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Saturday, 6 November 2010

From Today's Papers - 06 Nov 2010

What Ministry of Defence wants from Obama's visit
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: November 06, 2010 07:54 IST Ads by Google
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Window & Door Company New Delhi: On his three day visit
to India, beginning today, US President Barack Obama is likely to push for
more defence sales. On the agenda would be: * The Indian Air Force
(IAF) wants to buy 126 combat jets worth nearly $11 billion, which are up
for grabs. Lockheed Martin and Boeing are two among the six worldwide
contenders currently competing for the order. * India has shown
interest in buying C-17, heavy lift transport aircraft for the IAF through
the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route where multi-bid tenders are not
required. * In 2008 and 2009, India placed orders for American C-130J
Medium lift military transport aircraft and P-8 Boeing long-range Maritime
Reconniasance (LRMR) planes together worth more than $4 billion. Obama is
likely to push India to buy more of these. * India is also interested
in buying the Javelin anti-itank missiles, sensor fused weapons and harpoon
missiles from the US.

Pakistan's 26/11 dossier lands ahead of Obama
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: November 06, 2010 07:53 IST Ads by Google
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Window & Door Company Islamabad: Just ahead of US
President Barack Obama's visit to India and his scheduled meeting with the
survivors of the 26/11attacks, Pakistan has handed over the 13th dossier on
Mumbai terror attacks case to India. Islamabad has also given detailed and
formal information on the proposed 26/11 commission and has requested India
to facilitate the visit of the proposed commission. The dossier was handed
over to the Deputy High Commissioner of India in Islamabad, Rahul
Kulshreshth. Pakistan has also sought further information from the
Government of India to facilitate the ongoing trial in Pakistan.

Major General Hooda in trouble?
5 Nov 2010, 1749 hrs IST Government sources have told TIMES NOW that
appointment committee of the Cabinet has cleared Major General RK Hooda's
promotion as Lieutenant General. In fact, sources are telling that there is
a question mark over the promotion as Hooda's name has surfaced in the
Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai. The Indian Army and the Defence
Ministry is waiting for the probe report before Hooda's promotion as Lt
General goes through. TTIMES NOW earlier reported on how Hooda recommended
the land to Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba, Mumbai. Hooda is also a member
of the society and is presently the DG of Mechanised Forces. A controversy
has erupted over how the Adarsh Housing Society, originally meant to be a
six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, got converted
into a 31-storey building.
Suspicions, Indo-Pak relations
Afshain Afzal Amid forthcoming visit of United States President, Barack
Hussain Obama's visit to India, the Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh has
expressed his concern our the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. He
said, "Probably Pakistan also has and they are taking extra measures...." He
said that this would remain a concern . the way internal dynamics are."
However, he balanced his statement when he said, "I don't think, there is
any reason to say things are not secure. Things are secure." The Indian Army
Chief further added that that both Pakistan and China are nuclear armed
countries "who uses (nuclear weapons), we don't know. As armed forces, we
should always keep this in mind that there is somebody who can use it." He
pointed out that Pakistan had done "sabre-rattling" on behalf of nuclear
weapons and "we, as a force, are prepared to fight anytime." One really
wonders how the prominent newspapers in Pakistan are able to interpret that
India has given a certificate in favour of Pakistan that its nuclear weapons
are safe. The statement of Indian Army Chief has been rightly termed as
"jingoistic," because New Delhi is well aware of the fact that Pakistani
nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. However, in case India tries to
impose war or try to attempt any surgical strikes challenging the
sovereignty of Pakistan, limited nuclear attack would be an ultimate answer.
Pakistan's nuclear weapons are for the balance of power and the facts
remains that till the time these weapons are with Pakistan Army, India would
never dare committing a mistake of any misadventure. It is a fact that
General V. K Singh is one of the most capable, honest and officer of high
caliber India Army has so far produced and such statement were not expected
from him. His statement that Pakistan and China are major irritants and
India was ready to fight a conventional warfare in a nuclear scenario was
uncalled for. His clarification that "I only said what the whole world is
saying" was also not expected from an officer of such a caliber. India must
use its own mind before reaching any conclusion. One wonders if he commits a
mistake of listening to half cooked self-engineered intelligence inputs
furnished by the intelligence agencies of United States especially, Defence
Intelligence Agency and CIA, the results would be horrifying. India has
complaints about Pakistan that it has India-centric posturing. However, New
Delhi should not forget that the responsibility of failure of talks between
Indian and Pakistan, in most of the cases, is due to stubborn, non-flexible
and high headed attitude of Indian leaders. If we examine the latest
statement of Indian Defence Minister A K Antony, during the Inauguration
ceremony of the five-day Army Commanders Conference, he said that though
India was not unduly concerned (about Pakistan), its Armed Forces would have
to keep "a constant vigil" on the developments in Pakistan. It is
interesting to note that the Indian minister in his statement confessed that
Jammu and Kashmir had shown signs of abating but he did not give any credit
to Pakistan, maintaining that it was the result of constant vigil by the
Indian Army. He said, "The Army has been quite successful in countering the
proxy war and in minimizing the incidents of terror. Still, as long as the
terror infrastructure across the border continues to flourish, we cannot
afford to drop our guard." One wonders after giving such irresponsible
statements by Indian top leaders, New Delhi still feels that Pakistan has
India-centric posturing. The anti-East nations, especially United States,
Britain and Israel are bent upon weakening and destroying institutions in
both India and Pakistan. In a recent development, in the name of Defence and
Intelligence collaboration, United States has successfully strike on the
back bone of Indian defence system and procedures. The recent changes
introduced by Indian Defence Ministry in the Defence Procurement Procedure
to increase private participation are a matter of concern. In the name of
public-private partnership, those who have been offered kickbacks have made
major changes in defence procurement procedures. Shield of research and
development is being used to bribe foreign and fake offshore firms to
legalize invisible spending on research. India is unfortunate that due to
high level corruption in almost all ministries, especially in Ministry of
Defence, every other day there is a new scandal on front pages of Indian
media. By the new changes in Defence Procurement Procedure, the crimes and
corruption would be legalized to a great extent. These developments might
not be anything new for the Indian public as what can be expected from those
who even got kickback on the purchase of caskets meant for Indian soldiers
killed during Kargil operation? It is true that Pakistan and India are not
going to enjoy any comfortable relation unless the issue of Jammu and
Kashmir, Runn of Kutch, Siachen and other minor issue are resolved. Despite
everything that happened to be undesirable, both the countries have better
prospects to be friends in the future than the western adversaries. New
Delhi and Indian Army must also realize that the Armed Forces Special Powers
Act (AFSPA) is a "Black Act" which must go. The statement of Indian Army
Chief that the Act is being used as a "beating stick" by the separatists in
Jammu and Kashmir is probably not his own words otherwise every Indian is
well aware that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed area. Had it been part of
India, Indian constitution would have been pronounced by now. Since mid
fifties, India is claiming the Jammu and Kashmir has become its part,
projecting that democratic representatives have given their verdict. One
wonders India is in fact deceiving itself and its people, otherwise the
voices of majority Kashmiris in Indian held Kashmir are audible even today
that they want freedom from India and join Pakistan. It is in the interest
of both the countries that instead of looking for a third party to resolve
their difference they should sit down and hold unending talks till the time
all issues are resolved. To achieve this objective, both countries should
come out of their preconceived suspicions and mistrust about each other and
look for long term goals and benefits in the resolution of pending issues.
India, Nigeria close partners in defence sector
Anil S First Published : 05 Nov 2010 02:46:38 AM IST Last Updated : KOCHI:
The armed forces of India and Nigeria share a strategic relationship, based
on which the personnel in Nigeria are undergoing training in defence
establishments in India, General Abdul Rahman Dambazau, who retired as the
Chief of Army Staff, Nigeria, about two months ago, has said. In an
exclusive interview with the Express on the sidelines of the Global
Community Policing Conclave, 2010, in Kochi on Thursday, General Dambazau
pointed out that a number of armed forces personnel of Nigeria are
undergoing training in various defence establishments in India, including
the Southern Naval Command, Kochi. "The armed forces of the two countries
share a close relationship. The training given to Naval personnel in Kochi
and the Nigerian officers undergoing training at the Defence Services Staff
College, Wellington, are a part of the ties between the two countries. Also,
Nigerian officers attend defence meets in India. Recently, I attended a
defence meet on security and strategic affairs in New Delhi," Gen Dambazau
pointed out. Asked about the increasing number of cyber crimes originating
from Nigeria, the General said the cyber crimes should be viewed as a
byproduct of technological advances. Dambazau, who is currently doing
research on criminology and related topics, pointed out that a lot of people
who own Nigerian passports are involved in cyber crimes outside the country.
"The cyber crimes are not confined to Nigeria alone. It's a universal issue.
The crimes are the price paid for technological advances. While the ICT has
made communication easier and cheaper, it has also given birth to cyber
frauds. The cyber crimes are something where both the victim and the
criminal are out to make money. Nigeria is a very populous country. A lot of
people with Nigerian passports go out and get involved in cyber crimes. It
cannot be viewed as cyber crimes from Nigeria," the General opined.

China Fears Spark Indo-US Courting Security
| South Asia | India November 5, 2010By Nitin Gokhale Defence co-operation
between India and the United States is growing. But delays on two military
deals could put the brakes on. Image credit:US Navy When the US Navy and
Indian forces held their annual bilateral amphibious training exercise in
late September, it got little attention from the international media. It
was, after all, a relatively small, joint tabletop exercise between the two
nations. But the interesting thing about Exercise Habu Nag was not in the
manoeuvres that were being executed, nor their size. It was all about the
location-in the waters off Japan's Okinawa, just as Sino-Japanese tensions
were rising over a maritime territorial dispute. Indeed, it's fitting that
the issue of China again loomed so large over the exercises, because it has
been Chinese criticism that in the past couple of years has deterred India
from engaging fully with the United States in this way. Habu Nag is only
one of the 35 joint exercises conducted by the Indian and the US armed
forces over the past five years. But it marked a noticeable shift even from
last year, when the Indian Ministry of Defence refused to grant permission
for similar participation by an Indian contingent in an exercise with the
United States. India's hesitation in 2009 partly stemmed from Beijing's
very vocal protest in 2007 after the US, Indian, Australian, Japanese and
Singaporean navies staged the unprecedented Malabar Exercise in the Bay of
Bengal, manoeuvres that China saw as part of an attempt at encirclement.
But with India deciding this year to set such concerns aside, Habu Nag saw a
week's worth of training that involved the forward-deployed amphibious
assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). As part of the exercise, officers from the
Indian Army's lone amphibious brigade and Indian Navy embarked on the ship
to observe the US Marine Corps in action, with a view to enhancing bilateral
interoperability, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response
between US and Indian officers. 'A key aspect is that the US has Marines
embedded with Navy staff, doing jobs for the Navy that are Marine Corps
oriented and vice versa,' Lt Col Evan Holt, a US Marine liaison officer who
worked with the Indian officers, was quoted as saying. 'We want to
demonstrate how two different services with two different goals mesh their
operations and personnel to complete those goals.' Cmdr Gagan Kaushal, of
the Indian Navy, noted for his part that the exercise gave India the chance
to see for itself up close how the US military works. So what prompted the
Indian change of heart this year? For a start, Beijing and New Delhi aren't
exactly on the best of terms right now, despite exponentially rising
bilateral trade between the two. Military exchanges between the two
countries are currently on hold following Beijing's refusal to allow a top
Indian Army general to visit China. Beijing cited his posting in Jammu and
Kashmir, an area China deems disputed territory between India and Pakistan,
as the reason for its decision. Meanwhile, China has also refused to abandon
its policy of issuing paper visas to citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, despite
vociferous Indian protests. Against this backdrop, the long border between
the two countries remains unsettled and prone to misunderstandings,
accidents and standoffs. Yet any confrontation between India and China isn't
likely to come on land-it is much more likely to occur in the Indian Ocean
Region and South China Sea. For, while Beijing doesn't even accept Indian
pre-eminence in the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi is itself pushing its way
into the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea-an area Beijing regards as
a core interest. Understanding Sino-India tensions is essential if trying
to make sense of Indo-US defence ties. Washington, still the dominant naval
power in the Asia-Pacific, understands that its primacy will sooner or later
be challenged by an increasingly assertive China. The United States is
therefore looking at a rising India as a stable, reliable partner to provide
strategic balance in Asia. The signs of co-operation between India and the
United States, both in the present and for the future, are increasingly
evident. Currently, more than 100 officers from India train in various
higher defence institutions in the United States each year, while the US
typically sends dozens of officers to India to get a sense of Indian
operational philosophy and counter-insurgency strategies. For the past half
a decade, India's famed Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School
has been a favoured stop for various US infantry battalions going into
operations in Afghanistan, and before that in Iraq. India, which has more
than five decades' experience tackling internal insurgencies, has much to
offer in terms of tactical advice. But defence co-operation has been
extending past training and war games. The United States' gigantic
military-industrial complex, actively supported by the Pentagon, is
aggressively trying to sell several new and not-so-new military platforms to
the Indian armed forces. The USS Trenton, a decrepit amphibious ship, was
the first such platform bought by the Indian Navy, in 2007, for the
'throwaway' price of $50 million. But that was just a start. In the past
three years, India has placed orders for six heavy-lift military transport
planes C-130J, the first of which are to be handed over to the Indian Air
Force next month. Additionally, India has also contracted Boeing to supply
eight 737-derivative P-8i Poseidon long range maritime patrol aircraft. The
contract, concluded in January 2009, was originally worth $2.1 billion. And
now, on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to India, Washington has
been pressing India to purchase US military hardware worth in excess of $13
billion. Who gets a piece of this Indian pie will largely depend on which
fighter aircraft the Indian Air Force decides to buy to shore up its fast
depleting combat jet strength-US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are among
six foreign companies that have bid for the $11 billion fighter jet deal.
Another deal hanging in the balance is $3.5 billion worth 10 C-17
Globemaster planes for the Indian Air Force. Between the combat jets bid
and the C-17 offer, the latter is likely to be concluded faster, since
India's defence minister, AK Antony, reportedly prefers
government-to-government military sales under the 'Foreign Military Sales'
programme that the US often offers friendly countries. Antony, a careful,
probity-obsessed politician, is known to prefer this route to avoid any hint
of the corruption that's so often a staple of multi-vendor bids for large
military contracts. That said, he has so far resisted US pressure to sign
what the Americans called two 'enabling' agreements: the Communication
Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and the
Logistics Support Agreement (LSA). CISMOA entails the laying down of
protocols for interoperability and assuring the security of communication
between the armed forces of the two countries, while the LSA would allow the
armed forces of the two countries to procure fuel and supplies from each
other's facilities. India's refusal to sign them has been an ongoing
frustration for the Americans, while India for its part is annoyed that
failure to do so would mean the platforms would have to be divested of
cutting-edge electronics. The question now is whether Obama's visit will be
able to help resolve what are, in strategic terms, 'minor' irritants in
Indo-US defence cooperation. If some path to a solution is found, it will
allow the two countries to build on the defence friendship they've
rekindled, and allow them the scope to create an effective counter-balance
to an increasingly assertive China.

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