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Thursday, 4 July 2013

From Today's Papers - 04 Jul 2013






http://www.maritimeindia.org/article/joint-humanitarian-assistance-and-disaster-relief-hadr-exercises-effective-instruments-furth

Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercises:
Effective Instruments  in Furthering Regional Defense Cooperation in Asian Context

-           Kamlesh K Agnihotri*
-           July 2, 2013
The first-ever joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine (HADR & MM) Exercise under the auspices of the ‘ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus’ (ADMM+), was conducted with great professionalism from June 17-20, 2013 in Brunei. The military participants in this exercise were from the ASEAN countries and also included eight dialogue partners viz. Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Seven ships, 20 helicopters and more than 2000 troops including the specialized engineering contingents and medical personnel took part. In accordance with the ‘Securing our people, our future together’ theme for this year’s ADMM, these exercises conducted over four days showcased multinational military response to a simulated post-typhoon scenario.
HADR & MM Exercise
hese exercises were structured with the aim to evolve a common set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), test them out in near real time environment, enhance practical cooperation at the intra-ASEAN and ASEAN Plus levels, and learn from the best practices followed by more capable and experienced forces. Two separate but closely linked aspects were exercised at diverse locations. The first aspect focused on the immediate post-disaster response of SAR, and delivery and distribution of aid and relief material by land, air and maritime transportation. This part of the exercise was conducted in the port area of Brunei district encompassing the Muara Naval and Rimba Air Base. The second dealt with the related post-disaster medical and engineering contingencies that the management and rehabilitation teams would be faced with during a real disaster scenario. This effort focused on setting up of field hospitals to treat injured and the sick; casualty evacuation; epidemic prevention, vaccination and water treatment; and disposal of fatal casualties. The engineering tasks on the other hand, involved restoration of transportation links by building bridges, clearing debris and constructing helipads; erecting emergency electric supply, sanitation, drainage and drinking water infrastructure; establishing preliminary communication links between the disaster site and the disaster response teams; among other urgent requirements. These activities were conducted in the Temburong district and were coordinated by a Multi-National Coordination Centre (MNCC) established at the Muara Naval Base, as also a subsidiary Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) at Bangar in Temburong District.
Participating Nations’ Forces
This inaugural exercise saw comprehensive participation from military forces of virtually all the ADMM Plus nations. The multinational exercise steering committee comprised five nations including Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Brunei. Singapore sent its ‘Endurance’ class landing ship along with its complement of vehicles, fast utility craft and four Puma helicopters. Malaysia was represented by its Logistics Support ship ‘Mahawangsa’, ‘Nuri’ helicopters and a large convoy of engineering and medical support vehicles which transited via the land border. A Philippines Air Force C-130 brought in HADR equipment including rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). Vietnam sent its engineering and medical contingent for the exercise. Thailand, Russia, Myanmar and Cambodia sent their delegations and troops by air. Japan contributed with a JMSDF destroyer ‘Shirane’ and ‘Huey’ helicopters. In addition, two C-130 aircraft brought vehicles, medical equipment and engineering stores. The United States was represented by one dry cargo and fuel replenishment ship, ‘USNS Mathew Perry’ from its Sealift command.

The Indian Navy dispatched amphibious ship ‘Gharial’ from the Eastern Naval Command. The landing ship displacing about 5000 tons with ‘Seaking’ helicopters on board, brought along vehicles, ambulances, medical teams and specialised personnel from other services too. Such ships have been found to be immensely useful during previous HADR contingencies in the Bay of Bengal, including post-2004 Tsunami. In fact, the amphibious fleet of the landing ships forms the mainstay of Indian preparedness for dealing with maritime natural disasters in the region.

The scale of participation by the Chinese PLA was particularly noteworthy when compared with contribution made by rest of the participating nations. The PLA Navy dispatched its largest and latest Type 71 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship named ‘Kunlunshan’. The Ship docked in Brunei’s Muara port about two weeks in advance of the exercise. The 18000 Ton amphibious ship capable of carrying two Z8 (Super Frelon) helicopters, two LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicles/Personnel) and high speed heavy lift hovercraft; is a very potent asset during combat as well as in HADR situations.  Additionally, the IL-76 transport aircraft of the PLA Air Force flew in specialist doctors, paramedics and engineering personnel along with medical equipment, medicines and emergency treatment kits. These specialised personnel, totalling 110, were deployed in addition to the ship’s crew.  The PLA Navy hospital ship ‘Peace Ark’ which runs a 300 bed ‘specialty’ hospital onboard also joined the exercise on June 16, 2013.  It carried out twin roles of participating in the exercise as well as providing free medical services to the general public which included diagnostics, treatment of minor ailments, specialists’ consultation and minor surgeries.
ADMM Plus Mechanism: Role and Relevance
The inaugural exercise turned out to be the most visible activity of the ADMM Plus mechanism, which was set into motion in 2010 at Hanoi with the declared objective of seeking practical cooperation in five key areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism, disaster management, peacekeeping operations and military medicine. The twin undeclared objectives of this mechanism perhaps revolve around expanding the umbrella of security challenges facing the ASEAN Forum to a much wider domain of the Asia-Pacific region; as also to include the ASEAN dialogue partners into supporting, supplementing and building capacities within South-East Asia for tackling such challenges.

The security issues concerning ASEAN are, in themselves, vexed enough to warrant a suitable tool to address them. However, in the era of increasing inter-dependencies of the South-East Asian states with the Asia-Pacific neighbourhood and other stakeholders either resident or present in that region, their security concerns do transcend intra-ASEAN domain. The South China Sea conundrum, SLOC security imperatives, mitigation of emergencies related to climate change, prevention of illegal activities impinging on national and regional security, and expeditious management post natural disasters are some pressing challenges, which call for priority redressal by invoking joint synergistic initiatives. Therein lies the vital relevance of a suitable mechanism like the ADMM Plus, that aims to identify if not to evolve a modus Vivendi ab-initio.
The global community has taken note of and been quite appreciative of certain endeavours of this regional structure.  Its support in drafting a ‘Code of Conduct’ (COC) for parties involved in the South China Sea disputes for ‘conscientious’ implementation of the 2002 ‘Declaration on Code of Conduct’ (DOC) agreement is particularly significant. The draft COC also reiterates that cooperation in less contentious activities such as joint exploration of oceanic resources, HADR and Search and Rescue (SAR) be progressed, while the more contentious issues are kept aside pending resolution over a longer timeframe. In this context, it is posited that the conduct of this inaugural HADR & MM Exercise at Brunei is a major milestone achieved by the ADMM Plus mechanism.
Conclusion
The fact that 18 nations’ armed forces spanning the entire capability and capacity spectrum participated on a common platform for a large scale HADR exercise, is no mean feat for ASEAN in general and a small state like Brunei in particular. Considering that this was only the inaugural event, all credit must be given to the perseverance of the ADMM Plus interlocutors and to the willingness of the associated States to remain engaged on multiple issues of security concern in the wider Indo-Pacific region.

However, as is often the case with any large grouping involving members with differing motivations and national strengths,  a real risk of ‘Group Dynamics’ overshadowing immediate ‘group objectives and agenda’ does exist.  Such dynamics, if permitted to develop unchecked, run the risk of sidelining the lofty intentions that nascent instruments like the ADMM Plus may harbour, with regard to big-ticket breakthroughs of wider acceptability.

It is, therefore, desirable that all stakeholders and the wider strategic community assiduously guard against a pitfall such as outlined above. It is only then that the well meaning multilateral mechanisms like ADMM Plus will be able to graduate to larger security issues of greater import for ‘furthering regional defense cooperation’.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130704/nation.htm#7
Admiral Gorshkov ready for delivery acceptance trials
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Russian-built sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov was ready for final trials before it is accepted by India. The warship left the Sevmash shipyard in north-west Russia today. The boilers of the 44,550-ton warship had malfunctioned during sea trials in August-September 2012.

The damaged parts have been replaced and the ship is now ready to sail for delivery acceptance trials. The warship, re-christened INS Vikramaditya, was scheduled to be handed over to India in December 2012. Now the delivery deadline has been re-scheduled for the last quarter of 2013.

The insulation system of all eight boilers on board the warship has been replaced with new ones. Three of the boilers had malfunctioned due to faulty insulation during sea trials in August-September 2012.

Sources explained the fire-brick lining located on the inside of the insulation had come off. The "fire-brick" is a special ceramic which helps maintain optimum temperature in the boilers. Gaps can show wrong engine pressures and speeds, besides being hazardous. An official confirmed that the entire insulation was ripped off and new one installed.

The warship has been given a final-coat of anti-rust paint on the portion that will remain submerged under water. The boilers on-board the ship power four engine shafts. Last year, a 500-member Indian Navy team on-board Admiral Gorshkov had reported to the Naval headquarters the problem with the warship's boilers, especially when it hit top speeds nearing 30 knots (around 55 kmph).

India and Russia had signed a $2.3-billion (Rs 14,000 crore approx as per today's valuation) contract for refitting the aircraft carrier of the erstwhile Soviet Navy. The first contract was signed in 2004 when no other country was ready to sell such a technology to India. The malfunction notwithstanding, the warship continued to sail and undergo other trials like the landing and take off of MiG-29K fighters from its deck. In the meantime, the MiG 29-Ks have been inducted at a land base at Goa on May 11.

The warship has already completed a 90-day sail and covered 11,000 nautical miles. Other than the boiler insulation showing problems at top speed, there were no other issues, Naval sources confirmed.

In October last year, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov visited India for the 12th annual meeting of the India-Russia inter-government commission on military technical cooperation where the matter concerning the delay in Gorshkov's delivery was discussed. Serdyukov had told the media, "We have given a revised time table. Sea trials shall resume in April next year. We believe the transfer (of the ship) will take place in the fourth quarter of 2013." 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130704/edit.htm#1
Securing networks
Finally, a plan for cyber security

A comprehensive cyber security policy has long been needed in India and finally the government has released it. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal was right to call the National Cyber Security Policy 2013 a "framework document" which gives a broad outline. It is clear that the aim of the government is to protect information and prevent cyber attacks by building capabilities within the nation, something that is so acutely needed that the document talks of creating a workforce of five lakh professionals

Cyber protection is a major security issue since most of the infrastructure - be it defence systems, airport communications, power distribution systems, in fact, practically all walks of life - involves the use of computers. India has lagged behind in protecting itself, and in providing the agencies which can investigate cyber crimes. Even the armed forces need to be equipped for a cyber war, should such a necessity arise. India has faced cyber attacks from operators based in China and Pakistan, among other nations, and from time to time certain important computer networks have been compromised. Indian business houses and individuals have also been victims of cyber crimes and they, too, need protection.

Cyber connectivity has made the world truly flat and Mr Sibal is right when he says that the boundaries of nation states are easily transcended for cyber crimes. As such, international cooperation is a necessity. For this, there must be a mechanism through which information can be shared and cyber threats neutralised. India has been working with various nations on cyber security, including the US, but even as the government seeks help and extends cooperation, it would, no doubt, have kept the recent disclosures about cyber snooping in mind. There is no substitute for indigenous capabilities. India needs cyber security that is of global standards. Surely the nation known as an IT powerhouse internationally can turn its talent inwards and build a strong defence system for itself. Now that the government has taken the laudable initial step of bringing out the plan, much depends on how soon it becomes operational and how effective it will be.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130704/edit.htm#2
One against Maoist terror
Independent state ops won't do

Chhattisgarh, Bihar and now Jharkhand. Dramatic Maoist attacks across the affected states this year demonstrate it is not a failure of individual states or their police forces. It is a collective failure of all states involved and the Central government. All three attacks have been strikingly well executed, with the attackers suffering little harm. A battle is fought at two levels - in body count and in the minds of the combatants involved as well as the communities they represent. Government forces seem to be losing on both counts. Despite the massive operations launched since the Chhattisgarh attack that left 28 dead, the Maoists have displayed their ability to strike with deadly effect.

Internal communication of the Union Home Ministry has also reportedly referred to the Maoists' increasing circle of influence. In the game of psychological warfare it becomes more important for the Maoists to demonstrate strength, no matter at what cost. There is no denying that the total government forces available can overwhelm the insurgency by far, but what holds it back is the machinery's inability to act as a unified force. To counter guerrilla warfare, information on the enemy, its quick transmission to people concerned and the ability to act as swiftly is crucial. Such ability can come only if the entire operation is coordinated at one point; and that point per force has to be created by the Centre.

Given the present level of violence, there is no option but to first put down the rebels by force. Talking of development as a way to peace in the immediate context will only divert from the focus. However, that said, addressing the misery of the tribal populations in all affected states has to be the answer as a final solution. Besides providing immediate succour to those caught in the crossfire, the country also has to have the courage and honesty to look at the economy of the region based on ages of exploitation. Else, there will be no dearth of gun fodder for the Maoists.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130704/main6.htm
Antony says no to hiking defence FDI to 49%
Terms it a ‘retrograde’ step, says it will ‘stymie’ the growth of the domestic industry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
Defence Minister AK Antony has ticked off Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for his persistence in demanding increased foreign participation in defence manufacturing.

Antony, who has been holding the defence portfolio for the past seven years, has warned against raising foreign participation beyond the present level saying it will increase our dependence on foreign countries.

Antony, with a stated goal of seeing a 'made in India' stamp on defence equipment, in a letter written to Anand Sharma on July 1, categorically rejected the demand to ramp up foreign investment in defence production. The Commerce Minister had demanded the limit on foreign direct investment (FDI) be raised from the existing cap of 26 per cent to 49 per cent in defence manufacturing ventures.

Rejecting the proposal, Antony said: "In the field of defence, we cannot, over the long term, afford to be dependent on foreign companies and vulnerable to policies of their countries of origin."

The Ministry of Defence has been encouraging companies to get into design and development of modern weapon systems. Antony said allowing foreign companies to set up manufacturing facilities would be "retrograde step".

Explaining this to the Commerce Minister, Antony said: "Allowing foreign companies to set up manufacturing/ assembly facilities here will be a retrograde step as it will stymie the growth of indigenous design and development, and our dependence on foreign countries for modern weapons will get perpetuated".

"The deliberated view of the Ministry of Defence, therefore, remains that the FDI cap in the defence manufacturing sector should remain at 26 per cent. However, wherever the FDI beyond 26 per cent is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology into the country, decisions can be taken to allow higher FDI on a case-to-case basis by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

So far, two cases like this have been allowed: one is the BrahMos cruise missile in which India has 50.5 per cent stake and Russia has a 49.5 per cent stake. The other case is of the multi-role transport aircraft, which is the joint venture between India and Russia.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130704/nation.htm#5
Home Secy tells CRPF to give befitting reply

New Delhi, July 3
A day after Maoists killed six police personnel in Jharkhand, newly appointed Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami today asked Maoist-violence-hit states to keep up the pressure against the outlaws. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been asked play a more proactive role in leading the attack against the gun-totting extremists.

Top sources said that the Centre has made it clear to the CRPF that it has to lead the operations and carry the state police forces along. “The CRPF has been asked to be more proactive,” a source said. The CRPF has been tasked to give a “befitting reply to the Maoists”. — TNS

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-worried-over-PLAs-expanding-transborder-military-capabilities/articleshow/20886621.cms
India worried over PLA's expanding transborder military capabilities
NEW DELHI: India is likely to raise the expanding transborder military capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), including its stepped-up exercises in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, when defence minister A K Antony leads a top-level delegation to China from July 4 to 7.

Sources said while India will "reassure" China that it has absolutely no intention of joining any multi-lateral strategic grouping that seeks to "contain" Beijing, it will also underline several "bilateral concerns" that need to be addressed.

"There are legitimate concerns about PLA's military capabilities, assertiveness and intentions, its massive infrastructure build-up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and, of course, incidents like the Depsang incursion in Ladakh in April," said a source.

India, however, is keen to progressively enhance military ties with China, keep "communication channels open" and "eliminate potential" for Depsang-like incidents to reoccur.

The two sides will also discuss resumption of the joint Army "Hand-in-Hand" (HiH) counter-terrorism exercise towards end-2013 after a five-year gap as well as explore establishing the fourth border personnel meeting (BPM) mechanism near Lipulekh-Mana Pass in the "middle sector" after the existing ones at Chushul, Nathu La and Bum La.

The keenness to "constructively engage" with China's military leadership can be gauged from the fact that Antony's delegation, apart from defence secretary R K Mathur, will include Eastern Army commander Lt-General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Southern Naval commander Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, who are slated to take over as the next Army and Navy chiefs in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Indian delegation will visit Shanghai, Beijing and the Chengdu Military Area Command, which controls Tibet and almost the entire disputed LAC.

Though the need to fortify de-escalatory mechanisms to prevent face-offs between the two armies will be stressed during the trip, India is in "no hurry" to ink the new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) proposed by China earlier this year.

"The revised BDCA draft submitted by China is being examined," said a source. MoD was perturbed by the earlier draft since it suggested that both sides should freeze troop and infrastructure levels along the LAC.

MoD is in the process of getting the Cabinet Committee on Security's (CCS) final nod for raising a new mountain strike corps (40,000 soldiers), apart from two "independent" infantry brigades and two "independent" armoured brigades, to plug operational gaps along the LAC as well as to acquire "some ground offensive capabilities" against China. Moreover, India is belatedly trying to counter the major infrastructure build-up by China over the last couple of decades.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130703/jsp/nation/story_17075469.jsp#.UdTGCNglGSo
Antony on 3-day mission to China
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

New Delhi, July 2: Defence minister A.K. Antony is set to lead a high-level delegation to China beginning on Thursday, his first since assuming the portfolio and one that is backgrounded by the eastern Ladakh stand-off and intense diplomatic exchanges.

This will be the first visit by an Indian defence minister since 2006 when Pranab Mukherjee held the portfolio.

In the three days that he will be in China, Antony is likely to land in Shanghai, hold talks in Beijing on July 5 and visit the Chengdu Military Region Command in South Western China.

His delegation will include defence secretary R.K. Mathur, eastern army commander Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag, southern naval commander Vice-Admiral D. Soni and an assistant chief of Air Staff (operations).

Antony’s visit coincides with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China. It follows the 16th round of talks between the special representatives of India and China on boundary last week when national security adviser Shivshankar Menon and his counterpart, former foreign minister Wang Jiechi, met in Beijing.

Antony’s likely visit to the Chengdu Military Command is of particular interest. One of China’s seven military regions, the command’s area of responsibility covers all of Tibet and the boundary with India up to Arunachal Pradesh. Most of it falls under India’s Eastern Command.

But it was the military region with its headquarters in Lanzhou that was the subject of deeper Indian focus recently. The Raki Nala stand-off that resulted in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in eastern Ladakh in April-May and the Line of Actual Control is under the Lanzhou command.

In March, China proposed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement. India responded with its own proposal in June. The special representatives are understood to have discussed the proposals but there has been no new ground broken. Both Delhi and Beijing stated they want to reach a pact that will reduce the possibility of Raki Nala-like situations being repeated.

India and China have also proposed to revive a joint army drill named “Exercise Hand-in-Hand”. In China, the exercise is also conducted in Kunming that is in the Chengdu Military Region. A proposal to establish hotlines between Chengdu and Fort William, Calcutta, and between Lanzhou and Udhampur, where the Indian army’s Northern Command is headquartered, is on the talks agenda but is not given high priority.

Since the stand-off in Ladakh, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has been in Delhi on his first foreign visit. Foreign minister Salman Khurshid had also visited China. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also toured Japan and Thailand and Antony himself visited Singapore and Australia. All these visits point to intensifying diplomatic moves at the centre of which is China and its relationships with its land and maritime neighbours around the South China Sea.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-worried-over-PLAs-expanding-transborder-military-capabilities/articleshow/20886621.cms?
India worried over PLA's expanding transborder military capabilities
NEW DELHI: India is likely to raise the expanding transborder military capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), including its stepped-up exercises in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, when defence minister A K Antony leads a top-level delegation to China from July 4 to 7.

Sources said while India will "reassure" China that it has absolutely no intention of joining any multi-lateral strategic grouping that seeks to "contain" Beijing, it will also underline several "bilateral concerns" that need to be addressed.

"There are legitimate concerns about PLA's military capabilities, assertiveness and intentions, its massive infrastructure build-up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and, of course, incidents like the Depsang incursion in Ladakh in April," said a source.

India, however, is keen to progressively enhance military ties with China, keep "communication channels open" and "eliminate potential" for Depsang-like incidents to reoccur.

The two sides will also discuss resumption of the joint Army "Hand-in-Hand" (HiH) counter-terrorism exercise towards end-2013 after a five-year gap as well as explore establishing the fourth border personnel meeting (BPM) mechanism near Lipulekh-Mana Pass in the "middle sector" after the existing ones at Chushul, Nathu La and Bum La.

The keenness to "constructively engage" with China's military leadership can be gauged from the fact that Antony's delegation, apart from defence secretary R K Mathur, will include Eastern Army commander Lt-General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Southern Naval commander Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, who are slated to take over as the next Army and Navy chiefs in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Indian delegation will visit Shanghai, Beijing and the Chengdu Military Area Command, which controls Tibet and almost the entire disputed LAC.

Though the need to fortify de-escalatory mechanisms to prevent face-offs between the two armies will be stressed during the trip, India is in "no hurry" to ink the new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) proposed by China earlier this year.

"The revised BDCA draft submitted by China is being examined," said a source. MoD was perturbed by the earlier draft since it suggested that both sides should freeze troop and infrastructure levels along the LAC.

MoD is in the process of getting the Cabinet Committee on Security's (CCS) final nod for raising a new mountain strike corps (40,000 soldiers), apart from two "independent" infantry brigades and two "independent" armoured brigades, to plug operational gaps along the LAC as well as to acquire "some ground offensive capabilities" against China. Moreover, India is belatedly trying to counter the major infrastructure build-up by China over the last couple of decades.

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