Riyadh and Jerusalem, hand in hand, are imploring Washington to go slow on Iran and certainly not to invite Iran to the Conference on Syria, Geneva II. Kerry is walking around the minefields with great skill. “Iran has not been invited” says he, or words to that effect. And he is not telling a lie. Iran has not been invited, “not yet”.
It will be different situation when the nuclear deal with Iran is set into operation on Monday. Kerry has made it clear on several occasions that he accords a higher priority to the nuclear deal than to Iran’s stand on Syria.
There are several indications to suggest that with the pull out of NATO forces from Afghanistan the entire Taliban and jihadi machinery is going to be pumped in Kashmir by Pakistan to capture it. Against this backdrop what Prashant Bhushan is suggesting (about the withdrawal of Army from Kashmir) would be disastrous for India. In anticipation most of the jihadi outfits active in Afghanistan are shifting base to Pakistani Punjab. It includes Al Qaeda too.
Two years back the longitude marking off high risk areas for piracy was moved from 65 degrees to 78 degrees in the Arabian Sea by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) constituted in 2009 following a UN resolution. The new longitude, although away from India’s territorial waters limit of 12 nautical miles, is dangerously close to the Indian coast. Ships in order to be safe from piracy tend to hug the Indian coast from Mangalore to Kanyakumari. The Enrica Lexie incident too was primarily because of the eastward advancement of the high risk longitude.
From June to September 2013, the matter just simmered beneath a diplomatic lid, as is normally the practice in espionage cases. No diplomatic mission publically admits of being victims of espionage. In September 2013, the Indian Embassy wrote to the State Department that Sangeeta, who was an absconder, should be arrested and restored to the Indian Embassy as she had violated both the Indian and the American laws, and had stolen cash, cell-phone and ‘documents’. The documents that Sangeeta stole are believed to be very vital to India’s national interest. Also, it needs to be highlighted that the entire Indian officialdom based in New York, including country’s representative at the UN are housed in the same building. For Sangeeta, the building was a mine of information.
While the US authorities were engaged in protecting their ‘asset’ by fabricating various legal spins, matters exacerbated due to another development in India. On October 12, 2013 an American vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio, belonging to the US firm AdvanFort, was apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard for unauthorized presence in India’s territorial waters.
Nearly 24 months ago the Government of India embarked on an ambitious development of an integrated cyber warfare platform to counter the enormous threats and real-time challenges mounted by the elite Chinese Cyber Command housed in the Peoples Liberation Army, General Staff Department — Third & Fourth.
The Indian initiative to counter Chinese cyber warfare is being led by Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore and CERT-In (Computer Emergency Response Team, India) located within the Department of Electronics & Information Technology in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Delhi. Over 200 scientists from CERT-In, CAIR and several bright Indian techie consultants have been working to for two years to set up the Indian Cyber Warfare Command, called the ‘NETRA’.
Whatever the actual conduct, at the core of a political party is its nationalist ideology, which is accepted or rejected by the people during elections, depending the manner in which translates into governance. A political party which does not divulge its foreign policy and security agenda is anti-national.
Any political party which relies on country’s instability for growth is anarchist and anti-national. Activism can be national and anti-national, creative and destructive. Negative and anti-national activism destroys concepts of hard work, production and progress. It creates cynicism amongst the populace and negates demographic dividends. This is what the inimical forces are doing to India through their proxies which include terrorist outfits, NGOs and political parties. If the agenda of AAP was purely nationalistic it would have never split from Anna.
Saudi Arabia has in the last few days seen its hold on the GCC countries loosen. To keep himself and his Kingdom in play, Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal, addressing the GCC, suggested that the Kuwait Foreign Minister lead the group to Washington protesting against the deal. Kuwait refused as did the UAE Foreign Minister who, instead, travelled to Moscow to sign different another affidavit.
There are two different appraisals of Saudi vulnerability in the context of the deal. First is the power struggle behind the curtains, a fierce war of succession. A regime so divided and debilitated is more likely to acquiesce in the new arrangement of power in the Middle East. But the opposite can also happen. A regime weakened internally is unlikely to be able to resist the ultra conservative clergy.
Saudi refusal of the rotating Security Council seat has been seen for what it partly is: a tantrum. But it is also a clue to a coming political reality: West Asian politics may well be reverting to normality.
The frenetic pace at which events moved in the Bush years after 9/11 when the United States could ride two horses, Israel and Saudi Arabia at the same time, on the gallop, is only possible on an extensive “straight”. This was the delusionary part of the neo-cons thinking. They thought the US would be on the “straight” forever, having defeated the Soviet Union. But now there is a bend in the race track.
The decision making systems in Washington must be saturated with memos, position papers, backgrounders, by dove-nosed hawks and hawk-nosed doves, both in and outside the administration, on the atmospherics required for the initial moves with Iran after the recent signs of a thaw.
President Hassan Rouhani, meanwhile, must also be casting a glance on the internal dynamics in Iran. That a casual meeting with President Obama on the margins of the UN General Assembly did “not” take place is, by the admission of Iranian diplomats, a “good outcome” because a “casual” meeting at such a delicate juncture would give out misleading signals.