Friday, May 14, 2010

Jairam Ramesh and the assassin's mace

This write up deals with Cyber/ Electronic Warfare. It will be of great interest to Signal Officers

Bhaskar Roy | 2010-05-13 20:17:36
What Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in Beijing on the evening of May 8 must alarm India's security establishment.

For no apparent reason, Ramesh told a group of journalists that the policies of the Home and Defence Ministries, and other Indian security agencies towards China were "overly defensive", "alarmist" and "paranoid", and could freeze relations between the two countries.

Jairam Ramesh was talking about unverified reports that the Chinese telecommunication company Huawei technologies was being blocked from expanding its business because of India's Home Ministry and other security agencies. Ramesh came across as acting as an advocate of China or its telecommunication company.

Ramesh offers to resign, PM turns it down
China's telecommunication and informatization warfare is known as the "Assassin's Mace" weapon. This is an ancient warfare tactic, where an agent is embedded in an adversary's nerve center, to act on remote-controlled signal.

The US had done this through export of electronically controlled oil pipeline control systems in Russia. They also used the tactic during the first Iraq war, and neutralized Saddam Hussein's electronic and computer command-and-communications equipment, supplied earlier by US companies.

More by Bhaskar Roy
The same thing can be done with electronically-operated port and airport facilities, including waterworks. This does not mean India has to close everything to foreign participation. But decisions must be taken on companies and countries that have suspect track records.

The other question that raises red flags is why China is so insistent on access to India's telecommunication sector, ports and airports, and projects along the borders.

The Chinese have sophisticated ways of finding out the weaknesses of foreign interlocutors, and using these to influence them. Their methods include using women, wining and dining, paying attention to the interlocutor's frustrations and pampering his or her ego. "You are the greatest and you are our friend, and you can do it for both of us", is a popular line.
Jairam Ramesh needs to study China's strategy of deception. Thanks to his gaffe, India has been severely harmed.

Bhaskar Roy, who retired recently as a senior government official with decades of national and international experience, is an expert on international relations and Indian strategic interests.

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Jairam Ramesh and the assassin's mace

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