APSNet 1 June 2009
- Australia joins Somalian piracy fight
- Indonesian appeal for more help in stopping boatpeople
- Indonesia to buy more jets
- Indonesia, Malaysia face off at sea
- Australians kill Taliban bomber
- All clear, says defence head on war incidents
- Pakistan and the “AfPak” strategy
- Military jargon led to accidental mortar strike
- Japan: Most leaders not told of nuke pact with U.S.
1. Australia joins Somalian piracy fight, Australian, 2009-05-29
Australia has announced it will send a warship and a surveillance aircraft to the Horn of Africa as part of the international fight against piracy. The frigate HMAS Warramunga, presently patrolling in the Persian Gulf, will be attached periodically to a new combined taskforce established to combat pirate activity in shipping lanes off Somalia. An Australian airforce AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, based in an unnamed Persian Gulf country, will also join the taskforce.
- Minister for Defence announces Australian contribution to international anti-piracy efforts, Joel Fitzgibbon, Department of Defence, 2009-05-29
2. Indonesian appeal for more help in stopping boatpeople, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-06-01
While Indonesia’s underfunded and overstretched navy engages in some maritime surveillance around NTT’s 450 islands, the Deputy Governor makes it clear he would like more help from Australia. Mr Foenai called for restoration of direct air links between Kupang and Darwin, which ceased this year.
3. Indonesia to buy more jets, Straits Times, 2009-05-30
The country aims to raise its defence spending to 1.2 per cent of gross domestic product within five years, from 0.68 per cent or 33.6 trillion rupiah (S$4.76 billion) now, Mr Sudarsono said. Mr Sudarsono said the defence spending of the world’s fourth-most populous nation, was far below neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Australia and Malaysia.
- Asians talk of peace, haggle over arms, Nopporn Wong-Anan, Reuters, 2009-05-31
4. Indonesia, Malaysia face off at sea, Asian Sentinel, 2009-05-29
An unlikely naval confrontation has broken out between Indonesia and Malaysia, with warships from the two nations challenging each other repeatedly in the disputed oil-rich waters of the Celebes Sea east of the island of Borneo. Indonesian navy officials told local media their ships were minutes away from firing on Malaysian warships, which they charged were 12 nautical miles inside Indonesia’s territory.
5. Australians kill Taliban bomber, John Kerin, AFR*, 2009-05-29
Australian troops were pushing back the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province and had killed an insurgent leader responsible for co-ordinating suicide attacks and roadside bombings Defence Force Chief Angus Houston said.
* Subscription required.
- Taliban lose momentum as key leader killed, Media Release, Department of Defence, 2009-05-28
6. All clear, says defence head on war incidents, Brendan Nicholson, Age, 2009-05-29
Air Chief Marshal Houston said yesterday that a Defence “assessment found that there is no evidence, nor any suggestion or indication that such evidence may exist, to support media reporting that Australian special forces were involved in the incident”. About 200 Oruzgan elders gathered at the UN headquarters in Tarin Kowt to protest about the way Australians conduct raids on homes.
- Under cover of war, Nick McKenzie, Age, 2009-05-11
- Chief of Defence Force update on Afghanistan operations, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Department of Defence, 2009-05-28
7. Pakistan and the “AfPak” strategy, Shaun Gregory, openDemocracy, 2009-05-28
The shape of the US’s new “AfPak” strategy is now clear. For Washington, the most serious problems posed by Afghanistan and Pakistan – the Taliban, al-Qaida, and associated tribal militants – arise from the Pashtun regions of both countries. Behind the rhetoric, the decision has therefore been taken to contain the violence to these areas.
- Pakistan’s American problem, Anatol Lieven, openDemocracy, 2009-05-08
- Al-Qaeda spreads its tentacles, Philip Smucker, Asia Times, 2009-05-30
8. Military jargon led to accidental mortar strike, Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2009-05-29
A mix-up of military jargon prompted Australian troops in Afghanistan to misinterpret an order and accidentally fire a mortar round during a battle in which up to 11 civilians were allegedly killed. An internal inquiry found the special forces had followed the rules of engagement during five mortar round firings in a battle with the Taliban last January, but a sixth round was fired accidentally and landed unobserved.
- Inquiry Officers Report into an allegation that an indirect fire mission by Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan on 5 January 2009 caused a number of Unintended Civilian Casualties, Department of Defence, 2009-05-28 [PDF 1.87 MB]
9. Most leaders not told of nuke pact with U.S., Kyodo News, 2009-06-01
A secret accord between Tokyo and Washington on moving U.S. nuclear weapons through Japanese territory has been controlled by top Foreign Ministry bureaucrats who have told only a handful of “trusted” prime ministers and foreign ministers of its existence, four former top ministry officials have revealed. The pact gives Japan’s tacit approval that U.S. aircraft or naval vessels carrying nuclear weapons can transit Japan.
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