Saturday, 13 December 2014

Defence Minister Parrikar gives window into his thinking --- likely to allow arms agents, impose steep fines for wrongdoing

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 13th Dec 14

Publicly enunciating his impending policy initiatives, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar indicated today he could soon allow defence companies to have representatives in India; impose financial penalties on errant vendors rather than blacklisting them; and focus procurement on giving soldiers essential combat kit such as boots.

On the emotive issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP), a key demand of ex-servicemen who are demanding equal pension for retirees of equal rank who served for equal time, Parrikar promised it would come through in four to eight weeks, but retirees would get somewhat less than they hoped for.

On terrorist infiltration from Pakistan, Parrikar promised a policy within six months that would "end or at least reduce these blatant attacks." Significantly, Parrikar echoed the military’s line that India had military options short of full-scale war.

The defence minister spoke at a “conclave” in New Delhi on Friday, organised by the Aaj Tak television channel.

The ministry of defence (MoD) had banned “arms agents”, or representatives of foreign defence suppliers, after the Bofors kickbacks scandal in the late 1980s. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has proposed removing this ban and legalising registered representatives.

Parrikar said, “Whether you call them middlemen or agents or lobbyists or representatives, they should be formalised and legalised."

Endorsing the policy revision initiated by his predecessor, Arun Jaitley, Parrikar pointed out that company representatives served useful purposes, e.g. as a convenient channel of communication between the MoD and the company.

Parrikar warned that doubts about “defence agents” were aroused when their fee structure included a success fee, or a percentage of the contract value.

Instead the ministry would demand that the company submits full information about its representative’s fee structure and method of payment. “We would require a clear agreement, deposited with the MoD in advance with heavy financial penalties if you violate (the agreement).”

Parrikar rejected the blacklisting of companies that violated procurement norms, recommending punitive monetary penalties instead. Citing the example of Italian corporation, Finmeccanica, which faces severe restrictions after the MoD blamed its subsidiary, Agusta Westland, for corruption in the sale of AW-101 VVIP helicopters to India, Parrikar pointed out that Finmeccanica had 39 subsidiaries, some of which were involved in crucial contracts with India.

“Should we rule ourselves out of dealing with all of those 39 subsidiaries? There has to be a clear policy on that,” said the defence minister.

The Finmeccanica companies involved in important MoD acquisitions include marine specialist, WASS (torpedoes); Selex Electronics Systems (radar and communications); Alenia Aeromacchi (aircraft); and Otomelara (naval guns).

Instead of blacklisting, Parrikar suggested that “How much you (the company} violated, pay the Indian government 4-5 times that, only then will you be permitted to participate in defence tenders.”

Parrikar clarified that this was just “loud thinking” and that the actual policy on representatives and blacklisting would be announced in January 2015.

On OROP, Parrikar said the MoD was identifying the financial cost. Estimating that ex-servicemen would get about 80 per cent of their demand, Parrikar said, “100 per cent satisfaction to everyone is never given in real life.”

Parrikar expressed confidence in his own decision-making, declaring that he had the competence to understand complicated matters, isolate key issues and arrive at the right decision.

Implying that his predecessor, AK Antony, did not go into details adequately, Parrikar claimed “I get up early in the morning; I spend half an hour, or an hour reading a complicated file. Once you have good intentions, there can be no questions about the quality of the judgment”, said Parrikar.

However, Parrikar declined to praise Antony for his probity, saying, “Honesty is not a solution”. Instead, what was needed was “decision making ability”.

Parrikar promised he would also bring wrongdoers to book. “You have to get into the muck to clear the muck… I am not scared of going into a room full of dirt. When I come out, I will go into a shower and clean it off,” he declared.

Based on his interaction with soldiers in high-altitude posts, Parrikar says he will give top priority to providing combat essentials like boots to soldiers, even those who were not entitled to the high-quality clothing issued at Siachen Glacier.

“If I can give good boots and equipment in Siachen, why not to these soldiers?” said Parrikar.

Significantly, Parrikar indicated boots etc would be prioritised over high-cost combat platforms. Pointing out that 90 per cent of the procurement budget was already committed towards earlier contracts, he said, “If there are resource (constraints), I will prefer to settle the smaller amounts.”

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Russian roulette: Putin arrives for Indo-Russian summit

Ties between the close allies are fraying as Russia looks to Pakistan

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 11th Dec 14

For most of the past half-century, New Delhi and Moscow have been the closest of geostrategic partners. During India's deep tensions with China in the 1960s, its 1971 war with Pakistan, during Russia's ill-fated occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, through India's military struggle against Pakistan-backed insurrections and in their joint support to the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, New Delhi and Moscow have been able to truthfully declare that there was not the slightest conflict of interest between the two countries. Russia's strategic interests in South Asia were fully met through backing India; while New Delhi's differences with Western capitals during the Cold War, especially Washington D C, kept it onside with Moscow in every important way. Even without a significant trade relationship or people-to-people exchanges, Russia-India cooperation in the strategic defence, space and nuclear power sectors allowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the BRICS summit in July that every child in India knows that Russia is its best friend.

Mr Putin comes to Delhi at a time when this close relationship has begun to fray. Irked perhaps by India's growing relationship with the United States, which recently supplanted Russia as India's top weapons supplier, Moscow has transgressed a major Indian red line with a new arms-supply relationship with Pakistan. In mid-November, Sergei Shoigu became the first Russian defence minister to visit Pakistan since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Islamabad, he signed a military cooperation agreement with Pakistan, declaring that the world “wants to do business with Pakistan now”. There is talk of a sale of Russian military helicopters to Pakistan. Moscow and Islamabad agreed to increase port calls by their respective naval warships, fight terrorism together and, perhaps most galling for New Delhi, work together to stabilise Afghanistan.

Even more worrying for New Delhi is Russia's deepening embrace of China, accelerated by Russia's isolation after its Crimean adventure. Although Moscow is painfully aware of its strategic and economic vulnerability vis-à-vis China, economic need has induced Russia to step up energy supplies to China, and supply arms and sensitive defence technologies that it knows China will quickly absorb, reproduce and even export. Russian technology and equipment previously supplied to China - such as the RD-93 jet engine - were diverted to Pakistan; the RD-93 engine now powers the Pakistan Air Force's JF-17 Thunder fighter.

As Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin sit down together for the 15th Annual India-Russia Summit, they would do well to reflect on ways of resuscitating the “special and privileged strategic partnership”. There are still many common interests that can be built upon. Even as India diversifies its purchase of tactical weapon systems, it looks mainly to Russia for strategic projects like the design and leasing of nuclear submarines; and the co-development and manufacture of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. India remains dependent on Russia for maintaining its huge Russian-supplied arsenal. Even as Moscow signs and negotiates gigantic hydrocarbon supply arrangements with China, it would want to retain a hedge by enhancing supply agreements with India. New Delhi has already pointed out that it refused to endorse western sanctions after Russia's annexation of the Crimea, and declined to apportion blame. New Delhi has announced that the two countries would spell out a joint road map for the next decade.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Rare video footage of Pakistan Army surrender in Bangladesh


Amazing response from a Pakistani brigadier, who was asked what he felt about surrendering, "Part of the game, I suppose", he replied.

It was also "part of the game" to kill half a million Bangladeshis, I suppose!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Confusion in command in Jammu & Kashmir

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 9th Dec 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shocked the army, and possibly alienated it seriously, with his statement in Srinagar on Monday that, under his BJP government, “for the first time in 30 years, the army admitted its mistake.”

Already junior field commanders were simmering at the restraints placed on them by top generals in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In a furious WhatsApp message that whizzed through army networks, junior officers blamed the deaths of eight soldiers in a militant strike near Uri on Friday, on tight operational restraints that were allegedly blunting the combat edge of frontline units.

The perception that unit and sub-unit commanders’ hands are tied is rooted in two recent events. The first is the public admission (referred to by the prime minister) by Lieutenant General DS Hooda, the army’s top general in J&K, that soldiers at an army checkpoint made a mistake in shooting dead two Kashmiri boys on November 3 after their car ran an army check post near Chhattergam village in South Kashmir. An immediate court of inquiry swiftly found nine soldiers culpable and further disciplinary action will follow. The second event on November 15 was the awarding of life sentences by a court martial to five soldiers, including two officers, for cold-bloodedly murdering three innocent Kashmiri men who were cynically labelled terrorists. This perception will only be reinforced by the PM’s ill-advised statement.

In fact, while these events sent a powerful message through the army, there is nothing to support the allegation that soldiers unnecessarily died in the Uri attack because sentries hesitated to shoot at the militants as they approached the army post. The army rightly insists that soldiers manning a vehicle check post on a busy public road in broad daylight should be restrained in opening fire, even when suspicious behaviour is observed. Yet no commander has, or would, demand restraint from a sentry at an isolated post near the Line of Control when he sees figures approaching him during a night curfew. Army media managers have been active on social media, highlighting this crucial difference.

Even so, this has highlighted crucial issues for the army. The first is the contradiction between the generals’ insistence, on the one hand, that the army must operate with restraint, winning over the populace by avoiding collateral damage; while on the other hand demanding a high operational tempo, with the performance of field commanders measured largely in the currency of militants killed. Junior officers are confused and angered by irreconcilable demands for both “kills” and winning hearts and minds.

There is also contradiction between demanding a soft touch from the field; while simultaneously professing that the army cannot operate without the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). This act, which allows even non-commissioned officers to kill on suspicion, was designed for mass insurrection where public order evaporates. To insist upon it in today’s Kashmir sends a confusing message to the frontlines: “If you shoot the wrong person or destroy the wrong house, you are protected against the criminal justice system and the law of the land. But, nevertheless, we will court martial you under military law.”

The bull that nobody wants to take by the horns is the reality that, as long as Kashmir remains a battleground between two opposing sets of heavily armed men, with both sets wary of being attacked any moment, errors like the one at Chhattergam will take place. No army conducts a serious counter-insurgency campaign in a heavily populated area without collateral damage. Mistakes will have to be condoned, or else transform the army’s mission to armed policing.

If the generals were really serious about eliminating collateral damage, they would think seriously about lifting AFSPA from select areas. This would break a negative spiral by boosting public confidence in a positive future; reduce support for armed militancy; and create a climate for progressive demilitarisation; which is the best way to diminish the possibility of damaging errors by the security forces. Operational errors cannot be eliminated by orders from headquarters.

Even as the generals have ignored the possibilities of this virtuous spiral, New Delhi has failed to understand that hard men with guns cannot manage Kashmir forever. The army can only create the security environment for a political settlement, something that it has already done several times at enormous cost. Yet, each time, the opportunity has been squandered through political lassitude; and instead of transforming the Kashmir narrative into a peace dialogue, it has reverted to accusations of human rights violations, fuelled by incidents like Machhil and Chhattergam. The army’s convoluted attempt to retain both AFSPA and restraint stems from its recognition that, while minimising the possibility of collateral damage, it must retain legal cover in case Kashmir goes up in flames.

Thirdly, this has underlined the need for the military to come to terms with social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, which will inevitably become forums for the voices of junior ranks. The army’s top command has long been blessed with a rank and file that keeps its opinions to itself. Today, the anonymity of social media has given a voice to even the most supine juniors. These voices will be increasingly heard over social media unless the army transforms its deeply unequal and hierarchical relationship structures into ones that cater for the expression of dissent over issues like operational restraint. With few signs of democratisation, the army’s media managers need to reflect on how they will manage anonymous dissent. The reflexive urge to restrict social media is unlikely to succeed. Only a vibrant internal discourse that allows a frank exchange of views and an outlet for grievances will prevent those from being increasingly leaked into the public space. Today the junior officers are venting angst; tomorrow it will be the increasingly techno-savvy rank and file. 

HAL trainer aircraft or Pilatus? Govt verdict today

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 9th Dec 14

The moment of truth has arrived in the long running duel between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) over which trainer aircraft should be used for teaching IAF rookies to fly.

Business Standard has learnt that, on Tuesday morning, the ministry of defence (MoD) will hold a special meeting of the apex Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, to definitively choose between their competing demands.

The IAF wants the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 Mark II, while HAL wants to supply the Hindustan Turbo Trainer – 40 (HTT-40) it is developing, which is slated to fly next year. On Thursday, both sides made final presentations before the MoD.

In 2009, the ministry had ruled the IAF would buy 75 trainers from abroad, while HAL developed and built 106 HTT-40 trainers in India, thus meeting the IAF’s need for 181 aircraft. In May 2012, the IAF bought 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mark II trainers for Swiss Francs 577 million (Rs 3,727 crore).

Then, the IAF demanded the HTT-40 programme be scrapped, and 106 more aircraft be bought from Pilatus. It alleged the HTT-40 was too expensive; would take too long to deliver; and that the IAF could not operate two different kinds of basic trainer aircraft.

On Thursday, HAL forcefully rebutted these contentions before a high-level MoD “categorization committee”. HAL officials stated the HTT-40 was cheaper than the Pilatus, which has priced the PC-7 Mark II at Swiss Francs 6.09 million each (Rs 38.5 crore). HAL has priced the HTT-40 at Rs 32.8 crore per aircraft.

A key part of HAL’s presentation focused on the HTT-40’s high indigenous content. Unlike the Swiss aircraft, which is bought over-the-counter without any indigenization, HAL promised the HTT-40 would be 70 per cent indigenous.

HAL explained that, of its trainer’s 95 systems, 55 are of Indian design and build. Another 35 systems will be built in India with transferred technology, including the aircraft’s Honeywell engine. Only 5 systems will be built abroad.

HAL explained this would make it easy to support the HTT-40 through its service life. The 53 PC-7 Mark II trainers already delivered by Pilatus face problems with service support. Pilatus has asked HAL to negotiate licensing and service agreements with more than 28 separate vendors.

“If Pilatus is playing hardball with the IAF with a contract for 106 trainers in the offing, imagine how difficult they’ll be when that contract is in the bag,” an HAL official told the MoD.

HAL officials made another powerful argument to the MoD on Thursday --- that “end user” agreements with Pilatus ban India from weaponising the PC-7 Mark II, which means kitting it out as a light fighter with guns, bombs and rockets. In contrast, weaponising the HTT-40 and selling it to allies like Afghanistan would require no foreign permission.

HAL also briefed the MoD on the progress of the HTT-40, which is expected to make its first flight next year. The MoD was shown photographs of the HTT-40’s front fuselage, which is already built.

Finally, countering the IAF’s argument against two types of basic trainers, HAL told the MoD that several air forces operated two basic trainers. The Turkish Air Force has bought the indigenous Hurkus trainer, even as most of its pilots train on the T-37 Tweety Bird. Ankara did this to support the Hurkus, which is built by Turkish Aerospace Industries.

The IAF argued that the HTT-40 would be costlier than the Pilatus trainer over its 30-year service life. When HAL challenged this contention, the IAF was not able to back it with figures.

The MoD categorisation committee will deliver important inputs into the DAC meeting on Tuesday. The final choice will be exercised by the DAC.

“Backing the HTT-40 would be line with the prime minister’s “Make in India” thrust. It would help create a network of small and medium aerospace suppliers that would be essential for future indigenous aircraft programmes”, says Pushpindar Singh, publisher of Vayu Magazine and a respected aerospace expert.

Rookie pilots learn to fly in 80 hours of Stage-1 training in a basic trainer. Those found fit to become fighter pilots then do Stage-2 training on the Kiran trainer, which will be replaced by the Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer that HAL is developing. Stage-3 training is on the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT), after which pilots graduate to the frontline fighters that they would fly into battle.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Young army officers blame commanders for Uri debacle on social media

Pre-cooked meals with Urdu markings recovered from six dead terrorists who attacked an army post in Uri

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 7th Dec 2014

A day after eight army soldiers, including an officer, died in a militant strike on a military camp near Uri, in Jammu & Kashmir, anger is bubbling amongst junior officers who say over-cautious commanders have tied their hands.

In a WhatsApp message that is racing through army networks, the Uri debacle has been blamed on tight operational restrictions allegedly imposed after two Kashmiri boys were mistakenly shot dead on November 3 by soldiers manning a check point near Chattergam village, in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

Then, in a swift attempt to quell public outrage, the army had ordered an inquiry that found nine soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles culpable. Northern army commander, Lieutenant General DS Hooda, publicly admitted the army had made a mistake.

Days later, on November 13, an army court martial sentenced five soldiers, including two officers, to life imprisonment for killing three innocent Kashmiris in a fake encounter in the Macchil sector of north Kashmir in 2010.

In the bitter WhatsApp message, an unidentified officer has directly held his top commanders responsible for the Uri debacle.

“As per reports, soldiers on the sentry duty on the army camp [at Uri], did not fire upon the approaching terrorist vehicle due to caution imposed on them after the Anantnag incident (sic)”, says the WhatsApp message.

The message goes on: “When [the] Anantnag incident took place last month, corps commander of 15 corps and Army Commander of Northern Command had both called it a mistake… Should not the Army Cdr (commander) and Corps cdr (commander) consider resigning for this goof up (sic).”

"Now, what do they have to say? They had betrayed their own soldiers, who became cautious and the result is for everyone to see.”

Highlighting a worrying faultline, the message demands (capitals in original): “GENERALS SHOULD STOP PLAYING TO [THE] GALLERY AND MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND ALLOW SOLDIERS TO DO THEIR JOB.”

Such bitterness is growing in combat unit and sub-unit commanders, who are caught between senior officers’ demands to “deliver results”, i.e. to kill militants; while at the same time uphold the human rights of locals, most of whom sympathise with militants, if not actively support them.

The army is scrambling to counter this unprecedented “social media” crisis. While nobody is speaking on the record, Business Standard learns the army is responding on social media, putting out a detailed account of the Uri incident. The aim is to prove that the militants benefited from laxity rather than from imposed restraints.

Says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain, a highly regarded former corps commander in Srinagar: “It is unfair to blame top commanders for demanding restraint. Every officers knows exactly what restraint implies; and it does not restrict legitimate use of force against militants.”

Neither do accounts of the Uri strike support the view that soldiers’ were operationally restrained. The attack began at 3 a.m., a time when civilian movement is totally banned and every stranger is considered suspicious.

Senior commanders in Kashmir have stoutly resisted pleas to lift the Disturbed Areas notification from large parts of J&K, which means the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) would no longer apply in those areas. Even so, the army hierarchy is increasingly intolerant of human rights violations.

The WhatsApp message bitterly states: “We ought to accept such mistakes when we deploy the army for restoration of the situation. Everyone must understand the real purpose of AFSPA. It is meant to cover unintentional mistakes made by soldiers in the course of the performance of their duty.”

The WhatsApp message strongly reflects the soldiers’ viewpoint that they are doing a thankless job for seniors, leaders and a public that neither understands nor sympathises with the army.

The officer writes: “Why does not this nation and its leaders understand the nuances of this ‘Designer war’ heaped upon India by Pakistan since 1989? Unfortunately, even most military minds, both serving and retired, have failed to understand the reality of this war. It has nothing to do with 'Law and Order'; it is war, Sir! Most important, it is for Generals to understand and grasp its characteristics and stop reacting to civilian hue and cry (sic).”

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Taliban launches “winter offensive” despite Kabul’s outreach to Pak army

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 6th Dec 2014

The storm clouds gather over Kabul, even as the two political leaders who jointly head the National Unity Government, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, start cooperating grudgingly despite their rivalry. Both turned up in Brussels on Tuesday to sign an agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to launch Operation Resolute Support on January 1, 2015.

This will be a NATO-led non-combat mission, in which 12,000 alliance troops will remain in Afghanistan to train and advise the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), which is combating a resurgent Taliban.

On Thursday, the two leaders participated in the London Conference, where donor countries reassured them that international funds would continue flowing to Kabul during the so-called “Transformation Decade” from 2015-2024.

Yet, the wind is shifting dramatically in Afghanistan where NATO will complete its troop drawdown this month. Underlining the new realities, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan was the only foreign head of government at the London Conference.

While Secretary of State John Kerry represented the US, other foreign delegations were relatively low key. Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh represented India.

Away from the conference table, nobody is sure what role Pakistan is playing on the ground. A fortnight of unrelenting Taliban strikes in heavily protected Kabul has dashed cold water on President Ghani’s hopes that reaching out directly to Pakistan’s army might cause the Taliban to be reined in.

On November 14, on his first state visit to Pakistan, President Ghani had bypassed protocol by driving down to the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi to visit army chief, General Raheel Sharif even before meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

There, Ghani and his senior-most security managers were “briefed” on the situation along the Durand Line, which forms the border between the two countries. According to a Pakistani military statement, Ghani promised to work with Pakistan “to jointly curb the menace of terrorism.”

Three weeks earlier, Ghani had put distance between Kabul and Delhi by cancelling a request by his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, for Indian weaponry. At the SAARC summit on December 4, Ghani said he would not allow “proxy war to be waged from Afghanistan, a statement welcomed by Islamabad. Analysts believe these moves were to generate goodwill with the Pakistani army.

During Karzai’s presidency, his key demand of Islamabad was to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. If that is what the Pakistan army has promised Ghani, it has spectacularly failed to deliver so far.

Over the last fortnight, the Taliban mounted a three-day assault on the massive Camp Bastion in Helmand, killing five Afghan soldiers; suicide-bombed a volleyball match in Paktika, killing 80 spectators; and staged some 10 attacks on foreigners, including one on a heavily protected guest house in Kabul, killing three South Africans. On Sunday, Kabul’s police chief was forced to resign.

These attacks have been linked with the incendiary statement by one of the Taliban’s ideological fathers, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, soon after Ghani’s visit to Pakistan, that violence in Afghanistan was a legitimate struggle against foreign occupation.

This line was echoed by the usually moderate Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, who said the Taliban were old friends who posed no threat to Pakistan. Islamabad quickly backtracked, saying that Aziz had spoken in a “historical context”.

Whatever the cause, the Taliban’s recent spate of attacks suggests the traditional “summer offensive” has given way to an unprecedented “winter offensive”. The “summer offensive” of 2015 seems likely to be even more violent.

Northern Alliance leader, Amrullah Saleh, an influential associate of Abdullah Abdullah and the former chief of Afghanistan’s premier intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, has speculated in an op-ed written for Al Jazeera that the Taliban might no longer be obeying orders from Pakistan.

“Has Pakistan's army lost control of the Taliban? Does Pakistan want to gain more concessions from the West and from Afghans by forcing Afghanistan into an unequal treaty limiting its foreign relations and defence posture? Is there an x-factor that needs to be unpuzzled?” wrote Saleh.

Meanwhile, Pakistan continues military operations --- called Operation Zarb-e-Azb --- in North Waziristan, along the Afghan border. Washington has just released $1.1 billion to the Pakistani military for expenses incurred, according to an AFP report.

The London Conference is a follow on to the Tokyo Conference of 2012, which embodied a partnership between Afghanistan and the international community. The “Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework” was established, which spelt out global aid commitments and accountability mechanisms for the government in Kabul.

In Tokyo, the World Bank indicated that Afghanistan’s average annual fiscal gap till 2017 would be $3.3-3.9 billion dollars, depending upon its growth rate. The international community committed to providing over $16 billion through 2015.