APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2010

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2010", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2010, http://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-27-october-2010/

APSNet 27 October 2010

  1.  MPs call for Afghan strategy rethink
  2. Warship project running aground
  3. Australian commandos seriously injured during hunt for bomb maker in Afghanistan
  4. Jakarta joy masks fears for new role
  5. ASIO chief David Irvine says terror threat still real
  6. Nauru instability ‘Aussie phosphate plot’
  7. Iraq: The shaming of America
  8. Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupts
  9. Urban violence in an urban village: a case study of Dili, Timor-Leste

1. MPs call for Afghan strategy rethink, ABC, 2010-10-27

Federal Government backbenchers from both sides of the House have used a parliamentary debate to call for changes to Australia’s strategy on the war in the Afghanistan. Victorian Labor MP Anna Burke questioned whether the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan is making it harder to win the fight against Islamic extremism. West Australian Opposition backbencher Mal Washer says Australia should “forget” its mission of trying to train the Afghan National Army.

2. Warship project running aground, Dan Oakes, Age, 2010-10-27

A multi-billion project to build navy warships could be under threat as momentum gathers for a revamp of the Defence white paper released only last year. Defence sources have told The Age that the proposed fleet of 20 ”offshore combatant vessels”, potentially costing $20 billion, could be one of the projects dropped as Defence struggles to balance the books.

3. Australian commandos seriously injured during hunt for bomb maker in Afghanistan, Ian McPhedran, Daily Telegraph, 2010-10-26

The soldiers, from the Special Operations Task Group, were operating in the insurgent stronghold of Shah Wali Kot, in Afghanistan’s Northern Kandahar Province, when they came under intense small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire. More than one-third of the 156 Australians wounded in Afghanistan have been injured this year. The tally stands at 56 for 10 months so far and many of them have suffered serious, life-altering gunshot or blast injuries

4. Jakarta joy masks fears for new role, Donald Greenlees, Australian, 2010-10-23

As Indonesia plans to beef up its conventional forces with costly maritime and land equipment acquisitions in the coming years, there is dissension about the TNI’s internal priorities and defining the future threat. It simultaneously faces pressure over its domestic role and from growing external challenges, from the threat of transnational crime to the emergence of China and India as new regional military powers.

5. ASIO chief David Irvine says terror threat still real, Joe Kelly, Australian, 2010-10-21

The Counter Terrorism Control Centre has been allocated $9.1 million over four years with the cost to be met from within ASIO’s budget. Key agencies represented in the centre include ASIO, (Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation), ASIS, (Australian Secret Intelligence Service), AFP (Australian Federal Police) and DSD (Defence Signals Directorate).

6. Nauru instability ‘Aussie phosphate plot’, Hedley Thomas, Michael McKenna, Australian, 2010-10-25

An Australian company is accused by the President of Nauru of waging a corrupt campaign to win control of the Pacific nation’s phosphate industry. The conduct of the Gupta family, behind the privately owned Gold Coast company Getax and who reject allegations of wrongdoing, has been the subject of recent secret briefings by intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments, senior Australian diplomats and the Australian Federal Police.

7. The shaming of America, Robert Fisk, Independent, 2010-10-24

As usual, the Arabs knew. Only we could pretend we did not know. Only we in the West could counter every claim, every allegation against the Americans or British with some worthy general to ring-fence us with lies. Find a man who’d been tortured and you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike and that, too, would be terrorist propaganda, or “collateral damage”, or a simple phrase: “We have nothing on that.”

8. Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupts, ABC, 2010-10-27

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi has erupted three times, emitting searing clouds and volcanic ash, and sending villagers fleeing. “We heard three explosions around 6:00 pm (local time) spewing volcanic material as high as 1.5 kilometres and sending heat clouds down the slopes,” government vulcanologist Surono said. Authorities put an area of 10 kilometres around the crater on red alert on Monday, ordering 19,000 people to flee.

9. Urban violence in an urban village: a case study of Dili, Timor-Leste,  Robert Muggah (ed.), Working paper, Geneva Declaration, 2010 [PDF, 1.4MB]

Among the study’s specific findings: Each outbreak of collective urban violence has contributed to the progressive militarization of Timorese society. Urban violence in Dili can quickly and unexpectedly shift from interpersonal to collective. Government interventions to deter urban violence tend to be short term, relying on coercive and security-led interventions, rather than preventative. ‘Urban’ violence in Dili is often fundamentally connected to grievances in rural areas, and vice versa.

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