APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 12, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 12, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 12, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-12-march-2009/

APSNet 12 March 2009

  1. AFP team to help train Afghans
  2. As U.S. weighs Taliban negotiations, Afghans are already talking
  3. Afghanistan: Damning report on intelligence co-operation
  4. Afghanistan: The risk of terror attack is exaggerated
  5. Afghanistan: The imperial unconscious
  6. Rudd’s $35bn folly should be torpedoed
  7. Korea, Australia forge security pact

1. AFP team to help train Afghans, Brendan Nicholson, Age, 2009-03-12

An Australian Federal Police training team is due to leave for Afghanistan within days to help the stricken country build a new national police force. The 10-man “police mentoring team” from the AFP’s Operational Deployment Group will be based at Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan province, where most of Australia’s 1090 military personnel are based.

2. As U.S. weighs Taliban negotiations, Afghans are already talking, Carlotta Gall, NYT, 2009-03-11

Even as President Obama floated the idea of negotiating with moderate elements of the Taliban, Afghan and foreign officials said that preliminary discussions with the Taliban leadership were already under way and could be developed into more formal talks with the support of the United States.

3. Damning report on intelligence co-operation, Peter Beaumont, SMH, 2009-03-07

A highly critical analysis of the coalition’s counter-insurgency in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about combat operations there – and the intelligence underpinning them. Based on interviews with British, US, Canadian and Dutch military, intelligence and diplomatic officials – and marked for “official use only” – the report is damning of a US military often unwilling to share intelligence among its military allies.

4. The risk of terror attack is exaggerated, Clive Williams, Age, 2009-03-12

US Vice-President Joe Biden’s speech at the European Union Headquarters, where he warned that the US, Europe and Australia were targets for a regenerating al-Qaeda, was intended to pressure NATO participants to deploy more forces to Afghanistan. The US is concerned that it will be left to do the heavy lifting in the face of a deteriorating security situation and declining NATO enthusiasm.

5. The imperial unconscious, Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch, 2009-03-01

U.S. goals in Afghanistan must be ‘modest, realistic,’ and ‘above all, there must be an Afghan face on this war,’ Gates said. This is Empire-speak, American-style. It’s the language that is essential to Washington’s vision of itself as a planet-straddling goliath. Think of that “Afghan face”/mask, in fact, as part of the flotsam and jetsam that regularly bubbles up from the American imperial unconscious. Largely uncommented upon, it helps normalize American practices in the world, comfortably shielding us from certain global realities; but it also has the potential to blind us to those realities, which, in perilous times, can be dangerous indeed.

6. Rudd’s $35bn folly should be torpedoed, Brian Toohey, AFR*, 2009-03-07

Before a cent is spent on new submarines, the nation wants to know how the navy intends to crew them. What will the submarines do for Rudd’s privately expressed desire to contain China? The White Paper’s rationale for an unprecedented purchase of this type could make interesting reading in Beijing if Rudd asked China to help fund the $200 billion borrowing program his government is embarking upon.
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7. Korea, Australia forge security pact, Hwang Jang-jin, Korean Herald, 2009-03-06

Korea and Australia yesterday signed a landmark security pact to cooperate in fighting global terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. In their leaders’ summit in Canberra, the two countries also agreed to start negotiations for a free trade agreement and enhance their partnership to tackle global economic crisis and promote green growth and renewable energy development.

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