Pranamita Baruah

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  • Pranamita Baruah is Research Assistant at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

    Bioterrorism and Combating Strategies-Select Readings, Editor: Anila V Menon, Amicus Book, the Icfai University Press (2007)

    The book “Bioterrorism and Combating Strategies-Select Readings is an edited volume by Anila V Menon. As the very title suggests, this book basically deals with various aspects of bioterrorism and ways to combat them. Unfortunately, at a time when technological advancement has been treated as a blessing to the world, it has also been used as a tool to unleash massive destruction on humankind. The usage of biological warfare as a tool of violence by terrorist groups has made humankind highly vulnerable to such weapons.

    Political convulsions in Japanese politics

    Since the early 1950s, two factors have remained constant in Japan - the political domination of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the continuation of the Japan-US security alliance. The first factor is expected to undergo a change as the LDP is likely to give way to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in the forthcoming elections for the lower House. Given this prospective political change, one might see a perceptible shift in Japan’s foreign policy, particularly its relationship with the US.

    August 03, 2009

    Japanese Vulnerabilities increases following North Korea’s actions

    The delicately maintained fragile peace in Northeast Asia received a severe jolt when North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on May 25, 2009, followed by the test launch of four short-range missiles. Earlier on April 5, North Korea had launched a long-range rocket, which drew condemnation from the UN Security Council (UNSC) in the form of a strong presidential statement.

    June 23, 2009

    Sino-Japanese relations warming up following Aso’s Beijing Sojourn

    On the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso paid an official visit to China on April 29-30. This was Aso’s first official visit to China since he took office in September 2008. Aso’s visit is significant in more than one way. Being the first between leaders of the two countries in 2009, it was important as it came after a number of exchanges of high level visits in 2008. Aso’s visit was expected to advance China-Japan strategic relations further.

    May 22, 2009

    New Challenges Confront ASEAN

    The collapse of the ASEAN Summit in Pattaya (Thailand) on April 11 following anti-government protests tarnished Thailand’s image. It also brought the regional group’s age-old policy of non-interference in the domestic trivials of a member state under question. The incident impeded ASEAN’s strategy to define a common approach to current global financial crisis. The Pattaya incident also demonstrated the ineffectiveness of ASEAN as a regional organization.

    May 04, 2009

    Resolution of Tibet a will-o’-the-wisp

    For decades, the issue of Tibetan autonomy has been a bone of contention between China and the Tibetan government in exile. While Beijing considers Tibet an integral part of China, the Tibetan people owe their allegiance to the Dalai Lama. Over the years, friction between the two parties have manifested through outbreak of anti-China uprisings, both within and outside Tibet. The occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet on March 10, 2009, once again reinforced the acrimonious relationship between China and the Tibet government in exile.

    April 13, 2009

    North Korea in International Limelight over its Space Development Programme

    North East Asia’s fragile peace is being threatened by North Korea’s planned launch between 4 and 8 April over Japanese territory of a communication satellite. The US and its allies suspect the planned satellite launch to be a long-range ballistic missile test. The prevailing uneasy peace is accentuated by the fact that both a ballistic missile and a satellite launcher operate on very similar technology.

    April 02, 2009

    Injecting New Dynamism in US-Australia Ties

    Labour Party Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, has been in office for nearly one and a half years after his unexpected victory over John Howard in late 2007. For almost three decades after World War II, Australia systematically repudiated the idea of being identified as an Asian country, until the resource boom in the early 1970s that catapulted Australia as one of the major resource exporters to resource-importing countries such as Japan and now China. Since then, Australia’s external orientation has undergone a profound change.

    April 01, 2009

    Japan’s Response to Sea Piracy

    In its efforts to check the piracy menace, Japan deployed two Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) destroyers - Sazanami and Samidare - on March 14, 2009 in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, on a four-month long anti-piracy mission. Japanese law mandates that that the destroyers can only escort Japanese merchant ships through this piracy-prone area without the authority to use weapons. 2,595 Japan-linked commercial ships have already registered their requests to be escorted.

    March 30, 2009

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