India and Afghanistan persuaded the United States to refuse Pakistani demands for surplus American military equipment in Afghanistan. India pointed out that Pakistanis discuss among themselves that the American military aid is actually to be used against foreign, not domestic, enemies. There is evidence of that because Pakistan refuses to go on the offensive against domestic terrorists and continues to maintain a sanctuary for them in North Waziristan. Pakistani political leaders, responding to popular pressure, find that they cannot order the military to go after North Waziristan. Oh, the elected leaders can order such an attack but the generals make excuses and suddenly rumors of another coup start appearing. So the politicians back off and Islamic terrorists continue to survive in North Waziristan. Pakistani politicians don’t trust the Pakistani military and neither does anyone in India or Afghanistan.
Most Afghans blame the Pakistanis for any successes the Taliban have. There is some truth to this as it is no secret that ISI created the Taliban in the early 1990s and Pakistan has been supporting Islamic terrorism since the late 1970s. In the last few years more evidence of this Pakistani perfidy has come to light. Officially Pakistan still denies that they sheltered Osama bin Laden, but it’s no secret that Pakistan still tolerates sanctuaries for all manner of Islamic terrorists who operate inside Afghanistan. One of the biggest complaints Afghans have against the Americans is that the Americans are not more forceful in persuading Pakistan to shut down these sanctuaries. Pakistan insists it is innocent and the civilian government in Pakistan will, at most, admit that it cannot control its own military, which is most responsible for providing support to Islamic terrorists. The sad fact is that this is all self-inflicted. Over three decades of government sponsored propaganda supporting Islamic terrorists has left a lot of Pakistanis still willing to accept excuses for all the terrorist violence. Many Taliban insist that they are not terrorists but simply “angry brothers” of fellow Pakistanis and trying to make Pakistan a better place. A growing number of Pakistanis see the flaws in this approach, but the Islamic terrorists and their supporters are still able to threaten critics with violence and that keeps many anti-terrorism Pakistanis quiet.
In Afghanistan the increased popular (and often violent) opposition to the Taliban and Islamic terrorists in general has forced the Taliban to depend more on bases and support from Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban are particularly dependent on the Islamic terrorist sanctuary in North Waziristan, where many of the bombs used in Afghanistan are made and many of the suicide bombers are trained. The Afghan security forces have responded by increasing efforts to block Taliban efforts to get bombs, weapons and Islamic terrorists into Afghanistan. The Pakistani and Afghan Taliban have become a lot closers in the last few years because both groups are encountering more opposition, heavier losses and more problems raising money. Both groups have lots of factions that don’t agree with each other and despite all that is threatening them, the factions will still fight each other. Despite all these troubles there are still a lot of broke, uneducated and aimless young men willing to join up. That often ends up in an early death, but along the way these guys get a little respect (as a byproduct of fear) and, for a short while, the feeling that they are someone important.
How To Screw Yourself
India has some major problems with producing its own weapons. There are several reasons for this. For example, Russia still supplies 75 percent of Indian weapons imports, while America only provides seven percent. Indians would prefer Western weapons but have a hard time getting them. Many Western arms firms are not willing to meet Indian demands for technology transfer and manufacturing licenses or the frequent hassles with corruption and a paranoid Indian media that often considers the West the enemy. There is also a problem with trust. The corruption, sense of victimization and entitlement in India means Western firms cannot trust the Indians to adhere to agreements about honoring Western patents and trade secrets. This is less of a problem with the Russians who are as corrupt as the Indians and have second-rate tech that is often not worth stealing. Meanwhile China has, in the last decade been importing fewer Russian weapons and exporting a lot more of its own. India is still struggling to find foreign customers for its weapons.
The problems don’t end there. There are over 620 million Internet users in China, about 43 percent of the population. In the U.S. its 81 percent, while Japan is 79 percent, Russia is 54 percent and Hong Kong (a semi-autonomous part of China) is 73 percent. Meanwhile India, where only 13 percent of the population has Internet access, sees this disparity as one reason India, with about the same number of people as China, is falling farther behind the Chinese in economic and military power.
April 19, 2014: In southern Pakistan (Karachi) gunmen shot a prominent TV journalist who frequently criticized the ISI and army. The victim survived the attack and the army denied it had anything to do with it. Similar attacks have been traced back to the army and ISI in the past. In Pakistan it’s understood that openly criticizing the ISI or army can have unhealthy consequences.
In eastern Pakistan (Lahore) police arrested six Sunni Islamic terrorists sought for numerous attacks on Shia Moslems. In the last year over 400 Pakistani Shia have been killed by similar groups.
In eastern India (Bihar) police arrested a senior (and long sought) Maoist leader.
April 18, 2014: In northwestern Pakistan (Peshawar) Taliban gunmen ambushed an army convoy, killing one soldier and wounded two. Elsewhere in the northwest (Khyber) Pakistani Taliban attacked an army base but were repulsed.
April 17, 2014: Despite strenuous and very violent Maoist efforts to disrupt elections in three eastern states, over 60 percent of voters turned out. Over 45,000 security personnel were sent in to provide security and the Maoists assembled several thousand armed men and women to try and prevent the elections from taking place.
In southern Pakistan (Karachi) gunmen kidnapped two Pakistanis working for the UN foreign aid operation. This was probably an Islamic terrorist group seeking to raise money via ransom.
April 16, 2014: The Pakistani Taliban announced that they were ending their 40 day ceasefire but would continue to negotiate with the government. The army did not go along with the ceasefire and continued to search for and attack Islamic terrorists. Pakistani police believe that the Taliban have persuaded several major religious schools near the capital (Islamabad) to support Taliban terror attacks if the negotiations fail. The peace negotiations are not really going anywhere but the government has few other options as the army continues refusing to shut down terrorist sanctuaries in North Waziristan and Quetta (Baluchistan).
April 15, 2014: Two Pakistani warships (a submarine and a patrol boat) returning from a visits to Arab states in the Persian Gulf stopped off in Iran for four days of joint training exercise. Pakistan tries to maintain good relations with Iran, despite close economic and diplomatic links with the Arab Gulf States.
April 14, 2014: In northwestern India (Kashmir) police killed two Islamic terrorists after a 22 hour long gun battle. Two more Islamic terrorists had been killed in the same area the day before. These men were fleeing from a failed attack on a judge. That attack had left two policemen dead but the judge escaped.
April 12, 2014: In northwestern Pakistan (Peshawar) Taliban gunmen attacked an annual tribal market (for buying and selling hashish, farm animals and whatnot). The Taliban seized and destroyed 400 kg (880 pounds) of hashish and took over a hundred tribesmen away as prisoners. All but about twenty of these were released the next day after tribal leaders threatened retaliation. This was apparently all about punishing tribes that used to support the Taliban but no longer did. The Taliban is trying to persuade several tribes to at least stop working for the government.
Elsewhere in the northwest (North Waziristan) fighting continues between feuding Taliban factions. In the last week this feud has left nearly fifty Islamic terrorists dead. The dispute is over the peace negotiations with the government, which some Taliban factions consider a waste of time.
In eastern India (Chhattisgarh) two Maoist attacks left fifteen dead. This included six police and six election officials).
The U.S. has agreed to provide Pakistan with about $8 million worth of surplus military equipment as U.S. forces complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. This is basically a bribe, to assure continued freedom to use Pakistani roads and the port of Karachi to get U.S. equipment out.
April 11, 2014: In eastern India (Chhattisgarh) Maoist gunmen ambushed a group of policemen returning to base from poll guarding duty. One policeman was killed and five wounded.
April 9, 2014: In eastern India (Bihar) a clash between paramilitary police and Maoist rebels led to the Maoists fleeing and leaving behind a bomb making workshop and a large quantity of bomb making materials. Elsewhere in eastern India (Chhattisgarh) Maoist gunmen attacked a polling place and killed three policemen and in another part of the state a Maoist landmine wounded three police.
In India a 51 year old classified government study (Henderson Brooks report) of the 1962 war with China (which India lost, badly) was recently made public by an Australian journalist who had obtained a copy of the first volume of the two volume report. That volume was the report itself while the second volume contained supporting documents. India continues to consider the report a state secret and will not declassify it. This was put on the web and there was nothing India could do to stop it. The report was still classified because it proved that the Indian defeat was self-inflicted. Using official documents and interviews of key participants the report revealed that the Indian Army accidentally built a new border post on the Chinese side of the McMahon line in late 1962 and refused to acknowledge the mistake or believe that the Chinese could do anything about it. The Indian generals, who knew their troops were in Chinese territory, advised the Indian government to authorize the use of more force to maintain the new border post. The army officially insisted at the time that the new post was on Indian territory. China and India have still not resolved the border dispute and there continue to be skirmishes. The information found in the Henderson Brooks report were not unknown. Several historians and analysts had put together the basic facts by the 1970s. But the Indian government continued to refuse admitting that Indian errors were largely responsible for the war and the Indian defeat. With the Henderson Brooks report now public, it’s difficult for India to cling to these self-serving myths. Already government officials are starting to discredit the Henderson Brooks report, which just goes to show how history does indeed try to repeat itself.
April 8, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) tribal separatists took credit for a bomb that went off on a passenger train, killing 16 people.
In northwestern India (Kashmir) a clash with Islamic terrorists left a soldier, a policeman and a terrorist dead.
Indian accident investigators believe that an explosion that destroyed one of their submarines may have been sabotage. This all began on August 14 2013 when a Russian built Kilo class sub belonging to India (INS Sindhurakshak) caught fire and exploded while docked near Mumbai. The investigators also found lots of incompetence and recommend that three officers be court martialed. The loss of the Sindhurakshak is but the latest of a long list of navy disasters and screw-ups.
April 6, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) the army launched a major raid on bases of separatist tribal militias and killed at least 40 of the rebels.