IDSA COMMENT

China's Ambitions in Space

It may be a mere coincidence that the People's Daily, official mouth piece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), decided to carry two pieces on China's ongoing space programme on its website on February 7, 2007.

February 19, 2007

Growing Fundamentalism in the Northeast

The disturbing reports about the presence of jihadi forces in India's northeast have added a new twist to the region's multiple insurgencies. Combined with the recent arrest in Delhi of three alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives hailing from Manipur once again indicates how vulnerable the northeast region is to the jihadi menace.

February 19, 2007

Fake Killings in Jammu & Kashmir: Need for Checks and Balances

The recent uproar in Jammu and Kashmir over 'fake killings' has once again turned public attention towards the issue of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies. The State is witnessing wide scale protests and demonstrations with the support of all sections of society, and political parties are backing the call for an impartial inquiry and strict action against the concerned personnel.

February 13, 2007

The Way to Engage Iran

In addition to the earlier run two pilot cascades of 164 centrifuges, Iran has set up two more cascades of 164 centrifuges each despite repeated calls from the UN Security Council to halt enrichment related work. Addressing a mass rally on February 11, 2007 in Tehran to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, an unrelenting Iranian President boasted about continuing advancements in the country's nuclear programme and promised to announce a further surprising achievement by April 9, 2007.

February 12, 2007

The ASAT test and China's Space Ambitions

With the successful test of its first anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon, China has once again highlighted its impressive achievements in space technology. At the same time, the test is refuelling debate around the world, particularly in the US, between proponents of regulating the use of outer space and those who insist on America's absolute free reign in this realm. But the niggling question with regard to the test is whether this test is a signal aimed at bringing the Americans to the negotiating table for a space-weapons treaty?

February 12, 2007

Securitising Development and the Naxal Threat

It has been generally accepted that the Naxal issue is more than a law and order problem. With the socio-economic dimension being increasingly important along with the military one, a question that needs to be addressed by policymakers is, how to frame a coherent framework for merging both security and development policies.

February 12, 2007

Rehabilitating Child Soldiers in Nepal

In January 2007, the House of Representatives in Nepal, restored after the people's movement of April, 2006, unanimously adopted an interim Constitution and dissolved itself. This technically paved the way for Maoist insurgents to enter a new and reconstituted interim parliament. Clearly a political landmark of tremendous import, Nepal's political transition has been accompanied by the initiation of a nascent disarmament process.

February 03, 2007

China's Defence White Paper: Can India Draw Some Lessons?

On 29 December 2006, China released its latest white paper on national defence. Though this document is widely perceived as opaque in budgetary facts and figures, it gives policy makers and analysts enough information to analyse China's regional and global security and political roles. Two crucial aspects of the paper -- defence modernisation plan and defence budget -- have significant bearing on India, considering the political and economic rivalry between the two neighbours.

January 31, 2007

President Putin's Visit to India

Vladimir Putin's visit to India on January 25-26, 2007 provided fresh impetus to the strategic partnership between the two countries. The visit reinforced the interests of both states in maintaining their traditionally close and friendly relationship and in strengthening a multipolar world order.

January 30, 2007

Naxalism in Chhattisgarh: Down, not wiped out

Despite the Chhattisgarh government's two-pronged strategy of police operation combined with socio economic programmes against the Naxalites, there appears to be deterioration in the law and order situation in the state due to the escalation of Naxal violence. Frequent use of police forces against tribals in the name of anti-Naxal operations, forceful eviction due to mining and the establishment of industries by the state machinery have left the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh a virtual battle zone.

January 30, 2007

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