APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 22, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 22, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 22, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-22-september-2008/

APSNet 22 September 2008

  1. RI, Australia to Co-Produce Weaponry
  2. Afghan Civilian Deaths: Joint Inquiry Ordered
  3. Human Rights Watch Raises Renewed Concerns over Abuse by PNG Police
  4. Foreign Troops Needed in East Timor for at Least another Year: PM
  5. Afghanistan Opium: A Growing Concern
  6. Pakistan: the New Frontline
  7. Second Khushab Plutonium Production Reactor Nears Completion
  8. Pacific Islands: Beyond Good Governance

1. RI, Australia to Co-Produce Weaponry, Abdul Khalik, Jakarta Post, 2008-09-19

Indonesian and Australian defense companies will jointly build military equipment for both countries in the near future under a partnership that may ease Indonesia’s dependence on weapons imports. After meeting his Australian counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said officials of the Indonesian Military and representatives of defense companies would soon fly to Australia to discuss what equipment would be built under the partnership.

2. Afghan Civilian Deaths: Joint Inquiry Ordered, Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2008-09-20

A raid by Australian special forces in which several Afghan civilians were killed – including a district governor who is an ally of the Afghan President – will be jointly investigated by the NATO-led forces and the Afghan Government.

3. Human Rights Watch Raises Renewed Concerns over Abuse by PNG Police, RNZI, 2008-09-19

Human Rights Watch has written to the PNG Government highlighting its concerns over police abuse of their powers. Its reports, based on extensive research in PNG, say sexual violence, intimidation and excessive force are common practice by police. HRW spokeswoman Zama Coursen-Neff admits that recent initiatives to promote accountability in the force are promising signs.

4. Foreign Troops Needed in East Timor for at Least another Year: PM, AFP, 2008-09-20

East Timor wants foreign troops to stay on its soil for at least one more year as instability is still a threat to the young nation, the prime minister said. Foreign troops were still needed to ensure security in the wake of a foiled rebel attack on the country’s leaders in February, Xanana Gusmao told reporters alongside visiting Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

5. A Growing Concern, Frank Walker, SMH, 2008-09-21

Australian Federal Police officers are trying to stem the flood of opium from Afghanistan. About 20 percent of heroin on Australia’s streets comes from Afghanistan. Australia has four Australian Federal Police officers in Afghanistan and by the end of the year, another eight will train Afghan police to fight the narcotics trade. Opium crops grew 23 percent in the past 12 months and yields per hectare have increased markedly.

6. Pakistan: the New Frontline, Paul Rogers, Open Democracy, 2008-09-18

Washington’s focus of attention has shifted strongly towards Pakistan. This now extends to Washington’s direct military engagement in Pakistan – which pays little heed to the wishes of or the response from the Islamabad government, the Pakistani army and, above all, the Pakistani people. More and more evidence is emerging that US operations across the border have escalated rapidly, and that this may well become the dominant theme of the coming months.

7. Second Khushab Plutonium Production Reactor Nears Completion, David Albright and Paul Brannan, ISIS, 2008-09-18 [695 KB, PDF]

ISIS has obtained commercial satellite imagery of the Khushab plutonium production reactor site in Pakistan. It shows further construction of the second and third plutonium production reactors at Khushab. Once completed, these reactors will increase several-fold Pakistan’s ability to make weapon-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons. There is a real risk that this will exacerbate an India-Pakistan nuclear arms race and increase tensions more broadly between the two.

8. Beyond Good Governance, Jenny Hayward-Jones, Lowy Institute, 2008-09-22

Australian aid has not been effective in helping the Pacific Islands region make significant progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Australian aid should be used to leverage growing corporate interest in reducing global poverty into investment in the Pacific – to create real income-earning opportunities for a burgeoning youth population and underscore a solid base for improved service delivery.

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