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Monday, 14 June 2010

From Today's Papers - 14 Jun 2010

800 militants waiting to infiltrate 
New Delhi, June 13 There is no let-up on Pakistan’s part to send terrorists from across the border and 600-800 militants were waiting to infiltrate, a top Army officer has said.  Northern Army Commander Lt General BS Jaswal, however, said the Army has succeeded in keeping the infiltrators at bay by adopting a three-pronged strategy.  “There is no let-up on the part of Pakistan in trying to send across terrorists. But if you see the statistics this year, they have not been able to make any inroads,” he told a national news channel.  The top commander said 600-800 militants were waiting to infiltrate from across the border. — PTI

India wary of China’s increasing role in Lanka
Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service  New Delhi, June 13 The growing influence of China in Sri Lanka, which may upset New Delhi’s geo-political interests in South Asia, appears to have compelled the South Block weigh the pros and cons of removing restrictions on arms sales to the island nation.  Official sources said the enhancement of defence ties between India and Sri Lanka figured in talks between the two sides during the recent visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to New Delhi.  “Both leaders agreed to promote dialogue on security and defence issues of relevance to their bilateral relationship, and enhance high-level military exchanges and training of military personnel as well as impart additional training in Indian institutions for the newly recruited police personnel. They agreed to institute an annual defence dialogue between the two governments,” a joint statement issued by India and Sri Lanka at the end of Rajapaksa’s visit said.  However, the sources said the joint statement had merely reflected the desire of the two countries to increase defence cooperation. Details of how the two sides would proceed in the matter would be discussed in the coming days during high-level exchanges.  Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka shortly to start the process of working out ways to deepen defence ties.  New Delhi is wary of the increasing role of China in Sri Lanka, which, many in strategic circles here believe, is part of Beijing’s strategy to encircle India in the sub-continent. Helping China in its designs in Sri Lanka is Pakistan. Pakistan is reported to have supplied al-Khalids (Pakistan’s main battle tank) and advanced rocket launchers to Sri Lanka in recent years.  Even in the war against the LTTE, Sri Lankan forces are believed to have stockpiled arms and even sought help from military commanders from China and Pakistan before the final offensive against the LTTE. India had at that time refused to supply what it considered “offensive weapons” to Sri Lanka that would have been used against the LTTE.  Since the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka is an emotive issue in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, given the cultural and linguistic affinities, New Delhi had so far resisted any attempt to get militarily involved in the conflict in the island nation. But the sources said the situation had changed with the decimation of the LTTE.  “We obviously don’t wish to become mere spectators in the evolving situation in Sri Lanka when other players in the region and outside are trying to become overactive… the stability of Sri Lanka is important to us,” they added.  India has also now decided to open a consulate at Hambantota on Sri Lanka’s south coast where the island nation is building a deep-water port with the Chinese help.  Sources said the presence of a large number of Chinese workers in Sri Lanka had also figured prominently in talks between the two sides. The Sri Lankan side assured New Delhi that these workers were not there on a permanent basis. They would return to China as soon as they completed their work.

Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence accused of directly funding Taleban
Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent  Pakistan’s military intelligence agency directly funds and trains the Afghan Taleban and is officially represented on its leadership council, according to a report by a British academic. The study, published by the London School of Economics, also alleges that Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani President, met Taleban leaders imprisoned in Pakistan and promised them early release and future support.  Pakistan dismissed the report by Matt Waldman, a Harvard fellow who interviewed current and former members of the Taleban, as “baseless” and “naive”. A spokesman for the Pakistani Army said that the state’s commitment to opposing the Taleban was demonstrated by the number of soldiers killed fighting on the Afghan border.  Western officials and analysts have often accused elements within Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of supporting the Afghan Taleban, even as its army combats the Pakistani Taleban on the northwestern frontier.  However, Mr Waldman’s report goes further, arguing that support for the Afghan Taleban is “official ISI policy” and is backed at the highest levels of Pakistan’s civilian administration. “Pakistan appears to be playing a double game of astonishing magnitude,” the report says. “There is thus a strong case that the ISI orchestrates, sustains and shapes the overall insurgent campaign,” it said. “Without a change in Pakistani behaviour it will be difficult if not impossible for international forces and the Afghan Government to make progress against the insurgency.”  The ISI helped to create the Taleban in the early 1990s, principally to prevent its arch-rival, India, from gaining a strategic foothold in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. It claims to have severed all links with the Islamist movement but remains determined to prevent a pro-Indian government from taking power in Kabul after Nato troops leave.  The report follows one of the bloodiest weeks for foreign troops in Afghanistan, with 30 Nato soldiers killed, and the announcement of a two to three-month delay in a counter-insurgency operation in Kandahar — the Taleban’s stronghold.  It also comes a few days after Amrullah Saleh, who resigned as head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service last week, described the ISI as “part of the landscape of destruction in this country”.  Mr Waldman worked in Afghanistan for two and a half years as Head of Policy and Advocacy for Oxfam and is now a fellow of the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He advised the Liberal Democrats on defence and foreign affairs from 2004 to 2006.  His study carries weight because it was based on interviews with nine Taleban field commanders and ten former senior Taleban officials, as well as Afghan elders and politicians, foreign diplomats and security officials. The ISI “provides huge support in terms of training, funding, munitions, and supplies”, the Taleban field commanders are quoted as saying.  Major-General Athar Abbas, Pakistan’s military spokesman, described the report as ridiculous and “part of a campaign against the Pakistan Army and the ISI”.

Life in the shadow of gun
M Saleem Pandit, TNN, Jun 13, 2010, 04.44am IST SRINAGAR: Till 1990, there were few guns in the Valley. But, soon enough, the situation changed. As the Kalashnikovs began to dominate the streets, Kashmir was flooded with uniformed men. In the last 20 years, a generation of Kashmiris has grown up with soldiers at every street corner; often, even in their living rooms. There are too many troops in Kashmir. There have been too many clashes between men with automatics and youth with stones. Many Kashmiris see the Army as one “of occupation”.  Human rights activist Khurram Parvez says the police records 458 cases of pending civilian killings and rapes between 1990 and 2007 because the men in uniform cannot be prosecuted. “We want transparent and independent investigations into many encounters that took place in April-May 2010,” he says.  Arshad Anderabi has spent 14 years fighting for justice for his dead brother Jaleel, a lawyer and prominent human rights activist. He alleges that Jaleel “was abducted by the major (Avtar Singh of the 103rd unit of the Territorial Army) on the airport road when he was driving home along with his wife. He was killed in cold blood and his body was dumped in the Jhelum”. The special investigation team that investigated Jaleel’s death found Major Singh responsible for the murder. But the major is now reportedly living in California and Jaleel’s family still waits for justice. Though the Indian army has been in the Valley since 1948, its presence was never as visible as after militancy began. K B Jandial, retired IAS officer and now a member of the state public service commission, says, “The army must put in place a system of checks and balances and rein in the troops who take the law into their own hands. This has diluted the forces’ achievement of almost destroying terrorism. Irresponsible actions of low rung-officers will harm India’s credentials as a democratic and secular nation.”  There seem to be far too many Kashmiris who believe the Indian army is a ruthless force. Javid Iqbal, a respected doctor, says there is a huge trust deficit between the people and the army. “During the second world war, Churchill would often say ‘Indian Army any day’. That was a real tribute to the discipline and combat effectiveness of the forces. However, I wonder whether this attribute still holds for the army given the recent complaints of human rights violation.”  The police says that there have been 51 allegations of rape against Indian army men in the last six years. Such allegations are deeply damaging to the army’s image. In 1991, about 100 women, including minors, the elderly, pregnant and disabled, were allegedly raped by a 4th Rajputana Rifles unit in Kunan Poshpora, Kupwara. “I am afraid that army could never restore its image in Kashmir given their behaviour with civilians here,” says Qurat-ul-Ain, a social activist.  Of late, the army has been working on damage control through its humanitarian work. Colonel J S Brar, the defence spokesman here, says the Army is trying to win hearts and minds. “Under our Sadbavana programme, we are trying to alleviate, medicate, rejuvenate and ultimately uplift the quality of life of civilian population ,” he says. But considering the quantum of allegations against the army, many of the locals would regard this as too little and too late.

IMA ready to welcome women
Shishir Prashant / Dehradun June 13, 2010, 0:11 IST  The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is ready to open its doors for women. “We are ready to welcome women at IMA and there is absolutely no problem,” said IMA Commandant Lt Gen Rajinder Singh Sujlana, on the sidelines of the passing-out parade today. Lt Gen Sujlana, however, made it clear the proposal to recruit women cadets in IMA had to come from the highest level or the defence ministry.  The IMA decision comes on the back of a historic Delhi High Court verdict in March this year, which recommended permanent commission for women in the armed forces. Since its inception in 1932, IMA had been commissioning only male officers to the Indian Army following rigorous training in modern warfare at the prestigious centre.  Sources, however, said discussions were already on to give women permanent commission in the army. So far, women are only eligible to get permanent commission in nursing, dental and medical services.  A grand passing out parade at the academy in Dehradun witnessed the induction of 602 cadets in the armed forces. In addition, 30 officers were also trained in the IMA’s technical course. The Indian Army faces a shortage of over 11,000 officers. This was the first time that the batch comprised over 600 cadets — in previous occasions the numbers usually hovered around the 500-550 mark.  The IMA has also been addressing the growing security concerns in India, with a spurt in naxalite and terrorist activities from across the border. The cadets are getting trained in guerrilla warfare to take on the insurgent groups in jungles and rocky terrain.

Reality behind Strategic Dialogue 
Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm under Opinions  Buzz up! (1) 0  Listen to this article. Powered by  Pak-US strategic dialogue was held on March 24 this year in Washington. During the strategic dialogue in 2008, both sides had discussed regional and international issues of common interest. The second round of the strategic dialogue between the US and Pakistan will be held in July 21. Washington and Islamabad have also agreed to co-operate in the fields of education, science, technology and energy.  Sources suggest that during the forthcoming Pak-US strategic dialogue, Pakistan would reiterate its demand for civil nuclear cooperation for power generation and greater access to the US markets or preferential trade agreement for Pakistan so as to stabilise its economy. It is also believed that the United States has agreed to enhance Pakistan’s defence capabilities, but in connection with war against terrorism, provided US military equipments will not be used against India.  However, coming meeting will be of utmost importance for both the US and its frontline ally in the war on terror. The importance of the Pak-US strategic dialogue could be judged from the fact that Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaque Kayani is the first army chief who will also be part of the delegation, attending the dialogue.  As regards the significance of the Pak-US strategic dialogue, on March 13, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the objective of strategic dialogue with the US is to enhance people-to-people strategic relationship which will bridge the trust deficit. Gilani elaborated that the dialogue would broadly cover economic, defence, security and social sectors. He further elaborated that his government’s objective is not only to upgrade the dialogue status, but also to develop a solid and enduring framework for long-term Pakistan-US relations.  The importance of ties between Islamabad and Washington could also be assessed from the statement of the US Deputy Assistant Secretary on Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia David Samuel Sedney who said on June 10, “Pakistan and the United States have stepped forward, under the strategic dialogue, to overcome the ‘trust deficit’ between the two countries…we have discussion on military-to-military relationship and other areas”.  Sedney further pointed out that the defence officials of both countries would meet again in the mid-July and start of August, declaring the current interaction positive.  In this connection, as to how current Pak-US interaction will become positive as America has also been boasting India in various sectors rapidly at the cost of China and Pakistan. In this context, on June 3, Indo-US strategic dialogue took place in Washington. And India and the US vowed to strengthen their cooperation in key areas like defence, counter- terrorism, education, nuclear energy, agriculture and climate change.  US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, while calling India a “rising global power”, disclosed, “US was committed to the modernisation of India’s military and that the US military holds the maximum number of joint exercises with the Indian Army.” Surprisingly, like Pakistan, the US high officials never imposed any condition on New Delhi that American military aid will not be used against its neighbour. Moreover, Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna indicated the secret diplomacy behind this dialogue. Without naming Pakistan, he said, “the threat of transnational terrorism requires both India and the US to cooperate more closely than ever before though the epicentre of this threat lies in India’s neighbourhood.”  Nevertheless, some political and defence analysts take Indo-US strategic dialogue in wake of Pak-US strategic dialogue as an ambivalent policy of Washington which indicates confused goals. But reality behind these dialogues is quite different.  The fact of the matter is that America which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a great power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan as well as Iran. While Pakistan’s province, Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport which could link Central Asian trade with rest of the world, irritates both Washington and New Delhi. It has even shifted the central gravity of the Great Game to Pakistan.  On the other hand, China has signed a number of agreements with Pakistan to help the latter in diverse sectors.  It is notable that Indian former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army “is now revising its five-year-old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.” India which successfully tested missile, Agni-111 in May 2007, has been extending its range to target all the big cities of China. So Sino-Indian cold war is part of the prospective greater cold war between the US and China.  As Pakistan will be the arena of the next cold war, hence American strategic partners like India and Israel are creating instability by supporting separatist and hostile elements in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and other cities of our country. In this regard, besides suicide attacks and assaults on Pakistan’s security personnel, other incidents like kidnappings and killings of Iranians and Chinese engineers in the last three years might be cited as example.  It is mentionable that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Therefore, India and Israel with the tactical support of America are creating instability in the country. In this regard, Indo-Israeli lobbies are working in the US and other western countries in order to malign Islamabad. With the help of particularly American media, these lobbies are propagating that the next terror-plan to attack the US homeland will be prepared in Pakistan. Notably, on May 29, 2010, while quoting the US officials, under the caption, “Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike”, The Washington Post disclosed: “The US military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas…ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration’s need for retaliatory options.” The Post further explained: “The US options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of US Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan.”  Besides, the United States did not compensate Pakistan fully in terms of its promises and the losses which the latter bore during war on terror. Instead a blame game against Islamabad has started coupled with the maxim; “do more” against the militants. The result is trust deficit between Islamabad and Washington, which appears to be widened with the passage of time.  In fact, reality behind Pak-US strategic dialogue is that the US has been playing a double game with Pakistan, sometimes cajoling the latter with economic and military aid, while appreciating its military operations, sometimes blaming it for cross-border terrorism in respect of Afghanistan.  So Pak-US strategic dialogue is only an eyewash. It is confined to American war against terrorism. But Indo-US strategic dialogue is the real one as the same has broader strategic purposes.  By Sajjad Shaukat, Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

US military aid & India’s false cry
News & Views Mohammad Jamil  Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake has said that United States is taking appropriate steps to ensure that the military aid given to Pakistan is not used against India with a view to addressing Indian concerns. “I think they (India) understand that we are trying to build up Pakistan’s counter-insurgency capabilities and we are seeking end use assurances to ensure that the weapons that are provided will not be used against India in any case,” Robert Blake said in response to a question at a State Department Blog Forum. Blake said India and the US have a shared interest in stabilisation of Pakistan; and New Delhi supports the US’ Pak policy, adding that “New Delhi was in support of Washinton’s concerns with Pakistan as both the countries want to see stabilisation of Pakistan”. If one examines Blake’s statement, it sounds absolutely absurd that Pakistan will not use US weapons against India, because it is not logical and unfeasible. In case of palpable threat on eastern border, Pakistan’s military personnel will have to move from western border to eastern border, and it is not possible that troops would first deposit the arms and equipment including night-vision goggles with army headquarters in Rawalpindi.  As to the India sharing concerns with the US to see Pakistan stablised, it is the travesty of the truth because it is an article of faith with India to destabilize Pakistan. Anyhow nobody can befool Pakistan by issuing statements to appease or to make Pakistan lower its guard. Of course, India should realize that in case Pakistan is destabilized, terrorists and extremists will then create anarchic conditions. Would India like to have turmoil and violence next door? Indian leadership should has to understand that a strong and progressive Pakistan is not only in the interest of India but also in the interest of the entire region, as destabilization could transcend Pakistan’s borders and engulf India where in majority of its provinces either Maoists or other separatists are waging struggle. India should therefore look inside, and resolve the issues with minorities and other belligerent elements. However, it is heartening to note that tension between India and Pakistan has somewhat eased, and it is hoped that India would restart the stalled composite dialogue to take it to the logical conclusion.  Anyhow, India’s false cry is not new. In March 2009, India’s Defence Minister AK Antony had said: “United States decision to provide sophisticated weapons to Pakistan is a matter of serious concern to India. The US should ensure that these weapons are not targeted against India…The American explanation that Pakistan army has to be strengthened to fight terrorist outfits like Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan was not convincing”. India on one hand says that Pakistan should destroy terrorists, and on the other cries hoarse that the US should not help Pakistan. Other Indian leaders are also expressing concern over Washington’s decision to provide sophisticated military equipment to Islamabad. Anyhow, aid or no US aid, Pakistan has to have minimum credible nuclear deterrence and also improve its conventional weaponry. Instead of expressing unfounded fears and concerns about use of US weapons against India, it should resolve all contentious issues with Pakistan. The problem is that India is not willing to go beyond its stated position. Secondly, India always found some pretext to roil the dialogue when it came to resolve the Kashmir dispute and other issues like Siachin, Sir Creek or violation of Indus Water Treaty. India has always ruled out any third party mediation because it knows that its position vis-à-vis UN resolutions is weak.  The world now is aware of India’s doublespeak. It rejects with disdain any third-party mediation but has been persuading America to pressurize Pakistan for taking action against so-called masterminds of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. On 25th November 2009, in a joint statement after the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier in Washington wherein US and China had welcomed all efforts conducive to peace, stability and development in South Asia and vowed to support efforts for improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash had said that India did not envisage a role by a third party in what was essentially a bilateral dispute. Indian statement read: “The Government of India is committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a peaceful bilateral dialogue in accordance with the Simla Agreement. We also believe that a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can take place only in an environment free from terror or the threat of terror.”  To pacify India, Rober blake had then clarified that it was not the intention to play role of a mediator but desire to see peace in South Asia. The problem is that world powers eye India’s big market, and they are impressed by the sheer size, population and so-called largest democracy in the world. The US should have asked India as to how long it will take to resolve the issues especially the core issue of Kashmir which has remained unresolved for the last six decades. The composite dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues started in 2004, but no progress was made on Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, and on disputes over water under Indus Basin Treaty. It means that there is not even a remote possibility of success of bilateral negotiations on the Kashmir dispute. India seems to be perfectly happy by discussing all the issues under the sun, but balks at real issues: reduction of Indian army in occupied Kashmir, working out the methodology or considering various options to resolve the core issue of Kashmir to the satisfaction of India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership. There is no denying that people of India and Pakistan want peace and they do not want to live in trepidation and fear of war between the two nuclear states. Indians must acknowledge that Kashmir is a dispute that remains to be settled and one that should be settled through creative dialogues involving India, Pakistan and all major shades of Kashmiri opinion. By resolving Kashmir dispute, Pakistan and India could move forward and enter into a partnership in trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian republics.  Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi in one of his recent articles given a piece of advice to India, which is worth reproducing: “Leaderships in both India and Pakistan should realize that they have a stake in the triumph of the ballot over the bullet in Afghanistan. Successes for the extremists and militants in Afghanistan will hurt Pakistan before they can threaten India. New Delhi’s engagement in Afghanistan should mean for the benefit of the Afghan people and in the interest of Pakistan as well as India, not for pressurising or embarrassing Pakistan. Not only that. Indian Government should keep Government of Pakistan informed of Indian projects in Afghanistan”. Rajmohan Gandhi sounds as well wisher of India, and its leadership should pay heed to his advice.

COAS Lt. Gen. V. K. Singh Modernising the Indian Army
10 June 2010 Slow Going As India Revamps Army  Program delays and an urgent need for upgrades and new equipment are among the challenges confronting Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, India’s new army chief of staff, as he begins wrestling with modernization of the 1.1-million-strong force.  The service has issued numerous requests for information (RFI) and proposals as it moves to increase its operational capabilities. The list of needs is long. Key items include: artillery, missiles, rocket launchers, helicopters and ground strike aircraft, radar, night-vision equipment, future force gear and apparel, and network-centric and battle-management systems.  Progress is being made, however slowly. The first step toward waging network-centric warfare at the tactical level will be through Project Sakthi, which establishes an artillery combat command-and-control system to integrate weapon operations. The signal corps, the lead agency and center for information and cyber-security in the military and at the national level, directs the project. The corps is working to make the army a network-enabled force by 2012 and a network-centric one by 2017. “This will involve consolidation of all networks to provide the army with an optimal, secure and robust infrastructure to meet operational and peacetime requirements, one that withstands technical and physical degradation,” an army spokesman says.  The army’s plans in this area also involve the “Network for Spectrum” project, which is being implemented by the government’s telecommunications department in exchange for spectrum being released from the defense quota. The army is installing a fiber-optic cable network to meet its bandwidth needs. When complete, the service will vacate existing spectrum in use by the military, freeing it for civilian applications. Plans to upgrade the cyber-security of networks are also under consideration.  Meanwhile, ITT Corp. expects its night-vision devices to attract interest from the army aviation corps, which issued an RFI for night-vision goggles for helicopter pilots among others. Should the project be approved, ITT will partner with government-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) in producing the devices. ITT will provide select components and BEL will be responsible for power optics, says David Melcher, president of ITT Defense and Information Solutions.  ITT is confident in the performance of the critical image-intensifier tube in the night-vision goggles, which it says is rugged, combat-proven and a good match for fixed- and rotary-wing aviators as well as ground forces. The ­company says its enhanced night-vision goggles are the first to provide fusion (via optical overlay) of image-intensified and infrared imagery.  BEL has asked ITT for 33,000 of the tubes. ITT for its part has applied for a Technical Assistance Agreement from the U.S Defense Department in order to produce the technology abroad. “We’re bound by what we can transfer by [U.S. government] International Traffic in Arms Regulations,” says Melcher. “Night-vision technology is protected, which is why we are looking at other ways [of using it overseas].”  As the world’s largest provider of military VHF radios and advanced tactical communication systems, ITT is also promoting Spearnet, which offers simultaneous voice, data and situational awareness in a low-cost multirole radio. Having been successfully used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Melcher says the product will be valuable to Indian soldiers.  A fast-track program for procurement of $300 million worth of weapons and equipment for special forces is under way. Under the program, 10,000 troops will receive new gear in the next 15 months. The army envisions implementing a multibillion-dollar modernization program called Futuristic Infantry Soldier (F-Insas), to broaden the capabilities of infantry by making them multimission warfighters.  Under the program, the army will buy antitank guided missile launchers with thermal-imaging sights, armored vehicles, rifles, battle-surveillance radars, ground sensors, secured communication systems, precision-guided ammunition, laser rangefinders that provide ballistic data, light clothing and bullet-resistant jackets.  While critics are skeptical that the 2011 date for F-Insas prototype trials will be met, the army’s plans call for equipping the entire infantry—500,000 troops—with the gear by 2020.  General Dynamics U.K., for one, is interested in bidding on the battle-management system, a technology the company specializes in. General Dynamics delivered Bowman, the British Army’s battle-management system, as well as similar programs to the Netherlands and Romania. “We have upgraded more than 13,000 vehicles—the largest number of any company—including T72 tanks and BMP infantry fighting vehicles, both of which the Indian army uses,” says spokesman Mark Douglas.

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