India: Desperate state seeks spy drones and mind-reading robots to quash the rebellious people

Drone robots to add more teeth to anti-Maoist operations

The Times of India, February 4, 2013

KHARAGPUR: After drone missiles of the US military, drone robots will come to the help of Indian security forces in anti-insurgency operations. The robots are being developed at a research institution in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, which has already developed another land surveillance robot and a mind sensing robot that can read the human mind.

Once ready, the drone robot can be used as an effective surveillance tool by the armed and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations. The robot can spy over a battle zone while flying over it. Enemy positions, camps and even soldiers or rebels hiding behind bushes within a 50 km radius can be captured on its camera which even has night vision. “Information sent by the robot can help the security forces plan their operations with greater precision,” said Diwakar Vaish, head of robotics and research at the Delhi-based A-Set Institute of Training and Research, that is working on the project.

Work on developing the robot is at an advanced stage at the A-Set Institute. The drone apart, Vaish from the 20-year-old institute demonstrated several other robots at the three-day KSHIT technology fest that began at IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) on Friday. Continue reading

As “peace talks” get no traction, Philippine government war on people’s resistance slated to expand

Revved-up counterinsurgency

AT GROUND LEVEL, by Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) | January 19, 2013

“I am now in a position to influence the implementation of (Oplan) Bayanihan as chief of staff because I now become its operational commander. Unlike when I was the CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army), I had a limited role as the force provider. But now I will have a direct hand in the implementation of Bayanihan.”

Thus declared Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who became AFP chief last Thursday, regarding the Aquino government’s six-year counterinsurgency program for which he is credited as key author. Basically the program is lifted from the 2009 US Counterinsurgency Plan applied in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One can gather from his statement both a sense of relief and gratification: relief from frustration, as Army commander having had an ancillary or “limited role as the force provider,” and gratification for finally being put fully in-charge of implementing his own plan.

Hence the go-go spirit exuded by Gen. Bautista. He told the press he would “hasten the tempo” of the AFP’s 44-year-old campaign against the Left armed revolutionary movement, with the end-goal to “render irrelevant” the NPA and its armed struggle.

Going by the timeframe of Oplan Bayanihan, officially known as the Internal Peace and Security Plan, Bautista has to work really hard and fast. (His stint as AFP chief ends on July 20, 2014.) The plan calls for the “substantial completion” of the end-goal within the first three years of the program, or in 2011-2013.

This is because within 2014-2016 the AFP aspires to relinquish its lead role in counterinsurgency “to appropriate government agencies” so that it can “initiate its transition to a territorial defense-focused force.” Continue reading

Drones over America. Are they spying on you?

Deputy Amanda Hill of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado prepares to use a Draganflyer X6 drone equipped with a video camera to help search for a suspect in a knife attack. Drones are in demand by police departments, border patrols, power companies, news organizations and others wanting a bird’s-eye view that’s too impractical or dangerous for conventional planes or helicopters.  [Mesa County Sheriff’s Unmanned Operations Team/AP]

“Thousands of drones could be routinely flying over the United States within the next ten years. They can help with law enforcement and border control, but they also raise questions about invasion of privacy.”

By , Staff writer, Christian Science Monitor / June 16, 2012

Most Americans have gotten used to regular news reports about military and CIA drones attacking terrorist suspects – including US citizens – in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere abroad.

But picture thousands of drone aircraft buzzing around the United States – peering from the sky at breaches in border security, wildfires about to become major conflagrations, patches of marijuana grown illegally deep within national forests, or environmental scofflaws polluting the land, air, and water.

By some government estimates, as many as 30,000 drones could be part of intelligence gathering and law enforcement here in the United States within the next ten years. Operated by agencies down to the local level, this would be in addition to the 110 current and planned drone activity sites run by the military services in 39 states, reported this week by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), a non-government research project. Continue reading

Philippine / US troops joint training for counter-insurgency, and for US-Pacific domination

[Though both the US imperialist and comprador Philippine governments describe “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises as normal, routine, and “humanitarian,” they are actually part of more intense–and expanded–trainings for regional wars (which may challenge or extend the US’ hegemonic role, or China’s growing role) and for domestic Philippine counter-insurgency operations against rebel opposition, both communist and Islamic.  The pictures below express this very well.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Reuters, ‘Balikatan’ exercises
More than 4,000 American troops joined their Filipino counterparts for a series of military exercises in the West Philippine Sea,  an area that involves a territorial dispute that centers on a shoal not far from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. The dispute centers on a group of islands known in the Philippines as Scarborough Shoal and recognized as Huangyan island in Chinese. Both Philippines and China have staked a claim on the islands, according to media reports.

U.S. soldiers inspect a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier patrol past a boy during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

U.S. soldiers walk past Filipino soldiers portraying communist rebels killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier carries a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

U.S. and Filipino soldiers take part in an urban combat drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers conduct a patrol during an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers take part in an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Oops! Was he supposed to say that?

[Things slip–sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose, sometimes as a trial balloon (“Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.”)  But when these relations are more deeply exposed, it’s a good time to watch whether the embrace continues, unbroken, and who tries to cover their face.  Here, the statement of the Pentagon commander is reported; the following stories report the denials by India and Nepal. — Frontlines ed.]

Pentagon commander says US special forces in India

02 March 12, 2012

US and Indian air force paratrooper at the India-US joint air exercise in Agra on 19 October 2009

US special forces are present in five South Asian countries, including India, a top Pentagon commander has revealed.

US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard said the teams were deployed to help India with their counter-terrorism co-operation.

The US and India were working together to contain Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he said.

The US embassy in Delhi clarified that the troops were not stationed in India.

A spokesman told the BBC that there were “no special forces stationed in India”, as media reports had suggested.

The embassy and India’s ministry of defence said a unit from the US 25th infantry division was in India to hold an exercise with Indian forces.

‘Working closely’

Adm Willard said US teams were also present in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

“We have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term – laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India,” Adm Willard told a Congressional hearing.

“We are working very closely with India with regard to their counter-terrorism capabilities and in particular on the maritime domain but also government to government, not necessarily department of defence but other agencies assisting them in terms of their internal counter-terror and counterinsurgency challenges.” Continue reading

Philippines: What kind of peace do the people need? Revolutionary fighters on the deceptive call for a ‘peace zone’

Philippine Revolution Web Central

To Achieve Genuine and Lasting Peace, Roots of the Armed Conflict Must Be Addressed

Magno Udyaw, Spokesperson, NPA Mountain Province (Leonardo Pacsi Command)
December 04, 2011

The Leonardo Pacsi Command of the NPA-Mountain Province denounces the sham consultations and fabricated referendums being conducted by the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) in the various municipalities of the province. Reports coming from the participants in the last PPOC “dialogue” held in Aguid, Sagada last November 16 indicate that PNP personnel including escorts of Philippine National Police regional director Gen. Benjamin Magalong and personnel from various provincial and municipal line agencies who went along with Gov. Leonard Mayaen were allowed to cast their votes.

Indicative of the previous informal plebiscites held in five other municipalities earlier, the question written in the ballots furnished to the registered participants was not about the peace zone, but formed as “Do you want peace – Yes, No, Undecided”. This deceptive formulation coupled with delegate-stacking maneuvers clearly reveals the bullying tactics of the provincial government in calling for a province-wide peace zone. Who would not want peace, but on what basis and of what kind? Continue reading

The Other Side of the COIN: Counterinsurgency and Community Policing

by Kristian Williams

The following discussion of U.S. domestic counterinsurgency is adapted and condensed with permission from “The Other Side of the COIN: Counterinsurgency and Community Policing” by Kristian Williams.  Williams is a member of Rose City Copwatch in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (Soft Skull, 2004; South End Press, 2007)The full paper appeared in the May 2011 issue of Interface, and a full list of bibliographic sources can be found there.
The unrest of the 1960s left the police in a difficult position.  The cops’ response to the social movements of the day — the civil rights and anti-war movements especially — had cost them dearly in terms of public credibility, elite support, and officer morale.  Frequent and overt recourse to violence, combined with covert surveillance, infiltration, and disruption (typified by the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations), had not only failed to squelch the popular movements, it had also diminished trust in law enforcement.

The police needed to re-invent themselves, and the first place they looked for models was the military. Military training, tactics, equipment, and weaponry, made their way into domestic police departments — as did veterans returning from Vietnam, and, more subtly, military approaches to organization, deployment, and command and control.  Police strategists specifically began studying counterinsurgency warfare.

“Counterinsurgency” (or “COIN” is military jargon) refers to a kind of military operation outside of conventional army-vs.-army war-fighting, and is sometimes called “low-intensity” or “asymmetrical” combat.  But counterinsurgency also describes a particular perspective on how such operations ought to be managed.  This style of warfare is characterized by an emphasis on intelligence, security and peace-keeping operations, population control, propaganda, and efforts to gain the trust of the people. Continue reading

Indian Military Intelligence Director visits Nepal to discuss ‘counter insurgency’

by Akhtar Jamal
Islamabad—A poweful Indian military delegation led by its Military Intelligence Director, Lieutenant General D.S. Thakur arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday on a five-day visit to Nepal.

The Indian team on Wednesday met with Nepalese Minister for Defence Bishnu Prasad Poudel and Defense Secretary Navin Kumar Ghimire and COAS General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung.

The Indian Army delegation will attend various programmes arranged by the Nepalese Army.

The delegation is scheduled to visit the Nepalese Army Mountain Warfare School at Jomsom and Counter-Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School at Amlekhgunj. Indian military intelligence defence team on Wednesday visited Command and Staff College at Tokha. The 4-member Indian delegation includes Lt. Gen DS Thakur & his spouse Brigadier Sanal Kumar and Lt. Col. Naveen Kumar.

Philippines: Military abuse and extra-judicial killings are not “humanitarian”

Army chief hit over human rights remark

Sun Star, Saturday, June 25, 2011

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Oban drew flak from a militant group for saying that the government’s counter-insurgency program is founded on “human rights.”

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said initial results of “Oplan Bayanihan” show that some Filipinos were “displaced from their homes and communities, harassed, arrested and detained, tortured and killed” due to the policy.

The group has documented 17 persons killed through extrajudicial means from January to mid-June this year, bringing the number of people killed under President Benigno Aquino III to 45. Continue reading

Strikes erupt as Egypt protesters defy VP warnings

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
By MAGGIE MICHAEL and TAREK EL-TEBLAWY, Associated Press
CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s anti-government activists pushed to expand their protests and sought to drum up labor unrest as thousands launched strikes at state firms and offices around the country, in defiance of the vice president’s warning that demonstrations calling for President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster would not be tolerated for much longer.

 

Efforts by Vice President Omar Suleiman to open a dialogue with protesters over reforms have broken down since the weekend, with the youth organizers of the movement deeply suspicious that he plans only superficial changes far short of real democracy. They refuse any talks unless Mubarak steps down first.

Showing growing impatience with the rejection, Suleiman issued a sharp warning that raised the prospect of a renewed crackdown. He told Egyptian newspaper editors late Tuesday that there could be a “coup” unless demonstrators agree to enter negotiations. Further deepening skepticism of his intentions, he suggested Egypt was not ready for democracy and said a government-formed panel of judges, dominated by Mubarak loyalists, would push ahead with recommending its own constitutional amendments to be put to a referendum. Continue reading

Philippines, China sign military logistics deal

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Ricardo David Jr. meets China's Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (right)

[In pursuit of its emerging imperialist interests and of Asian regional hegemony, post-socialist and now-capitalist China has no problem assisting reactionary regimes like the Philippines in their counter-insurgency campaigns against revolutionary forces.–Frontlines ed.]

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/06/10/philippines-china-sign-military-logistics-deal

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines, a long-time US ally and former colony, said it will sign a logistics supply deal with China to source military equipment to combat domestic security threats, including from Maoist rebels.

General Ricardo David, Chief of Staff of the 130,000-member Armed Forces of the Philippines, will fly on Tuesday to Beijing, where he will meet senior defense and army officials and also tour military facilities, the Philippine military said.

David will sign a defense logistics deal with his counterpart in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila have competing claims. Continue reading

An Analysis of the US Counterinsurgency Guide 2009

US Special Forces training Philippine army

Ang Bayan, Special Issue, September 20, 2010

US Counterinsurgency Guide 2009: Guide to imperialist intervention and aggression and counterrevolutionary war

Executive Committee-Central Committee,
 Communist Party of the Philippines

The US COIN Guide was issued by the US government in January 2009. It presents US imperialism’s current official doctrine in fighting revolutionary armed struggle in colonial and semicolonial countries.

It is allegedly the product of summed-up experiences in implementing “counterinsurgency” in various parts of the globe for the past 40 years and was the result of collaborative efforts of nine US government agencies and/or offices led by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Department of State.

The agencies involved in writing the US COIN Guide 2009 are the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of The Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US Agency for International Development.

Through the document, the US government speaks as a sole superpower and self-appointed international policeman. It unabashedly presents the various types and levels of interference and intervention, which are undertaken with or without the permission of the targeted subject of ‘assistance’ or client government, in the name of fighting “insurgency.”

US imperialism estimates that it is armed revolutions that pose major and growing threats to the US’ international power in the 21st century. With the crash of the international capitalist system in the Long Depression since 2008, the US anticipates the explosion of widespread people’s dissent, armed revolutions and upheavals. US planners also anticipate only a remote possibility that the US will be embroiled in a thoroughly conventional war against other governments in the immediate future. Continue reading

The Long History of America’s Dark Side

[In recent times, it has become difficult to avoid seeing the words “counter-insurgency” which are used as if this is something new in the US’ book of war strategies.  But counter-insurgency was developed long ago, updated periodically, and used in wars of conquest, occupation, colonialism, neo-colonialism, plunder and ethnic cleansing.  While the US has been a major force developing the strategy and applying it, it has also been used by the US’ partners, allies, as well as adapted by its competitors and imperialist challengers, both old and new.  This article from Consortiumnews.com, traces some of the US history of this strategem.-ed.]

By Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry
October 7, 2010

There is a dark — seldom acknowledged — thread that runs through U.S. military doctrine, dating back to the early days of the Republic.

This military tradition has explicitly defended the selective use of terror, whether in suppressing Native American resistance on the frontiers in the 19th Century or in protecting U.S. interests abroad in the 20th Century or fighting the “war on terror” over the last decade.

The American people are largely oblivious to this hidden tradition because most of the literature advocating state-sponsored terror is carefully confined to national security circles and rarely spills out into the public debate, which is instead dominated by feel-good messages about well-intentioned U.S. interventions abroad.

Over the decades, congressional and journalistic investigations have exposed some of these abuses. But when that does happen, the cases are usually deemed anomalies or excesses by out-of-control soldiers.

 

American colonists gave smallpox-infested blankets to the indigenous, in an early form of germ warfare/counter-insurgency

But the historical record shows that terror tactics have long been a dark side of U.S. military doctrine. The theories survive today in textbooks on counter-  insurgency warfare, “low-intensity” conflict and “counter-terrorism.” Continue reading

Guatemala: A Test Tube of Repression

"Voices of Justice" by Mark Vallen (1989), poster created for the Guatemalan Information Center

consortiumnews.com

By Robert Parry (A Special Report)

October 3, 2010

Last week’s grotesque revelation about American public health doctors infecting nearly 700 Guatemalans with venereal disease to test penicillin from 1946-48 marked just the start of the U.S. government’s post-World War II abuse of that Central American country.

Indeed, as troubling as the VD experiments were, U.S. administrations from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan would do much worse, treating Guatemala as a test tube for Cold War counterinsurgency experiments that led to the slaughter of some 200,000 people, including genocide against Mayan Indian tribes.

Guatemala’s special place as Washington’s experimental lab for repression began in 1954 when President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to try out new psychological warfare strategies in destabilizing and removing Guatemala’s democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz.

Arbenz had offended U.S. business and government leaders by implementing a land reform project that threatened the massive holdings of United Fruit and by letting leftists compete within the political process.

The CIA ousted Arbenz with a combination of clever propaganda and armed insurrection, leading to a series of repressive military dictatorships that further radicalized Guatemala’s indigenous poor and urban intellectuals. Continue reading

Philippines: CPP criticizes Aquino counter-insurgency budget for 2011

Military officials escort Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III after reviewing troops during his inauguration as the 15th President of the Philippines in Manila June 30, 2010.

http://www.philippinerevolution.net

September 15, 2010

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today sternly criticized the P1.64 trillion budget proposal of the Aquino government for 2011 calling it “a counterinsurgency budget.” The CPP pointed out its “counterinsurgency” framework and priority, especially as it gives first place to beefing up the military and other state security agencies alongside debt servicing.

The CPP pointed to the “unprecedented 81% increase” in the budget for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), “a clear endorsement of the fascist terror being sown by the military in its counter-revolutionary war of suppression.”

“Aquino is doubling the budget of the AFP in complete disregard of its gross violations of human rights, notably the ten year bloody Oplan Bantay Laya military campaign,” said the CPP. “Aquino’s proposed 2011 budget is principally a ‘counter-insurgency’ budget framed in accordance with the US Counterinsurgency Guide,” said the CPP. “He has only shown utter contempt for the plight of hundreds of thousands of victims of military abuses, including those who have been extrajudicially killed, forcibly abducted and disappeared, illegally detained, tortured, harassed, forcibly evacuated from their homes and terrorized by military and other armed agents of the state.” Continue reading