“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 14, 2007

India Subscribes to Star Wars

Our world is changing at a mind numbing pace, whether it be in science, economics, technology or in this case, military power. India, through a new missile defense program is taking a step that puts her in line to be a super regional military power. This cannot go unnoticed and not responded to by China, Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Iran and many of the increasingly super wealthy Gulf States. It has major implications for US Asian strategy.

A country with great defensive power tangentially achieves a greater offensive capability. It is not clear to me that there is anything the US should or could do about these changes. It highlights the futility of a contemplated military strike against Iran for the purpose of eliminating any nuclear weapons system. Advanced military equipment is too widely available and spreading to countries that would have been incomprehensible to military planners a generation ago. It is a very sobering development. This article from the left leaning Guardian is obviously opposed to any missile defense programs but gives a good brief synopsis of the implications of the program.

India 'Star Wars' plan risks new arms race

· Missile defence would protect big cities by 2010
· Plan revealed as Pakistan tests short-range missile

Randeep Ramesh, South Asia correspondent
Friday December 14, 2007
The Guardian

India aims to have a missile defence system able to track and shoot down incoming warheads by 2010, scientists in the capital announced yesterday, in a move that analysts say could spark a new arms race in the region.
The announcement would see India join an elite club of countries that have such military capabilities - with the US, Russia and Israel. It came just days after Pakistan tested a cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

India's top military scientist, Dr VK Saraswat of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation, said: "If I keep quiet and wait for [a missile] to fall on my city and then start sending my own deterrent missile ... a lot of damage is done. It is essential you have a system which will first take on that kind of a threat.
"Because we have a ballistic missile defence system ... a country which has a small arsenal will think twice before it ventures," he added, in an apparent reference to nuclear-armed rival Pakistan.

Last week the Indian military demonstrated its missile defence systems by shooting down a warhead off its east coast. Saraswat said that within three years, major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai would be under a protective shield.

India is also beefing up its armoury. It has announced a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 3,700 miles - far enough to hit Beijing or Rome.

Analysts say Pakistan's rapid build-up of short- and medium-range missiles is of special concern to India despite an ongoing peace process between the two.

K Subrahmanyan, a writer on defence issues, said that India needed to raise the "uncertainty levels for Pakistan".

"Pakistan is acquiring advanced missile technology from China. No missile defence system is perfect, but if we can knock out three out of every five warheads, it means our adversary has to fire more rockets. It is a means of deterrence."

Analysts in Pakistan say such thinking is hastening an arms race. "The first impulse is to ask how does Pakistan get [a missile defence system]," said Ayesha Siddiqa, a defence analyst. "The next will be to increase the number of missiles to make sure it has enough to evade the shield."

Other countries are also racing to develop "Star Wars" technologies. This year, after Tokyo saw North Korea test ballistic missiles and conduct a nuclear test, Japan's parliament authorised $2.5bn (£1.3bn) to develop a missile defence system. The US, which has run 36 missile defence tests since 2001, has authorised an annual spend of a half a trillion dollars on a missile shield.

There are no indications of the cost of the Indian missile defence system, but many analysts say there are better uses for India's money. "The US can afford such follies, but a developing country like India cannot," said Bharat Karnad from Delhi's Centre for Policy Research. "We should be getting more missiles, not finding ways of shooting them down."


  1. Advanced military equipment is too widely available and spreading to countries that would have been incomprehensible to military planners a generation ago.

    But there's one thing money can't buy (not even tall oil money like Putin or Ahmedinejad has), and that's actual combat experience. The US Air Force and Naval aviation maintain supremacy in the skies and can deliver a bomb to a single house of cowering bad guys while leaving the other ones on the same block standing. And in all of human history, no one will ever duplicate the astonishing sixty-year long, continuous and nightly performance of the Navy air crews on each carrier who can put a whole wing of fighters into the air in a few minutes, and recover them just as rapidly, even when the tiny little slab of metal the pilots are supposed to land on is heaving up and down, left and right with 20 degree rolls.

    On the ground, our troops adapt. Hugh Hewitt accompanied a squad through a Marine simulation of a Baghdad neighborhood, complete with rubber bullets, and he was impressed with how many decisions the sergeant had to make for himself and the other guys in just 15 or 20 minutes. And the sergeant wasn't even aware of it. Hewitt saw this intensity, which the Marines call being in the "Yellow Zone" of peak awareness and was astonished that a typical day for each Marine was to spend six or seven hours in that frame of mind and level of activity. He said these remarkable men were going to come back home to infiltrate American life and influence politics in ways that we cannot imagine, and for the better.

  2. David Dhreir was on Miller today saying he will co-author a free trade agreement with India.
    (he just got back)
    One example:
    India currently has a 35% tariff on Calif Macademia Nuts!

  3. My note to Rudy:

    A "Path to Citizenship" will lose many votes, including mine.

    Such a plan would result in a permanent Democrat Majority.

    Thank you,

  4. Against all odds (according to conventional wisdom) a Republican won in a hostile district in
    O H I O
    running on a tough on illegals platform.
    Glory be!
    The tide is turning:
    GWB and 'Rat may yet not get their dream Union of the Americas!

  5. Oklahoma's tough new law on illegals passed another Federal Court Test yesterday.
    Watch others follow.

  6. "The US can afford such follies, but a developing country like India cannot," said Bharat Karnad from Delhi's Centre for Policy Research. "We should be getting more missiles, not finding ways of shooting them down."

    That is such a better option for peace and prosperity. More missiles, greater throw weights?

    The US cannot "do" much of anything about Indian decisions, nor Pakistani for that matter, but cut their subsidies.

    It does seem, though, that the largest democracy in the World is nervous about its' neighbor.
    Much like the Israeli and Iran. But the Pakistani already are armed up, there for are a greater real time threat to World Peace.

    The Pakistani support terrorists, in Warizistan, Kashmere and Afghanistan. A real time threat.

    Not one off three to ten years in the future. Pakistan, a nuclear sponor of terror, funded by the United States of America.

    The Paki response to India's defensive capacity, build greater offenseive capability.

    Funded by the billions USD we subsidize the Pakistani with.

    All in the pursuit of peace.

  7. Desert Rat: Not one off three to ten years in the future. Pakistan, a nuclear sponor of terror, funded by the United States of America.

    Pakistan has been in the billion dollar "Looking For Osama" business since 2001, and business has never been better. Its quite a reliable business model, as long as Osama stays on the Pakistan side of the border protected by the very troops that are supposed to "look" for him.

  8. Immigration reshapes politics everywhere

    If there was any doubt about the fearsome power of an anti-immigration message in American politics this election cycle, Republican Bob Latta drove a stake through it on Tuesday.

    It’s hard to imagine a more miserable political climate for Republicans — hurting nationally because of the unpopularity of President Bush and the Iraq war, and even more in Ohio because of the economy and local factors that have knocked the GOP off its game over the past two years.

    But Latta, running in a special election for a suburban Toledo-based House district, crafted a message — echoed by party officials — that bashed illegal immigrants who live here, drive here or get government-funded health care.

    He won by 14 points. Democrats and Republicans alike credit the immigration message for the big margin.

    It’s already clear this result is no anomaly. For all the commentary about immigration, the full depth of the issue has yet to sink in to most of this year’s election analysis. Simply put: No other issue has ricocheted with more unpredictable impact across more races at more levels.

    So far, the politicians of both parties seared by immigration politics far outnumber those like Latta who have benefited. This issue is the political equivalent of juggling with loaded guns.

    Let’s start counting victims:

  9. Doug: Oklahoma's tough new law on illegals passed another Federal Court Test yesterday. Watch others follow.

    What amazes me is the necessity to pass a law against illegals. Because I thought illegals were lawbreakers already. Isn't it a bit like passing a law requiring the police to start arresting criminals?

  10. Thank God for those massive Demonstrations, complete w/Mexican Flags!
    Immigration at front and center of GOP race
    Primary voters say issue is among most important problems facing country.

    More than three-quarters of Republican primary voters described illegal immigration as a “very serious” problem for the country in the latest nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll, which was conducted Dec. 5-9. Fewer than half of Democratic primary voters described the issue as very serious.

  11. It underscores the rationality of aborting the baby in the womb, or suffocating it in it's crib, rather than allowing the misbegotten being from growing up to perversely spread its own progeny across more of the globe.

    I'm a pessimist on these matters. I don't think mankind can handle this in the long run.

  12. T,
    Yeah, it's called a wake-up call to the corrupt perverts in Washington.

  13. Is that the message you give your daughter, Albob?

  14. I noticed that Ohio election too. The dems may not have the cakewalk they desire.

    The inexorable spread of all this weaponry puts me in a bum mood, I admit, Doug.

  15. The inexorable spread of humanity puts me in a bum mood!
    Vote Green!
    Join the Sierra Club!
    Wear a double condom.

  16. The voters of Europe have turned down the "Greater EU", doug, but it marches on, regardless.

    Take on Wal-Mart, CitiBank and Chase, if you want.

    Try to turnback the hands of time.

    As here in AZ, laws can be passed, and then not funded. There are many Federal laws on the books concerning the border and immigration.

    Enforcement of laws, both old and new, not rhetoric, is the key.
    If the choice is between Ms Clinton or Mr Obama and Rudy, you gonna stay home?

    The President does not write the laws, just enforces them, when he or she wants.
    If your main concern is future security, then I advise Rudy as opposed to Clinton.

    But that is for each voter, legal or illegal to decide for themselves. The priorities of each candidate on the various issues is a matter of personal perspective, both the candidates and the voter's.

    Rudy just may secure the border, Ms Clinton or Mr Obama ... not a snowballs chance in hell of that.

    As it took twenty years, from the 1986 "reform", to get the twenty million illegals here, best case scenario they will not migrate back faster then they came. Not a chance, I've talked to a few, they'll not leave on their own, not the vast majority. At least until the per capita GDP of Mexico reaches around $25,000 per year, as Mr Fox discussed with Larry King.

    Human nature, doug, they're not walking back to poverty, no siree bob.

    How many detention camps are you willing fund, the US already leads the world in incarcerating people,

    Amerika, the land of prisons, holding the brave.

    701 prisoners per 100,000 residents

    Blowing by Mr Putin's authoritive "Police State".

    Build more detention camps, we'll be needing them.

  17. Make that:
    Make THEM wear a double condom!

  18. Rat:
    Where is the logic in
    "Since they are here and will be here, we MUST MAKE THEM CITIZENS?"

  19. Untermenschen would be a LARGE step up for the exploited illegals.
    Could even arrange for licenses, insurance, and etc.
    (Untermenschen used for effect to demo present conditions:
    Slavery would do to.
    From that to a recognized status not to include citizenship, seems obvious, to me.)

  20. Cut the funds flowing to Mexico from the Mexican workers in the US, you'll get more Mexicans coming to the US.

    Unless the borders are secured.

    Who, amongst the current crew of candidates will do that?

    The illegals already in the country, a different issue entirely.

  21. Dhreier says India will pass China to become the most populous country on earth.

  22. (addressed in my previous post)

  23. I've never endorsed making them citizens, doug.

    I have endorsed "regularization" or "legalization". Which is not the same as "citizenship".

    But that is for Congress to decide, not the President. Though a President may lead, the Congress often does not follow.
    The Dems, while perhaps not obtaining a filibuster proof Senate, will not lose their majorities. They will follow where Ms Clinton leads, Ms Clinton, a Wal-Mart Director for many years.

    That tells the real tale of where she would take US. NAFTA under her husband, SPP under Bush, she will not "walk US back" from those policies. She is a Boner, to the core.

  24. I watched an incarnation of Angra Manyu bumping off folks with a cattle gun in No Country For Old Men, an understatement, yesterday, put me in a bum mood. Some of it filmed around Las Vegas, New Mexico.
    The antelope were pretty, anyways.

    Dhreier says India will pass China to become the most populous country on earth.

    Put birth control in the wheat shipments, we always used to say.

  25. Rather than further spread my gloom, I'm heading to the shower, and have a couple letters to write. Later. Stay happy! :)

  26. "she will not "walk US back" from those policies. She is a Boner, to the core."
    Bubba got high marks from Rush and many other on NAFTA.
    F..... Morons!
    I think Barry has her squarely in his sights now:
    That engaging smile in the Debates will be the one he wears when he engages Hillary in a terminal way.

  27. Rudy was still for a "Pathway to Citizenship" last time I heard.
    Highly Unfortunate.

  28. What if we all chip in and buy poor AlBobAl a DVD of
    "Dr. Strangelove"
    for Xmas?

  29. I want to cancel my subscription to the North American Union,
    the day King George is removed from office.

  30. I would not disagree, but we are a long way to implementation of any path to citizenship proposal.

    The status que is a known disaster.

    To regressive a policy will destabilize Mexico, which would be worse, for US, than legalizing the illegals already here.

    Civil disturbances in Iraq, a country of 20 million folk produced 2 million refugees that fled the country.

    Mexico a country over five times that size is already on the brink of civil disturances on the same magnitude. Cut the already meager incomes of most Mexicans, by stopping the dispersals of US earned income, there'll be another revolution.
    Creating upwards of 10 million refugees without batting an eye, they won't be going to Guatemala, to escape the violence.

  31. Who wants to do that?
    Just don't make them citizens!

  32. If Barry really does shoot down Hillary, what will be the fallout to the Marriage Arranged in Hope?
    Won't be pretty, I'd bet!

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Doug said...
    Verbal abuse from him to her,
    household furnishings from her to him.
    Just a guess.

  35. Rudy was still for a "Pathway to Citizenship" last time I heard.

    That's the Highway to Hell.

  36. King George may go, but the Union forever! Hoorah, boys Hoorah!!!

    We've already absorbed half of what once was Mexico, why think we'd stop, satisfied with only half the loaf, when the next slice beckons?

    Why think that in a "Clash of Civilizations" the Mexicans would beat US? They're outnumbered three to one, out earned four to one, per capita. And we have three times as many capitas ...
    A twelve to one advantage, economicly.

    Does the lack of confidence now run so deep within US that we fear Mexico and Mexicans.

    We need to reach down and make sure there are still cajones in the US package.
    Intimidated by the Mexicans, what would Jim Bowie and the boys think of that?

  37. DR: Creating upwards of 10 million refugees without batting an eye, they won't be going to Guatemala, to escape the violence.

    Why go to Guatemala when you can come here, get a driver's license in Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wisconsin, and use that to vote. You just got to remember not to say "si" when they ask if you're a citizen, but that's not too hard.

  38. you have to vote? ola ... the burdens of citizenship come with the benefits senor. God forbid those subects should be taxed!

  39. Natan Sharanski on Meet The Press:

    "You don't need to fight them. You simply need to stop supporting them."

  40. The World Bank monies are still flowing, despite the rhetoric about Iran.

    Tasty pudding, not to be confused with a real problem.

    As for Mr Sharanski of France, his rhetoric does not match French actions. He is wrong, it's not "You" talkin' about US, it's HIM, as he represents France and the EU.

    The credits are essentially government-underwritten insurance policies that lower the risks for firms doing business abroad.
    Washington has pressed the EU, particularly Germany, France and Italy, the largest granters of export credits, to scale back incentives for trading with Iran. But the EU resisted pressure, arguing that its firms would be disproport-ionately affected by sanctions because of the US� long-standing trade embargo against Iran.
    In 2005, Germany�s underwriting commitment for export credits totalled �5.8bn. In Italy the figure was �4.5bn, France �1bn, Austria �800 million and the UK �111m. Many credits cover goods and equipment for use in Iran�s petrochemicals industry.
    Sources say that while Germany and the UK could be willing to reduce export credits to Iran, there is little sign of Italy or France doing the same.

    Then the following Iranian trade numbers from 2006 prove the point that Mr Sharanski is wrong, it's not US that has to stop supporting them, it's HIM and HIS that have the power to stop the support.

    Top Countries For Iranian Exports (2006)

    The following list shows the top nine customers for Iran's exports. In 2006, Iran shipped US$63.2 billion worth of exports in total.

    Japan ... US$10.7 billion (16.9% of total Iranian exports)
    China ... $7.1 billion (8.3%)
    Italy ... $3.8 billion (6%)
    South Korea ... $3.7 billion (5.8%)
    Turkey ... $2.9 billion (5.7%)
    Netherlands ... $2.8 billion (4.6%)
    France ... $2.6 billion (4.4%)
    South Africa ... $2.6 billion (4.1%)
    Taiwan ... $2.6 billion (4.1%)
    The above trade partners consumed about 63% of Iran's total exports. Asian countries purchased close to 40%.

    Top Countries From Which Iran Imports (2006)

    Iran imported some US$45.5 billion worth of mostly manufactured goods from the following countries.

    Germany ... $6.3 billion (13.9% of total Iranian imports)
    United Arab Emirates ... $3.9 billion (8.4%)
    China ... $3.8 billion (8.3%)
    Italy ... $3.2 billion (7.1%)
    France ... $2.9 billion (6.3%)
    South Korea ... $2.5 billion (5.4%)
    Russia ... $2.2 billion (4.9%)

    Just more blather, by a Frenchman.

  41. On a "Good News" note.

    The Senate PASSED the Energy Bill with a 36 BILLION GALLONS/YR RFS.

    Only 15 Billion can come from Corn. This is Great News for "US," and Horrible News for Big Oil.

    Even a "Blind" Sow finds an Acorn, sometimes. :)

  42. Doug
    Dhreier says India will pass China to become the most populous country on earth.

    That's a no brainer. China's one-child per family policy gives them an effective birthrate of 1. The birthrate necessary to maintain a stable population is 2.1. India's birth rate is 2.5 so they will continue to grow while China becomes a nation of old people and declining population.

    It's more than a little ironic that the European elites are establishing their super state now, given the fact they are not reproducing anywhere replacement levels while their (largely) Muslim immigrant population continues to grow. Don Feder describes the future outlook for them.

    In terms of population replacement, Europe is going out of business. Of the 10 nations with the lowest fertility rates worldwide, 9 are in Europe. No European nation has anything approaching a replacement-level birthrate.
    Overall, the European fertility rate is 1.3. (Remember, a fertility rate of 2.1 is needed just to maintain stability – no growth or decline)...

    By and large, those inhabitants of Germany, Belgium and France who are having large families are immigrants from the Third World – mostly Muslims. Europe once was called Christendom. The call that Europeans of the future will heed won’t be church bells, but the muezzin’s call to prayer from the neighborhood mosque. Even now, there are more mosques than churches in southern France.
    In half-a-century or less, Europe will be populated by strangers, who will wander by the continent’s cathedrals, museums, statues and battlefield monuments wondering what it all meant.

  43. More Good News!

    H/T Gateway Pundit

  44. :) dRat,

    Natan Sharanski is an Israeli MK, an ex-Soviet Jewish dissident, and a "NeoCon". He made that comment, which I think is cosmically piercing in its profound insight, in the context of explaining how President Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union, and how we should go about defeating dictatorships and in particular Jihadi dictatorships.

    "You don't need to fight them. You simply need to stop supporting them."

  45. Not the French President, aye?

    I'd agree with that sentiment, but the numbers stand in evidence of just who is supporting the Iranians.

    I'd sanction more of them, from the Sudanese to the Pakistani, instead of subsidizing these dictators.

    Britain is a major trade partner, with the exports of goods to Sudan rising by 52% in 2005 and again by 11% to �155m in 2006. Main exports included power generating equipment, industrial machinery, road vehicles, petrol products and chemicals.

    The country's two prime markets are agriculture production, which has expanded at the rate of 8.5% per year over the last decade, and oil, which is in bountiful supply and has been a major source of economic growth. Sudan is the only oil producing East African country. It has huge reserves and is poised for an oil boom.

  46. dRat,

    Jihadi oil is as valuable as we wish it to be. And there's no reason why we can't make that Jihadi oil completely valueless.

  47. It's not just "we", amigo, look at the list.

    "We" could turn off the jihadi spigot, tomorrow, the money would still flow to those countries.

    In fact it would accelerate in its' velocity, as the resulting market turmoil priced it even higher.

    The US only buys oil from one truely jihadist nation, Saudi Arabia, 1.4 million barrels per day, year to date.
    Kuwait and Libya are on the list, but both are now compliant to US demands, besides they supply US less than 200,000 barrels per day, combined. Iraq, which delivers 494,000 barrels per day is now a colony, not jihadist at all.

    The balance of US oil imports are fom non-jihadist sources.

    So, again, it is out of our hands.

    Talk to the Europeans, Indians, Japanese and Chinese, if montetary soft power is going to be imposed upon them.

    It's a strawman issue, for US.

  48. dRat,

    It's not a straw man issue. Even Republican Presidential candidates finally acknowledge that decoupling oil from our collective energy supplies is a national security issue.

  49. As for the Europeans Indians Japanese Chinese, etc., they will figure out the same soon enough.

  50. They make the case, now, because it sounds good to the electorate, but the numbers don't lie.

    The jihadi are not being financed by US, cept for the Sauds, and even there others buy as much as US.

    We do not control the oil markets with our 25% world share of consumption. Especially oil produced in mussulman lands, which we have, for the most part, already weaned ourselves of.

    The Saudis being as good a set of allies as the Israeli, if measured by arms sales.

    Proof's in the tasty pudding.

  51. Get OFF that good news kick, Rufus, you know it doesn't go down well here :)

    But I agree with you, there IS some good news.

  52. We do not control the oil markets with our 25% world share of consumption..

    No. The oil market controls us. We've allowed every sphere of society to be corrupted by Jihadi influence peddling. Jihadis have us blindly mouthing their propaganda and blindly doing their biding.

  53. Not so fast, Bob!

    The energy bill, even if passed, talks about a 15 year time horizon. That's code for it will never get done. :)