Is India’s Regional Influence on the wane?


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, center, with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, left, and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan [Photographed May 24, 2009] With Pakistan and Afghanistan fighting the radical, Islamic insurgents, the meeting seemed designed by Iran to assure its neighbors that working together the three could solve their problems without having to rely on the West.
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IS INDIA’S REGIONAL INFLUENCE ON THE WANE? 

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Chacko Philip, France

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In recent weeks, lot of things were happening in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre which are critical to the evolution of India’s regional role and its foreign policy. On 26 February 2010, at least nine Indians, including three army officers were killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul. The attack was carried out focussing the residential areas used by Indians working in Afghanistan. The Indian National Security Advisor, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon made a two day visit to Kabul on 5 March 2010 to review the security situation of the Indians working there. Following his visit, Pakistani Army Chief General Pervez Kiani met the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai in Kabul, on 6 March 2010, to discuss “matters of mutual interest”.

On 7 March 2010, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates carried out an urgent visit to Kabul. This was in view of the scheduled visit of the President of Iran, Mahmud Ahmadinejad on 10 March 2010. The Iranian president’s visit was aimed at showing their strong support for President Karzai and to secure Afghan support. This was followed by a two day visit by President Karzai to Pakistan on 10 March 2010. During this visit, Karzai held talks with his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari and also had a separate meeting with Pakistani Army Chief, General Kiani. (more…)

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India, Pakistan break the ice, but chill remains


Good chemistry but poor trust mark the dialogue
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M K Bhadrakumar

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Amid much grandstanding, the India-Pakistan “dialogue” got off to a start in New Delhi on Thursday – albeit a somewhat bumpy one. No immediate breakthrough in frosty ties was expected, nor was one achieved. The United States, which is brokering the structured talks at the Foreign Ministry-level, should heave a sigh of relief that the ball is rolling after a 14-month hiatus.

The approach of the Indian and Pakistani sides presents a study in contrast, although both saw the other as desperately keen for talks to resume. India always held dialogue as a trump card to force Pakistan to respond to its demands to curb the activities of terrorist groups. On its part, Islamabad presumed that India “panicked” at the prospect of regional isolation on its part after placing itself brilliantly to seek leverage with the US from its “strategic assets” – the Taliban – in the endgame in Afghanistan.

Neither assumption is valid. Delhi ought to realize that despite its stubborn refusal to talk, Islamabad parried its demand to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure with links to the Pakistani security establishment that bleeds India. Indeed, indications are that Pakistan envisages the continued use of terrorism as a state policy vis-a-vis India. (more…)

Army reworks war doctrine for Pakistan, China


India’s Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor says, the Indian military is ready to fight Pakistan and China simultaneously, as quoted by an India daily.


Rajat Pandit

NEW DELHI: The Army is now revising its five-year-old doctrine to effectively meet the challenges of a possible `two-front war’ with China and Pakistan, deal with asymmetric and fourth-generation warfare, enhance strategic reach and joint operations with IAF and Navy.
Work on the new war doctrine — to reflect the reconfiguration of threat perceptions and security challenges — is already underway under the aegis of Shimla-based Army Training Command, headed by Lt-General A S Lamba, said sources.
It comes in the backdrop of the 1.13-million strong Army having practised — through several wargames over the last five years — its `pro-active’ war strategy to mobilise fast and strike hard to pulverise the enemy.
This `cold start strategy’, under a NBC (nuclear-chemical-biological) overhang, emerged from the `harsh lessons’ learnt during Operation Parakram, where it took Army’s strike formations almost a month to mobilise at the `border launch pads’ after the December 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament.
This gave ample opportunity to Pakistan to shore up its defences as well as adequate time to the international community, primarily the US, to intervene. The lack of clear directives from the then NDA government only made matters worse.
“A major leap in our approach to conduct of operations (since then) has been the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly),” said Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, at a closed-door seminar on Tuesday.
The plan now is to launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups’, with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.
Gen Kapoor identified five thrust areas that will drive the new doctrine. One, even as the armed forces prepare for their primary task of conventional wars, they must also factor in the eventuality of `a two-front war’ breaking out.
In tune with this, after acquiring a greater offensive punch along the entire western front with Pakistan by the creation of a new South-Western Army Command in 2005, India is now taking steps — albeit belatedly — to strategically counter the stark military asymmetry with China in the eastern sector. There is now “a proportionate focus towards the western and north-eastern fronts”, said Gen Kapoor.
Two, the Army needs to `optimise’ its capability to effectively counter `both military and non-military facets’ of asymmetric and sub-conventional threats like WMD terrorism, cyber warfare, electronic warfare and information warfare.
Three, the armed forces have to substantially enhance their strategic reach and out-of-area capabilities to protect India’s geo-political interests stretching from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait.
“This would enable us to protect our island territories; as also give assistance to the littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region,” said Gen Kapoor.
Four, interdependence and operational synergy among Army, Navy and IAF must become the essence of strategic planning and execution in future wars. “For this, joint operations, strategic and space-based capability, ballistic missile defence and amphibious, air-borne and air-land operations must be addressed comprehensively,” he said.
And five, India must strive to achieve a technological edge over its adversaries. “Harnessing and exploitation of technology also includes integration of network centricity, decision-support systems, information warfare and electronic warfare into our operational plans,” he added.
Apart from analysing the evolving military strategy and doctrines of China and Pakistan, the Army is also studying the lessons learnt from the US-launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and their relevance to India.
Source: TimesofIndia.com Cross posted at: Wichaar.com
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

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South Asian Terrorism: All Roads Lead To The British Empire [2 of 2]


sl_troops_clamping_down_ltte_insurgents
In Sri Lankathe Tamil Tiger terrorist group is in its last throes. Ousted by the Sri Lankan Army from almost all of its “claimed” territories, the militants are now holding on to about 19 square kilometers of land, with about 70,000 Sri Lankan citizens, mostly of Tamil ethnic origin, as their hostages. It is evident that they will be totally routed by the end of this month.  [Image above: Sri Lankan troops clamping on LTTE hideouts]
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SRI LANKA’S VIOLENT ETHNIC STRIFE

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by Ramtanu Maitra

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In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tiger terrorist group is in its last throes. Ousted by the Sri Lankan Army from almost all of its “claimed” territories, the militants are now holding on to about 19 square kilometers of land, with about 70,000 Sri Lankan citizens, mostly of Tamil ethnic origin, as their hostages. It is evident that they will be totally routed by the end of this month.

While the U.S. Pacific Command personnel in contact with New Delhi are formulating an evacuation plan for the hostages, London and the European Union are trying to protect the last vestiges of Tiger territory by urging Colombo to work out a ceasefire with the terrorists.

The emergence of violent conflict between the Tamil Sri Lankans and the Sinhala Sri Lankans, which gave birth to the London-backed Tamil Tigers, was yet another product of the British colonial legacy. This ethnic conflict, which has engulfed this little island, and unleashed unlimited violence in the region for almost three decades, is, as in the case of Northeast India, due to the British mindset of the Sri Lankan and Indian leaders involved in “resolving “the crisis. (more…)

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