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Archive for June, 2014

Setting up a Homeland Security Command

One is proud of the will, courage, commitment and sacrifice of our 34th PMA Sri Lankan course-mates, they fought terrorism for over 25 years through Sri Lanka’s darkest period. My good friend Maj Gen (Lucky) Wijayaratne, who when commanding 1st Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLI) at Panagoda “inducted” me into his battalion, was killed in action. When Prabhakaran and the remnants of his Tamil Tigers were ultimately cornered by the Sri Lankan Army in 2009, the Indian Foreign Minister demanded the offensive be stopped to allow them safe passage. Poised to eliminate the bloody scourge that had turned their island paradise into a hell with the help of India’s Research & Analytical Wing (RAW), the Sri Lankans flatly refused.

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A CRUCIAL PHASE

Better late than never, the much awaited assault on North Waziristan has begun, 75 days later than it should have. To quote my article, “Non-stop” of Mar 6, 2014, “The precision strikes of the PAF disrupted the TTP’s administrative and operational deployment. More importantly, ‘actionable intelligence’ was available for these to be carried out, that knowledge is bound to have made the TTP nervous. No collateral damage was reported, confirming these targets were pure militant bases. TTP badly needs time and space to regroup after suffering the PAF’s precision strikes and re-locate its hideouts to safer havens. The “snowline” at 8000 ft is preventing the militants from leaving the valleys and dispersing into the mountains before May. With aircraft/drones overhead this is not easy”, unquote.

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AVERTING APOCALYPSE!

Two well-armed groups of militants penetrated separate entry points at Jinnah International Airport Karachi at around 11 pm on Sunday night, killing 5 ASF personnel in the process. Nineteen good men, 11 belonging to ASF, laid down their lives to save the honour (and future prosperity) of this nation. Charred bodies of 7 workers were recovered from a cold storage facility 26 hours later. Many seriously injured are still in critical condition. Alerted by the firing, ASF men at their posts on the tarmac forced the militants to take cover in a relatively deserted part (at that time) of the Airport (Shaheen, Ispahani and Gerry Hangars). Given crucial time and space, ASF’s Quick Response Force (QRF) reacted well to contain the militant’s intent and capacity for death and destruction.

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Putin’s Russia

The compelling feedback one gets soon after arriving in Moscow is that whatever reservations the Russians may have about Vladimir Putin’s autocratic style of governance notwithstanding, they are united behind him on Crimea and the Ukraine. In his broken English our driver described with great gusto how Putin had snatched Russia’s Crimea back from foreign hands. This refrain was repeated across the broad spectrum, Russian nationalism stood out loud and clear. There seemed no qualms or second-guessing among the populace about the means Putin was using to raise the country back to its former greatness. On the contrary, there was visible pride in the flexing of the military muscle to assert Russia’s dominance in what they call the “near abroad”. One is reminded about the Crimean War in mid-19th century and Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade”, with the western sanctions starting to bite the Russian population remains united in “theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.”

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