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Mountain to climb -- China's complex relationship with India
By Jeff M Smith, Jane's Intelligence Review, May 7, 2010

The latest issue to raise heckles [in India] has been cyberespionage. In January, India’s National Security Advisor MK Naryanan directly blamed China for multiple hacking attacks, and the chairman of India’s Cyber Law and IT Act Committee warned that same month that China had “raised a cyber army of about 300,000 people and their only job is to intrude upon the secured networks of other countries.” In April, a study by US and Canadian researchers claimed that a Chinese ‘shadow network’ had copied secret files of India’s defence ministry, potentially compromising some of India’s advanced weapons systems.


Manas Closure Could Threaten U.S.' Afghan Strategy
By Ilan Berman and Jeff Smith, Defense News, April 26, 2010

The coup that swept the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in early April caught almost everyone by surprise. The ouster of the country's strongman president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, after two days of rioting by opposition forces, likely at Russia's instigation, has fundamentally altered politics in the impoverished but strategically vital Central Asian state. In the process, it has called into question the stability of America's presence in the "post-Soviet space."

China-Russia Competition Opens A Door For America
By Jeffrey Mankoff and Leland R. Miller,, April 22, 2010

For the past two decades, many in the West have worried about the growth of Russo-Chinese influence over the newly independent states of Central Asia. Through the mutual-security group called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and in scores of joint military exercises, counter-terrorism maneuvers and energy projects, the two great powers collaborated closely in order to keep these buffer states peaceful, compliant and relatively free of American penetration. Lately, however, a perceptible shift has overtaken the region. In 2010, the biggest threat to China and Russia's Central Asian interests may now be each other.

Failure To Launch
By Ilan Berman,, April 13, 2010

Last March, when the Obama administration's outreach to Russia was still in its embryonic stages, America's chief diplomat made a major gaffe. Meeting in Geneva with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented him with a symbolic red button, meant to signify the "reset" of bilateral relations publicly being advocated by the new president. But the button was mislabeled; in a glaring error of translation, it boasted the label peregruzka (overload), rather than perezagruzka (reload). Both Clinton and Lavrov were quick to laugh off the incident, but a serious message had inadvertently been sent: that the Obama administration was woefully out of its depth on foreign affairs.

That unfortunate episode sprang to mind last month, when Presidents Obama and Medvedev announced that work on a successor to the now-defunct 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) had been concluded. Details of the deal--predictably named "New START"--have now been made public, and they confirm that the latest exercise in U.S.-Russian arms control is flawed on at least three fronts.

Obama's Nuke Strategy: Do The Rogues Really Care About "Engagement"?
By Lawrence J. Haas, The North Star National, April 12, 2010

At the heart of President Obama's nuclear weapons policy lies a key assumption - that Iran, North Korea and other "rogue" states are susceptible to threats of isolation and tempted by global acceptance.
He may be right - and I hope he is - but history offers compelling evidence to the contrary.

The Islamist Flirtation
By Ilan Berman,, April 2, 2010

Politics can offer some strange second acts. Just ask Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate turned would-be presidential candidate who is now flirting with joining forces with Egypt's main Islamist party. Since leaving his post as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in December, the 67-year-old diplomat has dipped his toe into electoral politics in his home country of Egypt. While still notional, ElBaradei's possible candidacy in the country's 2011 presidential election has galvanized Egypt's long-moribund political opposition.

Sleepwalking Toward A Nuclear Iran
By Lawrence J. Haas, The North Star National, March 31, 2010

Great athletes describe how, during moments of success, they feel as if time is slowing down so that - whether they are leading a fast break or awaiting a 95-mile-an-hour pitch - they see the game unfold in a kind of slow motion. In the arena of public affairs, we, too, have the power to step back and watch a new world unfold as if in slow motion. What seemed like disparate events as they occurred over the course of weeks, months or longer can, upon reflection, reveal a consistent pattern of activity with a predictable conclusion. And so it is with Iran's nuclear program.

The Ties That Bind
By Ilan Berman,, March 16, 2010

Just how durable are the ties between Russia and Iran? For years Western policymakers have been attempting to understand--and end--what is arguably the Iranian regime's most important international partnership. Recent weeks have only added urgency to the question, as the West ramps up its desperate scramble to stop Iran's relentless march toward the bomb.

Pakistan Veers From The Taliban
By Jeff M. Smith, Asia Times Online, March 4, 2010

Change is afoot in Pakistan. Evidence was on display in early February, with the capture of the Afghan Taliban’s number two commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in a joint operation by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence. The arrest of Baradar, who had been operating with relative impunity in Pakistan for years, was met with elation in Washington, where officials have been fruitlessly pressing the Pakistanis to crack down on the Afghan Taliban since 2001.

A New Sheriff At The U.N.
By Ilan Berman, Washington Times, March 1, 2010

If it's true that in politics you are judged by the caliber of your enemies, Yukiya Amano is off to a stellar start. The 62-year-old Japanese technocrat has only been at the helm of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for two months, but he is already exceedingly unpopular with the Iranian regime.