Democrats but also Republicans. So, that we have to guard against," he said.
He pointed out that America, which once traded without bothering about barriers put up by partners, could not promote trade at its own expense at a time when India and China were rising. "There has to be reciprocity in our trading relationships and if we can have those kind of conversations - fruitful, constructive conversation about how we produce win-win situations, then I think we will be fine."
Security Council for India?
Reply #82 on:
November 08, 2010, 08:08:11 AM »
Obama Backs India for Security Council Seat
President Obama announced on Monday in New Delhi that the
United States will back India's bid for a permanent seat on
an expanded United Nations Security Council, a major policy
shift that could aggravate China, which opposes such a move.
Reply #83 on:
December 17, 2010, 12:46:11 AM »
China and India: Dragon vs. Elephant
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a massive diplomatic entourage and a business delegation representing 100 firms arrived in India on Wednesday for a three-day visit. Wen began the visit by addressing concerns over the growing Sino-Indian rivalry, proclaiming that there need be no essential conflict between the Dragon and the Elephant and that Asia has room enough for both of them. After meeting with Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, Wen will travel to Pakistan, a staunch Chinese ally and Indian arch-foe, to emphasize where his deepest commitments lie.
Wen’s visit comes at a time of revived mutual suspicion. Two major incidents in particular have aggravated sore spots in the relationship. Riots in Lhasa, Tibet, in 2008 caused Beijing to worry more about breakaway tendencies in its far western province, whose exiled government is supported by New Delhi. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s continued support of various militant proxies has put the Sino-Pakistani alliance into renewed focus for New Delhi, especially in light of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
But alongside these signal events, Beijing’s growing economic clout has led it to expand infrastructure and military installations across its western regions in an attempt to bolster its territorial claims and secure its far-flung provinces from separatist or militant influences. India has bulked up its border infrastructure and security in response. And, perhaps most novel, Beijing’s growing dependency on overseas oil and raw materials has driven it to seek land and sea pathways to the Indian Ocean through closer relations with South Asian states generally and port agreements with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar, leading India to worry it will be encircled and someday threatened by China’s navy.
Economic growth is one of the primary reasons world powers have courted India this year, with U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy already having visited. Wen’s trip is no different, and already the two sides claim to have signed nearly 50 deals worth an estimated $16 billion if actualized. But deepening economic relations have not eased tensions, especially given the growing Indian trade deficit with China (from a surplus of $832 million in 2005 to a deficit of nearly $16 billion in 2009), which Wen acknowledged on the first day of his visit needed to be improved while simultaneously asking for greater market access for Chinese exporters.
“Beijing has its mind set on gaining control of land and sea routes to the Indian Ocean and needs internal mobility in its far west to prevent separatism and fortify its borders, and these policies are driving tensions with India higher.”
While India is keen on displaying its relationship with China as far more cooperative than confrontational, a serious self-critique is developing within New Delhi over its slow reaction to Chinese moves in the Indian periphery. China’s presence may be much more visible now in places like Kashmir, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, but that presence was built up methodically over several years. India, with no shortage of issues to keep itself occupied at home, is now finding that it is years behind China in countries that New Delhi would like to believe sit firmly within its sphere of influence.
In the past. India could rely on its influence in Tibet to send a warning to China. In fact, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna aired this threat in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in November when he said that just as India has been sensitive to Chinese concerns over Tibet and Taiwan, Beijing too should be mindful of Indian sensitivities on Jammu and Kashmir. The problem India has now is that this warning simply does not carry as much weight as it did. China has made considerable progress in building up the necessary political, economic and military linkages into Tibet to deny the Indians opportunities to needle Beijing in critical buffer territory. Moreover, India has not been able to invest the necessary time and effort into strengthening competitive relationships in more distant places like Southeast Asia and Taiwan — and has only begun with Japan — that would deeply unsettle Beijing. In fact, a discussion is taking place within some military circles in India over how China may be deliberately playing up issues on its land borders in Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh to divert India’s attention northward while China pursues its objectives in the Indian Ocean basin, something that STRATFOR alluded to when the stapled visa issue flared up in the summer.
Yet India is not alone in its alarm. The world is increasingly looking at China not only as a source of growth, but as an independent-minded and potentially unpredictable variable in the international system. Beijing’s increasing boldness has become one of the chief talking points in foreign policy circles, extending beyond international hard bargaining over resources and into China’s conduct around its entire periphery and in international organizations. When India openly worries about China’s intentions in exercising its newly found strengths, it is joined by the likes of Japan, South Korea, Australia, a number of China’s Southeast Asian neighbors and, most important, the United States.
The problem for Beijing is that it is ultimately outnumbered, and overpowered, but its attempts to prepare against threats make it appear more threatening. Beijing sees the international coalition forming against it, and in particular fears U.S. attention will soon come to rest squarely on it and that a strategic relationship with India is part of American designs. Hence, Wen has reason to play nice with India, if only to make China appear a more benign player and not hasten India’s moves to counteract it. Nevertheless, Beijing has its mind set on gaining control of land and sea routes to the Indian Ocean and needs internal mobility in its far west to prevent separatism and fortify its borders, and these policies are driving the tensions with India higher. Thus, while India senses Chinese encirclement in South Asia, Beijing senses American encirclement, of which India is only one part. Even with modern technology, the Himalayas remain a gigantic divider. But these two states have fought a border war in the Himalayas before, so the risks are real. Regardless of growing economic cooperation, both sense a growing security threat from the other that cannot be easily allayed.
Reply #84 on:
June 14, 2011, 03:06:30 PM »
Analyst Kamran Bokhari examines the pressure put on relations between New Delhi and Tehran due to U.S. sanctions on Iranian energy exports at a time when the looming U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has both countries concerned.
Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
Iran’s national security chief, Saeed Jalili, will soon be paying a visit to India, and this visit comes at a time when there is a lot happening between the two countries in terms of both bilateral relations and regional geopolitics.
Jalili’s visit to New Delhi comes at a time when relations between Iran and India are not as comfortable as they have been in recent years. The primary reason for that is that India is unable to pay Iran for the crude imports it gets from the clerical regime because of the international sanctions that have basically done away with the old mechanism that the two countries used to use in the form of a regional clearinghouse. That is an issue that has been lingering on for months and needs to be resolved.
The fact that there is this payment issue between India and Iran has allowed Saudi Arabia to enter into the dynamic where there are reports that Saudi Arabia is willing to increase its crude exports to India such that New Delhi would no longer need to import from Tehran. That issue has an unsettling effect on the Iranians even though they are just reports. Therefore this issue of the Saudi offer is likely to figure high on the agenda in the negotiations that will take place between the Iranians and the Indians. And especially now that the United States and its NATO allies are moving toward a drawdown strategy for Afghanistan, countries like India and Iran are especially concerned about their security given that the Taliban are likely to benefit from a Western military withdrawal from their country. And of course by extension, it also brings Pakistan into the equation which is a concern more so for New Delhi than it is for Tehran, but nonetheless there are shared concerns on the part of both the Iranians and the Indians and they would like to be able to prep for the coming drawdown.
Jalili’s trip will thus be about a host of issues, some long-standing, that actually bring India and Iran together, and others that are more contemporary and can become of a contentious nature because of the U.S.-led sanctions on Iran.
Reply #85 on:
July 13, 2011, 12:36:23 PM »
July 13, 2011
RED ALERT: MULTIPLE EXPLOSIONS IN MUMBAI
Three explosions were reported in Mumbai on July 13 in the crowded Opera House,
Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar areas of the city. The explosions began around 7:10 p.m. and
occurred within minutes of each other. There are reports that a fourth bomb, likely
at the Roxy Theater, failed to detonate. Current casualty estimates indicate five
people have been killed and 100 injured thus far.
This marks the first major attack in India since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Though the magnitude of these explosions has yet to be determined, this attack does
not appear to be as sophisticated as the 2008 attacks, which involved an assault
team consisting of a number of militants that coordinated 10 shooting and bombing
attacks across the city. The July 13 attack, by contrast, appears to have not
involved suicide attackers but consisted of explosives placed in a taxi, a meter box
and locations where they could be remotely detonated. This tactic is much more in
line with those used by more amateurish groups, such the Indian Mujahideen, who have
targeted crowded urban areas before.
Nonetheless, the attack comes at a critical juncture in U.S.-Pakistani relations as
the United States is trying to accelerate a withdrawal of its military forces in
Afghanistan. The 2008 Mumbai attacks revealed the extent to which traditional
Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups, such as elements from the defunct
Lashkar-e-Taiba, had collaborated with transnational jihadist elements like al Qaeda
in trying to instigate a crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi. Such a crisis would
complicate U.S.-Pakistani dealings on Afghanistan, potentially serving the interests
of al Qaeda as well as factions within Pakistan trying to derail a negotiation
between the United States and Pakistan.
Copyright 2011 STRATFOR.
Attack on the High Court
Reply #86 on:
September 09, 2011, 02:44:49 PM »
Militants detonated an improvised explosive device outside the Delhi High Court on Sept. 7. Though Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI) claimed responsibility, the attack was more likely carried out by an undefined network composed of the remnants of regional transnational militant groups that oppose the Indian government. Someone claiming to represent HUJI said the attack was staged to demand the death sentence of a Kashmiri militant involved in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament be revoked, and this incident may complicate plans for the Indian government, which has been reluctant to carry out the execution for fear of a militant backlash.
An improvised explosive device (IED) went off Sept. 7 near the reception line at the High Court in New Delhi, India. More than 100 people were waiting in line between Gate 4 and Gate 5 to obtain entry passes to the court to have their cases heard. According to officials, the blast killed 11 people and wounded 76 others. No judges were among the victims. Witnesses claim a man carrying a briefcase jumped to the front of the line before the device detonated. The investigation was quickly turned over to the National Investigation Agency, established after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. A top security official said a search for the culprit is under way, and security forces are surveilling all roads out of the city.
The attack is similar to other attacks recently witnessed in India; it was not an armed assault, and it was not a suicide bombing. Rather, it was a simple attack on a soft target, more akin to groups with indigenous capabilities such as the Indian Mujahideen, which is known to have connections with other militants that are or once were part of LeT. According to an email from a purported representative of Islamist militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI), the attack was staged to demand the death sentence of a Kashmiri militant involved in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament be revoked. Regardless of the veracity of that email, the claim could complicate the handling of the case by the Indian government, which has been reluctant to carry out the execution due to concerns of a possible militant backlash. Additionally, the Sept. 7 attack demonstrates a sustained level of indigenous militant capabilities, itself a worrying sign for New Delhi.
According to a police official, the blast took place outside the “controlled area” of the building at around 10:15 a.m., leaving a crater three to four meters (nine to 13 feet) deep. NDTV reported there were traces of ammonium nitrate. It is unclear whether there was a security cordon in front of the reception area or if the reception area was the first security checkpoint. What is clear is that the reception area was a softer target and thus more vulnerable to attack. (Two lawyers at the court said the scanner and the metal detector at Gate 5 had been inoperable since Sept. 6.)
Like past Indian Mujahideen attacks, the device utilized ammonium nitrate-based improvised explosives, was directed against a soft target, was concealed in a small container and left in a crowded area. It also was detonated via a timer rather than being a command-detonated suicide device. A similar attack was attempted on the same court May 25, with Indian officials later reporting the IED was a bag that contained 1.5 to 2 kilograms (3.3 to 4.4 pounds), had ammonium nitrate, a detonator attached to a timer and about 50 nails. It caused no casualties and damaged a car. In the wake of the attack, Indian media have speculated the earlier attack may have been a test case for the Sept. 7 attack, which is certainly possible, but it was more likely a failed attack.
Someone claiming to be a representative of HUJI allegedly wrote an email to the National Investigation Agency taking responsibility for the bombing, though this claim has yet to be verified. In the email, HUJI threatened to continue attacks against Indian courts if they did not revoke the death sentence of Kashmiri militant Afzal Guru, also known as Mohammad Afzal, who was convicted for his role in the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.
It is possible that HUJI carried out the Sept. 7 attack on its own, but a more likely explanation is that local militants conducted the attack at the behest of transnational anti-Indian militants who lack the ability to conduct attacks against the India government on their own. This network is not clearly defined, but it includes HUJI, or former members of the organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and al Qaeda. The same network was responsible for the 2011 Mumbai attacks, and it is not a centralized group or command structure; rather, it is a new coordination of groups that formally existed prior to 2001. Due to crackdowns in Pakistan, militant group dynamics in the region and disagreements over targets, it has collaborated in different ways. It appears that this network has successfully created an indigenous capability inside India.
The Afzal issue has been a contentious one in India since the Supreme Court sentenced him to death in 2004. The Indian government has been reluctant to follow through on the sentence for fear of a militant backlash. It is not yet clear if the Sept. 7 attack will cause the government to further balk at executing Afzal, given that the alleged perpetrators threatened to attack courts in the future unless it revoked the sentence. That little is known about the network that conducted the attack may add to the government’s reluctance to see the Afzal execution through.
Read more: India: Militants Attack Delhi High Court | STRATFOR
Reply #87 on:
October 13, 2011, 11:38:15 AM »
Strategic Cooperation Between India and Afghanistan
India and Afghanistan recently signed a strategic agreement and have pledged to cooperate in security matters, with India agreeing to train Afghan forces. This prospect has been raised by Afghanistan in the past, but to this point India had refused. What explains the change in the Indian position? What role, if any, has the United States played in this deal, given U.S. caution against such cooperation in the past? How do Pakistan and China respond?
US Bounty on Dhume
Reply #88 on:
April 06, 2012, 11:04:12 AM »
Although this could also be posted in the Afpakia thread, I think it a better fit here.
Because I search for Truth, I must say that my initial reaction is that this is a good move by Clinton-Obama. As our YA has been educating us for some years now with his quality contributions, there is natural alliance to be made with India and this is a good step in that direction.
Especially if backed with by efforts to put a hit on Dhume, this will strengthen respect for the US in this part of the world at a time when Obama-Clinton have done so much to weaken it.
By SADANAND DHUME
More than three years after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 166 people, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has something to worry about. On Monday, the United States announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.
The 62-year-old Islamic studies professor allegedly orchestrated the attacks carried out by 10 gunmen from Lashkar-e-Taiba, or LeT, the banned terrorist group he founded in the early 1990s. Only three other wanted terrorists—including the Taliban's Mullah Omar and key al Qaeda operatives in Iran and Iraq—carry as high a price on their heads. Only al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, worth a $25 million bounty, is deemed more valuable.
Washington's decision is overdue but nonetheless welcome. Like the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last May, it signals U.S. resolve to punish those responsible for the death of its citizens. Six Americans were among those killed in Mumbai, and LeT has also mounted attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
In South Asia, the U.S. decision marks a milestone in Washington's growing impatience with Pakistan's failure to act against terrorist groups that destabilize its neighbors and threaten the world. Pakistan's so-called deep state—the army and its spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence—has traditionally maintained even deeper links with the LeT than with the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani Network.
Bluntly put, Mr. Saeed is the Pakistani army's favorite jihadist. Like most members of the army, the vast majority of LeT cadres are Punjabis, members of Pakistan's dominant ethnic group. Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution has written about retired officers of elite army units such as the Special Services Group training LeT cadres. Both the army and the LeT recruit extensively from the same villages, and LeT training camps are often conveniently located beside army bases.
Though Pakistan ostensibly banned LeT under U.S. pressure in 2002, in reality it operates openly through its charity wing, Jamaat-ut-Dawa. Mr. Saeed has been placed under house arrest numerous times but is widely viewed as too well-connected and powerful to ever face a serious trial in Pakistan.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, $10 million man.
.The reward, announced while Wendy Sherman, the third ranking State Department official, was in New Delhi, also affirms the U.S.-India relationship as the cornerstone of U.S. policy in South Asia.
Since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, U.S. experts and policy makers have developed a more sophisticated picture of LeT. Once mostly seen as a Kashmiri militant group fighting the Indian army, LeT has since morphed into a global threat. Over the years, the LeT's fingerprints have shown up as far afield as Chechnya and Virginia.
It also displays a special animus toward Jews: During the Mumbai attacks, LeT militants targeted an Israeli rabbi and his pregnant wife. But it was the 2009 arrest of Pakistani-American David Headley (also known as Daood Gilani), a key Mumbai plotter, that made the LeT's global reach, radical pan-Islamist ideology and close links to Pakistan's military and intelligence services more widely known.
At the same time, U.S. relations with Pakistan have been in a freefall. Among the causes: last year's imprisonment in Lahore of CIA contractor Raymond Davis for shooting two Pakistanis in what he claimed was self-defense, the angry Pakistani response to the bin Laden raid, an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul traced to Pakistan, and a border skirmish in which the U.S. mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
In recent months, as a leading light of an Islamist coalition known as the Defence of Pakistan Council, Mr. Saeed has given rabble-rousing speeches across the country attacking America and promising to ensure that Pakistan does not reopen supply routes to Afghanistan shut after the border incident in November.
The public announcement of the reward effectively puts American prestige on the line. Addressing a crowded press conference in the garrison town of Rawalpindi Wednesday, Mr. Saeed mocked the U.S. "This is a laughable, absurd announcement," he said. "Here I am in front of everyone, not hiding in a cave."
This defiance creates an immediate goal: to ensure that Mr. Saeed, like the other terrorists on the U.S. list, cannot make light of his predicament. Ideally, the Pakistani government and courts will summon the will to arrest him and press charges, and the army and ISI won't stand in the way. If not, the time may eventually come to remind the good professor of the fate that befell bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and scores of others who shared his ideology and methods. Either way, sooner or later Mr. Saeed and his patrons will have come to terms with South Asia's new realities.
Mr. Dhume is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, and a columnist for WSJ.com. Follow him on Twitter @dhume01
The Economist writes about the US - India Alliance/Friendship
Reply #89 on:
June 16, 2012, 05:14:37 PM »
Very worthwhile read IMO.
India and America
Less than allies, more than friends
America and India try to define a new sort of relationship
Jun 16th 2012 | DELHI | from the print edition The Economist
“TWO cities where people rarely agree on much of anything” was how Robert Blake, an assistant secretary at the American State Department, described Washington and Delhi this month. It was a joke but, in context, was rather close to the bone. Touting a blossoming friendship, America and India still find plenty to bicker about.
His speech was looking forward to the third annual US-India “Strategic Dialogue”, which brought together senior figures from both countries in Washington, DC, on June 13th. This is a celebration of a partnership by which both countries set great store. Yet the list of issues on which they are at odds is dispiritingly long: Afghanistan, Iran, nuclear trade, climate change, market access, arms sales and more. If this is partnership, some in both capitals ask, what would rivalry look like?
The impetus seems to have gone out of a relationship in which America invested so much under George W Bush. His decision, in 2005, to press for international acceptance of India’s civil nuclear programme, ending a ban on foreign assistance imposed because of India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was meant to usher in a new era of co-operation and trust. Some of that evaporated early in the presidency of Barack Obama. India resented and successfully resisted his appointment of an envoy with a brief to meddle in India’s dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. And it was alarmed by his effort to recast relations with China, and talk of a “G2”.
In America, meanwhile, the prizes won by Mr Bush’s huge concession to India can seem at best disappointing. Indian legislation about the liability for nuclear accidents in effect closes to American companies the very market Mr Bush sacrificed so much to prise open. Disgruntlement grew last year when American firms lost their bid to supply India with 126 jetfighters—India’s biggest-ever defence contract—to European competitors. Both sides have moved on, but still, says Daniel Twining, of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think-tank in Washington, “even the most ebullient supporters” of the partnership in America are “a bit depressed”.
Mr Twining, who worked on the partnership in the Bush administration, says that both sides remain confident in its long-term benefits—perhaps so confident that they neglect the mundane business of actually building it. Two factors, however, are pushing America to reinvigorate ties with India. The near-collapse in its relations with Pakistan gives India an even greater significance in America’s hopes for stability in Afghanistan when most NATO troops leave in 2014. And America’s aspirations for co-operative relations with China have degenerated into a more blatant if undeclared form of strategic competition, as America rebalances its entire military posture towards Asia.
So American leaders are again talking up the India relationship. In Delhi this month Leon Panetta, the defence secretary, called India a “linchpin” of the “rebalancing” strategy. After this week’s dialogue, Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, noted that “the strategic fundamentals of our relationship are pushing our two countries’ interests into closer convergence.”
But India fears being left in the lurch as NATO skedaddles out of Afghanistan. Its security priority is to receive credible reassurances on plans for stabilising Afghanistan and ensuring it never again becomes a Talibanised client of Pakistan.
America, for its part, wants to see India further reduce imports of oil from Iran, with which Indian leaders like to boast of their “civilisational” ties. But on the eve of the dialogue, Mrs Clinton announced that India, unlike China or even Singapore, had already done enough to earn a waiver from American sanctions.
Hopes that something concrete might emerge from the dialogue were largely invested in economics. The two sides agreed to work on a bilateral investment treaty to unlock the huge potential for co-operation. In fact the one area where ties are flourishing—the jetfighter disappointment aside —is defence. India has become the world’s largest arms importer, and American exporters are benefiting, with more than $8 billion in sales in recent years.
Overall, however, America’s economic ties with India do not come close to the huge, symbiotic relations it has with China. India itself now does more trade with China ($74 billion in 2011) than it does with America ($58 billion). American officials would like to see the balance tip more in their country’s favour.
The unstated logic in both America and India behind the drive for closer relations is as a warning to China not to overreach itself and drive them into a fully fledged military alliance. It is still far short of that—more like a mutual feeling that India and America are closer in strategic and political outlook to each other than they are to China. For that reason, America has no qualms about India’s “Look East” policy of engagement with the rest of Asia, or even with its contemplating membership of the China-led regional security grouping focused on Central Asia, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation.
Experience elsewhere in Asia suggests that America’s confidence in the long-term strength of its partnership with India need not be shaken even if China’s economic links with India continue to outpace its own. The great paradox of Asian strategy today is that the closer countries find themselves bound up with China economically, the more they seek the reassurance of American security.
Re: India; India-afpakia and India-China?
Reply #90 on:
June 16, 2012, 07:54:52 PM »
Lets keep our eye open for more such. This alliance could be a good thing for both I am thinking.
Re: India; India-afpakia and India-China?
Reply #91 on:
June 27, 2012, 08:28:55 PM »
India-US relations is a complex topic...here's one article. This focusses on defense issues, ofcourse there's lots of other commerce that's not discussed.
Posted on June 26, 2012
America’s great plans for India, and why New Delhi’s jumpy
By Syed Nazakat in Delhi
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is a politician by profession and a military conjurer by necessity. He served briefly in the military, half a century ago, but his reputation has been built, almost entirely, in politics. For 16 years, he was the Democratic Congressman from his hometown, Monterey in California. Perhaps it was there that he saw India emerging. California was home to Gobind Behari Lal, the first Indian American to win the Pulitzer Prize; Bhagat S. Thind, the first Indian American to serve in the US Army, and Dalip S. Saund, the first Congressman of South Asian descent. Then there were the thousands of Indian immigrants in Silicon Valley.
Today, as the US is reviewing its defence policy after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, India has become, in Panetta’s own words, its strategic priority. Panetta’s forthcoming visit toIndia, his first as defence secretary, is part of Pentagon’s new policy to seek closer defence ties withIndia. Significantly, the visit comes just a week before the India-US strategic dialogue in Washington,D.C.
“This [India-US] partnership is top priority for the USdepartment of defence,” George Little, assistant secretary of defence for public affairs, told THE WEEK, before Panetta’s visit was officially announced. “In just one decade, there has been a rapid transformation of the US-India defence relationship into a strategic partnership between two of the pre-eminent security powers inAsia.” During his two-day visit, starting June 6, Panetta will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
Panetta knows the complexities of the US-India relationship. The paths converged first after 9/11, and then the nuclear deal became the fulcrum of the changed relationship, though the process was politically painful. Today, the US identifies Indiaas a long-term strategic partner; President Barack Obama famously described it as one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.
Dr Amer Latif, former director for south Asian affairs at Pentagon, said, “The military ties have developed into one of the most important and robust aspects of the US-India bilateral relationship. The priority towardsIndia was overdue.”
US has identified some key areas for cooperation
, such as homeland security, intelligence sharing, a joint working group on counter-terrorism, computer emergency response teams and a range of military engagements. To woo India, the UShas removed laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from the entity list. So, the DRDO can almost freely procure weapons systems from theUS, though a control regime still exits.
THE WEEK has learnt that, at a recently held defence policy group meet inDelhi, Jim Miller, Panetta’s close aide and Pentagon’s chief policy maker, proposed closer operational engagement with the Indian military. The US has proposed joint military planning exercises up to brigade level with the Indian Army and has asked India to place a senior liaison officer with the US Central Command and US Pacific Command.
As DPG meetings shun headline-grabbing rhetoric, no one, except those in the defence strategy network, paid attention to Miller’s words. “The US looks at India as an important strategic partner in the region as well as as a big and unexploited market,” said Jayadeva Ranade, former additional secretary, Research & Analysis Wing, who had a diplomatic posting in Washington, D.C. “Strategically, in the region, it would like to draw India into a partnership,” he said.
“It realises that India would recoil at any suggestion of an alliance, which helps further the US strategic agenda, including retarding China from emerging either as a potent threat or as a rival to US strategic interests.”
The US Pacific Command wanted to have joint operations with the Indian Navy in humanitarian and disaster relief missions. Despite repeated American requests since 2008,Indiahas been reluctant. A senior Indian defence ministry official said though India was ready to boost defence cooperation with theUS, it was unwilling to ink operational military pacts. This time,
Panetta may seek fresh discussions on the three pending military pacts—the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA).
The US has been arguing that CISMOA and BECA guarantee the use of US-made aircraft and communications systems before they hit the market. It would also give India access to sensitive C4ISR technology and increase the interoperability of Indian and American forces during joint exercises and missions. India, on the other hand, thinks the agreement is intrusive and that the US would use it to examine Indian equipment under the guise of interoperability.
More than CISMOA and BECA, it is the LSA on which both countries have sharp differences. The LSA for India is designed to give Indian and US ships and aircraft access to each other’s facilities, such as ports and airfields, for refuelling and refurbishment through a barter system. But many in the defence and political establishment suspect that the LSA will provide bases to theUSmilitary, turningIndiainto a subordinate ally.
And, the list of contentious issues is not limited to the military agreements. The US military aid to Pakistan, cooperation withIran, the use of military to topple regimes inWest Asiaand nuclear disarmament are some of the other issues. “Indiais cautious about developing operational cooperation with the US because of its political implications, both in terms of domestic politics and India’s external ties,” said Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary. “Indiawants to develop broad-based, mutually beneficial relations with various global power centres rather than being seen as excessively leaning towards one power centre.”
So sensitive is India that an off-the-cuff remark made by the US Pacific Command commander Admiral Robert F. Willard, about the presence of US Special Forces in India, was raised in Parliament. Antony had to reassure Parliament on May 7 that the “US has neither sought nor has the government of India approved stationing of US Special Forces personnel in any capacity in India.”
Within the defence ministry, there is growing consensus that it is in India’s interest, too, to forge a close defence partnership with theUS. The Indian Navy has benefited from the Malabar exercises with the US Navy.India has been conducting numerous naval exercises with the US, and, today, the exercise is no more limited to boarding operations.
This year, both navies were armed with guided-missile cruisers, destroyers and submarines during the 10-day long exercise in theBay of Bengal. Air defence and anti-submarine warfare was part of the exercise. TheUSfleet included the USS Carl Vinson, the Nimitz class supercarrier which carried Osama bin Laden’s body to be buried at sea.Indiaand theUShave organised over 50 military exercises in the last seven years, most of them aimed at building anti-terrorism and counter insurgency capability. With no other country has the Indian military engaged in so many joint exercises. The push in the defence trade is also a sign of growing trust and partnership.
India’s defence trade with the US has risen from virtually nil a decade ago to nearly $9 billion today. Since 2002, India has signed more than 20 deals for defence articles and services such as amphibious transport ship INS Jalashwa, UH-3H helicopters worth $92.5 million, Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft worth $962 million (the first US military aircraft sale to India in half a century), P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft worth $2.1 billion, Harpoon Block-II anti-ship missiles for $170 million and C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft worth $4.1 billion.
More recently, the defence ministry has cleared procurement of 145 ultra-light howitzers worth $647 million for deployment on the China border. The M777, the lightest 155mm artillery gun ever, will be the first such gun to enter service with the Indian Army after the Bofors guns 27 years ago. Negotiations are now being finalised for acquiring six more C-130J, four more P-8I aircraft, Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, Jaguar aircraft engine upgrades and as well as AH-64D attack helicopters.
“Defence cooperation is not just about sales, it is about creating new linkages between our technology and business sectors,” Geoffrey R. Pyatt, principal deputy assistant secretary, bureau of south and central Asian affairs at the state department, told reporters in Washington, D.C. “Our scientists and military personnel are increasingly asking not only what they can buy, but what they can co-produce and co-develop.”
At present, the technology cooperation between India and the US is mainly in collaborative projects like naval materials, command and control technologies and material search for aeronautics. “The DRDO and theUS, at present, are not pursuing the development of any hi-technology weapons platforms,” said Gopal Bhushan, director (international cooperation), DRDO. “However, both sides are keen to gradually co-design and co-develop some systems which have strategic relevance to both countries.”
Three ventures in Hyderabad show how the defence relationship is blossoming. Some 48km from the city,USmultinational DuPont, a leading provider of armour, has an integrated ballistics facility. The first such DuPont facility inAsia, it will develop and test protective gear for Indian defence and security forces. Aviation giant Lockheed Martin and Tata have a joint venture that makes aerostructure parts for C-130 aircraft. Mahindra & Mahindra has a joint venture withUScommunications equipment major Telephonics Corporation to produce radars, surveillance systems and communication solutions.
The Pentagon’s shift towards India comes amid increasing concern in theUS ove rChina’s strategic aims, as it is investing in newer and better weapons, missile defence systems, submarines, an aircraft carrier and the development of a stealth fighter jet.
India, as a deterrence effort, is building roads, infrastructure and military capability along theChinaborder.Indiahas also deployed its front-line fighter aircraft Sukhoi Su-30MKIs in forward airbases, and has raised two Mountain Divisions there.
Former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra said that a US-India strategic partnership, though feasible, would take some time to mature and would need an organic change in the bureaucracies of both countries. And, he had a word of caution: “The Chinese are extremely worried about the growing Indo-US strategic partnership, which is necessary to safeguard our national security. The closerIndiaand theUScome, the more hostile the Chinese attitude towards India would be.”
Before his India visit, Panetta hosted China’s Defence Minister Liang Guanglie. It was the first visit to Washington by a Chinese defence minister in nine years.Chinais expected to figure prominently in Panetta’s talks in Delhi. There will also be discussions on Afghanistan, where theUSis winding down the war. Both India and theUS have signed strategic partnership withAfghanistanand the intelligence agencies of both countries are working closely onAfghanistan, though no one wants to talk about this.
Panetta, like many in the Indian defence establishment, agrees that Indian and US interests converge and collide on terrorism, China and uncertainties about the end-game in Afghanistan, in particular the deal with the Taliban brokered by Pakistan. The agreement, however, is to build a long-term relationship which will give options in the event of fundamentalists taking over the Af-Pak region, or a turn for worse on the China front. Neither of these developments is likely, but insurance policies are worth having anyway.
Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:32:12 PM by ya
Reply #92 on:
July 30, 2012, 07:16:08 PM »
Indian Ocean and the new Great Game
Reply #93 on:
September 01, 2012, 10:20:15 AM »
Indian Ocean: the new Great Game
By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard Weekend Supplement
1st Sept 2012
Gushing out of the earth through narrow pipelines, oil is fated also to travel to its consumers through narrow bottlenecks. The Strait of Hormuz, just 34 kilometres wide, is the Persian Gulf exit through which supertankers haul away some 17 million barrels of oil daily. Five thousand kilometres later, at the doorstep of the oil guzzling economies of China, Japan and Indonesia, these giant vessels squeeze through the Malacca Strait, just 3 kilometres wide, leaving behind the Indian Ocean and entering the Pacific.
Global security managers lavish attention on the security of these two bottlenecks, but remain sanguine about the vast expanse of water that connect them: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea at the mouth of the Malacca Strait. But this stretch is the bailiwick of the Indian Navy, the only major navy that operates between Qatar --- the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) --- and the contested and militarised waters of the South China Sea, beyond the Malacca Strait.
Besides keeping a watchful eye over the international shipping lanes that run through the northern Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy is also the gatekeeper of two more choke points near its offshore island chains of Lakshadweep and the Andamans. All Pacific-bound shipping from the Persian Gulf, or the Red Sea, converges on a 200 kilometres wide funnel called the Ten Degree Channel (named after its latitude) that is straddled by India’s Lakshadweep island chain. Given these islands’ strategic control over the shipping lanes, the Kochi-based South-Western Naval Command established a naval base on Lakshadweep in April this year.
Patrol vessels, aircraft and radars on this base, INS Dweeprakshak (INS stands for Indian Naval Ship, a confusing appellation, since the navy uses it for ships as well as shore bases), plays guardian angel to merchant shipping on the international shipping lane (ISL) that runs through the Ten Degree Channel. The navy seeks no compensation for keeping pirates at bay, or responding to emergencies. This comes with the turf for a regional power’s navy. And, in the event of a crisis, this positions the navy well for closing the channel to unfriendly shipping, or “enforcing a blockade” in military parlance.
In the Bay of Bengal, twelve hundred kilometres from the Indian mainland, sits another strategically priceless island chain called the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These too dominate the international shipping lane that runs past them, through the 200-kilometre wide Six Degree Channel, before entering the Malacca Strait. Over the last two decades, India has transformed the Andamans (as the island chain is called) from a military backwater into the bristling Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC). This expanding presence, with a growing complement of naval, air and ground assets, is India’s first (and only) tri-service command, headed in rotation by three-star generals, admirals and air marshals, who report directly to the Integrated Defence Staff in New Delhi.
According to a recently retired navy fleet commander who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Lakshadweep and Andamans give India a double stranglehold over these international shipping lanes, make it the natural master of the northern Indian Ocean. Iran’s bluster about shutting down the Strait of Hormuz can evoke scepticism, but analysts agree that the Indian Navy --- with its flotilla of 134 modern warships --- can shut down the Indian Ocean shipping lanes whenever it chooses. At stake here are not just the oil supplies of China, Japan and the ASEAN states, but also the reverse flow of exports that are crucial to these economies. All told, some 60,000 vessels move through the Strait of Malacca each year, one every nine minutes.
“A couple of submarines and a fighter squadron at Car Nicobar could easily enforce a declared blockade,” says the retired fleet commander.
Last fortnight, this capability was strengthened when India’s just-retired naval chief, Admiral Nirmal Verma (he handed charge on Friday to Admiral DK Joshi), inaugurated a naval air base, INS Baaz, at the very mouth of the Malacca Strait. This base, which will eventually have a 10,000-foot-long runway for fighter operations, is 300 kilometres closer to the Malacca Strait than Car Nicobar,.
Noted geo-strategist, Robert Kaplan, notes India’s crucial geography in this area: “India stands astride the Indian Ocean… the world’s energy interstate, the link for megaships carrying hydrocarbons from the Middle East to the consumers in the burgeoning middle-class concentrations of East Asia. India, thus, with the help of the Indian Ocean, fuses the geopolitics of the Greater Middle East with the geopolitics of East Asia — creating an increasingly unified and organic geography of conflict and competition across the navigable southern rim of Eurasia.”
But New Delhi does not intend this ocean to be a hotly contested strategic prize. Instead, oil and merchandise must flow smoothly, crucial for its growing economy. But the Indian Navy’s level statements and its rapid growth also indicate that India plans to retain local superiority over its Chinese counterpart, the People’s Liberation Army (Navy), which would allow it to counter any Chinese aggression on the Himalayan frontier with a blockade of Chinese shipping in the Indian Ocean.
The growth of the PLA(N) can hardly be matched from within the resources of the smaller Indian economy. But New Delhi believes that the PLA(N) will be increasingly preoccupied with the growing regional presence of the US Navy that is presaged by the “rebalance to the Asia Pacific region” that President Barack Obama announced earlier this year. While Obama specifically named India as a key regional partner, New Delhi has chosen a more balanced role, which would not commit India to taking sides in any confrontation.
Admiral Verma declared in New Delhi in August that, notwithstanding “major policy statements from the US, from our perspective the primary areas of interest to us is from the Malacca Strait to the (Persian/Arabian) Gulf in the west, and to the Cape of Good Hope in the south… the Pacific and the South China Sea are of concern to us, but activation in those areas is not on the cards.”
India’s quiet assumption of primacy in the Indian Ocean does not go unchallenged by regional rivals. Chinese leaders, dating back to Defence Minister Chi Haotian in 1994, have protested that, “The Indian Ocean is not India’s ocean.” But the fundamental determinants of naval power --- force levels and proximity --- suggest that China is some way from being able to challenge India in its own oceanic backyard.
Senior government sources say that the navy is being careful that its new teeth and claws do not set off alarm bells anywhere. In the 1980s, India’s acquisition of a flurry of Soviet Union warships caused regional countries like Australia and Indonesia to openly question the reason for that naval build-up. This time around, there is painstaking transparency; the navy publicly bean counts all its recent and forthcoming acquisitions.
This was evident at Admiral Verma’s farewell press conference last month. He listed out the recently inducted warships that had taken the navy’s count to 134: three Project 17 stealth frigates (INS Shivalik, Satpura and Sahyadri); two fleet tankers (INS Deepak and Shakti); one Russian 1135.6 Class stealth frigate (INS Teg); the nuclear attack submarine, INS Chakra, which has been leased from Russia; a sail training ship (INS Sudarshini); and eight water-jet Fast Attack Craft.
Another 43 warships, revealed Verma, were under construction in India. These include three Project 15A destroyers (INS Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai), being built by Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai (MDL), which would start induction next year; four more similar destroyers under Project 15B; six Scorpene submarines being built at MDL; four anti-submarine warfare corvettes, being built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Kolkata (GRSE), which would start entering service next year; four offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) being built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) would commence induction later this year; five more OPVs and two cadet training ships are being built by private shipyards. Eight landing craft are being built by GRSE for the Andamans; six new catamaran-hulled survey vessels, the first of which will join the navy this year.
Also joining the navy would be three more warships from Russia: the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Gorshkov) would enter service this year; and two more frigates of the Teg class would join the navy’s fleet in 2013-14. All this would ensure that “over the next five years we expect to induct ships and submarines at an average rate of 5 platforms per year, provided the yards deliver as per contracted timelines,” said Verma.
All this is still insufficient to meet the navy’s Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP) target of a 160-ship force that is built around 90 capital warships, like aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Today the navy has barely half the destroyers and frigates it needs. And the 5 vessels that will be inducted each year will barely suffice to replace warships that are decommissioned after completing their 30-40 year service lives.
“Looking just at numbers conveys an over-gloomy picture,” a highly placed MoD source tells Business Standard. “Replacing a single-role frigate built in the 1960s or 1970s with a multi-role, stealth frigate that we build today is hardly a one-for-one transaction. It represents a significant accretion of capability. And so, we are looking at capabilities, not just at numbers.”
But numbers are important, especially when it comes to covering a vast maritime domain. In anti-piracy operations around the Gulf of Aden, where Indian, Chinese and Japanese warships conduct patrols in coordination with one another, India has managed to sustain a single warship on patrol. China, in contrast, sustains three, including a logistics replenishment vessel. India scrapes the bottom of its 134-ship barrel to muster warships for the range of exercises it conducts with the US, Russia, UK, France and Singapore, amongst others. The PLA(N)’s armada of more than 500 warships allows it to send vessels on lengthy deployments, such as port calls to eastern and southern African countries that front the Indian Ocean.
Realising that defence shipyards alone cannot bridge the navy’s shortfall, the MoD has encouraged shipyards like MDL and GRSE to forge joint ventures (JVs) with private shipyards that have created impressive infrastructure for building warships. These include L&T’s brand new Katupalli shipyard at Ennore, Tamil Nadu; Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co Ltd at Bhavnagar, Gujarat; and ABG Shipyard at Dahej, Gujarat. The JVs seek to marry the experience of defence shipyards with the infrastructure and entrepreneurial ability of the private sector shipyards.
Several western navies, like the UK’s Royal Navy, make up for smaller numbers by functioning in alliances, which has allowed them to concentrate on particular types of vessels (the Royal Navy focuses on anti-submarine warfare) while other partners handle other operational dimensions. With the Indian Navy determined to stay clear of alliances (“we can be a partner, but not an ally,” says a senior officer) it will be forced to find a way of putting in place the flotilla needed for policing the ocean that India increasingly considers its own.
* * * * *
AN EXPANDING FORCE
Indian Navy force multipliers
1. Sea Control
Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, formerly the Gorshkov, will be delivered this year. Like India’s existing carrier, the INS Viraat, this floating airfield will allow the navy to impose control over a large expanse of sea, a long distance away from land bases.
2. Strategic Bases
Far-flung bases like Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay in the Andamans (pictured here), which function like unsinkable aircraft carriers, allow air power to be applied at locations very far away from the mainland. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are 1200 km away from the mainland.
3. Blockade of Shipping
The nuclear attack submarine INS Chakra, along with 14 existing submarines and 6 Scorpenes that will come by 2018, can impose a blockade on shipping at choke points in the Indian Ocean. These include the Strait of Hormuz; Nine Degree Channel; Six Degree Channel; Malacca Strait.
4. Maritime Domain Awareness
Reconnaissance aircraft like the P8I (India has bought 8, the first of which will join the navy next year) will allow it to effectively monitor oceanic areas. India is also scouting around for 8 medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
5. Land Attack
The Brahmos cruise missile, which is now standard fitment on all naval warships, provide a potent capability to attack targets that are 200-250 kilometres inland.
Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 10:41:42 AM by Crafty_Dog
India-Russia closer cooperation
Reply #94 on:
December 26, 2012, 09:26:33 AM »
India and Russia: Chances for Closer Cooperation
December 24, 2012 | 0600 GMT
Russia and India are exploring possibilities for increased cooperation as Russian President Vladimir Putin heads to New Delhi for an annual bilateral summit. Moscow and New Delhi are facing a series of challenges in their respective regions, and Russia is looking to sustain its weapons industry. There are three areas in which Russia and India might increase their cooperation.
Russia and India's mutual history runs from competition in South Asia between czarist Russia and colonial England to Cold War-era cooperation between India and the Soviet Union. Moscow and New Delhi developed a close relationship after the United States provided weapons to Pakistan in the 1950s. The relationship intensified again following the Sino-Indian war in 1962. Even as India headed the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War, the Soviet Union began a heavy military investment in India that continues to this day.
Russia and India maintained ties after the fall of the Soviet Union, but the two countries have not seen any reason to expand their relations. The strategic relationship that existed occasionally during the Cold War became less important as each country focused on its own regional concerns. But developments in places like China and Afghanistan are placing new emphasis on the relationship.
Over the past decade, India has surpassed China to become the largest buyer of Russian military exports. This is a consequence of India's military modernization and of China's increasing reliance on its indigenous military industry. India has recently signed a number of weapons contracts with Russia, purchasing tanks, warships and aircraft. For Moscow, the military relationship with India is critical, because the overall demand for Russian weapons is in decline.
The Indians have recently begun to diversify their arms suppliers. Arms contracts that could have gone to Russia include a major multirole fighter program contracted to the French and a couple of helicopter tenders that went to the United States. While the Russians still figure prominently in the Indian defense market, they are no longer the near-lone supplier of weapons to India. The Indians are seeking to purchase the most advanced and effective weaponry, and in some categories, Russia has a hard time competing with countries such as the United States. Furthermore, a series of delays and mishaps (especially with the Admiral Gorshkov carrier) have cast doubt on the Russians' reliability in arms transfers.
The greater competition from other weapons producers and the growing sophistication of the Indian military-industrial complex has caused the defense cooperation between India and Russia to include far more joint ventures in weapons development. This has allowed Russia to remain competitive in the Indian market, and it has also brought in much-needed Indian financing to support mutually beneficial weapons projects.
Russia and India collaborated in developing and fielding the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter. So long as the Russians can offer India more than just sales, New Delhi will remain a key partner in the military-industrial field -- something Moscow needs. India, on the other hand, needs partners to help modernize its military as the country seeks to keep pace with military buildups in its neighborhood, especially in China.
India's domestic energy needs are rising fast. The International Energy Agency estimated that India would overtake Japan as the world's third-largest energy consumer by 2020. Domestic production of coal, natural gas and oil is declining due to poor management, lagging infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. India has been trying to perfect its technical capability by participating in technically difficult projects around the world. Many of these projects have been carried out in Russia or in countries where Russia holds influence. India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. holds a 20 percent stake in Russia's Sakhalin-I oil project and has been purchasing stakes in energy projects in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. India has hinted that it wants to create energy infrastructure connecting Central Asian energy supplies to India by routing them through Pakistan and Afghanistan, but security and political concerns decrease the chances that such a project will ever be carried out. Instead, India is focusing on existing projects to increase its expertise in energy technology.
New Delhi has renewed its focus on nuclear energy, a field in which Russia can expand its cooperation with India. Demand for nuclear energy is expected to grow nearly 400 percent in India from 2015 to 2035. Russia can build nuclear plants and provide uranium supplies. In fact, Moscow has already signed a protocol to build the third and fourth reactors at India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant, and it has offered loans to India for additional construction deals.
Both Moscow and New Delhi are worried about the security situation in Afghanistan once the U.S. military withdraws. Russia is concerned that militants will move from Afghanistan into Central Asia, a region Moscow considers its sphere of influence. New Delhi worries that Afghanistan will become the center of a transnational militancy that could affect India at home, and it also worries that Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan could grow.
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Moscow worked closely with New Delhi in backing the Northern Alliance against the Taliban; this cooperation created lasting connections between the countries' military, intelligence and political establishments. But while Russia is looking to cooperate with India on Afghanistan, Moscow has realized a relationship with Pakistan could be more useful in this case. India probably worries this will lead to greater ties between Islamabad and Moscow. With that in mind, it is in New Delhi's benefit to maintain relations with Moscow across a broad range of issues.
Read more: India and Russia: Chances for Closer Cooperation | Stratfor
India wants US natural gas
Reply #95 on:
April 08, 2013, 01:04:49 PM »
Marc: IMHO India is a natural ally for the US. Not only is it a democracy, it is a natural counterweight to China, and to Pakistan. In addition to the economics here, strengthening ties would be a good thing.
India Is Ready for U.S. Natural Gas
There is ample evidence that the U.S. economy will benefit if LNG exports are increased..
By NIRUPAMA RAO
The relationship between India and the United States is vibrant and growing. Near its heart is the subject of energy—how to use and secure it in the cleanest, most efficient way possible.
The India-U.S. Energy Dialogue, established in 2005, has allowed our two countries to engage on many issues. Yet as India's energy needs continue to rise and the U.S. looks to expand the marketplace for its vast cache of energy resources, our partnership stands to be strengthened even further.
Despite the global economic slowdown, India's economy has grown at a relatively brisk pace over the past five years and India is now the world's fifth-largest energy consumer. It imports 75% of its energy (especially oil and petroleum products) today and expects to import 90% over the next decade. As a result, India is working hard to diversify its energy supplies. Still, the demand for energy keeps growing at a rate of 5%-6% annually. My country needs to secure more supplies to foster the socio-economic development of millions of our people who are still living in poverty.
Happily, the U.S. has experienced a boom in the production of natural gas. The ability to tap large formations by advanced technologies has yielded a large amount of this energy resource that achieves significant savings compared with diesel, especially when used in high-mileage heavy-duty vehicles.
Liquefied natural gas is transported more easily than other forms of energy. Significant investments, including some from India, have been made in technologies designed to harness LNG safely and efficiently and to build new facilities and ports to distribute it globally.
There is a significant potential for U.S. exports of LNG to grow exponentially. So far, however, while all terminals in the U.S. with capacity to export LNG are authorized to ship it to countries with which the U.S. has a free-trade agreement, only one—the terminal at Sabine Pass in Louisiana—has received authorization to export to non-FTA countries.
Authorization for other terminals to export LNG to those countries is currently awaiting a review by Department of Energy. As part of its own due diligence, the department commissioned a report on the domestic economic impact of increased LNG exports. The study analyzed more than 60 different macroeconomic scenarios, and under every one of them the U.S. economy would experience a net benefit if LNG exports were increased.
A boost in LNG exports would have many positive effects on both the U.S. and Indian economies. For the U.S. it would help create thousands of jobs and an expanded revenue stream for the federal government. For India, it would provide a steady, reliable supply of clean energy that will help reduce our crude oil imports from the Middle East and provide reliable energy to a greater share of our population. For both countries, which are committed to environmental sustainability, increasing the use and transport of LNG globally will help put into greater use one of the cleanest energy sources in the world.
The prospect of increased Indian investment in the U.S. natural-gas market will usher in a new era for a strong and mutually rewarding India-U.S. energy partnership. Through it, we will further consolidate our strategic ties and deepen cooperation for the benefit of millions of people in both countries.
Ms. Rao is the Indian ambassador to the United States.
Re: India wants US natural gas
Reply #96 on:
April 08, 2013, 02:15:35 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on April 08, 2013, 01:04:49 PM
Marc: IMHO India is a natural ally for the US. Not only is it a democracy, it is a natural counterweight to China, and to Pakistan. In addition to the economics here, strengthening ties would be a good thing.
China messing with Indian territory
Reply #97 on:
May 02, 2013, 11:23:33 AM »
Re: India; India-afpakia and India-China?
Reply #98 on:
May 04, 2013, 01:39:47 PM »
Shadow on the line
This map does not reflect India's claims or actual holding, but accurately represents the area
by Ajai Shukla and Sonia Trikha Shukla
Business Standard, 4th May 13
Even for the most intrepid helicopter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF), flying a sortie to the desolate outpost of Daulat Beg Oldi on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, has always meant pushing the limits. Wing Commander Abdul Hanfee, who had won a Vir Chakra for his devil-may-care flying in Siachen, would take off from the Siachen Base Camp with his Mi-17 helicopter loaded with rations and fuel and set course for Saser La, the towering 17,753-foot pass on the Karakoram range. With the helicopter rotors shuddering as they clawed through the thin air, Hanfee would look down from his cockpit as he flew over the pass, still littered with the bones of camels, ponies and human wayfarers --- the detritus of a bygone era when arbitrary frontiers had not disrupted centuries-old patterns of trade and connectivity.
This was the Old Silk Route that connected Ladakh and Kashmir with Xinjiang --- now, like Tibet, an “autonomous region” of China. Well into the 20th century, camel caravans laden with silk, jade and hemp would set out from Yarkand and Khotan in East Turkestan, and travel to Leh and Kashmir from where they would bring back Pashmina wool, Kashmiri zafran (saffron), tea and calligraphy. After crossing the Karakoram Pass into India, the traders would leave their camels at what is now Daulat Beg Oldi, and transfer their goods onto pack ponies for the cruel journey over the Saser La into the more hospitable Shyok river valley that led on to Leh, Turtok or Srinagar. For the merchants and pilgrims who carried considerable sums in gold and silver, the treacherous Karakoram was far less hazardous than the robber bands and insecurity on the other route to Central Asia through Punjab and Afghanistan.
This isolation has defeated even the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which has laboured for over a decade, so far unsuccessfully, to build an all-weather road over Saser La that will connect Daulat Beg Oldi (or DBO, in military phraseology) with Leh, Partapur and Kargil. The BRO has failed equally in bringing another road northwards to DBO from the Pangong Tso Lake, along the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Without road links to the rest of Ladakh, DBO remains an isolated enclave across the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges, dependent upon the IAF for food, fuel, ammunition and quick troop replenishments. Going there on foot involves an exhausting five-day march at altitudes that would exhaust an ibex. The military calls this enclave Sub-Sector North (SSN) and regards it as crucial for the defence of Siachen and Leh.
According to Lt Gen Kamleshwar Davar, a former commander of 3 Infantry Division under which this area comes, “SSN has major strategic value for India. If the Chinese were to come up to Saser La, our control over the Siachen Glacier would be seriously compromised since Saser La overlooks that area. SSN provides a protective buffer to the Siachen sector and also provides depth to the northeastern approaches to Leh. Furthermore, SSN is our land access to Central Asia, along the Old Silk Route through the Karakoram Pass.”
Now, India’s control over SSN is being challenged by the increasingly assertive presence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). On Apr 15 the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), which holds and patrols SSN, discovered four Chinese tents pitched on a flat area called the Depsang Plain, with 30-40 uniformed Chinese personnel in the camp well inside the Indian side of the LAC. New Delhi was informed and the MEA contacted the Chinese Foreign Minister to activate a joint consultative mechanism that was set up in 2011 to resolve border incidents like this one. On Apr 18, the Chinese ambassador to India was called to the MEA and conveyed India’s concerns. But to little avail; in three flag meetings held on Apr 18, 23 and 30, the PLA has conveyed a simple message: its patrol has not violated the LAC; but it will withdraw if the Indian Army dismantles bunkers that it has built in two places near Chushul, in southeastern Ladakh.
“The PLA has carefully chosen its spot. Along the entire 4,057 kilometres of the LAC, India is most isolated at DBO, being entirely reliant on airlift. In contrast, the PLA can bring an entire motorized division to the area within a day, driving along a first-rate highway,” says Major General Sheru Thapliyal, also a former 3 Division commander.
Beijing has made it clear that it has demands that must be met before it withdraws. On Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying, declared: “the relevant negotiation mechanism is conducive to solving the relevant issue quickly… China and India are talking about the issue for a complete and appropriate settlement.” (emphasis ours)
Army sources protest that the Indian bunkers that China wants dismantled are deep on our side of the LAC, on the western bank side of the Indus, an area that China has never claimed even at its most acquisitive. Driving out the Chinese incursion at DBO would hardly be a problem, say top Indian commanders; a battalion, with adequate fire support could do this within minutes. But the Chinese were better placed for a build-up and would retaliate strongly. Besides, military action would dramatically escalate tensions all along the LAC, which has remained uniformly peaceful since the two countries signed the “Agreement on Peace and Tranquillity” in 1993. A series of tit-for-tat incursions all across the LAC would create a second active border for India to man around the year.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister AK Antony talked tough, suggesting that force would be employed if needed to safeguard Indian territories. Antony said, “There should not be any doubt that the country remains unanimous in its commitment to take every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard our interests.”
Brave words, but New Delhi’s top national security policymakers are not inclined to initiate a military confrontation with China, howsoever limited. That leaves the government with little choice other than diplomatic negotiations during two forthcoming high-level political meetings: foreign minister Salman Khurshid will visit Beijing on Thursday, while China’s new premier, Li Keqiang, is scheduled to visit New Delhi later this month.
Srikanth Kondapalli, a China expert in the Jawaharlal Nehru University believes that China is under pressure to resolve the crisis during Mr Khurshid’s visit to Beijing, since it needs a conducive atmosphere for Premier Li Keqiang’s visit. “The India polity is angry about China’s incursion and the opposition wants our foreign minister to cancel his visit to Beijing. If the issue festers, it would have negative implications for Premier Li Keqiang’s visit. Beijing remembers that President Hu Jintao’s visit in November 2006 had been vitiated after China’s ambassador to India, Sun Yuxi, had declared before the visit that the whole of Arunachal Pradesh was a disputed region,” says Kondapalli.
* * * *
At the root of the crisis is obvious unease in the Chinese security establishment at India’s border build-up, especially the surge in military deployment and infrastructure over the last 5-7 years. Like earlier occasions when the Indian Army enhanced its presence on the border, this time too China is making its disapproval felt.
New Delhi first became conscious in the 1950s of the need to establish a military presence along India’s claim lines in Ladakh and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh). The trigger was Beijing rejection of the legitimacy of India’s consulate in Lhasa and our trade agencies in Yatung and Gyantse (in Tibet). Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered a high-powered committee, presided over by Deputy Defence Minister, Major General MS Himmatsinghji, to study the problems created by China’s occupation of Tibet. The “North and North East Border Defence Committee” made the crucial (and still ignored) recommendation that military posts should move forward to India’s claim lines in tandem with the simultaneous development of administration, road communications and local infrastructure.
Instead, after belatedly discovering in 1957 that China’s newly built Western Highway from Tibet to Xinjiang ran for nearly 200 kilometres through the India-claimed Aksai Chin, a high altitude desolation that DBO is an extension of, New Delhi threw troops pell-mell into these unknown areas in what was known as the “Forward Policy”. Beijing’s insecurities, already inflamed by a massive Tibetan rebellion, were exacerbated by the suspicion that India was backing the uprising. Apprehension turned into animosity when New Delhi granted the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugees asylum in India in 1959. The Indian move forward thus degenerated into war by 1962. A much better prepared and equipped PLA easily overran Indian territory right down to the plains of Assam.
It took a traumatized India twenty years to decide to reoccupy the China border again. In 1975, General KV Krishna Rao submitted an “Experts Committee” report recommending military posture and border defences for the next 25 years. It called for a larger number of troops to defend the borders and for better roads to support their logistics. As the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) from 1981-83, Rao persuaded Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that twenty years of fearful holding back had to end. In 1983, the army moved forward again, deploying in strength in Tawang and Chushul.
This led to trouble again, with the Chinese aggrieved over India’s move forward. In 1986, a Chinese patrol pitched up tents in a disputed area called Wangdung, north of Tawang. A furious retaliatory build up by the Indian Army almost ended in actual hostilities, but tensions were resolved. Diplomatic engagement led to Rajiv Gandhi’s 1988 visit to China. During Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s visit to Beijing in 1993, the two countries signed an “Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China Border Area,” which has led to the largely peaceful border of today.
The current crisis is triggered by India’s third border buildup. Starting from the mid-2000s, New Delhi sanctioned two Indian mountain divisions to defend Arunachal Pradesh; and the IAF activated three Sukhoi-30 fighter bases in Assam along with several units of Akash air defence batteries. Eight Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) have been refurbished, permitting forward replenishment and heliborne operations. In the works is an even greater capability in the northeast, with an armoured brigade and a mountain strike corps scheduled to take the field by 2017.
Of apparently greater concern to Beijing is the growing Indian capability in Ladakh. India has moved at least two additional infantry brigades into southeastern Ladakh and an armoured brigade will become operational by 2017. ALGs have been activated in Nyoma, Fukche and DBO, with AN-32 transport aircraft now flying supplies and replenishments to these isolated outposts.
China’s discomfort will all this was conveyed last month when Beijing handed New Delhi a draft proposal to freeze troop levels and defences on the LAC, institutionalizing India’s disadvantage. While such an agreement would cap the Indian buildup, the intrusion at DBO seems to be a trial balloon for dealing with troublesome Indian positions that already exist. The intrusion has created “facts on the ground,” which can be bartered for Indian concessions around Chushul. And if this work, this method can be invoked in other sectors as well.
* * * *
Like many armies through the ages, the Indian Army finds its operational options constrained by logistics. China has understood that a comprehensive road network is the final arbiter of power in high altitude mountainous terrain. India has more troops on the border but, without a road network, the rugged Himalayas reduce those impressive divisions to isolated groups of soldiers sitting on widely separated hilltops. P Stodan, a former Indian ambassador who is from Ladakh points out, “Around Ladakh, the Chinese can move troops at 400 kilometres a day. We can do a leisurely 150-200 kilometres if we’re lucky.”
In case diplomatic negotiations do not resolve the problem this month, the next watershed in this crisis will be the onset of winter. Since the bitter conditions at DBO make it difficult for the Chinese to winter there in tents, they would have to build more weatherproof accommodation. Furthermore they would have to stock food, fuel and ammunition, for which they would need to move vehicles or helicopters. It remains to be seen if this would force India to react militarily.
Re: India; India-afpakia and India-China?
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May 04, 2013, 06:30:44 PM »
Chinese Manoeuvres against India’s possible use of the Gilgit-Baltistan Card
Paper No. 5478 Dated 01-May-2013
By B. Raman
In an article of December 20, 2010, titled “Sino-India border row: China's bid to boost Pak 'presence' in J&K” carried by Rediff.com at
, I had stated as follows:
“China, which had never openly questioned the Indian estimate of the length of the common border before, is now unilaterally seeking to exclude from consideration during the border talks the dispute between India and China over the Chinese occupation of a large territory in the Ladakh sector of J&K.
“In fact, it is seeking to question India's locus standi to discuss with China the border in the J&K area in view of Pakistan's claims to this area. It is trying to bring in Pakistan as an interested party in so far as the border talks regarding the western sector are concerned.
“It wants to change the format of the border talks in order to keep it confined bilaterally to the eastern and middle sectors and expand it to a trilateral issue involving India, China and Pakistan in the western sector.
“The exclusion of the border in the J&K sector from its estimate of the total length of the border is another indication that it does not recognise India's claims of sovereignty over J&K.
“It is apparent that this is part of a well thought-out policy of unilaterally changing the ground rules of the border talks. It had earlier allegedly changed the ground rules in the eastern sector by going back on a prior understanding with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the border should be demarcated in such a manner as not to affect populated areas.
“It is now going back on its previous stand in the western sector by seeking to challenge India's locus standi in view of its dispute with Pakistan.
“Even at the risk of a further delay in the exercise to solve the border dispute, India should not agree to any change in the ground rules which would restrict the border talks only to the eastern and middle sectors and exclude the western sector on the ground that India has a dispute over this area with Pakistan.”
2. The Chinese manoeuvres to change the ground rules are reflected in the latest situation created by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ( a platoon of it) in advancing 19 kms inside the hitherto perceived Line of Actual Control (LOAC) in the Dipsang area of Eastern Ladakh on April 15,2013, and staying put there in tents.
3. In the absence of any commonly accepted maps indicating a mutually accepted perception of the LOAC, the understanding as to where the LOAC lies largely depends on the differing individual perceptions of the two countries. While the Indian perceptions remain constant, the Chinese perceptions remain changing depending on its individual interest.
4. The Chinese assertion of claims of territorial sovereignty in the Eastern Ladakh area had in the past remained restricted to a few kms from the LOAC. For the first time now, it has unilaterally changed the perception by 19 kms. Whether the Chinese ultimately withdraw from this area or not, by this intrusion, Beijing is seeking to impose a change in the ground situation that had prevailed since 1962 by unilaterally imposing a new perception of the LOAC which will expand Chinese claims to Indian territory in this area.
5. At the same time, according to media reports that have not been questioned by the Government of India, the PLA is demanding India’s reversal of its reported re-activation of the advanced landing grounds at Daulat Beg Oldie, Fukche and Nyoma and suspension of India’s construction of temporary posts at Chumar and Fukche to provide shelters to patrolling Indian troops.
6. In one stroke, China is seeking to expand considerably the area over which it claims sovereignty and restrict or reduce the area over which India has been claiming sovereignty.
7. Why has China suddenly sought to activate sovereignty issues in this area and to change unilaterally hitherto accepted perceptions/claims of the LOAC? This area where the PLA has embarked on a policy of activism contrary to China’s proclamations of its interest in finding a peaceful solution to the border dispute and maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas has assumed importance for China in view of its proximity to the Karakoram area in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan where the Chinese have stepped their construction activities and inducted Chinese protection troops to protect the construction teams with the acceptance of the Government of Pakistan, which has been in illegal occupation of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
8. If a confrontational situation develops between India and China, India will have two cards at its disposal--- re-activate Tibet, which will be a difficult option or make the Chinese presence in GB prohibitively costly for China just as the US made the Soviet presence in Afghanistan bloody costly for the erstwhile USSR. The second is a doable option.
9. India looks upon POK and GB as an integral part of India. The Chinese presence in that area is a violation of India’s sovereignty claims. India has strategic allies amongst the people of GB who could help it in making the Chinese presence costly. GB can provide India with the option of proxy activism in that area to make the Chinese pay for their repeated intrusions in the Ladakh area.
10. The Chinese are seeking to pre-empt possible Indian activism against Chinese presence and interests in the GB area by occupying new territory in Eastern Ladakh and keeping the Indian Army away from the vicinity of the Karakoram area.
11. Whatever be the final outcome of the present stand-off, the Chinese manoeuvres to prevent India from possibly using the GB card against them will continue. We should not lose this card and should not legitimise the Chinese presence in the GB area. We have already lost the Tibet card by accepting Tibet in writing as an integral part of China. We should not lose the GB card by succumbing to the new Chinese pressure in the areas in the proximity of the Karakoram area.
12. This may please be read in continuation of my earlier article on the India-China Border Dispute of April 23, 2013, at
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