The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

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The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke. Continue reading

China Plans Network of Indian Ocean Bases: Security Analyst

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The Maldives is moving closer to China and Beijing may be interested in taking over the old British air base on Gan in the south of that archipelago

China has plans to establish a network of naval and air bases in the Indian Ocean, according to an article by David Brewster posted on the website of the Lowy Institute, the Australian think-tank, on May 15.

Brewster, who is with the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra, argues that Beijing’s aim is to support China’s growing strategic imperatives in the region. Continue reading

Pakistan: Murderous Ally, Patient Ally

Image credit: Poster Collection, INT 51, Hoover Institution Archives.

 

Pakistan’s military and intelligence leadership—the country’s decisive elements—view the United States as a danger to be managed and a resource to be exploited. Its approach to bilateral relations is predicated on three things: The (correct) belief that U.S. interlocutors do not understand the region; the conviction that, eventually, the U.S. will leave Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s need for hegemony over Afghanistan—not only to check India’s strategic moves but, more importantly, to guarantee Pakistan’s internal cohesion. Continue reading

Russia upgrades presence in Pakistan

The presence of proxies, including Iranian and Russian has long been known and published, among others by Pakistani Major (r( Agha H. Amin Map plottings, Major (r) Agha Humayum Amin

 

Russian-language signposts have been erected in several regions of Pakistan, and Russia has appointed an honorary consul for the Pakistani city of Peshawar, following up on the bolstering of bilateral relations and the increased Russian presence in Pakistan.

During the Soviet Union’s decade-long occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, Pakistan helped the United States funnel weapons and fighters to help the internationally-backed mujahedin battling Soviet forces. Continue reading

Pakistan provoking India to launch a major offensive

India’s Border Security Force soldiers stand guard along fencing near the India-Pakistan Chachwal border. Photo: AFP

 

Monday’s killing and beheading of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan army is seen as a ploy to trigger a conflict and internationalize Kashmir issue

Pressure is mounting on India from political parties and the public to retaliate after the killing and mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops near the line of control (LoC) in the Krishna Ghati sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

The killing of the soldiers, who were then beheaded, is the 12th such incident since the 1999 Kargil war and the third since India’s “surgical strikes” on terrorists in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in September last year. It also represents a clear violation of the Geneva convention. Continue reading

India, Pakistan to Become Full Fledged SCO Members

Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.

 

 

The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.

The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading

Cold War foes Russia, Pakistan hold first joint-military drills

Cold War foes Russia, Pakistan hold first joint-military drills

Russian PM Putin shakes hands with Pakistan’s PM Gillani during their meeting in St.Petersburg

 

Former Cold War advisories Pakistan and Russia are set to hold their first ever joint military exercise.

  • During the Cold War, Pakistan helped US funnel arms and fighters into Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviets.
  • Cold War: Communist Soviet Union was closely aligned with Pakistan’s arch-enemy India, US with Pakistan.
  • Pakistan’s top military spokesman, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa: “Contingent of Russian ground forces” arrived in Pakistan for a two-week exercise beginning on Saturday.
  • Pakistan’s Tribune Express newspaper: About 200 military personnel from both sides would be involved in the exercises.
  • Pakistani media last year: Islamabad bought four Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in first ever military deal with Russia.
  • Washington previously accused Islamabad of harboring Afghan Taliban fighters.
  • Pakistan wary of US improved ties with India.
  • Pakistan holds China as a steadfast “all-weather” ally.
  • Chinese plan to invest $46 billion in a road and rail energy corridor linking western China with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast.

(ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN) Former Cold War-era rivals Pakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan’s military said on Friday, in another sign of shifting alliances in South Asia.

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Putin pivots to Pakistan in another blow to U.S. strategic interests

Russian President Vladimir Putin, once derided by Barack Obama as presiding over a “regional power,” is demonstrating Russia’s global reach not only in Syria and Ukraine but with new economic and political initiatives involving Pakistan. Continue reading

“One Belt, One Road” May Be China’s ‘One Chance’ To Save Collapsing Economy

In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping marked a historic visit to neighboring Pakistan. China, via Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, will invest some $50 billion in Pakistani infrastructure, including power plants, roads, railways, and, perhaps most importantly, the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline. The vast sum represents 53% more than the US has given Islamabad over the past 13 years combined. China is also set to invest an equally large sum in Brazil and is even considering the construction a railroad over the Andes, which would connect Brazil to China via the Pacific and ports in Peru.

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The new multilateral financial architecture

The announcement that major European powers will join the AIIB as founding members means the bank is now clearly accepted as a tangible game changer in the multilateral financial architecture. The formidable intentions of AIIB and the new transnational corridors project are both a challenge and an opportunity for India

China-promoted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has taken the world by surprise. AIIB, dismissed just a few months ago by western countries as another flamboyant plan by China, is now clearly accepted as a tangible game-changing development in the multilateral financial architecture. Continue reading

Pakistan Wants ‘Battlefield’ Nukes to Use against Indian Troops

 

In providing a worldwide threat assessment to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, discussed Pakistan’s expanding nuclear delivery systems.

“We anticipate that Pakistan will continue [its] development of new delivery systems, including cruise missiles and close-range ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles,” Stewart said during his opening statement, according to an official transcript.

Tactical nuclear weapons are low-yield, short-range nuclear missiles designed for use against opposing troops on the battlefield, rather than against enemy cities like strategic nuclear weapons. Both the U.S. and Soviet Union deployed them in Europe (among other places) during the Cold War, and Washington and Moscow continue to deploy them today. They are not covered  in existing U.S.-Russian arms control treaties like New START. Continue reading

US General: North Korea Now Has Nuclear Warheads for Missiles

The intelligence community is either really an unintelligent community or they’re covering up rapid gains by America’s adversaries. For quite a few years they’ve been seemingly quite slow on picking up on such crucial developments.

 

North Korea now has the ability to produce a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can be mounted atop a ballistic missile.

That is the assessment of Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the senior U.S. commander on the Korean Peninsula, as he talked to reporters Friday. Scaparrotti also concluded that Pyongyang has a functioning long-range mobile missile launcher.

Although North Korea has conducted three nuclear explosion tests and several medium-and long-range missile test firings, it had not been known whether the regime had developed a nuclear warhead sufficiently small to fit on top of a missile with the range to reach the continental United States. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia’s New Strategic Game in South Asia

Motivated by old and new security anxieties, and above all, by its sectarian competition with Iran, Saudi Arabia is playing a new game in South Asia. In a dramatic shift from prior decades, warming ties with India have already served Riyadh well by steering New Delhi away from a closer partnership with Tehran. Separately, reenergized links with Pakistan offer Riyadh even more potent ammunition to counter Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions.

Although Western analysts tend to view Saudi policies through a Middle Eastern lens, Riyadh’s South Asia play is a high-stakes gambit with direct consequences for Iranian nuclear developments, the war in Syria, Pakistan’s stability and Indo-Pakistani peace. Fortunately, if Washington is clever and a little lucky, many of Riyadh’s moves with Islamabad and New Delhi can be turned to the U.S. advantage. Continue reading

NCA stresses full-spectrum deterrence

ISLAMABAD: The National Command Authority (NCA) decided on Thursday to further develop the country’s nuclear weapons programme for preserving “full spectrum deterrence” against any possible external aggression.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Command Authority — the principal policy making body on the research, development, production, use and security of the nuclear programme. The meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

This was Mr Sharif’s first session on the nuclear policy after returning to the prime minister’s office in June for a third term. The prime minister had in his second tenure rejected all international pressure and conducted nuclear tests in 1998 in response to Indian nuclear tests. Continue reading

Implications of new ‘Silk Route’

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent five-day trip to China after assuming power has been termed highly successful in Islamabad. Important deals were inked on this visit that is emblematic of Sharif’s economic policy aimed at fixing the country’s staggering economy. But more significant is the strategic development pertaining to the decision to develop the trade corridor between the two countries — a project with regional implications beyond South West Asia.

The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. Continue reading