APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 12, 2010

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 12, 2010", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 12, 2010, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-12-april-2010/

APSNet 12 April 2010

  1. Our bases retain role in US plan
  2. Early war-bird a bargain for Labor
  3. July next year is our date with destiny for Afghan pullout
  4. Rudd backflip slams asylum seeker door
  5. Defence tracking system loses sight of $30m
  6. East Timor leader accuses Australia over war
  7. [Indonesia] 13 locally made armored carriers arrive in Lebanon
  8. Papua ‘ready to explode’

1. Our bases retain role in US plan, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2010-04-12

Top secret military bases in Australia will remain a key part of America’s nuclear arsenal despite President Barack Obama’s sweeping changes to limit the use of atomic weapons. Defence Minister John Faulkner has hailed the new US nuclear posture as a significant shift, cutting the role of nuclear weapons but preserving what he described as effective ”nuclear blackmail” – deterrence from atomic attack on the US or its allies.

2. Early war-bird a bargain for Labor, John Kerin, AFR*, 2010-04-09

Defence giant Boeing is delivering Australia’s new fleet of 24 Super Hornet fighters early and at a $242 million discount. In a rare win for the Rudd government against a background of big-ticket defence projects that are plagued by delays and costs blowouts, a US government report has revealed lower production costs will enable Boeing not only to deliver the fighter earlier than expected but under budget, through the US Foreign Sales Program.

3. July next year is our date with destiny for Afghan pullout, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2010-04-09

The federal government has never set out an explicit timeline for withdrawal. But assuming our political leaders mean what they say, in a little over a year from now – after a decade fighting in what Prime Minister Kevin Rudd describes as a ”godforsaken place” – Australian forces will start to come home.

4. Rudd backflip slams asylum seeker door, Katharine Murphy and Michelle Grattan, Age, 2010-04-10

All asylum seekers arriving from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will go into limbo for three to six months under a dramatic toughening of Australia’s border protection policies aimed at curbing the boats. Sri Lankans will not be processed for at least three months while Afghans will face a wait of at least six months, as the government flagged that people from these countries will face a much tougher battle for entry.

5. Defence tracking system loses sight of $30m, Linton Besser, SMH, 2010-04-12

A crucial information system designed to help the Defence Department keep track of billions of dollars worth of assets has been deferred again, pushing the long-awaited project $30 million into the red. Questions have also been raised about the project’s management after the government breached a pledge to exclude the consultancy KPMG from further work to prevent a ”conflict of interest”.

6. East Timor leader accuses Australia over war, Lindsay Murdoch, Age, 2010-04-09

East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has accused Australia of sacrificing the lives of 60,000 Timorese in World War II and secretly plotting for Indonesia to take over what was then Portuguese Timor in 1963. In a fiercely anti-Western speech to an international donors’ conference in Dili, Mr Gusmao said that ”adding insult to injury”, Australia then signed an agreement with Indonesia to share wealth from the Timor Sea while ”around 200,000 Timorese died trying to protect their rights during 24 years of war”.

7. [Indonesia] 13 locally made armored carriers arrive in Lebanon, Jakarta Post, 2010-04-10

Thirteen armored passenger carriers (APC) made by state enterprise PT Pindad Indonesia have arrived for an Indonesian battalion in Adshit Al Qusayr, Lebanon, the Indonesian Military (TNI) announced. The six-wheel drive units, complete with a weaponry system, arrived at the battalion, called Indobatt, part of the Garuda XXXIII-D contingent, at its headquarters.

8. Papua ‘ready to explode’, Tom Hyland, Age, 2010-04-11

Indonesian Papua risks erupting in bloodshed, with huge loss of life and disastrous consequences for Indonesia and Australia, a new book warns. The book, by respected Australian academics, says Indonesian and international leadership is essential to avert catastrophe and end almost 50 years of conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.