June 16, 2017

U.S. patrols in name of freedom of navigation unapproved

http://www.ecns.cn/m/voices/2017/06-16/261731.shtml



2017-06-16 10:21 China Daily Editor: Feng Shuang

A formation of the Nanhai Fleet of China's Navy finished a three-day patrol of the Nansha islands in the South China Sea in early May. (Photo/Xinhua)

In its annual report to the United States Congress last week, the Department of Defense said China is using non-military "coercion" to gain control of strategic waters in the Asia-Pacific region. The Pentagon report on China's military and security developments said, "China continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims in the East and South China seas", adding that Beijing's tactics involve the use of "timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase effective control over disputed areas and avoid escalation" of military conflicts.

The report also expressed concerns over China building military bases overseas.

Responding to Pentagon's irresponsible remarks, China's Ministry of National Defense said China will firmly safeguard its national sovereignty in the South China Sea while maintaining regional peace and stability. In fact, the frequent U.S. military deployments and reconnaissance by U.S. aircraft and warships over Chinese territory are responsible for raising tensions in the Asia-Pacific, the ministry said.

Since such an exchange of rhetoric reflects the differences between China and the U.S. on the South China Sea issue, there is need to analyze the nature of frequent U.S. patrols near China's Nansha Islands in the name of freedom of navigation.

The U.S. insists that it will not take sides in the South China Sea disputes between China and some Southeast Asian countries, especially in the sovereignty dispute over the Nansha Islands. But the U.S. also claims that the islets and reefs of the Nansha Islands are actually low-tide elevations that have never had sovereign territorial waters or jurisdiction over wider waters, including exclusive economic zones and continental shelves.

Based on such arguments, the U.S. claims that according to "freedom of navigation" its ships can patrol the waters within 12 nautical miles off those islets and reefs.

China insists that the unapproved U.S. patrols in the name of freedom of navigation off the Nansha Islands compromise its sovereignty over the waters. Such patrols, China says, are not freedom of navigation and thus should be subject to Chinese laws on innocent passage of foreign vessels and seek prior approval from the Chinese government.

Way back in May 15, 1996, China published the baseline of the territorial seas for the Xisha Islands. But due to various reasons, it has so far failed to draw a similar baseline for the Nansha Islands, leaving space for disputes with other littoral countries. However, a Chinese government statement on the country's territorial sea on Sept 4, 1958, and the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone on Feb 25, 1992, declared China's rights on the waters 12 nautical miles off the Nansha Islands based on a straight baseline, and stipulated that foreign warships have to seek prior permission from China before venturing into those waters.

According to the law, the patrols by U.S. warships within the 12 nautical miles off the Nansha Islands without China's prior permission do not fulfill the requirements of freedom of navigation. Instead, they can be considered innocent passage in China's territorial waters, which are subjected to China's maritime laws and regulations.

There is little doubt that the so-called freedom of navigation activities of the U.S. warships within 12 nautical miles off the Nansha Islands without China's prior permission cause security concerns for China and could lead to unpredictable accidents, which would go against the spirit of the memorandums of understanding between the militaries of China and the U.S. on mutual notification on major military events and possible air or sea encounters. They could also compromise Sino-U.S. relations and undermine the efforts of China and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations member states to ease the tensions emanating from the South China Sea disputes.

If U.S. warships continue to patrol the waters off the Nansha Islands under the garb of "freedom of navigation", China will have to firmly safeguard its sovereignty and security, including fortifying its territorial waters in the South China Sea.

The author Jin Yongming is director of China Ocean Strategy Studies Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

China Marks South China Sea Claims With Coast Guard, Marine Militias

http://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/china-coastguard-06162017162129.html


A commentary by Dan Southerland
2017-06-16



AFP

China’s growing use of non-conventional means to assert control over the South China Sea is raising concerns among neighboring countries and regional military planners.

Analysts say that in “front line” flash points in the vast waterway, Beijing is deploying coast guard ships and armed fishing vessels instead of its regular navy vessels.

China claims sovereignty over more than 80 percent of the islands and other land features in the South China Sea and rejects conflicting claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.  Taiwan’s claims largely overlap with China’s.

China’s increased use of its coast guard and maritime militia to press its territorial claims may now be adding an element of unpredictability and a higher risk of clashes with other nations’ vessels.

To most people, “coast guard” summons up visions of ships that chase drug smugglers, enforce maritime law, and conduct search-and-rescue missions. But this no longer accurately describes many of the vessels in China’s growing white-hulled fleet.

Researchers with the U.S.-based RAND Corporation and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) say that in reaction to China’s coast guard build-up, other countries are now using their coast guards to support their own territorial claims.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense has for the first time, focused on China’s use of its maritime militias, fishing boats working often working with Chinese naval forces, in its annual report to the U.S. Congress on China’s military power.

The June 6 report asserts that China “continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims to the East and South China Seas.”

Coast Guard deployments run risks

But even low-intensity coercion carries risks, analysts say.

Collin Koh, a research fellow at the Singapore Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), says that China’s coast guard vessels are “increasingly larger and possess greater range and endurance.”

Their size and range compared with coast guards operated by many Southeast Asian nations, he says, might embolden the Chinese vessels to “undertake more aggressive actions.”

China’s Coast Guard (CCG) already has a history of taking such actions.

Since 2010 Koh has been documenting clashes and standoffs involving coast guards in the South China Sea.

A CSIS report issued in September 2016 says that increasingly aggressive actions by CCG vessels, including the ramming of other ships, risk destabilizing the region.

In a report published by CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), Lyle Morris of the RAND Corporation notes that until recently most coastal states have sent their navies, not coast guards, to assert sovereignty over disputed maritime areas.

“Navies offer a strong signal of state power and control, aimed at alerting rival claimants that the territory under dispute is a matter of national security and a matter that states are willing to go to war over,” says Morris.

China appears to be signaling through its use of its coast guard and militias that it wants to avoid war but that it also wants to advance and reinforce its claims.

Andrew S. Erickson and Connor M. Kennedy, experts on China’s maritime militia vessels, say that these militia boats appear to be crewed by civilians but frequently coordinate with the Chinese military.

Their civilian appearance, they say, allows Beijing to deny its involvement in the boats’ actions and to exploit U.S. Navy rules of engagement. Those rules limit the actions that U.S. ships can take against civilian vessels.

China, the Pentagon report says, “uses an opportunistically timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase its future control over disputed areas and avoid escalation to military conflict.”

Last year, it says, China used its coast guard, maritime militias, and fishing boats to heavily increase its presence at “various disputed features” after a decision in July 2016 by a tribunal in The Hague that declared China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea to be invalid.

Morris says that his research, published recently in The Naval War College Review, “suggests that coast guards, not navies, are the new asset of choice for many states in East and Southeast Asia to assert sovereignty over disputed waters.”

“This shift is driven in part, he says, by a perception among regional policymakers that coast guards offer a less militaristic face of state power in disputed maritime areas...” says Morris.

“On its face, having coast guards patrol large bodies of disputed territory…might be cause for optimism, as coast guards can be viewed as less escalatory and possess limited war-fighting capabilities.

“But the way coast guards are employed in the South China Sea as blunt instruments to assert state power gives more cause for concern than optimism,” says Morris.

High stakes

Occupying more than 3.5 million square kilometers, or 1.35 million square miles, the South China Sea is a vital waterway larger than the Mediterranean Sea.

It is believed to harbor large oil and gas deposits, and ships passing through the area carry cargo to and from the growing economies of East and Southeast Asia.

It’s also one of the world’s five leading fishing zones, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia. The broad fisheries of the South China Sea employs more than 3 million people, contributes heavily to the global fish trade, and provides a major source of vital protein to millions of people living in the nations bordering the South China Sea.

U.S. Air Force Captain Adam Greer, who has done research partly funded by the U.S. National Defense University, says that the stakes in the South China Sea can be summed up by a “3 P’s Rule”—politics, petroleum, and protein.

The U.S. takes no position on the disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea but is committed to the principle of freedom of navigation provided by international law.

China, Morris says, is clearly working to build “the largest and most formidable coast guard in the world in terms of total overall tonnage,” which he calculates will eventually reach around 190,000 tons.

Just a few weeks ago, China sent the world’s largest coast guard cutter, has quickly acquired the nickname “the Monster Cutter,” on patrol in the South China Sea.

The giant Chinese vessel, bearing the hull number 3901, surpasses in size and speed Japan’s Shikishima-class cutter, which had previously been ranked number one.

Aid to Southeast Asian nations

In response to China’s moves, Japan and the U.S. have promised to provide patrol vessels to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Japan has provided six patrol boats to Vietnam, and the United States has delivered to Vietnam the first six patrol boats out of a total of 18 as part of a $15 million deal signed in 2015.

But according to Koh, these are small craft that would be useful in inshore and coastal waters but barely able in bad weather to go out into the South China Sea and stay on station for very long.

Analysts agree that no combination of South East Asian nations can match China’s coast guard capabilities, fleet size, or shipbuilding capacity.

CSIS researchers say that it’s normal for a large number of Chinese fishing boats to be entering the South China Sea. But what’s unprecedented is the number of Chinese coast guard ships accompanying them.

In the past, says Koh, Chinese fishing vessels were short of China Coast Guard support.

But the CCG’s growing ability to project further and longer afield positions it, first, to scare off or deter other claimants’ fishing vessels and, second, to back up the fishing-boat militia, further emboldening that fleet to challenge other countries maritime enforcement patrols.

Dan Southerland is RFA’s founding executive editor

Dispute Over War Ship In The South China Sea Is A Return To 'Business As Usual' For US And China


 17/06/2017 10:32 AM IST | Updated 1 hour ago

The Conversation GlobalExperts in academia providing analysis for the public.

Alessandro UrasUniversity of Cagliari

The South China Sea is a volatile place - or rather, its politics are.

China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have been fighting over this azure stretch of the Pacific for more than a century. But tensions increased markedly in recent years as China, claiming the South China Sea as its own, has built on and militarised some 250 islands off the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, along with an arbitration tribunal, are now challenging the legitimacy of China's presence there.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to insist that the sea remain under international control. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were supposed to discuss the situation during their first meeting at Mar-a-Lago on April 5 2017. But the launch of 59 Tomahawks in Syria and growing tensions on the Korean peninsula completely overshadowed the maritime issue.

Two months after that meeting, the US triggered a classic confrontational cycle in the South China Sea. On May 24, the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey passed through the contested waters and sailed close to Mischief Reef, in the Spratly archipelago.

The island, controlled by China, has become a symbol of the country's assertiveness since it was occupied in 1995.

The operation was the first military maritime exercise in eight months and the first of Trump's presidency. Under the Obama administration, starting in 2015, American patrols in the South China Sea were regular practice.

The Chinese Nine-Dash Line and the scramble for the South China Sea.www.southchinsea.org

Freedom of navigation

The South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) is a US military program, open to regional allies (such as Australia, Japan and the Philippines), in which the US leads maritime exercises in the area. FONOPS is aimed at reiterating the inalienable principle of freedom of navigation in international waters laid out in the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China disputes this application of the UN declaration and perceives FONOPS as essentially a unilateral American endeavour. The Department of State asserts that the US can and will exercise its freedom of navigation on worldwide, without interference by any other country.

War ships, it has affirmed, should enjoy the same freedom as any other vessel, meaning free access to both exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and territorial seas without permission from the relevant coastal state.

China, which has also been in bilateral talks on the South China Sea with the Phillipines since early this year, has a different interpretation. For Beijing, military vessels cannot enter a coastal state's territorial seas without official permission.

It also claims that military ships in EEZ territorial waters are unlawful and suspicious, and only non-military vessels enjoy the right to passage.

The clash of unilaterality is clear, and both countries are firm in their stances. For the US, ensuring the freedom of navigation throughout Asia-Pacific region is a national prerogative and a matter of vital importance. As such, China - specifically, its military activities on some of the disputed South China Sea islands - is clearly its main obstacle.

A confrontation appears unavoidable, but, for now, interactions have cleverly been kept on a safe track, as no US allies have joined in the FONOPS exercises.

FONOPS is often misinterpreted as a challenge to China's claims in the South China Sea. In fact, the freedom of navigation operations are not explicitly aimed at questioning Chinese sovereignty in the South China Sea.

Why it's important for Trump's administration

Still, the US has a clear interest in preserving its role as a regional hegemon, and FONOPS could be seen as a provocation of Beijing and its divergent maritime stance.

During his first months in office, President Trump was accused of neglecting the South China Sea dispute and undervaluing the maritime routes encompassed in the Chinese Nine-Dash line. As the New York Times has reported, the Pentagon has on two occasions turned down requests by the US Pacific Command to conduct operations in the disputed waters, in February and April.

This has worried some US allies in the region, and may have encouraged others to start developing a more independent foreign policy.

Trump's cabinet has given every sign that it will continue the South China Sea policy developed under the Obama administration. On February 4 2017, Secretary of State James Mattis reiterated the importance of the South China Sea on the American agenda. Several months later, Admiral Harry Harris assured that the FONOPS in the South China Sea were planned as usual.

Timing is key in the waltz between Washington and Beijing. The US needs China's support in facing a growing number of global challenges, from terrorism to North Korea. And with Trump already pushing China on trade, evidently his weapon of choice for addressing the nations' multifaceted bilateral relationship, the administration may have seen a strategic reason for waiting to pressure Beijing on the South China Sea.

By relaunching operations in the region in May, the US reassured its Asian allies about its continued presence there. China was able to underline its different approach and criticise the US for jeopardising regional peace, thus bringing this FONOPS cycle to a close.

Beijing is well aware that such operations will continue, of course, just as Washington knows how China will respond. Ultimately, FONOPS is a geopolitical balancing act: it does not pose a direct threat to the status quo, which is favourable to China. But it asserts the US' hegemonic role in the Asia Pacific.

 Though competition between the two world powers will continue, it seems unlikely to escalate in the near future. Reciprocal accusation of undermining regional stability are, in the end, business as usual.

Alessandro Uras, Teaching Fellow in Southeast Asian Studies, University of Cagliari

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Baloch Movement: Punjabi characters planted by ISI in 1970s

Punjabi characters planted by ISI in 1970's betrayed Baloch freedom movement in the past.

By: Waris Baloch

These are some images of  highly educated  punjabi elite, who withdrawn their luxury lives and joined Baloch freedom struggle on the rigid mountains of Balochistan.

They won the heats and minds of Baloch people. None thought to speak against them because they were freedom fighters at that time but actually they were ISI agents in the shape, well wishers of Balochistan.

If someone at that time think of raising question about their insentives he/she was termed as traitor because these Panjabis were the frontline fighters on the mountains.

Even Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri didn't recognize their double game. It is quite possible that Mir Hazar Marri knew about their hidden agenda's because also betrayed Baloch movement and now serving Pakistan ISi and its army ruthless military offensives in Balochistan.

Who these Punjabis won the trust of Baloch leadership and people?

They took part in armed activities, they wrote articles, columns and published magazines and tabloids.

They successfully penetrated into Baloch freedom ranks, they learned Baloch language fluently, they adopted Baloch culture, tradition, Baloch name, and won the hearts and minds of not only Baloch leadership but also Baloch ordinary men.

They landed from United Kingdom to Balochistan soon after completing their graduations. Baloch leadership thought they are very good speakers, writers and of courser experienced guerrilla fighters, they taught modern techniques of guerrilla warfare to Baloch freedom fighters.

After a decade of knowing each and everything (weakness, strengths of Baloch liberation struggle) they escaped from Balochistan and went straight to Islamabad, Rawalpindi in GHQ.

Believing them Baloch faced heavy loses, their struggle was deceived by these Punjabis. Today all of them are in top positions in Pakistan.

Some of those characters and their role of past and now

1: Ahmed Rasheed, was a fighter and well writer after deceiving Baloch liberation struggle he become an author of Pakistan, an editor in english medium newspaper called DailyTimes.

2: Asad Rehman: He was also a very experienced shooter, a guerrilla of Baloch movement during 1970's but fulfilling ISI's task he also become a news editor , defense expert of Pakistan.

3: Najam Sethi: He was given the duty to publish news, article on his magazine during 1970's. He was arrested twice but was later released by the Pakistani authorities.

Mr.Najam Sethi is now the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (head ofPCB). He also runs a TV show called Appas Ki Bath in urdu medium Pakistani TV channel, GeoNews.

Moral of the story: Baloch nation always welcomed the support of people from all sphere of live and from all nationalities. We are secular people and struggling for  free democratic Balochistan.

Tarek Fateh or anyone else, can speak on behalf of Baloch but can't decide the fate of Baloch nation. Some Indian channels consider Tarek Fateh as a Baloch which is not correct. We don't know the motives behind his extraordinary tone of speaking against Pakistan.

Question comes in mind that, if Punjabis in the past couldn't stand with Baloch liberation struggle who played very bold role by targeting Pakistan army on battle grounds alongside​ Baloch freedom fighters. How come another Punjabi origin Tarek Fateh can be trusted who only speaks on TV talk shows, abuses Pakistan, favors India and Balochistan?

News suggesting that some people have been arrested were planning to murder Tarek Fateh. Now question is why Pakistan can kill its own asset? We consider this is also a part of Pakistan ISI's plan, just to make people fool that Pakistan wants to eliminate Tarek Fateh because he abuses Pakistan and supporting Balochistan cause. Pakistan is trying to portray Tarek Fateh a harmful personality so people of India will not doubt his hidden agenda. Spreading the news of targeting Tarek Fateh obviously is the deliberate effort of Pakistan to disperse the doubts about his double game.

Further reading about Najam Sethi: >>>
https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/najam-sethis-role-in-the-balochistan-resistance-movement-of-1970s/

Further reading about Asad Rehman: >>>
https://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?144014-Sheikh-Asad-Rehman-leftist-activist-and-Baloch-rights-advocate-passes-away

TIMES NOW Zee News NewsX Arnab Goswami Aditya Raj Kaul Sudhir Chaudhary Rohit Sardana Jyotiprakash Nabajiban Bhavini Mistry Abhishek Sikarwar Kolhapur Sudheendra Arvind Sakpal Anil Sinha Srinivas Bharath NK Anna Moolenaar Amit Bharadwaj Chakraborty Vinod B Walia Vijaydeep Joneja Vijay Mendon Vijay Goel FBRSS - RSS Status Export We Support RSS FBRSS - RSS Status Export Rss Thalassery Cyber Army Sangh Unity Rss PMO India Sushma Swaraj Rajnath Singh We Support Republic Republic Indian Defence News Discussion South Indian Hindu Group Hindustan Hindustan Times News18 News18 India Major Gaurav Arya Major General G.D. Bakshi : Our next president. We Support Major Gaurav Arya Major General G.D. Bakshi Dr. Subramanian Swamy

Al-Qaeda plans final jihad for India: Intel report points to terror recruitment drive targeting nation's Muslims

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2694949/Al-Qaeda-plans-final-jihad-India-Intel-report-points-terror-recruitment-drive-targeting-nations-Muslims.html


By Abhishek Bhalla23:36 BST 16 Jul 2014, updated 23:36 BST 16 Jul 2014


Al-Qaeda plans final jihad for India: Intel report points to terror recruitment drive targeting nation's Muslims   

|

Al-Qaeda is at the gates, and there are enough jihadis within already.

Intelligence agencies say the terror network is making inroads into India, sowing the seeds of a "final war" across the country.

Information gathered on al-Qaeda's India plans points to a mobilisation of its resources for jihad. 

The ideological goal of the group, as detailed in the report, is chilling: Ghazwa-e-Hind, or the final battle in India. 

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Tribal militias from Pakistan (in photo) are prime candidates for the Ghazwa-e-Hind

Ghazwa-e-Hind refers to an indoctrinated view of a final apocalyptic war in which India will be conquered by a jihadi army. All soldiers of this army are guaranteed a place in heaven. 

This term is freely used in jihadi circles and on the web, but is considered bizarre by others. 

Sources say the security establishment has been on the trail of launch-pads being set up within the country, and is also in touch with its counterparts in West Asia in order to crack the growing network.

An intelligence report on India being used a hunting ground for global jihad reveals al-Qaeda's diabolic roadmap. 

To begin with, the terror group that was created and led by Arab fighters now has recruits from Kashmir-centric groups.

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from the report

"Not only Kashmiri groups but Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates have stakes in the larger scheme of Ghazwa-e-Hind where India is regarded as next battleground in the 'End of Times' battle. This ideology is likely to be used to drive Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates into Kashmir," says an intelligence report. 

The al-Qaeda nexus with Kashmir-centric groups indicates it has a readymade jihadi framework in India. 

There is other proof too of al-Qaeda using its nexus with Indian groups to spread its ideology. 

An online English publication of al-Qaeda called Azan which is not available to the general public but is circulated through changing e-mails and encryption tools is being downloaded by Kashmiri groups. 

Sources say this only underlines the trend of terror groups within India getting attracted to the al-Qaeda and global jihad ideology. 

Agencies fear that the Azan tactic of spreading the terror group's ideology could spawn anonymous and isolated modules that will be difficult to detect but potent enough to carry out big attacks. 

Intelligence reports also state that groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban have declared they will open 'offices' in Kashmir. 

It has been revealed that a Taliban flag was hoisted at a point overlooking Srinagar last year, and the walls of Hari Parbat fort were painted with slogans like 'Welcome Taliban.' 

Sources say there is an urgent need for the home ministry and intelligence agencies to understand the threat. 

"Indicators need to be monitored to prevent the situation from worsening," said one official. 

Al-Qaeda's propaganda arm, Al Sahab, released a video recently, titled 'Why is there no storm in your ocean?' The report states that the video and transcripts were posted on several jihadi forums.

The videos have speeches asking youths from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and South India to join the global jihad. Incidentally, these are the areas where young men were recruited by the Indian Mujahideen (IM), India's homegrown terror group that has become synonymous with bomb blasts in public places. 

With the IM facing a major setback because of a series of arrests, including that of its top leader Yasin Bhatkal, sources say Indians fighting in Iraq for terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are part of larger scheme. 

Many more recruits are getting attracted to the global jihad that can later be used to wage war against India. 

There are also distinct inputs on al-Qaeda running a separate terror module in India as the homegrown terror outfit IM is making efforts to go global and establish strong links with groups like al-Qaeda, Taliban and Hizbut Tahrir. 

There is also evidence of al-Qaeda keeping a close watch on activities in India. The charge-sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Bhatkal says that organisations al-Qaeda and the Taliban are helping IM.

It also mentioned that the investigation revealed that some IM members are fighting on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border. 

NIA has said in the charge-sheet that Riyaz Bhatkal, a top IM commander based in Pakistan, travelled to tribal belts on the Af-Pak border to establish contact with al-Qaeda.

"After the meeting, which was very fruitful, Al Qaeda gave specific tasks to the IM for execution and agreed to train their cadres in terrorist activities," the charge-sheet says.

Pakistan Taliban have a keen interest in J&K

By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi

The withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan has already fuelled concerns in the Indian security establishment about its implications on Jammu and Kashmir. 

The volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan border is expected to explode into further chaos with jihadists expanding their reach to conflict spots such as J&K. 

The intelligence agencies have assessed that around 800 militants, mostly foreigners, are ready to cross over the Line of Control (LoC) to spread terror in J&K. 

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The Army says infiltration attempts have become bolder

With the coming Assembly election in the state, the militant activity is likely to increase. The LoC itself had remained volatile during much of last year, when frequent ceasefire violations were reported.

Even this year, the situation has not improved, though the two countries have initiated steps to normalise the ties. 

Sources said the Pakistan Taliban have a keen interest in J&K. 

Further, the Pakistan army has not subsided its efforts to push through militants across the LoC.

All the ceasefire violations are linked to the infiltration bids, said officials. 

More than two dozen militant camps are still said to be active in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir. 

The army has noticed that infiltration attempts have become bolder and the terrorists showed high level of training and carry sophisticated communication equipment to stay in touch with their handlers.

The recent encounters with militants have indicated that their combat techniques have improved drastically.

Most of the camps are located around Muzaffarabad in Kashmir. Another cluster is located in Kotli facing Poonch and Rajouri

Israeli-Baloch-Kurdish alliance

An Israeli-Baloch-Kurdish alliance would change the entire region. Israel has done a tremendous job of training Kurdish Peshmerga forces whom have been fighting the Islamic State.
If it were to offer the same support to  Baloch Nationalists, there is a far greater chance of eradicating the Taliban, the Haqqani network and ISIS whom have easy access to the latest weaponry and ground safe havens on Pakistani soil.
The Baloch Republican Party is seen here meeting with Israeli and Kurdish delegates. The Baloch wish to have cordial relations with the entire human family.

Dr.Swamy inaugurated VHS Membership drive in Delhi

Dr Subramanyan Swamy inaugurates VHS Delhi NCR Member Ship Drive at Pragati maidan Hall no. 7 stall no. 9 New Delhi TODAY

The VIRAT HINDUSTAN SANGAM (VHS) was founded in a meeting of the Patriotic Social Media Foundation in New Delhi on September 14, 2014.

The objective is to propagate amongst the educated youth active in the social media the five dimensions of a Virat Hindustan to usher in a National Renaissance:
1. Rediscover the Identity of an Indian,
2. Project the correct Indian history,
3. Promote Sanskrit as a link language,
4. Integral Humanism as an economic philosophy, &
5. Ram Rajya as model for good Governance

U.S. Afghan and South Asian Policy Suffers From Strategic Stagnation


http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/15/u-s-afghan-and-south-asian-policy-suffers-from-strategic-stagnation/

LAWRENCE SELLIN

Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve

3:16 PM 06/15/2017

While Washington D.C. frets over military stalemate and troop levels, American policy in Afghanistan and South Asia is about to be overtaken by events, which potentially could render the U.S. strategically irrelevant for a generation or more.

Even the dimmest foreign policy analyst should recognize by now that the U.S. and NATO cannot succeed in Afghanistan without a significant change in the strategic environment because Pakistan controls the operational tempo of the war and the supply of our troops.

Furthermore, the South Asian strategic deck chairs are being rearranged by regional powers in such a way that the U.S. will be left standing when the music stops.

The future of South Asia is now being determined by two contending economic alliances, China-Pakistan and India-Iran-Russia, neither of which envisions the U.S. as a participant.

In other words, given the trajectory of strategic developments in South Asia, the U.S. will have little or nothing to show for its enormous expenditure of blood and treasure in Afghanistan.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and, more broadly, the Belt and Road Initiative are China’s attempt to extend its strategic reach to the Indian Ocean, East Africa and the Middle East. That approach is similar to what China is doing in Southeast Asia, building artificial islands in the South China Sea as military and logistical bases. Similar Chinese bases are being built in Djibouti and Gwadar, Balochistan, Pakistan’s southwest province, which will allow China to extend its military reach to the entrances of the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, respectively.

In competition to CPEC, Iran and India, both allies of Russia, are implementing a similar project in the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is about 45 miles west of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Road and rail links will connect Chabahar to other parts of Iran and then on to Central Asia, Russia and Afghanistan, where the estimated $3 trillion in untapped Afghan mineral resources can be exploited.

The U.S. has only one card to play – Balochistan.

Balochistan, rich in natural resources, is an ethnically mixed transnational region spanning southwestern Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan, where the Baloch people, who have their own language and culture and have a reputation for secularism and tolerance, constitute the majority of the population.

A large section of ethnic Balochistan, independent at the time, was forcible incorporated into Pakistan by an invasion of the Pakistani Army after the partition of India in 1947. Since then, Balochistan has been the home of a festering insurgency waged by Baloch nationalists against the governments of Pakistan and Iran.

The ports of Chabahar, Iran and Gwadar, Pakistan are Balochi.

Balochistan’s natural resources have been plundered by Pakistan and Iran. Pakistani nuclear tests were conducted there without the permission of the Baloch people and the region has been subjected to military oppression for decades to extinguish ethnic aspirations and to maintain Balochistan as a de facto colony of Pakistan and Iran.

Pakistan has used Balochistan as an incubator and operational base for the Taliban and other terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, a fully owned and operated subsidiary of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. Having adopted radical Islam as an element of its national policy, Pakistan has become a willing or unwilling host to The Islamic State, which is now conducting terrorist operations in Balochistan.

The Baloch people are natural allies of the U.S. and an independent Balochistan could dampen regional terrorism, offer a more reliable sea-land link to Afghanistan, oppose Iranian regional hegemony and counter Chinese military expansionism.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

June 15, 2017

Europe: Desperately Seeking Combat Aircraft

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/global.handelsblatt.com/politics/desperately-seeking-combat-aircraft-780094/amp

WHY IT MATTERS

As European countries more closely align their defense and security policy, Airbus’s military arm hopes to develop an integrated weapons system that will combine drones, combat aircraft, satellites and commando and surveillance aircraft.

FACTS

Both the Eurofighter and the Tornado, two European-made fighter jets, are aging models that will soon require replacement.

The two models are to be replaced by the Future Combat Air System, or FCAS.

European countries are reluctant to buy weapons systems from US companies, fearing this gives the United States too much control over European decision-making.


JUNE 12, 2017 AT 3:08 PM CEST

The Eurofighter Typhoon is about to be swept away as Airbus pushes for Europe to adopt new military aircraft. Source: dpa

Source: dpa

The head of Airbus Military said that his company is making preparations for a European combat aircraft of the future, but can only take things so far if governments don’t put in orders.

“We are working on various building blocks in Germany and Spain. Part of our funding comes from governments, and we are hoping for more,” Fernando Alonso said from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse.

Mr. Alonso said that Europe needs to move forward on a coordinated system that integrates drones, combat aircraft and satellites, as well as commando and surveillance aircraft. In Brussels, foreign and defense ministers are working to bring together defense and security policies. The number of weapons systems is expected to decline for efficiency reasons as a result. “We hope that France will also participate because we have to be on the same page in Europe. There is no longer room for two or three different systems,” Mr. Alonso said. “The time is ripe for making and implementing a decision in Europe.”

But for coordinated policies to work there are a number of countries that need to urgently update their air forces with new, more modern aircraft, including Germany and Spain.

The time is ripe for making and implementing a decision in Europe.

Fernando Alonso 
Boss at Airbus Military


What Mr. Alonso is urging fits with the “Military Aviation Strategy” that German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen presented at the start of 2016. Airbus Military, the French plane maker’s military division, says that the next generation of airborne weapsons system will be a composite system. The “Future Combat Air System” (FCAS) Mr. Alonso and his team are currently pushing will replace the aging Eurofighter and the Tornado in Germany. But developing the FCAS will be expensive, which is why Airbus Military is looking to sign on as many EU countries as possible.

In Germany, the Tornado is the aircraft of choice, followed closely behind by the Eurofighter. But the Tornado is fast going out of date and retrofitting will only make the planes usable for a few years, according to government statements. One possibility Berlin is considering is to purchase American-made F35s, an existing aircraft that could be quickly procured. However doing so would require seeking permission from the US for every deployment. Airbus officials say this would result in Europe losing “both its competence and its sovereignty.”

This portrayal may be an exaggeration made by a business looking to cut its own deals, but the fear is a real one shared by defense policymakers in Germany’s governing coalition made of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats. Europeans already feel resentful of America’s extensive control rights for the use of American-made drones in Mali. Donald Trump’s ascent into the White House has only exasperated tensions. His ongoing beef with NATO commitments and European defense expenditures, as well as his general unpredictability, are all the more reason for Europe to cooperate more closely in security policy. The purchase of US combat aircraft would be considered an inappropriate gift to Washington.

Then there is the question of technical competence. Airbus Military is developing drone sensors and builds tankers and the A400M military transporter, but combat aircraft is its specialty. France still has the necessary competence to participate in FCAS, but the Germans only have some in the form of the Airbus-made Eurofighter. But the Eurofighter will soon be obsolete as Airbus makes plans to move on from the jet.

Germany also has a special problem. The country is not a nuclear power, but the US stores atomic bombs here. Under the agreement, the German air force must have carrier aircraft for those bombs. As the US Air Force modernizes its nuclear warheads, Germany’s Tornadoes are inching closer to the end of its serviceable life. A solution needs to be found.

For financial and political reasons, legislators in Berlin eyeing reelection on September 24 are staying mum on the issue. There are fundamental strategic questions, such as how reliable the American nuclear umbrella remains. These topics are highly unpopular in Germany’s pacifist populace, and so politicians are hoping the issue doesn’t force its way into the election campaign. The Defense Ministry said that there are no pending decisions on the part of Germany. “We are in the stage of comprehensive market research,” a ministry spokesman said on request. “A decision is not expected until next year.”

The market research also covers existing aircraft systems – for example, when and how many American F35s could be delivered. “We are asking all those that could possibly be considered,” the spokesman said. There are also talks with European manufacturers about new system solutions, such as a French-German-Spanish project to replace the Tornado and Eurofighter in the long term. According to the defense ministry spokesman, it is also important to discover which aircraft could be delivered, in which quantities and at what prices.

Airbus is now touting an intermediate solution: The Eurofighter could be sufficiently upgraded to carry nuclear bombs and replace the Tornado for a few years. Without commenting directly on German interests, Mr. Alonso said that the Eurofighter could be sufficiently modernized to “extend its service life beyond 2030, probably until 2040.”

However, the relationship between Airbus Military and several European countries is tense, because of the delays in delivery and the limited use of the A400M transporter. Several countries, including Germany, are even demanding financial penalties, which are currently the subject of talks. Mr. Alonso did not want to comment the details, but said he hopes for an amicable solution by the end of the year.

 

Thomas Hanke is Handelsblatt’s correspondent in Paris. Donata Riedel covers economic policy for Handelsblatt. To contact the authors: hanke@handelsblatt.comriedel@handelsblatt.com.

With Islamic State attacks in Iran adding to Gulf crisis, India must tread warily

HARSH V. PANT

New Delhi (and Beijing) have limited leverage over regional matters in West Asia.

Bedouin Market in Palestine

Source: Michał Huniewicz

GULFIRANWEST ASIA

The rift in West Asia escalated further when the Islamic State took credit for two brazen attacks in Tehran this week, resulting in the deaths of at least a dozen people and wounding of dozens more. Gunmen reportedly dressed as women stormed the main gate of the parliament building in central Tehran and opened fire on Wednesday. They took a number of hostages, and at least one detonated a suicide bomb even as another suicide bomber targeted civilians at the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum about 15 miles away.

The Islamic State, which advocates a radical Salafi version of Sunni Islam and regards Shias as heretics, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are believed to be the terrorist group’s first major assaults within Iran’s borders. The assaults have further accentuated the tensions in the region even as there is a growing danger that a broader sectarian conflict could worsen. In the past six years, Iran has deployed senior military advisers and thousands of volunteers to help regional ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad battle an armed insurrection that includes the Islamic State and other Islamist fighters, as well as groups supported by Turkey and the United States. Yet Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have blamed Saudi Arabia for these attacks.

Gulf-Qatar crisis

The attacks came a day after West Asia experienced the sharpest crisis in the history of the Gulf Cooperation Council since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Three members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, joined by Egypt and others – decided to cut off ties to Qatar in a bold, high-stakes move to alter its behaviour. Not only have they closed their borders to Qatari aircraft and ships, they have said that Qatari citizens in their countries must leave within two weeks. By restricting not only diplomatic relations, but the flow of goods and people, their actions are aimed at exerting maximum pressure on the peninsula state’s leadership.

Led by Saudi Arabia, these states are sending a message that unless countries play by the rules set by the regional hegemon, the House of Saud, they would find it difficult in the region. Qatar has often challenged the supremacy of the Saudis. Its independent wealth from a gas field the country shares with Iran allowed it to develop foreign policies that diverged from its neighbours. It financed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and armed factions opposed by the Emiratis and Saudis in Libya and Syria. Of course, the government in Qatar’s capital city Doha dismissed the charges of sponsoring extremism, and said that the Saudis are just seeking to dominate the region.

For now, Kuwait is trying to mediate this showdown between the fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members. But it is likely that its end-game might be to displace Qatar’s leadership. The latest episode in Qatar’s torturous relationship with its Gulf Cooperation Council allies originated when the official Qatar News Agency quoted the country’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as saying in an address during a graduation ceremony for new army recruits that Doha faced tensions with the Donald Trump administration in the US and acknowledged that Iran is an “Islamic power”. This is now being termed as fake news by Qatar.

As is his wont, President Trump has since endorsed the Saudi view via Twitter adding that he discussed the “funding of radical ideology” during his recent visit to West Asia. The Gulf leaders he met with were all “pointing to Qatar”, he said. Washington will be concerned as there are over 10,000 US military personnel at the Al Udeid air base in Qatar, which boasts of the Gulf region’s largest airfield and is a critical hub for the war in Iraq and Syria. The US officials are insisting that their operations will not be impacted by the diplomatic incident, and activities at the base will continue as normal. But in these murky times, all bets are off. Perhaps recognising this, the US President moderated his initial stance, by talking to both Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan and calling for unity among Gulf Arabs “but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism”.

Qatar the outlier

This is also not the first time that Qatar has emerged as an outlier. Saudi Arabia had withdrawn its ambassador to Doha from 2002 to 2008 to try to pressure Qatar to toe the Saudi line. Differences broke into the open in 2014 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain pulled their ambassadors out of Doha because of disputes over Iran, the 2013 military coup in Egypt, and the Muslim Brotherhood. But then matters were resolved quickly. And the US was trying to play the role of a mediator. This time around, Washington itself is instigating this break-up. Trump’s hard-line against Iran has emboldened Iran’s regional adversaries to strike when the iron is hot.

With Iran under attack by the Islamic State and the regional rifts widening in West Asia, other countries, including India, will have to tread carefully. China’s Belt and Road Initiative will be in jeopardy if regional politics in West Asia remains conflictual and its long term energy interests will suffer. Being the second-largest buyer of Qatari liquefied natural gas, after Japan, and with more than 650,000 Indians living in Qatar, New Delhi’s stakes in the stability of Qatar are equally compelling. But the leverage that these powers have over regional matters remains fairly limited. In the end, the regional stakeholders will have to themselves find a modus vivendi if they want to escape broader costs of escalation. But that is a hope, and West Asian politics has a way of defying hopes that remains unmatched.

This commentary originally appeared in Scroll.in.

June 14, 2017

What Forecast for Crimea

https://www.ifri.org/en/publications/politique-etrangere/articles-de-politique-etrangere/what-forecast-crimea

Politique étrangère, Vol. 82, No. 2, Summer 2017

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the peninsula’s demographics have changed. Thousands have left and new arrivals – Ukrainians fleeing conflict in the east of their country and Russians – have moved in.

Economy suffers from isolation. Many military sites are under construction, even including a bridge linking Crimea to the Caucasus. In Russia, the military operation has been a boon to Vladimir Putin’s popularity.

Catherine Iffly is political consultant.

Article published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 82, No. 2, Summer 2017

The Dark Rule: Why Congress Went After India’s Institutions 


The Dark Rule: Why Congress Went After India’s Institutions 

Akhilesh Mishra

- Jun 14, 2017, 4:49 pm

SNAPSHOT

Congress criticism of the Army Chief comes as no surprise. Its 10-year rule between 2004 and 2014 explains why.

Congress leaders have been showing their blatant disapproval of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s stand with statements such as these: “Our Army Chief gives out statements like a sadak ka gunda (street thug)” says Sandeep Dixit, son of three-time chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit, a close confidant of Rahul Gandhi and a senior Congress leader, himself. Just a few days ago, Jairam Ramesh, a former minister in the previous Congress government and another Congress leader considered very close to Rahul Gandhi, defended an obscure writer who, in an extremist left publication, had compared General Rawat to the notorious British General Dyer. This sudden public opprobrium directed at India’s serving Army Chief, coming from the Congress party, may seem surprising to some, but there is a definite history to this.

While the 10-year Congress rule between 2004 and 2014 is known to be one of the most corrupt phases in India’s history since Independence, what has gone unnoticed is the concerted attempts to decimate India’s independent institutions in that phase. Consider the following: The Supreme Court of India had to intervene and strike down, for the first time ever, a dubious appointment pushed for Central Vigilance Commission (CVC); the CBI under the then government was described as a ‘caged parrot’ by none other than the Supreme Court; the entire Congress party was mobilised to publicly besmirch an upright Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) through such inventions such as ‘zero loss theory’ in the spectrum scams; the most charitable thing that was said about the prime minister during this period was that he was an ‘accidental Prime Minister’. There was not even one institution that was either not sought to be compromised, and if that was not possible, or not maligned during those 10 years. Not even the media was spared – some of the media houses that sprung up during this period have faced serious charges of money laundering and financial fraud since the very beginning.

However, in a sort of unwritten code between all political parties, there used to be one institution, the Armed Forces and associated with it, the national security, which used to be kept out of politics and political subterfuge. The 10 years of Congress government saw even this last frontier being challenged. For the first time ever, a serving Chief got engulfed in a scam, perpetrated during the Congress rule, and had actually to face arrest and jail time. A fake story of a purported military coup was planted in a Delhi newspaper to malign another service Chief who refused to obey the bidding of the Congress government in dubious procurement deals. It was during this period that the president of the ruling party apparently ‘wept bitterly’ when she saw photos of terrorists killed in an encounter, and it was during this period that a terrorist, who was claimed by a dreaded Pakistan-based outfit as one of their own, was foisted on the nation as an ‘innocent girl’.

Simultaneously every genuine demand of the Armed Forces was turned down with contempt. The 10 years under Congress government became synonymous with institutionalised inaction when it came to even critical procurements. OROP had been a demand pending for 40 years and yet it continued to get postponed year after year. In the last months of that government, a farcical announcement was made that it would be accepted and a budget allocation of Rs 500 crore was made. When the real calculations were made by the present government, the actual amount required came to over Rs 12,000 crore!

More recently, when the entire country was celebrating Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the western border, the Congress party and the ecosystem of NGOs and extremist Left organisations it has spawned were busy casting doubts on the veracity of the Army’s claim. This was the first time in memory that the claims of India’s Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) were disputed by Indian political parties!

So why is it that the Congress and its affiliates have so systematically gone about stunting institutions? Part of the reason is the very structure of the party – a fifth generation dynasty at the very top and most critical positions below it also filled by minor dynasts. Democratic leaderships that emerge from the cauldron of public service cherish strong, merit based institutions – for they will reinforce the ability of such a leadership to implement policy. Dynastic leaderships, however, place the first and the only premium on personal loyalty and independent institutions that would refuse to do the bidding of a family but would place country first, by their very nature, are an anathema to such leaderships.

In the present case of an all-out attack on the institution of Armed Forces, there is an additional reason as well. The far and the extremist Left ecosystem that the Congress party has nurtured to keep its project going has been consistently pushed on the margins by a rising and aspirational India. Their reaction has been to ally with every anti-India force in the crudest adaptation of enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend credo. From mainstreaming Bharat tere tukde honge narrative to the ‘sainthood’ accorded to Burhan Wani, the self-proclaimed head of a declared terrorist organisation, the efforts of this alliance have been consistently in this one direction. The alliance hoped that orchestrated public opinion, albeit in a miniscule minority, would adversely force the Indian hand in Kashmir, thereby debilitating one of the main planks of the present government. Or so was the calculation. However, not only did the Indian security forces not buckle under such public orchestration, they in fact upped their game – the next designated head of the terror organisation that Wani belonged to has been neutralised while his successor has also been killed.

Terrorists, both domestic and foreign, now have their days numbered, and on the border, there is a new aggressive approach that believes in delivering swift and apt retribution. It is this new resolve that has completely riled up the ecosystem of the Congress party. In the Army Chief, they do not see a General dedicated to the cause of serving India, but an adversary who does not fit their diabolical political revival plans. Between the cause of India and their own future, they have chosen self. As the vice president of the Congress party goes on another ‘vacation’ after stoking these flames, the nation now has to make its choice known once and for all

Picture of the day: Dr.Allah Nazar Baloch

Much Ado about Nothing? Status Ambitions and Iranian Nuclear Reversal

Main content

May 2017

Why does Iran want nuclear weapons and what factors might cause it to reverse itself? Andrew Prosser believes there are two reasons why Tehran may reconsider the path it’s on – 1) states typically prefer accomplishments that do not involve nuclear weapons as a route to higher global standing, and 2) an improved external security environment can facilitate the giving up of nuclear ambitions. If these mitigating factors are indeed true, then outside stakeholders should focus on Iran's status and security concerns in order to prevent an ‘Iranian Bomb’.

DownloadEnglish (PDF, 56 pages, 288 KB)
AuthorAndrew Prosser
SeriesStrategic Studies Quarterly (SSQ)
PublisherAir Force Research Institute (AFRI)
Copyright© 2017 Air Force Research Institute (AFRI)

The Military´s Role in Countering Violent Extremism: Repurposing Stability Operations

14 Jun 2017

By Edward Powers for United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

To Edward Powers, it’s obvious: Although the US military has developed effective counterterrorism capabilities, it lacks a comprehensive strategy to counter and eliminate the drivers behind violent extremism (VE). In response, the Department of Defense should adopt a comprehensive counter-VE strategy that complements existing approaches, particularly with proactive, prevention-centered stability operations. Here are the details.

This article was originally published by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on 7 June 2017.

Summary

Despite persistent counterterrorism (CT) operations, globally the threat of violent extremism (VE) is higher today than in August 2001.Though it has effective CT capability, the U.S. military lacks a comprehensive strategy for countering and eliminating the drivers of VE.Because unstable, fragile states provide gateways for violent extremist organizations to establish a territorial base and recruit, the Department of Defense should adopt a comprehensive counter-VE strategy that complements reactive CT operations with preventative, proactive stability operations.Stability operations as part of CVE strategy should be grounded in an understanding of local context that identifies and addresses the grievances that lead to VE. Such operations require close partnering with civil society organizations.

A Gap in the U.S. Military Strategy

Another head of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan has been eliminated, and U.S.-backed militias tighten their chokehold on Raqqa, while Iraqi forces supported by the United States advance into the final bastion of IS territory in Mosul. Soon the IS will be homeless and leaderless, but the fall of Mosul and Raqqa and even the elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are insufficient to stem the tide of violent extremism (VE). The U.S. military has an efficient counterterrorism (CT) capability, which effectively removes violent extremists from the battlefield and dismantles violent extremist organizations. Nonetheless, the U.S. military’s lack of a comprehensive strategy for countering violent extremism (CVE) that links reactive CT operations to preventative efforts to eliminate the drivers of VE stands in the way of an enduring reduction of the VE threat. CT efforts are necessary and vital to U.S. security, but without prevention, they are insufficient, and some tactics, such as the use of drone strikes and night raids, may even amplify VE by contributing to grievances. It is noteworthy that the threat of VE is higher today than it was in August 2001, which is a frustrating situation after sixteen years of persistent, well-funded CT operations.1 But, in the absence of effective prevention, the drivers of VE will continue to stoke a perpetual cycle of radicalization.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has an underutilized role to play through the stability operations mission. Unstable, fragile states, especially those caught up in armed conflict,2 serve as gateways for violent extremists to recruit followers and establish a base from which to carry out terrorist activities.

As the preventative complement to the DOD’s CT efforts, stability operations can help close these gateways, but the future of stability operations is the subject of debate. DOD leaders and policymakers question the validity of stability operations because of the mission’s association with fraught efforts in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and because they see the mission as representing the status quo and a way to avoid making necessary changes. This prevalent view, when coupled with a lack of consensus understanding that stability operations can help reduce the VE threat, has left stability operations underresourced. But the capacity for stability operations exists, and simply repurposing this capacity as the preventative complement to CT operations can alleviate these concerns. By adopting a more nuanced approach, the DOD could integrate its existing capacities into a comprehensive CVE strategy and achieve an enduring reduction in VE. Under such a scenario, the degradation of IS forces in Afghanistan and Iraq might not be followed by a resurgence of VE.

Reorienting Stability Operations toward CVE

A broad review of policy, doctrine, and research in the areas of CVE, state fragility, capacity building, and stability operations reveals three critical principles that can help military leadership reorient stability operations toward reducing VE. These principles serve to operationalize the design and execution of CVE operations.

Principle 1: Understand the Local Context, Then Act

Because the grievances that drive VE are unique to the local context, understanding the context, down to the community level, must be the first concern of stability operations planners and the first step toward eventually developing national-level plans.

A rubric drawn from the principles of sustainable capacity building developed by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) serves to frame actions in a local context: 3

Does the action promote local ownership of solutions?Does the action do no harm to local actors or their perception of the stability operations effort?Does the action result in locally sustainable solutions?

This local focus does not require that local tradition or local norms be considered the or most effective way of doing business, for the local way of doing business may be directly contributing to the VE problem. Rather, the point is to understand the local context, from the local viewpoint, so that solutions can be applied that are effective and sustainable within that context.

Principle 2: Address Grievances

When a population cannot address grievances nonviolently, it turns to violent means.4 VE-focused stability operations build legitimate remedies to grievances that drive VE. Understanding the local context exposes these grievances, presenting solutions that stability operations can facilitate. Efforts to rectify the most VE-significant grievances then become priorities, focusing effort on enabling capacity building that will most effectively reduce a population’s vulnerability to VE.

Principle 3: Engage in Next-Level Partnering

Enabling civilian organizations is vital to the success of VE-focused stability operations because these organizations possess essential CVE expertise and tools, including deep understanding of the local context, mediation and negotiation expertise, and peacebuilding experience. Civilian organizations and the military must become functional partners in this CVE effort, leveraging each other’s distinctive capabilities from the start of the operational design process and together creating space for civilian experts to do their work, enabled by the military. Both parties must work to reduce or eliminate barriers to partnering because a strong civil society is an excellent defense against VE.

This partnership is already under way: in 2005, InterAction, the DOD, and USIP codified military and nongovernmental organization hostile environment deconfliction methods, which greatly improved the ability of the military and humanitarian organizations to work in adjacent spaces.5 The next step is to move beyond deconfliction and toward cooperative partnership, integrating efforts where possible, because settling for deconfliction alone denies the possibility of synergy. Partners must design and plan activities together from inception, eliminating informational and operational barriers. Challenges with the military information classification system are one example of a barrier that must be overcome; another is the reluctance of some civil society organizations to work with any military group.

Next-level partnering, the tight integration and close cooperation between civilian and military partners working toward the same objective, will look different depending on the local context. Sometimes civilian organizations will fully integrate with military partners; at other times partners will deliberately deconflict civilian activities from military efforts to prevent misperception of intentions and ensure safe lanes of operation. The partnership itself is the key to maximum effectiveness.

Redesigning Traditional Approaches to Stability Operations

Getting the shooting to stop does not eliminate the grievances that drive individuals to VE. Perhaps most important from a military perspective, the way in which military forces achieve security can also create grievances that fuel VE. An aggrieved population will remember and resent abusive practices long after the violent conflict ends, but security forces can prevent a hardening of civilian disposition by discovering, acknowledging, and punishing members of security forces for negative practices such as torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, and executions. By redesigning traditional approaches to stability operations along the following lines, guided by the three critical principles discussed above, stability operations can effect change and realize a reduction in VE.

All security sector reform should partner military trainers with interorganizational human rights trainers because focusing simply on security tactics and techniques without human rights training results in units effective at stamping out violence but likely to incite grievances arising from abusive behaviors. Security sector reform should result in skilled security forces able to relate to the protected population, incentives for adhering to universal human rights, and legitimate punishment for abusive behavior by security forces.Security forces must secure vulnerable populations in such a manner that there is no perception of special consideration or favoritism toward any group. Doing so requires developing a deep understanding of the local population dynamics, something civilian partners can assist with. Armed with contextual understanding, security forces can focus on protecting the population impartially, while demonstrating they are advocates for peace.The separation of warring parties should involve security operations and locally led mediation efforts conducted in parallel. Partnership between security forces and mediators can help mitigate and reduce revenge killings and prevent perpetuation of a cycle of violence that fuels VE. Mediation efforts should begin before the first security forces deploy, bringing factional leadership together and building relationships to begin laying the foundation for a lasting peace after large-scale violence has ended.6Humane detention and incarceration practices prevent grievances that drive VE because it is very difficult to recruit people into VE when conditions in prison are better than those outside. Upon detention, experts should immediately triage detainees according to potential threat, and then introduce them into appropriate adjudication channels. High-threat individuals should, after conviction, be isolated to prevent collateral radicalization while they are incarcerated. Those posing a moderate or low threat should be deradicalized, rehabilitated, and reintegrated into society, with support services to alleviate challenging circumstances. Nonjudicial adjudication may be offered. Prisons and detention facilities are often fertile breeding grounds for VE, so a tempered and precise approach to detention and incarceration is key to preventing its spread.7Mass reintegration of ex-combatants entails navigating a complex tangle of civilian and military domains; demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration operations must be integrated with other plans, such as detention, deradicalization, and reconciliation. Many ex-combatants will have career skills that are beneficial to communities, such as knowledge of electricity and engineering; however, they must cease to be a threat, and communities have to accept them back. Also, reconciliation must not run counter to legal barriers such as foreign terrorist organization designations.8 A successful mass reintegration in particular requires the strong partnership of civilian and security bodies.Access and nondiscrimination allow a population to voice grievances. The military must create secure spaces where civilian organizations can build the local capacity to participate in governmental processes and fight discrimination.

Recommendations

CT operations without CVE efforts are an incomplete approach to the VE threat, but a comprehensive CVE strategy is possible with the addition of repurposed stability operations, which requires more integrated partnership with civilian organizations with CVE expertise. The following recommendations maximize the military contribution to CVE and empower civilian partners through a redesign of stability operations:

Repurpose stability operations as the DOD’s role in CVE. Stability operations should become the proactive, preventative CVE complement to the DOD’s reactive CT mission.Adopt the principles of VE-focused stability operations. These three critical principles reorient stability operations on VE by providing a rubric for the design, planning, and execution of such operations.Redesign the conduct and implementation of stability operations. The redesigned applications of stability operations suggested here are examples of CVE reduction efforts possible through next-level partnering.

Notes

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, Global Terrorism Database, 2016, www.start.umd.edu/gtd/features/GTD-Data-Rivers.aspx.According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, “Eighty-eight percent of all terrorist attacks in 2015 occurred in countries that were experiencing or involved in armed conflicts.”“Global Terrorism Index 2015,” November 2015, http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2015.pdf.Nadia Gerspacher, Sustainable Capacity Building: Guidelines for Planning and Project Design Communities (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, March 2017), 8.“A U.S. Humanitarian, Development and Peacebuilding Statement on the U.S. Global Countering Violent Extremism Agenda,” Action for Community Development and other signatories, July 20, 2015, www.mercycorps.org/sites/default/files/20July2015_Statement_U.S.GlobalCounteringViol entExtremismAgenda.pdf.USIP, Interaction, and DOD, Guidelines for Relations between U.S. Armed Forces and Non-Governmental Humanitarian Organizations in Hostile or Potentially Hostile Environments (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2005).David R. Smock and Daniel Serwer, eds., Facilitating Dialogue: USIP’s Work in Conflict Zones (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2012).Peter R. Neumann, Prisons and Terrorism: Radicalisation and De-radicalisation in 15 Countries (London: International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence [ICSR], 2010), 1.Georgia Holmer and Adrian Shtuni, “Returning Foreign Fighters and the Reintegration Imperative,” Special Report no. 402 (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2017), 1.

About the Author

Edward Powers is an active duty lieutenant colonel in the US Marine Corps currently assigned to USIP as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow

Fundamental Attitudes of the Russian Political Elite: Law, Truth, Public Welfare and Violence

Main content

Jun 2017

Just how different is the political culture of Russia’s power elite from that of Western decision-makers? To resolve this question, Susan Stewart focuses on the elite’s attitudes towards 1) legal and legislative legitimacy; 2) what constitutes the national interest and public good; 3) the relative importance of truth and history in a society; and 4) the acceptability of violence as an instrument of policy. After probing these areas, Stewart concludes that Russia’s self-interested political elite routinely instrumentalizes them.

Download English (PDF, 33 pages, 446 KB)
AuthorSusan Stewart
Series SWP Research
Papers Issue7PublisherStiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

Copyright© 2017 Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

hinese nationals murdered in Balochistan not ‘preachers’, says South Korea, rejects Pakistan’s allegations

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/ht-exclusive-south-korea-rejects-pakistan-s-allegation-says-chinese-nationals-murdered-in-balochistan-were-not-preachers/story-j0zWFMvNomAmJhsBYSWY9H.html

Chinese nationals murdered in Balochistan not ‘preachers’, says South Korea, rejects Pakistan’s allegations | HT Exclusive

The murders of Lee Zingyang, 24, and Meng Lisi, 26, have raised questions about the security of Chinese workers in Pakistan, central to Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

 

    

File photo of the two Chinese nationals who were kidnapped last month from Quetta city of southwest Pakistan. The Amaq agency said on Jun 8, 2017 that the Islamic State had killed the two Chinese nationals.(Twitter)

Updated: Jun 14, 2017 20:19 IST

By Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing

South Korea on Wednesday rejected Pakistan’s contention that two Chinese nationals abducted and killed by Islamic State in Balochistan were preaching Christianity under the guise of studying Urdu at a school run by a South Korean.

A South Korean official in Seoul told Hindustan Times there was no evidence to show the two were involved in Proselytisation under the guidance of a South Korean.

China has said it will cooperate with Pakistan to verify whether its citizens were involved in illegal preaching activities.

The murders of Lee Zingyang, 24, and Meng Lisi, 26, have raised questions about the security of Chinese workers in Pakistan, central to Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. The centerpiece of the new Silk Route plan, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, passes through insurgency-hit Balochistan.  

After the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killings, Pakistan’s interior ministry said in a statement that the two Chinese nationals, who had been issued business visas, were “actually engaged in preaching” after they went to Quetta “under the garb of learning (the) Urdu language from a Korean national”.

The Chinese state media stopped just short of blaming the two for their own deaths. The kidnapped duo was part of a group of 13 Chinese nationals brought to Quetta in November by a South Korean who runs a school and language education “was merely a front for conducting religious activities”, the Shanghaiist website quoted the Global Times as saying.

But an official from South Korea’s foreign ministry rejected these allegations.  

With regard to the two Chinese confirmed to have been killed...by the Islamic State (IS), nothing has so far been found to verify the suspicion that they were involved with a Korean missionary group,” the official said.

The official confirmed that 12 Chinese nationals had been taking Urdu lessons at a school run by a South Korean in Quetta.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that the two Chinese, along with ten other Chinese, took classes at a local Urdu language school run by a national of the Republic of Korea by the name of Seo,” the official said. (South Korea is formally known as the Republic of Korea.)

The comments from Seoul deepen the mystery behind the abduction and deaths of the two Chinese.

Though Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan confirmed the death of the Chinese duo, Beijing has stopped short of an official confirmation and the foreign ministry has said it is waiting for more information from Islamabad.

Experts said the move to blame South Korean missionaries for allegedly “misleading and misguiding” Chinese youngsters into preaching Christianity in foreign countries was meant to mislead the Chinese people.

Most Chinese Christians have become Christian through Chinese evangelists. It has been very difficult for foreign citizens to proselytise in China. China does not have a visa category for religious clergy or missionaries. Some foreign students, professionals and business people may do evangelistic work within China, but evangelistic activities are restricted,” Yang Fenggang, director of the Centre on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, told HT on email.

Carsten T Vala from the department of political science, Loyola University, Maryland, agreed. “Chinese nationals are themselves quite active in foreign missionary work and in my more than ten years of interviews of Chinese Christians, I found a number of Chinese Christians who were eager to go abroad as missionaries. At least one Chinese church leader I interviewed reported that his congregation had sent missionaries to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Arabic-speaking countries,” Vala, an expert in religion in China, said.

Yang pointed out that even if it was found that the two Chinese were preaching Christianity, it’s the IS terrorists who should be blamed for their deaths.

Even if it is found true that these two Chinese went to Pakistan for the purpose of Christian evangelism, blaming South Koreans is irresponsible. These were adult young people who made their own decisions to go there… Finally, if it was true that these Chinese were killed by the Islamic State’s terrorists, it is the terrorists that should be blamed, not anyone else,” Yang said