International Military Discussion

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Austin
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Postby Austin » 05 Apr 2008 10:08


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Postby shyamd » 06 Apr 2008 00:34


PaulJI
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Postby PaulJI » 06 Apr 2008 00:48



The story claims the French warship is called "Le Commandant Rouen". A Google search for that name turns up this story - and nothing else. Consulting the official list of French navy warships at http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine turns up an aviso called Commandant Bouan, & a search shows that is the ship involved.

By Debka standards, that's remarkably accurate. :lol:

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Postby svinayak » 07 Apr 2008 02:48

US cyberwarfare prep includes offense

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer Sun Apr 6, 1:37 PM ET

NEW YORK - U.S. military officials seeking to boost the nation's cyberwarfare capabilities are looking beyond defending the Internet: They are developing ways to launch virtual attacks on enemies.
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But first the military will have to figure out the proper boundaries.

"What do we consider to be an act of war in cyberspace?" asked Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder Jr., who heads the Air Force's cyberoperations command. "The military is not going to tend to do that (use virtual strike capabilities) until you cross some line that constitutes an act of war."

Elder said initial uses likely would be limited to diverting or killing data packets that threaten the nation's systems, the way the military may intercept a foreign ship carrying arms in international waters.

The remarks came late Friday during a New York chapter meeting of the Association For Intelligence Officers, a nonprofit group for current and former intelligence agents and their supporters.

In an interview afterward, Elder said that in the future, the military might rely upon network warfare to disrupt an enemy's communications system, replacing the need for conventional weapons like bombs.

In any such scenario, Elder said the military would be restricted by the same rules of engagement — such as requirements for a formal declaration of war — that apply to conventional attacks.

Elder said that during the early days of the Iraq war, rudimentary forms of cyberattacks were used by the United States, including electronically jamming Iraqi military systems and using network attacks to hinder Iraqi ground units from communicating with one another.

The military's offensive capabilities have improved since then, he said.

As the military increasingly relies on networks and computer systems to communicate and coordinate conventional operations, the U.S. Air Force is planning to establish by October a Cyber Command for waging a future war that is fought not only by land, sea and air but also in cyberspace.

Hackers with a foreign government or terrorist group potentially could bring down military and civilian Web sites using what's known as a denial-of-service attack — flooding the computer servers with fake traffic such that legitimate visitors can't get through.

Enemies also could look for security vulnerabilities to break into key systems that run power plants, refineries and other infrastructure.

Already, the Chinese government has been suspected of using the Web to break into computers at the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies in what was dubbed Operation Titan Rain. Since 2001, Chinese "hacktivists" have organized attacks on and defaced U.S. Web sites to oppose what they call the imperialism of the United States and Japan.

Elder outlined several defensive initiatives aimed at deterring cyberattacks on the United States.

The military, for instance, needs to demonstrate that its conventional operations still could function even if the network is disrupted. To do that, he said, the military has been identifying "what if" loss scenarios and figuring out the backup capabilities needed to overcome them.

Forensics capabilities also are being developed, he said, to identify who is attacking, even if the attacker tries to hide by spoofing the identity of packets and rerouting them through intermediary computer servers. That way, the United States can make a credible threat of retribution.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080406/ap_ ... berwarfare


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Postby Himanshu » 08 Apr 2008 11:39

ROK LPH (DOKDO)

Great Details in the images out here..
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... 83&page=13

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Postby svinayak » 08 Apr 2008 12:51

http://www.thehindu.com/holnus/001200804060921.htm

Mahabharata lessons for British soldiers going to Iraq

London (PTI): Krishan Attri, the British army's first Hindu chaplain, uses extracts from the Mahabharata to counsel British soldiers going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Attri was among the first four faith chaplains appointed by the army in November 2005. The other three were Mandeep Kaur (Sikh chaplain), Sunil Kariyakarawana (Buddhist), and Imam Asim Hafiz (Islam).

Britain's armed forces have 300 regular commissioned Christian chaplains serving 183,000 Christian personnel, but the four new chaplains were the first such appointments in the history of the forces.

Attri, who hails from Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, says that he uses the Bhagwad Gita to explain the necessity of going to war to British Hindu soldiers deputed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

There are 470 Hindus in Britain's armed forces. "I tell them, 'God has given you an opportunity to protect your country and maintain peace in the world'. They need to know they are not killing anybody but just performing a duty," Attri says.

When Attri was interviewed at the Ministry of Defence for the job, he was asked what he would say if a soldier did not want to go to war.

Hindu teachings, he responded, offered good guidance: "Duty is our priority. It's our karma, and we have to face it." Hindu teachings have armed most of the soldiers, he told The Times.

"They know they've undertaken a contract to look after the boundary walls of the country," he told the newspaper.

Among the tasks Attri performs in his role is conducting weddings, supporting soldiers and their families, and acting as a liaison between Hindu troops and their commanding officers.

He explains small but symbolically important issues such as Hindu soldiers wearing 'rakhi', or why strict vegetarians do not want to use spoons that have touched meat at meals.

The army keeps Attri busy. He has gone to Nepal to select chaplains for the Gurkhas, and this spring will visit troops in Afghanistan. "I want to see what the soldiers go through, to help me advise them and support the families left behind," he says.

Attri came to Britain in 1986 as a 22-year-old priest to serve at the Hindu temple in Newcastle upon Tyne. He spent nearly two decades at the temple, teaching Hindu texts, music and Indian languages.

On Britain's Hindu community, Attri says: "We are part of this British community and we want to be recognised. We're a hard-working society, and we want to prove it."

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Postby svinayak » 08 Apr 2008 12:52

Quotes
...good guidance: "Duty is our priority. It's our karma, and we have to face it." Hindu teachings have...
...told The Times. "They know they've undertaken a contract to look after the boundary walls of the country" he told the newspa...
...armed forces. "I tell them, 'God has given you an opportunity to protect your country and maintain peace in the world'. They need to know they are not killing anybody but just performing a duty" Attri says...


What others report on the same story
UK Army's first Hindu chaplain uses Bhagwad Gita to comfort soldiers
London, Apr 6 (UNI) The first Hindu chaplain to the British Army believes Bhagwad Gita is one of his most crucial tools to help Hindu recruits, of whom 470 are in ... - [04/06/2008 - Deepika Global]
Mahabharata lessons for British soldiers
Krishan Attri, the British army's first Hindu chaplain, uses extracts from the Mahabharata to counsel British soldiers going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.Attri ... - [04/06/2008 - NDTV]

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Postby PaulJI » 08 Apr 2008 14:24

Acharya wrote:http://www.thehindu.com/holnus/001200804060921.htm
...
There are 470 Hindus in Britain's armed forces. ...


I'm very surprised by that number. What about the Gurkhas? They're mostly Hindu, & there are 3000 of them.

I think this is the first general Hindu chaplain, for Hindu soldiers not in the Brigade of Gurkhas, & the number of Hindus is also that of Hindu soldiers other than the Brigade of Gurkhas, but the story does not make that clear.

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 08 Apr 2008 17:22


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 10 Apr 2008 03:43


shyamd
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Postby shyamd » 10 Apr 2008 04:39

The French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation let it be known through the press that it is on the point of selling its Rafale fighter aircraft (to Morocco, Libya, etc). It is also rumoured to be in negotiation with the UAE for Rafales.

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Postby shyamd » 11 Apr 2008 04:22

With the operations of French warship constructor DCNS now the object of an investigation in France, Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, DCNS' rival to supply new submarines to Pakistan's Navy, now appears to be in hot water with the legal authorities in Germany. Its contracts with South Africa are being investigated in detail and businessman Tony Georgiadis, the long-serving agent of ThyssenKrupp in Pretoria, had his London office recently raided at the behest of the German police.

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Postby shyamd » 12 Apr 2008 03:03

The shipping company didn't deny paying the ransom. The GIGN has captured 6 of the 10 somali pirates in a town off the somali coast, the operation was conducted with somali provincial govt approval. French GIGN force was able to capture 6 of the 10 pirates after a brief exchange of fire on shore and put them aboard the French helicopter carrier Jean d Arc, which was on standby. The ship is being taken to Djibouti by French navy.
Piracy in the Gulf of Aden (April 9, 2008)

After the Ponant - a French luxury yacht- was seized by pirates off Somalia on April 4th 2008, France immediately mobilized the means it has at its disposal in the area.

Our priority is the safety of the hostages.

We confirm that a GIGN team has been sent to Djibouti to reinforce our negotiating team who are already in place.

We are following the movements of the Ponant at sea and in the air. The frigate Le Commandant Bouan has been instructed to track it at sea and reconnaissance aircraft are flying over the pirate ship for information.

Initial contact with the pirates was made last night. We had confirmation that the crew was safe and sound and well-treated.

The minister has asked our embassies in the region to mobilize and to make all the requisite contacts.

A crisis unit was activated Friday. We are in close contact with the ship’s owner and the crew members’ families.

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 12 Apr 2008 04:25


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 13 Apr 2008 21:35


Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Apr 2008 07:41


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 16 Apr 2008 03:53

Missile systems for the Victory Parade on May 9 received a church blessing
The priests blessed four Topol missile launchers, six mobile launch vehicles, and several dozen Iskander quasiballistic missile systems and air defense systems C-300.

Philip
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Postby Philip » 16 Apr 2008 12:21

Franco-Russian asistance for Brazil in fighter,nuclear sub development.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hGPC ... wD902FUTG1

Brazil and Russia to develop top-line jet fighters
By MARCO SIBAJA – 11 hours ago

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil and Russia signed an agreement on Tuesday to jointly develop top-line jet fighters and satellite launch vehicles.

Brazil's Strategic Affairs Minister Roberto Mangabeira Unger told reporters the agreement will lead to the development of fifth-generation jet fighters that are built using sophisticated engineering, such as composite materials, stealth technology and advanced radar.

The agreement signed by Unger and the deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council, Valentin Sobolev, includes the construction of rockets capable of hurling several kinds of satellites into space.

Brazil builds its own small and medium sized rockets that are launched from the Alcantara base in the northeastern state of Maranhao.

The base is considered an excellent launch site because it is located just 2.3 degrees south of the equator, the line at which the Earth moves the fastest, helping propel rockets into space with less fuel.

The Brazil-Russia agreement also calls for advanced training in the field of cybernetics, which Mangabeira said was "essential for the defense and the technological evolution of our industry."

The agreement involves the transfer of technology, something Brazil has always insisted on.

Earlier this year, France aid it would transfer technology to the Brazil for construction of the Scorpene attack submarine, helicopters and the Rafale fighter plane.

The Scorpene is a conventional attack submarine, but Brazilian officials have said they want the diesel-powered vessel to serve as a model for the development of a Brazilian nuclear submarine that would be the first in Latin America.
Hosted by Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

PS:Gerard,nice find.Sub vs carrier is an ongoing debate that will never end.One needs all types.What naval architects are doing today is to design carriers that can take several torpedo hits and still survive,using bulges,etc.In addition,hard kill anti-torpedo weapon systems are also being adopted.Conventional theory says thatcarrierscan absorb missile hits more easily than torpedo hits,especially those which explode beneath the keel.

sum
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Postby sum » 16 Apr 2008 13:59

Brazil's Strategic Affairs Minister Roberto Mangabeira Unger told reporters the agreement will lead to the development of fifth-generation jet fighters that are built using sophisticated engineering, such as composite materials, stealth technology and advanced radar.

Is it the PAKFA??
Also, Brasil has a stratergic affairs minister?? :shock:

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Postby sauravjha » 17 Apr 2008 16:32

there has been talk of Brazil participating in some russki fighter development program before as well. however whether the Pak-fa will end up looking like the JSF procurement is another matter altogether.

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Postby Vick » 17 Apr 2008 20:01

There were major quality problems with the construction of the LHD-8 by NGSS. The USN has rejected the ship after inspection and told NGSS to fix the problems. Oh, and NGSS will have eat $350 million in cost overruns. As opposed to having the customer eat the costs related to the shipyard's ineptitude. ;)

LHD 8 Ship Delayed, NGC to Foot the Bill

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Postby Don » 19 Apr 2008 02:41

Related link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/18 ... page2.html


US gov may forbid BAE Eurofighter sale to Saudis

A controversial British deal to supply Eurofighter jets to Saudi Arabia may have hit an obstacle. It appears that the Eurofighter - long touted as proof that the UK and its continental partners can make serious combat kit without American help - actually contains significant amounts of US technology, and that Washington may not permit the Saudi sale.

The revelations come in an article in today's Financial Times. It appears that the British government's application to export American tech on 72 Eurofighters to the desert princes is the subject of some debate both among Capitol Hill politicos and at the Departments of State and Justice.


The British part of Eurofighter is produced by global multinational BAE Systems, headquartered in the UK but nowadays with most of its operations overseas - especially in America. BAE is handling the UK-negotiated Saudi Eurofighter sale, and the company has been under investigation by Justice feds since last year following revelations that allegedly corrupt payments to the Saudi Prince Bandar had moved via US banks.

The Bandar payments, totalling more than $1bn - which the Prince insists were completely legitimate - are linked to a previous UK gov/BAE deal with the Saudis dating from the 1980s. This deal - known as al-Yamamah - was being investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) until the end of 2006. At that point the SFO investigation was shut down, effectively on the orders of Tony Blair.

The SFO decision was recently excoriated in damning terms by British judges following a legal review, saying that Blair had "surrendered" in "abject" fashion to terrorism-related threats delivered in person at Downing Street by Prince Bandar - who was "allegedly complicit in the criminal conduct under investigation, and, accordingly, with interests of his own in seeing that the investigation ceased".

Following the Blair surrender, angry SFO investigators leaked the fact that some of Bandar's money had passed from British government accounts (controlled by the former armsbiz-run MoD sales office, DESO) to an American bank. This triggered the ongoing US Justice investigation, with which the British government has completely refused to cooperate.

Now the US State Department needs to decide whether to grant a tech-export licence allowing the British government to permit BAE's proposed sale of (as it turns out) partly-American Eurofighters to the Saudis. US export regs say such licences may be denied where there is "reasonable cause" to believe that the applicant has violated US law.

Clearly, the Justice department believes there is reasonable cause to think US law has been violated by the Bandar payments. Since the money actually came from a British government account, it could be argued that the UK state - rather than BAE as such - was the actor, and thus should be denied the export permit it is asking for.

According to the FT's informants, Justice officials in Washington certainly aren't happy to let State bureaucrats say they are "unaware" of BAE having broken any US laws. This follows requests for clarification by the US attorney-general from senators on the relevant oversight committees.

But the State people need to be unaware of American laws broken or they can't OK the sale.

A "senior administration official" hinted to the FT that the Feds' position might shift in the event of Blighty cooperating with them on the al-Yamamah probe. Repeated requests for the SFO's files have thus far been met with obstruction and delay in London.

Meanwhile, the British government faces trouble on the issue at home, as it appears all too likely that the courts will explicitly order the SFO probe re-opened. BAE has said all along that everything it did with relation to the Saudis was in concert with the UK government. Given the fact that BAE more or less controlled DESO until its closure last year, that's probably entirely true. If BAE's dirty-laundry hamper gets opened up, it seems fairly certain that every British administration back to 1985 will be implicated.

All that to one side, today's news at the very least appears to have finally destroyed the concept of "appropriate sovereignty" which underpins the current British Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS). The thinking here is that Blighty will pay increased prices for less-capable military kit made partly in the UK, rather than buying cheaper and better gear from abroad. Equipment such as Eurofighter may cost more and do less, but - so goes the reasoning - at least we won't have to ask the Yanks for tech support all the time.

Except that it turns out we will. So the horrendous extra cost of Eurofighter (and Future Lynx, Type 45, A400M etc etc) looks less and less worthwhile.

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Postby Gerard » 19 Apr 2008 05:06


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 19 Apr 2008 06:58

Brazil Plans to Invest in Latest Military Technology
The country is also seeking an international partnership to help build a nuclear submarine. Brazil has started negotiations with the U.S., France, India, Russia and the U.K.

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Postby putnanja » 24 Apr 2008 23:26

Appears that divisions between the various branches of military is not restricted to India but also takes place in the mecca of synegy, the US too!!

Frustrated Gates reveals battles within military

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Postby sauravjha » 25 Apr 2008 01:46

Synergy ? what synergy':D'
. you are talking about a military that bought peace through agreementS such aS the key west agreement which doeS not allow the U.S Army to field fixed wing attack aircraft (manned) , not even something like the A-67 COIN aircraft (under development) .. and much more
jointness looks great in transformers and their propaganda channel (discovery) but in reality while the army wants slow moving drones the USAF iS pining for direct access to space whew !

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Postby Sanjay M » 27 Apr 2008 04:45



[Arthur C] Clarke's 1955 novel Earthlight climaxes in battle between a lunar fortress and three attacking spacecraft. At the height of the battle the defending commander unleashes "The Stiletto", which resembles "a solid bar of light" and pierces one spacecraft "as an entomologist pierces a butterfly with a pin."

Clarke's Stiletto is actually: "a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred kilometres per second by the most powerful electro-magnets ever built."

Now DARPA are working on a weapon called MAHEM - Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition - that uses the same principle as Clarke's fictional device.

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Postby Sanjay M » 27 Apr 2008 07:11

From The Sunday Times
April 27, 2008
Kim Jong-il builds ‘Thunderbirds’ runway for war in North Korea
An airbase inside a mountain is the latest sign that North Korea, whose links to Syria’s nuclear programme came to light last week, is cranking up its military machine
Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent, and Uzi Mahnaimiin in Tel Aviv


Aww, poh rittle Kim must be feerin ronery again...

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International military strength ranking

Postby Indid » 27 Apr 2008 15:17

According to this site, china is on place 3 and India on place 4.... here are the comparisons....

GFP Ranking

1 United States
2 Russia
3 China
4 India
5 Germany
6 France
7 Japan
8 Turkey
9 Brazil
10 Great Britain
11 Italy
12 South Korea
13 Indonesia
14 Mexico
15 Canada
16 Iran
17 Egypt
18 North Korea
19 Spain
20 Pakistan
21 Australia
22 Saudi Arabia
23 Thailand
24 Argentina
25 Sweden
26 Israel
27 Greece
28 Taiwan
29 Syria
30 Philippines
31 Poland
32 Ukraine
33 Norway
34 Iraq
35 Libya
36 Venezuela
37 Lebanon
38 Nepal
39 Afghanistan

India China
Flag

556,075,946 Available Military Manpower 667,657,509
429,389,552 Available Personnel Fit for Military Service 550,265,789
22,112,329 Average Yearly Available Military Manpower 25,848,582
3,382 Aircraft 2,700
5,815 Armored Vehicles 13,200
7,100 Artillery 7,400
7,175 Missile Defense Weapons 2,162
7,450 Infantry Support Weapons 34,000
145 Navy Ships 232
477 Merchant Marine Strength 1,775
9 Ports 8
834,600 bbl/day Oil Production 3,710,000 bbl/day
2,438,000 bbl/day Oil Consumption 7,000,000 bbl/day
5,848,000 bbl Proven Oil Reserves 16,300,000 bbl
3,383,344 Km Roadway Coverage 1,870,661 Km
63,221 Km Railway Coverage 75,438 Km
14,500 Km Waterway Coverage 124,000 Km
3,287,590 Sq Km Total Land Area 9,596,960 Sq Km
346 Airports 467
516,400,000 Labor Force 803,300,000
$2,965,000,000,000 Purchasing Power $7,043,000,000,000
$239,400,000,000 Gold Reserves $1,493,000,000,000
http://www.globalfirepower.com/countrie ... detail.asp

Whats the reality between China and India? But NUMBER 4 is STILL VERY,VERY GOOD!! INDIA IS A WORLD POWER!!

Back to top


Indid
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Posted: 27 Apr 2008 07:11 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The site admitts

Nuclear weapons, past and present military experience, training and equipment quality are not taken into account.

http://www.globalfirepower.com/countrie ... detail.asp

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Postby sauravjha » 27 Apr 2008 15:45

Indid, I know people who support the Roma cause in the Balkans . Could you give me your e-mail please

Indid
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Postby Indid » 27 Apr 2008 16:03

My indian brother, Im a individual, im not here to support the "roma cause".... im not connected with a roma organization,parties or leaders.... but you can have my email adress to be friends

sauravjha
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Postby sauravjha » 27 Apr 2008 16:37

I hear you .. I am interested in roma culture .
Regards
Saurav

P.S always interested in being friends.

Indid
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Postby Indid » 27 Apr 2008 16:48

sauravjha wrote:I hear you .. I am interested in roma culture .
Regards
Saurav

P.S always interested in being friends.


How can i write you a pm to give you my email adress? :?:

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Re: International military strength ranking

Postby PaulJI » 27 Apr 2008 18:24

Indid wrote:According to this site, china is on place 3 and India on place 4.... here are the comparisons....

GFP Ranking

1 United States
2 Russia
3 China
4 India
5 Germany
6 France
7 Japan
8 Turkey
9 Brazil
10 Great Britain
11 Italy
12 South Korea
13 Indonesia
14 Mexico
15 Canada
16 Iran
17 Egypt
18 North Korea
19 Spain
20 Pakistan
21 Australia
22 Saudi Arabia
23 Thailand
24 Argentina
25 Sweden
26 Israel
27 Greece
28 Taiwan
29 Syria
30 Philippines
31 Poland
32 Ukraine
33 Norway
34 Iraq
35 Libya
36 Venezuela
37 Lebanon
38 Nepal
39 Afghanistan
...


This sites comparisons are so crude as to be worthless, it's unclear exactly what it's trying to compare (not actual military strength, since it includes manpower & economic measures), & many of its numbers are just plain wrong. I consider the site to be a waste of disc space, & accessing it a waste of bandwidth.

Indid
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Re: International military strength ranking

Postby Indid » 27 Apr 2008 18:31

PaulJI wrote:
Indid wrote:This sites comparisons are so crude as to be worthless, it's unclear exactly what it's trying to compare (not actual military strength, since it includes manpower & economic measures), & many of its numbers are just plain wrong. I consider the site to be a waste of disc space, & accessing it a waste of bandwidth.


How would you rank India?

PaulJI
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Re: International military strength ranking

Postby PaulJI » 27 Apr 2008 20:07

Indid wrote:
PaulJI wrote:
Indid wrote:This sites comparisons are so crude as to be worthless, it's unclear exactly what it's trying to compare (not actual military strength, since it includes manpower & economic measures), & many of its numbers are just plain wrong. I consider the site to be a waste of disc space, & accessing it a waste of bandwidth.


How would you rank India?


Rank India on what basis? Current military strength? If so, how measured - ability to defend itself, power projection ability (Israel, for example, would have very different ranks on those two capabilities), or some attempt at an average? Military potential? And if so, when?

Pick one, & I might attempt a judgement. But I warn you, it'll be heavily hedged around with caveats.

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Postby sauravjha » 27 Apr 2008 21:01

ok let's do it as a crude weighted average of all those . let' begin by assigning weights
ability to defend - 50 per cent
military potential - 30 per cent
power projection - 20 per cent

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Postby Philip » 02 May 2008 12:02

Russian post-CW resurgence in preparation for CW2.The coming international Moscow aviation expo,should be intersting,we may see some further hint of the Pak-4/T-50 (5th-gen) fighter.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... itary.html

Vladimir Putin rearms his Cold War military
By Gethin Chamberlain, Tim Shipman and Nick Holdsworth in Moscow
20/08/2007

In a hangar at an airfield 24 miles south east of Moscow, technicians were yesterday checking over the latest additions to the burgeoning military arsenal which a resurgent Russia hopes can restore its status as a major world power.

The MiG-35 and MiG-29 fighters which Russia plans to showcase at this week's -Moscow international air show are just a small part of a £100 billion plan to return the Russian military to the heights of its Cold War might.

Russia's planned military might

On Friday President Vladimir Putin caused consternation by announcing the resumption of regular, long-range nuclear bomber patrols, but there is more to come; Russia is planning to double combat aircraft production by 2025 with more nuclear missiles, aircraft carriers and tanks at the top of Moscow's shopping list.

The message to the West is clear: the days of being able to dismiss Russia as a spent force are over. Bolstered by the cash from sales of oil and gas and President Putin's steely determination to re-establish the country on the world stage, the Russian -military machine is back in business.

Various theories have been put forward for the dramatic military expansion, not least the need to appeal to nationalists in the run-up to forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. The real reason, however, appears to be that Russia has taken offence at what it regards as the West's insulting indifference to its very existence.

Intelligence sources say Washington and London have been taken aback by just how seriously Russia has viewed the perceived slight and admit that in concentrating so heavily on Iraq and al-Qaeda, they took their eyes off the ball.

"They were slow to see that these people are still players," said a former White House staffer, who served both Ronald Reagan and George Bush. "My great fear is that I wake up one day soon to discover that we lost the Cold War, or rather that like everything else, we won the war and then lost the peace."

A source close to the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who cut her teeth in government as a Kremlinologist in the Eighties, said that Middle East issues had diverted her attention from a more rigorous engagement with Moscow.

"She wants to spend more time on Russia but that hasn't always been possible. She said to me that she regrets the fact that she has not done enough on what is, after all, her major area of expertise."

The carefully-staged pictures of the president stripped to the waist and striking various manly poses on holiday in Siberia last week are not the only Russian muscle-flexing that has been going on in recent months.

While Russia's submariners have managed to upset even the mild-mannered Norwegians and Canadians by planting a flag under the Arctic ice, its long range TU-95 Bear bombers have rattled America's cage by buzzing its US naval base on the island of Guam in the western Pacific. The Georgians are furious after a Russian missile landed on the outskirts of a village near Tbilisi and a series of war games in Russia's southern Ural Mountains featuring some 6,500 troops from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan sparked Western concern over the emergence of a new Warsaw Pact.

The alarm may have sounded too late, however, according to Matthew Clements, Eurasia editor of Jane's Country Risk. "I think what has not been seen is the way Russia perceives itself as a new, great power, and how it feels it has not been taken as seriously as it should be," he said.

President Vladimir Putin observes naval exercises near Severomorsk

The latest developments have exacerbated an already tense situation. Russia has responded angrily to US plans to station an anti-missile system in the Czech republic and Poland by threatening to site its own missiles in Kaliningrad to counter the threat. Earlier this summer Mr Putin upped the ante by threatening to target US strategic nuclear sites in Europe. Tensions with Britain over the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko have prompted tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats, while on Friday the BBC's World Service was thrown off Russian FM radio.

The Foreign Office last week refused to be drawn on its attitude towards Russia's newly-assertive attitude, other than to observe that "we are not alarmed".

But perhaps the only positive that Britain can draw from Russia's military resurgence is that its new Typhoon fighter aircraft, purchased at about £20 billion to counter a Cold War threat, might finally have found a worthy adversary.

Eight years ago, when -President Putin first came to power, the Russian military was in meltdown. The Russian army was crippled by low morale, the navy was rusting away and the air force was at half its Cold War strength.

But no longer. Russian defence spending rose by 22 per cent and 27 per cent in the past two years and could be up as much as 30 per cent this year. In February, Sergei Ivanov, then defence secretary and now one of the front-runners to replace Mr Putin next year, announced a £100 billion programme of expenditure. According to Jane's Sentinel Country Risk Assessments, the Russian shopping list includes two new submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missiles, the Bulava and the Sineva, both with a 5,000 mile range and capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads, and a new anti-aircraft missile, the S-400, which the Russian ministry of defence claims is effective against incoming missiles.

It also plans to spend heavily on the new TU-160 strategic bomber, which can launch cruise missiles, the SU-34 "Fullback" fighter-bomber capable of all-weather attacks on heavily defended targets and a new fifth-generation fighter, the Sukhoi T-50, which is expected to come into service in 2008 as Russia's main lightweight front-line fighter. The expanded Russian fleet will include six new nuclear powered aircraft carriers, it has just one at present, and eight ballistic missile submarines. Alex Pravda, a Russia expert at London's Chatham House foreign policy think tank, said the new aggressive approach was typical Putin.

"He believes in fighting for your place in the sun and has said that nobody appreciates weakness. They are not looking for the imperial reach of the Soviet era. What they want is an international presence."

But with Mr Putin unable to stand for a third term, his former defence secretary Sergei Ivanov is well-placed to benefit from domestic approval of the tough new stance when Russians go to the polls next March.

Whoever succeeds Mr Putin, the West is likely to have to accept that the balance of power has changed. As Mr Putin said when he announced the resumption of strategic bomber patrols: "Combat duty has begun."

Vipul
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30

Postby Vipul » 02 May 2008 20:07

China builds secret underground nuclear submarine base: report.

London, May 2: China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base with a capacity to conceal 20 vessels, posing a major threat to Asian countries and American interests in the region, media reported Friday.

Satellite imagery obtained by The Daily Telegraph indicated that a substantial harbour has been built that could house nuclear submarines and a host of aircraft carriers. One photograph shows China's latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbours, the British daily reported.

Another shows warships moored at long jetties and a network of tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island.

According to the report, the images were obtained by Janes Intelligence Review after the periodical was given access to imagery from the commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe.

One of the issues of concern to the Pentagon is the immense tunnel entrances, estimated to be 60 ft high, carved into hill-side around the base. They could lead to caverns capable of concealing from spy satellites up to 20 nuclear submarines. While it has been known that China might be developing an underground base at Sanya, the pictures provide the first proof of its existence and the rapid progress made.

Two 1,000-yard piers and three smaller ones could accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious assault ships. Analysts for Janes suggest that the base could be used for "expeditionary as well as defensive operations" and would allow the submarines to "break out to launch locations closer to the US."

The Daily Telegraph reported that military analysts believed China's substantial build up of its forces was gaining pace but has remained hidden from the world in the run up to the Beijing Olympics.

sauravjha
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Postby sauravjha » 03 May 2008 15:42



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