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Archive for February, 2012

Guarding the Guards

One of the great tragedies to befall this country was the assassination of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer by Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad on Jan 4, 2011, bringing into sharp focus one of the important aspects of security that does not get the attention it should: fidelity.

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Media and the Armed Forces

The new way of making war, the projection of “soft power”, is cynical and amoral in involving and persuading millions of people. The lords of this new media war are the communication and image experts closelytied to political power, producing a sophisticated kind of communication incomparison with classic state propaganda. Having great financial resources they use the same witty psychology employed by advertisement groups to successfully launch a product on the market.

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Drawdown in Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta raised a storm signalling that US and NATO troops in Afghanistan will transition from a combat role to a “training, assist and advice” role by late 2013, a year earlier than the mandated 2014 schedule. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney had earlier railed against US troops fighting a war of independence for another nation, political expediency now dictated his calling Panetta’s withdrawal announcement “misguided” and “naïve”, “why should you tell the people you are fighting with the date you are pulling out your troops?” Echoing his sentiments US Senator John McCain said none of the US military commanders had recommended the drawdown, the US commander in Afghanistan, Marine General John R Allen, cautioning that “the drawdown schedule is more aggressive than anticipated”.

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The Davos Platform

The feudal mindset is conditioned to accept defeat militarily, never in sports and/or politics. The sportsmen’s spirit rhetoric that the British endlessly spout is just that, rhetoric. Casting aspersions of the nasty kind after being “Aj-mauled” and “Rah-mmed” was certainly not cricket. Two of Pakistan’s world-best young fast bowlers were successfully framed for “spot-fixing”, subsequent humiliation at the hands of our spinners four times in a row must be frustrating and painful.

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