APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 10, 2009

Recommended Citation

"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 10, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 10, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-10-december-2009/

APSNet 10 December 2009

  1. Anger at ‘secret’ climate change deal
  2. Obama’s Afghan gamble
  3. Okada: Futenma talks near limit
  4. Indonesia army ‘killed Balibo Five’
  5. Nuclear power, risk management and democratic accountability in Indonesia
  6. SBY promises protesters ‘jihad’ on graft
  7. String of bombings in Baghdad kills 127 people

1. Anger at ‘secret’ climate change deal, Adam Morton, Age, 2009-12-10

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had a central role in the creation of a ”secret” draft climate agreement that has sparked angry accusations that wealthy nations are trying to railroad the developing world into an unfair deal at the climate summit in Copenhagen. The G77 bloc of developing nations said the draft deal would abandon a long-held agreement that rich nations were responsible for lowering emissions and condemn 80 per cent of the world’s population to suffering and injustice.

2. Obama’s Afghan gamble, Bruce Riedel, Asia Sentinel, 2009-12-08

Until Dec. 1, the Afghan war was a Bush legacy. It is now President Barack Obama’s war and history will judge him on the success of his bold gamble to send more troops to Afghanistan. The President’s approach is the best of the bad options Americans have. The stakes are enormous – preventing another 9/11, war in South Asia, the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the fate of NATO and future of the global Islamic jihad. To succeed, the President will have to invest not just more American and NATO troops, but also his political capital to convince a war weary country to persevere. Obama’s war may come to consume his Presidency.

3. Okada: Futenma talks near limit, Asahi, 2009-12-07

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada blasted the idea of prolonging negotiations over the U.S. Futenma air base, suggesting that the original plan to relocate the base to the northern part of the main island of Okinawa Prefecture has become the only option. Washington has called on Tokyo to follow the 2006 agreement to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a densely populated area in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to Nago’s Henoko district in the same prefecture by 2014. But Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet last week put off a decision on the relocation issue until next year. Hatoyama also instructed Cabinet ministers, including Okada, to explore possible relocation sites other than Henoko, such as Guam.

4. Indonesia army ‘killed Balibo Five’, Aljazeera, 2009-12-08

A former Indonesian army officer has admitted in a magazine interview that five foreign journalists were deliberately killed during Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor. Gatot Purwanto, a former Indonesian special forces commando and veteran of the Timor invasion, was quoted in weekly news magazine Tempo as saying that the reporters, known as the “Balibo Five”, were shot because they were thought to have filmed the invasion. Purwanto, who said he was a lieutenant in the special forces team that overran Balibo on October 16, 1975, but did not say who actually carried out the shootings.

5. Nuclear power, risk management and democratic accountability in Indonesia: volcanic, regulatory and financial risk in the Muria peninsula nuclear power proposal, Richard Tanter, Arabella Imhoff and David Von Hippel, Austral Policy Forum 09-22A, 2009-12-07, [PDF, 511 KB]

Richard Tanter, Arabella Imhoff and David Von Hippel of the Nautilus Institute write that Indonesia’s handling of its proposal for a large nuclear power plant on the Muria peninsula in Central Java “is a test of the power of public opinion in a new democracy and the capacity of government to assess risk appropriately and make key decisions transparently”. While noting other issues including proliferation risk, they concentrate on assessments of volcanic and seismic risk, regulatory risk, and financial risk. In each of these areas of risk assessment, they argue, there are very serious weaknesses that need to be addressed to ensure democratic accountability.

  • “Indonesia”, in Mark Fitzpatrick (ed.), Strategic dossier: preventing nuclear dangers in southeast Asia and Australasia, International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2009.
  • Indonesian nuclear power proposals, Nautilus Institute, Global Collaborative [updated frequently]

6. SBY promises protesters ‘jihad’ on graft, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Australian, 2009-12-10

Tens of thousands of Indonesians took to the streets in a national day of action after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared himself at the frontline of a “jihad” on corruption. Thousands of extra police were stationed in the capital, Jakarta, and cities across the country as protesters gathered in what an increasingly worried Dr Yudhoyono had predicted would be “lies and character assassination” against him. His “jihad” line, in a nationally televised speech, was an attempt to regain the upper hand in a war in which he also described “corruption . . . (as having become) a common enemy”.

7. String of bombings in Baghdad kills 127 people, Warren P. Strobel and Mohammed al Dulaimy, McClatchy Newspapers, 2009-12-08

At least five car bombs ripped through neighborhoods across Baghdad, killing 127 Iraqis and prompting urgent questions about Iraq’s security forces just as the country gears up for national elections early next year. The bombs detonated — three of them in quick succession — in widely scattered parts of the city, rattling buildings far from the scene and sending towers of smoke into the sky. Suicide bombers set off three of the five, the Interior Ministry said. Along with the dead, the preliminary toll was 500 wounded.

 

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator