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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 19 Oct 2010

India, US need each other Their ties must have old warmth
The Centre for New American Security, a US think tank, has rightly assessed
that the relations between India and the US need a fresh infusion of life.
The Obama administration has been less forthcoming in supporting India's
aspirations than the erstwhile Bush administration did. President Bush gave
India its deserved placed in the emerging global order. He realied that the
US would not be able to play the desired role on the global stage,
particularly in Asia, without India's active cooperation. He agreed to enter
into a civilian nuclear deal with India by acknowledging the fact that New
Delhi had an unblemished record as a nuclear weapons state. India has
contributed immensely to the cause of nuclear non-proliferation despite not
being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, since the very
beginning President Obama has been looking up to China, though India and the
US as two great democracies have some common factors to strengthen their
relations. The Obama administration is unnecessarily worried about the
provisions of the Nuclear Liability Bill, passed by Parliament with a view
to operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal. The US President should not
overlook the fact that no law can be enacted in a democracy without taking
into view the concerns of the people. India is not unfair in having a law
which fixes responsibility on the suppliers of nuclear reactors and other
equipment in case of a nuclear disaster. President Obama's talk of denying
tax benefits to those US companies which outsourced their jobs also
reflected his negative approach vis-à-vis India. American IT firms and other
companies have been outsourcing jobs because this suits them economically.
They have been doing no favour to India. If the development has benefited
India it is because of the suitable skills acquired by Indians, who are
satisfied with far less remuneration compared to what is demanded by US
professionals. These facts must be made clear to President Obama during his
coming visit to New Delhi. Besides the issues related to commerce and
economics, what can bring Indo-US relations to a higher level is the Obama
administration's support for India's case as a permanent member of the UN
Security Council. Let us hope the US President will utilise the opportunity
of his India visit to make such a commitment.
Osama 'in Pak under ISI care'
Washington, October 18 World's most wanted terrorists Osama bin Laden and
his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri may be hiding close to each other in houses in
northwest Pakistan, protected by some members of ISI, a media report said
today. The two top Al-Qaida commanders may not be together and are not
living in caves as foreseen by American experts to evade detection, the CNN
reported quoting a top NATO officer based in Afghanistan. "Nobody in the
Al-Qaida is living in a cave," the official said. Rather, the Al-Qaida's top
leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals
and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services ISI, the official
said. Pakistan has repeatedly denied protecting members of the Al-Qaida
leadership. The official said, "The general region where Osama is likely to
have moved around in recent year's ranges from the mountainous Chitral area
in the far northwest near the Chinese border, to the Kurram Valley, which
neighbours Afghanistan's Tora Bora, one of the Taliban strongholds during
the US invasion in 2001." Tora Bora is also the region from which Osama is
believed to have escaped during a US bombing raid in late 2001. US officials
have long said there had been no confirmed sightings of Osama or Zawahiri
for several years. Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said:
"Similar reports of bin Laden and Mullah Omar's whereabouts have proven
false in the past." Malik denied the two men are on Pakistani soil, but said
any information to the contrary should be shared with Pakistani officials so
that they could take "immediate action" to arrest the pair, CNN reported.—
Pentagon braces up for a massive WikiLeaks dump on Iraq war
If the whistle blower website releases the documents on the Iraq war, the
action would be on a much more larger scale than it had done with the Afghan
war documents wherein it had released 70,000 documents last July. CJ: Adolf
Desjardins Mon, Oct 18, 2010 17:32:17 IST
TAKING A serious note of the massive war documents which
are likely to be released by WikiLeaks, the Pentagon on Sunday said that it
had a 120-member team prepared to review a massive leak of as many as
500,000 Iraq war documents, which are expected to be released by the
WikiLeaks website sometime this month. Talking about the setup, Pentagon
spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said that the timing of the leak remained unclear
but the Defense Department was ready for a document dump as early as Monday
or Tuesday, a possibility raised in previous WikiLeaks statements. However,
people familiar with the upcoming leak said that they do not expect
WikiLeaks to release the classified files for at least another week. If
the whistle blower website releases the documents on the Iraq war, the
action would be on a much more larger scale than it had done with the Afghan
war documents wherein it had released 70,000 documents last July. The
documents fuelled debates on the 9-year old conflict although it did not
mention any path breaking revelations. The document leak was the largest
security breach in the history of the U.S. Military. "It's the same team
we put together after the publication of the (Afghan war documents)," Lapan
said, adding it was unclear how many of the 120 personnel would be needed to
contribute to the Iraq leak analysis. Although the Iraq conflict has faded
from public debate in the United States in recent years, the document dump
threatens to revive memories of some of the most trying times in the war,
including the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. It could also renew
debate about foreign and domestic forces influencing Iraq, which has been
wrestling with a political vacuum since an inconclusive election in March.
One source familiar with the Iraq documents said they are likely to contain
revelations about civilian casualties, but expected them to cause less of a
stir than the Afghan leak. Lapan said the Pentagon team believed it knew
which documents WikiLeaks may be releasing since it had already reviewed the
Iraq war file. That could speed up its assessment about potential fallout.
NO INTEL SOURCES COMPROMISED At the time of the Afghan war leak, the top
U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, warned that WikiLeaks may have
the blood of U.S. soldiers and Afghan civilians on its hands because it had
leaked documents naming U.S. collaborators. Still, U.S. Defence Secretary
Robert Gates said in a letter to the head of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, that the leak had not revealed any "sensitive intelligence
sources or methods." Gates said disclosing the names of cooperating Afghans,
who could become targets for the Taliban, could cause "significant harm or
damage to national security interests of the United States." The letter was
dated August 16. WikiLeaks says it is a non-profit organization funded by
human rights campaigners, journalists and the general public. But the
Pentagon has demanded it return classified information and critics have
questioned its perceived anti-war agenda. So far the investigation into
the Afghan war leak has focused on Bradley Manning, who worked as an Army
intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning is already under arrest and charged
with leaking a classified video showing a 2007 helicopter attack that killed
a dozen people in Iraq, including two journalists. The Pentagon, citing
the criminal investigation, has refused to discuss the Manning case.

Iran dares US and Israel on Lebanese border
On the Iranian presidents visit, the people were seen waving Iranian flags
and carried posters of the Iranian president and supreme leader of the
Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. CJ: Naim Naqvi Fri, Oct
15, 2010 16:57:05 IST
Iran News : Iranian President won't attend UN disarmament meeting
THOUSANDS OF Lebanese nationals lined the streets of Beirut on Wednesday to
welcome the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his first visit to
Lebanon. Signs on billboards and banners said: "The south welcomes the
protector of the resistance". They were seen waving Iranian flags and
carried posters of the Iranian president and supreme leader of the Islamic
Revolution-Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. In order to boost the increasing
bilateral cooperation with Lebanon, the Iranian President signed 17
memorandums of understanding in various fields like energy, agriculture,
health, education, and other areas. At a joint press conference with his
Lebanese counterpart Suleiman, Ahmadinejad applauded Lebanon's continued
opposition to Israel and mentioned that Iran gives its complete support to
the Lebanese people. In return, Suleiman mentioned that Lebanon supports
Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. In fact Ahmadinejad's visit to southern
Lebanon is a stern message to Israel. He told thousands of supporters, who
turned out on Thursday at a rally in a south Lebanon border town that Israel
would disappear, while they would thrive. Ahmadinejad praised Hezbollah and
its southern stronghold as "the foremost shield of Lebanon." Iranian
President visited the town of Bint Jbeil which was the location of fierce
fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and the Hezbollah militia during
the Second Lebanon War of 2006. It was also the location of a victory
speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah after Israel ended two
decades of occupation of south Lebanon. "You are the heroes that guard
Lebanon's sovereignty," he told them. "You have proven that there no force
in the world can beat you. The resistance of the Lebanese nation, drawn from
faith in God, can stand up to any Israeli force – planes, tanks and ships."
The U.S. and Israel have called Ahmadinejad's visit to Bint Jbeil, located
just a couple miles of the Israeli border, an intentionally provocative

Indian Army on mysterious shopping spree
Former Generals suspect commission-based deals | Two Major Generals heading
separete purchase teams | Jane's Defense Weekly smells rat in surprise
shopping From Christina Palmer NEW DELHI - The Indian Army's Special
Forces are on a weapons importing spree with specialist teams of officers
travelling abroad to evaluate competing systems for sniper rifles and
carbines ahead of placing orders under the defence ministry's fast-track
procedure The Daily Mail learnt through highly credible sources. It is
learnt that led by a two-star infantry officer, a six-member military
delegation is currently visiting Brugger & Thomet AG at Thun in Switzerland,
Heckler & Koch in Oberndorf, Germany, and Israel Weapon Industries in Tel
Aviv to assess their MP9, MP5 and Uzi carbines respectively. India plans on
importing 5,800 pieces for its Special Forces. Estimated at around euro 7
million, this procurement is expected to augment the firepower of the seven
existing Special Forces units as well as equip two additional SF battalions
the Army plans to raise. Some senior officers have, however, privately
questioned the "operational prudence" of acquiring any of the three rival
9mm carbines which have been in service for over three decades and are
sparsely, if at all, employed militarily by the manufacturing nations."The
Army's qualitative requirements (QRs) for carbines seem to have been drawn
up on subjective assessments with little knowledge of existing weapon
systems which are far superior in lethality, range and firepower a fact that
proves that it is all about kick backs," a retired three-star Special Forces
officer said, declining to be identified. The officer lamented that a wider
perspective and awareness, essential whilst framing QRs for weapons which
will remain in service for a decade or more, appears to have been missing.
"Adhocism is simply not good enough when the Army is spoilt for choice," he
said. Meanwhile, the Army's plan to also import approximately 1,000 sniper
rifles under the FTP to augment the SF's insurgency fighting capability and
deployment on clandestine missions, seem plagued by delays. Sources
revealed further to The Daily Mail that the team from Army Headquarters here
at New Delhi, led by another Major-General, that was slated to visit
Finland, Israel and the US to appraise three rival weapons for outright
purchase (estimated between $10 and $12 million), postponed its trip three
times since September and is now expected to travel abroad some time in late
November. Bound to overshoot its December procurement deadline despite the
fact that the sniper rifles were to be bought under the FTP route, the team
is to evaluate the Finnish bolt-action SAKO TRG-22/24, Israel's
semi-automatic Galil 7.62x54mm sniper model and the SSG 3000 bolt-action,
magazine-fed rifle manufactured by the US' Sig Sauer. According to the UK's
Jane's Defence Weekly, Indian Army officers have expressed surprise over the
QRs drawn up for the sniper rifle as these do not mandate an accuracy
standard at a minimum strike range of 800 meters, which is essential for
such a precision weapon. Instead the QRs stipulate that the weapon must be
fitted with a bayonet. "If it comes down to a sniper using a bayonet then
all is lost," a senior officer said. "The idea that such a scenario is being
considered has become something of a joke," he added. JDW further reports
that the August 2009 sniper rifles tender also does not differentiate
between a bolt action or semi-automatic sniper model. Instead, it demands an
undefined capability requiring the rifle to fire either one or five rounds,
a facility open to interpretation by vendors producing either of the two
models to suit their commercial interests. Senior SF officers concede the
"absurdity" of the QR', but point out that any change at this stage would
only further delay the sniper rifle purchase since as all tender
modification require the defence minister's intervention. The Daily Mail's
investigations indicate that in a related procurement the Indian Army
recently completed field trials of two competing single barrel, pump-action
12-gauge shotguns of which the SF are acquiring around 800 for around US$
4.4 million. Two subsidiaries of Italy's Baretta-Beneli and Stoeger in
Turkey are competing in the shootout and official sources reported the deal
is likely to be inked before the end of the current financial year.
Sand for RDX scam: Army says investigation finds no military intelligence
PTI / Monday, October 18, 2010 23:23 IST The Indian Army today said that
its premilinary investigation has not found the role of military
intelligence or its personnel in the 'sand for RDX' scam. Some army
officials of Northern and Western Commands were embroiled in a controversy
where a "source" and an ex-army personnel allegedly in conspiracy with the
military intelligence officials planted sand and passed it off as deadly RDX
explosives to earn cash rewards. "Preliminary investigation was carried out
the moment initial media reports appeared ten days ago. No involvement of
military intelligence or army personnel has come to light. The role of
military intelligence personnel, in this case, was limited to providing
timely inputs to police authorities," defence spokesperson in Jammu,
Lieutenant Colonel Biplab Nath said. The nexus emerged when police
recovered a consignment of apple boxes near MLA's hostel in Jammu in which a
cavity had been created to store a black material which was being passed off
as explosives. The boxes had detonators attached to it, triggering panic on
October 8. URL of the article:

French military boss meets Antony, Menon
2010-10-18 14:20:00 Air Tickets @ Rs. 99 Only Ads by Google Buy 1 Flight
Ticket & Get 1 Free On All Bookings. Limited Time Offer! New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Ahead of French
President Nicholas Sarkozy's India visit in December, France's military boss
Monday met Defence Minister A.K. Antony and National Security Advisor Shiv
Shankar Menon to push forward pending defence deals. Admiral Edouard
Guillaud, the French chief of defence staff, also met Indian Air Force (IAF)
head Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and
Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh, an official at the French embassy here
told IANS. The details of the meetings were not immediately available.
Guillaud is in India on a four-day visit that ends Tuesday after his trip to
Mumbai's Mazagon Docks, where French-designed Scorpene submarines are under
construction, sources said. The nuclear subs being constructed as per a $4
billion deal of 2005 are behind schedule by over two years due to delays in
the supply of supplementary parts at the Indian shipyard. During Sarkozy's
visit, India and France are likely to sign a $2-billion contract for the
modernisation of 51 Mirage 2000-H. France is also eyeing India's $10
billion contract for 126 fighter aircraft for which Dassault Aviation is
contending with Rafale jets. During Sarkozy's visit the two countries may
also finalise a contract with nuclear group Areva that has already signed a
memorandum of understanding for the construction of two reactors at Jaitapur
in Maharashtra.

"India and Vietnam will join two Army mountain jungle"
Data for: Vietnamese Army soldiers in tactical training Data for: Vietnamese
Army soldiers in tactical training LONDON Oct. 18 News: India dnaindia
Network 13 reported that, in order to promote bilateral defense
relationship, India and Vietnam, released the same day a series of related
measures, including joint exercises between the army operations in
mountainous and jungle, and the force on Vietnam ( especially its navy) in
the military. Reported in Vietnam, held an enlarged meeting of the First
ASEAN Defense Secretary (United States also attended) end of the day, Indian
Defense Minister Antony (AK Antony) and Vietnam held talks with top
leadership, and during this period to determine these measures. Anthony met
with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Vietnamese senior Defense
Minister Feng Guangqing and so on. In the bilateral meeting, both sides
decided to India to help the Vietnamese "to consolidate and improve" the
country's overall defense capability, in particular, the ability of the Navy
in Vietnam. In this regard, an Indian defense official said: "India will
help Vietnam improve its repair and maintenance of military platforms. Two
Army in Vietnam in the information technology and English language training
the army personnel to cooperate." Reported that in 2011, the two joint
exercises in the Indian Army will also mountain and jungle warfare, and the
two sides will also towards the development of cooperation between the
defense sector, in military affairs experience and knowledge sharing to
establish contact and work. In addition, Anthony is also proposed to allow
United Nations peacekeeping operations to provide assistance for Vietnam,
Vietnam has extensive experience in this regard. Moreover, the two sides on
global and regional security were discussed, particularly those involving
the Asian regional security affairs. Anthony told the Vietnamese leaders,
Vietnam policy priority in India occupies a strategic position, and is
India's "Look East" policy part of it. Feng Guangqing thanked India for the
expansion of ASEAN defense ministers meeting ended successfully
contributions. He said India's foreign policy framework in Vietnam occupies
a special place, and that "your help, we really making progress." In
addition, Feng Guangqing also welcomed the Indian Navy warships to conduct
more port visits to Vietnam and proposed the port for the Indian warships in
Vietnam to provide maintenance and repair facilities. Anthony invited the
Ping Guangqing visit to India in 2011. Western military experts have said
the arms procurement project in Vietnam is mainly used to deter China.
Indeed, Vietnam is trying to strengthen its coastal defense system, so that
China reconsider its sovereignty declaration. Vietnam has been in contact
with various partners. It maintains close relations with India, while India
is China's main competitors in one of the region. It is believed that the
same deployment of Russian "Kilo" class submarines of the Indian army is
training for the Vietnamese Navy submarine operations.

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