December 28, 2009
Al Qaeda's Nigerian link
From additional details of the terror attempt on December 25 by a Nigerian member of Al Qaeda to cause an explosion in a plane of the US North-West Airlines flying from Amsterdam to Detroit as it was approaching Detroit to land there, it is evident that it was not a lone wolf terrorist attempt by an angry individual to give vent to his anger against the United States.
December 24, 2009
Will Chidambaram be the internal security czar?
While a revamp our internal security architecture is needed, an all powerful home minister may not be such a good idea, writes strategic expert B Raman.
December 23, 2009
Why investigators need to focus more on Rana
Tahawwur Rana facilitated David Coleman's foreign visits and was aware of his links to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, writes strategic expert B Raman.
December 21, 2009
Can Headley derail Indo-US intel co-operation?
Periodic misunderstandings and mutual bitterness in the relations between co-operating intelligence agencies are part of the intelligence game, writes strategic expert B Raman.
November 24, 2009
26/11: Questions that need to be posed and answered
Strategic expert B Raman on the 17 critical question that he wants answered on the Mumbai terror attacks.
November 22, 2009
The real plot behind Italian arrests
Security Expert B Raman on the 26/11-related arrests made in Italy.
November 20, 2009
Why India cannot be an Asian power like China
Power and influence are not given. They are taken. China knows how to take it, India does not, says strategic expert B Raman.
November 13, 2009
The Chicago conspiracy: What is Rana's role?
Security expert B Raman deciphers the FBI affidavit against Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the Pakistan-origin Canadian arrested with David Headley for alleged Lashkar connections, and speculates who could be their handlers in Pakistan.
November 06, 2009
Heightened alert needed on 26/11 anniversary
While security agencies have been able to prevent any major terror strikes since the Mumbai attacks last November, we should not lower our guard, writes security expert B Raman.
October 26, 2009
Will India ask the Dalai Lama to postpone Tawang visit?
India reaction to China protests over the Dalai Lama's visit to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is one of studied ambivalence, writes B Raman
October 14, 2009
How to counter China on Arunachal Pradesh
India should avoid countering China's renewed rhetoric on Arunachal Pradesh. Instead we should be vigilant and quietly strengthen infrastructure and our defences.
September 17, 2009
Why Santhanam's Pokhran revelations are too late
To say now that the test was a fizzle and that he knew it all along has caused a lot of concern in the minds of our public. This could unwittingly encourage adventurism by India's adversaries.
September 16, 2009
Why Barack Obama won't meet the Dalai Lama
There was considerable disappointment in the Dalai Lama's entourage when it turned out that the two officials had specially flown to Dharamshala to request the Dalai Lama not to visit Washington, DC before Obama's first visit to China scheduled for November.
September 10, 2009
Chinese military unhappy with Indian media
'We have a very strong case against the Chinese on the border issue, which we should project in a non-sensational, non-jingoistic manner, but by indulging in such methods we might find our credibility weakened in the eyes of the international community,' feels B Raman
September 08, 2009
The danger of the India-China hysteria
The danger of such hysteria is that it could acquire an uncontrollable momentum and take the two countries towards a precipice from where they may not be able to withdraw.
August 31, 2009
What regime change in Japan means for India
If one were to go by the latest manifesto, Hatoyama's world consists essentially of Japan, the US, China, South Korea, North Korea (all mentioned by name) and "other countries". India has been relegated to the position of one of the "other countries".
August 28, 2009
China's growing role in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
The Pakistanis, since the days of General Pervez Musharraf, have repeatedly sought Chinese assistance for the construction of a petrochemical complex at Gwadar and oil and gas pipelines and a railway line connecting Gwadar with the Xinjiang province.
August 10, 2009
Border talks: Mixed signals from China
The message, which was conveyed through the Chinese media in the days on the border talks was thus very clear: China continued to attach importance to a further improvement of its bilateral relations with India, but it will remain firm on its claims to Indian territory in the Arunachal Pradesh sector.
August 07, 2009
Obama's new nuanced counter-terrorism policy
Obama's detractors describe the new approach to counter-terrorism as the Jesuit approach. Will it succeed? Obama and Brennan want to give the new policy a try, writes security expert B Raman
August 03, 2009
Is Myanmar acquiring nuclear weapons?
Is the military junta in Myanmar trying to acquire a military nuclear capability with North Korean assistance? Or is North Korea trying to shift some of its nuclear facilities to Myanmar to protect them from a possible attack by the US?
July 30, 2009
Will the prime minister emulate Reagan?
What was the need for the indecent hurry shown by Dr Manmohan Singh at Sharm-el-Sheikh for fresh talks with Pakistan? If we had waited for a few months more till a clearer picture emerged from the proceedings of the anti-terrorism court, would the heavens have fallen on our heads, asks B Raman
July 23, 2009
No harm in talking to the ISI
There is no harm in our giving a try to the idea of an informal, clandestine one-to-one liaison relationship between the ISI and R&AW. We should not have any illusions that it would result in a sharing of actionable intelligence. Intelligence agencies share actionable intelligence only when they have common State and non-State enemies. India and Pakistan do not have common enemies.
July 20, 2009
India unwitting party to demonising Balochistan
The Balochs were totally suppressed by the Punabi-dominated Pakistani Army till 2004. But their desire for independence has remained as strong as ever. They started a second war of independence in December 2005, which continues till now despite the ruthless actions taken to suppress them by the previous government of Pervez Musharraf and the present government of Asif Ali Zardari.
July 17, 2009
Indo-Pak statement lets down the martyrs of 26/11
Not a single reference to the LeT. Not a single reference to its continuing terrorist infrastructure. And, we have provided dignity to Pakistan's baseless allegations against Baloch freedom-fighters by agreeing to make a reference to Balochistan in the joint statement in the context of terrorism by indirectly bringing on record Pakistan's projection of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and other Baloch leaders as terrorists, bemoans B Raman.
July 08, 2009
Urumqi riots force Hu Jintao to cancel G-8 trip
Will heads roll after Hu's return? Will the rolling heads be confined to Urumqi or will they cover Beijing too? Is the situation in Xinjiang likely to weaken Hu's leadership of the CCP? These are questions for which one has to look for answers in the days to come.
July 07, 2009
What led to China's worst ethnic flare up
The exiles allege that China's security forces indiscriminately fired on the protesters in many places in the city. In the clashes between the students and the security forces, which continued throughout the night of July 5, many were killed. Xinhua has admitted at least 140 fatalities. The exiles claim the figure is 600.
July 01, 2009
Why the Pakistan Army is struggling against the Taliban
The coherent strategy of the TTP has not been matched by an equally coherent one from Pakistan Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. He has been struggling to counter the co-ordinated strategy of the TTP with a bits and pieces strategy depending on where the pressure from the TTP comes from.
June 29, 2009
The BBC's unlikely story on 26/11
Had there been LeT spotters around the areas targeted, who were in independent communication with the controllers in Pakistan their conversations -- whether through the Internet or otherwise -- must have also been intercepted contemporaneously or recorded and noticed subsequently. No intelligence agency -- neither Indian nor the US nor of any other country -- has spoken of any such conversation with Pakistan by elements not participating in the attacks.
June 24, 2009
Why the US and Pak Army want Baitullah Mehsud
The operations undertaken by the Pakistan Army in the Swat Valley of the Malakand Division in the North West Frontier Province since April have started coming in for some criticism because while the Pakistan Army has claimed to have killed over 1,500 foot soldiers of the Pakistani Taliban hardly any important leader has been killed or captured.
June 24, 2009
B Raman: How to counter the Maoists
It is time for the government to have a re-think on the way we have been dealing with this problem in order to have a tailor-made strategy based on improvement of political management, strengthening rural policing and rural intelligence and developing capacities for rural operations with emphasis on mobile as well as on static security.
June 15, 2009
Foreign policy priorities for the new government
Our relations with Pakistan should have the topmost priority because of their impact on our internal security situation. How to convince Pakistan that it will never be able to change the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir by using terrorism against us?
June 02, 2009
Saeed's release: Fresh oxygen for the LeT
International pressure made Pakistan act against Saeed and Nazir Ahmed as well as the five involved in the Mumbai attack. Now, Pakistan calculates that international pressure will be less because of its strong action against the Taliban. It hopes to take advantage of this for once again ensuring that the LeT and its capabalities to attack India remain.
May 29, 2009
Why the Taliban is attacking the ISI
Of these various Taliban factions, only the Neo-Taliban, which was created by the ISI in 1994 when Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister, still owes its loyalty to the ISI and the Pakistan government. The others don't.
May 27, 2009
What's common to terror attacks in India and Pak
It would be useful for the investigating agencies of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to exchange notes on their respective investigations and to pick each other's brains. One should not fight shy of agreeing to a common brain-storming on the investigations.
May 18, 2009
LTTE may be defeated, but India must be careful
There are elements in Tamil Nadu who could get emotional over the death of Prabakaran and self-motivate themselves to give vent to their anger through terrorism. There is a need for a heightened alert for at least some months.
May 17, 2009
Shock & awe on Hindutva Web sites
'There is more introspection already going on on these web sites than in New Delhi and state capitals, and there is more loud thinking than in the endless debates on our television channels.'
May 16, 2009
The Lessons of Election 2009
'What is required is not more of the Hindutva ideology, but less of it.'
May 05, 2009
Can India get back funds in tax havens?
There is a lack of required political will to deal with this problem in an effective manner by strengthening the capabilities of the intelligence and investigating agencies and letting them function without any political interference.
May 01, 2009
Can terrorirsts get hold of Pakistan's nukes?
At present, India's focus has been on making the US co-operate against the activities of the anti-India terrorist groups and their infrastructure in Pakistani territory. This should continue, but this should not be the only subject of co-operation between the two countries. It is necessary to expand it to cover likely threats to Pakistan's nuclear establishments.
April 21, 2009
On fighting terror, Cong and BJP have poor records
One would have expected a serious and professional debate on insurgency, terrorism, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism during the election campaign -- particularly from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The expectations have been belied.
March 30, 2009
US Af-Pak policy: Bush wine in Obama bottle
Its objective is limited to preventing another 9/11 in US territory mounted from this region. It does not pay equal attention to the concerns of India and other countries. The strategy is, therefore, unlikely to excite professionals in India.
March 25, 2009
The ploy behind the Kupwara encounter
Security expert B Raman on the encounter in Kupwara.
March 23, 2009
What the CIA chief's visit to India, Pak means
One could assess without fear of contradiction that the New Delhi visit of Panetta, who is still to find his feet as an intelligence chief, would have had a much larger political objective for Obama. Firstly, to reassure Indian leaders that Clinton's first visit to China does not mean the downgrading of the US relations with India.
March 09, 2009
IPL is not about national pride
It is important that the government goes purely by the professional assessment and advice of the security bureaucracy in deciding whether the IPL should go ahead as scheduled. Unwarranted arguments such as "national pride" etc should not be allowed to indluence the decision, says B Raman.
March 06, 2009
Are Pakistan's nukes safe from the jihadis?
The security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal from a commando-style attack by jihadi terrorists operating inside Pakistan is a question which should be worrying security experts all over the world.
March 04, 2009
Key questions on Lahore attack answered
Jihadi terrorism emanating from the sanctuaries in Pakistani territory has assumed a pan-subcontinental dimension equally threatening all the countries of the subcontinent -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is time these countries constitute a common counter-terrorism brains trust to deal with this threat jointly, says B Raman.
February 26, 2009
Trouble brews for India in East
A question of major concern both to the Bnagladeshi political and military leadership as well as for India should be---- was the mutiny purely due to bread and butter issues or is there something more to it?
February 13, 2009
How India should respond to Pakistan's volte-face
One has to wait and see what further action the Pakistani authorities take in the weeks to come. This is the time for keeping up the pressure on Pakistan.
February 11, 2009
Al Qaeda threat: Questions without answers
These questions will need careful examination before one can come to a definitive conclusion on the implications of this message. But so many unanswered questions should not make us underestimate the importance of strengthened security in response to it.
February 04, 2009
Why the LTTE hates Sonia Gandhi
It is not advisable for India to be seen by large sections of the Sri Lankan Tamils as not only anti-LTTE -- rightly so -- but also as anti-Tamil.
January 21, 2009
Why Miliband tried to rationalise Mumbai attack
The shocking attempt by Miliband to play down the murders of 138 Indians and 25 foreign nationals committed by the Pakistani terrorists should not have come as a surprise to those aware of the historic links of the British intelligence with the Mirpuri migrants from Pakistani-occupied Kashmir in the UK and their important role during elections in certain constituencies
January 14, 2009
Terrorists' latest choice: hand-held weaons
'The Mumbai attack of November 2008 was the first act of mass casualty terrorism by jihadi terrorists against innocent civilians using hand-held weapons. The previous two acts of mass casualty terrorism with fatalities of more than 150 were carried out with timed IEDs -- in March 1993 and in July 2006, both in Mumbai'
January 12, 2009
Few takers for India's anti-ISI campaign
'US Congressional committees and professional counter-terrorism organisations in the West are already examining the Mumbai carnage in order to draw lessons for themselves and to prevent a Mumbai-style attack in their country. Surprisingly, such an exercise is hardly to be seen in India. All the debate till now has been on what the options are against Pakistan'
January 02, 2009
The end of Prabhakaran?
If there is to be real peace in Sri Lanka, the end of Prabhakaran has to be brought about by the Tamils themselves and not by the Sinhalese army.
Let us emulate Israel this year
While keeping our fingers crossed in J&K, we have reasons to be proud of what our intelligence agencies and the security forces have achieved in J&K after 19 years of sustained and well-calibrated counter-terrorism. They are capable of achieving similar results in the Indian hinterland in 2009 if the systemic and individual deficiencies are identified and removed instead of being covered up, says B Raman