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HOW TO MEET THE CHALLENGES IN NEPAL

geopolitics VOL II, ISSUE V, OCTOBER 2011 n ` 100

DEFENCE n DIPLOMACY n SECURITY

THE NUCLEAR ODYSSEY

For overall national security India’s affair with nuclear power appears long lasting

AUGMENTING

NAVAL POWER THE END OF

MiG ROMANCE THE NEED OF CREDIBLE

INTELLIGENCE


DEFENSE AND SECURITY

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COVER STORY (P48)

India’s Nuclear Dilemma Accidents like the one at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will not deter India from expanding its nuclear power capability.

PANORAMA (P10)

FOCUS (P18)

LIBYA’S MISSING WEAPONS

DRAGON’S NEW STEED

The sophistication and vast size of Libya’s military hardware that has been ransacked from its warehouses is giving security experts nightmares.

China’s new aircraft carrier and plans for others put its robust military modernisation campaign and technological prowess on the centre stage yet again.

SPOTLIGHT (P12)

DEF BIZ (P28)

TERROR KINGPIN’S END READY FOR TAKEOFF Ilyas Kashmiri’s targeted death came not by the Special Forces’ bullets, but with cutting-edge drone technology driven by hard core intelligence

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Sikorsky is offering India the latest technology in its arsenal to meet Indian Staff Quality Requirements.

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INTERNAL SECURITY (P62)

COUNTERING TERROR Counter-terrorism must be detached from law and order and be part of a dedicated ministry, law and courts. It is high time India got a real anti-terror structure in place.

October 2011


Photo Courtesy: ITBP

POWER PROJECTION (P30)

COUNTER-BATTERY FIRE (P36)

ITBP RESTRUCTURE ON (P58)

PITFALLS OF POWER SHARING (P74)

The Indian Navy is keen to acquire more Landing Platform Docks as these are extremely significant in exerting influence in the Indian Ocean region.

India’s artillery procurement programme seems to be stuck yet again in legal wrangles, putting at risk the future of the artillery units in the Indian Army.

Indo-Tibet Border Police is being restructured to increase efficiency and solve the institutional problems emerging from its rapid expansion.

The success of the Maoists, who now head the new Government in Nepal, depends on their capacity and desire to share power with other major political forces.

SPECIAL REPORT (P42) FINAL TOUCHDOWN Shot down by the media as a flying coffin, the MiG-21 was a remarkable aircraft when it first entered service with the Indian Air Force.

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Consulting Editor

SAURAV JHA

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STRATEGIC PARTNERS Editor-in-Chief

EVEN AS INDIA AND GERMANY FACE

K SRINIVASAN

CRITICAL CHALLENGES, AN EXCITING

Editor

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FUTURE AWAITS THE TWO NATIONS IF

Managing Editor

THEY WORK TOGETHER AND CONVERT

TIRTHANKAR GHOSH Assistant Editor

JUSTIN C MURIK

THOSE CHALLENGES INTO

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OPPORTUNITIES.

ASHOK KUMAR

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Conceptualised and designed by Newsline Publications Pvt. Ltd., from D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin (East), New Delhi -110 013, Tel: +91-11-41033381-82 for NEWSEYE MEDIA PVT. LTD. All information in GEOPOLITICS is derived from sources we consider reliable. It is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. Opinions/views expressed by third parties in abstract or in interviews are not necessarily shared by us. Material appearing in the magazine cannot be reproduced in whole or in part(s) without prior permission. The publisher assumes no responsibility for material lost or damaged in transit. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with all advertisements without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. The publisher will not be liable for any loss caused by any delay in publication, error or failure of advertisement to appear. Owned and published by K Srinivasan, 4C Pocket-IV, Mayur Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi-91 and printed by him at Nutech Photolithographers, B-240, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-I, New Delhi-110020. Readers are welcome to send their feedback at geopolitics@newsline.in. www.geopolitics.in

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HOW TO MEET THE CHALLENGES IN NEPAL

geopolitics VOL II, ISSUE V, OCTOBER 2011  ` 100

DEFENCE  DIPLOMACY  SECURITY

THE NUCLEAR ODYSSEY

For overall national security India’s affair with nuclear power appears long lasting

AUGMENTING

NAVAL POWER THE END OF

MiG ROMANCE THE NEED OF CREDIBLE

INTELLIGENCE

Cover Design: Ruchi Sinha

October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

LETTERS

LETTERS TO EDITOR

I

found your article “The Headley Effect” THE HEADLEY in the August EFFECT 2011 issue of M Geopolitics quite thought provoking! Indeed, the threat to our nuclear installations is real and any government that thinks otherwise is taking an avoidable risk. The fact that there has never been any conventional or un-conventional attack on India’s nuclear installations does not mean that it cannot happen in the future. Our government must undertake periodic reviews of the security setup keeping in mind the threat perception at that time. No government can afford a nuclear catastrophe, caused whether by sabotage, terrorism or natural disaster.

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GEOPOLIT

ICS

SPECIALREPO

RT

could es in Pakistan ns that his colleaguour nuclear facilities s recent confessio as to whether of such covert David Headley’ should raise alarms increased threats ons Pakistani terrorist facilities against nuclear installati attack India’s India protect its nuclear TANVI KULKARNI Can attacks, asks are secure. some extraordiAY 2011 saw — from Presinary events announcedent Obama’s bin Laden’s ment of Osama murder of Pakdeath to the It could be Saleem Shahzad. and istani journalist a month full of shockers to India rightly deemed specific consequence trial in the grippers. Of Hussein Rana with was the Tahawwur Rana was co-accused of Chicago court. Headley for the plotting was attacks but David Coleman terror the 2008 Mumbaicharge on 9 June. Besides that threads of acquitted of the ng the intertwining questioning re-establishi terrorism and nuclear arsePakistan and Pakistan’s of safety and security in Chicago beg a serious India’s nal, the disclosuressecurity of even a the reading into without of course making nuclear assets, it. from the brouhaha of poured in the deepAs revelations in Chicago, Rana trials and LeT with Tahawwur of the al-Qaeda s Intellirooted links and Inter-Servicethe loopso did Pakistan’s Army became clearer; security mechagence (ISI) and From intelligence holes in the US and India. within the told the nisms both HAIRS: Headley IN THE CROSS Iqbal asked him to NIA that Major of the Bhabha Atomic conduct a recce Centre Research www.geopolitic

s.in

August 2011

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Jamal Shaikh, Ahmedabad

A

s an erstwhile resident of Thailand, I find your article “People versus Power” (August issue) raising some pertinent issues concerning that country. I was living in Bangkok from much before when Khun Thaksin Shinawatra got elected in 2001 and saw him get upstaged in a coup-de-tat in 2006. First of all, calling the monarchy a military-bureaucracy nexus in Thai politics is highly objectionable. The monarchy in Thailand is highly revered by all political parties, the military and people at large and they do www.geopolitics.in

not play any role in local politics. The King is treated like a god by the people and hence the monarchy does not need to align itself with any party or institution. Having a truly functional democracy in that country is very difficult given the demography of the population and the involvement of the military in politics and bureaucracy. Just look at the number of Prime Ministers and the coups they have had in the last six decades. Most of the political parties were led by retired generals. Nearly 70 per cent of the population of Thailand lives in the countryside and can easily be swayed by populist policies of any political party. This is exactly what was done by Khun Thaksin Shinawatra, who was the richest man in Thailand when he entered politics. He was the first elected prime minister to complete his term of five years after getting elected in 2001. He was upstaged during his second term due to the rampant corruption that prevailed during his regime although his party held absolute majority in the Thai Parliament and was immensely popular due to its populist policies especially amongst the rural countryside in the North and North-East of Thailand. Khun Yingluck Shinawatra’s coming to power is just a repeat of the popular election promises and policies first propagated by her elder brother. She has learned this from her brother who is now going to rule the country by proxy till all the corruption cases against him are dropped and he is able to return to the country. Unfortunately, this just might lead to events of 2006 being repeated. Although the role of military in Thai politics has diminished over the last few years, it is still the most powerful institution in the country and always a threat to any

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democratically elected government, under the guise of ensuring good governance. To me, this is just halftime in the ongoing match between Yellow-shirts and Red-shirts. The second half could well be more acrimonious than the first half. Rohan Tandon, Mumbai

B

eing a regular reader of your magazine I have noticed that Geopolitics gives regular coverage to nuclear issues. In the previous two issues, you have covered three different dimensions on this topic. The terrorists eyeing nuclear instillations (The Headley Effect, August issue), Pakistan’s new nuclear missiles (New Toy in Pakistan’s Nuclear Shop, July issue) and the fissile material treaty (Uncertain FMCT, July issue) were very apt articles that covered the issues in a manner that the rest of the media should emulate. India as a nation has not been informed about the intricacies of the nuclear issue. It is high time the knowledge in this regard should be available in public domain like the leading nuclear nations of the western hemisphere. I appreciate the effort made by editorial team for this. Ramanjit Singh, Amritsar All Correspondence may be addressed to Editor, Geopolitics, D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin (East), New Delhi-13, OR mail to geopolitics@newsline.in. October 2011


{GOLDENEYE}

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Government kuch kare tab na! RK Singh, the ebullient and always on the ball Grih Sachiv has his job really cut out. With P Chidambaram literally ‘retired hurt’ the internal security mechanism is directionless and badly led. Singh is the man on the spot and he is one who has to keep the morale high.

Jago Bhaiyya The Sikkim earthquake woke the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) of Ministry of Defence (MoD) out of its slumber. The bombardment of press releases by Air Force, Army and the Ministry created an overflow in the inboxes of not only defence journalists, but also of MHA correspondents. The MoD has proven that information is what is essential at times of national crisis. But the Public Relation Office of CPOs are deliberately understaffed and underequipped by the MHA. Both the Air Force and the Army and the Defence PR were shooting off releases by the hour and there was deathly silence from the Home Ministry, which has several CPOs working on the ground. Moral of the story: Be silent or operate under the radar in normal times (as the MoD PR) is wont to do, but for heaven’s sake wake up when there is a crisis. Arre bhai, Grih Mantralaya PR is good, but jago bhaiyaa. Waqt nikla ja raha hai !

The last Home Secretary who went through a similar rough phase was probably Madhav Godbole who had another mercurial boss, the late Rajesh Pilot. Like Baba Ramdev, Godbole had to deal with the late Mahendra Singh Tikait. The feisty kisan neta parked himself at Boat Club for over ten days and life completely ground to a standstill. It was after Tikait & Company had finally been cleared out, that the government banned public rallies at the Boat Club and said that Ramlila Maidan was the chosen place. Later, even this was modified to allow public demonstrations only at the border near Burari. For the record, it was Singh who had arrested LK Advani during the famous Rath Yatra of 1989.Now 22 years, later he will confront another Rath Yatra, this time being flagged off by a Chief Minister who was at the time in the forefront in applauding Advani’s arrest. You now have 24-hour news channels, Twitter, Facebook and the world is watching you. At the time what Advani did as he was detained in a PSU guest house made it through the front pages next day. This time, every little event will have a life feed. The times are different and the heartaches and headaches for RK Singh are different. www.geopolitics.in

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October 2011


{GOLDENEYE}

g Getting nowhere! Last month two Central Police Organisations (CPOs), Indo-Tibet Border Police and Shashtra Seema Bal, got new DGs (Director-Generals) and the Border Security Force BSF will get a new Chief in the coming month. The reshuffle is going to mean a new direction for the CPOs. That’s the usual practice. Each DG comes with his own world view, his own view finder, his own foibles and phobias and his own to-do list. For the rest of the team, that would mean literally starting from ground zero. Now, with Home Minister P Chidambaram under immense pressure, there is a literal sense of drift in the corridors of North Block. The forces are worried that the incoming DG, who usually decides the way forward, can lead them nowhere if Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in disarray. One of the officers at HQ observed, “One DG will say we will go to Bombay, and his successor will say in middle of the way let’s go to Kolkata and in the end we reach nowhere. The more you change things, the more they remain same.”

Will they ever get a chance? Every year when DGs of CPOs retire, senior officers of the cadre have only one question to ask: Will we ever get to lead the force? The rule book says only Indian Police Service officers can lead the CPOs. The eternal debate on the merit of IPS officers leading these CPOs that require specialised training and experience begins once more. To placate senior cadre officers, the post of special DG and additional DGs have been created, but the tenure at these posts is short and with no power. The trend of cadre officers opting for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) has also become endemic. Recently, one Inspector General in a CPO took VRS to end his everyday frustration of working under a senior with no comparable knowledge and experience. The frustration is getting the better of subordinate officers and jawans, who want to leave the job bang after the mandatory 20 years of service. But the IPS, which is constantly at logger heads with the IAS, has no sympathy for these cadres. What the babus do to us, we do so down below to others!

Doorbin lagake dekho ji Cops in Delhi are now wary of every lamppost and every pillar. They can sense a camera around each one of them. After the High Court blasts, it seems that the entire country has woken up to the advantages of CCTVs and cameras and literally every high-value building across the country is going all out to acquire their own version of these snooping eyes. Not just that. Municipalities and civic bodies too want to be another London and make sure that your footprints are captured at least a 100 times between morning to evening as you go to work, shop or socialise. The only ones who seem to be miserable are the poor havildars and the subinspectors. Now every time someone tries to grease their palms, they have to make sure there is no eye in the sky. As one of them said: “Har khambe pe Anna hai.” www.geopolitics.in

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October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

PANORAMA

DEADLY WEAPONRY

UP FOR GRABS A large number of sophisticated weapons missing from Muammar Gaddafi’s huge weapons depots could lead to widespread insecurity across airways over Europe and Africa’s volatile northern region

T

he victory of the National Transitional Council (NTC) over the forces of Muammar Gaddafi has brought in new hope for the people of Libya. Across the Mediterranean, in capitals around Europe though, there is considerable anxiety over new threats emerging from the troubled nation arising from the thousands of weapons that have gone missing from the hundreds of caches across the country. As Gaddafi’s forces retreated, they left behind unguarded caches with hundreds of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), mortar shells, thousands of assault rifles

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Man-Portable AirDefence Systems

Anti-tank mines

LETHAL WEAPONS (Figures indicate numbers with the Libyan army before the Civil War) „ ANTI-TANK MISSILES „ MILAN: 400 (Country of origin: France/Germany) „ AT-3, AT-4, and AT-5: 620+ (Country of origin: Russia) „ ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES „SA-2, SA-3, SA-5, 9K34, 9K38: 25,000+ (Country of origin: Russia) „ SURFACE-TO-SURFACE MISSILES FROG-7 and SCUD-B: 416 missiles (Country of origin: Russia) (No reliable figures exist about how many weapons have gone missing)

www.geopolitics.in

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Assault Rifles

October 2011


g PANORAMA and millions of rounds of ammunition. The rebels helped themselves to the weapons in their war against the dictator, but the fear is that a large number of some of the more advanced armaments are now unaccounted for. Among the weaponry that has vanished without a trace are hundreds of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. Across the ransacked warehouses,

dozens of long skinny boxes for missiles have been found — all of them now empty. Codes on the boxes and packing slips inside indicate some were Russian-made anti-tank missiles, others held shoulderfired surface-to-air missiles to bring down airplanes, helicopters or drones. The most fearsome of the lot are the latest generation of anti-aircraft missiles — especially sophisticated shoulde-launched

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Rocket-Propelled Grenades

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C-4 explosive

Thousands of crates of ammunition

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October 2011

Researched by Justin C Murik

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Mortars

Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems, known as MANPADS, which can bring down civilian airliners. The missiles, mostly SA-7b Grails, as NATO refers to them, have been spotted in Libya before and are well known to have been sold to the government of Muammar Gaddafi. American officials estimate the Gaddafi regime hoarded as many as 25,000 such weapons in recent years. Many of the systems were reportedly older Russian SA-7 shouldered-fired units that date back to the 1970s, and some could be too old to operate. But arms experts have seen evidence that the Libyan regime had also amassed newer Russian SA-24 models that are typically mounted on vehicles and have a longer range in targeting aircraft. According to a US State Department official, several private weapons disposal contractors are working with Libyan officials to hunt for sensitive mobile anti-aircraft systems. But the international weapons disposal teams have only been able to locate and destroy a small number of MANPADS, land mines and other munitions in Libya. And it’s not just missing conventional weapons that are unaccounted for. Libyan rebel forces claim to have discovered banned chemical weapons stockpiles in southern desert areas captured from Gaddafi loyalists. In the city of Sabha, rows upon rows of drums, some marked radioactive, which the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed is yellowcake have been found. Refined to high levels of purity, yellowcake is the essential element of a nuclear bomb. For Libya, the greater danger is from explosives and weapons that could be used by insurgents. Mortars and tank shells could be used to make roadside or car bombs by anyone wishing to fight Libya’s new government. After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, arms depots across the country were plundered and some of the munitions were used in deadly attacks and bombings targeted at American troops and Iraqi civilians during the Iraqi insurgency. Since Gaddafi’s exit, American and UN officials have warned that the failure to control Libya’s weapons could destabilise the whole of North Africa. The sophistication and vast size of Libya’s military hardware — and the fact that it was widely distributed during the NATO airstrikes — complicates the effort to trace it.


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GEOPOLITICS

SPOTLIGHT

DID AMERICA “GERONIMO”

ILYAS KASHMIRI? TERROR KINGPIN: Ilyas Kashmiri (left), ex-HuJI Chief and a key contender for donning the al Qaeda mantle after the death of Osama bin Laden (right)

llyas Kashmiri’s death was orchestrated by the Americans with a deadly combination of intelligence, cutting-edge technology and arm-twisting of the ISI, writes RAJ MEHTA “For God and country — Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo!”

T

HIS IS how the tense, apex-level audience led by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, first heard the desperately awaited news at about 1.00 am, Pakistan Standard Time on May 2, 2011. America’s most sought-after enemy, Osama bin Laden (OBL) lay dead on his bedroom floor in his tan coloured shalwar kameez. This terse announcement was made (doubtless with an eye on history) by the US Navy’s Sea, Air and

www.geopolitics.in

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October 2011


g SPOTLIGHT Land (SEAL) team’s marine who had pumped two 5.56 laser-guided bullets — one through the chest; the other through the left eye of the perpetrator of 9/11 and the head of al Qaeda... After a pause, the SEAL confirmed the death sentence: “Geronimo E.K.I.A.” — “Enemy Killed In Action.” Crankshaft (the FBI codename for OBL) was dead.

using a lethal cocktail of intelligence, cutting-edge technology and arm-twisting of the ISI by the CIA. Naturally, there will be fallouts of his death on the key players in the South Asian region, especially the rapidly deteriorating relations between Pakistan and the USA, post the Geronimo watershed of May 2, 2011. The last, chilling indication of a relationship falling apart is the public US assertion on September 18 that the September 12, 2011 attack on its Kabul embassy by the Haqqani affiliated-with-Taliban faction was underwritten by the ISI; a charge that has left Pakistan red-faced with incoherent denials.

Geronimo is the name of an iconic 19th century Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache Indian Chieftain known for carrying out raids against Mexicans and Americans invading his tribal territories. The name, in translation, means “One who yawns”. Though America has come in for domestic flak for using Geronimo as a codeword for announcing the death of OBL, the fact remains that, in many ways, the legend remains intact. The follow-up death of a claimant to Osama’s legacy, Ilyas Kashmiri, is being attributed to the chain of events that commenced with Osama’s death. The belief in intelligence circles is that the United States did a “Geronimo” on the street-smart, canny and dangerous Ilyas Kashmiri; not by using Special Forces, but by cutting-edge drone technology driven by hard-core intelligence. Ilyas Kashmiri’s “signature” death by drone attack was engineered by the US

ILYAS KASHMIRI AND HIS GROWTH AS A TERRORIST LEADER Ilyas hailed from Mirpur, in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). He joined the elite Pakistani Special Service Group (SSG), taking part in the Soviet-Afghan War during which he lost an eye and index finger. During the mid-1990s, Kashmiri was captured near Poonch by the Indian Army and jailed for two years before escaping. Kashmiri was involved in several trans-border operations in the Poonch area in India. On February 26, 2000, he is reported to have decapitated an Indian soldier and was reportedly awarded `1,00,000 by the then Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf, for this gory feat. But, his honeymoon with the Pakistan Army did not last long. After the creation of Jaish-e-Muhammad ( JeM), the then ISI Chief wanted Ilyas to join and accept Maulana Masood Azhar as his leader, which Ilyas refused to do.

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The militants of JeM thereafter attacked Kashmiri in Kotli but he survived. His outfit was banned by Musharraf after 9/11. He was arrested after an attack on the life of Pervez Musharraf in December 2003 and tortured. The United Jihad Council led by Syed Salahuddin strongly protested, thus paving the way for his release in February 2004. Ilyas thereafter floated his own outfit, 313 Brigade, named after the 313 companions who fought with Prophet Mohammed during the Battle of Badr. Brigade 313 is al Qaeda’s military organisation in Pakistan, and is made up of Taliban and allied jihadist groups. It has carried out highprofile attacks and bombings inside


g SPOTLIGHT Pakistan, including multiple assassination attempts on former President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Gilani and attacks on Pakistan’s military and intelligence services, including on Army GHQ in Rawalpindi in December 2009. Ilyas attracted many former Pakistan Army officers into his Brigade. One was ex-SSG Major Haroon Ashique, who worked with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander, Zaki ur-Rahman Lakhvi; the man who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attack. GLOBAL TERRORIST On August 6, 2010, the United States labelled Kashmiri a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” under Executive Order 13224, while the United Nations added him and his group HuJI to its blacklist established under UN Security Council Resolution 1267. In January 2010, a US federal grand jury indicted Kashmiri for plotting to attack the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. THE SALEEM SHAHZAD CONNECTION In a startling, extremely well-documented, cohesive and researched article for the New Yorker published on September 13, 2011, (The Journalist and the Spies: The murder of a reporter who exposed Pakistan’s secrets) Pulitzer Prize awardwinning journalist Dexter Filkins reports that the body of Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist known for his exposes on the Pakistani military; especially his latest

one on the terrorist attack on Mehran Naval Base, Karachi, was found on May 30, 2011, along the Upper Jhelum Canal. He had been presumably tortured by Pakistani ISI. On May 22, 2011, the terrorist organisation Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed that it had attacked the Mehran base. It had destroyed a helicopter and two out of Pakistan Navy’s four P-3C Orion aircraft equipped with Hawkeye 2000 AEW systems forming the core of Pakistan’s early warning system. Filkins said in his article that Shahzad, a Mujahir, wrote a sensational story for Asia Times Online, the Thailand-based website that employed him, saying that the attack on the Mehran base had been carried out by al Qaeda. MARTYR FOR THE TRUTH: Key information about Kashmiri is thought to have been garnered from the phone of slain journalist Saleem Shahzad (below)

He said that the Mehran assault had been intended to punish the military for having conducted “massive internal crackdowns on al Qaeda affiliates within the Navy”. He further said that it

was an inside job and that the military had links with the al Qaeda. The Mehran article was Shahzad’s biggest provocation to expose the military and its insidious terrorist connections and led directly to his death. Filkins has said “...Reliable intelligence indicates that the order to kill Shahzad came from a senior officer on General Kiyani’s staff. The officer made it clear that he was speaking on behalf of Kiyani himself.” Noting that Kashmiri was killed four days after Shahzad’s body was found, the article suggests that Pak intelligence agencies tortured the journalist to get information on the whereabouts of the terrorist, which was passed on to the US, presumably to once again get on their right side after the OBL fiasco. Some of the intelligence provided could have been gleaned from the journalist’s cell phone, which had recorded 258 calls exchanged with Ilyas Kashmiri. DEATH OF ILYAS KASHMIRI Executing a brilliantly orchestrated and executed intelligence plan fuelled by intelligence inputs accessed from OBL’s mansion; Shahzad’s torture by the ISI and his cell phone records; a “signature” US Predator drone attack on June 3, 2011, targeted a compound in the Ghwakhwa area of South Waziristan. Nine militants, including Ilyas Kashmiri were reportedly killed. The drone fired four missiles in ripples of two. A lethal combination of cutting-edge face-recognition technology, local intelligence by moles and an extraordinary tie-up

THE PREDATOR MQ-9 DRONE: A STEALTHY AERIAL HUNTER-KILLER PLATFORM

THE GENERAL Atomics MQ-9 (the alphabet M stands for Multipurpose) Reaper, originally called the Predator B, is an American cutting-edge drone or www.geopolitics.in

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV ), capable of remote-controlled or autonomous flight operations. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer drone designed for long

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endurance, high-altitude surveillance, having graduated from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles to a true hunter-killer role. General Atomics began development of the Reaper with the “Predator B-001”, a proof-of-concept aircraft, which first flew on February 2, 2001. Today, the aircraft has an 84-foot (25.6 m) wingspan and a takeoff weight of about 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg). This variant has a payload capacity of 1,360 kg, a maximum ceiling of 52,000 feet (15.8 km), and an endurance of 36 hours. Operators, stationed at bases in mainland USA can hunt for targets and October 2011


g SPOTLIGHT between the US Joint Special Operations Centre ( JSOC), US Army in Af-Pak, CIA and ISI leaks appears to have engineered the killings. Equally important was the apex US planners’ decision to keep Pakistani intelligence out-of-the-loop being “untrustworthy even for a nano second”. Qari Muhammad Idrees, a close aide of Kashmiri and HuJI spokesman Abu Hanzla Kashir told Dawn that Kashmiri, along with other companions, was martyred in an American drone strike on June 3, 2011, at 11:15 PM. FALLOUTS OF THE DEATH OF ILYAS KASHMIRI ON REGIONAL PLAYERS ON USA/ISAF ¾ USA has realised that the counter-terrorism campaign, favoured by Vice President Joe Biden has grossly outperformed the troop-intensive counterinsurgency campaign favoured by exDefence Secretary Robert Gates and Gen Petraeus, now Director CIA. By implication, as US/IRAF forces wind down, more killings will be done using hi-tech drone attacks rather than by brute physical force, resulting in lesser body-bags; a most welcome development. This development also indicates the military “coming of age” of President Barack Obama and bodes well for his 2012 Presidential re-election chances.

and can possibly lead the Taliban to negotiate withdrawal on terms favourable to the US/IRAF combine. ¾ The US relationship with Pakistan is in need for re-alignment after the OBL fiasco and the attack on the US embassy in Kabul. The Kashmiri killing, though significant, has clearly not done enough to trigger a strategic realignment. This does not bode well for Pakistan but provides grounds for USA and India to redefine and strengthen the Indo-US strategic relationship especially in Afghanistan.

¾ In 2009, US intelligence officials identified 30 top al Qaeda leaders in the AfPak region. Fifteen were taken out in 2010 and five this year. This has savagely set the al Qaeda and Taliban back

PAKISTAN ¾ Pervez Hoodbhoy, the much-quoted Pakistani analyst, has written that, after the Osama/Kashmiri killing, the Pakistani military displays “diminished moral power and authority and absence of charismatic leadership”. ¾ The US suspects that the ISI is behind the September 12, 2011 attack on its embassy in Kabul, Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Cameron Munter, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, have, dispensing with diplomatic niceties, accused the ISI on September 17, 2011 that it is supporting the Haqqani faction, which has claimed responsibility ¾ Bruce Riedel, the former CIA officer, feels that helping the CIA kill Kashmiri makes sense as Kashmiri had become an enemy of the Pakistani state and taking him out had become inescapable.

observe terrain using a number of sensors, including a thermal camera that can read a license plate from three kilometers away. An operator’s command takes 1.2 seconds to reach the drone via satellite link. The MQ-9 is fitted with six munitions or fuel-carrying pylons. It carries a variety of weapons including the GBU-12 Pave way II laser-guided bomb, the AGM-114 Hellfire II air-toground missiles, the AIM-9 Sidewinder and recently, the GBU-38 JDAM ( Joint Direct Attack Munition). On October 28, 2007, the Air Force Times reported an MQ-9 had achieved its first “kill”, firing a Hellfire missile against Afghanistani insurgents in the Deh Rawood region of the mountainous Oruzgan province.

The typical MQ-9 system consists of multiple aircraft, ground control station, KU and C Band communications equipment and links, maintenance spares, and military (or contractor) personnel. The crew consists of a pilot and sensor operator. To meet combat requirements, the MQ-9 tailors its capabilities using mission kits of various combinations of weapons and sensors payloads. The Raytheon AN/AAS52 Multi-spectral Targeting Sensor (MTS) suite includes a color/monochrome daylight TV, infrared, and an image-intensified TV with laser rangefinder/target designator to designate targets for laser guided munitions. It is also believed to carry facerecognition capability; thus becoming

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¾ With the components of several nuclear warheads reportedly located near the Mehran Naval Base, an attack Kashmiri had orchestrated, the implication is clear: Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is not safe. This is one of the deductions that Shahzad had drawn after the Mehran attack — a conclusion that has the world and certainly India worried. INDIA ¾ The brilliant synergy in US command structure, inter-agency coordination, intelligence acquisition, collation, assessment, prescient contingency planning and clinically efficient endutilisation processes by the SEALS is something that India must urgently learn from. It must also look at quick acquisition of cutting-edge technology for conducting successful anti-terror operations. ¾ The fact is that the death of Kashmiri, who was India-centric, has brought about a sharp decline in cross-border terrorism in J&K. This is a refreshing development favouring the return of normalcy in J&K. It is also one major contributor to the fact that the Army’s efforts to accelerate normalcy using the “Heart is my Weapon” theme in Kashmir spearheaded by General Ata Hasnain, the Corps Commander, is getting a very favourable response, not just in J&K but, increasingly, in Pakistan as well. (The author is a retired Major General)

capable of carrying out “signature” or specific aerial killings. The target is lit up by laser or infra-red beams and all variables fed to create an accurate “firing” solution. This is followed by firing an array of munitions; the most lethal being the Hellfire missile, which has laser/infra-red sensors. The Synthetic Aperture Radar system enables GBU38 JDAM targeting and is capable of very fine resolution and has ground moving target indicator capability. As of July 2010, 38 Predators and Reapers had been lost during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. As of March, 2011, the U.S. Air Force had 48 Predator and Reaper combat air patrols flying in Iraq and Afghanistan compared with 18 in 2007. October 2011


gONLOOKER PUTIN ‘WILL NOT END RUSSIA IMPASSE’ FORMER USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev believes Russia risks ‘wasting’ six years if PM Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency in March as expected. In his first reaction to the news that Mr Putin would run for office in 2012, Mr Gorbachev said Russia was at an “impasse” and that he doubted Mr Putin could bring change. Putin told a ruling United Russia party congress recently that he would stand again. Current President Dmitry Medvedev may replace him as PM. Putin served two terms as President before Mr Medvedev took over in 2008. He was barred by the Constitution from running for a third consecutive term. Gorbachev hoped that Putin’s decision would provide an incentive for the leadership to get Russia out of the “impasse” it was in, but that was unlikely as it was he who had created the current situation.” We can assume that there will be no movement forward if there are no serious changes along the lines of a replacement of the entire system,” he wrote in the opposition

Vladimir Putin

Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which he partly owns. “Without this we could lose six years. I think that the future President needs to think about this very seriously.” Mr Putin’s decision means that he could in theory remain in office until 2024, prompting Novaya Gazeta to publish artists’ impressions of how he, Mr Medvedev and other senior politicians might look in that year. It portrayed them dressed in medal-festooned suits, recalling the elderly Soviet leadership which clung on to power in the early 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev

THE CHINA-PAK-SAUDI AXIS

PAKISTAN HAS hosted China’s top security official (Public Security

Minister Meng Jianzhu) and staged war games with Saudi Arabia in the second half of September, strengthening ties with two regional players as its relationship with the United States plummets over allegations that Islamabad supports insurgents in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik brushed aside questions on the timing of the visit. “Let’s not talk USA here. I am here with my friend China,” Malik told reporters. “China is always there for us in the most difficult moments.” His remarks echo an often-heard line here about Beijing’s attitude toward Islamabad, one that stands in contrast with what officials perceive as a fickle relationship with Washington. Prior to his meetings

in Pakistan, Meng said he would discuss ways to “contribute to national security and regional stability” with Pakistani leaders. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia stepped in to defuse the rising tension between Pakistan and the United States and in this connection, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha held crucial talks with senior Saudi intelligence officials. Some media reports also suggested that the ISI chief dashed to Saudi Arabia after meeting the Saudi intelligence officials at Chaklala Airbase, but a Pakistani security official denied that General Pasha had gone to Saudi Arabia. He did say, however, that Saudi Arabia had stepped in to defuse the mounting tension between Pakistan and the US as Riyadh felt that any confrontation between Islamabad and Washington would have disastrous consequences for the peace and stability of the whole region.

Meng Jianzhu and Rehman Malik

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October 2011


O N L O O K E R MULLEN’S MUSINGS CHAIRMAN OF the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen reflected on his tenure at the Carnegie Foundation — which has included the troop surge in Iraq, an overhaul of strategy in Afghanistan, the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, and the end of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy — just days before the end of his term. Afghanistan: Need to place more resources into Afghanistan, which he referred to as “the epicentre of terrorism”. He recalled the killing of Osama bin Laden as the single-best-day of his tenure. Regional Focus: The United States must continue to focus on Afghanistan to prevent it from deteriorating into a failed state, Mullen said, but a regional focus is also equally important. Events in Iran, Pakistan, India, China, and other neighbouring states cannot be separated from the US strategy in Afghanistan. Pakistan: The US relationship with Pakistan is critical, Mullen said, noting that it is important for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to disconnect from the Haqqani network and what he described as “the proxy war that they’re fighting”. Solving the complicated issue of Kashmir would also unlock many issues between India and Pakistan, he added. Assassination of former Afghan President Rabbani: Mullen argued that it was still too soon to predict what impact the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani would have on Afghanistan. However, he pointed out that Afghan and international leaders needed to act to ensure that this loss did not prove destabilising. Cyber Warfare: Mullen called cyber warfare a significant threat due to the

absence of boundaries and rules governing this realm. A structure may be needed to limit its danger in the near future, he added. Iran: Chairman Mullen also pointed out that the United States had not talked to Iran since 1979, adding that even at the height of the Cold War, the United States maintained links to the Soviet Union. This lack of communication, he warned, makes it “virtually assured” that there would be miscalculations in the region. Because Iran is pursuing a nuclear programme, a lack of communication is even more problematic, he argued. He suggested that it would be in the American national interest to resume contact with Tehran at either a political, diplomatic, or militaryto-military level.

Mike Mullen

CHINA’S RICHEST TO JOIN CENTRAL COMMITTEE IF LIANG WENGEN, 55, is chosen by the party’s 2012 Congress, he will be the first entrepreneur to join the body, which in effect rules the c o u n t r y. T h i s would be a hugely symbolic shift in the party’s view of business. Construction magnate

Mr Liang topped both the Forbes and Hurun rich lists with a wealth of more than $9 billion. Media reports said he had completed a vetting procedure for the 300-strong body and was on track for approval by the Congress in October next year. China’s wealthy are increasingly being courted by the party, which only started allowing businessmen into its ranks a decade ago. Mr Liang’s company Sany, which manufactures cranes and excavators, has benefited in recent years from China’s building boom.

AN OFFER SYRIA SHOULDN’T HAVE REFUSED

Bashar Al Assad

THE RECENT Arab League plan for Syria was, perhaps, the best bet for Bashar Al Assad. But he has spurned it. Reports are that the League’s new secretary general, Nabil al-Arabi, who brought the initiative with him to Damascus in early September, was bluntly told it was not good. The Syrians apparently believed that the deal had been “approved” by the United States and blueprinted by Qatar’s Emir Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani, once a close friend of Damascus. It was rejected because of these connections, but many believe it was a deal that was a “win win” for everyone. It could have been a lifejacket for the nation that would end the deadlock between the government and demonstrations, which have continued non-stop, despite violence and the rising death toll, since mid-March. By snubbing it, the Syrians probably have lost a golden opportunity. Asia Times Online in a report on the deal said: “What they should have done is take it as it stands, then rebrand it as a Syrian initiative — regardless of the Arab League and Qatar — because it is a winwin formula both for the Syrian government and for the Syrian street. To quote the Godfather, it was an offer they shouldn’t have, rather than “couldn’t have refused”. The initiative had a few main points: ¾ “An immediate halt” to all violence against civilians, and ending all military operations in Syrian cities. ¾ Compensation for the families of those who suffered from violence, arrest and persecution since mid-March and for a general amnesty setting all political prisoners free, along with those who took part in anti-regime demonstrations over the past six months. ¾ The Syrian army would need to withdraw itself from “civil and political life”. ¾ “Declaration of principles” by the President, outlining the reforms he pledged in all three speeches since March.

Liang Wengen

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October 2011

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GEOPOLITICS

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FOCUS

DRAGON’S SEA-WARD GLARE W

HEN THE Varyag aircraft carrier of Ukrainian origin rolled out of China’s north-eastern Dalian port in August 2011, the debate surrounding China’s growing military might in the backdrop of its robust military modernisation campaign was centrestage yet again. In a very carefully drafted statement to announce the arrival of China’s first aircraft carrier, Chinese Defence Ministry stated that the brief initial sea trial conducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy was ‘successful’ with the carrier returning to the port following completion of the trial. Beijing appears to have made a conscious attempt to project the aircraft carrier as a means to accomplish “scientific research, experiment and training,” as stated by the Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Geng Yansheng. It would only be pertinent to state here that the above-mentioned Chinese contention stands challenged by virtue of a column that appeared on a PLAN (PLA Navy) website, where the need to build an aircraft carrier was justified thus: “The reason why we built a carrier is to safeguard China’s maritime rights and interests more efficiently…Be more confident and have more determination to defend our territorial integrity after we have

carriers.” Notably, the statement cites that China’s territorial integrity shall be defended with “carriers”— bringing to the fore that apart from this lone Varyag carrier, two other Chinese-designed aircraft carriers presently under construction at

China’s first-ever aircraft carrier indicates its future intent and technological prowess, writes MONIKA CHANSORIA

shipyards in Shanghai need to be watched out for. General Luo Yuan, at China’s Academy of Military Sciences, argues for ‘at least three aircraft carriers in service by 2014’ to match plans by regional rivals including India and Japan.

THE DRAGON'S LEVIATHAN: Its new carrier has highlighted China’s objective of pursuing a naval air capability and simultaneously beefing up its blue-water fleet

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October 2011


g FOCUS Aircraft carriers and battle groups remain a critical prerequisite to aid in expeditionary operations or amphibious assaults on land via the sea. The primary role revolves around conduct of air operations against land targets followed by littoral manoeuvres using helicopter support in aid of amphibious or other air operations. In order to meet success in either of the scenarios, optimised access within the littoral environment is essential. This can be achieved by securing the sea lines of communication between support vessels and the battle area/theatre of operation at all given times. Moreover, in the plausible setting of less of boots on the ground, a higher degree of command and control always finds priority. It was widely speculated that China’s Varyag aircraft carrier might be unveiled around the same time as the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party — in July 2011. Nevertheless, this feat could not be achieved since the carrier’s auxiliary propulsion unit was not ready at that point in time. The Varyag carrier has certainly highlighted a primary Chinese objective of pursuing a naval air capabili-

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ty and simultaneously beefing up its blue-water fleet. China acquired the Soviet-era platform from Ukraine in 1998 without the engines, rudder, and much of the operating systems and began refitting of the vessel in 2002. PLA’s Chief of the General Staff, Chen Bingde, confirmed that China’s first carrier ‘is under construction’ in an interview to the Hong Kong Commercial Daily. It is noteworthy that the official statement regarding the Varyag carrier came in June 2011— just two months before its maiden voyage. Principally a weapon platform facilitator, the present version of the Varyag

THERE IS MOUNTING UNEASE ABOUT CHINA'S RAPIDLY EXPANDING MILITARY REACH AND PROWESS

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carrier boasts of engines, generators, defence systems, including the Type 1030 close-in weapon system and a close-in air defence system; the FL-3000N missile system was reportedly added to the vessel at Dalian. Besides, the carrier provides mobile air strips, quick turnaround capability and revival for enhanced aircraft reach. As designed, it could be armed with anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-toair missiles (vertical-launch systems), anti-submarine warfare rocket-launchers, fixed-wing aircraft (Shenyang J-15) and 24 helicopters, and a four-phase array radar that can detect sea-skimming enemy aircraft. While it has been argued that a lone Varyag carrier might just not be apposite for combat purposes, it remains amply clear that it certainly shall provide a platform for China to train personnel for future aircraft carrier operations including tasks such as operating and defending a carrier. Expectedly a question which follows is, whether the PLAN is accustomed to technology insofar as wielding sophisticated systems is concerned. As Beijing’s 2011 military budget grows by nearly 13 per cent to $ 91.7 billion, the PLA’s active promotion of transition in military training has been underscored in the latest official 2010 White Paper on National Defence. The PLA has intensified joint training of task formations in complex electromagnetic environments resulting in a transition from training in conditions of mechanisation to training in conditions of ‘informationisation’. For this, the PLA is intensifying training in operating command information systems and ‘informationised’ weaponry and equipment to accomplish its missions in maintaining maritime, space and electromagnetic space security. The Varyag carrier will prove instrumental in carrying forward the new “historic missions” for the Chinese armed forces, as put forth by President Hu Jintao when he took over as Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in December 2004. At a plenary meeting of the PLA delegation to the ongoing annual session of the 10th National People’s Congress (NPC), Hu asserted: “The military should correctly understand the situation and resolutely perform the military’s historical mission in the new century and the new development stage.” Hu further declared: “We shall step up preparations for possible military struggle and October 2011


g FOCUS

STOKING STRATEGIC ANXIETIES: Called Uotsuri by the Japanese and Diaoyu by the Chinese, the tiny islands are a great source of friction between Tokyo and Beijing

enhance our capabilities to cope with crises, safeguard peace, prevent wars and win the wars, if any.” It needs to be clarified here that these missions manifest in the form of greater scientific development within the military and possession of the first aircraft carrier is definitely a key step in the said direction. Furthermore, by proving to be a future indicator towards a two-pronged Chinese strategy, the Varyag carrier will be influential in securing the energy hub routes. Nearly 80 per cent of China’s trade is carried through ships, given that China is a net importer of oil and gas mostly coming in from West Asia and Africa. Securing sea lanes of communication, stretching from the Straits of Hormuz through till the Straits of Malacca, remains a key objective for the PLAN. From an Indian standpoint, the deep-sea port at Makran Coast (Gwadar) in Pakistan is a case in sight. Further, via the territory of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), up to Xinjiang, the energy flow sees a significant cut in freight costs as well as supply time. Additionally, New Delhi is keenly observing Chinese involvement as it financed 85 per cent of the $1.5 billion deep-water seaport and bunkering facility in the recently www.geopolitics.in

completed Phase I of Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Located 10 nautical miles from one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Hambantota port will be instrumental for China in providing greater access to the sea-lanes passing through the northern Indian Ocean and Straits of Malacca. The second driver of the twin-pronged strategy entails augmenting power projection in the region given China’s maritime disputes in east and Southeast Asia. Once it has power projection capabilities in place, there could be an added degree of credence to Beijing’s efforts towards reinforcing maritime claims for the shoals, islands and islets in the South China Sea, covering substantial oil and gas reserves. The mineral and energy-rich stretches, particularly the Spratly Islands, are a bone of contention among the littoral states in the South China Sea-critically alarmed by the growing Chinese naval capabilities. In this reference, the Varyag carrier makes for a futuristic technology demonstrator, lucidly pointing towards the path of China’s technological and scientific prowess. Questioning China’s long-term ambitions, Japan’s latest 2011 Annual Defence White Papers states, “China’s

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future actions are worrisome… interpreted as ‘overbearing ways’ to address its clashing interests with neighbouring countries, including Japan”. Japanese Kyodo News Agency further cited the white paper, “… attention needs to be paid to Chinese military’s recent maritime activities, including operations by naval vessels near Japan and development of bases for these activities.” Mounting Chinese presence in East China includes a recent incident in which a Chinese marine research vessel was spotted near Uotsuri Island in the islet group, which China claims. China has chosen to time the announcements relating to the technological leaps that it has undertaken in the recent past including the fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter, which coincided with the visit of US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. The announcement about the Varyag aircraft carrier provided a mirror vis-à-vis Chinese advances in the field of military hardware around the same time as US Vice President Joe Biden visited Beijing. Significantly, the Chinese media was packed with reports of the American aircraft carrier, USS George Washington, and its battle group conducting joint exercises with the navies of the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea. The official Xinhua News Agency ran commentaries citing an ‘organised regional pushback’ against China. There is a mounting sense of apprehension and unease especially among nations within Asia that with China’s rapidly expanding military reach and prowess, coupled with higher stages of economic growth, its intent to chip away at claims of other nations through mechanisms of coercive diplomacy will only receive persistence. A very relevant question in the foreseeable future is whether Beijing is keeping a wide array of options available, including that of military coercion following diplomacy, so as to press for politico-diplomatic advantage as it stands to resolve impending disputes in its favour while bargaining from a position of strength. China’s Varyag carrier will only add to that wherewithal once it is fully operational in approximately a year’s time. (The author is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi, where she heads the China-study project) October 2011


geopolitics

DEF BIZ

CAN INDIA HAVE ONE LIKE THIS?

For effective use of maritime power the Indian Navy needs more landing platform docks like never before


DEF BIZ

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LEADERSHIP CHANGE BEML AEROSPACE EYES OFFSET BUSINESS IN LOCKHEED MARTIN LOCKHEED MARTIN Aeronautics Company announced that Michael N Kelley would be Regional Market Director for South and Southeast Asia. In this capacity he will have business development responsibility for Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. He is expected to take complete responsibilities over the next few months before relocating to LM Aeronautics headquarters in December 2011. Michael Kelley spent six years in Lockheed Martin’s New Delhi office where he led the 2008 sale of C-130J aircraft to the Indian Air Force, the first major Indo-US defence deal in nearly 50 years. He also played a major role in LM’s campaign for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. Wing Commander (Retired) Rajesh K Dhingra will lead the LM Aeronautics business development in India. He will look after additional sales of C-130J aircraft and derivatives, unmanned air systems, and maritime surveillance aircraft. Dhingra has been with Lockheed Martin since April 2007.

Michael Kelley

Rajesh K Dhingra

HAL CLEARED FOR DISINVESTMENT

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BEML AEROSPACE, the aerospace division of BEML Ltd, is targeting the enormous windfall in aerospace offsets business. The company is looking for opportunities to work with civil and military manufacturers, who have offset to offer. In last Paris Air Show, BEML announced memorandum of understanding with Italy's Alenia Aeronautica SpA on developing a new basic trainer. To achieve this, BEML’s

aerospace will have 25-acre manufacturing facility at the Devanahalli aerospace special economic zone near Bengaluru with `455 crore investments. The board approved this investment on September 13. The facility will cater to manufacturing component and to assemble small planes. The division is expected to have turnover of `1,000 crore from the aerospace and offsets business by 2016-17.

PIPAVAV-MAZAGON DOCK DEAL ON HOLD THE DEFENCE MINISTRY has put the Mazagon Dock-Pipavav deal on hold. Defence Minister AK Antony, informed a consultative committee attached to the Ministry of the decision to put the deal on hold till a policy on joint ventures was put in place by the government. According to the Defence Minister: “The Ministry will study the complaints received from some private

shipyards regarding the joint venture. The issue needs to be fully examined and settled before any forward movement takes place on this front. The joint ventures must compete for contracts and should not get them on a nomination basis. We are treading on a new path and we would like to ensure that transparency is maintained at all levels.” MDL issued an expression of interest in March 2011 seeking strategic partnership with Indian private sector shipyards to meet the timelines for liquidating its order book of `1 lakh crore.

THE DEFENCE MINISTRY has cleared the sale of 10 per cent equity in state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), in order to infuse funds in the much-needed upgrade of the military aircraft manufacturer’s capabilities. HAL will become the third defence undertaking after Bharat Electricals Ltd and BEML to see disinvestment, with the need for funds overcoming government’s reluctance to dilute its holding in the strategically important company. Founded in 1964, HAL is one of Asia’s largest aerospace companies, involved in manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and related communication equipment, as well as operating airports. The decision comes on the back of

a Finance Ministry directive asking all ministries, including the Ministry Of Defence, to disinvest in profit-making PSUs. Reports said that the valuation of HAL was being worked out. The company has an annual sales turnover of `13,000 crore. After an evaluation of HAL, the proposal will go to the Department of Disinvestment, which will prepare a note for the final nod by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. The disinvestment will “reduce the government burden’’ for the proposed `20,000 crore modernisation of plants of the Bengaluru-headquartered HAL over the next decade, with the PSU slated to handle new programmes worth billions of dollars with foreign collaborators in the near future.

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October 2011


g SAAB UNVEILS RBS 70 NG SAM THE RBS 70 NG is the latest airdefence system from Swedish major Saab. With an integrated all-weather, all-target capability, Saab’s new RBS 70 NG Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) system has been developed for any combat situation. It has a new sighting system, improved precision and increased all-target capability from its predecessor RBS 70. The RBS 70 NG is a contender for procurement of Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) Manportable Air Defence (MANPAD) missile for the Indian Army. The missile has an integrated thermal imager and nightsight capability combine to provide true 24/7 performance. Three-dimensional target designation and automatic target detection improve reaction times, while the auto-tracker aids the missile operator during engagement, increasing hit probability throughout the missile range. According to Saab India Country Head, Inderjit Sial, “The RBS 70 NG is on offer to the Indian Army to fill a crucial need gap. The all-new RBS 70 NG VSHORAD system is a versatile battlefield game changer and will offer critical edge in the spectrum of deployment. We believe that the RBS 70 NG meets and exceeds the requirements of the Indian Army for a system that has multiple target seeking and

tracking capabilities, multi-launcher capability, ability to deploy from high mobility vehicles and ship and submarine naval vessels, ability to engage aerial targets by day and night and aerial target detection capability.” The RBS 70 NG can intercept and destroy complete air-and-ground threat, including long-range and close to ground. Everything from fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and helicopters down to

Director, Product Management, Saab. The RBS 70 NG has an effective intercept range of 8 km, with altitude coverage in excess of 5,000 m, even in all terrain and environment. RBS 70, the old missile was procured by 18 nations around the world with more than 1,600 systems and 17,000 missiles sold.

small targets such as cruise missiles, UAVs and armoured ground targets can be engaged. “The NG sight is software-based. New functions like the auto tracker and visual cueing have ultimately resulted in ease of use and increased precision for both small and large targets, even at maximum range,” explains Bill Forsberg,

INDIA, UK TIE UP FOR DEFENCE R&D INDIA AND United Kingdom signed a Letter of Arrangement (LoA) on September 16, 2011, to pursue collaborative Defence Research and Development Cooperation with UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). This agreement will facilitate the best use of respective research and technology development capabilities through joint projects, collaborative research and industry and academia participation. The LoA was signed in London by Dr VK Saraswat, Director-General Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India, and Professor Sir Mark Welland, Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), Ministry of Defence, United www.geopolitics.in

Kingdom. On the occasion, Sir Mark Welland said, “He knows that UK can look forward to a productive and valuable cooperation with our great allies in India for many years to come. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is a powerhouse of technology”. On his part Saraswat expressed hope that LOA will further strengthen the technical collaboration and mutual relations. The signing of LOA marks an important milestone in the technical collaboration between the two countries and a number of projects are being planned to commence in coming months.

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October 2011


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MMRCA TO BE FINALISED BY YEAR END

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is opening the commercial bids of the two shortlisted manufacturers of the MMRCA tender by the middle of October. Speaking on a CII seminar Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said: “We have a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council on October 7 where some of the issues are going to be discussed. Once those issued are cleared, hopefully by the

middle of month, we should be in a position to open the bids.” The IAF is in final stages of signing of the contract for MMRCA and it is expected that the contract will be awarded by the end of this year. ACM Browne further said, “Offsets for this programme amount to `20,000 crore plus and these are going to be in service for over a period of 13 years.”

ROLLS-ROYCE WINS COCHIN SHIPYARD CONTRACT ROLLS-ROYCE has won a contract from Cochin Shipyard to supply 60 water jets for 20 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard. The contract will involve the supply of Rolls-Royce Kamewa 71S3NP water jets (three per vessel), and associated equipment including a joystick control system which will enhance the manoeuvring capabilities of the vessels. The 50-metre-long vessels, which are currently under construction, will reach speeds of 33 knots and will operate in Indian coastal waters and around island territories. Their roles will include coastal patrolling, anti-smuggling missions, fisheries protection, as well as search-and-rescue duties. Water jets enable operation in shallow waters and offer higher speeds and better manoeuvrability than conventional propellers. Rolls-Royce has been supplying the Indian Coast Guard for 12 years, with 86 water jets already in service or on order. www.geopolitics.in

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SAAB, WIPRO SIGN AGREEMENT SWEDISH DEFENCE major Saab and Indian software services company Wipro have signed an agreement to jointly pursue opportunities for Active Protection System (APS) on the Indian market. Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence Systems, and Pratik Kumar, President, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, announced this at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEi) 2011 in London.

The joint venture will manufacture, deliver and market Saab’s entire suite of the Land Electronic Defence Systems (LEDS) in India. The Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) provides active protection to light and medium combat vehicles, as well as to main battle tanks against engagement by weapons such as the Rocket Propelled Grenades, anti-tank missiles, mortars and artillery shells. In this venture Saab will bring in its competence and technological knowhow and Wipro will support in aligning this to the Indian market need. The components will be developed, manufactured and systems integrated by Wipro to address the Indian market for land-based APS systems. There is also the possibility of Saab leveraging the Indian advantage to market these systems manufactured by Wipro internationally as well. May 2011 2010 October


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DEFBIZ

CAPABILITY WITHOUT A PERSPECTIVE

In the abscence of an official planning paper on national security, no one knows what capability the military must possess in the short, medium and long terms. The total system is ad hoc, argues MRINAL SUMAN

I

N COMMON usage, capability signifies an ability to perform specified actions. It is considered to be a sum total of potential, power, competence, skill and facility. Military capability means the ability of a military to perform designated defence-related functions to safeguard national security objectives. As national security objectives are influenced by changing geo-strategic environment and resultant perception of threats, military capability can neither be an absolute concept nor be inflexible in character. Although military capability is defined differently by most countries, its objective is always adversary-centric, i.e.

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domination of potential enemies. Britain describes it as ‘the ability to generate a desired operational outcome or effect, which can range from physical destruction of targets to actions aimed at influencing the intentions and behaviour of adversaries’. Military capability is an allencompassing concept that requires intelligent and meticulous configuration of force levels, equipment, doctrine, training, organisation, logistics, information technology, infrastructure and leadership for optimum effectiveness. As equipment is a key factor in building military capability, the primary purpose of every defence acquisition system is timely provision of required equipment to its

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armed forces. All other objectives are of secondary importance. ACQUISITION PROGRAMMES FLOW FROM CAPABILITY REQUIRED Procurement of equipment goes through two distinct phases: planning and acquisition. During the planning phase, equipment-related aspects of the Required Military Capability (RMC) are spelt out, gaps identified and plans made to cover them. A look at the procedure followed by all major countries testifies to the fact that defence acquisitions are never undertaken in a vacuum and have to follow the contours of RMC. In Britain, the complete process of capability planning is carried October 2011


g DEFBIZ out under the aegis of the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Equipment Capability). He acts as the main sponsor for planned military capability and is supported by Capability Planning Groups (CPGs) which bring together key stakeholders including the frontline military users. Acquisitions follow thereafter. The US follows a three-stage decisionmaking support system. At the outset, ‘Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Process’ is undertaken by the Department of Defense to establish policies and strategy; prioritise goals; and craft plans and programmes that satisfy the demands of the National Security Strategy. The second stage relates to the ‘Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System’ — the systematic method established by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for assessing gaps in military joint war-fighting capabilities and recommending solutions to resolve these gaps. The requirement generation system produces information for decision-makers on the projected mission needs of the military. These mission needs are defined in broad operational terms for requirements that develop into military’s operational parameters, resulting in new defence acquisition programmes. Finally, the Defence Acquisition System manages the process to acquire necessary equipment to fill the gaps. As per the German Defence Policy Guidelines of May 27, 2011, capabilities for future operations require regular modifications and upgrades of equipment in terms of quality and quantity. Four ‘Integrated Capability Analysis Working Boards’ are constituted under the Chief of Staff of Bundeswehr to analyse available and necessary Formulation of Perspective Plans: A Typical Flow Chart Analysis of Required Military Capability to spell out overall capability objectives Breakdown of overall capability objectives into subcapability goals for different areas/disciplines Translation of sub-capability goals into Required Equipment Profiles with timelines Appraisal of existing inventory against Required Equipment Profile to identify shortfalls and gaps Integration of all equipment gaps to develop commonality and avoid duplication of effort Preparation of perspective plans with broad performance contours of equipment required

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capabilities for the entire German armed forces. They deal with ‘Command and Control Capabilities’; ‘Intelligence and Reconnaissance Capabilities’; ‘Support/ Sustainability and Mobility Capability’; and ‘Effective Engagement and Survivability of Forces Capability’. Based on this comprehensive capability analysis, capability gaps are identified and solutions are investigated. For equipment and armaments, functional descriptions are prepared for those requirements that are essential for eliminating the deficit. THE INDIAN SCENARIO Prior to its break-up, the Soviet Union was the sole supplier of defence equipment to India. In the absence of any other source, India bought whatever was offered from the Soviet Union. At times, qualitative requirements were tailormade to match the characteristics of the equipment on offer. Although lacking in cutting-edge technology, Soviet equipment was sturdy and met Indian requirements satisfactorily. Further, equipment was sold to India on highly subsidised terms with facilities of deferred payment in rupees — an ideal arrangement during the period of foreign exchange shortage. As stated earlier, defence procurements during the Soviet-era were generally availability based and not need based. A major negative fallout of the arrangement was that Indian strategic planners never developed the culture of evolving long-term capability plans and identifying equipment needed to implement them. It was only after the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee that efforts were made to put a proper planning process in place. Presently, there are four major handicaps that afflict the Indian system. One, India has no national security objectives. Thus, defence planning is done on the basis of conjectures and suppositions. That is the reason why it lacks coherence. Two, the whole process is equipment centric and not mission oriented. Resultantly, the whole process of defence planning gets reduced to making shopping lists of military equipment. Three, there is no integrated functioning and little ‘jointness’ in the whole process. All Service Headquarters (SHQ) prepare their equipment lists in total isolation, without reference to the other services. Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) compiles the lists and evolves integrated perspective plans. Thus, the

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perspective plans are nothing more than a collection of wish lists for equipment submitted by the three SHQ. That is the reason why the perspective plans lack necessary sanctity and credibility. Finally, no long-term funding assurance is ever provided to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), with the result that the perspective plans remain provisional and conditional. The annual budget presented in the Parliament in February gives the first indication of the kitty being made available to MoD for the following financial year. Needless to say, any perspective plan that lacks committed financial support carries no weight. NEED FOR A RATIONAL SYSTEM It is high time the government took concrete steps to reform the system. To start with, it must formulate national security objectives to spell out its vision and lay down guidelines to protect India’s longterm interests and safeguard the core values enshrined in the Constitution. For necessary inviolability, the said policy directive must emanate from the highest political authority in the country, i.e. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Based on the above directive, MoD should evolve defence planning guidelines, laying down contours of military capability required in short, medium and long terms. Generalities and semantics must be avoided. The ‘guidelines’ must provide sufficient details to military planners to define military capability objectives. HQ IDS, in conjunction with the SHQ, should study and analyse the ‘guidelines’ to work out broad parameters of the draft RMC. As military capability is a complex and multi-faceted concept involving multiple disciplines and their intense interdependence, RMC should be broken down into different sub-capabilities for focused treatment. A continuous dialogue between different sub-capability groups and stakeholders will be necessary to resolve differences to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions. Thereafter, plans submitted by all sub-capability groups should be integrated in a seamless manner to evolve a comprehensive RMC plan with well spelt out milestones. Finalised the RMC plan, duly approved by MoD, should act as the principal policy document. It should provide detailed directions for undertaking measures under the following heads to achieve RMC:October 2011


g DEFBIZ Recommended System for Evolving Capability Plans

Planning Phase Precedes Acquisition Process

Receipt of Defence Planning Guidelines by Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff for formulating Required Military Capability

Stage 1 Cabinet Committee on Security Delineation of National Security Objectives, Strategy and Doctrine

Critical analysis of Required Military Capability and breakdown of total capability into Sub-Capability areas/disciplines

Ministry of Defence Issuance of Defence Planning Guidelines

Stage 4

Stage 5

Defence Acquisition Council Approval of LTIPP and SCAP Service Headquarters Preparation of Annual Acquisition Plan

Stage 6 Defence Acquisition Council Grant of Approval and Categorisation of Acquisition Proposals

Commencement of Acquisition Process

y y y y y

Force strength and structure. Operations and doctrine. Equipment. Training and support facilities. Logistics and infrastructure. Sub-groups should be constituted for each head by HQ IDS in conjunction with SHQ. Their task should entail the following steps:y Analysis of RMC as it relates to their area of study and converting the requirement into a template of comprehensive, well-structured and quantifiable imperatives. y Comparison of the above template with the existing and in-pipeline increments to identify gaps and deficiencies. y Evolution of short, medium and longterm plans to make up the deficiencies, keeping likely resource allocation in mind. As seen above and shown diagrammatically in Illustration 3, procurement of equipment goes through two distinct phases — planning and acquisition. During the planning phase, RMC is evolved, gaps in equipment inventory are identified and plans made to cover them. The equipment sub-group produces 15-year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP). It is essential that the equipment sub-group be broad based and well equipped to understand evolving technology complexities. Therefore, in addition to the services, it should consist of representatives of the Defence Research www.geopolitics.in

Constitution of Sub-Capability Groups for each areas/discipline Command & Control Group

Command & Control Group

Intelligence & Support

Intelligence & Support

Mobility & Survivability

Mobility & Survivability

Infrastructure Group

Infrastructure Group

Functional Sub-Capabilities

Stage 3 Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff Evolution of Required Military Capability, Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) & Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP)

Functional Sub-Capabilities

Planning Process

Stage 2

Study, analysis, synthesis and assimilation of reports received from all Sub-Capability Groups to identify critical capability gaps and evolution of 15-year Long-Term Capability Plan with duly-specified milestones for blocks of five-year phase in five major areas for capability enhancement

Force Strength Operations and and Structure Doctrine

and Development Organisation, the Quality Assurance Organisation and the Defence Finance. Experts and members of the industry should also be co-opted on ‘as required’ basis. Once LTIPP is ready, it should be debated at length in the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the overarching authority under the Defence Minister. Subsequently, LTIPP should be split into three fiveyear Services Capital Acquisition Plans (SCAP). Once approved by DAC, LTIPP and SCAP should become mother documents for acquisitions. Although periodic reviews are needed to cater for changing geo-strategic developments and resultant policy corrections, modifications to perspective plans should be carried out only after due diligence. Alteration of RMC must not result in unacceptable cost penalty and time delay. Every country expresses its aspirations through the delineation of national security objectives, strategy and doctrine, duly approved by the supreme political authority. Being one of the key instruments of the state policy, military must possess matching capability to support national aspirations. Military capability is a function of manpower, equipment, infrastructure, logistics, training and doctrine. These elements combine together to generate potential of a fighting force. Therefore, RMC is neither an imprecise attribute nor does it operate in a vacuum. It is a dynamic and evolving concept. As equipment is a crucial constituent of

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Equipment

Training and Support

Logistics and Infrastructure

military capability, equipment acquisition plans must be evolved assiduously. Propensity for buying the best available in the world market must be curbed. All procurements must be need based. It will be prudent to scrutinise every acquisition case against three questions — ‘Will the equipment contribute to RMC in the given time frame?’, ‘What are the alternatives available to achieve similar capability?’ and ‘Which alternative is most costeffective?’ Indian MoD and the services are often accused of buying military equipment without adequate planning. Critical deficiencies in artillery/air defence resources and continued neglect of infantry weapons are cited to highlight lopsided priorities. Further, it is alleged that the perspective plans lack consistency. They undergo changes with the changes in top brass. As the funds remain limited, revision of priorities results in abandonment of ongoing projects restricted, inevitably resulting in the wastage of time and resources invested. The government has constituted Naresh Chandra Committee to recommend reforms in Indian defence system. It must stress putting in place an institutionalised mechanism to ensure that defence acquisitions are undertaken as per well-evolved perspective plans to acquire Required Military Capability to fulfill national security objectives. (The writer is a retired Major General) October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

INTERVIEW

Photo: H.C.Tiwari

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation plans to pursue multiple opportunities in the Indian defence market, a strategy that could see the company actively targeting the country’s internal security set-up. For the armed forces, Sikorsky is offering the S-70B through the direct commercial sales route. Sikorsky has also bid for Indian Navy’s multi-role helicopter (MRH) programme. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA spoke to ARVIND WALIA, Sikorsky’s Managing Director for South Asia, to gauge the company’s plans in India

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October 2011


g “IT IS A COMPETITIVE WORLD...”

Q: Tell us about Sikorsky’s bid for the naval multirole helicopter (MRH) programme. Walia: We have on offer to the Indian Navy the naval variant of the Black Hawk family called the S-70 Bravo. This machine has recently been made available to the Singapore and Turkish navies. There are a number of navies across the world, which also fly this helicopter. We are negotiating for the flight evaluation trials to start by the end of September. Q: You recently won a Turkish contract against AugustaWestland. Will it have any impact on the Indian Navy’s MRH bid? Walia: They are two different platforms. It’s a competitive world and we are competing against AugustaWestland again for 16 helicopters. Ours is a machine, which has been in use for a number of years and it has proved itself for maritime usage. There are more than nine or ten countries that operate around 70 Black Hawks. We have a lot of history behind us. We are not new to naval operations or naval requirements. The US Navy is the proud owner of Sikorsky helicopters. May the best machine win! Q: What are the similarities between the SeaKing and the Sikorsky S-70B? Walia: The SeaKing was a Sikorsky machine produced under licence by Westland. So, there are similarities between the SeaKing and S-70B. The Black Hawk family is different in the technology that it uses. The SeaKing is an old machine and this (the S-70B) is a brand new helicopter. You cannot compare the two as of today, you cannot. Q: Can you tell us something about the stealth version of Black Hawk? Walia: I would not like to hazard a guess on what happened in Abbottabad. The only thing I can say is that it was a Sikorsky helicopter and that was an Army vehicle and not a maritime one. But the family is the same. Beyond that, we are not aware of anything. Sikorsky is known for its record of innovations, safety characteristics, performance, availability and reliability; I think it reinforces the culture that we have evolved into what we are over the years. www.geopolitics.in

Q: What are the major technological advancements being offered? Walia: What is being offered is the latest in technology. They have worked out their requirements. Now those Staff Quality Requirements (SQRs) are being met. We are offering all the technology they have asked for without reservations.

PROCEDURES MUST BE FOLLOWED AND IT SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT AND SUBJECT TO SCRUTINY Q: Recently the 100th MH-60 was delivered to the American armed forces. Are there any plans for upgradation of these helicopters? Walia: The innovations on these MH-60s are done as per the requirements of the US armed forces. So it becomes their Intellectual Property (IP). As and when they do have some new ideas, they are translated into technology and made available to them. Sikorsky has a special department called Sikorsky Innovations, which innovates constantly to translate those ideas into technology. We have our special projects, some which I’m sure you have heard of. So, we have the X2, which was test flown. It’s a helicopter’s helicopter, and not a heliplane like the (Eurocopter) X3 or the (Boeing) Osprey. Our X2 technology demonstrator is going to transform and revolutionise the vertical take-off philosophy in the years to come. The helicopter has already flown at 250 knots per hour. The demonstrator made its last flight on July 14, 2011, and is now being handed over to a museum in the United States. A prototype is being created for further development. Q: How do you see Indian small and medium enterprise as part of your supply chain? Walia: I know there is a lot of strength available within the country in terms of small and middle-level enterprises. We

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INTERVIEW

have very stringent quality processes and if they qualify, they get on board. Otherwise they are dropped. So they have to meet our strict quality processes and other requirements of supplyzero tolerance. We cannot have any tolerance or concessions for any of our suppliers. Once they qualify, they go through the rigours of meeting those very stringent standards and then they are certified. The certification starts with the ACE process (Achieving Competitive Excellence). They have to go through these processes, starting with the Bronze certification to Silver to Gold to Platinum. It is in stages and once you reach the Platinum, nobody can deny you the right to produce for us because you have qualified and you have maintained the standards throughout. Q: What do you think about the delays in the Indian government’s procurement procedure? Walia: I don’t think the delays are new to Indian government defence procurement alone. You’ll find delays the world over as governments invest public money into defence procurement. Everything has to be crystal clear. Deals should meet all the requirements and need to go through all the procedures. There should not be an iota of doubt left in the minds of the people, who process the cases. And if they are taking the call and the process is delayed, so be it. At the end of the day, the country is investing billions of dollars and why should they not be getting the best that they are required to get? As far as I am concerned, procedures must be followed and it should be above board; it should be transparent; and it should be subject to scrutiny. It must be ensured that the country does get what it paid for out of the public funds. I would like our country to know that United Technologies Chairman Louis Chênevert has already stated that the company and its constituents treat the requirements of the Indian government and the Indian defence forces as they treat requirements of the US government and the US armed forces. I think this is a huge tribute to India, and since that statement we have covered a lot of ground and are now moving on the right path. October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

DEFBIZ

FULL SPRECTRUM PLATFORM: Landing platform docks carry a range of equipment for amphibious attacks and expeditionary warfare missions, including helicopters and assault hovercrafts

LOOKING FOR LANDING PLATFORM DOCKS The Indian Navy wants a ship which has a well deck, a vehicle deck as well as substantial helicopter hosting capability.This is considered extremely significant to exert influence in the Indian Ocean region, says SAURAV JHA

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October 2011


g DEFBIZ first step was, of course, to induct the former USS Trenton, an Austin-Class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) as the INS Jalashwa. This ship has not only given the IN exposure to operating a vessel of this size and capability but has also helped it get a fair idea of what it wants for the future. And now the IN has begun the procedure to bring in four new large amphibious ships which will be domestically built under international collaboration. It would be worthwhile to look at possible contenders given the features specified in the request for information (RFI) for procuring four new LPDs issued by the IN in February this year.

THE NAVY WILL PROCURE FOUR LARGE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED AMPHIBIOUS SHIPS

T

HE INDIAN NAVY’S (IN) role in relief and rescue operations during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami won it plaudits from the international community, while underlining its strategic potency www.geopolitics.in

to Indian policy planners. For the IN however, that event brought to the fore the crucial need to augment amphibious capabilities above and beyond what is provided by its existing fleet of medium sized landing ship tanks (LSTs). The

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The Indian Maritime Military Strategy (IMMS) released in 2007 clearly recognises “that the use of maritime power to influence operations ashore is a primary, and not a subsidiary, role of maritime force employment”. It further outlines that “this could be undertaken through commodity denial or by directly supporting the land campaign through the delivery of ordnance by naval platforms or amphibious and/or expeditionary capabilities”. Indeed, it is precisely to augment ‘out-of-area’ or expeditionary capabilities that these LPDs are being sought by the IN. In fact, the ability to affect the course of the land battle has always been something of a “must have” for the IN. While the capability to strike shore targets using ship-launched missiles was demonstrated four decades ago with the famous raid on Karachi harbour during the 1971 war, effective ‘Maritime Manoeuvre from the Sea’, involving joint sea-land-air operations which allow forced/benign entry using seabased forces in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) littoral is something of a holy grail for the IN. October 2011


g DEFBIZ The service still rues the missed opportunity “for conduct of an outflanking amphibious assault” on Pakistan’s coastline during 1971. Whatever little was done by way of amphibious operations during that conflict was executed without adequate preparation and assets, thus limiting the overall effect in the outcome of the war. The IN feels that platforms such as LPDs enhance options and opportunities that exist in the many IOR scenarios of interest to India. The LPD as such seems set to become the IN’s centerpiece contribution to “jointness”, a key mantra if India has to exert decisive influence in the IOR. In a show of somewhat novel interservice concern, the IMMS notes that “even if the IN solved the Army’s transportation problem, it often deposited the troops ashore in an unfit condition to fight”. Modern LPD designs set great store on the comfort of troops they transport. As the IMMS further notes: “The Army’s task begins at the ‘end’ of the voyage and troops must in future be provided enough rest and other facilities during the sea transit. Staff

LPD IS SET TO BECOME NAVY’S CENTERPIECE CONTRIBUTION TO THE “JOINTNESS" DOCTRINE requirements for amphibious assets, sealift and airlift must be alive to these requirements.” In the above context, the INS Jalashwa introduced to the IN the kind of advantages having a ship capable of hosting both a substantial helicopter wing, as well as smaller landing craft, brings to the table in the power projection role. The IN understood that simply having a beach landing capability does not make one a true amphibious power. True amphibious potency instead arises from stand-off beaching and vertical envelopment capabilities,

which deliver troops on target much fresher and with an arguably higher survivability rate. Over-the- horizon assault executed via a mix of heli-borne and seaborne operations, is exactly what ships such as the Jalashwa are designed to do. No doubt influenced by the Jalashwa, the broad specifications of the ship outlined in the RFI are as follows:

The length of the ship would be approx 200 m. Breadth is to be commensurate with the length and tonnage of the ship. The draught of the ship is not to exceed 08 m. The ship is expected to have an endurance of 45 days. The ship is to have diesel-electric propulsion in either of the following configurations: Twin shaft configuration, with twin rudders and Fixed Pitch Propellers or, Shock graded podded propulsion. The ship is to have a suitable well deck

(continued on page 34) THE LEVIATHAN: INS Jalashwa gave the Indian Navy exposure to operating a vessel of its capability and helped it define future requirements

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October 2011


TECH SCAN

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SPACE HUB AT BRAHMOS BLOCK III TRIALS SUCCESSFUL INDIAN Army has successfully conductsignature and is considered best for surgiSRIHARIKOTA THE ed the user trials of BrahMos Block III cal operations. Considered one of the supersonic cruise missiles. The Block III version has the capability of scaling mountainous terrain and can take a steep dive to engage targets located inside hillocks, which are otherwise inaccessible. This was the 25th test of the Cruise missile, which has already been inducted in the Army and the Navy. The Army has plans to induct the missile for mountain warfare. The missile has the capability to engage ground targets from a very low altitude with minimum radar

fastest Cruise missiles in the world, the BrahMos can gain a speed of Mach 2.8. It

has a twostage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fuelled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. Jointly developed by India and Russia, the BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

NUKE SUBMARINE TRIALS IN FINAL STAGES

THE INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION (ISRO) IS PLANNING TO DEVELOP THE SATISH DHAWAN SPACE CENTRE AT SRIHARIKOTA IN ANDHRA PRADESH INTO A CENTRE FOR ASSEMBLING SATELLITES AND ROCKETS. ACCCORDING TO ISRO CHAIRMAN K RADHAKRISHNAN, “OUR VISION IS A QUANTUM JUMP IN SATELLITES AND LAUNCH VEHICLES TO BE DEALT WITHIN FUTURE YEARS. THE SPACE PORT OF SRIHARIKOTA SHOULD FURTHER DEVELOP INTO AN AREA WHERE THE INDUSTRIES IN INDIA WORKING FOR SPACE WOULD COME TOGETHER, ASSEMBLE SATELLITES AND ROCKETS THERE AND MOVE TO THE LAUNCH PAD.” THE ISRO CHIEF ADDED THAT HIS ORGANISATION WOULD WORK WITH THE ANDHRA PRADESH GOVERNMENT IN VISUALISING AND MAKING THE SPACE PORT DEVELOPMENT PLAN A REALITY. www.geopolitics.in

THE PRE-DELIVERY trials of the Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine K-152 the “Nerpa” are in their final stages before their handing over to the Indian Navy on a 10-year lease. The Indian crew is honing their skills to handle the deadly weapons platform during the trials in the Sea of Japan under the supervision of the Russian naval personnel. The Indian crew has undergone almost a two-year-long training course including a six-month crash course in Russian language in India and about 18 months training in St Petersburg to sail and operate the weapon system of the Akula-II class submarine. Designed by St Petersburg-based “Malachite” and “NPO Avrora” design bureaus, the Nerpa is a third-generation nuclear submarine, which was laid at the Amur Shipyard in 1991 just before the Soviet collapse when its construction was frozen due to a cash crunch. India had financed its completion under a $650-800-million deal.

FINAL VERSION OF ARDE GUN UNVEILED THE ARMAMENT Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) has developed the final version of the modern sub-machine carbine (MSMC). The carbine is being developed for use on the battlefield as well as for urban warfare. According to senior ARDE officials, the gun was developed in association with ordnance factories. The armed forces will now be given the gun for trials. The MSMC is a lightweight, compact, automatic gun with a small barrel and can be fired from the hip or from the

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shoulder. The gun will be helpful in close encounters and can be used by the Indian Army, the paramilitary forces and commandos. Established in 1958, the ARDE comes under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Its work includes designing and developing conventional armaments, basic and applied research, modelling, simulation and software development in the field of conventional armament and transfer of technology related works. October 2011


g DEFBIZ (continued from page 32)

for amphibious operations. The ship would carry amphibious crafts like LCMs or LCACs and LCVPs on davits and should have capability to launch these crafts when underway. The ship is expected to have a carriage of combat vehicles on one or more vehicle decks. This area should be adequate to embark Main Battle Tank (MBT), AAVs/BMP Class armoured vehicles and heavy trucks. The ship would be equipped with a Point Defence Missile System, Close In Weapon System, Anti Torpedo Decoy system, Chaff System and HMGs/ LMGs. In addition, ship would have one E/ F band combined air and surface surveillance radar and one C/D band air

surveillance radar. All of these would be buyer nominated equipment. The ship is expected to carry army troops in addition to ship crew. The ship should have capability of simultaneous operation by day/ night of Special Operation Helicopters and Large

BIG CHOPPERS ARE MANAGED BETTER BY A LANDING HELICOPTER DOCK THAN AN LPD

Helicopters (upto 35 tonnes). From the RFI it is clear that the IN wants a ship that has a well deck, a vehicle deck as well as substantial helicopter hosting capability. None of it is surprising and conforms broadly with the features of an LPD. However, the requirement that the ship “should have capability of simultaneous operation by day/ night of Special Operation Helicopters and Large Helicopters (upto 35 tons)” raises an important point. The ability to host rather big helicopters and conduct high tempo operations with them is something that can really be managed better by a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) than an LPD. Readers would note that LPD and LHD are actually US hull classifications which over the years have become standard industry usage for similar ships irrespective of origin.

SMALLER COMBATANTS EVEN AS the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) induction of principal surface combatants (PSCs) such as destroyers and frigates continues to make news, the force is also recapitalising its fleet of smaller combatants while bringing in new capabilities in this segment. Admittedly less glamorous, these smaller combatants are crucial to India’s security since they are designed to specifically address requirements in antisubmarine warfare (ASW), coastal security and anti-piracy operations. The largest of the smaller combatants are of course the four P-28 Kamorta class stealth ASW corvettes being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata. Displacing 2500 tons and with a length of 109.1 metres, these vessels represent the state-of-the-art for this class of ships. Their weaponry of course reflects their accent towards ASW with each P-28 expected to carry six 3M 54 vertically launched Klub-N missiles, two

RBU-6000 Anti-submarine rocket launchers, 324 mm torpedoes, besides a 76.2 mm Oto Melara super rapid gun mount (SRGM) for engaging surface targets and two AK-630M rotary cannons as close- inweapon systems (CIWS) for tackling airborne threats. A fully automated indigenous common helicopter traversing system (CHTS) that GRSE developed with technical support from the UK-based Mactagart Scott is likely to be installed on the helicopter deck of the ASW corvettes under construction. In any case, each P-28 will mount a single Sea King class ASW helicopter. The first of the series, INS Kamorta, will be delivered to the Navy in June 2012, with the next following in another six months. It is also believed that GRSE will secure a follow on order for eight more ships of this class with enhanced features under Project 28A.

Staying with ASW capability augmentation, one would note that Navy recently issued a request for information (RFI) for an unspecified number of shallow water anti-submarine craft. The IN is looking to bring in the craft for “anti-submarine

BLUE WATER HUNTERS: One of the most important successes for the Indian Navy in the small combatant category has been the fast attack craft series of vessels

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October 2011


g DEFBIZ Nevertheless, it seems that the IN is using LPD and LHD somewhat interchangeably in this tender given the total set of requirements. In any case, the IN will procure these ships under the “buy and make Indian” category outline in the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2011. So it will purchase these from an Indian shipyard and the RFI has accordingly been issued only for the benefit of domestic ship-builders. The international collaboration, if any, will have to be put in place by the Indian entity itself, without any direct involvement from the IN. The RFI clearly states: “In accordance with the provisions of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ procedure, a Capability Definition Document (CDD) would be forwarded to Indian Shipyards, short listed based on RFI responses. The Indian shipyards, in turn

would forward a Detailed Project Proposal outlining the road map for development of design and construction of the ships. The Detailed Project Proposal, thereafter, would be examined by a Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) constituted by the Acquisition Wing of MoD

warfare operations in coastal waters and combating the threat posed by submarines” and wants them to acquire them from indigenous sources i.e. under the ‘buy Indian’ category of the Defence Procurement Procedure 2011. The order is expected to be large, given that the IN has indicated that it may divide the contract between two different shipyards. The craft would also be used for undertaking lowintensity maritime operations and laying of antiship and anti-submarine mines. The RFI specifies that these vessels should be able to operate within 200 nautical miles from their launch base and should be capable of traveling at speeds of above 25 knots. As far as weapons are concerned, these ships would be equipped with torpedoes and rocket launchers for ASW. These details imply that the

vessels are most likely replacement for the existing Abhay class corvettes that fill this role. In any case, the Navy wants that the vendors should have an agreement with a design partner for the construction of vessels at the time of submission of tender. One of the most important successes for the IN in the small combatant category has been the class Water Jet-Fast Attack Craft (WJ-FAC) built by GRSE. Ordered in 2006, all ten planned units have entered service with the IN and have apparently impressed the force sufficiently that more are now in the offing. Each WJ-FAC measures 52 metres in length, displaces 325 tons and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. Every unit has a complement of four officers and 39 sailors. Each vessel is fitted with three HamiltonJet HM811 water jets, coupled with MTU 16V 4000 M90, facilitating quiet patrolling activities at extended ranges while detecting unsuspecting submarines using an onboard commercial echo sounder. At the moment however, the WJ-FACS seemed to have proved their mettle in recent antipiracy operations off the Lakshadeep

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THE CAPABILITIES OF A VESSEL MATTER MORE THAN THE EXACT LABELING OF THE SHIP TYPE

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to verify credentials of foreign partner together with confirming acceptability of joint venture of the shipyard with the foreign collaborator”. So, one can assume that rather than the exact labeling of the ship type, it is conformity to the defined capabilities that will decide the matter. At the moment it seems, Hindustan Shipyard Limited and some newly opened private shipyards will be awarded this tender which will be upwards of 16000 crore rupees. Internationally, a number of players would be interested in collaborating with Indian shipyards for this tender. Importantly though, it will not just be companies in the western hemisphere that have designs suitable for the IN. East Asian entities could carry this tender given their experience in building such ships.

islands and are now being seen as extremely useful for maritime policing operations aimed at countering everything from piracy to terrorism. The rise of piracy and seaborne terrorist activities has meant that preventive measures can no longer focus only in the vicinity of India’s coast. Blue-water interdiction of fleeting, albeit serious threats, has clearly acquired importance in recent times. It is precisely to meet this kind of need that the IN ordered four Saryu Class Offshore Patrol vessels (OPVs) from Goa Shipyard in. These ‘blue-water’ OPVs, only slightly smaller than the P-28s, displace 2215 tons and are 105 m in length. They are capable of extended patrols and are capable of carrying a Dhruv-sized helicopter. Armed with a 76.2 mm Oto Melara SRGM and two AK-630M while reaching a speed of over 25 knots, these ships are more than a match for any pirate skiff or ‘motherships’ out there. Once operational, these vessels may actually obviate the need to deploy PSCs for anti-piracy operations. In a sign that the IN is looking to augment its holdings in this category, Pipavav Shipyard recently secured a contract from the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to build five large offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) at a cost of `2975 crores ($660 million). The agreement is thought to be the first major naval shipbuilding deal in India in which a company from the private sector has been named as prime contractor, and is actually a taste of things to come, as the Navy quickly builds up on the patrol component of its fleet. — Saurav Jha October 2011


g

GEOPOLITICS

DEFBIZ

ANOTHER MISFIRE FOR LONG-RANGE ARTILLERY The Indian Army’s much-awaited artillery procurement plan looks uncertain because of legal and procedural wrangles, writes ROHIT SRIVASTAVA

A

FTER WAITING with bated breath for nearly a quarter of a century, the Indian Army is yet to get its next-generation artillery gun following the controversial procurement of the Bofors in 1986. The much-awaited M777 Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) from BAE Systems might get postponed since the deal has hit a roadblock. The proverbial sword of Damocles hangs over the M777 that is being purchased through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route after the last tender was cancelled. In the previous tender, BAE Systems was pitched against Singapore Technology Kinetics (STK). However, STK was subsequently recommended for blacklisting by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after being probed for alleged corruption charges. The latest obstacle is the Delhi High Court order that has asked the government not to award the tender. The Court’s decision has put the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under immense pressure. The Ministry is not sure about the legal status of the ongoing deal and the Delhi High Court’s decision is binding. The current deal for the M777 ULH is through the FMS, which is a direct purchase from US government and has nothing to do with the 2008 suspended tender. Army sources have argued: “The linking of two different tenders is not only going to derail the process, but will also open a new precedence which can be exploited to sabotage future deals.” The Indian Army is in dire need of www.geopolitics.in

THE CURSE OF BOFORS? BAE Systems M-777 could be the latest casualty of India’s protracted artillery modernisation programme

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October 2011


g DEFBIZ artillery guns. Our sources suggest: “Till recently, the Army had enough guns for its operational requirements but gaps in the artillery have begun to rise. In the near future, the Army’s field units will begin facing a dearth of artillery guns. At present, the situation is not grave, but if the two deals being pursued don’t go through, then the situation will be extremely dire. These two deals are very important for operational readiness and we must have them.” Artillery is used in wars for both attack and defence roles. The main purpose of employing any artillery gun is to pulverise the enemy formation before attacking. The long range of artillery provides depth, reach and destructive power to any advancing or defensive units in a battlefield. The use of artillery guns minimise the casualties both in defensive and offensive missions. The role of artillery in the Kargil War is legendary and is very much part of public domain. Army sources suggest: “The Army’s

capability to launch offensives will not be lost if we don’t have these guns, but their absence will cost more human lives and will prolong the time of operations.” Therefore, artillery guns have the ability to shorten the time taken to achieve any operational objective. No modern army today can afford to ignore artillery guns. The Indian Army, however, might have to redraw its operational plans as the possibility of receiving new guns is getting bleak. The deal in contention at

IN THE NEAR FUTURE, THE ARMY’S FIELD UNITS WILL BEGIN FACING A DEARTH OF ARTILLERY GUNS present is the much-talked about Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) from the US government through the FMS route. The Army is planning to conduct field trials in the coming winter but the deal is under stress as Singapore Technology Kinetics is pursuing its case against the government of India to prove that it has committed no corruption and should not be barred from participating in any future tenders, where it has suitable products to offer. Industry sources have informed that this legal tussle will have serious repercussions over future deals. The Delhi High Court order of May 2, 2011, states, “It is made clear that the petitioner will be permitted to join the tendering process, if the petitioner ultimately succeeds in the petition. We consider appropriate to direct that though the respondents can proceed with the process of the tender, the tender will not be awarded without leave and liberty of the court.” This has put the government on the back foot. The Army is miffed by the use of legal proceedings to gain brownie points and feels that it is the government’s prerogative to buy from a vendor it sees fit. Senior Army officials argue that this kind of legal battle will lead to unnecessary delays. According to one senior Army officer, “The Indian Army is the customer and we will choose who to do business

www.geopolitics.in

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with. The vendor cannot decide. An Indian vendor can ask the government for consideration but not a foreign supplier.” To insulate itself from any legal hassles, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has now asked the Ministry of Law for legal advice. What is important to note here is that the procurement procedure is not a law. It is a procedure, made by the MoD, and senior bureaucrats should be well aware of its basics. They should know whether it is possible to buy anything from a second tender without cancelling the first tender or not. But it seems the MoD is not very confident about its own rules. The MoD, therefore, now wants to play safe. As a result, there is no decisiveness on the future course it wants to take. This is going to impact the procurement of the artillery guns. In continuation of the ongoing legal battle on the ULH, the next deal for 400, 52 caliber guns has also got mired in controversy as the one of the two contenders — Israeli firm Elbit — has presented a gun which it has received from Soltam after its acquisition, a firm that had been recommended by the CBI for blacklisting. The army was, incidentally, eagerly waiting for these two guns. Government sources suggest: “Global defence industry has gone through consolidation. Numerous firms have got merged or were acquired by another firm. The offering to India is a product which has committed no crime. If Soltam has committed any crime, it is their management that is punishable, not the gun. Once a new firm has taken over the other firm, there should be no issue in buying from them. BAE bought Bofors and now we are dealing with BAE on the Bofors guns.” The Army feels there are very few firms that have weapons to suit its needs and if India takes such a lofty moral high ground, ignoring the requirements, then the country may have to pay a heavy price. Propriety and transparency in procurement is important, but what needs to be remembered is that the rules are made to facilitate honest buying, not to delay the procurement indefinitely. Sources suggest that a new proposal is being worked out where the 52 caliber guns could be manufactured in India by the Ordinance Factory Board after procuring it through the FMS route. That also seems the best way out but it is certainly not the most desired one. October 2011


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Dreamliner shows its wings Boeing’s 787 makes a whistlestop tour of India wowing those invited to fly in it

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The Praful Patel years

MAKS puts Russia on top

With IndiGo and SpiceJet taking away passenger share at home and abroad

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GEOPOLITICS

NUMBERSGAME

CRORE RUPEES FOR TERRORIST-TRACKING SYSTEM THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (MHA) has started an ambitious multi-crore crime and criminal tracking system (CCTNS) as a pilot project in Assam, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. This is only a trial run where it will use the software in the states to connect all the police stations and enable the police to track criminals in real time. Presently, all data on terrorists and criminals is assembled manually and piled up in files that are impracticable to track. This has proved to be the main impediment in tracking criminals and terrorists for law-enforcement agencies. An all-India tracking system to share information seamlessly on a real-time basis was planned by the MHA and the project gained considerable momentum after the 26/11

Mumbai terror attack. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the nodal agency for the CCTNS, is overseeing the pilot phase in the three states. Price Waterhouse Coopers will carry out the audit of the pilot phase. Other checks on safety and quality will also be carried out during the pilot phase. IT major firms such as Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Service and NIIT Technologies are among the six major companies that have come forward to be the state-designated agency for developing the user-interface for the ambitious project. Information on any case, right from an offence being registered to its investigation and prosecution will be available on a secure network at the click of a button.

10,982

PARAMILITARY JAWANS RETIRED VOLUNTARILY IN 2010 THE FIGURE stood at 5,274 till the end of July this year. The maximum retirements took place in BSF, followed by CRPF and Assam Rifles. According to Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh, Yoga classes were one of the measures introduced by the government to check voluntary retirement from paramilitary forces. The minister said the government had also ordered regular interaction, both formal and informal, among commanders, officers and troops of these paramilitary forces. A transparent leave policy had been implemented and grievances redressal machinery had been revamped. 6,897 voluntary retirements took place in 2008 from six paramilitary forces: Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Sena Bal (SSB). www.geopolitics.in

70

NEW ANTINAXAL CRPF BATTALIONS

THE CENTRAL Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has created 70 exclusive battalions for counter-insurgency and Naxal operations which will be insulated from regular law and order duties performed by the force. This comes over a year after the deadly Dantewada Maoist ambush. The creation of two distinct units, one for undertaking operations and the other for performing duties like conduct of polls, etc, was recommended in the aftermath of the Dantewada attack.

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2,900 CRORE RUPEES FOR NEW TRAINER JETS

THE DEAL for acquiring the 75 Swiss Pilatus PC-7 turbo basic trainers is in the final stages now with the “note” prepared for the Cabinet Committee on Security being “vetted” by the Finance Ministry. The contract for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) is likely to be inked only by JanuaryFebruary and the trainer deal is likely to be signed this year itself. At present, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) young pilots are grappling with 114 ageing piston-engined HPT-32s and 137 Kiran-I and II aircraft. Approximately, 40 per cent of the over 1,000 crashes recorded in the IAF since 1970 have been attributed to “human error (air crew)”. The necessity for new aircraft is especially urgent, since the HPT-32s, which for long served as the basic trainers for its rookie pilots, have been grounded since August 2009. The Pilatus trainers will replace the HPT-32s to provide initial training to rookie pilots. The final requirement for the basic trainers could touch 200, with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) making a bulk of them.

October 2011


g

49

FIRMS LINE UP FOR DEFENCE LICENCES

THE APPLICATIONS for industrial licences in the defence sector, including those from top private firms, have been pending since 2008, as the Department of Defence Production has dragged its feet on recommending licences to private firms for manufacture of equipment for the sector. Concerned over the wait, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has written to the Cabinet Secretary saying it is hurting the defence sector and proving to be a huge obstacle in the government’s efforts to reduce dependence on import of defence equipment. According to the DIPP, there was a conflict of interest as defence PSUs, which manufacture defence equipment, report to the same production department. Now the DIPP has proposed that the process of review of defence sector industrial licences be handed over to the Defence Ministry to provide a level playing field and eliminate the delays.

6,608

2

CHINESE CHOPPERS INTRUDED INTO INDIA IN AUGUST

THE HELICOPTERS, along with seven to eight troopers, flew into Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Chumur area of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and damaged “unused bunkers” on Indian territory, before flying back undetected and unchallenged. This information was stated in a report sent by Leh district administration to the Jammu & Kashmir government. The ITBP personnel, who were some distance away, could not react because of the distance and they are reported to have watched the incident, with the help of binoculars.

COPS INDUCTED IN DELHI POLICE

DELHI POLICE now have more than 83,000 personnel to carry out policing jobs in the capital after the latest induction on September 21, 2011. Of the 6,608 new entrants, 685 will undergo advanced commando training with the CRPF and the BSF. All the constables inducted have undergone preliminary commando training. According to senior police officials, the fresh inductions will ease pressure on police and would be used for policing the ground level. This is the largest induction in the force. Last year on August 31, Delhi Police had inducted 5,697 new constables, including 351 women. Of the 685 personnel selected for advanced commando training, 25 are

www.geopolitics.in

NUMBERSGAME

women constables. The women will head to the CRPF training centre in Neemech while the men contingent will go to Tekhenpur. The personnel will be given training in crime investigation, forensic analysis, cyber crime and economic offences besides in law and other subjects. Constables will also be trained on the .303 rifles, .38 revolvers, 9 mm pistols, AK47, SAF and SLR. Modern techniques for their training like use of Fire Arms Training Simulators will be exhaustively used during their firing practice. For the first time, the women constables will also be given specialised training in unarmed combat, motorcycle-riding, and rescue operations.

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6

IAF CHOPPERS FOR ANTINAXAL OPS THE INDIAN Air force (IAF) will deploy two more helicopters for logistical support in the ongoing anti-Naxal operations. The new helicopters will join the IAF’s two Mi-17s and two Dhruvs operating in Chhattisgarh armed with “sideward mounted machine guns” to fire back in “self-defence” if they come under attack from Maoists. Both government and IAF have maintained that there will be no “offensive air operations” against Naxals. Stringent rules of engagement have been put in place in case the helicopters come under attack, although the IAF does not need permission to act in self-defence. The IAF’s Garud commandos on board the helicopters can open fire only if they come under attack while undertaking their logistical, reconnaissance and casualty evacuation duties. The IAF helicopters can only use their sideward mounted machine guns in retaliation, not heavier firepower such as rockets, bombs or missiles. The IAF initiated steps to strengthen the security of its helicopter after a flight engineer was killed in a Naxal attack against an Mi-8 helicopter engaged in election duty during the Chhattisgarh polls in 2008.

October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

SPECIALREPORT

FAREWELL TO AN AVIATION LEGEND Lambasted by the media as the ‘Flying Coffin’ for its dismally high rate of accidents, the MiG-21 was an able combat platform in its prime, but needs to be phased out now. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA spells out the significant moments in the service of the MiG-21 with IAF

T

HE MiG-21, the backbone of Indian Air Force (IAF), is in the process of being phased out. It will be replaced by the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the Medium-Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) and the Sukhoi-30 MKI. According to the Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju, “MiG-21s will get phased out by 2015-16. I think the last of the squadrons of the aircraft will be phased out by 2017.” The process of being phased out has begun and it is believed two more squadrons of the MiG-21 will be removed from active service from next year. In the last 40 years, the muchmaligned MiG-21 has been associated with many a first for the IAF. But, of late, this fighter, that pilots swear by as a great aircraft to fly has been labelled a ‘Flying Coffin’ for its very high rate of accidents. The IAF has lost approximately 476 aircraft due to accidents, out of the 946 www.geopolitics.in

inducted from the 1960s to the 1980s. The high rate of accidents has been ascribed to many different reasons - ranging from human error to technical snags. Today, as the aircraft goes through the process of being phased out, it is time to look back and see whether the plane has achieved what it was inducted for. It is time we see MiG-21 from the pilot’s perspective. Numbers and data alone cannot account for every one of the many dimensions of events as they unfold. All aspects of something as complex as flying fighters can’t be illustrated through statistics. The MiG-21 is by far the most produced supersonic aircraft in the world. This aircraft was produced by the Russian MiG Corporation as a supersonic interceptor aircraft. A very light and agile fighter equipped with missiles to shoot down enemy aircraft was a ground-breaking concept for its era. Says noted aviator Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak: “Now we are in the fiftieth year of MiG-21 service in

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IAF. We need to understand the larger picture around which this aircraft was inducted.” The defeat at the hands of Chinese in the 1962 war was a watershed moment for the Indian military services and the military planners. The Air Force was not employed during the war and the merit of that decision has been contested since then. Air Vice Marshal Kak believes, “In 1962 we didn’t use the Air Force and it was a political decision. Had we used it, we might have still lost the war, but maybe not so humiliatingly.” This was the time when the MiG-21 arrived on the IAF’s horizon. Till then, India had been using Western aircraft, the bulk of which were British Canberras, Hunters, and French Mysteres. The organisation of the armed forces was based on British pattern and the air force was comfortable with western airplanes. At that time India decided to buy new aircraft to fight the American F-104 October 2011


g SPECIALREPORT MIXED FORTUNES: Often criticised as an unforgiving aircraft, the MiG-21 nevertheless had an illustrious innings with the Indian Air Force

Starfighter supersonic fighters which the Pakistani Air Force had. There was a serious need to upgrade the IAF to cope with these potent challenges. After the 1962 war with China, India was given a large amount of weapons by Western nations like US and UK. The Americans also agreed to give F-104 and F-4 Phantoms to India, but this was not to be. According to Air Vice Marshal Kak, “At that stage we had no choice, especially when we had neighbours with F-104 supersonic aircraft. By then, even the Chinese began to get MiG-21s.” Air Vice Marshal Kak further informs,”The first proposal that came to India was from USSR after the 1962 war and by 1963 people began going to the USSR for training. This induction was in the face of opposition of politicians who preferred US or UK aircraft. But VK Menon, then Defence Minister, insisted that it was good to have a supplier who was reliable.” It is worth mentioning that this was a period of insecurity and the nation was under immense geo-strategic stress. The peace after 1962 lasted between November 20, 1962, when ceasefire was declared after the Indo-China War and April 1965. By this time Pakistan has begun infiltrating into Kutch, which led to Indo-Pak War of 1965. From 1963 to 1965, we had inducted very few MiG-21s and, therefore, they were used very little in the Indo Pak war of 1965. The Indian Air Force had mixed results during this war. In spite of an enemy armed with superior fighters, the IAF www.geopolitics.in

THE MIG-21 WAS EXCEPTIONAL IN THE ‘71 WAR, WITH ONE EVEN HITTING THE GOVERNOR’S HOUSE IN DHAKA pilots and crew displayed exceptional skill and met with success. This was the time when the induction of the MiG-21 was accelerated. By 1971, the MiG-21s were fully operational with the IAF. Along with the MiG-21s, the British Gnats and the HAL’s HF-24 Maruts were the main aircraft of IAF. In the 1971 war with Pakistan, the MiG-21 performed exceptionally and one even struck the Governor’s House in Dhaka, which played a significant role in Pakistan’s decision to surrender. THE MIG-21 AS A FIGHTER The MiG-21 was the first supersonic aircraft in the real sense of the word. A very light and agile fighter, that can touch a top speed of Mach 2, i.e. twice the speed of sound, was most suitable for air defence or interception role. To intercept any incoming enemy aircraft, an interceptor has to be faster than the intruder and should be light enough to do difficult maneuvers to shoot down the enemy. To this end, the design of the MiG-21 was

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ground breaking. This aircraft is so well designed that even today it is flying with the IAF, Chinese and Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The Chinese version of MiG-21 is called J-7 and PAF calls it the F-7. Speaking to Geopolitics, noted analyst Wing Commander Praful Bakshi, who has flown a number of sorties on the MiG-21 says, “It was fun to fly MiG-21. It had a very high rate climb and was very good turning performance. It was not considered as a very safe aircraft for young pilots. The high speed at which it flies requires very deft handling.” One of the most difficult parts of flying this machine is considered to be its landing. This is where a large number of accidents have taken place. The rate of descent of the MiG-21 is 360 km/hr, which is almost double that of any other aircraft. If anything goes wrong at this speed, the reaction time available to the pilot is half that of most other aircraft. Under such pressure, the chances of the pilot being unable to follow standard procedure for recovery, is very real. In its day the MiG-21 was considered to be better than US-made F-4 Phantoms, and more maneuverable than it, but it carried a lesser payload. The limited payload of the MiG-21 was one of the greatest shortcomings of the aircraft. To add that, it was also a fuel guzzler. Being the first supersonic aircraft in the IAF ‘s inventory, the MiG-21 was a generation ahead of the contemporary fighters in the fleet like the Mysteres, Hunters and Gnats, which were subsonic and would cross the sound barrier only in a shallow dive --while diving at full speed. Wing Commander Bakshi informed Geopolitics: “Being a delta wing aircraft, the MiGs could sustain the high rate of turn and slow speed handling in combat. It took a lot of life in high speed super stall, a peculiarity of this aircraft.” Super stall is a phenomenon in which an aircraft starts to descend when the speed crosses a certain limit. Instead of lift, the aircraft experiences a fall. This is very dangerous, as recovery is almost impossible. Another first associated with the MiG21 in India is its night-fighting capability. At the time of induction, it was the only IAF aircraft capable of night fighting, with its onboard radar. The radar would help to launch heat-seeking missiles at a range of four to five kilometers to intercept the October 2011


g SPECIALREPORT

ACE INTERCEPTOR: The first supersonic aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, the MiG-21 was a generation ahead of fighters like the Mystere, Hunter and Gnat

enemy. With this, the IAF became a potent air force which could thwart any enemy misadventure at night.

MIG-21 ACCIDENTS FROM 2005 Sl Date No

Place

Killed/ Ejected

2005 1

4-Jan-05

Nal Bikaner Ejected

2

8-Mar-05

Nal Bikaner Killed

3

26-Oct-05 Bangalore

Killed

4

13-Dec-05 Tezpur

Ejected

2006 1

17-Jan-06

Jamnagar

2

21-Mar-06 Utterlai

Ejected Killed

2007 1

1-Mar-07

Shibkhola

2

22-May-07 Jammu

Killed Killed

2008 1

15-Feb-08 Bhuj

Ejected

2

23-May-08 Bagdogra

Ejected

3

12-Nov-08 Chabua

Ejected

2009 1

27-May-09 Jodhpur

Ejected

2

18-Jun-09

Ejected

3

10-Sep-09 Bhatinda

Chabua

Killed

2010 1

19-Feb-10 Bagdogra

Ejected

2

15-Jun-10

Ejected

Raikot 2011

1

6-Sep-11

Ambala

2

2-Aug-11

Nal Airbase Killed

www.geopolitics.in

Ejected

THE MAN-MACHINE BOND Talking about his own attachment to the MiG-21, Air Marshal PK Barbora, former Vice Chief of Air Staff said, “The first operational squadron that I joined was MiG-21 in Tejpur and the last aircraft that I flew was also the MiG-21.” He also told us that the aircraft was designed to intercept the American U2 reconnaissance aircraft by the USSR. The MiG-21s were high-flying supersonic interceptors which were needed to intercept the U2, which flew at extremely high altitudes. The MiG-21 was a flexible platform. The IAF added a gun to the aircraft and converted it into a kind of multirole fighter. Initially, after its two missiles were used in dogfights, the aircraft didn’t have anything to intercept enemy aircraft. To fill this deficiency, a gun was added. This made the MiG-21s capable of close combat. Its pilots believe that though the high speed and high rate of climb were very handy in running away from any dogfight, the high speed was also a disadvantage in slow dogfights. The aircraft were required to be very stable at low speeds. The high speed was of no use in making a kill. This was considered one of the shortcomings of this aircraft, thanks to its delta design wings. Air Marshal Barbora, felt, “A good pilot could turn at a very low speed. It required very good handling. IAF added pods and rockets in the aircraft when the need for it was felt.” He also said, “Over the years we started to evaluate the MiG21 more closely than Russia. We started to exploit the aircraft more in its complete operation envelope. We had to do so, as by 1980s we knew we were not going to get new aircraft.” The MiG-21 was the most unsuitable aircraft for training purpose, yet we used them for training, as the IAF’s demand for an advanced jet trainer was not met. The cheapest aircraft available to India was the MiG-21. But due to its high-speed profile, the MiG-21 required more experience to fly. In the 1970s, India bought the British Jaguars for strike purposes with Indian nuclear weapons in mind. We were

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reactive in our procurement. After Pakistan purchased the F-16s, the IAF asked for something to counter it, and then bought the MiG-29s from Russia. To beef up its ground-attack capabilities, India subsequently bought MiG-23s, MiG-25s, and MiG-27s. During all these years, the IAF stuck with the MiG-21s because we wanted to maintain parity in numbers and we did not have a subsonic trainer. The IAF continued to carry on with MiG21 as long as their airframe life permitted. The era of Russian aircraft in the Indian Air Force was based upon the experience of flying the MiG-21. This played a very important role in forming a combat aircraft relation with Russia. The Indian procurement from Russia from ‘61 onwards, for thirty years, was based on this aircraft. This dependence lasted till we bought the Jaguar and Mirage-2000. Said Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak: “We were not only inducting MiG-21 derivatives but overcoming its limitations. We also exploited all its types for our use. We used Type 77 for training and Type 75 Bis as multirole aircraft.” From 1991-92, India began upgrading the T-75 Bis. The upgradation was done with French, Israeli and Russian help. The Bis were upgraded to the Mirage-2000 performance level and the upgraded aircraft was called the Bison. 120 aircraft were upgraded to the Bison standard. In spite of its benefits the MiG-21 deal was a blow to the indeginisation of aircraft manufacturing. It brought along with itself the concept of license manufacturing. India and HAL became addicted to license manufacturing, and design and development, took a back seat. Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak reasoned, “Operational requirements forced us to induct these aircraft and do license manufacturing. There was no time and we had no choice.” In retrospect, the aircraft strengthened the pilot’s capability. It was an unforgiving aircraft but it taught operational lessons to the pilots of the 1960s and 1970s. These lessons came handy to pilots who graduated to other aircraft. October 2011


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FORCES, CAG LOCK HORNS OVER AUDIT THE ARMED FORCES and Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) are at loggerheads over the auditing of the 4,500 unitrun canteens which have an annual turnover of `10,000 crore. According to the Pioneer newspaper, the Chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Navy have refused to comply with the direction of the Defence Secretary to permit CAG to audit the unit canteens. The Secretary had conveyed the direction of Defence Minister AK Antony, who had received a complaint from CAG on the denial of audit by Army Headquarters. “Since no headway has been made in this regard, CAG has written to the Raksha Mantri (RM) on this issue and has requested his intervention for providing audit parties access to unit-run canteens (URC) as early as possible,” noted the Defence Secretary’s letter to the three service chiefs, marked ‘secret’. “It has been observed by CAG that considering the facts that URCs are located in government premises, are run in most cases by service personnel, use government transport and, most importantly, receive substantial funds from the Consolidated Fund of India, such denial violates provisions of the Constitution of India regarding the powers and duties of CAG,” it added.

“It is, therefore, requested that necessary instructions may kindly be given to the concerned for allowing audit personnel to access information from the URCs under their control so that RM is apprised of them,” the Defence Secretary wrote. For the past two years CAG and armed forces have locked horns over the auditing of unit-run canteens. In India, the forces’ supply system is managed by 34 depots of Canteen Stores Department (CSD), which is distributed to 160 lakh end-users through more than 4500 canteens, controlled by each unit. The unit-run canteens would take a margin at an average of four per cent on the supply and the profit is expected to be around `500 crore annually. Though CAG got access to audit the 34 CSDs, the armed forces objected to the auditors when they demanded to check the accounts of unit-run canteens, where the actual sales take place. The forces get the money from the Consolidated Fund of India and enjoy quantitative discounts approved by the government, apart from the avoidance of taxes on most of the supplied items. CAG has argued that as the fund is made available from the Consolidated Funds, it has the right to audit, whereas the armed forces claim that the affairs of the unit-run canteens are purely private ventures of each unit and hence do not require auditing.

INS HANSA CELEBRATES GOLDEN JUBILEE

INS HANSA, Indian Navy’s premier Air Station and fighter training squadron INAS 551 celebrated its golden jubilee on September 5, 11, on completion of 50 years of distinguished service to the nation. INS Hansa is the largest air base of the Indian Navy operating seven different types of aircraft. Its aircrew flies a wide variety of complex helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, many of which are amongst the most advanced in the world It is the abode of the Indian Navy’s frontline air squadrons. These include INAS 300 ‘White Tigers’ with the Sea Harrier fighters and others including ‘Black Panthers’, with the latest induction, the state-of-the-art MiG 29K carrier-based fighter. The naval base saw its first operational deployment during ‘Operation Vijay’ in 1961, which resulted in the successful liberation of Goa. In addition to military flying INS Hansa proactively supports air traffic management operations of more than 11,000 international, national and civil chartered flights every year. This has helped promote tourism and boosted the local economy.

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ARMY FIGHTING FIT, NOT OUT OF SHAPE NONE OF the participants in a survey that seemed to indicate a worrying lack of fitness in military personnel were from the Army, says a statement issued by Army Headquarters. The statement was issued in response to a Times of India report, 'Unfit Army? Survey finds 30 per cent overweight’, published on September 5, 2011. “It may be noted that adequate focus is laid on the upkeep of physical fitness standards in the Army. Physical fitness schedules exist and are strictly practised by all ranks in letter and spirit,” said the statement. The survey, conducted by the Ministry and the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, had covered defence personnel and it is quite probable that it did not include any soldiers from the Army itself.

October 2011


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US declares IM a Terrorist Organisation

SARAS for Air Force’s trainee pilots THE INDIGENOUS Saras aircraft, whose track record was blemished by a 2009 crash, killing three Indian Air Force personnel, will now be used to train rookie IAF pilots on flying cargo aircraft. The IAF has signed up with National Aerospace Laboratories, Bengaluru, for the purchase of 15 Saras aircraft. The Kanpur unit of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd will manufacture these planes. The indigenous aircraft faced a major setback on March 6, 2009, when it crashed near Bengaluru killing two test pilots and a flight engineer. Scientists have approached the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification and Director General of Air Quality Assurance under the Defence Ministry for certification as per US Federal Aviation Administration-23 standards. The certification process would take 18 months. The second improved prototype of Saras would be ready in the third quarter of 2012 and the first production specification aircraft (PSA-1) would be ready by 2014 end.

THE UNITED STATES has designated the Indian Mujahideen (IM) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. An India-based terrorist group with significant links to Pakistan, IM is responsible for dozens of bomb attacks throughout India since 2005, and has caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians. IM maintains close ties with other US-designated terrorist entities including Pakistan-based

Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-eMohammed (JEM) and Harakatul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI). IM’s stated goal is to carry out terrorist actions against non-Muslims in furtherance of its ultimate objective — an Islamic Caliphate — across South Asia. IM’s primary method of attack is multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas against economic and civilian targets to maximise terror and casualties. In 2010, IM carried out the bombing of the popular German Bakery in Pune, frequented by tourists, killing 17 and injuring over 60 people. In 2008, an IM attack in Delhi killed 30 people. Also in 2008, IM was responsible for 16 synchronised bomb blasts in crowded urban centres and a local hospital that killed 38 and injured more than 100 in Ahmedabad. IM also played a facilitative role in the 2008 Mumbai attack carried out by LeT that killed 163 people, including six Americans.

INDO-LANKA JOINT EXERCISE INDIA AND Sri Lanka kicked off their first major naval combat exercise in six years on September 19, with 16 warships off Trincomalee as part of New Delhi’s continuing intensive diplomatic and military engagement with Colombo despite protests from some Tamil groups in the island nation. The six-day exercise called “SLINEX-11” near the north-east coast of Sri Lanka had six Indian warships led by eastern fleet commander Rear Admiral HCS Bisht, including the spanking new stealth frigate INS Shivalik, a Rajput-class destroyer and a missile corvette, participating in the combat manoeuvres. Sri Lankan navy deployed two large off-shore patrol vessels, one fast-missile vessel, two fast-gun boats and six fast-attack craft for the exercise to boost “interoperability” between the two forces. The last naval exercise with Sri Lanka was held in 2005. India’s strategy to provide arms and military training, coupled with www.geopolitics.in

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intelligence sharing and ‘coordinated’ naval patrolling, undertaken even when the Sri Lankan forces were battling the LTTE, has been primarily aimed to counter the ever-growing strategic inroads into the island nation by both China and Pakistan. Indian Navy in recent times has undertaken hydrographic surveys and salvage operations for Sri Lanka. Over the last several years, India has also trained thousands of Sri Lankan personnel at its military institutions ranging from the Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra), apart from providing specialised naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and antisubmarine warfare. Incidentally, India recently inked a `300-crore contract with a Sri Lankabased ship manufacturer, SOLAS Marine, to build 80 fast-interception craft or high-speed patrol boats. October 2011


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ENERGY FOR ALL: India is still betting on nuclear power to provide a substantial portion of its future energy needs

A MATTER OF

NECESSITY

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Despite the political fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, nuclear energy is not as dangerous, expensive and unfit for use as is being made out by critics, argues SAURAV JHA

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ndia is going through strange and turbulent times, as all symbols of centralised development are being called into question even as India desperately seeks to bridge the infrastructure deficit that shaves of a few percentage points from its economic growth rate. There is, of course, no greater deficit than the huge gap between demand and supply of reliable electrical power. A gap, that nuclear energy along with other renewables is expected to fill in a nongreenhouse gas-emitting manner. However, post-Fukushima, nuclear power seems to have emerged as a rather visible target for assorted rabble-rousers and scaremongers to grind their ‘development grouse’ with. Indeed the protests around Kudankulam that unfolded rather suddenly are a testimony to the same. But how justified are these criticisms and fears? Is nuclear power safe and what does it mean for India? HOW WORRIED SHOULD INDIA BE? The Fukushima incident has certainly provided a fillip to naysayers of nuclear power in India. Their opinions now range from pure propaganda (tens of workers dead, thousands affected by radiation) to more informed views bringing into question matters such as site selection and technology choice. The main question that naturally comes to mind is whether Indian reactors are located in seismically-active zones or not. Well, with the exception of the Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS), all Indian nuclear power stations are built in Zone 2 (low seismic activity), unlike Japanese reactors, which are in Zone 4 and 5 (high seismic activity). NAPS is, however, located in Zone 3. Nevertheless, in a testament to the building standards of Indian reactors, it ought to be remembered that Kakrapar Atomic Power Station remained operational even after it experienced the

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Gujarat earthquake of 2001, which measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and provided much-needed electricity to aid the subsequent relief efforts. It is also important to keep in mind that removal of decay heat is a problem that has occupied the minds of reactor designers for over three generations now, with the Indian nuclear community being no exception. The dominant Indian reactor type as of today is the Indian pressurised heavy water reactor or (Indian Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors) IPHWR, the average age of which is less than 20 years. Research on this type has been consistent and a number of safety improvements have been brought in over the years. IPHWRs consist of the two-reactor shutdown systems, one of which uses control rods and the other consists of a liquid poison injection system. This combination guarantees that the chain reaction is shut down rapidly in the event of a major earthquake. However, like Fukushima, subsequent to the chain reaction shutdown, there will be a need to remove the decay heat. And like Fukushima, where the primary cooling system failed due to unavailability of grid power, IPHWRs will also use active auxiliary systems such as the RHR (Residual Heat Removal) and ECCS (Emergency Core-Cooling System) to do the job. The ECCS in IPHWRs is triple redundant, consisting of a high pressure coolant injection system, a pool of light water maintained in the calandria (a low pressure tank) housing the core, and a suppression pool. Nevertheless, the RHR in Indian reactors is also an electrically-powered system and may itself be unavailable on a sustained basis due to the unforeseen breakdown of back-up systems such as diesel generators, as evidenced by Fukushima. Subsequently, the ECCS may also fail due to a Fukushima-like power blackout conditions. In such an eventuality, IPHWRs rely

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on a passive decay heat removal system based on the ‘thermosiphon effect’, which exploits the elevation difference between the steam generators and the reactor core. Interestingly, the thermosiphon effect proved its efficacy in the NAPS fire incident of 1993, which was characterised as an INES level-3 incident by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and involved the loss of power supply to the reactors in a manner similar to what happened at Fukushima. India has also retrofitted Tarapur I and II — which are BWRs of the same vintage and type as the units at Fukushima — with emergency condensers that would allow the thermosiphon effect to be used in the event of a complete blackout. Greater redundancy also seems to have been built into Indian reactors by stationing an additional diesel generator, an additional air compressor and two fire water pumps over the maximum anticipated level of flooding. This generator could prove useful in both powering the RHR and pumping fire water into the steam generators in a situation where the other generators are washed away, as was the case in Fukushima. Indeed, there is now a case for having more such installations and a review of the height at which this is done, considering that Fukushima was hit by forty-five-foot-high waves. In fact, the elevated stationing of diesel generators proved rather useful in shutting down the Madras Atomic Power Station when it was hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Readers would note that the reactor was brought back online, within a week. But what about imported reactors being built in India? Kudankulam was also hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

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Some prominent Nuclear Power plants in India Rawatbhata, Rajasthan 1 x 100 MW 1 x 200 MW 4 x 220 MW Kakrapur, Gujarat 2 x 220 MW

y

y y

y y y

Mothi Vrdi, Gujarat 6 x 1000 MW

Jaitapur, Maharashtra 6 x 1650 MW Kaiga, Karnataka 3 x 220 MW 1 x 220 MW

Narora, Uttar Pradesh 2x 220 MW

y

Madhya Pradesh 2 x 700 MW Tarapur, Maharashtra 2 x 160 MW 2 x 540 MW

y y y y

However, the two Russian-origin reactors undergoing construction did not face any problems with the rising water levels as their defence in depth features had been specifically designed to withstand such calamities. All buildings at the plant had been designed to rise from 7.5 m above the mean sea level (MSL) to take care of flooding due to natural events such as tsunamis, and a shore protection bund rising to a height of 7.5 m above MSL was built at the site as an additional measure. Each reactor at this site will have four redundant backup diesel generators even one of which would be enough to power the RHR system. These back-up generators, will be kept at a height of 9 m above MSL. The Kudankulam reactors are also www.geopolitics.in

Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh 6 x 1000 MW

Kalapakkam, Tamil Nadu 2 x 220 MW Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu 2 x 1000 MW 4 x 1000 MW equipped with core melt catchers and are fitted with passive hydrogen re-combiners that prevent the accumulation of hydrogen in the containment structure by converting it back to water. This means that the chance of a hydrogen explosion occurring at one of these reactors a la Fukushima is negligible. Most importantly, in the event of a loss of power to the active decay heat removal systems, large-capacity steam generators kept at a higher elevation to the core will help cool the reactor through the thermosiphon effect. The steam generator water itself is cooled by a passive air cooling system, working on the principle of natural convection without the need for any electrical power. Indeed, all imported reactors scheduled

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to be built in India (including the ones at Kudankulam) are Gen III+ designs and are equipped with passive safety measures that cater to the removal of decay heat and are driven by gravitation or convection. These systems allow the operator a much greater margin for removal of decay heat than was available in the case of the Fukushima reactors. THE WILFUL GAINERS Every crisis brings forth opportunity for some. But to understand how that might be in the case of Fukushima, we must look at why Japan adopted nuclear power in the first place, given that it is an island nation sitting right astride the Pacific ring of fire. Following its defeat in the Second World War, Japan realised that one of the reasons that had led it to seek an empire through that conflict continued to haunt its industrial growth — an acute shortage of national hydrocarbon resources. Ironically, though, the effort to harness nuclear technology for warfare — that had resulted in such tragic loss for the people of Japan — had also created the means by which it could alleviate its energy handicap. And under Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace programme, Japan became an early beneficiary of American attempts to spread civilian nuclear power throughout the world. Nuclear energy was clearly a good option to power Japan’s post-war economic rise since it could generate electricity continuously over a very long period of time and at very high capacity factors — key features for meeting demand from energy-intensive industrial and commercial activities. Moreover, nuclear energy also gave Japan a certain degree of freedom from geopolitics. Japan, which till the 1973 oil crisis used to generate about 66 per cent of its electricity through oil-fired generators, uses the same source for only 11 per cent of its requirements today, while nuclear power supplies 30 per cent of Japan’s electricity. Nuclear power became a strategic priority and Japan sought to bring the costs of nuclear construction down by creating a domestic industry. That initiative proved to be so successful that today Japan is the central hub in the worldwide nuclear supply chain. For instance, Japan Steel Works supplies 80 per cent of the world’s reactor pressure vessel (RPV) market, the key component of the majority of reactors in existence today. Nuclear power development also helped Japan’s overall industrial sector by raising the technology base for October 2011


g COVERSTORY manufacturing. In fact, Japan’s template for industrialisation became the one to follow in other parts of East Asia as well. South Korea followed Japan’s nuclearindustrial path and today meets 35 per cent of its electricity requirements through nuclear energy. It is no wonder, therefore, that the South Korean government was quick to re-affirm its commitment to nuclear energy in the wake of Fukushima. At a business event in April 2011, the South Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy clearly stated, "Our answer to the nuclear industry is that we need to keep going." Importantly, he added, "Part of our manufacturing industry’s competitiveness comes from nuclear power, thanks to its cheap energy costs. Therefore, it is hard to give up." In fact, South Korea has also emerged as a significant cog in the global nuclear supply chain and has beaten French and Japanese-American rivals to win the 40-billion-dollar UAE civil nuclear tender in 2010. China has, of course, powered its lowtech mass manufacturing mega boom through coal but now craves to move up the value chain like Japan and South Korea, and also mitigate the very serious health effects of that strategy (a World Health Organisation estimate from 2007 suggested that over 600,000 Chinese die prematurely on an annual basis because of air pollution). In any case, many of those coal plants were rather small to begin with and are now derelict. The Chinese know that if the underdeveloped western parts of China have to be opened up while simultaneously moving up the value chain in manufacturing, they have to look beyond coal in this era of climate change. As with a lot else, the Chinese turn to nuclear is the biggest turn the world has seen; while anti-nuclear advocates made much of China’s decision to suspend new approvals pending a review, the fact remains that China already has thirteen nuclear power reactors in operation with more than twenty-five under construction and twenty-two more already approved, all of them based on imported Gen III designs. As Zhang Lijun, vice minister for environmental protection, stated in the wake of Fukushima, “China will not change its determination and plan for developing nuclear power.” Looking to indigenise its various imports, China has set up a first of a kind ‘nuclear research city’ at Haiyan. By 2012, it also seeks to put in place the highest RPV building capacity. Indeed, this growing www.geopolitics.in

THE ESSENTIAL NUCLEAR MIX: Nuclear power has the potential to propel economic growth in India by increasing competiveness with relatively cheap energy costs

indigenous capability to build large reactor components has culminated in its offer of two 1000 MWe reactors to Pakistan. China, more than anyone else, is poised to benefit from a downturn in the Japanese nuclear sector. A slackening of nuclear build in other Asian countries would lead to China emerging as a prime mover in the nuclear business and allow it to use grab technology and nuclear resources on an even greater scale than it is doing presently. Toshiba-Westinghouse, for instance, has already transferred enough know-how to China for the latter to uprate ToshibaWestinghouse’s signature product, the AP1000, into the CAP-1400, the first of which is scheduled to be built in 2013.

CHINA IS EMERGING AS A PRIME MOVER IN THE NUCLEAR BUSINESS If nuclear scaremongering hits Japan’s nuclear sector hard or leads to broader delays in India due to protests such as the one in Jaitapur, the law of economics would ensure that nuclear manufacturing ultimately moves to China in the same way that many other industries are now almost wholly concentrated in it. This

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would allow China in due course of time to have the most carbon competitive industrial sector in the world and possibly resemble what Japan is in high-end manufacturing albeit on a much more vast scale. In a world where hydrocarbon resources are dwindling and global warming is on the rise, China via its nuclear sector may emerge as a net exporter of energy, thereby giving it tremendous geopolitical advantage over all those countries that stymie their own nuclear build programmes due to populist anger. Such a situation is particularly unacceptable for India, which, having already lost out to China in mass manufacturing, can ill-afford to concede to it the hi-tech manufacturing space as well. Even worse would be if India, that has finite resources of high ash content coal and some gas reserves, has to someday import nuclear technology from China. India’s energy security warrants a robust nuclear power sector with a view to exploiting its single greatest energy resource: thorium. Indeed, thorium-based nuclear power has the potential to be much safer than existing uranium-based technologies and India has a clear lead over China in the technological aspects of the same. Nothing stands in the way of India capitalising in the post-Fukushima scenario in a manner similar to what China is doing. If this century has to be an Indian century, this is one geo-economic race India must win. (The writer is the author of The Upside Down Book Of Nuclear Power, published by HarperCollins) October 2011


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"WE HAVE TO FULFIL THE MANDATE TOWARDS ELECTRIFYING THE NATION"

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October 2011


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Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. Responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power reactors, NPCIL presently operates 20 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 4780 MW with four reactors under various stages of construction. DR SK JAIN, Chief Managing Director of the NPCIL, outlines the promises nuclear power holds for India in a conversation with SAURAV JHA on the sidelines of first pour of concrete for units 7&8 at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Rawatbhatta Are we likely to see a slowdown postFukushima? SKJ: Not at all. In fact India is the first country in the democratic world to have begun constructing new reactors in the aftermath of Fukushima. I am, of course, referring to the first pour of concrete for Units 7 & 8 that you see here at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS). How is NPCIL planning to address the safety questions thrown up by the experience in Fukushima and will this get reflected in reactor build times and costs? Will certain new features be retrofitted into NPCIL’s existing fleet of reactors as well? SKJ: As you would know, we have initiated a full-blown safety review for all our reactors post-Fukushima, the interim report for which we have already made public. To give your readers an idea of how comprehensive this safety review is, here are some details — four task forces were constituted, addressing different types of reactors. Boiling Water Reactors at Tarapur Atomic Power Station, Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors with dousing and single containment at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors with suppression pool and partial double containment at Madras Atomic Power Station and, subsequently built, standardised Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors from Narora Atomic Power Station having double containment, suppression pool and calandria filled with heavy water, housed in a water-filled calandria vault. The stations were asked to inspect all important provisions required to withstand flood and fire accidents. The reports of the four task forces have been discussed in detail by Operations, Design and Safety directorates together with the top management at NPCIL HQ. Present review and re-evaluation is an interim measure, and is based on the present understanding of the Fukushima event. www.geopolitics.in

The important design features of the Indian NPPs including the boiling water reactors have provisions to handle complete loss of power, differing from Fukushima Daiichi plant. In the context of scenario at Fukushima, it may be recalled that pertinent incidents at Indian nuclear power plants, like prolonged loss of power supplies at Narora plant in 1993, flood incident at Kakrapara plant in 1994 and tsunami at Madras plant in 2004 were managed successfully with existing provisions. An in-depth safety analysis and review of these events was carried out and lessons learnt were adequately utilised for taking corrective measures in all the operating as well as under con-

INDIAN PLANTS HAVE PROVISIONS TO HANDLE COMPLETE POWER LOSS struction plants. Similarly, to assess safety of our reactors in light of international events in nuclear industry such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, detailed independent safety review of events were conducted and key lessons learnt were implemented in all plants. Present review and re-evaluations conducted indicate that adequate provisions exist at Indian nuclear power plants to handle station blackout situation and maintaining continuous cooling of reactor core for decay heat removal. However, to further augment the safety levels and improve defense in-depth, salient recommendations, which have been made for short and long-term implementation, are given below: y Automatic reactor shutdown initiation sensing seismic activity y Inerting of the TAPS-1&2 containment

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Increasing the duration of the passive power sources/battery operated devices for monitoring important parameters for a longer duration y Provisions for hook up arrangements through external sources, for adding cooling water inventory to Primary Heat Transport (PHT) system, steam generators, calandria, calandria vault, end shields and Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) as applicable and also the provisions for mobile diesel driven pumping units y Augmentation of water inventory and the arrangement for transfer of water from the nearby sources if required Revision of Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) to include additional provisions recommended y Organise structured training programs to train plant personnel on modified EOPs Additional Shore protections measures at Tarapur Atomic Power Station and Madras Atomic Power Station which are located on the sea coasts, as deemed necessary y Additional hook up points for making up water to spent fuel storage pools wherever necessary for ensuring sufficient inventory Essentially, safety upgradation has been a continuous process at NPCIL and we have actually been commended on numerous times by the World Association Of Nuclear Operators (WANO) for our industry best practices. In a nutshell, I am confident about the safety of Indian reactors. What is the state of progress on the Jaitapur project? How does the compensation package offered in Jaitapur compare with that offered on other projects? SKJ: We are still at the pre-project activity stage. Had it not been for the protests you would have seen considerable physical progress at the site by now. Coming to the compensation package, what we are offering at Jaitapur is in conformity with our corporate social responsibilities. We October 2011


g COVERSTORY are, of course, willing to walk the extra mile to increase the welfare of locals. What is the status of India’s indigenous PHWR programme? How many new reactors are planned in the 700 MWe category? Are new sites being surveyed for these? SKJ: The indigenous programme is going from strength to strength. We recently achieved first pour of concrete for RAPS 7&8, both of which are PHWRs of the new 700 MWe breed. These two have themselves come on the back of Kakrapar 3&4, which began construction over six months earlier. Moreover, two more sites in Kumaria, Haryana and Mandla, Madhya Pradesh have received in principle approval for 700 MWe PHWRs. The site at Nawada, Bihar, is still under evaluation since issues with water supply have been found over there. When will Kudankulam 1 & 2 (KNPP 1 & 2) see start of commercial operations? What are some of the new safety features designed for these reactors that make a Fukushima type incident unlikely? SKJ: Well, KNPP was scheduled to start commercial operations by December 2011with Unit 2 following in the next six months. These reactors boast of the latest active and passive residual heat removal systems, something that directly addresses the problems faced in completely shutting down the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. For instance, we have, in addition to electrically powered systems, a completely passive heat removal system based on natural circulation of air and twelve boron waterfilled tanks that can be used for emergency cooldown of the reactor core and these are purely operated by using gravitational principles. Who is going to benefit from KNPP 1 & 2 and is the electricity from these reactors going to be competitive with thermal generation? SKJ: Tamil Nadu would be a major beneficiary of the project. The state would get 925 MWe out of 2,000 MWe to be generated by the two Russian reactors there. Karnataka would get 442 MWe, Kerala 266 MWe, Puducherry 67 MWe and 300 MWe remains unallocated. The NPCIL would sell the electricity generated at Kudankulam to State Electricity Boards for `2.50 a unit — which is highly competitive in today’s scenario! www.geopolitics.in

Has the easing of the international environment helped NPCIL overcome the fuel mismatch issue that was plaguing its PHWRs? If yes, what are the new sources of fuel that are now available to NPCIL from abroad and how many indigenous reactors are beneficiaries of the same? SKJ: The easing of the international environment has certainly helped NPCIL get its PHWR fleet back up to speed. The results in fact speak for themselves. Our reactors are back to the high-capacity factors that one had become used to in the late nineties. Do new uranium finds such as Tumalapalle bolster India’s fuel security to the extent that India can support a much larger first stage (i.e PHWR and LWR) program than previously envisaged? SKJ: One would certainly hope so. But it’s early days yet and we remain committed to operationalising Bhabha’s dream of a full blown three stage program. The Indian nuclear establishment firmly believes that only a closed fuel cycle i.e which includes reprocessing, will enable nuclear power in India to fufil its mandate towards electrifying a nation as large and fast developing as ours. In fact, on the question of fuel security, it is understood that to have a truly large nuclear programme India has to operationalise the second stage and third stages of Bhabha’s three stage program. In that light, could you share with us the status of the PFBR? SKJ: As I said, we are fully committed to operationalising the second and third stages of Bhabha’s plan. But as you would understand, the right neutron economy has to be arrived at before we can start harnessing the potential of our thorium reserves. We are nevertheless entering an exciting period in our fast breeder reactor programme with the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam over two-third complete in physical terms. The PFBR has a rating of 500 MWe and will herald India’s technological capabilities in the nuclear sector. Has a site been selected for the AHWR? When are we likely to see construction activities for that reactor? SKJ: The site selection is still in process. Although construction activities on the reactor will certainly begin the 12th Plan period.

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Could you apprise us about developments in the arena of reactor component manufacturing and India’s potential for the same? SKJ: We are in discussions with a number of Indian majors in this sphere, who in turn are in discussions with international majors for collaboration. The entire thing is a co-ordinated effort and a few agreements are in place already. We are closely co-operating with companies such as L&T, NTPC and BHEL in this domain. In the future we envisage that value wise our reactors will have a 50:50 ratio in terms of domestic and international inputs. Naturally, civil works and Balance of Plant are areas where the Indian domestic sector is already involved. In the next decade we will see them entering the forging and casting side of things in a bigger way. However, I would like to say that we will continue to support indigenisation to whatever extent is technically feasible and economically viable. A number of South-East Asian and some African countries had evinced interest for sourcing small heavy water reactors from India. Also DAE recently unveiled the AHWR-LEU, which uses a mix of thorium-based fuels and enriched uranium. Could you tell us a bit more about the same and how does India plan to meet the enrichment requirement? SKJ: Talks are underway for small 220 MWe PHWRs with a number of countries. The discussions with Kazakhstan are making headway. The new 300 MWe AHWR-LEU design that you mention is indeed being looked at for its export potential. As far as the enrichment issue is concerned, we have the capability to do it on our own and are confident that we can meet the fuel needs of future customers for this reactor (AHWR-LEU) as and when it happens. India’s re-entry into the world of nuclear trade was expected to be non-discriminatory and fully integrative. In this light how do you perceive the NSG’s move on ENR and do you think this goes against the spirit of the ‘clean exemption’ given to India? SKJ: Look, for us it is a matter of principle. We have developed ENR technologies on our own. But we feel that the NSG’s decision is a step back and is not in keeping with the spirit of full cooperation and thereby the clean waiver that was granted to us in 2008. October 2011


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INTERNAL SECURITY

INTELLIGENCE FAILURE? The Delhi High Court blast is symbolic of the malaise that afflicts the Indian security agencies and intelligence setups


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AIRLIFT FOR NAXAL CASUALTIES CONCERNED OVER the loss of lives of security personnel in anti-Naxal operations due to delays in evacuation, the government has now ordered the air support fleet in such areas to ensure that there is at least one helicopter for casualty extraction duty always. At present, nine helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF) and BSF are deployed for duties such as troop dispatch, rushing reinforcements, transporting senior officers, VIPs and taking troops on leave to and from their outposts apart from undertaking casualty evacuation sorties. More than 150 personnel were killed

last year in these operations while a number of casualties, according to commanders deployed on the ground, can be avoided if injured troops could be rushed for immediate medical help. Incidentally, the air-wing of the BSF is also undergoing several changes and recently the force has notified fresh guidelines for recruitment of new pilots. It is being increasingly realised that a helicopter with night-flying capability will add to the strength of the security forces fighting the Naxals in the dense forest areas. Moreover, it will also be used in transferring additional troops to a particular region after sunset.

PAK OVERLOOKS REQUEST ON SMUGGLERS DESPITE THE Border Security Force's (BSF) repeated requests to its counterpart in Pakistan, Rangers, to work on the details provided by it, Pakistan-based smugglers of narcotics and fake Indian currency notes continue to carry out their ill designs. Presently about four dozen Pakistani smugglers based in places like Lahore, Narowal, Shekhupura and Kasur are believed to be actively engaged in smuggling of drugs and fake Indian currency notes, a leading national daily has reported after talks with highly-placed intelligence sources. Some of the dreaded smugglers active on the India-Pakistan border are Rana Badi (Shekhupura), Ishfaq Chaudhary and Kalu Chairman (Lahore) and Waris Khuni and Kali Dogar (Kasur), said sources. They have the protection of the Pakistan Rangers and are continuously pumping narcotics and fake currency notes into India. Indian smugglers hire Pakistani couriers who adopt time-tested methods of smuggling including using pipes and throwing the smuggled stuff over the fence. www.geopolitics.in

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COASTAL RADAR NET ON FASTTRACK

WITH CHINA working overtime to extend its influence in the Indian Ocean, India is now giving the final touches to its plan to set up a coastal radar network along the Maldives coast as well as other countries including Sri Lanka and Mauritius. The decision to expedite the setting-up of coastal radars was taken after Defence Minister AK Antony held recently a high-level security review meeting over beefing-up of coastal security. The Navy is also likely to carry out a similar task of enhancing maritime security in Bangladesh. The setting-up of coastal radars is being undertaken at a cost of Rs 602 crore as per the contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). It is understood that there are nearly 46 radars provided by BEL., the first radar of which will be supplied by October this year. The move has long been seen as an effort to bring Maldives into the Indian coastal security setup. The island nation has coastal radars on only two of its 26 atolls. India will help set up radars on all 26 for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft. According to officials, the coastal radar chain in Maldives will be networked with the Indian coastal radar system. The radar chains of the two countries will be interlinked and a central control room in India's Coastal Command will get a seamless October 2011


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INTERNAL SECURITY

MHA FOR STRENGTHENING OF TELECOM MANUFACTURING AMID SECURITY concerns arising out of use of foreign telecom equipment, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the DoT about steps taken to strengthen the local manufacturing facilities. DoT has already agreed to the view that long-term security lies in an increased production of critical components (hardware and software) in India. To this end, DoT is to formulate and put non-security measures such as incentive regimes in place. DoT had also agreed to ensure creation of adequate national test bed capabilities within the next two years. "We shall be grateful if we are apprised of the steps taken in this regard," MHS Secretary RK Singh has said in a letter to Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar. Singh has also asked the Telecom Ministry to ensure that the operators shall induct only those network elements into their telecom networks which have been got tested as per relevant contemporary Indian or international security standards. Further, the licencee shall keep a record of all the software updations and changes. The major updation and changes should also be informed to licensor (DoT) within 15

days of completion of such updation and charges, he said. DoT had issued guidelines on May 31, this year by amending the licence agreements asking operators to get their networks audited from security point of view once a year from a network audit and certification agency. The licencee shall have an organisational policy on security managements of their networks and submit the policy to licencor within 30 working days from the date of this amendment, the letter said. The operators shall provide location details of mobile customers in the licence service areas as per time frame specified and to ensure that security concerns are adequately addressed, Singh said, adding that "DoT is requested to kindly obtain compliance report from the licensees" on the above action points.

TIE-UP FOR HOMELAND SECURITY VULNERABLE COASTAL NUCLEAR RELIANCE INDUSTRIES has joined hands with Siemens — its first tie-up since establishing a homeland security and aerospace division early this year — to aggressively pursue opportunities in homeland security. To start with, they will jointly bid to install CCTV cameras across critical traffic junctions in Mumbai, informed sources say. The Mumbai CCTV project, conceived after the 26/11 attack, envisages setting up computerised video surveillance at 100 critical traffic junctions in the city. According to reports, the key function of this system will be to collect real-time videos from distant cameras and transmit the footage via an optical fibre network to a control room. The two companies have submitted expression of interest for the project. This alliance could lead to "a joint venture". The understanding seems to be that RIL will be entering overseas markets partnering Siemens in future, though right now, the focus is on India. RIL launched its homeland security and aerospace business after roping in Vivek Lall, a former NASA scientist who had steered Boeing's military and commercial division in India for years. An RIL statement had then said: "We plan to partner with global leaders in this domain to bring the latest technologies and innovation [to India]."

www.geopolitics.in

PLANTS IN TAMIL NADU

AN ARGUMENT between state and central agencies seems to be affecting the patrolling of waters near Tamil Nadu's nuclear power plants at Kalpakkam and Kundankulam. The state-run Coastal Security Group (CSG) says patrolling the sea near these plants is the responsibility of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), while the CISF says the CSG is in charge of the waters. "Right now, there is no boat patrolling around the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tirunelveli district. It must be taken care of by the CISF like they do at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota," Superintendent of Police, CSG, H V Mohamed Haneefa told the press recently. CISF officials argue that sea patrolling is not their job. At Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli district too, there is no sea patrol. Currently, CSG has 12 marine police stations with 20 boats across the state. But there is no marine police station near the nuclear power production units. It is obvious that this lack of coordination between agencies will give terrorists advantage, rue many security experts.

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October 2011


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GEOPOLITICS

INTERNALSECURITY

RESTRUCTURING

FOR FUTURE CHALLENGES

Originally raised to be the sentinels of the Himalayan frontiers, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police has evolved to meet various challenges, including threats to internal security. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA examines the evolution

www.geopolitics.in

the force strength from the present 55,000 to 80,000 men. To provide these men with the right training and to absorb them in the force, many changes are required at institutional level. The restructuring is being done to achieve this objective. The restructuring will create an additional frontier headquarters, two sector headquarters, 13 battalions, along with additional training centres, institutes, subdepots and other formations. One ITBP officer said, “The Ministry of Home Affairs in the last two years has done more work than ever. The required approval, which otherwise would have taken years, was done in a few months. The impact of this restructuring will be far and wide.” MAJOR CHANGES The ITBP will be getting 13 additional battalions in the next five years. To accommodate this surge in the number of battalions in the field formation, one additional Frontier Headquarters (FHQ) will be raised. The new FHQ is expected to come up in Bhopal in the Phase I year: 2012-13. Subsequently two more Sector Headquarters (SHQ) will come up in the next phase in 2013-15. One of the SHQs THE NORTHERN SENTINELS: The ITBP is being restructured to increase efficiency and solve institutional problems emerging from its rapid expansion

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Photo Courtesy:ITBP

I

NDIAN CENTRAL Police Organisations (CPOs) are going through radical changes and force- augmentation. These expansions are a direct result of the worsening security scenario within the nation. The CPOs’ responsibilities have stretched from their area of core expertise to cover internal security and insurgency. CPOs, except the Central Reserve Police, are essentially border-guarding forces. But to manage the internal security situation, borderguarding forces are also engaged in internal security operations. The Indo-Tibet Border Police is a specialised border-guarding force, whose jurisdiction runs from the reaches of the Himalayas in Ladakh in the north to Arunachal Pradesh in the east, with the exception of the Indo-Nepal border. At times, the ITBP operates at heights above 6000 metres, guarding the Indo-Tibet border and this is the role that the force was primarily structured for. At present though, it has battalions deployed in antiNaxal operations in Nandgaon district of Chhattisgarh and regularly contributes to other internal security policing duties. The force is now being restructured to increase efficiency and solve the institutional problems emerging from its rapid expansion. The reorganisation is divided into two phases. Phase I covers the period from 2011 to 2013 and Phase II will be from 2013 to 2015. Sources suggest that ITBP is increasing

October 2011


g INTERNALSECURITY will be established at Bhopal and another one is expected to come up in south India. The location of another SHQ has not yet been finalised. The major change proposed in the restructuring of the ITBP is in the shifting of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) post from SHQ to FHQ. After the restructuring, SHQ will lose14 DIG posts. The total increase in DIG posts at FHQ will be 12. Two DIG posts have been shifted to other establishments. The reason behind this change is the recommendation by the Sixth Pay Commission. In the earlier setup, each sector had one post of Additional DIG (ADIG) who was second-in-command to the SHQ DIG. The ADIG post was abolished after the Sixth Pay Commission and the ADIGs were given promotion to DIG rank. Thus, each SHQ had two DIGs. To correct this anomaly, these DIGs were sent to FHQs to look after administration, intelligence, procurements, etc.

www.geopolitics.in

Similarly, the battalions are being restructured towards uniform company strength. At present, the battalions have strengths ranging from four to seven companies. After restructuring each battalion will have six general duty companies. The general duty companies are the fighting branch of ITBP. The other cadres are medical, signals, etc, which also constitute battalions.

THE ITBP WILL BE GETTING 13 ADDITIONAL BATTALIONS IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

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All this is going to change the total strength of the battalion. The total number of men to be appointed in the next four years is somewhere around 25,000. According to sources, the total strength of each battalion will be above 1000. As a result, the posts of the company commander in the force are going to increase. The rest of the officer-cadre posts will remain the same. This new structure of battalion will increase the manpower of battalion with little increase in the resource required. The increase in the number of company per battalion will provide the battalion with flexibility in operations. The battalion generally operates in isolated areas where bringing in reinforcements takes time. With the increase in number of officers per battalion at the time of operation, there will be no dearth of officers. When officers at company commander level go on leave, the battalion’s efficiency is affected. This increase in number of company

October 2011


g INTERNALSECURITY

High Altitude Medical Training School (HAMTS) of the ITBP is a first of its kind medical institution in India run by any central police organisation. The ITBP men are deployed perennially at high altitudes in extremely cold climate. Exposure to this kind of environment adversely impacts the health of the men. The extreme climate demands high fitness levels and medical support for the problems caused by environment. The extremely cold and dry region of Ladakh poses great challenges to health and also an opportunity to study and understand the human physiological responses to such climatic conditions. HAMTS was inaugurated at Leh to this end on July 17, 2009. The institute provides training to doctors and paramedics in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of high-altitude medical complications. As the MBBS and higher medical courses do not cover high-altitude medicine, doctors are not aware of the nuances of high-altitude sickness and cold injuries. This becomes a matter of life and death when a soldier needs medical help and doctors are unable to treat him locally at posts at high altitudes. HAMTS runs two courses, a basic high-altitude (Basic HA) course for medics for two weeks, and a week-long induction course for medical officers. The institute has trained ten batches of the Basic HA course and three induction batches for medical officers, with 193 receiving the training till now. Prior to formal sanctioning of staff, the institute was running by pooling resources from battalions, including medics, trainees, infrastructure and doctors. The institute now has a dedicated staff for training purposes and the ITBP is looking forward to a very ambitious expansion plan. The ITBP plans to develop this institute as a training institute for other forces and the general population as it is the only such institute in the country apart from the DRDO institute which caters to the needs of Indian Army.

www.geopolitics.in

Photo Courtesy:ITBP

HAMTS: MEDICOS FOR HEIGHTS

SNOW WARRIORS: After basic training, ITBP jawans are sent to Auli for mountaineering and ski training

commanders in a battalion will provide the commandants with enough officers to take care of any contingencies. This will increase the efficiency of the force, the sources suggested. The total officer strength post-restructuring will be around 3000, 50 per cent higher than the present number of 2000. The Directorate General’s Headquarters is another establishment that has gone through major changes. The restructuring sanctioned for the year 2011-12 for DG HQ allows an additional three posts of IGs, one DIG, six Commanding Officers, two 2I/C (second in command) 20 Deputy Commandants and 31 Assistant Commandants. The three IG post are Provision, Training and Administration and Welfare. The post of Public Relations Officer has been upgraded to 2I/C from DC. The year 2011-12 will also see the raising of a counter-insurgency and jungle warfare school (CIJWS), a central weapon store, three regional training centres (RTCs), and two field arms workshops. The CIJWS is already functioning in Mahidanda, Uttaranchal. In addition, the ITBP is raising a ‘water wing’. As per our sources, this new unit will be specially trained to guard the rivers, and the large number of lakes in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, 60 per cent of which is under Chinese occupation, is one of the main water bodies, which the ITBP guards. According to

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sources, there were incidents in past on this lake, which is the reason for raising the water wing. Phase I of the reorganisation, spread across 2012-13, will see the raising of four battalions, one FHQ, one SHQ, one central training centre, a special weapons school, mountain driving school etc. In Phase II nine battalions and two SHQs will be raised. The new RTCs are being established to provide training for the increase in force strength. The new RTC will be in Kimin (Arunachal Pradesh), Karera (Madhya Pradesh) and Shivganga (Tamil Nadu). When asked how a force, raised specifically to guard Himalayan borders, could be trained in low altitude areas, a senior ITBP officer had this to say: “These RTCs will provide the basic training on the lines of Panchkula Training Centre. After basic training, the jawans will be sent to Auli for mountaineering and ski training. Every mountain battalion has mountaineering training facility.” It remains to be seen how such a larger number of recruits will be trained without a new mountaineering centre. When three new RTCs are required for training new recruits then how come a single centre like Auli can give training for skiing, which is the most essential part of ITBP training? Without essential high altitude skills how are soldiers expected to patrol the high mountains under heavy snow? These questions, however, did not find answers from the BSF mandarins. October 2011


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COUNTERING TERRORISM Unless the entire subject of counter-terrorism is separated from law and order with a dedicated ministry, law and courts, India will never get a real counter-terrorism structure going, argues BHASKAR ROY

T

HE SEPTEMBER 7 terrorist attack on Delhi High Court, which killed 15, caused widespread hatred in India and unleashed outrage in the media, with authorities trying to explain their position, and foreign governments including Pakistan, condemning the dastardly act. But this phase shall pass quickly. The media will move on. The counter-terrorism agencies would go back to their routine work, till another strike takes place. In the meantime, government leaders will www.geopolitics.in

reassure us of their determination to root out terrorism and opposition political leaders will point fingers at the government's incapacity and lack of will to do so and try to score political points. The hapless people will go back to their daily routine and be lauded by the media for the resilience. But the people just don't have any other option. This is not to say that the intelligence agencies were not working. Intelligence agencies do not have spokespersons to tell their side of the story, which is just as well. Success in preventing terrorist

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attacks, which have been considerable, cannot be detailed publicly as that would give out operational details and terrorists could get clues to beat counter-terrorism methodology. In a country of 1.2 billion multi-lingual and multi-religious people, where physical characteristics of the people across the subcontinent and common languages cannot be differentiated easily, the job for the agencies becomes much more difficult than in the US or Europe. On the other hand, these agencies can perform only within the parameters they are subjected to. This includes lack of October 2011


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DASTARDLY ATTACK: Although the 26/11 attack jolted the Indian security establishment, they have clearly not got their act together, as is evident from the success of terror strikes since then

sophistication of the technologies they have available, the quality of personnel, political pressures and vote-bank politics and inadequate support, among many other hindrances and shortcomings. Then, there are turf wars between agencies. To deride Indian agencies by pointing out that not a single terrorist attack has taken place in the US after September 11, 2001 is specious. The technological wherewithal of the US is about 50 years ahead of the rest of the world. For example, a brief look at the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US, which is responsible for signal and technical intelligence collection, had around 40,000 personnel at the end of 2000. This may have been increased after 9/11. There used to be a www.geopolitics.in

A DISTINCTION BETWEEN COUNTERTERRORISM AND LAW AND ORDER NEEDS TO BE MADE weakness in their foreign languages area but that has since been addressed. They have huge technical intelligence stations in many countries and these have been established because of America's overwhelming power and influence. In most sensitive US embassies, including in India, the Foreign Service officers are in a minority. Except for the Ambassador, the Deputy Chief of Mission and sometimes, the Political Minister/ Counsellor, most of the posts are manned by the CIA, FBI, NSA and military attaches fully trained in espionage. American agencies have their officers and agents embedded in enterprises abroad. The Indian efforts are way behind and, there is a constant turf battle between the various agencies. Geographically, the US has the natural advantage of vast oceans on its eastern and western coasts. It has well-guarded borders with Mexico (illegal immigrants are an issue, not terrorists) and Canada. The US does not have land borders with countries where elements including those in their governments, help terrorist to infiltrate into the USA. Compare this with India which has large land borders with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh which have been used by Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) to infiltrate their terrorist modules into India. It has also set up terrorist bases for its terrorist groups like the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to establish bases in Bangladesh with the blessings of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)/Bangladesh Nationalist Party-(BNP) government (2001-2006). Pakistan has used small disgruntled sections of the huge Muslim population of India to raise terrorist modules and create indigenous groups like the Indian Mujahidin (IM) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). These groups, especially the IM, have become a

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part of the HUJI. Excluding laws like Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which were used to settle political scores rather than counter terrorism, there is an urgent requirement to draw a clear distinction between counterterrorism and law and order. Some lessons can be drawn from the US restructuring, and one is persuaded to believe that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was set up somewhat on the framework of American Department of Homeland Security. But the two countries have different ethos, different cultures and very different national human distribution. The USA was founded by European immigrants while India has evolved over 4000 years with waves of invasion and from countries as far as West Asia, Persia (Iran), Central Asia, Turkey and Mongolia, and super imposed by British colonialism. The Indian situation is extremely complex and a comparison with the American situation is unjust. Counter-terrorism has to be a totally separate entity under a homeland security head who does not have to occupy himself/herself with law and order issues. This should be the structure of the NIA. The NIA must get all inputs from other central agencies and these inputs must be accompanied by reliability comments. The NIA must have similar links with state police organisations which must create their own cells specifically linked to the NIA. The state counter-terrorism police must be similarly designated and disconnected with the law and order police. In turn, both must create outreach programmes to bond with the communities. The beat constable knows a lot about his area, but he is not trained to understand what he hears. His main job remains to keep an eye on the bad characters indulging in thefts and petty fights. Money also changes hands. Bribes usually keep the beat constables and their immediate seniors silent. This is because they have not been imbibed with the enormity and seriousness of the national security predicament. A lot needs to be introspected and much more addressed with regard to the structure of intelligence agencies. The junior level officials must be street smart, must know their way around, relatively trained on their areas of responsibility, bold but not foolishly provocative and have the ability October 2011


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SHOCK AND RAGE: Unlike India, the US has been able to curb domestic terror attacks with widespread changes to its security setup

to make friends and melt into the environment. Thankfully, this section is still there and they deliver. But increasingly members of these groups are getting distracted by some of their senior officers who use them for personal/domestic work thereby eroding their professionalism in the process. Similar is the case with the Class-I cadres but there are different elements. The first is the issue of recruitment to the particular intelligence service. To depute an officer from a different service can prove to be counterproductive. Officers of different Civil Services are trained for a particular role. If he/she is brought into an intelligence agency at a very early stage, there would be time to learn. But if the officer is inducted at the level of Director, Joint Secretary or Additional Secretary, the transition might not be ideal. Nothing can replace experience, especially in an intelligence agency like Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or the NIA. Promoting officers to the top level, including heads of agencies on political or filial connections severely degrades the efficacy of the agencies. Imagine the Prime Minster agreeing to appoint an officer as the head of an agency who has www.geopolitics.in

been passed over at least twice for promotion and has a dismal career record. If this happens (it has happened), then it sets a bad example for the younger officers. Thus, the responsibility for creating disenchantment down the ranks goes to the very top. Administrative ministries can still do with some disgruntled elements, but intelligence agencies cannot. An effective intelligence officer is one

CAPACITYBUILDING IN INTELLIGENCE AND COUNTER STRATEGIES IS SLOW OR LACKING who is wedded to his work for 24 hours a day. Intelligence officers also need encouragement and a drastic change in culture. How deep is the expertise of our officers engaged in counter-terrorism

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work? Expertise does not mean only field experience. What is required is much wider education through reading and following such events across the world. Do we have, say, a cell dedicated to a particular target or group for a decade, as the CIA did to take out Osama bin Laden? The colour of international Islamic terrorist groups is changing. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is moving away from the old hard-line to see if they can become more acceptable regionally at least, if not internationally. Differences may be coming out between different groups of terrorists, even in Pakistan. These terrorists are becoming increasingly unacceptable in most Islamic countries. Some countries which promoted Wahabism abroad are having to rethink their strategy. Should not Indian agencies try to exploit these developments to keep terrorism outside the borders? But the main drawback is that there is no capacity to do so and capacity-building both in aggressive intelligence and defensive counter strategies are woefully slow or totally lacking. How else could an unmanned ship float into Mumbai shores without being detected, or why were CCTV cameras not put outside Delhi High Court even three years after the project was approved? Corruption is one of the reasons apart from the historical lack of co-operation. The entire issue of counter terrorism must be separated from law and order. Otherwise, India will never get a real counter terrorism structure going. Separation means a dedicated minister, ministry, law and courts, and co-operation from other ministries and agencies. The intelligence structure which induces the new perception of counterterrorism has to undergo a thorough overhaul. But that may be expecting too much. Politicians will continue with their counter-productive actions, nepotism will remain, and turf battles will continue. The future looks as bleak but one still lives in the hope that a real sense of responsibility and national interest will descend. This commentary touches only the periphery. An exhaustive catharsis is called for. Indian intelligence agencies are just not professional and a kind of inertia has set in. How will we ever break out of this mould when too many egos and feudal practices are involved? ( The author is a retired senior intelligence official) October 2011


geopolitics

DIPLOMACY

A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP CHINESE CHANGE OF GUARD IN TIBET

The growing congruence of interests between India and Germany is beneficial for the whole world

WILL THE MAOISTS IN NEPAL SHARE POWER RESPONSIBLY ?


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GEOPOLITICS

GLOBALWATCH

STRANGE FACTS ABOUT AMERICA’S ‘POOR’

Every seventh American is poor with their total number reaching 46 million. ROBERT RECTOR and RACHEL SHEFFIELD analyse if the ‘poor’ are really poor

O

N SEPTEMBER 13, the American Census Bureau announced that a record 46.2 million, or one in seven Americans, lived in poverty last year. Although the current recession greatly increased the number of poor persons, high levels of poverty predate it. In fact, for the last two decades, census officials have announced in most years that more than 35 million Americans were poor. Last year’s number was 43.5 million. But there is a wide chasm between the public’s concepts of poverty and “poverty” as it is defined by the Census Bureau. The public generally thinks of poverty as substantial material hardship such as homelessness, or malnutrition and chronic hunger. In reality, the vast majority of those identified as poor by the annual census report did not experience significant material deprivation. In a recent Rasmussen poll, adults agreed (by a ratio of six to one) that “a www.geopolitics.in

family that is adequately fed and living in a house or apartment that is in good repair” is not poor. By that simple test, about 80 per cent of the Census Bureau’s “poor” people would not be considered poor by their fellow Americans. In the same Rasmussen poll, however, 73 per cent said poverty was a severe problem. Why the disconnect? The answer: Public perception of poverty in the US is governed by the mainstream media, which invariably depicts the Census Bureau’s tens of millions of poor people as chronically hungry and malnourished, homeless or barely hanging on in overcrowded, dilapidated housing. The strategy of the media is to take the least fortunate 3 per cent or 4 per cent of the poor and portray their condition as representative of most poor Americans. While Americans must have compassion for those who are truly homeless or without food, they are far from typical among the poor. How do the poor live? For starters, a

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poor child in America is far more likely to have a widescreen plasma television, cable or satellite TV, a computer and an Xbox or TiVo in his home than he is to be hungry. How can that be? In 2009, the US Department of Agriculture asked parents living in poverty this question: “In the last 12 months, were [your] children ever hungry but you just couldn’t afford more food?” Some 96 per cent of poor parents responded “no”: Their children never had been hungry because of a lack of food resources at any time in the previous year. Only 4 per cent of poor parents responded “yes,” their children had been hungry at some point in the year. Don’t hold your breath waiting for ABC or CBS to beam out that information. Here are more surprising facts about Americans defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, all taken from various government reports and included in my new paper from The Heritage Foundation called Understanding Poverty in the United States: October 2011


g GLOBALWATCH

REAL OR PERCEIVED: There is a widespread disconnect between the public perception of poverty in America and the Census Bureau's definition of it

y Eighty per cent of poor households

y

y y

y y y y y y

have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 per cent of the entire US population enjoyed air conditioning. Fully 92 per cent of poor households have a microwave; two-thirds have at least one DVD player and 70 per cent have a VCR. Nearly 75 per cent have a car or truck; 31 per cent have two or more cars or trucks. Four out of five poor adults assert they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food. Nearly two-third have cable or satellite television. Half have a personal computer; one in seven have two or more computers. More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as Xbox or PlayStation. Just under half — 43 per cent — have Internet access. A third have a widescreen plasma or LCD TV. One in every four has a digital video recorder such as TiVo. As noted, TV newscasts about poverty

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in America usually picture the poor as homeless or as a destitute family living in an overcrowded, rundown trailer. The actual facts are far different:

y At a single point in time, only one in 70 poor persons is homeless.

y The vast majority of the houses or apartments of the poor are in good repair; only 6 per cent are over-crowded. y The average poor American has more living space than the average nonpoor individual living in Sweden, France, Germany or the United Kingdom y Only 10 per cent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers; half live in detached single-family houses or townhouses, while 40 per cent live in apartments. y Forty-two per cent of all poor households own their home; on average, it’s a three-bedroom house with one-anda-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio. Certainly, the recession with its high levels of unemployment has generated suffering in many segments of our

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society. But the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that among the lowestincome fifth of households, inflationadjusted consumer spending actually increased modestly during the recession. Given these facts, how does the Census Bureau conclude that more than 40 million Americans are poor? They identify a family as poor the family’s cash income falls below specific thresholds. For example, in 2009 a family of four was “poor” if annual cash income fell below $21,954. But in counting income, the Census Bureau ignores almost the entire welfare state. This year, government will spend over $900 billion on meanstested anti-poverty programmes that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted social services to poor and near-poor Americans. (Social Security and Medicare are not included in that total.) This means-tested welfare spending comes to around $9,000 for each poor or low-income American — virtually none of which is counted by census officials for purposes of calculating poverty or inequality. The missing money is greater than the gross domestic product of most other countries. All of this might lead a thoughtful liberal to ask: Doesn’t the higher standard of living enjoyed by most of the poor (supported by the uncounted means-tested welfare spending) suggest the welfare state is working? Has America won the War on Poverty? The answer is a partial yes. Not even the government can spend $900 billion per year and have no impact on living standards. But the original goal of President Lyndon B Johnson’s War on Poverty was to eliminate the “causes” as well as the “symptoms” of poverty. Johnson said he sought to make the poor self-sufficient and prosperous, and to reduce dependence on government. LBJ promised to shrink, not expand, the welfare state. In helping the poor, he said, his goal was to “make taxpayers out of taxeaters.” After $17 trillion spent on the War on Poverty, Johnson’s goal is further off than ever. (Robert Rector is senior research fellow in domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation and Rachel Sheffield is a research assistant at The Heritage Foundation, Washington D.C) October 2011


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DIPLOMACY There are critical challenges and infinite opportunities before India and Germany. An exciting future awaits them if they work together, writes YAMINI CHOWDHURY The purpose of foreign policy is not to provide an outlet for own sentiments of hope or indignation; it is to shape real events in a real world. John F. Kennedy

P STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: Although the relationship between India and Germany leaves a lot to be desired, steps are finally being taken to forge new ties

INDO-GERMAN

PARTNERSHIP IN

THE 21ST CENTURY www.geopolitics.in

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ERHAPS, IT is these profound words that define the true import of bilateral relations between two vibrant democracies: Germany and India. In the last six decades, the relationship shared between the most populous country in Europe and the largest democracy in the world with an increasingly assertive presence within the security and economic architecture of the Asian region and the world, has been emblematic of mutual respect, friendship, deep understanding and support. However, as the ‘Year of Germany’ in India is in progress with the theme, ‘Infinite Opportunities — Germany and India 2011-2012’, it is imperative to go beyond the shared values of democracy and peaceful co-existence and explore new dimensions that transcend entrenched positions. NEW MILLENNIUM; NEW BEGINNING Even though bilateral relations between India and Germany gained prominence with India’s formal recognition of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1951, the genesis of this long-standing partnership can be traced to the late 19th century, when the ‘Imperial German Consulate’ (Kaiserlich Deutsches Generalkonsulat) began functioning from Calcutta. October 2011


g DIPLOMACY However, Indo-German relations, friendly otherwise, got a tremendous boost after the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991. German foreign policy was quick to acknowledge India’s rapid economic progress and growing strategic heft. Finally, after years of fitful improvements and dichotomous foreign policy choices, the ‘Agenda for German-Indian Partnership in the 21st Century’ was crafted in May 2000, thus paving the way for the relationship to be taken to a sustainable trajectory. The Agenda paved the way for regular interactions between the heads of states and annual ministeriallevel meetings. The transformative impact of the Agenda on bilateral relations was demonstrated by the joint declaration signed by Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in April 2006, which stressed the critical issue of strengthening future cooperation in energy, science and technology and defence. These efforts were bolstered even further by the declaration signed during the October 2007 visit of Chancellor Merkel to India. The appreciable progress in the span of just one year provided the blueprint for a more ambitious future. The May 2011 visit of Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, which was preceded by the five-

day state visit of the then German Federal President, Horst Köhler in February 2010, was a clear indicator of the immeasurable value of this strategic partnership, particularly to Germany. The importance of the first, comprehensive inter-governmental consultation held in May 2011 can be gauged from the fact that India is one of the three nonEuropean nations with which Germany has had such profound interaction. The talks were comprehensive and covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations, from security and defence policy, trade, vocational training, education and research to infrastructure, sustainable energy and environment technologies. The immense significance of the growing congruence of interests was summarised by Chancellor Merkel. “Through this special commitment to cooperation across a broad political spectrum, we have laid the foundation for jointly addressing the global challenges of our times”, she articulated in her statement, which clearly underscores the need for greater cooperation between the two nations. The high-profile visit was also marked by the inauguration of the ‘Year of Germany’ in India by the Chancellor. The government also conferred the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Under-

standing for the year 2009 on the Chancellor in “recognition of her personal devotion and enormous efforts for sustainable and equitable development, for good governance and understanding and for the creation of a world better positioned to handle the emerging challenges of the 21st century”. So have bilateral relations between India and Germany been imbued with a sense of purpose, conviction and dynamism as exhibited by the joint statements and press releases? Or, is this nothing more than mere political rhetoric? Professor Rajendra Jain, Professor of European Studies at the School of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, believes: “After several decades of benign neglect and mutual indifference, IndoGerman relations have substantially improved and deepened in the past decade in nearly all fields, including a significant increase in high-level bilateral visits. However, it is the rising level of bilateral trade between the two nations, rather than the strategic dimension of the relationship, that has been the most defining feature of Indo-German bilateral relations. Despite regular interactions between the two nations at international forums such as the UNSC, G20 and G4, and the absence of any major bilateral irritants, India has

OPPORTUNE CALL: The state visits of the leaders like Chancellor Angela Merkel have provided the ideal opportunities for furthering relationship between the two countries www.geopolitics.in

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October 2011


g DIPLOMACY not excited German policy-makers the way China has.” Elaborating on the German focus on China, Professor Jain asserts, “Apart from an interest in stabilising a fragile Pakistan and a speedy resolution of the Afghan problem, Germany is not very relevant within the South Asian context. Since there are very few issues that warrant collaboration with India, there is really no scope for very tight-knit, close political consultations. At the moment, however, Germany seems more tantalised by China. But in future, there is potential for greater cooperation between India and Germany on issues like maritime security and terrorism among others.” ELEVATING THE STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP Systematic expansion in bilateral political relations formed an important component of the Agenda framed in the year 2000 and the subsequent declarations signed in 2006 and 2007. However, the fact that strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations also figured high on the list of priorities of both governments has important implications. At the core of this deepening strategic relationship are vital issues of military cooperation and security. The sale of arms, an intrinsic element of military cooperation, from India — the fifth-largest arms exporter — has been fairly inconsistent and indecisive. While a spurt in German military imports was noticed in the years 2000, 2004 and later, in 2006, these improvements have been sporadic. Some of the major military acquisitions from Germany include Type209 submarines, diesel engines for submarines and tanks and Do-228 aircraft. The much-desired momentum in military relations was provided by the Defence and Security Agreement 2006, which was signed by the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his German counterpart, Franz Josef Jung. The agreement, which lucidly spelt out the need for greater defence cooperation between the two nations, emphasised regular military exchanges between Service Chiefs, training and consultations and a comprehensive framework for joint defence production, research and development that extended beyond the ambit of defence acquisitions. The creation of such a framework, it was highlighted, would be instrumental in achieving a more tangible transfer of technology. The agreement www.geopolitics.in

also created the Indo-German High Defence Committee, or HDC, for discussing and evaluating the numerous possibilities for greater Indo-German defence cooperation. In its first meeting in 2007, both parties of the HDC concurred to elevate the level of exchanges in peacekeeping operations and disaster management. The last few years have also witnessed several high-profile visits: the German Navy Chief in 2006 and the German Air Chief in 2007, followed by the German Army Chief in 2008. The first joint naval exercise between the two nations in Kochi in 2008 brought together the Federal German Ship F220 Hamburg, the frigate F211 Köln, an air defence ship and the re p l e n i s h m e n t

er, says, “The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium and their four governments, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK, provide the opportunity for a unique industrial partnership which makes India a full participant in the Eurofighter Typhoon programme. The three Eurofighter partner companies, BAE Systems, Finmeccanica and EADS, had a turnover of more than $120 billion in 2010 with a range of products from submarines to satellites, as compared to the $5 billion reach of our competitors. These figures clearly show the extent of the industrial partnership between India and the four Eurofighter partner companies. Moreover, the Eurofigher consortium will offer a transfer of its technology without constraints to further strengthen India’s defence industrial

HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY: The Typhoon is a strong contender for the MMRCA programme and could provide an opportunity for deeper technological cooperation

tanker FGS Berlin and INS Tir and INS Krishna, signalling a momentous step towards cooperation in international naval operations in the future. German security forces have also offered their expertise in other areas such as counterterrorism measures, intelligence sharing and training. MMRCA DEAL: THE POTENTIAL GROWTH DRIVER? The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal, considered to be the world’s biggest defence contract, is viewed by many as an important tool to enhance the strategic partnership between India and Germany. Eurofighter Typhoon, regarded as the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft, is being developed by a four-nation consortium consisting of Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain. It has been pitted against Rafale, a French fighter aircraft developed by Dassault Aviation, for the bid to supply 126 MMRCAs to the Indian Air Force at a cost of $11 billion. Describing the tremendous interest in bringing India into the Eurofighter’s supply chain, Enzo Casolini, CEO, Eurofight-

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self-reliance.” Bernhard Gerwert, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurofighter GmbH and CEO of EADS subsidiary, Cassidian Air Systems states, “Our key target is to establish a long-term strategic partnership between India and Europe. Choosing the Eurofighter Typhoon as its future MMRCA would enable India to elevate its strategic relationship, not only with Germany, but also with the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy and their armed forces to a completely new level.” Gerwert also believes that India’s entry into the programme would revitalise its defence and aerospace industry. “We really want to intensify the industrial and technological cooperation with India and integrate this rapidly growing nation into the Eurofighter Typhoon programme as an industrial participant. India has the unique opportunity to join the Eurofighter programme in order to co-develop and co-produce future capabilities for this aircraft. Given the fact that the Typhoon has an operational service life of more October 2011


g DIPLOMACY than 40 years, India could play an active role in the aircraft’s further development. This will support the creation of a modern defence and aerospace industry in India and the indigenisation of its aerospace and defence capabilities could create more than 20,000 high-skilled jobs in this country,” he asserts. It remains to be seen whether the Eurofighter deal would be instrumental in elevating the strategic partnership between India and Germany. However, Professor Rajendra Jain believes that there are other areas of mutual interest that hold immense promise. “Even though bilateral ties are essentially trade and commerce driven and would continue to be so in the near future as well, there is growing interest among Germans to gain access to the world’s largest arms importer. Also, considering Germany’s supportive role within the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the relaxation of dual-use technology norms, there exists immense potential for bilateral cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy” he said. Civilian cooperation in the atomic sector

could include German assistance for promoting safety of nuclear plants and developing turbine technology for nuclear reactors. ECONOMIC ENGAGEMENT According to the latest figures of the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, IndoGerman trade has ratcheted up an impressive 18 per cent growth rate in 2010 — the highest in the last three years — after registering a decline of 2.3 per cent during the year 2009. Bilateral trade between the two countries touched a record high of €15.4 billion in 2010, adding €2.3 billion to the previous year’s www.geopolitics.in

figure. These impressive figures have put to rest all speculation about bilateral trade reaching the €14 billion target. Indian exports recorded a growth of 21.3 per

GREAT POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF NUCLEAR ENERGY BETWEEN INDIA AND GERMANY cent in the previous year and reached €6.2 billion, while imports from Germany grew at 15.7 per cent in 2010 touching €9.2 billion. The ambitious trade target of €20 billion by 2012, set by the seads of state of both nations in Decem-

ber 2010, could well be achieved even before the stipulated time period. The desire to give an impetus to bilateral trade resulted in the establishment of the Joint Commission on Industrial and Economic Cooperation led by the Finance Ministers on both sides. Today, there are five Joint Working Groups on agriculture, automobiles, infrastructure, coal and vocational education. In September 2007, a knowledge paper titled, India and Germany, published by FICCI and KPMG, highlighted the inherent business potential of the economic engagement between the two nations. The paper, while recognising the prospects in sectors such as IT, bio-technology, telecommunications and healthcare, emphasised the urgent need to explore the latent potential in largely moribund sectors such as Indian media and entertainment industry, retail, electronics, financial services, travel and

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tourism, consumer goods, logistics, education and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The issue of imbalance in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows is another challenge that warrants immediate resolution. According to the Statement on Country-wise FDI inflows from April 2000 to April 2011, published by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the cumulative FDI inflows from Germany stood at $3,050.74 million, which accounted for a mere 2.3 per cent of the total FDI inflows into India. This is in sharp contrast to the rising stock of Indian FDI in Germany, which was estimated at about €4.125 billion in mid-2010. An expeditious review of factors that inhibit FDI inflows into India such as investment regulations, indirect taxes and duties, corporate taxes, wagerelated issues, labour laws and immigration laws, would create a more conducive business environment in the country. On the critical issue of trade imbalance, Guido Christ, Deputy Director General, Indo German Chamber of Commerce, believes: “The bilateral trade between India and Germany in 2010 was $18,232 billion. Of that amount, 63 per cent were imports into India from Germany and the balance exports to Germany. That is the real bilateral imbalance. It is because German exports mainly comprise machinery, plants and high-value equipment, whereas Indian exports include garments, textiles, leather and only a small percentage of high-value items.” To correct this imbalance, he suggests, “India has to manufacture and sell products, which are more competitive, especially with regard to quality. This is nothing new and has to be taken up by the government in order to strengthen the so-called manufacturing sector.” THE WAY FORWARD Both India and Germany have democratically elected federal structures, enjoy convergence of views on international issues and espouse common values — key factors that thread the nations together. Deepening bilateral ties in all spheres — political, strategic, economic and cultural — would create a lasting partnership that would shape the real events in today’s globalised world. (The author is a freelance journalist) October 2011


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Photo: H.C.Tiwari

AMBASSADOR’SJOURNAL

“INDIA’S SECURITY IS OUR SECURITY” www.geopolitics.in

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THOMAS MATUSSEK, Germany’s Ambassador to India since November 2009, is one of the most high-profile officers in the German Foreign Service, evident from the fact that he was the “Permanent Representative” of his country to the United Nations (2002-06). His impressive track record of 36 years in the Foreign Service, among others, is the possible reason why he has been chosen to take on the newly-created position of Head of Public Affairs at Deutsche Bank from November 1, 2011. Matussek is a great advocate of India and its values and this is his second Delhi posting; he served as Press Counsellor at the German Embassy between 1983 and 1986. To a great extent, he deserves the credit for organising the celebration of “The Year of Germany in India”, which commenced on September 23 and will continue for the next 15 months with a series of programmes all over India. In a candid interview to PRAKASH NANDA, the German Ambassador underlined why Germany and India “must grow through partnership, innovation and sustainability”. October 2011


g AMBASSADOR’SJOURNAL

How are you celebrating the “The Year of Germany in India”? TM: We want to breathe life into our strategic partnership. We are setting up an exchange of ideas: people to people, Indians and Germans. German hightech and Indian brains will find solutions to the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation. With the mobile space, a cluster of high-tech pavilions, we will create a buzz in seven of India’s mega cities, with highly attractive programmes directed primarily at the young, urban youth. This is the biggest presence that Germany has ever staged in India and it clearly showcases the potential of Indo-German cooperation. We will provide an all-round impression of our economy, research, education, culture and society: a 360 degree panorama of Germany. One understands German business leaders are very keen on this project. How do they see the opportunities in India given the fact that foreign investment in India of late has shown some disturbing signs, largely due to the lack of infrastructural inadequacies and lengthy clearance processes? TM: We consider the so-called obstacles in India to be great challenges and promises for us. In fact, all German firms are happy in India. Siemens, for instance, has doubled its business in last two years through its 26 manufacturing sites in India that have provided employment to more than 80,000 people. We invest in India not only for India but for other parts of the world. That is why we expect the 15-month celebration will end on a high note in November 2012 when more than 1000 CEOs and ministers will assemble in Delhi to explore ‘infinite opportunities’ for the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA). How do you view the other aspects of Indo-German relations? TM: India’s relations with Germany have seen a tremendous boost over the past years. The two countries are important partners on the international stage. In fact, India is no more a client for German business but a strategic partner. More than one billion people are living in a dangerous neighbourhood and no global system can work without India, whether it is climate www.geopolitics.in

control, terrorism or international financial order. We are working together on all these issues. Our political leaders meet on a regular basis in bilateral and multilateral frameworks. After all, India and Germany share the same values. I think if you look around the world, India is a vivid democracy, an anchor of stability in a very unruly neighbourhood and I think together we can do a lot of things to improve stability, peace and prosperity in the world.

President Pratibha Patil. How are you looking at it? TM: As you know, Germany, or for that matter the 27-nation European Union, is opposed to Bhullar’s hanging because we, as a matter of policy, are opposed to capital punishment as a principle. We have written to your Home Ministry in this regard. But ultimately, it will be the decision of India that matters. It is your laws that will prevail. And we respect that.

How are you working together towards the restructuring and democratisation of the United Nations Security Council? TM: India and Germany are committed to supporting each other in their bid for a permanent membership in the Security Council, of which both are non-permanent members now. We are part of G-4 along with Brazil and Japan. All of us are of the opinion that the composition of the Security Council must reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century. All four of us have legitimate claims over the permanent membership. In fact, the G-4 is working very hard to get the necessary approval of the two-third majority of the United Nations members for this purpose.

What about defence cooperation? TM: We take that very seriously. We are of the opinion that India’s security is our security. Our defence forces have been working together. There have been joint military exercises, though these are on a smaller scale. But if India is prepared, we will readily raise the level. We do not regard India as a client but as a true security partner and that is why we are prepared to offer armaments systems to India which we don’t share with anyone and we envisage full technology transfer.

You talked of fighting terrorism. Are India and Germany working together on this issue? TM: Absolutely. In the common fight against terrorism and particularly since 26/11 in Mumbai, we have been undertaking measures promoting closer intelligence sharing and training programmes for anti-terrorism experts. Exchange of intelligence information is important. By doing that we can prevent major terrorist incidents. It is said that Germany has cooperated with India by acting against supporters of Khalistan and deported a few. Is this cooperation still continuing? TM: Yes, it is working to the satisfaction of both sides. I believe there is a little problem here. Germany has opposed the death sentence to Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who was deported from your country where he had sought political asylum. His mercy petition was rejected recently by

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That brings me to the shortlisting of the Eurofighter as India’s multirole fighter plane, in which Germany has got a huge share. Do you think that bourgeoning Indo-German relations will be adversely affected if the deal finally does not come through and goes to the rival French Dassault Rafale? TM: We are not even thinking of the prospect of Eurofighter not getting the Indian nod. We believe that the process and procedure on the Indian side has been very good and transparent. We have no doubt it will be as transparent in the future as well. We believe we have the most modern aircraft, not an old aircraft that has been modernised several times. We are confident of getting the final approval. We are ready to share technology with India. We are very optimistic about future possibilities. We consider it a very important political partnership. As I told you, India’s security is our security. That is why we choose the best for India. And we are not insisting on the controversial end- user monitoring agreement because we believe that in the next 10-20 years, Europe and India should really fight side-by-side in meeting the great security challenges of our planet. October 2011


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REGIONALPRISM

HOPING FOR THE BEST

Nepal has a new government headed by the Maoists. But its success depends on the capacity and desire of the Maoists to share power with other major political forces and the support it gets from the international community, particularly India, argues SD MUNI

N

EPAL HAS been passing through a phase of disappointment and anxiety since the establishment of an elected Constituent Assembly (CA) in 2008. In the past three years and more, three Prime Ministers came and left without making any substantial progress either in the peace process in or in the framing of the Constitution. Now a fourth coalition government has been established. With the assumption of office by Maoist Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai as the new Prime Minister in the last days of August 2011, new hopes

for the completion of the peace process and Constitution-writing have been aroused. Bhattarai enjoys wide popular support even outside his party for his integrity and straightforwardness. With his assumption of office, the largest party in the CA, the Maoists, have also returned to power as the leader of the coalition government after being kept on the margins for more than three years. The recent change in Nepal would not have been possible without three important developments. The first is the internal metamorphosis within the Maoist party where after an intense struggle for

power, its Chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as ‘Prachanda’, has been forced to share power with his two senior colleagues, Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’ and Baburam Bhattarai. While Bhattarai would lead the government, Baidya will manage organisational affairs. Chairman ‘Prachanda’ will be the overall coordinator. An important fallout of this internal struggle has been a categorical shift in the party’s position towards pursuance of the agenda of the peace process and Constitution-writing in collaboration with other political parties. For the first time, the party has also come out with a specific

BACK IN POWER: After being on the margins for three years, the Maoist party has returned to power as the leader of the coalition

www.geopolitics.in

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g REGIONALPRISM proposal on disbanding its armed cadres and made a public commitment on addressing the long-pending demands of other political parties, like the return of properties seized by Maoists in the course of the ten-year-long (1996-2006) insurgency. The Maoists have proposed that while 8,000 of their 19,000 strong armed cadres may be integrated into the security forces, the rest may be given a golden handshake (of Rupees 700,000 to one million each) to help them find alternative avenues of career. To underline the sincerity of its commitment, the Maoists have endorsed some of the proposals put forward by the Nepal Army regarding the integration of the armed cadres into the security forces. The Maoists have also handed over the keys of the boxes containing the arms of the Maoist cadres to the Special Committee of the CA, which is designated to decide and supervise the disbanding of the armed cadres. The second major development has been the decision of the Madhesh-based parties to come together to forge a coalition government with the Maoists. The United Democratic Madhesh Front (UDMF) worked out a four-point deal with the Maoists that included the representation of the Madhesies in various establishments, including the Nepal Army (10,000 cadres) and withdrawal of criminal cases against Madhesh political activists in the course of various movements. They also made the Maoists agree to a lower figure of 7,000 of their armed cadres to be integrated into Nepal’s army and other security forces. The Madhesh groups have a longstanding resentment against other mainstream parties, specially the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist Leninist (UML), on issues related to federalism and power-sharing. They find the position of the Maoists on most of these issues closer to their aspirations. It is widely speculated in Nepal that the Madhesh groups could not have been able to forge any understanding with the Maoists if India had any reservations in this respect. The fact that Baburam Bhattarai could become the Prime Minister and that the Maoists could lead the coalition with the help of the Madhesh groups is a clear indication that India endorsed this coalition. Whether India actively supported this new coalition or not, there have been reasons for India to change its stance in relation to the Maoists as the previous www.geopolitics.in

BECAUSE OF THE TRUST DEFICIT WITH MAOISTS, THE NEPALI CONGRESS IS INSISTING ON A THIRD-PARTY GUARANTOR OUTSIDER NO MORE: At the helm of affairs in Kathmandu, Prachanda has a real chance to ensure stabilty in Nepal by heeding to the interests of the various stakeholders

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strategy of politically isolating the Maoists and keeping them out of power proved to be counterproductive. This strategy received a big jolt when the UML and the Maoists forged a coalition under the prime-ministership of UML’s Jhala Nath Khanal in February 2011. The isolation of the Maoists had stalled the peace process and paralysed governance in Nepal. Political instability was also encouraging the Chinese to dig in deep into Nepal at the cost of India’s strategic space and vital long-term security and economic interests. The visits of high-level Chinese political, military and business delegations to Nepal during the past three years have been fuelling Indian anxieties and concerns. There was also significant rise in anti-Indian sentiment in Nepal led by the Maoists, which resulted in unprecedented acts like the Indian Ambassador being hurled stones and shoes at. Sections of the Indian establishment preferred the NC to lead a coalition with the UML and the Madhesh groups in order to keep the Maoists at bay but there were too many aspirants for the prime ministerial position among the NC stalwarts. The party’s leadership and organisational ability hardly inspired any confidence among the Nepal policy planners in New Delhi’s South Block. Accordingly, it was in the face of lack of any viable alternatives that India decided to shift its three-year-old position in relation to the Maoists and decided to give them yet another chance in Nepal. The Cabinet Committee on Security in New Delhi, which debated the Nepal issue in August 2011 intensely, came to the conclusion that the strategy of isolating the Maoists was not leading anywhere and that there was an urgent need to review and recast this strategy. Back channel negotiations initiated with the Maoists more than a year back, tried to ascertain that their second coming to power would not jeopardise Indian interests and that they would sincerely deliver on the peace process and the Constitution-making. The Maoists’ dependence on the Madhesh groups was seen as a reassuring fallback position for the Indian approach. With the Madhesh group in the Maoist-led government, Indian policy-making establishments could hope to exercise a continuing influence in the critical areas of the functioning and survival of the government in Kathmandu. The new government has been positively received in Nepal. The big October 2011


g REGIONALPRISM question, however, is if this government will deliver. Bhattarai had promised to complete the peace process within 45 days of his assumption of office. By the time he returns after his participation in the UN General Assembly in New York, it would be a month of him as Prime Minister. Much of the next 15 will keep the Nepalese busy in their biggest annual cultural festivities of Dassain (Dusherra in India). And failing to meet the deadlines will seriously dent the credibility of the government and the Bhattarai leadership. The government has, however, reiterated its commitment by handing over the keys of Maoists arms to the CA Special Committee as noted earlier. It also seems quite confident and determined that it will create a compensation package and move forward to regroup the Maoist combatants along those who want to be retained in the security forces and those who want to join civilian mainstream. And, in the process, if the opposition parties engage with the Maoists and reach a consensus on the issues of integration, peace process and constitution, matters can move much faster to conclude the whole process in the next three to six months at the most. The success of the Bhattarai government critically depends on three factors. First, that the Maoists do not deviate from their commitment to the peace process under the thrust of their internal political pressures.

Everyone knows that the isolated hardline faction of the Maoists led by Baidya has not given up on opposing the handing-over of the keys and the four-point deal struck with the Madhesh groups. There are attempts on the part of Maoist Chairman Prachanda to soften the Baidya group and bring it into the fold of the coalition government, but the prospects of the success of these attempts are dicey at best. The Maoists, perhaps, would not split, but the extent of cooperation by the Baidya group to the Bhattarai government and the peace process is anybody’s guess. There are also speculations that Prachanda may not let Baburam succeed as that might result in the denting of his personal leadership and the prospects of returning to power as the chief executive. But most of such speculations may not be tenable. Secondly, if the present initiative for the peace process has to succeed under the Bhattarai government, then the coalition partners should stick together and the opposition must also be brought in as active participants in the peace process and Constitutionmaking. The Madhesh

groups stand fragmented along caste and personality cleavages. They do not enjoy a great reputation for honesty, integrity and commitment in the Nepali perception. But they must realise that the failure of the THE PEOPLE’S STAR: Baburam Bhattarai enjoys extensive support, even outside his party for his integrity and straightforwardness www.geopolitics.in

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peace process would also put at stake the prosperity and devolution of power for the whole of Madhesh and also their respective political careers. Among the opposition parties, the role of the NC is most critical. While the NC has sharp differences with the Maoists on the details of the integration of the armed cadres (numbers, ranks and the compensation package), its real concern is to ensure that the Maoists do not walk away alone with the credit for the success of the peace process and the constitution-making. The Maoists are willing to share the ownership of the peace process with the NC and, are also inclined to hand over the leadership of the coalition government to the NC for holding the next elections on the basis of the principle of rotation. They know that they alone cannot accomplish these national tasks. However, in view of its prevailing trust deficit with the Maoists, the NC is insisting on a thirdparty guarantor, particularly India. It remains to be seen if the Maoists are amenable to India playing such a role and, on its part, India is willing and capable of ensuring that the Maoists honour their political commitments to the NC to make the peace process and Constitution-writing a success. The third necessary condition for the success of the peace process under the Bhattarai government is that the international community, particularly India, continues to support the present initiative and help it as much as possible to move forward. It is in the larger interest of the peace process and overall stability in Nepal that the NC is on board in the present initiative. The NC’s participation in the peace process and Constitution-writing will keep it firmly on the democratic track by providing an ideological balance to the extremist pulls within the Maoists party. NC’s participation will also facilitate the emergence of national consensus in this process, because it will surely persuade the UML not to remain aloof. India and the international community in Nepal should, therefore, nudge the NC towards joining hands with the Maoists. This should be done on mutually-acceptable terms between the Maoists and the NC as a political package without permitting the technical aspects of the combatants’ integration issues to vitiate the broader national perspective. (The author is Research Professor, ISAS Singapore) October 2011


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CRITICAL APPOINTMENTS: The policies of the newly appointed leaders like Chen Quanguo (right) and Zhang Qingwei (left) will go a long way towards shaping the destiny of the restive region

GEOPOLITICS

DIPLOMACY

PREPARING THE

BIG CHANGE

China has recently reshuffled key party officials and administrators in various provinces. What are its implications for Tibet and India? CLAUDE ARPI tries to answer

T

HE TRANSFER of Zhang Qingli, the tough Han official, who masterminded the repression in the Tibetan Autonomous Region after the March/April 2008 unrest, has been widely reported in the media. But this was part of a larger exercise. The China Daily mentioned the large-scale reshuffle of regional party bosses and Governors in China: “More regional leadership reshuffles may be expected following changes of the top leaders of five provincial-level regions, as the Chinese Communist Par-

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ty of China (CCP) gears up for next year’s Party Congress.” Obviously, the change, which received the most coverage, was the transfer of Chen Quanguo, the Governor of Hebei province, who was appointed Secretary of the CCP committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), replacing Zhang Qingli. The latter, involved for the past 12 years in minority areas particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet, has now been sent as Party Chief to Hebei province, bordering Beijing and Tianjin municipalities.

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More unusual, Zhang Qingwei, 50, till recently President of a leading commercial airplane manufacturer, was nominated acting Governor of the same Hebei province (replacing Chen Quanguo). A political researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences commented: “Businessmen-turned-political leaders can make the best use of their social resources to attract investment for a relatively underdeveloped region.” Some in India will look at the reshuffle with admiration; in China, leaders turning 65 years of age are shown the October 2011


g DIPLOMACY retirement door; this is the standard age for ministerial-level officials to quit public affairs. In India, the retirement age for politicians is still the grave or the pyre (several recently appointed Governors are above the canonic age of 80). This particular Chinese policy is worth emulating; it certainly makes a difference in terms of dynamism and flexibility. But the most important change for India (which hosts more than a lakh Tibetan refugees) was the departure of Zhang Qingli and the arrival of Chen Quanguo. According to his official biography, Chen Quanguo, 55, is a native of Pingyu County in Henan. He was Deputy Secretary of the CCP Henan Provincial Committee between April 2003 and November 2009; then he was ‘elected’ Governor of Hebei Provincial People’s Government during the 11th Provincial People’s Congress in January 2011. Chen is also an alternate member of the 17th CCP Central Committee. THE SELECTION PROCESS One question comes to mind: how was he selected to serve in the tough and prestigious post in Tibet? (Twenty years ago President Hu Jintao also served as Party Secretary in the Tibet Autonomous Region, before being promoted to the Politburo). A friend suggested, ‘by Russian roulette’; Tibetans may think that ‘Mo’ (divination) was used. (The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party seems to have recently become experts in the Golden Urn lottery!). But his selection was probably more ‘scientific’, though Chen has apparently never been in contact with ‘restive Tibetans’ or other minorities before (this may be a plus point, but only the future will tell). In Hebei, Chen had replaced Hu Chunhua, the rising star of the Sixth Generation of the Communist Party, who was transferred as Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia in January. Hu Chunhua, who had earlier served in Tibet (and was one of the few Han cadres who could speak Tibetan), is expected to become Prime Minister 10 to 15 years from now. One explanation for Chen’s nomination is his contact with Li Keqiang, China’s future Premier. Chen and Li served together for five years in Henan Province. Li probably suggested Chen’s name. In an essay on the Sixth Generation of leaders (Changing of the Guard: Beijing www.geopolitics.in

MONUMENTAL MOMENT: It remains to be seen how the change in leadership will affect life in Tibet

grooms Sixth-Generation cadres for 2020’s published by the Jamestown Foundation), Willy Lam speaks of Li Yuanchao, the present Chief of the CCP Organisation Department, responsible for the selection of the cadres: “When he was Vice-Party Secretary and Party Secretary of Jiangsu Province from 2000 to 2007, Li Yuanchao made a name for himself for broadening ‘intra-party democracy’, especially the ‘scientific’ selection of cadres through means including popular assessment and recommendation. After becoming Director of the CCP Organisation Department in October 2007, however, Li has shifted his attention from ‘scientific’ humanresources theories to the time-honoured, Confucianist preoccupation with recruiting virtuous cadres. While visiting Heilongjiang Province in late 2008, he told local officials that his first priority was to pick “people who are ambitious, who want to do good things, who are capable and who will not make a big mess [of the political situation].” On another provincial outing at about the same time, Li said he was looking for cadre who could “uphold economic development, maintain people’s standard of living, preserve sociopolitical stability and ensure the implementation of the zhongyang’s [central authorities] policies”. Li’s primary con-

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cern is that cadres being groomed for fast-track promotion “should pass muster in both ‘de’ [morality] and competence, with priority given to ‘de’. Quite a number of cadres have gone astray not due to the question of professional competence but because of lapses in morality,” Li said. Chen’s ‘morality’ is probably good; the point remains that he will have to deal with Tibetan (and Han) cadres with 20 or 30 years experience in the region (like Raidi or Phagpala). It remains to be seen how he will manage. Jampa Puntsog, presently the number two in the TAR Party, will probably retire soon (he will cross the age limit) and Padma Choling (alias Pema Trinley), the TAR Governor may then be elevated to the number two slot. Interestingly, Padma Choling is several years ‘senior’ to Chen Quanguo. On a positive note, Chen did not attack the Dalai Lama in his first speech consecrated to the ‘development’ of Tibet. XI JINPING’S VISIT TO THE INDIAN BORDER The change of guard in Lhasa comes hardly a month after the significant visit of the Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping to Tibet. Xi, who is to take over Hu Jintao’s mantle next year, is also Vice-Chairman October 2011


g DIPLOMACY

ON A POSITIVE NOTE, CHEN DID NOT ATTACK THE DALAI LAMA IN HIS FIRST SPEECH

of the Central Military Commission. During his tour of the Himalayan region, he met PLA officers stationed in Lhasa, and also visited Bayi, a modern Chinese town on the banks of river Nyang (a tributary of the Brahmaputra). Bayi is located north of McMahon Line in Nyingtri Prefecture. It is the first time that such a senior leader has ventured into this area, which is also the base for a purported mega dam on the Brahmaputra. Bayi is a special place: it is a town run by the PLA. ‘Bayi’ means ‘Eight-one” or ‘August 1’; referring to the anniversary of the Nanchang Uprising, considered to be the founding date of the People’s Liberation Army. Today, it is one of the two main PLA bases in Tibet. Xi spoke of stability to the PLA and PAPF (People’s Armed Police Force) posted on the border: “People of all ethnicities in Tibet need to understand that stability leads to prosperity and separatist activities lead to disasters.” This has been the leitmotif of the visit, probably because Tibet has never been so unstable in the past 60 years. He did not mention China’s southern neighbour, India, just stating that he appreciated “the [Army’s] contributions to the social progress, ethnic unity and the improvement of local people’s lives in the area”. Earlier, he had described Tibet “as an important national security screen for the country”; a rather mild www.geopolitics.in

description for a ‘disputed’ border. The objective of his visit was clearly not to create more problems with India, but to somehow ‘stabilise’ the restive region. Observers noted that General Chen Bingde, PLA Chief of General Staff who had accompanied Xi in Lhasa, was not with the future President in Bayi. He had left for Ngari, Western Tibet, with some other members of the Beijing delegation. Had he taken the PLA Chief of Staff with him to Bayi, Xi Jinping would have probably alarmed India. CHEN QUANGUO TAKES OVER In his first meeting in Lhasa, Chen Quanguo declared: “Tremendous efforts are needed to boost development in Tibet and the region’s long-term stability.” Earlier, he had been introduced by Zhang Jinan, Vice-Minister of the Organisation Department of the CPC Central Committee, who explained that Chen had “started at the grassroots’ level, gained experience through his work in various posts. He is familiar with the work of the Party as well as the economy, and is good at handling the overall situation. The decision by the central authorities was out of consideration for the actual work needs, a spirit of cadre exchange, and the real leadership situation in Tibet”. It is difficult to say whether Zhang Qingli’s transfer to Hebei was connected with Xi Jinping’s visit to Tibet. In his first speech as Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo cited Hu Jintao four times but not a word was spoken of Xi Jinping. Does this mean that Chen will follow the hard-line policies put in place by Hu Jintao when he was Tibet Party Secretary at the end of the 1980’s? One worrying sign has been that hardline Tibetan cadre Raidi has been seen everywhere in the Tibetan region since Xi Jinping’s visit (the Vice-President visited his house in Lhasa). He presided at the

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annual summer pastoral festival in his home prefecture of Nagchu. A China watcher pointed out “When the Chinese media would go into overdrive about the wonderful benefits of this or that policy, it meant that that policy probably existed nowhere in the country and officials were only bickering among themselves about it.” Raidi also participated in other official meetings, he sat prominently on the stage during Third Meeting of the China Tibet Cultural Preservation and Development Forum next to Zhang Qingli, the then Party Secretary and read the Work Report for the Forum. This means that the hardliners are in the forefront. It is difficult to expect radical changes in the months ahead. In the meantime, repression continues unabated in the Tibetan areas of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai. On August 15, 2011, Tsewang Norbu, a 29-year- old monk of Nyitso Monastery in Kham Tawo in Kandze, immolated himself to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported: “For 10 minutes he raised slogans like ‘Freedom in Tibet’ and the ‘Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet’ while scattering leaflets with similar messages at Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawo, before burning himself with petrol …After the monks of the monastery carried back the body of the deceased monk to their monastery to perform the last rites and rituals, Chinese troops tried to forcibly take the body from the monks.” Later thousands of Chinese troops were deployed in and around the monastery. Though several recent incidents have occurred in areas like Labrang, Kirti, Kantze or Lithang, not directly under Chen Quanguo’s jurisdiction, the same kind of resentment exists in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The present reshuffle is a real rehearsal for a much larger one in a year’s time: most of the national leaders will then have reached retirement age and will have to vacate their place for the younger generation. The success or failure of the ‘regional’ reshuffle, more particularly the Chen Quanguo experiment in Tibet, should be watched carefully, if one wants to get a chance to assess the future of the Middle Kingdom. (The author is a French expert on China and Tibet based in South India) October 2011


g

GEOPOLITICS

EXCERPTS

UPHILL BATTLE: Pakistan faces a difficult struggle against the divergent forces within itself that are pulling the country apart

DECODING THE

‘CRISIS STATE’

Maleeha Lodhi needs no introduction in South Asia or for that matter elsewhere. This distinguished, erudite and articulate Pakistani journalist, academic, and diplomat (she has served both in Washington and London) has been an indefatigable advocate of the Pakistani position at forums across the globe. Maleeha was the first woman to represent Pakistan in London. She had a record two stints as ambassador to the US (in 1994 and then in 1999) — the longest-serving Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ is a collection of essays edited by her that takes a contemporaneous, though, not necessarily, dispassionate and detached view on what afflicts Pakistan today or its relationship with its neighbours in South Asia and its true destiny as it battles the contradictions and the fissures that encompass society across the border. Frankly, there is much food for thought in the volume. At least many of the distinguished contributors have tried to critically examine the fault lines and how to manage the seismic convulsions. Is there a panacea to get out of the present rut? Not one essay is suggesting that, but each one offers the few first steps in that direction. Surely, there can’t be a better start. Here is a brief extract from Ayesha Jalal’s essay on Pakistani security concerns and India www.geopolitics.in

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October 2011


g EXCERPTS

IS A TURNABOUT POSSIBLE? Pakistan cannot change course without neutralising or satisfying the security concerns of its all-powerful Army. So is there a realistic hope for a turnabout? The international community led by the USA, and including the European Union, NATO and the UN, has to urgently tackle the problems facing Pakistan and Afghanistan Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State Edited by Maleeha Lodhi Rupa Publishers, Pages — 391, Price — `495 Year of Publication — 2011 in a holistic fashion. This entails assisting Pakistan’s civilian government to sort out its political and economic difficulties and weaning the Army away from its deadly gamble with religious extremism. Peace will remain a forlorn hope so long as Pakistan and India continue to see their interests in Afghanistan as a zero sum game. The two nuclear states have to appreciate the threat a war-torn Afghanistan and unstable north western tribal areas in Pakistan pose to the future of the subcontinent as a whole. Washington too has to realise that the policy of de-hyphenating relations with India and Pakistan has its limitations and what is considered an opportunity in one may be the cause of the problem in the other. The idea of the two archrivals sharing an interconnected

RESTIVE HOMELAND: In the north-western regions of Pakistan, the people have been struggling with uncertainty born out of years of conflict www.geopolitics.in

future will raise the hackles of those used to viewing the past and the present through the refracting prism of ideology rather than history. Cooperating not subverting neighbours can be a more effective way for nation states to re-establish control over rebellious regional satraps. An understanding between Rajeev Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto in the late 80s took the sting out of the Sikh uprising in the Indian Punjab that had been aided and abetted by the ISI. In marked contrast is the unresolved issue of Kashmir, which New Delhi imputes to Pakistan’s backing for the popular insurgency in the valley and support for ‘crossborder terrorism’. In the moral one-upmanship characteristic of their relations, Islamabad regularly accuses India of sponsoring acts of sabotage in Pakistani cities and, more recently, of fomenting dissent in Balochistan. The air of mutual distrust suffocating creative thinking in the Indian and Pakistani capitals has kept Kashmir on the boil. This has been detrimental not only for the Kashmiris but also for Indo-Pakistan trade relations that are widely believed to hold benefits for both countries at a time of crisis in the global economy. The Kashmir conflict has given Pakistan’s military establishment an excuse for not abandoning its Afghan policy. Once America attacked Iraq and lowered its threat perception from Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence hawks convinced Musharraf and his top generals that their self-interest demanded keeping lines open with the Taliban and reviving contacts with some of the ISl’s former wards among the Afghan warlords. Accused by Americans of duplicity and not doing enough, the Army leadership has pointed to India’s heightened presence in Afghanistan, which rejects the Durand line as its official border with Pakistan and claims the North West Frontier Province and parts of Balochistan. From a military perspective, letting India use its influence over Kabul to squeeze Pakistan from both the eastern and the western fronts is suicidal and the reason why the Army top brass has resisted US dictation in Afghanistan. The contours of Pakistan’s India centred strategic doctrine were etched soon after independence by a civilian leadership, which instead of addressing domestic political problems made the acquisition of Kashmir a national cause celebre. With the Army’s rise to dominance in the state, the legacy of inconclusive IndoPakistan wars over Kashmir and the psychologically bruising defeat of 1971, no elected civil}an government has been permitted to alter the time-honoured security paradigm. Despite an ostensibly free press, out of the box discussions of strategic security are deemed antinational. For the few who have questioned Pakistan’s defence doctrine, many more take the path of least resistance by accepting the Army’s claim that Indians, not the Taliban, are the main enemy.

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(Excerpted from the chapter The Past as Present by Ayesha Jalal) October 2011


GEOPOLITICS

g

Right Angle

JAPAN CALLING

O

N OCTOBER 7, 2011, senior officials of India, Japan and the United States are scheduled to hold a trilateral dialogue on “regional and global issues of mutual interest” in Tokyo. It will involve a candid exchange of views among the key players in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region and possible ways to strengthen maritime security cooperation. The strategic elites of Japan that I interacted with during a trip last month to Tokyo to attend a symposium on “Japan-India relations in the new Asia-Pacific era”, hosted by Keizai Koh Centre, were unanimous that India must play a “stabilising role” in the Asia-Pacific. Let me quote Hiroshi Hirabayashi, VicePresident of the Japan Forum on International Relations and a former Ambassador to India: “China is not only trying to catching up economically but also unmistakably aiming at challenging others, including the United States, militarily. On the contrary, Prakash India is regarded by Asians and Americans alike as a stabilising power and a larger engagement in Asian and world affairs is welcomed. Japan and the US, while remedying and consolidating their alliance, should induce China to act peacefully and constructively. At the same time, they should apply sophisticated diplomacies to engage India to prevent China from disturbing peace and stability in the AsiaPacific region.” Why is China’s rise discomforting Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries? As Hitoshi Tanaka, Chairman of the Institute for International Strategy at the Japan Research Institute says, the discomfort is because of the fact that along with China’s increasing defence expenditure (their latest defence budget stands at $91.7 billion, the second highest in the world), one notices a dangerous and assertive Chinese attitude on regional security affairs. Tanaka, who as a career diplomat served as Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, pointed out in this regard China’s rising militancy in the East China Sea and South China Sea. These two Seas are important in more senses than one. Vital “Sea Lines of Communication” (SLOCs) pass through them. They are vast reserves of oil and natural resources. They are significant for credible sea-based nuclear deterrents. Above all, they possess islands, all of which are claimed by China, resulting in territorial disputes with Japan and almost all important South East Asian nations. In the east, China contests with Japan in exercising sovereignty over the islands of Senkaku. In the South China Sea, it has disputes with Vietnam and Taiwan over the control of the Paracel group of islands. Then there are disputes over the sovereignty of the Spratlys chain of islands involving China, Vietnam and Taiwan,

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Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. The incident over the Senkaku islands not long ago has worried Japan. In the South China Sea, China has fought and threatened Vietnam as many as five times: in 1974, in 1988 ( causing loss of more than 70 lives), in 2007 and on May 11 this year. In 1995, China made a unilateral move by capturing the Mischief Reef, claimed by the Philippines. In fact, since February this year there have been seven incidents in the South China Sea involving China that have been viewed by the Philippines with “serious concern”. Manila is preparing to file a report before the United Nations on these instances of Chinese intrusion or provocative actions. It is against this background that the Japanese strategic community has appreciated India’s firm and principled response to Chinese objections of Indian naval and scientific presence in the South China Sea. They have keenly followed how India, despite Chinese protests, has been engaging Nanda with the Vietnamese Navy and continues to pursue oil and natural gas exploration in two Vietnamese blocks in the South China Sea at Vietnam’s request. The question here is the principles of freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the right of passage in accordance with accepted principles of international law. There is also the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) that allows coastal countries exclusive economic zones extending from the edge of the territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles. Japanese advocate a “joint leadership in the region”, and in this scheme they want India to be a part of that leadership. There is no reason why India should have any reservation. After all, India needs to have a profile in this part of the world, given the fact that India’s total trade volume with East Asian economies, including that of China, now exceeds that with the European Union or the United States, while more than half of India’s trade now goes through the Malacca and Singapore Straits. Besides, India is a “strategic partner” of Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States, all of whom have vital stakes in the Asia-Pacific region and are appreciative of the Indian presence. In particular, the Indian Navy places energy security and sea-lane protection as priorities. This economic reality drives India’s naval strategy, as enunciated in December 2006 by the then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Suresh Mehta. He had expanded the conceptual construct of India’s “greater strategic neighbourhood” to include potential sources of oil and gas imports located across the globe — from Venezuela to the Sakhalin Islands.

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prakashnanda@newsline.in October 2011


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