Libyan army "could continue fighting for weeks"


Moammar Gaddafi retains enough military might to resist the international intervention for several weeks or even months, according to a Swiss military expert.

Alexandre Vautravers, editor of the Swiss Military Review and head of the international relations department at Webster University in Geneva, tells that the Libyan army still has significant strength in numbers of tanks, assault vehicles, weapons and troops.After 6 nights of air strikes, discord about the aims of the mission amongst its allied leaders is intensifying, and it is proving harder than expected to establish relations with the leaders of the rebel-led National Transitional Council.

There was a lot of wishful thinking about this rebellion, according to Vautravers, who points out that popular support for the uprising is not comparable to what was seen in Tunisia or Egypt. The most favourable estimates say that only about 35 per cent of the population has actually rebelled against the Gaddafi regime.

The US says the mission to destroy Gaddafi's air defences and impose the no-fly zone is nearly completed. What happens next?

Alexandre Vautravers: The US military command has said that since the first bombs were dropped over Libya, there have been no aerial or ship movements by the Libyan armed forces. [But] military aviation has never played a decisive role in the attacks against the Libyan population. The harm that was really perpetrated against the population was done by other types of weapons – shelling from boats or artillery or heavy weapons – rather than by aviation. There is a bit of misunderstanding about what this no-fly zone was intended to achieve.

Gaddafi loyalists are continuing to attack towns in Western Libya, in particular Misrata and Zintan. Can the rebels effectively fight back without the support of ground troops?

A.V.: There are two very different kinds of forces that are fighting each other. The Libyan military is a relatively coordinated armed force. Certainly for a number of weeks it can continue fighting at the rate it is now. The Libyan military has very substantial stocks of military equipment, weapons kits and an arsenal of munitions. It has some 2,200 battle tanks, over 1,000 infantry fighting vehicles. The troops also have very frequent rotations. The mercenaries come from a number of tribes in sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco or from Eastern Europe and have the same kind of turnover. The troops are not going to be worn down in one or two months, they are rather going to be strengthened by their fighting experience. The rebellion has managed to seize a number of military weapons, barracks and munitions depots. But they don't have the coordination or training, or the command and control capabilities.

How important are relations with the National Transitional Council (NTC)?

A.V.: I think that establishing a relationship between Western forces and these combatants has proven more difficult than was originally planned. The NTC is made up of people who don't necessarily have a very recommendable track record either. We are talking about different tribes, about a different part of the country. Some people have referred to this more as a 'coup d'état' than a proper revolution. The relationship or the contacts that have been made with this council or with rebel fighters have been laborious at best.

Should the ultimate goal of the intervention be to remove Gaddafi? What is the risk of stalemate if he isn't removed?

A.V.: A lot of people will have very strong words about a UN resolution to protect the population against human rights abuses, against military attacks on unarmed civilians and so on. The problem is that when you have to get down to business and get your hands dirty a lot of countries have second thoughts. There is a kind of hypocrisy around the question of humanitarian military intervention or the responsibility to protect. The person who has best captured this is President Obama by saying you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Obama says that the US will cede power to a British or French-led NATO coalition "within days". How do you think this will play out?

A.V.: I find it fascinating that so much is being talked about with regards to this coordination because it's really a non-issue. The command and coordination is Nato. It may not have the Nato logo on it but for all purposes concerned it is a Nato operation. Even the planning to a great extent has been done by Nato staff. But on the questions of leadership, different countries have different aims or interpretations of the mandates.

The confusion at the political level about the aim of the mission implies that there is no exit-strategy. Can we define an exit strategy at this point?

A.V.: The exit strategy is going to be similar to many kinds of humanitarian interventions. We have seen this in Iraq and in Afghanistan where the US has gone in, handed over to Nato then to the European Union, then handing it over to a coalition of forces then handing it over to the local authorities. Most probably there will be this type of cascade that is going to take place.

How important is the role of the Arab League in the intervention?
A.V.: The Arab league of today is a very different kind of institution and may not speak with as much as a unified voice as it did ten years ago. The situation of many of these governments and regimes has changed. The links with  western powers and international organisations are yet to be established by many of these transitional regimes. I'm not sure that we can expect to have a firm stance on the part of the Arab League in this situation. The Qataris have sent six aircraft which are now based in Cyprus, completely out of the way. It is a very symbolic presence. The United Arab Emirates has committed ships and transport aircraft and they are interested in being supportive of the humanitarian action.

After Gaddafi, Democracy or Jihadists?

by Walid Phares, Ph.D.

We all agree that Colonel Gaddafi is a dictator, that he supported terrorism against the U.S. and France, was responsible for the tragedy of PanAm 103, that he funded, armed and trained radicals in many African countries such as in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Haute Volta, and in a few Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon. We all are aware that his regime oppressed his people and tortured and jailed his opponents for four decades. I observed Gaddafi ruling Libya unchecked during and after the Cold War, before and after 9/11, and he was received by liberal democracies as a respectable leader.

My first question is: Why has the West been silent so long and why is it so late in taking action against this dictator? Of course it had to do with oil. Western elites were morally and politically encouraging him by buying his oil and empowering him with endless cash as Libyan dissidents were dying in jails.

Now, as missiles are crushing Gaddafi's air defense systems and tanks, Western governments should be invited for serious self-criticism for having enabled this regime to last that long. Squeezing or even defeating Gaddafi should prompt a comprehensive review of past decades of Western policies towards this regime and its abuses of human rights. The military operation should not end with the departure of Gaddafi from power. It must open the door for an examination of US and European policies that have aligned themselves with Petrodollars interests for over half a century. Such self-criticism was supposed to start with the removal of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, but unfortunately, it hasn't taken place yet, precisely because of the mega-influence inside the West and the United States by powerful lobbies representing the interests of OPEC, the Arab League and the OIC.

Besides, questions should be raised about the Arab League and OIC endorsement of an action against Gaddafi's regime. Where were they for decades, when the Libyan dictator used to seize the microphone on their platforms and blast the very democracies they implored to act against him? These organizations catered to the interest of regimes they now are calling for sanctions against. Mr. Amr Moussa, the current secretary general of the Arab League, rises against Gaddafi after having supported him for years, while the latter was oppressing his own people.

In my book, The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East, I call all these regimes and organizations a "brotherhood against democracy." They have supported each other against democratic movements and minorities everywhere in the region. From Sudan to Lebanon, from Iraq to Libya, the regional organizations were at the service of these regimes, not of the people. As these revolts are ongoing, these inter-regimes' organizations must be criticized and eventually reformed. Last year, the Arab League and OIC were endorsing Libya's role in the UN Council on Human Rights. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya's representatives at the Geneva UN body were shutting up the voices of Libyan dissidents just a few months ago. Now that the uprisings have crumbled the regimes in Cairo and Tunisia, and Tripoli's ruler is cornered, the negative impact these inter-regime organizations have on dissidents and human rights on international levels must be exposed and their future representation comprehensively reformed.

Research confirms that many jihadists have been recruited from Libya, and particularly from its eastern provinces. Besides, Western policies towards Gaddafi's regime were incoherent. They should have supported true democratic forces and uprisings in the region from Iran to the Arab world.

In short I would have advised for a different set of US global strategies in the Middle East. We should have backed the Iranian Green Revolution in 2009, the Cedars Revolution as it struggles against Hezbollah, and Darfur in its liberation drive against the Jihadist regime in Khartoum. In Egypt, we should have clearly sided with the secular youth and Copts, as they asked for a new constitution. In Iraq, we should have been clear in supporting reformist and secular forces.

As far as Libya is concerned, removing Gaddafi is not the question. That should have been done years ago on the grounds of abuse of human rights. The question is who will come next? Clearly, the agenda of the Benghazi leadership is not clear. We know there is a layer of former bureaucrats, diplomats, intellectuals and military dissidents with whom partnership is possible and should be encouraged. But there is another layer below the surface which is made of Islamists, Salafists and in some cases Jihadists.

From a simple observation of the latter's narrative on al Jazeera, one major component of the opposition is an Islamist force aiming at taking over in Tripoli. Hence, Washington must partner with the secular-democrats and warn that it won't endorse replacing Gaddafi's Jamahiriyya with a Jihadi emirate. Why aren't the most liberal Libyan dissidents received in Washington and made visible? The US and NATO military has been tasked to open the highways to Tripoli for the opposition, but we need to insure that on that highway we won't see the democracy groups eliminated by the next authoritarians.

— Professor Walid Phares is a Professor of Global Strategies and an advisor to the Counter Terrorism Caucus of the US House of Representatives. He is the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.

Visit Dr. Phares on the web at

Study Suggests U.S. Loses War With China

A new study suggests U.S. air power in the Pacific would be inadequate to thwart a Chinese attack on Taiwan in 2020. The study, entitled "Air Combat Past, Present and Future," by John Stillion and Scott Perdue, says China's anti-access arms and strategy could deny the U.S. the "ability to operate efficiently from nearby bases or seas."

According to the study, U.S. aircraft carriers and air bases would be threatened by Chinese development of anti-ship ballistic missiles, the fielding of diesel and nuclear submarines equipped with torpedoes and SS-N-22 and SS-N-27 anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), fighters and bombers carrying ASCMs and HARMs, and new ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

The report states that 34 missiles with submunition warheads could cover all parking ramps at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa.
An "attack like this could damage, destroy or strand 75 percent of aircraft based at Kadena," it says.
In contrast, many Chinese air bases are harder than Kadena, with some "super-hard underground hangers."

To make matters worse, Kadena is the only U.S. air base within 500 nautical miles of the Taiwan Strait, whereas China has 27.

U.S. air bases in South Korea are more than 750 miles distant, and those in Japan are more than 885 miles away. Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, is 1,500 miles away. The result is that sortie rates will be low, with a "huge tanker demand."

The authors suggest China's CETC Y-27 radar, which is similar to Russia's Nebo SVU VHF Digital AESA, could counter U.S. stealth fighter technology. China is likely to outfit its fighters with improved radars and by "2020 even very stealthy targets likely [would be] detectable by Flanker radars at 25+ nm." China is also likely to procure the new Su-35BM fighter by 2020, which will challenge the F-35 and possibly the F-22.

The authors also question the reliability of U.S. beyond-visual-range weapons, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. U.S. fighters have recorded only 10 AIM-120 kills, none against targets equipped with the kinds of countermeasures carried by Chinese Su-27s and Su-30s. Of the 10, six were beyond-visual-range kills, and it required 13 missiles to get them.

If a conflict breaks out between China and the U.S. over Taiwan, the authors say it is difficult to "predict who will have had the last move in the measure-countermeasure game."

Overall, the authors say, "China could enjoy a 3:1 edge in fighters if we can fly from Kadena - about 10:1 if forced to operate from Andersen. Overcoming these odds requires qualitative superiority of 9:1 or 100:1" - a differential that is "extremely difficult to achieve" against a like power.

If beyond-visual-range missiles work, stealth technology is not countered and air bases are not destroyed, U.S. forces have a chance, but "history suggests there is a limit of about 3:1 where quality can no longer compensate for superior enemy numbers."

A 24-aircraft Su-27/30 regiment can carry around 300 air-to-air missiles (AAMs), whereas 24 F-22s can carry only 192 AAMs and 24 F-35s only 96 AAMs.

Though current numbers assume the F-22 could shoot down 48 Chinese Flankers when "outnumbered 12:1 without loss," these numbers do not take into account a less-than-perfect U.S. beyond-visual-range performance, partial or complete destruction of U.S. air bases and aircraft carriers, possible deployment of a new Chinese stealth fighter around 2020 or 2025, and the possible use of Chinese "robo-fighters" to deplete U.S. "fighters' missile loadout prior to mass attack."

The authors write that Chinese counter stealth, anti-access, countermissile technologies are proliferating and the U.S. military needs "a plan that accounts for this."

Chinese Military Adventure

 China's military is in the nascent stages of becoming an expeditionary force. The country's anti-piracy deployment to the Gulf of Aden and the use of naval and air assets to support the evacuation of Chinese citizens from Libya in February and March 2011 have shown real capability in this arena.
What is an expeditionary power? The US Department of Defense defines it as 'an armed force organized to accomplish a specific objective in a foreign country.' Additionally, such a force should be able to transport, sustain,and protect itself so that it hasthe freedom toconduct independent missions necessary forthe defense of national interests. The PLA's gradual but important evolution toward greater expeditionary capability coincides with China's steadily rising economic presence and the increasing number of Chinese seeking their fortunes in volatile but often fast-growing countries in places like Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, both as employees of large state conglomerates and as private entrepreneurs.

For now however, due to cost and perception reasons, China's expeditionary capabilities will most likely be tailored to handling threats to Chinese citizens and economic interests abroad. Foremost among these are non-traditional threats to resource security, such as piracy and terrorism, as well as threats to PRC citizens overseas, such as the internal chaos seen in Libya. Compare this with the US military, which possesses highly sustainable expeditionary capabilities that enable it to fight large wars halfway across the world and simultaneously handle other contingencies. The platforms and operational infrastructure that make high-intensity missions possible can also be scaled down to deal with non-traditional security missions like humanitarian relief after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami or suppression of piracy off Somalia. Therefore, the PLA's naval, air and ground capabilities for out-of-area operations are likely at least 15 years away—and even further away from achieving the ability to handle the range of missions—from achieving the capabilities the US Department of Defense possesses today.
But the Chinese military is improving its capacity for dealing with smaller-scale threats that do not involve potential forcible entry into a hostile area, but still involve long-range deployments. Improved abilities to show the flag and assist with humanitarian missions and other military operations other than war can potentially allow a limited expeditionary military capacity to yield substantial diplomatic benefits for China.

The PLA Navy's anti-piracy mission to the Gulf of Aden, now over two years old, is proving highly successful. The 2010 China Defense White Paper noted that by the end of 2010, the PLA Navy (or PLAN)had dispatched 7 sorties with 18 ship deployments, 16 embarked helicopters,and 490 Special Operation Force(SOF)soldiers. Using means including accompanying escort, area patrol,and onboard escort, the PLAN has safeguarded 3,139 ships sailing under both the Chinese and foreign flags, rescued 29 other ships from pirate attacks and recovered 9 ships released from captivity by pirates.
The Gulf of Aden anti-piracy mission, in turn, helped improve the Chinese military's readiness to take part in the February/March 2011 operation to evacuate more than 30,000 PRC citizens from strife torn Libya. While the majority of these left via chartered ships and aircraft or overland, the operation marked the first time China has deployed military assets to protect PRC citizens overseas. Beijing deployed Xuzhou, one of its most modern missile frigates, and also sent four IL-76 long-range military transport aircraft to help evacuate PRC citizens trapped near Sabha in central Libya.

The PLA Navy led the way on China's first expeditionary mission, the GoA anti-piracy deployment, but the PLA Air Force has also been gaining experience in long-range operations through increasingly challenging military exercises that are helping it improve relevant capabilities such as aerial refueling and long-range strike. In September 2010 the PLAAF deployed SU-27's to the Operation Anatolian Eagle exercise in Turkey and the planes reportedly made refueling stops in Pakistan and Iran, according to Hurriyet news. In addition, during the September 2010 Peace Mission multilateral exercise with Kazakhstan and Russia, Chinese J-10s operating from bases in Xinjiang and supported by aerial refueling conducted a 2,000km strike mission with live ordnance against targets in Kazakhstan, according to reports.

Chinese crackdown on free speech.

 One month before Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by authorities in his country, he made a powerful case for free expression in a film shown at the TED2011 conference in Long Beach, California.
The 53-year-old artist was shown talking about the limits on freedom of speech in China. At the end of the film, he was shown on a live webcam waving as he acknowledged the cheers and standing ovation from the audience at TED.
Ai Weiwei was detained April 3 at the Beijing airport, as he was about to travel to Hong Kong, and authorities later said he was under investigation for suspicion of "economic crimes." A spokesman for the foreign ministry, asked about Ai Weiwei, said, "It has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression."
In the film, the artist said, "I'm living in a society in which freedom of speech is not allowed" and pointed to the blocking of Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube. He said searches for his name on domestic websites were blocked and that he was constantly under surveillance.
FlorCruz: Ai arrest highlights China's crackdown
Introducing the film, TED curator Chris Anderson showed some of the artist's works, including the Bird's Nest stadium, which he helped design for the Beijing Olympics, an exhibit at Tate Modern in London of more than 100 million handcrafted porcelain "sunflower seeds" and a series of photos in which his middle finger is extended toward symbols of national pride and power such as the Eiffel Tower and the Forbidden City in Beijing.
"In recent years, Ai Weiwei has become increasingly critical of the Chinese government and has faced consequences for that," Anderson said. "He's had exhibitions canceled, he's faced beatings and his beautiful new studio in Shanghai was bulldozed on January 11." Anderson said Ai Weiwei couldn't attend the conference "because of his current circumstances," but had secretly recorded the film.
In it, Ai Weiwei said he had been trying to connect his art to social change to encourage people to be more involved in society and "to help China to become a more democratic society."
After the devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province in 2008, he mobilized people through the internet to investigate and document the deaths of students in poorly constructed buildings. He said he was "always trying to remind people that an individual can make an effort and also can make an impact."
The artist noted China's great strides in growing its economy and becoming more connected to and recognized by the world community.
"Still we are still a communist society," he said. "Basic values such as freedom of speech and human rights are still in poor condition. Many people -- only because (they) speak their mind -- they can be put in jail or can be put in a very difficult situation." Ai Weiwei said Western nations are tolerating a lack of human rights in China. "This is very shortsighted and will not help China to become a modern society."
Eventually, he said, change will come. "Nobody can really avoid that."

Democracy Is Dead In India Long Live Fascism

Last night around midnight the fascist forces of Indian Government swooped in around midnight on a gathering of women,children and old people at the national capital in New Delhi. This gathering had been called by a Guru or Swami known as Baba Ramdev. These people had gathered there for protesting against large scale corruption and loot of Indian money. Most of these money has been taken out of India and deposited in Swiss and German banks.

It is an open secret that most top leaders are in on this loot, they have accounts being maintained overseas under different names and managed by different men/organisation. So it comes as no surprise that they were unsettled by this unarmed yogi who decided to go on fast unto death unless the government acted.

The government of Fascist Party Of India also known as Congress Party on its part was negotiating with this simple seer for the past 2-3 days. They desperately wanted this seer to call of his protest and disperse quietly, to his demands of Black Money and corruption, Fascist Party Of India only had one answer that they will look into it. Basically it was a way to avoid confrontation and yet do nothing to fight against the corrupt forces.

Realizing that the Baba Ramdev was gathering more and more supporters with close to 1 lakh people reaching New Delhi very soon, it was desperate times for the Fascist Party Of India(Congress Party). As they say desperate times call for desperate measures thus the home ministry in collusion with the state government of Delhi called in the Storm Troopers also known as RAF(Rapid Action Force) and the Local Police. They cleverly let every body go to sleep or to their homes and attacked after midnight when the crowd was the thinnest. Unfortunately they miscalculated the devotion for their nation amongst these unarmed men,women and children. these people refused to budge and when beating them up with batons,canes and sticks failed the Storm troopers decided to unleash tear gas shells in a closed compound.

Just imagine a small area filled with children and unarmed civilians with no place to hide or run and the Police fires tear gas cannisters into the crowd. The result was a disaster to say the least, with people running everywhere and a stampede ensued. To aggravate the matter Storm Troopers moved in beating anybody in their range or path.Please note not one police officer was injured, not one protester fought back, not one incidence of violence instead the people gathered requested the police to stop with folded hands. As students of history are aware that these kind of actions have no meaning for fascist forces so same was true here too. The police and RAF waded into the crowd mercilessly thrashing anybody and everybody.

So my friends this is the beginning of the end of democracy in India. Remember how Hitler came to power, yes he won an election didn't he ? After the victory he used his political and administrative power to destroy any hint of opposition through out Germany. His SS and SA guards used to control the streets and any body demonstrating against Hitler disappeared. Same is true for Fascism in India, the Largest Democracy of the world has fallen......Long Live Fascism

Peshawar In Pakistan Rocked By Another Blast

PESHAWAR: A bomb attack near the Pakistani city of Peshawar killed at least six people on Sunday, police said.

“The blast took place at a bus stop and it seems the bomb was planted,” said Raheem Khan, a police inspector. Ten people were wounded.

Pakistan’s Taliban militants, who have close ties to al Qaeda, have carried out a series of attacks to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in a Pakistani town on May 2.

They have attacked paramilitary cadets, a US consulate convoy, a naval base and other targets.

The United States reiterated its call on Pakistan to become a more reliable partner in its war on militancy after it was discovered that bin Laden had apparently been living in Pakistan for years.

The Taliban have proven resilient in the face of several army offensives against their strongholds, seemingly carrying out suicide bombings at will.

Israel Forced To Open Fires On Golan Height?


Syrian government in a desperate attempt to deflect attention of its public from the human right violation and the democracy demand of the public has orchestrated another drama on Golan heights. Unfortunately that stage managed drama turned violent when thousand of Syrian protester tried to break into the Israeli controlled Golan Heights and in response Israeli troops were forced to open fire in self defense.

It is reported that 6 people died in the firing and more than dozen may have received some sort of bullet injuries but it was quite clear that this was not a spontaneous agitation done by local population, it has more to do with the intense pressure Syrian government is under.

Israel has rightly called on Syria to show some restraint because this has happened twice in a month's time coinciding with the spike in violence inside Syria.Last time when Israel showed restrain thousand of pro-Palestinian supporter broke into Israel controlled Golan heights and it resulted in a situation where extra troops had to be mobilized.

Such kind of action was expected owing to the fact that it was the 44th anniversary of the 6 day war and Syria has not forgotten the humiliation it suffered at the hands of the Israeli forces then.Palestinian call it the Naksa Day, when Palestinians and Arabs commemorate the defeat to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day war. The conflict resulted in Israel’s occupation of swaths of Arab territory, including the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with East Jerusalem.
To be honest this kind of posturing and shadow boxing does not help anybody instead it gives Israeli right wing a chance to harden its stand.

There were also riots in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, with reports of several injuries among the Palestinian protesters there. A large demonstration along the Lebanese-Israeli border was cancelled, after the Lebanese authorities banned protesters from entering the sensitive frontier region.

In past years, Naksa Day has been a largely low-key affair. However, encouraged by the wave of political unrest sweeping the Arab world this year, pro-Palestinian activists had called for marches and demonstrations in many parts of the region.

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Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh Goes For Major Surgery

As reported earlier there was considerable amount of confusion about the injuries sustained by President Ali Abdullah Saleh for the simple reason that he did not appear on national television or any other channel. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that injuries were not minor but quite serious. Even though officially nothing has been told but all the indicators point toward serious trouble.

First point I would like to mention is that amidst such heavy fighting the President accepts the offer for treatment in Saudi Arabia can mean either Saleh has accepted the inevitable that he has lost the war and was looking for a face saving way of escaping or President is so badly injured that there was no other way than to go for treatment to Saudi.

Secondly some reports have started appearing in western media that Saleh is undergoing neurosurgery.

A senior United States official said Saleh had shrapnel wounds and severe burns to his face and chest, adding that it was not clear how serious the injuries were. The official declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Saleh flew to Saudi Arabia Saturday after the attack, leaving Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in charge.Saudi medical teams have reported that injuries to President Saleh were much more serious than what was expected earlier. Unfortunately no clear answer were available anywhere.

Irrespective of the seriousness of his injuries or what President Saleh will do in future tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators celebrated in the streets of the cities of Sanaa and Taiz Sunday.Yemen's largest opposition bloc Sunday vowed to keep Saleh from returning to Yemen."The Yemeni people will do all in their power to not allow Saleh to reenter the country," Joint Meeting Parties spokesman Mohammed Qahtan said.

Yemeni security forces on Friday pounded the home of Sadeq al-Ahmar, the Hashed tribal leader whose supporters were first suspected of being behind the attack on the presidential palace. The flurry of shelling left 10 people dead and 35 others wounded, according to Fawzi Al-Jaradi, an official with Hamil al-Ahmar, a Hashed tribal confederation led by Sadeq al-Ahmar.

China Forces Indian Army And Air Force To Hasten Defensive Plans

As the news of the growing Chinese army infiltration on the eastern border of India was seeping through, came the double whammy news of Chinese army divisions presence in POK(Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) on the north-western border of India. These two news completely unnerved not only the military establishment but the political establishment too.

You might remember few years back Indian Army conducted a study called "Divine Matrix" which predicted a Chinese invasion of India by 2016-2017. Thus to some extent Indian Armed forces were aware of the situation but as usual the political bosses were least bothered. In the past 3-4 months that has changed drastically. PM Manmohan Singh was briefed about the sorry state of affair on our eastern border and impressed upon the need to improve if India has to avoid another 1962 kind of catastrophe.

With five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), China can now move more than 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) at their "launch pads" on LAC in double-quick time, outnumbering Indian forces by at least three-is-to-one.

China's rapidly-expanding footprint in infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, in the backdrop of the Beijing-Islamabad military nexus which targets India, has served to further heighten concerns in the defence establishment here.

Unfortunately the reaction of India to all that is quite slow to the point of being cumbersome. Only 15 of the 73 all-weather roads earmarked for construction along the unresolved LAC, for instance, are actually ready till now. Similarly Indian Air Force has woken up after 20-30 years and is upgrading eastern sector ALGs (advanced landing grounds) like Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro and Vijaynagar as well as several helipads in Arunachal after reactivating western sector ALGs like Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukche and Nyama in eastern Ladakh. "But the entire process needs to be hastened," said an official.

To over come the huge disparity between the Chinese capability and Indian capability on the eastern front, army and Air Force have decided to use force multipliers for now to give India advance warning and keep an eagle eye on the Chinese movement. This has been done to avoid any nasty surprises. To that goal India is now deploying spy drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and light observation helicopters along the borders with China to keep a hawk-eye on the stepped-up activities of People's Liberation Army.

India Army and IAF are desperate for faster inductions of the Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to counter the vastly superior Chinese Air Force(PLAF). While IAF has ordered eight Akash squadrons for Rs 6,200 crore, six of which are to be based in the North-East, the Army has placed an order for two regiments at a cost of Rs 14,180 crore.

The construction of over 5,500 "permanent defences and bunkers" along the borders is now being speeded up to ensure their completion within four to five years, under the Rs 9,243 crore military infrastructure development project approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security for the Eastern Army Command.

"Sukhoi-30MKI fighters are already being based in IAF airbases like Tezpur and Chabua. Army Aviation bases in Assam are also now being upgraded, with seven helicopters and four Israeli Searcher-II UAVs already been deployed there," a defence ministry source said.

The Army is also pushing for a mountain strike corps after having raised two new mountain infantry divisions. The new divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, have their HQs in Zakama (56 Div) in Nagaland and Missamari (71 Div) in Assam.

All these plans I believe are 20 years too late but it is better than nothing. May be with these steps India can strategically counter China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the last two decades. Hopefully now the GOI will wake up from its slumber and inaction. Government Of India must build up these roads and rail network because they are the artery which supply life blood to the front without it the soldiers will again be as helpless as they were in 1962 debacle.

Most Dreaded Mafia/Terrorist Boss Dawood About To flee Pakistan

Finally the 15 year honeymoon is over. For more than a decade Pakistani Intelligence called ISI had shielded and protected Dawood Ibrahim and like a loyal dog he had done everything for his beloved master including serial bomb-blast in Mumbai, bomb-blast's in other parts of India, murder and then Mumbai carnage. He has developed network for ISI to pump in money,arms,drugs and explosives in various Indian cities as well as Nepal and Bangladesh. In return his master the ISI has given him a safe haven in Karachi for 15 years.

Besides, the don's men have access to police stations in the city and the corridor of power at Mantralaya. The ISI officials pay Dawood for getting their work done through him.

Mumbai police investigations have indicated Dawood is the main agent for subversive activities in India.

But the fairy tale romance may end soon. With the killing of Osama ,murder of Mullah Omar and the latest drone strike on Illyas Kashmiri, there is a growing suspicion in Dawood camp that he may be sacrificed by the Pakistani's for brownie points from America.Therefore Dawood and his band of thugs that include Chotta Shakeel and Aftab Bhatki are looking for a place where they can set up shop and be protected from the American military. Unfortunately till now nobody wants to touch Dawood's case and incur the American wrath.

ISI is famous for being ruthless in sacrificing its own men, they leave their men behind and dis-own any responsibility if it suits them,Dawood has realized that. It has been reported that he has sent feelers to RAW and IB for help. He has asked that if he surrenders to Indian Law will he be kept alive and shielded from the Americans.

The most ill fated project of DRDO perhaps was Bhim. It was developed to take advantage of the sturdy chassis of Arjun tank and the advanced artillery gun of South African manufacturer Dennel.

This artillery system is fitted with a complete T6 turret, developed by Denel of South Africa. It is armed with a 155-mm / L52 howitzer, similar to that of the G6-52. Vehicle has a fully automatic ammunition loading system. Maximum range of fire is 41 km with rocket assisted projectile and 52 km with Denel V-LAP rocket assisted projectile. This system is capable of firing standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. Maximum rate of fire is 8 rounds per minute. Sustained rate is 2 rounds per minute. The Bhim is capable of firing 3 rounds burst in 15 seconds. It is also capable of multiple-launch simultaneous impact firing. Up to 6 rounds are launched in different trajectories and hit located 25 km away simultaneously.

Total onboard ammunition capacity is about 40 - 50 rounds. 20 of these rounds are stored in the autoloader. Turret has ammunition loading hatches on both sides. A conveyor belt may be extended for ground ammunition loading and direct feeding of the gun.

Secondary armament of the Bhim howitzer consists of a single 7.62-mm machine gun.

Vehicle is fitted with modern fire control system. It has a fire control computer for automatic gun laying and GPS navigation system. The Bhim artillery system has a crew of four, however it's high level of automation allows to reduce the crew to two men in a fully automatic mode. It consists of commander, gunner, loader and driver.

Unfortunately Dennel got involved in a bribery scam and was blacklisted from India, thus ended its participation in the project. The only vendor left in the fray was the  K-9 South Korean Firm. Because of the single vendor situation whole contract was scrapped..

In its June edition of tech focus DRDO claims that the army is satisfied with the new look Bhim. Please read the document given below

China Humiliates Vietnam Forcing It To Procure More Weapons

Vietnam has confirmed that it is buying 6 kilo class attack submarines from Russia to protect its maritime resources better and chase away any encroacher.Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Defense, also confirmed the Kilo submarine deal and added that Vietnam was also buying "Su-30 fighters and surface-to-air missiles."

The incidence which has raised the hackles of Vietnamese armed forced happened in May when one of its offshore oil and gas exploration ship was attacked and harassed by an increasing expansionist Chinese navy.

The Vietnamese ship, the Binh Minh 02, detected the Chinese patrol boats approaching on radar at about 5 a.m on Thursday, the official Vietnam News Agency reported. About an hour later, the three Chinese boats intentionally ran through the area where the Vietnamese ship was working, snapping cables the ship was using, then left the scene after about three hours, it said.

China’s Foreign Ministry blamed Vietnam for the incident
“China’s stance on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. We oppose oil and gas operations conducted by Vietnam, which have undermined China’s interests and jurisdictional rights in the South China Sea and violated the consensus both countries have reached on the issue,” ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
“What relevant Chinese departments did was completely normal marine law-enforcement and surveillance activities in China’s jurisdictional sea area,” she said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website (
“China has been committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. We are willing to work together with relevant parties to seek a solution to related disputes,” Jiang added.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry protested against the incident by passing a diplomatic note to representatives of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Thursday.The incident caused outrage in Vietnam, resulting in public protests at the Chinese embassy and hacker attacks on Chinese government websites.

China's military has been expanding its capabilities and influence in the South China Sea with a new submarine base on Hainan Island, and preparations are underway to begin sea trials of its first aircraft carrier.

China and Vietnam have been engaged in conflict or small skirmishes in the South China Sea since the 1970s. In 1974 China in a blatant violation of international laws took the Paracel Islands by military force from South Vietnam, but Vietnam refuses to recognize Chine occupation and claims that territory as its own. China has found new way of harassing and humiliating Vietnam by arresting its fishermen for no reason. Chinese navy infiltrate into the Vietnamese water and pick up fishermen just to show its might.

In 1988 China and Vietnam fought over the Johnson South Reef in the South China Sea. China sank two Vietnamese naval vessels and opened fired on Vietnamese troops occupying the reef. More than 30 unarmed sailors and 3 transport ship was sunk by the imperialistic Chinese Navy

The South China Sea covers an area of more than 648,000 sq miles (1.7 million sq km), containing more than 200 mostly uninhabitable small islands, rocks and reefs.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.The incident this week took place in an area called Block 148 about 120 km (80 miles) off the south-central coast of Vietnam from the beach town of Nha Trang, the Vietnamese news agency said.

US Navy And Its New Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)

courtesy General Dynamics
US Navy believes that to face the non-conventional and asymetric threats posed by smaller nation or proxies of other nation , it will ned fast ships which are highly maneuverable even near the coast where the heavier ship cannot go. These ships will exploit the advances in network,robotics and modular design. This is supposed to become the back-bone of naval strategy of USA in future. To some extent this has come about after watching the success of "Flex" ships of Denmark. The US Navy’s $30+ billion “Littoral Combat Ship” program was intended to create a new generation of affordable surface combatants that could operate in dangerous shallow and near-shore environments, while remaining affordable and capable throughout their lifetimes.

The LCS program was announced on November 1, 2001. The LCS is a relatively inexpensive
Navy surface combatant that is to be equipped with modular “plug-and-fight” mission packages,
including unmanned vehicles (UVs). Rather than being a multimission ship like the Navy’s larger
surface combatants, the LCS is to be a focused-mission ship, meaning a ship equipped to perform
one primary mission at any given time. The ship’s mission orientation can be changed by
changing out its mission packages. The basic version of the LCS, without any mission packages,
is referred to as the LCS sea frame.

"1 On November 1, 2001, the Navy announced that it was launching a Future Surface Combatant Program aimed at acquiring a family of next-generation surface combatants. This new family of surface combatants, the Navy stated, would include three new classes of ships: a destroyer called the DD(X)—later redesignated the DDG-1000—for the precision long-range strike and naval gunfire mission; a cruiser called the CG(X) for the air defense and ballistic missile mission, and a smaller combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to counter submarines, small surface attack craft, and mines in heavily contested littoral (near-shore) areas. For more on the DDG-1000 program, see CRS Report RL32109, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, by Ronald O'Rourke. For more on the CG(X) program, see CRS Report RL34179, Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background for Congress, by Ronald O'Rourke. "

The LCS’s primary intended missions are antisubmarine warfare (ASW), mine countermeasures
(MCM), and surface warfare (SUW) against small boats (including so-called “swarm boats”),
particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. The LCS program includes the development and
procurement of ASW, MCM, and SUW mission packages for LCS sea frames. The LCS’s
permanently built-in gun gives it some ability to perform the SUW mission even without an SUW
Additional missions for the LCS include peacetime engagement and partnership-building
operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, maritime intercept
operations, operations to support special operations forces, and homeland defense operations. An
LCS might perform these missions at any time, regardless of its installed mission module, although an installed mission module might enhance an LCS’s ability to perform some of these

The LCS displaces about 3,000 tons, making it about the size of a corvette (i.e., a light frigate) or a Coast Guard cutter. It has a maximum speed of more than 40 knots, compared to something more than 30 knots for the Navy cruisers and destroyers. The LCS has a shallower draft than Navy cruisers and destroyers, permitting it to operate in certain coastal waters and visit certain ports that are not accessible to Navy cruisers and destroyers. The LCS employs automation to achieve a reduced “core” crew of 40 sailors. Up to 35 or so additional sailors are to operate the ship’s embarked aircraft and mission packages, making for a total crew of about 75, compared to more than 200 for the Navy’s frigates and about 300 (or more) for the US Navy’s current cruisers and destroyers.

Planned Procurement Quantities
US Navy plans to field a force of 55 LCS sea frames and 64 LCS mission packages (16 ASW, 24
MCM, and 24 SUW). The Navy’s planned force of 55 LCSs would account for about one-sixth of
the Navy’s planned fleet of more than 300 ships of all types.

US Navy plans call for procuring 19 LCSs in the five-year period FY2012-FY2016, in annual
quantities of 4-4-4-4-3. These 19 ships account for more than one-third of the 55 battle force
ships in the Navy’s FY2012-FY2016 shipbuilding plan. The Navy’s FY2011-FY2040 30-year
shipbuilding plan, submitted to Congress in February 2010 in conjunction with the FY2011
budget, shows three LCSs per year for FY2016-FY2019, two per year for FY2020-FY2024, a 1-
2-1-2 pattern for FY2025-FY2033, and two per year for FY2034-FY2040. LCSs scheduled for
procurement in the final years of the 30-year plan would be replacements for LCSs that will have
reached the end of their 25-year expected service lives by that time.
Two LCS Designs

On May 27, 2004, the Navy awarded contracts to two industry teams—one led by Lockheed
Martin, the other by General Dynamics (GD)—to design two versions of the LCS, with options
for each team to build up to two LCSs each. The LCS designs developed by the two teams are
quite different—the Lockheed team’s design is based on a steel semi-planing monohull, while GD
team’s design is based on an aluminum trimaran hull (see Figure 1). The two ships also use
different built-in combat systems (i.e., different collections of built-in sensors, computers,
software, and tactical displays) that were designed by each industry team. The Navy states that
both LCS designs meet the Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) for the LCS program.

Estimated Procurement Costs for 55 LCS Sea Frames
The Navy’s FY2012 budget submission estimates the average unit procurement cost of the LCSs
to be procured at a rate of four ships per year in FY2012-FY2015 at about $468 million in then-
year dollars, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs, and the average unit procurement cost of the three LCSs to be procured in FY2016 at about $512 million in then-year dollars, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs. The Navy’s FY2012 budget submission estimates the total procurement cost of the final 53 LCSs at about $28 billion in then-year dollars, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs. Adding the procurement costs of the first two LCSs would result in an estimated total procurement cost for all 55 LCS sea frames of about $29.9 billion in then-year dollars, excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs.
Manning and Deployment Concept
The Navy plans to maintain three LCS crews for each two LCSs, and to keep one of those two
LCSs continuously underway—a plan Navy officials sometimes refer to as “3-2-1.” Under the 3-
2-1 plan, LCSs are to be deployed for 16 months at a time, and crews are to rotate on and off
deployed ships at four-month intervals.8 The 3-2-1 plan will permit the Navy to maintain a greater percentage of the LCS force in deployed status at any given time than would be possible under the traditional approach of maintaining one crew for each LCS and deploying LCSs for six or seven months at a time.

SUW Module: 
Griffin Selected as Recommended Replacement for N-LOS. The Navy had planned to use an Army missile program known as the Non-Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) as part of the LCS surface warfare (SUW) mission package. The Navy planned for LCSs equipped with SUW mission packages to be nominally armed with three NLOS missile launchers, each with 15 missiles, for a total of 45 missiles per ship. The missiles could be used to counter swarm boats or other surface threats.

In May 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) approved an Army recommendation to cancel
NLOS-LS Following the cancellation of NLOS-LS, the Navy assessed potential alternative systems for fulfilling the NLOS role in the SUW mission package. On January 11, 2011, the Navy announced that it had selected the Griffin missile as its recommended replacement for NLOS-LS.

The Navy stated that Griffin will be about half as expensive as NLOS-LS, and that it could be
delivered about as soon as NLOS. The Navy stated that an initial version of the Griffin would be
ready by 2014 or 2015, and that a follow-on, longer-ranged version would be ready by 2016 or
2017 One press report quoted an official from Raytheon, the maker of the Griffin, as stating
that the Griffin’s current range is less than 5 kilometers (i.e., less than about 2.7 nautical miles) Another press report stated: “The Griffin’s range has not been officially disclosed, though

Anti Submarine Warfare Module
Shift to Systems With “In Stride” Capability. The Navy in January 2011 provided information on changes it has decided to make to the systems making up the ASW module. A January 14, 2011, press report stated that the Navy

discovered that while its [originally planned] LCS ASW module was able to do the mission,
the equipment package proved unsatisfactory because the ship would actually have to stop in
the water to deploy the equipment. “The ship could not do it in stride,” says Capt. John
Ailes, Navy mission module program office manager….

As for its ASW defense, the Navy plans to deploy a module that will include three parts: a
variable-depth sonar; a multi-functional towed array; and a lightweight towed array, Ailes
says. The Navy will be testing the ASW module package throughout this and the coming
year, he says, with an eye toward initial operational capability in 2017

Mine Counter Measures Module: 
Possible Replacement of RAMICS by Modified ALMDS
A January 13, 2011, press report stated:
The Navy is looking to terminate an underperforming anti-mine system from the LCS mission package being designed for that mission.

Service acquisition officials have become increasingly frustrated with the testing results of
the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMCS), Rear Adm. Frank Pandolfe, head of
the Navy’s surface warfare directorate, said this week.

While testing is still underway on the Northrop Grumman [NOC] system, which is to locate
and destroy mines in shallow waters, the results have fallen short of service expectations, he said during a Jan. 11 speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference in
Arlington, Va.

To remedy the situation, Pandolfe said program officials are looking to modify the Airborne
Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) to carry out the RAMCS mission.

Also manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the ALMDS uses directed energy system mounted on board a MH-60R helicopter to detect mines at the same shallow depth the RAMCS was designed to destroy.

If the modification is successful, Navy decisionmakers plan to axe the RAMCS platform and use the ALMDS variant, Pandolfe said. The surface warfare chief did not go into specifics regarding what kind of development work would be necessary to make such a transition, but he did note the move would also trim costs on the growing costs on the LCS anti-mine package.

However, Pandolfe reiterated that if the Navy opts to go with the ALMDS approach, the mission package itself would be delivered on time. “They will be where they need to be when they need to be there,” he said

2011 Funding Request
The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget requested $1,231.0 million in procurement funding for the
two LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011, and $278 million in FY2011 advance
procurement funding for 11 LCSs that the Navy wanted, under the FY2011 budget submission, to
procure in FY2012-FY2014. (The Navy now wants, under the dual-award strategy, to procure 12
LCSs in FY2012-FY2014.) The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget also requested $9.8 million in
procurement funding to procure LCS module weapons, $83.0 million in procurement funding for
procurement of LCS mission packages, and $226 million in research and development funding
for the LCS program.

2012 Funding Request
Under Navy budget plans, the four LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2012 are to receive $79 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) funding. Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget requests $1,802 million in FY2012 procurement funding to complete the four ships’ combined estimated procurement cost of $1,881 million. The Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget also requests $79 million procurement funding for procurement of LCS mission packages, and $286.8 million in research and development funding for the LCS program.

Announced Changes in Mission Module Equipment
Potential risks being looked into by American Congress are
  1. How will the announced changes in the equipment making up the SUW and ASW modules affect the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) dates of these modules?
  2. How would the replacement of the NLOS-LS missile by the Griffin missile in the SUW module affect the SUW capability of the LCS, particularly in light of the range of the Griffin missile compared to that of the NLOS-LS missile?
  3. When does the Navy anticipate announcing its decision on whether to keep the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) in the MCM module or replace it with a modified version of the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS)? If RAMICS were replaced by a modified version of ALMDS, how would that affect the IOC date of the MCM module and the MCM capability of the LCS?
Combat Survivability
Another potential risk which is being shown up is the poor combat survivability of these light ships.A December 2010 report from DOD’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation stated:
[On LCS-1,] Critical ship control systems essential to support the crew have performed well
in testing; however, several systems required for self-defense and mission package support
have demonstrated early reliability problems….
LCS is not expected to be survivable in terms of maintaining a mission capability in a hostile
combat environment. This assessment is based primarily on a review of the LCS design requirements. The Navy designated LCS a Survivability Level 1 ship; the design of the ship just allows for crew evacuation. Consequently, its design is not required to include survivability features necessary to conduct sustained operations in a combat environment.
The results of early live fire testing using modeling and simulation, while not conclusive,
have raised concerns about the effects weapons will have on the crew and critical equipment.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Additional live fire testing and analysis is needed to fully assess the survivability of the LCS class of ships. Additional information is available in the classified LCS 1 Early Fielding Report

Hull Cracking on LCS-1
Another potential grave risk which was discovered and is under investigation is the problem of Hull Cracking. A March 18, 2011, press report states that LCS-1 developed a crack as long as six inches through its hull during sea trials, prompting a U.S. Navy investigation of the design.

The Navy is analyzing the crack to determine if changes are required for future Lockheed Martin hulls, Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Christopher Johnson said yesterday in an e-mail. This includes reviewing “the design, construction drawings and welding procedures,” he said.

During a heavy-weather ocean trial on the USS Freedom in mid-February, he said, sailors discovered a six-inch horizontal hull crack below the waterline that leaked five gallons an hour. Inside the hull the crack measured three inches. It originated in a weld seam between two steel plates.

The ship returned to its home port in San Diego, avoiding rough seas, after the commanding officer judged the leak rate “manageable,” Johnson said.

Smaller cracks that indicated welding “defects” showed up in the welds of the vessel’s aluminum structure during sea trials last year, Johnson said in his e-mail.

Operation and Support (O&S) Cost
Another potential problem for the LCS program concerns the ship’s operation and support (O&S) cost. At the request of Senator Jeff Sessions, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the impact of O&S cost and other types of costs on the total life-cycle costs of the LCS and (for purposes of comparison) four other types of Navy ships. The results of CBO’s analysis were released in the form of an April 28, 2010, letter to Senator Sessions. CBO estimates in the letter that LCS-1 (the Lockheed Martin LCS design) would have an O&S cost, in constant FY2010 dollars, of $41 million to $47 million per year, depending on how often the ship travels at higher speeds and consequently how much fuel the ship uses each year.

A February 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report stated:

The Navy estimated operating and support costs for LCS seaframes and mission packages in 2009, but the estimates do not fully reflect DOD and GAO best practices for cost estimating and may change due to program uncertainties. GAO’s analysis of the Navy’s 2009 estimates showed that the operating and support costs for seaframes and mission packages could total $84 billion (in constant fiscal year 2009 dollars) through about 2050. However, the Navy did not follow some best practices for developing an estimate such as (1) analyzing the likelihood that the costs could be greater than estimated, (2) fully assessing how the estimate may change as key assumptions change, and (3) requesting an independent estimate and comparing it with the program estimate. The estimates may also be affected by program uncertainties, such as potential changes to force structure that could alter the number of ships and mission packages required. The costs to operate and support a weapon system can total 70 percent of a system’s costs, and the lack of an estimate that fully reflects best practices could limit decision makers’ ability to identify the resources that will be needed over the long term to support the planned investment in LCS force structure. With a decision pending in 2010 on which seaframe to buy for the remainder of the program, decision makers could lack critical information to assess the full costs of the alternatives.

Operational Concepts
People are not really convinced about the operational concept of LCS

The February 2010 GAO report cited above also stated:
The Navy has made progress in developing operational concepts for LCS, but faces risks in implementing its new concepts for personnel, training, and maintenance that are necessitated by the small crew size. Specifically, the Navy faces risks in its ability to identify and assign personnel given the time needed to achieve the extensive training required. GAO’s analysis of a sample of LCS positions showed an average of 484 days of training is required before reporting to a crew, significantly more than for comparable positions on other surface ships. Moreover, the Navy’s maintenance concept relies heavily on distance support, with little maintenance performed on ship. The Navy acknowledges that there are risks in implementing its new concepts and has established groups to address how to implement them. However, these groups have not performed a risk assessment as described in the 2008 National Defense Strategy. The Strategy describes the need to assess and mitigate risks to executing future missions and managing personnel, training, and maintenance. If the Navy cannot implement its concepts as envisioned, it may face operational limitations, have to reengineer its operational concepts, or have to alter the ship design. Many of the concepts will remain unproven until 2013 or later, when the Navy will have committed to building
almost half the class. Having a thorough risk assessment of the new operational concepts would provide decision makers with information to link the effectiveness of these new concepts with decisions on program investment, including the pace of procurement

China's Newspaper Threatens Google For Hacking Claims

The tough warning appeared in the overseas edition of the People's Daily, the leading newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, indicating that political tensions between the United States and China over Internet security could linger.

Last week, Google said it had broken up an effort to steal the passwords of hundreds of Google email account holders, including U.S. government officials, Chinese human rights advocates and journalists. It said the attacks appeared to come from China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected those accusations, and the party newspaper warned Google against playing a risky political game.

By saying that Chinese human rights activists were among the targets of the hacking, Google was "deliberately pandering to negative Western perceptions of China, and strongly hinting that the hacking attacks were the work of the Chinese government," the People's Daily overseas edition, a small offshoot of the main domestic paper, said in a front-page commentary.

"Google's accusations aimed at China are spurious, have ulterior motives, and bear malign intentions," said the commentary, written by an editor at the paper.

"Google should not become overly embroiled in international political struggle, playing the role of a tool for political contention," the paper added.

"For when the international winds shift direction, it may become sacrificed to politics and will be spurned by the marketplace," it said, without specifying how Google's business could be hurt.

A Google spokeswoman said the U.S. firm had no comment on the remarks.

The latest friction with Google could bring Internet policy back to the foreground of U.S.-China relations, reprising tensions last year when the Obama administration took up Google's complaints about hacking and censorship from China.

Google partly pulled out of China after that dispute. Since then, it has lost more share to rival Baidu Inc in China's Internet market, the world's largest by user numbers with more than 450 million users.

Google said last week that the hacking attacks appeared to come from Jinan, the capital of China's eastern Shandong province and home to an intelligence unit of the People's Liberation Army.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates over the weekend warned that Washington was prepared to use force against cyber-attacks it considered acts of war.

In February, overseas Chinese websites, inspired by anti-authoritarian uprisings across the Arab world, called for protests across China, raising Beijing's alarm about dissent and prompting tightened censorship of the Internet.

China already blocks major foreign social websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
(source Reuter)

Expulsion Of Israel's Military Attaché From Russia Gets Even More Confusing

Israel's Foreign Ministry and Israeli defense force are at odds about the actual reason for the expulsion of Col. Vadim Leiderman.

While the foreign ministry maintains the the Colonel himself was responsible for being thrown out by the Russians for conduct unbecoming of a diplomat, the IDF maintains that this was a action taken by the Russians to send Israel a message.

It has been revealed that this Colonel Leiderman was a repeat offender, he was warned thrice by the Russian government to watch his actions but he did not listen. Basically the Russians claimed that he gathered intelligence on Moscow's arms trading with Arab states and was also overly aggressive in promoting the interests of Israel's military industries in the Russian market.

Foreign ministry official clearly state that the rules governing the conduct of foreign diplomats are well laid out and the same for each and every diplomat thus Colonel Leiderman should have been more watchful.

Another fact that has come out of all this is that the three warnings which he received from Moscow was not reported by the embassy to Tel-Aviv. Only short messages were sent which did not give any indication of the seriousness of the issue. If Tel-Aviv had known earlier they might have recalled him without this situation blowing up.

IDF maintains a completely opposite stand to that of the Foreign Ministry, it believes that the Russians were not clear in their communique and the embassy officials did not properly brief Colonel Leiderman thus he was completely unaware of the concerns of the Russian.

Leiderman was detained for questioning in Moscow by the Russian security services on May 12th.The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Israel's military attaché to Moscow Col. Vadim Leiderman was caught receiving secret information from a Russian citizen on May 12th and subsequently expelled from the country, Russian news agency Novosti reported.
Leiderman was declared persona non grata "in connection with activity incompatible with his diplomatic status" and ordered to leave Russia "within 48 hours, which he did," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.