APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, July 14, 2008

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

APSNet 14 July 2008

  1. Afghanistan More Unstable
  2. US Eyes Swifter Iraq Withdrawal
  3. Malaysia, Australia Offer Peacekeeping Training to Regional Armies
  4. Rudd on Right Track despite Rebuff
  5. Tanks Flawed, Army Admits
  6. PNG: Border Incursion
  7. India’s Uranium Deal Threatens Nuclear Headache for Australia

Briefing Note: Commission of Truth and Friendship – Indonesia-Timor Leste, Richard Tanter and Arabella Imhoff

1. Afghanistan More Unstable, Tom Hyland, SMH, 2008-07-13

Australian troops in southern Afghanistan face worsening security and their battlefield successes against the Taliban are not winning the support of local people, a confidential report and secret polling show. Coming less than a week after the sixth Australian soldier died in Afghanistan, the findings undermine claims of progress and reinforce Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s warning of more troop deaths.

2. US Eyes Swifter Iraq Withdrawal, Steven Lee Myers, Age, 2008-07-14

The Bush Administration is considering the withdrawal of additional combat forces from Iraq beginning in September, raising the prospect of a far more ambitious plan than expected only months ago. One factor in the consideration is the pressing need for additional American troops in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other fighters have intensified their insurgency.

3. Malaysia, Australia Offer Peacekeeping Training to Regional Armies, AP, 2008-07-10

Malaysia and Australia agreed to collaborate in offering training programs to armed forces around the region wishing to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

4. Rudd on Right Track Despite Rebuff, Greg Earl, AFR*, 2008-07-14

Rudd failed to pave the way for such a sudden Australian intrusion into this Byzantine arena, and he has failed to win much support in ASEAN. Australia does not have a seat at this table, which only serves to underline that while Rudd may have been presumptuous with his Asia-Pacific community, he is on the right track. Australia needs a voice inside the key institutions that decide the future directions of Asia.
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5. Tanks Flawed, Army Admits, Mark Dodd, Australian, 2008-07-11

Crewmen operating the army’s new Abrams battle tanks are unable to communicate properly with infantry forces because their radio systems are incompatible. The embarrassing revelation comes at a critical time – the army is considering whether to deploy the tanks to Afghanistan to bolster Australia’s 1000-strong contingent in the event the Dutch withdraw heavy armour and artillery from Oruzgan province.

6. Border Incursion, Clifford Faiparik, National, 2008-07-14

Indonesian soldiers have defied diplomatic and military protocols and continue to violate international border agreements with Papua New Guinea. Government Ministers were told by villagers and PNG Defence Force personnel at Wutung in Vanimo, Sandaun province, that there had been numerous border incursions allegedly made by the Indonesians at the end of May, June and this month.

7. India’s Uranium Deal Threatens Nuclear Headache for Australia, Age, 2008-07-12

The Rudd Government has firmly restated its policy of banning uranium exports to countries that have not ratified the treaty. But what stance will it take at the Nuclear Suppliers Group when asked to allow other countries to supply India? Two big interests are at stake. First is Australia’s strong stance on non-proliferation. Second is Australia’s fast-growing relationship with India, an emerging superpower.

8. Briefing Note: Commission of Truth and Friendship – Indonesia-Timor Leste, Richard Tanter and Arabella Imhoff, 2008-07-14

Much media commentary has focussed on the political difficulties expected to be faced by the governments of Indonesia and Timor Leste as a result of the coming release of the final Commission of Truth and Friendship report, especially in the light of the complete failure of Indonesia to bring any important military figure to justice for crimes against humanity in East Timor during its quarter-century colonial occupation of the country. The question of reopening the case against former TNI figures will now figure large.

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator