APSNet 20 May 2010
- Downgrade APEC, says Kevin Rudd
- Japan, Australia sign bilateral defense logistics agreement
- [South Korea] North sank ship: report
- Why Thai politics is no longer normal
- In ambush, a glimpse of a long Afghan summer
- The India-China relationship: a tempered rivalry?
- Financing of terrorism: risks for Australia
1. Downgrade APEC, says Kevin Rudd, Dennis Shanahan, Australian, 2010-05-20
Kevin Rudd is proposing a downgrading of APEC, the regional forum founded and championed by his predecessors, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, as part of a wider plan to promote his own plan for an Asia-Pacific community. Floating the idea of the APEC downgrade reflects Australia’s changing diplomatic priorities after Mr Rudd won founding membership of the global G20 group and the Prime Minister’s attempts to establish a smaller, Asian regional group to discuss economic and security issues.
2. Japan, Australia sign bilateral defense logistics agreement, Masami Ito, Japan Times, 2010-05-20
Japan and Australia signed a bilateral defense logistics agreement in Tokyo to strengthen security cooperation between the two nations. The Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement would enable the two governments to provide food, water and medical services to the Self-Defense Forces and the Australian Defense Force. This is the second agreement of its kind that Japan has signed, following one with the United States.
- Joint foreign and defence ministers press conference, Iikura House, Tokyo, Transcript, Department of Defence, 2010-05-19
3. North sank ship: report, Kirsty Needham, Age, 2010-05-20
South Korea will release evidence that North Korea torpedoed the warship Cheonan, killing 46 sailors.
This follows a multinational investigation involving five Australian defence force investigators. The South Korean government requested the help of Australia, the US, Britain, Sweden and Canada in responding to the March 26 sinking, which risks developing into a dangerous regional flashpoint.
- US weighs response to SKorean ship sinking, Matthew Lee, AP, Washington Post, 2010-05-19
4. Why Thai politics is no longer normal, Michael Connors, Age, 2010-05-19
The street battles and rising death toll in Bangkok signal that fundamentalist antagonists are now waging war over who defines democracy. The red shirts want a new social order. The Democrat Party-led governing coalition, backed so far by the military, wants to restore a social order that is now in ashes. Each sees the other as the enemy.
- Thailand going up in smoke, William Barnes, Asia Times, 2010-05-20
- Thai unrest could threaten trade, John Kerin, AFR*, 2010-05-18
5. In ambush, a glimpse of a long Afghan summer, C.J. Chivers, NYT, 2010-05-19
A new fighting season has begun around Marja. A little more than three months ago, thousands of Marines and Afghan soldiers swept into this area. The goal was to chase off the Taliban’s fighting units, disrupt a booming drug trade and usher in a government presence that might bring Marja under national control. But with the opium crop now harvested, and temperatures rising with summer’s approach, the Taliban have tried to exert influence anew.
- Taliban hits US base as troops prepare for Afghanistan ‘surge’, Amanda Hodge, Australian, 2010-05-20
- Afghan opium blight fuels anti-government suspicions, Abdul Malek, Reuters, 2010-05-17
6. The India-China relationship: a tempered rivalry? Rod Lyon, ASPI, 2010-05-20
Of all the great-power relationships of Asia, none is so difficult for Australia to influence as the relationship between India and China. Both are concerned primarily about their respective positions in a changing Asia. Australia’s best strategy is to encourage both powers to temper their rivalry through their own efforts, and to attempt to put in place arrangements that might stop that rivalry from escalating into areas of greater importance to Australia—maritime areas in the northern Indian Ocean and western Pacific.
7. Financing of terrorism: risks for Australia, Russell G. Smith, Rob McCusker & Julie Walters, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2010-05, [PDF, 1.2MB]
Australia has to date been relatively quarantined from large-scale, organised terrorist activities, but as a well-resourced country Australia is also at risk of being a location from which funds for terrorist activities may be drawn. This paper presents information on the environments in which the financing of terrorism have taken place in recent years and the trajectory of financing of terrorism risk which is likely to emerge for Australia and globally in the years ahead.