Monday, November 14, 2011

Sino-Pakistani Special Forces Exercise Begins

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Army on Nov. 14 announced the fourth in the series of joint Sino-Pakistani 'YOUYI/FRIENDSHIP' special forces exercises had commenced near the city of Jhelum, not far from here.
According to the military press release, YOUYI-IV is a brigade level exercise spread over two weeks that is "aimed at sharing mutual exchange of experience and information through a comprehensive training programme in real time."
Pakistani special forces have been heavily committed, and have gained considerable experience, in the war against the Taliban, as displayed during operations in Swat in May 2009 and South Waziristan in October 2009. They also have operated continuously with units such as the Special Operations Task Force, which has been used to hunt down high-profile targets in the country's Tribal Areas.
Recently, Pakistani special forces have undertaken a number of training exercises with other foreign counterparts. A weeklong Pakistani-Turkish exercise, ATTATURK-VII-2011, which took place at Cherat, the home of Pakistan's Special Service Group, concluded Sept. 29.
A three-week bilateral exercise with the Saudi army, AL-SAMSAAM-IV-2011, concluded in mid-October.
The Chinese special forces have not had much operational experience recently. When asked just what each party could offer the other, Brian Cloughley, a military analyst and former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad, said YOUYI-IV is "a normal training exercise between two nations with strong military links.
"There are always professional advantages in contacts of this sort, and each participant generally gets an equal amount of benefit."
He added, "exchange of information concerning tactical techniques is best effected in discussions and instructional periods rather than out in the field where, no matter how attentive people are to what's going on, there will always be things missed, simply because of the speed of activity."
He did not discount the value of the exercise, however, "because those involved will always get something out of it, sometimes a great deal."
The exercise commenced on the same day the South Asian News Agency reported that China and India are planning to revive their joint military exercises in 2012, after resuming their bilateral military exchanges four months ago.
Planning for the exercise will be laid out during the next round of annual defense consultative talks in mid-December.
The Sino-Indian exchange will be resumed after a four-year break due to a dispute in 2010, when China refused to issue a visa for Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, then-Northern Army commander of troops in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

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