August 16, 2017

Number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109

The number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109 this year.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) by Chinese firms in nations which are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are rising, even as the Government cracks down on acquisitive conglomerates of China to limit capital outflows.

The acquisitions by Chinese firms in 68 countries that are officially linked to the foreign policy of President Xi Jinping totaled around $33 billion till August 14, exceeding the $31 billion total count for the entire 2016, as per the data by Reuters.

The BRI project, unveiled in 2013, is aimed at creating a modern-day ‘Silk Road’, which connect China by sea and land to Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, and further to the Europe, Africa and Middle East. President Xi has pledged around $124 billion for the initiative in May.

The increase in acquisition-linked investment by Chinese companies in the Belt and Road region comes as the size of all outbound M&As from the country has declined 42% year-on-year till August 14, the data showed.

With China’s move to strengthen the currency - Yuan by limiting the capital flow outside the country and to put a stop on the debt-fuelled acquisitions for ensuring financial stability, it has become tough for the buyers to get approvals for outside deals.

The stricter regulatory scrutiny of acquisitions abroad comes after the *Chinese firms spent a whopping $220 billion last year, buying up overseas everything from football clubs to movie studios.*

However, the strict regulatory scrutiny has not affected the pursuit of Chinese companies for acquisitions along the BRI corridor, as these investments are considered as strategic for both the companies and the economy.

*The number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109 so far this year, as against 175 in the entire 2016 and 134 in 2015,* according to the data given by Reuters.

*The biggest deal so far this year in a Belt and Road country was the $11.6 billion buyout by a Chinese consortium of the Global Logistics Properties of Singapore.*

August 15, 2017

Spiral into chaos

Muhammad Akbar NotezaiAugust 16, 2017

1he writer is a member of staff.

HISTORICALLY speaking, Balochistan in general and the Baloch community in particular are secular. Even in traditional Baloch society, the mullah is not a revered figure. Instead, he is merely a functional figure. But this is now changing.

There are two dominant forces in the province: the state and the Baloch. The perennial conflict between these two has had dire consequences. Extremism is one of them. During the Afghan war, money was pumped into Balochistan, especially central Baloc­histan, which led to a breakdown of the social fabric. Before, the Baloch were not aware of differences between Shia and Sunni. Today, they are divided on the basis of sect and creed. Wahabism was alien to Balochistan but, largely through preaching activities, it is influencing increasing numbers of people, especially the youth.

While the seeds of extremism in Balochistan were sown during Gen Ziaul Haq’s time, they birthed different forms of extremism in the post Zia-period. Adherents of the Zikri sect, largely settled in Makran, became a target of religious fundamentalists. The Baloch progressive leader Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, whose tribe comprises many Zikris, began to offer prayers during the last years of his life because he feared being labelled Zikri if he did not do so, although he did not belong to the sect.

Then there is the mushroom growth of madressahs and tableeghi activities, which are an extension of religious extremism in the province. This is very dangerous because Balochistan’s population is far smaller than that of the other provinces.

Moreover, communities in Balochistan are disconnected from one another, so much so that development in the society happens at a slow pace. With religious extremism having taken root, people are expected to be more and more compartmentalised. Each and every group’s mosques and followers in the near future will be further compartmentalised. This will inhibit Baloch nationalism, liberalism and social development. In a nutshell, the mindset in the province is becoming stunted, aggressive and intolerant.

The mindset in Balochistan is becoming stunted and intolerant.

This explains extremist attacks against civilians, state installations and security forces. Although sectarianism is not native to Balochistan, today there is not a single district where sectarian groups do not have at least a symbolic presence. Moreover, sectarian groups have also made inroads into some bordering areas of Sindh where Sufism has traditionally held sway, and many sectarian attacks in that province are said to have been planned from Balochistan.

The banned Baloch separatist outfits, reportedly weakened, have been losing ground to sectarian groups. For example, Mastung district, once an epicentre of Baloch separatists, has to some extent been taken over by sectarian groups who are organising themselves under the platform of the militant Islamic State group. The recent killing of 12 IS militants by security forces in Mastung is evidence of this development.

There are two reasons for sectarian groups to have successfully put down roots in Balochistan. Firstly, unlike in the past, political activities in the province have dwindled drastically because of the crackdown on separatist groups that has driven them underground. A space thus opened up for sectarian groups — not least by the involvement of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in political activities in Quetta and elsewhere in the province.

Secondly, in the 1990s, when Punjab police began ruthlessly targeting sectarian elements in Punjab, many of them fled to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan where they went into hibernation, only to emerge later as a powerful force. Their resurgence was marked by horrific murders of Hazara Shias in the province. Incidentally, the perception that the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is a Pakhtun phenomenon, is incorrect: the LJ is predominantly a Baloch phenomenon.

In the past, it was in the secular nature of Baloch society to safeguard minorities’ rights. With the introduction of the madressah culture, this is also changing. Religious minorities have also been kidnapped for ransom by extremist groups. And if their family members failed to pay the ransom, they have also been killed.

Baloch nationalist parties, including the Balochistan National Party-Mengal and National Party, claim to be on one page when it comes to extremist forces. However, it does not seem they can counter them, because Baloch political parties, much like mainstream political parties, revolve around personalities and a few families.

Balochistan’s huge black economy is also a source of funds for extremist outfits. If unchecked by the state, religious extremism in Balochistan can overtake Baloch nationalism, and that will have terrible repercussions. For the extremist groups can pose an even bigger threat to the state because of their transnational agendas.

The writer is a member of staff.

Twitter: @Akbar_notezai

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2017

Every Indian Needs To Fight Hybrid Warfare Waged By Pakistan And China



Raja Rapper, a Pakistani civilian funded and promoted by Pakistan Army to inspire, incite and provoke Kashmiri youth for stone pelting

Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 14 August 2017

Independence Day Special “Hamein Chahiye Azadi… Afzal Ne Bola Azadi… Bandook Ke Dum Par Azadi”, like slogans in Kashmir; “Chor Di Kitabe, Baste Hang on Back, Ab Aa Gayee Teri Baari India Move Your Track”, rapper songs by like Raja Rapstar; “O Kudaya, lauta de Kashmir Dobara“, an Indian film song sung by a Pakistani girl at a function attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, going viral on YouTube looks just ordinary feats… characters look civilian, innocent, emotional; but all of them are warriors; waging a war- war against India. Surprised! No infiltration, No bullets fired, No bloodshed, still a potent fight against Indian Military, Indian State. You are just peeping into the Hybrid WarfareOn thisIndependence Day, every Indian must pledge to fight the hybrid war waged by the enemies of the State.

A snippet of song uploaded on YouTube by a Pakistani agency. The song is from Indian Malayali Film “Keerthi-
Chakra” but was used against India by exploiting emotions in PoK

Today, wars no longer are fought in military domain alone. Year 2008 was the landmark when Pakistan strategically shifted its goal post to attain maximum military goals. Pakistan realized that Indian armed forces have tightened the noose along the border. Establishing an effective counter infiltration grid along (Line of Control) LoC fencing suddenly forced Pakistan to change its war game tactics.

November 2008/ Mumbai terror attack- mayhem in Mumbai resulted into a psychological war reaching the drawing room of every Indian household. It was the same year when Hurriyat allegedly started paying ISI money to Kashmiri youths to throw stone at forces. Stone pelting turned out to be a far potent weapon against Indian military and police. Indian state would often play at the hands of these stone pelters, who have become a uniting anti-national force to reckon with.

Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain, Former GOC 15 and 21 Corps, Indian Army

“Stone throwing started purely as a measure against Government establishment. Now you see from where it has gone to, to what level it has come. Today, stone throwing is taking place at funerals, as happened at the funeral of Umar Fayyaz. It’s happening at encounter sites. It is happening on military vehicles, so that the military is forced to respond in out of proportion (hinting at Major Leetul Gogoi jeep incident). So, it is a plan. It’s an overall strategy which is being used”, says Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata HasnainLt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain, Former GOC 15 and 21 Corps, Indian Army.

”It’s always some incident that triggers it. But those incidents are only triggers. There is something more underlying, something much more fundamental”, says S. Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA.

Deception is the crux of what Pakistan is trying to do in Kashmir intensifying what Russia has done in Ukrain by first fomenting trouble in Ukraine; follow it up by sending in Special Forces troops in the guise of volunteer militiamen who took over key locations, declare independence through a popular uprising, move in regular troops while engaging in war rhetoric and then formally annex the area occupied. All this took place in the backdrop of an aggressive information campaign carried out in the cyber space as well as on international TV. Annexation of Crimea was carried out without even a formal declaration of war. Russia denied its involvement till the very end even in the face of mounting evidence.

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni, Former Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army

“How did these new disruptions were utilized in the hybrid warfare is the term which Russian used when they did operation in Cremia. They call it co- linear war (non- linear). What is co-linear war? They work in the asymmetric domain and they also worked in the conventional domain.  And they use both these to supplement and synergize the effect that you had on the people whom you had to address, which was basically the political masters in Ukraine and the developed world to get what they wanted to get”, explains Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni, Former Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army.

“In hybrid warfare, what is important is that you can deny. There is a factor of deniability; also there is a factor of ambiguity. That means you’re not very sure whether it was Pakistan army or they were private citizens that were raiding in J&K”, elaborates Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauria.

Major General (R) RPS Bhadauria, Research Fellow, USI

A very small nation or just a select band of people, just a few non-state actor can actually bring another state to its knees through hybrid warfare mixing and matching conventional domain with unconventional domain. Adopting hybrid means it prevents a nation from carrying out its normal tasks of meeting the aspirations of the people. Pakistan is a past master at hybrid warfare. This invariably happens when a nation is smaller and it’s got a larger adversary. In 1977, when General Zia-ul-Haq came to power, he realized it is not possible to fight India on the conventional battlefield; The only way to fight India and try and defeat it and bring it to its knees is to fight through what is called a thousand cut.

Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain bring to the fore the point, “Those thousand cuts are not necessarily military thousand cuts. Those thousands cuts are in different domains. General Zia was particularly very fortunate that he managed to get the ISI deeply involved in the operations in Afghanistan, that is where all the experience came from Afghanistan. And Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, Pakistan army, Pakistan’s Inter- Services Public Relations, the ISPR– all have been able to synchronize together; And bring heavy warfare to the fore. They are, I would say one of the, probably the highest achieving army or highest achieving security establishment in the world in the domain of Hybrid Warfare”.

“And Pakistan’s ISI can be stated as one of the best intelligence organizations we have in the world. I think, if you look at it in terms of both- in terms of effects as well as in terms of results, possibly ISI has achieved very high results in comparison to the best organization; and definitely all the Pakistan thrives on hybrid warfare”: Maj Gen (R) PK Chakravorty, Strategic Analyst.

Hybrid Warfare unlike conventional warfare does not operate under the ambit of operational cycles. Instead, it generally follows a four-stage process, gradually increasing in intensity and visibility- i) Political Subversion, ii) Proxy Sanctum, iii) Intervention, iv) Coercive Deterrence.

Political Subversion is to set the stage, generally covert and low intensity in nature. Local grievances are played up and orchestrated, low level violence is perpetrated forcing local Government to make mistakes. These errors are played up in the local and international media to further undermine credibility. Use of pellet guns, using a local resident as human shield as a fall out of stone pelting incidents in Kashmir is glaring example of political subversion.

To force authorities take unusual steps are part of the hybrid warfare

Proxy Sanctum is alternate sanctuary. Pockets of influence created during subversion are consolidated using proxies like anti-social elements or through specially trained Special Forces personnel within the target area. The aim is to secure important locations like airports, radio and TV stations, Government buildings, etc. The intensity of conflict will generally depend on the reaction of the target state although the attacking state would like to keep it as low as possible while maintaining deniability. Incidents of infiltration and insertion of terrorists in Indian territory is another example of proxy sanctum.

Intervention is the stage where the attacker becomes more overtly involved in the conflict. In this stage, the troops of the attacking country will move into the target country and engage its forces in active combat. The kinetic means will be accompanied by non-kinetic means like cyber attacks, propaganda and the likes. The aim of this stage would be to take over as much territory, particularly the important cities, in order to claim legitimacy and set the scene for the next stage. Kargil war can signify this stage.

CRPF Jawans harassed by Pakistan funded Kashmiri youths. The whole move was to provoke CRPF to fire bullets. But CRPF jawans dealt with the situation meticulously.

Coercive Deterrence is the stage where the attacker’s actions are overt and the intensity of violence is at its highest. During this stage,the affected nations would be in a state of war and there would be a possibility of big power intervention on behalf of the target country. In this phase, the attacker would like to present a state of ‘fait accompli’. While the attacker would indulge in sabre rattling, it would also call for a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement – thus, buying time to install a pliable regime. In certain cases, formal annexation of the area may also be declared, as happened in the case of Crimea.

It is not just Pakistan waging hybrid war against India. In Kashmir, there is collusive hybrid threat of both Pakistan and China; however with lower Chinese footprints. But, it is by and large Beijing mind behind the deceptive hybrid war waged against India by the Pakistan given the border dispute and strategic significance of Siachen to both China and Pakistan.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) built as part of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project to connect Gwadar port in Baluchistan with Xinjiang province of China is a strategic project to facilitate Chinese entry into Indian Ocean in the garb of economic connectivity. The project runs through Gilgit- Baltistan, an area in Pakistan Occupied Indian Kashmir. Natives of Balochistan don’t want the project. There is uproar against the project in Gilgit Baltistan too. Strategic experts believe that Gwadar is a strategic hybrid asset and will become a Chinese PLA Navy base. That is the reason why China offering naval ships and submarines to Pakistan to be deployed at the base with creation of special marine units. Pakistanis themselves raised a force with 15,000 troops to protect CPEC. The ultimate aim of China is to gain territory without any direct military combat operation.

Lt Gen PK Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India

“I argue that CPEC will destabilize Pakistan because Pakistan will not be able to repay the loan. As per the Pakistanis themselves, they require to repay back 90 billion US dollars in the next 30 years; from where will Pakistan bring this money and if it can’t repay then what will they give to the party – Chinese? They will give the ownership of places like Gwadar or those special economic zones”, says Lt Gen PK Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India.

Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain throws more light, “2011 is the first time, I think, we heard reports of Chinese personnel in PoK and Gilgit Balistan; 11,000 of them working together on the Karakoram highway and the potential CPEC, which was coming up at that time. Yes when you invest 46 billion, now it has come to 50 billion almost in a project, you are going to try and keep it secure. China is attempting to do that. They are definitely sending in their engineers and others; but at the same time they’re sending in their soldiers to protect because you must remember that China has also got a problem back home in Xinjiang, where they ‘ve got a large Muslim population and that population isn’t too happy with what is happening inside Pakistan either”.

Kubhushan Jadhav alleged RAW Spy is a victim of Hybrid Warfare

Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged RAW spy case is a glaring example of hybrid warfare. Pakistan has allegedly picked him up from Iran and shown to have arrested from Gwadar. A video of alleged confession was released followed by execution and subsequent legal case in ICJ.

Lt Gen PK Singh explains, “I think it’s a part of psychological warfare also. It is to tell  the world that India is interfering in Balochistan. So they want a narrative for that and that is why they don’t want this man to come out openly. Otherwise, they should have said we will have a trial in International Tribunal to try him. Why not? Why don’t they give the consular access? Why don’t they say where did you get him from? So they’re trying to use this to say that India is meddling in the internal affairs to that extent that it fits into their, as I said what is hybrid warfare, all elements of national power. So they are trying to say this is our national power and we can squeeze the Indians somewhere”.

Even if India wins the case in ICJ, Pakistan will not execute the ICJ verdict forcing ICJ to report it to UN where China in collusion will veto against India. So, both Pakistan and China are fully prepared to wage Hybrid Warfare through media and legal front.

“So there are linkages, deep linkages by which the Chinese presence in Pakistan itself is very very vulnerable and.. China is… Pakistan itself reportedly has raised a light division worth of troops to actually protect the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. As you go along in the future you will find that the Balochistan is going to probably emerge as one of the very contentious areas. If we have  got our things right, I think we should ensure that what is happening in Kashmir, if  things continue to get raked up like this by Pakistan, we must ensure that we put the pressure back on Pakistan by doing the same what they’re doing here in Balochistan; and the potential is all there. So, I think this is the season of hybrid warfare. Hybrid warfare has to be fought with Hyrid Warfare. You can’t fight Hybrid while being Conventional”, remarks Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain.

Chinese private security companies are now global tools of hybrid warfare as their is deniability and disowning by Government to private individuals (Picture Courtesy: Reuters)

China has added another dimension to Hybrid Warfare by giving birth to private army of retired PLA soldiers as it’s first company De Wei sets up operations in Sudan. The logic is the same. Overseas private contractors are convenient with no political liability and deniable. But they and the military are in reality two sides of the same coin. No one can deny in future the same would be extensively deployed in Balochistan and PoK.

Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA says, “Chinese support for Pakistan is increasing; we see that. Earlier there has been only nuclear missiles only. Since 1980s, 90s, conventional weapons transfer have increased. Fifty per cent or more of China’s exports- arms exports, conventional arms exports go to Pakistan. So, if there would be a change in Chinese position, diplomatic position on Kashmir, then that’s something to be taken care of. We need to take note of it and prepare ourselves. So it doesn’t make sense to deal with two adversaries at the same time. You need to separate the two at least minimize the amount quantum of support that China would give to Pakistan”.

China waged hybrid war against America. The 9/11 attack was allegedly the handiwork of Chinese PLA.

At the one hand China is using Pakistan as an instrument of asymmetric war against India. On the other hand, China is silently invading Pakistan culturally. The aim is to gain indicrect control of Pakistan by turning it into it’s colony. China calls Hybrid Warfare as Unrestricted Warfare. Two senior colonel of People’s Liberation Army, Liang Qiao and Wang Xiangsui, advocated attack on US Twin Tower at least two and half year before the actual attack. They even talked about using Osama bin Laden to perpetrate the attack on US soil in their book Unrestricted Warfare published by PLA Literature &Arts Publishing House. They talked about using asymmetric means to take on the bigger enemy operating a substantially large military. For its rise, China devised Science of War strategy to use asymmetric means instead of directly involving itself in any spat with its adversaries. China’s hybrid domains include media, legal and cyber space. China aims to dominate the world through use of electronics. To achieve this, in December 2015, China announced creation of PLA Strategic Support Force, which will focus on space and cyber domains. This is clear indication that strategic priorities of the PLA have shifted to information-based joint warfare with emphasis on technology while being able to fight the full spectrum of conflicts from irregular to strategic warfare.

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni: “So you have information warfare, which is technical and you have information warfare, which is psychological. So when you look at these two aspects, you are utilizing the asymmetric or disruptive mediums to achieve what you have to and that is to set the pace and attack the mind of the commander that is what the whole story of psychological warfare is. So today if you see the changes that will happen whether you look at Taiwan, you look at China, you look at Soviet Union and similarly in the US, you already started raising Special Forces and special commands, which are addressing the issues of this asymmetric domain of that cyber is a very key component”.

In 2015, India faced 36 major critical cyber attacks meaning every 15 days there were some aspects which were impacted either in banking system, air traffic system, rail reservation system or hacking into critical component of civil offices. This year in May, India becomes world’s 3rdworst hit country affected by the wanna cryransomwareattack. The latest ransomware targets computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin crypto-currency.

Lt Gen PK Singh gives historical perspective, “Today we are talking of cyber. But, in the second World War, we were looking at radio communicatio; we were intercepting that; we were breaking codes- Morse codes. Today you’re breaking cyber codes, the medium has changed but to say that it was not there earlier we are doing it now, the medium is changed, the space has changed and more importantly today the number of people who can do this is much more. Anybody can hack, you and I can hack, the state can hack and the deniability is there”.

Information and cyber warfare are the essential tools of hybrid warfare waged by twin terrorists Pakistan and China

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahniemphasizes the need of tackling cyber threats,  “Make in India components with Prime Minister saying is extremely important in the area of your cyber security. Today, you need to have capacities in an area where you are communicating across sectors, sub sectors, seamless integration, you are talking about Artificial Intelligence; you need to have the capacity to be able to manufacture it yourself. When you manufacture it then you control the process of embedded hardware and software that are there. I think this is an area of extreme concern”.

Drugs, Criminal Networks and Insurgency are other constituents of hybrid warfare. According to sources, there is a connection between Pakistan and Punjab’s Drug problem.

Not only drugs but crime and insurgency are hybrid threats in Punjab. Every year, Rupees 6,500 crore worth of heroin is smuggled into Punjab. According to a research a total of 1.2 crore people suffer from Pakistan’s silent killer drugs. In 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Dawood’s D company drug network was used by Pak’s ISI soon after the Babri mosque demolition.

Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauriahighlights, “So, the ISI contacted them. This network was used to plant bombs at seven – eight places and almost 250 people died, 700 injured. So Pakistan could attain the kind of results that they wanted by using the criminals. This is not the only example. Another example is in 2004, in Spain, what we call as Madrid train blast, there also these drug smugglers were used. That network was used by al- Qaeda to carry out the bombings of the train”.

There is another strong connect between what is happening at LoC and Arunachal Pradesh. In 2016, when temperature on LOC was very high, there were three blasts in Arunachal Pradesh. This was a Chinese message to cool down temperature on LOC. Similarly during Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit, China raised huge protest and threatened India. And within a few days of visit there were naxal attacks on CRPF in Chhatisgarh and China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh. There are strong evidences that China is involved in insurgency in India’s North East. Not only this, China exploits the local sentiments using the stark contrast in development between Indian side and Chinese side of LAC. At these places, the adversary may not go for outright annexation but may try to create instability. The Pan Naga Movement in the border areas of Nagaland and Manipur can be leveraged by the adversary to create instability. With ever rising stakes in the Indian Ocean Region, our island territories can be prone to such attacks and this should be factored into our security calculus.

Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauria: “Together in terms of Hybrid warfare, we will find there is a nice connect between what is happening in J&K, what is happening in North East and in Maoist affected area”.

What should be India’s response against Pakistan and China’s hybrid wars. India has to fight Hybrid War with Hybrid Warfare only. There is no other way out. For concerted efforts, India needs a comprehensive and consolidated ‘National Military Strategy’ to meet multi- front challenges.

Hybrid warfare has no front and is a combination of all elements of national power. India is still evolving its National Military Strategy. No doubt, India’s upcoming National Military Strategy is to be influenced by Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

India devising National Security Strategy to deal with hybrid Warfare: General Rawat (file pic)

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army sometime back at a book release function at USI said, “While we do not have ‘National Military Strategy’ (NMS) as of now, but the Directorate General of Perspective Planning (DGPP) has been tasked to come out with one. We are also coming out with the National Security Strategy (NSS), which will be given to the Government; And based on that we will be evolving our National Military Strategy. Both these drafts documents are ready and hopefully, we will be releasing them very soon”.  

Kautilya/ Chankya in Arthshastra mentioned of four types of dangers to a state: That which is of external origin and of external abetment; that which is of internal origin and of internal abetment; that which is of internal origin and of external abetment; and that which is of external origin and of internal abetment. In the Arthashashtra, Apratyaksha Yudh- the indirect or invisible wars have been elaborated. In fact, no attack by the Mauryan state was launched without first destabilizing the balance of opposing power.

Lt Gen PK Singh explains further, “the use of force is the last. He says that the King must solve all his problems, if nothing else works then use his powers. Similarly when he says Sam, dand, bhed; dand is the last part. So he is trying to say, solve the problems, but all of these… the nation must be able to use its power combined. Did he not talk about what you would call spying, getting intelligence that has been done by all. You could not fight a war without knowing what your adversary is planning to the best of your ability. So you send out people to gather that intelligence”.

Hybrid war can’t be fought in military domain alone but all the departments of government must have a full understanding of what is Hybrid Warfare and be prepared to fight it through every single domain available. The very same way ISI has fought India physically through the sponsorship of terrorists, infiltration along with finances through hawala, they are also using social media to bring psychological warfare against Indian population particularly against the Kashmiri population. India has been countering it in the military domain by killing terrorists. In the valley, there may not be more than 250 to 300 terrorists. India need to ensure that the governance continues, the finance network of terrorists devastated; social media networks impinging on the minds of the Kashmiri population are neutralized. At the same time India should have sufficient amount of material and text to be able to take the battle of the social media to the other side to influence the Pakistani population or to influence the population in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

S Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA

Kalyanaraman says, “ensure that the idea of Kashmiri Nationalism comes closer to the idea of Indian Nationalism. Now we need to do things to keep us together; it cannot be done only by force. It has to be done by the Power of Attraction, Soft Power

“You have an organization called the ‘Unified Command’ in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). I think it’s a tailor-made organization to counter Hybrid Warfare. Because it’s an organization in which all the organs of the state, all the domains meet together. That’s the place where they can understand, probably create more doctrines, more guidelines, rules of engagement, and sensitize everyone on what exactly are the intentions of Pakistan and what it is attempting to do”.

“For example, the subversion going on in south Kashmir at the moment, right, the subversion against the government servants which is going on at the moment, they need to be protected. We need to protect our people who are going on leave; we need to protect our Jammu and Kashmir police in a very-very big way because the whole attempt of Pakistan at the moment is to subvert the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which is found to be one of the very important elements in this entire game in which the joint-ness of the Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the Indian Army is actually a game changer in the entire thing”.

So, I think, as I said before, it is education, awareness, knowledge and training these are the very- very essential things before we take on anything else in terms of Hybrid Warfare”, elaborates Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain.  

The psychological impact, Prime Minister Modi’s 2 minutes speech on Balochistan from rampart of red fort in August 2016 created on Pakistan shows that India can also leverage the faultlines of Pakistan, if Pakistan continues to meddle in Kashmir.

“If we are ultimately serious about it, I can assure you that the Indian brain can be very- very wily. It can be as notorious as any other brain in the world; and I think sometimes it is important to send home that message to your adversaries that do not consider us to be a benign power, which only believes in the use of soft power. The messaging must be very clear. This is a part of Hybrid Warfare where the messaging content has to be clear to tell your adversity that up to this point that we can take it; This is the threshold, beyond this, we will respond and we will respond very strongly”, Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain explains further.

Terror Camps in Pakistan are the source of Hybrid Warfare

Training of terrorists in terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and terrorists’ insertion through launch pads on the line of control requires hybrid military response. Experts believe that weapons like Brahmos Cruise Missiles should be used to tackle this hybrid threat.

Maj Gen (R) PK Chakravorty explains “They have proved their worth on 3rd May beautifully. On 3rd May, they hit a target at 270 kilometers in Andamans. So, what is the problem. We can take on all the launch pads. There is no problem at all. And Pakistan wishes to retaliate so be it. We have no launch pads on our sides. I certainly feel this is a very strong response. This could be a true surgical strike”.  

Hybrid war is not against the military alone, it is not directed against the Government too; in reality it is the people who are subjected to Hybrid Warfare. If you are reading this, then as a citizen state you must be prepared to respond to Hybrid Wars wage by the enemies of the nation, irrespective of who you are, what you do.

(Special thanks to Lt. Col Samir Srivastava (replicated some incidents in this article from his original  input), CLAWS and (not to name) a serving Brigadier of Indian Army)

Best picture of the day

Best picture of the day.

The Spirit of India.
Mizanur Rehman, Principal, Primary School, Nosara, Dhubri Dt. Assam.

August 14, 2017

Friendship with China the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy: Ambassador

Friendship with China the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy: Ambassador

Masood Khalid, Pakistani ambassador to China Photo: Li Hao/GT

Editor's Note:

Monday marks Pakistan's 70th anniversary. And China and Pakistan have enjoyed a strong relationship for more than 65 of those years. Global Times (GT) reporter Wang Bozun spoke to the Pakistani Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid, ahead of the celebration to discuss the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and bilateral relations.

GT: Security issues have always been considered major challenges to implementing the CPEC. What security measures have the Pakistani government taken? 

Khalid: Roughly 30,000 Chinese work in Pakistan. It's the responsibility of the Pakistani government to provide requisite security protection. As such, the Pakistani government has raised a special force including more than 15,000 soldiers who provide security to Chinese working on CPEC projects throughout Pakistan. In addition, our four provinces are raising their own protection forces. As said, we will continue to do our bit and make security improvements. At large, I think Pakistan's security situation has improved.

In the last two years, we have cracked down on terrorism, militants and their outlets in Pakistan to a great extent. If you look at the figures, you will find terrorist incidents in Pakistan have been considerably reduced.

GT: Besides security issues, what other challenges are there?

Khalid: All mega-projects face challenges. Challenges come naturally. The Belt and Road initiative is a big initiative involving nearly a hundred countries and has to pass through many different countries, territories, cultures, systems, economies and taxation regimes. These could be considered challenges. 

But I think the larger picture should be kept in mind: This initiative is for the greater good of humanity of the global community and of the participating countries. 

There are similar challenges with the CPEC. In 2013, when Premier Li Keqiang visited Pakistan, both countries decided to launch the CPEC. 

But after that, both sides had to undergo long sessions with experts and officials, which took about two years in order to reach consensus. We discussed how to implement the plan, how to finance it and how to translate it into reality … You can say this was challenging. 

Principally, we divided the corridor into four main cooperation areas: energy, infrastructure, Gwadar Port development and industrial park and economic zone establishment. Alongside, we also worked on educational and cultural corridors to promote people-to-people connection.

GT: We have heard there are debates in Pakistan regarding which provinces should participate in the CPEC and how it should be implemented. Can you talk about these debates?

Khalid: Debate is a natural thing in the democratic and political system we have in Pakistan. But I don't think it's a cause for concern. 

There are provinces which need development more than others, such as Balochistan, so they are keen on the benefits of the project. But all provinces will benefit.

GT: Pakistan has just elected a new prime minister. In your opinion, how might the leadership change impact CPEC and China-Pakistan relations?

Khalid: There is no change in policy. There is a new prime minister, but the Pakistan Muslim League is the same ruling party. The new PM has clearly stated that the projects will continue and increase. So there is no doubt or ambiguity on that account.

GT: More Chinese companies are becoming interested in making investments in Pakistan. What is the size of the investments, and what sectors are firms most interested in? 

Khalid: A figure released last year in Pakistan showed Chinese investment in 2016 was more than $1.8 billion, which will continue to grow. 

But if you put everything together, the cumulative investment figure crosses more than $50 billion, but this depends on when projects start and finish. Currently, projects starting in different sectors could be worth around $45 billion. 

Their investments are primarily in energy and infrastructure. But now, there is a trend of small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises in textile, cement, energy and food sectors emerging in Pakistan - we offer a good market for these areas.

GT: What advice do you have for those companies?

Khalid: I would like to advise that they seriously look at Pakistan's entire market potential. 

Firstly, consider our geographical location of being near the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. 

The concept behind the CPEC is linking Gwadar with Kashgar, enabling Chinese exports to go straight through Pakistan to Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa and with lower cost and shorter time. 

Secondly, Pakistan is rich in natural resources, which remain untapped. Labor is at low cost and more Pakistanis are learning Chinese. 

Also, incentives, facilities and tax exemptions are granted by the Pakistani government to foreign investors. 

If you combine these factors, I think Pakistan offers good business environments for Chinese.

GT: There has been an increasingly popular buzzword, "Batie," which describes the unique relationship between China and Pakistan. What do you think of this Chinese expression? 

Khalid: This is a beautiful word. Friendship with China is the cornerstone of our foreign policy. We are close friends, strategic partners, and this friendship has evolved over the last 65 years. In fact, our cooperation is growing, which is a positive sign for the two countries.

There is mutual respect and mutual interest. We believe that our friendship is true, selfless and kind and has withstood the test of both good and bad times.

For example, in 2005, Pakistan was hit by a big earthquake. Subsequently, freights appeared from China to give help and assistance. After the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, Pakistanis and the government helped our Chinese friends.  

These examples signify that, if China is in need, Pakistan is there to help in whatever way we can, and vice versa. 

So I truly respect the definition of "Batie," it means "iron friend." I think we have established a good foundation for our bilateral relations. Our friendship will grow as we move along.

Photo: Coutesy of the Embassy of Pakistan

GT: What message would you like to send to China on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Pakistan?

Khalid: The 70th anniversary is important to Pakistan. It's a developing country and has faced many challenges, but it has overcome past challenges successfully. 

We highly value our relationship with our friends. Pakistan and China serve for regional peace and stability. We welcome our Chinese guests on this occasion and a strong message of unity will be sent to the world.

GT: Some Indian media outlets have published a map of China that excluded Tibet and Taiwan and also suggested that China is working with Pakistan to corner India. What is your comment on that? 

Khalid: We also suffer from this mischief by the Indian media from time to time, it's unfortunate. 

I think the entire world recognizes Taiwan and Tibet are part of China. I don't think stirring controversy is the right approach because this causes instability within bilateral relations and also in the region. 

The Pakistan-China relationship is not against anyone; it is for peace, progress, stability and regional development. Peaceful co-existence is our mutual policy. But if a neighbor is aggressive, we, as sovereign states, must defend our territories

Chinese Military Toppling Jinping? Is PLA Plotting Coup?

Though this news has nothing to do with Doklam military standoff between Indian and China; the news, if it really possess even faction of truth, then it has potential to shake word politics and economy in a single stroke. Since Xi Jinping's reached at the helm of Chinese leadership in March 2013, there are rumors of coup against him. But all news died the natural death lacking any substantial proof and secured no space in media circle. But his time the news came out with minute details with persons involved in the affairs and many in Delhi media circle have personally confirmed the happenings.

The whole set of chain of incidences set in motion in May last week when two Chinese businessmen arrived in New Delhi separately on business assignments as per their Visa details. They were supposed to meet CII and FICCI officials to discuss investment options in Karnataka and Haryana. Both businessmen arrived on different dates and through different routes. But reached at same 7- Star Hotel in India's nationa capital within just 12 hours gap. They had suits booked in the name of Indian citizens but their suits were adjacent to each other. 

After arriving in New Delhi, they didn't tried to meet CII or FICCI officials, neither they sought appointment of any business personality or anyone from corparate circles. Then what did they do in New Delhi?

Interestingly one businessman booked SUV through hotel staff and went to 2 star hotel in South Delhi where he met Captain Marco Terrinoni, Italian defense attaché in New Delhi. Both had lunch together and they were together for about 3 hours. Later Chinese businessman left the hotel and Itlaian defense attache checked out of hotel only to check in to another hotel nearby. This time Italian man booked 3 Star hotel and another Chinese businessman arrived in that hotel by 5.00 pm. Both had dinner together and Chinese businessman left the hotel by 11.30 pm. Immediately Italian defense attache checked out the hotel and reached Italian Embassy.

Next day Captain Terrinoni met both Chinese businessmen together at hotel suit booked by Italian man on business trip in India. The whole cycle of meetings continued for 5 days and Italian Captain Terrinoni met both Chinese businessmen for hours in total 9 sessions; sometimes both Chinese were at meeting and sometimes one by one. 

As a result of repeated meetings between Italian defense attache and Chinese businessmen, RAW agents got activated on third day and started following them, only to get shocked! the RAW came to know that both travelling Chinese businessmen were acting as interlocutor for top Chinese Army commanders i.e.PLA commanders.

On last day of the meeting Captain Terrinoni arranged their meeting with US defense attache in New Delhi Brigadier David E Brigham. But it is still couldn't be confirmed whether Brig. Brigham personally met Chinese or his trusted aid in embassy had dialogue with Chinese businessmen.

The whole exercise, as per RAW report filed to RAW secretory in PMO is solely aimed at judging US reaction to possible military coup against Xi Jinping by PLA commanders. During their meeting, Chinese were repeatedly asking US defense attache, whether Trump admistration would acknowledge new Chinese government where military commander would be head of the state replacing Communist Party leader; sources privy to the issue said in New Delhi.

RAW officers are not in a position to guess whether Communists Party leaders are with PLA commanders in coup attempt or not.

The incidence are bound to raise many serious questions in diplomatic and media circles, 

1) Why they choose New Delhi for meeting US defense attache? 

2) Whether Indian Government had knowledge about this meeting?

3) Whether Indian Government arranged this meeting?

4) Diplomatic fallouts of this meeting on India- China relations,

5) Whether Doklam Standoff was started by China to intimidate India after it came to know about this meetings in New Delhi?

6) Whether these meetings were jointly organised by Trump- Modi with tacit understanding?

We have to wait for answers to these questions till next Wikileaks Revealations!

One thing is very much clear Doklam Standoff is not isolated incidence but it has totally different background than to squatting attempt by China, as painted in media....

Baloch are celebrating Pakistan Independence

Big Data in National Security: Online Resource

Main content

3 Aug 2017

This paper examines the potential applications of big data by national security communities, with a particular focus on this technology’s possible use by Australia. The topics covered include 1) the problem of the sheer size of the data available and the ways to manage this issue; 2) key trends in big data, such as the convergence of big data and machine learning; 3) the factors driving national security communities to adopt big-data analytics; 4) the potential national security applications of entity recognition and tracking as well as predictive analytics; 5) the limitations and risks of big data, and more.

Download English (PDF, 53 pages, 2.90 MB)
Author   Michael ChiSeriesASPI Publications
PublisherAustralian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)Copyright© 2017 The Australian Strategic Policy Institute

The Time for European Defence Has Come: Rome Must Step Up to the Task

14/08/2017 Nathalie Tocci Defense

Image courtesy of Verity Cridland/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally posed by the Istituto Affari Internazionali on 3 August 2017.

When it comes to European defence, more has been achieved over the last year than in the past decade. Some would go as far back as 1950, the fateful year in which the French Pleven Plan on a European defence community was rejected by the French themselves. In turn, the Union’s founders devised a roundabout to make war on the continent unthinkable: the integration of coal and steel, which kicked off the functionalist logic at the heart of the European project six decades ago. Seventy-seven years later, talk about a European defence union is rife within and beyond the Brussels bubble. But what does such a union consist of? Why is it coming about now? And how should Italy position itself in this process?

The EU Global Strategy (EUGS) presented by High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini to the European Council in June 2016 triggered renewed work on a security and defence union. As noted by the EUGS: “The EU Global Strategy starts at home”[1]: the first priority for the EU’s role in the world is the security of the Union itself, achieved through systemic defence cooperation. The implementation of the EUGS in its first year concentrated heavily on security and defence. The establishment of a permanent headquarters – a military planning and conduct capability in Eurocratese –, and the preparatory work to activate a coordinated annual review on defence between member states, or a permanent structured cooperation between a group of member states (PESCO) are all mentioned in the EUGS. These are necessary tools to travel the long and bumpy road towards a European security and defence union, which would feature more systematic defence cooperation as a first step, potentially going all the way to a common defence, as allowed for in the Lisbon Treaty.

But why is all this happening now? An unprecedented alignment of the stars is making European defence integration a concrete possibility for the first time ever. Insecurity is rising, and Europeans can no longer pretend, as Robert Kagan once put it, to live on Venus. Thankfully, neither do we live on Mars. But we do live on Earth, and there are plenty of security threats and challenges on our planet, notably in and around Europe. European citizens get it. Poll after poll points to the fact that security, or rather insecurity, now tops citizens’ concerns. The ascribed source of that insecurity varies. It is largely based on geography: threat perceptions in Vilnius, Warsaw, Stockholm, Paris or Rome will always be somewhat different. But the fact remains unchanged: security has become a top priority across the Union. Added to this is the fact that majorities across all member states support “more Europe” when it comes to security and defence. Europeans understand that in the 21st century, member states, including the largest ones, are simply too small to guarantee security. Only a joint effort can do the trick.

To this deteriorating strategic environment, four other factors ought to be considered. The first is the prospect of Brexit, which has removed what many believed to be the major break on European defence. I always believed that London was an obstacle in recent years to specific facets of European defence – such as a permanent military headquarters or the activation of a PESCO. But the UK was neither the only nor arguably the major obstacle to progress on European defence. Unlike myself, the fact that many did see London as a major obstacle – regardless of whether they were right or wrong – has triggered a new dynamic since the Brexit referendum, one that is breathing renewed impetus into the prospect of European defence cooperation.

Second, comes the election of Donald Trump. Again, this is a story about perception more than reality. The position of the current US administration concerning European defence is not diametrically opposed to that of its predecessor. Americans have been asking their European allies to pay up on defence for years. This was a message that was sent loud and clear by the two Obama administrations. It was a message that Europeans, in the midst of the economic crisis, generally neglected, notwithstanding the 2 percent defence spending pledge made at the 2014 NATO Wales summit. With a US President as erratic, confused and confusing as Donald Trump, it is a message that Europeans can no longer ignore.

Third is the role of the European Commission. Up until the Juncker Commission, the “D” word was considered somewhat dirty in the Berlaymont. Today not only is the Commission a vocal advocate of European defence, but it has put its money where its mouth is. The 5.5 billion euro European defence fund proposed by the Commission, comprising both defence research and capability development, provides a concrete financial incentive to translate lofty aspirations for systematic defence cooperation into a practical reality.

Fourth is Germany; a country that partly due to rising insecurity and a more fragile transatlantic bond, and partly due to the availability of financial resources, has decided to invest heavily in defence. Germany being Germany, the government requires a compelling narrative to explain such a decision to the public. Framing a decision to invest in defence in NATO terms does not go down well in view of the current incumbent in the White House. In the absence of a national(ist) narrative precluded by Germany’s 20th century history, framing Germany’s defence policy in a European context has become an imperative in Berlin.

Yet post-war Germany does not have a strong defence tradition. Moreover, in light of its leadership role in Europe – which goes well beyond defence – Berlin’s temptation is to try to include all member states in its plans for European defence. This may well preclude the establishment of an ambitious European security and defence union and is why a fifth and final star in this evolving constellation is Emmanuel Macron’s France. During President Hollande’s last semester, France became uncharacteristically passive on European defence, viewing it as an excessively bureaucratic endeavour, insufficiently focused on concrete deliverables, be it the development of capabilities or the willingness to use them. Following Macron’s election, and as evidenced by the outcome of the Franco-German ministerial meeting in July, not only is the Franco-German engine back on track, it is concretely active on European defence. The German predilection for inclusiveness has now combined with the French push for ambition.

What about the rest, and in particular what role should Italy play in this fast moving saga? Particularly since the UK referendum, Italy has been consumed by its ambition to create a new triangle at the heart of the European project between Paris, Berlin and Rome. Indeed, there are good reasons why, and certainly many good topics on which, such triangulation would be welcome, including on defence. Yet there is a second role that Rome historically played in Europe, one that has unfortunately been forgotten over the course of the last two decades: that of a balancer and a consensus builder amongst other member states. When the Italian ambition to enter the inner workings of the Franco-German engine becomes an obsession that obfuscates other lines of action not only is the European interest harmed, but the national interest is damaged too.

The stakes for a European security and defence union are high, and the game has started. It is a game that Rome can and should play to the full. However, it must do so with self-confidence, institutional coherence and strategic vision. It is a tall order to do this as the country sleepwalks into national elections, but one that Italy must strive to fulfil. European defence has traditionally been one of the pet projects of the Italian political class, and certainly one to which Italy, due to its defence industry and foreign policy orientation, can greatly contribute. The train for a Europe of defence is leaving the station. Now is the time to jump on and steer it to destination.


[1] European External Action Service (EEAS), Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe. A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, June 2016, p. 18, For an inside account of the EUGS see Nathalie Tocci, Framing the EU’s Global Strategy. A Stronger Europe in a Fragile World, Cham, Springer-Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

About the Author

Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen, and Special Adviser to EU High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini

Trump Preparing to End Iran Nuke Deal

14 Aug 2017

By Jack Thompson and Oliver Thränert for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

Jack Thompson and Oliver Thränert argue that President Trump´s administration is laying the groundwork for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. However, they suggest that if the US were to end its participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, it would severely damage transatlantic relations and the nuclear non-proliferation regime. As a result, Thompson and Thränert urge European governments to talk with Trump’s most influential advisers and convince them that a unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA will leave the US isolated.

This CSS Policy Perspectives (Vol. 5/4) was published in June 2017 by the Center for Security Studies (CSS).

US President Trump seems determined to kill the nuclear deal with Iran. European leaders should strive to prevent this, as it would severely damage transatlantic relations and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Key Points

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, which would have been impossible without close transatlantic cooperation, brought Iran back into compliance with the Nuclear Non-Prolifera­tion Treaty (NPT)US President Trump and some of his political advisors are preparing to end participation in the JCPOA, possibly as early as October 2017. Iran is gaining ever more influence in the Middle East, they contend, which is why sanctions need to be reinforced, not liftedIf the US were to withdraw from the JCPOA, it would deal another blow to US-European ties and could weaken the NPTHence, European governments need to talk to Trump’s most influential advisers and convince them that withdrawal from the JCPOA would leave the US isolated

One of the most successful examples of transatlantic cooperation in recent years was the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was finalized in July 2015. The deal imposes strict constraints on Iran’s nuclear program, and provides for enhanced transparency, in return for relief from international sanctions.

However, that deal is now under threat. US President Donald Trump, who as a candidate called the JCPOA the “stupidest deal of all time”, is convinced that it does little to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Therefore, the White House is laying the groundwork for withdrawal, possibly as early as October 2017.1 If the US were to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA, this would antagonize the European signatories who, through their early and intense diplomatic engagement, made the JCPOA possible in the first place. With transatlantic relations already under strain, mostly as a result of the Trump administration’s ambivalence about NATO and, more broadly, the liberal world order, the  termination of the JCPOA would constitute yet another significant blow to US-European relations. Furthermore, ending the deal would lift the present limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and weaken the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime. Therefore, decisive European action is required to stop the Trump administration from abandoning the JCPOA.

Divisions in the Trump Administration

Two factors are likely influencing the thinking of Trump and other hardliners. Partisanship is one. For many conservatives, the Iran deal was emblematic of what they viewed as Barack Obama’s feckless foreign policy, and Trump has been adept at channeling conservative anger at the former president. Second, Trump and other critics emphasize Tehran’s extensive involvement in Syria and Iraq and its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. As a result, they argue, Iran is gaining ever more influence in the Middle East. To stop Iran, goes the argument, sanctions have to be reinforced, not lifted. Intense lobbying by the Saudi and Israeli governments has reinforced the administration’s anti-Iran tendencies.

Key political advisors in the administration, such as Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, have played a role in convincing the president to put more pressure on Tehran, to end the JCPOA, and to enforce sanctions. At the same time, most of the president’s principal national security advisors – with the notable exception of CIA Director Mike Pompeo – oppose leaving the JCPOA. Though some of them are critical of the agreement, unilateral withdrawal would leave the US isolated, they believe, and would remove any ability it would have to influence the development of Iran’s nuclear program. This group includes Secretary of Defense James Mattis, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But this faction appears to be losing the battle on the Iran deal. Instead, ideologues such as Bannon, Gorka, and Stephen Miller, a Senior Advisor to the president, appear to have scored an important victory. These aides are skeptical of the national security establishment, which they view as the embodiment of the corrupt Washington “swamp” that is in need of draining, and as hostile to Trump’s presidency.

Even though the president has openly stated that he advocates direct abrogation of the deal, some of his advisors reportedly favor a more subtle approach. They believe that it would be preferable to find a way to goad Tehran into withdrawing from the agreement or, alternatively, into taking steps that could be portrayed as being in violation of the JCPOA. The most likely option at present is that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

which is responsible for conducting inspections under the JCPOA, would be convinced to request unrestricted access to all of Tehran’s military sites. This thinking reflects a complete misunderstanding of international organizations, such as the IAEA, on the part of Trump and his followers: Their purpose is not to serve narrowly defined US national interests, but to implement provisions agreed to by all parties. Furthermore, the IAEA would be well advised to ask for access to particular sites only if it has information that hint at anomalies not compatible with the JCPOA. The US is in the process of attempting to gather intelligence that would convince its allies and the IAEA of the need to inspect these sites. In any event, to gain access to additional military sites, a step that Tehran would likely resist, the US would need the support of a majority of the other JCPOA signatories.

Iranian-made Emad missile is displayed during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran February 11, 2016. Raheb Homavandi / Reuters.

The JCPOA and its Implementation

To be sure, the JCPOA is imperfect. Particularly controversial is the fact that it allows Iran to maintain its entire nuclear infrastructure, and to continue conducting research. Moreover, the deal is of limited duration. Iran can return to full-scale uranium enrichment – a dual-use technology that can be used for the production of bomb-grade fissile material – once special restrictions in the JCPOA are removed, beginning about eight years from now. Because Tehran probably knows how to build nuclear explosive devices, it is what nuclear proliferation experts call a “threshold state”: A country that has the knowledge and the infrastructure available to become a nuclear state in a short period of time. Moreover, the JCPOA does not limit Iran’s right to develop and test ever more sophisticated missiles. It is therefore free to perfect its delivery systems, which could be fitted with nuclear weapons.

In spite of such flaws, the JCPOA is a remarkable achievement. It is the only example of a determined violator of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) having been brought back into full compliance without using military force. This was made possible by the creation of an international coalition, which was initiated by the three main European powers – France, United Kingdom and Germany – in October 2003. In an intense diplomatic effort, this troika and the EU joined forces with an initially hesitant George W. Bush administration, as well as with Russia and China. The E3/EU plus 3, or P-5 plus 1, orchestrated, beginning in July 2006, the adoption of a series of UN Security Council resolutions directed against the Iranian nuclear program, including sanctions. When Barack Obama became president, the US immediately took the lead in these diplomatic efforts, which eventually led to the JCPOA.

Unsurprisingly, Iran has tested the limits of the agreement. For instance, its heavy water production exceeded the cap defined by the JCPOA. But this issue has been addressed through the Joint Commission that was set up as a negotiating channel between the E-3/EU plus 3 and Iran. So far, the IAEA apparently has not inspected Iranian military sites, because it did not feel this to be necessary, given that Iran’s plutonium reactor at Arak remains filled with concrete; 15,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment remain locked under IAEA supervision; and Tehran continues to provide inspectors with timely access across the entire uranium chain. At this point, in contrast to Trump and the hawks in his administration, representatives of the E-3/EU plus 3 and the IAEA believe that the JCPOA is working.2

The Threat of Nuclear Proliferation

The cornerstone of international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has been under stress for some time. Many non-nuclear weapons states contend that the disarmament pace prescribed by this treaty is too slow. The recent adoption in the UN of a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons will further complicate matters. All nuclear weapon states, and those that shelter under the US nuclear umbrella, have boycotted this agreement – a split which is heightening divisions within the NPT community.3 Furthermore, one of the few things that NPT members agree upon is continued implementation of the JCPOA, which many see as essential.

Hence, if the Trump administration were to abandon the JCPOA, this would weaken the nuclear nonproliferation norm. Iran’s nuclear program would be freed from the special JCPOA constraints. Moreover, more states may consider the nuclear option. For instance, Iran’s archrival Saudi Arabia might seek to develop a nuclear capability, which would further destabilize the Middle East. In addition, at a time when North Korea is in the process of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that it could fit with nuclear warheads, Japan and South Korea have already begun to question US security guarantees. They note that, in the event of a military confrontation with Pyongyang, Washington would have to reckon with the possibility of a nuclear strike on its west coast. This has bolstered those in both countries, especially in South Korea, who wish to establish an independent nuclear deterrent. Until now, the very existence of the NPT has served as a check on these arguments. But within the context of a weakened NPT, South Korea – and other states such as Japan – going nuclear could become more likely.4

Europe: Time for Action

In the upcoming months, European governments should do their utmost to convince the Trump administration to not abolish the JCPOA. This will require intensive dialogue with the right people in Washington. These are no longer representatives of the State Department, who seem to have entirely lost their influence. Rather, European officials need to approach national security professionals that value transatlantic cooperation, such as Secretary Mattis. However, if possible, a dialogue with Trump advisers such as Bannon and Gorka might also be useful. Furthermore, Congress needs to be brought into the loop. Influential figures such as Republican Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, seem to be more flexible than the hardliners.

European officials should emphasize four points. First, they should reassure their counterparts that they would continue to support Washington in any meaningful effort to ensure that Iran implements all of the JCPOA provisions, including verification, but that the respective regulations should not be abused. Second, the Europeans  need to make it clear that they continue to support US sanctions that are directed against human rights abuses and the Iranian missile program. Such was the case in August 2017, when the US, joined by the UK, France and Germany, sent a joint letter to the UN Security Council and the Secretary General. Iran’s launch of a missile that carried a satellite into orbit, the letter noted, was inconsistent with UNSCR 2231, which codified the JCPOA.5 Third, European policymakers should seek to convince the White House that they would not allow Tehran to withdraw from the JCPOA, and thereby win the blame game, by arguing that sanctions directed against the Iranian missile program contradict the JCPOA. Fourth, however, Europe must leave no room for doubt: unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, let alone military action against Iran, would leave the US isolated.


1 By law, the administration is required to notify Congress every 90 days whether Iran is living up to the JCPOA. Trump told advisers that he at least wants to have the option to decertify Iran next time, i.e. at the end of September 2017, so that the US would be free to withdraw from the JCPOA. Baker, Peter, “Trump Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal, but Only Reluctantly”, The New York Times, July 17, 2017.

2 Fitzpatrick, Mark, “Three strikes against claims that Iran is violating the nuclear accord”, IISS Voices, July 27, 2017.

3 Gladstone, Rick, “The U.N. Adopts a Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons. Now Comes the Hard Part”, The New York Times, July 8, 2017.

4 Burton, John, “Moon’s nuclear option”, The Korea Times, July 26, 2017.

5 Gladstone, Rick, “Now U.S. Has Company in Pressing Iran on Missile”, The New York Times, August 3, 2017. Paragraph 3 of Annex B of resolution 2231 (2015) calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

Further Reading

Trump Assigns White House Team to Target Iran Nuclear Deal, Sidelining State Department Jana Winter, Robbie Gramer, and Dan de Luce, Foreign Policy, July 21, 2017 This recent article provides the best overview of tension in the White House between critics and supporters of the JCPOA.

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Preclude to Proliferation in the Middle East? Robert Einhorn and Richard Nephew, Foreign Policy at Brookings, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Series Paper 11, May 2016 This is an excellent analysis of the JCPOA and its consequences for the Middle East.

About the Authors

Dr. Jack Thompson is a Senior Researcher in the Global Security Team at the Center for Security Studies (CSS). His research focuses on US foreign policy, with particular interest in grand strategy, political leadership, transatlantic relations, and partisan politics.

Dr. Oliver Thränert is the head of the Think Tank at the Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich.

Sustainable UN Peacekeeping Offensive Operations: UXOs, ERW and IEDs

14 Aug 2017

By Antonio Garcia for Small Wars Journal

When a UN peacekeeping force is deployed in battle, what are the UN’s responsibilities in terms of the post-combat clearance of unexploded ordinances (UXOs)? According to Antonio Garcia, the answer to this question is insufficiently clear, even though it has taken on much greater significance since the introduction of UN tactical offensive operations. For example, Garcia contends this means that even when such operations are achieving their tactical aims on the battlefield, they may be creating humanitarian hazards for local populations and increasing the threat of the proliferation of improvised explosive devices.

This article was originally published by the Small Wars Journal on 8 August 2017.

Sustainable UN Peacekeeping Offensive Operations: UXOs, ERW and IEDs

This essay explores the themes of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping offensive operations and Unexploded Ordinance (UXOs), Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). As the character of conflict changes, there is an increased international focus on IEDs. The traditional threat of ERW has been further complicated by the preponderance of IEDs in war-affected countries. The UN is thus adapting its conventional approach in dealing with mines and UXOs to the complexities of asymmetric warfare where IEDs have increasingly become the weapon of choice for non-state actors. Earlier this year, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) celebrated its 20th year anniversary as the lead UN agency addressing the scourge of mines, and UXOs.  The Security Council and UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has also taken novel approaches in combating spoilers with the deployment of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) as the first strategically mandated offensive peacekeeping force. This essay discusses the interrelation between UN peacekeeping offensive action and the creation of UXOs and its potential effect on local populations and existing humanitarian crises and adds tactical and strategic analysis.

The evolution of modern United Nations (UN) peacekeeping has resulted in a variety of complex operational situations with differing intensities of conflict. The use of force or the threat thereof to counter rebel groups and spoilers remains a fundamental part of peacekeeping, peace enforcement and prevention. The UN has adapted to changes in the operational environment with a number of innovations of which the deployment of the first offensively mandated force, the FIB, indicated a firm strategic resolve from the Security Council. The robust stance of the UN peacekeeping missions in Mali and the Central African Republic are also indicative of such approaches as well as the support role, which the UN has taken in the African Union mission in Somalia. This piece links the effect of tactical offensive operations to the further creation of ERW which may increasingly contribute to humanitarian crises.

The use of force is not new to peacekeeping, especially not in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where heavy tactical action was seen during the Congo Crisis in the 1960s as well as during the mid-2000s in Ituri and in and around Sake inter alia. The FIB’s tactical victory over the M23 was another notch on the belt for the militarists in the UN, however the attempt at offensive action did not translate into any effective operation against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Furthermore, the ineffective Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of the M23 and FDLR failed to capitalize on the gains made and may have second and third knock-on effects, the extent of which remains to be seen.

The FIB operations made use of attack helicopters and ground forces, which in combination used artillery, rockets, mortars, grenades and small arms amongst other weaponry to attack and neutralize the M23. The ERW and UXOs, which resulted from the various operations, were never effectively cleared. Reports from FIB Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) operators indicate that some attempt was made at clearing UXOs. However the complete clearance of the battlefields/areas of combat remains in question. As a result, in subsequent years, munitions from the previous combat were still found in and around Munigi, Kubati hills and Rutshuru. Reports from non-FIB EOD teams which deployed with UNMAS in 2015 indicated a considerable number of UXOs which were unmarked in the general area. Such ERW were brought to the attention of UNMAS through the local population and were addressed on a case by case basis.

The question is thus posed, when a UN offensive force is deployed in battle, what are the UN’s responsibilities in terms of the post-combat clearance of UXOs?  Should a combined UN force and UNMAS EOD team declare a given battlefield free from explosives following such combat? This is perhaps something that the UN DPKO and Department of Field Support (DFS) in combination with UNMAS should consider. UNMAS provides humanitarian and peacekeeping support to the UN as required. The onus remains with the Force and the UN operational and strategic headquarters to incorporate UNMAS in the battle plan and Concept of Operations. The question of whether there is comprehensive doctrinal guidance for UXO clearance post-offensive operations remains unclear.  

There is a need for post combat doctrinal guidance, which should indicate the extent of the area to be cleared and declared free from ammunition and explosives as well as the timeframe for such clearance and the relevant monitoring and reporting channels, following a battle or skirmish.  In order to ensure proper checks and balances the question is posed as to whether UNMAS officers should declare battlefields/areas where skirmishes have occurred free of munitions after the engagement when the tactical situation allows (and map them)? This is an important consideration, especially with the advent of UN peacekeeping offensive operations and continued robust peacekeeping.

There appears to be a disconnect in understanding between UN military advisors and UNMAS staff in regards to what is happening in the field versus doctrinal and mandated requirements. Where the military advisors generally advocate for a more aggressive approach to operations and combatting IEDs, UNMAS tend to work within the scope indicated in the respective mandates and has a primary humanitarian focus. The military tends to view IEDs pragmatically, with a need for a comprehensive strategy and suitable Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), where UNMAS who are also fully operational at the sharp end, has to consider the broader policy issues, standards and guidelines. In this regard a technical manual is in production and will be published later this year. While the operational situation is becoming more dangerous and complex it is worrying to think that the strategic level is under what appears to be a self imposed fog of war, which in all likelihood will take some time to lift.

While considering the role of the armed groups (and opponents of UN peacekeepers), which directly contribute to the creation of an unsafe environment, we should also consider how the UN indirectly adds to such issues. Various armed groups and non-state actors are increasingly using non-conventional tactics and terrorist methods in the execution of operations. The threat of such actors directly destabilizes the security of missions. IED attacks are increasingly being applied in peacekeeping operations, posing a considerable threat to the local population and UN peacekeepers.

There is perhaps nothing which strikes more fear into the hearts of TCCs than the threat of IEDs. For a nation at war, the threat of IEDs are a regular occurrence and the death and injury caused by such weapons are part of the damage associated with the ultimate sacrifice of war.  Peacekeeping in its many forms, is different to war fighting, and there is a much lower national will and appetite for losses in peace operations. While IEDs are used as a means to achieve military and other ends there are also more neutral explosive threats in mission areas. ERW, mines and UXOs which often exist as the legacy of high-intensity operations, still pose the greatest non-prejudiced threat to local populations. In this regard, UXOs pose a particular risk to children who often come into contact with them, do not understand their danger, and play with them mistaking them for toys.

With the evolution of peace missions UN forces have come into contact with more sophisticated armed actors and we have seen the manipulation of UXOs which are subsequently developed into IEDs. The DRC has had an increase in IED attacks over the last few years and one such device was detonated in Goma in 2016; there has been a considerable number of IED attacks in Mali and Somalia to only mention a few missions. This is a clear indication of the growing threat of such devices to peacekeeping operations. This threat is magnified by the availability of UXOs which can be modified into IEDs and should be seen as a growing potential security challenge.  In this regard the UN is obligated to ensure that following conventional operations, all battlefields are cleared of munitions. This will prevent the knock on effect of ERW modification into IEDs.  In the grand scheme this can be regarded as a minor point however it is important in creating a culture of sustainable peacekeeping operations.

One final point to be considered is the way in which the UN selects its Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), especially those who should form part of its peacekeeping offensive force. A key requirement should be the consideration of whether a given country is signatory to the various international laws and conventions on weapons and munitions. In this regard, the UN should have certain standards for example, state X should be signatory to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW); Convention on the Prohibition of Land-Mines etc. The FIB comprises Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa as TCCs. Where South Africa is party to the CCW, Malawi and Tanzania are not. CCW Protocol V specifically addresses the scourge of ERW and the humanitarian problems, which it causes and exacerbates. In this regard, some serious legal questions could be posed as to the requirements or specification of the UN when selecting TCCs, especially in an offensive role. The norms of a state dictates its organizational and doctrinal tendencies, and if a TCC does not consider that being part to the CCW is important how does that influence its approach to offensive peace operations? With regards to Protocol V, are ERW just left behind? Is it solely the responsibility of UNMAS to deal with the threat of UXOs?

The strategic issue of signing international conventions may be outside the direct control of the UN, however the mission has leverage over the FIB and other robustly applied forces, in terms of their application. The South African, Tanzanian and Malawian battalions which comprise the FIB are all deployed with a combat engineer platoon each with limited EOD capabilities. These engineers can be used in conjunction with UNMAS to clear previous battlefields and areas where munitions were discharged. By doing this they will ensure that the FIB does not worsen an already appalling humanitarian situation. Furthermore, the FIB combat engineers could become a force multiplier to UNMAS. In considering such an option it would be similar to the use of military construction engineers, which fulfill a development role, in the building of infrastructure and a tactical role in the provision of force mobility. A similar function could be undertaken by the FIB EOD teams where they could assist UNMAS in the clearance of UXOs. This would need to be mandated and the correct organizational infrastructure, documentation and postings would need to be in place (Status of Force Agreements, Concept of Operations, Mission Strategy, FIB Military Engineer Staff Officer, liaison with UNMAS amongst other factors).

The essay discussed tactical as well as strategic elements in terms of offensive operations and UXOs. The international legal standards must provide the necessary guidance where field operations deal with the practical implications of IEDs. When viewing conflict through the lens of IEDs, the normative framework includes international conventions, policies, mandates and TTPs. On a practical level, without sufficient decontamination of battlefields through UNMAS, contractors or military engineers – the battle may achieve tactical aims but also creates a humanitarian hazard to the local population. In conclusion, the ultimate aim of the UN peacekeeping offensive action should be to promote security, safety and trust and thus the clearing of self-created UXOs should be compulsory. Furthermore, the clearing of UXOs will help win the hearts and minds of the local population. In relation to mine action and IEDs, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that a peace without mine action was an incomplete peace and people should not have to live in fear of dying after the of conflict

About the Author

Antonio Garcia is currently a visiting scholar at New York University's Center on International Cooperation. He is a former senior officer in the South African Army and has previously served in two UN peacekeeping missions