Commentaries & Articles
Unrest In The Pakistan Army?
Never, since the 1971 War debacle, has the self- image and public perception of the Pakistani Army reached such a nadir. Operation Neptune Spear – the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, turned the spotlight on Pakistan’s amazing duplicity or astounding incompetence. Initially the Pak Army was in a painful cleft about which facet to plead guilty to. Both were equally damning and put Pakistan between a rock and a hard place. For 36 hours after the raid there was a stunned official silence in Islamabad. The Middle East hardly noticed Bin Ladens passing.
Great Expectations: Indo-French Defence Relations
The shortlisting of the French Rafale and the Eurofighter as the two final contenders for the $10 billion MMRCA deal puts a renewed spotlight on Indo-French defense cooperation, particularly as the US aircraft have been excluded. The comprehensive and impartial technical evaluation of the competing aircraft attests to the high quality of the French-made fighter. It is unclear which aircraft will win eventually, but it is clear that India has opted for the European option.
India’s Stalled Reforms
Conventional wisdom would dictate that the weakening of hard-line communist parties in recent state elections should have been a boon for the country’s reform agenda. But these polls have also reaffirmed the importance of regional parties, which retain the ability to hijack the policy agenda at the national level. These political considerations have translated into policy lethargy and complacency in the UPA government, which is manifested in the case of several recent high-profile corruption scandals and prolonged inflationary pressures.
Pakistan After Bin Laden
The killing of Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town on 2 May 2011 raised heated questions about that state’s reliability as a partner against terrorism. Given that since 2001, Pakistani officials had repeatedly insisted that the Al Qaeda chief was not within their jurisdiction, his discovery at Abbottabad was an embarrassment. It implied that either local security officials were incompetent, or that they knowingly sheltered an international terrorist fugitive. There is also a third possibility, which is that incompetence might have co-existed alongside partial complicity.
China and Vietnam: Delicate Balance of Natural Allies
The recent row between Vietnam and China in the South China Sea is yet another illustration of ‘peaceful rise of China’. It began in the last week of May and continued through second week of June, when in two similar incidents, exploration cables of Vietnamese oil and gas survey ships were cut off by Chinese patrol and fishing boats respectively. The first clash occurred between a Vietnamese oil and gas survey ship and Chinese patrol boats in an area around 120 km off the south-central coast of Vietnam and about 600 km south of China’s Hainan Island.
India-China-Japan Relations and the Weakness of Japanese Diplomacy
A good example of the weakness of Japanese diplomacy is the resurgence of territorial dispute between China and Japan in September 2010. Since August 2010, there have been an increasing number of Chinese fishing boats in the area near the Senkaku Islands. Though the territory is disputed among and Japan, China and Taiwan, Japan had controlled these islands from 1895 till Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II in 1945.
India's relations with the US and Russia
During the Cold War when US and the Soviet Union were acknowledged as superpowers, with monstrous nuclear arsenals at their command, vying with each other internationally, with competing ideologies and alliances, making a comparative analysis of India’s relations with each of them had significance that went much beyond the bilateral dimension. Both the US and the Soviet Union were seeking the support and allegiance of the third world countries, in particular of those who rejected both power blocks and opted for the nonaligned movement.
VIF News Digest
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July 16, 2019
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