Archives for: Politics Category

India: Who Gives A Hog For Development?

16 September 2014 - 13:44 pm

UP by-poll verdict has brought smiles back on SP leadership. Had it lost today, it faced near political extinction. It has won a handsome verdict. But the truth is that it is a vote for zero development, zero governance. This leads to the key question: Does development really count as an election issue in UP? The 2012 assembly polls in UP showed that voters had scant regard for development as 7% plus growth rate delivered by Mayawati failed to get her re-elected. In contrast, SP has delivered poor governance yet come out triumphant today. The voter disenchantment with the development slogan ended with the 2014 mandate for Modi’s ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ slogan. Therefore, what is the message for BJP? Voters are generally wary of political parties when they preach development as an election slogan but not so with Modi at helm in BJP. My view is had BJP stuck to the development agenda for by-polls in the state, it would have yielded better dividends for the party. Voters across Hindi heart-land yet invest faith in BJP on its development promise. Any deviation from this agenda is bound to hurt its prospects.


ISIS’ Next Target: The Suez Canal

15 September 2014 - 5:22 am

suezFollowing ISIS blitzkrieg in which it took over nearly half of Iraq and a third of Syria in the blink of an eye, at which point it created its own Islamic State Caliphate resulting in Obama’s own personal war against the jihadists, some have wondered what is ISIS’ next step: surely its leadership will not merely stagnatte as one after another US predator drone bomb away the capital Reqqa until ISIS figurehead leader al-Baghdadi is killed or gravely wounded. To be sure, the one thing ISIS, which stunned the world with the speed of its ascent, can not afford is to stand still.

So what is next on the strategic timeline for the Islamic State?

According to one source, Al Arabiya, which cites Egyptian experts, the answer is none other than the Suez Canal, and the country it is located in: Egypt.

“There is definitely a threat from ISIS to Egypt,” Mohammed Badr, a professor of political science at the University of Germany told Al Arabiya News, adding that the group has the country in its “line of sight.” >> Read More

2 Quotes on Politics

14 September 2014 - 19:41 pm



Putin’s Plan For Ukraine, In One Sentence

08 September 2014 - 18:25 pm

“The Putin goal is federalization in some way creating an autonomous region inside Ukraine that would influence the whole of Ukraine, in a political way, military way, economic way, binding it with Russia and preventing the whole of Ukraine from going very rapidly to the West without consulting with the Kremlin and with Putin,” Alexander Baunov, a Russian writer and political commentator, told The New York Times.

A tenuous ceasefire between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists isholding for now, but the prospect of a political deal to end the crisis is still far away.

With Ukrainian parliamentary elections seven weeks away and tensions simmering, there is little chance that Kiev will make concessions that Vladimir Putin demands before fighting breaks out again.

Yuri V. Lutsenko, an influential adviser to Ukraine President Petro O. Poroshenko who is leading his party in elections, wrote on Sunday that the idea of creating a special autonomous region in the east would be “a cancerous tumor in the Ukrainian organism.” >> Read More


Former Russian prime minister Sergei Stepashin has lashed out at US President Barack Obama for his belligerent policy on Moscow, saying he is pushing Vladimir Putin to resign.

In an open letter to Obama, Stepashin criticized the US president for accusing the Kremlin of creating the violence in Ukraine.

Obama’s economic sanctions against Moscow are to “isolate Russia and generate a new Cold War,” according to Stepashin.

“It is perfectly obvious that you are preparing grounds to loudly state your main goal: ‘Putin should resign,’” the chairman of the Accounts Chamber of Russia said.

He also described Obama as a “hawk who dresses up as a peacekeeper and can be called the father of the new Cold War.” >> Read More


While NATO is contemplating its existential purpose in a world where the Cold War has suddenly come back with a vengeance, and the military alliance has found itself woefully unprepared to deal with a Russia which no longer accepts the supremacy of the west (appropriately enough NATO is doing this on a golf course) Russia is also strategizing, only instead of issuing “sharply-worded catchphrases” and hashtags, a Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U.S. and its NATO allies as Moscow’s enemy number one. That in itself is not disturbing: we reported as much yesterday and is merely more rhetorical posturing. Where things, however, get very problematic is that the general demands that Russia spell out the conditions under which the country would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance. 

Moscow Times reports that Russia’s military doctrine, a strategy document through which the government interprets military threats and crafts possible responses, is being revised in light of threats connected to the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Ukraine, the deputy chief of the Kremlin’s security council told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

That however is the soundbite for politically correct media purposes. Because within the Defense Ministry there are voices calling for different priorities.

“First and foremost, the likely enemy of Russia should be clearly identified in this strategic document, something absent from the 2010 military doctrine. In my view, our primary enemy is the U.S. and the North Atlantic bloc,” General Yury Yakubov, a senior Defense Ministry official, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

If this sounds like a statement taken right out of the (first) Cold War, one involving the whole nuclear arms race, is because it is. The 2010 doctrine defines NATO expansion as a threat to Russian national security and reaffirms its right to use nuclear weapons in a defensive posture, but stops far short of declaring NATO as Moscow’s primary adversary and laying preemptive nuclear strike scenarios on the table, a posture unmistakably reminiscent of the Cold War.

At the basis of this dramatic escalation is none other than Russia’s stated response to what it perceives as a clear expansionary NATO threat. >> Read More


As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the U.S. and its allies.

The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.

The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis in the eastern part of the country.

“At the moment, we are still planning for [the exercise] to go ahead,” U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U.S. Army’s European Command said Tuesday. >> Read More

Putin Above Obama

02 September 2014 - 11:20 am
IT’S NO accident of fate that President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating hovers around 87 percent as opposed to President Obama’s which is at an all-time low of 34 percent, according to a recent Franklin and Marshall poll, while a mere 36 percent of Americans back his foreign policy. Those heady days when the Obama received rock star welcomes in Berlin and Cairo with his message ‘Yes, we can’ have faded into distant memory.
The fact is he couldn’t and he didn’t. With the world beset by crises in Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Ukraine, the so-called Leader of the Free World took off on vacation and was pictured grinning on a golf course even as the FBI warned that ISIS posed a serious home-grown threat.
As one analyst put it, his legacy will be ‘a nation in retreat’; his political foes rightly accuse him of leading from behind. Obama has singlehandedly removed the word ‘super’ from the superpower. Obama’s counterparts in Europe are faring little better in the approval stakes with the exception of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel; at least one, the French President Francois Hollande, is hobbling along with a 17 percent job approval.

>> Read More


Japan aims to double its investment in India over the next five years, along with the number of companies operating there, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will tell his counterpart, Narendra Modi, at a summit meeting on Monday.

     The two will discuss bilateral cooperation in economic development and regional security at Monday’s meeting in Tokyo.

     Infrastructure development in India, including subway systems, major roads and industrial parks, will be a key area of investment. Japan has already decided to provide yen-denominated loans totaling 50 billion yen ($477 million) for such purposes. And the Japanese public and private sectors are seen in the plan contributing several trillion yen over the next five years.

     For many Japanese companies, India is a potentially massive market with a population of more than 1.2 billion. As of last October, 1,072 Japanese businesses were operating there, and direct investment from Japan last year totaled 210.2 billion yen.

     Many Japanese companies, however, often see a lack of regulatory transparency as a challenge. To address this, Abe will request that India improve its transparency and quicken the process of approving business proposals. >> Read More

According to Reuters who are posting that a member of Putin’s human rights advisory council has told them she considers Russia’s actions in Ukraine are an invasion

Official line or not ? No further detail at present


Ella Polyakova says:

When masses of people, under commanders’ orders, on tanks, APCs and with the use of heavy weapons are on the territory of another country I consider this an invasion


Elsewhere Finland’s defence ministry says suspect Russian aircraft has violated Finnish air space. Third time in a week

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Technically Yours,
Team ASR,
Baroda, India.