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Kargil: Breast Beating In Pakistan

February 21, 2013 1 comment

Kargil Misadventure: Pakistan’s superficial ‘analysis’ and breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

In the India-Pakistan War of 1965, there was a real risk of China joining in with a third front against India. Thundering in the parliament, Pakistan’s foreign minister at that time, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto assured the Pakistani nation of China’s support.

In the event of war, Pakistan would not be alone. Pakistan would be helped by the most powerful nation in Asia. War between India and Pakistan involves the territorial integrity and security of the largest State in Asia. (Z.A. Bhutto, Foreign Minister, Pakistan, in the National Assembly; July 17, 1963).

Though China was neutral, India had its hands full. Pakistan as member of SEATO and CENTO, was brimming with the most advanced arms – supplied by the US. As a part of the Baghdad Pact, Britain was on Pakistan’s side.

When PAF Was In Better Shape

In the 1965 War situation, Pakistan was part of the CENTO and SEATO alliance, armed by the US with the US F-104 Starfighters, F-86 Sabres that were significantly superior to Indian Airforce (IAF).

The US attached, like in Vietnam, Laos, Norway, Cambodia what was then called a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to Pakistan. A few months before Pakistan commenced hostilities, the US head of MAAG was changed. In May 1965, General Robert Wiygul Burns became chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Pakistan. Over the next two years, in the face of increasing evidence of the US role in the 1965 war, the MAAG was withdrawn from Pakistan in July 1967. After neo-colonial wars in  Korea, Vietnam, Indo-China, the MAAG became infamous. Mostly renamed as United States Military Groups (USMILGP or MILGRP), MAAGs continue in some Latin American countries such as Peru, the Dominican Republic. Also MAAGs can be found in Africa for instance in Liberia.

Two years later, under a new name, US military advisers were back in Pakistan. Star pilots and trainers like Chuck Yeagaer were sent by the US to Pakistan – to help Pakistan prepare for a battle against Soviet weapons being used by India in 1971 War.

Hands Tied

Comprising of Vampires of WWII vintage, the French Mirage Mysteres, the Anglo-Hawker Hunters and Canberras or the Anglo-Gnats, the IAF went into the 1965 War at a disadvantage. By the 1971 War, the IAF had re-configured tactics, using numbers, altitude to overwhelm the Sabres with inferior Gnats – starting with the airfight at Boyra.

Compared to the nearly 10,000 Sabres that were manufactured world-wide, less than 450 Gnats were built; mostly bought by Indians. The Yugoslavs bought second-hand F-86s in preference to the Gnats. The RAF itself did not buy Gnat for any conflict role – but only for aerobatic, trainer usage.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Though believed, Pakistan’s more modern Patton tanks were not as superior to the Indian Centurions. At the end of 1965 War, India captured 97 Pakistani tanks – and set up a war memorial called Patton Nagar with these captured tanks.

India’s Diplomatic Position

India’s relationship with the Soviets had not yet reached the levels of the 1970s.

What and who stopped China from joining Pakistan in its assault on India? Stalin’s lukewarm response to Nehru’s overtures and the alleged CIA plot to kill Nehru in 1955, temporarily brought Nehru close to Eisenhower. After the 1965 War with Pakistan, India-Soviet alliance grew in strength.

Wailing & Breast-beating

The last one year has seen a lot of ‘analysis’ in Pakistan, about Pakistan’s misadventure in Kargil.

Pakistan’s superficial breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem. Can a nation born out of blackmail – apart from hate, prejudice, have a foreign policy that makes sense.

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Former corps commander Lahore Lt-Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz on Saturday said problems in the armed forces are increasing as the army chiefs have been trying to cover up issues fearing it would defame the organisation.

He was speaking at the launch of his book Yeh Khamoshi Kahan Tak at Islamabad Club on Saturday.

Gen Aziz, who played a role in Pervez Musharraf’s coup and also held an important post in the army and ISI at the time of the Kargil war, said his aim to write the book was to guide the new generation.

It may be noted that Gen Aziz also worked as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for about two years after his retirement from the army in 2005.

Gen Aziz said while taking part in the coup he knew that he was violating the law.

While in service, he added, so many times he had to disagree with the decisions of his seniors and even resigned from the staff college.

He claimed that he was against the decision of following the instructions of United States but Musharraf insisted that only he could see the full picture of the situation. “Even today the policy of Musharraf is being followed,” said Gen Aziz.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ashraf Sarab of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), said when the Kargil adventure was started the Kashmiris were asked by the army to take to the streets because they (forces) had decided to enter the Indian held Kashmir.

“But after sacrificing a number of soldiers, the army went back,” he added.

“I talked to then Minister for Kashmir Affairs Majeed Malik but he said Kashmiris should not have started protests.”

It showed that the Kargil war was either a strategic mistake or launched on the directions of someone else, because after the war India and US came closer to each other, he observed.

Engineer Mumtaz from the research and development wing of the armed forces told Dawn that Gen Aziz was the key person during the Musharraf coup. Gen Musharraf used to get his input regarding every decision, he added.

via Army covering up issues, claims ex-general | Newspaper | DAWN.COM  .


In A G-0 World, Can BRICS Show Leadership?

February 19, 2013 1 comment

For the world now, instead of ‘G-7, or G-8, or G-20, the more apt description is G-0’ – per Joseph Stiglitz. Can BRICS offer that leadership – starting Afghanistan.

From 1970s, when Pakistan started meddling in Afghan affairs, by how much have Soviet or the American invasions helped Afghanistan?  |  Cartoon By Jeff Darcy, The Cleveland Plain Dealer - 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM  via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

From 1970s, when Pakistan started meddling in Afghan affairs, by how much have Soviet or the American invasions helped Afghanistan? | Cartoon By Jeff Darcy, The Cleveland Plain Dealer – 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

With NATO turning tail and leaving, Afghanistan is not much better off than before America’s invasion.

Pakistan, as the sole Islāmic nuclear power, has assigned itself the role of an arbiter of Afghan destiny – a hold over Afghanistan’s future. With its dubious distinction of being a failed State, should Pakistan have any role in Afghanistan?

After ruining Afghanistan with 40 years of disastrous interventions, the West playing the victims is an offensive act | Cartoon By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - 9/7/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

After ruining Afghanistan with 40 years of disastrous interventions, the West playing the victims is an offensive act | Cartoon By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico – 9/7/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

The West, under NATO’s military command, is walking away from Afghanistan with nothing to show for this invasion.

After billions in dollars, with more than a million Afghans affected by death, combat injuries, manifold increase in corruption, and a Saudi-Pakistan financed Taliban is on the rise, Afghanistan is West’s biggest failure after Vietnam. Never before in the last 200 years has West’s leadership been in question so much.

In the current State of the world, in the memorable words of Joseph Stiglitz, why ‘talk about the G-7, or G-8, or G-20, the more apt description is G-0.’

Afghanistan was a much better place one millennium ago - as its agricultural exports, arts and crafts will testify. It is the US-Pakistani involvement from the 70s, which has made Afghanistan into a no-man's land. | Cartoon By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 10/11/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Afghanistan was a much better place one millennium ago – as its agricultural exports, arts and crafts will testify. It is the US-Pakistani involvement from the 70s, which has made Afghanistan into a no-man’s land. | Cartoon By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ – 10/11/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Afghanistan will be the test of BRICS.

Till 1980s, the Soviet Union bordered Afghanistan. Today, while Soviet Union’s successor, Russia no longer shares a border with Afghanistan, as a part of BRICS grouping, it may continue to play a role in post-NATO Afghanistan.

Will China-India tensions come in the way of BRICS to do what is good for Afghanistan? Will China work with BRICS to keep Pakistan out of Afghanistan? When it matters, can BRICS nations put aside their differences and work on common problems – like Afghanistan?

Straightening Pakistan is a matter of hours. What will take time is building capacity among BRICS nations to work together on common problems – and put aside differences, when these differences are not directly relevant.

One thing is for sure.

If BRICS cam make an Afghan solution stick, a new age will dawn in global diplomacy. The current void in global leadership will start getting filled.

Civil war in Afghanistan is directly the result of Western interventions in the last 40 years.  |  Cartoon by By Arend Van Dam, politicalcartoons.com - 10/24/2012 12:00:00 AM  via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Civil war in Afghanistan is directly the result of Western interventions in the last 40 years. | Cartoon by By Arend Van Dam, politicalcartoons.com – 10/24/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

With the US and the UK apparently conceding to Pakistan the lead role in reconciliation with Taliban, India is set to hold talks with Russia and China on emerging scenarios in Afghanistan ahead of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force’s withdrawal from the conflict-ravaged country by 2014.

New Delhi is also expected to air its concern over Pakistan’s role in the peace-process in Afghanistan during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to India scheduled on Monday. Cameron recently hosted Afghan and Pakistan presidents Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at his country residence Chequers Court. India will get another opportunity to discuss the issues when it will have a trilateral talk with the US and Afghanistan in New Delhi next week.

Sources said India is expected to drive home the point that Pakistan continues to be “a part of the problem” and it cannot yet be seen as “a part of the solution” in Afghanistan. Any hasty careless move to launch the peace process would in fact give an opportunity to Taliban to crawl back to power after 2014. New Delhi is likely to point out that the US itself, in 2011, publicly slammed Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence for its role in fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan.

What worries India is the Afghan High Peace Council’s five-step draft roadmap to 2015, would ultimately give Pakistan the “strategic depth” it always aspired to have in Afghanistan. New Delhi is apprehensive about Washington outsourcing to Islamabad the peace-process with Taliban, before and after the drawdown of the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan.

The “draft road map” also seeks to give some key positions in post-2014 Afghanistan to the leaders of Taliban, including that of provincial governors, police chiefs and cabinet ministers.

To facilitate the peace-process, Pakistan, since November, released 26 Taliban prisoners from its jails, ostensibly on request from Afghanistan but without any oversight, triggering fear that some of them might go back to extremism.

When Menon broached the issue during a meeting of the BRICS high representatives for security in New Delhi last month, it was agreed that he and his counterparts from Russia and China would have a separate meeting to exchange views on the peace-process with Taliban and discuss the emerging scenarios in Afghanistan. Sources said the meeting might take place later this month.

New Delhi has made it clear that it is in favour an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process towards peace in Afghanistan but insisted that the “Red Lines” agreed in London Conference in 2010 were strictly adhered to and the extremists entering the process were made to severe all links with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.

via India to talk to China, Russia on Pak role in Afghanistan.


 

Currency Trade: War or Peace?

February 1, 2013 1 comment

Now that Japan has joined the currency devaluation game, it leaves the Euro twisting in the winds of currency storms.

The yen, trading at about 87 per dollar, has shed about 11 percent since mid-November when Shinzo Abe, who became Japan's new prime minister following elections last month, promised a more aggressive monetary policy.  |  Graphic source & courtesy - cnbc.com

The yen, trading at about 87 per dollar, has shed about 11 percent since mid-November when Shinzo Abe, who became Japan’s new prime minister following elections last month, promised a more aggressive monetary policy. | Graphic source & courtesy – cnbc.com

Given a choice between a Japanese car and Chinese, almost any car buyer in the world will opt for a Japanese brand.

If price difference is small.

But as we know the price difference between Japanese and Chinese cars (and other products also) is rather big.

How the Yen has become expensive. From nearly 290 yen:1 USD to 80 yen:1 USD  |  Graphic credit - wsj.net

How the Yen has become expensive. From nearly 290 yen:1 USD to 80 yen:1 USD | Graphic credit – wsj.net

The big reason for this price difference?

The Japan Case

Though not the only reason, the high cost of the Japanese Yen after the Plaza Accord (September 22, 1985) has painted the Japanese economy into a corner.

Japan on Thursday reported a record annual trade deficit in 2012, the second straight year in the red for an exporting nation that has long built its wealth on its vast trading surpluses.

The annual trade gap of 6.93 trillion yen (about $78 billion) was brought about by surging fuel imports and a continued slide in machinery shipments and other mainstay exports. The deficit underscores the challenges Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces as he tries to lift the world’s third-largest economy out of years of stagnation.

The deficit also brings to the forefront the risks that accompany Mr. Abe’s bid to revive the economy through government spending, which will add to Japan’s public debt, already more than twice the size of its economy. For years, export surpluses helped Japan finance that enormous debt without having to turn to foreign investors.

But that delicate balance is now unraveling. The global economic crisis set off a fall in Japanese exports, and also caused the yen to strengthen, weighing on the country’s competitiveness and recovery. The prolonged shuttering of the country’s nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima crisis has led to a spike in Japan’s imports of oil and gas. A bitter territorial spat with China has hurt exports to Japan’s biggest trading partner.

The provisional data released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday showed exports continued to fall in December at a faster pace than forecast by economists, despite a weakening of the yen that should have come as a boon to exporters.

According to the data, Japan’s annual trade deficit jumped by 170 percent from the 2.56 trillion yen shortfall it recorded in 2011 to 6.93 trillion yen. Energy imports, mainly from the Middle East, surged, machinery and car exports fell across the board. By region, Japan’s exports to China tumbled by 10.8 percent, leaving Japan with a trade deficit of 3.52 trillion yen (about $40 billion) with its rising neighbor. Exports to the struggling European Union also fell by 15 percent.

Trade with the United States was brisk, however, with exports climbing 11.7 percent and imports by 2.5 percent for a 5.1 trillion yen (about $58 billion) surplus. Japanese automakers did particularly well in the United States last year, rebounding from production cuts brought about by Japan’s 2011 tsunami.

via Japan Reports a $78 Billion Trade Deficit for 2012 – NYTimes.com.

BoJ's asset-purchase program has trailed other big central banks  |  Graphic source & courtesy - economist.com

BoJ’s asset-purchase program has trailed other big central banks | Graphic source & courtesy – economist.com

The expensive Yen has increased the price of Japanese exports. Decreasing export-growth due to an expensive Yen, has led to a 20-year economic stagnation-deflation situation in Japan – now referred to as Japan’s Lost Decades (失われた10年 Ushinawareta Jūnen).

Could Japan’s actions to depreciate the Yen have been unilateral?

Highly unlikely.

Japan is the latest country to say enough is enough. Having seen its currency appreciate dramatically in recent years, prime minister Shinzo Abe’s new government is taking steps to alter the country’s exchange-rate dynamic – and is succeeding. In just over two months, the yen has weakened by more than 10% against the dollar and close to 20% against the euro.

via Currency war could cause lasting damage to world economy | Business | guardian.co.uk.

Japan’s new government has vowed to revive the economy and expectations for aggressive monetary easing are running high. This sets the scene for the yen to weaken to the 100-mark versus the dollar.

The yen, trading at about 87 per dollar, has shed about 11 percent since mid-November when Shinzo Abe became Japan’s new prime minister last month, promised a more aggressive monetary policy.

Keen to tackle the deflation that has dogged Japan’s economy for years, “The yen has fallen quickly and once it gets going, it gets going. What kind of number (in dollar/yen) do you need to fight deflation? I think we need to see dollar/yen at 110, 20 to say you’re on top of the deflation problem,” Jerram added.

Inflation in Japan fell 0.2 percent in November from a year earlier, after a 0.4 percent decline in October. A weak currency, brought about by aggressive monetary easing would help boost inflation, analysts say.

Japan’s current account surplus fell 29.4 percent in October from a year earlier to 376.9 billion yen ($4.58 billion) on a fall in exports.

They say another reason to expect further yen weakness this year is a brighter outlook for the global economy, which means there is more incentive for Japanese investors to put their money overseas.

“Everything is in place for a move in dollar/yen to 100, the only constraint being resistance from other major central banks to anyone else adopting a weak currency,” Societe Generale said.

via Picture This: The dollar at 100 Yen.

The Chinese Knot

A cheaper Japanese Yen affects China the most.

Any major currency appreciation, devaluation in the last 60-years has happened under the (what 2ndlook calls) USCAP system.

So, the noises being made of currency wars by Germany is probably to quieten other claims for currency depreciation – like Korea, Euro zone, Taiwan, Asian Tigers, et al.

Decreasing exports, incomes coupled with high production capacities has put Japan on the path of deflationary spiral.  |  Graphic credits embedded.

Decreasing exports, incomes coupled with high production capacities has put Japan on the path of deflationary spiral. | Graphic credits embedded.

China seeks to replace the former Soviet Russia as the challenger to Pax Americana. This challenge by China to Pax Americana is based on manufacturing prowess and huge foreign currency reserves.

China’s Yuan has already appreciated to a 20-year high. In the current global scenario, China’s currency situation puts it in a weak situation. China’s economic engines will seize, if the Japanese Yen were to depreciate to ¥110-120.

EU’s Sports Complex

The interesting point is how EU manages its trade deficit. Without blaming China-Yuan.

EU-zone countries like Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, are on the verge of a sovereign default. Euro-zone is upto its gills in debt. The Euro is being called names. And EU is not snivelling about the Yuan and China?

Very un-European!

USA, EU Trade Balance with Oil Producers (Graphic source and courtesy - www.eurotrib.com). Click for larger image.

USA, EU Trade Balance with Oil Producers (Graphic source and courtesy – http://www.eurotrib.com). Click for larger image.

Usually…

Europe is at the forefront seeing dangers, damage, affronts, threats, effects, fall-outs et al.

The whole she-bang!

But in case of China and Yuan, Europe is not doing much of crying about the ‘undervalued’ Yuan. The Euro revaluation from USD 1.6 four years ago to USD 1.25 now is a recent affair.

So, not of much consequence. The Yuan undervaluation has been on the US agenda for a few years now – with varying intensities. Euro-trade balance with China is slightly in China’s favour. All in all, good management by the Euro-zone, it appears.

Which in the current scenario is the one-bright-spot on the Euro-horizon!

In today’s world, no significant group of countries is looking for currency strength. Some resist appreciation actively and openly; others do so in a less visible manner. Only the eurozone seems to accept being on the receiving end of other countries’ actions.

via Currency war could cause lasting damage to world economy | Business | guardian.co.uk.

The German Footprint

Behind the Euro-zone is the Germanic template.

In the last twenty years, Germany has absorbed East Germany, without a hiccup. During the same period Japan entered into a deep stagnation-deflation phase – but not Germany. While the world succumbed to Chinese manufacturing onslaught, the German industrial complex kept humming – steadily. While the US economy stumbled from bankruptcy of the auto-industry to the dotcom bust and is now deep into the housing crisis, the German economy remained stable.

All this without seeking competitive currency devaluation.

countries nowadays, including systemically important ones, are already actively weakening their currencies. Yet, because an exchange rate is a relative price, all currencies cannot weaken simultaneously. How the world resolves this basic inconsistency over the next few years will have a major impact on prospects for growth, employment, income distribution, and the functioning of the global economy.

via Currency war could cause lasting damage to world economy | Business | guardian.co.uk.

Wars Before The War

WWII was preceded by 15-years (1921-1936) of currency devaluations. Will history repeat? Will the US take a break after ending the Afghan War in 2014 to start WWIII?


Pakistani Soldiers Behead Indian Soldiers at Line Of Control

January 15, 2013 1 comment

For 60-years now, India and Pakistan have been trying to gain a better position at nearly 200 points on the LoC. What can India do now?

The India-Pakistan Line-of-Control (LoC) in Kashmir, has seen some military actions from both sides in recent weeks.

Media goes to war

The defining output from Indian media on the military action at LoC has been the following two stories.

It is a sign of India’s maturing media, that global media has used these two stories to figure out the ‘real’ reasons for this bout of border escalations.

While it may fit the Government of India objectives if passive sections of Indian media blames Pakistan, equally it would be aimless if the liberal-media blames India for the latest escalation.

India needs to indulge in show-piece talks for international diplomacy reasons. Who in Pakistan will India talk to? Is anyone in-charge of Pakistan?  |  Ajit Ninan in Pune Mirror on January 15, 2013

India needs to indulge in show-piece talks for international diplomacy reasons. Who in Pakistan will India talk to? Is anyone in-charge of Pakistan? | Ajit Ninan in Pune Mirror on January 15, 2013

War and Peace

Yes, as of now it is only an escalation – and not a war. War with Pakistan is the most unlikely outcome.

Like it has been pointed out in previous posts, Pakistan does not have the financial capability, the war matériel, leave alone India, to fight a war with anyone.

Except maybe Maldives.

Above all, it is highly doubtful, if Pakistan has enough soldiers, who have the stomach to fight a war against India. Remember, Pakistan could muster no more than one thousand soldiers to take on India in Kargil.

Over the last 35 years, Pakistan’s capacity to meaningfully wage war against India has degraded.

Phoren Maal

If there is a rape in Delhi, we need Saudi justice.

If we lose two soldiers at the India-Pakistan border, we need to learn from Israel.

Our so-called experts in mainstream media and dominant voices in social media display their rank ineptitude, when they can only respond with such empty statements.

Western war narratives have little relevance to India, as we live in a different context. It is received Western wisdom that nuclear powers do not fight wars with each other. Yet, India has fought five wars (1948, 1962, 1965, 1971, Kargil) and shares borders with two de facto nuclear powers – China and Pakistan.

No other country in the world shares a border with two nuclear powers.

So, What’s Going on?

Across the nearly 800-kilometres border in Kashmir, in some places Indian and Pakistani soldiers are less than 50 metres apart.

For more than 60-years now, each side has tried to gain a better position at more than 200 strategic points on the LoC. The most famous such position is the Siachen glacier – which India regained and now controls at tremendous costs. It is unlikely that either side will stop jockeying for better positions on the LoC.

So, low-level conflict will continue.

India must now be prepared for small petty escalations by Pakistans  |  Kirtish Bhatt on September 23, 2010

India must now be prepared for small petty escalations by Pakistans | Kirtish Bhatt on September 23, 2010

Indian Options

War with Pakistan is not needed – or an answer. Any war with Pakistan will quickly mean:

  1. International intervention
  2. Achievement of Indian military objectives, if limited
  3. Nuclear response from Pakistan, if India threatens Pakistan’s existence.

Aggressive actions at LoC will be enough. Since, Pakistan’s airforce is practically non-operational, a precision air-strafing exercise by Indian airforce will be ideal.

There will be a Pakistani response.

With a tit-for-tat bombing raid by Pakistan Airforce. Pakistan may also decide to use some of their HATF missiles. If an Indian missile defence can stage a shoot down of Pakistani fighter or a missile, it will be an ideal military response that will test Indian missile systems in real war conditions.

India’s development of air-response during the Kargil war, a first  in air-warfare, is going to be very useful to India.

Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region  |  Image source & courtesy - longwarjournal.org

Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region | Image source & courtesy – longwarjournal.org

What does this mean?

With Obama on course to pull out troops from Afghanistan, there has been renewed threats being muttered from Pakistan.

Is this the time for India to make some points with Pakistan?

With Taliban making mayhem on the Pakistan’s North-Western Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), any actions by India on the Pakistan LoC, will keep Pakistan in check from meddling in Afghanistan – or in Kashmir.

This is also good time for India to rattle Pakistan, while China is preoccupied with Japan. While US is warm towards India, as it seeks to check China – and disillusioned with Pakistan.

Did anyone notice that this Pakistani provocation happened after the India-Pakistan cricket series – and after the Pakistan team reached home.


Importance Of Being Free: How Are Twitter & Facebook Being Prosecuted in Christian West & Islamic Middle East

January 8, 2013 2 comments

Governments of the ‘Free’ World are using psuedo-free technologies like Twitter and Facebook with draconian laws like NDAA to draw out dissidents and reactionaries.

NGOs bcked by Western regimes used social media for regime changes.  | By Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands - 1/18/2011 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy - cagle.com

NGOs backed by Western regimes used social media for regime changes. | By Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands – 1/18/2011 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy – cagle.com

E

ven while the media of Christian-West has trumpeted how Western technologies like Twitter and Facebook brought down regimes in the Islamic world, Western media has limited the coverage of social media’s impact in its own backyard.

Further Intimidation

The signing of the NDAA by Obama is a gigantic steps towards further intimidation of US citizenry by its own Government. Already armed with extraordinary powers, pervasive technology and a secret-plus-uniformed police force of 40 lakhs, the further legislation points towards another round of intimidation.

The hounding of the Australian Julian Assange across the world, by Yumm-Rika is stuff which fills the annals of State persecution in the West over the last 1000 years. Bradley Manning’s inhumane solitary confinement, naked for most of a year has not drawn the ire of the Free World.

Facebook and Twitter have been fnded by the US Treasury department through the Federal Reserve, via its various franchisee banks.  |  Cartoon By Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant  -  5/23/2012 12:00:00 AM; souce & courtesy -  msnbc.com

Facebook and Twitter have been fnded by the US Treasury department through the Federal Reserve, via its various franchisee banks. | Cartoon By Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant – 5/23/2012 12:00:00 AM; souce & courtesy – msnbc.com

Justice & Freedom

Encroachments on media and individual freedom has occupied minds across the world.

Even in India.

Is it time to do some quantitative numbers on how governments across the world are trying to control social media.

Indian news-consumers, inward looking, are sated with mass-produced news churned out by Western news agencies – like Reuters, Bloomberg, etc. Some Indian news outlets go further and syndicate content from CIA-controlled media like New York Times.

Western Media Controls

While the booking of a case and questioning of two girls for eight hours drew the ire of India’s Supreme court, what was happening in the US? Brandon Raub, a US marine was ‘committed’ for ‘psychiatric’ evaluation by FBI and CIA – on the basis of his Facebook posts.

In Mumbai, India, these policemen have been suspended for prosecuting one case. Indian courts sprang to cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s bail application. EVM-activist Hariprasad found Indian courts sympathetic.

That reminds me of Vikram Buddhi.

Vikram Buddhi languishes in an American prison because he said George Bush murdabad (meaning Death to George Bush) on the internet – in support of Iraqi Muslims. Hardly any Indians have supported Vikram Buddhi even now after being in prison for nearly 5 years now.

While the brutal killing of the American diplomat at Benghazi has stunned the West,  the horrific dagger-sodomization of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya was met with glee in the West.

China has funded and promotes its own social media - competing with Western media,  |   By Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE  -  10/8/2012 12:00:00 AM| source & courtesy - cagle.com

China has funded and promotes its own social media – competing with Western media, | By Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE – 10/8/2012 12:00:00 AM| source & courtesy – cagle.com

Rocking in a Free World

More than 2 crore people (20 million) face the American Justice system each year. With more than 2 crore people (20 million) in either prison, on parole, probation or facing prosecution.

Nearly a 100 countries in the world have a population that is lesser than the number of US citizens in prison, on parole or probation, or under prosecution by the State.

Every 11th person of working age in the US is either in prison, parole, probation or being prosecuted for some offence caused to the State.Every 11th person of working age in the US is either in prison, parole, probation or being prosecuted for some offence caused to the State.

Social Media In The Free World

Most people are not aware that secular Great Britain, has prosecuted, fined, imprisoned nearly 5,000 people in the last three years for making ‘insensitive’ comments on social media.

When form overwhelms function. Is medium reall-ly becoming the message.  |  By Peter Nicholson, The Australian, Sydney, Australia - 8/6/2012 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy - cagle.com

When form overwhelms function. Is medium reall-ly becoming the message. | By Peter Nicholson, The Australian, Sydney, Australia – 8/6/2012 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy – cagle.com

Are Indians able to see the Christian link in secular Switzerland, which is afraid that a third mosque in Switzerland will change the national character of Switzerland?

Or an Angela Merkel confirms on television that multi-culturalism has failed? Denmark is willing to pay Muslims money to emigrate out of Denmark?

A two-and-a-half year legal battle over a “joke” posted on Twitter that landed its author with a criminal record returns to the high court on Wednesday in front of the most senior judge in England and Wales.

Paul Chambers, an unemployed former trainee accountant, is appealing against his conviction for tweeting that he would blow up Doncaster’s Robin Hood airport unless it reopened so he could fly to see his new girlfriend.

Lord Judge, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams. It brings the number of judges and magistrates who have considered Chambers’ case up to nine, spread over seven days in court since his tweet on 6 January 2010.

During snowy weather, Doncaster’s Robin Hood airport had closed, threatening to derail Chambers’ plans to fly to Belfast to meet Sarah Tonner, a woman he had met on Twitter. He tweeted on the publicly accessible feed: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

Chambers was convicted and fined £1,000 on a charge of “sending a public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003”.

He has since won the support of Twitter-using comedy stars including Al Murray, Graham Linehan and Stephen Fry in his fight against his conviction and they have helped raise about £30,000 to cover legal costs.

After the tweet was spotted by a member of staff at the airport, Chambers was arrested and convicted by a district judge at Doncaster magistrates court in May 2010. After the verdict, Chambers said the tweet was “like having a bad day at work and stating that you could murder your boss, I didn’t even think about whether it would be taken seriously”.

An appeal at the high court in September 2010 failed and a subsequent appeal in front of two high court judges in February 2012 ended inconclusively when the court took the unusual step of ordering the appeal to be rerun.

Chambers has argued that the conviction was “a steamroller to crack a nut”. He will be represented by crime and civil liberties barrister John Cooper QC and Sarah Przybylska.Lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service argued: “The message was posted at a time when the potential threat to airport security was high. It was capable of being read by members of the airport staff and members of the public as a threat to airport safety and public safety.”

In dismissing his first appeal in September 2010, judge Jacqueline Davies said the message was “menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed”.via Twitter joke case returns to high court for fresh appeal by Paul Chambers | Law | guardian.co.uk.


Did India Supply Swedish-Made Arms to Myanmar?

January 6, 2013 1 comment

Is this how India broke China’s ‘lock’ on Myanmar?

Why start a war that can be the end of Pax Americana! The US is happy flexing its muscles against the Iraqs and Afghanistans of this world.  |  By Tjeerd Royaards on October 06, 2010   |  Source & courtesy - toonpool.com

Why start a war that can be the end of Pax Americana! The US is happy flexing its muscles against the Iraqs and Afghanistans of this world. | By Tjeerd Royaards on October 06, 2010 | Source & courtesy – toonpool.com

F

or some time, Myanmar seemed lost to India – and a part of China’s string-of-pearls military bases.

Taking advantage of a closer relationship with the US, without increasing distance with China, India needs a delicately nuanced foreign policy.

Is this how the Myanmar deadlock was broken by India?

India is investigating how Swedish-made weapons bought by its army turned up in Myanmar, a minister visiting Yangon said Dec. 15, denying New Delhi had supplied arms in contravention of EU sanctions.

Sweden asked India on Dec. 13 to clarify how the weapons wound up in Myanmar after it was revealed the Indian Army had purchased them,

Pictures taken in Myanmar and published in Swedish media this week showed a Carl Gustaf M3 anti-tank rifle and ammunition left behind by Myanmar government soldiers.

The weapon’s serial number is clearly visible in one of the photographs.

“One thing is clear … we are not in the business of supplying weaponry,” Salman Khurshid, Indian Minister of External Affairs, told reporters in Yangon.

“We will try to find out how this happened. It’s one weapon, isn’t it? In a very big world, one single weapon has been identified,” he said, adding that the Indian Army will check its inventory as part of the probe.

According to a story published in The (London) Independent, the Swedish weapons were used by Myanmar troops in their fight against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country’s far north.

via India Probing How Swedish-Made Arms Found Way to Myanmar | Defense News | defensenews.com.


Kargil War: The Forgotten Victory

December 17, 2012 2 comments

Kargil War Forgotten: Fought over 3 months; longer than the three previous India-Pakistan wars (1948, 1965, 1971). Combined.

A battery of Bofors guns in operation during the Kargil War.  |  These 155-mm guns proved to be highly useful.   Image source & courtesy - outlookindia.com

A battery of Bofors guns in operation during the Kargil War. | These 155-mm guns proved to be highly useful. Image source & courtesy – outlookindia.com

I

n the Kargil War (May 3-July 26, 1999), Pakistan made an extremely limited military probe, with around 1000 soldiers, to take Kargil heights. The Kargil War dragged on for nearly 3 months – longer than the three previous wars (1948, 1965, 1971) with Pakistan, combined.

It is a war that India has forgotten – but has many important lessons.

The scene of operations in the Drass-Kargil-Batalik sector

The scene of operations in the Drass-Kargil-Batalik sector

Vital Questions

These 1000-odd Pakistani soldiers were sent on a mission without infantry support, or air cover.

Adequately protected by snow-covered Himalayan heights, Pakistan’s probing attack on Kargil tested the importance of nuclear deterrence and the resolve of the BJP Government.

The Kargil War raised some important questions.

  1. Would India start a conventional war against a nuclear Pakistan?
  2. Is it that Pakistan could not get more than 1,000 soldiers to fight against India?
  3. Why did Pakistan not support its soldiers with air-cover?

Probably, Pakistan’s Kargil misadventure points towards Pakistan’s inability to fight any kind of war against India.

Sino-Pak JF-17 fighter  |  Image source & courtesy - military-today.com

Sino-Pak JF-17 fighter | Image source & courtesy – military-today.com

PAF’s Slow Degrade

Over the years, especially in the last 25 years, the ability of Pakistan’s Airforce (PAF) to mount any challenge to Indian Airforce (IAF) has been severely degraded.

A combination of global sanctions and Pakistan’s financial situation has stopped Pakistan from buying spares, or replacing obsolete aircraft.

Of the 400-odd aircraft that Pakistan has, more than a 100 are old Mirage aircraft. Many of these were discarded aircraft, bought from Australia and Libya – also from France and Lebanon.

Bofors in action during the Kargil war. Lakhs of artillery rounds were used and guns worked well.  |  AFP PHOTO/TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

Bofors in action during the Kargil war. Lakhs of artillery rounds were used and guns worked well. | AFP PHOTO/TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

PAF Grounded

America will not supply Pakistan with fighters or adequate spares for the F-16 aircraft already in PAF service.

Instead, Pakistan is buying China’s JF-17/FC-1 Thunder fighter-aircraft that needs Russian RD-93 engines to fly (variant of MiG-29’s RD-33 engine). China needs Russian permission to sell Russian engines in the JF-17/FC-1 Thunder. It is unlikely that Russia will pass up a peacetime business opportunity of selling jet-engines to Pakistan.

But in a war situation, Russia is unlikely to supply spares and engines to Pakistan.

When PAF Was In Better Shape

In the 1965 War situation, Pakistan was part of the CENTO and SEATO alliance, armed by the US with the US F-104 Starfighters, F-86 Sabres that were significantly superior to Indian Airforce (IAF).

Comprising of Vampires of WWII vintage, the French Mirage Mysteres, the Anglo-Hawker Hunters and Canberras or the Anglo-Gnats, the IAF went into the 1965 War at a disadvantage. By the 1971 War, the IAF had re-configured tactics, using numbers, altitude to overwhelm the Sabres with inferior Gnats – starting with the airfight at Boyra.

Compared to the nearly 10,000 Sabres that were manufactured world-wide, less than 450 Gnats were built; mostly bought by Indians. The Yugoslavs bought second-hand F-86s in preference to the Gnats. The RAF itself did not buy Gnat for any conflict role – but only for aerobatic, trainer usage.

Indian soldiers in Kashmir; operating the Bofors guns.

Indian soldiers in Kashmir; operating the Bofors guns.

Pulling Away

In the last 25 years, India has steadily drawn ahead of Pakistan, to point of no-comparison.

When US sanctions were imposed in 1990, both the PAF and the Indian Air Force were second-generation air forces. No real-time surveillance capability, no air-to-air refuelling capability, no airborne early warning capability, no beyond-visual-range-capability, no stand-off weapon capability. However, after 13 years of sanctions, India had all the above and Pakistan had none until about three or four years ago. This is the gap (2006 – Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat – in an interview to Jane’s Defence Weekly).

The first proof of Pakistan’s crippled armed forces was on display in the Kargil War. Designed to provoke, the benefit to Pakistan from Kargil was to gauge Indian resolve. The Indian response during the Kargil War, in turn was also limited to evicting this military probe from the heights that overlooked the Srinagar highway.

BM-21 multi-barrel rocket launcher mortar firing at Tiger Hill in the Kargil War

BM-21 multi-barrel rocket launcher mortar firing at Tiger Hill in the Kargil War

War in Himalayas

The Kargil War between India and Pakistan, waged in the disputed and mountainous Kashmir region in mid-1999, rates as the highest-elevation conflict in air war history. The clash lasted 74 days and cost more than 1,000 killed and wounded on each side. Though a blank to most Westerners, the Indian Air Force (IAF) experience was a milestone, providing insights into uses of airpower in extremely demanding combat settings.

The Western profile of this war is low, receding to the vanishing point.

The seeds of war were planted in March 1999, when units of the Pakistani Army’s Northern Light Infantry (NLI) crossed the so-called line of control (LOC) into India’s portion of contested Kashmir in the Himalayas. From this new vantage point, Pakistani troops overlooked the Indian town of Kargil.

The LOC that separates the Indian- and Pakistani-held portions of Kashmir bisects some of the world’s highest and most forbidding terrain. Because of dangerous weather, the Indian Army, in harsh winter months, routinely vacated inhospitable forward outposts that it normally manned.

Too Much Jawboning

When the Indians withdrew in the late winter months of 1999, however, Pakistan mounted an infiltration that sought to make the most of this opportunity.

As many as 1,000 troops of the NLI, moving by foot and helicopter, crossed the line. It was a stealthy success; the NLI troops managed to unobtrusively establish a new forward line six miles deep into Indian-controlled territory. On May 3, they were finally spotted by local shepherds.

Then, in the first week of May 1999, the Indian Army units that had formerly manned the outposts began returning to their stations. It was at that point that they came face-to-face with the fact that NLI troops had moved in and were prepared to fight.

At first, embarrassed Indian Army leaders were bound and determined to turn back the Pakistan incursion all by themselves. Thus commenced several exchanges of fire. However, there was no change in the situation on the ground.

Checked for days by Pakistani forces, Indian Army leaders on May 11 finally approached the IAF for help. The Indian Army wanted the IAF to provide close air support with its armed helicopters. The IAF responded that the high terrain over which the requested support was to be provided lay well above the effective operating envelope of its attack helicopters and that the use of fixed wing fighters would be required if the Army really needed assistance.

The Army for days persisted in demanding use of attack helicopters alone. The IAF no less adamantly declined to accede to that demand.

Because of this back and forth jawboning, some later complained the IAF had refused to cooperate and, in the end, was forced into the campaign against its will.

In fact, the IAF at the early date of May 10 had begun conducting reconnaissance missions over the Kargil heights. It also at that time forward deployed IAF combat aircraft in numbers sufficient to support any likely tasking, established a rudimentary air defense control arrangement, and began practicing air-to-ground weapon deliveries at Himalayan elevations.

On May 12, as interservice deliberations to establish an agreed campaign plan continued, an IAF helicopter was fired upon near the most forward based of the NLI positions. That hostile act was enough to prompt the IAF to place Western Air Command on alert and establish quick-reaction aircraft launch facilities at the IAF’s most northern operating locations.

The next day, IAF Jaguar fighter aircraft launched on a tactical reconnaissance mission to gather target information. At the same time, the IAF established a direction center for the tactical control of combat aircraft; it was located at Leh, the IAF’s highest-elevation airfield.

Concurrently, Canberra PR57 and MiG-25R reconnaissance aircraft were pressed into service, and electronic intelligence missions started in the vicinity of the NLI intrusion.

The IAF sent a Canberra to conduct reconnaissance of the area overlooking Kargil. It descended to 22,000 feet and entered a racetrack pattern that put the aircraft as low as 4,000 feet above the ridgelines. The Canberra was hit in its right engine by a Chinese-made Anza infrared surface-to-air missile. The Indian pilot brought the airplane in for a safe emergency landing.

On May 14, the IAF activated its air operations center for Kashmir and mobilized its fighter units in that sector for an all-out air counteroffensive. Such activities attested to the IAF’s clear expectation that it would engage the intruders to the fullest once its final role was settled upon.

After much back and forth between the IAF and Indian Army over the character and extent of air support IAF would provide, the Army finally acceded to the IAF’s insistence on using fixed wing fighters. This cleared the way for the air force to enter the fight.

In a key May 25 meeting chaired by Indian Prime Minister Atal B. Vajpayee, the Indian Army Chief outlined the seriousness of the situation and the need for the IAF to step in without further delay. At that, the Prime Minister said: “OK, get started tomorrow at dawn.”

The Air Chief agreed that the IAF would attack only those Pakistani targets that were dug in on India’s side of the line of control. However, he requested permission for his aircraft, in the course of its operations, to fly across the LOC. Vajpayee said no; there would be no crossing of the LOC.

With that rule of engagement firmly stipulated by the civilian leadership, the die was finally cast for full-scale IAF involvement. The stage was set for Operation Vijay (Hindi for “victory”), as the joint campaign was code-named.

Kinetic air operations began at 6:30 a.m. on May 26, three weeks after the infiltration into Indian-controlled territory was detected. The opening salvo comprised six attacks by MiG-21s, MiG-23s, and MiG-27s against NLI targets. It was the first time IAF pilots had dropped bombs in anger since its Vampire fighters destroyed Pakistani bunkers in the same Kargil area 28 years earlier, in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.

Pakistan chose to keep its F-16s out of the fight.

Deadly Lessons Learned Quickly

Nearly all targets attacked were on or near Himalayan ridgelines at elevations ranging from 16,000 to 18,000 feet. The stark backdrop of rocks and snow complicated target acquisition, already made difficult by the small size of the NLI positions in a vast and undifferentiated snow background. That unique terrain feature, as seen from a cockpit, inspired the code name given to the IAF’s campaign—Operation Safed Sagar, or “White Sea.”

In the second day of air operations, the IAF lost two fighters. One, a MiG-27, suffered engine failure while coming off a target. After two unsuccessful attempts at an airstart, the pilot ejected, only to be captured. He was repatriated on June 3.

The second, a MiG-21, sustained an infrared SAM hit while its pilot was flying over the terrain at low level, assisting in the search for the downed MiG-27 pilot. Its pilot also ejected, but he was not as lucky as the first pilot. He was captured, then reportedly brutalized and executed.

On the third day of operations, an armed Mi-17 helicopter, introduced to the fight reluctantly by the IAF to placate India’s Army leaders, was downed by a shoulder-fired SAM while providing low-level fire support. The crash killed all four crew members.

In conducting these early attacks, IAF officers quickly relearned what the Israelis had learned at great cost during the October 1973 War, when Egyptian and Syrian SAMs and anti-aircraft artillery had downed nearly a third of the Israeli Air Force’s fighter inventory (102 aircraft in all) before Israel managed to pull out a victory in the war’s latter stages.

Badly bloodied, the Indian Air Force called a halt to further use of armed helicopters and directed that future fighter attacks would be conducted from above the lethal envelopes of enemy man-portable SAMs. Afterward, not a single Indian fixed wing aircraft was lost to enemy fire.

Whenever ground attack operations were under way, Western Air Command put MiG-29s on combat air patrol stations to keep the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) out of the fray. Pakistan’s F-16As typically maintained their CAP stations at a safe distance, 10 to 20 miles away from the line of control.

By the time air operations reached full swing, the IAF had forward deployed some 60 of its best fighters to support the campaign. As they awaited tasking, committed squadrons initiated special training aimed at better acclimating their pilots to night attacks under moonlit conditions. Such combat operations over high mountainous terrain at night had never before been attempted by the IAF.

Because of the rudimentary bomb sights on their MiG-21, MiG-23, and MiG-27 aircraft, IAF pilots typically achieved only limited effectiveness when attempting to provide close air support.

Accordingly, India’s Air Chief decided on May 30, just four days into the campaign, to enlist Mirage 2000H fighters capable of delivering laser guided bombs. By June 12, the Mirages were ready to commence precision strike operations.

On June 17, the clash reached a turning point. A strike package of Mirage 2000Hs destroyed the NLI’s main logistics camp with unguided 1,000-pound bombs delivered in high-angle dive attacks using the aircrafts’ computer-assisted weapon aiming capability.

The war reached a second milestone on June 24, when an element of Mirage 2000Hs, in the IAF’s first-ever combat use of LGBs, destroyed the NLI’s command bunkers on Tiger Hill with two 1,000-pound Paveway II LGBs. In these attacks, the target was acquired through the Litening pod’s electro-optical imaging sensor at about nine miles out, with weapons release occurring at a slant range of about five miles and the aircraft then turning away while continuing to mark the target with a laser spot.

On June 29, the Indian Army captured two vital posts on the high ridgelines. On July 2, it launched a massive attack. It finally recaptured the important NLI outpost on Tiger Hill on July 4, after an exhausting 11-hour battle in which the attackers climbed fixed ropes at night and in freezing rain to scale vertical mountain faces 1,000 feet high.

By July 26, Indian forces had reclaimed a majority of their seized outposts and driven NLI occupiers back to their own side of the LOC.

The IAF’s contribution to Operation Vijay lasted two months. IAF fighters had flown more than 1,700 sorties, including about 40 at night during the campaign’s last weeks. In the final tally, the Indian Army suffered 527 troops killed in action and 1,363 soldiers wounded. The NLI losses were not announced, but they were at least equal to India’s.

The Indian Army and IAF were both key players in a joint campaign; it would be hard to select one as the pivotal force. From a simple weight-of-effort perspective, artillery was the main source of fire support. The Army fired more than 250,000 rounds. One assessment said that this sustained laydown of fire was the most intense seen anywhere since World War II.

In contrast to this “profligacy in the use of artillery in a carpet-bombing mode,” as the campaign’s air component commander later called it, the IAF dropped only around 500 bombs. Most were effective against their assigned targets.

Close air support was a source of frustration for the IAF. The small and well-concealed NLI positions in the Himalayas were nothing like conventional targets that fighters typically engage in supporting friendly ground operations.

The IAF’s CAS efforts were hampered by numerous constraints on their freedom of action. New Delhi’s refusal to countenance crossings of the LOC was a limiting factor. Fighters were forced to use tactics featuring ingress and egress headings that were not optimal or, in many cases, even safe.

Man-portable SAMs used by Pakistan had a slant range sufficient to require the IAF’s pilots to remain 6,000 to 8,000 feet above the ridgelines to remain safely outside their threat envelopes. This degraded weapon delivery accuracies.

At such extreme elevations, the IAF’s munitions did not perform as they did at lower release altitudes. The reduced air temperature and density altered drag indices and other performance parameters that had never before been calculated for such conditions. Weapons did not guide as predicted. IAF pilots had to adapt through real-time improvisation.

The stark terrain folds tended to obscure the enemy from aerial observation and to mask the effects of bomb detonations, rendering even near misses all but ineffective. They further served to canalize aerial approaches to targets, dictating ingress and egress headings and, in the process, rendering IAF fighters more predictable and susceptible to ground fire.

NLI positions in deep ravines were often immune to effective attacks by pilots attempting dive deliveries when their LOC-driven roll-in points were not tactically ideal.

The IAF rode a steep learning curve as pilots adapted to unfamiliar conditions. MiG-21 pilots lacking sophisticated onboard avionics suites resorted to the use of stopwatches and Global Positioning System receivers to conduct night interdiction bombing.

Another example: The IAF took to choosing weapon impact points that would create avalanches over NLI supply lines.

The IAF pioneered what has since come to be called nontraditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It was the first to use electro-optical and infrared imaging targeting pods for high-resolution aerial reconnaissance.

The Kargil Experience

The IAF expended only two LGBs because it had so few in stock and because few targets merited use of such an important and costly munition. Still, even this limited use dramatically altered the campaign’s dynamics.

After the successful LGB attacks, targeting pod imagery showed enemy troops abandoning their positions at the very sound of approaching fighters. Troop diaries later recovered by Indian Army units attested to the demoralization caused by the IAF’s attacks, especially when precision munitions were introduced.

Much of the IAF’s improved combat effectiveness over time resulted from replacing classic manual dive bombing by MiG-23s and MiG-27s with more accurate GPS-aided level bombing from safer altitudes. Once the Mirage 2000H was introduced, the accuracy of unguided bomb deliveries increased even further, thanks to the aircraft’s much-improved onboard avionics suite.

A major joint-arena shortcoming highlighted by the Kargil experience was the total absence of candid communication between the Indian Army and IAF immediately following the initial detection of the NLI incursion. That failure was a remarkable foreshadowing of US Central Command’s similarly flawed Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan three years later, in which the land component likewise sought to go it alone at first, with the air component having been brought in just in time to help ensure a satisfactory outcome in the end.

Once the Indian Army and IAF resolved their disagreements, harmony prevailed.

In the going-in front-line fighter balance, India enjoyed a marked 750-to-350 advantage over Pakistan. Pakistan’s fleet of some 30 F-16s was greatly outclassed by the IAF’s 145 high-performance aircraft (MiG-29s, Mirage 2000Hs, and Su-30s). That asymmetry may well have been decisive in keeping the PAF out of the fight.

However, Pakistan maintained the initiative for most of the Kargil War. Both the nature of the challenge the IAF faced in the Himalayan heights and the targeting requirements that ensued from it dictated a suboptimal use of India’s air weapon.

The IAF’s combat experience showed that innovation and adaptability under the stress of confining rules of engagement is a hallmark of modern airmanship. It attested to the fact that professionalism in campaign planning, presentation of forces, and accommodating to new and unique tactical challenges is scarcely a monopoly of more familiar Western air arms.

The experience demonstrated yet again that effective use of air-delivered firepower can generate success in a conflict that might otherwise have persisted indefinitely with less conclusive results.

Ben Lambeth is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He is the author of The Transformation of American Air Power (2000), which won the Air Force Association’s Gil Robb Wilson Award for Arts and Letters in 2001. His most recent article for Air Force Magazine was “Behind Israel’s 2006 War with Hezbollah,” in September 2011.

Air War at the Top of the World.


Indian Elites: Stuck With Nostalgia; In Love With The Raj

December 15, 2012 2 comments

While learning English is important, must we develop bhakti and loyalty to English?

T

he Anglo-Saxon Bloc (Britain, America, Australia, Canada) have been the dominant power for the last 200 years. Behind the rise of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc was India’s traditional gunpowder production system – the world’s largest gunpowder manufactory system. The Anglo-Saxon position has been challenged by France, Germany, Soviet Union – and now China proposes to do the same.

In such a situation, learning English is important. This is something that India has done – but in some parts of the Indian Mind, there is bhakti, even loyalty to the English – and their empty ‘heritage’.

Wonder why Indi'a English-using elites so love the Raj?  |  Old cartoon by Mario Miranda on the Bombay to Mumbai makeover in Mumbai Mirror published on December 15, 2012 again.

Wonder why Indi’a English-using elites so love the Raj? | Old cartoon by Mario Miranda on the Bombay to Mumbai makeover in Mumbai Mirror published on December 15, 2012 again.

Back from Mumbai’s (which I always prefer to call Bombay) literary carnival, I have trouble with my hearing. There’s Axl Rose’s growling vocals in my left ear, Anita Desai’s gentle, precise whispers in my right.

In my admittedly warped book lover’s memory, Bombay had always been as much a city of books as of film. Friends who were writers themselves – Jerry Pinto, Naresh Fernandes – took me around the city’s bookstores on my first few visits to Bombay.

Bombay used to have a formidable set of bookstores — Strand, ruled by the intelligent taste of the late T N Shanbhag; Lotus Book House (above that petrol pump in Bandra), which had an unmatched selection of arthouse and aantel books; and Smoker’s Corner, a cross between bookstore and lending library.

The last few years were dark ones for Bombay’s bookstores. The 525 bookstores listed by TISS sounds like a healthy number, but it’s misleading — many of those “bookstores” are stationery shops, or textbook specialists who carry either no fiction or limited quantities of fiction. The chain bookstores are depressing places — you expect them to be commercial, but they are dully, boringly commercial, stocking only the most conservative of bestsellers. Lotus closed down in the mid-2000s; Strand and Smoker’s Corner remain, but Strand doesn’t have the range it once did.

The author Ann Patchett started her own large independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville some years ago. She built it to recreate the stores that she missed, where “the people who worked there remembered who you were and what you read, even if you were 10”. In an essay for The Atlantic, she defined the kind of bookstore she wanted: “…One that valued books and readers above muffins and adorable plastic watering cans, a store that recognised it could not possibly stock every single book that every single person might be looking for, and so stocked the books the staff had read and liked and could recommend.”

Bombay has a bookstore like that — Kitabkhana in Fort runs according to the Patchett Principle. Like her store, it also functions as a community centre, a place where people will bring their children for book readings, and where authors can do their readings in the pleasant, cosy company of books. If you could combine the two and bring Kitabkhana to Mehboob Studios, where the literary carnival is held, you’d have the best of both worlds.

via Nilanjana S Roy: Cappuccino festivals.

South Korea Space Program: Latest Launch Cancelled Minutes Before Schedule

November 30, 2012 3 comments

Industrial development as much about technology denial and politics as business considerations. Take S Korea’s space program. for instance.

Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 at the Naro Space Center launch pad in Goheung, South Korea,Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. South Korea on Thursday cancelled the launch of its first satellite into orbit from its own soil. | Image by Yonhap, Shin Jun-hee/ Associated Press -

Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 at the Naro Space Center launch pad in Goheung, South Korea,Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. South Korea on Thursday cancelled the launch of its first satellite into orbit from its own soil. | Image by Yonhap, Shin Jun-hee/ Associated Press –

South Korea on Thursday scrapped an attempt to fire its first satellite into orbit from its own soil amid speculation that North Korea was preparing to fire its own long-range rocket.

Scientists in South Korea cited technical problems with the rocket’s flight control system. It’s the second time in a month that Seoul has been forced to cancel a launch at the last minute as it attempts to join an elite group of nations that have launched satellites from their own land.

But it is North Korea’s rocket program that has raised worry in recent days. Two South Korean officials said Thursday that there are signs of preparations at a North Korean rocket site on the northwest coast.

A North Korean long-range rocket broke apart shortly after liftoff in April, but the attempt drew United Nations condemnation and worsened already tense relations between the Koreas.

Washington and Seoul say Pyongyang uses such rocket launches to develop missiles that could target the United States. Technology employed in scientific rocket launches can be easily converted into use for missiles.

North Korea says its launch attempts are part of a peaceful space program and are meant to put satellites into orbit.

South Korea has launched domestically-made satellites aboard foreign-made rockets from other countries since 1992.

South Korea’s 142-ton Naro’s first stage is built by Russia. Its South Korean-made second stage is meant to release a scientific satellite once it reaches orbit.

via North Korea rocket launch speculation overshadows cancelled South Korean satellite launch – The Washington Post.

I am a little curious.

Why is South Korea, a country in the US sphere of influence, chasing Russia for this technology? Could this technology not be developed in collaboration with the West. There are no sanctions by the West on South Korea.

S Korea’s space program also proves that probably alliances and diplomacy count for as much as industrial depth and capacity. Korea’s industry depth is definitely greater than India’s – yet it is struggling in its space program. Also makes one understand what Indian scientists and diplomats have managed with years of sanctions by the US.

Seoul wants to make another attempt to send the satellite into space between November 9 and 24 after last month’s rocket launch was cancelled because of a defective part.

“We’ve been asking Russia to give a green light at the earliest possible date, but we don’t know when we will have the parts,” Kim Yeon-Hak, a deputy director at the science ministry, told AFP.

The October 26 launch was cancelled after engineers detected a broken rubber seal in the connector between the launch pad and the rocket’s first stage.

Kim Seung-Jo, president of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, said the parts must arrive no later than Wednesday if the rocket is to be launched on or before November 24.

After two failures in 2009 and 2010, the upcoming exercise is considered crucial for South Korea’s efforts to join an elite space club that includes China, Japan and India.

It will take at least 10 days after the parts arrive to refit the rocket and put it back on the launch pad on the south coast, Kim Seung-Jo said Monday.

Should the launch be put off again, South Korea would reset the period through consultations with international space agencies, he said. Dates for the launch period are conveyed to international agencies to minimise risks to ships and aircraft that could pass near the flight path.

The 140-tonne Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) has a first stage manufactured by Russia and a solid-fuel second stage built by South Korea. The technical problem that aborted last month’s launch was not described as serious but the damaged rubber seal was sent back to its Russian manufacturer for inspections.

After two failures in 2009 and 2010, the upcoming exercise is considered crucial for South Korea’s efforts to join an elite space club that includes Asian powers China, Japan and India.

In 2009 the rocket achieved orbit but faulty release mechanisms on the second stage prevented proper deployment of the satellite. The 2010 effort saw the rocket explode two minutes into its flight, with both Russia and South Korea blaming each other.

South Korea is a late entrant into the world of space technology and is eager to get its commercial launch programme up and running.

via S.Korea urges Russia to send rocket parts swiftly.


The Future Of War Is Bright

November 27, 2012 3 comments

Does war and mass destruction have a future? 500 years of war, genocide by the West will continue – unless the West is disarmed.

The scramble for Africa in the closing years of 19th century was a disaster for Africa  |  Cartoon by Edward Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) on The Rhodes Colossus: Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes, after he announced plans for a telegraph line and railroad from Cape Town to Cairo. on 10 December 1892 in Punch

The scramble for Africa in the closing years of 19th century was a disaster for Africa | Cartoon by Edward Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) on The Rhodes Colossus: Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes, after he announced plans for a telegraph line and railroad from Cape Town to Cairo. on 10 December 1892 in Punch

Propaganda

False ideas.

Academia floats. Media promotes.

Take this study by Norwegian University (@UniOslo) on the future of war.

It is now 25 years since Africa’s population surpassed that of China and India: it now stands at 2.8 billion.

This mix of futurology and fiction is one of the possible answers to what the world will look like in 2050. Part of the reason that future wars in now relatively peaceful countries such as Mozambique – whose civil war is now 30 years in the past – and Tanzania is the contention that war itself is going to become far less common.

Havard Hegre, a professor in the department of Political Science at the University of Oslo, is the latest academic to devise a statistical model capable of reaching into the future and telling us what is likely to happen next. His study, in collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo, claims that in five years’ time India, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Burma will be at the greatest risk of conflict, while in 40 years, it will be China, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

For the purpose of the model, war is defined as being between governments and political organisations that use violence and in which at least 25 people die.

“The number of conflicts is falling,” the professor observes. “We expect this fall to continue. We predict a steady fall in the number of conflicts in the next 40 years. Conflicts that involve a high degree of violence, such as Syria, are becoming increasingly rare.”

In other words, the number of wars will halve. In 2009, some 15 per cent of the world’s countries were suffering from armed conflicts. That proportion will fall to 7 per cent midway through this century, according to the Norwegian researchers’ predictions. At its core, the study has taken a history of global conflicts over the last 40 years and added United Nations predictions for key indicators such as infant mortality rates and population structures up to 2050 to data on probable education rates.

His conflict model shows the combination of higher education, lower infant mortality, smaller youth cohorts, and lower population growth are a few of the reasons why the world can expect a more peaceful future. The population is expected to grow, but at a slower pace than today, and the proportion of young people will decrease in most countries, with the exception of African ones.

Unfortunately, the model has already had to be tweaked to take account of the Arab Spring and renewed Israeli-Palestinian tensions. The authors admitted that since the first findings of the model were published in 2009, conflicts in the Middle East had weakened the clear correlation between socio-economic development and the absence of civil war, while the fighting in Syria and Libya had shown that “we also have to include democratisation processes in the model”.

via The future of war is looking bleak – World Politics – World – The Independent.

Wrong

2050 projections based on blinkered studies. Factually wrong.

Africa’s population after the end of WWII, in 1950 was estimated at 22 crores (220 million) – and is now at about 110 crores (1100 million). Can it be 2.8 billion ?(280 cr.; 2800 million). Even by 2050? Unless external meddling is stopped?

For the 200 years of the British Raj in India, population in India grew at its slowest pace, as per historical estimates.

Africa suffered more.

On January 25, 1957, Kashmir was merged with India, ignoring a UN ruling. Harold Macmillan, Selwyn Lloyd, Richard Austen Butler hectoring Nehru on Kashmir. Dag is Dag Hammersjold, the UN Secretary General. | Cartoonist: Michael Cummings in Daily Express, 28 Jan 1957; source & courtesy – cartoons.ac.uk

On January 25, 1957, Kashmir was merged with India, ignoring a UN ruling. Harold Macmillan, Selwyn Lloyd, Richard Austen Butler hectoring Nehru on Kashmir. Dag is Dag Hammersjold, the UN Secretary General. | Cartoonist: Michael Cummings in Daily Express, 28 Jan 1957; source & courtesy – cartoons.ac.uk

Wronger

Population decline of Africa was a direct result of slavery and colonialism.

Colonialism in Africa was dismantled over thirty years (1947-1977) after India – a process in which India’s foreign policy played no small role. Seeing colonialism anywhere as a threat to India, India’s foreign policy in the first 25 years concentrated more on global issues than on India’s own interests. Without economic or military might, India spoke on world stages – and colonial powers listened.

With great resentment.

Under Nehru's Foreign Policy, India's voice was heard by super-powers, on the global stage. Even though India was militarily and economically weak. This cartoon from a British magazine shows Nehru's position on Suez rankled in Britain. Kashmir was a part of India - and Suez was NOT a part of Britain, but a part of Egypt. (Nehru - on Kashmir - On Suez; artist: Ronald Searle. Published in Punch Magazine 23 January 1957. Cartoon source and courtesy - punchcartoons.com).

Under Nehru’s Foreign Policy, India’s voice was heard by super-powers, on the global stage. Even though India was militarily and economically weak. This cartoon from a British magazine shows Nehru’s position on Suez rankled in Britain. Kashmir was a part of India – and Suez was NOT a part of Britain, but a part of Egypt. (Nehru – on Kashmir – On Suez; artist: Ronald Searle. Published in Punch Magazine 23 January 1957. Cartoon source and courtesy – punchcartoons.com).

Wrongest

War is probably decreasing because war mongers in the West no longer have the capacity, due ageing population and economic decline at home.

No less significant is the fact that resistant societies have found new ways to wage war. Libya is the most recent example.

In Africa.

The extract above interestingly does not mention colonialism, missionary objectives or Pax Americana as a cause but blames people for being born – through concepts like population control.

Dubious studies by people with doubtful intentions.


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