APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 18, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 18, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 18, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-18-may-2009/

APSNet 18 May 2009

  1. Special forces plead for more armour
  2. Two more Afghan ‘incidents’ in probe
  3. Countering the military’s latest fad
  4. Sitting alone on our hands
  5. Minister takes blame for releasing sensitive treaty document
  6. Defence Chief sticks to his guns
  7. Hard graft for Indonesia
  8. Turning Roxby Downs into the world’s largest uranium mine

1. Special forces plead for more armour, Rafael Epstein, ABC, 2009-05-15

Australian special forces in Afghanistan are pleading for better protection against roadside bombs as they approach perhaps the most intense fighting season they have experienced in the conflict.

2. Two more Afghan ‘incidents’ in probe, Brendan Nicholson, Age, 2009-05-16

The Defence Force is investigating two more incidents involving Australian troops in which seven Afghan men were killed and two injured. The investigations were apparently launched after it was claimed the men were innocent civilians and not insurgents.

3. Countering the military’s latest fad, Celeste Ward, Washington Post, 2009-05-17

Counterinsurgency doctrine is on the verge of becoming an unquestioned orthodoxy, a far-reaching remedy for America’s security challenges. But this would be a serious mistake. Not all future wars will involve insurgencies. The question is not whether counterinsurgency works, but where, when and to what ends it is wise to commit U.S. power and resources.

4. Sitting alone on our hands, Deborah Snow and David Marr, SMH, 2009-05-16

Following the publication by President Barack Obama of the US Justice Department’s so-called Torture Memos, what had seemed outlandish allegations of mistreatment made by Habib now appear entirely plausible. The Rudd Government is giving the same answers the Howard government gave to the same questions despite all we have learnt about US conduct of torture and rendition.

5. Minister takes blame for releasing sensitive treaty document, Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2009-05-16

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, has accepted the blame for the accidental release of a document showing the progress of treaty negotiations with other countries. The embarrassing bungle has forced the DFAT to contact each of the 80 or so countries on the list to advise them of the breach.

6. Defence Chief sticks to his guns, Mark Ludlow, AFR*, 2009-05-16

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon announced Cairns-based shipbuilder as a preferred supplier for a $450 million naval contract even though the Queensland government had warned him the company had financial problems.
* Subscription required.

7. Hard graft for Indonesia, Katherine Demopoulos, Asia Times, 2009-05-16

The arrest of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission chief in a murder inquiry threatens to undermine President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s anti-graft drive, an integral part of his campaign for the July presidential elections. It has also presented politicians with an opportunity to water down the powers of the trailblazing anti-corruption body.

8. Turning Roxby Downs into the world’s largest uranium mine, MAPW, 2009-05-14

South Australia may end up with the largest uranium mine in the world, if BHP Billiton have it their way. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released on 1 May 2009 by BHP Billiton, promoting its plans to turn the Olympic Dam (Roxby Downs) into the largest open-cut mine in the world by digging a pit of about 14.4 cubic kms (4.1×3.5×1 kms). Export of uranium is expected to increase from an average of 4,500 tonnes per year to 19,000 tonnes per year.

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