The Pentagon is considering a major overhaul of its geographical combatant commands, possibly realigning oversight within hot-button areas of the world and eliminating thousands of military and civilian positions,according to defense sources.. While the plans for combatant command (COCOM) realignment and consolidation are still notional, sources say some options include: Combining Northern Command and Southern Command to form what what some are calling “Americas Command” or “Western Command.” Dissolving Africa Command and splitting it up among European Command and Central Command.
In many cases the police and paramilitary units used non-lethal methods in responding to rallies and violence by supporters of Islamic parties, the New York-based advocacy group found. In other instances they resorted to “excessive force,” shooting demonstrators at close range, and beating others to death, according to witness testimony. More than 150 people were killed, including seven children, and at least 2,000 others were injured in clashes between February and early May, Human Rights Watch said after interviewing 95 victims, witnesses, journalists, lawyers and human rights workers. Police officers were among those who died, it found.
The gas from Myanmar, pumped from offshore fields in the Bay of Bengal, is not expected to reach China via the new pipeline until next month or September. But at full capacity, it will deliver 12 billion cubic meters each year of additional supply to China. This is nearly 30 percent of current annual imports and one-twelfth of the country’s 2012 gas consumption. Beijing fears its maritime oil and gas imports could be targeted in a selective blockade of the straits led by the U.S. Chinese leaders call this potential vulnerability their “Malacca Dilemma.”
The U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world. The move comes as the Obama administration is reducing the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. This next phase of drone warfare is focused more on spying than killing and will extend the Pentagon’s surveillance networks far beyond traditional, declared combat zones. According to the Washington Post, over the past decade, the Pentagon has collected more than 400 Predators, Reapers, Hunters, Gray Eagles and other high-altitude drones that have revolutionized counterterrorism operations.
Even as the security establishment counters the pan-Indian network of Laskher-e-Taiba (LeT) and its indigenous arm Indian Mujahideen, the Pakistan-based terror outfit is busy opening another front close to the northeast region, along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Inputs with R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency, confirm that LeT and its over ground avatar, Jamaat ud Dawah (JuD), are working to extend their footprint along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by riding piggyback on the sectarian violence targeted against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The doctrine of the Indian secret agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is based on the principle of waging continuous secret battles through its agents. Since its creation in 1968, RAW has assumed a significant status in formulation of Indian foreign policy. RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in consonance with Indian regional ambitions.
The Indian government this week reportedly paved the way for the creation of a new military corps of 50,000 troops near its border with China. If correct, analysts say this is a sign that New Delhi, which has been largely focused on its frontier with Pakistan, is now shifting its attention to the long, disputed Sino-Indian boundary. The creation of a strike corps would give India thousands of war-ready soldiers, trained and equipped to respond rapidly to a military threat, stationed close to the border between India and China, known as the Line of Actual Control.
By opening its doors to India, Iran and Pakistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will increase its legitimacy and effectiveness among regional and international powers, and enhance its power posture in the international scene. An observation of the map of the Eurasian region, which includes the members as well as observers of the group, clearly shows the interconnectedness of the whole region. The famed Silk Road stands witness to this connectivity and places like Kashgar, Samarkand and Bukhara in the region were once centres of this Silk Road trade.
Boosting Army’s war fighting capabilities along the line of actual control (LAC), the government on Wednesday has given the go ahead to the creation of a corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border at a cost of around Rs 65,000 crore. The Cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the proposal in its meeting, sources told PTI. The 1.3 million-strong Army is expected to raise the new corps’ headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal.
India, China and Pakistan are vying for supremacy in weapon technology as never seen before. The inventory attained by the three is formidable. Kashmir is embroiled in these equations because a sharp tilt in one direction will influence an outcome on politics here. China has a vested interest in Kashmir as demonstrated not only by its belligerency on LAC with India and Ladakh but by stapled visa on passports from Kashmir and provoking inclusion of Indian administered parts of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in their official maps as Chinese territory.
A group of jihadists from Burma, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan are reported to have formed a “brigade” to fight the Burmese government. A Burmese branch of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami that is based in Karachi, Pakistan and has been in operation since the late 1980s is likely involved in recruiting Pakistanis to fight in Burma. “A brigade of Mujahedeen from Burma, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan under the leadership of Abu Safiya and Abu Arif reached Burma,”.
The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. While credit must be given to the Pakistan premier for his plans to speed up this ambitious project — perceived as pivotal to the country’s economic prosperity — there are several underlying factors, especially security and political differences within Balochistan, that will have to be incorporated in policy formulation for the corridor’s implementation.
ndia is stepping up training ofAfghan National Army (ANA) in a major way, even as it also considers supply of military equipment to the fledgling force, in the backdrop of the US-led coalition preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.
Defence ministry sources say “a major Indian effort has been launched for capability enhancement of the ANA” to ensure it can handle the internal security of Afghanistan after the progressive exit of the 100,000 foreign soldiers from there by end-2014.
Asserting that there has been no change in the attitude and policy of Pakistani military towards India, a former American diplomat has said the next frontier of conflict between the two nations could be Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan is going to be in mess after we leave. India’s equity are now deeply engaged in Afghanistan and danger is that the next frontier of India-Pak conflict is going to be in Afghanistan,” said Robert Blackwill, the former US Ambassador to India said.
On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.
India and South Korea share remarkable common interests – all the more remarkable considering how far apart they are geographically, in area, population, average income, living conditions and climate. And then consider how different are Indians and Koreans in ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, religious beliefs and influences. It’s hard to imagine two such important nations and societies with so little in common, yet so closely bound by security and economic considerations.
How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does a country need as an effective deterrent against the threats of attack? Finding an acceptable balance is critically important in Asia, where four of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are located.Asia may be sliding into a nuclear arms race, aggravated by underlying tensions and mistrust. As one nuclear weapons state enlarges its arsenal, other regional atomic powers do the same. SIPRI estimated that China, India and Pakistan had each added about 10 warheads to their operational stockpiles in 2012.
While it may be a lesser-known region, Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a buffer between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The development of water resources flowing from Gilgit-Baltistan could improve the livelihood of rural Pakistan and thus lessen manpower heading towards extremist groups. Empowerment of the region could be accomplished through development assistance and encouragement of the local population by the transatlantic community. The dispute between India and Pakistan over the territory of the former princely state Jammu and Kashmir is mostly referred to as the Kashmir dispute.
The top U.S. special operations commander, Adm. William McRaven, ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.
The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
India will sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in a move to counter China’s bid to spread its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean region, the Deccan Herald reported. Sources told Deccan Herald that the agreement, to be signed during the NSA’s visit to Sri Lanka, will seek to set up a mechanism for trilateral cooperation in maritime security, information sharing, cooperation on search and rescue in the Indian Ocean region, surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zones, collective response to marine oil pollution and capacity building through training and exercises.
You’ve heard of planned obsolescence — tactical nuclear weapons are a case of deferred obsolescence: a weapon that has long ago worn out its welcome in the U.S. arsenal. Politically, however, there are still voices that argue that even a bomb with no military utility is “reassuring” to certain allies, and that storing this artifact in European bunkers and maintaining allied aircraft capable of dropping this bomb is a valuable demonstration of NATO “burden sharing.” Moreover, these proponents are prepared to pay — or rather, have the U.S. pay — $10 billion to modernize and store the B61.
China and Pakistan set their sights Friday on developing a transport link from northwestern China through rugged Pakistani mountains to the Arabian Sea, a route they hope will boost economic growth and slash shipping times. A broad agreement for the “economic corridor” was among eight pacts signed following a meeting in Beijing between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The transport link was described as a “long-term plan” to connect the Chinese city of Kashgar to the port of Gwadar, more than 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) away across the towering Karakoram mountains and Pakistan’s lawless Baluchistan province.
Fighting in Afghanistan could be stopped “in weeks” if Pakistan told the Taliban to end the insurgency, the head of the Afghan army has told the BBC. Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi said Pakistan controlled and gave shelter to Taliban leaders, deliberately unleashing fighters on Afghanistan. Pakistan denies controlling the militant group. It was one of the Taliban’s main supporters from its launch in 1994 until the 2001 fall of the regime. Most of the Taliban’s leaders reportedly then fled to Pakistan and the group is still considered to be heavily dependent on the support of certain elements in the country.
International concerns have been raised by Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal, while Beijing has faced much criticism for its co-operation over nuclear energy with Islamabad.
Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned the country nuclear in 1998, sought Chinese assistance in the field of civil nuclear technology to overcome the country’s energy crisis during a meeting with visiting Premier Li Keqiang in Islamabad last month. Indeed, there are indications that nuclear co-operation is now going to be the prime driver of the Sino-Pakistan strategic partnership.
The hostility between India and Pakistan, ongoing for more than 60 years, lies at the heart of the current war in Afghanistan. Most observers in the west view the conflict as a battle between Nato on one hand, and al-Qaida and the Taliban on the other. In reality this has long since ceased to be the case – we think this is about us, but it’s not. Instead our troops are now caught up in a complex war shaped by two pre-existing conflicts: one internal, the other regional.
After a substantial phase of people’s disenchantment with violence and a gradual movement away from an armed struggle toward nonviolent protests and social media campaigns, the gun seems to be returning to the center stage of Kashmir’s fight against Indian rule. New Delhi missed an opportunity to engage with a changed environment where the focus was on nonviolence and instead started terming the absence of violence as peace and silence of guns as Kashmir’s acceptance of the Indian rule.
Pakistan has raised a 25,000-strong special force and put in place extensive measures to protect and manage its strategic assets, including its nuclear arsenal, finance minister Ishaq Dar said on Saturday. “A special security force of 25,000 personnel, who have been specially trained and provided sophisticated weapons, has been deployed to protect (the nuclear assets),” Pakistan has raised a special response force, a special escort force and a marine force to protect and guard its strategic assets, he said without giving details.
Pakistan has a growing fear that the US might abandon it once again after its exit from Afghanistan next year. The Pakistan embassy has conveyed the message to the Obama administration in numerous meetings, according to the acting ambassador Dr Asad Majeed.
Talking to The News after attending an event on the Capitol Hill, he said Pakistani officials have been expressing concern, both publicly and in official meetings with American officials, that Pakistan could be left to deal with the fallout of the US withdrawal in the form of militancy and extremism in Afghanistan.
Newly-elected Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, in his maiden speech, revealed that Islamabad and Beijing have expressed a keen desire to implement the Gwadar-Khunjerab-Kashgar rail network.
The successful implementation of the Gwadar-Khunjerab-Kashgar rail network will help China secure oil supply and commercial routes on the Indian Ocean, furthering its plans to secure yet another strategic energy and trade corridor. Besides, the project is expected to provide a major boost to Pakistan’s sinking economy.
Pakistan’s military is all set to adopt a “new concept” of war for fighting future conventional threats, specifically pre-empting India’s cold-start military doctrine, revealed security officials.
The new war concept, developed after four years of war games and military exercises, seeks to improve the mobilisation time of troops and develop an integrated response from the combined fighting arms of the army, navy and air forces, in case of a conventional military threat.
For almost 100 years, the countries of Central Asia were kept out of the arena of world politics as they were part of the former Soviet Union. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, they became independent nations: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. These countries have become the focus of the economic superpowers because of their strategic location between the East and the West and their wealth as a result of large reserves of oil and natural gas which have been discovered in large quantities under the Caspian Sea.
A conversation on Afghanistan has already begun, not least because China has bought the rights to mine copper ore in Mes Aynak in northern Afghanistan as well as gold and oil deposits elsewhere. For the time being, at least, the Chinese have quietly resisted a public role in the post-2014 scenario, in deference to the lead role its all-weather friend and partner Pakistan hopes to play in Afghanistan once the Americans leave. China is also happy to watch its chief rival, the US, lick its wounds as it withdraws battered.
Lord Blair, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said there were “thousands and thousands of people who listen to Islamic extremists”. MI5 and MI6 must go after the most dangerous suspects who travel abroad for terrorist training, he said. “The Security Service (MI5) has limited resources. They must prioritise people who are most likely to move from being interested in violent extremism to carrying it out. “Even if you have the resources to do it, you have to have a very high level of suspicion to put surveillance on them. “What are you monitoring? Lots of people have very odd views.”
Turkmenistan plans to begin production at Galkynysh, the world’s second largest gas field, by June 30, which will allow it boost exports to Asia and help Europe lessen its dependence on Russian gas.
Turkmenistan, a post-Soviet Central Asian country of 5.5 million which borders Afghanistan and Iran, holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas riches after Russia, Iran and Qatar. British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates has estimated the reserves of Galkynysh, named after the Turkmen word for “renaissance,” at 13.1 trillion to 21.2 trillion cubic metres.
Russia remains concerned about the volatile situation in Afghanistan, fearing the return of the Taliban and other terrorist groups to power once the US-led coalition troops leave Afghanistan by the end of next year. Predicting instability in the violence-wracked country, Russia plans to deploy troops on the Tajik-Afghan border to prevent the spillover of violence into Russia. Moscow’s envoy to Kabul, Andrey Avetisyan, told Reuters that if Russia didn’t guard its border with Afghanistan, it might face multiple challenges, ranging from the transport of narcotics to terrorism, and therefore the only solution was to guard the border.
Ahead of its President’s visit here from May 20, Afghanistan on Thursday said it was looking for enhanced defence cooperation with India, from where it was expecting supply of lethal and non-lethal military equipment.
The two sides will discuss a range of issues of mutual concern and interest and will discuss cooperation at a “critical time” for Afghanistan, which is witnessing the withdrawal of NATO combat troops, the envoy said.
India continues to view Pakistan as the “real threat” even though it is adjusting its military strategy to include the possibility of a limited two-front war with both Pakistan and China, the first Blue Book on India published by a Chinese think tank said.
Pakistan is India’s main “real threat” to maintain a high degree of vigilance and preparedness, the summary of the Blue Book released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, (CASS) said. The report says Indian military deployment on land is mainly fixated against Pakistan but in recent times, it is also being adjusted for both China and Pakistan.
Believe it or not but it is a fact that according to data from an independent elections observer group Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), over 100 per cent voting was witnessed in 49 polling stations in Pakistan in May 11 general elections, which were won by PML-N of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
“In 49 polling stations in the country, number of votes polled far exceeds the registered voters,” revealed the date released by FAFEN.
For someone who spent a lonely life in a Pakistani jail for more than two decades of his life, the public farewell that Sarabjit Singh received on his death was rather remarkable.
After news broke that Singh – held by Pakistan since 1990 for allegedly being a spy and plotting two bomb attacks that killed 14 – had succumbed to his injuries after being beaten by fellow inmates, anger and outrage swept India. Stung by the mood on the street, the government organised a state funeral for him – televised live after a visibly embarrassed Pakistan sent back his body.
Fresh clashes broke out Monday between troops on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where soldiers from both countries exchanged gunfire last week.
Afghan officials said the fight broke out after Pakistani troops returned to the site of a gate on land that both sides claim along the porous border. It is not clear whether there were any casualties in Monday’s fighting. Last week, crossfire on the border killed one Afghan border guard and wounded two Pakistani security personnel.
After five years of relatively stable civilian rule, Pakistan seems ready to move ahead with another democratically elected government. But how will that administration behave at home and abroad?
Many longtime observers of Pakistani politics think that the new administration is most likely to be a coalition government of conservative political parties that enjoy the full support of the country’s all-powerful military establishment.
In a strategically significant move to counter China’s presence in the region, India has announced that it will upgrade Iran’s crucial Chabahar port that gives a transit route to land-locked Afghanistan.
India’s decision was conveyed by Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in Tehran today during his meeting with his counterpart. An expert team from India will visit Iran to assess investment needed for the upgradation of the port on the Iran-Pakistan border facing the Arabian Sea.
BJP today cautioned that the Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh could snowball into a “Kargil-like” situation and urged the government to take the issue seriously instead of treating it as merely a local issue. “The Prime Minister has said the incursions in Ladakh are a localised issue. To say so is wrong. After all, what had happened in Kargil?” BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters. Incidentally, NDA was in power when the Kargil conflict took place in 1999. The then government was taken by surprise when the incursions from Pakistan were detected. Naqvi said India should give up its “confused and contradictory” policy towards China and take some serious measures.
Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest. On one hand, China has courted Israel as a partner in developing Mediterranean gas fields — but it also has been happy to do business with Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, and has sold weapons that ended up in Hezbollah’s arsenal. In South Asia, meanwhile, China has cynically helped Pakistan check India’s regional role, even as China’s state-controlled press has warned Pakistan that Beijing may “intervene militarily” in South Asia if Pakistani-origin jihadis continue to infiltrate Muslim areas of Western China.
With the Sino-India standoff in Ladakh now in it’s third week, Chinese are showing no signs of withdrawing from the territory they occupied after their incursion in Ladakh two weeks ago. On Monday news reports said Chinese troops have erected an additional tent in the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector raising to five the number of such structures in the area. The Chinese troops have also deployed Molosser dogs to keep a vigil, according to latest reports on Monday from the site of incursion, 70 km south of Burtse in Ladakh division. A banner hoisted outside the camp reads in English “you are in Chinese side” with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel maintaining a round-the-clock vigil, official sources said.
The current tensions on the disputed India-China border – known delightfully for its vagueness as the ‘Line of Actual Control’ – in the western sector of the Ladakh region bordering China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region hark back to the scenario five decades ago when little skirmishes snowballed into a major outbreak of hostility. Fortunately, however, this time around there is a fundamental difference, too, which obviates the danger of a catastrophic slide to armed conflict. On a systemic plane, there are disquieting signs that the Indian establishment has not been pulling together on the country’s China policy and this disconnect, which has been suspected through the recent past, threatens to introduce its own disharmony.
The Syrian Information Minister Omran Ahed al-Zouabi said in a new statement at his meeting with the Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council, Ilyas Umakhanov, that Syria wants to become a member of BRICS (Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa) and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in future.
Thus, Syria seeks to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the membership in the emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in short BRICS.
On 15 April, 2013, several dozen soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered as deep as ten kilometers inside the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Daulat Beg in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) and set up a camp there. The audacity of the Chinese operation is reflected from the fact that their ground troops were given cover and logistic help by two helicopters to enable them to set up a camp on the Indian territory. Why did the Chinese choose Daulat Beg? The Chinese have not forgotten that it was at this place where the Indians had set up its landing strip during the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
The Indian ocean once regarded as a ‘neglected ocean’ has, today, become the hub of political, strategic and economic activities because of the presence of conventional and nuclear vessels of the major powers in the area and because of its own economic and strategic significance. The ocean contains several important minerals: 80.7% of world extraction of gold, 56.6 % of Tin, 28.5 % of manganese, 25.2 % nickel and 77.3% natural rubber. Highest tonnage of the world goods, 65% of world oil, and 35% of the gas, located in the littoral states, passes through it. The region today is an arena of contemporary geopolitics.
One of China’s most influential military strategists has made headlines by saying that a new, lethal strain of bird flu is a “U.S. bio-psychological weapon” conspiracy designed to harm China.
Senior Col. Dai Xu, an air force officer in the People’s Liberation Army, has written several best-sellers, mostly on U.S. military strategy toward China, and enjoys a national following. He is a prominent voice inside China on military strategy and national security.Though many in the West view him as an aberration, Col. Dai is a core member of China’s strategic community and his views are backed by a huge following in Chinese military circles.
European Union will deploy an Election Observation Mission constituting 11 experts, 52 long-term observers and 46 short-term observers to monitor the May 11 elections.The announcement was made by Chief Observer of the mission, a German Member of the European Parliament, Michael Gahler, in a press conference organised on Monday. The mission, established after invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will cover pre-election preparations, election day including polling, counting and tabulation of results, and post-election day activities.
In order to further strengthen the defence of Gwadar Port and to enhance the security of vital PN assets and installations along the western coasts, Pakistan Navy has achieved a significant milestone by commissioning the 3rd Pak Marines Battalion. The commissioning ceremony was held today at Gwadar. Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony, the chief guest said that at present the country is faced with internal and external threats, which makes security today’s main concern.
A Kashmiri leader has revealed that China is in occupation of parts of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Aksai Chin, despite not being a party to any of these land ownership disputes. In an interview, Dr Shabir Choudhry, Head of Diplomatic Committee and senior leader of the Kashmir National Party (KNP), said: “China also occupies part of Jammu and Kashmir state, some part of the Aksai Chin area and some areas of Gilgit Baltistan.”
“Despite that occupation, China is not a party in any dispute. Pakistan and pro-Pakistani Kashmiris are trying to make Beijing a party in these disputes. This will be totally disastrous,” he warned.
China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement last month to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing’s promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord.
The reactor deal had been in the works for several years and prompted high-level U.S. government efforts to block the sale because of concerns it will boost Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
Afghanistan is considered to have a highly strategic value during the 21st century in southern and central Asian regions, owed to its geopolitical situation and untapped mineral resources. The country has proven to be a key inhibitor for the newly formed republics in central Asia besides having a high influence and pressure on China, Russia and Iran. Geographical and geopolitical situation of a nation has a direct impact over the internal, external and economical policies of a nation. However, policies implemented by ISI, CIA and MI6 in Afghanistan and the region during the past five decades have had different motives
China has become the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter, a respected Sweden-based think tank said on Monday, its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.
China’s volume of weapons exports between 2008 and 2012 rose 162 percent compared to the previous five year period, with its share of the global arms trade rising from 2 percent to 5 percent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said. China replaces Britain in the top five arms-dealing countries between 2008 and 2012, a group dominated by the United States and Russia, which accounted for 30 percent and 26 percent of weapons exports, SIPRI said.
Japan plans to strengthen its maritime security alliance with Sri Lanka to curb China’s growing influence on countries with Indian Ocean coastlines. A joint statement on maritime security cooperation will be issued after a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 14, sources said.
China, which replaced Japan as the largest aid provider to Sri Lanka in 2009, has been helping with construction of a number of port facilities in countries around India in a strategy known as the “String of Pearls.” A government source said tightening ties with Sri Lanka is “a step toward driving a wedge into the String of Pearls.”
Pakistan risks sparking US sanctions if it pursues its plans with Iran to build a $7.5 billion gas pipeline linking the two nations, a senior US official said in a renewed warning Monday.
“We have serious concerns, if this project actually goes forward, that the Iran Sanctions Act would be triggered,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “We’ve been straight up with the Pakistanis about these concerns.”
The recent revelation, by a member the general secretariat of Kuwait´s National Party, according to whom the USA and Qatar are planning to divide Syria into small-states, is likely to further cool down east-west relations. The agreement, so al-Hamad, contains several points, such as a division of Syria into several smaller states with so-called moderate Islamist governments, the permanent annexation of the disputed Hatay region by Turkey, a reduction of the Syrian military forces to maximum 50,000 troops and other, which coincide with recent analysis by Dr. Perencik and Major Agha H. Amin.
The US and its allies must be viewing this convergence of Chinese, Pakistani and Iranian strategic and economic interests in Gwadar and Balochistan with extreme trepidation. In one fell swoop, the Straits of Hormuz and the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) to and from the Persian Gulf have come under Chinese oversight.
Furthermore, regional economies are getting integrated “independent” of Western influence and domination. The prospects of a network of oil and gas pipelines (IP, even TAPI) flowing from the Middle East (ME) and CARs to Pakistan and China are that much brighter now.
The Indian Ocean remains a tumultuous zone, where a lack of governance along its shores has spawned a series of security chasms offshore. This spillover effect has been most apparent off the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, where rampant piracy has prompted a continuous rotation of multinational naval taskforces. Meanwhile, an upsurge in Islamic extremism in countries such as Pakistan and Somalia has heightened regional anxiety over maritime terrorism and seaborne infiltration.
In a recent interview, Afghanistan’s Deputy National Security Adviser (DNSA) Rahmatullah Nabil accused the ISI of plotting terror attacks to destabilise the country. He reportedly said that Afghanistan would push the United States to put the ISI on its terror ban list and demand sanctions on it.
The strongly-worded official Afghan reaction would certainly affect outside efforts to stitch an agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan on bringing the Taliban into government. However, India refused to back Nabil’s latest call for a ban on the ISI.
Sri Lanka will start storing bunker fuel at the $1.5-billion (U.S.) Hambantota port in June, a senior official said, after years of delays to the Chinese-built installation that sits on strategic shipping lanes, and a key step to making it commercially viable.
The $130-million storage project contains eight tanks of bunker oil for ships and six tanks of aviation fuel and LPG. The port is envisioned as a refuelling and service point for cargo ships which pass a few kilometres away off the southern tip of the Indian Ocean island nation, on one of the world’s busiest east-west shipping lanes.
Bangladesh today deployed paramilitary border guards to beef up security after a top Islamist opposition leader was sentenced to death, sparking nationwide riots that killed at least 42 people.
The violence broke out yesterday after 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), was sentenced to death by International Crimes Tribunal after he was found guilty of eight counts out of 20 involving rape, mass killings and atrocities during the nine-month freedom war against Pakistan in 1971.
Along the way the Kazakh government inked uranium supply deals with India,China, and Japan. Not even the U.S. has been immune to Kazakhstan’s uranium market expansion: in 2007, KazAtomProm, a state-owned company, bought out Toshiba’s share in nuclear power plant builder Westinghouse. U.S. politicians are in on the Kazakh uranium game as well.
If all this sounds odd, it’s only because Kazakhstan is more normally known — if people know of it at all — as an oil state. But Kazakhstan’s quest for it’s “World Bank for Uranium” always had a political element, part of a national narrative suggesting an inevitable future of progress and growth.
In 1971, India intervened militarily on behalf of Bengalis in the civil war in East Pakistan, dividing the country in two and helping to create Bangladesh. In 2013, prospects of another civil war in Pakistan — this time one that pits radical Islamists against the secular but authoritarian military — have led once again to questions about what India would do. What would trigger Indian intervention, and who would India support?
In the context of a civil war between Islamists and the army in Pakistan, it is hard to imagine Pakistani refugees streaming into India and triggering intervention as the Bengalis did in 1971.
There are about 79 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide—and India’s government wants to hand its spy agency data on every one of them. In late 2012, back when it was still officially known as Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry handsets worked with the Indian government to enable surveillance of Blackberry Messenger and Blackberry Internet Service emails. But now India’s authorities are complaining that they can only spy on communications sent between the estimated 1 million BlackBerry users in India—and they want a list of all BlackBerry handsets across the globe.
Pakistan’s Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr. Asim Hussain, said that Iran with the cooperation of Pakistan’s State Oil (PSO) will set up an oil refinery in the Southwestern city of Gwadar. Talking to reporters after holding a meeting with Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi, he said that the refinery would refine 400,000 barrels of oil per day. He added that President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari would soon visit Iran to finalize the agreement on establishment of oil refinery.
“India’s grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighbourhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over actions of outside powers.” – C. Raja Mohan
India with a population of 1.24 billion and GDP of $2.19 trillion in nominal terms looms large on the South Asian subcontinent. None of the other South Asian countries comes even close to the size of India’s population and economy. In fact, its population and GDP are more than the combined population and GDP of all the other South Asian countries.
Will armies battle each other, as the cry for “blue gold” gets furious? Will “water wars” be as prevalent as conflict for the “black gold” of oil? Two documentary films have wetted public interest – Blue Gold: World Water Wars, and Last Call at the Oasis, and a dystopia novel – The Water Wars – warns of its imminence.
In actuality, history’s pages are already splashed with dozens of conflicts. In 2,450 B.C. the Sumerian cities of Lagash and Umma warred over Tigris-Euphrates water. More recently, Senegal and Mauritaniabattled in 1989 over grazing rights in the Senegal River Valley – hundreds were killed, 250,000 fled their homes. The Pacific Institute provides an excellent map and timeline of 225 water skirmishes.
High in the Karakoram, the stubborn armies of India and Pakistan have faced off for 19 years on the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground and a flash point in the deadly dispute over Kashmir. In this exclusive report, an American writer and photographer spend two months inside the ultimate no-man’s-land, witnessing the human and environmental devastation of a conflict without end. Ten years ago, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Kashmir was emerging as the most likely place on earth for a nuclear war to break out.
China’s acquisition of a strategic port in Pakistan is the latest addition to its drive to secure energy and maritime routes and gives it a potential naval base in the Arabian Sea, unsettling India.
The Pakistani cabinet on January 30 approved the transfer of Gwadar port, a commercial failure cut off from the national road network, from Singapore’s PSA International to the state-owned China Overseas Port Holdings Limited. The Pakistanis pitched the deal as an energy and trade corridor that would connect China to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for a third of the world’s traded oil, overland through an expanded Karakoram Highway.
Iran is using China as a platform to smuggle thousands of specialized magnets for its centrifuges, in an effort to speed its path to reaching nuclear weapons capability, according to a US think-tank.
The report, by a renowned American nuclear scientist, said the operation highlighted the importance of China as a transit point for Iran’s nuclear program, and called for sanctions against any Chinese firms involved. As enforcement efforts have tightened globally,a report, titled ‘Ring Magnet for IR-1 Centrifuges’ by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), said that China needs to do more to show that it is a responsible member of the global economy.
In a decision raising fresh concern about China’s ambitions in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, Pakistan has agreed to hand over to Chinese control a deep-water port, strategically located near the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
The Pakistani cabinet decision to transfer management of Gwadar to a Chinese government-owned company closes a circle for Beijing, which put up most of the funding a decade ago to build the facility in the first place.
“We demand an immediate end to the military operation in Khyber Agency because it has not brought any results during the past three years,” says Iqbal Afridi from the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf party. “The military operations are killing the local population while the militants remained unharmed.”
Thousands of local tribal people, including students, civil society members and leaders of political parties joined the bereaved families in the protest against the army. “The military operations have brought lives of the eight million population in FATA to a standstill,” Afridi said. “The seven tribal agencies have remained under curfew and the population has become completely idle.”
Pakistan’s cabinet formally agreed to hand over the operation of its strategically located Gwadar port to China on Wednesday. This puts in place China’s famed “string of pearls” strategy which may have significant implications for India.
On Wednesday, the Pakistan cabinet, in one of its last decisions, transferred the operations responsibility of the Gwadar port from Singapore’s PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) International to China’s Overseas Port Holdings. This had been agreed some time ago as PSA International and Pakistani navy fell out over land transfers, security issues and lack of infrastructure. PSA had asked to withdraw from the contract and Pakistan had agreed.
US Consul General Michael Dodman has said that the US State Department will impose sanctions on Pakistan if it carries on work on the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project. He added it was a clear policy of the US because Iran had violated the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and was continuing nuclear proliferation.
He stated this while talking to selected journalists here at a local hotel on Monday.When asked that Pakistan as an independent country can chalk out a policy which suits it to address the energy crisis, he said that the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project was against the US laws so they will not support Pakistan in this regard.
In February 2000, Pervez Musharraf, then chief of army staff and head of Pakistan government, created a nuclear command, which included a strategic plans division (SPD), which has physical custody of the weapons. Hoodbhoy argues, “Whatever the procedures and equipment Pakistan may adopt, they can only be as good as the men who operate them. Mindsets and intentions matter more than anything else.”
He adds, “The fear of loose weapons comes from the fact that Pakistan’s armed forces harbour a hidden enemy within their ranks. Those wearing the cloak of religion freely walk in and out of top security nuclear installations every day.” He emphasizes, “The fear of the insider is ubiquitous and well-founded,” and describes the Pakistani army as “a heavily Islamicised rank-and-file brimming with seditious thoughts.”
The spectacular abduction of workers at a Saharan gas complex in the eastern desert of Algeria by Islamic militants (and the subsequent raid by government forces that killed dozens of both hostages and kidnappers) has placed a harsh glare on a country that typically avoids the international media spotlight.
Algeria, a vast, sparsely populated, natural resource-rich nation in North Africa that gained independence from France 50 years ago, largely avoided the turmoil of the Arab Spring revolution that toppled governments in neighboring Tunisia and Libya, and is one of the most repressive states in the world. Ruled by the dominant Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) – or National Liberation Front – since the country’s violent birth in 1962, Algerian domestic and foreign policy has actually been dictated by the government’s super-secret state intelligence agency.
The seven men were among 11 suspected militants captured in connection with a 2007 suicide bombing against ISI personnel and a rocket attack a year later against an air force base. An anti-terrorism court ordered them to be freed in May 2010, but they were picked up again near the capital, Islamabad.
Four died in custody under mysterious circumstances. The ISI produced the seven surviving men in court last February in response to a judicial order prompted by their relatives, who were looking for them. Two of the men were too weak to walk. Another wore a urine bag, suggesting a kidney ailment. In a meeting with their families on the court premises, they complained of harsh treatment during their detention.
The Obama administration is finalising a rule book for target killings but these restrictions will not apply to Pakistan where the CIA will be free to direct drone strikes in Fata. The classified manual, called a counter-terrorism “playbook”, sets out stringent rules for targeted killings and details the process of adding names to the so-called “kill list”. But it “leaves open a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan”, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
Experts are not ruling out the possibility of a military takeover in Pakistan after the country’s top court ordered the arrest of the PM. Anti-government protesters continue with their sit-in outside parliament.
An anti-government protest in Islamabad enters its third day as tens of thousands of people demand the resignation of the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) government and that an “impartial,” interim government backed by Pakistan’s powerful army and newly-independent judiciary be formed.
Pakistan has deployed more troops across the international borders with Rajasthan and Gujarat in the wake rising tension between the two countries after the killing of Indian soldiers on LoC in Jaamu and Kashmir on January 8.
“A lot of military movement is being noticed in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts and Gujarat along the international border for the last few days, which is not normal,” BSF sources said. The BSF has launched an ‘operation alert’ along the border. “Patrolling across the border has intesified while defence personnel are constantly on vigil from watch towers,” they said.
Expanding its nuclear arsenal at a rapid pace, Pakistan is now aiming to develop smaller and lighter atomic warheads more suitable for use on missiles, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has said. Pakistan is expected to surpass Britain’s nuclear stockpiles in a decade, the journal said, referring to the rapid development of nuclear warheads by Islamabad.
“Pakistan has shown clear signs of its intention to grow its nuclear arsenal. Most recently, the country has begun to increase its plutonium production capabilities, with two new plutonium production reactors under construction, as well as a new chemical reprocessing facility,” the journal said.
The new military doctrine has been declared by incorporating a new chapter titled ‘sub-conventional warfare’ in the Pakistani army’s ‘Green Book’ which spells out operational preparedness, capacities and objectives of the armed forces. According to the new doctrine, the guerrilla actions from the tribal areas along Afghan border and bomb attacks on armed forces and civilians by certain groups have been identified as the “biggest threat” to national security.
Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire Sunday along their disputed border in divided Kashmir, with each side blaming the other for the flare-up and Pakistan saying one of its soldiers was killed.
Pakistan said Indian troops crossed the de facto border known as the Line of Control and stormed a military post, an accusation denied by the other side.
A Pakistani military statement said the Indian troops came across the frontier in the Haji Pir sector, 80 kilometers north of Islamabad, and “physically raided” a check post named Sawan Patra.
ISLAMABAD: At least three hundred Baloch insurgents are getting training across the border to spread unrest in Pakistan, a report stated. According to Daily Dunya, Pakistani intelligence officials handed over a secret list to Central Investigation Agency (CIA) during a meeting in Washington. The report published by Rauf Klasra states that insurgents are getting $300 a month as their salary.
Speaking to a select group of journalists at the Defence Ministry, the defence secretary said Pakistan had complete information about the CIA agents working in the country. He said Pakistan has been informed by the US regarding presence of the CIA agents.
He added that no country was allowed to work undercover in the country. “The CIA also uses the agencies of other countries.” He said the US and Britain are against the nuclear assets of Pakistan, adding that America is using agencies of other countries against the country.
The rapid collapse of a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya exposed the vulnerabilities of State Department facilities overseas. Two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were members of the CIA’s Global Response Staff, an innocuously named organization that has recruited hundreds of former U.S. Special Forces operatives to serve as armed guards for the agency’s spies.
The GRS, as it is known, is designed to stay in the shadows, training teams to work undercover and provide an unobtrusive layer of security for CIA officers in high-risk outposts.
The US State Department’s decision to extend immunity to two former ISI chiefs in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case is in accordance with a clandestine understanding reached between Admiral Mike Mullen and General Ashfaq Kayani during a day-long meeting held at a secluded resort in Oman on February 22, 2011.
The State Department informed a New York federal court on December 19 that the ISI and two of its former director generals enjoyed immunity and cannot be tried in the Mumbai terror attacks case.
Afghan officials are meeting with Taliban rebels and envoys from another Islamist militant group near Paris, looking beyond Afghanistan’s ongoing insurgency to a future long after international forces have returned home.
French hosts say the secretive, rare meeting among rival Afghans in Chantilly — known partly for its equine training grounds — Thursday and Friday isn’t expected to involve any horse-trading toward a possible peace and reconciliation deal.
The Pentagon quietly notified Congress this month that it would reimburse Pakistan nearly $700 million for the cost of stationing 140,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan, an effort to normalise support for the Pakistani military after nearly two years of crises and mutual retaliation, The New York Times reported.
According to the report, the United States also provides about $2 billion in annual security assistance, roughly half of which goes to reimburse Pakistan for conducting military operations to fight terrorism.
American influence is overriding Pakistan’s dignity, sovereignty and interests and being compromised without considering national interests.
Pak-Iran gas pipeline, one of the most vital, yet long-delayed project, which was necessary for the survival of the country had been abandoned ending hopes of revival of shambling economy. Dr Murtaza president of PEW has expressed strong dismay over the project to meet ever-increasing energy requirements is being abandoned over the dictation of Washington
“India worries about a second Mumbai-style terrorist attack from militants backed by Pakistan. A major incident with many casualties and Pakistani fingerprints would put a weakened Indian Government under tremendous pressure to respond with force, with the attendant risk of nuclear miscalculation,” said the report.
Pakistan’s large and fast-growing nuclear arsenal in addition to its doctrine of “first use” is intended to deter and balance against India’s conventional military advantages, said the fifth installment of the ‘Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,’ of National Intelligence Council (NIC).
China and Japan are both at political and strategic crossroads and their destinies seem to be heading towards an intense arms race if not a direct military clash. Richard Segal has wisely observed that historically we have never had a strong China and a strong Japan at the same time in this region.
Comparatively, it is China that has in the last five years or so that has unleashed a long string of provocative acts against Japan. These provocations have heightened Japanese threat perceptions on China. Heading the list is the recent spate of Chinese and Japanese threats and counter- threats hurled over the Senkaku Islands.
The Military Intelligence (MI) has started a country wide exercise to collect all sorts of information from Journalists, a report said on Wednesday.
Their personnel’s are providing a two-page form in Urdu language to all the journalists and media representatives in the country in which they are obliged to fill all the necessary information about themselves. We saw names of nearly a hundred well known media personalities, including women journalists who live on their own and even included one columnist who is a sitting member of Parliament.
A sub-committee of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights has prepared a draft bill proposing the establishment of an Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISIA) to be overseen by the country’s prime minister.
The agency will be responsible for arresting, detaining, interrogating and prosecuting suspects to deal effectively with the challenges of national security and matters related to it. The proposed legislation is called Inter Service Intelligence Agency (Functions, Powers and Regulation) Act 2012.
Sri Lanka, the “pearl” of the Indian Ocean, is strategically located within the east-west international shipping passageway. Like the old Silk Road that stretched from the ancient Chinese capital of Xian all the way to ancient Rome, modern China’s strategic and commercial supply line extends over the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea to include the focal transit port of Sri Lanka at the southern tip of India. Today, over 85 percent of China’s energy imports from the Middle East and mineral resources from Africa transit through Sri Lanka and other so-called “string of pearls” ports.
Senior officers at the Pentagon are being advised on countering Taliban propaganda by a marketing expert whose company once weeded out reporters who wrote negative stories in Afghanistan and helped the military deceive the enemy in Iraq, according to military documents and interviews.
Since 2000, the military has paid The Rendon Group more than $100 million to help shape its communications strategy, analyze media coverage, run its propaganda programs and develop counter-narcotics efforts around the world, Pentagon documents show.
The minister said that Pakistan is fighting against narco-terrorism despite having meager resources, adding that “Our nation has suffered losses both in term of human lives and material ($80 billion loss in economy and over 45,000 people have been martyred in terrorist activities).
He said Pakistan is major transit route for Afghan opiates with nearly 160 metric ton of heroin, which makes up 44 per cent of total Afghan heroin which transits through its territorial jurisdictions.