New Delhi, 15 November 2002

We regularly get feedback from our viewers commenting on the articles put up by us. We present below comments by two of our regular visitors on two articles recently published.

The first contains very articulate comments on the recently announced ‘super carriers construction programme’ by the USA, which appeared in the last edition of our International Watch.

In the second the writer was prompted to react to our article on the writings of Stephen Cohen.

Construction of “Super Carriers”

“If the United States government approves the construction of CVNX series of "super carriers" (aircraft-carriers with 50,000+ tonnage) it will ensure the victory of the more "conservative" section of defence think tanks of United States military circle. (Refer "New Generation Aircraft Carriers for US Navy " International Watch).

For some time the concept of RIMA (Revolution In Military Affairs) forcefully projected by Andrew Marshall is emphasising on the concept of "Arsenal Ship" those are lightly manned and heavily armed alternatives to aircraft-carriers. Serving as mobile missile platforms and capable of semi-submerging themselves for stealthiness, they are to have their required targeting done from remote locations, usually by an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or satellites and appropriate co-ordinates passed to them. Long-range cruise missiles like Tomahawk will then be launched in clusters to decimate the targets.

Still it is perhaps the limitation of an effective area air defence provided by SAMs (Surface-to-Air Missiles) of the arsenal ship, provided a "breathing space" for the supporters of the CVNX (Aircraft-Carrier, Nuclear, eXperimental). CVNX series is to incorporate advanced aircraft launch-and-recovery system such as EMALS (Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System) being developed by Kaman Electromagnetics and possibly an internal-combustion catapult system fuelled by JP-5 jet fuel.

In spite of proliferation of precision-guided munitions and missiles and supported by increasingly accurate GPS (Global Positioning System) guidance, the United States Navy retains faith on their super carriers for strike and area air defence missions. They consider it still relatively invulnerable for its ability to move and manoeuvre in contrast to fixed military installations. It is reasonable to assume that until the advent of more advanced ships based SAMs and UACVs (Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles) capable of conducting autonomous air-interception missions, aircraft-carriers will remain the primary surface combatants for diverse missions.



Cohen's Article

Dear Sir,

These are some of the random thoughts that came to my mind after going thru Cohen's article. I would like to contest his theory that the idea of Pakistan was or is to provide intellectual/religious leadership to the Islamic world besides a home for Ex-Indian Muslims. I would say the second one is true but the first one was propagated only after having failed to reconquer India (mostly North).

Pakistan does not have the historical, geographic, cultural and intellectual attributes to play a leading role in Islamic world. Even the great Muslim rulers/emperors of India did not show such pretensions and were happy with what they could receive from India and its people. The only religious contributions to Islam from Indian Muslims were –– Deen-e-IIahi by Akbar and Sufism by great Muslim saints, both were derived from Indian history, culture and religious ethos.

Pakistan in its fifty years of existence or the local people of geographic Pakistan, have never produced any great Islamic scholar nor do they have any worthwhile school of Islamic learning where except for the Taliban, anybody else would like to come. Whereas undivided India produced some great learned men of letters and religion –– Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulana Azad, Dr Zakir Hussein –– to name a few. 

All worthwhile centres of Islam or Muslims –– Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Constantinople, Iraq and Iran, in their heyday wanted to come and conquer India even when it was ruled by Muslims. In fact they never gave any significance to Indian Muslims as a people considering them as mostly converts and off-shoots of Indian culture. Hence, propagating the idea of assuming leadership of Islamic world by the military rulers of Pakistan has never cut any ice except that the Anglo-American Axis has used it to their advantage.

Out of this failure came the idea of acquiring military power (paramountcy) in which Pakistan has partly succeeded thanks to the Nuclear bomb and missiles stealthily obtained from China and N Korea, with the Americans turning a blind eye for their own short-term gains. Short-term indeed, for the time has now come to rue.

It is Pakistan which now has the making of the centre of Islamic terrorism, a failed state and people who will provide the place, wherewithal and identity to the likes of Bin Laden. Why the US needs Pakistan is not so much for its designs in Afghanistan or the oil but to be in a controlling/regulating position (physically in Pakistan) lest the West or Christianity suffers grievously. 

Well established civilizations have a knack to survive, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran will all come to compromising positions if and when the Bush doctrine gets going. Would the Taliban and Al Qaeda of Pakistan do! They will only get disseminated into their age-old tribal sects and feel the least of the losers, as historically they are nothing more than that, sans Indian culture which in different forms and times flourished in their lands.”

P K Jain


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