Archive | Asia

Afghanistan Wakes Up To Islamic State Threat

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Afghan security officials check people at a road side as part of increased security measures in Helmand Province following the death of Islamic State recruiter Mullah Abdul Rauf in a military operation on February 9.

Afghan security officials check people at a road side as part of increased security measures in Helmand Province following the death of Islamic State recruiter Mullah Abdul Rauf in a military operation on February 9.

By Qadir Habib and Michael Scollon

After consistently rejecting the idea, Kabul could no longer ignore what self-declared recruiters and fighters had been telling them for months — the Islamic State (IS) group had indeed arrived in Afghanistan.

“Islamic State or those people who call themselves Islamic State are active in some areas and our intelligence reports confirm it and we cannot deny it,” Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiq Sidiqqi admitted during a February 10 interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan.

The message resonated, particularly considering that it came just two days after Sidiqqi had urged media not to report on “a group that doesn’t even exist in Afghanistan” because it could further IS’s aims.

But he said that national security forces were on top of the situation, offering assurances that “wherever they act we destroy them and don’t give them the opportunity to become active in Afghanistan.”

Top Priority

As it turns out, even as Kabul worked to downplay talk of IS’s arrival in Afghanistan, it was actively trying to ensure the import did not gain a foothold in the country.

The efforts paid off on February 9 when Mullah Abdul Rauf, who had publicly declared that he was recruiting for Islamic State in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province, was killed in a military operation there.

Confirming the death of the former Taliban commander and Guantanamo prison inmate, Afghanistan’s spy agency — the National Directorate of Security  (NDS) — said Rauf had been a top priority for a month.

The same day, the Islamic State’s self-declared spokesman in Afghanistan, Abdul Qadir Wahidi (alias Abu Ibrahim Khurasani), spoke to Radio Free Afghanistan from a prison in the central Ghazni Province.

He said that he was arrested about two months ago by NDS officers when he appeared in Kabul for what he thought would be peace talks with government officials.

Wahidi said it was he who sent and appeared in a video to a Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent in September in which he claimed to represent a group called the Islamic Organization of Great Afghanistan, and expressed its willingness to fight for Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

A local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wahidi was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for serving as Islamic State’s spokesman and for his role in kidnapping a Ghazni official in late 2014.

Skeptics Abound

There has been ample skepticism about whether Islamic State is capable of carving out a place for itself in a militant scene dominated by well-established groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Some pointed to cultural clashes that would erupt when outsiders adhering to a strict form of Wahhabism encroached on long-established tribal traditions in Afghanistan. Others asked whether disgruntled Taliban were simply saying they were allying themselves with Islamic State in order to gain street cred. And the possibility was raised that provincial officials were heightening alarm in order to attract more funding and security from Kabul.

But as the discussion wore on, reports about the presence of Islamic State and Wahhabist, foreign fighters continued to trickle in.

Mohammad Jan Rasulyar, deputy governor of Helmand Province, claimed in late January that IS militants were active in Kajaki District, where Rauf was later killed.

Rasulyar said the Islamic State militants, who were carrying black flags to indicate their allegiance to Al-Baghdadi’s group, were clashing with white-flagged Taliban.

“We consider both groups an enemy, both of them are enemies of Afghans and killing Afghans,” Rasulyar said. “But, it would better for us if they would fight each other and our Afghans were spared from their evil.”

A local resident, who spoke to Radio Free Afghanistan on condition of anonymity, said on January 26: “They have come here, spreading propaganda and talking a little bit about Wahhabis. Local mullahs are concerned.”

To the west, in Farah Province, an official told RFE/RL that IS-linked militants had moved into a mountainous region in Khak Safed district.

“There are about 80 people in 10 groups, they are flying the black flag. They are training children to use weapons and when they come to the village, they spend their own money,” district Governor Abdul Khaleq Norzai said on January 25. “They don’t take anything from others and don’t eat others’ food. If something costs 10 afghanis they pay 20 afghanis for it.”

Nipping IS In The Bud

“Worrisome” and “serious” appear to be the common refrain among Afghans and outside observers when discussing Islamic State’s presence in Afghanistan.

The group’s emergence comes as Afghan security forces and U.S. Special Operations forces are already engaged in increasing raids targeting Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, and as new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tries to maintain security amid a drawdown of U.S. troops.

Speaking before a gathering of Afghan clerics in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on February 13, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Mohammad Mohaqiq called on the Afghan government to take serious action to counter Islamic State’s activities.

Military analyst Jawed Kohistani said that, if Kabul doesn’t answer the call now, it will mean trouble by as early as this summer.

“They [IS recruits in Afghanistan] will resolve their problems with the Taliban, find resources to fund their activities, and will be prepared for offensive operations,” he told Radio Free Afghanistan on February 13. “If [the government] doesn’t make good use of the capabilities and abilities of its military forces and doesn’t pay attention to intelligence, we will be confronted with enormous problems in the future.”

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India Maligns Pak Leadership

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Image result for INDIA BJP PART LOGO

By Sajjad Shaukat

Since BJP came to power, its leader and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has been

implementing its party’s agenda by accelerating false propaganda against Pakistan, its Armed

Forces and country’s superior spy agency ISI.

In this regard, Indian newspaper “Deccan Chronicle” published a false story on November 7,

2014, titled “Pakistan’s ISI may target India’s key economic centers and important installations.”

In the recent past, Indian troops after having committed ceasefire violations along the Line of

Control (LoC) and Working boundary (WB) martyred several Pakistani nationals including

personnel of Rangers. Instead of extending an apology, Indian propagandists shamelessly

accused Pak Army and ISI for backing cross-border infiltration and violations. On October 15,

2014 in the RAW sponsored Indian daily, “Deccan Chronicle,” Ranjnish Sharma allegedly

asserted that Pakistan’s repeated ceasefire violations also led to severe differences between

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pak Army and ISI.

And, in collaboration with the extremist outfit RSS, Indian agencies orchestrated a drama to

defame Pakistan in the world. On December 31, 2014, Indian media allegedly reported that a

Pakistani fishing boat as a Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was intercepted by

Indian Coast Guards, at Porebandar, Gujarat. In this respect, an operation was undertaken on a

precise intelligence tip and boat was ordered to stop, but it did not comply and sped away. They

set the boat on fire and it exploded. Indian Coast Guard officials stated that no body or debris

was found due to bad weather. However, Indian officials who failed to produce any evidence to

Islamabad started portraying another version by suggesting that the boat which had left Keti

Bandar, Karachi might have belonged to small time smugglers. While, it is not possible that 30

HP boat could run four state of the art Indian Coast Guard ships.

The aim of this Indian drama was to create an aura against Pakistan prior to US President

Barrack Obama’s recent visit to India and put pressure on Pakistan government on Zakiur

Rehman Lakhvi’s bail issue and allege LeT as an organization, posing regional threats—and

accusing Islamabad of sponsoring terrorist activities in India. In fact, this is nothing, but a brazen

reflection of Indian divisive propaganda, targeting Pakistan’s civil military relations.

It is notable that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried his best to establish cordial

relationship with India, and to restore the peace dialogue with the latter. He also encouraged

trade with India. For the purpose, he participated in the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister

Modi. But, on May 27, 2014, Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Prime Minister Sharif proved

faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues of cross-border terrorism as pre-conditions to

advance the Pak-India dialogue. He said that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the

Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.

Indian prime minister ignored the fact that on July 19, 2013, the Indian former home ministry

and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November

26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian

government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

Similarly, Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde revealed on January 20, 2013 that

organized training camps run by the fundamentalist parties, RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu

terrorism. He also explained that these extremist parties were behind the Samjhauta Express,

Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts.

But, India always accused Pakistan’s ISI of all these subversive acts, while, Indian official

confession shows that these terror attacks were arranged by Indian RAW.

However, under the directives of BJP government, Indian print, electronic and social media do

not waste any opportunity to continuously spit venomous propaganda against Pakistan. Since the

start of New Year, a palpable shift has been noticed in the trends of Indian media. It generally

spared the political leadership of Pakistan in the past and targeted Pak Army and ISI as a favorite

flavor for its propaganda cuisine. Nevertheless, to create a sprinkling affect, Indian media seems

to have started targeting Pakistan’s political leadership as well.

In this context, in a latest attempt, social media site (Oneindia) and “Deccan Herald”, dated,

January 13, 2015 gave space to a speculative report in which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has

been alleged for maintaining double standards against India. Quoting a latest book, “Where

Borders Bleed”, written by ex-Indian diplomat Rajiv Dogra, published by Rupa Publication, it is

alleged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had approved the episode of serial blasts in Mumbai in

In fact, allegation of involvement of Prime Minister Sharif in 1993 Mumbai blasts episode is

imaginary and baseless. And, as to why the author, Rajiv Dogra who served as Indian Counsel

General Karachi took so much time to write and level such allegations.

While, Pakistan has always remained forthcoming in resumption of meaningful diplomatic

engagements with India, however, contrary to Pakistan’s posture, Indian leadership has shown

stubborn attitude and calling off the negotiations on flimsy pretexts. In past too, New Delhi made

pretexts to cancel peace talks, while shifting the blame to Pakistan. For example, in 2002, under

the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process.

Again, in 2008, India cancelled the ‘composite dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.

Last year, New Delhi cancelled the Secretary level talks with Islamabad under the pretext that

during his Indian visit, Pakistan’s prime minister’s special advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz

Now, India accelerated cross-border shelling inside Pakistan’s areas. India’s main aim is to delay

the Pak-India peace process, as it is not serious in resolving all issues, especially main dispute of

Nonetheless, the book “Where Borders Bleed” also contains speculative inferences about

political leaders of both Pakistan and India and likely to generate controversies about them.

Pakistan’s leaders of the political parties may be encouraged to write and express their view

point to counter whimsical allegations, leveled against their leadership in the book.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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India: One Suicide Every 30 Minutes

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Image result for Monsanto LOGO

GMO Seeds from Monsanto Blamed for Rising Death Rate in India

The Monsanto Company has long stated its allegiance to farmers, and claims that their livelihoods have been the number one motivator behind their business model comprised of patented genetically engineered seeds and a vast array of farming chemicals.

But the company has struggled to shake off unending criticism for their actions, including everything from widespread destruction caused by their chemicals across the United States to misery caused by the failed promises of GMO corn in the Philippines.

Perhaps the most infamous of all is the story of how Monsanto’s seeds, chemicals and contracts have allegedly “biowrecked” the fields of India — and ultimately the lives of thousands of farmers, too.

monsanto india

An Indian “farmer’s widow” describes her husband’s suicide to author Alakanada Nag, who filmed a short documentary on rising suicides among Indian farmers that many are blaming on failed GMO seeds and Monsanto contracts.

Small Farms Hurting from Monsanto Seeds, Author Says

Speaking to the website RT.com in a recent interview, Alakanada Nag said that small farms in India were the ones hit hardest by the failed promises of Monsanto’s GMO crops.

Nag interviewed dozens of Indian farmers whose relatives have taken their own lives since the crops were introduced in India in 2002, noting a “sharp rise” since then; many of them were unable to pay for expensive chemicals to spray the crops after becoming locked into contracts that plunged them into debt.

According to the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, in 2009 alone 17,638 farmers committed suicide in India, amounting to one suicide every 30 minutes. Monsanto has been blamed for contributing to 290,000 suicides by farmers over the last 20 years according to the nation crime records bureau of India.

Monsanto has denied the claims that their products have led to increased farmer suicides according to the RT article, but the country’s Council for Responsible Genetics has said that GMO crops have not done well in many regions leading to increased stress and high amounts of debt.

Some farmers have even reportedly committed suicide by drinking farm chemicals in order to send a message.

One “farmer’s widow” recounts her story in Nag’s film on “Film on Farmer Suicide and Agrarian Crises” which you can see by clicking on the video player below.

 

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Tell Monsanto: Stop Forcing Farmers Into Poverty!

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Suicide rates among Indian farmers have skyrocketed thanks to Monsanto, whose viselike contracts have trapped thousands of farmers in cycles of debt and poverty ever since its GMO crops were introduced to the country in 2002. According to the Center For Human Rights and Global Justice, in 2009 alone 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide, averaging one suicide every 30 minutes.The biggest factor sending Indian farmers into deeper and deeper debt are the absurd royalties that Monsanto charges when farmers use “renewal” seeds, which are seeds gathered from a previous harvest. The practice of saving seeds to plant the following year is a worldwide, ancient tradition––one that farmers have always relied on to economically produce enough food.

Join us in demanding that Monsanto stop charging royalties on crops produced from renewal seeds!

But because Monsanto’s seeds are patented, the corporation charges royalties for crops produced from the same genetic material as the original seed, slamming struggling farmers with mounting fees they can’t afford. In India, more and more farmers are viewing suicide as the only way out of Monsanto’s financial trap.

That’s why we need you to tell Monsanto to change its royalty policy and stop charging extra for crops produced from renewal seeds. We can’t let Monsanto profit from stacking the deck against hardworking people who feed the world!

 

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Did the US Accidentally Give the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon to Terrorists?

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Sony Hack: Made in America?
by PETER LEE

Next time Brian Williams or his carefully-coiffed successor assigns blame to some foreign actor for a cyberoutrage, I expect the “Cyber Threats Intelligence Integration Center” to figure prominently in the coverage.

According to AP (actually, according to AP’s Ken Dilanian, the notoriously obliging amanuensis  to the US security establishment ):

White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel has concluded that cyberintelligence at the moment is bedeviled by the same shortcomings that afflicted terrorism intelligence before 9/11 — bureaucracy, competing interests, and no streamlined way to combine analysis from various agencies, the official said.

The hack on Sony’s movie subsidiary, for example, resulted in a variety of different analytical papers from various agencies. Each one pointed to North Korea, but with varying degrees of confidence.

Unlike the National Counter Terrorism Center, which gets most of its information from intelligence agencies, the new cyberagency may rely to a much larger extent on private companies, which are regularly seeing and gathering cyberintelligence as they are hit with attempts by hackers to break into their networks.

Gathering threat signatures, and profiling hacker groups, has become a key component of collecting cyberintelligence — a discipline practiced both by government agencies and private firms.

Hmmm.

On the issue of prevention, I am rather skeptical of the “we will gather all the hay in the world in one gigantic stack and sift through it in real time to find the needle” assumption, though I remain optimistic that it will fund tuition payments for intel bureaucrats and contractors for many years into the future.

And, unless hackers are hopelessly stupid, I wonder if the vaunted private sector input—“gathering threat signatures, and profiling hacker groups” will, instead of identifying gormless hackers, simply assemble a larger pile of bullsh*t innuendo to be mined when a forensically weak case needs some additional fragrance.

On the other hand, I believe that the CTIIC (or “Stick” ™ as I hope they are already calling it) will perform yeoman service on the key matter of promptly and effectively documenting and evangelizing the US government’s case in the attribution of cyberattacks that have already occurred.

As I argued in various venues recently with reference to the Sony hack, for purposes of semiotics (clear messaging, positioning, blame avoidance, and signaling of US government intentions) if not forensics (proving whodunit), painting a convincing, action-worthy cyberbullseye on the back of some foreign enemy is a major challenge for governments these days.

When some high-profile outrage like Sony occurs, the US government has to make a prompt show of control, capability, and resolve.  Letting a bunch of data nerds chew over the data for a few weeks and spit up an equivocal conclusion like “It looks like the same guys who did this did that, and maybe the guys who did that were…” doesn’t quite fill the bill.

Which is pretty much what happened on Sony.  Various private sector and government actors all stuck their oar in, contradictory opinions emerged, messaging was all over the map.

“Stick” ™ fixes that.  By establishing a central clearing house for relevant information, the US government is on the right side of the information symmetry equation.  “You say you think this, but you don’t know this, this, and this, or the stuff we can’t tell you because it’s classified above your clearance.”

And even if the real takeaway from the investigatory process still is “It looks like the same guys who did this did that, and maybe the guys who did that were…” it comes out as “The Cyber Threats Intelligence Integration Center has attributed this cyberattack to North Korea with a high degree of confidence.  By Executive Order, the President has already commanded CyberCommand to make a proportional response.”

You get the picture.

So I expect jobs one and two and three for CTIIC will be to generate persuasive dossiers for backgrounding, leaking, whatever on the PRC, North Korea, and the Russian Federation, to be deployed when some mysterious alchemy of evidence, circumstance, and strategy dictate that one of them has to get tagged as The Bad Guy for some cyberoutrage.

Especially if the cyberoutrage has the American government’s own fingerprints all over it—which is apparently not a remote contingency.

A document from the Snowden trove reveals that the NSA  posited that the high-profile Shamoon attack on Aramco in August 2012, which was attributed to Iran, was retaliation for the “Wiper” virus unleashed on the Iranian oil industry a few months before.  Wiper, according to Kaspersky, bore a distinct resemblance to acknowledged US/Israeli jointly-developed anti-Iran malware like Stuxnet.

Just as a reminder, in a speech to business bigwigs, the CIA Director at the time, Leon Panetta, characterized Shamoon as an unprovoked attack–indeed a “Cyber Pearl Harbor”–against a private corporation, apparently in an effort to persuade corporations they had a lot of skin in the national cybersecurity game.

The inference that Shamoon was plausibly 1) retaliation for US/Israeli dirty tricks and 2) using US/Israel’s own dirty trickbag, casts an interesting sidelight on Panetta’s remarks.  Maybe the true significance of his speech was that the US government now realized US interests were vulnerable to effective cyber-retaliation, and it was time to play the “foreign menace” card in order to inoculate the US security establishment against rather well-founded suspicions that its own cyber-shenanigans might result in heightened threats and gigantic costs for US corporations that otherwise might not have a dog in the global cyberfight.  You know, like Sony.

But there was more to the story than PO’d Iranians fighting back.  The rapid Iranian counterattack had itself incorporated elements of the Wiper software.

The NSA document from April 2013, published today by The Intercept, shows the US intelligence community is worried that Iran has learned from attacks like Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu—all of which were created by the same teams—in order to improve its own capabilities.

Wiper was the first known data destruction attack of its kind. Although the NSA document doesn’t credit the US and its allies for launching the attack, Kaspersky researchers found that it shared some circumstantial hallmarks of the Duqu and Stuxnet attacks, suggesting that Wiper might have been created and unleashed on Iran by the US or Israel.

And there’s more.  Lots more.

Wiper is also believed to have inspired a destructive attack that struck computers belonging to banks and media companies in South Korea in March 2013. That attack wiped the hard drives and Master Boot Record of at least three banks and two media companies simultaneously and reportedly put some ATMs out of operation, preventing South Koreans from withdrawing cash from them. The report does not suggest that Iran was behind this attack.

Wiper is also widely believed to have been inspiration for the recent hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Again, in the latter attack, the hackers wiped data from Sony systems and overwrote parts of the Master Boot Record, preventing systems from rebooting.

In other words, the Sony hack: Made in America!

Unsurprisingly, the theme of the NSA document was anxiety that America’s enemies were turning its own weapons against it.  The immediate focus was Iran, but the NSA could and should be more anxious that it unwittingly augmented China’s cyber arsenal.

I find it likely that Iran invited the PRC to have a look at Stuxnet and Wiper and maybe even exchanged some ideas with Iran’s hackers.

But maybe the PRC didn’t even need to visit Tehran.  One of the embarrassing secrets of Stuxnet, marketed to the public as a zero-collateral-damage super precision cyberweapon targeting Iran’s airgapped computer network at its nasty uranium centrifuge facility, was more cyber-Ebola, escaping into the cybersphere and infecting about 100,000 hosts.

Looking at the NSA memo and the Sony hack, it is pretty plausible that the U.S. state of the art malware capabilities are not just in the hands of Iran and, maybe the PRC and North Korea.  So perhaps the underlying and unspoken NSA anxiety is that the Stuxnet/Wiper suite of nasties is not only held by state actors, albeit antagonistic ones, with whom the United States can engage.

Maybe the NSA (or Israel, which may have mischievously released Stuxnet just to bedevil anybody else who was controlling banks of uranium centrifuges with Siemens PLCs) also committed the cyber equivalent of proliferating WMDs to terrorists: putting the world’s most powerful cyberweapon in the hands of the black-hat hacking community.

No wonder the US needs CTIIC.  Gotta control that story, channel outrage against the necessary enemy, and short-circuit those embarrassing blowback accusations.

In other words, Talk Loudly and Carry a Big CTIIC.

Posted in South Korea0 Comments

Rebels Kill Dozens of Soldiers in Myanmar in Fighting Near Chinese Border

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Muslim women react to the loss of their homes which were burnt down in violence in Pauktaw village

By 

BANGKOK — More than 50 government soldiers and police officers have been killed in Myanmar in recent days in clashes with an armed ethnic group, the state news media said on Friday, in the latest setback for the government’s national reconciliation efforts.

The fighting near the border with China between the Kokang, an ethnic Chinese minority, and government forces is a renewal of a longstanding battle for territory in an impoverished, mountainous area with a history of drug trafficking.

The clashes left 47 soldiers and seven police officers dead and 73 members of the government forces wounded, the state news media said. A statement attributed to the Kokang said three of their fighters had been killed. As during previous fighting in the area, civilians fled across the border into China, according to local Chinese officials who did not provide figures.

U Zaw Htay, the deputy director of the office of President Thein Sein of Myanmar, said the Kokang forces had made a “well-organized” attempt to seize Laukkai, the capital of the Kokang region, and had not acted alone. “Other ethnic groups are also involved,” Mr. Zaw Htay said.

Armed ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the nearby Wa, who have about 20,000 fighters, have in the past vowed to come to one another’s defense, raising the prospect of a wider conflict. But most clashes in recent years have been limited to single ethnic groups skirmishing with the government.

The government said in a statement that Kokang rebels had begun their offensive “from nearby.” But the same statement said the government had consulted with the Chinese military attaché in Myanmar, suggesting that rebels prepared the move across the porous border, in China, to some extent.

Mr. Zaw Htay said Burmese officials had complained to their Chinese counterparts about the fighting. The rebels use Chinese telecommunications networks and have deep business and family ties in China.

The government in Myanmar has repeatedly postponed plans for a national cease-fire over the past year. Ethnic groups in the resource-rich and relatively lawless border area have bridled at the government’s demands for them to disarm before agreements for a devolution or a sharing of powers are reached. Ethnic groups are demanding that the highly centralized state be replaced with a federal system.

Regular clashes between the army and ethnic groups are a main reason that peace efforts have foundered. In November, the army shelled a school to train cadets that was run by an armed ethnic Kachin group, killing 23 people.

The state news media calls the Kokang fighters “renegade troops,” and on Friday it printed maps showing “enemy” positions outside Laukkai.

Myanmar’s military has carried out at least five airstrikes against rebel positions in the past week, according to the state news media.

The Kokang forces are being led by Peng Jiasheng, 85, a veteran of Myanmar’s years of civil war and a former commander of the military wing of the Communist Party of Burma, which battled the central government until it disbanded in 1989.

Government rule is resented by many of the ethnic minorities in outlying areas of Myanmar, but the fighting in the Kokang region is also a highly personalized conflict.

Government forces attacked Mr. Peng and his fighters in August 2009, rupturing a two-decade cease-fire. The commander overseeing that offensive was Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who has since been promoted to commander in chief of Myanmar’s armed forces. Mr. Peng has vowed several times to avenge the rout of his troops in 2009.

A statement signed by Mr. Peng that has circulated in recent days on Kokang microblogs spoke of “ethnic discrimination” against the Kokang in Myanmar and appealed for donations.

“I ask all the Chinese around the world to remind themselves of our common race and roots and give money and efforts to rescue our people,” the statement said.

On Thursday evening, the state news media said government troops had regained control over Laukkai.

A Chinese-language microblog of the Kokang regional administration said on Friday that government troops had completely retaken Laukkai. It also said one of Mr. Peng’s residences was seized.

U Aung Kyaw Zaw, a former rebel who monitors the ethnic conflicts in northern Myanmar, estimates that the Kokang rebel force numbers 2,000.

“Peng Jiasheng’s latest approach is to establish a new wave of guerrilla warfare against the government,” Mr. Aung Kyaw Zaw said on Friday. “He is old, but a new generation will play a significant role in this conflict.”

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Oregon man admits helping people linked to 2009 ISI bombing

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An Oregon man pleaded guilty on Friday to being an accessory after the fact for helping people linked to a suicide bomb attack on the headquarters of Pakistan’s intelligence service in 2009 that killed about 30 people, court records showed.

Reaz Qadir Khan, a naturalised US citizen living in Portland, admitted in a plea entered in US District Court that he provided advice and financial aid to the suicide bomber’s Maldives-based wives following the attack, knowing that such assistance would hinder and prevent their capture.

Khan, a 51-year-old wastewater treatment plant operator and married father-of-three originally from Pakistan, was arrested in 2013 on an indictment which accused him of using email and intermediaries to consult with and provide financial support to the Maldivian bomber, Ali Jaleel, and his family.

The indictment said the conspiracy began in 2005 and continued on through the May 27, 2009, attack on Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence headquarters in Lahore and into the following month. The attack also wounded some 300 people.

The government said at the time that the attack, believed to have been carried out by Jaleel and two other people, was in apparent revenge for an army offensive against Taliban militants in the country’s northwestern Swat region.

US prosecutors said a video released by the media wing of Al Qaeda soon afterward showed Jaleel taking responsibility for the attack, as well preparing for the assault at a training camp believed to be in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that under the plea agreement, the defence and government were jointly recommending a prison term of 87 months for Khan. His sentencing is scheduled for June 8.

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Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War

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How Thanking the Veteran Meant Ignoring What Happened

Image result for Vietnam WAR CARTOON

The 1960s — that extraordinary decade — is celebrating its 50th birthday one year at a time. Happy birthday, 1965!  How, though, do you commemorate the Vietnam War, the era’s signature catastrophe?  After all, our government prosecuted its brutal and indiscriminate war under false pretexts, long after most citizens objected, and failed to achieve any of its stated objectives.  More than 58,000 Americans were killed along withmore than four million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians.

So what exactly do we write on the jubilee party invitation? You probably know the answer. We’ve been rehearsing it for decades. You leave out every troubling memory of the war and simply say:  “Let’s honor all our military veterans for their service and sacrifice.”

For a little perspective on the 50th anniversary, consider this: we’re now as distant from the 1960s as the young Bob Dylan was from Teddy Roosevelt.  For today’s typical college students, the Age of Aquarius is ancient history.  Most of their parents weren’t even alive in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson launched a massive escalation of the Vietnam War, initiating the daily bombing of the entire country, North and South, and an enormous buildup of more than half a million troops.

In the post-Vietnam decades, our culture has buried so much of the history once considered essential to any debate about that most controversial of all American wars that little of substance remains.  Still, oddly enough, most of the 180 students who take my Vietnam War class each year arrive deeply curious.  They seem to sense that the subject is like a dark family secret that might finally be exposed.  All that most of them know is that the Sixties, the war years, were a “time of turmoil.”  As for Vietnam, they have few cultural markers or landmarks, which shouldn’t be surprising.  Even Hollywood — that powerful shaper of historical memory — stopped making Vietnam movies long ago.  Some of my students have stumbled across old films like Apocalypse Now and Platoon, but it’s rare for even one of them to have seen either of the most searing documentaries made during that war, In the Year of the Pigand Hearts and Minds.  Such relics of profound antiwar fervor simply disappeared from popular memory along with the antiwar movement itself.

On the other hand, there is an advantage to the fact that students make it to that first class without strong convictions about the war.  It means they can be surprised, even shocked, when they learn about the war’s wrenching realities and that’s when real education can begin.  For example, many students are stunned to discover that the U.S. government, forever proclaiming its desire to spread democracy, actually blocked Vietnam’s internationally sanctioned reunification election in 1956 because of the near certainty that Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh would be the overwhelming winner

.american-reckoning-the-vietnam-war-and-o

They’re even more astonished to discover the kind of “free-fire zone” bloodshed and mayhem the U.S. military unleashed on the South Vietnamese countryside.  Nothing shocks them more, though, than the details of the My Lai massacre in which American ground troops killed, at close range, more than 500 unarmed, unresisting, South Vietnamese civilians — most of them women, children, and old men — over a four-hour stretch on March 16, 1968.  In high school, many students tell me, My Lai is not discussed.

An American Tragedy

Don’t think that young students are the only products of a whitewashed history of the Vietnam War.  Many older Americans have also been affected by decades of distortion and revision designed to sanitize an impossibly soiled record.  The first step in the cleansing process was to scrub out as much memory as possible and it began even before the U.S.-backed regime in South Vietnam collapsed in 1975.  A week before the fall of Saigon, President Gerald Ford was already encouraging citizens to put aside a war that was “finished as far as America is concerned.”  A kind of willful amnesia was needed, he suggested, to “regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam.”

At that moment, forgetting made all the sense in the world since it seemed unimaginable, even to the president, that Americans would ever find a positive way to remember the war — and little wonder.  Except for a few unapologetic former policymakers like Walt Rostowand Henry Kissinger, virtually everyone, whatever their politics, believed that it had been an unmitigated disaster.  In 1971, for example, a remarkable 58% of the public told pollsters that they thought the conflict was “immoral,” a word that most Americans had never applied to their country’s wars.

How quickly times change.  Jump ahead a decade and Americans had already found an appealing formula for commemorating the war.  It turned out to be surprisingly simple: focus on us, not them, and agree that the war was primarily an American tragedy.  Stop worrying about the damage Americans had inflicted on Vietnam and focus on what we had done to ourselves.  Soon enough, President Ronald Reagan and his followers were claiming that the war had been disastrous mainly because it had weakened an American sense of pride and patriotism, while inhibiting the nation’s desire to project power globally.  Under Reagan, “Vietnam” became a rallying cry for both a revived nationalism and militarism.

Though liberals and moderates didn’t buy Reagan’s view that Vietnam had been a “noble” and winnable war, they did generally support a growing belief that would, in the end, successfully supplant lingering antiwar perspectives and focus instead on a process of national “healing.”  At the heart of that new creed was the idea that our own veterans were the greatest victims of the war and that their wounds were largely a consequence of their shabby treatment by antiwar protestors upon returning from the battle zone to an unwelcoming home front.  Indeed, it became an article of faith that the most shameful aspect of the Vietnam War was the nation’s failure to embrace and honor its returning soldiers.

Of course, there was a truth to the vet-as-victim belief.  Vietnam veterans had, in fact, been horribly ill-treated.  Their chief abuser, however, was their own government, which first lied to them about the causes and nature of the war, then sent them off to fight for an unpopular, dictatorial regime in a land where they were widely regarded as foreign invaders.  Finally, on their return, it failed to provide them with either adequate support orbenefits.

And corporate America was also to blame.  Employers were reluctant to hire or train them, in many cases scared off by crude 1970s media stereotypes about wacko, drug-addled, and violent vets.  Nor did traditional veterans’ organizations like the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars provide a warm welcome to those coming home from a deeply contested and unpopular war filled with disillusioned soldiers.

The Antiwar Movement Dispatched to the Trash Bin of History

In the 1980s, however, the Americans most saddled with blame for abusing Vietnam veterans were the antiwar activists of the previous era.  Forget that, in its later years, the antiwar movement was often led by and filled with antiwar vets.  According to a pervasive postwar myth, veterans returning home from Vietnam were commonly accused of being “baby killers” and spat upon by protestors.  The spat-upon story — wildly exaggerated, if not entirely invented — helped reinforce the rightward turn in American politics in the post-Vietnam era.  It was a way of teaching Americans to “honor” victimized veterans, while dishonoring the millions of Americans who had fervently worked to bring them safely home from war.  In this way, the most extraordinary antiwar movement in memory was discredited and dispatched to the trash bin of history.

In the process, something new happened.  Americans began to treat those who served the country as heroic by definition, no matter what they had actually done.  This phenomenon first appeared in another context entirely.  In early 1981, when American diplomats and other personnel were finally released from 444 days of captivity in Iran, the former hostages were given a hero’s welcome for the ages.  There was a White House party, ticker-tape parades, the bestowal of season tickets to professional sporting events, you name it.  This proved to be where a new definition of “heroism” first took root.  Americans had once believed that true heroes took great risks on behalf of noble ideals.  Now, they conferred such status on an entire group of people who had simply survived a horrible ordeal.

To do so next with Vietnam veterans, and indeed with every soldier or veteran who followed in their footsteps seemed like a no-brainer. It was such an easy formula to apply in a new, far more cynical age.  You no longer had to believe that the missions American “heroes” fought were noble and just; you could simply agree that anyone who “served America” in whatever capacity automatically deserved acclaim.

By the time the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened on Washington’s Mall in 1982, a consensus had grown up around the idea that, whatever you thought about the Vietnam War, all Americans should honor the vets who fought in it, no matter what any of them had done.  Memorial planners helped persuade the public that it was possible to “separate the warrior from the war.”  As the black granite wall of the Memorial itself so vividly demonstrated, you could honor veterans without commenting on the war in which they had fought.  In the years to come, that lesson would be repeated so often that it became a bedrock part of the culture.  A classic example was an ad run in 1985 on the 10th anniversary of the war’s end by defense contractor United Technologies:

“Let others use this occasion to explain why we were there, what we accomplished, what went wrong, and who was right. We seek here only to draw attention to those who served… They fought not for territorial gain, or national glory, or personal wealth.  They fought only because they were called to serve… whatever acrimony lingers in our consciousness… let us not forget the Vietnam veteran.”

Since the attacks of 9/11, ritualized support for troops and veterans, more symbolic than substantive, has grown ever more common, replete with yellow ribbonsairport greetings,welcome home ceremoniesmemorial highwayshonor flightsbenefit concerts, andballgame flyovers.  Through it all, politicians, celebrities, and athletes constantly remind us that we’ve never done enough to demonstrate our support.

Perhaps some veterans do find meaning and sustenance in our endless thank-yous, but others find them hollow and demeaning.  The noble vet is as reductive a stereotype as the crazy vet, and repeated empty gestures of gratitude foreclose the possibility of real dialogue and debate.  “Thank you for your service” requires nothing of us, while “Please tell me about your service” might, though we could then be in for a disturbing few hours.  As two-tour Afghan War veteran Rory Fanning has pointed out, “We use the term hero in part because it makes us feel good and in part because it shuts soldiers up… Thank yous to heroes discourage dissent, which is one reason military bureaucrats feed off the term.”

13 Years’ Worth of Commemorating the Warriors

Although a majority of Americans came to reject the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq in proportions roughly as high as in the Vietnam era, the present knee-jerk association between military service and “our freedom” inhibits thinking about Washington’s highly militarized policies in the world.  And in 2012, with congressional approval and funding, the Pentagon began institutionalizing that Vietnam “thank you” as a multi-year, multi-million-dollar “50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.”  It’s a thank-you celebration that is slated to last 13 years until 2025, although the emphasis is on the period from Memorial Day 2015 to Veterans Day 2017.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Pentagon’s number-one objective is “to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War” in “partnership” with more than 10,000 corporations and local groups which are “to sponsor hometown events to honor Vietnam veterans, their families, and those who were prisoners of war and missing in action.”  Additional goals include: “to pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front” (presumably not by peace activists) and “to highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.” (It’s a little hard to imagine quite what that refers to though an even more effective Agent Orange defoliant or improved cluster bombs come to mind.)

Since the Pentagon realizes that, however hard you try, you can’t entirely “separate the warrior from the war,” it is also seeking “to provide the American public with historically accurate materials and interactive experiences that will help Americans better understand and appreciate the service of our Vietnam veterans and the history of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.”  However, it turns out that “accuracy” and “appreciation” can both be served only if you carefully scrub that history clean of untoward incidents and exclude all the under-appreciators, including the thousands of American soldiers who became so disgusted with the war that they turned on their officers, avoided or refused combat missions, deserted in record numbers, and created the most vibrant antiwar GI and veterans movement in our history.

The most ambitious of the “educational resources” provided on the Vietnam War Commemoration website is an “interactive timeline.”  As other historians havedemonstrated, this historical cavalcade has proven to be a masterwork of disproportion, distortion, and omission.  For example, it offers just three short sentences on the “killings” at My Lai (the word “massacre” does not appear) and says that the officer who led Charlie Company into the village, Lt. William Calley, was “sentenced to life in prison” without adding that he was paroled by President Richard Nixon after just three-and-a-half years under house arrest.

That desperately inadequate description avoids the most obviously embarrassing question: How could such a thing happen?  It is conveniently dropped onto a page that includes lengthy official citations of seven American servicemen who received Medals of Honor. The fact that antiwar Senator Robert Kennedy entered the presidential race on the same day as the My Lai massacre isn’t even mentioned, nor his assassination three months later, nor the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., just weeks after My Lai, an event that spurred bitter and bloody racial clashes on U.S. military bases throughout South Vietnam and the world.

It should not go unnoticed that the same government that is spending $65 million commemorating the veterans of a once-reviled war has failed to provide sufficient medical care for them.  In 2014, news surfaced that the Veterans Administration had left some 100,000 veterans waiting for medical attention and that some VA hospitals sought to cover up their egregious delays.  Every day an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide, and among vets of Iraq and Afghanistan the suicide rate, according to one study, is 50% higher than that of their civilian peers.

The Pentagon’s anniversary commemoration has triggered some heated push-back from groups like Veterans for Peace and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (co-founded by Tom Hayden).  Both are planning alternative commemorations designed to include antiwar perspectives once so common but now glaringly absent from popular memory.  From such efforts might come the first full public critical reappraisal of the war to challenge four decades of cosmetic makeover.

Unfortunately, in our twenty-first-century American world of permanent war, rehashing Vietnam may strike many as irrelevant or redundant.  If so, it’s likely that neither the Pentagon’s commemoration nor the antiwar counter-commemorations will get much notice.  Perhaps the most damaging legacy of the post-Vietnam era lies in the way Americans have learned to live in a perpetual “wartime” without war being part of daily consciousness.  While public support for Washington’s war policies is feeble at best, few share the Vietnam era faith that they can challenge a war-making machine that seems to have a life of its own.

Last year, U.S. Special Operations forces conducted secret military missions in 133 countries and are on pace to beat that mark in 2015, yet these far-flung commitments go largely unnoticed by the major media and most citizens.  We rely on 1% of Americans “to protect our freedoms” in roughly 70% of the world’s countries and at home, and all that is asked of us is that we offer an occasional “thank you for your service” to people we don’t know and whose wars we need not spend precious time thinking about.

From the Vietnam War, the Pentagon and its apologists learned fundamental lessons about how to burnish, bend, and bury the truth. The results have been devastating. The fashioning of a bogus American tragedy from a real Vietnamese one has paved the way for so many more such tragedies, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Pakistan to Yemen, and — if history is any guide — an unknown one still emerging, no doubt from another of those 133 countries.

Posted in Far East, USA0 Comments

US Backs Indian Hegemony in Asia

NOVANEWS

cartoon india

By Sajjad Shaukat

International politics is passing through transitory period, as rapidly developing geo-political

differences among global powers in Asia show that the next Cold War is likely to be waged

between the Russia-China alliance and the US-led bloc in Asia, while Pakistan has already

In this regard, US still backs Indian hegemony in Asia to counterbalance China. During

American President Barack Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, this year, the US and India

announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New

Delhi with civilian nuclear technology. On November 2, 2010, US agreed to sell India the most

expensive—the new F-35 fighter jets including US F-16 and F-18 fighters, C-17 and C-130

aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons etc. Besides acquisition of arms and weapons from

other western countries—especially Israel, America is a potential military supplier to India. US

also pressurized International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant a

waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale. However, US President

Obama also announced $4 billion of new initiatives aimed at boosting trade and investment ties

In this respect, Indian Foreign Mistier Sushma Swaraj was on a maiden visit to China since

January 31, 2015. Along with sideline commitments, she attended 13th trilateral meeting

between China, India and Russia held in Beijing on February 2, 2015. She was having series of

meetings with Chinese leaders in the backdrop of recently concluded visit of US President

In the joint communiqué of their trilateral meeting, the foreign ministers of Russia, India and

China have emphasized cooperation to maintain international and regional peace and stability

and promoting global economic growth and prosperity. But with the support of America, New

Delhi has been playing double game with Beijing and Moscow.

The warming up of Indo-US relations, especially in the nuclear domain poses a direct threat to

Chinese national interests, and both China and Russia feel uneasy over Indian overtures towards

US. Consequently, as part of duplicity, Indian leadership is launching intense diplomatic

activities to conciliate Beijing and Moscow that their overtures to US will not be at the cost of

bilateral relations with Russia and China.

In fact, US in the garb of this controversial deal is enticing New Delhi to assume anti-China role

and would have footprints in India to eavesdrop Chinese activities. China is apprehensive about

the emerging threat, as the intent of President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was

quite clear, while mentioning about free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea.

Russia, however, remained quiet over Obama’s comments at a press conference in Delhi

slamming President Vladimir Putin’s role in Ukraine.

It is notable that in 2013, during his visit to New Delhi, and after meeting Indian Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that the two emerging Asian

economies were going to enhance cooperation. No doubt, Beijing wants cordial relationship with

New Delhi. But, India which apparently emphasizes mutual cooperation with China, showing

lethargic approach in the solution of border dispute, has been increasing military build near the

Chinese border, coupled with secret support to the Tibetan insurgents as part of its overt and

In the recent, part, tension arose between India and China when Indian army erected a military

camp in Chumar Sector of Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)-disputed border, situated

between the two countries. Similarly, Indian soldiers crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) in

Kashmir on January 6, 2012 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier.

Afterwards, Indian troops shot dead more Pakistani soldiers on the LoC.

It is mentionable that under the Pak-China pretext, Indian ex-Army Chief, General Deepak

Kapoor, revealed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old

doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

Particularly, fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship

with the Third World has irked the eyes of Americans and Indians. Owing to jealousy, America

desires to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia.

Besides, it is due to the fact Pakistan has a strategic geo-political location at the corridor of

world’s major maritime oil supply lines, and has close proximity to oil rich Central Asian

countries. Its location could influences Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Besides,

Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, entailing

Islamabad’s close ties with Beijing pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western

countries. Beijing has already invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport. It is owing

to multiple strategic designs that the US backs India in destabilizing both Pakistan and Iran.

Notably, by rejecting US growing pressure, on March 11, 2013, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali

Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran.

Taking cognizance of the enemy’s intensions, during his trip to Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime

Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed eight agreements on July

5, 2013 in various fields. The most important one envisages the establishment of China-Pakistan

Economic Corridor (CPEC) between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk

Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China—connecting to Gilgit-Baltistan through

Khunjerab Pass. Beijing has also offered to build an international airport, while the roads

infrastructure in Gwadar would be connected with the communication network of rest of the

country to facilitate transportation of goods. By rejecting US growing pressure, Pakistan has

handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.

While, in May, 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese

engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. As

regards anti-China diplomacy, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret

agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have been assisting subversive activities in other

parts of Pakistan—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of

Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and

It worth-mentioning that during China’s visit of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel

Sharif, on January 25, this year, China’s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Gen.

Fan has assured that China will assist Pakistan in every challenge.

Taking note of US supported Indian plans; Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the

Russian Federation. In 2012, Moscow and Islamabad agreed to enhance bilateral relations in

diverse fields. Addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in

Islamabad on October 4, 2012, Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said that the two countries

agreed that they had common goals on regional and current global challenges. Lavrov stated that

Russia supports Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan by pointing out that any solution imposed from

In 2010, the then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan’s bid to join

the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which includes the former Central Asian

republics as permanent members. Putin also remarked that Pakistan was a very important partner

in South Asia and the Muslim world for Russia.

The then President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari participated in the 12th summit of the SCO held

in Beijing. While addressing the summit, hinting out towards Indo-US secret designs, Chinese

president Hu Jintao said, “The international situation has been complex, thus bringing many

uncertainties to the regional situation.” He explained that only when SCO member states remain

united can they effectively cope with emerging challenges. President Putin said, “The SCO

should enhance security cooperation.”

In fact, China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran know that after the withdrawal of most of the NATO

troops from Afghanistan, the US-led NATO has been maintaining military presence in that

country, having eyes on the energy resources of Central Asia, while encouraging Indian role in

It is noteworthy that on July 20, 2011, while hinting towards Pak-China ties, the then US

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as

American ally, the country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the

potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.”

Nonetheless, US approach of backing Indian role in Asia would cause imbalance in the region

with serious implications for global security, and will embolden India to attain her   hegemonic

designs at the cost of modern world trends such as peaceful settlement of disputes, economic

development and disarmament.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India, USA0 Comments

North Korea tested five more missiles

NOVANEWS

Following a separate guided missile test on Saturday, as the US and South Korea prepare for joint exercises in March.

North Korea fired five short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, following Saturday’s tests of a self-guided missile.”North Korea kicked off drills of the same kind two weeks earlier than last year,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman, Jeon Ha-kyu told the agency.The missile testing began at 4:20 p.m. local time, over the course of 50 minutes, and saw them fly about 200 kilometers before landing in the sea, according to the agency.

Sunday also marks the 67th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), North Korean news agency KCNA reported.

“Sure is the final victory of the revolutionary cause of Juche and the revolutionary cause of Songun as great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism indicates the way to be followed by us,” North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun wrote in commemoration of the event.On Saturday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed the test of an anti-ship rocket.”The ultra-precision anti-ship rocket blasted off from a rocket boat. The intelligent rocket precisely sought, tracked and hit the ‘enemy’ ship after flying there safely,” KCNA reported on Saturday.

The tests come in the run-up to the US-South Korean military drills, which are scheduled to take place this spring on the Korean Peninsula.Washington and Seoul have repeatedly blamed Pyongyang for developing rocket capabilities that they say are required for the creation of an effective inter-continental ballistic missile.

Posted in North Korea0 Comments

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