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NightWatch 20110823

NightWatch

For the Night of 23 August 2011

India: The Indian Army is planning to deploy a mountain strike corps with two new divisions of 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers headquartered in Zakama in Nagaland and Missamari in Assam, Press Trust of India reported on 23 August. Senior army sources said the army is in talks with the governments of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar states to build the mountain corps headquarters. The Army also is planning to deploy ultra-light howitzers and light tanks along the Line of Actual Control in Sikkum and Arunachal Pradesh.

Comment: This is the latest announcement in a series over the past two years that indicates the government continues the incremental, long term buildup of Indian forces opposite China.

Pakistan: Pakistan's Sindh provincial government decided to launch "surgical" operations in all the restive areas of Karachi, according to the Sindh Provincial Information Minister. The minister said political pressure would not be tolerated and the strikes would be carried out indiscriminately, adding that all coalition parties in the province have agreed to the operations.

Comment: Press services reported more than 300 people were killed in ethnic and political fighting in July.  Since 1 August the death toll is 250 already, indicating it will exceed the July total.

The Sindh Provincial administration's actions appear intended to avert Pakistan Army intervention. The provincial authorities are probably not capable of "surgical" operations, as described. If this province-level surge by police and paramilitary police fails, Army intervention will occur sooner.

Libya: Qadhafi said on Wednesday that his withdrawal from his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters in Tripoli was a "tactical move" after the compound was leveled by 64 NATO air strikes.

Speaking in an address on a local Tripoli radio station, which was reported by Al-Orouba TV, broadcasting in conjunction with Al-Rai TV, Qadhafi also vowed "martyrdom" or victory in his fight against NATO.

The Libyan rebel National Transitional Council will move its headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli by 25 August, a rebel spokesman said.

Comment: Qadhafi admitted he has moved from his customary seat of authority, Bab al-Asiziya. As for his leadership bravado, Qadhafi is a coward. He surrendered or sold his nuclear weapons program to the UK and the US in order to avoid an allied attack comparable to that against Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003.

End of NightWatch for 23 August.

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