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  • Media takes off on TechSAR, but no takers

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has strongly denied news reports that the launch of an Israeli spy satellite aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has been delayed or even cancelled because of US pressure. The news reports, while speculative in nature, have certain inconsistencies that need to be contested. Foremost among these being there is a quid pro quo element by way of sharing of data; since the satellite is wholly Israeli owned and operated, ISRO is only providing a commercial service with no quid pro quo involved.

    December 07, 2007

    Airborne Laser Aircraft Rolls Out

    "Not since that time nearly 2000 years ago, when Archimedes reflected the sun's rays to set the Roman fleet on fire, has the world seen a weapon that puts fresh meaning into the phrase 'in real time'. Let's do it now in flight," thus Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, the Director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), exhorted a crowd of missile defense engineers at a function in Wichita, Kansas last week.

    November 06, 2006

    Dengue: A Germ with Weapon Potential

    In May 2002, the then US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, in his speech at the Heritage Foundation had accused Cuba of having a limited offensive biological warfare programme. But a cursory examination of history shows that the Cubans were in fact 'victims' of American 'germ' attacks in the past.

    October 19, 2006

    Verification and the BTWC

    In the post Cold War world, the term Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) emerged as a usable tool. This usage reached a crescendo with the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis and the alleged existence of WMD in Iraq, which became the primary justification for the 2003 invasion of that country. The fear of WMD proliferation has generated grave concerns, given the increasing number and greater intensity of terrorist activities and their attempts to acquire WMD. Efforts to restrain the development and further spread of WMD have received greater focus in this environment of insecurity.

    August 01, 2006

    Non-Nuclear Missile: The New US Tool Against Terrorism!

    The 'spirit' of the US global nuclear policies can be easily described in two words - 'nuclear ambiguity'. From NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) to CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), and from START I/II to the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty, the US has mostly taken a selfish position. Till recently, even as American nuclear ayatollahs were debating various global disarmament measures, the Pentagon was working on concepts like 'usable nukes' and was also projecting a need to undertake nuclear testing for the purposes of weaponisation.

    June 22, 2006

    The Bomb and the Bird

    In the backdrop of President Bush's successful visit to India and the finalizing of the 'nuclear energy' deal minus the US Congress approval, many opinion-makers are coming out with bizarre theories about this deal either in its favour or against it and appear to be making a few mistakes knowingly.

    In contrast, intellectual debate is entirely missing on bird flu and its future, particularly when the spread of bird flu has already started in the country. This clearly indicates the triviality of intellectual thinking, be it among academics, scientists or the media.

    March 08, 2006

    Space as a military base: This could well be the future of warfare

    Recent wars have proved that observation from space is an integral part of modern day conflict. Space is considered the fourth dimension of warfare. In all these wars, American space forces had an asymmetric advantage over their enemy — particularly in the arena of space reconnaissance and navigation. Now it appears that the Bush administration wants to enhance this asymmetry by putting offensive and defensive weapons into outer space.

    June 06, 2005

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