APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, November 26, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, November 26, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, November 26, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-26-november-2009/

APSNet 26 November 2009

  1. Kevin Rudd signs off on purchase of 14 F-35 joint strike fighters
  2. Nato will send 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan, says Brown
  3. From stability to chaos in Indonesia
  4. East Timor threatens to quit gas project
  5. Papua leaders reject military command project
  6. Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil
  7. Converging Peril: Climate Change and Conflict in the Southern Philippines

 1. Kevin Rudd signs off on purchase of 14 F-35 joint strike fighters, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-11-25

The Rudd government has given the green light to Australia’s largest ever defence purchase, approving a buy of 14 F-35 joint strike fighters at a cost of $3.2 billion. Cabinet’s national security committee has backed the RAAF’s plan to buy at least 72 of the fifth generation fighters at a projected cost of at least $12bn but Australia’s F-35’s will be bought in batches with the first aircraft expected to be delivered in 2014.

2. Nato will send 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan, says Brown, Patrick Wintour, Guardian, 2009-11-25

Gordon Brown paved the way for the announcement of a large US troop surge in Afghanistan by saying he had received assurances from Nato countries that they would contribute an extra 5,000 troops. The assurances are significant because both Brown and Barack Obama have said they will not commit more of their own troops unless there are increases in other Nato troop numbers. Brown said: “In addition to offering security, the troops must train and mentor the Afghan armed forces and police so that, over time, they can take responsibility for the security of their country.”

3. From stability to chaos in Indonesia, Patrick Guntensperger, Asia Times, 2009-11-26

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered an eagerly awaited announcement on the scandal involving the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and National Police’s alleged efforts to undermine the quasi-independent and widely respected Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). But Yudhoyono’s vague pronouncement on November 23 failed to clear the air and left unanswered questions about his own possible involvement in the alleged plot. Re-elected in July with an overwhelming democratic mandate, Yudhoyono has more recently experienced a reversal of political fortunes as his corruption-busting credentials have come into doubt and protesters in cities across the country have taken to the streets calling for his resignation.

4. East Timor threatens to quit gas project, Daniel Flitton, SMH, 2009-11-26

East Timor has warned it will abandon a multibillion-dollar deal with Australia to exploit natural gas fields in the Timor Sea unless a pipeline is built to deliver the rich bounty directly to the impoverished nation. Francisco da Costa Monteiro, the special adviser to East Timor’s secretary of state for natural resources, flew to Canberra for talks with the Federal Minister for Resources, Martin Ferguson, in an attempt to break the impasse. ‘They should start to realise that Timor today is very different from Timor in 2002 and 1999 or before,’ Mr Da Costa said, noting that the country had substantial national savings from other resource projects, totalling more than $5 billion.

5. Papua leaders reject military command project, Christian Motte and Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta Globe, 2009-11-25

Plans by the Armed Forces to establish a second military command in Papua were rejected by an assembly of the province’s cultural leaders, saying the one currently in place was enough. Yance Kayame, a member of the Papuan Peoples’ Assembly (MRP), said it would be more reasonable to improve the military command already based in the provincial capital of Jayapura. Maj. Gen. AY Nasution heads the XVII Cenderawasih military command in Jayapura, one of seven situated across the country tasked with, among other things, keeping the nation’s international borders secure.

6. Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil, Aljazeera, 2009-11-25

Pakistan’s president and thousands of other officials in the country could find themselves facing corruption charges as an amnesty deal exempting them from prosecution nears its deadline. The amnesty deal was announced two years ago by Pervez Musharraf, then the country’s president, but the so-called National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) has been called into question by the supreme court, which has branded it unconstitutional. Fears mounted over whether the deal would collapse, a development that could force Zardari from office and throw the country into political turmoil.

7. Converging peril: climate change and conflict in the Southern Philippines, J. Jackson Ewing, RSIS Working Paper issue no. 187, 2009-11-23 [PDF, 1.7MB]

The provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the southern Philippines are experiencing convergence risks from climate change and violent conflict. Recognising the potential relationships between climate change and conflict in Mindanao is an important step towards employing integrated approaches that address both climate and security challenges.  While increasingly clear scientific evidence demonstrates that climate change poses significant challenges for many sectors of society, determining the appropriate place for climate change in security studies remains a difficult task.  Climate change requires a re-evaluation of traditional security norms that respects its potential to exacerbate conflict dynamics and make peacebuilding efforts more difficult.

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Richard Tanter,
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