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  • Looking Beyond Nuclear Weapons

    The year 2008 started with oil prices touching a historic high of US $100 a barrel. This is partly a reflection of the high demand for energy. Today, many countries are factoring ‘energy’ into their planning, be it hydrocarbons or other forms of energy. But in the case of India it appears that its energy future would be decided more by politics than actual energy needs. In the first week of 2008, an Indian delegation has completed the third round of negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) on India-specific nuclear safeguards.

    January 15, 2008

    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

    Ballistic Missile Defence: Perspectives on India-Japan Cooperation

    Both India and Japan have evinced interest in deploying defences against ballistic missiles because of the threat they pose. Significantly, both have shifted their stance on US Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD), from previous opposition to active support. Notwithstanding certain basic differences between India and Japan on the nature and degree of interest and participation at present, shared interests offer an opportunity for them to cooperate with each other on the BMD issue to further consolidate the 'strategic partnership' understanding they have evolved.

    January 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

    Chinese Concepts and Capabilities of Information Warfare

    The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been sensitive to continuous changes in geo-political and geo-strategic contexts, as well as the changing nature of warfare. It has fashioned its responses by evolving appropriate military doctrines and strategies to meet future threats and challenges. Thus, China’s military doctrine has over the years undergone a transition from people’s war to ‘people’s war under modern conditions’ and thereafter from ‘limited local war’ to ‘limited war under high tech conditions’.

    October 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

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