APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 11, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 11, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 11, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-11-february-2008/

APSNet 11 February 2008

  1. East Timor: Ramos-Horta Stable after Shooting
  2. Minister Delivers NATO Ultimatum
  3. Australia Set to Stay in Nuclear Club
  4. Thailand: Business Leaders Back Nuclear Energy
  5. French Polynesia: Nuclear Test Veterans Are Still Battling
  6. Chinook Detachment Returns to Afghanistan
  7. A Mission Impossible
  8. Policy Forum 08-1A: East Timor: The Crisis Beyond the Coup Attempt – Richard Tanter

1. East Timor: Ramos-Horta Stable after Shooting, Jane Holroyd, Age, 2008-02-11

East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta is believed to be in a stable condition following an early-morning raid by rebel soldiers on his house. Rebels have also carried out a failed attack on the home of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, according to local TV reports. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who is believed to have led the attack, was killed when security forces at the president’s house returned fire.

2. Minister Delivers NATO Ultimatum, Patrick Walters, AAP, Australian, 2008-02-11

Australia’s military contribution to the war in Afghanistan is unsustainable unless the Government’s access to NATO’s strategy and planning is sharply upgraded, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has warned. “As a Government we can’t make informed decisions without access to NATO’s thinking. We can’t maintain public support for our military operations if we are not able to demonstrate we are masters of our own destiny.” said Mr Fitzgibbon.

3. Australia Set to Stay in Nuclear Club, Katharine Murphy, Age, 2008-02-11

Australia appears set to remain in a controversial global group of nuclear energy countries. The grouping aims to create a closed circle in which enriched fuel is supplied for nuclear reactors, then the waste is recycled and stored appropriately. Documents from the US confirm that Australia continued to attend meetings of the partnership after Kevin Rudd won the election.

4. Thailand: Business Leaders Back Nuclear Energy, TMCnet, 25 Jan 2008-01-25

Business leaders called on the new government to push ahead with the $4 billion nuclear power programme, saying nuclear energy was vital to strengthen economic competitiveness against regional rivals. Boonyasith Chokewattana, chairman of the Saha Group, said Thailand should speed up the construction of the first nuclear plant to complete the project ahead of Vietnam and Indonesia.

5. French Polynesia: Nuclear Test Veterans Are Still Battling, Elsa Klockenbring with Roland Oldham, ABC, 2008-02-08 [Audio]

In French Polynesia, there’s been a claim that nuclear testing has played a role in local people contracting more than 350 cases of cancer a year. A French court recently recognised that Jean-Luc Norberciak died from cancer after being exposed to 13 nuclear tests at Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls between 1979 and 1980.

6. Chinook Detachment Returns to Afghanistan, Defence Media, 2008-02-08

Soldiers from Townsville’s 5th Aviation Regiment have left for Afghanistan to be part of the CH-47(Chinook) detachment. The aircraft have undergone upgrades and deep maintenance since the last rotation ended in April 2007.

7. A Mission Impossible, Paul Rogers, Open Democracy, 2008-02-07

The occupation of countries in the middle east and southwest Asia by western military forces is no longer politically feasible. The starting-point for any new policy will have to be complete withdrawal. Any other approach has been rendered obsolete by the cumulative effects of the last six years. That thought is at present beyond Washington and London’s reach, but it is a reality that one day they will simply have to face.

8. Policy Forum 08-1A: East Timor: The Crisis Beyond the Coup Attempt – Richard Tanter

Richard Tanter, director of the Nautilus Institute Australia writes that, “while the violence attempted coup in East Timor is shocking, it should not be a surprise. East Timor has been moving into multi-dimensional crisis for several years.” Tanter argues that “the present crises in East Timor have at last three axes that have led to today’s events: rule by the gun; increasing and apparently intractable impoverishment and corruption; and deeply eroded legitimacy of all the major political players.” Tanter concludes that, “Australia faces a profound dilemma of avoiding on the one hand a turn to de facto colonial take-over and the other hand either useless hand-wringing or a delusional hope that with enough troops and money East Timor will right itself. East Timor, more than any other post-Cold War UN-led peace-building operation was the model of global stewardship. Unless the triple crises of East Timor are effectively addressed in short order the effects will be felt far wider.”

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