APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 13, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 13, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 13, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-13-october-2008/

APSNet 13 October 2008

  1. Diggers Work in Afghanistan Vital: Smith
  2. Fears of Unrest Swirl in Troubled East Timor
  3. East Timor Prosecutor Blames President over Trial Delay
  4. Wars without End
  5. Water Fiasco Looms for POM Naval Base
  6. PNG Govt Set to Toughen Gun Laws
  7. US Controls Bird Flu Vaccines over Bioweapon Fears

1. Diggers Work in Afghanistan Vital: Smith, SMH, 2008-10-12

Mr Smith said the government had made it clear there would be no increase to the current Australian commitment of nearly 1,100 troops. The deployment was not just a symbolic contribution as Australia was the largest non-NATO troop contributor. “In addition to our forces we have a substantial capacity-building humanitarian assistance and development assistance into Afghanistan,” he said.

2. Fears of Unrest Swirl in Troubled East Timor, ABC, 2008-10-13

In East Timor an opposition plan for a massive march on the capital and rumours of tension in the police force are raising concerns of a return to instability. An unsigned pamphlet circulating in Dili complains of official discrimination against Timorese from the impoverished country’s western region. The pamphlet also threatens protests against the government if an easterner is appointed the new police commander when the post becomes vacant in November.

3. East Timor Prosecutor Blames President over Trial Delay, Stephanie March with Longuinhos Monteiro, Jose Ramos Horta, Mari Alkatiri and Luis Oliveira, ABC, 2008-10-10 [transcript]

East Timor’s President and chief prosecutor are at odds over the prosecution of senior military figures for their role in illegally arming civilians during the 2006 crisis. The prosecutor general said it was the president’s fault he’d not yet been able launch the action, while Jose Ramos Horta says there are other priorities.

4. Wars without End, Paul McGeough, SMH, 2008-10-11

The White House has been incredibly slow to grasp the reality of the unremitting chaos in Afghanistan. But with its most senior intelligence analysts now warning of a “worsening downward spiral”, resource-strapped military chiefs in Washington baulk at the only available remedy for a deepening crisis in Kabul – large troop cuts in Iraq. Orchestrated leaks in the middle of the US election campaign suggest that the generals may have decided its pay-back time for their commander-in-chief.

5. Water Fiasco Looms for POM Naval Base, National, 2008-10-10

The PNG Defence Force is in for a major embarrassment because of its inability to pay its bills. Defence Force officials raised concerns at the start of the Regional Fisheries Surveilance Operations involving vessels from the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and Pacific Island countries. These vessels will sail into the Lancron naval base in Port Moresby next week to find that there is no water to restock their supplies Officials said the water and sewerage bill was around K4 million.

6. PNG Govt Set to Toughen Gun Laws, Steve Marshall, ABC, 2008-10-12

PNG’s armoury has been plundered to such an extent; no one really knows how many guns are in criminal hands. Three years ago a guns control committee undertook an in-depth study into PNG’s problem gun culture. The Government has yet to act on the recommendations from the study. Former defence force commander Jerry Singirok now heads up that guns control committee. He is confident the Government will introduce those recommendations when parliament sits next month.

7. US Controls Bird Flu Vaccines over Bioweapon Fears, Robin McDowell, Associated Press, 2008-10-12

When Indonesia’s health minister stopped sending bird flu viruses to the US for fear Washington could use them to make biological weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called it “the nuttiest thing” he’d ever heard. Yet deep inside an 86-page supplement to US export regulations is a single sentence that bars US exports of vaccines for avian bird flu to 5 countries designated “state sponsors of terrorism.” The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological warfare.

8. Nautilus Institute updated Information

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Richard Tanter,
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