India's strategic implications, challenges, opportunities and quest for great power status

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Would India Support a Post-ISIS Independence Push by the Kurds?
How involved does New Delhi want to be?
The fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) over large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria captured by the terror group in its juggernaut expansion and declaration of the “caliphate” in 2014 will at some point be coming to a conclusion. And with that will come a new set of challenges for the region.
While the Iraqi Army along with its affiliates has orchestrated a major push from the south on the ISIS’s bastion city of Mosul, the Kurds have moved in from the north to close in amidst hope of permanently stamping out the structures of the Islamic State from the northern spheres of Iraq. The success of these operations, which have over the past few months started to show as ISIS dwindles, has also started to give the Kurds more impunity to push for one of their own long-standing demands, the declaration of the independent state of Kurdistan.
In the north of Mosul, not far from the capital city Erbil of the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Kurdish forces fighting ISIS have dug-in deep and built trenches well beyond the territory that they currently govern, stretching more than 1,050 km in northern Iraq into land that was under the Iraqi Arabs before ISIS took over. According to reports, the Iraqi Kurds have orchestrated the takeover of this land as a standing policy being pushed by officials of the Kurdish government in Erbil. This is seen as spoils for the sacrifices made by the Kurds, known to be the largest ethnic group in the world without their own state, who have fought ISIS through thick and thin for a stronger push in post-ISIS Iraq on their long-standing call on the formation of a fully independent and sovereign state of Kurdistan.
Currently, Erbil is used not just by the Kurds but various militias that are fighting ISIS as a place to rest and replenish before going back to the frontlines such as in Mosul, Al-Bab and elsewhere The Kurdish fighters believe that many of the insurgents currently fighting in battle-hardened areas such as Mosul are in fact crime syndicates that have adopted the veil of the so-called Islamic State. Older groups such as Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Jaesh-al-Mujahideen, who were always known as Daesh (the Arabic term for ISIS) perhaps pose the biggest challenge for the Kurds, and indeed the people of Mosul and adjoining regions have been confronting this challenge since long before ISIS.
As a result of the Kurds’ battle with ISIS, they have gained increasing amount of legitimacy amongst certain sections of the international order involved in the regional conflict. The Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Gel‎ (YPG), also known as the People’s Protection Unit, an infantry militia largely made up of Kurdish fighters, is known to be a “democratic” army that holds internal elections to appoint commanders. The YPG has its roots in the formation of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) in 2003 as one of the Kurdish opposition parties in the Syrian parliament. Today, perhaps as reward for its efforts against ISIS and for the interests of the Kurdish people, the YPG has official diplomatic missions in Prague, Stockholm and Berlin, and a new one in Moscow, with another in Paris planned for the near future. Analysts believe that Beijing could host the first such YPG mission in Asia.
Both India and China now have operating consulates in Erbil. In August of last year, New Delhi opened the doors to its official consulate in the Kurdish city, offering full consular services. Deepak Miglani, an Indian Foreign Services officer with prior experience of serving in other conflict hotspots such as Kabul and Kandahar in Afghanistan was appointed as the first consul general in Erbil. This not only expanded India’s diplomatic access in the larger Middle East region, which hosts more than 8.2 million Indians, but added an interesting aspect to India’s security outreach and validated the battles of the Kurdish forces against ISIS and its regional offshoots.
The autonomous government of Erbil has long been asking India to take a bigger presence in the region. New Delhi’s apprehensions had been warranted, as it did not wish to sour relations with Baghdad, which views the growing calls for autonomy from the Iraqi Kurdistan, specifically related to the production of oil, as in direct conflict to the interests of the central Iraqi government. Both New Delhi and Beijing have economic interests there as well, with China’s SINOPEC acquiring Addax Petroleum, which developed the Taq Taq oil field near Kirkuk. India has also previously bought oil from Kurdistan via Turkish companies and Mumbai based Reliance Industries Ltd in 2007 had invested in two oil blocks in Kurdistan, Rova and Sarta, only to sell majority stakes in both in 2012 after pressure from Baghdad.
Erbil has previously taken center stage whenever Indian diaspora in the region have been caught in the regional conflicts. In 2015, India launched a diplomatic effort to track down 39 missing construction workers who had reportedly been taken hostage by ISIS and have since then been known to have been killed, a claim corroborated via multiple sources (although the Indian government has yet to declare them as deceased). During that period, India sent its experienced Middle East hand and former Ambassador to Iraq, Suresh K. Reddy, to Baghdad and then Erbil in an effort to use contacts with former Ba’athist leaders from Saddam’s regime, some of whom are now high-ranking commanders in ISIS for regions such as Mosul and Tikrit. Other Indian diplomats with regional experience such as Sanjaya Rana and Arabic-speaking officer Abu Mathen George were also sent to Erbil, not only to help in gathering information about the missing Indians, but inadvertently also cement India’s narrative in the Kurdish region.
In 2014, during the peak expansion period of ISIS, the Kurdish Democratic Party’s then head of international relations, Heman Harwani, told India’s The Hindu newspaper that the “old Iraq is dead” and that the future perhaps holds a confederation of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish states or an out-and-out partition of the country. “We have to move forward now, and see India as an important partner,” Harwani added.
Indian Ambassador to Iraq George Raju’s visit to Erbil in May 2016 can be seen as a major move for India to gather a strong diplomatic foothold there. Last year, after the ambassador’s visit, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) sought India’s help for its war against ISIS. Falah Mustafa, the head of KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations called on India to assist the region with humanitarian aid and, perhaps more importantly, military assistance. Mustafa conveyed this to Miglani during his first briefing as Consul General. The Kurdish region is today home to more than 1.8 million refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) of Iraq from all walks of life.
However, with this recent Indian outreach to the Kurds, it begs the question: Is New Delhi is prepared to support the larger cause of the Kurdish people as well? This cause is in direct conflict with the position of the Iraqi government and of course that of regional heavyweight, Turkey. This latter views the Kurds as a greater long-term peril to its own interests than ISIS, which explains why Ankara turned a blind eye towards the terror outfit during its early rise, hoping it would confront Kurdish militias.
India has long maintained a balanced approached in the region. New Delhi is comfortable without much moral or ethical conundrum of who rules states in the larger Middle East region as long as its own large diaspora is protected. A sudden collapse, such as the one witnessed in Yemen recently where India orchestrated a large evacuation operation by air and water, is perhaps its biggest lingering headache. New Delhi has held good relations with all, whether it is Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Bashar al-Assad’s Syria or Ayatollah Khamenei’s Iran. New Delhi’s base argument is not intertwined in any long-term “plan,” but on the principles of maintaining stability in the region, whether that is via dictatorship or democracy, so as to protect its 8 million plus people, their remittances to India worth more than $40 billion every year, and the security of India’s oil supplies, as it imports more than 70 percent of its requirements from abroad and most of it coming from the Gulf states and Iran.
It is extremely unlikely that India would any military aid to the Kurds in their fight against ISIS. However, it is more than probable that humanitarian aid in the form of medicines, tents, portable housing, food and other support could be initiated in the future directly with Erbil instead of going through the UN, specifically as ISIS’s hold on that part of Iraq rapidly dwindles and more so with the Development Partnership Administration (DPA), India’s answer to USAID and UK’s DFID, signing up with other agencies such as the U.S.-based Millennium Challenge Corporation to exclusively provide aid to third world nations. Beyond this, under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has also been proactive in marketing itself as a “friend” of poor nations, using the Indian Air Force as a soft-power tool by flying in aid to countries hit by natural disaster, from Nepal to Fiji.
India’s approach to the Kurds could mirror its approach in Afghanistan. While it is going to stay away from taking a stance on the issue of a Kurdish push for an independent state, it will provide developmental aid and projects in areas that will help build India’s image as a force of positivity and a country doing good for the people. This, then, automatically means that KRG’s calls for military assistance against ISIS will not find many takers on Raisina Hill. And that is a tried-and-tested foreign policy status quo India seems comfortable with in the Middle East.
 

Willy2

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@Indx TechStyle , Kurd , Shia , Sunni type of division will be victory of european type of democracy ,independent nation for all ethnic group type, which going to be a defeat for pan-nationalism and geographical nationalism what we have in India , and what once have in Iraq.
We don't recognize Kosevo identy differ from slavic serb identity for the same reason AFAIK.
 
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@Indx TechStyle , Kurd , Shia , Sunni type of division will be victory of european type of democracy ,independent nation for all ethnic group type, which going to be a defeat for pan-nationalism and geographical nationalism what we have in India , and what once have in Iraq.
We don't recognize Kosevo identy differ from slavic serb identity for the same reason AFAIK.
It's not about ideology, it's about what we get in return. That is, influence there.

India isn't suffering from intense internal conflicts like Islamic countries. Plus, it has only left conflictual cases just 10% of last decade. Such movements will only get weaker in India with time so.
 

Willy2

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It's not about ideology, it's about what we get in return. That is, influence there.

India isn't suffering from intense internal conflicts like Islamic countries. Plus, it has only left conflictual cases just 10% of last decade. Such movements will only get weaker in India with time so.
Let see , but heard that there are much difference between Iraqi kurds and Syrian kurdish forces , in Iraqi kurdish force they are absolute majority , but in Rojova they are dominating one , but contain large no of Arab , Assyrian , Christian etc , don't expect this mess going to clear so easily.
 

Superdefender

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11 March 2017
Strategic Studies at 00:25
The Dragon Is Cornered – Here’s What To Do Next
By: Rakesh Krishnan Simha

China is the only country among the 15-member UN Security Council to oppose the ban on Pakistan’s Maulana Masood Azhar, with even countries such as Saudi Arabia backing India.
The Chinese cannot afford an encirclement by the US, Japan and India. It would be the ultimate nightmarish scenario for the dragon.
If there is any doubt that China, rather than Pakistan, is the biggest roadblock to India’s rise as a global power, just look at our northern neighbour’s actions. In an era when Islamic extremism poses the greatest threat to the world, Beijing has kept blocking India’s proposal to include Pakistan’s Maulana Masood Azhar in a United Nations blacklist of people linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. China is the only country among the 15-member UN Security Council to oppose the ban on Azhar, with even countries such as Saudi Arabia backing India.
Beijing’s move is happening in the backdrop of growing violence in its Xinjiang province where Uighur Muslims have launched deadly attacks on Chinese citizens. Uighurs are also known to operate in sync with Pakistani terror groups. So why is China resorting to short-sighted opportunism?
Indians loathe Azhar, who is accused of a string of attacks on Indian targets, including the Parliament building in 2001 as well the January 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase. But for the Chinese, the Pakistani demagogue is no worse than the Dalai Lama, who they view as a dangerous enemy of the state. Beijing continues to treat India’s role in providing him asylum – after the Buddhist leader fled Tibet in 1959 with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America(US)– as a great betrayal.
Wrong turn at South Block
Some Indians have long held the belief that if the border issue is settled, China may one day become a friendly country. Also, because it is neither Islamic, Christian nor Western, Beijing does not pose an existential threat to India. However, China’s stance on Islamic terrorism that impacts India suggests India needs to take the Chinese threat seriously.
For China, Azhar is a mere tool to embarrass India. Curiously, India plays along, thereby providing Beijing the opportunity to use the terrorist mastermind to its advantage. Azhar’s outfit, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, is already on the UN sanctions list. Even if China steps back and allows the UN to ban Azhar, he’ll continue to operate freely as the UN cannot enforce the ban in Pakistan, where he’s a popular figure.
In this backdrop, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s trip to China came with a sense of déjà vu. His protests about Azhar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) (that Beijing is building through disputed territories in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin) counted for squat in Beijing. It should be clear to all Indians that China sees India as a future competitor and potential threat. If India continues to grow at its current rate, its far younger population will give it huge leverage against a rapidly ageing China in the coming decades. Around 2050 – a blink in geopolitical timescales – as China’s population hurtles towards maturity, the country will find it difficult to find young people needed to run key sectors, especially the People’s Liberation Army which remains a conscript force.
Such scary scenarios are giving nightmares to the Chinese leadership. Unlike woolly headed Indian liberals – who populate Lutyens Delhi – the Chinese think at least a hundred years ahead and plan for the next 50. By provoking India over issues such as Azhar, it keeps New Delhi mired in South Asian conflicts, preventing New Delhi from playing in the big league – such as the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
For Beijing, there is a quid pro for letting Pakistan off the hook on terror. For instance, Islamabad’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation could shield China from criticism over Beijing’s crackdown in Xinjiang, where Muslims are even banned from fasting during Eid and children under the age of 18 cannot enter mosques. Again, in the Non-Aligned Movement, Pakistan has pushed back against efforts by the Asean nations to chastise China for its aggression in the highly contested South China Sea.
Blowback for China
To be sure, China’s Faustian Bargain with Islamic terrorists comes will have a payback. According to an Al Jazeera report, “For nearly two decades, Uighur militants have been training and fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the Taliban and other Central Asian groups, much to the anger of the Chinese. More recently, Uighurs have started attacking security forces in Xinjiang itself, usually with knives and clubs rather than explosives or Kalashnikovs.”
More ominously, Uighur militants have spread into Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – countries that are critical for China's national security. Last year Uighurs carried out a deadly explosion which killed 20 people at a Bangkok shrine that was packed with Chinese tourists.
Even in Pakistan, its “all-weather friend”, the Chinese aren’t safe from Muslim terrorists. In May 2016, a Pakistani separatist group planted a roadside bomb in Karachi , as a Chinese engineer and his driver passed by, injuring both.
Islamic terrorism could threaten China’s pet Silk Road project and its offshoot – CPEC. “Most countries along the One Belt, One Road initiative have security problems,” says Li Wei, a terrorism expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, which is associated with China’s Ministry of State Security. “If we can’t solve the problems, it will influence the promotion of One Belt, One Road. It means the projects will have high risks.”
However, Beijing believes it has a get-out-of-jail card. Like it has done in Tibet, the Chinese have flooded Xinjiang with the majority Hans, reducing the Uighurs to a minority. Also, the province – with a population of 10 million people – is in the country’s western extremity, too far for the rebellion to affect the Chinese heartland on the east coast. Just like India believes the unrest in Kashmir does not prevent its rise towards great power status, Beijing also believes the Uighur conflict can be contained within arid and desolate Xinjiang.
What India can do
First up, India needs to push back by exporting high-octane weapons to China’s neighbours. Beijing has made much hue and cry over talks between India and Vietnam over the BrahMos supersonic missile which could be a game changer in the South China Sea.
India also needs to conduct more military exercises with Japan and the US in Asia-Pacific waters. President Donald Trump has strayed from the tried old US script of sucking up to China and has declared he intends to increase defence spending and build at least 60 more warships – the majority of which will be deployed in the Pacific. The Chinese cannot afford an encirclement by the US, Japan and India. It would be the ultimate nightmarish scenario for the dragon.
Beijing is known to send feelers towards India whenever it feels cornered by the US. During Jaishankar’s visit – that came in the backdrop of Trump’s aggressive taunts at China – it seemed to be once again talking peace. It’s a ruse to buy time. Indian diplomats should learn to shed their traditional reticence when it comes to taking on China. If much smaller countries like Vietnam and Taiwan are not awed by dragon fire, there is no reason for India to back down. With Agni-V missiles now pointed at the heart of Beijing and Shanghai, the dragon is no longer a fire-breathing threat.

Source Link: https://swarajyamag.com/world/the-dragon-is-cornered-heres-what-to-do-next
 

captscooby81

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Not sure whats written in this google translate is not also helping why are turkish people happy about Erdagon with and associating something with pakistan ??
turkey.jpg
 

Butter Chicken

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This is what leader of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew said- Poor countries deserve democracy only when masses are literate enough and have reached a certain level of development
 

captscooby81

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Can someone tell me whats written in that photo mentioning pakistan i am able to pick only that one fucking word in google translate ..

Not sure whats written in this google translate is not also helping why are turkish people happy about Erdagon with and associating something with pakistan ?? View attachment 15172
 

Vinod DX9

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Not sure whats written in this google translate is not also helping why are turkish people happy about Erdagon with and associating something with pakistan ?? View attachment 15172
I am not sure...but it seems ...they are not celebrating...condemning ...
"You were free to let go it like weather, but you have rather chosen to surrender the liberty of the republic like Pakistan"

(Note their dress...no Islamic country will allow such...It's a kind of oximoron if the ladies celebrating victory of Islamic regressve dictator wearing a dress which shows their skin , but we have seen sometimes to confront an evil threat people take the thing as weapon of protest which the evil hates most, in this case westernised culture, kuddos to the ladies)
 

Cutting Edge 2

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India to Create New Defense Doctrine Based on Challenges of New Age War
© AFP 2017/ Tauseef MUSTAFA
MILITARY & INTELLIGENCE
12:33 24.04.2017Get short URL
151145
The Indian Armed Forces are preparing a new defense doctrine which emphasizes collaborative combat strategies against conventional and low-intensity conflicts, including cyber and psychological incidents. The defense staff will have 11 years to come up with a new doctrine.



NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Top commanders of the Armed Forces and the civilian government have discussed the concept of a new doctrine at length during the six-day armed forces commanders' conference held in New Delhi last week. The previous joint doctrine, which was released in 2006, was based on the successful joint operation made during the Kargil War against Pakistan in 1999.

The upcoming joint doctrine will outline the national security framework of the Narendra Modi government and how it is going to tackle "external and internal threats" and "traditional and non-traditional threats." It will also dwell upon India's roadmap to countering cyber war in the next decade.

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, stressed the need to work in a collaborative manner for maintaining combat effectiveness of the Army in his closing remarks of the commanders' conference on April 22. He expressed confidence at the way the Army has been adapting itself to the dynamic internal and external operational environment.

"There is a need for sustained and holistic modernization of the Army wherein combat and maneuver of arms, Air Defense and Aviation are a high priority," General Rawat said.

Given the limited resources, joint military doctrine will help the government to use defense fund in an effective manner not to hamper modernization. Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, the Chief of Air Staff, and Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of Naval Staff, had also addressed the conference emphasizing the need to create a joint operational philosophy.

https://sputniknews.com/military/201704241052928907-india-new-defense-doctrine/
 

Cutting Edge 2

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India Unveils Tri-Service Operational Military Doctrine
ASIA & PACIFIC
12:42 26.04.2017
In the backdrop of the sustained demand for the Chief of Defense Staff for optimum utilization of resources, India has unveiled a revised version of the Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces-2017 with the aim of integration in the armed forces.



New Delhi (Sputnik) — Experts said this is a stop-gap arrangement and could face implementation hassles but the Indian defense ministry considers the "release of this Doctrine could not have come at a more opportune time."

"The Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces will serve as a cornerstone document for application of military power in a synergized manner leading to enhanced efficiency, optimum utilization of resources and financial savings," a Defense Ministry statement read.

"The individual doctrine mainly comprises the modus operandi of each force for training, operations and administrations that ensures optimum results," Major General (Retired) RK Arora, the Chief Editor of Indian Military Review, said. "Such doctrine for training and operations includes guidelines for conventional operations and unconventional operations like counter insurgency, counter terrorism and nuclear warfare. When there is a joint doctrine clearly laid down, each service will be able to decide when and how to deploy its equipment, platforms, weapons systems etc in case of an exigency requiring joint operations. When there is a commonality in the modus operandi and testing, development of equipment and platforms, it saves time and cost and increases the efficacy of joint operations."

India's Defense Ministry said the Joint Military Doctrine will serve as a reference document for all three Services to plan integrated operations. But, in the absence of a Chief of Defense Staff, implementation would be very difficult. "This is a stop-gap arrangement in the absence of a Chief of Defense Staff. Currently, we have Chiefs of Staff Committee, who is nominal chairman not chief of command; so he may ask all the services to act according to joint military doctrine but cannot enforce it on all the forces. If any of the services find difficulties in following his order, Chief of Staff Committee can't do anything," Arora added

India's Ministry of Defense has received a report on Combat Capabilities Enhancement of Armed Forces under the chairmanship of Lieutenant General (Retd.) D B Shekatkar which signified the importance of the Chief of Defense Staff but it suggested that the role, responsibilities and accountability have to be defined as per Indian requirements and the Defense Ministry should not directly adopt a western model.

The Chief of Defense Staff will be a single-point military advisor to the defense ministry on armed forces matters.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201704261053013318-india-military-doctine/
 

prohumanity

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Watch the movement of Trump and what he does....not what he utters with his foul mouth.
There are HOT spots being created by NATO.....first one: North Korea vs South Korea and Japan.....second one:
Saudi Arabia vs Iran....third...China Vs India (If it is possible..big IF) fourth..Russia vs Ukraine (already failed)
and so on

NATO will arm one side and force the other side to get armed to defend itself. Future wars are going be between these small powers....because if NATO succeeds in creating a war between China and India....the global economy including western economy collapses ....they will never want that. Its all about profits ..babe !

Military-Industrial complex is very blood thirty and profit hungry and will remains so for decades.

The only exception possible to this scenario is a medium scale nuclear war between mid level powers.
That will get the world busy counting millions of body bags and billions of cancer cases. All Wars stop !!!

REMEMBER...how many hours it took for World War 2 to stop once US dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan !
 
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roma

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basic and i hope not oversimplitic answer is YES !

a greek friend of mine who knows turkish informed me years back when listening to turk radio ( those days were before internet ) that turks always referred to packistanis as brother

plus the fact that erdogan is such a big guy moving towards packland and helping them in all sorts of military tank and other hardware

well an independent kurdistan would be another ace candidate for indian defense products sold at cost plus just to put erdogan in his place and in return we should ask for observer posts ....they would be glad to give it to us ....i might guess theyre probably shia in large percentage ?

ok give them time to sort their nation out before making the offers .....but when we are satisfied about thier stabilty and ability to remain a nation ...then we can gradually scale up the offers in accordance with their ability and actual payments ..... we cant put money into a bottomless pit like china can afford to put into pakland
 
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Bolder now, India showing more risk appetite in its relations with China

USS Nimitz, INS Vikramaditya and JS Izumo in close formation during Malabar 2017. Photo: @IndianNavy

From face-off with Chinese troops at Doklam to being the only major country to boycott Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Forum in May this year, India appears to have significantly upped its risk appetite when it comes to its relations with Beijing.

And now, recent official statements from government bodies indicate India’s "openness" to revisiting a decade-old security framework, a move likely to make the dragon's hackles rise.

In response to the Japanese government’s proposal for a four-party dialogue among New Delhi, Washington, Tokyo, and Canberra to counter Beijing's expansion in the maritime commons of the Indo-Pacific, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said the country was open to working with like-minded countries. Besides, it has been reported that senior officials from the four countries could meet in Manila this month on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit to discuss a proposed quadrilateral.

With more convergence on ‘quad’, India indicates it may take the leap

The MEA statement does not formally announce India's entry into the proposed framework, but it most certainly indicates a change in New Delhi's policy (since 2007) of avoiding a quadrilateral security mechanism to prevent tensions with China.

"What stands out is that New Delhi is no longer defensive about outlining its priorities. There now are growing voices within the country that India should not be shy of such a quad. There is a growing recognition in the region that China is gaining ground so fast that like-minded countries will need to work more cohesively together," says Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations at the Defence Studies Department, and the India Institute at King’s College, London.

ALSO READ: Another Doklam in making? China is planning a 1,000-km tunnel to divert Brahmaputra

Also important is the timing of the MEA statement. It came days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s India visit, before which he had said India and the US "must serve as the eastern and western beacons of the Indo-Pacific" and that the India-US-Japan trilateral engagement in the region had room to include other democracies like Australia. This seemed to echo Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's earlier proposal of an 'Asia democratic security diamond'.

However, Washington's push for a quadrilateral has its share of challenges. "The US can only nudge India. Much would depend on its own role in the Indo-Pacific and if it will keep its security commitments intact," explains Pant. "The US will have to give a sense of greater consistency in its China policy. India will be watching Trump's forthcoming visit to China carefully. In the past, the Trump administration has indicated it might be willing to get into a deal with China. Only on not getting a favourable response from Beijing did its stand get tougher."

ALSO READ: Future has never looked brighter: Tillerson's India visit highlights emerging alliance with US

The idea of India, US, Australia and Japan standing on their respective ends of the Indo-Pacific as points from where stability, security and respect for a rules-based order will flow into the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, and the surrounding nations is not a new one. Now, Tokyo is proposing a top-level dialogue among the four countries.
Soon after Abe's victory in the snap Japanese polls, the country's foreign minister, Taro Kono, had told the Nikkeiabout the proposal on October 25. According to the report, the aim of the dialogue is to counter Beijing's maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by promoting defence cooperation and free trade across the Indo-Pacific waters and all the way to Africa. Kono also informed that Abe would officially propose the four-party dialogue to US President Donald Trump on November 6, during the latter’s 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia.

Stating that while an abundance of minilateral initiatives among the four nations concerned already forms a security network, Satoru Nagao, a research fellow at the Institute for Future Engineering who focuses on defence strategy, policy, and India research, says "Japan has sought to restore the concept of a quad again because these four countries are the cornerstones of this security network".

(Click here for Business Standard's detailed piece on Japan's proposed India-US-Japan-Australia 'security diamond' to counter China)

Nagao believes there is "no difference in perception" between Japan and the US over the future security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. He places the quadrilateral within a "bigger multiple security network" that has emerged since the Obama administration.

A decline in the US’ influence, he argues, has spurred a shift – from the "old security framework", resembling a "hub-and-spoke system" of separate bilateral alliances led by the US to maintain order in the Indo-Pacific region, to a new security network architecture of numerous bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral, and other multilateral cooperative relationships, including the proposed India-US-Japan-Australia quad.

A decade ago, in May of 2007, when an India-Japan-US-Australia exploratory meeting was held for a similar quadrilateral dialogue, which eventually broke down after Canberra pulled out in 2008, the participants had reportedly decided to meet without a formal agenda and not to publicise the meeting or subjects that came up for discussion. All of this was reportedly done keeping in mind China's concerns over a possible attempt at its encirclement or containment.

This time around, however, the MEA statement, which does not mention China, comes against the backdrop of India's vocal criticism of BRI, Tillerson calling out China for being "less responsible" than India and urging the US and India "to do the needful in support of our united vision of a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific", and an Australia that now appears increasingly vocal about its willingness to join a quadrilateral.

The missing link

One of the reasons that a quadrilateral security architecture in the region has remained elusive is India’s reservations over Australia's participation.

Australia, for its part, has indicated it is "very interested" in a quadrilateral engagement. Pant points out the "present Australian government has indeed hardened its stance on China and Abe's victory will reinforce this trend". However, he cautions that Australia still remains "very vulnerable to Chinese coercion".

One manifestation of New Delhi’s hesitation is that it earlier this year reportedly declined Canberra's request to join the July 2017 edition of the Malabar exercise, in which the navies of India, the US and Japan participated.

However, experts feel such a refusal might not be cast in stone. While saying India does "appear averse" to Australia participating in Malabar, Nilanthi Samaranayake, an analyst at the US’ Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) who focuses on the Indian Ocean and South Asia regions, explains that "the Modi administration appears to have an open mind to altering participation in Malabar, suggesting the potential for Australia to join someday — not necessarily as a permanent member, but as a participant like Japan was before 2016”.

Citing how Japan was made a permanent member of the exercise in 2016 and the fact that Tokyo participated in the 2015 iteration even as it was held in the Bay of Bengal, Samaranayake argues that the naval drills might continue to evolve. Since 2007, India had only hosted Malabar as a bilateral exercise with the US.

While there has been no recent public statement indicating India is ready to expand the trilateral naval drills, Pant says the proposed four-party dialogue "would need to have a concrete expression, like a formal exercise".

Not a blind leap

Both Pant and Nagao believe that Abe's Japan will push for something more substantive on the quadrilateral. With a new mandate in hand, Abe "can show his bold move", says Nagao, adding, "Abe will promote Japan-India, Japan-India-US, and Japan-India-US-Australia security cooperation more rapidly."

Washington also reportedly wants a working-level quadrilateral meeting soon.

However, the MEA statement makes it clear that while New Delhi has "an open mind to cooperate with countries with convergence", it will do so "on an agenda relevant to us". Right at the outset, the statement also underlines that such cooperation would have to be "on issues that advance our interests and promote our viewpoint". This suggests a degree of caution and that New Delhi's participation is contingent on the proposed architecture's relevance to its interests.

The statement appears to make two things clear. First, India is no longer opposed to the idea of the quad itself. And second, it would not be out of the ordinary for India to decide on participating, given its involvement in other initiatives, including its trilateral engagement with Russia and China.
At the least, it appears that India is ready to explore the quad once again and on its own terms.
 
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Reviving the old thread.
Moeed Yusuf

The writer is author of Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: US Crisis Management in South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2018).
ANOTHER opportunity to talk has been squandered. In the wake of India’s decision to pull out of foreign minister-level talks at the UNGA, I was struck by the unanimity of views among Pakistani analysts trying to decode India’s move. Virtually all of them linked it to next year’s Indian elections.

In a recent conversation on India-Pakistan issues, I found a group of Pakistani opinion-makers challenging this conventional wisdom. They argued that India is approaching the relationship with Pakistan with a longer time horizon in mind. They pointed out that in Pakistan-India policy fora, they have noticed a shift in the body language of Indian interlocutors. It is far more confident, if not arrogant, and fixated on the country’s upward trajectory. There are regular references to the growing economic and military differential between India and Pakistan and to comparisons with Nepal and Bangladesh when Pakistan is referenced. The mindset doesn’t reflect an India that feels a need to compromise with Pakistan anymore.

While I do not subscribe to this presentation of facts, I accept the bottom line about India’s focus on the growing power imbalance in the region. I have previously explained what the longer game may be premised on: if India can continue growing economically and diverting significant resources to defence while forcing Pakistan to remain wedded to a paradigm that prizes hard security over economic well-being, in a decade or two, the power differential will be so large that the only negotiation possible would be on the stronger party’s terms.
Ties with India must be rejigged.
They argued that India gains by ignoring Pakistan while blaming Pakistan every time the Kashmir issue goes south. New Delhi agrees to talks every now and then to present itself as the magnanimous big brother but then backtracks by pointing to some incident or the other regarding Kashmir. This is seen as hubris that must be responded to by staying steadfast.

Using their very logic, India’s approach must be construed as one that is designed to force Pakistan to dig in, in turn allowing India to further cement its narrative in the world. When I pointed this out, I was told that India is delusional if it feels it can widen the gap with Pakistan — the conversation quickly shifted to poverty, deprivation, and communal problems in India as reasons why India’s rise is artificial.

Smart policy must be predicated on improving oneself, not on hoping for the opponent’s failure. But in this case, does the view hold up against evidence? There is no denying that India has myriad internal problems that aren’t easily fixable. It’s also true that under the current government there, societal intolerance has come to the fore and an objective analyst cannot but worry about the consequences of the callous way in which New Delhi is handling it. And yet, in country after country, the neo-liberal economic model has proven to have unlimited patience with the plight of the downtrodden as the macroeconomic picture is fixed to register the country on the map of global powerhouses. The model is sustainable.

Pakistan must proactively figure out how it can rejig the deteriorating equation vis-à-vis India. I have been highlighting two aspects of this overhaul.

First, Pakistan needs to continue offering India dialogue and be prepared for serious negotiations on all issues regardless of India’s responses. Precisely because India wants to remain on the good side of the global narrative, it will sooner or later have to acquiesce to talking — which would be good for Pakistan-India relations — or its constant refusal will automatically begin to project Pakistan in a more positive light.

Second, Pakistan needs to reorient its thinking from geo-security to geo-economics. About the only way to develop a genuine Indian stake in Pakistan’s stability while gaining economically is to position Pakistan as a regional trade and transit hub. CPEC is the perfect start. Adding on east-west connectivity by allowing India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia (ideally in return for its acceptance of CPEC) and championing fast tracking of already-agreed upon energy projects that flow from Central Asia to India will offer Pakistan significant transit fees and local economic benefits, remove India’s opposition to CPEC, and force genuine economic interdependence. The outcome will also align with the US interest in offering Afghanistan greater economic opportunity and incidentally, China’s ultimate goal of doing the same.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done — and unpopular. But even initiating a serious internal debate on this vision will force a rethink of our own dated take on geo-strategy, begin shifting the global view of Pakistan as the impediment to regional integration in South Asia, and prompt India to question the utility of its policy of seeking to isolate Pakistan globally.

by DAWN
Turmoil in Kashmir has been the issue still deteriorating India's reputation and limelight over Pakistan. If it wasn't ever internationalized by Nehru, may be India's fate would have been different. Anyways, enjoy the comment section.
 
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Image Credit: Flickr/ MEAphotogallery
India, Japan Mull Allowing Their Armed Forces to Use Each Other’s Military Bases
The Indian and Japanese prime ministers will discuss a military base sharing agreement during their summit later this month.
India and Japan will be discussing and likely finalizing a base sharing pact at an upcoming bilateral summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, later this month, according to Indian government sources. The so-called acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA) would allow the Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
Discussions over deeper military cooperation between the two countries, including the sharing of military assets and capabilities in the logistical sphere, are expected to take place during the upcoming 13th India-Japan summit held in Tokyo on October 28-29. In detail, the agreement would allow the Indian Navy (IN) access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean, next to other naval facilities.
“Sources said the pact would require armed forces of India and Japan to help each other with logistic supports, including food, water, billet, transport (airlift, if necessary), petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communications, medical services, base support, storage, use of facilities, training services, spare parts, repair and maintenance and airport and seaport services,” the India-based Deccan Herald reported on October 17. Neither India nor Japan officially revealed details of the agreement. However, it is likely going to resemble similar agreements that India concluded with France this year and the United States back in 2016.
The proposed base sharing agreement was already discussed during the annual India-Japan Defense Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi this August with both sides agreeing to its rapid conclusion. “The (early) conclusion of the bilateral ACSA is important for creating an environment to allow the SDF [Self Defense Force] and the Indian military to conduct sufficient joint exercises,” Japanese Defense Minister, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters at the conclusion of the dialogue on August 21.
Additionally, the agreement was reportedly the subject of further discussion during last week’s meeting of the Indian national security advisor, Ajit Doval, with his Japanese counterpart, Shotaro Yachi, in New Delhi. Notably, the agreement would not in any way commit a country to any military action. It is unclear whether the ACSA is already expected to be signed this month, although there have been indications that both sides seek a rapid conclusion of negotiations given mutual plans to increase the number of joint military exercises in 2019 and 2020.
Neither India nor Japan has so far released an official meeting agenda for the October summit meeting. “Under the framework of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan, the two leaders will have wide-ranging discussions over two days on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” an October 12 Indian government press release about the upcoming bilateral summit states, without offering details. Any India-Japan logistical agreement is likely to raise hackles in China, which maintains a military base in Djibouti and has been locked in territorial disputes with both countries.
During the summit meeting, Japan is also expected to discuss with India the purchase of 12 Shinmaywa US-2i amphibious search-and-rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian Navy. If purchased, the US-2is are slated to be stationed on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. India and Japan have been locked in negotiations over this possible $1.35 billion defense deal for the past three years. If concluded, the government-to-government contract would constitute Japan’s first major overseas defense deal since the lifting of a self-imposed embargo on arms exports in 2014.
 
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India will hit back with 'double the force' if its sovereignty is challenged: PM Narendra Modi

Modi also said the work on the National War Memorial is in its last stages.
India never eyes anyone else's territory but will hit back with "double the force" if its sovereignty is ever challenged, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of proclamation of the Azad Hind government by Subhas Chandra Bose.
He also said his government is working towards providing the armed fores with better technology and latest weapons even as efforts are underway to make the lives of soldiers easier by giving them better facilities.
"We are heading towards building an army which was once envisioned by Netaji (Bose)," PM said.
Modi said his government took decisions such as carrying out surgical strikes across the Line of Control and providing benefits of 'one rank, one pension' to ex-servicemen.
The prime minister hoisted the national flag at the historic Red Fort to mark the event.
Donning the cap of the Indian National Armypresented to him by one of the close aides of Bose, Modi said it has been the Indian tradition not to eye someone else's territory, "but when our sovereignty is challenged, we will hit back with double the force".
The prime minister said India will continue to use its military might "only for self defence".
He also cautioned people against forces inside and outside India which are working against the country by targeting its independence, unity and constitution.
"It is the duty of every Indian to fight and defeat such forces," he said, adding that a feeling of nationalism and "Indianness" is must to counter such designs.
Referring to the opposition faced by Bose when he decided to establish the Rani Jhansi Regiment -- an all women unit of the INA, Modi said the regiment would complete 75 years of its establishment on Monday.
He said the present government is trying to fulfil the dreams of Bose even as he recalled the decision to allow women in the Army to opt for permanent commission from short service commission following a transparent procedure.
The prime minister said the air force is set to have the first batch of women fighter pilots.
"Today, India has Nirmala Sitharaman as its first woman defence minster," he pointed out.
He said arrears worth Rs 11,000 crore have been released for ex-servicemen under the 'one rank, one pension' (OROP) scheme. OROP, coupled by recommendations of the seventh pay commission, has given "double bonanza" to former servicemen, he said.
Modi also said the work on the National War Memorial is in its last stages.
 
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By HT
Pakistan-China bonhomie reaffirms India’s rise
Beijing watchers believe there is a split between Chinese intelligence and PLA over Pakistan’s role in exporting terror to India but that the generals prevail when it comes to Islamabad’s use for containment of India.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and China's Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 3.(AP Photo)
The joint statement issued after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s four-day visit to meet his “Iron Brothers” in Beijing is most instructive as it inadvertently acknowledges the rise of India as a global power and willy-nilly reduces Islamabad to, at best, a client state.

The line — “both sides dismissed the growing negative propaganda against China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and expressed determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats” — is directly pointed at India and so is big brother’s support for “Pakistan’s efforts for improvement of Pakistan-India relations and for settlement of outstanding disputes — read Kashmir — between two countries”.

On its part, Pakistan, which is self-proclaimed leader of Muslims, in the statement has upheld “one-China policy and supports all efforts made by Chinese government to realise national reunification”, a euphemism for turning a blind eye towards Beijing’s decades-long repression in Xinjiang and Tibet. All this leads us to examine the relationship between these two all weather iron brothers, where Beijing goes to the extent of vetoing UN designation of a global jihadist like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and blocks India’s legitimate entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group with a Pakistan entry condition.

Fact is that Islamabad’s supping with Islamists targeting India and Afghanistan is not hidden from Chinese intelligence but the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) sees Pakistan as a low-cost weapon to checkmate India with Afghanistan as a bonus.

Beijing watchers believe there is a split between Chinese intelligence and PLA over Pakistan’s role in exporting terror to India but that the generals prevail when it comes to Islamabad’s use for containment of India.

Time and again Chinese officials have privately shared with their Indian counterparts, their knowledge about the existence of terror training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

But this fact is glossed over by Beijing as its gets relief in Xinjiang with Pakistan blocking jihadist movement across the Wakhan corridor and preventing them from joining hands with their militant Uighur brothers fighting against Chinese repression.

Repression in Xinjiang virtually coincides with the rise of militancy in Kashmir in 1991 but finds little global attention as rampaging Communist party cadre backed by PLA subsume local culture and religion in both Xinjiang and Tibet through what is euphemistically called re-education of the masses.

Militancy in Xinjiang, however, cannot be swept under the carpet as a few hundreds to a few thousands from there joined the so called Islamic State in Syria in support of ultra conservative Wahabbi Islam.

The reason why China allows Pakistan to take the lead in Afghanistan affairs despite knowing all the brutal facts of Islamabad nurturing Taliban, is to buffer the militancy in Xinjiang.


While Pakistan may think its relationship with China is all milk and honey, Beijing clearly sees Islamabad as a weapon to degrade India and a mere portal to access the Arabian Sea through Gwadar just as it uses Myanmar to access the Indian Ocean through Kyaukpyu port and possibly make India vulnerable in its rapid growing North-Eastern states.

Containment of India through a pincer move is understandable as China’s worst case scenario is India and the US joining hands to counter PLA aggression South China Sea and Indo-Pacific region with the choking of the Malacca Straits as a potential flash point.

After the 73-day Indian Army-PLA standoff at Doklam, the Chinese leadership has started looking at India with respect with its paramount leader Xi Jinping taking the final call on decisions in respect of New Delhi rather than leaving this to the mandarins in the foreign ministry or PLA headquarters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made it clear to President Xi Jinping that while India will not do anything to destabilise Beijing, it will not play second fiddle to anyone in the world when it comes to protecting national interests.

While India’s ties with the US are ever growing with a bipartisan consensus, they are not at the cost of Russia even though PM Modi knows the growing synergy between Moscow and Beijing. Fact is that Indian and US interests converge in Afghanistan, Indian Ocean, Middle-East and the Far East much to the chagrin of China, which despite all aggression has a constant two-front hostility nightmare.

Beijing revised its attitude towards India after the latter stood up on Beijing’s imperialistic Belt Road Initiative and supported the freedom of navigation in South China Sea, with the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia joining hands. China has always treated India as a civilization power with no history of animosity towards the middle kingdom. The problem is that India under Modi is a global player, not the regional supplicant China wants.
 

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