Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pakistan-U.S. Deal Aims at Haqqani Network

ISLAMABAD - U.S. and Pakistani officials appear to have sealed a wide-ranging counterterrorism agreement, including clauses aimed at the Haqqani network and its safe havens in North Waziristan.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar before their meeting on Sept. 18. (Stan Honda / AFP via Getty Images)
But much remains unclear about the specifics.
The deal appears to have been a major topic of conversation when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar met Sept. 18.
The following day, U.S Ambassador Cameron Munter called the deal a "substantial agreement," according to a report by the Associated Press of Pakistan.
A senior State Department official said the Pakistanis understand "the threat that the Haqqanis pose to them, and I think they recognize it's time for them to take action."
Yet the day after that, Khar played down the notion that Pakistan had been pressured to act against the network. The APP quoted her as saying the "stakes were very high in Afghanistan, and Pakistan was aware that it will have to deal with the baggage when the conflict was over."
She was alluding to the long-standing Pakistani fear that turmoil will follow a Western withdrawal from Afghanistan, as happened after the Soviets left.
Just what action, if any, Pakistan will take against the network is therefore uncertain.
Brian Cloughley, a former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad, said he does not believe a full-scale military campaign to clear North Waziristan is possible in the near term, not least because the Army has its hands full.
"At the moment, in the [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] and its surrounds, there are over 100,000 army troops," Cloughley said. "They cannot be redeployed from what they are currently doing, which is conducting operations and maintaining stability in the region."
He said the Army had hoped to at least hand over the Swat region to civil administration, "but there is no competent civil administration, and it will take another year at least for one to achieve even a semblance of capability in running affairs; same with Orakzai and other agencies."
He said if such an operation took two years, it would involve about 60,000 men, of which 1,000 could probably expect to be killed and 3,000 wounded, and he questioned whether Pakistan is willing to pay such a price.
Previous shortages of key equipment such as gunship and transport helicopters remain, as are mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles such as the indigenous HIT Burraq.
However, analyst Haris Khan of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, said the military, having retrained and re-equipped, is now far better placed to mount an operation than it was.
He said the military is now much more experienced in fighting in the difficult terrain. Moreover, it has added helicopters, taken delivery of better Air Force munitions, linked the Navy's P-3 Orions' signals intelligence collection to Army ISAR assets, and improved coordination between the Army and the Air Force.
But Waqas Sajad, who directs the Institute of Strategic Studies here, said he believes other factors are staying Pakistan's hand. He said the Haqqani network had forged a "quid quo pro" with the Pakistani authorities. Moreover, it was well financed. Finally, it has people distributed all over Pakistan. Whether these operatives number in the hundreds, or potentially into the thousands, is unknown, but the possibility that they could open a "new front" all over the country is real, he said.
Sajad said there was, therefore, a limit to what Pakistan could do, but this did not mean it would do nothing. He said that although the "high command" of the network may now be in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military had the option of targeting an associated peripheral group.
He also said Pakistan should push to have the network included in negotiations to secure peace in Afghanistan, more so than groups and individuals who may perhaps have previously been influential but who do not hold much sway now.

U.S. Intel Software Crashes During Korea Exercise

Intelligence software that the U.S. would rely on in a war with North Korea froze up repeatedly during a joint military exercise in South Korea in August, hampering the ability of U.S. and South Korean commanders to watch the movements of simulated enemy forces, a senior intelligence official said.
The Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) software is designed to link intelligence analysts to processed communications intercepts, imagery and radar collections stored in massive databases. When American intelligence analysts tried to use the software to track simulated North Korean troop movements, the screens on their DCGS-A workstations sometimes went black, forcing them to reboot the software, the senior intelligence official said.
Analysts could not always feed the latest enemy positions into the Command Post of the Future, the large computer displays that U.S. commanders would rely on to view troop positions and orchestrate defenses with their South Korean counterparts.
"What happened is the volume of information essentially crashed the software," the senior intelligence official said. "We learned to manually do [data retrieval] in chunks of information so DCGS would not crash."
The problem was discovered during the 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, a computer-generated North Korean attack in which tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops were mobilized in and around Seoul. The Pentagon billed the exercise as a "command post exercise" that would improve coordination of U.S. and South Korean forces.
"Initial analysis indicates that the use of legacy hardware was likely the primary cause of the system reliability issues," said a spokesman for the DCGS-A office in an email. "Personnel running current DCGS-A hardware during the same exercise in Yongin reported no major interruptions, issues, or outages. The issues identified during this exercise are currently being evaluated/corrected as needed."
U.S. intelligence officials have lately expressed concern that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have honed their ability to untangle insurgent networks and track people, but at the expense of practicing the more traditional military intelligence role of tracking forces during high-intensity conflicts involving artillery, tanks and fast-moving troop formations. This year's Freedom Guardian exercise offered a chance to show that DCGS-A, which is used by analysts and troops in Afghanistan, could perform well in a conventional war.
Software engineers will need to explore whether the greater volume of data stored in the conventional warfare database caused DCGS-A to lock up, the official said.
In a related problem, the DCGS-A system took 2 to 2½ minutes to nominate targets for bombing, a process that should take seconds.
Despite the problems, the senior intelligence official said the exercise should not be viewed as an indictment of the multibillion-dollar DCGS-A initiative.
"I'm going to make DCGS-A work," the official said.
All told, the DCGS-A system spent 10 out of 96 hours of planned operations locked up or being rebooted, the official said.

Russian Nuclear Sub Lightly Damaged in Collision

MOSCOW - A Russian nuclear-powered submarine suffered light damage to its hull after being hit by a fishing boat in the Pacific and is undergoing repairs in port, naval officials said Sept. 22.
No one was injured or radiation released in the accident, which occurred on the southeastern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula facing the Bering Sea, news agencies quoted regional navy sources as saying.
"The submarine suffered insignificant damage to its external hull," an unnamed source told the RIA Novosti news agency.
"There was no release of radiation," another Russian Pacific Fleet source told Interfax.
The Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets, a Delta III class submarine built for the Soviet Union in 1980, is equipped to carry 16 nuclear missiles.
But Russian naval craft are only equipped with weapons when they go out for planned exercises or other missions, or in cases of heightened alert.
Navy sources said the submarine, which was anchored at bay, was hit by a fishing vessel that itself had been trying to maneuver out of the way of another ship in tight quarters.
The incident came less than five months after a Russian atomic-powered icebreaker developed a nuclear leak in the frozen seas of the Arctic before limping to port near Murmansk, near Norway.
In Russia's deadliest naval accident, 118 sailors were killed in August 2000 when the Kursk nuclear-powered submarine sank after catching fire and being hit by a series of powerful on-board explosions in the Barents Sea.

China Launches Pakistani Patrol Craft

ISLAMABAD - The first of a pair of new Azmat-class fast attack craft built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSOC) for the Pakistan Navy was launched by Pakistani naval chief Adm. Noman Bashir, at the Xhinggang shipyard in Tianjin, China, on Sept. 20.
The 500-600 ton, 60-meter craft carries eight C-802A/CSS-N-8 Saccade anti-ship missiles.
A tender for two fast-attack craft was released in February 2010. In December 2010, a contract for an undisclosed amount was awarded to CSOC. Construction commenced in March 2011, and according to the Associated Press of Pakistan, PNS Azmat is expected to enter service by April 2012.
Images purported to be of the vessel show it to have a stealthy, angled, slab-sided superstructure. No other confirmed details are available, however.
A second vessel in the class is due to be constructed in Karachi.
Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said the new fast-attack craft comes at a time when the Pakistan Navy is trying to modernize its capabilities while facing financial hardship.
Specifically, the Navy will use Azmat to "secure areas closer to shore, freeing up larger warships for other normal peacetime patrol duties or international commitments such as CTF-150 and CTF-151," which are the combined task forces patrolling waters near the Horn of Africa.
Shabbir did note the vessel's light air defense armament, though, saying it did not offer much protection.
Nevertheless, he welcomed its launch and said the new vessel is a further sign of Pakistan's increasing reliance on China for its defense needs.
"The Sino-Pak naval construction relationship is allowing this to happen", he said.
"This part of the overall Sino-Pak relationship will expand and deepen over time with more warships of various types, and the submarines that are currently undergoing construction in China for Pakistan," he said.
Indeed, during the launch ceremony, Bashir stated the present geo-political situation demanded further strengthening of Pakistan-China relations in order to safeguard regional peace, stability and prosperity. The launch of Azmat is a sign of the deepening Sino-Pak relationship, he said, stating, "This relationship over the years has matured in all fields, particularly in defense."

Iran: Turkey's NATO Radar to Protect Arch-Foe

TEHRAN - Turkey's hosting an early-warning radar as part of NATO's missile defense system is to protect Iran's arch-foe Israel, the official IRNA news agency cited the defense minister as saying on Sept. 22.
"Installation of the radar system is to defend the Zionist regime since this regime is on a downhill trajectory and America has been forced to get involved directly to save it," Ahmad Vahidi said.
"We will not allow any foreign forces to threaten our interests and we will strongly confront any threat," he added on the sidelines of a military parade marking the 31st anniversary of the start of a bloody eight-year war with Iraq.
Tehran has toughened its criticism of the Turkish plan to host the early warning radar system allocated by the United States to NATO, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticizing "brother" Turkey.
Other officials in the Islamic republic have said the deployment would create tension and lead to "complicated consequences."
Leaders of the 28-member NATO alliance gave their backing last year for the Europe-wide ballistic missile shield, which U.S. officials say is aimed at thwarting missile threats from the Middle East, particularly Iran.
On Sept. 9, the foreign ministry in Ankara said the early warning radar will be deployed at a military facility base in Kurecik near Malatya in the southeast.
Tehran has made maintaining a good relationship with Ankara a priority in recent years, and has considered Turkey an ally for its refusal to implement Western sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
Tehran does not recognize the Jewish state, and Ahmadinejad has repeatedly dubbed the Holocaust a "lie" which he said was used as an excuse for Israel's creation.

German Navy Gets Capability to Strike Targets on Land

BONN, GERMANY - The German Navy received its first series-production RBS15 Mk3 type missile on Sept. 22, giving the Navy the capability to attack land targets from sea for the first time.
The heavyweight, fire-and-forget, anti-ship missile will become the primary weapon system of the service's new K130-class corvettes. RBS15 Mk3 has a range of well over 200 kilometers and can also be used to engage land targets from the sea.
The subsonic missile can strike targets in all weather and is equipped with a radar altimeter enabling extremely low sea-skimming. The missile uses GPS and a high-resolution radar seeker.
The German military will procure 30 systems for about 65 million euros ($88.99 million).
The primary contractor is German company Diehl BGT Defence, which has signed a cooperation deal with the Swedish developer of the RBS 15, Saab Bofors Dynamics. It includes marketing, production, deliveries, maintenance and future upgrades for both the Swedish and German navies, as well as for the export market.

China Strongly Condemns U.S.-Taiwan F-16 Deal

BEIJING - China on Sept. 22 strongly condemned a $5.85 billion U.S. deal to upgrade Taiwan's fleet of F-16 fighter jets, summoned the US ambassador and warned the move would undermine warming military relations.
China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, urged the United States to cancel the deal and said it had jeopardized recent improvements in military ties between the two world powers and affected relations with Taiwan.
But analysts said the deal, which stopped short of selling new planes to Taiwan, would probably not be as damaging as an earlier arms package that led to a break in China-U.S. military exchanges in 2010.
"The Chinese military expresses great indignation and strong condemnation," the defense ministry said in a strongly worded statement announcing it had called in the acting U.S. military attaché for talks.
"U.S. actions ... have caused serious damage to Sino-U.S. military relations and have seriously undermined the good momentum of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations," the statement said.
Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun urged Washington to "immediately cancel the wrong decision" and summoned U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke to protest against the deal, which was branded a "huge mistake" by China's top newspaper.
"If American politicians feel that the United States can ... irresponsibly and randomly damage China's core interests without paying the price, this is a major and huge mistake," said the People's Daily, considered the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party.
But Jean-Pierre Cabestan, political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, said Beijing had learned lessons from the 2010 break-off in military ties and was unlikely to react as strongly this time.
"They are going to react, to get angry, and the military may take measures to better counter these retrofitted F-16s, but they will not break military ties with the United States like they did before," he told AFP.
"They're (China) in a new phase - more flexible and accommodating, and with the Taiwanese electoral factor, it reduces their room for maneuver a lot, and it will force them not to overreact on this."
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party will seek re-election in January, and Cabestan said China would be keen not to cause any upsets ahead of the polls.
Russell Leigh Moses, a Beijing-based political analyst, said China's reaction was an exercise in "how to avoid slamming the door while shouting."
"I think that Beijing's outrage has multiple audiences, in particular those at home on the mainland and in Taiwan," he said. "There are ways in which they could have said hardly anything, but the consensus clearly was - we'll go into the default mode of being pretty upset and angry, but not like it was a year ago."
Taiwan first lodged a request to buy 66 F-16 C/D fighters - which have better radar and more powerful weapons systems than its F-16 A/Bs - in 2007 in response to China's growing military muscle.
The deal to upgrade the existing fleet includes equipment, parts, training and logistical support.
The Taiwan defense ministry said it was "another signal of the solid foundation for mutual trust and the close security cooperation between Taiwan and the United States."
Observers and media in Taiwan said that although the deal may mean little in any war with China, it represented a valuable sign of U.S. commitment to help the island's defense.
"This is a U.S. compromise to satisfy some of Taiwan's defense needs and maintain friendly ties with Taiwan without touching China's bottom-line by selling new jets," said Kenneth Wang, a military expert at Taiwan's Tamkang University.
Washington recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei but remains a leading arms supplier to the island of 23 million inhabitants, providing a source of continued U.S.-China tension.
However, relations between the U.S. and Chinese militaries have improved over the past year. In July, U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen became the first chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2007 to visit China.
Ties between China and Taiwan have improved since Ma came to power in 2008, but Beijing has refused to renounce the use of force against the island, even though it has ruled itself for more than six decades since their split in 1949.

Nation should be informed about the conspiracy behind 1965 War…

The Arrows shows attack of Indian forces over Pakistan
This is 5th of September, before sunset three jeeps entered into Pakistan via Wahga. Few American diplomats were riding in them, they were planned to attend a gathering in American Center Lahore on the night of 5th September. All these three jeeps stopped at Wahga Road near Manawaan Police Station. The luggage from 3rd jeep was transferred into other two jeeps , the passengers of jeeps duting this were gossiping with Pakistanis standing on the road to welcome the guests. After this two jeeps from India departed towards Lahore while the 3rd one returned back to India.
At 9 O’clock in the Amartasar cantonment the commanders of three divisions were busy in a meeting, there faces were shining due to happiness. The latest report from the Pakistani side of border was in front of them, there was no sign of movement of Pakistani forces, meaning the court was clear for them to play. The above mentioned secret report was forwarded to General Chauhdary in New Delhi, as soon as the report was received an emergency meeting was called in Camp Office of Indian Prime Minister Shastri, the mysterious activities were already going on here. Everyone’s face was showing signs of tensions as they were waiting for some report anxiously.
Indian Tanks Captured by Pakistani Forces
As soon as General Chauhdary arrived the doors of the conference room were closed, the persons waiting outside were silent in spite of having a crowd present there. No one was ready to look into each others eyes, suddenly the door of the conference room opened, General Chauhdary, Secretary Defense Chawan and Defense Minister Gulzari Laal Nanda came out together. Gulzari Laal told the staff present outside happily that Prime Minister has signed the orders to attack Pakistan at once, now by the grace of Bhagwan/God the problem of Pakistan will be buried for ever along with Kashmir.
The Secretary of Information Ministry met the Shastri along with the prepared notes for headlines of tomorrow’s newspapers and script for the special bulletin of radio Aakashwaani. There was only one news report, “Indian army has captured Lahore without any big war/fight, on few places the continued resistance by Pakistani forces is being reported which will be crushed soon. General Chauhdary has left a message in the name of nation that on the evening of 6th September he will drink in the name of victory in Lahore Gymkhana Club and will inform the nation about the future of Pakistan as decided by Prime Minister.”
The Jeep of Indian Major General Parasad; he left it and ran away during a retaliation attack by Pakistani forces
It was not dawn yet, the cold air was forecasting the changing weather, this was the last quarter of the night between 5 and 6 September. The infantry troops of Indian army were forwarding towards Pakistani border singing songs and happily followed by APC’s and Tanks. Nothing was audible in this noise of armored vehicles. The peace and trust over the faces of advancing Indian troops was telling some other story, otherwise there is no such an example of the army advancing in such a non professional way towards the enemy. Even in the time of swords and arrows the powerful armies did not attack the weak countries in such manners under the cover of night, these armies used to move under the sounds of drums and this was the sign of bravery of the army but there was nothing like that in our case. Than what were the reasons behind the confidence of Indian army? Were they informed through trustworthy resources that there will be no Pakistani forces to resist them? In order to get the answers to all such questions a big commission should be formed, after complete investigations nation should be informed about the actual situation and conspiracy. People demanding investigations in Kargil war, or disclosure of reports over the fall of Dhaka, why they do not demand the investigative commission over 1965 war? Who is the big traitor of Pakistan behind this conspiracy who could not allow an open investigation?
According to the orders given to Indian army by High Command they had to capture the BRB canal before the sunrise, than they had to move towards Lahore through Mehmood Booti root and capture Badaami Bagh, afterwards troops had to move forward north and capture Ravi bridge. The central part of the attacking Indian troops had to capture Pakistani troops lying within their quarters. The core of General Harbakhash Singh including 3 division and 2 brigades of Armored Personnel Carriers was given responsibility for this fast victory. After fall of Lahore the second big attack was planned over Sialkot. Moreover Sambrial, Gujranwala and Wazirabad were to be captured as well. Why New Delhi was so much confident about its plan, obviously there were some reasons behind this, some conspiracies with the help of Pakistani traitors were going on.
General Ayub Khan visiting Chumb
This is true that due to the war with China in 1962 America and followers had provided heaps of weapons to India, soviet union was also providing India with lethal weapons due to its disputes with China. Neither Indian army had shortage of manpower nor of weapons, while Indian army officers were trained from British Military Academy, most of them had participated in the 2nd world war, they were aware that what is war and how it is fought. But here the case was different, Indian army was not going to fight a war but to make a history of very disgusting conspiracy. The links of this conspiracy were spread from head of Foreign Ministry of Pakistan to Washington, however the soldiers of Pakistan army drew a line with their blood and made it impossible for Indians to cross this line.
Here I would like to mention a little about 1962 China-India war and cunningness of Hindu forces, this will be helpful in understanding the 1965 war. Because Indian children are being thought this mutilated history that China showed aggressiveness and captures Indian areas, but according to historical facts, in 1951 America signed a defense treaty with Pakistan and in 1958 at the time of its renewal India started propaganda that Pakistan will utilize the weapons given by USA against India. On this USA assured India that this will not happen and if this happened USA will take practical measures against Pakistan. The reason behind Indian propaganda was that India had planned to cut of China from areas neighboring to Kashmir and India was afraid that during India-China war Pakistan may attack India
On 12 October 1962 Jawahar Laal Nehru told Indian parliament that he has ordered his army to, “push back Chinese forces out of disputed areas”. The newspaper from New York, Herald Tribune published this as a formal announcement of war on 15 October while British newspaper published this as a warning of Nehru to China. As soon as Indian forces attacked China, US and British cargo planes got busy in piling weapons into India or in other words an aerial bridge of weapon supplies was established. On this few members of US Congress protested against this and criticized that India has attacked China so USA is not bound to provide support to India. On this American Joint Chief of Staff General Maxwell in a secret meeting confirmed that India has attacked China but it is necessary to backup India for safety of USA. On this question that India will not use these weapons against Pakistan General replied that India has assured not to do so. The details of this meeting are present in New York Times published on 19 April 1963.
Till 20 November 1962 India had lost at least 15000 square miles of its area, in this way in the east of Bhutan whole of the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was captured by Chinese forces, not only this Sikkim was also to fall out of Indian hands. However on 21 November Chinese had taught enough lesson to Indians and announced censure of war. But USA and Britain continued supply of weapons to India. Through this support India increased its number of 11 regular divisions to 22 till 1964. America and Britain also signed a deal to train 6 mountain divisions of Indian army. All this was being done under the cover of increasing Indian military power against China.
Lets come back towards today’s topic, Indian army forwarding towards Pakistani border was dead assured that no Pakistani forces will be present in the area to resist. According to the drivers of American jeeps (one of them was identified as commandant of Indian infantry unit while other two were also officers of Indian army) had reported that their were no signs of Pakistani army over the border. While the Pakistani foreign ministry was repeatedly telling the govt. that we had to show the world that Pakistan and Pakistani forces are peaceful and away from borders even in such intense situation. In contrast to this Pakistani army keeping in view the movements of Indian army across the border had deployed few units in civil trucks with light weapons on the border. As soon as Indian soldiers entered into Pakistani territory they were welcomed by Pakistani bullets. They were not ready for such attack, they thought they had been trapped and lost their nerves. In the first attack uncountable Hindu soldiers were killed while a big number of them laid their weapons, the driver of American jeeps was also one of them (how many good deeds of Americans we can deny, they had done so much to show their friendship towards Pakistan). After this Indians attacked a full attack with the help of the APC’s and tanks but Pakistani soldiers had built such a strong defense line with their blood that in spite of repeated attacks and modern American weapons India had to lick the dust.
After this India decided to use its air force and on 7th of September proud of Pakistan, M.M. Aalam downed 5 Indian hunter plains just in one flight with the help of his fighter jet F-86 over Lahore. Uncountable Lahori people witnessed this scene by standing over their rooftops. This destroyed the morale of Indian air force to such extent that they did not dare to look towards Lahore again. However Pakistan air force dropped personnel from special services group on Indian airports Pathan Kot, Adampur, and Halwara, they without caring for their life destroyed ready to flight Indian fighter jets. In spite of capturing Lahore as planning and conspiracy of India, she had to loose 1617 square miles of its area. Hundreds of Indian soldiers were made Prisoners of War.
In this 17 day long Pak-India war, India had to face severe international criticism. This was not something usual, India had to second go to world powers for cease of war after China taught it a lesson. Pakistan made India to lick the dust in spite of getting afraid of its ten times bigger army. But alas! The defenders of Pakistan defeated the conspiracy to disintegrate Pakistan in 1965 by giving up their lives, but at least in 1971 the traitors succeeded. If we had conducted fair trials of the traitors of 1965 war of unveiled the culprits of this conspiracy the tragedy of 1971 could have been stopped. Now the situation in Pakistan would have been much different. We accept at that time the disgusting game against Pakistan was hidden and there was no free media to unveil the traitors. But the shameful fact is that same internal traitors are busy in conspiracies, like the past USA is busy in conspiracies against Pakistan in the disguise of friend and the traitors present within us are agents of US. In order to tackle these conspiracies and defeat these traitors it is necessary to unveil the conspiracy behind 1965 war…

Written By Khalid Baig,
Published in Daily Nawa-i-Waqt,
Date: 10 September, 2011.