July 13, 2012
Has the Chinese Army (PLA) created for itself a capability for helicopter-borne operations across Tibet in Arunachal Pradesh?
2.That is a question that needs to be examined by Indian analysts and experts in the light of a report carried by the "PLA Daily" on July 12,2012, which is annexed.
3.It makes three important points:
• The PLA Army Aviation Force, which was initially raised for giving ground support to the Army in its operations, has now been upgraded to enable it to play an independent assault role.
• The combat areas of the PLA army aviation force have expanded from plain to plateau.
• As a result, the PLA army troops possess the capability for launching air-to-ground precision strike in high altitude areas. ( 13-7-12)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: email@example.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )
PLA army aviation force shifts from support type to main-battle-assault one
As an air-confrontation drill conducted by an army aviation force under the information-based conditions was unveiled at a place in the south of China's Yangtze River on the day, June 11 is a day destined to be remembered in the history of the army aviation force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). A PLA army aviation brigade, which was just upgraded from a PLA army aviation regiment, dispatched the PLA's new-type helicopters for the first time to participate in the actual-troop drill and made its debut by dispatching the PLA's largest helicopter fleet for emergency combat drill before tens of PLA generals.
The troop unit's shift from a "pupa" to a "butterfly" is a miniature of the transformation and development of the PLA army aviation force. According to the briefing, after it was put under a group army from an army aviation regiment directly under a military area command in 2003, the brigade initially realized the shift from the support type to the main-battle-assault one in its over-nine-year transformation and development period, becoming the "iron fist in the air" in the joint strikes for victories.
In the summer of last year, a ground-and-air joint combat drill was conducted on the snow-covered plateau, marking that the combat areas of the PLA army aviation force have expanded from plain to plateau. As a result, the PLA army troops possess the capability for launching the air-to-ground precision strike in the high altitude areas.
The "lying on the ground" army troops really begin to fly， said a leader of the Army Aviation Department of the PLA General Staff Headquarters. He added, "The 'two reductions and two additions', namely, the establishment of the PLA Army Aviation Force soon after the one-million disarmament in 1985 and the establishment of the PLA Army Aviation Academy after the 500,000 disarmament in 1999, allowed the army aviation force building to take the "express train" of our times. As a result, the army aviation force has gradually developed into a powerful combat force with air-ground integration and air-sea integration capabilities."
Today, the PLA army aviation force has established its own operation theory systems supported by the 19 monographs, which are developed from scratch and from weak to strong, and its main plane-model development realized the leap from the imported ones to the independent innovation and mass-production ones.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 1:32 AM
July 12, 2012
July 12, 2012 | 0900 GMT
By Scott Stewart
On the night of Dec. 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed while on patrol in an Arizona canyon near the U.S.-Mexico border. Two guns found at the scene were linked to an investigation being run by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) called "Operation Fast and Furious," sparking a congressional inquiry into the program and generating considerable criticism of the ATF and the Obama administration. Because of this criticism, in August 2011 ATF acting director Kenneth Melson was reassigned from his post and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was forced to resign.
Currently, the congressional inquiry is focused on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been accused of misleading Congress about what he knew about Fast and Furious and when he learned it. The Obama administration has invoked executive privilege to block the release of some of the Department of Justice emails and memos sought by Congress pertaining to the operation. The controversy escalated June 28 when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for ignoring its subpoenas.
As all Second Amendment issues are political hot buttons, and with this being a presidential election year in the United States, the political wrangling over Fast and Furious is certain to increase in the coming months. The debate is also sure to become increasingly partisan and pointed. But, frankly, this political wrangling is not what we find to be the most interesting aspect of the operation's fallout. Rather, we are more interested in the way that criticism of Fast and Furious has altered law enforcement efforts to stem the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico and the way these changes will influence how Mexican cartels acquire weapons.
Law Enforcement Shifts
Several of these law enforcement changes already have been enacted. For example, the number of ATF inspectors has been increased due to additional funding for an inspection program through the U.S. Southwest Border Initiative. This means that there are more inspectors to audit the sales records of licensed gun dealers. In southern Arizona, for example, the number of inspectors was increased from three to eight. According to the ATF, these inspectors oversee the operations of some 430 federally licensed firearms dealers in six border counties.
These firearms dealers include gun store proprietors as well as independent dealers working the gun show circuit. The increase in ATF inspection staff and activity has sparked an outcry from gun show dealers who claim they are being unfairly harassed by inspectors. ATF sources have told Stratfor that they do not harass dealers, but that the staff increase has allowed the bureau to catch up on inspections it was not able to conduct in the past. The sources also said they believe that their increased presence at gun shows is scaring away cartel buyers, although, obviously, some gun show firearms are still finding their way into cartel hands.
Another procedural change occurred in August 2011, when the ATF began a new program in which licensed gun dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are required to report to the ATF bulk sales of certain types of rifles, namely semi-automatic rifles larger than .22 caliber with detachable magazines such as the semi-automatic AR-15 and AK-47 variants favored by the cartels. The new rule requires gun dealers to report people without federal firearms licenses who buy two or more of such rifles to the ATF within five working days. The rule has raised the ire of some Second Amendment activists, but the ATF notes that it has had a similar reporting regimen for multiple sales of handguns in place since 1975.
The attention that Fast and Furious attracted to the gun smuggling problem also has led to an increase in interdiction efforts by other U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Furthermore, weapons cases have reportedly been given increased prosecutorial priority by U.S. attorneys -- meaning they are now less likely to decline prosecution of a gun case than before the controversy emerged. This has led to increased pressure on lower-level violators such as straw purchasers -- people paid by arms traffickers to buy guns from dealers. Greed will ensure that people continue to work as straw purchasers, but considering the increased risk of prosecution and the new reporting requirements, straw purchasers and the traffickers who employ them will be more exposed.
In May 2012, the ATF claimed that the reporting requirements have led to a decrease in large-volume sales of semi-automatic rifles (10 or more in a single purchase). The ATF also said that traffickers are adapting their weapons procurement methods to the new regulations.
Arms Smugglers Adapt
Despite their impact, the law enforcement and reporting changes cannot stem the tide of weapons entirely. In the same way that drug flows adapt to law enforcement interdiction efforts, weapons flows will also adjust. Previous federal investigations have shown that Mexican cartels have contacts in many different parts of the United States, including cities such as Chicago and Atlanta, far from the border. One way to bypass the increase in ATF inspections and the border state reporting requirements is to buy guns in states located farther from the border. Of course, this would require the weapons to be transported longer distances to get to Mexico, increasing transportation costs as well as exposure to interdiction efforts. A shift in the points of purchase would also almost certainly result in the expansion of the new reporting requirements to other states.
Although it will never be possible to completely cut off the flow of guns to Mexico from the United States, it can be reduced. This would force the cartels to search for new sources of weapons.
One significant emerging source of AR-15/M16 variants is something called an 80 percent lower receiver. (The lower receiver is the part of the AR-15/M16/M4 that carries a manufacturer's serial number. These 80 percent lower receivers do not have any serial numbers.) Under U.S. federal firearms law, the unfinished lower receiver is not considered a firearm and thus can be shipped anywhere and sold to anyone without a license. Once the remaining machining on the lower receiver is completed, one can build an AR-15, M16 or M4 carbine by purchasing the additional required parts -- such as the bolt assembly, trigger assembly and barrel -- which also are not considered firearms. Once the weapon is fully assembled, it is then considered a firearm and subject to federal firearms law.
While the 80 percent lower receivers are intended for do-it-yourself gun enthusiasts, according to the ATF, these guns have also begun to show up in increasing numbers in Mexico.
Many if not most of the semi-automatic rifles purchased in the United States and smuggled into Mexico are converted to be capable of fully automatic fire by armorers working for various cartel groups. The same armorers are capable of finishing the machining on 80 percent lower receivers and assembling completed firearms from them. The finishing process is not difficult, and there are specialized jigs one can buy and instructional videos posted on the Internet to assist in the process. With experience, proper parts and equipment, a competent machinist can quickly and easily finish a lower receiver in an hour or less.
But acquiring 80 percent lower receivers is not the only alternative for cartels. As noted previously, the Mexican cartels obtain weapons from a variety of sources. The main reason they buy rifles and high-powered pistols from the United States is that such weapons are cheap and readily available. The United States is also nearby, so the guns do not have to be transported very far. Once in Mexico, such weapons can be sold to cartels or on the black market for three times their purchase price in the United States. This explains the difficulty of shutting down the flow of weapons between the two countries. The gun trade is almost as lucrative as the narcotics flowing north.
The premium prices Mexican cartels are paying for guns mean that even if the U.S.-Mexican border could somehow magically be sealed tomorrow, arms merchants from elsewhere would be able to fill the void. Indeed, there are some weapons that the cartels simply cannot buy from the United States due to a lack of availability. Such weapons include hand grenades, 40 mm grenades, M60 machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and M-72 anti-tank rockets. Instead, the cartels buy such items from members of the Mexican military, militaries in countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador, or international arms dealers. The cartels would go to these same sources to replace the weapons unavailable in the United States due to increased arms interdiction efforts. South American groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Peru's Shining Path have demonstrated that it is not difficult for groups to arm themselves via the black arms market in the Western Hemisphere.
Rifles and other weapons are durable goods, and it is not unusual to find weapons in Mexico that were provided by the United States, the Soviets or the Cubans to various governments and insurgent groups during the Cold War. Weapons are also fungible, or easily substituted for each other. This means that an AK-47 rifle made in the Soviet Union in the 1950s could be replaced by a variant made in East Germany in the 1970s or in China or Romania today. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find assault rifles of various makes and ages in cartel possession. In videos published by groups such as the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, gunmen armed with FN-FAL rifles have appeared alongside comrades armed with various models of AKs, M16s and M4s. A cartel gunman does not care where his rifle comes from.
In recent years, Mexican cartels have begun to forge close relationships with Chinese organized crime groups that are helping the cartels obtain precursor chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs. These Chinese groups also are reportedly becoming increasingly important components of Mexican cartel money laundering efforts. Chinese criminal groups have close ties with the Chinese arms manufacturers, and it is possible that they could begin sending guns to their Mexican contacts with the other illicit cargo.
The Mexican cartels have also reportedly become progressively more involved in the transportation of cocaine to Europe via Africa -- a continent awash in black market assault rifles and other weapons. Some of the cocaine trafficked into Europe is handled by Balkan groups with access to large stockpiles of weapons in Eastern Europe.
These various connections ensure that the Mexican cartels will continue to have access to assault rifles and other military ordnance for the foreseeable future, regardless of how much progress U.S. authorities make in their efforts to stem the flow of guns to Mexico.
Editor's Note: We now offer the daily Mexico Security Monitor, an additional custom intelligence service geared toward organizations with operations or interests in the region, designed to provide more detailed and in-depth coverage of the situation. To learn more about this new fee-based custom service, visit www.stratfor.com/msm.
Read more: The Other Consequences of Fast and Furious | Stratfor
Posted by Naxal Watch at 10:03 PM
"Everybody is analyzing policies...as if policies could make any real difference. What really matters is culture," said an Irish friend yesterday.
"Look, Italy has the same policies in the north as in the south. But they are like two separate countries. In the north, the Italians work hard...like Germans...and they're rich. In the south, they don't work. They live on government assistance. And they're poor. It doesn't matter what the policies are. It will always be that way.
"And that's why the Argentines are the way they are. They are mostly Italian...and mostly from the south of Italy.
"And look at the Greeks. They've always been this way. They always default on their debt. Ever since they had debt. Well...I should say in modern times. Who knows what really happened in the age of Pericles. They were different people back then. But now they're Greeks. And Greeks hide their wealth...don't pay their taxes...and default on their debts."
The Wall Street Journal brings confirmation:
Greeks Hide Tens of Billions From Tax Man
If Greece's government was as adept as its banks at figuring out what its citizens earn, the world might be a very different place.
That Greeks have a penchant for evading taxes isn't exactly news — when tax collectors started comparing swimming-pool ownership with incomes, wealthy Greeks camouflaged their pools. And because hidden income is hidden, figuring the size of the tax dodge is difficult.
Armed with data from one of Greece's ten largest banks, economists Nikolaos Artavanis, Adair Morse and Margarita Tsoutsoura recently set themselves to the task. The banks, with tens of thousands of customers across the country, provided loan and credit-card application and performance data. That not only gave the economists access to self-reported incomes, but also allowed them to infer the banks' estimates of true incomes — which are likely closer to the mark.
The economists' conservatively estimate that in 2009 some €28 billion in income went unreported. Taxed at 40%, that equates to €11.2 billion — nearly a third of Greece's budget deficit.
Why hasn't Greece done more to stop tax evasion? The economists were also able to identify the top tax-evading occupations — doctors and engineers ranked highest — and found they were heavily represented in Parliament.
"The Germans are hard-working and disciplined," our friend continued. "As far as I can tell, they've always been hard working and disciplined. That's why they're so scary. When they set out to do something they do it.
"Everybody thinks the Germans are also sensible people. And they are now...sensible and nice. But they're not always sensible. They can have the craziest ideas you ever heard. That's the trouble. They pursue their crazy ideas with the same discipline and hard work they use now to make BMWs. That's what WWII was all about.
"And look at the US. Same laws for everyone. Same policies. Same schools. Same jobs. At least in theory. But very different outcomes. Depends on culture. Asians work hard and send their children to medical school. But there are a lot of groups in America who are very poor...and very ignorant...
"Yeah...the voters..." said an American voice. "I know all about culture. I grew up in Cumberland, Maryland...you know, where that woman who was torturing prisoners in Iraq came from. Well, it was no surprise. Those people who live up in the hills and hollows...we're right next to West Virginia...well, they've got a culture that is really different. You don't see it. Because the people look more or less like everyone else. But it's a different world.
"Did you see the movie, 'Winter's Bone'? It's like that. These are people who've always been a little outside the law... They're outlaws. Poor. They used to be moonshiners. Now they've got meth labs."
"And aren't they of Irish origin...?"
"No...they're Scotch-Irish..." protested our Irish friend. "Very different culture. They're the descendants of Cromwell's troops who conquered Ireland...and murdered much of the population. Brutes, they were. Then, they emigrated to America. But not to the fertile tidewater area. In the colonial era, that was where the English were. That's where you still find those nice Anglican churches. The Scotch-Irish are Presbyterians. They went to the frontier. They were the tough pioneers and frontiersmen. They weren't afraid of the Indians, I guess. Probably, the Indians were more afraid of them. They were always good soldiers. I think they are still the backbone of the US army.
"It's culture that really matters...not monetary policy."
"But what about the Irish?" we wanted to know. "How do they fit into the culture picture?"
"Oh...that's hard to say. Take him out of Ireland and an Irishman can do amazing things. They are leading entertainers, economists, politicians, artists, academics... We're great talkers, you know, great salesmen. But here in Ireland, we look at each other...and we know we are all full of sh*t."
for The Daily Reckoning
Posted by Naxal Watch at 9:33 PM
"Globalization" has been a buzzword for decades, but the word has competing definitions. It can refer to the reduction of barriers to trade and travel, which allows goods, ideas, and people to act as though the world is one free-flowing community. But it can also refer to the centralization of power into a nexus from which policy decisions are broadcast into all corners of the world.
Real world politics favor the latter definition, and so organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have prospered. The arguments for centralizing power vary from the need for social harmony to the preservation of human rights to the provision of greater efficiency. Parallel institutions that compete with the global system are said to be disruptive, prone to injustice, or inefficient. Thus, globalization (as the centralization of power) presents social harmony as imposed control, human rights as defined by one agency, and efficiency as a one-size-fits-all process. Globalization is the ultimate in social engineering.
Implicit here is the notion that competition is wrong or wasteful. Absent here is the idea of freedom or personal choice.
Those who advocate "parallel institutions" offer a different view of harmony, rights, and efficiency. But first, what is the concept of parallel institutions? It generally means one of two things.
First, it refers to a multitude of institutions that compete with each other by providing the same basic service to customers, who can choose between them. A common example would be places of worship, which range from Baptist to Wiccan, from Catholic to Islamic.
In each case, as long as the association is voluntary, social harmony is preserved and rights are promoted. Moreover, in a desire to compete, institutions become more efficient at satisfying customers' needs. In short, choice promotes both social harmony and a higher quality of life.
In its second meaning, "parallel institutions" refers to agencies that may not offer the same service but which compete in a significant manner. Church and state are an example. Although God and Caesar do not offer identical "goods," they have competed with each other for allegiance, wealth, and power throughout much of history.
As a freedom strategy, "parallel institutions" refers to creating private agencies that perform the same functions as government agencies. A classic example is FedEx, which delivers packages in a manner similar to the post office.
A parallel institution like FedEx benefits freedom in at least two ways: It proves the free market can successfully compete with and often outdo a government service even though the latter has the extreme advantage of tax funding. It also hastens the demise of redundant, illegitimate government services. (Arguably, email is the parallel structure that will deliver the deathblow to the postal monopoly.)
Parallel institutions are not merely a strategy but also an irreplaceable building block of a free society. In his essay "Liberty and the New Left," economist Murray Rothbard observed,
"The American Revolution occurred precisely by the people spontaneously and voluntarily creating local and then regional committees and assemblies totally apart from the State apparatus, and progressively taking on more and more of the State's functions..."
But one of the key advantages of a parallel institution is that its creators and users need not even be aware of how the institution benefits freedom. The founders of FedEx wanted to make a profit; customers use the service because it is inexpensive, convenient, and efficient. The government agency is marginalized not because the hearts and souls of people have been converted toward privatization or freedom but simply because the market offers them a better alternative. Nevertheless, the political end result is the same.
Even when neither of the competing institutions are free market, freedom can benefit when people take advantage of parallel structures. There are many examples from history:
*** The "Flight of the Earls" in 1607 refers to the exodus of over a hundred Irish rebel leaders, many of whom were from the nobility. They fled from Ulster to continental Europe rather than live under English tyranny.
*** In the 17th century, the Netherlands offered more religious freedom than most of its neighbors. Thus, it became a magnet for religious refugees, including the Huguenots from France and the Puritans from England. Jewish immigrants settled largely in Antwerp and Amsterdam, where they formed their own parallel courts of law and other social structures.
*** Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, as land and livelihood was taken away through such laws as the Enclosure Acts, Scottish and Irish immigrants flooded to American shores.
*** In the 1930s, when all other exit doors from Germany seemed closed, tens of thousands of Jews emigrated to Japanese-controlled Shanghai, because it imposed no quotas and required no passports or visas. Among those who found sanctuary were 400 members of the Mir Yeshiva (Talmudic school), the only yeshiva to survive the Holocaust.
It is no coincidence that totalitarian countries are surrounded by "iron curtains." They close their doors on those who want to leave and access parallel institutions, or they charge punitive fees on emigrants for the privilege of not being governed by them.
Parallel institutions threaten those who wish society to speak with one voice — their voice — because the parallel structures offer choice. Any choice brings with it a greater possibility of freedom, if not in the absolute then in terms of degree. Every choice empowers individuals (even if it is a choice they cannot conceive of making, like fleeing with their family to Shanghai).
Globalization, in the sense of centralization of power, is an assault upon the right of nations, cultures, and individuals to choose for themselves. Parallel and competing institutions offer choice, which inevitably translates into greater freedom. They offer greater freedom regardless of whether the institutions are private or even conscious of the political benefit being extended. Like the marketplace itself, they operate to the benefit of all who would be free.
for The Daily Reckoning
Posted by Naxal Watch at 9:15 PM
July 11, 2012
A sensible article underlining why growth was good and constraints now.Talking will not bring back 10% growth. Between 6 and 6 5 % should be accepted .There should be greater distribution of the cake but unlikely, with 100 in welfare schemes ,90 % being taken away by political class .
MRITIUNJOY MOHANTY HINDU OPED 11712
Unsustainable import competition and the end of the investment subsidy that the sale of under-priced resources provided to Indian companies are the main reasons why the economy has slowed down
What has been called the 'golden age' of India's economic growth was underpinned by global integration, high rates of investment and savings growth and low current account deficits. The slowdown is characterised by a sharp deceleration in investment growth on the demand side and in agriculture, manufacturing and construction on the supply side, alongside high and unprecedented current account deficits.
The government's argument that this is the result of the global economic slowdown and related uncertainty is only partly true. The deeper reason, which the government is either unwilling or unable to come to grips with, is the unravelling of the underlying growth model — partly due to structural change engendered by globalisation and partly because the investment subsidy implicit in under-pricing assets is no longer feasible.
The speed and depth of global integration accelerated sharply in the first decade of the 21st century. The average international trade (exports+imports) ratio which for the period 1992/3-94/95 stood at 19 per cent rose to 27 per cent by 2000/01-02/03. However by 2008/9-2010/11 this ratio had shot up to 48 per cent. But in this phase of rapid integration import elasticities — of both total imports as well as non-oil imports — have more than doubled. As a result, even as GDP growth has decelerated, goods export growth has slowed faster than both total goods import and non-oil import growth, resulting in a widening current account deficit, given that service sector exports growth dropped off as well.
This increasing import dependence has affected the three major sectors asymmetrically because their integration into the global economy is very different. Manufacturing is the economy's most integrated sector, with an average trade ratio for the period 2008/9-2010/11 of 180 per cent. For agriculture and services this stood at less than 20 per cent. Even if we consider the sub-sector 'financial and business services', its trade ratio was only 58 per cent . For manufacturing, both the pace and nature of its integration changed significantly in the first decade of the 21st century.
The manufacturing sector's trade ratio in 1994/95 was 92 per cent. By 2000/01-2002/03 the ratio had risen to 112 per cent with the import ratio slightly higher than exports. This increase pales into insignificance as compared with that of the next decade when the average manufacturing trade ratio had risen to 180 per cent, with export and import ratios at 68 and 112 per cent. Therefore not only has integration increased sharply for the manufacturing sector but it has also been asymmetric — import penetration has almost doubled whereas export integration has increased by 20 per cent.
Of the three sectors, however, manufacturing is the only one that runs a trade deficit. The deficit is substantial, the average for the period 2008/09-2010/11amounting to 44 per cent of manufacturing GDP and rising — the average was only 9 per cent for the period 2000/01-2002/03. Little wonder then that, in the face of continuing import competition, manufacturing growth has witnessed a sustained slowdown. And, as one would therefore expect, capacity utilisation has declined significantly, well off its third-quarter 2009/10 peak, as Reserve Bank of India surveys indicate.
One of the more remarkable aspects of the 'golden age' was that demand growth was investment-led, both in absolute and relative terms. In constant terms, over the period 2003/4-2007/8 gross investment grew at 17 per cent per annum, more than twice the rate of private consumption expenditure. What is historically unprecedented was that gross investment accounted for more than 50 per cent of demand growth at the margin. If the high growth phase was investment-led, so is the slowdown. Investment (gross) growth slowed down to 10 per cent p.a. for the period 2009/10-2011/12. The slowdown in fixed investment was even sharper, to 7 per cent p.a. over the same period, less than 50 per cent of that in the high-growth phase. The depth of the deceleration is brought home by the fact that in 2011/12 gross and fixed investment grew only at 5.8 and 5.6 per cent respectively. And, more worryingly, consumption has decelerated much less and, as a result, over the last couple of years, it has grown faster than investment, resulting in the decline of the critical investment-to-consumption ratio.
Some part of investment slowdown surely has to do with the asymmetric increase in the integration of the manufacturing sector where import levels have increased five times faster than export levels. In other words, manufacturing growth has become very import dependent. The adverse effects of this dependence have become apparent with the global slowdown. Increased import competition now slows down sales growth of domestic firms, reduces capacity utilisation, puts pressure on margins and adversely affects expected profitability of the sector. The pressure on expected profitability affects investment in manufacturing. This in turn drags down overall investment growth given the under-appreciated fact that the sector accounts for the largest proportion of investment in the economy.
If the nature and pattern of integration has affected investment growth, Keynesian 'animal spirits' have been dampened due to a factor quite unrelated to globalisation.
During both the NDA and UPA-I regimes, an important driver of investment growth has been access to undervalued assets, whether those of the public sector, mineral and forest resources, land or the ability to influence the allocation of scarce spectrum resources. During the NDA regime,
privatisation of public sector assets at fire sale prices stalled in the face of widespread political and social opposition. With privatisation off table, the UPA-I chose to use all other modes listed above to ensure that animal spirits were kept in ruddy health. The investment boom of the 'golden age', which roughly coincides with the UPA-I term, therefore, was primed by access to a wide variety of undervalued assets, ranging from land (SEZs, PPP infrastructure, etc.) to spectrum.
In UPA-II, however, this dynamic has largely run aground, hemmed in by protests from below and corruption scandals. Widespread and sustained protest against the public acquisition of land for private purposes — Singur, Nandigram, POSCO, Jaitapur, just to name an iconic few — has made it a political hot potato which is to be re-legislated and at least for the moment is off-limits. The implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and introduction of new legislation to govern the distribution of benefits from mining suggests that mining leases may not be as easy to get nor as lucrative as earlier. Add to this the Niira Radia revelations, the 2G scandal, the Anna Hazare movement, the CAG's observations and Supreme Court rulings and it is not easy (at least as of the moment) to use elite access to influence the underpricing of assets. Therefore, all mechanisms used during UPA-I to under-price assets and give animal spirits a sufficiently conducive environment have become infructuous, being caught up in unintended political economy consequences.
Finally, there is one other aspect of the slowdown that has had an impact on market growth, expected profitability and investment. Construction is one of the three sectors that has borne the brunt of the slowdown. As we know from the last large sample survey of the NSS, over this phase of jobless growth, the two sectors that did produce jobs were construction and business services. The slowdown in construction will therefore have had consequences for employment growth, slowing down domestic demand growth just when external markets have dried up, again adversely affecting expected profitability and investment.
The nub, therefore, is that the investment-led growth model of the 'golden age' has come undone and like Humpty Dumpty, the PM's men and women cannot put it back together again. The undoing is only partly the result of the global financial crises and the related slowdown. There are two other important reasons which the government does not talk about: globalisation has led to unsustainable import competition in the manufacturing sector, leading to a slowdown in manufacturing growth and hence in investment; second, the investment subsidy implicit in the under-pricing of assets in high demand is no longer feasible due to political economy reasons. As C.P. Chandrasekhar has articulated in earlier columns, it is of course possible to chart an alternate path and revive growth and investment. For that we would need to stop genuflecting before the fallen gods of finance capital. But that was too much to expect of the former finance minister or of the incumbent. There is, then, little else to do but to wait for the monsoons, capricious foreign investment or other such manna from heaven.
(The author teaches economics at IIM Calcutta. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keywords: Indian economy, India economic growth, global economic
Posted by Naxal Watch at 8:49 PM
Since April last, a new brand of jihadists called Ansar Dine(Defenders of Faith) has been spreading jihadist mayhem in northern Mali, reminding one of the brutalities and vandalism perpetrated by the Taliban under Mulla Mohammad Omar from 1994 and before it was overthrown by the US in October 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist strikes by Al Qaeda in the US. Mali, a land-locked country in Western Africa, borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west
2. The Taliban, which carried out indescribable cruelties in the name of Islam against fellow-Muslims---particularly the Hazara Shias---- and destroyed the historical Buddhist shrine of Bamiyan, initially consisted of Pashtun tribals radicalised, trained and armed by the intelligence agencies of the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for use against the Soviet troops and pro-Soviet Afghan security forces in Afghanistan.
3.After the post-1988 withdrawal of the Soviet troops, these anti-communist jihadists turned into anti-West, anti-Israel and anti-democracy radicals and spread mayhem in the name of Al Qaeda in the Af-Pak region, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria and Indonesia.
4.Even before their activities could be brought under control by the international community, a new brand of jihadists---- more radical, more brutal and more vandalists than even Al Qaeda and the Taliban of anti-Soviet vintage-- has made its appearance in northern Mali and joined hands with the remnants of Al Qaeda in Algeria and Mauritania in the name of Al Qaeda of Islamic Maghreb.
5.They have been carrying out acts of brutality and vandalism against fellow-Muslims and the widely-practised Sufism in Northern Mali.The Ansar Dine has been destroying the Islamic heritage sites in Timbuktu, including the burial sites of many Sufi saints in the name of establishing a pure Islamic state. Their attack on Sufism and their destruction of Sufi sites indicate a strong Wahabi influence on them
6.The brutalisation of Islam in the name of Sharia, which first made its appearance in the Af-Pak region after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, is now threatening to infect Northern Mali after the overthrow and elimination of Qaddafi and his Army in Libya by a Western trained and armed army of mercenaries, many of themWahabi jihadists of Af-Pak vintage .
7.Just as many of the weapons so generously given by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to the Afghan Mujahideen ultimately fell into the hands of Al Qaeda and the Taliban and were used by them to spread death and destruction in the civilised world, the weapons from Libya---some accumulated by Qaddafi's Army and others given to his opponents by the intelligence agencies of the US and other NATO countries--- are now finding their way into the hands of the new post-Libya crop of jihadists in Northern Mali, Niger, Algeria and Mauritania.
8. The West under the leadership of the US meddled in Afghanistan in the 1980s in the name of containing communism and preventing its spread in the Islamic world.The result: over two decades of international jihadi terrorism from which the world has not yet fully recovered despite successes in eliminating Osama bin Laden and other important leaders of Al Qaeda. The Afghan and Pakistani Talibans, and the plethora of jihadi organisations of Pakistan, with the Lashkar-e-Toiba in the forefront, are yet to be brought under control due to the complicity of the Pakistani State with them.
9.Now, new waves of anger, radicalisation and chaos caused by the Western meddling in Iraq, Libya and Syria in the name of promoting democracyare not only threatening to give a new lease of life to the remnants of Al Qaeda of the Afghan vintage, but are also creating a new crop of jihadists determined to keep the blood flowing in the name of Islam till an Islamic Caliphate ruled according to the Sharia comes into being in Northern and WesternAfrica.
10.The brutal elimination by the US-led forces with the complicity of Iran of Saddam Hussein, who strongly countered the activities of Al Qaeda, facilitated the ingress of Al Qaeda into Iraq, where it has been spreading death and destruction. Similarly, the equally brutal elimination of Qaddafi, who strongly countered Al Qaeda in North Africa and the Saharan region, has led to the rise of Neo Al Qaeda in Northern Mali.
11.The process of destabilisation in Northern Mali has got aggravated following the May 26 decision ofthe National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an organisation of secular Tuareg tribes, to merge with the Ansar Dine and declare the formation of a separate state in northern Mali to be called the Islamic Republic of Azawad.
12.After the signing of the accord on May 26, "Colonel" Bouna Ag Attayoub, an MNLA commander in Timbuktu, told the BBC that "the Islamic Republic of Azawad is now an independent sovereign state." The Ansar Dine did not in the past support the creation of an independent State in Northern Mali,which is the goal of the MNLA.It wanted to establish an Islamic State in the whole of Mali.Now, to strengthen its position, it seems to have tactically decided to support the MNLA's demand for the secession of Northern Mali. It remains to be seen how far the hitherto secular MNLA and the increasingly WahabiAnsar Dine will remain united.
13. Both the organisations draw their followers from theTuaregs, who are a nomadic tribe found in the Sahara Desert,in Niger, Mali, Algeria and Libya. The Qaddafi regime allegedly supported for many years the secular elements in the tribe and armed them to counter the pro-Al Qaeda elements in the tribe. His regime supported a movement for an independent Tuareg State consisting of the Tuareg-inhabited areas of Niger and Northern Mali.His overthrow and brutal murder by the pro-Western armed mercenaries have weakened the secular elements in the tribe and strengthened the hands of the Wahabi elements.
14.ManyTuaregs, who were fighting in Libya either with Qaddafi's Army or with the anti-Qaddafi mercenary forces trained and armed by the Western intelligence agencies, returned to Mali in March with the weapons acquired by them in Libya. Since then, Mali, which had a tradition of democratic rule, has been going through increasing instability following a short-lived military coup in March, which overthrew the elected government of President AmadouToumaniTouré.A month later, DioncoundaTraoré, 70, the leader of the country's National Assembly, was sworn in as interim President.He has not been able to impose his authority
15.In a statement disseminated from Mauritania on July 7, Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) warned against anyone in Mali collaborating with a foreign military force that might intervene in north Mali.MokhtarBelmokhtar, a leader of AQIM, warned that no one should be tempted to "profit from the situation" in north Mali "by collaborating with the foreign forces who are eyeing the region."
15.The previous day, another jihadist group calling itself the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), threatened countries who joined a military intervention force.(11-7-12)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: email@example.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )
Posted by Naxal Watch at 8:48 PM
July 10, 2012
Contributor: Chris Archer
Posted: 06/15/2012 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
The history of Chinese cyber attacks on American networks is rooted in the history of how China views the western world. According to Lt Col Bill Hagestad, Author of ‘21st Century Chinese Warfare’, you “cannot pick up a newspaper or read a blog without hearing about the cyber threats from the People’s Republic of China regarding their use of cyber and information warfare”. In the following interview Chris Archer delves into this in detail with Hagestad and examines how the US can prepare for Chinese cyber attacks.
Mr Hagestad - earlier this year you published a book called 21st Century Chinese Cyber Warfare. Why is the book so important and contentious in the current cyber sphere.
Good question Chris. It’s important because anyone, anywhere, regardless of the industry they’re in, yet more specifically the Information Security profession, cannot pick up a newspaper or read a blog without hearing about the cyber threats from the People’s Republic of China, regarding their use of cyber and information warfare.
The combination of Chinese Communism and the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the People’s Republic of China are driving this activity and your book delves into this in detail. Maybe you could explain how?
Yes. One has to go back no greater than 200 years to look at how the Chinese view the Western world. Perhaps further back, taking an example in history of the Mongol invasion of China. The Chinese are sick and tired of having foreign forces come and invade them and extract the natural resources of their country. They know they cannot defend themselves kinetically with the military they have, so what they have decided to do is take the high ground and take the advantage in the cyber realm, i.e. the internet, and take that fight to their foes through the use of Cyber and Information Warfare.
How can the US prepare for Chinese Cyber Attacks? What should they understand first and foremost?
Yes, that’s a good question. That gets back to the earlier question, understanding who China really is and I think that is something that’s not known. There are a lot of people who say they’re China experts, I would never claim to be a China expert. All I can tell you is I love the country of China but I also love my country and when there is a unique crossroads of understanding one’s own culture and a foreign culture, only then can you start to be able to defeat it. There are many anecdotes from SunTsu, the Chinese war God from 500 B.C. His writings can give us some proper guidance in those regards, but how can the U.S. government defend itself? I think the most important thing is to start to develop a concrete offensive and perhaps establish some political dialogue to go along with that but when the political dialogue erodes, dissolves, or becomes useless they can go forward with offensive cyber capabilities and combine it with kinetic farms.
So in your current role as a cyber security strategist, where have you seen the most common mistakes within the security of government networks and what are the most common challenges at present?
That’s easy. Take a look at all of the discoveries of Chinese attacks on corporate networks, military networks, and intelligence organizations. Typically they have been on a network for years, months, before they’re discovered. Typically information security professionals will use an intrusion prevention system to detect those so they can mitigate them in terms of isolating where that problem or breach is. Most current commercial intrusion prevention systems do guard against zero day traps but those are all English based. What I’ve discovered is that no one’s looking at attacks that are based in China in Chinese. The ultimate form of cryptography is the Chinese language; if you want to defeat any English based intrusion prevention system.
What impact is China’s use of cyber espionage having on the military and suppliers of military equipment?
The most distinct one is it’s a threat that’s not understood and for anyone in the military, if you don’t know or understand who your foe is you can’t possibly defeat them. I recall in January hearing from U.S. cyber command that they have not defined what cyber space is. As someone who has been to war a couple of times, I always brief my Marines and always prepare for success in going to combat by understanding what is the area of operations that I’m going to operate in.
In military, whether it’s the U.S. or the British or the Indonesian, or the Chinese, if you don’t understand where your foe is operating it’s hard to understand and limit their action and defeat them ultimately.
What is the possibility of China’s use of information warfare or cyber espionage escalating into something else? Cyber warfare for example.
Yes, that’s already happening actually. If you look at the most recent developments in the South China Sea between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, initially the Chinese view of the world is that they don’t have to abide by any international rules of the sea, and the particular HuangYan Islands they are claiming sovereign control over. The Filipino people are saying, ‘no that’s our territory’. In this case it started in the physical world where the Chinese were sending small Naval frigates down to do a little push and shove with the Philippine Navy and Fisherman are caught in the middle on both sides. The HuangYan Island situation has escalated into the cyber realm where the Chinese are taking down Filipino sites and vice versa. In fact, ‘anonymous’ has come to the aid of the Republic of the Philippines and is taking the Chinese to task in the Cyber realm, so it’s gone from physical to cyber and hopefully the escalation of force will not go beyond the cyber where the Filipinos say we need the aid of a government like the U.S. who is building a presence in Australia and the Philippines and saying ‘help us defeat or mitigate the physical threat by the Chinese Navy’. That would be the worst thing that could possibly happen as a result of the cyber activity.
How is the rising cyber threat from China likely to impact military supply chains and procurements? For example: an increasing number of components for military equipment are being sourced outside NATO countries. How can the military and suppliers of this equipment ensure no killer switches or malware has been imbedded into manufacturing components?
It’s back to my earlier comment. Now when it’s written in a language other than English, granted it’s zeros and ones and the basic prose of electronic information and language, but if those ones and zeros are not recognized by reverse engineering or a scientific engineering lab that has been designed to detect malware or hit and kill switches, those hit and kill switches and malware may be baked in without being detected until after they’re given the ability to turn on in a critical system such as a weapons guidance or a satellite of some sort. It’s difficult. If the material’s going to be sourced outside of NATO counties it will need to be examined much more closely through the lens of a foreign language such as Chinese. Now remember, as a culture and a country, China had over 20,000 separate dialects that are possible combinations for writing use in malware. Granted, 1949 Mandarin standardized, but in terms of Mandarin Chinese there’s simple or ‘Pu Tong Hua’, there’s complex characters, and literary Chinese. You can imagine the cryptological combinations would be almost impossible to dictate or recognize even if you did know Chinese as a native speaker.
When do you think defense will catch up with the offense in terms of the military being able to fend off or deter electronic or information warfare?
I think that the militaries are predisposed to go on the offensive. Right now they’re all in a defensive mode, meaning they’re protecting networks and critical pieces of information, but at some point it’s going to transition to the point where they’re going to use offensive cyber capability to defeat an enemy. The problem with attacking an enemy is attribution of where and who are bringing those attacks on the U.S. That’s the critical piece that’s missing right now is there’s no attribution from offensive weapons capability in the cyber realm cannot be used with any efficiency or effectiveness.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 6:55 AM
Contributor: James Bosbotinis
Posted: 07/09/2012 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
The May 2012 announcement by the Secretary of State for Defence that the variant of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (or Joint Combat Aircraft in UK parlance) to be acquired for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force was again being changed marks the third iteration in a decade-long process.
The decision to revert to the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant instead of the F-35C carrier variant, justified on the basis of the supposed cost of configuring the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) for catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery operations (CATOBAR), has significant long-term implications for UK airpower.
The F-35B constitutes a substantially less capable asset than the F-35C, in particular with regard to range, persistence and internal payload, has a higher unit acquisition cost and greater through life costs and does not meet the UK’s deep persistent offensive capability (DPOC) requirement. This will require either the acceptance of a significant capability gap or the acquisition of another aircraft, that is, most likely the F-35A, to address the DPOC requirement. Moreover, the F-35B is projected to have an out of service date of 2042, whereas the QEC are expected to remain in service until 2070; follow-on systems (such as sixth generation optionally manned/unmanned maritime combat air systems) are projected to be configured for CATOBAR operations. The selection of the F-35B is thus neither cost effective nor the optimum long-term solution to UK airpower requirements.
This paper examines the implications of the F-35 variant decision for UK airpower, with a particular focus on the difference in capability between the F-35B and C, the DPOC requirement and the potential acquisition of the F-35A to fulfil it, and the loss of the strategic flexibility provided by CATOBAR. The paper will argue that the decision to acquire the F-35B is not cost effective and will leave the UK with a sub-optimal airpower capability.
Less capability at greater cost
The difference in capability between the F-35B and F-35C is significant. Due to the STOVL requirement, the F-35B has a shaft-driven lift fan integrated with its engine thus restricting the aircraft’s internal fuel capacity to 13,500 lbs; in contrast, the internal fuel load of the F-35C is 19,145 lbs. The difference in internal fuel is highlighted by the range and combat persistence of the respective aircraft; the F-35B has a mission radius of approximately 463 nautical miles and a time over target of fifteen minutes; for the F-35C, the figures are 613 nautical miles and thirty-six minutes respectively. These figures are based on a standard low observable configuration and internal payload of two 500 lb. bombs and two advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) for the F-35B and two 2000 lb. bombs and two AMRAAM for the F-35C. The preceding figures highlight a second key difference in capability; the reduced internal payload of the F-35B, which again is due to the aircraft’s STOVL configuration. The F-35A and C are both capable of accommodating 2000 lb. class munitions in their internal bays, whereas the F-35B has smaller weapons bays which are limited to 1000 lb. class munitions. In UK service, the F-35B will carry the Paveway IV 500 lb. precision guided bomb, thus creating a capability gap with regard to the prosecution of targets requiring 2000 lb. class penetrating weapons (for example, bridges and aircraft bunkers). This capability gap could be overcome via the carriage of weapons externally, for example, the Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile, albeit at the cost of the F-35’s low observability.
The difference in capability between the F-35B and C is compounded by the former’s greater cost – both in terms of unit acquisition and through life. The F-35B will have a unit cost of approximately $138 million compared to $117 million for the F-35C; according to figures in the latest US Department of Defense Selected Acquisition Report, the F-35B engine alone is projected to cost $27.7 million compared to $10.9 million for that of the F-35C. Projected through life costs for the F-35B in UK Service are estimated to be £1 billion higher than for the F-35C. If, as will be discussed below, it is necessary to also acquire the F-35A, the through life costs of operating a mixed F-35A/B fleet will be £2 billion above that of operating a single F-35C fleet. In addition, due to the superior capability of the F-35C vis-à-vis the F-35B, fewer of the former would need to be acquired thus generating additional savings. In this regard, the Telegraph in April 2012 cited a classified Ministry of Defence document which suggested that 97 F-35Cs could provide the same capability that would otherwise require 136 F-35Bs. The implications in cost terms are stark; 97 F-35Cs would cost approximately £6.8 billion, whereas 136 F-35Bs would cost approximately £11.26 billion: a difference of £4.46 billion.
The cost of converting the QEC for CATOBAR operations – the justification for reverting to the F-35B - although stated to be in the region of £2 billion for HMS Prince of Wales and substantially more for HMS Queen Elizabeth (whilst noting that each ship is projected to cost approximately £2.5 billion) is also subject to much debate. In March 2012, the Telegraph reported that the Assistant Secretary of the US Navy, Sean J. Stackley had written to Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, informing him that the CATOBAR conversion would only cost half what the Ministry of Defence were projecting. The possibility that tensions within the Ministry of Defence regarding Carrier Strike, impinged on the CATOBAR conversion cost analysis, resulting in flawed risk assumptions (for example, pertaining to the installation of the electromagnetic aircraft launch system) and thus inflated cost projections, cannot be ruled out. Taken together with the above F-35 cost data, the debate regarding the CATOBAR conversion cost and the reduced capability of the F-35B, the argument that the decision to revert to the STOVL solution for Carrier Strike constitutes the most cost effective option for the UK appears to be fundamentally flawed.
The DPOC Requirement
Since the demise of the Royal Air Force’s Future Offensive Air System (FOAS) programme (the intended replacement for the Tornado GR 4) in 2005, the JCA has been expected to fulfil the post-FOAS requirement. This requirement, the deep and persistent offensive capability (DPOC), cannot be met by the F-35B. The decision to acquire the F-35B will either require the acceptance of a capability gap or the acquisition of a second F-35 variant, most likely the F-35A. The acquisition of a mixed JCA fleet has been considered previously and has also been considered as part of the 2012 variant debate. This would involve significant extra cost because of the need to integrate UK weapons into the F-35A, the additional cost of maintaining a mixed fleet and ensuring the compatibility of the aircraft with Royal Air Force air-to-air refuelling (AAR) assets. The latter would involve either the configuring of UK AAR aircraft – the new Voyager A330-200 – for boom AAR operations (Airbus Military has developed an Aerial Boom Refuelling System for the A-330-200) or adapting the F-35A for hose and drogue refuelling. Lockheed Martin reports that provision has been made for the fitting of the necessary equipment for hose and drogue refuelling within the airframe, albeit at additional cost.
The DPOC requirement is of central importance to the future of UK airpower. The Tornado is due out of service by the end of this decade whilst the Typhoon does not meet the DPOC requirement and needs investment to attain a full multi-role capability. The limited range, persistence and internal payload of the F-35B, especially with regard to the lack of an internal 2000 lb. penetrating munition capability, will not provide the level of strike capability that is required, in particular for initial operations against an adversary’s strategic targets defended by a still-intact integrated air defence system. The reach of the F-35B can be extended via external carriage of the Storm Shadow cruise missile. This would enable the F-35B to engage targets at ranges of up to approximately 713 nautical miles (based on an F-35B radius of 463 nautical miles and a potential Storm Shadow range of up to 250 nautical miles) with the stand-off range of Storm Shadow keeping the launching aircraft outside of the range of air defence systems (excepting perhaps the Russian-made 40N6-equipped S-400 or Chinese-made HQ-19). However, the F-35B/Storm Shadow combination would only be effective in the context of not having to penetrate deep into an adversary’s airspace due to the F-35B’s low observability being compromised via the external carriage of ordnance. In contrast, the F-35C may potentially be capable of engaging targets at ranges similar to or exceeding that of the F-35B/Storm Shadow combination whilst only carrying internal ordnance. The National Audit Office in its 2011 report on Carrier Strike gave the combat radius of the F-35C as 650 nautical miles whilst other sources have stated this figure to be in excess of 700 nautical miles. Most notably, a 2002 conference paper prepared by a member of the JSF Program Office gave the F-35C’s radius as 799 nautical miles (the same source attributes the F-35A with a 703 nautical mile radius and the F-35B a radius of 496 nautical miles).
The strategic implications of the F-35B’s limited range and internal payload are significant. The limited range of the aircraft will increase the requirement for AAR support for both sea and land-based operations; this is especially significant for early operations in a crisis or conflict where the provision of land-based support assets may be restricted or not yet available or vulnerable to attack. With regard to Carrier Strike, the core rationale for carrier airpower is the provision of independent airpower – a dependence on land-based support assets impinges on this critical aspect. The relative value of a British contribution to a coalition’s combat airpower will also diminish due to the selection of the F-35B. This is because other likely coalition partners, for example, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Norway and The Netherlands will be operating the F-35A which can engage a broader range of targets at greater range than the F-35B. In addition, the loss of interoperability with the US Navy will compound the relative decline in the importance and utility of British combat airpower in a coalition setting. In this regard, it is important to note that in order to enhance integration with the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps will acquire the F-35C in addition to the F-35B. This marks a significant departure from previous plans to transition to an all-STOVL force with the F-35B replacing STOVL AV-8Bs and conventional F/A-18C/Ds and EA-6Bs.
As the US reorients its force structure and doctrine toward the Asia-Pacific and Air Sea Battle, the UK, in order to maintain its desired position vis-à-vis the US, should seek to ensure that its force developments are relevant. The shift from the F-35C to B and away from a CATOBAR configuration for the QEC runs counter to this.
Moreover, unless the UK opts for a mixed JCA fleet, that is, acquires the F-35A with the additional cost of running such a fleet, the UK’s land-based airpower capability will also be sub-optimal. This again highlights the flawed nature of the decision to shift from acquiring the F-35C to the F-35B. The F-35C is the most capable version of the F-35, could fulfil the UK’s DPOC requirement from both land and sea, and would ensure that the UK possesses a robust and credible offensive air capability.
The Implications of a STOVL QEC
The most significant implication of the shift from a CATOBAR to STOVL configuration for the QEC is the loss of strategic flexibility and long-term growth potential afforded by CATOBAR. This goes beyond the F-35 variant debate and encompasses issues such as embarked intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, the resilience of Carrier Strike in the event of the F-35 programme being delayed or failing and the long-term viability of Carrier Strike.
The latter is far more uncertain following the shift to STOVL. This is because the F-35B has a projected out of service date of circa 2042, whereas the QEC are intended to remain in service until around 2070; unless the ships are then refitted for CATOBAR operations, Carrier Strike capability would be lost by default.
The UK has also foreclosed potential future cooperation with the US in the development of next generation systems such as the F/A-XX (the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler replacement), unmanned air systems such as the X-47B and unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike system and follow-on sixth generation systems.
In operational terms, the ship-air interface in a STOVL environment is no less complex than for CATOBAR operations. STOVL operations require more deck space than CATOBAR to enable the short take-off run and due to deficiencies in the F-35B’s performance, in particular the aircraft’s vertical landing bring back capability (the weight of payload permitted for a vertical recovery), ship-borne rolling vertical landings (SRVL) will be required (alternatively, any munitions being carried could be dumped prior to landing – an expensive approach considering the cost of precision guided munitions). A SRVL recovery will require as much deck space as a traditional CATOBAR recovery and can be expected to become routine due to F-35B performance shortfalls, through life technical risk and increasingly expensive weapons. The requirement for sustained investment in embarked training at sea for both aircrew and support personnel and the regular, sustained embarkation of the air group to ensure basic operational proficiency remains for STOVL as it would for CATOBAR operations.
The F-35B’s performance limitations will also impinge on the effectiveness and credibility of UK Carrier Strike. The British government has not revised its policy regarding the size of the QEC air group, which will remain centred on just twelve F-35s. Based on the figures given in the aforementioned Telegraph article, 40% more F-35Bs are required to deliver the same effect as a force of F-35Cs. In essence, to deliver the same effect as twelve F-35Cs, the QEC should embark sixteen or seventeen F-35Bs. Therefore, the currently envisaged number of F-35s will need to be increased in order to provide the required capability. In addition, as discussed above, the F-35B has a reduced reach and punch compared to the F-35C, in particular with regard to the prosecution of hardened targets. The shift therefore from the F-35C to the F-35B will substantially reduce the capability of UK Carrier Strike and have a concomitant impact on its credibility in terms of constituting a force for influence and deterrence.
The decision to switch from the F-35C to the F-35B, and with it from a CATOBAR to STOVL configuration for the QEC, holds significant implications for the future of UK airpower. The limited range, persistence and internal payload of the F-35B reduce its military utility, in particular with regard to the prosecution of hardened high value targets and its increased dependence on AAR support, thus impinging on the capability and credibility of British airpower and its relative value to coalition operations.
Moreover, the variant switch does not constitute a more affordable option for the UK. The F-35B has a higher unit acquisition cost, greater through life costs and does not fulfil the UK’s DPOC requirement which will either necessitate acceptance of a serious capability gap or investment in other systems (such as the F-35A at considerably greater through life cost of a mixed fleet) to address the requirement.
In addition, the configuring of the QEC for STOVL operations generates uncertainty with regard to the long-term viability of UK Carrier Strike beyond the service life of the F-35B, and is however likely to necessitate fitting CATOBAR equipment in the long-term. The shift to a STOVL configuration for the QEC also imposes a substantial limitation on the long-term growth potential for UK Carrier Strike. This is especially with regard to possible UK involvement in US programmes developing future maritime aviation capabilities, in particular those relating to unmanned air systems which would offer substantial improvements in persistence, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capabilities (especially satisfying DPOC requirements) compared to current systems and that offered by the F-35. This also applies at the level of UK airpower. Any future combat air system (manned or unmanned) the UK seeks to acquire will either have to be STOVL (to ensure compatibility with the QEC) or restricted to land basing, thus removing the potential for the UK to minimise the number of fast jet types it operates. The acquisition of the F-35C would enable the UK to acquire future air systems, designed for CATOBAR, which do not suffer the performance limitations imposed by STOVL, and are equally capable of operations from land or sea. This would at least ensure commonality (the development of and requirements for an interoperable force are beyond the scope of this paper) between Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force types and contribute to maximising the flexibility of UK airpower.
Simply, the contention that the F-35B constitutes the most cost effective option for the UK and the ‘right decision for the long-term’ does not stand up to scrutiny. The decision to acquire the F-35B requires greater expenditure at a time when the defence budget and wider economy is under significant pressure. The decision will deliver a sub-optimal capability and will reduce the flexibility, long-term growth potential and, ultimately, the strategic credibility of UK airpower.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 6:44 AM
http://dailypioneer.com/state-editions/raipur/77838-new-awards-for-sanskrit-scholars-announced.html Tuesday,03July 2012 23:16 Staff Reporter | RAIPUR Chhattisgarh Sanskrit Vidya Mandalam has introduced five new awards for Sanskrit Scholars this year. The awards are — Maharshi Valmiki Award, Hrishyaring Samman, Lomash Rishi and Kaushalya Samman that will be given every year at State-level while Maharshi Ved Vyas Samman will be conferred at national level. Maharshi Valmiki Samman will be conferred upon those scholars who have made creative contribution to Sanskrit literature with their prose and verse. Hrishyaring Samman will be given to individuals or non-governmental institution in State that are voluntarily making efforts to promote Sanskrit language. Similarly, Loman Rishi Samman will be conferred on the teachers of Sanskrit schools for their excellence service in the field of Sanskrit education. Kaushalya Samman is for eligible woman scholar of Sanskrit language while Maharshi Ved Vyas Samman is for those Sanskrit scholars at all India-level, who have made extensive contribution to Sanskrit Vidya Mandalam. Interested Sanskrit scholars can send their applications to Secretary, Chhattiisgarh Vidya Mandalam office at Pension Bada before July 31 along with complete details and documents related to their contribution or achievement. The applications can be applied either personals or institutions. The awardees of the four newly introduced State-level awards will be honoured with Rs 11,000 cash and a memento, whereas with the national-level awardee of Maharshi Ved Vyas Samman will be given away Rs 21,000 cash and memento.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 6:39 AM
July 10, 2012 | 0900 GMT Stratfor By Reva Bhalla and Kamran Bokhari Last week's publicized defection of the Tlass family marked a potential turning point for Syria's al Assad regime. The Tlass family formed the main pillar of Sunni support for the minority Alawite regime. The patriarch of the family, former Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, had a strategic, brotherly bond with late Syrian President Hafez al Assad. The two military men served as members of the ruling Baath Party in Cairo from 1958 to 1961 when Syria and Egypt existed under the Nasserite vision of the United Arab Republic. The failure of that project brought them back home, where together they helped bring the Baath Party to power in 1963 and sustained a violent period of coups, purges and countercoups through the 1960s. With Tlass standing quietly by his side, Hafez mounted a bloodless coup and appointed Tlass as his defense minister in 1970. Since then, Tlass has been the symbol of Syria's old guard regime. Without Tlass' godfather-like backing, it is questionable whether Bashar al Assad, then a political novice, would have been able to consolidate his grip over the regime in 2000 when his father passed away. Through the Tlass family's extensive military and business connections, the Sunni-Alawite bond endured for decades at the highest echelons of the regime. But blood still runs thick in clan politics, and as Sunni blood was spilling into Syria's streets in the current uprising, the Tlass family likely felt growing pressure to side with its fellow Sunnis. Perhaps more critical, the Tlass family assessed it was time to make a move before it paid a price for its allegiance to the regime. Whatever the primary motivation of the decision, the Tlass' choice to break a decadeslong pact with the al Assad family has now increased pressure on other elite members of the military and business communities to pick a side. As one astute observer of the Syrian conflict explained, the al Assad regime is like a melting block of ice. The Alawite core of the block is frozen intact because the minorities fear the consequences of losing power to a Sunni majority. We have not yet seen the mass defections and breakdown in command and control within the military that would suggest that large chunks of this block are breaking off. But the Sunni patronage networks around that core that keep the state machinery running are slowly starting to melt. The more this block melts, the more fragile it becomes and the more likely we are to see cracks form closer and closer to the center. At that point, the al Assad regime will become highly prone to a palace coup scenario. Syria's Eventual Return to Sunni Rule The al Assad regime has not cracked yet, but this is a useful moment to step back and think seriously about the regional implications should Syria return to Sunni hands. In particular, we would like to examine what such a scenario would mean for Iran's position in the region. Let's first recall why Syria is up for grabs. Human rights interests alone do not come close to explaining why this particular uprising has received a substantial amount of attention and foreign backing over the past year. The past decade enabled Iran to wrest Baghdad out of Sunni hands and bring Mesopotamia under Shiite control. There is little question now that Iraq, as fractured as it is, sits in the Iranian sphere of influence while Iraqi Sunnis have been pushed to the margins. Iran's gains in Baghdad shifted the regional balance of power, creating a Shiite crescent stretching from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean coast. This disturbance in the regional balance of power has aggravated a number of regional stakeholders. With U.S. backing, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have banded together to lead a countercoalition to Iran. Iraq may have been reluctantly conceded to Iran, but the uprising in Syria offered a new opportunity to undercut Iran's Mediterranean outlet in the Levant. Saudi Arabia has been trying to manage simmering Shiite unrest on the Arabian Peninsula, while Turkey is looking to lay a Sunni foundation for its regional resurgence. As a result, increased amounts of money, supplies, weaponry, training and intelligence support have made their way to the Syrian rebels through covert channels. The hope was that a covert campaign would obviate the need for a costly foreign military intervention and lead to the collapse of the regime from within. In theory, the plan sounds reasonable. In practice, it's a lot more complicated. A Complicated Transition A transition to Sunni rule in Syria is bound to be messy. Syria's Alawites have become well established in Damascus and in other key urban centers across the country. The heterodox community has also dominated the most elite units of the military, security and intelligence apparatus and will be carrying those skills with it should it be sidelined from power. Even though the Alawites and fellow minorities are outnumbered, it is unlikely that they will be easily pushed back to the hilly coastal lands of their forefathers in the northwest. Instead, the Alawites, with Iranian backing, could be expected to mount a militant resistance against Turkish- and Arab-backed Sunnis. The Alawites, who currently dominate Syria's ruling Baath Party, observed the rapidity with which the (Sunni-dominated) Iraqi Baathist military crumbled after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the now marginalized status of Iraq's former Baathists. The Alawites will be fighting an existential crisis to avoid a similar fate in the face of a proxy war, while Iran will be reinforcing the Alawites to try to maintain a foothold in the region. This conflict will inevitably spill over into Lebanon, a state whose existence has been defined by this broader sectarian struggle and that will continue to serve as a battleground for proxy interests. Transnational jihadists would also play a large role in a post-al Assad Syria. The Syrian rebellion contains a growing assortment of Sunni Islamists, Salafist jihadists and transnational al Qaeda-style jihadists. Foreign fighters belonging to the latter two categories are believed to be making their way into Syria from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. For many years, Syrian intelligence ran an elaborate jihadist supply chain, funneling militants into both Lebanon and Iraq to serve its foreign policy purposes. Saudi Arabia is now believed to be using those very same channels against Damascus to funnel militants into the Syrian theater. From past experience, Riyadh is wary of transnational jihadists' gaining ground in Syria and causing more problems down the line. But Saudi Arabia's concerns over Iran and its Shiite supporters appear to be outweighing those reservations. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has been promoting what it has defined as legitimate jihad against the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Shiite supporters. The Saudis cannot wage their jihad and stem jihadism at the same time. Inserting religiously motivated fighters into a theater is the easy part; controlling them will be difficult, especially once common interests against Iran and the Shia dissolve into an ideologically driven agenda of transnational jihadism. A Revival of the Mesopotamian Battleground? It is safe to assume that Syria, between the fall of the Alawite regime and the turbulent emergence of a new, Sunni-empowered regime, would experience an interregnum defined by considerable chaos. Amid the sectarian disorder, a generation would remain of battle-hardened and ideologically driven militants belonging to Sunni nationalist and transnational jihadist camps who in the past decade have fought against regimes in Baghdad and Damascus. These jihadists harbor expectations that they will be able to aid their struggling allies in Iraq if they gain enough operating space in Syria. Under these circumstances, it is easy to imagine a revived militant flow into Iraq, and this time under much looser control. Thus, the regional campaign against Iran is unlikely to end in Syria. Should Sunnis gain the upper hand in Syria, the Shiite-led bloc in Lebanon (led by Hezbollah and its allies) will likely lose its dominant status. Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backing for Sunnis in the Levant and the rise of Islamists in the Arab states will be focused on creating a more formidable bulwark against Iran and its Arab Shiite allies. The most important battleground to watch in this regard will be Iraq. There are a number of regional stakeholders who are not satisfied with Baghdad's Iranian-backed Shiite government. There also likely will be a healthy Sunni militant flow to draw from the Syrian crisis. These militants will not only need to be kept occupied so that they do not return home to cause trouble, but they can also serve a strategic purpose in reviving the campaign of marginalized Sunnis against Shiite domination. Iran may feel comfortable in Iraq now, but the domino effect from Syria could place Iran back on the defensive in Iraq, which has the potential to re-emerge as the main arena for the broader Arab Sunni versus Persian Shiite struggle for regional influence. These trends will take time to develop, and the pace of Sunni empowerment in Syria remains in question, especially as the Alawite core of the regime is so far enduring. That said, it doesn't hurt to look ahead. Read more: Considering a Sunni Regime in Syria | Stratfor
Posted by Naxal Watch at 6:37 AM
B.RAMAN ShriRatan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group of companies, has made some interesting remarks on India’s relations with China in an interview with Bloomberg UTV.Extracts of the interview can be seen at http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-china-a-second-class-enemy-could-be-a-strong-ally-ratan-tata/20120709.htm 2. He has been quoted inter alia as saying:"No, I am not worried (about China). I wish we could find a way to be allies with China.I would prefer to use China as a very strong ally, to forge a relationship with China which would be a sustaining one and I think it could be done. India-China relationship is not adversarial, but it is not the best.You know China has never done anything adversarial to India.China has of course been assisting and arming Pakistan, which is like a red flag to India, and that already makes it a second class enemy." 3.His remarks may be read in continuation of my article of June 6,2012 titled “THE JUGULAR REALITY: INDIA’S STRATEGIC DEBATE” available at http://www.c3sindia.org/india/2932 4. According to a report carried by the “Times of India” on June 30,2012, “ Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced that its Chinese subsidiary, TCS China, has been listed among the '2012 Top 10 Global Service Providers in China.' The award was presented by the China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP) in an award ceremony held at Nanjing, China.” 5. Speaking at the function,Qiqi Dong, CEO, TCS China, said: "We will continue to strengthen relationships with our local and multinational customers and we will keep building the right infrastructure to help drive China's full potential as a global player in IT services, outsourcing and consulting." 6. TCS, Infosys and Reliance are among the Indian companies that have been doing well in their business relations with China.The TCS web site says: “Having pioneered the Global Delivery Network Model, TCS commenced its China operations in 2002, bringing its three decades of domain experience. In 2005, TCS established a landmark joint venture in Beijing with the Chinese Government, which is considered as the role model for Chinese IT industry. Currently, TCS has three Global Delivery Centers (GDC) in China (Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai) operating at the highest quality standards. TCS has also invested in a number of technology centers in China.” 7.In the strategic debate presently on in the country to which I had drawn attention in my article, the views and assessment of Shri Tata have to be given importance. At the same time, one should not overlook the growing business interests of the TCS in China. 8. India has reasons to be gratified by the excellent name that the TCS has made in China, its winning the trust of the Chinese Government and public and the expansion of its presence in China. The increasing presence of Indian business houses in China will definitely help us in expanding our economic relations with China and in improving the State-to-State and people-to-people trust level between the two countries.One has to salute the TCS for what it has already achieved in China and wish it more success. 9. At the same time,our respect and admiration for Shri Tata should not distort the strategic debate and induce self-complacency in our national security related decisions vis-à-vis China.No Indian national security manager can afford to overlook the conscious role being played by China in strengthening Pakistan’s nuclear and missile capabilities, its ambivalence, if not double standards, on the question of sovereignty over Jammu & Kashmir, its strengthening its military capabilities in Tibet and its insistence on changing the status quo in Arunachal Pradesh.The deadlock in the negotiations over the border dispute is largely attributable to its waiting for the day when it can force upon us a change in the status quo. 10. There is no historical enmity between India and China. We do not find in China and its Armed Forces the kind of anti-India mindset that we find in Pakistan and its Armed Forces. China does not fight shy of admitting its cultural and civilisational links with India and has not been rewriting its history to erase references to such links as Pakistan, its rulers and many of its scholars have been doing. 11. Intrinsically, there is no reason why India and China should not be able to get closer together provided China changes those aspects of its policies on Pakistan which India sees as directed against its national and strategic interests. So long as it does not do so and so long as it does not show a more accommodating stand on the border dispute, we have to treat China in our national security planning and strategizing as a country of major concern. 12.We paid a heavy price for neglecting our national security interests in our relations with China when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. We should not repeat that folly. 13. Yes, it is in the mutual interest to continue to strengthen the economic relations. Yes, it is necessary to increase the trust level between the two countries. But just as China all the time keeps in view what it calls its core interests in its policy-making towards India, we should all the time keep in view our core interests in our policy-making towards China. 14.I have been an advocate of improving even our security co-operation with China in certain fields such as maritime security and maritime counter-terrorism and counter-piracy. But we should see that our adherence to our core interests and our determination to protect them do not get diluted by any tendency towards romanticisation of China. ( 10-7-12) ( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )
Posted by Naxal Watch at 6:20 AM
July 09, 2012
The 'boson' in the Higgs boson particle, whose investigation and ultimate detection still being celebrated around the world, and rightly so, has been one of the longest and most expensive research projects in the history of science. Boson owes its name to Bengali Professor Satyendra Nath Bose who in 1924, unable to get his paper published on the subject sent it to Albert Einstein for publication .Einstein liked the paper , translated it into German and got it published in Zeitschrift für Physik along with his own related paper .Bose had earlier translated Einstein's Theory of relativity into Bengali .
Prof Bose 's paper described a statistical model that led to the discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate phenomenon and laid the basis for describing the two classes of subatomic particles - bosons, named after Bose, and fermions, after Italian physicist Enrico Fermi.
The discovery will help understand as to what happened just after the Big Bang aka creation of the Universe? Why did matter dominate over anti-matter, when, in laboratory settings, they are created in equal amounts? This is a fascinating world of speculation, hypothesis and theory lubricated mostly by intuitive imagination and higher mathematics and then confirmed by experiments. Further research and work will increase understanding not only about our minor planet earth in our vast galaxy but will also be another step to understand zillions of galaxies some millions of light years away and human matter and perhaps human mind itself . Just see how puny vain human being is.
But our fragile planet earth is now threatened by the US led west determined to hang on to their power of destruction ,domination and exploitation of the rest of the world .In India there are many specially English knowing ignorant and educated in their schools and universities , who accept and have internalized the superiority of the uncivilized West , who themselves derived their powers of destruction from the knowledge discovered and developed in the East led by the many civilizations in Mesopotamia , which now lies destroyed , debased and contaminated by nuclear poisons . How would have civilizations been advanced through new technologies without Zero and the Arabic Numerals, which the Arabs call Hindsa ie from Hind ie India!
The coverage of the results of this successful experiment at the European Laboratory of Particle Physics (CERN) by ignorant Indian corporate media, which obediently repeated western wire news stories, showed it obsession with trivialities and celebrities and parroting the west. Little background was given about Bose and his life .West as usual overlooked Bose and flaunted and gushed over the messenger Professor Peter Higgs of the Edinburgh University.
And perhaps this was the reason in 1920s when in spite of this path breaking epic formulation by Bose , not only was he denied a Nobel prize but not even conferred a doctorate , although since then a few Nobel prizes have gone to those who worked on Bose' theory .The fault is not entirely of the ruling British , who wanted to keep the natives down as they still regularly endeavor against India's strategic and vital interests ,but infects most info-challenged and white colour inferiority complexed Indians ( original sin by fairer colored Brahmins , which the British accentuated and still persists ) Indians continue to exhibit this in obnoxious ads for creams for crass nouvo riche by Bollywood witless jokers.
More on Satyen Bose & his visit to Cairo in 1963, where the author was then posted, at the end
Higgs Bosons or God's Particles Simplified
The term God particle was coined by American experimental physicist and Physics Nobel winner Leon Lederman in his popular science book on particle physics:
The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
According to Higgs, it wasn't Lederman's choice to call it the god particle: "He wanted to refer to it as that 'goddamn particle' and his editor wouldn't let him."
Why chase it?
Simply put, it answers the question: How does nature decide whether or not to assign mass to particles?
How did the idea of tracing the God particle originate?
The Higgs mechanism, which gives mass to vector bosons, was theorized in August 1964 by François Englert and Robert Brout ("boson scalaire"), in October of the same year by Peter Higgs, working from the ideas of Philip Anderson, and independently by G S Guralnik, C R Hagen, and T W B Kibble who worked out the results by the spring of 1963.
The three papers written by Guralnik, Hagen, Kibble, Higgs, Brout, and Englert were each recognized as milestone papers by Physical Review Letters 50th anniversary celebration.
Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam were the first to apply the Higgs mechanism to the electroweak symmetry breaking. The electroweak theory predicts a neutral particle whose mass is not far from that of the W and Z bosons
What questions are being answered by this Endeavour?
Click to comprehend BIG BANG expansion; 13.7 billion years (I hope the URL can be used to view the fascinating Big Bang Expansion).
Finally how little we know of our universe and ourselves but are determined and far advanced into bringing everything to an early explosive end triggered say by West's current and unreasonable and illegal demands on Iran and elsewhere.)
By exploring the world of infinitely small particles, physicists hope to provide answers to the origin and fate of our universe.
What happened just after the Big Bang? Why did matter dominate over anti-matter when, in laboratory settings, they are created in equal amounts?
What would you say if you found out we do not live in a four-dimensional world (three dimensions of space and one of time), but rather one containing extra hidden dimensions?
There are enough strange, puzzling questions and even stranger possible answers to blow your mind!
Does Higgs boson impact the current description we use for the universe?
The Higgs boson will complete our description of the visible matter in the universe, and of the fundamental processes governing the Big Bang since it was a trillionth of a second old.
The Higgs boson may have played a role in generating the matter in the universe, and may be linked to dark matter. It may even provide a clue how the universe inflated to its present size.
On the other hand, the Higgs boson is a very different particle from the others we know, and poses almost as many questions as it answers. For example, what determines the mass of the Higgs boson and the density of dark energy? According to conventional ideas, both should be much larger than their observed values. The quest continues.
Has Boson been proved!
Built in a tunnel 100 meters (325 feet) below ground at the European Laboratory of Particle Physics (CERN) straddling the French-Swiss border, the Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest atom-smasher, was designed to accelerate sub-atomic particles to nearly the speed of light and then smash them together replicating conditions which prevailed in split-seconds after the "Big Bang" that created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.
Conceptualized around a quarter century back, approved for construction in the mid-1990s and over a decade in the making, this technological marvel of a machine accelerated counter rotating beams of protons in two steel pipes 27 kilometers in circumference.
Engineers threw the switch to start up the LHC in September 2008 to global fanfare. All went well until it had to be shut down again 36 hours later. The incident -- which led to a helium leak into the tunnel housing the superconductor ring -- is thought to have been caused when a faulty electrical wire between two magnets was melted by the high current passing through it.
Repairs and a new safety system cost them a bomb. The LHC was restarted in November 2009 and became the most powerful particle accelerator in the world later that month.
In December 2010, LHC scientists revealed they had caught a first tantalizing glimpse of the particle. Since the initial excitement the scientists sifted through vast quantities of data from innumerable high energy collisions in an effort to reduce the chances of being wrong.
How was the data from LHC analyzed?
A theoretical model was used to predict what phenomena and particles might be seen, and experimental physicists estimated what their detector response would be to such events, using complex simulation methods.
They did this first so that they could predict the various expected types of events that will come out of the LHC. These simulated events looked just like the events collected in the detectors, except they are generated using all our knowledge of what can be produced when protons collide in the LHC.
Then the experimentalists determined a series of criteria for selecting new physics, partly defined using simulations. The selection criteria were designed for the sole purpose of spotting a needle in a field full of haystacks.
For this, physicists studied in detail the characteristics of possible interesting events (such as the Higgs boson), comparing these characteristics with those of known processes.
At this stage, the name of the game was to isolate the signal from all other types of events, which physicists referred to as background. Most of the time, the background constitutes the bulk of all collected events.
The final step was to compare the simulations of the known processes that survive the selection criteria to the collected data set. In some cases, comparison with simulations might not be necessary, and physicists may just need to subtract potential Higgs signals from the background directly inferred from the actual data.
The data recorded so far in 2012 have not been completely analyzed, and the LHC is still taking data. Further analysis is needed and ongoing.
Despite the strong evidence for its existence, the properties of the Higgs boson need to be explored and understood. As the particle is identified and studied more completely, the physics models will have to be updated.
But doesn't it mean that the July 4 revelation is not exactly a discovery?
The results presented on July 4 have been labeled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis. A more complete picture of Wednesday's observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.
The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe.
Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic?
The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4 percent of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96 percent of the universe that remains obscure.
Bosons of Satyendra Nath Bose
In particle physics, Boson is a subatomic particle that is governed by Bose-Einstein statistics. Bosons include mesons (e.g., pions and kaons), nuclei of even mass number (e.g., helium-4), and the particles required to embody the fields of quantum field theory (e.g., photons and gluons). Bosons differ significantly from a group of subatomic particles known as fermions in that there is no limit to the number that can occupy the same quantum state.
Bose wrote a short article called Planck's Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta taking for the first time the position that the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution would not be true for microscopic particles where fluctuations due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle will be significant.
Bose 's paper deriving Planck's quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics and using a novel way of counting states with identical particles was seminal in creating the very important field of quantum statistics. Albert Einstein to whom this article was sent in Germany, recognizing the importance of the paper, translated it into German himself and submitted it on behalf of Bose to the prestigious Zeitschrift für Physik , which was published in 1924 along with his paper supporting Bose's paper.
This theory is now called Bose–Einstein statistics and laid the foundation of quantum statistics, as acknowledged by Einstein and Dirac. Einstein adopted the idea and extended it to atoms. This led to the prediction of the existence of phenomena which became known as Bose-Einstein condensate, a dense collection of bosons (which are particles with integer spin, named after Bose), which was demonstrated to exist by experiment in 1995.
Although more than one Nobel Prize was awarded for research related to the concepts of the boson, Bose–Einstein statistics and Bose–Einstein condensate—the latest being the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was given for advancing the theory of Bose–Einstein condensates—Bose himself was not awarded the Nobel Prize. The noted Indian physicist Jayant Narlikar observed that it was one of the top ten achievements of 20th century Indian science and could be considered in the Nobel Prize class.
Meeting with Satyendra Nath Bose
As an Arabic language trainee and later as Asst Press Attaché at the Indian Embassy in Cairo in early 1960s , airport duties to handle visiting VIPs and delegations and taking them around for meetings and museums etc could be quite often a very pleasant and educationally a rewarding experience .
During the heyday of close and very friendly relations between India and Egypt which along with Yugoslavia, Indonesia and others were the leaders of the non-aligned movement, the author met with Satyendra Nath Bose, a member of a visiting scientific delegation from India. Bose was not the leader of the delegation but this nearly seventy year old gangly and casually dressed inquisitive scientist Satyen Bose was the one whom his counterpart Egyptian scientists paid great attention and respect .It was said that he should have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics.
Bose and later Homi J Bhaba, another great scientist were also curious and very well informed about Egypt's history and culture unlike the dry and morose Indian ambassador .
Bhaba looking at the massive Pharaonic sculptors and millions of huge stones brought to build the Giza Pyramids near Cairo (oldest built around 2560 BC) from Aswan, 600 miles away, observed that to bring them the ancient Egyptians perhaps tied the boats over the stones and then floated them down the river Nile, to carry them .It can be thus said that the Egyptians discovered much earlier the Archimedes' principle. It is a law of physics stating that the upward force (buoyancy) exerted on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the amount of fluid the body displaces. In other words, an immersed object is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid it actually displaces. Archimedes' principle is an important and underlying concept in the field of fluid mechanics. This principle is named after its discoverer, Archimedes of Syracuse (287 BC – c. 212 BC)
K Gajendra Singh. ( July, 2012 ) Mayur Vihar, Delhi
Posted by Naxal Watch at 9:54 AM