Category Archives: Geopolitics

thecatapult.in

thecatapult.in is a new blog focusing on the matters concerning the Indian national interests, strategy and the affairs of the State.

The First Post today is about the Chinese side war gaming a scenario on the Tibetan plateau and the border with India in case of a (planned?!) steady deterioriation of relations leading to war with India after the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Military, International Communism, International Politics, National Security, PRC, The Indian Subcontinent

UN Watch Blasts the UNHRC

And see the intolerance of the UNHRC to any criticism of its conduct and the threat to ban the UN Watch representative’s speech. This has become a stalinist organisation through and through dominated by the same third world dictatorial thugs from many parts of Asia, Africa, the Arab world and latin America who are supposed to be held accountable by this body.

Also Watch the Speeches Not Banned at the UNHRC by UN Watch.

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Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Geopolitics, India and the World, International Communism, International Politics, Liberal Extremists

The Race for the Riches of the Arctic region

As the Earth’s icy north melts due to Global warming the countries around the Arctic ocean make a mad rush to gain control of its natural resources.

Riches Await as Earth’s icy North Melts

The latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the ice cap is warming faster than the rest of the planet and ice is receding, partly due to greenhouse gases. It’s a catastrophic scenario for the Arctic ecosystem, for polar bears and other wildlife, and for Inuit populations whose ancient cultures depend on frozen waters.

But some see a lucrative silver lining of riches waiting to be snatched from the deep, and the prospect of timesaving sea lanes that could transform the shipping industry the way the Suez Canal did in the 19th century.

The US Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Russia reportedly sees the potential of minerals in its slice of the Arctic sector approaching $2 trillion.

All this has pushed governments and businesses into a scramble for sovereignty over these suddenly priceless seas.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India and the World, International Politics, Science & Space

Illegal Bangladeshi Immigration Into India

A two year old TV documentary, perhaps originally produced by and telecast on Aaj Tak, on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigration to India and its links to rising terrorist violence in many parts of the country. It is quite well researched and well made with interviews of many experts, on the ground investigations and hard data.

In the words of former CBI director Joginder Singh- India is ‘tolerating’ upto 5 crore(50 million) illegal immigrants on its soil.

p.s- The program is only in Hindi with no English subtitles. But if you have a working knowledge of Hindi it is not very difficult to follow.

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Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Geopolitics, Governance, India, Indian States, Law & Order, National Security, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent, TV/Movies

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal Plods On

The Public spotlight that was on the Indo-US nuclear deal until it was passed by the US Congress and signed by President Bush into law in December last year has dissipated. But it is now that the real drudge work to hammer out an 123 agreement, getting NSG approval and an India specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA has to be done.

Brahma Chellaney in an op-ed piece titled Long-Maul Exercise in The Asian Age analyses the action that is taking place behind the scenes.

The controversial US-India nuclear deal may not be in the news these days but it quietly continues to ferment new issues. Even as America and its friends persist with their hard sell of the deal, increasing doubts about the wisdom and costs of pushing ahead with it on terms set by the US Congress have gripped the Indian establishment.

The projected timeframe for stitching up the final deal continues to slip. When the agreement-in-principle was unveiled on July 18, 2005, it was sanguinely claimed by both sides that by spring of 2006, the deal would take effect. Then when the Hyde Act was passed, US officials voiced optimism that the final deal would be before Congress by July 2007.

Now Washington has further revised the deadline to late 2007 or early 2008. Even that seems overly optimistic when one bears in mind that after almost 20 months, only the first of the five phases has been completed to clinch the final deal. There is still a long road ahead for the two sides to traverse.

Let’s not forget that the US-China nuclear deal, signed in 1984, took nearly 14 years to come into force, and another nine years thereafter for Beijing to place its first import order for US reactors. The US-India deal, in fact, involves more processes and complicating factors. Long after the original actors involved in the July 18, 2005, accord have faded into history, India would still be grappling with the deal-related issues.

Indeed the deal’s main benefit for India remains the symbolically important message of July 18, 2005 that the United States, reversing a three-decade punitive approach toward India, has embraced it as a “responsible” nuclear state.In other words, India is already savouring the main gain from the deal.

The actual incentive proffered by the US — the lifting of civil nuclear sanctions — is of less significance because high-priced imported commercial power reactors can play only a marginal role in meeting India’s energy needs.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indo-US relations, International Politics, Neglected/Sidelined News

Swiss Imperialism On the Rise

It seems that the Swiss are bored of their centuries old neutrality( and pocketing loot from both sides in a conflict) and starring in the background of Bollywood duet songs. Now they want to have some real fun.

Swiss “accidentally” invade Liechtenstein

ZURICH, Switzerland – What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

“We’ve spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it’s not a problem,” Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

And the Liechtensteinians are being good dhimmis.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. “It’s not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,” he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn’t have an army.

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Filed under Geopolitics, Humour, International Politics, Just Plain Weird

Gas Pipeline Blown Up by Baloch Rebels

That too in the very area where that accursed pipeline from Iran to India will have to pass through if built.

Quetta, Balochistan: Suspected Baloch militants blew up a gas pipeline near Quetta on Tuesday, cutting supplies to a power plant and several areas, a gas company official said. Gas supplies were cut to four districts near Quetta and a 95 MW city power plant. Supplies might be restored to some areas within 24 hours, Nawaz said. No one was hurt in the early morning blast in the outskirts of Quetta. “They planted explosives under an 18-inch pipeline that blew out a 4-foot piece of the pipe,” said Sheikh Nawaz, general manager of Sui Southern Gas Company.

If that pipeline is built not only will India have sleepless nights worrying about when the Paki goverment will pull the plug on this vital line. One has to also worry about when the Baloch militants will want to use it for some target practice.

Added to that India will have to pay several hundreds of millions of dollars as transit fees to Pakistan. That’s a lot of easy money for Pak to finance its terrorist campaigns against India.

The whole hair brained pipeline deal therefore is a lose-lose bargain all the way and should be scrapped right away, if it has not been already. A very viable alternative to this is to use the sea route since

1) India can then import all the gas it needs from every friggin part of the world including Iran and even Venezuela.

2) The Indian Navy can very much handle anyone who wants to play some mischief along the way.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indian Politics, Infrastructure Politics, International Politics, Liberal Extremists, National Security, Pakistan, The Indian Subcontinent