Monday, June 27, 2011

CIA Instigating Mutiny in Pakistan Army

TheUnited Statesis confronting the Pakistani military leadership of General Kayani. An extremely dangerous course to destabilise Pakistanis commencing. Can the outcome be any different than in Iran in 1979? But then, the Americans are like Bourbons; they never learn from their mistakes.
The NYT report quotes US officials not less than 7 times, which is extraordinary, including “an American military official involved withPakistanfor many years”; “a senior American official”, etc. The dispatch is cleverly drafted to convey the impression that a number of Pakistanis have been spoken to, but reading between the lines, conceivably, these could also probably have been indirect attribution by the American sources.
A careful reading, in fact, suggests that the dispatch is almost entirely based on deep briefing by some top US intelligence official with great access to records relating to the most highly sensitive US interactions with the Pak army leadership and who was briefing on the basis of instructions from the highest level of the US intelligence apparatus.
The report no doubt underscores that the US intelligence penetration of the Pak defence forces is deep. It is no joke to get a Pakistani officer taking part in an exclusive briefing by Kayani at the National Defence University to share his notes with the US interlocutors – unless he is their “mole”. This is like a morality play for we Indians, too, where theUSintelligence penetration is ever broadening and deepening. Quite obviously, the birds are coming to roost. Pakistani military is paying the price for the big access it provided to the US to interact with its officer corps within the framework of their so-called “strategic partnership”. The Americans are now literally holding the Pakistani army by its jugular veins. This should serve as a big warning for all militaries of developing countries likeIndia. The NYT story flags in no uncertain terms that although Cold War is over, history has not ended.
What are the objectives behind the NYT story?
Whichever way we look at it, they all are highly diabolic.
One, US is rubbishing army chief Parvez Kayani and ISI head Shuja Pasha who at one time were its own blue-eyed boys and whose successful careers and post-retirement extensions in service the Americans carefully choreographed fostered with a pliant civilian leadership in Islamabad, but now when the crunch time comes, the folks are not “delivering”. In American culture, as they say, there is nothing like free lunch. The Americans are livid that their hefty “investment” has turned out to be a waste in every was a very painstakingly arranged investment, too. In short, the Americans finally realise that they might have made a miscalculation about Kayani when they promoted his career.
Two,USintelligence estimation is that things can only go from bad to worse in US-Pakistan relations from now onward. All that is possible to salvage the relationship has been attempted. John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Mike Mullen – the so-called “friends of Pakistan” in the Barack Obama administration – have all come to Islamabad and turned on the charm offensive. But nothing worked. Then came CIA boss Leon Panetta with a deal that like Marlon Brando said in the movie Godfather, Americans thought the Pakistanis cannot afford to say ‘No’ to, but to their utter dismay, Kayani showed him the door.
The Americans realise that Kayani is fighting for his own survival – and so is Pasha – and that makes him jettison his “pro-American” mindset and harmonise quickly with the overwhelming opinion within the army, which is that the Americans pose a danger to Pakistan’s national security and it is about time that the military leadership draws a red line. Put simply,Pakistanfears that the Americans are out to grab their nuclear stockpile. Pakistani people and the military expect Kayani to disengage from the US-led Afghan war and instead pursue an independent course in terms of the country’s perceived legitimate interests.
Three, there is a US attempt to exploit the growing indiscipline within the Pak army and, if possible, to trigger a mutiny, which will bog down the army leadership in a serious “domestic” crisis that leaves no time for them for the foreseeable future to play any forceful role in Afghanistan. In turn, it leaves the Americans a free hand to pursue their own agenda. Time is of the essence of the matter and the US desperately wants direct access to the Taliban leadership so as to strike a deal with them without the ISI or Hamid Karzai coming in between.
The prime US objective is that Taliban should somehow come to a compromise with them on the single most crucial issue of permanentUSmilitary bases inAfghanistan. The negotiations over the strategic partnership agreement with Karzai’s government are at a critical point. The Taliban leadership of Mullah Omar robustly opposes theUSproposal to set up American and NATO bases on their country. The Americans are willing to take the Taliban off the UN’s sanctions list and allow them to be part of mainstream Afghan political life, including in the top echelons of leadership, provided Mullah Omar and the Quetta Shura agree to play ball.
TheUStried its damnest to get Kayani to bring the Taliban to the reconciliation path. When these attempts failed, they tried to establish direct contact with the Taliban leadership. But ISI has been constantly frustrating theUSintelligence activities in this direction and reminding theUSto stick to earlier pledges that Pakistan would have a key role in the negotiations with the Taliban. The CIA and Pentagon have concluded that so long as the Pakistani military leadership remains stubborn, they cannot advance their agenda in Afghanistan.
Now, how do you get Kayani and the ISI to back off? The US knows the style of functioning of the Pakistani military. The army chief essentially works within a collegium of the 9 corps commanders. Thus, US has concluded that it also has to tackle the collegium. The only way is to set the army’s house on fire so that the generals get distracted by the fire-dousing and the massive repair work and housecleaning that they will be called upon to undertake as top priority for months if not years to come. To rebuild a national institution like the armed forces takes years and decades.
Four, theUSwon’t mind if Kayani is forced to step aside from his position and the Pakistani military leadership breaks up in disarray, as it opens up windows of opportunities to have Kayani and Pasha replaced by more “dependable” people – Uncle Sam’s own men. There is every possibility that theUShas been grooming its favourites within the Pak army corps for all contingencies.Pakistanis too important as a “key non-NATO ally”. The CIA is greatly experienced in masterminding coup d-etat, including “in-house” coup d’etat. Almost all the best and the brightest Pak army officers have passed through the US military academies at one time or another. Given the sub-continent’s middle class mindset and post-modern cultural ethos, elites in civil or military life take it for granted that US backing is a useful asset for furthering career. The officers easily succumb to US intelligence entrapment. Many such “sleepers” should be existing there within the Pak army officer corps.
The big question remains: has someone in Washington thought through the game plan to tame the Pakistani military? The heart of the matter is that there is virulent “anti-Americanism” within the Pak armed forces. Very often it overlaps with Islamist sympathies. Old-style left wing “anti-Americanism” is almost non-existent in the Pakistani armed forces – as in Ayaz Amir’s time. These tendencies in the military are almost completely in sync with the overwhelming public opinion in the country as well.
Over the past 3 decades at least, Pakistani army officers have come to be recruited almost entirely from the lower middle class – as in our country – and not from the landed aristocracy as in the earlier decades up to the 1970s. These social strata are quintessentially right wing in their ideology, nationalistic, and steeped in religiosity that often becomes indistinguishable from militant religious faith.
Given the overall economic crisis in Pakistan and the utterly discredited Pakistani political class (as a whole) and countless other social inequities and tensions building up in an overall climate of cascading violence and great uncertainties about the future gnawing the mind of the average Pakistani today, a lurch toward extreme right wing Islamist path is quite possible. The ingredients inPakistanare almost nearing those prevailing inIranin the Shah’s era.
The major difference so far has been that Pakistan has an armed forces “rooted in the soil” as a national institution, which the public respected to the point of revering it, which on its part, sincerely or not, also claimed to be the Praetorian Guards of the Pakistani state. Now, in life, destroying comes very easy. Unless the Americans have some very bright ideas about how to go about nation-building in Pakistan, going by their track record in neighbouringAfghanistan, their present course to discredit the military and incite its disintegration or weakening at the present crisis point, is fraught with immense dangers.
The instability in the region may suit the US’ geo-strategy for consolidating its (and NATO’s) military presence in the region but it will be a highly self-centred, almost cynical, perspective to take on the problem, which has dangerous, almost explosive, potential for regional security. Also, who it is that is in charge of the Pakistan policy in Washington, we do not know. To my mind, Obama administration doesn’t have a clue since Richard Holbrooke passed away as to how to handlePakistan. The disturbing news in recent weeks has been that all the old “Pakistanhands” in the USG have left the Obama administration. It seems there has been a steady exodus of officials who knew and understood howPakistanworks, and the depletion is almost one hundred percent. That leaves an open field for the CIA to set the policies.
The CIA boss Leon Panetta (who is tipped as defence secretary) is an experienced and ambitious politico who knows how to pull the wires in the Washington jungle – and, to boot it, he has an Italian name. He is unlikely to forgive and forget the humiliation he suffered in Rawalpindi. The NYT story suggests that it is not in his blood if he doesn’t settle scores with the Rawalpindi crowd. If Marlon Brando were around, he would agree.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Elbit Systems Ltd's G NIUS advantguard unmanned ground system

Elbit system Ltd

Building on the autonomous capabilities developed by G-NIUS for the Guardium UGV system, as well as the TAGS inherent maneuverability in harsh terrain, AvantGuard UGCV expands the applications envelope of unmanned vehicles to encompass Counter IED (CIED) and ground maneuvering combat missions.

The autonomous vehicle configuration utilizes advanced robotics and sensor technologies, allowing it to "think", avoiding obstacles and communicating with the operator or other vehicles. The AvantGuard is controlled by a mobile or portable Operational Control Unit (OCU), and can also operate with dismounted or mounted combat teams.

INS Viraat with Sea Harriers - India's only naval carrier

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Glimpse of PAK-DA Russian next generation strategic bomber

The PAK DA (or PAK-DA), is a next generation strategic bomber which is being developed by Kazan Aircraft Production Association for Russia. It stands for Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Dalney Aviatsyi (Перспективный авиационный комплекс дальней авиации in Russian) which means Prospective Air Complex for Long Range Aviation. The PAK DA will be a new, stealthy, strategic bomber and is expected to enter service in the 2025–30 timeframe

South Korea to Gift Corvette to Philippines Navy

South Korea is donating one of its recently retired Po Hang class corvettes to the Philippines Navy. The Po Hangs are 1,200 ton warships that first entered service in 1984. Since then 24 have been built. Each is armed with four Harpoon anti-ship missiles, one 76mm cannon; two twin 40mm automatic cannon, six torpedo tubes and twelve depth charges. The crew of 95 also operates radar and sonar. Top speed is 59 kilometers an hour. Two Po Hangs have been retired so far, and one was sunk by a North Korean torpedo last year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

KP to computerise prison record

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to computerise its prison department`s record to streamline the procedures of the inmates` entry and release.
The decision was taken in a meeting that reviewed the Prisons Management Information System in Central Jail, Peshawar, in the Annual Development Plan under the chairmanship of provincial home secretary Muhammad Azam Khan here on Thursday.
Senior officials of the science and technology and information technology departments along with computer experts attended the meeting which was told that after the computerisation of the prisoners` database, details of their punishment, remission, appearance before the court, release and treatment on the premises could easily be checked online.
According to officials, the service record of the prison department`s employees, including tenure, posting and transfers, and disciplinary action against them by wardens and assistant deputy superintendents of jails, will also be available online.They said linking of all jails in the province through internet, installation of close-circuit television cameras in jails and provision of electronic security equipment to them had also been planned.
Officials said PC-1 of the computerisation of Peshawar Jail`s record would be revised to ensure that the province`s two central prisons in Peshawar and Haripur were computerised in the first phase at the same cost.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Germany clears India for receipt of dual-use tech

India had been on a list of countries subject to export restrictions, but will now be treated on par with EU countries
New Delhi: Germany has removed India from a list of countries subject to restrictions for the export of dual-use items and technology, adding a new dimension to its strategic partnership with the South Asian nation.
Germany’s ambassador to India Thomas Matussek said the move was in keeping with an understanding reached between the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Berlin in December.
A week before German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to New Delhi on 31 May, “Germany modified its export control legislations vis-a-vis India”, Matussek told reporters.
“We have repealed our national restrictions for export of goods of nuclear power plants. India was removed from a list of countries subject to national export control restrictions. Now India will be treated by us just like any EU (European Union) country,” he said. The step was in recognition of India’s “excellent non-proliferation record” and added a “new cornerstone to our strong strategic partnership”, the ambassador said.
This follows a decision by Germany to shut down all its atomic plants by 2022, based on the recommendations of an expert commission to review the safety of atomic power plants after some units of Japan’s Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear power plant started leaking radiation after being crippled by a tsunami triggered by a 11 March earthquake. But the move paves the way for German companies such as Siemens AG to export critical and sensitive civil nuclear safety equipment to India, which included nuclear power as a component of its energy mix needed to fuel its economic growth. According to Prime Minister Singh, India currently produces only 5,000 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power but has plans to increase it to 20,000MW by 2020.
Matussek, who was briefing reporters on the outcome of Merkel’s visit, said Germany supported India’s entry into international bodies framing the rules for the trade in nuclear and dual-use equipment and knowhow such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Group and the Australia group. But he urged India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)—an international pact that prohibits member states from testing nuclear weapons. India, which conducted nuclear tests in 1974 and in 1998, has resisted pressure from the international community to sign either the CTBT or the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But the difference of views was not an irritant in India-Germany ties that span education, science and technology to defence and strategic issues, the ambassador indicated.
Matussek, however, urged India not to carry out the death penalty awarded to Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, whom Indian courts found guilty of conspiracy in the 1993 September Delhi bomb blast case that targeted then youth Congress leader Maninder Singh Bitta.
Bhullar was deported from Frankfurt after his application seeking political asylum was rejected by German authorities, but the decision was declared illegal by a Frankfurt court two years later. India’s President Pratibha Patil recently rejected his mercy petition.
“Our government together with the European Union is certainly going to make the appeal not to execute the capital punishment. The EU high representative Catherine Ashton has written to the home minister in this regard,” Matussek said. Germany and many EU countries have abolished the death penalty.
On a proposal to remove the Taliban from a list of groups that are subject to United Nations sanctions following the 2001 attacks in the US, Matussek said the move was aimed at helping the “reconciliation process” between the Afghan government and the rebels.
“We feel that if the Afghans feel that the reconciliation process is easier, then you take the Taliban off the list,” Matussek said. India, which suspects the Taliban of having links with Pakistan military spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is uncomfortable with the move. India blames the ISI for the 2008 Mumbai attacks and for fomenting insurgency in Kashmir.
Germany’s ambassador to the UN Peter Wittig chairs the Security Council committee that currently monitors sanctions against the groups. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been making peace overtures to members of the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan for five years and sheltered the Al Qaeda before being driven out of power in the US-led invasion in late 2001. The Taliban has long demanded removal from the sanctions list to help promote reconciliation. The US and Afghan governments have said they are willing to reconcile with Taliban members who renounce violence, embrace the Afghan constitution, and sever ties with the Al Qaeda.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Russia supplies 4 su-30 mk2 fighters to Vietman

Russian Arms Exporter has supplied the first batch of four Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam, head of the company's delegation at Paris Air Show 2011 said.

Speaking about the share of aircraft equipment in overall exports of Russian armaments, Sergei Kornev noted yesterday that it made up 43 percent in 2010.

Normally, this indicator ranges between 45 and 50 percent, and this trend will keep in the near future, Kornev said.

The largest buyers of Russian aircraft are India, Algeria and Vietnam.

According to the Rosoboronexport official, the first four Su-30MK2 fighters had been recently sent to Vietnam.

"By our return to Moscow (i.e. by June 25) they will have been assembled and tested in flight. Rosoboronexport also offers Vietnam the Yak-130 trainer, but it is up to the customer to make the decision," he noted.

Earlier reports said Vietnam had concluded two contracts with Russia to buy 20 Su-30MK2 fighters.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The day when Chinese made Sri Lankan Air Force's F7/J-7 / F-7 Airguard aircraft failed to lock on

Tuesday’s failure to shoot down a single LTTE aircraft despite timely detection by radar has jolted the SLAF into investigating its limitations amidst evidence that the enemy has acquired a capability to neutralise the threat of a heat seeking missile attack.

An authoritative source said that Chinese F7s launched from Katunayake air base had failed to zero-in-on the enemy aircraft. "Their (F7s) missile systems failed to ‘lock on with the enemy aircraft," the source said. This would necessitate an overall review of the SLAF’s strategy, the source said. The military asserted that the LTTE could try to exploit the situation.
The initial detection had been made north-east of Mannar at 10.18 p.m. by 2D radar installed by the Government of India at the SLAF base at Vavuniya.

Thaladdi had come under attack within minutes after the detection, the source said.
Both the Indian radar and a Chinese 3D radar station located in the Western Province had detected the enemy aircraft but interceptors failed to carry out a successful missile strike. 2D radar provides direction and the distance of a target whereas the Chinese radar provides even the altitude of a target.
Sri Lanka Air Force F-7BS fighter--photoed by Rogier Westerhuis


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