Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

From Today's Papers - 26 Jan 2011







Indian-American sold military secrets to China 
Press Trust of India, Updated: January 25, 2011 12:47 IST
Indian-American Noshir Gowadia, a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer has been sentenced by a US federal judge to 32 years of imprisonment for selling military secrets to China. Gowadia, 66, has spent the past five years in prison.  "We're a little disappointed she didn't give him a life sentence, that's the sentence that would've sent the best message. But 32 years is stiff and in many ways an appropriate sentence for him," said Ken Sorenson, assistant US attorney.  The sentencing of Mumbai-born Gowadia comes weeks after China conducted a flight test of its new J-20 stealth fighter. He showed no emotion as Chief US District Judge Susan Oki Mollway pronounced the punishment yesterday.  Prosecutors alleged that Gowadia helped design an exhaust nozzle for China that gives off less heat, making it difficult for enemy infrared detectors to track the missile for which he got USD 110,000 over two years.      A US federal jury in August convicted Gowadia of 14 counts, including conspiracy, communicating national defense information to aid a foreign nation, and violating the arms export control act.  "We believe very strongly that he's innocent and we very much look forward to the appeals process in the 9th circuit," Gowadia's son, Ashton was quoted as saying by the local KHON2 news channel.  According to court papers, Gowadia hid the proceeds from the transactions by directing the payments to secret Swiss bank accounts of foundations he set up in Liechtenstein, the government said in recently filed court documents.  Gowadia worked for Northrup from 1968 to 1986, during which time he helped develop the B-2 bomber's unique propulsion system.  After his employment with Northrup ended, Gowadia continued his relationship with the US military as a private contractor.  However, following some angry dealings with the Air Force and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1993, Gowadia began to seek and solicit business internationally, the government says.  Between 2003 and 2005 Gowadia made six secret trips into mainland China and exchanged numerous communications to help Chinese defense engineers design a cruise missile that is able to evade air-to-air, heat-seeking missiles, according the federal indictment against him.







Indian Navy sailing ship INS Sudarshini hits water
By Frontier India | January 25th, 2011 | Category: Indian Navy News | No Comments »  Indian Navy has named its new sailing ship as INS Sudarshini on commissioning at a later date. The ship is a follow on class of INS Tarangini. Sudarshini means “Beautiful Lady.” Smt Letha Sushil, her self a sudarshini, spouse of Vice Admiral KN Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command launched Navy’s next sail training ship at Goa Shipyard today.  INS Tarangani, named after waves is a three-masted Barque in sailing parlance i.e. square rigged on the Fore and Main masts INS Sudarshini  INS Sudarshini launch and fore and aft rigged on Mizzen mast. The ship has been designed by Mr. Colin Muddie, a famous Naval Architect and yacht designer of U.K. and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. Reputed firms from U.K have supplied the sailing rig.  INS Tarangini was commissioned on 11 Nov 1997, and is primarily meant for the sail training of cadets. She also conducts sail training capsules for cadets of the National Defence Academy, Naval Academy and INS Shivaji, the training establishment for technical cadets.







India’s Doctrinal Shift?
Security | South Asia | India January 25, 2011By Nitin Gokhale The Indian Army is undertaking its first strategic transformation in more than two decades. And it has its sights firmly on China.  Image credit:Antônio Milena  India’s 1.1 million-strong army is on the verge of major doctrinal and organisational change.  Working from the results of a ‘Transformation Study,’ which was produced by a team of generals led by Chief of Army Staff Gen. VK Singh when he was Eastern Army Commander, a series of radical suggestions are set to be implemented to bring about a paradigm shift in the way the Indian Army is deployed and operationalised, both defensively and offensively.  Essentially, the changes are aimed at strengthening the Army’s capacity for fighting what one serving general has described as a war on ‘two and a half fronts’—a reference to possible simultaneous confrontations with Pakistan and China at the same time as managing an internal counter-insurgency effort.  So far, India’s four wars with Pakistan and one with China have been stand-alone conflicts, but India’s strategic thinkers are concerned that there’s a genuine possibility that close allies China and Pakistan could launch a joint offensive against India.  And the Army doesn’t want to be caught flat-footed. Instead, it’s looking for an overhaul in thinking that will produce a force capable of quick mobilization and rapid deployment.  Speaking at his annual media event, on January 15, Singh confirmed that this current line of thinking reaches up to the highest levels of the force. At the event, Singh revealed publicly for the first time that the Army would ‘reorganise, restructure and relocate’ various formations to help transform it into a more agile and lethal force. ‘We’re looking at reorganising and restructuring our force headquarters…for faster decision making, so that it becomes slightly flattened and more responsive,’ he said.  These views chimed with comments he made last year, when he told me: ‘Our focus is now shifting from being an adversary-specific force to a capability-based force, able to fight across the spectrum—in the mountains, in the desert, night and day, in the hot summer or harsh winter.’  According to Singh, the Army is planning ‘test beds’ to try out some of the concepts contained in the study with a view to eventually implementing them on a larger scale. ‘We’re looking at theaterisation of combat support resources to ensure synergy of resources in a theatre,’ he added.  So what does this mean in practical terms? Top generals have indicated that under these plans, the Army will be organised in a way that allows two theatres to be independent of each other so that one theatre won’t require the resources of another if both are engaged in combat operations. In addition, the Army is also reportedly planning to increase its aviation assets by securing more helicopters for the Army Aviation Corps.  It’s been more than two decades since the last transformation in India’s strategic doctrine. Back in the 1980s, the mercurial Gen. K. Sundarji conceptualised and implemented a strategy based around the principle of deploying massive armoured strength aimed at slicing Pakistan at its ‘waist’. This concept was first tested with Operation Brasstacks in the late 1980s, with the army divided into ‘defensive’ and ‘strike’ corps, on the assumption that it would be Pakistan that would make the first move in a conventional war.  Under the plan, the defensive corps, located closer to the border, was meant to absorb the initial Pakistani offensive, while the three strike corps, with massive superior capabilities, were designed to strike deep, with the ultimate aim of cutting Pakistan in two.  However, the limitations of the Sundarji doctrine were exposed in 2001-02 during Operation Parakram, when India mobilised the entire army as a coercive strategy after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament. The massive mobilisation took weeks to come to fruition, nullifying whatever advantage India had hoped to derive from moving first. The failure of the Sundarji doctrine prompted India to devise a new strategy popularly known as ‘Cold Start,’ under which the defensive corps close to the border with Pakistan were re-designated as ‘pivot’ corps.  These pivot corps were given enhanced offensive elements under integrated battle groups that consisted of division-sized forces comprising armour, artillery and aviation assets designed to swiftly hit Pakistan before the strike corps, located deeper inside India, could mobilize. Cold Start was meant to see the battle groups in action in less than 48 hours.  Over the past decade, this doctrine has been tested and fine-tuned through a series of exercises in the deserts of Rajasthan and on the plains of Punjab. But this new study looks to take the Cold Start concept to another level by placing all three strike corps under one command to allow for a faster response.  Another new element in the army’s reorganization plan is the formation of a mountain strike corps, which would be deployed closer to India’s vast mountainous border with China, either in the east or the north. The fact is that although no one in India’s military establishment wants to spell it out, China is at the centre of future strategic planning in the Indian armed forces as a whole, not just for the Army.  And, as China looms larger, India’s Defence Ministry is shifting its focus away from Pakistan in its discussions on the Army’s next long-term integrated perspective plan, which will cover the period from 2012 to 2027. Indeed, officials have said the Army has recommended that infrastructure along India’s entire 4000-plus kilometre border with China be swiftly upgraded to enable it to deploy and operate effectively in this difficult terrain.  Specifically, the Army wants the government to build all-weather roads right up to the border, and also connect all important formation headquarters in the high altitude areas of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. Already, more than 75 tactically and strategically important roads are reportedly currently under construction in the areas bordering China, and the army wants these roads to be operational as quickly as possible to increase its ability to deploy and maintain adequate troop strength along the border.  Other elements of the long-term integrated plan are to include the enhancement of meaningful training to prepare for existing and emerging challenges; improving the quality of life and living conditions in forward deployment areas; and enhancing synergies with other services.  Yet even though the plan is technically still under discussion, as far as China goes, then there have already been some developments. For example, two mountain divisions are to be raised in the north-east of the country by the middle of this year. Meanwhile, at least two more divisions to be raised in the next five years will enable the army to have a dedicated Mountain Strike Corps to be deployed in the north-east or in Ladakh.  All this suggests that after nearly two decades of lethargy and indifference, India’s defence planners are bringing in fresh concepts and gearing up to meet future strategic challenges. There’s plenty for them to think about.











RFP Issued for Howitzers for Indian Army; BAE Systems M777s Lead Race
2011-01-23 After four failed attempts in the last 25 years, the Army has issued a fresh global tender for acquiring over 400 towed artillery howitzers, the first after the controversial Bofors deal. The ghost of Bofors controversy had been haunting the artillery modernisation process with all previous efforts to procure the guns being cancelled and the Army has not been able to induct even a single new piece of howitzer since the mid 1980s.  The latest request for proposal was issued in the third week of January, army sources said, adding the deal would include procurement of over 400 guns from foreign vendors and production of over 1,000 guns indigenously in partnership with the chosen manufacturer. The tender has been re-issued as the last one was cancelled after one of the two contenders Singapore Technologies was blacklisted by the Defence Ministry after it was named in a CBI charge sheet in the Ordnance Factory scam.  After the blacklisting, BAE Systems was the only company left in the fray and the tender was scrapped as the Indian defence procurement rules don't allow acquisition in single vendor cases. However, it is not yet clear as which firms other than BAE Systems have received the RFP this time.  To augment its artillery prowess, the Army is likely to procure the ultra-light howitzers this year from the United States through the foreign military sales route. India is already in an advanced stage of negotiations with the US for procuring over 145 ultra-light howitzers for their deployment in mountainous regions. As part of its over Rs 20,000-crore artillery modernisation plan, the Army is looking at inducting several types of howitzers through inter-governmental pacts and global tenders.  The Army Chief had also recently said that the trials for the different types of guns were expected to begin this year in summer so that their induction could take place by the end of next year. The Army presently uses a mix of 105 mm field guns and 130 mm and 155 mm howitzers.









ANALYSIS: The Afghan Factional Army
 —Musa Khan Jalalzai 
Experts claim that the Indian military’s presence in Kabul will expand India’s power projection in Central Asia. This military presence will deny Pakistan strategic depth and it will shift the battleground away from Kashmir to Balochistan and FATA  The establishment of an Afghan Factional Army (AFA) — an army of unskilled, illiterate and non-professional former mujahideen and Taliban warlords — is a threat to peace, stability and the national concordance of Afghanistan. Members of this ethnic and sectarian rogue army are not only fighting alongside Taliban militants against the coalition forces in various provinces of the country and in the tribal belts of Pakistan, they support terrorist networks as well. Neighbouring states, specifically Pakistan, fear that any weak Afghan government will easily become prey to the Indian political and military influence after NATO withdrawal in 2014. India is trying to counter Pakistan’s military and political influence by establishing an India-friendly government in Kabul.  The decades-old rivalry between Pakistan and India has resulted in Afghanistan being caught in the crossfire. India and Pakistan have been trading accusations about each other’s involvement in Afghanistan for years. The Indian Army has long wished to deploy its forces in Afghanistan and train the Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers. Last year, during the Afghan president’s visit to Islamabad, Pakistan offered training facilities to the ANA and promised a more active role in the reconstruction process.  In 2009, Indian army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, claimed that the Indian military presence in Afghanistan could give it some strategic depth against Pakistan. Indian military presence in Afghanistan and its support to the ANA can leave a significant geo-strategic impact on Pakistan. To effectively counter the Indian hegemony in Afghanistan, the country supported the Afghan Taliban militarily. Islamabad considers the Afghan Taliban its strategic assets.  Experts claim that the Indian military’s presence in Kabul will expand India’s power projection in Central Asia. This military presence will deny Pakistan strategic depth and it will shift the battleground away from Kashmir to Balochistan and FATA. The Pakistan Army recently claimed that it had recovered US and Israeli manufactured weapons from terrorists in various parts of the country bordering Afghanistan. The army and intelligence circles complain that the secret services of some eight states are actively operating inside Pakistan.  After nine years in power, President Karzai became suddenly worried about the political and sectarian influence of former mujahideen groups in the ANA last year. President Karzai warned that during the mujahideen years, it was sectarianism, ethnic violence and political rifts that destroyed the army. During the so-called mujahideen rule in the 1990s, the country’s weapons, tanks, missiles and soldiers were all distributed among sectarian warlords.  This was the worst way to destroy the ANA. The mujahideen destroyed over 5,000 tanks, sold Ariana Afghan Airline planes and looted all the museums, libraries, warehouses and military headquarters. President Karzai has recently complained about the politicisation, ethnicisation and sectarianisation of the ANA. He named some former mujahideen and communist groups that raised their flags in the army headquarters. A military expert says that if the seeds of factionalism, sectarianism and regionalism take root in the army, another future civil war cannot be ruled out in Afghanistan.  These concerns, the president’s disillusion and his gestures about the expected future war within the Afghan Army need to be considered deeply. Keeping in view President Karzai’s concerns about the factionalisation of the ANA during his rule, military experts claim that all appointments to the defence and interior ministries are being made on political and sectarian bases. For example, the first non-professional and illiterate defence minister was Qasim Fahim who belonged to a sectarian and linguistic group of the Northern Alliance. The Chief of Army Staff Mullah Bismillah Khan was from the same group.  The present defence minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, belongs to the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan (Pir Gilani Group), the deputy defence minister, Gul Zarak Zadran, has a long association with Professor Sayyaf Group. The former interior minister, Yunus Qanooni, belongs to the Northern Alliance. The three slogans of the Afghan Army, ‘Khuda, Watan, Wazifa’ (God, country and responsibility) now just remain confined to paper, as the soldiers look upon one another as enemies. The present bunch of 140,000 soldiers of the AFA is decreased and curtailed. Every day, soldiers run away due to hardship.  For the past eight years, the lack of leadership in army units has resulted in abuses of power. Notwithstanding fixed ethnic quotas for army recruitment, Northern Alliance warlords still control the command of the armed forces. This domination of the high command created more problems in the south. Most officers of the Afghan Army have been deeply involved in illegal contracting practices, drug trade, embezzlement and killings. They fight alongside their Taliban partners against the US and NATO forces at night.  They have been playing the role of 10, 20 and 50 dollars-a-day Taliban for the last five years. The International Crisis Group (ICG), in its report for 2010, has revealed that ethnic and political rivalries among high-ranking officers of the Afghan military establishment and the general staff put the popularity and credibility of the forces at stake. From 2006-2009, a cold war between Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Chief Of Army Staff General Bismillah Khan caused deadlocks over control of staff, resources and operations.  Army vehicles and helicopters are being used by army officers for commercial purposes. Arms are being sold to the Taliban. The culture of this military corruption has complicated the task of NATO, ISAF and ministry of defence advisers. The issue of the recruitment of Pashtuns has become more complicated as the Northern Alliance does not like seeing a large number of Pashtuns in the army. According to sources from within the Afghan Army, at present, the Islamic Unity Party of Professor Sayyaf, National Islamic Front, Northern Alliance, Shia groups, Gulbuddin’s Hizb-i-Islami, and former Afghan communist groups have strong representation in the AFA. With weak training and education, inadequate logistics and equipment, the army has never been able to prove effective in the war against terrorism.  In southern Afghanistan, non-Pashtun soldiers feel like foreigners. In January 2011, a Tajik soldier said that as there are ethnic minorities in the country’s Pashtun-heavy army, bribery was the only way they could make sure their Pashtun commanders give them a break. Another soldier said, “As a non-Pashtun, I am cheap. I am not as valuable to them (the army) as a Pashtun soldier.” The US approach to demobilisation and reintegration has, specifically, eliminated the Afghan Army’s professionalism and skills of countering the Taliban insurgency. To prevent future civil war within the Afghan Army, the president must reshape the management by strengthening legal and administrative departments to depoliticise and de-ethnicise the military establishment.











PAC takes serious note of occupation of railway land, non payment of its rent by Pakistan army, rangers
 ISLAMABAD: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has taken serious notice of occupation of Railway land by army, Rangers and Janbaz Force without any payment and directed defence ministry, interior ministry and Pakistan Railways to settle the matter with mutual understanding within three months.  PAC met here Tuesday under its chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to review the audit objections in respect of ministry of communication and railways ministry for the year 2007-08.  Audit told the committee Pakistan Rangers and Pakistan Army had occupied 1050 acres land of railways. Committee directed if Railways land was being used then its rent be paid. Whosoever is found responsible for non payment of rent will be summoned in the committee, committee stated. Committee has called report in this regard.  Chaudhry Nisar said some people were running DHA in Rawalpindi. One among them was Qabza group and if some thing was said against this group, it was considered against army. Land is owned by railways while army and rangers were earning money out of it, he remarked Quarter Master General should get recover railway land from army occupation other wise he would be summoned in PAC, he said.  Secretary railways told 2 million rupees were spent on Shadi train which was launched from 2006. This train was stationed at Lahore.  PAC directed that matter of shadi train be decided within a month and PAC be informed what would be done with it.  Ayyaz Sadiq told the minister who had launched shadi train was still unmarried.  Secretary railways told comparison of Pakistan railways be not made with Indian railways. Trillion of rupees had been invested in railways in India. On the other hand we can not even meet our expenses from the funds provided to us , he added.  Auditor General of Pakistan told the committee that project allowance was permissible in government departments under certain conditions that the project should be worth of more than 100 million rupees and approval was required to be obtained from Ecnec or CDWP. Only regular employees could be allowed project allowance, he told.  Chaudhry Nisar said no government department could violate financial discipline in the name of autonomy. No one could formulate separate rules and regulations, he added.  Secretary finance said money being provided to NHA was in fact loan. NHA could not violate financial rules and regulations set by government despite being autonomous.  Committee sought all details from ministry of communication about project allowance.  Auditor General said that if government had no money then CDWP be restricted in extending approval to projects. There was no money in national kitty but CDWP was approving projects of billion of rupees on the other side.




No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal