APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 11, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 11, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 11, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-11-may-2009/

APSNet 11 May 2009

  1. Military in Afghan cover-up
  2. Fretilin blamed for East Timor corruption
  3. China, India ‘may stir up regional war’: army report
  4. Balochistan is the ultimate prize
  5. Pakistan launches assault on Taliban
  6. Germany begins to flex military muscle in Afghanistan
  7. U.S. adviser holds firm on airstrikes in Afghanistan
  8. Turning Indonesia into ‘fortress’ of ‘new world’

1. Military in Afghan cover-up, Nick McKenzie, Age, 2009-05-11

Australian military personnel were involved in a cover-up of an investigation into the alleged role of special forces soldiers in the killing and maiming of Afghan civilians. Information held by the Department of Defence contradicts the claims of Defence Force chief Angus Houston that Australian SAS soldiers had nothing to do with the 2006 incident that left an Afghan man dead, a woman blinded and her daughter badly injured.

2. Fretilin blamed for East Timor corruption, Lindsay Murdoch, Age, 2009-05-11

East Timor’s Government has admitted corrupt officials are “well established” in areas such as tax, customs and procurement in the capital Dili as a row deepens over the country’s highly paid foreign advisers. But Finance Minister Emilia Pires blames the opposition Fretilin party for the corruption, saying the Government is under attack because of “our refusal to partake in the corrupt practices of a small few”.

3. China, India ‘may stir up regional war’: army report, Cameron Stewart, Australian, 2009-05-11

An internal army report has given a more threatening assessment of China’s military expansion than was publicly stated in the defence white paper, warning bluntly that it could “destabilise” the region. The report also makes more hawkish comments about India’s military ambitions than Defence has admitted.

4. Balochistan is the ultimate prize, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 2009-05-09

The AfPak chapter of Obama’s brand new Overseas Contingency Operations does not imply only a surge in the Pashtun FATA. A surge in Balochistan as well may be virtually inevitable. Strategically, Balochistan is mouth-watering: east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz. The only acceptable scenario for the Pentagon would be for the US to take over Gwadar. Once again, that would be a prime confluence of Pipelineistan and the US empire of bases.

5. Pakistan launches assault on Taliban, Pamela Constable, Washington Post, 2009-05-09

Pakistani military officials declared that they had launched a “full-scale offensive” against extremist Taliban fighters in the Swat Valley and said that they plan to remain there until peace is restored and the area is back under government control.

6. Germany begins to flex military muscle in Afghanistan, AFP, 2009-05-09

Rattled by increasingly brazen insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, German NATO troops have gone on the offensive with a rare raid to capture a Taliban commander and threatened to target more. Analysts say the more muscular posture comes not only in response to a growing threat but also a desire to quiet doubts in the United States and among other allies that Germany is fully committed to stabilising Afghanistan.


7. U.S. adviser holds firm on airstrikes in Afghanistan, Brian Knowlton and Judy Dempsey, NYT, 2009-05-10

President Obama’s top national security adviser said that the United States would likely continue conducting airstrikes against extremists in Afghanistan despite a sharp warning from President Hamid Karzai that civilian casualties were fast turning ordinary Afghans against the United States.

8. Turning Indonesia into ‘fortress’ of ‘new world’, Fardah, Antara, 2009-05-09

Indonesian and Australian forces have been successfully intercepting boats at sea, turning emigrants back to Indonesia, and arresting asylum seekers before they attempt the journey to Australia. What a drastic contrast with the helplessness of the Aboriginal people almost three centuries when they saw the flow of European immigrants into their land which is now called Australia.

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