December 20, 2013, will be marked as a proud day for India and its military scientific and industrial sectors as the indigenously designed and developed Tejas (India’s light multi-role fighter aircraft, known as LCA) gets its second and most important initial operational clearance (IOC). While the final operational clearance (FOC) will take about 18 months, after which Tejas will be formally a part of combat forces of the Indian Air Force (consequently by the Indian Navy as well), the process of induction of Tejas into IAF is now a reality after IOC.
The protracted rivalry between India and Pakistan had reached its lowest ebb and virtually plumbed new depths when both the countries detonated a series of nuclear devices way back in May 1998. This overt gesture and successive developments (such as Kargil) made the region a major nuclear flashpoint in the world. Nearly after six years, two warring neighbors have decided to sit across the table to hammer out the much needed confidence building measures (CBMs).
Syrian crisis has achieved the unachievable. It has compelled a communist country to talk peace and democratic/capitalist countries to talk war. Fortunately, it appears that the invasion of Syria by the US forces has been stopped, at least, temporarily. An agreement on chemical weapons stockpiled in Syria has been reached following the talks held in Geneva between the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey V. Lavrov, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The genesis of 'Directed Energy Weapon' (DEWs) came up during cold war when Karl Bendetson and the High Frontier panel of private citizens advised President Ronald Reagan for a crash program to develop missile defenses. It was not just to defend against Soviet nuclear weapons but also because of strong indications that the Soviets were going to deploy 'powerful directed energy weapons' in space to gain control of space by using weapons like lasers, jammers etc. Towards the end of Cold War, the US focused on ballistic missile defence and spending on DEWs.
The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) has completed ten years of its existence. This code was formally brought into effect on November 25, 2002, at a conference hosted by the Netherlands at The Hague. This was also known as the International Code of Conduct (ICOC). This code is voluntary and not-binding in nature and mainly expects the subscribing states to furnish annual declarations on missile policy and the pre-launch notifications (PLNs) of missile test launches.
On Aug 30, 2012 the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Indian Parliament passed a bill to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Act (2002). The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment), 2012 Bill “prohibits transfer of specified toxic chemicals from and to a country which is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)”. Passing of this Bill was part of India's international obligation towards CWC.
In 1974, India conducted a nuclear test that it termed as a ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’. However, in 1998, India conducted a full scale nuclear test and consequently claimed to attain nuclear capability. It was soon followed by its neighbor, Pakistan, also opting for the same nuclear route. A year later, the draft on nuclear doctrine was presented in August 1999 to the Indian Prime Minister. Subsequently the Cabinet released it for public debate by the National Security Advisory Board.
The Pentagon releasing annual reports on Chinese Military Power is not new. However, for all these years Pentagon’s basic mandate has been to contextualize the Chinese threat to the US interests. Interestingly, in its latest report to Congress, titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, 2010" it highlights some issues of concern for India in regards to certain Chinese military investments.
The newly unveiled U.S. Nuclear Posture Review focuses on five key objectives; one of them is preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. The report underscores nuclear terrorism as ‘today’s most immediate and extreme danger.”
What is Nuclear Terrorism and how serious is the threat? Is it an overrated nightmare? Some facts here:
Most of the military power states in the world aspire to become a nuclear power especialy in this highly competitive world. The most recent participant in the race to become a nuclear state is Myanmar. A report in the `Sydney Morning Herald' in early August quotes two Myanmarese defectors as saying that the Myanmar junta was secretly building a nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facility with North Korea's help and with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years.