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CBRN Digest

Monthly newsletter on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Weapons, Materials, Proliferation, Environmental and Humanitarian issues.

National Security & Defence Establishment

MRCA Deal: Strategic Considerations & Arms Card

Deba R. Mohanty
September 20, 2007

The much awaited request for proposal (RFP) for 126 medium-range multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) was finally announced by the Ministry of Defence in a press release on 28 August 2007. It took nearly two years of deliberations since the request for information (RFI) was issued in late 2005. Six bidders, considered ‘gorillas’ in military business, will compete for the massive $ 10.2 billion contract, dubbed as ‘mother of all deals’ in the history of Indian arms acquisition.

ISRO Marching Ahead

Ajey Lele
September 17, 2007

Despite more than three decades of international restriction on technology regime, India’s space program has successfully launched INSAT 4CR satellite early this month. The satellite has life span of ten years and it carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home television services, facilitate video picture transmission and digital satellite news gathering. The success of this test is very important particularly when viewed at the background of last year’s failure.

Pakistan: The Rise and Fall of Red Mosque

Rahul Mukund
July 25, 2007

The fall of Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) has certainly heralded a new era in Pakistan marked by conflict between moderate and fundamentalist forces.

USS Nimitz in Indian Coast: The Gunboat Diplomacy

Gyana Ranjan Panda
July 14, 2007

The docking of the USS Nimitz in Chennai port has challenged India’s independent foreign policy and its long-lasting tradition against imperialism, colonialism, and superpower hegemony. Supporters of Nimitz’s brief visit who praise it as a testimony to bourgeoning Indo-US strategic relationship should acknowledge the long drawn coercive history of Nimitz nuclear ship and the use of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ to restore US’ imperialistic interests.

Negotiating With China- II

Amrish Sahgal
June 20, 2007

The fundamental cultural influences [mentioned in the first part of the article, “Negotiating with China-I”, Article No:120, June 14, 2007], have left their imprint upon the negotiating style of the Chinese. Scholars like John Graham and Mark Lam (The Chinese Negotiation. Harvard Business Review, October 2003) have identified and defined a set of eight elements that one would have to contend with when dealing with the Chinese.

Negotiating with China- I

Amrish Sahgal
June 14, 2007

After four decades of a political standoff, the recent thaw in Sino-Indian relations has seen a renewal of dialogue and the start of substantive negotiations between the two countries. But negotiating with the Chinese – the inscrutable Orientals, as the Europeans called them – requires a very different set of sensitivities and skills to what we Indians are accustomed. Our negotiating skills have largely been limited to Americans, Europeans and West Asians who are distinctly more transparent, open and non-contextual in their negotiations than the Chinese or the traditional Japanese.

India and the US: Engaged Democracies!

Rudra Chaudhuri
June 4, 2007

‘Estranged democracies’ is how Dennis Kux once characterised relations between the US and India. For a large part of India’s independent history, Kux’s characterisation hit the nail bang on the head. A norm of suspicion with regards to the American’s seemed to have institutionalised itself within India’s strategic culture, and there were good reasons for this.

Intriguing Indifference: Examining India-Bangladesh Bilateral Ties

Dr. Satish Kumar
May 26, 2007

With so many ups and downs in the past, New Delhi has pinned high hopes on the military backed Caretaker Government in neighboring Bangladesh for better and progressive ties. Though strange on the part of India to give positive nod to a military powered regime, it strongly believes that the current regime may continue for longer and for better. It seems the campaign for democracy in Southern Asia is not in the priority list of India, for now.

The Politics of Judicial Institutions in Pakistan

Samrat Sinha
April 27, 2007

The suspension of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP), on 9 March 2007, sparked a wave of protest from the legal community of Pakistan. The most recent wave of resignations included the Deputy Attorney General Nasir Saeed Sheikh and a senior civil judge Javed Memon. The issue at stake was the ability of the President to dismiss an acting Chief Justice, an act not without precedent in the political history of Pakistan.

SAARC: Ushering a New Era of Cooperation

Avilash Roul
April 10, 2007

In the era of aggressive globalization, block politics hardly matters. But, economic integration, free trade, GDP growth, connectivity through infrastructure development does matter most to the international system. Where all the leaders have failed to forge a regional cooperation during 22 years of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) existence, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have rekindled hope in SAARC to become relevant, although economically. This is politically incorrect but true.