APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 14, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 14, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, February 14, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-14-february-2008/

APSNet 14 February 2008

  1. PM’s Defence Dilemma
  2. Searching for Australia’s Role in Timor
  3. Australian Troops Criticised over Attacks
  4. Aust/US Military: Importance of Collaboration in Counter Terrorism
  5. Defeat a ‘Real Possibility’ in Afghanistan
  6. Iraq: When Should US Troops Leave?
  7. Southeast Asia’s Looming Nuclear Power Industry

1. PM’s Defence Dilemma, Hugh White, Australian, 2008-02-12

Defence has always lacked the capacity to take hard strategic decisions itself. So the NSC itself must address these questions and take the decisions. That means their role in the white paper process must be much more than just approving drafts sent up by Defence.

2. Searching for Australia’s Role in Timor, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2008-02-14

Has the Australian Government agreed to safeguard the defence and wellbeing of the small, oil-rich country to the north? Because if this is true, the PM has some crucial questions to answer. How long will the overall troop commitment last? How much will it cost? Most importantly, what is the eventual goal, for Australia, and what do the Timorese authorities need to do in return?

3. Australian Troops Criticised over Attacks, Lindsay Murdoch, Age, 2008-02-13

The chief of East Timor’s armed forces has lashed out at Australian-led forces for failing to detect Monday’s plot to assassinate the two top political leaders as 120 additional Australian troops arrived in Dili. Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri also criticised the security forces for their inability to prevent gunmen from arriving in the capital with high-powered weapons.

4. Aust/US Military: Importance of Collaboration in Counter Terrorism, Karen Snowdon with General Gene Renuart, ABC 2008-02-11 [Audio]

Commander of the US Northern Command, Airforce General Gene Renuart, one of the United States’ most senior military commanders, says the US and Australia should be cooperating more on counter-terrorism measures and intelligence sharing in Asia.

5. Defeat a ‘Real Possibility’ in Afghanistan, ABC, 2008-02-13

NATO is in disarray and the West faces defeat in Afghanistan unless it overhauls its counter-insurgency and reconstruction strategy says Britain’s Paddy Ashdown. Mr Ashdown, who was rejected last month by Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the post of senior UN envoy to the country, called for renewed efforts to win Taliban moderates away from the insurgency.

6. Iraq: When Should US Troops Leave? Stephen R. Shalom, Z-Net, 2008-02-05

Calling for withdrawal does not mean callously leaving the Iraqis to their fate. There are several things that the United States can do and should do to ease the transition. The US presence probably delays any possible reconciliation between the various Iraqi parties. As long as US troops are around, there is no need for the Iraqis to make the tough decisions and compromises that peace requires.

7. Southeast Asia’s Looming Nuclear Power Industry, Geoffrey Gunn, Japan Focus, 2008-02-11

East and Southeast Asia is the only region of the globe where nuclear power generation is presently growing significantly. The lesson of the Philippines’ experience for Southeast Asia should be clear: when scientists and engineers get it wrong in the world’s most advanced economies, the potential for error or mishap in less advanced is magnified. A Javanese or Vietnamese Chernobyl is, or should be, unthinkable.

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator