1 November 2015

Army’s TCS – bogged down again?

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
30 Oct , 2015

There was much euphoria in early 2014 when two developing agencies were finally selected for developing the Army’s Tactical Communications System (TCS) after years of delay. But this too appears to have been bogged down like most military systems under the ambiguous pretext of “procedural delays”.

Black days in Kashmir: Facts versus Fiction

By Col Jaibans Singh
Issue: Courtesy: www.defenceinfo.com | Date : 30 Oct , 2015

The separatists of Jammu and Kashmir have declared October, 27 as a “Black Day.” On this day in 1947, the Indian Army landed in Srinagar airport and, against great odds, saved the people of Kashmir from large scale massacre, rape, loot and arson at the hands of the mercenary hordes of Kabilies (Tribal’s of the North West Frontier province) sent by Pakistan under the sponsership of its army to annex the state.

To term October, 27 as a Black day is, by far, the most unfortunate statement ever made by the separatists. There are some historical facts that should be kept above politics. The Indian army’s role in Indo-Pakistan War of 1947-48 is one of them.

The Indian troops who fought the war had only the safety and security of the Kashmiri’s in mind. They did not know or care about how politics would play out in the long run. Their only concern was to ensure that the barbarians were thrown out in the shortest possible time without causing any further damage.

In this they were singularly successful, but not without paying a heavy price including loss of lives of many soldiers.

Through a lens darkly - Indian soldiers in a European war

Malavika Karlekar 

In a room not far from King George IV's extraordinarily opulent Music Room (picture) at Brighton's Royal Pavilion is a small picture gallery of photographs of Indian soldiers in World War I. The Pavilion had been converted into a military hospital for the injured men of the British Indian army and well over 4,000 Indians who had served on the Western Front were treated here and in other local hospitals. Over a million and half men from the subcontinent joined the war and more than 75,000 died either from injuries or on the battlefield. One wonders what critically injured Sikh soldiers made of the enormous lotus-shaped chandeliers and walls emblazoned with a fairly grotesque rendering of Chinoiserie-style blazing dragons and over-worked pagodas. Or what they felt, resting in the grounds of the former royal recreation space. Initially an 18th-century seaside resort for the Prince of Wales (later George IV), the Pavilion is a true example of the Orientalist vision in architecture, where details and style were conflated, added and reimagined in a tantalizing aesthetic mélange.

Hybrid war in Afghanistan takes a new turn

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
Date : 29 Oct , 2015

Hybrid War is not new but became the preferred option with estimates of a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costing the US some $6 trillion and the combined figure of 57,694 killed and wounded Americans. Such conflict is raging in Ukraine, West Asia, Middle East and is taking a sinister turn in the Af-Pak. Fresh- trained Free Syrian Army recruits entering Syria from Jordan and Islamic State cadres fleeing to Jordan due to Russian air strikes indicate the chaos that prevails in such circumstances.

Michael Flynn, former director US Defence Intelligence Agency, went on record to say that the rise of Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS was a “willful decision of the US”. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) admitted that the ISIS was trained by former British officers in Turkey. There were reports of ISIS being trained in Jordan by US instructors in civil attire.

With hybrid war targeting moral and cognitive plains, the reality often is different from engineered perceptions, and there is ambiguity in who is doing what; which explains why massive ISIS victory parades in Mosul, Ramadi, Idlib invited no US-led coalition air strikes and why the ISIS continues to smuggle out and sell oil to the tune of $2-3 million daily.

Is Pak Power Centre Losing the Script?

By Bhaskar Roy
Date : 30 Oct , 2015

When Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif landed in New York for the annual UN General Assembly session, his body language lacked confidence and inspiration. He carried a restricted brief from the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi—just raise the Kashmir issue and internationalise it. A limited brief, indeed.

Lodhi is known to be close to the Army and ISI. Her inputs and brief were obviously not prepared by the civilian government in Islamabad.

No interaction with the Pakistani Diaspora in the USA was scheduled. Why? Is the GHQ afraid of the questions they may raise? There was no meeting with the American business community to bring in investments to Pakistan. This road must have been explored but with negative impact. Even the expatriate Pakistani community in the US are loath to invest in unstable, turbulent Pakistan where the jihadists are fast emerging as a power pole.

Why India needs to thank General Pervez Musharraf Pakistan needs to act on India's refrain to shut down the terror infrastructure and act in the spirit of the Ufa declaratio


Pakistan's military dictators are mostly always larger-than-life individuals, divinely sanctioned to steer their country away from the anarchy of civilian rule. Or so they seem to believe. Untrammelled by civilian oversight, every military ruler from Field Marshals Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan and Generals Zia to Pervez Musharraf, have launched military expeditions that have ultimately proved ruinous. Ayub had a series of grandly titled military plans to seize Kashmir in 1965, Yahya Khan presided over a genocide in East Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, Zia, an Afghan War that forced the Soviets out of Afghanistan but injected the poison of Islamic fundamentalism into his country's body politic. And finally, General Pervez Musharraf, who launched the most recent attempt to redraw the boundaries of Kashmir, at Kargil in 1999, and finally oversaw a phase of terrorism that saw dreaded "fidayeen" or kamikaze terrorists spill out of the vale of Kashmir into the heartland of India. But none of these dictators have spoken about their exploits with the kind of clarity that General Musharraf did to an interview to Dunya News TV on October 25, 2015. The General's fortunes are admittedly at its lowest since a 2013 return from self-imposed exile backfired, and is technically on bail in a spiral of court cases. Every TV appearance is an opportunity to remind his countrymen he is available to fulfill his divine calling.

The U.S. Navy Has Sailed Past China’s Artificial Islands—And Must Do So Again.

October 30, 2015

On Tuesday, the destroyer USS Lassen sailed within twelve nautical miles of China’s man-made “islands” in the South China Sea. The transit, referred to by the U.S. Navy as a “freedom of navigation operation,” had been rumored for months and, according to press reports, resisted by senior officials at the White House for fear of antagonizing China. As predicted, China vigorously protested the operation and summoned the U.S. ambassador to China for a particularly angry harangue.

For an operation that prompted such hand-wringing in the Obama White House and angry protestations in Beijing, the Lassen’s transit should have been anything but controversial. Until 2012, when the Obama administration stopped sending vessels near the roughly 3,000 acres of land China has reclaimed in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy and numerous others regularly transited this territory for decades. It is a critical principle of international law that any nation is entitled to pass freely and unobstructed near these man-made features, and the Lassen’s passage was a step in the right direction.

The Future Of US Strategic Rebalancing Toward Asia – Analysis

By David Arase*
OCTOBER 30, 2015

The US strategic rebalancing has a “China engagement” emphasis with a lesser “China hedging” element. US engagement seeks to stabilize the liberal international order on the basis of a great power partnership—what some may call a “G-2”—with a rising China. Meanwhile, the US maintains hedging diplomacy (e.g., keeps existing alliances alive) to guard against the risk that China will reject US overtures and challenge fundamental US interests. The US has optimistically discounted this risk and has maintained an emphasis on engagement.

However, since Xi Jinping took leadership in November 2012 and consolidated his power in 2013, China-US strategic divergence that began in 2009 has deepened in existing areas and spread to new issue areas. This is nowhere more evident than in the South China Sea. The emerging clash of fundamental Chinese and US interests there casts a new light on both the nature of China’s great power ambitions, and the relationship between the US and China.

Islamic State on Recruitment Spree in Russia

October 29, 2015

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) — The Russian province of Dagestan, a flashpoint for Islamic violence in the North Caucasus, is feeding hundreds of fighters to the Islamic State in Syria — and now some are coming back home with experience gained from the battlefield.

The departures mean that the region itself has become markedly less violent recently with fewer bombings and shootings. And the returning fighters have either landed in jail or been kept under close police surveillance. But there are long-term concerns that the presence of radical Muslims trained in IS warfare could lead to greater instability and violence.

"We can't allow them to use the experience they have just gained in Syria back home," Russian President Vladimir Putin said recently.

Eduard Urazayev, a former minister in Dagestan's provincial government, and now a political analyst, said that poverty and unemployment in the region made the IS recruiters' job easier. "If the high level of corruption and unfavorable socio-economic situation remain," Urazayev said, "it may further fuel protest sentiments and increase sympathy for the IS."

'How To Be a Good Little Jihadi'

Special Correspondent

Sports exercises done to the Islamic State mantra, maths books asking how many heroes the Islamic State has and cartoon children with guns - welcome to the new extremist education system in Mosul.

The cover of one of the new school textbooks being distributed in Mosul by the extremist IS group.

For some parents in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city controlled by the extremist group known as the Islamic State, the worst has come true. After destroying many of the textbooks their children used to use in Mosul's schools, the Islamic State, or IS, group have developed a whole new curriculum for school aged children living inside the areas they control.

Abu Omran* is a father of three in Mosul. Until very recently he was hoping that his children might be able to go back to school – they left school the day that the IS group took control of the city in mid-June last year and they've never been back. But now he is increasingly pessimistic about his children's future - they have already lost two terms of schooling and now it looks likely they will lose a third.

Exploiting Russia's Fear of ISIS

October 29, 2015

As multilateral talks begin in Vienna to search for a possible resolution of the Syrian civil war, we should realize that even when a foreign government is not being entirely above board in explaining what it is up to, it still may be honest in identifying part of what motivates it. The principal government in question regarding the Syrian situation is that of Russia, which has said a lot about beating back the so-called Islamic State or ISIS but whose military operations so far in Syria seem to be saying something else. Russian military strikes directed against other opposition groups in Syria may actually be helping ISIS insofar as they bring ISIS closer to becoming, or at least appearing to be, the only viable alternative to the Assad regime.


OCTOBER 30, 2015

The Obama administration has received much attention for its policy of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region. The rebalance has been described as President Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative. Launched in 2009, it has received much attention from academics, practitioners, think tanks, and the media. In reality, the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific has been more evolutionary than revolutionary; a U.S. shift in focus and grand strategy began well before President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.

If the Obama presidency in fact initiated a revolutionary rebalancing, it was his effort to rebalance American foreign policy generally from over-reliance on the military and toward greater reliance on diplomacy and development. Despite a concerted effort, when viewed through several lenses it seems clear that demilitarization has failed and U.S. foreign policy remains very, perhaps overly, militarized. As a result, the Pentagon can expect to be handed messy military operations short of inter-state war that it may not be prepared, equipped, or organized to handle efficiently or effectively.

US Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Aircraft Approaching US Aircraft Carrier

October 30, 2015

Two Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft flew within one nautical mile of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan,prompting the dispatch of four F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Reagan to intercept the Russian warplanes, AFPreports. The Reagan was sailing off the Korean Peninsula at the time of the incident.

The Tu-142 aircraft were flying at an altitude of 500 feet approximately one nautical mile away from the aircraft carrier, which was operating in international waters in the Sea of Japan as part of a joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercise.

A naval vessel escorting the Reagan attempted to contact the aircraft but did not receive a response. This led to the sending of the F/A-18 Super Hornets fighter jets from the Reagan’s flight deck to intercept and escort the Tu-142s –”standard operating procedure,” according to the U.S. Navy.

India to Lease Another Nuclear Submarine From Russia

October 30, 2015

The Indian Navy will lease another nuclear-powered submarine from Russia, TASS reports. The 10-year lease agreement will likely be signed at the Russian-Indian summit in December, according to a source at India’s Defense Ministry.

India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar will meet Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu next week in Moscow to discuss details.

“Parrikar will hold talks on this strategic project with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu. After the ten-year contract is signed another two or three years will be required for upgrading the submarine in keeping with India’s requirements,” the source told TASS.

The Russian submarine likely to be handed over to the Indian Navy will be the Kashalot K-322 nuclear-powered attack submarine (NATO classification Akula II-class), a ship that has served in Russia’s Pacific Fleet since early 1989 and is currently under repair.

The “Groundhog Day” School of American Strategic Thought

October 29, 2015

In 1993 comedian Bill Murray starred in a movie called “Groundhog Day” in which a man kept reliving the same bad day over and over. It was a funny movie. Not nearly so humorous is the very real “Groundhog Day” that afflicts American foreign policy. Over the past decade and a half, the United States’ most senior military and Administration officials – from both parties – have routinely applied a small set of military solutions in an attempt to solve highly complex foreign policy problems in the Middle East. And virtually all have failed.

Unfortunately, senior leaders continue to roll out slight variations of the same plans in the hope that somehow they’ll achieve success where the others failed. The costs have been profound. If changes aren’t made, the price could one day be greater than we can afford to pay. The situation with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria might be the most egregious example.

Why Assad Must Go: Here's How to Do It

October 29, 2015

President Obama learned from his predecessor that decisiveness is not necessarily a virtue—yet an overly cautious approach to foreign policy challenges can also have regrettable national security consequences.

On Syria, President Obama has arguably erred on the side of acting too cautiously, contributing to a situation in which the most viable factions are radical Sunni Islamists on the one side and the equally irredeemable Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on the other.

President Obama has defended his ineffectual Syria policy in part by arguing that from the beginning, there were too few moderate and capable Syrian rebels to work with on the ground. Whether or not this is true, it is probably also self-fulfilling to a significant degree.

The moderate Syrian rebels who might have been willing to partner with the U.S. early in the civil war have been determined to eliminate Assad from power, but President Obama has been reticent to support this objective (at least overtly), probably due to his fear of the potential consequences to the Iran nuclear negotiations, among other regional security issues.

ISIS Launches Counterattack Against Syrian Army Forces In and Around Aleppo

October 29, 2015

ISIS Contests Regime Supply Line to Aleppo City 

Key Take-away: ISIS launched a multi-phase counterattack against the Syrian regime and its allies in Aleppo Province which threatens the regime’s control over its primary ground line of communication (GLOC) to Aleppo City. ISIS seized multiple checkpoints along the highway between the towns of Khanaser and Ithriya in southern Aleppo Province on 23 OCT. These gains blocked the route used by the Syrian regime to deploy reinforcements to Aleppo from Hama and Homs Provinces. ISIS subsequently initiated a major attack targeting the key regime-held town of Safira southeast of Aleppo City. Safira serves as a key node for Iranian military activity in Syria. The town also contains a complex of strategic defense factories implicated in the production of chemical weapons and ‘barrel bombs’ for the Syrian regime. ISIS fighters have reportedly advanced into the far-northern outskirts of Safira despite initial deployments of regime reinforcements to the area.

The advances by ISIS near Aleppo City demonstrate the limited capabilities of the Syrian regime despite expanded support from Iranian-backed proxy groups and Russian airstrikes. ISIS remains unlikely to seize Safira due to the strategic importance of the town to both Iran and the Syrian regime. Nonetheless, ISIS’s counterattacks have successfully forced the regime to assume a defensive posture and deprioritize the ongoing offensive to relieve the besieged Kuweires Airbase. ISIS may intend to exploit this redirection of forces through further attacks against the regime either northeast of Aleppo City or further south in eastern Hama Province. Rebel forces in Aleppo Province also stand to benefit from the redeployment of pro-regime forces away from frontlines south of Aleppo City. The Syrian regime made no significant gains against rebel forces in Aleppo Province over the past four days following major advances last week. Recent intensifications in Russian and Iranian support to the Syrian regime may not be sufficient to force a rapid change in the dynamics of the Syrian Civil War.


OCTOBER 30, 2015

A story in the New York Times this week that the Russian Navy seemed to be menacing the trans-Atlantic telecommunications cables that are so vital to the United States and, indeed, the world attracted significant attention and engendered a good deal of alarm. This seems a very modern problem. However, in 1917, the United States and the British faced a similar problem, as a document in the National Archives shows.

On February 1, 1917, Germany launched unrestricted submarine warfare. Two days later the United States broke off diplomatic relations and began the slide toward war. On February 7, the British post office completed a study of what we would today call trans-Atlantic bandwidth to determine how much telegraph capacity would be available to an American Expeditionary Force that might be sent to France. In this era when the U.S. military blithely slings video-laden PowerPoint briefings back and forth across the NIPRNET (that’s the Internet to you and me), the numbers inthis work are startling.

Beware Of The Career Choices Your Children Make In This Digital-Age – OpEd

OCTOBER 30, 2015

All those who studied economics or commerce in school would have read how the Industrial Revolution in Europe during the 1800s transformed the world – in terms of establishing new centres of production, new skills and new sources of wealth, while making redundant the traditional methods and places of production.

Something similar is happening today! The Technology Revolution (or the Digital Revolution, if one may use that term) is creating a similar transformation in the way business is done today the world over. Every disruption brings with it new opportunities which help new entrants break the status-quo hitherto enjoyed by incumbents. It creates opportunities for faster turnaround times, delivery at lower operating costs, sales maximization and client delight through more relevant sales pitches using client profile/habits data, improve and maintain consistency in quality standards by using machine automation, etc. But while all this sounds nice, there is also the other side. Every new disruption also brings in new challenges to adapt to the changes, and there is always the threat of becoming irrelevant if one is slow to adapt. This is exactly what occurred during the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, this digital revolution is not something that is about to come. In fact, it has already come and engulfed several industries and sectors within its tide!

Iranian Hackers Interested in Malware that Can Secretly Pull Data from Android Devices

Jeremy Kirk
October 29, 2015

Iranian hackers show strong interest in Android spying tools

Iranian hackers are showing strong interest in malware that can secretly pull data from Android devices, which are popular in the Middle East.

The analysis comes from Recorded Future, a cybersecurity intelligence firm based in Somerville, Massachusetts.

One of Recorded Future’s specialties is monitoring hacking forums, looking for clues and chatter that might indicate future attacks.

Over the last six months, there appears to have been high interest on Iranian hacking forums in remote access tools, or programs designed to listen to calls and collect text message and GPS data, according to a blog post.

The most-discussed tools were AndroRAT and DroidJack. AndroRAT is free and has been around for close to four years, while DroidJack appeared last year.

“With a low level of technical skill needed, open availability and strong community support on hacker forums, DroidJack and AndroRAT are likely to remain popular choices for threat actors seeking to take advantage of Middle Eastern mobile systems,” Recorded Future wrote.

Playing war games to prepare for a cyberattack

byTucker Bailey, James Kaplan, and Allen Weinberg
July 2012

A poor response can be far more damaging than the attack itself.

“Can it happen to us?” All over the world, technology executives have been fielding this question from boards of directors and CEOs in the wake of highly publicized cyberattacks on large, well-respected companies and public institutions.

“Yes” is the only honest answer at a time when ever more value is migrating online, when business strategies require more open and interconnected technology environments, when attackers have always-expanding capabilities, and when attacks take advantage of limited security awareness among employees and customers. In fact, it may already have happened to you—but you may not know it.

Although political “hacktivists,” such as Anonymous and LulzSec, certainly delight in announcing their exploits to the world and causing embarrassment to their targets, other sophisticated attackers seek to cover their tracks. Organized-crime rings engaging in cyberfraud have no interest in letting their targets know they have been infiltrated.

The rising strategic risks of cyberattacks

byTucker Bailey, Andrea Del Miglio, and Wolf Richter
May 2014

Research by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum points to a widening range of technology vulnerabilities and potentially huge losses in value tied to innovation.

More and more business value and personal information worldwide are rapidly migrating into digital form on open and globally interconnected technology platforms. As that happens, the risks from cyberattacks become increasingly daunting. Criminals pursue financial gain through fraud and identity theft; competitors steal intellectual property or disrupt business to grab advantage; “hacktivists” pierce online firewalls to make political statements.

Research McKinsey conducted in partnership with the World Economic Forum suggests that companies are struggling with their capabilities in cyberrisk management. As highly visible breaches occur with growing regularity, most technology executives believe that they are losing ground to attackers. Organizations large and small lack the facts to make effective decisions, and traditional “protect the perimeter” technology strategies are proving insufficient. Most companies also have difficulty quantifying the impact of risks and mitigation plans. Much of the damage results from an inadequate response to a breach rather than the breach itself.

Mark Zuckerberg is in India to kill the internet, make no mistake Internet.org basically breaks net neutrality.


This visit is not about an ashram or finding inner peace. Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is coming to India for one sole reason - to push the agenda of free basics, much to the chagrin of IT heads, which he describes as "Internet.Org".

Critics claim that Internet.Org strikes a dagger straight into the heart of the very fabric of the World Wide Web as we know it. They say it breaks the sanctity of net neutrality. The idea that everything on the internet should be offered to everyone in an equal way.

If you Google the term, you will find a more elaborate and sophisticated definition: "The principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites."

Internet.org basically breaks net neutrality by offering certain services (apps), which Facebook describes as "free basics for free", while other service prviders will be charged for it.

Mystery Plane, Part 2

October 29, 2015

As Lara Seligman wrote in Defense News overnight, there’s a lot “we still don’t know” about the LRS-B, and as development moves forward, there’s a lot we still won’t know. Northrop’s just-up website features not even the shrouded plane of its Super Bowl advertisement, but just a zoomie with a buzzcut and aviator sunglasses. On his earnings call with investors, CEO Wes Bush said that the company was "ready to get to work,” but that he wouldn’t even be taking questions about the bomber. The Air Force has provided third-party estimates for the development and production costs, but not Northrop Grumman’s actual bids. So what do we know about the money, and how much confidence can we have in the figures? The USAF and industry together now have several decades of experience with designing, building, and buying stealth aircraft, but the economics of buying any complex weapons remain the same.

Why The Military Is Moving On From The M16

October 28, 2015

The Marine Corps is replacing the M16 with the M4 carbine as the primary weapon for the infantry. Here's why.

The M16A4 may soon retire. This week, the Marine Corps announced via internal memo that the M4 carbine will become the primary-issued rifle in infantry and security units, as well as replace the M16 rifle in supporting training schools by September 2016. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller approved the change, which was first proposed to the previous commandant, Gen. Robert Dunford, according to Marine Corps Times. This decision falls in line with the Army’s phased transitionaway from the M16 over the past few years. The M16A4 is on the outs simply because it is outdated, and here’s why:

Fixed stocks no longer make sense for an standard-issue infantry weapon.

Road to Nowhere? Peace Efforts in the Southern Philippines

By Peter M. Sales
October 29, 2015

The plight of the southern Philippines is a lesson in how not to undertake a peace process. It especially illuminates the pitfalls of negotiating without the wholehearted commitment of the stakeholders, especially the central government. Successive regimes in Manila have made feints at achieving a settlement in Mindanao, but the national leadership has been in turns half-hearted, dilatory and insincere. So the south remains in turmoil despite the best intentions and unflagging efforts of peace advocates. Whatever else, the so-called Mindanao problem has much to teach the international community about intractable warfare. Hard-won lessons in this southernmost and second largest island of the Philippines can undoubtedly contribute to understanding civil unrest and the challenges of peace-building in general.

Grounded: Taiwan’s US-Made Attack Helicopter Fleet is Rusting Away

October 30, 2015

The Republic of China Army is currently investigating the grounding of the majority of its AH-64E Apache “Guardian” attack helicopters purchased from the United States, Taipei Times reports.

The aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing has also dispatched a special task force to help identify the cause of the technical difficulties, which could be due to Taiwan’s “wet and high humidity climate, seasonal monsoon rains blowing salt-laden ocean water inland, or improper maintenance and handling by ground service crew,” according to the media report.

Major General Huang Kuo-ming, commander of the Army Aviation Special Forces Command, stated that nine helicopters had to be grounded due to serious oxidation on metal components, which was discovered in the helicopters’ tail rotor gearboxes- made of a new aluminum-magnesium alloy.

South Korea: The Politics Behind the History Wars

By Kyu Seok Shim
October 29, 2015

The recent controversy over the reinstatement of state control over history textbooks in South Korea has polarized the nation, the latest in a series of broad movements towards historical revisionism spearheaded by the Blue House since the conservative takeover of power in 2007.

Such polemics is certainly not new in Korean politics, where identity and legitimacy often override debates over policy in terms of voter behavior. The partisan divide over the textbook issue overlaps with larger divergent trajectories between the liberals and conservatives, an irreparable rift which at its core is a conflict over legitimacy.

However, both the timing and the fervor with which the left and the right has concentrated on the textbook issue reveals an underlying political calculus – one that may shape the outcome of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in the next two years.

Politics of Legitimacy

Freedom of Expression Under Fire in Indonesia

By Vannessa Hearman
October 30, 2015

I first read about the cancellation of a panel I was speaking on at the Ubud Writers and Readers festival in a news story. That day had been tense as panel organizers from the Herb Feith Foundation warned me that our panels could be cancelled due to police pressure on the festival. I was to host a panel of young activists writing on Bali and the legacy of the 1965 massacre.

I have researched and written about the events of 1965 for almost 10 years. Born in Indonesia, I myself had no knowledge about the killings until I started university in 1991 in Australia. In a way, this quest for knowledge has spurred me on to research and write about this past in conjunction with researchers based in Indonesia.

On September 30, 1965, a group of soldiers and officers calling itself the Thirtieth September Movement kidnapped and killed seven high ranking army men, including the Armed Forces Chief Ahmad Yani, in Jakarta. The army blamed this event on the Indonesian Communist Party, the PKI, and under Major General Suharto led a violent suppression campaign against the Left. This massacre claimed half a million lives, including an estimated 80,000 or 5 percent of the population in Bali.

Lockheed Martin Appoints New Leader to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project

October 29, 2015

Lockheed Martin is appointing former F-22 Raptor program chief Jeff Babione to lead the $400 billion tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter effort the company announced today.

“For the past three-years Jeff Babione has served as Lorraine's deputy. He has the skills and leadership necessary to continue the advancements we’re making in the F-35 program,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the Pentagon’s F-35 Program Executive Officer. “Our team looks forward to working with Jeff and his new deputy, Fred Ross, in their new roles.”

Babione is a seasoned engineer who previously worked on the Raptor program for most of its development during his twenty-three year career with Lockheed. He also oversaw the shutdown of the F-22 production line in 2012 before his eventual transfer to the F-35 program.