Defence Researched Institute in India
Posted on | 03-Aug-2015

ENVIRONMENT SCAN – 03 AUG 2015

CHINA Col C Madhwal, VSM

People’s Liberation Army Troops Razed Indian Shepherds’ Sheds a Month Ago: Barahoti, Uttarakhand.  Almost a year after a standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh following a civilian tussle over a canal, People's Liberation Army (PLA) troopers last month pushed back Indian shepherds from the border and dismantled their  make shift sheds.  The incident occurred in Barahoti area of the India-China border in Chamoli, Uttrakhand.

Home ministry sources said on July 16, PLA soldiers, came to the area and asked all Indian shepherds to leave. They then dismantled their Ribhus (make shift sheds made of stones) before retreating.  "This is not the first time they have done this. Last year too they had indulged into something similar in the area," said a home ministry official. 

Sources said Barahoti is one of the eight mutually agreed disputed areas on the India-China border. "Neither India, nor China have a claim over it. However, shepherds from both sides visit the area as it is a grazing ground with a rivulet flowing in the middle. On July 16, PLA soldiers came up to the river and pushed back all the shepherds and dismantled their sheds on the other side of the river”, said the official. 
He, however, added that the matter was sorted out and the shepherds were back in the area. 

Sources said being a disputed area, both India and China keep asserting their right from time to time. This, sources said, was generally done through locals who are encouraged to go there and graze their sheep. "Even the Chinese do this. But we never ask their shepherds to go back as it is a mutually agreed disputed area. The issue of such areas has been brought up in talks several times," said the official. 

China Warns of Growing Border Security Risks.  China's military warned on Saturday on its founding anniversary of growing risks along its borders, including in the disputed waters of the South and East China Seas. The Chinese military, the world's largest, has embarked upon an ambitious modernisation programme in recent years. That, along with rising defence spending, has jangled nerves around the region.

In a front page editorial, the official People's Liberation Army Daily said the world was facing unprecedented changes. "The situation surrounding our country is generally stable, but the risks and challenges are extremely severe, and the possibility of chaos and war on our doorstep has increased," it said.  "The maritime security environment is more complicated, and the undercurrents in the East and South China Seas have been gushing up," the paper wrote. 

East and South China Seas have been gushing up," the paper wrote. China has become increasingly assertive in its dispute with Japan over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, while in the South China Sea it has been reclaiming land in waters where Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims.

China also looks warily at threats from extremists in countries like Afghanistan, the possibility of war on the Korean peninsula, instability on the border with Myanmar and India, and the festering question of the status of self-ruled Taiwan. 
"The mission of protecting national unity, territorial integrity and development interests is difficult and strenuous," the paper said. 

In a separate piece, the paper quoted Defence Minister Chang Wanquan as saying China was committed to being a force for peace, but would not compromise on core principles like Taiwan.  "We will uphold the principle that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family and go down the path of peaceful development of relations (but will) resolutely oppose and hold back the plots of Taiwan independence separatists," Chang said. 

China claims Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. Defeated Nationalist forces withdrew to the island after losing a civil war with the Communists in 1949. 

Further, China's military has also been dealing with a deep-rooted corruption problem, and this week announced another former senior officer, Guo Boxiong, would be prosecuted for graft.

The party's official People's Daily said that these cases had "blacked the name" of the military, but that they were not representative of the loyalty and bravery of the broad mass of service personnel. 

China Conducts Air, Sea Drills in South China Sea.   China said it conducted air and sea drills in the South China Sea as it stakes an increasingly assertive claim to virtually the whole sea despite rival claims by neighbors. 

The live-ammunition drills involved more than 100 ships, dozens of aircraft, information warfare units as well as the nuclear force, the state-backed China Military Online said. It did not specify where exactly the exercises took place. 
China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and rejects the rival claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

 
The United States has called on claimants to settle differences through talks and has said its Pacific Fleet aims to protect sea lanes critical to US trade with Southeast Asia and the oil-rich Middle East.

China rejects US involvement in the dispute and its more assertive approach recently, which has included land reclamation and construction on disputed reefs, has raised tension. 

The latest exercises focused on integrating information warfare systems with air and naval forces, as well as testing the combat effectiveness of new weapons and equipment, China Military Online said.   The military achieved "new breakthroughs" in several areas including engaging high-speed low-altitude targets, anti-submarine warfare and intercepting supersonic anti-ship missiles with surface warships, it added.  The drills used "all sorts of information technology tactics" to create simulated reconnaissance, surveillance, and early warning systems to detect air and sea targets in real time, it said. The exercises were conducted in "a complex electromagnetic environment" involving many types of missiles, torpedoes, shells and bombs, it said. 

China's navy on Saturday played down its recent exercises in the South China Sea and criticized other countries for "illegally" occupying islands and reefs.

China Builds Massive Solar Power Station to Help Sharif in Pakistan.  China has built the world's largest single solar photovoltaic power plant in Bahawalpur, which is in the Punjab province of Pakistan, according to the state media in Beijing. The local media is also showing it as an early sign of its Silk Road program, which China wants several countries including India to join. 

Called the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, it is a 229-hectare facility in the Cholistan desert. The 100-megawatt plant has been established at a cost of $215 million in a short period of three months, China Daily said. 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, where it has been built, is a showcase example for Beijing to demonstrate the efficacy of the Silk Road program, which Chinese officials describe as "One Belt, One Road" program. Chinese president Xi Jinping allocated a colossal $46 billion on the Pakistan corridor because it is a model project for Beijing. 

For Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the plant represents political support from China because he was elected on the promise of solving the country's electricity problem. Sharif inaugurated the project on May 5.

The plant, built by Chinese company TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis Co, has already generated 39 million kilowatt-hours of energy for the local province, the local media quoted a company official, Hou Peng, as saying. 

UNITED STATES

Gp Capt GD Sharma, VSM (Retd)

Will Change of Government   at United States Impact U.S. India Relations?       As the election scenario in United States hots up towards formation  of new government after completion of the President Obama’s  second term   in 2016,   a debate  has begun  in India as  to the merits of a Democrat  and Republican President:  who   would be better  to take U.S.- India relations  to a higher level ?

Since, signing of Indo- US Nuclear deal in 2008, there has been paradigm shift in how U.S. views India.   America has now acknowledged India as a natural partner who is important in furthering its Pivot/ Rebalance Asia policy. There is a cooperation between the countries on multiple fronts particularly at the defence level.

Up till now at the primary stage of election, Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Jeb Bush    are seen as the favourites as democrat and republican nominees respectively  in the  race to occupy the White house. Competition for Mrs. Hillary Clinton is likely to become stiff   as incumbent, Vice President Joe Biden too has expressed his intention to run for the presidency. Either of them would be supportive of India.  From the earlier moribund relations , our relations have  achieved momentum   during the Presidency of democrat president   Bill Clinton who   gave hints  of change in US policy towards  India  during the Kargil War and the fact that US exerted   pressure on   Pakistani  leadership  to withdraw  its forces from the Kargil heights is well known.  Thereafter, India’s support  to US  on  the Global War of Terror,  and  signing of Indo – US nuclear deal (which was given a strong push by the Republican President, George W Bush), has brought in a change in the overall  perception of each other.  Our relationship got further cemented during the tenure of   President Obama of the Democrat party particularly in his second tenure. His visit of India in Jan 2015, on the eve of Independence Day celebration was highly appreciated in India.

Since World War II, a consistent pattern in growth   of American economy has been observed. Statically, the U.S. economy has grown at an average real rate of 4.35 percent under Democratic presidents and just 2.54 percent under Republicans.   A growing US is better for the world economies including India especially, as the Chinese economy is showing recessionary trends.

During George W Bush’s time, the oil prices hit the roof with the increase in oil demand after US invasion of Libya, Iraq and later in Afghanistan.  The oil price now has fallen to less than half of the previous ruling price during second Obama’s tenure.  Apart from economic reasons, it has also lot to do with current US policy of non-intervention and withdrawal of forces from the earlier conflicts areas which has reduced the oil demand. The prevailing oil prices are a boon for the Indian economy to grow. A democrat president may ensure continuance of current policies and possibly low price of oil.  

Seen in broader perspective however, the real drivers of the market are macroeconomic trends (most of which are driven by private industry) and macro-political trends (like wars, taxation and austerity) that are driven by US Congress. Hence, irrespective whether a democrat or republican nominee   ultimately wins, our relationship would remain on ascendency since in this part of the world; India alone would have the capacity to partner with America. The minor issues which however, could continue to be irritants,would depend on the leadership in both the countries.

United States and Turkey Agree to Create an Islamic State Free Zone in Northern Syria.  The agreement has benefits for Turkey and not to the coalition forces   fighting ISIS.  It will now contain Kurdish overflow in Turkish areas who are keen to extend their operation in Syrian areas for creating an independent   Kurdistan (combining   Kurdish dominant areas of Iraq and Syria). If now Kurdish forces (as alleged by Turkey) violate this approx. 109 km wide safe zone, even NATO would be  bound act against them in terms of the NATO agreement. The Safe Zone however, is not expected to affect the ISIS fighting capability as it is unlikely to stem the flow of foreign fighters and resources to ISIS which are known to find their way through Turkey.

ISIS is known to have lost nearly 15000 fighters but, their number has not fallen due to fresh volunteers who continue to join their ranks. They   generally find their way to join   ISIS through Turkey.  It is difficult to believe that Turkey does not know this but, they have not made effort to stop it. In fact, many sources say (including some from US) that a major percentage of fund raising for the ISIS crusade is from illegal Oil smuggling through Turkey.  This may still not stop even after formation of a                                                                                         Safe Zone along the Turkey - Syrian border. Turkey like other Middle East states is essentially against continuance of the Assad regime and they may not target ISIS which is fighting Syrian forces as long as it helps Turkey to achieve its aim of deposing Assad.   The Safe Zone could stop influx of the terror elements to join ISIS ranks only if Turkey is sincere.  There is a need to starve ISIS of resources and funds. This cannot succeed   until route of foreign fighters is blocked from all sources and foreign funding and illegal oil trade is stopped.  Further, all involved parties need to fight with common aim to defeat ISIS. Currently, interests of various groups are at variance.   Till all involved parties fight with common aim to defeat, ISIS will continue to exist and even succeed in expanding its influence.

RUSSIA

Col Anadi Dhaundiyal       

Putin Signs Decree on Destruction of Sanctioned Food Products on Russian Border.  Vladimir Putin has put his signature on a decree that will see EU and US food products that have been imported to Russia in violation of the food embargo destroyed on the border from August 6. Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich has said that several hundred criminal cases have been launched into attempted smuggling of banned foodstuffs since the embargo came into force.

Comments:-

            (a)       Unauthorized food imports were prevalent, as demands existed.

            (b)       As per previous rule confiscated items were to be sent back to place of  origin.

            (c)        Rule changed by President Putin to act as deterrent.

Wintershall to Join Russia-led Nord Stream-2 Gas Pipeline. A memorandum of understanding was signed by BASF/Wintershall and Gazprom on 31 Jul 15 which states that Wintershall plans to join the Nord Stream-2 new gas pipeline project at a preliminary cost of construction of €9.9 billion led by Russia’s Gazprom that’ll deliver up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Wintershall is a subsidiary of chemical giant BASF, and is the largest crude oil and natural gas producer in Germany. ExxonMobil, OMV and Royal Dutch Shell have already agreed to participate in expanding Nord Stream. A memorandum of intent was signed by the companies at the 2015 St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June 2015. According to Miller, the consortium may be soon joined by Engie of France (formerly GDF Suez). In order to ensure a reliable supply, Gazprom, Wintershall, E.ON, Gasunie and GDF Suez built the Nord Stream pipeline. Its two parallel pipelines can transport up to 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.

Comments:-

            (a)       The construction consortium is planned to be launched by this September,    with the project itself expected to be started by  the end of 2019.

            (b)       It is to be seen how €5 billion would be arranged by Gazprom during these cash strapped times. The EU/US would be keen to pressurize these private coys   to withdraw at a time when assets of Gazprom would have been moblised/ deployed.Russia Cuts Key Rate to 11% Despite Weak Oil and Ruble.

            (a)       The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has cut the key interest rate from 11.5 percent to 11.0 percent. Even though there is a slight   increase in inflation risks, the CBR says economic growth is a priority. It is the fifth consecutive rate cut this year.

            (b)       "Major macroeconomic indicators demonstrate further economy cooling. The Bank of Russia estimates GDP decrease in 2015  Q2 compared with the similar quarter last year to be more  significant than that in Q1 2015," the Central Bank of Russia  (CBR) said in a statement Friday.

            (c)     “Annual inflation will fall below 7 percent in July 2016 and reach the 4 percent  target in 2017. The Bank of Russia will further decide on its key rate   depending on the balance of inflation risks and     risks of the economy cooling,” CBR added.  “The  economic situation in Russia will further depend on  the dynamics of world energy prices and the economy’s ability to adapt  to external shocks”. 

Comments.  The interest rate cut could trigger inflation when it appears to wane.

Coal and Gas in Germany. When it comes to energy, Germany is a bit of a conundrum. It's a global leader in renewables usage, having increased the share of renewables in its total energy consumption from 6% to an impressive 25% over the past decade. Yet it's also a heavy user of coal – a fact that's glaringly inconsistent with its sustainable energy leadership. “The devaluation of the ruble and the decline in oil prices have placed Russian thermal coal exporters among the most competitive suppliers to both Atlantic and Pacific markets,” As coal is traded in dollars, Russian producers can offer lower prices. Coal imports from Russia rose 6.6 percent to 12.6 million metric tons in 2014. Russia supplies about 38% of German gas imports, 35% of oil imports, and 25% of coal imports.

Russia Mistral: Hollande Denies Striking Compensation Deal. Mr Hollande said no agreement had been reached, contradicting an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Discussions are under way. I will make a decision in the coming weeks,                "Mr Hollande told a news conference. France stopped the planned sale after the outbreak of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The deal, for two Mistral helicopter carriers, was worth €1.2bn (£843m; $1.3bn). Russia made an advance payment of about €840m.

Comments.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and French Defence Secretary-General Louis Gautier held talks for a reported Russian claim of €1.16bn on account of Russian expenditure on special training for 400 sailors, on port infrastructure in Vladivostok for the two warships and on developing four prototype Ка-52К helicopters.

Additional US Sanctions. The United States, on 31 Jul, has imposed further sanctions against Eleven more people and 15 more companies including firms are affiliate companies of Russian oil giant Rosneft, as well as several organizations linked to one of the country’s major banks – Vnesheconombank as well as against five Crimean commercial ports located in the towns of Sevastopol, Feodoisa, Kerch, Evpatoria and Yalta, as well as the Kerch ferry service. The US has termed these sanction actions “not an escalation but as a routine step to strengthen existing measures”.

AFGHANISTAN

Capt Ranjit Seth

Death of Mullah Omar.

Mullah Omar, a Pashtun of humble origins who lost his right eye to shrapnel when he fought the Soviet occupation, became Afghanistan’s head of state when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.The supreme commander and the spiritual leader of the Taliban was Afghanistan's 11th head of state from 1996 to late 2001, had the official title "Head of the Supreme Council". He died in 2013 of tuberculosis in Karachi. The Taliban leader helped shelter Bin Laden, but he wasn't as brutal as the crew  ISIS is recruiting inside Afghanistan.

The United States had put a $10 million bounty on Mullah Omar’s head after the 9/11 attacks saying Mullah Omar had sheltered Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s founder, and “represents a continuing threat to America and her allies.”

Today it appears that however, Mullah Omar’s style of leadership is by today’s standards of brutality, is that of  a relative moderate.

The Taliban chief was willing to enter into negotiations with democratic governments and recognize international borders, but the new generation of militants has no interest in peace talks or boundaries. The leaders of the Islamic State are seeking to spread their brand of terrorism across countries and continents, and their brutal methods and atrocities surpass even the Taliban’s record of cruelty and violence.

The report of Mullah Omar’s death came just two days before a second round of face-to-face peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents. With Mullah Omar out of the picture, it remains unclear how his absence could affect the discussions. Some analysts had portrayed the Taliban chief as a hard-liner instinctively opposed to bargaining; the Afghan president’s office expressed optimism that it would provide fresh momentum.

A former director of U.S. Central Command’s internal think tank, the ‘Afghanistan-Pakistan Centre of Excellence’ said, “He’s this mythical figure that seemed to be limiting engagement and providing the rallying cry for unity. Without him, or the idea of him, the Taliban are going to break up.”

A fracturing of the Taliban could mean a new element of uncertainty in the way of ending — or reducing — Afghanistan’s endemic violence, as ISAF troops move out of the country.

Mullah Omar’s deputies travelled to Washington in 1997 to lobby the United States to recognize the Taliban regime. The effort failed, but at one point, there was talk of a possible oil pipeline project involving the energy company Unocal. In April 1998, U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson paid a visit to Kabul, pressing for a negotiated end to the country’s protracted civil war and also issuing a request for the regime to hand over Osama bin Laden.

After the 9/11 attacks, the United States led an invasion of Afghanistan after Mullah Omar’s regime refused to hand over bin Laden. Mullah Omar fled to Pakistan, where he helped the Taliban regroup and wage a guerrilla war against the Western-backed government in Kabul. Pakistan’s directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence is widely believed to have provided him support as part of a strategy to counter any potential influence from India in Afghanistan.  Mullah Omar’s phantom existence out of the public view generated an aura of mystery and endless speculation about his power over the insurgency and his ties to Islamabad. There are only two known photographs of the Taliban founder and—unlike other militants or al Qaeda’s chiefs — he never issued video messages, though there were occasional audio messages.

The Taliban released a written message allegedly from Mullah Omar two years ago that struck an unusually conciliatory tone, in which the insurgent leader supported “modern” education and access for international humanitarian organizations. But that message came in August 2013, four months after the Taliban leader died in Pakistan.

President Ghani, for his part had responded to a recent message attributed to the Mullah, expressing appreciation for his support for negotiations: “We welcome the message released by Mullah Mohammad Omar Akhund in which he has said that negotiation is the solution.”

Taliban, Afghanistan, and the Peace Talks After Mullah Omar.  The Taliban leader who had anointed himself Amir-ul-Momineen — commander of the faithful — had not been seen in public since 2001, when he is thought to have fled Kandahar on a motorcycle during the post-9/11 US attack. It was rumoured he lived in Quetta or Karachi. Through the last 14 years, he has been reported dead several times, but his followers took assurance from the statements that regularly appeared on the Taliban website under his name.

The most recent of these statements came on July 15, a week after Pakistan hosted talks between an Afghan government delegation and a three-member Taliban team at Murree. The talks, which were attended by officials from Pakistan, China and the US, exposed the factionalism within the Taliban. The talks were preceded by contact between the two sides in May in the Chinese city of Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang and in Kabul later that same month, with Pakistani and Chinese officials present on both occasions. Both Pakistan and China said they were ready to become “guarantors” and play a “constructive” role in the Afghan peace process.

(These negotiations excluded the Taliban representatives based in Doha, Qatar with whom the US had on-again, off-again contact in 2011-12. They were seen as more uncompromising and independent-minded, which did not endear them to Pakistan. The Doha Taliban had said that they would negotiate only with the US, as that was the main power in Afghanistan. After the Murree talks, the Qatar Taliban made it known that they remained in charge of negotiations, and had not taken part in any talks with the Afghan government.)

The succession plan is unclear as there is more than one contender. Akhtar Muhammed Mansur, who led the Quetta Shura, the body of political, military and religious heads that runs the Taliban, and derives its legitimacy from Omar, is seen as the main contender. Mansur was regarded as Omar’s deputy, and is seen as close to Pakistan. But there are others in the running, including Omar’s son Mohammed Yakub.

Mansur will also have to contend with accusations that he had kept Omar’s death under wraps all this time. A splinter group called Fidai Mazhar, which is opposed to Mansur, has accused him of being behind Omar’s death. Another contender is Mullah Qayum Zakir, who fell out with Mansur about two years ago. It is unclear if he is an independent contender or is backing a faction.

Mullah Omar’s death is going to intensify the factionalism within the Taliban and the extent to which Pakistan is able to control the Taliban will depend also on how acceptable Mansur is as a leader to the various Taliban factions.

There are signs of ISIS presence in the country. There is concern that a Taliban without the central leadership that Mullah Omar provided could see the Taliban fighters aligning with the ISIS.

Salma Dam.

 India passed a critical hurdle in building the proposed Salma Dam which will provide much-needed energy to Herat province from next year.

After years of delay due to security and logistics constraints, the project entered a new stage with closure of diversion tunnel gate and start of filling of dam reservoir. This is a significant achievement since the Taliban and terrorists groups tried hard to sabotage the project. As much as 80 per cent work on the project is now complete and the dam is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

In 2013 Taliban's Quetta Shura attempted to blow up the dam with 1,300 kg of explosives.

Afghanistan government officials said the dam is of immense importance to their country and it can help tide over the power crisis to an extent. Afghanistan's chief executive Abdullah Abdullah on Monday expressed satisfaction on the completion of part of the dam and hoped that it will help address shortage of energy besides strengthening the agriculture sector in the western zone of the country.

Salma Dam is a $300 million hydroelectric and irrigation project being constructed on Hari Rud River in Chiste Sharif district of the Herat province, with the objective of generating 42 mw power and improving irrigation facilities over 80,000 hectares of land. Filling of the 20 km long and 3.7 km wide dam reservoir with storage capacity of 640 million m3 will take nine to twelve months. The dam is the flagship infrastructural project under India's $ 2 billion developmental assistance programme to Afghanistan. India is the sixth biggest donor to Afghanistan.

The dam was initially built in 1976 on the Hari river basin, but it was damaged due to the Afghan civil war. The rebuilding of the dam was first started by an Indian firm in 1988, but the project was left incomplete due to the persistent instability and violence. There were also fears that the dam could reduce flow of water into Iran. In 2006, India announced funding to complete the dam at an estimated cost of $200 million.

Iran

Capt Ranjit Seth

A Timeline of the Iran Nuclear Deal. 

Finalization Day (July 14, 2015)

The day the agreement was reached and endorsed by Iran and the P5+1

The United Nations Security Council endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (July 20, 2015)

US President Submits Agreement to Congress & 60-Day Congressional Review Period (July 20-September 17, 2015)

Both houses of the U.S. Congress have 60 days to vote on the deal, as required by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. During this time, US President Obama is prohibited from lifting sanctions on Iran

Adoption Day (October 2015)

90 days after the UNSC endorses the JCPOA, or an earlier date mutually agreed upon by participants in the JCPOA.

The “JCPOA and the commitments in the JCPOA” come into effect. Participants in the JCPOA implement their commitments under the JCPOA

Implementation Day (Early 2016)

The day on which the IAEA report verifies that Iran has done the following:-

Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor

That Iran has ceased pursuing construction at the existing Arak Heavy Water Reactor based on its original design

That Iran is not producing or testing natural uranium pellets, fuel pins or fuel assemblies designed for the original Arak reactor

That Iran has made necessary technical modifications to the existing natural uranium fuel production process line for the modernized Arak reactor

Heavy Water Production Plant

That all excess heavy water beyond Iran’s needs for the modernized Arak research reactor are being made available for export (for 15 years)

That Iran has informed the IAEA about the inventory and production of the Heavy Water Production Plant and allows for monitoring

Enrichment Capacity

That Iran is keeping its enrichment capacity at under 5060 IR-1 centrifuges, in no more than 30 cascades in their current configuration at Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (for 10 years)

That Iran is keeping its level of uranium enrichment below 3.67 percent (for 15 years)

That Iran has removed all additional centrifuges and infrastructure (not associated with the 5060 IR-1 centrifuges in FEP) and placed them in Natanz under continuous monitoring

Centrifuges Research and Development

That ongoing enrichment R&D does not accumulate enriched uranium

That all testing of centrifuges with uranium takes place only at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP), and all mechanical testing of centrifuges is only at its PFEP (at Natanz) and the Tehran Research Centre (15 years)

Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant

That Iran is not conducting any uranium enrichment or related R&D and has no nuclear material at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (for 15 years)

Iran can maintain no more than 1044 IR-1 centrifuge machines in six cascades: two cascades modified for production of stable isotopes and four cascades remaining idle (for 15 years)

Other Aspects of Enrichment

That Iran abides by its voluntary commitments under its long-term R&D plan

The IAEA will monitor and approve annually the nature, scope and scale of Iran’s enrichment program.

That all enriched uranium hexafluoride in excess of 300 kg of up to 3.67% enriched UF6  will be down blended to natural uranium level or be sold and delivered on the international market 

That all uranium oxide enriched to between 5% and 20% is fabricated into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor or transferred outside of Iran or diluted to an enrichment level of 3.67% or less

That Iran is not building or operating facilities for converting fuel plates or scrap back to UF6 (for 15 years)

Centrifuge Manufacturing

That Iran is replacing broken or damaged active IR-1 centrifuges only from its stock of monitored stock of machines, and that the only centrifuges Iran is producing are to keep the store of IR-1s from dipping below 500

Additional Protocol

That Iran has notified the IAEA of its provisional implementation of the Additional Protocol

The EU terminates the sanctions

Simultaneously, the United States “ceases the application” of its sanctions.

PAKISTAN

Lt Col Anil Gorshi, NM**

Punjab Terrorist Attack.

Day after nation celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas, country saw another terrorist attack launched from Pakistan. The Punjab police responded to terror strike. If India is to fight terrorism effectively, the first responder, the state police must be capable, ready, willing and highly motivated to react immediately effectively on their own.

Why Punjab Chosen.  The International Border has been an infiltration target  because of tighter security  along the LOC.  After repeated  attacks in the border district of Kathua Samba and Jammu, the insurgency grid has been strengthened  significantly  in J&K.  The security was intensified ahead of PM visit.  In such circumstances, Punjab appears an easier target. 

The attacks as per GPS showed Gharat, as launching point; entering India at Baniyal in Pathankot district.

Middle  East

Brig Ranjit Singh

IRAQ

Iraqi Forces Focus Major Effort to Retake Ramadi from ISIS.  As part of their preparations, the Iraqi forces have been concentrating their major effort towards  preparing ground for launch  of counter offensive to retake town of Ramadi.  The security forces are undertaking military operations to secure all axes leading to Ramadi.

Iraqi Forces Destroy the so Called “ISIS Leadership Operations” in Ramadi.  The Iraqi forces employing Field Artillery & Army Aviation destroyed the HQ of ISIS Leadership Operations in Ramadi, killing & wounding dozens of ISIS militants.

Iraq Security Forces Liberate Two Areas in East Ramadi.  Iraqi forces managed to capture after fierce battle with ISIS, the area of Agriculture College & Road to South of Ramadi, killing & wounding dozens of ISIS militants.

Iraqi Forces Advance  in Baghdadi & Haditha Districts West of Ramadi.  Iraqi security forces carried out extensive military operations in areas between districts of Baghdadi & Haditha in West of Ramadi.  The operations will continue till liberation of Ramadi city.

Iraqi Army Kills, Wounds 55 ISIS Militants & Destroys 4 Vehicles in Anbar.  Iraqi Army killed 25 & wounded 30 ISIS militants & destroyed 4 vehicles carrying machine guns in West & East  of Fallujah.  This was in retaliation to ISIS attack on Army base of 8 Brigade of Army.

SYRIA

Blast Kills 30 in Turkey Town, ISIS Role Suspected.  A mid-day explosion rocked the Turkish town of Suruc near Syrian border, which is opposite Syrian border town of Kobane, killing 30 people & injuring 100 others.  The explosion took place at a cultural centre, where a political group, Federation of Socialist Youth was holding a conference to rebuild the town of Kobane, which was recaptured from ISIS, the biggest defeat of ISIS since last year.

Air Strike Kills Al-Qaeda Leader in Syria.  A US led coalition air strike killed Mushin Al-Fadhli, the leader of Khorasan Group, an Al-Qaeda off-shoot in Syria.  US accuses the group of plotting attacks against US & its allies.

Turkey Joins US Led Coalition Against ISIS.  Turkey has joined US led coalition against ISIS & allowed US to use key airbase Incirlik in Southern Turkey for launching air strikes.  Turkish warplanes attacked ISIS targets in Syria for the first time.  President promising more decisive attacks against both ISIS & Kurdish rebels.  Turkish warplanes targeted ISIS fighters in North-East Aleppo province killing 9.  Simultaneously, police conducted raids across the country & detained hundreds of militants including Kurdish rebels.

Turkey Conducts Air Strikes in Northern Iraq Against Kurdish Rebels. Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes on Kurdish strongholds in Northern Iraq.  The air strikes brought an end to ceasefire with Kurdish rebels since 2012.  Kurdish rebels retaliated by attacking a military vehicle killing 2 soldiers.  A suicide attack was recently carried out in Southern Turkey causing casualties.

YEMEN

Saudi Led Air Strike in  Yemen Leave 80 Dead.  A Saudi led air strike in the Yemeni city of Taiz killed 80 people.  After heavy bombing Saudi led coalition declared five day ceasefire  so that UN  aid can reach the country.

Aden Airport Open for Operation.  Aden airport has been opened for operation, since then UN aid is being flown with relief material.

MYANMAR

Gp Capt GD Sharma, VSM (Retd)

Myanmar on Thursday released almost 7,000 prisoners on a presidential pardon, including more than 200 foreigners and former military-intelligence officers and political prisoners.  The democratization of Myanmar commenced after the incumbent President, Theine Sein government took charge after winning elections in 2009. The parliamentary elections are due in Nov 2015. To buttress his credentials and claim for a second term of presidency, Mr. TheineSein has released the prisoners as a symbol towards continued democratization   of Myanmar.  Unlike the last election, this time National League for democracy (NLD) party lead by Ang san Suu Kyi will participate in the elections and even win majority but, she cannot occupy the high office being barred by Myanmar constitution.

Myanmar Army Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing Holds Talks with the Indian Leadership. There has been increased Indian interaction with Myanmar dignitaries after NSCN(K) attack on Indian army contingent in Manipur.  First Ajit Doval, NSA visited Myanmar immediately after the Indian response to the insurgent attack. This was   followed by a visit of Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister in Jul 15 and later Myanmar Army Chief was in India. These visits underline that  now their leadership  realizes  that  both countries  face common threat   from  various insurgent groups  active in the Northeast India and Myanmar as well as to beat the design  of inimical foreign powers  who are  trying to exploit the Rohingia Muslim problem in Myanmar .  In fact, last month on 03 Jul15, Pakistan moved a resolution in UN human rights commission to highlight the human rights issues of the Rhongia Muslims. ISI backed outfits are known to be active to exploit the situation and are hobnobbing with the Rohingia Muslims which could create problems for both nations. This calls for increased bilateral military ties and better border management   for ensuring peace in the region.

Think Tank India

Books

  • Think Tank India

    Rooks and Knights Civil-Military Relation in India

    Author : R Chandrashekhar

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  • Think Tank India

    Rise of Islamists in Bangladesh

    Author : Col Amit Sinha

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  • Think Tank India

    Chinese Chequers in the Indian Ocean Region

    Author : Suhas Banerjee

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  • Think Tank India

    Understanding Iran

    Author : Air Marshal (Retd) Dhiraj Kukreja, AVSM,VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    Role of Pakistan in India's Energy Security

    Author : Major General (Retired) Ajay Kumar Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    A Spectrum of Modern Warfare

    Author : Ajay Singh

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  • Think Tank India

    Indo-U.S. Defence Cooperation

    Author : Gp Capt (Retd) GD Sharma, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    India's Strategic Stakes in Afghanistan

    Author : CENJOWS Study Team

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  • Think Tank India

    Space Security: Indian Perspective

    Author : Gp Capt (Retd) G D Sharma, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    Integrated Force Projection by India

    Author : Vij Books India Pvt. Ltd.

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  • Think Tank India

    Defence Industrial Base

    Author : CENJOWS Study Team

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  • Think Tank India

    Armed Forces Tribunal Act

    Author : Vij Book Store

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  • Think Tank India

    Uniform Code of Military Justice

    Author : Col (Retd) R Balasubramaniam, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    Leveraging India's Soft Power as a Strategic Resources

    Author : Col (Retd) A K Singh & Gp Capt S Tiwari

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  • Think Tank India

    War Against Global Terror

    Author : Col (Retd) S K Sharma, Senior Fellow CENJOWS

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  • Think Tank India

    Think Tank India

    Author : Col (Retd) S K Sharma, Senior Fellow CENJOWS

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  • Think Tank India

    India's Comprehensive National Power

    Author : CENJOWS Study Group

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  • Think Tank India

    Indian Way of War Fighting

    Author : Col (Retd) S K Sharma, Senior Fellow CENJOWS

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  • Think Tank India

    Water A Source for Future Conflicts

    Author : Maj Gen(Retd) AK Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    India's Quest for Defence Equipment Policy

    Author : Lt Gen (Retd) H S lidder, PVSM, UYSM, YSM, VSM

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  • Think Tank India

    Implementation of RTI Act 2005 in Armed Forces and its Implications

    Author : Brig A K Vyas

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