DTN News: Indian Navy To Atlantic, For First Anti-Sub War Games
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - May 31, 2009: The Indian Navy is sending warships of its western fleet to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time for anti-submarine drills with the British and the French, continuing with its strategy of long-reach deployments despite the demands of coastal security after 26/11.
INS Delhi (D61) is the name-ship of the Delhi class destroyers of the Indian Navy. She was built at the Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai (Bombay) and was commissioned on 15 November 1997. Her class is the largest class of warship to built in India.
The Delhi class is a hybrid of Soviet and Western designs, incorporating elements of the Sovremenny class destroyer, the Rajput class (Kashin-II) destroyer, and the Godavari class frigate.
The main gun at the bow of the ship is a 100mm gun supplied by Russia. The ship is also fitted with four six-barrel AK-630 gatling guns. The ship is equipped with four quad launchers for the Uran anti-ship missile system. The Uran system launches the Kh-35 (NATO designation SS-N-25)
Four ships — the INS Delhi, the INS Beas, the INS Brahmaputra and the fleet tanker, INS Aditya — will engage the Royal Navy and the French Navy in separate war games involving nuclear-powered submarines in the eastern Atlantic in June and July.
“Yes, there is a change in our deployment pattern. While coastal defence is important we believe in a constructive engagement, and pooling in of information and deployments to Europe and the Far East are in keeping with this strategy,” a navy spokesperson said.
In March and April, ships from the eastern fleet were deployed in China, Japan and South Korea. But the Indian Navy is also looking at the drills with the British and the French navies because of the nature of the exercise. The Indian Navy is eager to gain knowledge on nuclear-powered submarines but it does not have one of its own. China’s People Liberation Army-Navy is expanding with the acquisition of such submarines (SSNs).
The Royal Navy and the French Navy will be deploying two SSNs in the war games — Konkan ’09 (with the British) and the Varuna ’09 (with the French). Nuclear-powered submarines have longer underwater endurance and their sound signatures are recorded differently from conventional diesel-electric submarines in the SONAR detection equipment.
The British will be deploying the HMS Trafalgar nuclear-powered submarine in the exercise between June 20 and June 25. They will also be deploying two guided missile frigates, the HMS Westminster and the HMS Lancaster, two auxiliaries, the RFA Fort Rosalie and the RFA Mounts Bay, Merlin and Lynx helicopters, Falcon and Hawk fighter aircraft and a Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft.
With the French, the western fleet is likely to have a deeper engagement. The Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Vice-admiral S.P.S Cheema, is likely to visit Brest, the headquarters of the French Navy’s Atlantic command, during the exercise from June 30 to July 4.
The Varuna ’09 will involve “high-end anti-submarine exercises”. The navy spokesperson said the Indian Navy was also studying the French coastal security model.
The French would deploy the nuclear-powered submarine Emeraude, a guided missile destroyer, the Primaguet, a guided missile frigate, the Lieutenant de Vaisseau le Henaff, Atlantiue II long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, Lynx helicopters, Rafale and Super Entendard fighter aircraft.
A second reason for deploying so far away, a naval officer said, was that the Indian Navy was gradually looking at a situation in which it would have to operate with western navies in foreign waters.
In some ways that kind of a situation had already emerged in waters off Somalia, where the Indian Navy had to coordinate at a ship-to-ship level with other navies in anti-piracy patrols.
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY May 31, 2009 - Pakistan Officials Detaining Elements Of Islamic Extremist
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD - May 31, 2009: Pakistani plainclothes police officers detain an activist of outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir or Liberation Party during a rally against the ongoing military operation, Sunday, May 31, 2009 in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan launched an offensive against militants in Swat and surrounding districts last month after they violated the terms of a cease-fire and advanced into a region close to the capital, Islamabad.
DTN News: Algeria Military Is Targeting At Active Pockets Of al-Qaeda
(NSI News Source Info) May 31, 2009: The rural areas along Algeria's Mediterranean coast has become a dangerous place for police and army patrols. In the past two weeks, there have been two instances where large (twenty or more gunmen) groups of Islamic terrorist gunmen have ambushed these patrols, killing five police in one and seven soldiers in another.
Algerian soldiers and municipal workers stand at site of a car bomb attack which targeted the local military commander in Bouira, 150 km (90 miles) east of Algiers. Two car bombs in Algeria killed at least 11 people on Wednesday, the day after an attack that left 43 dead at a military academy, Algerian press agency APS said quoting the Interior Ministry.*
These attacks are believed to be proof that at least two separate gangs of terrorists are operating out there. One attack was a hundred kilometers south of the capital, and the other was 500 kilometers east, along the coast.
The U.S. is Algeria's largest trading partner (and for the U.S., Algeria is the second largest trading partner among Arab countries.) This brings a lot of Americans to Algeria, but some of them are also working on cooperation in counter-terror operations. This includes exchanges of information. The U.S. tracks Islamic terrorist communications worldwide, as well as financial transactions through the international banking system.
This fills in important gaps in the Algerian governments knowledge of what their domestic terrorists are up to, and who they are. This has forced the Algerian terrorists to adapt, communicate less, and limit their operations. But these terrorists keep at it, a constant reminder that there are some unhappy Algerians who are willing to kill for their beliefs.
May 30, 2009: Police found, cornered and killed five of the Islamic terrorists who had ambushed a police patrol outside the capital ten days ago. That terrorist group, of more than twenty men, apparently dispersed after the encounter. The group the police tracked down south of the capital, contained two al Qaeda leaders, and information taken from the bodies indicated arms caches in the area, and approximate locations of the other 4-5 terrorist cells connected with this one.
While the government has been successful in wiping out most of the Islamic terrorists, there are always more. The families of the 1960s era revolution leaders, who took over after independence from France was achieve, show no interest in sharing power, much less giving it up. This oligarchy, which is so common in the Arab world, is corrupt and incompetent (especially when it comes to running the economy.)
High unemployment among young men, and disgust with the corrupt and inept government, provides a steady stream of recruits. Most of them are not too bright (the smarter young guys either immigrate, or figure out how to work the corrupt system). The government has had its most success in hunting down the terrorist leadership.
These men are either killed, or convinced (with the help of some economic inducements) to quit their terrorist activity, denounce Islamic terrorism and behave. While the government has been winning, they have not won. Until the governance problems are solved, there will always be Islamic terrorists out and about.
DTN News: Russian Weapons Are In High Demand And Still Being Smuggled From Origin
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - May 31, 2009: For the second time in the last three months, Russian customs officials have announced the cracking of a ring of retired and active duty military personnel caught smuggling weapons. In this case, the gang had been operating for about two years and were stealing components for S-75 (a fifty year old system), S-125, S-200 and S-300 (a 1990s design) anti-aircraft missile systems, and smuggling them to neighboring countries (that used to be part of the Soviet Union), where they were sold, or exported to more distant nations that used these missile systems, and were interested in less expensive spare parts.
At the time of the arrests, some 22 tons of missile parts were seized. This gang had apparently sold parts that returned to the thieves at least $10 million. Over a dozen officers were involved in the theft and smuggling of these items.
Back in March, Russian police caught a group of naval officers (including at least two admirals) trying to smuggle 30 anti-submarine missiles and 200 bombs to China. The shipment itself was caught at the Tajikistan border, mislabeled as older, obsolete, weapons.
The shipment was actually new models, and the plot was apparently meant to enable China reverse-engineer the weapons and produce their own versions. The smugglers were apparently being paid $18 million for the shipment. The Russian admirals had arranged for the weapons to be classified as obsolete and eligible for disposal, but word of the scheme leaked out.
This theft and smuggling has been going on for nearly two decades, and became most rampant after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It was even more common in other former communist countries, leading to a flood of AK-47s, machine-guns and RPG onto the black market. In Africa, this sudden appearance of cheap weapons eventually fueled fighting that killed millions of people. These days, the theft is more often of high tech, or rare, components, and weapons technology.
DTN News: NATO TODAY May 31, 2009 - Georgian Soldiers In Joint NATO Military Exercises
(NSI News Source Info) TBILISI, Georgia - May 31, 2009: Georgian soldiers participate in NATO training exercises on May 30, 2009, at the military base of Vaziani, 30 km from Tbilisi. Russia has sternly criticized NATO for carrying out exercises this month in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, saying such activity less than a year after Russia and Georgia fought a war was highly destablizing.
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS - May 31, 2009: Weeks before the first China-built Airbus rolls off the assembly line near Beijing, the European planemaker's top official has pulled out the map and targeted future jetliner production in the United States and India.
Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders, writing 40 years after the birth of the first plane project by a four-nation European consortium, said Airbus must become global to stay competitive.
"We have to leave national sentiment behind us," Enders wrote in a column in Friday's edition of the Financial Times.
"Airbus will only remain competitive in the long term if it develops resources and markets globally and becomes a genuinely international company, with development and production also in the U.S., China, India and elsewhere."
Airbus agreed in 2006 to set up an assembly line for the A320 family of jets, its most popular model, at Tianjin in China to reduce costs and gain an edge over rival Boeing in one of the world's largest aviation markets.
The first plane will be delivered by end-June, the first time an Airbus has been assembled outside its two main host countries, France and Germany, supported by Britain and Spain.
India has pressed Airbus to consider opening a production line there also, but so far the European company has been tied up in domestic restructuring and a series of aircraft production delays, as well as fierce union opposition to offshoring jobs.
When India's civil aviation minister floated the idea of an Indian assembly line at an Airbus ceremony at the Paris air show two years ago, Airbus officials cautiously welcomed the concept but said the costs might outweigh the benefits.
The economic crisis has since threatened planemakers' orders.
In the United States, Airbus considered assembling freighters in Alabama as part of a deal to sell mid-air refuelling tankers built from the same fuselages to the Pentagon. But the plans were suspended when Boeing appealed against the contract.
U.S. production is attractive to firms whose costs are in euros but whose products, like aircraft, are priced in dollars.
Unions and politicians in Europe, however, are concerned about job losses.
Writing days before European parliamentary elections, Enders said shutting trade borders was no fix to the economic crisis.
"Next month in Tianjin we shall deliver the first Airbus made in China ... No one will benefit more from this than Europeans."
He also blamed European governments for hobbling Airbus's first major military project, the A400M airlifter, with a wish list for customisation that only added to production delays. The four-year setback has usually been blamed on engine problems.
"Too often there has been a reversion to defending diverse national requirements that offer little in terms of performance but impact significantly on cost and deliverability," he said.
"That certainly has been the case with the A400M, and we have asked the European partners in the programme for a greater degree of realism in order to enable delivery of the aircraft we all want at a sensible price."
Parent EADS is trying to negotiate contract changes to rescue the 20 billion euro project by an end-June deadline. (Editing by Marcel Michelson/Will Waterman)
DTN News: Russian, Japanese Leaders Urge Serious Response To North Korean Tests
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW/TOKYO - May 31, 2009: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso held a phone talk and urged a response to North Korea's nuclear test, the Kremlin said Saturday.
Since the start of the week Pyongyang has conducted an underground nuclear test explosion and test-launched at least six short-range surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles in defiance of previous UN resolutions.
"The sides were united that it is necessary to react seriously to these steps, which are a challenge to the system of international security," the Kremlin said.
Pyongyang is already under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006.
DTN News: Extra U.S. Troops In Afghanistan By Mid-July
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL - May 31, 2009: The majority of the 17,000 extra U.S. troops being sent to fight a growing Taliban-led insurgency in southern and western Afghanistan should be on the ground by mid-July, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
A further 4,000 troops are arriving to train Afghan security forces and they will be deployed by August.
Washington pledged to send 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to reinforce security ahead of presidential elections scheduled for August 20 and to support NATO-led troops which have struggled to fight an escalating insurgency there.
"10,000 Marines are beginning to arrive now and will continue to arrive for the next month and a half or so and they will be principally located in Helmand but also in Farah," said Colonel Greg Julian, spokesman for U.S. forces.
Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan and Farah in the west are among the areas that have seen the fiercest fighting as insurgents gathered strength in recent years, despite the presence of a growing number of foreign troops.
"Everyday we are faced with suicide bombers, an increased number of improvised explosive devices," said General Zaher Azimy, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
"If the violence wasn't increasing there would be no need for the presence of foreign forces and Afghan forces themselves could handle this issue."
Some 7,000 U.S. army troops are also being deployed to southern Kandahar province.
"3,500 are already on the ground in Kandahar with additional helicopters. Following that an additional 3,500 army troops will arrive in Kandahar and will be located in rural areas of that province," Julian told a news conference.
All 21,000 troops will be deployed by August, another U.S. military spokesman said, but declined to comment further.
The 4,000 training troops will be sent mainly to south and west Afghanistan and more than half will train and mentor Afghan police, who are a younger force than the Afghan army and have suffered from poor training, illiteracy and corruption.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) has also expanded its forces to 90,0000 troops from about 83,000, and will boost numbers further for the August poll, Azimy said.
"Currently we have 90,000 ANA forces and we expect to increase this number during the elections to 95,000 forces as well as the additional forces of the Afghan National Police and the international forces," he told journalists.
The Afghan army, described by U.S. military officials as a success story, now leads more than twice as many military operations per week in Afghanistan, compared with this time last year, a spokesman for NATO-led forces said.
DTN News: President Barack Obama Outlines Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - May 30, 2009: President Obama declared Friday that the country’s disparate efforts to “deter, prevent, detect and defend” against cyberattacks would now be run out of the White House, but he also promised that he would bar the federal government from regular monitoring of “private-sector networks” and the Internet traffic that has become the backbone of American communications.
Mr. Obama’s speech, which was accompanied by the release of a long-awaited new government strategy, was an effort to balance the United States’ response to a rising security threat with concerns — echoing back to the debates on wiretapping without warrants in the Bush years — that the government would be regularly dipping into Internet traffic that knew no national boundaries.
One element of the strategy clearly differed from that established by the Bush administration in January 2008. Mr. Obama’s approach is described in a 38-page public document being distributed to the public and to companies that are most vulnerable to cyberattack; Mr. Bush’s strategy was entirely classified.
But Mr. Obama’s policy review was not specific about how he would turn many of the goals into practical realities, and he said nothing about resolving the running turf wars among the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the Homeland Security Department and other agencies over the conduct of defensive and offensive cyberoperations.
The White House approach appears to place a new “cybersecurity coordinator” over all of those agencies. Mr. Obama did not name the coordinator Friday, but the policy review said that whoever the president selects would be “action officer” inside the White House during cyberattacks, whether they were launched on the United States by hackers or governments.
In an effort to silence critics who have complained that the official will not have sufficient status to cut through the maze of competing federal agencies, Mr. Obama said the new coordinator would have “regular access to me,” much like the coordinator for nuclear and conventional threats.
Many computer security executives had been hoping that Mr. Obama’s announcement would represent a turning point in the nation’s unsuccessful effort to turn back a growing cybercrime epidemic. On Friday, several said that while the president’s attention sounded promising, much would depend on whom he chose to fill the role.
James A. Lewis, a director at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington group that published a bipartisan report last year calling on the president to appoint a cyberczar, said that the White House had now narrowed the list of candidates for the position to fewer than 10, but that choosing the right person would be difficult.
“There aren’t a lot of people who have the policy and the strategy skills and the technological knowledge to carry this out,” Mr. Lewis said. “If you’re talking about missiles and space, there are a lot of people who know policy and technology, but in cyber its such a new field we’re talking about a really small gene pool.”
For the first time, Mr. Obama also spoke of his own brush with cyberattacks, in the presidential campaign. “Between August and October, hackers gained access to e-mails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans,” he said, describing events that were known, though sketchily, at the time.
“It was,” he said, “a powerful reminder: in this information age, one of your greatest strengths — in our case, our ability to communicate to a wide range of supporters through the Internet — could also be one of your greatest vulnerabilities.”
Mr. Obama’s speech delved into technology rarely discussed in the East Room of the White House. He referred to “spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets,” all different approaches to what he called “weapons of mass disruption.”
Although the president did not discuss details of the expanding role for the military in offensive and pre-emptive cyberoperations, senior officials said Friday that the Pentagon planned to create a new cybercommand to organize and train for digital war, and to oversee offensive and defensive operations.
A lingering disagreement has been how to coordinate that new command with the work of the National Security Agency, home to most of the government’s expertise on computer and network warfare. One plan now under discussion would put the same general in charge of both the new cybercommand and the N.S.A. Currently, the security agency’s director is Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who would be expected to be the leading contender for the new, dual position.
Industry executives were generally supportive of the initiative Mr. Obama announced, but also cautious.
“There was nothing I was disappointed in,” said Mark Gerencser, a cybersecurity executive at Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm that deals extensively in the government’s cybersecurity strategy.
Mr. Hamilton noted that the United States had separated defense and offense in the cybersecurity arena, while its opponents, including Russia and China, had a more fluid strategy.
“It’s like we’re playing football and our adversaries are playing soccer,” he said.
Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington.
DTN News: Colombian Rebels Seek Farc Truce
(NSI News Source Info) May 30, 2009: The leader of Colombia's second-largest rebel group has appealed to the country's largest, the Farc, to end fighting between them.
"We must order a stop to fratricidal war between our two forces," wrote the National Liberation Army (ELN) chief Nicolas "Gambino" Rodriguez.
He sent the message to Alfonso Cano, the new head of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).
The ELN has about 1,500 fighters but its organisation is under pressure.Soldiers carry the bodies of fellow soldiers at a military base in Pasto May 10, 2009. Seven members of Colombia's army died and four were wounded in the province of Samaniego, near the Ecuadorean border, when they were attacked by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), said military authorities.
The BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Colombia says many ELN units now ignore orders from their leader.
Others have made alliances with drugs trafficking gangs to ensure their survival economically and in the face of attacks by the Farc, our correspondent adds.
Both rebel groups have been forced onto the back foot by the US-supported offensives of President Alvaro Uribe, he adds.
Both the Farc and the ELN have been fighting the Colombian government since the 1960s and are believed to hold hundreds of hostages.
Meanwhile, Gen Freddy Padilla - the current head of the armed forces - has been appointed the new Defence Minister. He will retain his military post.
Gen Padilla replaces Juan Manuel Santos who recently resigned to prepare for a possible run for president next year.
With FARC in retreat and ELN negotiating a peace deal, the military is turning more of its attention to the militias formed by drug gangs. This month, the army and navy spent weeks taking apart a militia belonging to the Norte del Valle drug cartel, near the Panama border. The operation led to the surrender of 112 militiamen, and over a hundred killed, deserting or getting away.
The war against the leftist rebels (FARC and ELN) is often more expensive after the rebels are driven out of an area. The FARC administered rural areas primarily to support the production of cocaine. Farmers were encouraged, or forced (via threats, kidnapping and murder) to grow coca. The rebels controlled the local economy. When the government moves back in, they have to bring administrators and cash to rebuild the economy and build infrastructure (which the leftist rebels largely ignored for decades). Farmers need a lot of help to switch to new (legal) crops. As the leftists and drug gangs lost control of most of their territory in the last five years, they have had to force more farmers, in areas they still operate in, to grow more coca. Living in a rebel controlled area is a lot worse than in a government controlled one.
ELN is the smaller of the leftist rebel groups that began fighting in the 1960s. Now with less than 2,000 armed members, the ELN is falling apart because of growing violence with FARC, and ELN commanders ignoring its revolutionary activities, in favor of business with the drug gangs. ELN leaders have called for a truce with FARC, but the FARC leadership is too distracted by their own problems to be bothered. In this photo released by the Colombian National Police, Miguel Angel Beltran, alias "Jaime Cienfuegos," center, an alleged member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, is escorted by police officers upon his arrival to Bogota, Thursday, May 23, 2009. Beltran was arrested in Mexico and extradited to Colombia by the Mexican government.
The constant military and police pressure on the leftist rebel groups, and the loss of so much territory, has forced most of the FARC leadership to move outside the country. Most FARC political and military leaders now live in Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba. These three nations are run by leftist governments that support FARC, despite FARC being tagged as a terrorist organization by the international community.
Leftists, both governments and political parties, in Europe and the Americas tend to overlook the drug activities and terrorism of leftist rebels, and provide moral and tangible support to show "solidarity". This support is helping keep FARC in business by providing sanctuary, and positive spin in the media (or negative spin on the Colombian government and security forces). This support often backfires.
Ecuador and Venezuela has found that allowing FARC to set up camps on their side of the border leads to more crime against the locals, and an increase in drug activity and corruption. Thus Venezuela recently arrested a former local police commander and extradited him to Colombia for drug trafficking. The foreign supporters of FARC are frustrated trying to get the leftist rebels to give up the drug business.
Panama and Brazil are not cooperative with FARC, but the leftist rebels and drug runners try to move in anyway. Tiny Panama gets more attention, since it's a way station to the major cocaine markets in North America, and has weak security forces. Brazil, the largest nation in South America, has made its border unfriendly for FARC and the drug gangs. As a result, the violent activity goes elsewhere (Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama.)
(NSI News Source Info) May 30, 2009: It's a brand new world for Canadians wanting to head across what used to be called the world's longest undefended border, as of June 1, 2009. A passenger holds his Canadian passport before boarding a flight to the United States, at the Ottawa, Ont. airport. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
The vast majority of Canadians heading south — whether it's for a day of shopping, a weekend getaway or a family vacation — do it by car. Getting past customs used to be a matter of showing some ID — a driver's licence or a birth certificate — and answering a few questions.
No more. Rules that went into effect more than two years earlier for people flying into the U.S. now cover those who enter by land or sea. You'll need a WHTI-compliant document.
What's a WHTI-compliant document?
Under WHTI — the U.S.-legislated Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative — anyone from the Western Hemisphere entering the United States must produce a document that contains photo identification and proof of citizenship.
Compliant documents include a passport, a NEXUS card, a FAST card, an enhanced driver's licence, or a Secure Certificate of Indian Status.
If you're 15 or younger, you'll only need proof of Canadian citizenship. Accepted documents are an original or photocopy of a birth certificate or a citizenship card. If you're 18 or younger and travelling with a school or other organized group — under adult supervision and with parental consent — you can also get through with just proof of citizenship.
Before the legislation was passed, a birth certificate or photo ID was usually enough.
It's estimated that around 50 per cent of Canadians hold a passport. For Americans, it's closer to 20 per cent.
How long does it take to get a passport?
Passport Canada estimates that it will take up to two weeks if you submit your application in person and up to four weeks if you apply by mail, through a receiving agent or a mobile passport unit.
However, if you're applying in person and you need your passport sooner, you may be able to speed up the process by paying extra fees and providing proof of impending travel.
The passport office says applications have been up in the past two months. Passport Canada receives an average of around 21,000 applications daily. The average in the months preceding that was around 19,000.
Can anyone get a NEXUS or FAST card?
No, it's not automatic. The NEXUS and FAST programs were set up under the Smart Border Declaration and Action Plan. Both were designed to make it easier for low-risk, pre-approved travellers to cross the border between Canada and the U.S. The application process takes much longer than applying for a passport. Canadian applicants will be interviewed by American border protection officials. You will be fingerprinted during the interview. If accepted into the program, the officer will take a digital photo of your irises to verify your identity each time you enter Canada or the United States by air and use the self-serve kiosks. The officer will also take a digital photo of your face.
A NEXUS card will allow you to use special lanes when you cross the border by land. You might not have to stop - but you might be pulled aside at random for more detailed questioning.
FAST is similar to NEXUS in that it's designed to expedite the process for frequent travellers. However, FAST is designed to keep commercial traffic flowing smoothly. It was set up for drivers, carriers and importers.
Under FAST, an acronym for Free And Secure Trade, customs officials can be notified of the cargo's arrival up to an hour before it gets to the border. The pre-approved carriers and drivers use a dedicated lane to cross between the two countries.
As of the end of April 2009, 295,000 people were enrolled in the NEXUS program. By the end of March, 81,000 had enrolled in FAST.
What makes a driver's licence 'enhanced?' Quebec Premier Jean Charest displays an enhanced drivers licence. (Canadian Press)
Enhanced licences contain a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that points to information in a secure database stored at the Canada Border Services Agency. The information can confirm a person's identity and proof of citizenship. The chip itself does not contain any personal information.
Currently Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia either issue or are in the process of issuing these licences. They are not mandatory in those provinces. If you want one, you have to pay a fee on top of what you pay for the privilege of having a driver's licence.
Where can I get a Secure Certificate of Indian Status?
You can't — yet. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada says it's not yet ready to provide a specific date when the new cards will be available.
The new card is being designed to be less prone to forgery or counterfeiting than the cards currently in use. The old card is a laminated paper document.
You are entitled to a Certificate of Indian Status card if you've registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act.
Do the same rules exist for Americans?
If they're entering the U.S. from Canada, yes. Americans will be required to produce an approved document that verifies identity and citizenship.
DTN News: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Urges World To Fulfil Aid Pledges Of Half A Billion Dollars To Pakistan
*Analysis: Pakistan has been receiving economic and military aid from U.S. over $ 10 billion plus further funds are in the pipeline by several countries and large sums of Pakistan's external debts have been foregone by U.S., Japan and EU since 9/11. Recently, media were reporting that Pakistan military is enhancing increase in nuclear arsenal and inducting new fighter aircrafts and other modern weapons at the cost of its own economy infrastructure. It is high time Pakistan should look into its internal background and stop blaming rest of the world for current conflicts in NWFP (Swat Valley) and eliminate insurgency today, unchecked it is going to spread like cancer all over the globe tomorrow. (DTN News Defense-Technology News .... May 30, 2009)
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD - May 30, 2009: The government appealed to the international community on Thursday to provide more assistance for relief and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons. U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, second from right, meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, right, with Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, third from left, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, second from left, and U. S. Ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, May 25, 2009. Gilani briefed the senators regarding anti-Taliban operation going on in northwest Pakistan.
At a meeting held to review relief work for the IDPs, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged donor countries to fulfil pledges of assistance they had made for the affected people.
Representatives of the United States, Britain, EU and other countries promised at a conference last week to make fresh commitments after the United Nations launched a global appeal for $543.2 million.
The meeting discussed plans for return of the displaced people to their homes. It was informed that over 51,300 tents had been set up in different places in the NWFP and 30,583 tons of foodstuff distributed among the IDPs. Over 300 tons of food items have been sent to the people stranded in conflict zones.
The meeting was informed that Nadra had set up kiosks across the country for registration of the IDPs and the National Bank and other banks would open dedicated windows to give them debit cards.
The prime minister asked the Nadra authorities to complete the registration work soon so that the affected people could be provided with cash and other assistance.
The meeting was briefed on arrangements being made for providing electricity, drinking water, fans and other items of basic needs to the IDPs.
The prime minister asked the authorities concerned to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic necessities. He asked the provincial government and the Special Support Group to work for restoration of services in the affected areas and beef up security arrangements for the safe return of the IDPs.
Mr Gilani called for providing desert coolers and making arrangements for garbage removal and fumigation. He said the displaced people had sacrificed their present for the future of the nation.
He said the ongoing operation against militants and terrorists would continue till its logical conclusion, adding that the writ of the government would be restored at all costs. The report prepared by the Congressional Research Service recalls that as the United States prepared to launch an attack on the Afghan Taliban after September 11, 2001, former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf ordered that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal be redeployed to ‘at least six secret new locations.’ This action came at a time of uncertainly about the future of the region, including the direction of US-Pakistan relations. Islamabad’s leadership was uncertain whether the US would decide to conduct military strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear assets if Islamabad did not assist the United States against the Taliban. Indeed, Musharraf cited protection of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile assets as one of the reasons for Islamabad’s dramatic policy shift.
The prime minister praised the humanitarian gesture of people hosting the IDPs and said the entire nation was united in determination to cope with the challenge.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Chairman of the Special Support Group for IDPs Lt-Gen Nadeem Ahmad, secretaries of cabinet, economic affairs division and health and the NWFP chief secretary.
DTN News: Raytheon Team To Demonstrate Ground Soldier Ensemble Tactical Awareness
*Source: Raytheon Company
(NSI News Source Info) MCKINNEY, Texas - May 29, 2009: The U.S. Army recently selected Raytheon Company's Ground Soldier Ensemble (GSE) team solution to demonstrate networked tactical situational awareness and communications capabilities for the dismounted warfighter.
The U.S. Army's TACOM Contracting Center awarded Raytheon $11.8 million to provide a GSE technology demonstration. The contract calls for early prototype testing in 2009 and refined systems delivery and testing in 2010.
"Raytheon's GSE will provide decisive tactical awareness to the infantry brigade combat team soldier through real-time display of networked battlefield information. In essence, GSE can make a fully networked theater of operations possible by finally linking the most important element, the dismounted soldier," said Glynn Raymer, vice president, Raytheon Network Centric Systems Combat Systems.
"Raytheon brings forward to GSE a stalwart reputation for reliable systems performance in the heat of combat. We are incorporating low-risk, mature technologies to rapidly demonstrate an affordable solution that benefits the warfighter with greatly improved tactical situational awareness."
Raytheon GSE industry team members are Black Diamond Advanced Technology, providing hardened, wearable computing hardware, and CHI Systems, Inc., responsible for precise, GPS-denied navigation and other software components.
"There is no environment more challenging than a combat situation, and our troops simply must have equipment that works," said Justin Dyster, vice president, Engineering, Black Diamond Advanced Technology. "Raytheon leveraged our combat-proven, ultra-rugged SwitchBack computer in a comprehensive solution that will meet the ambitious project schedule set by the Army and ultimately deliver our warfighters a reliable tool."
"We are proud that the capabilities delivered by our Dismounted Close Combat, Command and Control System will contribute to giving our warfighters a battle-winning edge," said Wayne Zachary, president and CEO, CHI Systems Inc. "Our system offers unparalleled situational awareness and close combat capabilities to unit commanders, team leaders and individual warfighters."
Raymer noted, "Our GSE team solution reflects Raytheon's commitment to Army force modernization by 'digitizing' the dismounted soldier for today's networked battlefield."
Black Diamond Advanced Technology designs, engineers and manufactures fully rugged computers and accessories, including the SwitchBack™ ultra-rugged mobile PC. Engineered to withstand the harshest elements and environments, the SwitchBack features a modular, reconfigurable architecture that can be field-modified to meet the precise objectives of each mission. Black Diamond Advanced Technology is a product line of RMT Inc. and is based in Tempe, Ariz. For more information, visit http://www.bdatech.com/.
Headquartered in Fort Washington, Pa., CHI Systems Inc. is a U.S. small business with more than two decades of innovation in technology and solutions for government clients, principally the Department of Defense. CHI Systems is the supplier of DC4S, a range of dismounted close combat systems that gives commanders and warfighters one of the most advanced, wearable situational awareness capabilities available today.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
DTN News: Russian Govt. Approves Kyrgyz Airbase Lease Extension To 49 Years
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - May 29, 2009: The Russian government has approved the 49-year term of its lease of an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, with an automatic prolongation every 25 years. The modified agreement, which was agreed on between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kyrgyz authorities, will replace the existing deal, which specifies a 15-year lease with an automatic extension every 5 years.
The document will soon be forwarded to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for signing.
Russia established in October 2003 its airbase in Kant, about 20 miles west of the Kyrgyz capital. The Russian base currently deploys about 400 troops, as well as 20 combat and transport planes, helicopters, and L-39 trainers.
Russian troops are stationed at Kant under an agreement in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) - a regional security bloc in Central Asia, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The Kant base is intended to provide air cover for possible operations by CSTO joint forces in Central Asia.
Russia annually pays some $4.5 million to Kyrgyzstan for the lease of military facilities and also provides Bishkek with military and technical equipment as part of the lease agreements.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a decree in February to close down the U.S. Ganci airbase at Manas airport located 30 kilometers (17 miles) east of the capital, Bishkek.
Kyrgyzstan officially notified Washington of the termination of the agreement on a U.S. military presence at the base, and gave it 180 days to withdraw some 1,200 personnel, aircraft and other equipment.
In April, Bakiyev signed a law ending the deployment of foreign military contingents from Australia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey and France, at Manas.
DTN News: Presidents Barack Obama And Mahmoud Abbas To White House Summit Are Mixed Israeli-Palestinian Reaction
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINTON/JERUSALEM - May 29, 2009: Palestinians are reacting positively to their leader's summit meeting with the president of the United States in Washington. But Israelis are skeptical. US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009. Obama on Thursday said he was "confident" of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, after his first talks with Abbas at the White House. Abbas said the need for progress in the stalled process was urgent. "Time is of the essence," he said in a joint appearance with Obama in the Oval Office following talks.
Palestinian officials say they are encouraged by President Barack Obama's meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas Thursday at the White House. Mr. Obama called for the creation of a Palestinian state and condemned Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says the new U.S. administration is taking the right steps to advance the peace process. "We want any Israeli government to accept the two-state solution, agreements signed, and stop settlement activities," he said.
The settlement issue is raising tension between Israel's new right-wing government and Washington. Israel says it will not build new settlements, but it reserves the right to build in existing communities to accommodate "natural growth."
The United States opposes any construction in the settlements, and settlers are outraged. Chanie Luz lives in the West Bank settlement of Bethel near the Palestinian-ruled city of Ramallah.
"We see it as a racist statement to say that the Jews can't have children, or that Jews can't build their houses, or the Jews can't add a room onto their house because they want to have a larger house," said Luz.
Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel pulled out of the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in 2005, and today it is controlled by Hamas, a violent Islamic militant group that refuses to recognize the Jewish state. Hamas has fired thousands of rockets across the Gaza border at Israeli communities; and Netanyahu fears a Palestinian state in the West Bank would lead to a similar situation in Israel's backyard.
DTN News: Russia To Upgrade Military Transport Fleet, Buy New Planes
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - May 29, 2009: The acquisition of new aircraft for Russia's military transport aviation will begin in 2012, while modernized Il-76, An-22 and An-124 aircraft will remain in service for another 20-30 years, a senior Air Force official said on Friday.
According to various sources, there are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including An-12 Cub, An-72 Coaler, An-22 Cock, An-124 Condor and Il-76 Candid planes. Most of the aircraft entered service in the 1960s and 1970s and are considered outdated by modern safety and noise pollution standards.
"The current state arms procurement program envisions the acquisition of new aircraft for military transport aviation starting in 2012," Lt. Gen. Viktor Kachalkin, commander of the 61st Air Army told a news conference in Moscow.
In the light transport category, Russia has opted for the Il-112V plane although the aircraft is still at the design stage.
In the medium-lift category, Russia relies on a joint Russian-Indian project set to be implemented in three to four years. Russia and India signed last year an intergovernmental agreement on the joint development of a multi-role transport aircraft (MTA).
There is also a need for the Russian-Ukrainian An-70 medium-range transport plane, Kachalkin said.
However, he said the procurement of new aircraft would not be enough to satisfy the demand for the high mobility of Russia's Armed Forces in line with a new military doctrine. Therefore, the current military transport fleet must be thoroughly upgraded and the service life of existing planes should be extended for another 20-30 years, the general said.
"We are planning a deep modernization of the fleet of Il-76 and An-124 in service. Their airframes are still in great shape, and what we really need is to upgrade the avionics and possibly engines," Kachalkin said.
The Russian Air Force has begun in 2002 to upgrade its Il-76MD transport aircraft, but this has been a slow process. According to the modernization program, 12 Il-76 aircraft are due to be modernized to Il-76MD-90 variant before 2010.
The An-124 and its modernized version, the An-124-100, will remain in service as a strategic heavy airlift transport aircraft. Russia currently deploys an air regiment equipped with these planes.
(NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. — May 29, 2009: The combination of harsh, mountainous off-road environments and dispersed combat situations in Afghanistan resulted in the U.S. Armed Forces’ urgent-need requirement for the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), a new class of vehicle. Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, developed its M-ATV with Plasan North America to meet these specific challenges and allow soldiers and Marines to take the fight to the enemy in even the most difficult terrain. The Oshkosh M-ATV incorporates rugged, durable components and systems for maximum Warfighter mobility and survivability. Derived from the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) platform, the M-ATV incorporates TAK-4® independent suspension system with battle-tested technology. It has the wheel travel, payload capacity, side slope stability, vehicle durability, extreme mobility and necessary Warfighter protection for today’s and tomorrow's fight. In today’s most challenging battle zones, the M-ATV is the combat-tested, mobile, survivable, durable solution – to get Warfighters to the fight and back again. The only solution is the Oshkosh M-ATV.
“Our customer asked the industry to find a way to take the current MRAP levels of protection and put them into a system that has far more off-road capability,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “Oshkosh is a world leader in highly mobile off-road systems. We have teamed with Plasan who is a world leader in protection systems to meet that urgent request.”
To succeed in Afghanistan’s battlefields, any vehicle must be survivable and all-terrain capable. The Oshkosh M-ATV provides:
The survivability of MRAPs, including protection from explosively formed penetrators (EFP) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). Oshkosh joined forces with Plasan to deliver a battle-tested armor system for its M-ATV. Plasan contributed the armor used on more than 5,000 MRAPs and thousands of Armored Cab Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVR) fielded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oshkosh’s M-ATV armor is based on an advanced armor solution that has been government tested and received an “excellent/low-risk” evaluation. In addition, Plasan has independently performed material-coupon and mine-blast tests to support the M-ATV survivability system.
A lighter, more maneuverable and off-road capable alternative to current MRAPs used in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation. The Oshkosh M-ATV features the company’s TAK-4® independent suspension system as a base platform to provide a vehicle with a 70 percent off-road mission profile. The Oshkosh M-ATV’s 16-inch wheel travel and enhanced load-carrying capabilities provide a distinct advantage by allowing Oshkosh’s vehicle to excel in off-road environments. While the TAK-4 suspension serves more than 10,000 Oshkosh MTVRs, the company recently received a contract to equip another manufacturer’s fielded MRAPs with the advanced TAK-4 suspension system. Because of the military’s urgent need, between 2,080 – 10,000 M-ATVs will have to be delivered in a timely manner to help support combat operations. Oshkosh has the facilities, experience and capacity to deliver M-ATV vehicles on time and in the quantities needed. Oshkosh was the first manufacturer to deliver its production-representative vehicles to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds for both phases of government testing. The company also has independently conducted more than 6,500 miles of testing to provide the best vehicle possible.
Oshkosh Defense delivers its M-ATV with the survivability, mobility, mission-proven and production-ready solutions required for Afghanistan. Oshkosh’s mature M-ATV design is based on the combat-proven Oshkosh MTVR chassis, which has been successfully operating for years in the most difficult off-road missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.
About Oshkosh Defense Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.
About Oshkosh Corporation Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corp. manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, BAI®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, Geesink™, Norba™, Kiggen™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to www.oshkoshcorporation.com.
DTN News: U.S. Air Force-Navy-Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM Completes Seventh Test Flight
*Source: Raytheon Company
(NSI News Source Info) EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., - May 29, 2009: Raytheon Company's newest variant of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile continued to demonstrate its advanced warfighting capabilities when it completed its seventh test flight.
During the March 19 test, the AIM-120D AMRAAM was fired from a U.S. Air Force F-15D fighter aircraft. Initial analysis shows the missile achieved all primary test objectives. The highly reliable Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) provides interoperability in the global defense environment.
"The hard work of the U.S. government-Raytheon team to deliver a world-class missile continues to pay off," said Col. Michael Andersen, commander of the U.S. Air Force's 328th Armament Systems Group. "The AIM-120D program is on track and will deliver to the U.S. warfighter the most capable beyond-visual range air-to-air missile ever fielded."
The AIM-120D builds on the combat-proven AMRAAM family of missiles by integrating new technologies with legacy hardware and software.
"Raytheon's ability to work with the customer to deliver reliable products to the warfighter is the cornerstone of our success," said Jim Knox, Raytheon Missile Systems' AMRAAM program director. "AIM-120D will help ensure future aerial victories for the U.S. warfighter and provide combatant commanders the reliability needed to deliver and maintain air dominance."
The U.S. Navy and Air Force have tested AIM-120D on both the F/A-18 E/F and F-15C/D fighter aircraft. During the sixth flight test, accomplished two weeks prior to the most recent test, the AIM-120D achieved a direct hit on the target.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
Note to Editors:
The AMRAAM family of missiles has been in production for more than 20 years. It is operational with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and 33 international customers. More than 16,000 AMRAAMs have been produced. The missile is responsible for nine successful combat intercepts.
Raytheon's AMRAAM program provides more than 1000 jobs in Andover, Mass., Farmington, N.M., McKinney, Texas., and Tucson, Ariz.
Scores of Raytheon suppliers associated with the AMRAAM program provide middle class employment to hundreds of people across the U.S.
Major suppliers include: Alliant Tech Systems, Keyser, West Va.; Atlantic Inertial Systems, Cheshire, Conn.; B-K Manufacturing, Arab, Ala.; Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Colo.; Cobham Defense Electronic Systems - M/A-COM, San Jose, Calif.; Cristek Interconnects, Anaheim, Calif.; Eagle Picher, Joplin, Mo.; Endevco, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Fairview Machine, Topsfield, Mass.; Flexible Circuits, Inc., Warrington, Pa.; General Dynamics, Anniston, Ala.; Hi-Rel, Claremont, Calif.; Kaman Aerospace, Middletown, Conn.; L3 Communications- Electron Devices, San Carlos, Calif.; L3-IEC, Anaheim, Calif.; Litton, Salt Lake City, Utah; Midcon, Joplin, Mo.; OECO, Milwaukie, Ore.; Precision Metal Products, El Cajon, Calif.; REMEC, San Diego; Teledyne Storm, Woodbridge, Ill.; TTM Printed Circuit Group, Stafford Springs, Conn.; Trak Microwave, Tampa, Fla.; UPCO, Fairfield, Calif.
DTN News: Boeing Team Rebuilds B-1 'Backbone' For US Air Force
*Source: Boeing IDS Communications
(NSI News Source Info) LONG BEACH, Calif., - May 29, 2009: A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber returned to flight last week after a team led by The Boeing Company replaced its catastrophically damaged upper-center boron longeron – the aircraft's "backbone."
The B-1, Swift Justice, was damaged during a routine training mission in December 2007. An engine-bleed air duct rupture triggered a temperature warning light, forcing the crew to land the aircraft at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber returned to flight last week after a team led by The Boeing Company replaced its catastrophically damaged upper-center boron longeron -– the aircraft's "backbone." Here, the longeron is reinstalled at the Boeing Recovery and Modification Services Center in Long Beach, Calif.
Replacing the upper-center boron longeron, which is essential for stability in flight, is not a simple task because the part is unique to each aircraft, with no spares available. “The boron backbone of the B-1 is an aggressive composite design, even by today’s standards,” said Mahesh Reddy, B-1 program director for Boeing Global Services & Support.
“In order to perform the repair, we worked with the Air Force and industry partners to remanufacture the entire part.”
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Boeing Commercial Airplanes employees from sites across the company worked together with the Air Force and material vendors to re-create the damaged part. Specialty Materials Inc. in Lowell, Mass., the original boron/epoxy supplier, provided 14,000 feet of 4-inch-wide unidirectional tape to fabricate the longeron.
Cytec Engineered Materials Inc., in Tempe, Ariz., supplied the adhesive film and adhesive primer.
Due to the part's complexity and 47.5-foot length, the Boeing Composite Fabrication & Assembly Center in Seattle was selected to perform the layup and cure the part in its 90-foot-deep autoclave.
“The return to flight of this B-1 is a perfect example of how Boeing solves issues by applying skills and capabilities from across the company, our suppliers and our customer,” said Reddy.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
*Source: Jim Stratford, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
(NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - May 29, 2009: Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed initial testing of the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor. All dedicated mode flights have been completed in the Radar System Level Performance Verification (RSLPV) program, verifying system performance of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) modes.
Northrop Grumman's Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program sensor has completed the first of two radar system level performance verification flight phases. The sensor will be integrated onto the U.S. Air Force Block 40 RQ-4 Global Hawk and begin test flights later this year.
This new sensor is slated for the RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Assembly of the first Block 40 aircraft, AF-18, is complete and awaiting the Air Force to begin flight testing.
"This is a major milestone for the MP-RTIP program," said Duke Dufresne, vice president and general manager of the company's Strike and Surveillance Systems Division. "We are ready to deliver the first Global Hawk airframe for flight test and quickly follow-up with sensor integration for operational test and evaluation. Delivering this capability to our men and women in uniform will be a game changer in the ability to detect and track adversaries on the battlefield. "Additionally, the MP-RTIP sensor is a major element in the Alliance Ground Surveillance program for NATO, which includes eight Block 40 Global Hawks," he said.
The RSLPV flight test program is being conducted by the U.S. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. The radar is being flown on Northrop Grumman's Proteus aircraft as a surrogate for the first Block 40 Global Hawk. By verifying sensor performance on Proteus, the sensor testing progressed without impact to production, significantly lowering the risk with regard to the Block 40 Global Hawk's operational capability.
Concurrent mode testing for RSLPV is scheduled to be completed this summer, verifying full sensor capability prior to installation and testing on Global Hawk.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the MP-RTIP and Global Hawk programs and continues to move these technologies forward under the stewardship of the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Electronic Systems Center, located at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. Northrop Grumman's Norwalk, Conn., facility is the principal MP-RTIP radar developer along with principal subcontractor, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo.
The Global Hawk system has logged almost 31,000 total program flight hours, of which nearly 24,000 hours were flown in support of current overseas contingency operations. The Global Hawk's range, endurance and large payload capabilities make it an ideal system to support a variety of customers.
The Global Hawk is the world's first fully autonomous HALE UAS, collecting persistent ground surveillance data over a wide area for both military intelligence analysis and warfighters' battle management and targeting. Global Hawk will fly up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours providing surveillance day or night, regardless of weather conditions.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
DTN News: BAE's Lightweight Howitzer Wins $118 Million In Further Orders
(NSI News Source Info) Hattiesburg, MS – May 29, 2009: The U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Canadian Forces have ordered additional BAE Systems M777 155mm lightweight howitzers, taking the company's order book for the type to 800 guns, BAE announced May 28.
The three orders' total value is about $118 million, and the program is now worth in excess of $1.6 billion to the company. The United States is buying 38 more weapons, while Canada is ordering another 25 to add to the 12 already in service.
U.S. and Canadian forces both operate the type in Afghanistan, where its ability to be transported by tactical helicopter makes it particularly useful in the difficult terrain faced by coalition forces.
M777s are manufactured in BAE's Global Combat Systems plant at Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom, and final integration and testing takes place at the company's Hattiesburg, Miss., facility.
The weapon can fire the M982 Excalibur smart munition, jointly developed by Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE, to a range of up to 40 kilometers with a high degree of accuracy.
The circular error probability requirement is for less than 10 meters, and "the system has consistently demonstrated an ability to meet and exceed that requirement," said James Shields, program manager for the weapon at Picatinny Arsenal, speaking on the occasion of the delivery of the 500th M777 to U.S. forces in April.
Even firing conventional ammunition, however, the M777's accuracy has met and exceeded expectations. Feedback from U.S. forces employing the weapon during operations in Afghanistan has revealed "shifts of only 50-60 meters after the first round - and that's just awesome," according to Col. James Matthies, TRADOC capabilities manager at Fort Sill, Okla.
Ease of use and the efficacy of the digitization package were areas cited, Matthies said.
The M777 is the first such weapon to make extensive use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in an air-transportable weapon that, at 4,200 kilograms, weighs about half that of conventional 155mm systems.
The total of 63 howitzers in the new orders comes shortly after the company forecast up to 150 additional orders by the end of 2009. Among potential purchasers are Australia, which is asking for 35 systems but could eventually procure up to 57, Denmark, India, Oman and Thailand. An order from Australia is anticipated before the end of the year, according to the company.
In addition to the new order, BAE Global Combat Systems has received a contract for $3 million to reset 33 howitzers returning from deployment in Afghanistan with U.S. forces. This work will be carried out at the Hattiesburg facility.
DTN News: Sri Lanka - Wanni War Heroes Given Military Honours And Their Service Appreciated
(NSI News Source Info) May 29, 2009: Ground commanders and hundreds of troops in the Army who sweated day and night for victory over terrorism, mostly during the last leg of the Wanni battles were hailed and their national contribution appreciated during a mammoth saluting parade that got underway at Army Headquarters Thursday (28) morning. Sri Lankan army commandos march during a special felicitation parade for all military regiments who took part in the recent battle against Tamil Tigers, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 28, 2009.
The military ceremony saw Commander of the Army General Sarath Fonseka, appreciative of their roles, presented silver parchment scrolls to twelve War Heroes who were at the forefront of the battles against separatist terrorists.
Major General G. A. Chandrasiri, Major General M. C. Mendaka P Samarasinghe, Major General N. A. Jagath C. Dias, Major General Nandana Udawatta, Major General G. D. H. Kamal Gunarathna, Brigadier Prasanna P. De Silva, Brigadier Sathyapriya D. T. Liyanage, Brigadier L. H. Shavindra C. Silva, Brigadier C. P. Gallage, Brigadier P. M. Rohana Bandara, Colonel Nihantha D. Wanniarachchi, and Colonel G. V. Ravipriya were the recipients of those conferment, awarded by General Sarath Fonseka on the occasion.
Under the shade of fluttering regimental flags in the esplanade, more than one thousand and two hundred soldiers, belonging to infantry and other regiments serving Wanni in a colourful military parade, commanded by Major General Kamal Gunarathne saluted their chief, General Sarath Fonseka, as rhythmic melodies of "Peradiga muthu etayayi me" and "Hela jathika abhimane" resonated adding patriotic sentiments to the occasion.
General Sarath Fonseka, in a moving address to his troops commended them for their gallantry and valour. Here is the full text of the Commander's speech;
"In order to mark the victory over terrorism that spanned over thirty years, posing a threat to unitary nature and sovereignty of our motherland, and also to pay tribute to all War Heroes who relentlessly fought to eliminate the scourge of LTTE terrorism from the Sri Lankan soil, this mammoth Saluting Parade was organized. Special Force soldiers of the Sri Lankan army march during a special felicitation parade for all military regiments who took part in the recent battle against Tamil Tigers, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 28, 2009.
Let me on this occasion of commemoration also recall cherished memories on our fallen War Heroes, those went missing, turned disable and those sustained injuries during this battle. That memory gives a deep sense of sorrow, but accomplishment of their mission offers solace to us.
This battle victory was largely dependent on leadership of the officers and soldiers who fought in the battle ground.
His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary Defence as well as those here and abroad offered leadership and guidance to this fight deserve our tribute and commendation. Fighting units, Task Forces, Service and Logistic units extended their maximum support to us and such cooperation is gratefully acknowledged. Those who provided protection to the ground while fighting was on elsewhere also receive our praise.
New recruits and soldiers who joined the Army en masse contributed largely to this victory. Had they failed to do so, we would not have been able to see an end to this battle. Parents and their family members who directed those heroic soldiers to join the Army also deserve our praise. The Army's strength rose to 200,000 from 116,000 as some 80,000 novices joined the Army in the past few months. Their entry helped us enormously to hold on to the territory thus captured and minimize soldier casualties.
Our ancestors facing similar threats in the past overcame such challenges at the risk of their lives. We havewww.defence.lk"> inherited a motherland through their sacrifices, gallantry and valour. The entire country, other than a handful of politicians and segments of people who betrayed the country, supported us whole-heartedly, like one people celebrating this victory.
Rescue of thousands of besieged Tamil people, affected by terrorism was to be launched through a humanitarian operation after Mavilaru episode, enabling them to live as they wished. It was one of our objectives.
We brought the entire nation under one flag after eliminating terrorism once for all. It is a matter of pride for Sri Lanka. We fulfilled the mission and the entire Nation is indebted to the Army for that. We have added another 'Dutu Gemunu' reign to history once again.
Sri Lanka Army's sacrifice for successful completion of this fateful "Eelam war - 4" cannot be challenged or equated to a parallel by anyone.
190 officers and 5200 soldiers sacrificed their lives and 27,000 soldiers sustained injuries or turned disable during this battle. Of the total national dedication towards this battle, the Army has contributed more than 96 percent to it. The Army got rid of 22,000 terrorists and captured 9000 of them alive, destroying all their assets and resources.
By granting relief of death to those LTTE cadres, the Army amply depicted its discipline and dignity. More than 70 percent of the enemy's maritime and aerial resources were demolished by troops of the Army. Therefore, service and commitment, rendered by Army officers and other ranks in this battle cannot be equated to that of any other individual. As Commander of the Army, I am proud to state so, on behalf of the entire Army.
By introducing changes to the Army, all necessary training were imparted to the troops, all required facilities and essential devices were provided and more importantly, competent military leaders were posted to right seats and appointment of junior leaders among soldiers was made as required.
Though the war was to be completed in three years, our collective efforts made it possible to eliminate the enemy within two years and ten months. We are determined to bring peace to the country and we have created an environment, conducive to peace and security. We must still consolidate that basis to avoid any such threats in the future too.
In conclusion, let me thank President, Secretary Defence, the government and everybody for helping us achieve our target that led to the fall of 'Prabhakaran' and all the terrorists. Let me also thank my wife, children, all well-wishers and staff at Army Headquarters for their unstinted support given to me during the period of the battle. Let us resolve to rally round as one people in order to develop this country and lead it to be a prosperous one. Let peace prevail in Sri Lanka," the Commander concluded.
DTN News: Terrorism - The New Communism*Source: By Dan Payne - The Boston Globe(NSI News Source Info) May 29, 2009: DICK CHENEY, who didn't say eight words publicly in eight years as vice president, suddenly won't shut up. Every day it seems he's doing interviews and giving speeches on national security, 9/11, and torture.
Torture defined. Torture is having to listen to Cheney sneer his way through a speech on why he and his president were right about everything and President Obama is wrong.
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the American Enterprise Institute on US national security in Washington, DC, May 21, 2009. Cheney said Thursday that bringing the "worst terrorists" from Guantanamo Bay onto US soil would be "cause for great danger" as he stood by tough interrogation tactics. "I think the president will find upon reflection that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come," Cheney said in a speech on national security.*
Selling fear. Cheney mentioned 9/11 only 27 times in his recent speech, flatly declaring that Obama was making America "less safe." But a poll taken after the speech showed 51 percent of Americans disagreed with his wild charge (38 percent agreed). President Obama has a 64-to-31 percent approve-disapprove rating on national security, and the same two-to-one margin on fighting terrorism.
The numbers are good, but if it's one thing Republicans are good at it's making Democrats look weak on national defense. Consciously or not, Cheney is attempting to make terrorism the communism of the 21st century.
In 1946, the GOP won control of Congress by painting Democrats as "soft on Communism." And they've been attacking Democrats ever since. Democrats supposedly let the communists take over China, lost Cuba to Fidel Castro, lost Vietnam, and refused to win the arms race against the Soviet Union - which, we've since learned, couldn't even make a toaster.
Seven years ago, Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune declared, "Terrorism has become the new communism." Whether it's the Red Menace or Islamic Jihadists, they represent fear of "the other." Fighting them leads us into alliances with governments we'd rather not be involved with, like Pakistan. It produces bloated military budgets that take money from American domestic needs. It causes us to forget the lessons of history, such as the French failures in Vietnam or the 15,000 Soviet soldiers who died fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Putting the Constitution on hold. To Cheney, the acid test for an administration is how much of the Constitution and world opinion it is willing to jettison to demonstrate its national security muscle against Islamic terrorists. Obama, Cheney said, wants to make us "more like France."
Do as I say, not as I do. Cheney, 68 (doesn't he seem about 80?), never served a day in the military. In fact, he got five deferments during the Vietnam War. Apparently he didn't feel America needed him to fight the terrorists of his day.
Not in my state. In a way, what's worrying congressional Democrats over where to house suspected terrorists at Guantanamo isn't just NIMBY. It's also that Democrats don't want to look "soft" on terror by letting those who would destroy America live in a prison in their home state.
Where to put the Gitmo detainees. Accused terrorists accustomed to blazing hot weather in the Middle East might find winters tough in, say . . . Alaska! Fortunately, there's a spunky Republican governor up there who could keep an eye on terrorists while lookin' out for an invasion from Russia, which she can see from her porch.
No proof. Cheney declared, without backup, that the Bush administration "prevented attacks and saved lives through the Terrorist Surveillance Program [TSP], which let us intercept calls and track contacts between Al Qaeda and persons inside the United States."
The TSP sounds like the illegal wiretaps by former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who eavesdropped on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., among others, on Hoover's personal belief that they were communists.
Maybe he didn't get the memo. Cheney conveniently forgets that 9/11 happened on his watch. The Bush administration even got a memo one month before the attacks entitled "Bin Laden likely to strike in US."
Proving a negative. Cheney is challenging Democrats to prove a negative - that since we haven't been attacked since 2001, the Bush policies must be responsible. I'd give him that if he's willing to take responsibility for the evil doers on Wall Street.
Courting Gitmo. The Supreme Court has ruled that Guantanamo detainees have the right to a federal trial to challenge the charges against them. What do you want to bet this will be part of the hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the high court?
Dan Payne is a Boston-area media consultant who has worked for Democratic candidates around the country.
DTN News: Countering Jihadi Strategies in the Subcontinent
*Source: Dr. Walid Phares(NSI News Source Info) May 29, 2009: Since the deadly attacks in Mumbai, the expectation of repeat attacks and copycatting is eerily high. The jihadists who seized a few buildings in India's financial center and wreaked havoc at several locations in the city have brought to the attention of national security analysts a concept for the future: urban jihad.
Projections of al Qaeda and other jihadi tactics should be based on a patient and thorough observation of their literature and actions over the past decades. By now, the public realizes that such scenarios are not only possible but highly likely in the future. In all countries where jihadi cells and forces have left bloody traces over the past eight years, at least counter-terrorism agencies have been put on notice: it can happen there as well. Pakistani army soldiers escort a suspected Taliban militant in Mingora, capital of the Swat valley, on May 28.
But the Mumbai Ghazwa (raid) reveals a more sinister shadow hovering over the entire subcontinent, if not all of Central Asia. Although a press release was issued by the so-called "Indian Mujahideen," many traces were left—almost on purpose—to show Pakistani involvement, or to be more precise, a link to forces operational within Pakistan, one of them being Lashkar-e-Toiba. Other suppositions left investigators in the region with the suspicion that elements within the intelligence service in Pakistan were involved, even if the cabinet wasn't aware of it. This strong probability gave rise to much wider speculation, since this attack took place in the midst of dramatic regional and international developments.
In the United States, the Obama Administration is gearing up to redeploy from Iraq and send additional divisions to Afghanistan where the Taliban forces have been escalating their terror campaign. In a counter move, the jihadi web inside Pakistan has been waging both terror and political offensives. In Waziristan and the Swat Valley, just prior to the latest attempts to strike deals with local warlords, Pakistani units were compelled to retreat. A few weeks later, Islamabad authorized the provincial administrators to sign the so-called Malakand agreement with the "Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad's Sharia Law," headed by Sufi Mohammad, in which local Taliban would enact religious laws instead of the national secular code.
Across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, it has become clear that the jihadists are acting as an overarching regional force. While Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi are consumed with domestic challenges, ethnic and territorial crises, the nebulous network that began with al Qaeda and stretched to local jihadi groups across the land is acting as one, albeit with many faces, tongues and scenarios. The jihadists have become continental, while the region's governments are forced into tensions among each other and within their own societies. Consequently, exploring the regional strategies of the jihadists is now a must.
In the post-Cold War era, a web of jihadi organizations came together throughout the Indian subcontinent from Kandahar to the Bay of Bengal. This included Islamist movements that took root in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The cobweb is extremely diverse and not entirely coordinated. In many cases, competitions and splinters characterize its intra-Islamist politics. But from political parties to student unions, to jihadi guerrillas, the main cement of the network has been a solidly grounded ideology, inspired by local Deobandism and West Asian-generated Wahabism and Salafism. The "jihadi causes" make a variety of demands—political, sharia, ethnic, territorial. However, all these platforms end in the necessity of establishing local "emirates," which in turn become building blocks towards the creation of the Caliphate-to-come. Inside Pakistan, the Islamists fight secularism, impose religious laws and desire an all-out Islamist—not just Islamic—nation. From Pakistan, a number of groups have been waging a war on India for the secession of Kashmir in order to establish a Taliban-like state. The Pakistan-based Kashmiri jihadists have connected with their India-based counterparts, who in turn have built bridges with jihadist operations across India, including the Islamic Student Union and later the Indian Mujahideen. Their influence stretches east to Dhaka and south all the way to Malaysia and Indonesia.
Unfortunately, neither Western nor non-Western scholarship in the field recognized the regional dimension of the jihadi threat on the subcontinent before the 2001 strikes in America and the subsequent attacks in Europe and beyond. jihadism in South Asia has conventionally been linked to local claims and foreign policies, while in reality the movement has developed a regional war room. Even before the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, jihadists had been seeking transnational achievements.
The post-Soviet grand design of al Qaeda was to incite national entities to act in concert with one another, even if their propaganda machines put out different narratives. Based in Kabul since the Taliban takeover in 1996, the initial plan was to grow stronger inside Afghanistan, make it a "perfect emirate" model to follow, and from there expand in all directions. Evidently, the first target was Pakistan, starting with the northwestern regions.
Terror analysts argue that one of the long-range goals of the 9/11 attacks was to provoke massive jihadi uprisings in Muslim countries, especially in Pakistan, with help from insiders and the armed forces. The pre-9/11 plan was to infiltrate Islamabad from Kabul, then penetrate Kashmir and back a massive campaign inside India. The enormity of developments was supposed to enflame Bangladesh as well. In short, the plan was to "Talibanize" the region from Kabul to the Gulf, slicing into as many enclaves in northern India as possible. Plan A collapsed, however, as U.S. and NATO forces crumbled the Taliban regime and dispersed al Qaeda.
As Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar crossed into Waziristan at the end of 2001, their strategy for the region shifted to Plan B. But the basic goal— to establish a series of emirates—did not change. What changed were the launching pads and the priorities. The epicenter shifted to valleys inside northwestern Pakistan, and the strategic hierarchy imposed a new agenda. First, the tribal areas had to become a no-go zone for Pakistan's armed forces and a new Afghanistan-in-exile was to be established—al Qaeda's remnants in the center, surrounded by a belt of Taliban, themselves surrounded by an outer belt of fundamentalist tribes and movements. General Pervez Musharraf understood that sending the bulk of his forces there meant an all-out civil war; hence he kept a status quo—to the frustration of Western governments.
But the jihadi forces took the offensive inside Pakistan via bombings and assassinations, including failed attempts against the former president and the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Not only border areas were falling to the insurgency, but segments of many cities as well. The Red Mosque bloodshed was only an example of the generalized push to seize more power. The initial goal was to "immunize" Waziristan and the surrounding valleys against incoming attacks while launching blitzkriegs from these areas in two directions—bringing the Taliban back inside Afghanistan and striking inside India.
To the west of Waziristan, the equation was reversed. Instead of a Taliban regime in Kabul spilling over Islamabad, the post-Tora Bora situation witnessed the emergence of a quasi-Taliban regime inside Pakistan spilling over to Afghanistan, paving the way for the renascence of operations in the latter's provinces. Eastbound from Waziristan, the network used the Pakistan-based Jihadists as strategic decoys.
Indeed, the best way to confuse the Pakistani military is to draw New Delhi into a renewed conflict with its western neighbor. Shrewdly, via Lashar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Kashmiri and Indian jihadists launched many terror attacks in Indian territories, including strikes against the Parliament, trains and other targets. The inflaming of the India-Pakistan theater was and remains a key strategic design in the hands of the regional jihadists. This is why the recent strikes in Mumbai were ordered.
Inside the jihadi war room, preparations are underway to meet two forthcoming challenges. One is the decision by the Obama Administration to send two additional divisions to Afghanistan. General David Petraeus, commander of CENTCOM, and his fellow military strategists have recommended a surge-type campaign to remove al Qaeda and its allies from inside most of the country and, with the help of other NATO forces, push back the Taliban all the way to the borders. Their second concern is possible military pressure on Waziristan from Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad.
Plan C from the Taliban and al Qaeda will likely be to try to derail both offensives before they happen. In war games scenarios, if you were the jihadist, you would make all possible efforts to delay and weaken the forthcoming NATO-led surge. How they will go about accomplishing this is a good question, but they have more than one tool at their disposal: striking at NATO allies, disrupting NATO supply lines originating in Pakistan, assassinations, and even possible strikes on American soil.
One other tactic may also be under consideration: luring Washington into negotiations with the Taliban. Already, jihadi propaganda machines from different corners of the planet, including via connections inside the Western media, are pushing the idea that discussions with the "good Taliban" are a viable and pragmatic option. Recently, a particular drive toward considering radical Islamism a "fact of life" has materialized in a publicized Newsweek article. Painting the Jihadists as credible partners in a peacemaking equation is, in fact, part of a devious maneuver to gain time and delay U.S.-led efforts to defeat them in Afghanistan. Similar moves were undertaken in Pakistan. In order to delay Islamabad's new secular government’s preparedness to confront the Taliban once and for all, good cop-bad cop tactics have been employed: suicide bombings target officials and civilians alike, while local Islamists shower the authorities with ceasefire offers.
The recent Malakand agreement, signed between Sufi Islamic and Pakistani authorities, allows the implantation of sharia in the province and guarantees a truce for a while. With time, the Taliban will use the agreement to its advantage to indoctrinate youth, recruit fighters and suicide bombers, repress civil society movements and eradicate government presence. Look at the 2006 Waziristan Accord as an example.
Another trap to avoid is calling those who are reconcilable the "good" Taliban or the "little" Taliban. We should resist assigning these labels to armed opposition groups or other groups that may associate with the Taliban on a peripheral level. Just as it would have been a strategic mistake to label the members of the Sahwa in Iraq "little" al Qaeda or "good" al Qaeda, it would be a blunder to consider as Taliban those who cooperate with the Taliban out of fear or a basic need to feed their family.
As stalling tactics are employed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, reverse moves will be executed in India. Unfortunately, the regional war room will more than likely order terror activities on Indian soil to diminish the will of the Pakistani government to go to Waziristan. If violence erupts on its eastern border with India, Pakistan cannot send troops to battle the Taliban on its western frontiers. Inflaming tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad causes the latter to redeploy forces from the F.A.T.A. and Northwest Frontier Province to the border with India, thereby relieving some of the military pressure the Taliban faces in northwest Pakistan. What can and should be done about this Plan C remains the most important question.
Any counter-strategy design must begin with the following affirmations:
• The threat is strategic and regional, not just local and legitimate.
• The counter strategies must put the confrontation of the regional threat above all local considerations and issues.
• The United States and its allies, operating out of Afghanistan, are determined to engage that threat with all the tools at their disposal and with the largest alliance it can muster.
• Pakistan and India should realize that they are both targeted by the jihadists regardless of their quarrels over ethno-territorial issues.
With these principles accepted, a global set of counter-strategies can be set to deal with al Qaeda, Taliban and their jihadi networks in the subcontinent.
The U.S. and NATO should not be dragged to the path of so-called partnership with jihadists to defeat other jihadists. In this game, the more ideological and sophisticated factions always win. Instead, the international coalition must engage the democratic forces and sustain them in order to win the intellectual and political battle.
The U.S.-led NATO coalition should proceed with reinforcement of expeditionary force to levels capable of insuring full control of the country. At the same time, a gigantic effort must be made in three directions: training and equipping the Afghan Army and Police, supporting a vast network of civil society NGOs countrywide, and reaching out to countries that haven't yet participated in the post-9/11 counterterrorism campaign in Afghanistan, such as Russia, India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria. These countries should be invited to join the consortium in sectors of their choice. The more international the campaign, the more isolated the ihadists will become.
The present government must undertake a full reassessment of its past strategies and reform its forces so that it can ready itself to implement a national mobilization, part of which will be on the military level. The most significant part, however, must be on the popular and political levels. The campaign to counter the terror forces can be successful only if large segments of the population are engaged in the struggle against fundamentalism.
New Delhi, too, will have to reshape its plan to counter jihadi strategies in the region and on its soil. While the military and security engagement against local terror groups will continue, the war of ideas will have to tap Indian resources. As a major economic and technological power, India has the capability of opening a new front against radical ideologies, using linguistic, cultural and intellectual skills—all crucial to the battle. The establishment of a vast network of television and radio broadcasts, NGOs, and intelligence capability based on Indian soil can weaken Islamist radicalism.
All of these national strategies must be integrated. If the United States, NATO and other international partners can bring together the three democratically-elected governments of the subcontinent—Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (and perhaps Bangladesh)—to work under a unified and coordinated global strategy, jihadi forces will be isolated and gradually rolled back.
Dr Walid Phares is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy and the author of "The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad." Dr Phares teaches global strategies at National Defense University.