Thursday, June 05, 2014

A fork in the road

There is a fork in the road.

1) Either a nuclear submarine will have to carry missiles mated to warheads and in doing so render the distinction between first use and guaranteed second strike invisible. This has obvious negative implications for deterrence stability.

2) Or a nuclear submarine will have to sit in an underground submarine pen a la Balaklava or Sanya and the warheads will only be mated to the delivery systems prior to submarine departure. In order to be effective in such a configuration,  it will need longer range missiles and given the inherent low CEP that comes with that kind of launch platform, one will need a very high yield warhead.

Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre Samavetayuyutsavaha |
Maamakaah paandavaashchaiva kimakurvata samjaya||


At 12:02 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


I don't see what all the fuss is about. The SFC has had custody of fully assembled and ready-to-use nuclear warheads for a few years now.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

I agree with Sparsh. Ready-to-use nukes (i.e. warheads mated with delivery vehicles, can be armed by local commanders under specific condtions) have been available and rightly so. The authorization for use has to come from the PM, but the chain of command (i.e. what happens if the PM and senior ministers are killed in a decapitating strike) is not public knowledge, nor should it be.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Sparsh,

I have no idea what you are talking about.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

don't overlook the factor of just having subs with cruise missiles is an enormous factor. The US is rapidly abansoning its Ohio boomers in favor of the moe versitle virginia class. the virginia class carries cruise missiles, harpoons as well as torpedoes. Plus they are developing a under water launched spy drone.

I think the proper question is: where is Inia's nuclear enemy threat? Proceed from there.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger maverick said...


The rationale behind not tipping cruise missiles with nuclear weapons is that once launched they cannot be detected. Also the platforms are highly compact and there no way to signal intentions to the adversary. This latter part is absolutely crucial for successfully operating a deterrence regime.

In a situation where two nuclear adversaries have their capital cities within ~ 500 miles of each other, even mere talk of tipping cruise missiles with nuclear weapons is highly highly destabilizing because it conveys an extremely hostile nuclear intention.

It was this logic that drove the INF treaty. The INF treaty may be archival, the logic is still valid.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If there is going to be a new development, either a transition to first use or to higher yields... then a strategic arms limitation discussion becomes relevant.

There is no sense in keeping lower yield stuff around. These just impose stockpile stewardship costs and create unnecessary proliferation risks.

Again,there is the embedded issue of higher yield tests - specifically the suitability of test sites. This remains far too sensitive to survive public commentary in any detail.

Ideas like simulations, ICF/NIF and other things proposed by others et al are completely irrelevant. I am sure even HE Hon. Webmaster has been briefed on that now.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Sugriva said...

Hi Mav,
What do you feel about an ex COAS criticizing a serving officer who obviously can't respond as he is governed by service rules. This is unprecedented and IMHO shouldn't have happened.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Sparsh said...


There is enough open source evidence available to conclude that the SFC has had custody of fully assembled and ready-to-use warheads since 2011 or 2012.

And even if I am wrong, Avinash Chander's statements upon taking over as the DG-DRDO should leave no doubt that things are headed that way in the near future.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Sorry for the delay in replying.

Dear Sugriva,

I don't to say anything thing about that. I am not exactly popular in the world right now. My views on this kind of thing are too public to be denied, and I don't want to deny them anyway.

Dear Sparsh,

In the public domain, I have never seen a discussion on the exact chain of custody of the trinity device. Fatman and Little Boy were armed in mid air by Capt. Parsons. This was because it had been established that there was significant risk of vibrations setting off the chemical explosives. Beyond that little is known about what was done then. This is 70 years ago. For obvious reasons, these are just not matters for public discussion even today.

What is known is that at some point of time, a committee met in DC and decided to test the Trinity device. Their recommendation was forwarded to Truman and that counter arguments presented by Leo Leó Szilárd and others, were prevented from reaching Truman's ears by acting Secy. of State Byrnes. We also know that Truman was informed of the success of the Trinity test in Berlin via telegram.

The point I am making is that the distinction between first use and guaranteed second strike is completely blurred when a weapon is mated with a delivery system. These is no way and no time to make a reliable assessment of the enemy's intentions.

Absent such an assessment, the rational actor model goes out the window and deterrence fails by default.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger maverick said...

There are multiple aspects to this. These discussions are not open to the public.

There is a detailed physics discussion about the functioning of a device and how best to estimate its yield and effectiveness.

There is a chain of custody related discussion that deals with how an operational but safe device is mated to the weapon.

There is a separate discussion of what happens after a safe but mated system is armed.

Any move to actually release a fully mated and armed system is the subject of an entirely separate set of discussions.

I feel in a responsible forum such as this blog, one should not mix these issues.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Since svenkat seems to read this blog, I am gonna call out an utterly casteist viewpoint of his at

I know that the casteist jibe is a strawman and will readily lead to red flags aplenty, but to trod hopelessly on folks like Aarumuga Naavalar, Ponnambalam, Saravanamuthu, etc. is just that: an utterly casteist post-facto rationalization of a nutty kind to fit a grand theory based on two lines of a book. Many tambrams need to examine emselves carefully in the mirror before casting a stone at random bootlickers. There are nuff historical precedences for such a grand hypothesis and the exhibits stretch for far longer than Rajaji and U. Ve. Sa.

When the new bjp fanbois leave, the ones holding the can and doing dingidi will be tambrams. I think that one reason should make people more grounded than throwing arnd random statements.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If someone says something right, and you agree with it, it doesn't make you their mouthpiece.

Many other nations have Hate Crime laws, that automatically increase the punishment meted for any crime that is associated with a form of social hatred.

India does not have such laws and neither does China.

India lags the world in this field.

One of the reasons why I suspect that India does not have such laws is that the Indian legal system is so overburdened by existing laws that new laws just add to the existing caseload.

One my relatives is judge in India and while he shoulders his burden without even the slightest complaint - all those that know him very plainly see that he is worked off his feet. It is very hard work to be a judge in India.

At 5:03 AM, Blogger abdul said...

I have 'made amends' for my post.Didnt get the reference to 'grand theory based on two lines of a book'.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

svenkat, many things.

Navaneetham Pillai is not a posterchild of Tam expats in South Africa or SL or Malaysia or Burma or Fiji or Mauritius or Spore or wherever. She never was one before, nor does she serve as a role model in any sense. Hardly anyone knows her in Tamland and she is not in the news. In fact, Rajnikanth will be a better role model for most things Tam, across geographical terrain, spectrum, affinities and proclivities, and I am not bs-ing on that. And truly thats what the Tams cant explain in terms of their contradictions -- absolutely parochial on one hand, and all-embracing and open on the other. It takes efforts to jiu jitsu such contradictions for the betterment of everyone and that effort is nowhere there in the new dispensation at the Center. And sad to note that they will commit the same mistakes of the past (their own) as well as of the Congress. They will reap what they sow and even the good gods cant prevent that.

As for SL, the Singhalese Buddhist chauvinists who are into Mahavamsa-literalism are truly buddhu and this is not the first time we have something like Bodhu Bala Sena. You can go read the stories of JVP, Sinhala Mahasabha, and folks like Anagarika Dharmapala's characterization of SL as the dhammadipa and the so-called revivalism which was a more reactionary one to the efforts of Aarumuga Naavalar, which in itself was reactionary to the Protestant efforts on the island. Not like the Tams and the Singhalese were bff's before that, but still.

And the fanbois of Singhalese Buddhist chauvinism on barfiland, esp those who have been IPKF-scorned, are doing noone any service by being anal about all things LTTE and SL Tams. Falling into that trap gets one to never understand why the LTTE was so popular on the island and beyond. And truly understanding the Singhalese-Tam dynamic in SL is beyond such biases, its already complicated. Of course, thats preaching to the choir, but I am just saying given that you bost stuff for the fanboi crowd who often skip a beat and often a brain.

And this is not the first time crap has been dished out to the Muslims. Pointing that out does nt need a merit certificate on bootlicking, UN authority, gora condom, etc. Its a fact of life that the Theravada branch of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand has little correlation with the Buddhism we know in India and have been fed in textbooks (primarily the Mahayana branch and that too kinda a suave version). For the record, Hindus in India and a vast majority of the barfis conflate Jainism/Gandhi-talk (with its strict ahimsic principles) with Buddhism.

Things diverge pretty much from there, what the vast majority think they know of Buddhism is a mishmash of our understanding of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. I have some pretty blase stuff to say about Buddhism and its fanbois, but I will leave that aside for the time being. Cry me a river on Buddhism and I can point to a million contradictions there. I can do that even for Hinduism, but except for literalist extremists in Hinduism who go around beating up random ppl, I am not too worried abt all other types of morons -- philosophical, intellectual masturbation types, whatever. The fraction that takes a stick is so high in the Singhalese Buddhist subset. The bottomline is: this is all a continuing tale of drama and nonsense from the Singhalese Buddhists. No sensible person should be shocked to see this episode and no sensible person should be shocked to see a fanboi on barfiland defending crap and clapping like an LKG kid (I meant Phillip).

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

But more to the pt of ur post, if most (forget all) Tams outside Tamland are gora condoms, why did you not use the same scalpel for the rest of Indians? We had some pretty gory British veneration in the old Congress before things evolved into the nationalist mindset, let alone the JP/DK types. That was a point in time in a certain context in history. Historical literalism with a post-facto blame game (initiated by gora condom epithets) as has become common on barfiland since the rising popularity of such evocations by the likes of gas babu is equally bad when compared with post-facto rationalization of crap.

The charitable view is that you have extrapolated one or two incidents that go against ur grain (two pages of a book) into a grand sipping from the nectar of an imaginary theory that u have mentally constructed.

The more uncharitable view is that, you sir, dont want to create a full blown ruckus cos the fire burns your own house down! So you are selective in ur interpretations, selective in ur judgments, selective in selecting those incidents that irritate u, selective in the words u use for a select set of people and so on.

My uncharitable reading is that I think thats a casteist viewpoint right there cos u r most likely aware of the casteist red flag that is likely to be thrown at u if u used that argument for Tamland Tams and which u very very safely avoided cos of the IED that such an argument could be. And such casteist viewpoint labeling has been done in the past as a defensive mechanism by the AA-loverbois. Of course, it also goes that ur viewpoint can be casteist, you may or may not be :).

If u dont want to sound casteist to Tamland Tams, I would assume u would nt want to extend the same privileges to Tams who have suffered more outside Tamland, no?! The Tamland Tams have had it easy. Its been a walk in the park getting pseudo-affirmative action in Tamland than it has been in SL or Spore or Malaysia. Yet the indomitable piety (YES, of the Hindu kind onlee, may be not the agamic kind, but definitely the karuppasami, sudalai maadan, veerabadhran, ayyanaar, veera soora badhrakaali, bhagavathi types), the fieriness in sustaining their culture, the hopes despite the whole deck stacked up against them from the establishment and the rulebook, and the essential joie de vivre in the community I have personally seen will make me call crap when I see it.

Please sir, refrain from generalizations. When it comes from a moron (or worse), I will ignore it and move on as is often the case on barfiland. When it comes from someone well-informed, I get pissed. You sir, are well-informed, so use that power responsibly.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger murali said...

Please do not address me as 'sir'.makes me 'cringe'.
2)I understand where you are coming from regarding the harsh travails of tamizh people in foreign climes.And this is a sad fact of life.
3)I also fully agree that there are many grey areas in history and it would be quite stupid apart from the immorality of trying to be high priests of some pristine Indian nationalism while painting others as villains/collobarators.
4)You are also right that discussion in BRF(which is a jingo forum) is distorted by some group think and I play by the unwritten rules of the forum,though in my view,i try to be fair to my worldview.Inevitably,that means certain sensitive areas are no go,but you might have noticed that I have mentioned more than once that theres nothing sacrosanct about Indian nationalism and Tamizh nationalism asks searching questions of Indian nationalist claims.But such questions can be asked of exaggerated tamizh claims too.

5)I agree again its easy being an Indian arm chair nationalist and pass judgements on people in less fortunate climes like tamils of SL.These tamils do not have the robustness,stregth,rootedness and the dynamism that TN or India possesses.Their perspectives,circumstances allow far less freedom.Yet,it dissappoints me when they accept gora view as Gospel Truth and care little to understand Indian ideals,experiences and tribulation in handling complex ethnic/linguistic issues.

6)Regarding gora condoms and whether Congress brahmanas from TN deserve such epithets, I dont think they deserve such epithets.The liberals appreciated the positive aspects of british rule and were realists.But they sought gradual reform within Hindu society too.

As I have already comented,its unfair and harsh to compare men born in unfortunate climes to statesmen from India.And you are right,we have to be careful about our language even while posting in internet forums.In the present case,its unpardonable 'in my book' for Ms Pillai to wade into the dalit issue.All she had to do was study the issue in TN(let alone eezham where the situation was more acute)to know the complexities which admit of no easy,immediate solution and how a civilisation is grappling with it by taking slow,sure steps for betterment of these people.Shes expected to know,in my book,about the motives of those who would like nothing better than chaos and regression in India.
i would expect UN Human Rights people to address far more pressing issues than dalit issues in India.Theres a robust mechanism(civil society,empowered dalits,plitical parties) to address these human rights violation,tragic and cruel,as they are.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

svenkat, Navaneetham Pillai talking of "tearing down the wall of caste" with a Pillai appellation is funny to me. I am sure it is to many sensible people too. Hardly any brahmins in Tamland carry an iyer or an iyengar appellation these days. OTOH, I have seen disproportionate numbers of such brahmins in the expat brahmin crowd and those who chose to move to bbay or delhi for whatever reason they did and are still holding on to the 60s like dear god. So maybe Navi Pillai is not so funny after all and there may be a deep explanation for that reality.

Even modulo her growing up in apartheid era South Africa with an indentured background and her travails in the legal profession of the 60s and 70s in South Africa and even modulo the pillaimar community's angst against the brahmins in the good old days, her points can be easily rebutted even with that hifalutin UN perch that she domiciles currently.

I am not here to defend her or her endless nonsense. On the Tam side, perhaps only the TNA jokers view her as some ueber-goddess of humanity and may be some worldview Pillaimars might pass the koolaid on her achievements so2speak. The community has more shining jewels even the brahmins can celebrate and revere. She is essentially irrelevant as far as India is concerned and so is ban ki moon. I am here to call for a sensible rebuttal to her nonsense (if at all something is done) without name-calling and gross generalizations.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger abdul said...

The name "Pillai' in this case just meant a tamil name for me.The caste angle did not strike me at all.

In diaspora societies which are under strong western influence,caste is virtually irrelevant,I think.

This,I think makes it very difficult for them to make sense of dynamics of Indian society.
The maximum I could be accused of is I assumed that a "pillai" would show some understanding of Indian society without looking through the western prism.

The estrangement between a section of vellalas and brahmanas is a blip in the long history of TN and much water has flowed down the Kaveri since the days of kanakagasabai pillai.As someone with an interest in social relations in TN,I am aware of the Smartha-vellala alliance(of Later Chozhas),Nammazhwar(Neechananen niraiondrum illen eer pirappu illen,whence the ire of tamizh nationalists and the verb "aazhwaraukavathu"-an uncritical follower of brahmanism,in the eyes of tamizh nationalists),such modern stalwarts like Prof Vaiyapuri Pillai,Shri Bhakthavatsalam Mudaliar,VOC Pillai who were ardent Indian nationalists to the historical role of the vellalas as tamizh elite and how there was upward mobility to vellala status when tamils were rulers of their own land to the role of vellalas in tamizh renaissance(Anna,Bharathidaasan,Veeramani,Kalaignar) and the aspirations of tamils to vellala status even in modern times.For instance,pallars have rechristened themselves as devendra kula vellalars and agumdaiyar is a sub-caste both among thevars and vellalas.I know of two instances wherein non-vellalas christened themselves as pillais as a mark of upward mobility,refinement.

I cannot think of pillai,mudaliar,vellalas in simplistic terms.

At 3:37 AM, Blogger maverick said...

"The decision of Gopal Subramanium to withdraw his consent to be a Supreme Court judge and his criticism of the government this week is the latest and possibly the biggest controversy to confront the new administration. "A big challenge I am facing in Delhi is to convey to a select group of people about our intentions and sincerity to bring a positive change in this country.
These are people who are both within and outside the government system. There have been some instances in the last month"

Read more at:

At 4:01 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Okay... so even the Pakistanis can see it.

This is exactly the kind of thing that makes for nasty problems.

"It is obvious that there are serious problems in India’s strategic thinking. In the first place, Indians profess a commitment to total and universal disarmament, but they pursue policies entirely contrary to this principle. India’s nuclear tests in 1974 brought about the nuclearisation of South Asia, which led Pakistan to pursue the proposal for the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in South Asia (NWFZ) for years after that.

Then came the Indian nuclear weapons’ tests in 1998, the aggressive nuclear doctrine of a triad capability including sea-based missiles of 2002, followed by the highly provocative Cold Start doctrine of 2004, and finally the MAD (pun intended) massive retaliation threat of last year. All these years, Pakistan has been proposing a ‘nuclear restraint regime’ to India. Its development of a full spectrum credible minimum deterrence is a natural reaction to an aggressive Indian posture that gets more and more threatening. It is time Indian policymakers reviewed their nuclear doctrine.

Chari is right to conclude that “the essential problem that remains and will tax the government of Narendra Modi is how India plans to credibly engage Pakistan in the interests of nuclear stability in South Asia”. It is only to be hoped that India will finally come to terms with the instability that its confused doctrine has created and bring rationality to bear on its nuclear thinking. "

At 8:45 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

"Okay... so even the Pakistanis can see it."

Mav, I don't understand your point. Something becomes true just because Pakistanis say it? These people are paranoid, habitual shameless liars. Whether India's nuclear doctrine needs changing or not is one thing, but what Pakis say about it is neither here nor there.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Dilbert,

Yes, the Pakistanis may be all those things - but the one thing they are not is - blind.

If they can see it - it is a pretty glaringly obvious issue. They may be difficult neighbours but this one issue that one really shouldn't dick around on.

If we do a reverse analysis - from the opponents perspective - there is no way to tell whether the mating is a prelude to a first strike or not. This is a point at which any rational actor model starts to become really shaky.

If one adds this to the usual fog that surrounds chain of custody, arming and targeting issues - then one has the basis for a serious miscommunication.

A serious miscommunication might just egg the Pakistanis to launch a mass casualty terrorist strike on a soft target in India to test the present administration's true position on deterrence stability issues.

Creating the basis for such a miscommunication or even feeding it by deliberate action is cause for legitimate complaint.

The idea of making use status - a political issue to be discussed during an election is irresponsible. It is even more irresponsible to have anyone outside the Council or Committee speak to such issues.

That sort of thing has a very very high price in human life. This fact has been pointed out by a number of area experts and that is why the demated status coupled with no first use continues to this day.

At 5:05 AM, Blogger maverick said...

There is what might mildly be termed as the golden chain of proliferation issues.

If the US does something, it affects Russia and China.

If something causes China to do something, it affects India.

If India does something, the Pakistanis are affected.

If the Pakistanis do something, it also affects the Saudis.

If the Saudis do something, the Iranians are put to grief.

If the Iranians are put to grief, the Israelis become affected.

In this fashion what starts as a small shift in posture in the US, becomes a full blown mess in the Levant.

I am reminded of that maze of secret treaties that riddled Europe in the run-up to World War I. I can't help thinking that there is too much of a disturbing parallel between those secret dalliances in 1913 and these secret nuclear accords of our age.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger maverick said...

It would be a serious mistake to simply do this without notifying anyone of one's intentions.

That is exactly the sort of thing that precipitates a nuclear conflict.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

This article says 2011 census Muslim figures is 13.43%. I have no idea how they came up with this number without the official figures splashed anywhere. A 0.03% increase in Muslim % is so fricking unbelievable.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

There should be an IIT Bangalore even though there is an IISc. Also ones in Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune.

Cities that provide more opportunities for faculty members/researchers, their spouses and students (aka most populous cities) should not be missed out just because there is already an IIM or another tech institution in that city. There is even a scope for IIT Bombay-2 if they can find some space for it somewhere. This is just basic common sense. Of course, wont fly past the eagle-eyed rule-bound idiots that run India.

Just found that some NITs have mandated that 2 research papers need to be published in SCI-type journals for the thesis to be accepted. Now SCI is a broad rubric, but at the very least, the metrics are getting better with time. Onwards, the elephant is moving. Hope it crushes the grass and the weeds on the way.
The LOP drama can be put to rest if Sumitra Mahajan can bestow LOP status to every oppn party above (say 2%) a cutoff of the no. of seats. That will mean, TDP, ADMK, TMC, INC and Shiv Sena. Democracy honored, rules not violated, even the Congressis should be happy :)). Googly anyone?!

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Such a curriculum, even if claimed to be under no-pressure, is meant to cater to the leaky buckets aka students who could nt give a shit abt EE, either in the short-term or the long-term. They might "enjoy" it and reminisce it down the line. In any case, the first yr curriculum at IITs was always expendable or that was it was in the good old days with most of em busily solving Demidovich problems with a bizarre understanding of integrals.

1 credit for calculus, 1 for matrix algebra, and 1 for DE means that everyone in EE is going to get screwed down the line if they stick to EE, unless they do some self indulgence. Fun, we are gonna see more automatons doing data analytics...

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Some of this rankings business is robber-baron drama. Still not sure if the overt condescension a la India of such rankings is a good thing.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

BR's op-ed:

Under the research output/collaboration category, dilli dur ast notwithstanding some recent leaps.

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Dheeraj Sanghi's post on the new IITs drama:

We are already seeing the IITB/IITM/old IIT brands taking off in individual directions. The recent (as well as the past) JEE candidates' choices are pretty clear in terms of what they think/what they think they think abt IITs. The first 100 predominantly want to go to IITB CS, the rest want to go to IITD CS and probably a few single digit set want IITM CS.

Again, this is not surprising. This is how it has always been. Those who can pick and choose, pick and choose the best or whatever they perceive to be the best. If the new IITs are perceived to be crap, they will get the ppl at the end of the line, however the line is formed. I dont see why this is good or bad or unnatural. And what they get there in terms of resources will determine what they do. Surely, you cant do worser in the long term than what exists today in India, so this whole expansion business is a no-brainer provided one picks the right spot to make sure it gets to speed as fast as it can and finds the cash flow 2 get going asap etc.

Of the new IITs, IITH/Medak has a great chance of catching up with the old IITs in a decade or so. The rest will be sluggish at best. Heard from a joining fac member in a new IIT who turns out to be the only appointee in statistics so far even though it has been around for 5+ yrs now officially. Now that tells a story. 2-body problems are serious things, if not right away, over time, unless the spouse is a doormat and even if so.

We dont have informed opinionating, just random eye-eye-tea/anti-elitist drama queens with an axe2grind posturing in the ether world. On the other side, the brand dilution drama queens are also over the top, get over it, life moves on. As long as the cat is skinned, who cares what method is used.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

At 4:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Yet another mysterious accident involving MAS. When will their travails ever end?

All through the MH370 crisis the Russians poured out everything they could about DG without actually openly saying it. Now the US is going to do the same to them. They are going to make it look like Putin himself gave the shoot down order.

The Russians are getting what is coming to them. It is criminally irresponsible to put a high tech missile system without proper radar support in the hands of revolutionary zealots.

Those fools in Donetsk are now going to bargain for an assignment of diminished responsibility using the bodies of the victims as leverage. At the rate they are going, there will be no need for a black box to determine what happened to MH-17. Their actions are amounting an effective admission of guilt.

Quite frankly, this is beyond disgusting behaviour.

At 4:05 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Okay - the bodies and black box are being handed over.

This means that there is nothing in the bodies or the black box that can be directly used to implicate the Russians.

The matter of blame in such affairs has always been a mystery to me. If an accident occurs, then there is little to be gained by denying responsibility for it. Accidents happen in war zones all the time.

Everyone knows the Russians are trying to hide the fact that they have boots on the ground in Donetsk. This incident has simply brought that reality into focus.

All this talk of further sanctions etc... is all very well but no one will dare interfere with Nordstream.

At 4:05 AM, Blogger maverick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger maverick said...

This is a decent primer

At 3:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The attack on MH17 fits the definition of a war crime.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The manner in which neither Ukrainian nor Russian actors are taking responsibility is building the impression that the attack on MH17 was a deliberate act.

Clearly Ukraine and the US have been pushing hard to bring out the Russian role in the Ukrainian civil war, and the Russians have been pushing hard to bring out US/Ukraine cooperation in anti-Russian activities (such as ripping off the Soyuz and Brotherhood pipelines).

Now was it a Ukrainian/US act to push blame on Russia or was it a Russian act to push the blame on Ukraine/US - that is a question that I feel we will never find an answer to.

At 3:49 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Sorry - but what is the sense in aggravating US-Russian relations over matters of Ukrainian national security?

Clearly the latter is the responsibility of Ukraine - not the United States.

It is understandable that the United States wants to stand by Ukraine should a larger nation like Russia want to strong arm it, but choosing between the Ukrainians and Russians is bit like ... well sorry to be crass... but choosing between two branches of the very same KGB.

Yes Putin and his friends are ex-KGB but this SBU was once called the KGB-Ukraine. How does one know for certain that the two branches are not league with each other?

This seems as absurd as trusting the Pakistani Army to fight Mullah Omar's Taliban - the two were practically the same thing.

Given that source of uncertainty - it appears unwise to marry US regional interests so heavily to Ukrainian national security priorities.

I understand the US and Russia are now the two biggest natural gas suppliers in the world, and that some competition over access routes/pipeline routes is to be expected.

I also understand Russia-baiting is as popular in DC as India-hating is popular in Islamabad, but this sort of thing can't be allowed to get out of hand.

Putin is basically secure and he will remain so. One will keep hearing about internal factions trying to edge him out on a daily basis just as there was stories about people wanting get Stalin out of the way.

There are many discussions of greater sensitivity that require a direct engagement with Putin's regime in Moscow. Entertaining fantasies about a Russian Tahrir Square moment, is not a wise way to do foreign policy.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Where are the secular jholawallahs when one needs them the most???

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

There you go, slowly the religion census figures are showing up. If one has to read between the lines, the UPA's census data collections have been completely cleaned up and only the raw data has been left behind. What a buncha losers we have had, if that was the case. Giant fcking nimrods.

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

An acharya-esque post...

Followed by a lotta freudian analysis based on one photu.. amusing shit... :)))

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Here is a piece of news that I learned today on how to square a circle.

According to Indian income tax laws, organizations that have a religious purpose cannot come under benefits for Section 80G of Indian income tax act...

World vision claims to be a Christian organization...

Yet World vision is a beneficiary with up to 50% deduction in Section 80G..

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Why are the ueber-nationalist rakshaks from AP complaining? I thought they all had no problem with Hindi and Sanskrit and it was left to the Tams to drone a lot and Mallus to put up a whine here and there. Cmon, rakshaks from AP, show your cheek lovingly instead of bleating abt Hindi. Leave the Hindhi ozhiga to us Tams.


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