Major Indian Investment In 250 Russian 5th Generation Fighters

[Boeing and Lockheed executives are crying rivers over this.]

India to spend over $25 billion to induct 250 5th-gen stealth fighters

Rajat Pandit, TNN

NEW DELHI: India will eventually spend over $25 billion to induct 250 advanced stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), on way to being co-developed with Russia, in what will be the country’s biggest-ever defence project.

With a potent mix of super-manoeuvrability and supersonic cruising ability, long-range strike and high-endurance air defence capabilities, each FGFA will cost upwards of Rs 450 crore or around $100 million.

This will be in addition to the huge investment to be made in co-developing FGFA with cash-strapped Russia, as also the huge infrastructure required to base, operate and maintain such jets in India.

“We are looking to induct 200 to 250 FGFA in phases from 2017 onwards,” confirmed IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik on Monday. As reported by TOI earlier, New Delhi and Moscow are looking to ink the FGFA preliminary design contract when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev comes visiting here in December.

Under intense negotiations for the last four-five years, the FGFA project will also figure in the talks between defence minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on October 8.

Though the Indian FGFA will based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA, which flew for the first time this January at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur facility in Siberia, it will be built to IAF’s specifications. It’s already being touted as superior to the American F/A-22 `Raptor’, the world’s only operational FGFA as of now.

ACM Naik said the 30-tonne FGFA will be a “swing-role fighter, with very advanced avionics, stealth to increase survivability, enhanced lethality, 360 degree situational awareness, smart weapons, data-links, high-end mission computers” and the like.

Along with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, which India plans to acquire in a $10.4 billion project, 270 Sukhoi-30MKIs contracted from Russia for around $12 billion and 120 indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, the FGFA will be the mainstay of India’s air combat fleet for the foreseeable future.

Even as the Army revises its war doctrine to factor in the worst-case scenario of a simultaneous two-front war with Pakistan and China, is IAF also preparing for the same?

“Our modernisation plans are based on the four pillars of `see, reach, hit and protect’…We prepare for a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, multi-front war,” said ACM Naik.

“But our approach is capability-based, not adversary-specific. Our modernisation drive is in tune with our nation’s aspirations,” he said, adding that India’s strategic interests stretched “from Hormuz Strait to Malacca Strait and beyond”.

To a volley of questions on China and Pakistan, IAF chief said, “All neighbours, from the smallest to the largest, have to be watched with caution…Their capabilities have to be assessed…Anything that can upset the growth of our nation is a matter of concern.”

With the new planned inductions in the pipeline, IAF’s obsolescence rate will come down to 20% by 2014-15 from the current 50% or so. “But this does not mean that we are not fully capable of defending the country from any air or space threat at the moment…We are,” said ACM Naik.


Reports of Serious Talks Between Taliban, Afghan gov’t to end war

WASHINGTON – The Associated Press

Secret talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan have begun between representatives of the Taliban and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, The Washington Post reported on its website Tuesday night.

Afghan and Arab sources cited by the Post said they believe for the first time that Taliban representatives are fully authorized to speak for the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban organization based in Pakistan, and its leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, according to the newspaper. The sources requested anonymity to discuss the development.

Omar’s representatives have shunned negotiations in the past, insisting that all foreign troops withdraw first. However, the Post reported that its sources said the Quetta Shura has begun to talk about a comprehensive agreement that would include participation of some Taliban figures in the government and the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops.

Karzai long has said he will talk to insurgents if they renounce violence, sever ties to terrorists and embrace the Afghan constitution. The Post reported that the half-dozen sources directly involved in or on the margins of the talks emphasized that they were preliminary in nature, even as the sources differed on how specific the talks have been. All expressed concern that any public description of the meetings would undercut them.

The top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, said last week that Taliban leaders have made overtures to reconcile with the Afghan government. “There are very high-level Taliban leaders who have sought to reach out to the highest levels of the Afghan government and indeed have done that,” Petraeus told reporters in Afghanistan.

Reconciling with Taliban leaders is being “pursued by the Afghan leadership at the very highest levels,” Petraeus said. The Afghan government last week also set up a 70-member peace council, formalizing efforts to reconcile with Taliban leaders and lure insurgent foot soldiers off the battlefield.

Waheed Omar, a spokesman for Karzai, denied that President Barack Obama’s stated goal of beginning to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July 2011, if conditions allow, spurred the Afghan government to set up the council or reach out to the Taliban.

Turkish enigma to remain one more mystery

ÖZGÜR ÖĞRET
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Recent claims by a retired colonel about founding an alleged clandestine strike unit that is suspected in many unsolved murders have done little to dispel the mystery surrounding the organization. While experts say many of the colonel’s claims are unbelievable, they also call for an investigation to help shed light on dark parts of Turkey’s past
JİTEM, whose existence is denied by the Turkish military, has been accused of using illegal means to fight terrorism and of being behind dozens of unsolved murders during the 1990s.
JİTEM, whose existence is denied by the Turkish military, has been accused of using illegal means to fight terrorism and of being behind dozens of unsolved murders during the 1990s.

Despite the reopened cases and new confessions drawing renewed attention to an alleged covert intelligence and strike unit within the gendarmerie, the mysteries surrounding it are unlikely to be revealed soon, experts have said.

Retired Col. Arif Doğan is at the center of much of the recent controversy with his claims of founding the clandestine group, known as JİTEM, that is claimed to be the intelligence unit of the gendarmerie, though never officially recognized by the military. The Ergenekon suspect, who is in poor health, told two newspapers last week that he wants to reveal everything he knows about the organization before he dies, prompting Ergenekon Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz to take his testimony immediately.

But journalist and author Ertuğrul Mavioğlu is suspicious about how the investigation into Doğan’s claims is being carried out.

“Let me speak openly; if they ran a real investigation, they would have to face the dirty past of the state,” Mavioğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. “I am almost sure [the recent acts] are playing to the crowd.”

The journalist expressed suspicions about why Öz acted on the two newspaper interviews rather than evaluating the eight sacks of documents confiscated from Doğan’s house when he was arrested within the scope of the Ergenekon coup-plot investigation in 2008. “Only the titles of these documents are present in the second Ergenekon indictment; their content is censored,” Mavioğlu said. He claimed they include details about how JİTEM was organized and how its members carried out raids on villages in southeastern Turkey disguised as members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

JİTEM has been accused of being behind dozens of unsolved murders, especially in the 1990s; an ongoing case in Diyarbakır is looking into some of those unsolved murders from 1993-95. The General Staff, however, still officially denies the existence of such an organization. Doğan, its self-proclaimed founder, is suspected of involvement in the alleged assassination of Gen. Eşref Bitlis, who died in a plane crash in 1993. Doğan denies the charges, saying he disbanded JİTEM in 1990. Another Ergenekon suspect, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, has long been believed to be the actual founder of JİTEM.

Though various experts told the Daily News that Doğan’s comments are worthy of investigation, all expressed doubts about his claims of founding, and then shutting down in 1990, the group on his own. Retired Gen. Nejat Eslen said founding a vast covert organization within the military is not possible “if you are respectful toward the law.” He added that “a colonel cannot build such an organization alone.”

The timing of Doğan’s statements is important, Eslen said, because even though the retired colonel is a micro-factor in a larger plan, the recent efforts to solve the Kurdish issue are leading the country down a dangerous path that may lead to the breakup of Turkey. “I am neither a judge nor a prosecutor, but things smell rotten as the colonel [Doğan] speaks,” he said. “What was this colonel promised that he speaks now?”

Doğan’s comments aim to dilute the seriousness of claims about the covert organization, according to Önder Aytaç, an academic and security specialist, who accused the retired colonel of trying to muddy the waters. “Even the children in southeastern Turkey know the truth about JİTEM very well,” Aytaç said.

Though Doğan’s claims about founding and closing JİTEM are unbelievable, his statements may still help shed light on thousands of unsolved murders, said Orhan Miroğlu, a columnist and author who survived an assassination attempt allegedly carried out by the covert group. Miroğlu told the Daily News that the controversial book by Hanefi Avcı, the recently arrested Eskişehir police chief, also has important things to say regarding the past acts of JİTEM.

“I do not think the nongovernmental organizations in [southeastern Turkey] are doing their job well on the matter, nor is the [pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP],” Miroğlu said. “From the beginning, they stood faithful to [jailed PKK leader Abdullah] Öcalan’s order to stay out of [the Ergenekon case].” Many have criticized the Ergenekon investigation for not “passing the Eurphates River,” meaning not looking into the JİTEM accusations.

The columnist criticized the country’s Kurds for not standing up against JİTEM when the alleged clandestine organization had shed so much of their blood. He added that he will try to be more active in the struggle to reveal the truth about the group by writing about it more and by applying to the courts as a victim of the assassination attempt against him, an attack that took the life of his uncle, journalist and author Musa Anter.

Journalist Mavioğlu said any investigation into JİTEM should be expanded to look into past chiefs of General Staff in order to make sense. He added that he does not trust the investigation into Bitlis’ death either because he believes both the key actors at that time and the current investigators are “in consensus” on protecting the state.

Academic Aytaç said if light is shed on just two or three of the unsolved murders in Turkey’s past, the rest would be solved easily and quickly, revealing connections either to the “deep state or organized crime.”

Rakhmonov Crying “Islamist” Wolf An Invitation for American Intervention Against Russia

Dodozhon Atovulloyev: My sympathies on the side of those who fight in the mountains

04.10.2010 22:57 msk

“However”

October 5 in the Russian magazine “However,” published an interview with the leader of the movement “Vatandor” (“Patriot”), a tough critic of President Emomali Rakhmonov, opposition journalists Dodozhonom Atovulloev. Publish the full interview.

AT ALL IS NOT ENOUGH RAKHMONOV TAJIKISTAN

After 13 years of peace that followed the bloody 1992-1997 civil war in Tajikistan, once again there was a smell of gunpowder. The attack on military convoy in the Rasht region, during which, according to official figures, killed 25 government soldiers, the scale is more like a military operation than a one-time raid irreconcilable. In this case, the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), which allegedly claimed responsibility for this action. So what really happened in the gorge Kamarob and that’s going on in Tajikistan?

On these and other questions, however, meets the leader of the Tajik opposition movement Vatandor “Dodojon Atovulloyev.

- To make it clearer, I will begin by answering the second question. In Tajikistan, ongoing civil war. She did not stop all these years, and declared the world was very conditional. Changed only the methods of warfare, the alignment of forces and enemy targets. At the present stage is not at war with the Islamists and democrats are not united opposition from the Popular Front. Now all are fighting against Rakhmonov regime. Patience of the people is full. People are tired of living without light, without gas, without proper food, no medicine. World about which all said and on which all hoped for, has turned into a trap, trap, which came one after another, not only the leaders of the opposition, but those who led Rakhmonov to power.

- And who brought him to power?

- Gaffor Mirzoyev (former commander of the Presidential Guard), Yakub Salimov (former Minister of Internal Affairs), Sangak Safarov (former field commander of the Popular Front, who served before 1923 on criminal charges), Mahmoud Khudaiberdyev (former commander of Special Forces) – the most famous people from the team. They are all either killed, or sit, or in exile. Units are lucky – they had to flee.

Dodozhon Atovulloyev

Same story with those that initially fought against Rakhmonov, and after the peace accords began his new friends. Where are they now? Said Abdullah Nuri, the leader of the Tajik opposition, and then Chairman of the Commission on National Reconciliation, was poisoned. Otahon Latifi, a prominent journalist, who worked at one time in the newspaper Pravda, he returned to the country after the signing of the peace and was killed. Mirzo Ziyoev, a warlord who became Minister of Emergency Situations, was killed last year in Tavildara. Sanginov Habib, the deputy interior minister, assassinated in 2000, Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, chairman of the committee Tajikgas (as in the text of the interview. Actually Tajikgas – a large state enterprises, M. Iskandarov headed it until 2003. – Fergana . PN), arrested in 2004 in Moscow and taken to Tajikistan, which received 23 years in prison. Thus, what has happened in Rasht – a continuation of the same policy Rakhmonov. For him, search for enemies never end. In the past year, such as fighting was going on in Tavildara, and at the same time under the guise of fighting terrorism and fundamentalism have been killed tens of any innocent people, and hundreds were imprisoned. And now trying to clean up the Rasht, where they were two months ago, was transferred two thousand soldiers and military equipment.

- Then what the enemy is looking for Rakhmonov in Rasht?

- The goal was to get rid of two powerful warlords – Mirzohudzhi Akhmadov and Schoch Iskandarov.Last year, Rakhmonov met with Akhmadov, and met in Garm, the administrative center of the Rasht region. The President swore on the Koran, which has no claims to Akhmadov and will not pursue him.They have publicly embraced, and it was shown on television. We spoke with him shortly after that, I then said: “Mirzohudzha do not believe Rahmon, this person can not be trusted.” Our last phone conversation took place just a few days ago. Again I advised him to take security measures, saying that the aim of the operation in Rasht is likely, it was he. But Akhmadov until the last minute was sure that nothing threatens him. A few days after the attack on the convoy with Akhmadov met specially arrived in Garm Ministers of Interior and Defense, as well as the deputy attorney general and deputy NSC (National Security Committee. – Auth.). They assured him that the president is good for him and no questions to him there, at the same time asked not to support troops Mullah Abdullah. And exactly two days later the house Akhmadov in Garm blew from the air. He, fortunately, was not injured, but the bombing killed five people, including a woman and three laborers Kirghiz. This information to the Murdered government carefully concealed. The next day on television said that Ahmad – a terrorist and that he hid in his Mullah Abdullah, who along with IMU accused in the attack on the convoy.

- And in fact, is not he?

- I think not. Just out of Abdullo make Bin Laden. Frankly, I can not say which group was behind the attack. But, to our knowledge, the defeat of the column were killed 25, and 40 soldiers and 25 took the side of the attackers, joining their squad. I am equally sorry for those and others. After all these young guys who take to the army – they are all from poor families who do not have 200 dollars to buy off the service. They are like rabbits for hunters – now cannon fodder. Still, my sympathies on the side of those mountains. They have experienced too much: the horrors of civil war and the hardships of life in refugee camps in Afghanistan. And now they are again in exile – in their homeland.

- But, maybe there really were IMU?

- IMU is not interested in Tajikistan, their enemy – Tashkent. But interestingly different. In 1998 idushniki really came at us, and under the roof of the Tajik National Security Committee. Remember the raid in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in 1998? They walked out of Tajikistan, after they were given weapons, trained at special bases. So Rakhmon wanted to punish and intimidate Tashkent. After the raid, authorities in Tajikistan idushnikov put on buses and, as guests of honor, carried to the Afghan border. Seeing on TV with comments: No more IMU in Tajikistan. So the story of friendship with the IMU Rakhmonov regime has begun in that time and probably continues to this day. Judge for yourself: IMU very necessary organization. Explosion in Khujand, the explosion in a nightclub, jailbreak, and everywhere the accusations against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and international terrorists. And in the context of these charges are called the three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Russian Federation. Why? I think Rahmon thus sends a signal to the West, for whom Islam – like a red rag to a bull. Russia is accused of supporting international terrorism solely on the grounds that in Tajikistan were arrested several Russian nationals – people from Dagestan. These guys for a year – and according to official reports – and has already been arrested and imprisoned and even killed, from which it can be concluded that the authorities themselves entangled in his own lies.

- That is from Russia Rakhmon no more waiting for?

- In Russia, he erected a cross. I do not deny the President of Tajikistan in the right to criticize the policies of Russia. But the right to insult an entire people no one else. Homeless people, drunks, people who have nothing is sacred – such remarks against the Russian people very often found in official media. Himself and his subjects as the president calls the Aryans, not hesitating at the same time send Aryans revenge streets of Russian cities. In news programs from Russia is neither a positive story. Only negative – on all four channels. Every day show, as in Russia bully the Tajiks, and so, it appears, has become a tradition since Soviet times. And never, no example of a good life guest workers. In general, Russia – it is such Auschwitz for Tajiks.Not by chance that print newspapers portraits of Putin and Medvedev in the image of Hitler. And recently, the president said at a cabinet meeting: Russia does not want our independence, Russia wants us to be slaves. I must say that Rakhmonov has not bad acting skills. When three years ago, Russia stopped to help him with money, and get a new bird feeder in the West had failed, someone advised him to appeal to Arab sheiks. And how do you think that made this farm chairman and Communist, who came to power with the slogan “No to Islam!” Which destroyed the mosque in 1992, burned the Koran, and even burned people a beard? He performed the Hajj! And then he began to position himself as the defender of Islam. In one of the Arab newspapers have published about him a great sketch, which can not be read without tears of tenderness. It turns out that at night the president reads the Quran and crying, and that in Soviet times, he pressed as a Muslim. And now, when it was free, he draws huge international conference on Islam, which is not quoted Marx as the prophet Muhammad, announced in Tajikistan Year of Islam, etc.

Believe all of a sudden can even convinced atheist, it happens. Only it’s not the case, because, having failed to obtain reciprocity from Arab sheikhs (as it has been during the abortive novel Dushanbe and Tehran), president of the Aryans has once again started to flirt with the West. Just two years ago he was a devout Muslim but now once again close the mosque, and prohibits the hijab, calling the women who wear it, monkeys. So it seems, has decided to appeal to America, where he had been recently. Rakhmonov had been in the U.S. for ten days. Just at this time there was a massacre in Rasht, but the president did not even think to interrupt his visit and return home. Mow a true Muslim was silly, but even more foolish to fight against the religion professed by 99 percent of the population. And if anyone makes people join the ranks of extremists, it is the policy of Rakhmonov. Home terrorist organization we have – a government led by president suffering from two delusions – of grandeur and persecution. He sees in every enemy, especially if the person is anything like a strong and influential. The other day in Moscow was arrested on one of the large Tajik businessmen Nizomhon Juraev. At one time it was entree into the family Rakhmonov and even friends with one of his daughters. But then, apparently, was too rich and independent. At first he took away all the business, then arrested 30 relatives, and now his own. Blaming one: an attempt to coup d’etat, terrorism, and extremism.

- He was detained by Russian special services? And has already transferred to the Tajik side?

- Not yet. We have a list of 1,555 persons declared by the Tajik side in search. These people – the former opposition or supporters of former oppositionists. All of them are accused of terrorism, illegal border crossing and killing Russian soldiers and officers. All this, of course, a lie. But with such formulations necessarily Russia will give them to Tajikistan. What do all these people? Only one thing: to defend itself by taking up arms. Why are people now gather in the mountains? After all, there goes not only the opposition, but everyone who fears for his life and liberty. In the beginning we said that the civil war in Tajikistan continues. At this stage there is a war not of faith, not of democratic ideals, not for power, and not for money. This is a war for life, and for those who are in the mountains, it is valid.

- How many people are in the mountains?

- In early summer there were 700-800, now more than 3 thousand. They live in villages, the local population to them is good, there is a refuge from the time of the Civil War. In the five years of civil war Rakhmon and could not get control over these territories, the more it will fail him now. But it is only in the Rasht region in the east. Roughly the same in the villages around Dushanbe and northern Tajikistan. Rakhmonov said recently in a not very narrow circle, that the northern Tajiks – people second-class citizens and have often rape their women, to elevate the blood. The explosion of the building security in Khujand – a response to his words. In July, Rakhmonov was in the Pamirs, where he assembled a former commander and seven days of celebrating the anniversary of reconciliation. There were taken gifts, a caravan of handouts: computers, refrigerators. Television showed the story: His Majesty urged the businessmen to help the poor, and that the president’s daughter gives people energy efficient light bulbs. Another story: A woman with Pamir said that after the arrival of Rakhmon its chickens are better scurry, and the bees started to produce more honey.Anyone can be deceived by such scenes? Only the Rakhmonov. Has grown up a new generation that is willing to live without hot water, saying that “if only there was no war.” Their war is not scared, they do not know. But know that if the machine room with four eights, it’s a family car Rakhmonov. And if the four units – family brother. The president has seven daughters and two sons, and all one Tajikistan is clearly not enough.

- But somebody Rahmon support? Domestically and abroad?

- Domestically, it’s only come in his native Dangara district, others he does not believe. Intelligence agencies are incompetent and corrupt, the recent mass jailbreak it showed. And who will be loyal to the president, that all leases? Abroad obvious allies had either, although he is actively looking for a “roof”. There are, however, the lobby – I think even that is not in one country. In Russia it’s a few senior officials, tied with Rahmon money and also have interests in drug trafficking. That they are trying to persuade the Russian leadership, which no one to replace Rakhmonov and that if “our son of a bitch” go away, then his successor will come an Islamic fundamentalist. By the way, according to our information, just in recent days, government forces are involved in Rasht two helicopters sent by the Russian side. And Kazakhstan Tajikistan handed attack – in the Parliament’s decision on grant military assistance. Would like to see people taking such decisions, they knew: they give military hardware terrorist regime, fighting against their own people.Peace is impossible. There is now a consolidation of all the opponents Rakhmonov. If the opposition groups will move to Dushanbe, the Tajik army of hungry run so far not even to the Afghan – to the Chinese border. Such a statement – just a matter of time.Rakhmonov, who was waiting for the fate of Saddam Hussein, he brought the denouement.

Algeria upset by French push on al-Qaida

Algeria upset by French push on al-Qaida

Nicolas Sarkozy speaks at Millennium Development Goals Summit at the United Nations.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks during the Millennium Development Goals Summit at the United Nations on September 20, 2010 in New York. UPI /Monika Graff

ALGIERS, Algeria, Oct. 5 (UPI) — France’s self-declared war against al-Qaida’s North African network is causing anxiety in a region where the former colonial power is still viewed with disdain and the ploy could backfire on French PresidentNicolas Sarkozy.

The French became involved in the shooting war with al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb in July when it deployed Special Forces troops with Mauritania’s military in an attack on a jihadist camp in the Sahara Desert in a botched attempt to rescue a 78-year-old French hostage seized in April.

Six or seven militants were killed in the raid in Mali, which failed to locate the captive, aid worker Michel Germaneau.

AQIM fighters beheaded Germaneau two days later as a reprisal for French intervention in the desert insurgency that until then had been a purely regional affair.

Sarkozy declared war on AQIM, who warned he had “opened the gates of hell.”

On Sept. 16, the jihadists struck back by kidnapping five French citizens and two Africans, all on whom worked for the French nuclear giant Areva and sub-contractors at one of the company’s uranium mines in Niger.

The French are seeking to contact the kidnappers through local go-betweens, probably Tuareg tribesmen who have worked with the jihadists in the past.

Paris has also sent a military detachment to Niamey, Niger’s capital, more troops to nearby Burkina Faso and at least two aircraft to hunt for the captives, who are believed to be held in neighboring Mali.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the AQIM commander in the region covering the Sahara and the semi-arid Sahel region to the south, is believed to have close links to senior figures in Mali’s government and military.

He has even married into the local Tuareg clans to consolidate his alliances with the nomadic tribes who run smuggling operations across the region’s porous borders.

The military intervention by the French, who maintain military bases in some of their former colonial empire across north and west Africa, has aggravated rivalries between the regional governments.

It has particularly annoyed the Algerians, who fought a brutal independence war against the French in 1954-62 and are fiercely opposed to Western military forces becoming involved in the Sahara conflict.

Algeria is the region’s main military power and the driving force behind a new regional offensive against the jihadists, which has its headquarters at the Algerian air base of Tamanrasset, 600 miles south of Algiers deep in the Sahara.

On Sept. 26, the Algerians convened a special meeting with the military chiefs of Mali, Mauritania and Niger at Tamanrasset to set out a joint strategy for fighting AQIM, which is dominated by Algerian jihadists.

There have been any number of similar gatherings before but none has produced a sustainable common strategy.

Mauritania has taken a tough line against the jihadists, as evidenced by its willingness to allow French commandos to take part in the July raids. Niger has followed suit.

But Mali has taken a far more tolerant line with the jihadists, hence Belmokhtar’s reputed links with senior figures in Bamako.

According to Africa Intelligence, a Paris Web site, Algeria’s primary motive in convening the September meeting under its chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, was to “send a clear message to Paris that he intended to retain control over his Sahara backyard.”

Paris has secured Mauritania’s cooperation and is conducting surveillance flights over the region. But, Africa Intelligence noted, “will Algeria allow such operations in its sphere of influence?

“Algeria remains upset over the Franco-Mauritanian offensive against AQIM in Mali in July and especially because the operation proved counter-productive for France, as the kidnapping of Areva’s staff in Niger underscored.”

Algiers is particularly annoyed at the Europeans’ willingness to pay multimillion-dollar ransoms to the jihadists to secure the release of hostages, which provides funds for weapons to fight Algerian forces.

If the French, for all their war talk, end up buying the Areva captives’ freedom, Algeria, and possibly other regional states, will be incensed.

That could reverberate heavily against Sarkozy’s administration, which is seeking to reverse years of neglect by Paris of its former African colonies to ensure access to their mineral wealth, such as Niger’s uranium, vital to France’s growing nuclear industry.

National Guard helicopter crash in Rasht–(of course there were no militants involved)

Four persons killed, 3 injured in National Guard’s helicopter crash in Rasht


Author: Avaz Yuldoshev

DUSHANBE, October 6, 2010, Asia-Plus  — Four persons were killed and three others were injured today as a helicopter of the National Guard crashed in Rasht, according to the National Guard press service.

“The National Guard’s helicopter crashed in Kamarob Gorge in Rasht district today morning,” said the source, “All four crew members were killed and three technical personnel sustained various injuries in the crash.”

The crash was caused by technical reasons and is not connected with the events in the east of the country, the National Guard press service stressed, noting that a special commission has been set up to investigate the cause of the crash.

The National Guard command expresses its deepest condolences to families and friends of the crew members that were killed in the crash.

USAID Sowing the Seeds of Dissatisfaction In Tajikistan

[The democratic-revolutionary termites are sent forth to breed and spread their subversive ideas for implementing American ideology in the Tajik youth.  But all of you know that already.]

U.S. government develops social-science research


06.10.2010 12:28

Author: Nargis Hamroboyeva

DUSHANBE, October 6, 2010, Asia-Plus  — Ten Tajik social-science researchers returned from a U.S. Embassy sponsored three-week professional development program in Washington DC, implemented by the Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe.

The trip was part of USAID’s Community Connections exchange program which offers community-based, practical training in the United States for business and professional organization leaders from all regions of Tajikistan.

While in Washington, ten academics, policy analysts, and NGO leaders from across Tajikistan focused on practical methods of publishing research results.  In addition, they learned from their American counterparts how think tanks in the U.S. effectively advocate influencing public policy.  Tajik researchers visited and observed public, private and government think tanks and explored how public policy research can influence policy making bodies.  The participants learned how think tanks promote the interests of their communities, and investigated the impact of private funding on research outcomes.

The professional component of the program was enhanced by a rich cultural experience. Participants lived with American families and enjoyed visits to monuments, memorials and other points of interest in the Washington area.  Among the highlights was a tour of the News History Museum, and visits to the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Performance, the Smithsonian Museums, and the Phillips Collection museum of modern art.  The delegates also joined together for a day of volunteer work at Food for All, a Washington-based charity, distributing meals to those in need.

The delegation returned to Tajikistan on September 30 and met in Dushanbe to discuss how they might connect social-science research and policy making in Tajikistan.  And, naturally, they have also been busy sharing their experiences and impressions of the United States with colleagues and friends.  Qahramon Baqoyev from Zerkalo Sociological Research Center commented that he had already made three good connections for future collaboration.  And Vafo Niyatbekov mentioned that his Center for Strategic Research and the Carnegie Endowment are planning a conference in Tajikistan on think tanks either in November 2010 or March 2011.

The USAID Community Connections Program is one of the many assistance projects implemented in Tajikistan by the United States Agency for International Development on behalf of the American people. Since 1992, the American people, through the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, has provided approximately $900 million in assistance programs that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.