Vietnam as India’s Pivot – The New Indian Express

Vietnam as India's Pivot – The New Indian Express.

Vietnam prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit has just ended with a sealing of a defence pact. That this significant accord was readied as a follow-up to the defence Memorandum of Understanding signed a scant month and half after president Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Hanoi suggests New Delhi has finally woken up to Vietnam’s seminal importance to India’s strategic well-being.

Nguyen Tan Dung - Narendra Modi

France’s War in Mali: Lessons for an Expeditionary Army | RAND

France's War in Mali: Lessons for an Expeditionary Army | RAND.

French Army operations in Mali (Operation Serval) in 2013 provide a model for designing and operating an expeditionary force, one that has a number of attributes and competencies that United States Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno has indicated to be requirements for the Army. The model therefore provides a living example that illustrates what meeting those requirements entails, as well as the associated risks. As France’s War in Mali: Lessons for an Expeditionary Army details, the French in Serval demonstrated that they are adept at quickly fielding small yet highly capable forces tailored for specific needs and objectives and reiteratively task organizing as the situation evolves. They have done so in part by pushing modularity below the battalion level, enabling them to disaggregate and reaggregate elements of their brigades. The French have also invested in technologies and vehicles designed to enhance the capabilities of its units at all echelons. Moreover, the French Army, particularly its expeditionary brigades, is for all intents and purposes a regionally aligned force that has a demonstrated ability to leverage its area-specific expertise to compensate for its small size and to work effectively with and among local populations. The French Army also appears to have an operational culture well suited for expeditionary warfare, particularly in austere environments and with limited resources. The aspects of French Army operations in Mali discussed in this report make the French Army a model for building the kind of expeditionary force envisioned by Odierno, and perhaps one that is also increasingly in line with future United States Army budgets. The French example also highlights compromises that are associated with becoming more expeditionary and the attendant risks.

Northern_Mali_conflict

India to Start Building Chabahar Port Infrastructure

India to Start Building Chabahar Port Infrastructure.

The Indian government said that an Indian company would be building the infrastructure for the port at a cost of over 85 million USD. The move marks another major step by New Delhi to increase ties between India and Afghanistan, which are already enjoying closer relations than ever before.

Chabahar

An Isolated Russia? Think Again! – Red (Team) Analysis

An Isolated Russia? Think Again! – Red (Team) Analysis.

Since March 2014, the Russian “dispatch of troops to Crimea”, and the contested referendum in Crimea followed by its incorporation into the Russian Federation, “The West”* rhetoric is that Russia is isolated, and that the U.S. and its allies will work to further isolate it (e.g. Zeke J Miller, “Isolated Russia, Ukraine, NATO, Poroshenko, Obama, Hollande Obama: U.S. Working To ‘Isolate Russia’“, Time, 3 March 2014).

Isolated Russia

Making up Asymmetric Deficit vis-à-vis China » Indian Defence Review

Making up Asymmetric Deficit vis-à-vis China » Indian Defence Review.

China’s surging economic power has been matched by increasing military might including investments in an aircraft carrier, anti-ship ballistic missiles, satellites, modern weapon systems and other hardware. In contrast, a decade of neglect of the Indian Military has widened the capability gap vis-à-vis PLA exponentially. With the new government in power headed by a dynamic Prime Minister, there is speculation of a new era in India-China relations. However, it would be prudent to remember that it is the capabilities that matter even if intentions change overnight.

India - China border

Tibet: why is China so nervous? » Indian Defence Review

Tibet: why is China so nervous? » Indian Defence Review.

China is slowly but surely tightening its grip on Tibet. The latest sign is the ‘upgradation’ of the status of the Tibet Armed Police’s Political Commissar. The Global Times yesterday announced : “China’s Central Military Commission upgraded the political status of the political commissar of the Armed Police Corps of the Tibet Autonomous Region, indicating the central government’s determination to safeguard regional stability”.

The 5 biggest organized crime groups in the world

The 5 biggest organized crime groups in the world.

Cyber crime is grabbing the headlines these days, but the largest criminal gangs are still making most of their money from drugs, sex, and extortion. It’s tough to go even a few months without seeing the effects of organized crime on the economy and everyday life. The most salient example these days is the rash of thefts of credit card data from big-name retail chains like Home Depot and Target.