Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ category

In the News: America’s Secret War in Pakistan

23 September, 2010

In historical parallel to US operations in Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War, America is now engaged in a secret war in Afghanistan.

“Counterterrorist Pursuit Team: 3,000 Man CIA Paramilitary Force Hunts Militants In Afghanistan, Pakistan”.

KIMBERLY DOZIER and ADAM GOLDMAN

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/22/counterterrorist-pursuit-_n_734961.html

WASHINGTON — The CIA has trained and bankrolled a well-paid force of elite Afghan paramilitaries for nearly eight years to hunt al-Qaida and the Taliban for the CIA, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Modeled after U.S. special forces, the Counterterrorist Pursuit Team was set up in the months following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2002 to penetrate territory controlled by the Taliban and al-Qaida and target militants for interrogations by CIA officials.

The 3,000-strong Afghan teams are used for surveillance and long-range reconnaissance missions and some have trained at CIA facilities in the United States. The force has operated in Kabul and some of Afghanistan’s most violence-wracked provinces including Kandahar, Khost, Paktia and Paktika, according to a security professional familiar with the program.

The security official and former intelligence officials spoke about the Afghan force on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive information.

The secret Afghan force has emerged as a new component of ramped-up American counter-terror operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against al-Qaida and allies over the mountainous border in Pakistan. The U.S. military, including special operations forces, has been working with the CIA in an intensified crackdown against militants on both sides of the border.

Drone strikes run by the CIA are at their highest level yet against Afghan Taliban, Haqqani and al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, while U.S. special operations forces have been staging combined raids with Afghan army special forces against the midlevel leadership that operates on the Afghan side.

The Afghan pursuit teams were described in detail in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” due out Monday. Woodward reported that the units conducted covert operations inside neighboring Pakistan’s lawless border areas as part of a campaign against al-Qaida and Taliban havens.

Pakistan allows U.S. special operations forces to enter the border region only for limited training missions. The use of Afghan paramilitaries to carry out spying activities will likely inflame already frayed political relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We do not allow any foreign troops or militia to operate on our side of the border,” Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said. “There are no reports of any such incident, and, should it happen in future, they will be fired upon by our troops.”

Unlike regular Afghan army commandos, the CIA-run Afghan paramilitary units mostly work independently from CIA paramilitary or special operations forces but will occasionally combine forces for an operation. Despite operating independently, the units coordinate their operations with NATO, the security professional said.

The Afghan force became the focus of a debate last year between CIA and military officials over who would control its operations. The CIA remained the lead agency, the former official said. The paramilitaries earn generous salaries compared to Afghans employed by the army or police.

The CIA-run Afghan paramilitary in Kandahar were compensated on an elite pay scale, according to human rights investigators. The average paramilitary in the force could earn $340 a month while a regiment head could take home as much as $1,000.

In Uruzgan, the U.S. pays members $300 to $320 per month. In comparison, a freshly recruited Afghan solider in troubled Helmand province earns about $240 a month. And Afghan policemen make an average starting salary of only about $140 per month. Even the Taliban reportedly pays its footsoldiers about $250 to $300 a month.

While U.S. officials insist the paramilitary forces have an excellent record, at least one unit stumbled badly in the past. The Kandahar branch paramilitaries shot and killed Kandahar’s police chief and nine other Afghan police officials in 2009 over a dispute after one of its own members was arrested. During their face-off with the police chief, the paramilitaries were wearing uniforms and guns bought by the CIA.

Current and former U.S. officials said the incident had been reviewed fully and that the review found that CIA officers had no prior knowledge that the Afghans had intended to go on a killing spree. One U.S. official said the review showed that the incident was not typical of the force and that the paramilitaries were reacting to what they viewed as the unfair arrest of one their people by one of their rivals.

Jonathan Horowitz, a human rights expert working with the Open Society Institute, said: “These paramilitary groups operate in such a cloak of secrecy that accountability for their abuses is nearly impossible for most Afghans. These forces don’t fall under an Afghan military chain of command, and if a civilian is killed or maimed, the U.S. can say it wasn’t the fault of the U.S.

Horowitz added that Afghan civilians have regularly accused these paramilitary groups of physical abuse and theft of property during night raids, conduct that he said taints Afghan views of the U.S. forces who arm, train and pay them.

___

Dozier reported from Kabul. Associated Press writer Chris Brummitt in Islamabad contributed to this report.

John Pilger on Wars and ‘Wars of Perception’

12 July, 2010

“The Charge of the Media Brigade”

By John Pilger

ON LINE Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10668

First published in New Statesman on 8 July 2010.

The TV anchorwoman was conducting a split screen interview with a journalist who had volunteered to be a witness at the first execution of a man on death row in Utah for 25 years. “He had a choice,” said the journalist, “lethal injection or firing squad”. “Wow!” said the anchorwoman. Cue a blizzard of commercials for fast food, teeth whitener, stomach stapling, the new Cadillac. This was followed by the war in Afghanistan presented by a correspondent sweating in a flak jacket. “Hey, it’s hot,” he said on the split screen. “Take care,” said the anchorwoman. “Coming up” was a reality show in which the camera watched a man serving solitary confinement in a prison’s “hell hole”.

The next morning I arrived at the Pentagon for an interview with one of President Obama’s senior war-making officials. There was a long walk along shiny corridors hung with pictures of generals and admirals festooned in ribbons. The interview room was purpose-built. It was blue and arctic cold, and windowless and featureless except for a flag and two chairs: props to create the illusion of a place of authority. The last time I was in a room like this in the Pentagon a colonel called Hum stopped my interview with another war-making official when I asked why so many innocent civilians were being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then it was in the thousands; now it is more than a million. “Stop tape!” he ordered.

This time there was no Colonel Hum, merely a polite dismissal of soldiers’ testimony that it was a “common occurrence” that troops were ordered to “kill every mother fucker”. The Pentagon, says the Associated Press, spends $4.7 billion on public relations: that is, winning the hearts and minds not of recalcitrant Afghan tribesmen but of Americans. This is known as “information dominance” and PR people are “information warriors”.

American imperial power flows through a media culture to which the word imperial is anathema. To broach it is heresy. Colonial campaigns are really “wars of perception”, wrote the present commander, General David Petraeus, in which the media popularises the terms and conditions. “Narrative” is the accredited word because it is post-modern and bereft of context and truth. The narrative of Iraq is that the war is won, and the narrative of Afghanistan is that it is a “good war”. That neither is true is beside the point. They promote a “grand narrative” of a constant threat and the need for permanent war. “We are living in a world of cascading and intertwined threats,” wrote the celebrated New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, “that have the potential to turn our country upside down at any moment”.

Friedman supports an attack on Iran, whose independence is intolerable. This is the psychopathic vanity of great power which Martin Luther King described as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world”. He was then shot dead.

The psychopathic is applauded across popular, corporate culture, from the TV death watch of a man choosing a firing squad over lethal injection to the Oscar winning Hurt Locker and a new acclaimed war documentary Restrepo. Directors of both films deny and dignify the violence of invasion as “apolitical”. And yet behind the cartoon façade is serious purpose. The US is engaged militarily in 75 countries. There are some 900 US military bases across the world, many at the gateways to the sources of fossil fuels.

But there is a problem. Most Americans are opposed to these wars and to the billions of dollars spent on them. That their brainwashing so often fails is America’s greatest virtue. This is frequently due to courageous mavericks, especially those who emerge from the centrifuge of power. In 1971, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked documents known as the Pentagon Papers which put the lie to almost everything two presidents had claimed about Vietnam. Many of these insiders are not even renegades. I have a section in my address book filled with the names of former officers of the CIA, who have spoken out. They have no equivalent in Britain.

In 1993, C. Philip Liechty, the CIA operations officer in Jakarta at the time of Indonesia’s murderous invasion of East Timor, described to me how President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had given the dictator Suharto “a green light” and secretly supplied the arms and logistics he needed. As the first reports of massacres arrived at his desk, he began to turn. “It was wrong,” he said. “I felt badly.”

Melvin Goodman is now a scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. He was in the CIA more than 40 years and rose to be a senior Soviet analyst. When we met the other day, he described the conduct of the cold war as a series of gross exaggerations of Soviet “aggressiveness” that wilfully ignored the intelligence that the Soviets were committed to avoid nuclear war at all costs. Declassified official files on both sides of the Atlantic support this view. “What mattered to the hardliners in Washington,” he said, “was how a perceived threat could be exploited”. The present secretary of defence, Robert Gates, as deputy director of the CIA in the 1980s, had constantly hyped the “Soviet menace” and is, says Goodman, doing the same today “on Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran”.

Little has changed. In America, in 1939, W.H. Auden wrote:

As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives […]
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong

The ‘Military-Academic Complex’ and US Government Policy

29 June, 2010

Michael Flynn, “The Surge of Ideas” (Washington, DC: Foreign Policy In Focus, June 24, 2010)

http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_surge_of_ideas

Michael Flynn from the Institute for Policy Studies writes this week about the influence of the ‘military-academic complex’, and how key American military officers have used independent think tanks to influence the US government’s policies on Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Flynn, “In recent years there has been a tendency for like-minded think tanks and military officers to jointly pursue policy objectives, sometimes in direct conflict with the stated preferences of the president and his advisers. According to some observers, this trend raises questions about the appropriate role of both military officers, who are part of a chain of command, and think tanks, which present themselves as ‘non-partisan’ appraisers of public policy”.

Flynn relates how earlier this year General David Petraeus, who will now head American operations in Afghanistan in place of General Stanley McChrystal, spoke about US involvement in the Middle East at an event in Washington, D.C. hosted by the Institute for the Study of War. At the event Petraeus praised the think tank for their contribution to a report entitled ‘Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq’, which he referred to as a “study and analysis that did indeed have a strategic impact unlike that of any other study or analysis that I can think of”. This report was central to building public support for America’s ‘surge’ of troops into Iraq in 2007, which increased the US military presence by 30,000 soldiers. Petraeus said the think tank had provided, “the rationale for the additional forces that were required [and] described how they might be used in Iraq … I think it played a very significant role in helping to shape the intellectual concepts and indeed, in helping to shape the ultimate policy decision that was made”.

While it is no surprise that the private academic world of think tanks can have a significant impact lobbying the government for certain policies, it may be of more concern that the US military plays an active role in assisting them. Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress points out that as the commander in Iraq, Petraeus supported the work of journalists like Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack with military-sponsored tours of the nation, hand-picking them because he knew they favoured the ‘surge’ policy. By giving these analysts unrivalled access to sites and personnel Petraeus turned them into media ‘experts’, in comparison to whom the critics of the surge policy appeared to be outsiders who could be ignored. As Foreign Policy blogger Laura Rozen wrote last year, Petraeus’ promotion of the Iraq surge was part of “the Petraeus team’s famous counterinsurgency doctrine: In the campaign to win hearts and minds, don’t forget the home front”.

The recently-removed Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed U.S. forces in Afghanistan until the recent controversy surrounding an article in Rolling Stone magazine, also waged a public relations campaign against the new Obama administration. During 2009 McChrystal manoeuvred to promote his preferred counter-insurgency plan despite resistance from President Obama, using a ‘strategic assessment’ team including: the Kagans from the Institute for the Study of War, Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and Jeremy Shapiro of the Brookings Institution. Flynn writes that “these civilian experts … began appearing on major media outlets promoting ideas largely in line with General McChrystal’s, defending his decision to publicly contradict the administration in a speech, or pushing an optimistic view of the Afghan situation”. They also ran a series of public events at which Petraeus and other high-ranking military officials could present their perspectives on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These ‘objective experts’ and ‘non-partisan forums’ were all part of a campaign by the military to influence public discussion, and ultimately put additional pressure on the country’s elected leadership to give-in to military demands.

Also part of this military-academic complex is the practice of policy groups recruiting retired officers to their advisory boards, many of whom simultaneously take up defence industry jobs (completing the military-industrial-academic complex triangle). “As the New York Times reported in 2008, some of these retired officers—like Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, a CSP advisor, and Gen. Barry McCaffery, a former board member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq—have developed reputations as ‘impartial’ experts, appearing on TV news programs while surreptitiously receiving talking points from the Pentagon”. As the Democratic Party have always struggled to be taken seriously on national security issues, some say that many Democrats have over-compensated by taking non-critical and even hawkish positions in regards to the military, thus even lessening the amount of government constraint over the military hierarchy.

While most would agree that a government should listen to what its military has to say, two points that should be clear are that: in the end the elected, civilian government is who should make the final decisions; and the military should not be able to collude with independent lobbyists in the public arena to deceptively influence discussions on government policy, and to even undermine a government’s electoral support. As there are also rumours that General Petraeus may be planning to run for the US presidency in the not too distant future, the degree to which his actions and decisions are already part of a long election campaign must be considered. The United States rails against regimes overseas in which the military is a dominant political force – perhaps this issue also requires greater attention at home.

India’s Rise as a Great Power

17 June, 2010

The Regional and Global Implications of India’s Rise as a Great Power.

David Robinson

Introduction:

Over the last decade there has been an increasing focus on India’s economic and military expansion, and its consequences for South Asia and the world. India is rapidly rising to become a great power, but its ascent depends on maintaining relative domestic stability, and carefully crafting its policies towards the United States and its neighbours Pakistan and China. All four states are nuclear powers, so the consequences of any conflict between them are potentially dire.[1] India has found the post-Cold War international environment amenable to expansion of its bilateral ties with all the major powers simultaneously, and has thus pursued a strategy of ‘poly-alignment’ – seeking to be a ‘bridging power’ between the sometimes competing poles of the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union.[2] This inverts India’s traditional non-alignment policy, allowing India to reap the benefits of closer economic and strategic ties while maintaining the same spirit of balanced international relations.[3] To a degree this arises from uncertainty about the shape of the emerging international order, and India’s own lack of a credible vision of its place in that environment.[4] Nonetheless, its growing wealth and population is now enabling India to build up its military might, and as “a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic democracy … India is being asked to shoulder global responsibilities in consonance with its rising global stature”.[5] This paper will consider India’s rise as a global power, and the likely regional and global implications, through a specific focus on its relations with its strategically significant neighbours Pakistan and China, and argue that fundamentally the balance of power between them will not change dramatically in the near future.

The Rise of India:

As Indian power increases it will inevitably challenge existing political, economic and military patterns, but as Harsh Pant argues,

“India continues to be ambivalent about power, it has failed to develop a strategic agenda commensurate with its growing economic and military capabilities … throughout history, India has failed to master the creation, deployment and use of its military instruments in support of its national objectives”.[6]

From independence in 1947 Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru pursued a strategy of non-alignment that sought to avoid participation in the Cold War, prioritising multilateral institutions and the Non-Aligned Movement. Indian policy was always opposed to the use of military force in international relations.[7] However, as India begins to assert itself as a regional power it is today moving to convert its ‘brown-water’ navy into a ‘blue-water’ navy and is expanding the reach of its air force, moving beyond border control and demonstrating greater concern for strategic issues, such as the protection of shipping lanes.[8] While maintaining constructive relations with the United States, India has also been involved in trilateral dialogue with China and Russia, increasingly sharing their vision of a multipolar world based on consensus among the major powers. India has also become a non-voting member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), through which China and Russia have sought to strategically counterbalance NATO advancement into the Middle East and Central Asia.[9] At the same time, it is China’s conventional and nuclear capabilities that many argue remain the primary military threat to India’s security and the key motivation for India’s own nuclear weapons program; while the United States, under the G.W. Bush administration, negotiated a substantial deal that would assist India’s ‘civilian’ nuclear development. India’s other major challenge comes from its unstable neighbour Pakistan, with which full-scale war and nuclear exchange have been avoided despite clashes in the Kargil region of Kashmir in 1999, and attacks on India by Pakistani-backed terrorists in 2001 and 2008.[10]

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1991 Gulf War confronted India with an unprecedented financial crisis, as India simultaneously lost access to Eastern European markets, global oil prices spiked, and over 100,000 Indians were repatriated from the Gulf region, thus precluding their remittances. These economic shocks forced a dramatic rethink of Indian economic and foreign policies. Under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao India steered towards greater economic liberalisation and diplomatic diversity. The Rao government sought greater engagement with the United States and China, as well as making overtures to Israel and seeking improved relations with Southeast Asia through a ‘Look East’ policy.[11] Since then India’s average GDP growth rate has hovered at around 7 percent, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted that in spite of the global financial crisis, India’s growth should remain at 6.5 percent in 2010.[12] Not only has India maintained this amazing economic growth, but it is also envisaged that in the next two decades India’s population “will surpass China’s to make it the world’s most populous country, and its rapidly expanding middle class may constitute up to 60 percent of its 1.3 billion-plus people”.[13] Internationally the Indian diaspora now numbers over 20 million, and is relatively affluent, successful, and well-integrated – spreading India’s ‘soft’ cultural influence.[14] While the approximately 3.7 million Indian nationals now living in the six Gulf (GCC) states specifically remit around $8 billion annually.[15]

Despite India’s meteoric economic development, it can be said India has both the best of the First World and the worst of the Third World within its borders, and faces unprecedented human security challenges.[16] India now has 410 million people living below the U.N. poverty line – 37.2 percent of its population and actually 100 million more people than in 2004 – and millions of India’s rural poor are faced with food price inflation of up to 17 percent.[17] 60 percent of Indian labour is still agricultural, and the integration of hundreds of millions of peasants into a modern economy may be an extremely painful process.[18] And while Indian infrastructure such as roads, civil aviation, ports, and telecommunications have experienced noticeable improvements in recent years, electricity, railways, and irrigation all still need significant investment; and India continues to lag in social infrastructure, such as education and healthcare.[19] These social inequalities have fuelled the widespread ‘Naxalite’ Maoist insurgency affecting vast areas throughout eastern and central India, and whose 20,000 insurgents current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified as the “greatest internal security threat” facing the nation.[20] These internal issues pose the first challenge to India’s rise as a great power, as external projection must be based on a firm foundation of domestic stability. The requirements for domestic stability also shape India’s international needs. Pant asserts that,

“The biggest challenge for India remains that of continuing to achieve the rates of economic growth that it has enjoyed in recent years. Everything else is of secondary importance. … Unless India can sustain this momentum, its larger foreign policy ambitions cannot be realized”.[21]

The political stability of India (and similarly its neighbour China) “is absolutely dependent on continued economic dynamism, which is in turn dependent on energy and resources which must be imported”[22], thus the process of diversifying and securing access to international energy sources is a vital element in avoiding domestic social and political turbulence.[23]

In this context Indian oil and gas companies have been encouraged to invest abroad, and have the long-term aim of producing tens of millions of tons of oil a year overseas by 2025. India has thus been developing strategic relationships with the major oil-producing Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, Central Asian states such as Turkmenistan, and increasingly Iran, as potential sources of energy. Multinational oil and gas pipeline projects have been high on India’s agenda for over a decade, though poor relations with its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar have prevented such a scheme; while the United States has used its significant leverage to insist India chooses between pipeline projects or a US-supported nuclear energy programme.[24]

The United States has been particularly concerned by India’s relations with Iran, which the international community has worked to isolate for some time. In this case the US is battling the logic of supply and demand as Iran has the world’s third largest reserve of oil, is nearby to India, and India is a resource-hungry customer. But India and Iran also have a convergence of other economic and strategic interests. The ‘Road Map to Strategic Cooperation’ signed by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami in 2003 also mapped out cooperation for increased bilateral trade, and developments like Iran’s Chahbahar port complex, the Chahbahar-Fahranj-Bam railway link, and a Marine Oil Tanking Terminal.[25] The broader aim of these facilities is a North-South Transport Corridor with Russia that would help facilitate the flow of goods across Central Asia, taking cargo from Iran’s ports of Bandar Abbas or Chahbahar via rail to the Caspian Sea and on to Russia’s Caspian ports. This route would significantly reduce travel time and transport costs for exporters like India.[26] India and Iran also share concerns about Sunni Islamist power in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and there are reports of a strategic deal allowing Indian access to Iranian military bases and equipment in the event of war with Pakistan.[27] Politically, Iran has recognised Kashmir as a legitimate part of India; while India is thought to have transferred sensitive nuclear and rocket technology to Tehran, with direct security consequences for Europe and the United States.[28]

So, with energy pipelines still far from reality, and only a nascent civilian nuclear programme, India remains highly dependence on energy imports and increasingly seeks to secure sea shipping lanes for the transportation of oil, from nations like Iran and Myanmar, to as far abroad as Sudan and Nigeria.[29] Nearly half of global seaborne trade passes through the Indian Ocean, around 40 percent of offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean, and 65 percent of the world’s oil and 35 percent of its gas reserves are found in the littoral states of the Ocean. This makes the region generally strategically significant. With India’s ever-growing reliance on imported energy, any disruptions in the Indian Ocean (which are particularly feasible at ‘choke points’ such as the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca) can lead to serious consequences for the Indian economy. While a key danger is interruption of supply during a time of war, today non-state actors, such as organised criminals, pirates or terrorists, are also an increasing threat.[30] As India increasingly sees itself as a great power, and defines its security in terms of the entire Indian Ocean basin, its strategic frontiers will stretch from the African coast, to the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea, and potentially southwards as far as Antarctica. Continentally, India already looks to the economic and strategic importance of Central Asia, and has made moves to consolidate its strategic footing, including two airbases in Tajikistan.[31]

The US government’s recent National Intelligence Council ‘Global Trends 2025’ report projects that, “Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts, such as China’s and India’s development of blue-water naval capabilities”.[32] Indeed India spent $10.5 billion between 2004 and 2007 on creating the world’s fourth-largest military[33], and is projected to spend more than $45 billion on arms purchases between 2009 and 2013.[34] These will include long-range aircraft, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines that are intended to make India a formidable force in the Indian Ocean.[35] The Indian Navy is planning over the next decade to create a fleet of 130-140 vessels comprising three aircraft carrier battle groups, and has created a Far Eastern Naval Command, headquartered on the Andaman Islands – 190 nautical miles from Chinese facilities at Great Coco Island.[36] Meanwhile, India’s longer-term plans involve constructing a fleet capable of projecting power into the South China Sea.[37] There is also much speculation around India’s production of the new ‘Surya’ ICBM, which may use technology from India’s civilian space programme. India’s Agni medium-range ballistic missile programme currently consists of missiles with ranges of upwards of 700kms, 2,000kms, and 3,000kms. The Surya project will result in missiles with ranges of 5,000 kms, which can hit Chinese targets; 8,000-12,000 kms, which can reach the United States and Europe; and 20,000 kms, which will have a global reach. These will have the option of a nuclear payload, and potentially multiple warheads.[38] The reported 12,000km-range Surya-2 in particular is tailor-made to target the United States.[39] This expansion of India’s missile capacity may create increased tensions with China, and may hinder cooperation with Europe and the United States.[40]

Today the United States remains the key external actor in the Indian Ocean, with its military presence stretching from north and east Africa to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, east to Singapore, and southwards to Diego Garcia. “America’s raw power in the region has made it imperative that New Delhi court the United States”.[41] From the time of Indian independence some American analysts already saw the potential for India to compete for influence with Communist China, but as India took its non-aligned path the US found a willing ally in Pakistan, which provided military bases in exchange for economic and military aid.[42] The US relationship with Pakistan led to them taking financial and political actions against India following the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani wars, despite Pakistan being the aggressor. Eventually President Reagan made moves to close the diplomatic gap with India in an effort to wean New Delhi away from dependence on Moscow, thus the 1982-1991 period witnessed a gradual warming of US-Indian relations. The collapse of superpower competition in 1991 then allowed the United States to move away from its Pakistani ally and engage with India.[43] By March 2000 President Clinton made this new relationship clear while visiting India, stating that, “we are convinced that it is time to chart a new and purposeful direction in our relationship”.[44] This was enacted through the ‘Next Steps in Strategic Partnership’ agreement of January 2004, which announced expanded cooperation in civilian nuclear activities and space programs, as well as missile defence. A senior official made the strategic design of this relationship clear, announcing that America’s, “goal is to help India become a major world power in the 21st century … We understand fully the implications, including military implications, of that statement”.[45]

As part of this emerging relationship the United States has subsequently held joint military operations with India, encouraging them to actively patrol the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, and President G.W. Bush sponsored agreements facilitating the development of India’s nuclear program.[46] President Bush signed the US-India Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Bill into law in December 2006, which will result in up to $40 billion in trade with India in defence and energy products.[47] Contrary to non-proliferation goals, the deal leaves India free to develop its military nuclear capabilities and increases its ability to access uranium and nuclear technologies.[48] Supporters of the deal see it as President Bush’s,

“greatest foreign policy achievement. This success, if sustained through wise policies and skilful diplomacy by future administrations, will portend enormous consequences for the future balance of power in Asia and globally to the advantage of the United States”.[49]

Subsequently, under the Obama administration, the Indian government signed a $2.1 billion contract with the US for eight long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, capable of anti-submarine and anti-surface naval warfare.[50] Despite India’s advocacy of a non-polar world, Indian policymakers recognise the benefits of American sponsorship; and both nations agree that it serves neither American nor Indian interests for a powerful authoritarian China to dominate the Asian landmass, or for radical Islamic to wage wars that threaten the security of both states.[51] Thus, as the United States perceives strategic advantage from assisting India’s rise to great power status, and India is receiving tangible military and economic benefits from this relationship, for the foreseeable future India’s continued ascendance will be supported by the global hegemon.

The Problem of Pakistan:

India’s geographically closest and most frequently problematic relationship is with its neighbour and prodigal twin Pakistan. India’s rise as a great power will most immediately impact the extremely dangerous stalemate between these two states. Many security concerns converge in Pakistan, which has been a key supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan, factions of which the Pakistani Army is now fighting in a de facto civil war; elements within the state support Islamic terrorist organisations that periodically attack India, provoking regional crises; and, the Pakistani Army has a growing nuclear arsenal, which could be vulnerable to misuse by malicious elements within the state.[52] India and Pakistan engaged in wars in 1965 and 1971, with crises surrounding continuing Pakistani support for an indigenous insurgency in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir erupting periodically, and threatening war in 1990.[53] Following Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in May 1998, Pakistani incursions across the Line of Control in the Kargil region of Kashmir led to another limited war, and the veiled nuclear threat by Pakistani Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed, “We will not hesitate to use any weapon in our arsenal to defend our territorial integrity”.[54] Major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on 1 October 2001, and in the Indian capital Delhi on 13 December 2001, again threatened war though merely resulted in major military manoeuvres by India – code-named Operation Parakram.[55] The lack of military retaliation by India despite grave provocation seems to suggest that India is successfully deterred by Pakistan’s nuclear capability, and this in turn only fuels the eagerness of elements within Pakistan to provoke them.[56] Pakistan has adopted an ‘asymmetric nuclear escalation posture’, which has deterred Indian conventional military power and thus enabled Pakistan’s “aggressive strategy of bleeding India by a ‘thousand cuts’ with little fear of significant retaliation”.[57]

India is four times larger and seven times more populated than Pakistan, and as Pakistan averages only 300 miles in width it is susceptible to a central assault that would spilt the country in two. A number of important Pakistani cities also lie close to the international border in the Indus River basin.[58] As Pakistan is thus extremely vulnerable to conventional attack by India’s larger military, it defines such an attack as an existential threat to the Pakistani state. Pakistani Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai thus outlined that Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons if India attacks Pakistan and conquers a large part of its territory; India destroys a large part of Pakistan’s land or air forces; India blockades Pakistan in an effort to strangle it economically; or India pushes Pakistan into a state of political destabilisation.[59] This asymmetric escalation posture is designed for a rapid first use of nuclear weapons against conventional attacks, thus leaving India without the ability to punish terrorist attacks through conventional retaliation.[60] As elements within Pakistan continue to provoke India, this creates an extremely dangerous imbalance reliant on India’s restraint to maintain peace.

Vipin Narang notes that, “Scholars who study the South Asian nuclear balance have argued that if a limited clash between India and Pakistan were to expand into a full-scale conventional war, escalation to the nuclear level would likely result”.[61] And most of the ‘war-game’ scenarios played out by the US military also foresee any conventional conflict between India and Pakistan escalating to the use of nuclear weapons within the first 12 days.[62] New analyses of this eventuality reveal that a conflict be­tween India and Pakistan, in which 100 nuclear bombs were dropped on cities and industrial areas within the two countries, would kill more than 20 million people from the blasts, fires and radioactivity. However, in addition, the explosions could produce enough smoke to cripple global agriculture. Smoke generated by burning cities could create a climatic response that immediately reduces sunlight, cools the planet, and reduces precipitation worldwide. This ‘nuclear winter’ would reduce or eliminate agricultur­al production over vast areas, simultaneously decreasing crop yields nearly everywhere at once. Approximately one billion people worldwide today live on marginal food supplies and would be directly threatened with starvation.[63] While some analysts maintain that nuclear weapons would only be used in a measured way, the chaos, fear and interruption of communications that would follow nuclear war’s commencement leads some to doubt that attacks would be limited in any rational manner.[64] Additionally, Pakistan could face a decision to use its entire nuclear arsenal quickly or lose it to Indian forces which seize its military bases.[65] Thus unrestrained nuclear war in South Asia potentially has cataclysmic regional and global consequences.

Following the terrorist attack by Kashmiri militants in December 2001 and the subsequent military standoff with Pakistan in Operation Parakram, the Indian Army announced a new limited war policy in April 2004 called the Cold Start doctrine, which aims to allow conventional retaliation without posing an existential threat to Pakistan.[66] Under Cold Start the Indian army would avoid delivering a catastrophic blow to Pakistan, and instead deliberately only make shallow territorial gains, 50–80kms deep, that could be used in post-conflict negotiations. This doctrine aims to deny Pakistan the justification of ‘regime survival’ for employing nuclear weapons in response to a conventional Indian attack.[67] However, Walter C. Ladwig foresees that, “An operational Cold Start capability could lead Pakistan to lower its nuclear red line, put its nuclear weapons on a higher state of readiness, develop tactical nuclear weapons, or undertake some equally destabilizing course of action”.[68] The danger of escalation is further compounded by the relatively immature ‘command and control’ and early warning systems of both India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals.[69] Scott Sagan also points out the danger of nuclear accident as, if one of the nations accidentally blows up a nuclear warhead on one of its own military bases, it probably will not have adequate surveillance intelligence to know it has not been attacked by its enemy, and thus may falsely ‘retaliate’ against the other country.[70]

Meanwhile, in the context of the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan believes the United States will intervene to prevent war, as it relies on Pakistani troops along the Afghan border, and supplies for American forces are transported through Pakistan. Thus Pakistan believes the only potential military action available to India is air-strikes against Islamist training camps, which itself is not a serious problem, and may actually help Islamabad by killing destabilising jihadists while generating massive support among Pakistanis for their government.[71] The dual problems of nuclear escalation and American reliance on Pakistan for counter-insurgency meant that following terrorist attacks in Mumbai by Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba on 26 November 2008, which killed 163 people, India was unable to respond with conventional military strikes.[72] Any attack by India might either destabilise the Pakistani government, or escalate the conflict to nuclear exchange. In the event of state disintegration, Pakistani nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of militant elements who would attempt to use those weapons against India or the West.[73]

Unfortunately, there is no easy path to stabilising reform within Pakistan. Pakistan essentially has a feudal political establishment, run by a civilian aristocracy of wealthy agricultural landowners and industrialists, and the Army.[74] The civilian political parties primarily function as patronage networks, without deep-seated ideological differences, and merely struggle to control state resources. As a key aim of the agricultural and industrial elites is to avoiding paying income taxes, the Pakistani government is also chronically in debt.[75] The Army is seen by most Pakistanis as the primary defender of the nation and the ultimate guarantor of domestic stability. The ever-present threat of India is used to justify the Army’s disproportionate share of national resources, and the Army itself also owns and manages a large agricultural and industrial empire. Domestically, the Army is the ultimate power-broker between the political parties, and has acted on several occasions to remove the party in power.[76] As successive governments have received bailouts from international financial institutions, neither the civilian political elites nor the Army have felt any real incentive to institute fundamental change.[77]

For the time-being the Army is objectively the most stable and responsible force to control the country. The Pakistani military is the only state institution that works effectively, and without it Pakistan would probably have disintegrated long ago.[78] The dire alternative is the representatives of the rising wave of radical Islam who arose from the madrassas under the patronage of General Zia-Ul-Huq, and gained their training in the US-backed mujahadeen struggle against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.[79] These elements, and more recent jihadist recruits, are currently involved in the Kashmiri terrorist organisations like Jaysh-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as well as in the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban who occupy Pakistan’s border provinces.[80] While the Pakistani Army and intelligence services (ISI) are often unwilling to directly challenge these forces (and indeed currently cultivate relations with the Kashmiri groups and the Afghani Taliban), and external (and particularly American) attempts to deploy foreign forces in Pakistani territory would almost certainly make things worse, this unstable situation is likely to continue.[81]

As India’s power increases, so will its ability to strategically encircle Pakistan, through relations with Iran and Afghanistan, and via naval power. At the same time India’s patience for Pakistan’s continuing terrorist provocations will probably lessen. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s deterrent capabilities remain, as either unsuccessful or successful attacks on the Pakistani state are likely to result in either nuclear exchange or widespread chaos and bloodshed. However, if India continues restraint, and reaches out to more moderate elements within the military and civilian political parties, it could leverage its growing economic strength to gradually help a more moderate Pakistani state develop.

The Challenge of China:

On a grander strategic level, relations between India and China will be highly significant as India emerges as a great power. There is a growing interdependence between the two Asian giants, as China is now India’s number-one trading partner, with more than $52 billion in bilateral trade, and estimates are that China-India trade will surpass US-China trade by 2020. China’s powerful manufacturing sector complements India’s combination of a raw materials and cutting-edge technology economy.[82] Strategically, a strong and influential India helps create a more multipolar world, consistent with Chinese interests, however China increasingly regards India as its main Asian rival.[83] China is thus involved in a complex game of encirclement with India. China has armed Pakistan with nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, and has built “strong military-to-military ties with Burma, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka as part of what Indians see as a strategy to tie India down, Gulliver-like, in its region”.[84] China is also developing deep-water ports throughout the Indian Ocean to support its projected blue-water naval capacity.

Meanwhile, on the Indo-Tibetan border China continues to press its claims to vast tracts of Indian territory.[85] Over the past year increased friction in the border area between India and China has led to incursions by Chinese troops, the wounding of several Indian border police, and a build-up of military forces on both sides, as Beijing has been uncharacteristically assertive in its claims to sections of India’s Arunachal Pradesh state. The Indians responded by moving 30,000 troops and its latest warplanes into the area, leading some analysts to predict a China-India war within five years.[86]

China rejects the McMahon Line that forms the border between it and India, and places the traditional Sino-Indian border at the base of the Himalayan foothills.[87] For China, control of Tibet is strategically important, providing a barrier with its populous and economically and militarily-advancing neighbour. The high mountain passes of Tibet provide virtually impenetrable terrain which is easy to militarily protect. Along the frontier directly south of this border in India is one of the largest population concentrations in the world. Beijing fears that if China were to withdraw from Tibet this population could migrate into the Himalayas and Tibet could gradually turn into a beachhead for Indian power, which would directly abut Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in central China. The Chinese thus see control of Tibet as a matter of fundamental national security.[88] They also see the 1959 decision by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to give asylum to the Dalai Lama, and the continuing support for the Tibetan government-in-exile, as perpetuating this threat.[89] Thus, “Beijing’s price for a border settlement and for normalisation of ties with India, appears to be that India dismantle the Tibetan settlement in Dharamshala and request the Dalai Lama take up residence in another country”.[90]

Meanwhile, on a broader front, 80 percent of China’s oil and gas supplies transit the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, so the Chinese navy is increasingly making its presence felt in the area in order to secure its lines of supply.[91] Like India, for China the steady flow of imported resources is not just an issue of economic growth, but also of the longevity of the Chinese Communist Party’s rule. Chinese leaders increasingly fear that adversaries could blockade sea lanes and strategic bottlenecks such as the Strait of Malacca, and are thus moving to an offshore defence policy that will include ‘distant ocean defence’. However, China’s actions may impinge upon India’s interests and destabilise relations.[92]

Following ‘defensive realist’ strategies, the nations will attempt to gain power for self-preservation, and each nation will see this move by the other as a strategic threat, thus decreasing collective security.[93] As part of this competition China has been developing a ‘string-of-pearls’ strategy, expanding influence into ports in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. According to a report by US defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), “China is building strategic relationships along the sea lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea in a way that suggests defensive and offensive positioning to protect China’s energy interests”.[94] China emerged as the biggest military spender in the Asia-Pacific in 2006, and now has the fourth-largest defence expenditure in the world.[95] Meanwhile, China’s navy is considered the third-largest in the world behind only the US and Russia, and it is superior to the Indian navy.[96] In this context, India perceives Chinese actions as power maximisation, and fears that China’s forward-basing strategy will be used to contain India and rapidly achieve hegemony in the Indian Ocean.[97]

Meanwhile, China and India have adopted nuclear ‘assured retaliation’ postures (what they sometimes refer to as “credible minimum deterrence”), which rely on small but secure and survivable nuclear forces that assure a retaliatory strike against their primary opponent’s targets.[98] In many ways this seems like the most stable aspect of the competition between India and China, though it is yet to be seen what reaction a new generation of Indian Surya missiles might provoke. Meanwhile, many analysts expect that China will follow a consistent but non-provocative build-up of its military capabilities and diplomatic alliances over the long-term, aiming to gradually edge the United States out of a hegemonic position.[99] India is likely to mirror this build-up, so tension and possible low-level confrontation may result on the India-China border and in the Indian Ocean region.

Conclusion:

India’s rise to great power status is inevitable and will occur quickly over the coming decades, especially as the United States believes this will assist it in maintaining a global strategic balance. This will lead to a greater exertion of India’s power outside of its borders, and especially into the Indian Ocean region, which it sees as being essentially for its economic and social stability. The two states that India’s ascent will have the greatest strategic impact on will be its neighbours Pakistan and China, however, for contrasting reasons, this impact may not change the fundamental power balance that exists today. Pakistan is already overwhelmed by the military strength of India, and thus its primary defences are the threat of nuclear exchange, or state disintegration – neither of which will definitely be undermined by rising Indian power. In contrast, China and India will have increasingly complex and intertwined relations, but the economic and strategic issues that bind them, and the evenly-matched nature of their conventional and nuclear forces, are likely to maintain relative peace and strategic stability. India sees itself as an emerging great power in a multi-power world, which will maintain a strategy of poly-alignment. With the balance of forces developing as they are, that projection is likely to become a reality.

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[1] Cohen, Stephen P. “Approaching India’s Military and Security Policy, with a Detour through Disaster Studies”, India Review, Vol 7, No 4, October–December, 2008, p314.

[2] Pant, Harsh V. “A Rising India’s Search for a Foreign Policy”, Orbis, Vol 53, No 2, 2009, p264.

[3] Hedrick, Brian K. India’s Strategic Defense Transformation: Expanding Global Relationships, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, November 2009, pp42-43.

[4] Pant, Harsh V. “Indian Foreign and Security Policy: Beyond Nuclear Weapons”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol 25, No 2, Spring/Summer 2009, p236.

[5] Pant, “A Rising India”, p252.

[6] Pant, “A Rising India”, pp252-255.

[7] Ganguly, Sumit and Manjeet S. Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years of India’s Foreign Policy”, India Review, Vol 8, No 1, January–March 2009, pp5-6.

[8] Hedrick, “India’s Strategic”, p46.

[9] Tarique Niazi, “Pushback to Unilateralism: the China-India-Russia Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 20 December 2007.

[10] Ganguly and Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years”, p15.

[11] Ganguly and Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years”, pp10-14.

[12] Hong, Zhao. “An Energy Comparison of the Asian Giants: China and India”, Asian Affairs, Vol 15, No 3, November 2009, p377.

[13] Twining, Daniel. “Diplomatic Negligence: The Obama administration fumbles relations with India”, The Weekly Standard, Vol 15, No 32, 10 May 2010, http://weeklystandard.com/articles/diplomatic-negligence

[14] Varma, Pavan K. “Citizen India: The Many Are One”, World Policy Journal, Spring 2009, p51.

[15] Berlin, Donald L. “India in the Indian Ocean”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2006, Vol 59, No 2, p71.

[16] Sung Won Kim, David P. Fidler, and Sumit Ganguly, “Eastphalia Rising? Asian Influence and the Fate of Human Security”, World Policy Journal, Summer 2009, p64.

[17] “100 million more Indians now living in poverty”, The Economic Times, 18 Apr 2010, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/100-million-more-Indians-now-living-in-poverty/articleshow/5829267.cms

[18] Bardhan, Pranab. “Crouching Tiger, Lumbering Elephant? The Rise of China and India in a Comparative Economic Perspective”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2006, Vol 13, No 1, p51.

[19] Bardhan, “Crouching Tiger”, p52.

[20] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p231.

[21] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p226.

[22] Copley, Gregory R. “The Global Energy Framework: A New Conceptual Matrix”, in Gregory R. Copley, Andrew Pickford and Kenneth Chern (eds), Energy Security in the IndoPacific Basins: Looking at the Broader Context in a Time of Change, (FDI Occasional Paper 3), Perth, Western Australia: Future Directions International, 2008, p5.

[23] Hong, “An Energy Comparison”, p379.

[24] Hong, “An Energy Comparison”, pp384-387.

[25] Fair, C. Christine. “India-Iran Security Ties: Thicker Than Oil”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, p271.

[26] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”, p273.

[27] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”, p276.

[28] Sokolski, Henry. “Negotiating the Obstacles to U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, p4.

[29] Blazevic, Jason J. “Defensive Realism in the Indian Ocean: Oil, Sea Lanes and the Security Dilemma”, China Security, Vol 5 No 3, 2009, p65.

[30] Pant, Harsh V. “India in the Indian Ocean: Growing Mismatch Between Ambitions and Capabilities”, Pacific Affairs, Vol 82, No 2 Summer 2009, pp280-284.

[31] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”,, p265.

[32] Erickson, Andrew S. and Gabriel B. Collins, “China’s Oil Security Pipe Dream: The Reality, and Strategic Consequences, of Seaborne Imports”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2010, Vol 63, No 2, p89.

[33] Srivastava, Siddharth. “Indian arms spree on the fast track”, Asia Times, 4 June 2009, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KF04Df01.html

[34] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p226.

[35] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p284.

[36] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p65.

[37] Hallinan, Conn. “U.S. and India–A Dangerous Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC.  6 May 2003, http://www.fpif.org/articles/us_and_india-a_dangerous_alliance

[38] Speier, Richard. “U.S. Satellite Space Launch Cooperation and India’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp189-190.

[39] Speier, “U.S. Satellite Space Launch”, p192.

[40] Speier, “U.S. Satellite Space Launch”, p199.

[41] Berlin, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p66.

[42] Mian, Zia. “A Story of Leaders, Partners, and Clients”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 27 September 2005, http://www.fpif.org/articles/a_story_of_leaders_partners_and_clients

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[44] Mian, “A Story of Leaders”.

[45] Mian, “A Story of Leaders”.

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[47] Kamdar, Mira. “The Real Prize in India-U.S. Relations”, World Policy Journal, Winter 2006/07, p60.

[48] Kamdar, “The Real Prize”, p61.

[49] Tellis, “What Should We Expect”, p231.

[50] Pandit, Rajat. “India inks largest-ever defence deal with US”, The Times of India, 5 Jan 2009, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_inks_largest-ever_defence_deal_with_US/articleshow/3934357.cms

[51] Tellis, “What Should We Expect”, p244.

[52] Narang, Vipin. “Posturing for Peace? Pakistan’s Nuclear Postures and South Asian Stability”, International Security, Vol 34, No 3, Winter 2009/10, p40.

[53] Ganguly, Sumit. “Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, International Security, Vol 33, No 2, Fall 2008, p51.

[54] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, pp55-56.

[55] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, p60.

[56] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, p66.

[57] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p39.

[58] Ladwig III, Walter C. “A Cold Start for Hot Wars? The Indian Army’s New Limited War Doctrine”, International Security, Vol 32, No 3, Winter 2007/08, p174.

[59] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p168.

[60] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p44.

[61] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p167.

[62] Ricks, Thomas E. “India-Pakistan Nuclear Rivalry”, The Wall Street Journal, 24 June 1998, http://www.defencejournal.com/aug98/indiapakrivalry.htm

[63] Robock, Alan and Owen Brian Toon, “Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering”, Scientific American Magazine, January 2010, p79.

[64] Robock and Toon, “Local Nuclear War”, p75.

[65] Robock and Toon, “Local Nuclear War”, p77.

[66] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p158.

[67] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p166.

[68] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p169.

[69] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p175.

[70] Ricks, “India-Pakistan Nuclear Rivalry”.

[71] Friedman, George. “Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly, 8 December 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20081208_next_steps_indo_pakistani_crisis

[72] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p38.

[73] Friedman, “Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis”.

[74] Schmidt, John R. “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, Survival, Vol 51, No 3, 2009, p29.

[75] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p30.

[76] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p31.

[77] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p32.

[78] Lieven, Anatol. “All Kayani’s Men”, National Interest Online, 30 April 2010,

http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=23214

[79] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p33.

[80] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p34.

[81] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p45.

[82] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[83] Berlin, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p85.

[84] Twining, “Diplomatic Negligence”.

[85] Twining, “Diplomatic Negligence”.

[86] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[87] Sperling, Elliot. “The Politics of History and the Indo-Tibetan Border (1987–88)”, India Review, Vol 7, No 3, July–September, 2008, pp223-224.

[88] Friedman, George. “Chinese Geopolitics and the Significance of Tibet”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weeky, 15 April 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/chinese_geopolitics_and_significance_tibet

[89] Nalapat, Madhav. “The History of Sino-India Tensions”, The Diplomat, 1 December 2009, http://the-diplomat.com/2009/12/01/the-history-of-sino-india-tensions/

[90] Nalapat, “The History of Sino-India Tensions”.

[91] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[92] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, pp59-60.

[93] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p61.

[94] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p63.

[95] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p286.

[96] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p287.

[97] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p64.

[98] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p44.

[99] Walt, Stephen M. “China’s new strategy”, Foreign Policy, 26 April 2010,

http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/04/25/chinas_new_strategy

America’s War Costs Hit $1 Trillion

31 May, 2010

A statement on America’s wars by the Congresswoman for Illinois, Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

“What Have we Bought for $1 Trillion?”

28 May 2010

Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Congresswoman from Illinois

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-jan-schakowsky/what-have-we-bought-for-1_b_594031.html

As of 10:06 on Sunday, May 30th, we will have spent $1 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A trillion dollars is a baffling amount of money. If you write it out, use twelve zeros. Even after serving in Congress for over a decade, I, like most Americans, still have a hard time wrapping my head around sums like this.

This month, we mark the seventh anniversary of President Bush’s declaration of “mission accomplished” in Iraq, yet five American soldiers have been killed there in May alone. Iraqis went to the polls nearly three months ago, but the political system remains so fractured that no party has been able to piece together a coalition. There are some indications that sectarian violence is again on the rise.

The only clear winner of the Iraq war is Iran. Their mortal enemy, Saddam Hussein, was taken out and fellow Shiites are in charge. Iran has been emboldened to the point of threatening the stability of the region and the world with its growing nuclear capability.

And then there’s Afghanistan, which, after nearly a decade of war, represents the longest continuous U.S. military engagement ever. Even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service recently declared the situation in Afghanistan as a “deteriorating security situation and no comprehensive political outcome yet in sight.” And the U.S. military just suffered its 1,000th casualty in Afghanistan on Friday.

So the real question is: What have we bought for $1 trillion? Are we safer? As our troops and treasure are still locked down in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorists are training, recruiting and organizing in Somalia, Yemen and dozens of other places around the globe. While it appears that we have made significant progress in weakening Al Qaeda’s network, we have increasing concerns about homegrown terrorists.

Isn’t it time to invest in a different strategy? I have been doing a lot of thinking about the nexus between the low status of women and the presence of instability, violence and terrorism. It is simply a fact that the countries in which women are least empowered are the most violent. Could it be that policy-makers and defense experts have overlooked a tool that is staring us right in the face? It’s in the eyes of women — sometimes masked by a burqa, sometimes scarred with acid, sometimes tear stained from the grief of losing a husband or child to war. It’s these women who are often fiercely determined to stop the killing and provide a secure environment for their families. Does it even make sense for half of the human race to play only a minor role in countries now plagued by war and violence?

The data indisputably prove the case that when investments are made in women, communities are more stable, healthier, and less violent. The principle tools, which just happen to be far less expensive than the weapons and manpower of war, are the education of girls and economic empowerment of women.

We already have some positive experience that we can build upon. Where the U.S. military and our NATO allies have made a conscious effort to reach out to local women in a culturally sensitive way, they have seen the benefits of utilizing the unique abilities of these women. A Canadian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar met regularly with local women leaders who notified NATO of local corruption and security threats and also conveyed their priorities for improving life in their communities. The U.S. marines have found that using Female Engagement Teams to establish dialogue and collaboration with Afghan women has helped to build rapport between Americans and Afghans, as well as providing critical intelligence that might otherwise have been missed.

On Sunday we hit the $1 trillion mark, but on Memorial Day we will honor all those men and women who gave their lives to fight for this country. This includes the over 5,000 men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Even in difficult economic times, this is by far the most devastating cost of all: the lives we have lost in these two conflicts.

This weekend, I hope all Americans will take the opportunity to consider the cost of ongoing war. We simply cannot afford to continue pouring American blood and treasure into conflicts that will never be solved by a total dependence on military force. We should look to the women to provide the cost-effective, powerful force for peace.

Mercenary Leader’s Speech Revealed

5 May, 2010

“Secret Erik Prince Tape Exposed”

Jeremy Scahill

May 3, 2010

http://www.thenation.com/blog/secret-erik-prince-tape-exposed

Erik Prince, the reclusive owner of the Blackwater empire, rarely gives public speeches and when he does he attempts to ban journalists from attending and forbids recording or videotaping of his remarks. On May 5, that is exactly what Prince is trying to do when he speaks at DeVos Fieldhouse as the keynote speaker for the “Tulip Time Festival” in his hometown of Holland, Michigan. He told the event’s organizers no news reporting could be done on his speech and they consented to the ban. Journalists and media associations in Michigan are protesting this attempt to bar reporting on his remarks.

Despite Prince’s attempts to shield his speeches from public scrutiny, The Nation magazine has obtained an audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Prince to a friendly audience. The speech, which Prince attempted to keep from public consumption, provides a stunning glimpse into his views and future plans and reveals details of previously undisclosed activities of Blackwater. The people of the United States have a right to media coverage of events featuring the owner of a company that generates 90% of its revenue from the United States government.

In the speech, Prince proposed that the US government deploy armed private contractors to fight “terrorists” in Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia, specifically to target Iranian influence. He expressed disdain for the Geneva Convention and described Blackwater’s secretive operations at four Forward Operating Bases he controls in Afghanistan. He called those fighting the US in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan “barbarians” who “crawled out of the sewer.” Prince also revealed details of a July 2009 operation he claims Blackwater forces coordinated in Afghanistan to take down a narcotrafficking facility, saying that Blackwater “call[ed] in multiple air strikes,” blowing up the facility. Prince boasted that his forces had carried out the “largest hashish bust in counter-narcotics history.” He characterized the work of some NATO countries’ forces in Afghanistan as ineffectual, suggesting that some coalition nations “should just pack it in and go home.” Prince spoke of Blackwater working in Pakistan, which appears to contradict the official, public Blackwater and US government line that Blackwater is not in Pakistan.

Prince also claimed that a Blackwater operative took down the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W Bush in Baghdad and criticized the Secret Service for being “flat-footed.” He bragged that Blackwater forces “beat the Louisiana National Guard to the scene” during Katrina and claimed that lawsuits, “tens of millions of dollars in lawyer bills” and political attacks prevented him from deploying a humanitarian ship that could have responded to the earthquake in Haiti or the tsunami that hit Indonesia.

Several times during the speech, Prince appeared to demean Afghans his company is training in Afghanistan, saying Blackwater had to teach them “Intro to Toilet Use” and to do jumping jacks. At the same time, he bragged that US generals told him the Afghans Blackwater trains “are the most effective fighting force in Afghanistan.” Prince also revealed that he is writing a book, scheduled to be released this fall.

The speech was delivered January 14 at the University of Michigan in front of an audience of entrepreneurs, ROTC commanders and cadets, businesspeople and military veterans. The speech was titled “Overcoming Adversity: Leadership at the Tip of the Spear” and was sponsored by the Young Presidents’ Association (YPO), a business networking association primarily made up of corporate executives. “Ripped from the headlines and described by Vanity Fair magazine, as a Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier and Spy, Erik Prince brings all that and more to our exclusive YPO speaking engagement,” read the event’s program, also obtained by The Nation. It proclaimed that Prince’s speech was an “amazing don’t miss opportunity from a man who has ‘been there and done that’ with a group of Cadets and Midshipmen who are months away from serving on the ‘tip of the spear.'” Here are some of the highlights from Erik Prince’s speech:

Read the whole article here at The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/secret-erik-prince-tape-exposed

Afghanistan Cover-Up Undermines US Credibility

6 April, 2010

U.S. Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?ref=world

Richard A. Oppel writes in the New York Times this week that the NATO command in Afghanistan has admitted that a bungled US Special Operations assault on 12 February led to the deaths of 3 Afghani women, despite having previously denied it. Oppel writes that the Times of London has issued, “a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths”, and removed bullets from walls near where the women were killed. Officials at first admitted there were signs of evidence tampering at the scene of the killings, but a senior NATO official later denied this. NATO officials had already admitted they had killed a district prosecutor and a local police chief during the raid in south-eastern Afghanistan, when they had come to investigate the disturbance while armed with Kalashnikov rifles.

One of the women killed was a pregnant mother of 10, and another was a pregnant mother of six. NATO originally suggested that the women died in some other way hours before the raid, such as being stabbed to death, but survivors of the attack claimed it was a story to cover-up the responsibility of American forces. Prior to the raid the locals had been having a party to celebrate the birth of the home-owner’s grandson. The latest NATO statement says that “investigators could not conclusively determine how or when the women died, due to lack of forensic evidence” but that they had nonetheless “concluded that the women were accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing”. They had previously claimed that during the raid US soldiers had discovered the “bodies of three women who had been tied up, gagged and killed”, hidden in a room inside the house. However, NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay now says that they “deeply regret the outcome of this operation, accept responsibility for our actions that night, and know that this loss will be felt forever by the families”.

Reports say that not only were the women killed by American forces, but in the aftermath the troops also “washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened”. Nevertheless, the investigators looking into the incident maintained that, “Nothing pointed conclusively to the fact that our guys were the ones who tampered with the scene.” Obviously this is not a great publicity success for allied forces in Afghanistan. The confused admissions and denials regarding the cover-up, in the face of reports by respected news organisations, only serves to undermine their credibility. This comes during a period in which Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been criticising the foreign military presence and the killing of civilians – not that the president himself has any credibility or legitimacy (as he was installed and supported by international forces despite his election fraud).

American commander Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says that NATO forces have tried hard to reduce civilian casualties with new rules bringing Special Operations forces under tighter control. However, situations such as these continue to damage their ability to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people – and thus further the support for the Taliban, as well as providing political ammunition for opponents in communities across the world. Afghanistan certainly needs a new and more progressive future direction, and this may need to be protected from fundamentalists militarily, but if Western forces really want to do this successfully it is clear that an essential first step is this: don’t cover up the crimes of your troops; and don’t cover up the crimes of the political leaders you appointed. There are probably many other ways the NATO operations can improve, but perhaps Google’s corporate motto is a pretty good place to start: “don’t be evil”.

***** The Huffington Post Reports that footage of US soldiers in Iraq, now available from Wikileaks, shows helicopter-borne soldiers opening fire on a group of Iraqi citizens that includes 2 journalists (who were killed). Two children were also wounded in the attack. The American soldiers can be heard laughing and treating the killing like a video game.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-exposes-video-o_n_525569.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/14/AR2009091403262.html