The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Monday Morning Linkage

February 11, 2013

Egyptian ducklingsGood Morning, here’s your linkages… Let’s start the week in South Asia:


  • General Allen, the 15th of 16 commanders of ISAF in a dozen years, is  delusional if he really thinks ISAF is on the road to victory in Afghanistan as he exits to become the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.  Unless of course, by the word “victory” he just means handing the ball off to the Afghans while the insurgency continues and the country crumbles.  Notably, the transfer of power from Gen. Allen to Gen. Dunford was held indoors and President Karzai didn’t even bother to show.


  • Remember when Nixon and Kissinger continued to support West Pakistan as it carried out a systematic genocide in East Pakistan in 1971? No? Hmm…  The Bangladeshis haven’t forgotten what happened or who the local collaborators were more than 40 years later.  And who can blame them?


  • The Broadsword blog reports that India will probably purchase 126 Rafale fighter jets by mid-2013.   108 of the jets will be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).  Indian built aircraft, including the Tejas light combat aircraft, were increasingly prominent at this year’s Aero India 2013.  My hunch is that Cohen & Dasgupta are not impressed by any of this.
  • Russia is particularly unhappy with India’s new tilt to the West in purchasing fighter jets and other military equipment, even though Russia has $7 billion in contracts with India’s defense establishment, including 222 Su-30 combat aircraft and 1,500 battle tanks, and an agreement to co-develop a 5th generation fighter jet.


  • Dan Drezner is correct: Gwadar is not a real pearl.  But it was supposed to be Western China’s doorstep to the world.  Well that was the plan a decade ago anyway.  If one wants to figure out if China still has any pearls left to string, I’d recommend starting with the Seychelles…. I will be happy to go and ..err.. do “research” there if anyone will pay.
  • Officials insist that the new $30 million amusement park in Abbottabad will not be called Bin Ladenland.  Bin Ladenistan, however …
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Vikash is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. His main areas of academic interest are (post-) globalization, economic development, and economic freedom, with a regional focus on South Asia