Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace, had once advised Jews who were struggling in Palestine, ‘to convert the Arab heart’ by offering Satyagraha in front of the Arabs and by submitting themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them’. Typically Gandhian, the advice was too idealistic to be practical for Jews and remained mostly unnoticed but it springs, as do all Gandhian ideals, from a deep belief in the power of truth and moral ascendance capable enough to unsettle any hardened oppressor.
“We have gone 75 per cent of the way... the Tigers are not willing to come the other 25 per cent and We are still hoping to persuade them to come … All I can say is that there is movement forward.” In an exclusive interview with this author, Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga has showed optimism for lasting peace in dotted lines when her party came to power in April this year. Almost five months have passed since, but the proverbial ‘lasting peace’ remains elusive.
Thailand had witnessed its bloodiest day in recent history on April 28 this year in which more than 120 suspected militants were killed. Even after almost four and a half month have passed, the country is still reeling under Islamic militancy. Most recently, on August 26 a powerful bomb ripped through a food market in the Sukhirin district of Narathiwat province, bordering Malaysia. Coincidentally the blast occurred on the eve of a Prime Ministerial visit to the area that killed one person and injured at least 30 people.
The statement released by a group called Iraq Body Count (IBC) on September 8, 2004, has claimed that the number of Iraqi civilians killed since the US attack on Iraq in March 2003 has crossed 11,000 and majority of the deaths came after the major combat operations ended on May 1, 2003. This indicates the failure of the US-led coalition to provide security to the Iraqi people.
The impending danger of bursting of an artificial lake/dam on the Pareechu River in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China has been subsided. The Indian government, policymakers and security analysts were on tenterhooks till the danger was hovering over their head. The situation was in fact no less serious than the traditional military threat emanating from across the frontiers.
History is full of ironies. If that was not the case, how else could one explain Ariel Sharon’s progression on a path, which is contrary to what he has come to symbolize all these years? Sharon remains one of the most hated figures in the collective memory of the Palestinians because his name is associated with almost every modern Palestinian national tragedy. Yet in the autumn of his illustrious career, Sharon is engaged in a struggle against his own Likud party on the issue of Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, something truly sacrilegious in the rhetoric of Likud.
Military diplomacy has become an integral part of the overall national security planning in the 21st century. While the tenets of military diplomacy are many, it could be coercive diplomacy or even a simple exchange of military officers between two states for the purposes of education and training. Of late, the joint military exercise as part of the larger military goal has been pursued by many states in recent times.