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Thursday, 22 November 2012

From Today's Papers - 22 Nov 2012
Delay in warship: Antony wants fresh delivery dates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The Ministry of Defence will be looking for an additional Rs 2,000 crore for completing the first phase of the under-construction indigenous sea-borne aircraft carrier being built at Cochin.

This even as Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday told senior functionaries of the ministry to compress schedules and warned “we cannot go on hearing excuses for the delays”. The warship construction is running 5 years behind the schedule of delivery in 2013.

Antony formed an Empowered Apex Committee under Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma and it is tasked to constantly monitor the progress of the aircraft carrier.

The first stage of the carrier was to cost Rs 3,261 crore as per the estimates finalised in 2003 and construction started in 2005. It will be impossible to complete the first phase in that cost, said sources.

The Ministry of Defence will approach the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Committee of Security for additional fund of Rs 2,000 crore. Out of the first payments, Rs 230 crore has been spent on modernisation of the Cochin shipyard. Since a modular-style construction has been adopted, it is possible to work on other equipment at another site.

Antony told the shipyard officials to come up with firm date and estimates for finishing the first phase of the contract.
Major indicted in Congo sex scandal

New Delhi, November 21
Four army personnel, including a Major, have been indicted by a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into a case of alleged sexual exploitation of women in Congo during their deployment under a UN mission in 2007-08.

Army Chief General Bikram Singh said today CoI into the case has been completed and the DNA sample of one jawan has matched with one of the kids allegedly fathered by Indian troopers in Congo.

Three persons will face administrative actions for Command and Control failure and the jawan will face disciplinary action, Gen Singh said.

One of the officials include a Company Commander of the rank of Major, while other two are a JCO and a Havildar. — PTI
N-dimensions of Pak politics What India should do now
by G. Parthasarathy

PAKISTAN remains the focus of international attention today, not because of any expectations of its contribution to peace, economic growth or regional cooperation, but owing to fears of its pernicious role in international terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Its propensity for international terrorism lay exposed when Osama bin Laden was found to be living comfortably with his three wives and several children and grandchildren in the heart of Abbotabad cantonment. Its readiness to even resort to nuclear terrorism was earlier exposed when nuclear scientists like Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood and Chaudhri Abdul Majeed, known to have close links with Osama bin Laden, were detained after the 9/11 terrorist strikes and charged with helping Al-Qaeda to acquire nuclear and biological weapons. Shortly thereafter, the redoubtable Dr A.Q. Khan’s role in transferring nuclear weapons designs and knowhow to Iran, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia became public, though the Americans deliberately avoided implicating Khan’s bosses in the Pakistan Army.

While concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists remain, the focus of international attention is now on the fact that with an arsenal of already over 100 nuclear weapons, Pakistan today has the fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world. It is heading towards developing the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world. It is not however, any Pakistani General who has displayed the ability to explain why and how all this is happening. This responsibility has been left to Pakistan’s most savvy and hardnosed lady journalist-turned-diplomat Maleeha Lodi, well known for her close links with the Pakistan military establishment.

Drawing attention to why Pakistan is rejecting international calls for concluding a “Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty” (FMCT), Lodi avers that Pakistan has been seriously concerned about India’s conventional and strategic military build-up. Predictably, she refers to the India-US nuclear deal and the subsequent waiver of the Nuclear Supplier Group’s sanctions on India as contributing to Pakistan’s accelerated development of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.

In the course of her rationalisation of Pakistan’s feverish quest for new nuclear weapons, Maleeha Lodi explains that after having recently acquired plutonium capabilities to manufacture nuclear weapons, Pakistan can now miniaturise its warheads, which was more difficult earlier, with enriched uranium warheads. It is no secret that over the past one and a half decades China has obligingly provided Pakistan with unsafeguarded plutonium reactors and reprocessing facilities. She also makes it clear that Pakistan is committed to developing a “full spectrum deterrence”, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons. India’s nuclear doctrine makes it clear that while it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons, it will respond with such weapons only if there is a nuclear attack on “Indian territory, or on Indian forces anywhere”.

Pakistan now quite obviously seeks to reserve the right to carry out terrorist attacks on India and threatens that if India responds with a conventional strike to another 26/11-style terrorist attack, Indian forces would face the use of Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons. Pakistani military officials evidently believe that India would not resort to the use of nuclear weapons if its forces are attacked with tactical nuclear weapons. George Perkovich, an American non-proliferation analyst, recently noted: “Thus far the people of South Asia have been spared the potential consequences of deterrence instability because Indian leaders have not retaliated violently to terrorist attacks on iconic targets. India’s “neo-Gandhian” forbearance was counter to the prescriptions of deterrence and cannot be expected to persist as new leaders emerge in Delhi.”

While Pakistan has not formally enunciated a nuclear doctrine, the long-time head of the Strategic Planning Division of its Nuclear Command Authority, Lt-General Khalid Kidwai, told a team of physicists from Italy’s Landau Network in 2002 that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were “aimed solely at India”. Kidwai added that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons if India conquers a large part of Pakistan’s territory, or destroys a large part of Pakistan’s land and air forces. Kidwai also held out the possibility of use of nuclear weapons if India tries to “economically strangle” Pakistan, or pushes it to political destabilisation. This elucidation, by the man who has been the de facto custodian of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal for over a decade and a POW in India in 1971-1973, was a precise formulation of Pakistan’s nuclear thresholds. It now appears that Pakistan’s military wants to also keep open the option of mounting further Mumbai-style terrorist attacks by threatening to lower its nuclear threshold by use of tactical nuclear weapons. Since India has no intention of wasting resources through a prolonged conflict with Pakistan or by seizing its populated centres, Pakistan should be left in no doubt that even a “neo-Gandhian” Indian leadership would not sit idly in the event of a repeat of a 26/11 style terrorist attack.

It is interesting that despite a large portion of Pakistan’s Army now being deployed on its borders with Afghanistan, confident that India will not take advantage of this development, the army should be adding new facets to its nuclear doctrine to keep open its options for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy, in relations with India. While the Zardari government is sincere in seeking to improve ties with India, Pakistan today faces a situation where its Army Chief General Kayani publicly warns the judiciary and the elected government not to mess around in dealing with its serving or retired officers accused of corruption and manipulating elections. The sad reality, however, is that it is India that has yielded ground on terrorism continuously after the 26/11 attack, starting with the surrender at Sharm-el-Sheikh.

India resumed the composite dialogue process with Pakistan in 2004 only consequent on a categorical assurance from General Musharraf that any territory under Pakistan’s control would not be used for terrorism against India. India has now, in all but name, resumed the dialogue process despite receiving no assurance either on an end to terrorism, or on bringing the masterminds of 26/11 to justice. The least we should have done is to insist on the centrality of action by Pakistan on terrorism in the dialogue process. Feting Interior Minister Rahman Malik is hardly going to make any difference in the minds of the Pakistan military, which not too long ago barred Mr Malik from entering its headquarters in Rawalpindi. The swagger and bluster of Pakistan’s military is, however, going to depend largely on how the situation across the disputed Durand Line with Afghanistan plays out. It is on this situation that India should remain focussed.
Major can marry his Lankan girlfriend
BANGALORE: The Karnataka high court on Wednesday dismissed two writ appeals by the ministry of defence, challenging a decision of the single bench which ruled in favour of an Army Major who wanted to marry a Sri Lankan woman.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen imposed a cost of Rs 75,000 and directed the Army to pay the amount to Vikas Kumar, 35, a native of Bangalore and a Major in the Indian Army, and his girlfriend.

The bench observed that it passed this order restricting itself to jural discipline, and the cost was imposed only because the Army preferred "a second round of petition unnecessarily, in an obdurate manner without any cogent ground".

"...the world has become a global village; distrust and discrimination against a foreign citizen remains the order of the day. There are several instances where citizens betray their own country. There is no empirical data that a foreign spouse will invariably constitute a weak link in the matter of national security," the bench observed in its verdict.

Vikas Kumar joined the Army in 2000. He underwent a BE course sponsored by the Army. He is presently working as Major in the Corps of Signals in the northeast part of the country.

On June 29, 2011, Vikas Kumar filed an application seeking release from service, saying he wanted to marry a foreign national who was not willing to give up her nationality. The application was rejected, saying it was "incomplete".

Vikas Kumar challenged the order in the high court, where a single judge ruled in his favour. The judge had directed the Army to relieve him from the job as per the Army Order (AO) 14/2004 MI, governing 'Marriage with Foreign Nationals'.
Poke Me: India's defence strategy is stuck in British era
This week's " Poke Me", invites your comments on whether India's defence strategy is stuck in British era mental framework . The feature will be reproduced on the edit page of the Saturday edition of the newspaper with a pick of readers' best comments.

So be poked and fire in your comments to us right away. Comments reproduced in the paper will be the ones that support or oppose the views expressed here intelligently. Feel free to add reference links etc. in support of your comments.

by TR Ramaswami

Army? Present Sir. Navy? Present Sir. Air Force? Present Sir. IB? Present Sir. No roll-call change in 65 years. More commands and R&AW created, but organizational / mental framework is still gora-style. Even the three chiefs AFTER 'independence' were British! Obsolete frameworks prevent new thinking. Recall the recent army vs air-force 'attack-helicopter tussle'. The Air-Chief seems to have forgotten the primary role of the air-force - to get to targets that the army or navy cannot reach fast enough. A WW II Air Chief said - the enemy's army is not the concern of my air-force - meaning the army needs all that it takes to tackle the other army - attack helicopters and even ground attack aircraft.

Why this obsolete structure, except "apparently good" in 1971? And that's only because Manekshaw had gumption? Because the supreme civilian authority - the neta - is blissfully happy to be ignorant. No army chief is going to win him elections. He is happy to leave matters to his Defence Secretary who virtually functions as the Chief of Defence Staff, with no operational knowledge or even responsibility. To compound this, foreign secretaries become National Security Advisors, including the perpetrator of the Sharm-el-Sheikh "Baluchistan" gaffe. Indian heavenly cadres, on being given any designation, out of sync with a 40-year career, immediately attain nirvana to function in the new avataram.

Defence & intelligence revamp starts only with knowledgeable netas taking charge - should know difference between guerillas and gorillas. No more POK, 1962, 1971 - all political snafus - and hare-brained post-1947 reduction plans of the army from 2 million to 2 lacs! Our army was just 4 lacs in 1962! That "hare" lost half his home state, worrying more about world peace when his own borders were burning. A true modern day Ne(h)ro. In 1947, facing a weaker force, POK could have been prevented, but he chose to go to the UN. Reverse stupidity came in 1962 - a more powerful army was taken head-on! Strategic IQ - zero - because negative marks are not allowed! Unfortunately babudom and netaraj have inherited his non-strategic genes. Our 'Defence' Ministers look so lost and incompetent. Can they defend even three stumps, let alone a nation?

'Army', 'Navy' and 'Air-Force' must be confined to dictionaries. We need only an IAF - Indian Armed Forces. To ensure that no mental barriers remain - all with the same uniform, ranks and rank badges - all banned for para-military and police forces. Concerns may be raised whether such unification could be dangerous. Nothing prevents someone from staging a coup right now. And you don't need Chiefs, C-in-Cs, Generals or even Colonels. Just an Osama style helicopter operation, to take mama mia, yuvraj, beti and jijaji - even one - as hostages - and everyone will run around like chickens with their heads off.

First, a CoDS with MoS status. The IAF will have a Ground & Tactical Force and a Nuclear & Strategic Force. Even Defence Secretary will come under CoDS. No rotation between the army, navy, air-force - they are all dead. The best man will be picked for the job. Adequate separation, to eliminate coup concerns which some editor is itching for, will be infused - there are several functional and reporting structures possible. How do we start? All commands, army - air force and air force - navy must first coincide and then amalgamate. Next, every officer before promotion to two-star rank, as part of NDC course, will do a stint with another relevant force. Gradually introduce it in earlier courses. Only those with "integrated attitudes" will go up.

The new defence structure dovetails into a new intelligence structure. Post 9/11, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence stated - Law enforcement agencies just think differently from intelligence organizations. Intelligence analysts would doubtless make poor policemen and it has become very clear that policemen make poor intelligence analysts. So let cops control traffic, play chor-police, collect haftas and leave intelligence to the intelligent. Deputations to intelligence outfits must secure the nation, not the ruling party and officers' careers and cadres.

NSA heads the Joint Intelligence Committee - Director IB, Secretary (Security), Secretary R&AW, DG Armed Forces Intelligence and DG Revenue Intelligence. A new security function - DG Food & Water Security - an IAF officer, also joins the JIC. On top of the JIC sits the National Security Council - PM, Home, Foreign, Defence, Finance Ministers, NSA and CoDS only. Opposition Leader? Small is beautiful - recall Parkinson's Law - the probability of a committee doing something worthwhile is 1/2(to the power) n - 1 - where n is the number of members. An entirely new set up will inspire new strategic thinking that is woefully lacking. How about a really knowledgeable Parliamentary Oversight Committee. And revision of related 19th. century laws, and the Constitution, please. Otherwise 'security' will have to be spelt as "suck-rooty" as most, perhaps appropriately, pronounce it. We are already committing "federalicide".

D-day? Today, 21/11 - exactly 50 years since the 1962 nightmare ended. Operation 2020 - that's the deadline for IAF's and NSC's complete revamp. Well, that's it. You cannot expect a Goldwater-Nichols Act in 900 words.
The Sino-Indian Border War: 1962-2012
On Nov. 21, 1962, as the Indian Army continued a chaotic retreat from its high altitude positions in the Himalayan Mountains, Communist China's victorious forces halted their advance and implemented a unilateral ceasefire.

That ceasefire stopped combat operations in what we now call the 1962 Sino-Indian Border War.

That mid-20th century war, however, isn't ancient history. In fact, as East Asian and Southeast Asian maritime border quarrels escalate from rhetorical sparring to naval confrontations, the war has a frightening contemporary resonance. China is involved in the most contentious maritime border disagreements. China claims roughly 80 percent of the South China Sea and its seabed's potentially enormous mineral wealth. China's southern neighbors, particularly Vietnam and the Philippines, deny China's broad assertion of sovereignty. In September 2012, a hot-blooded, and quite senior, Chinese general said his country should prepare for war with Japan over a string of islets China calls the Diaoyus and Japan the Senkakus.

China's naval buildup and its maritime claims have drawn American media attention, but it is in the high Himalayas, in some of the world's most forbidding mountainous terrain, where Asia's nuclear-armed giants collide. Indeed, in the edgy Asia of 2012, China and India, two competitive military and economic powers with global influence, remain locked in a frozen war over a disputed border.

Optimists argue that, except for an alleged skirmish or two in the late 1960s, the fact that the Sino-Indian ceasefire has remained in effect for 50 years indicates stability. However, a ceasefire is not a negotiated, signed and ratified peace treaty. Hardline nationalists in Beijing and New Delhi continue to use different names for the disputed territory. The Chinese refer to the region as Southern Tibet. Indians call it the northern frontier of what is now Arunachal Pradesh state.

"Frozen conflict" is diplomatic slang for an unsettled but relatively localized conflict where the antagonists remain "frozen" in their political positions and neither side has the military resources or diplomatic influence to resolve the conflict on its terms. Divided Cyprus is one example. The Korean War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are frozen conflicts with regional and international dimensions.

Frozen conflicts may have the veneer of stability, but they are, in reality, slow wars waged by diplomatic, economic and cultural means, or hot wars on simmer, awaiting re-ignition.

Frozen war applies to the Sino-Indian conflict at a literal level. With the Himalayas as the 1962 battlefield and the still-disputed border winding over glacier and snowfields, Cold War-era gallows humorists described the Sino-Indian conflict as "the coldest war." China prepared for its 1962 attack by acclimating its assault troops to the high altitudes (14,000 feet) and training them for mountain infantry operations. China also timed its offensive to take advantage of the looming Himalayan winter. Launching the surprise attack in October meant any Indian counter-stroke would have to wait for the spring thaws.

In 1962 the war didn't quite fit the East Bloc-West Bloc paradigm. China was a nominal Soviet Russian ally. India, however, was no Western ally. India's leaders resented Great Britain and suspected the U.S. favored its rival, Pakistan. However, a Cold War echo followed the conflict: a nuclear arms race. In 1964, China detonated a nuclear device. Geo-strategists knew India would respond. India went nuclear in 1974.

The 1962 defeat still troubles the Indian military. Indian veterans of the war call it a humiliation that still stings. Several recent articles written by Indian defense analysts and a retired general or two have debated the Indian government's failure to use the Indian Air Force to stop the Chinese attack and strike Chinese support installations inside Tibet. After reading them, I was left with the distinct impression that any future Himalayan war won't be confined to border passes and garrison outposts.

Given China's and India's technological prowess, air could turn to space. In April 2012, India test-fired its new Agni intercontinental ballistic missile. If you think Pakistan was the primary audience, think again. Indian Air Force fighter-bombers already have Karachi within range. The Agni puts Beijing in the bull's-eye.

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