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Friday, 18 June 2010

From Today's Papers - 18 Jun 2010

Pakistan, China pledge to boost defence ties 
* Gen Kayani tells Chinese Defence minister Pakistan values its defence and security cooperation with China * Guanglie says Sino-Pak military relations set for a new high  BEIJING: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani held a meeting with the Chinese defence minister on Thursday, in which both sides pledged to strengthen defence ties.  Kayani, who is currently on a five-day official visit to China, said Pakistan valued its defence and security ties with China, noting that cooperation in the defence sector had been very ‘fruitful’ in recent years, according to the Xinhua news agency.  “Cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces is exemplary and has been fruitful,” Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guangli said during the meeting held at the Diaoyutai State Guest House.  He said China would join hands with Pakistan to bring defence cooperation to a new high.  Later, Kayani met Chinese Minister for Public Security Meng Jianzhu, top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo, and the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong.  Bangguo said Beijing would work towards promoting a strategic cooperative partnership with Pakistan. He spoke highly of the cooperation between the two neighbours’ armed forces, saying that joint efforts to combat the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” bore testament to the fact that Pakistan-China relations are on track.

 Unsung heroes
18 June 2010 Following Hugh Mackay's letter (17 June), the Indian Army was the largest volunteer force the world has ever known. During the First World War and again in the Second World War, it came to the defence of Great Britain and gave that magnificent support with huge loss of life and sacrifice.  Fergal Keane, in his book on the subject, appears to have had a patronising idea about colonial forces. The Indian Army, however, was then the King Emperor's Indian Army and an elite body to which many young Scots aspired as officers.  To this day, the Indian Army, the second-largest army in the world, is a fine body of men who fulfill their role guarding India, but also their obligations within the UN to other theatres of war and peacekeeping.  Some years ago, I passed an elegant old war memorial in the middle of a wide road in the centre of Jabalpur, which is truly in the heart of India. I just managed to read: "In memory of all the men of all classes and creeds who sacrificed their lives…" That most poignant of phrases sums up the sacrifice of so many in the 20th century.  We must not forget these true unsung heroes.

Is Chinese threat to India real?
Friday, June 18, 2010 By Afshain Afzal  Quite recently, it was reported that Chinese Navy ships visited Indian port of Cochin to impress upon Indian strategists that New Delhi is no match to Chinese military might. Many Indian strategists and analysts consider that Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean is a warning to Indian Navy that Chinese can show their presence every where.  It is being feared that with seven destinations to support China including in Maldives, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Pakistan, India stands no where. Indian Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma is also scheduled to visit Sri Lanka shortly to improve defence ties and keep China off Sri Lanka. It is one record that Indian former Defence Minister, George Fernandez claimed that India’s Enemy No.1 was China and not Pakistan. If we link the presence of Chinese Navy in Indian Ocean, the claim of George Fernandez seems true but is it so? The western powers are furnishing intelligence input to New Delhi that China is planning to wage a war and destabilize India to gain supremacy in Asia. The fears and apprehensions need to be analyzed in its true perspective.  It is interesting to note that Commander in Chief of Israeli Navy, Vice Admiral Elizer Marom, who visited India in January this year and US Navy Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) who visited India in April this year before the annual Indo-U.S Malabar exercise, warned New Delhi about Chinese designs against India.  It is true that China is much superior militarily as compared to India but it does not mean that Peking intends invading India or disintegrating it into smaller independent states. A recent article on Dragon’s plan to split India in many parts appeared in the media.  There was a lot of hue and cry in the Indian political and intellectual circles about the Chinese intensions but should we take media articles so seriously? It is a bitter fact that there is a dispute between India and China over Arunachal Pradesh and part of Jammu and Kashmir state that Pakistan gifted China in 1962 but things are not so serious. India must realize the fact that China is a mature country and would not get instigated on western provocation. It is responsibility of the Indian politicians and other pressure groups not to push China to an extant that there is no option but to get hostile.  Former Indian Army Chief and other senior officer of Indian Armed Forces claimed to be capable to tackle both China and Pakistan at the same time. However, the fact cannot be denied that Indian Navy and the Air Force are two institutions that require much attention. It was Jawaharlal Nehru who said, “If you wish to be secure on land, you should have supremacy on the sea” but probably there is a strong lobby in India who is bent upon failing the desire of Jawaharlal Nehru to come true.  The corruption in Indian navy and Indian Air Force has made many Indian to think that India can never become Navy and Air power in the region. The kickback and percentage has become pet words for the Indian Defence, Naval and Air Attaches posted at various Indian Embassies throughout the world. Former Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has been quoted to have said, “In military terms, both conventionally and unconventionally, we can neither have the capability nor the intention to match China.  He said that it is foolhardy to say India is equal to China militarily. India is no match for China whether it is Air Force, Navy or Army.  Indian interference in Xiang province and Tibet is what western countries openly projects but the fact cannot be denied that US Presidents including President Barack Hussain Obama had been holding confidential meetings with Dalai Lama and citizens of Xiang. There is also no truth in the claim that China is aiding Maoist to destabilize India. Both India and China need to realize that there is a western plot to destabilize Asia region by creating difference between the major powers in this region. China is a big country but there is no naval built-up against India or any other country in the region.  However, Indian military built-up near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Line of Control (LoC), on the instigation of western powers might turn into matter of concern. Western nations including US, Britain and Israel are furnishing wrong information through third countries to Beijing, New Delhi and Islamabad to make them suspicious against each other. It is understood that once tension is heightened, the chances of full fledge war would automatically increase.  It is in the interest of all the countries of the region, especially China, India and Pakistan to shun their difference and work with perfect harmony for joint defence of Indian Ocean as well as land and sky. Once this is achieved, no one would be able to stop development and peace from reigning in the region.

Foreign cos warm up to Indian defence mkt
Huma Siddiqui Posted online: 2010-06-18 00:46:41+05:30  New DelhiThe aerospace and defence (A&D) sector in the country is growing leaps and bounds and is fast emerging as a key participant in the Asia-Pacific region. The US and European aerospace companies are now recognising India as a critical market as well as a potential manufacturing partner.  Also, the country is becoming one of the largest military spenders in the world and catching worldwide attention, with the third-largest defence procurement budget in Asia.  According to a Deloitte study titled “Prospects for global defence export industry in Indian defence market”, exports will be a major option to compensate the fall in domestic demand. The country, which has an offsets policy since 2005, needs to leverage its huge buying power in this environment.  The present offset threshold limit of 30% needs to be scaled upward to 50% or more. At the same time, the limit needs to be applied across the board on contracts worth Rs 100 crore or less (presently offsets are applied on contracts worth Rs 300 crore or more).  The study has observed that much of the defence equipment of the country are obsolete and a major “catch-up” effort is required.  Major procurement programmes are going to take place in next few years. India is seeking to acquire some of the most globally advanced systems for its Navy — SLBM nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, Army — large numbers of T-90 main battle tanks and other assets to equip eight divisional sized battlegroups) and Air Force — Su-30 advanced fighter aircraft and a follow-up state of the art air superiority fighters in about 2017.  The country is also seeking to acquire sophisticated defence electronics and communications systems, including the intention to equip infantry soldiers. Overall, the acquisitions budget will grow from around $17 billion in 2011 to $19.20 billion in 2015, an increase of nearly 15%. Clearly an expansion such as this offers considerable opportunities to the international defence industry, including foreign companies. It is important, however, to recognise the very considerable challenges involved in winning defence work in India.  The increased inflow of investments, to be generated through revised offset conditions, can then be suitably directed to pre-identified areas for strengthening domestic industrial capabilities. This will go a long way in reducing the import cost of defence items in the long-run.  In 2010-11, $32.03 billion has been earmarked for defence sector. Of this, $13.04 billion is to be spent on acquisitions for new weapons systems equipment and services. It is estimated that Indian defence procurement will rise to an estimated $ 42 billion by 2015 (including $19.20 billion for capital acquisitions), which could make it one of the most attractive defense markets in the world. In other words, India is likely to spend nearly $100 billion on military procurement during the current Five Year Plan (2007-12) and $120 billion in the next Plan period (2012-17).  There are greater opportunities for Indian defence industry to work with partnership or in collaboration with overseas companies, thus enabling them to have broader market access.  According to the study, in light of the Mumbai attacks as well as the overall need to modernize its defensive capabilities, India’s armed forces are expected to increase their purchases of new equipment and technology for the next 20 to 25 years. Liberalization of India’s defense procurement policy offers a unique opportunity for Indian companies to provide services for the armed forces.  Currently, about 70 % of procurement in value terms is from foreign sources-with Indian companies supplying only around 30% indigenous items (including 25 percent of components and subassemblies) to state-owned companies.  In the near term, foreign companies will likely continue to have an edge in the supply of defence armaments and transfer of technology. In India, foreign acquisitions are expected to be more affordable at this time. Industry consolidation in India may be on the upswing for larger companies that have desire to enter manufacturing businesses. This would give them a presence abroad to interact and do business with OEMs and suppliers directly, while simultaneously harnessing the advantages that India as a manufacturing destination provides, the study observed.  The key drivers of Indian aerospace and defence industry are high domestic demand, offset policy, cost advantages, talent base and leveraging IT competitiveness. It has pointed out that there are challenges too, such as infrastructure, customs clearances, complex tax laws, certifications, quality assurance, setting up measures like supply chain management, security, taxes and various legislations etc.  Substantial benefits are to be derived if foreign industry can become more involved in overseas defence markets, either through exports or foreign direct investment. Apart from the obvious benefits of additional revenue and profitability, one major advantage concerns the potential for smoothing out the workload. A big problem for local firms is the level of investment that is required to participate in the Foreign defence industry when the workload can often reflect a feast or famine cycle. This not only causes considerable disadvantages for the local firms themselves, but also adds to Defence’s costs in seeking to sustain the industry in pursuit of self-reliance, said the study.  “There are also strong potential benefits from involvement in overseas markets in terms of capability. The challenge of satisfying a new and demanding customer, perhaps by refining the particular product or developing new and more advanced applications, can bring private benefits to the firm concerned but also broader benefits to the global defence companies as the spin-offs are brought home,” it added.  Participation in a joint venture in a larger defence market overseas can also bring benefits in terms of economies of scale, movement down the learning curve and also some potential ToT and knowhow from related firms operating in the overseas market concerned.  India is embarking on a very substantial programme toexpand and upgrade its defence force. The fact that territorial disputes with two powerful neighbouring countries (China and Pakistan) that are  nuclear-armed and developing closer relations with one another opens up the possibility of a war on two fronts.

Army's Northern Command observes Raising Day
2010-06-17 18:20:00  and Kashmir), June 17 (IANS) The Indian Army's Northern Command, which guards the frontiers with Pakistan and China in Jammu and Kashmir, Thursday celebrated its 39th Raising Day by reiterating its commitment to maintain peace on the borders and 'checkmate' terrorism in the state.  Northern Command chief Lt.Gen. B.S. Jaswal led his officers and men in paying tributes to the 9,710 officers and soldiers who lost their lives ever since its formation, according to a defence ministry release.  The command was 'committed to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to usher in peace and prosperity by checkmating the menace of terrorism unleashed by forces inimical to the nation,' the release added.  The command, raised in 1972 - six months after the 1971 India-Pakistan war, maintains vigil on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan-administered Kashmir, with Pakistan, on the Siachen glacier and with China.  In the operational mode since inception, the command has been involved in a large number of high and low intensity conflicts.  'Operation Vijay was also fought on the formidable heights of Drass, Kargil and Batalik,' the release said of the 1999 conflict between India and Pakistan, commonly known as Kargil war.  'Today, the Northern Command is in the forefront of the nation's efforts to counter the scourge of terrorism and the proxy war engendered from across (Pakistan) in Jammu and Kashmir,' the release added.

India's defence force to give up bandwidth when new network ready
By R.Jai Krishna, Dow Jones Newswires Thursday 17 June 2010 BSNL has been charged with building communications network for defence forces.  India's defense forces will give up bandwidth as and when an exclusive communication network for the armed forces--to be built by the Department of Telecommunications--is ready, the federal junior minister for defense said Thursday.  Giving up the required bandwidth "will not be guided by market requirements," M.M.Pallam Raju told Dow Jones Newswires, when asked whether the defense forces would give up the bandwidth before September.  The government has allowed the successful bidders of a recent auction of third generation radio bandwidth to roll out commercial services from Sept. 1.  India's defense forces had agreed to vacate part of the bandwidth they hold to be given to successful bidders in the 3G and the more recent wireless internet broadband auctions.  The DoT has assigned state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. for building the exclusive communication network for the defense forces.  BSNL had invited bids to build the network at an estimated cost of INR17.40 billion, but is yet to finalise the winners.

IAF started to give Permanent Commission to women officers 
Posted by Shailesh Vyas on 6/17/10 • Categorized as News ( 4 views ) 0diggsdigg  IAF started to give Permanent Commission to women officers 215x300 IAF started to give Permanent Commission to women officers general news  After winning 3 years long court battle, IAF decided to start giving permanent commission to women officers of the Air Force. The orders from the court came in March 2010 on a petition from 30 odd Army women officers and 22 IAF. A senior IAF officer told, “Yes, we have already started the process for according permanent commission to women officers in accordance with the Delhi High Court orders.” Officer also said, “All the 22 women officers, who had gone to the court, will be given permanent commission.”  According to the sources, a letter from the force had already issued to women officers for knowing the interest in a permanent commission. Along this offer, women officers would get a chance to rise up the rank of Lieutenant General. They also will get the benefit in the age of retirement which is now 60 years. The IAF decision on the High Court order came after India’s Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam advised against an appeal and asked the IAF to go by the court directive.  The division bench of Justice M P Garg and S K Kaul instructed the government to grant permanent commission to women officers and saying they ‘deserve better from the government’. The court said, “There are also male officers performing the same task. If the male officers can be granted permanent commission while performing those tasks, there is no reason why equally capable women officers cannot be granted Permanent Commission.  is not a charity being sought by the women officers but enforcement of their own Constitutional rights,”  The Defence Ministry in 2009 decided to accord permanent commission to women officers in the Education, Legal and Accounts branches in Army, Air force and Navy.  A number of militaries globally induct women but only few allow them to perform active combat role.

Armed Forces doctrines on joint warfare  
NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of the escalation in Maoist violence, the Armed Forces have evolved guidelines to bring ‘misguided population into the mainstream’ through psychological operations. Psychological warfare is going to be used as a key weapon by the Indian Armed Forces to achieve the military objectives, particularly in dealing with the internal security situation, according to a new doctrine that was adopted on Wednesday. The Military Psychological Operations constitute a planned process of conveying a message to a select target audience, to promote particular themes that result in desired attitudes and behaviour which influences the achievement of the political and the military objectives, claimed the Ministry of Defence. It said, “The doctrine provides guidelines for the activities related to the perception management in sub-conventional operations, especially in the internal environment wherein misguided population may have to be brought into the mainstream.” Psychological operations are being seen as an effective force multiplier in the new doctrine for achieving the military objectives. Along with the Military Psychological Operations, a Joint Doctrine for Air-Land Operations was also released by the three service chiefs. “It establishes the framework of concepts and principles to understand the approach to planning and conduct of air-land operations in a conventional war scenario,” said the Ministry of Defence. The new documents are going to guide the Armed Forces in evolving their strategies around the principles, enshrined in the doctrines. The three services have their own doctrines, but the headquarter Integrated Defence Staff is concentrating on evolving strategies for joint operations.

Is Indian Army being ‘deliberately’ weakened?
 The Indian nation is going through some testing times. The Kashmir Valley continues to be embroiled in an unabated cycle of violence which is making life an unending misery for the common man and creating a tense security environment. The blockade in Manipur has been in place for almost two months and people are suffering unimaginable hardship even as the governments. The Naxal issue has gained criticality in the aftermath of a proactive policy adopted by Home Minister P Chidambaram.      The Army is already playing an active role in both Kashmir and the North East and now it may be called upon to contain the Naxal menace also. In the midst of this turmoil the Army, which is the sole savior and sentinel of the nation’’s integrity, is facing a grave challenge from a number of forces that are trying to weaken its intrinsic fabric. Whether this is part of a grand design or the machination of different powers and lobbies who have their own axes to grind, cannot be ascertained, but what is very obvious is that the cumulative effect is quite alarming. The increasing involvement of the Army in quelling social and political dissent in the country provides the first and most critical chink in its armour.      Interestingly, the divisive ideologies of Islamic Jihad and Maoism that the country has to contend with are direct imports from its two neighbours, China and Pakistan. The two countries are well aware that only the Indian Army stands between them and their long standing policy of dividing India into small segments in order to curtail its growing influence.      Now, by involving the Army more and more in internal security, these countries feel that they may have hit bulls eye. The engagement with the Naxals is not possible without diluting vigil on the border as also the edge that the Army enjoys as a conventional force. Quite obviously, the vacuum thus created will be exploited by these two countries, Pakistan will be able to boost its proxy war and China will gain strength in its negotiations for the border dispute.      The second challenge is emanating from a psychological war that has been launched against the force with the intention of denting the high moral pedestal at which it stands. The people of India see the Indian soldier as the epitome of all that is the best in the country due to his demonstrated qualities of courage, self sacrifice, integrity, strength of character and commitment to the cause of the nation. If this image is dented, the psychological fallout may propel the country into a self destruct mode.      Against this backdrop, a sustained campaign is being orchestrated to malign the image of the soldier in the eyes of his countrymen. Terrorists and terrorist linked organisations are keeping the pot boiling in regions like Kashmir and the North East by highlighting baseless human rights violations through the medium of orchestrated public demonstrations and virulent outcry.      In the remaining parts of the country, especially the national capital, the slightest misdemeanour by an Army man is blown out of proportion through well managed propaganda. The result is that the force and the country are getting enveloped in a feeling of low self esteem and the army is getting involved in a web of legality which is keeping it perpetually on the back foot.      There is a need to counter this challenge being thrown up by forces inimical to the nation. Firstly, in order to allow the Army to concentrate upon its primary task of manning the country’s borders against our many adversaries we have to build upon our police and paramilitary forces so that they can perform the role assigned to them.      Some methodology can be worked out, whereby, the Army’s expertise is put to good use to give a boost these organisations. On the psychological front the media, which is unwittingly becoming a stooge in the hands of anti-national forces, needs to understand the difference between reportage of normal events and security issues, the latter being too important to be subject to TRP driven sensationalism.      The nation must realise that not all that is heard is coming from sources that have its good in mind. The Army is the last bastion of the nation, and a weakened, demoralized force will spell doom for it. Isolating the Army from deliberate attempts to reduce its capabilities and from negative propagandist influences is a national responsibility.

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