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FBI Reform: Eurasia Review: The Trouble With India’s Slow Naval Buildup – Analysis


Much of the Indian budget is focused on the army, with the air force being a distant second and the navy a poor third.

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

India has been trying hard to enhance its naval capabilities over the
past few years, both in recognition of its own needs as well as an
understanding of evolving trends in the strategic environment. But
despite New Delhi’s best efforts, doing so continues to be slow work.

A
case in point is India’s submarine programme, which was in the
spotlight again recently when the second of the Indian Navy’s six
Scorpene submarines, INS Khanderi, was inducted into service on 28
September. The first Scorpene submarine, called INS Kalvari, was
commissioned in 2017. The third submarine, INS Karanj, launched in
January 2018, is undertaking sea trials now. INS Khanderi was
manufactured by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited at a cost of ₹187.98
billion (about $2.6 billion) under an India-France bilateral agreement
in 2005 to build six Scorpene class submarines in India. Not including
the Scorpenes, India currently has two other older types of
diesel-electric submarine types, the Sindhughosh (Kilo) class and the
Shishumar (HDW 209/1500) class diesel-electric submarines, and the
nuclear-powered Arihant class (as well as the leased Chakra class
nuclear submarine).

But the induction of the new
submarine belies the fact that the size of India’s submarine inventory
has been declining for years. The Scorpene acquisition has undergone
significant delays — more than six years — even though it remains an
important addition to the Indian naval capability. Even though there
have been triumphant comments from many senior Indian officials on the
significance of this induction, it is far from sufficient given the
growing naval and maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

Commissioning the submarine into service, the Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh talked
of the importance of the submarine and Indo-French defence cooperation,
though he framed the acquisition primarily as a message to Pakistan.
But the Scorpene submarines still do not have a modern torpedo, making do with the older SUT torpedoes. India cancelled
a deal for the heavy-weight Black Shark torpedoes, built by the
Finmecannica subsidiary WASS, as a result of an unrelated corruption
scandal that involved another subsidiary of Finmecannica,
Augusta-Westland. In a makeshift arrangement, the Indian government
approached the German defence company, Atlas Elektronik to upgrade 64 torpedoes, which were procured in the 1980s
and 1990s for the Indian Navy’s four Shishumar-class submarines. The
already-insufficient number of torpedoes in the Indian Navy’s arsenal is
to be now also shared with the Scorpene submarines.

An additional issue comes from the slow development of the air independent propulsion
(AIP) system. AIP allows submarines to stay under water for longer
periods of time without being detected. However, the development of the
indigenous AIP system by Defense Research and Development Organization
(DRDO) has been delayed, which should not come as much of a surprise
given the history of DRDO’s tendency to over-promise and under-deliver.
The last two of the Scorpene submarines were to be equipped with the
indigenously developed AIP systems but because of the delay by the DRDO,
the plan is now to have them in the next six submarines that will be
developed under Project 75I.

But Project 75I has also been
very slow. Under Project 75I, India plans to build six additional
advanced conventional submarines in collaboration with a foreign
manufacturer. But this has also run into difficulties. The Swedish
defence firm SAAB, which was seen as one of the top foreign contenders,
pulled out its bid because of onerous conditions the India has imposed
regarding indigenous partnerships and instead South Korea’s Daewoo
Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has entered the fray.

The South Korean decision possibly flows out of the visit of the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to South Korea
in September where defence industry cooperation was a major highlight.
South Korea joins four other contenders: Naval Group (France), Navantia
(Spain), Rosoboronexport (Russia) and TKMS (Germany) who are all bidding
for the ₹450 billion (about $6.32 billion) contract. During the recent
visit of Prime Minister Modi to Russia, the Russian President Vladimir
Putin agreed to undertake a “joint design and development of
conventional submarines through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).”
But it has been more than a decade since Project 75I started, and it
will be years more before these submarines enter Indian Navy service.

The
long, hard work of building up India’s naval capabilities is not just
limited to its submarine programme. On the same day as the INS Khanderi
induction, there were two other developments that are critical to the
Indian Navy: the launching of the first of the P17A frigates, ‘Nilgiri’
and inauguration of a dry dock, located within the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. According to Rakesh Anand, head of Mazagon Dock Limited, the new frigates come with “new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.” The new dry dock
will be the Indian Navy’s biggest one, capable of holding India’s
aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. It is state of the art, made of 1.5
meter-thick reinforced concrete and almost 300 meters into the sea. But
it has taken more than a decade to complete the dock.

The slow
nature of India’s naval buildup is the product of broader trends that
are well-known. Much of the Indian budget is focused on the Army, with
the air force being a distant second and the navy a poor third. And with
naval capability building proving time-consuming and capital-intensive,
that leaves New Delhi stuck with a continued slow pace of development
of its naval capabilities relative to other actors, even as competitors
such as China forge ahead more quickly.

The solutions are also
well-known. Some of them involve process: for instance, India needs to
change its decision-making processes and its complicated acquisitions
process to halt the slide in its relative capabilities. Others relate to
outlook, with India needing to focus on the right threats to its
national security rather than leaving itself looking broad but being
overextended as a result. Whether or not these solutions will be adopted
or not remains to be seen. Until then, developing India’s naval
capabilities will likely continue to prove to be slow work irrespective
of the incremental gains that are seen in the headlines.


This article originally appeared in The Diplomat.

The post The Trouble With India’s Slow Naval Buildup – Analysis appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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FBI Reform: The FBI News Review – fbinewsreview.blogspot.com – Blog by Michael Novakhov: “fbi” – Google News: US’s most prolific serial killer has murdered at least 50: FBI – Yahoo News


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Feedly Logo
October 06, 2019
“fbi” – Google News: US’s most prolific serial killer has murdered at least 50: FBI – Yahoo News
“fbi” – Google News: A Momentous Week in May: Book Details Early Days of Russia Inquiry – The New York Times
“fbi and trump” – Google News: ‘Who set him up?’ Ron Johnson, on ‘Meet the Press’ says he ‘doesn’t trust’ the CIA or FBI – WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites)
Washington (AFP) – A 79-year-old man murdered at least 50 people, making him the most prolific serial killer in US history, the FBI said Sunday. Samuel Little confessed to 93 homicides — mostly of women — between 1970 and 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
Read More

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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites)
WASHINGTON — “Are you O.K.?” Andrew G. McCabe, the acting F.B.I. director, asked Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. “No,” Mr. Rosenstein replied. “Are you getting any sleep?” Mr.
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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites)
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saying they have information about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine — the focus of an impeachment inquiry. The attorney for both whistleblowers said this person has “firsthand knowledge” to corroborate allegations in the original complaint.
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FBI Reform: Eurasia Review: Running Hot And Cold: Gulf Balances On The Edge Of War And Peace – Analysis


With war and peace
hanging in the balance, tensions in the Gulf are running hot and cold.

Saudi
and Iranian
leaders are this week walking back from the brink, signalling that they
want to avoid outright military confrontation and manage rather than
resolve
differences.

In
fact, there is
every reason to believe that neither Riyadh nor Tehran has a vested
interest in a definitive solution of the Middle East and North Africa’s
multiple
problems.

The
trick for men like
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian president Hassan
Rouhani is to find a controllable way of maintaining their potentially
existential bitter
rivalry without fighting what could be a devastating regional war.

To do so, both men
appear to be making the right noises against the backdrop of an evolving US policy that is forcing Saudi Arabia to rethink its almost decade-long, often reckless and assertive go-it-alone foreign and defense policy and
Iran
to seek ways to level the playing field
.

The
Anti-Iran Alliance is not just faltering, it’s crumbling
.
Bolton is gone; Bibi
is going; MBZ has struck his deal with Iran; MBS is not far behind,”
tweeted Council on Foreign Relations distinguished fellow and former US
Middle East
negotiator Martin S. Indyk.

Mr.
Indyk was
referring to former US national security advisor John Bolton and
embattled Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu while identifying
United Arab Emirates
crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed and his Saudi counterpart and namesake,
Prince Mohammed, by their initials.

Signalling
a change in
tone, Saudi Arabia has gone quiet on its investigation into
responsibility for last month’s attacks on key Saudi oil facilities
after earlier stopping just
short of blaming Iran.

Prince Mohammed has
meanwhile welcomed potential face-to-face talks between US President Donald J. Trump and Mr. Rouhani, saying
“absolutely… This is what we all ask for.”

Prince Mohammed’s
remarks were tempered by Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir who spelled out the kingdom’s demands.

Without
clarifying
whether these were a pre-condition for talks or issues to be discussed,
Mr. Al-Jubeir’s demands included “ending Iran’s involvement in the
affairs of other
countries; stopping support for terrorist organizations; abandoning the
policy of destruction and sowing conflict; and freezing the plan to
develop nuclear
weapons and the ballistic-missile program.”

In
response, Iran
insisted that Saudi Arabia freeze its multibillion-dollar arms purchases
from the United States, stop its intervention in Yemen and end
discrimination
against the Shiite Muslim minority in Saudi Arabia.

The chances of the two
countries accepting the other’s conditions are virtually nil.

Nonetheless,
Mr.
Rouhani, with France, Iraq and Pakistan seeking to mediate, has kept the
door open for talks with the United States which withdrew last year
from the 2015
international agreement that curbs the Islamic republic’s nuclear
program and has since imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

Addressing the Iranian
cabinet this week, Mr. Rouhani termed a four-point plan put forward by French president Emmanuel Macron “acceptable.”

The
plan calls for the
United States to lift sanctions on Iran and allow it to freely export
its oil and collect revenue in return for an Iranian commitment not to
pursue nuclear
weapons and help ensure Gulf security.

Mr.
Macron’s proposal
includes a US$15 billion credit line that would enable Iran to export
oil and would also restore the P5+1 framework of signatories of the
nuclear accord,
France, Britain, Russia, China, Germany and the US.

Like with Mr. Al
Jubeir’s demands, the question is what comes first, the chicken or the egg.

Mr. Trump sees lifting
of sanctions as the outcome of talks while Mr. Rouhani has insisted that sanctions be removed prior to negotiations.

To
step up pressure,
Iran has been gradually breaching the terms of the accord and increasing
tensions that bring the region closer to the brink of war in a bid to
position
negotiations as the only alternative.

Iranian
oil minister
Bijan Zanganeh put the changing mood on public display at a Russian
energy conference chaired by President Vladimir Putin when he described his Saudi counterpart, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, a son of King Salman, the Saudi monarch, as “a friend.”

“Prince Abdulaziz bin
Salman has been a friend for over 22 years,” Mr. Zanganeh said.

The
two men were later
seen holding hands together with Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) Mohammed Barkindo and speaking on the sidelines of the
conference in
the first such encounter since the attack on the oil facilities.

The
new mood could
over time, against the backdrop of mounting Gulf doubts about the
reliability of the United States’ regional defence umbrella, make a
Chinese-backed Russian
proposal for a multilateral security architecture more attractive.

The Russian proposal
is built on the notion that
security in the Gulf would be better served by an architecture that downplays regional rivalries

rather

than accentuating them as part of the US umbrella that is rooted in the
Saudi-Iranian divide and designed to protect the conservative Arab
monarchies against
the Islamic republic.

The Russian approach
theoretically could accommodate the survival strategies of both the Iranian regime and the Saudi ruling family.

Upholding
Iran’s
revolutionary façade requires the existence of an imperialist foreign
threat that also gives a lease on life to the vested economic interests
of hardliners
grouped around the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Saudi
Arabia, figuring
that it needs at least six years to develop its natural gas potential to
the degree that it can compete with Iran, home to the world’s second
largest
reserves, may want to see an Iranian regime that is weakened and
possibly destabilized, but not on the verge of collapse.

Said
Saudi foreign
policy scholar Yasmine Farouk: “Time is of the essence. This moment in
the Middle East’s international politics offers incentives and
deterrents that Saudi
Arabia can leverage in its negotiations with Iran. The longer the
kingdom waits, the less influence it will have on the final outcome of
its conflict with
Iran, and on any future multilateral framework for security in the
Gulf.”

The post Running Hot And Cold: Gulf Balances On The Edge Of War And Peace – Analysis appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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