APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, July 13, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, July 13, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, July 13, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-13-july-2009/

APSNet 13 July 2009

  1. President backed Rio spy probe
  2. Freeport rocked by Papua killings
  3. Government to raise defense budget by 20 percent
  4. U.S. general sees afghan army, police insufficient
  5. Dutch exit vexes ally
  6. Afghanistan’s twisting path
  7. New-breed RAAF fighter may see Afghanistan action

1. President backed Rio spy probe, John Garnaut, SMH, 2009-07-13

The Chinese President, Hu Jintao, personally endorsed the Ministry of State Security investigation into Rio Tinto that led to the detention of the Australian iron ore executive, Stern Hu.
 The investigation appears to be part of a big realignment of how China manages its economy, with spy and security agencies promoted to top strategy-making bodies. The ministry and the Public Security Bureau have significant new roles – the former focusing more on international economic dealings and the latter on domestic political unrest that might flow from economic instability. The Communist Party’s nine-member standing committee, led by the President, has also taken more control over economic decisions at the expense of the State Council, led by the Premier, Wen Jiabao, Chinese economic advisers say.

2. Freeport rocked by Papua killings, Heru Andriyanto, Nurfika Osman& Christian Motte, Jakarta Globe, 2009-07-13

US mining giant Freeport McMoRan’s operation in Papua was rocked by a weekend of violence that saw two of its employees, including an Australian national, shot dead and seven wounded in three separate ambushes by unknown gunmen, officials said.

The attacks came on Saturday and Sunday within a three-kilometer stretch on the road to the Grasberg mining complex in Timika, one of the world’s biggest gold and copper production sites.

3. Government to raise defense budget by 20 percent, Tempointeraktif, 2009-07-11

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the defense budget will be raised by more than 20 percent in 2010. He made the statement in Bandung, during a ceremony at which state-owned arms manufacturer, PT Pindad, handed 40 armored cars to the government.  

4. U.S. general sees afghan army, police insufficient, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, 2009-07-11

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the newly arrived top commander in Afghanistan, has concluded that the Afghan security forces will have to be far larger than currently planned if President Obama’s strategy for winning the war is to succeed, according to senior military officials. Such an expansion would require spending billions more than the $7.5 billion the administration has budgeted annually to build up the Afghan army and police over the next several years, and the likely deployment of thousands more U.S. troops as trainers and advisers, officials said. 

5. Dutch exit vexes ally, Brendan Nicholson, SMH, 2009-07-13

An Afghan tribal leader and key ally of coalition troops has warned that if Dutch forces pull out of Oruzgan province as they say they will next year, he might have to flee Afghanistan or seek sanctuary with the Taliban.

  • Chora, Australia in Afghanistan, Nautilus Institute 

6. Afghanistan’s twisting path, Paul Rogers, Opendemocracy, 2009-07-09

United States-Pakistani cooperation depends very much on good relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but these cannot be assumed. Instead, it appears that relations may actually be deteriorating at precisely the time – with the US operations in Helmand underway – when the opposite is most needed. In an unfortunate piece of timing, there are signs of a considerable increase in collaboration between the Afghan and Indian governments – precisely the trend most likely to upset Islamabad and make cooperation with the US more difficult.

7. New-breed RAAF fighter may see Afghanistan action, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-07-10

The air force’s new-generation Super Hornet fighters will be fully operational by the end of next year, prompting speculation whether they could be deployed to Afghanistan. As the Dutch are due to withdraw their F-16 fighters from Oruzgan province later next year, the Rudd government is expected to examine the option of deploying combat air power to support coalition operations.


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Richard Tanter,
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