IDSA COMMENT

Dealing with ULFA's Terror

The recent orgy of violence perpetrated by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has brought the issue of security of the common citizen in Assam to the fore again. The scale of violence was highest in Tinsukia with 34 killed, while nine were killed in Sibsagar, eight in Dibrugarh and six in Dhemaji districts. Attacks were also carried out in Golaghat and Guwahati. The orgy of violence started on January 5, 2007, and is likely to continue as indicated by intelligence reports.

January 22, 2007

LeT finds a new base in Manipur

The first time arrest of three Manipuri Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) members in Delhi on December 19, 2006 indicated the existence of direct linkages between Pakistan-based terrorists and the Meitei Pangal (Muslim) ultras. The incident has revealed once again the capabilities of the terrorist organisation to penetrate and established intricate networks in all corners of the country. It has also revealed a new trend wherein Manipur, with its unemployed minority Muslim youth, seems to be emerging as a fresh recruiting ground for the LeT.

January 22, 2007

Time to Cross the Adam's Bridge Again

A recent survey by a Colombo-based agency on the peace process revealed that a majority of Sri Lankans prefers India as a peace facilitator rather than the Norwegians. According to the report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, over 52.5 per cent of Sinhalese and 82 per cent of upcountry Tamils voted for an Indian involvement in the peace process. In recent years, the mood has shifted across Sri Lanka with major parties to the conflict instilling a newfound faith on New Delhi as the ideal arbitrator for the peace process.

January 18, 2007

Economics of Indo-US Nuclear Deal

With President Bush signing the India-US nuclear co-operation bill into law, critics and supporters of the bill have once again reinforced their stated positions over the future benefits and losses accruing to both countries as well as the world at large. While supporters have left no stone unturned in emphasising upon the strategic, bilateral and political importance of the bill, critics have flatly described it as an 'historical mistake' which will hound efforts to curb nuclear proliferation in years to come.

January 18, 2007

Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Is it worth it?

Many commentators have declared President Bush's signing into law of the US-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Co-operation Act as one of the most decisive moments in international politics in recent years. However, opinion on this deal within the country is divided, with a section of the scientific community contending that the US is attempting to cap India's nuclear weapon ambitions, which, in the long run may hamper its strategic interests, while some politicians and analysts view the deal as a win-win situation for India.

January 18, 2007

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

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