IDSA COMMENT

Assam under siege

With the attempt at peace negotiations between the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Government of India stumbling, the insurgent group has once again chosen the path of violence. It has selectively targeted civilians belonging to a particular community to arm-twist the ruling authorities into conceding some of its immediate demands including talks on 'sovereignty of Assam'. Such violence once again exposes the ULFA's utter disregard for the most fundamental human right -- the right to life.

January 18, 2007

China's New Defence White Paper and the PLA's Possible Modernization Plan in 2007

The Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China released a White Paper titled "China's National Defence 2006" on December 29, 2006.

January 16, 2007

"Thousand-Ship Navy": A Reincarnation of the Controversial P.S.I.?

Among the foremost security concerns of the US after 9/11 is the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by terrorists on its territory and their proliferation through inimical states. The global stretch of the predominantly maritime threat and the 'overstretch' of the US Navy have led to the initiation of a series of American initiatives like Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI), all aimed at mobilizing global support to secure the US 'homeland'.

December 28, 2006

NATO's Riga Summit: Big thinking but fundamental problems

On November 28 and 29, NATO Heads of State and Government met in the Latvian capital for the annual summit. This was the first summit to be held in a country that had joined the alliance during its second enlargement since the end of the Cold War. The summit concentrated on three issues, which are considered to be the pillars for defining the role and status of NATO in the post-Cold War period: Political Engagement, Defence Transformation and Operations. On the basis of discussions held on these issues, an attempt was made to chalk out a path for NATO in its future endeavours.

December 28, 2006

Afghanistan: Galloping Backward

That the Taliban power stands resurrected is a fact now. At the same time, the 'war on terror' is also showing signs of fatigue. It has already come to a halt in the north-western tribal expanse of Pakistan, the cradle of the Taliban's resurrection. Dubbed as 'remnants' until recently, the Taliban today are a power to reckon with, effectively redrawing the power equations within Afghanistan.

December 27, 2006

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and India's Position

Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and head of the British government's economic service, and his team submitted the report titled The Economics of Climate Change in October 2006. The report consolidates the research on the scientific evidence of climate change and concludes that evidence is now overwhelming: climate change is a serious global threat.

December 27, 2006

Olmert's 'Nuclear Slip' and Israeli Nuclear Ambiguity

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's seemingly 'inadvertent' admission of his country's nuclear status in an interview broadcast on German television on December 11 at the start of his trip to Berlin once again focussed world attention on the country's nuclear status. It is widely known that Israel has a nuclear arsenal consisting of about 150-200 weapons from the plutonium produced at the Dimona nuclear reactor, situated in the Negev desert near Beer Sheva.

December 21, 2006

Bomb Blast in Jalpaiguri: KLO flexing its Muscles?

The recent bomb blast that ripped through two cars of the Haldibari-New Jalpaiguri passenger train on November 20, 2006 left the strategic community wondering as to who among the various insurgent outfits operating in the region was responsible for the heinous attack. Was it the communist rebels active in the province, or the militants fighting for an independent homeland of the Rajbanshis, the Kochs, or other ethnic minorities sheltering in the region, and were they acting at the behest, or in collusion with foreign intelligence agencies?
December 14, 2006

Uncertainty in Sri Lanka and

The conflict in Sri Lanka is escalating everyday as the government forces and the Tamil Tigers take on each other with renewed determination. The peace process has all but collapsed and the violent encounters are leading to large-scale influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka into the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This fresh wave of refugees has brought a perceptible change in the perception of the people in Tamil Nadu in particular and India in general towards the ethnic conflict in Sri lanka.

December 12, 2006

State of militancy in Manipur

India's "troubled Northeast' has become a catch-all phrase for the region, and leads to the perception that the entire region is in a state of near-anarchy. The reality is otherwise; analysis shows that patterns of violence have been showing continuous decline in the region as a whole over the past few years and, more significantly, that the current violence is now substantially concentrated in the states of Manipur and Assam.

December 09, 2006

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