CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 08th-December, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


08th Dec, 2017

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Capital crisis {International}

(The Hindu)


Context

By recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the U.S. has endangered the peace process

Why in news?

President Trump’s move reversed decades of US policy on one of the thorniest issues between Israel and Palestinians.

He has announced the US will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

BackgroundRelated image

The peace process

This has been in effect at death’s door since the former secretary of state John Kerry’s peace mission ended in failure in 2014. But the international community – apart from the US – is united in saying recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is disastrous for any hopes of reviving meaningful talks.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the pivotal issues that diplomats and peacemakers have said must be agreed between the two parties in negotiations.

  • Israel built its seat of power in West Jerusalem decades ago and occupied the East during the 1967 war, and later annexed it.
  • Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state. Even though there is a Congressional resolution in the U.S. urging Washington to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, previous
  • American Presidents avoided doing so given the legal, ethical and political implications of the issue, besides their commitment to a negotiated two-state settlement.

The city was not part of Israel in the original 1947 UN plan to partition Palestine. Jerusalem, which was supposed to be ruled by an international trusteeship, was conquered by Israel. This is why the UN has not recognised it as Israel’s capital.

Why is declaring Jerusalem the capital such a big deal?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For years, US policy has been to avoid declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, as the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital. It was argued that a unilateral decision would break with international consensus and prejudge an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations.

History

The United Nations partition plan drawn up in 1947 envisaged Jerusalem as a separate “international city.” But the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence one year later left the city divided.

When fighting ended in 1949, the armistice border — often called the Green Line because it was drawn in green ink — saw Israel in control of the western half, and Jordan in control of the eastern half, which included the famous Old City.


Underwater reinforcements {Defence}

(The Hindu)


Context

50th anniversary of the Indian Navy’s submarine arm

Acquisition plan

Admiral Lanba detailed an ambitious acquisition plan for the Indian Navy that includes six diesel electric Scorpene-class submarines; three SSBNs (nuclear-propelled submarines equipped with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile) to follow INS Arihant; and six SSNs (nuclear-propelled submarines) used in an attack role.

Background

India acquired its first submarine, the INS Kalvari, on December 8, 1967, six years after the Navy acquired its first aircraft carrier in 1961.

India is the first country in the world to move straight to designing and building an SSBN, without moving up the scale from conventional boats and then SSNs.

Recent accidents

The most recent accident is that of the Argentine Navy’s submarine, the San Juan, first reported ‘missing’ on November 15 and now deemed to have been lost with 44 crew members on board, including a lady officer.

Sadly, the Argentine Navy did not have a dedicated DSRV and there is considerable speculation if this tragic loss of lives could have been averted had there not been such an inventory void.

 Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV)

A pressurised capsule meant to rescue sailors from disaster-struck submarines at sea, has made some headway with the completion of technical evaluation of two contenders.

It merits notice that the Navy does not have a dedicated DSRV even as it enters its 51st year and this void will be filled only later in 2018.

Why the delay?

Indian higher defence management ecosystem (from the Cabinet Committee on Security downwards) has resulted in denying the Navy’s submarine arm a critical rescue capability for decades and had a worst-case exigency ever occurred, the price paid would have been very high.


 

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