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Saturday, 25 August 2012

From Today's Papers - 25 Aug 2012
China's missile advances aimed at thwarting US defenses, analysts say
Hong Kong: China is moving ahead with the development of a new and more capable generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles, giving it a greater capability to hit targets in the United States and to overwhelm any missile defense systems, military analysts said this week.

China's steady improvements in its military capabilities have caused concern in Congress and among American allies in East Asia, particularly as the improvements have coincided with a more assertive Chinese position regarding territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

The Global Times, a newspaper directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, reported on Wednesday that China was developing the capability to put multiple warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. But the newspaper disputed a report in Jane's Defense Weekly that the latest Chinese ICBM, the Dongfeng-41, had already been tested last month.
Larry Wortzel, a former U.S. military intelligence officer and retired Army colonel who is now a commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a panel created by Congress, said that China was developing the capability to put as many as 10 nuclear warheads on an ICBM plus a series of dummy warheads. The dummy warheads would have heat and electromagnetic devices designed to trick missile defense systems into perceiving them as being as threatening as the actual warheads, he said.

"The bigger implication of this is that as they begin to field a force of missiles with multiple warheads, it means everything we assume about the size of their nuclear arsenal becomes wrong," he said.

China has separately tested submarine-launched missiles as well in recent weeks, and could use these to outflank American missile detection systems, Colonel Wortzel said. Most of the radar arrays that the United States has deployed to detect ballistic missiles were built during the cold war to detect attacks over polar routes.

Sun Zhe, a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing and a frequent commentator on U.S.-China relations, said that China was developing its military forces only to respond to continued efforts by other countries, particularly the United States, to continue improving their own forces.
"We have again and again said that we will not be the first country to use nuclear force," he said. "We need to be able to defend ourselves, and our main threat, I'm afraid, comes from the United States."

The United States has been mulling where it can best place additional high-tech radar systems designed to track ballistic missiles. American forces currently have one in northern Japan and others that are deployed from time to time at sea. The Wall Street Journal reported this week on discussions of whether to put two more on land, in southern Japan and in Southeast Asia.

American officials have said repeatedly that their main concern is North Korea, which has been testing long-range missiles and developing nuclear weapons. But Chinese officials and experts have been deeply suspicious that American missile defense systems are aimed at their country's forces as well.

"I have no doubt that the one of the goals of the missile defenses is to contain threats from North Korea, but objectively speaking, a high-tech expansion of U.S. military biceps impacts China, too," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, adding that discussions have taken place in China on whether to develop missile defense systems as well.
Navy SEAL who penned book on Osama operations identified
Washington: The author who has ruffled feathers of many in the Pentagon and CIA by writing a tell-all insider account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has been identified as a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL from Alaska.

The book, "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden," is set to hit shelves on September 11, later this year.

It is penned under the pseudonym "Mark Owen," according to the publisher, but multiple sources were quoted by Fox News as saying that his name is in fact Matt Bissonnette of Wrangell, Alaska.

Bissonnette could be exposing himself to legal trouble, as the Pentagon has not vetted the account.

The tell-all book also has apparently upset a large population of former and current SEAL members who worry about releasing information that could compromise future missions.

One Navy SEAL was quoted by the Fox News as saying, "How do we tell our guys to stay quiet when this guy won't?" Other SEALs are expressing anger, with some going so far as to call him a "traitor."

And Colonel Tim Nye, a Special Operations Command spokesman, said the author "put himself in danger" by writing the book.

"This individual came forward. He started the process. He had to have known where this would lead," Nye said. "He's the one who started this so he bears the ultimate responsibility for this," he added.

According to a press release from his publisher, Penguin Group, "Owen (Bissonnette) was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist leader's hideout and was present at his death."

In the book, Bissonnette writes "it is time to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in US military history."

A unilateral US military raid killed Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, last year.

An experienced member of the elite Navy SEAL special operators, Bissonnette also participated in the highly publicised rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009.

That mission involved a daring rescue that ended when SEAL snipers shot and killed three Somali pirates with direct shots to the head.

Bissonnette received the rank of chief before he retired. The book is co-authored with Kevin Maurer, author of four books, many of which were based on Special Operations.

Along with using the pseudonym "Mark Owen," Bissonette protected his fellow SEAL Team 6 members by changing their names in the book.

Both the Pentagon and CIA said on Wednesday that the book was not in any way vetted by either department to prevent unwanted classified information from being released.
Army doctor charged with raping former college junior
NAGPUR: A 29-year-old doctor on Thursday charged a former senior with raping her and threatening her with dire consequences on April 27. The victim is in shock and depression after the assault and so she filed the case four months later.

The two had been students together at NKP Salve Institute of medical sciences, and the senior is presently employed with Ministry of Defense and posted at Srinagar. The alleged rapist, Dr Sarang Kanade, threatened the woman to surrender or else face dire consequences. He also threatened to use his gun to eliminate the woman and her husband.

Nisha (name changed) was shocked by her mentor's assault and has been in trauma for the last four months. Her husband Pradeep (name changed), an investment consultant, stood beside the shattered wife and is struggling to pull her out of the depression. "We are still in much pain," he said.

Pradeep guided Nisha to Ambazari police station where they registered an offence against Kanade, whom the cops are referring to as an army doctor. A senior officer of the police station said Nisha's complaint is part of her fight to recover from her trauma and regain lost confidence.

Nisha knew Kanade, a resident of Padole Layout, from her college days. He was senior to Nisha by six months in college. Nisha had deep respect for Kanade, who guided her in studies. They both were close during the college days.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Kanade had once expressed regret that he was not able to marry Nisha. However, his college infatuation had not gone beyond this.

In 2009, Nisha got married to Pradeep. The couple was settling down together when Kanade reappeared in Nisha's life. He called up Nisha almost one-and-a-half years later, and expressed his wish to meet her husband. Kanade then became friends with Pradeep, Nisha and their family members. Kanade also started investing in shares through Pradeep and was a frequent visitor at Nisha's place.

In the meantime, Nisha wanted to pursue a master's degree and become a surgeon. Kanade, who had come to the city on a holiday, slipped back into his mantle of a mentor for Nisha, as in college days. Police said Kanade would often come when Pradeep was away.

It was during one of his visits that Kanade forced himself upon the woman, threatening her with dire consequences if she resisted or reported the matter. Nisha was in shock for four days before she told her husband about it. She had to be taken to a psychiatrist to overcome the trauma.

Police said that the offence was finally registered after psychiatric advice helped Nisha come out of her shell. Police said they would go through the defence ministry to take Kanade into custody.
Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh pursuing anti-national agenda: Former Army chief Gen VK Singh
NEW DELHI: Former Army chief General VK Singh on Friday told a trial court that retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh was pursuing a "sinister anti-national agenda" to malign and demean the Indian Army.

Filing his reply before metropolitan magistrate Jay Thareja on Tejinder Singh's plea seeking cancellation of his bail, V K Singh said Tejinder, who has filed a criminal defamation case against him and four other Army officials, was "maliciously" prosecuting top serving and retired Army officers.

"The application moved by the complainant (Tejinder)... is vehemently opposed as the same is merely an outcome of the whims and fancies of complainant who is pursuing a sinister anti-national agenda of maligning and demeaning the Indian Army for reasons best known to him by maliciously prosecuting top serving and retired officers of the Indian Army," VK Singh said in his plea.

The former Army chief said he had an "impeccable service record quite contrary to that of the complainant (Tejinder)" and the application seeking cancellation of bail was aimed at "harassing" him.

Besides the former Army chief, others who were granted bail are Vice-Chief of Army Staff S K Singh, Lt Gen B S Thakur (Director General of Military Intelligence), Maj Gen S L Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Col Hitten Sawhney.

The other four also opposed Tejinder's plea saying it was "misconceived" and there was no ground for cancellation of bail granted to them.

The court reserved its order for August 28 on the plea by the four serving Army officers for conversion of the case into a warrant case under Section 259 of CrPC, instead of summons case. It also reserved its order on the plea by the four serving Army officers for re-summoning the file of ministry of defence pertaining to the issuance of the March 5 press release.

Tejinder Singh had on August 8 filed an application seeking cancellation of the bail granted to them saying that four of the five accused had not appeared in court to attend the proceedings and they might tamper with evidence.

He had filed the complaint against the five alleging that he was defamed by the Army through its press release issued on March 5, which accused him of offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore to the erstwhile Army chief to clear a deal of 600 trucks, a charge refuted by him.
Indian Air Force ahead with over 10 percent women officers
New Delhi, Aug 22, 2012, (IANS) :

Women officers in the Indian army, navy and air force constitute only 3.3, 3.9 and 10.4  percent of the officer cadre respectively and these figures were achieved  within 20 years from when they were first recruited, parliament was informed  Wednesday.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that the representation of women in the armed forces  has been progressively increasing since their first recruitment in  1992-93.

"At present, the percentage of women officers in  army, navy and air force, excluding medical streams, is 3.3 percent, 3.9 per  cent and 10.04 percent respectively," Antony said.

"The representation of women officers in the armed  forces has increased progressively over the years," the minister  added.

To another query on the same subject, the minister  said the number of women officers in the army is 1,214, in the navy 302 and the  air force 1,079.

At present, the existing strength of the army is 36,788 officers, the navy 7,744 and the air force 10,747. There is a shortfall of 13,000 officers across the three services.

These figures are excluding the medical stream  women officers.

Women officers are inducted in the branches open to them within the overall authorised strength of officers' cadre  of respective service, based on merit on an all- India basis.

"There is no separate fixed sanctioned strength for  women officers in the armed forces," he added.

Noting that a fresh policy on induction of women  officers was laid down last November, Antony said it was issued after considering the paper submitted by a high-level tri-service committee with the  approval of the chiefs of staff committee.

"There is an endeavour to fill up the vacancies of  officers from amongst eligible candidates, which is a continuous and an ongoing  process," Antony said.

Barring the medical stream, women officers are inducted on short service commissions in certain branches of the three armed forces.

In the army, women officers are recruited in the  Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate General branches.

In the navy, they are inducted into the Judge  Advocate General, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor  and Education branches.

In the air force, though, women officers are  recruited in all branches and streams, except the fighter stream of the flying branch.
Army aid to Madrempura flood victims
JAIPUR: Residents of Madrempura basti who have putting up at a relief camp at Muhana Mandi since Wednesday will soon be able to return to their homes as the Army has started its rescue operations and assured to flush out the water from the area by Saturday morning.

After a request from the civil administration, a contingent from the core engineering division of the Army's South Western Command was pressed into service from Thursday night. The Army personnel have so far flushed out 8.50 lakh litre of water from the area.

To expedite the process, the personnel later installed the pump sets firmly and an 800-meter-long pipe attached to pump out water till the outskirts of the basti. Before starting the operation, the Army also conducted a recce of the area on Thursday noon.

"If everything goes as per our plan, we will be able to flush out the water in less than 24 hours," said one of the army men engaged in the relief work. Two pump sets of 10 horse power with capacity of l.8 lakh litre of water per hour were also started late in the evening.

"We have 10 sets but at present only two is being used. The problem is where to pour out the stagnant water. From Thursday night to Friday morning we used tankers to transport the water out from the inundated areas. Since the stream is already in spate, so we can't dump all the water into it. So now, from one pump we flushing out into the stream while form another we are filling up the tankers," a jawan said.

To drain out the water from the stream flowing into the basti outside the periphery of kachi basti, the Jaipur Development Authority laid a 800-metre pipe.

The situation at Madrempura went out of control when a stream flowing to Newta broke the barriers on Wednesday noon and the water start entering the kachi basti. "All families were asked to vacate the place by the district administration in early morning on Wednesday. It was raining heavily and the residents left the place with whatever they could gather in a short period of time," said Shantilal Jain, a resident of the basti, which has 256 slums with 1,000 people residing in the area.

Defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami said Army assistance was sought by the civil administration and under the aegis of Army's Jaipur-based South Western Command have rushed rescue and relief work with 10000 sand bags and 10 water pumps to the affected areas of Madrempura. Another flood relief column have rushed to Laxmangarh in Sikar district.

In addition, flood relief columns have been placed at the affected areas to be deployed at the earliest as and when requisitioned. The flood relief columns comprise professionally trained troops in execution of all types of conceivable rescue and relief tasks along with the requisite equipment, medical team and other support elements, Goswami added.
Indian, Russian armies conclude 1st joint counter-terror drill
Indian and Russian armies have successfully concluded their first joint counter-terrorism wargames close to Moscow's boundary with China and Mongolia. Over 250 Indian army personnel and a matching number of Russian soldiers participated in the drill "INDRA 2012", which involved joint
battle reconnaissance and simulated destruction of an illegal armed force, Indian Embassy in Moscow said in a statement on Friday.

The fourth round of army-to-army exercise between the two armies was conducted at a training range in Republic of Buryatia in South East of Russia.

The exercise, held from August 7-16, was aimed at carrying out counter-terrorism operations by mechanised heavy combat group under UN mandate.

India and Russia have so far conducted three rounds of INDRA exercises. The first exercise was carried out in 2005 in Rajasthan, followed by Prshkov in Russia. The third exercise was conducted at Chaubattia in Kumaon hills some time ago.
Former army chief opposes plea to cancel his bail
New Delhi : Former army chief V.K. Singh Friday opposed the plea of another former army officer seeking cancellation of bail in a defamation case, accusing the latter with maligning Indian Army.

Opposing the application of Lt. Gen. (retd.) Tejinder Singh, Gen.(retd.) Singh told Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja that it was moved for maliciously prosecuting top serving and retired officers of the Indian Army.

"The application moved by the complainant seeking cancellation of bail of the answering (V.K. Singh) respondent is vehemently opposed as the same is merely an outcome of the whims and fancies of the complainant who is pursuing a sinister anti-national agenda of maligning and demanding the Indian Army for reasons best known to him by maliciously prosecuting top serving and retired officers of the India Army," said the former army chief.

He told the court that such applications seeking cancellation of bail in bailable offences only demonstrates the intent of the complainant which is purely aimed at harassing him.

Terming the contents of the application are merely figments of imagination, Gen Singh requested the court to dismiss it with exemplary cost.

Tejinder Singh Aug 8 moved the application for cancellation of the bail granted to the former Indian Army chief and four other accused July 20.

His advocate Anil Aggarwal contended that all the five officers might tamper with the evidence as four of the five accused had not appeared in court.

The court was hearing a defamation case filed by Tejinder Singh against Gen. V.K.Singh and four other officers for allegedly making libellous statements against him to the media and accusing him of bribery in an all-terrain truck purchase deal of the army.

Alleging that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him, Tejinder Singh also named Army Vice Chief Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh, Director General Military Intelligence Lt. Gen. B.S. Thakur, Additional Director General Public Information Maj. Gen. S.L. Narsimhan and Directorate General of Public Information Staff Officer Lt. Col. Hitten Sawhney.

Meanwhile, the court granted exemption from personal appearance to all five accused in the case.

V.K.Singh, then then army chief, had disclosed in an official release that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore by a retired defence officer in exchange for clearing a tranche of 600 all-terrain "sub-standard" Tatra trucks for the army.

Denying all allegations, Tejinder Singh had said that in the press release of March 5, the army headquarters publicly accused him and a group of serving officers of the military intelligence of conspiring to create a rift between the army chief and the government.
India to get new Director General Military Operations
New Delhi: The  Army Chief General Bikram Singh, who has now been in office for three months, has started making changes in the top Army hierarchy.

Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, currently Director General (DG) Infantry is likely to replace Lt Gen AK Choudhury  in the crucial appointment of Director General Military Operations (DGMO).

Lt. Gen. Choudhury is likely to move to the East, taking over as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of an area, an appointment if much lower profile DGMO. Sources in Army HQ however insist that Lt. Gen. Choudhury is moving out on his own volition because of health reason and is not being downgraded.
Top sources say Lt General Ranbir Singh, who is currently with Strategic Forces Command (SFC) is set to take over as DG Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force primarily deployed in the north-east. This force has been without a DG for the past six months since the then DG, Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy was moved out on charges of impropriety.

Lieutenant General JS Bajwa, currently, the Commandant of the Infantry School in Mhow is likely to move to Delhi as DG Infantry.

It is not known who will replace Lieutenant Gen Ranbir Singh at SFC and Lt Gen Bajwa at the Infantry School, if the proposed postings go through.

Interestingly, Lieutenant Generals Bhatia, Bajwa and Ranbir Singh have worked closely with General Bikram Singh during his stint as Eastern Army Commander. While Lt. Gen. Bhatia was GOC, 33 Corps, based at Sukna, Lt Gen Bajwa was Chief of Staff and Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh was MGGS (Major General, General Staff) with the current Army Chief in Fort William, Kolkata.

The new appointments, proposed last week, are currently with the Defence Ministry.

Once implemented, Gen Bikram Singh would have put the stamp of his authority over the top hierarchy.

While eyebrows may be raised over the downgrading of the current DGMO--if that happens--the Army Chief is well within his rights to choose his own team.

Past Chiefs have brought in their own choices in crucial appointments. Apart from these top changes, several new divisional and Corps Commanders will be selected in the next six months as tenures of incumbent officers get completed and new promotions take place.
Panel tells govt to raise women intake in armed forces
NEW DELHI: A parliamentary committee has asked the defence ministry to ensure women are inducted in greater numbers into the armed forces, including through the National Defence Academy (NDA), even as another group of former IAF women officers knock on the doors of the Supreme Court for being denied permanent commission (PC).

"The ministry should create necessary infrastructure for inducting female officers for new streams, and pave the way for intake of female officers in NDA. Once such a decision is taken, opening of Sainik Schools for girls will become a complementary process,'' said the parliamentary standing committee on defence.

Defence minister A K Antony, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, however, contended the representation of women in the armed forces ``has increased progressively over the years''.

"There has also been a progressive increase in the branches where women officer are inducted. At present, the percentage of women officers, excluding the medical streams, is 3.3% in the Army, 3.9% in the Navy and 10.04% in the IAF,'' he said.

The fact, however, remains there are only 1,214 women officers in the Army, 302 in the Navy and 1,079 in the IAF despite them being inducted in the armed forces since 1992-93. They can serve a maximum of 14 years in branches like signals, engineers, aviation, intelligence, ordnance, air traffic controller and air defence, with PC being largely restricted only to the legal, education and naval constructor wings.

The former IAF officers who have approached the Supreme Court contend they got "a raw deal'' after joining the force along with their male counterparts as short-service commission (SSC) officers in the early-1990s.

``After the first five years, we were told we would get an extension of only six years despite doing better than our male counterpart in terms of courses, annual reports, commendation certificates and the like. In contrast, our male counterparts were considered for PC,'' said a former woman Squadron Leader.

Incidentally, a recent parliamentary committee on empowerment of women had slammed the government for its "discriminatory'' and "negative'' policies on granting PC to women officers as well as inducting them in greater numbers. "We fail to understand the negativism when it comes to employing more women in the armed forces,'' it said.

The top brass of the armed forces, however, argue that granting PC to women officers across the board is not feasible due to "operational, practical and cultural problems''. Women, of course, are not allowed to serve in combat arms like infantry, artillery or armoured corps, nor serve on board operational warships or fly fighter jets.
No intention to give exam for Army promotion: Vijay Kumar
The Indian Army may have recently promoted Olympics silver medallist Vijay Kumar for his achievement and said he can write exams in order to get further promotions, but the shooter said he has no intention of doing so.

“No I have no intention of giving an exam. If they give me a promotion, then very good. If not, then whatever my rank, I will be auto-axed from the army in four years,” Kumar quipped on being asked whether he would give any exams for a promotion in the Indian Army.

Kumar was at his outspoken best when reporters met him at an Olympic Gold Quest press conference in Mumbai and reaffirmed his expectations from the Army in terms of promotions.

The usually soft-spoken Vijay was quick to point out that there was “nothing extraordinary” that the government had done for him and hinted that cricketers received much more for an achievement.
Kumar, who was known to be a patient and composed character, has been pretty opinionated since his Olympic triumph.

When asked about it, he said, “Nothing in particular… it’s just become a habit to talk too much in the last few days.”

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