Saturday, October 31, 2009
Cross-Party Group Urges End to Nuclear Weapons Threat
• A cross-party group of senior politicans joined former defence chiefs today to promote the cause of nuclear disarmament, an issue they described as critical but too often ignored.
• They launched the Top Level group of parliamentarians, including former foreign and defence secretaries from both main parties.
• Des Browne, a former defence secretary and convener of the group, said it would provide an authoritative voice in support of Barack Obama's appeal for nuclear disarmament. He hoped similar groups would be set up elsewhere around the world.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
WASHINGTON - 29 October 2009 — An island in the Indian Ocean, vital to the U.S. military, disappears as the sea level rises. Rivers critical to India and Pakistan shrink, increasing military tensions in South Asia.
Drought, famine and disease forces population shifts and political turmoil in the Middle East. [And for South Asia and China] Himalayan glaciers are likely to recede, producing fresh water shortages in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of China.
U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, viewing these and other potential impacts of global warming, have concluded if they materialize it would become ever more likely global alliances will shift, the need to respond to massive relief efforts will increase and American forces will become entangled in more regional military conflicts.
It is a bleak picture of national security that backers of a climate bill in Congress hope will draw in reluctant Republicans who have denounced the bill as an energy tax and jobs killer because it would shift the country away from fossil fuels by limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting
When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.
A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.
But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.
"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end." More >>>
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sy Hersh: Military 'In War Against The White House'
October 20, 2009 "Crooks and Liars" -- So many of the saner people were driven out of the military during the Bush administration, it doesn't surprise me that the people left include a lot of the right-wing, racist fringe elements. Still, it's shocking to hear this:
DURHAM — The U.S. military is not just fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s most renowned investigative journalist says. The army is also “in a war against the White House — and they feel they have Obama boxed in,” Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh told several hundred people in Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Tuesday night. “They think he’s weak and the wrong color. Yes, there’s racism in the Pentagon. We may not like to think that, but it’s true and we all know it.” In a speech on Obama’s foreign policy, Hersh, who uncovered the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and torture at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraqi war, said many military leaders want Obama to fail. “A lot of people in the Pentagon would like to see him get into trouble,” he said. By leaking information that the commanding officer in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says the war would be lost without an additional 40,000 American troops, top brass have put Obama in a no-win situation, Hersh contended.
“If he gives them the extra troops they’re asking for, he loses politically,” Hersh said. “And if he doesn’t give them the troops, he also loses politically.” The journalist criticized the president for “letting the military do that,” and suggested the only way out was for Obama to stand up to them.
“He’s either going to let the Pentagon run him or he has to run the Pentagon,” Hersh said. If he doesn’t, “this stuff is going to be the ruin of his presidency.” Hersh called the “Af-Pak” situation — the spreading conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan — Obama’s main challenge. The only way for the U.S. to extricate itself from the conflict, Hersh said, is to negotiate with the Taliban. “It’s the only way out,” he said. “I know that there’s a lot of discussion in the White House about this now. More >>>
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
October 13, 2009 - In order to deter China and bolster defence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India is to deploy BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, reported Times Now.tv [on] Oct 11.
These missiles have a range of 300 km and would be able to hit tactical and strategic targets in Tibet.
The world's fastest cruise missile would be able to fly over the mountains and hit targets and are very fast and almost impossible to counter, the report said.
The report said the deployment will be part of India's counter offensive capacity in the region. Other measures include deploying tanks in Ladakh, as well as more choppers, infantry and more troops. More >>>
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Talk – South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)
Nuclear Risk Reduction in South Asia
Tuesday- October 6, 2009
Old-fashioned Nuclear Risk Reduction measures are not that helpful against the new paradigm of the India-Pakistan Conflict. New Risk Reduction Measures such as intelligence sharing and strategic monitoring programs are needed given the new geo strategic environment in the region, stated Mr. Michael Krepon, the Co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center and also a former member of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, while speaking at a talk hosted by SASSI on October 6, 2009.
Mr. Krepon said both India and Pakistan should trust each other and share their intelligence information to curb the common enemy. Only then they would be successful in bringing effective nuclear risk reduction measures to South Asia. Moreover he said that geographical zones like Kashmir are no longer a nuclear flashpoint for South Asia, but rather it has become more symbolic in nature, such as the terrorist attacks on the economic venues, religious shrines etc. However, the bottom line of his presentation was that nuclear risk reduction measures would suffer and face enormous challenges in the next few years.
In her concluding remarks Director General SASSI Maria Sultan thanked the speaker and the audience.
The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) is an independent think tank dedicated to promoting peace and stability in South Asia. The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach focused on strategic stability, aimed at bringing together the various streams of thought from the social and natural sciences, the policy makers and academia.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Geneva - Thu, 01 Oct 2009- Iran emphasizes on the need for nuclear disarmaments in the first round of talks between Iran and the six P5 +1 group nations in Geneva.
The Representatives from Iran and the six world nuclear powers have ended the first round of their talks in Geneva, with the second session set to begin in a few hours. A statement released by Iran's National Security Council said that the diplomats left the talks in a "calm atmosphere," and plan to return to the negotiating table after a short break. It also said that Saeed Jalili, the representative from Iran, had laid out the framework of Tehran's package of proposals and explained how it should be implemented during the initial talks.
In the first meeting, Jalili reiterated the need for a global nuclear disarmament, a long-standing Iranian demand. Other than Iran, the six countries that were represented at the summit were members of the group known as the P5+1 consisting of the permanent members of the Security Council (Russia, China, the United States, Britain, and France) plus Germany. More >>>