APSNet 1 December 2008
- [Thailand] Yellow, Red Camps Bring Country Closer to the Brink
- Alarm Bells Ringing for China’s Leadership
- Privatising the Fight against Somali Pirates
- Indonesia Treads Novel Path
- Aussies Keep Spy Files on Afghans
- Michael Fussell Named as Australian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
- [India and Pakistan] Attacks Imperil Delicate U.S. Role between Rivals
Policy Forum 08-13A: Climate Change and Security: The Time to Act is Now – Allan Behm
1. Yellow, Red Camps Bring Country Closer to the Brink, The Nation, 2008-12-01
Sporadic lawlessness spreading on both sides of conflict as Thailand is named “one of most dangerous places on earth”. Sporadic mob rules have threatened to take on a far larger scale this weekend. After the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports have fallen to the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy, now the Constitution Court is in danger of being surrounded by red-shirt pro-government protesters and nobody knows what is going to happen if the court decides to disband three ruling parties.
2. Alarm Bells Ringing for China’s Leadership, John Garnaut, Age, 2008-12-01
China’s economic challenges are now so serious that they are a test of the Communist Party’s ability to govern, says President Hu Jintao. Mr Hu’s warning to the Communist Party’s Politburo over the weekend suggests leaders have been shaken by a wave of riots and protests that hit at least eight provinces in November.
3. Privatising the Fight against Somali Pirates, Carolin Liss, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Working Paper No.152, November 2008 [PDF, 208 KB]
Warships from countries around the world patrolling the pirate infested waters off Somalia have failed to successfully address the problem of large scale pirate attack. While private security companies may assist in preventing individual pirate attacks and help victims in dealing with the aftermath of such events, they do not address the underlying root causes of modern day piracy itself, which include illegal and over-fishing, lax (international) maritime regulations, ineffective government forces, armed conflict and widespread poverty.
4. Indonesia Treads Novel Path, Greg Earl, AFR*, 2008-12-01
As Indian anti-terrorist commandos fought their way through two of the country’s iconic hotels, their counterparts in central Jakarta would have been entitled to breathe a quiet sigh of relief. In Muslim-majority Indonesia the situation is different, with political leaders understanding they have to manage radical Islamic groups much more subtly by demonstrating the benefits of peaceful solutions to communal problems.
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5. Aussies Keep Spy Files on Afghans, Cameron Stewart, Australian, 2008-12-01
Australian troops in Afghanistan have created a massive intelligence database on almost every male in the host town of Tarin Kowt and every village in their zone of operations. The database contains details of 264 villages in Oruzgan province, with each labelled according to their loyalty towards Australian troops, ranging from “supportive” to “aggressive”.
- Kilcullen on Afghanistan: “It’s Still Winnable, But Only Just”, George Packer, New Yorker, 2008-11-14
6. Michael Fussell Named as Australian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan, AAP, Australian, 2008-11-28
Lieutenant Michael Fussell, from the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, RAR, was killed in the southern province of Oruzgan on Thursday. Lieutenant Fussell was killed by an improvised explosive device detonation in Afghanistan yesterday. The 25-year-old was a member of the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and was conducting a dismounted patrol when he and his team were struck by the device. Two other Special Operations Task Group personnel were slightly wounded in the explosion and have now returned to operational duties.
- Australian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan, Media Conference Held By Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, Department of Defence, MSPA 81128/08, 2008-11-28
- Casualties – ADF, Australia in Afghanistan, Nautilus Institute
7. Attacks Imperil Delicate U.S. Role between Rivals, Mark Mazetti and Peter Baker, New York Times, 2008-11-29
The White House has adopted a clear position: if a country cannot deal with a terrorism problem on its own, the United States reserves the right to act unilaterally. Should it become clear that the men who rampaged through Mumbai trained in Pakistan, even if the Pakistani government had no hand in the operation, what will stop the Indians from adopting the same position?
- Pakistan May Move Troops to Indian Border, Matt Wade, Age, 2008-12-01.
- Islamabad Tries to Take Military out of Politics, Farhan Bokhari and James Lamont, Financial Times, 2008-11-24
8. Policy Forum 08-13A: Climate Change and Security: The Time to Act is Now – Allan Behm
Allan Behm of the Canberra group Knowledge Pond, writing after the Nautilus Institute workshop on Mapping Climate Change Complexity in Indonesia and Australia, notes that “for Australia’s populous neighbour, Indonesia, the problems of climate change are real and mounting. And Australia has such fundamental security interests in Indonesia that it cannot sit on the sidelines and wish the problem away.” Behm continues: “How competently – and proactively – Indonesia and Australia deal with this complexity will largely determine the vitality of the bilateral strategic relationship over the next four decades or so.” Behm proposes a coordinated Australia-Indonesia strategy at the national, bilateral, regional and global levels. “The Australian and Indonesian governments”, Behm recommends, “need to set up an Inter-Governmental Climate Change Commission, under treaty arrangements, charged with directing and coordinating research programs and other bilateral cooperative efforts that would both mitigate the effects of climate change and provide a standing mechanism for responding to unforeseen or overwhelming events.”
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