APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 26, 2009

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

APSNet 26 October 2009

  1. Kevin Rudd’s vision for Asia-Pacific community evolves
  2. Indonesia immigration plan to cost Australia $50m
  3. Indonesian President Yudhoyono’s second term cabinet
  4. No ADF plans to lead Afghan operations: Smith
  5. Low-tech attacks taking high toll on troops
  6. When innocent Afghans die
  7. Crunch time for fighters

1. Kevin Rudd’s vision for Asia-Pacific community evolves, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-10-26

Kevin Rudd’s concept of an Asia-Pacific community by 2020 has been canvassed at the East Asia summit in Thailand together with a rival vision from new Japanese leader Yukio Hatoyama. East Asian leaders meeting in Hua Hin discussed the broad regional architecture, with the Prime Minister promoting his plan both at the formal leaders’ meeting and in a series on bilateral discussions. “What I detect across the region is an openness to a discussion about how we evolve our regional architecture into the future,” Mr Rudd said.

2. Indonesia immigration plan to cost Australia $50m, Emma Griffiths, Lateline, 2009-10-24

A top Indonesian official says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to pay Indonesia to intercept asylum seekers will top $50 million. The price tag was revealed after another asylum seeker boat made its way into Australian waters this afternoon, taking the number of boats intercepted to four this week. Indonesia’s director-general of immigration has told the ABC Indonesia will need at least $50 million to adequately process asylum seekers.

3. Indonesian President Yudhoyono’s second term cabinet, Sunny Tanuwidjaja, East Asia Forum, 2009-10-25

The newly formed cabinet has been dubbed a ‘return the favour’ cabinet, a cabinet of political, a rainbow cabinet, and a power/cake sharing cabinet. The idioms used convey concerns about the structure of the cabinet. The first is the high level of representation of political parties instead of technocrats in the cabinet. The second is that the ministerial selection is still dominated more by political than professional considerations. The third is the accommodation of most of the political parties which gained seats in the parliament, and a weakened ‘opposition’ side.

4. No ADF plans to lead Afghan operations: Smith, ABC News, 2009-10-24

The Federal Government has reiterated that it has no plans for the Australian Defence Force to lead coalition operations in the Afghan province of Uruzgan. Just over 1,500 Australian troops are in Afghanistan, and the majority are based in Uruzgan. The Dutch government is planning to withdraw its troops from the province in August next year. Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says if and when the Dutch troops go, Australian forces will not take over as a lead group in the province.

5. Low-tech attacks taking high toll on troops, Tom Hyland, Age, 2009-10-25

Rising casualty figures suggest getting out of Afghanistan could be the bloodiest phase in Australia’s commitment to a war now in its ninth year. Official figures for Australians wounded in Afghanistan show troops carrying out Australia’s exit strategy – by mentoring Afghan forces so they can take charge of security – are suffering the most. Until this year, the heaviest toll had fallen on special forces – SAS troops and commandos who target Taliban leaders.

6. When innocent Afghans die, Brian Toohey, AFR*, 2009-10-24/25

Although they comprise only about 300 of the 1550 Australian troops in Afghanistan, the special forces are at the centre of 12 of the 18 incidents in which the ADF has allegedly caused civilian casualties since July 1, 2008. Defence refuses to release the wording of the rules of engagement. Today there is a greater willingness to accept that Australians are not supposed to kill civilians.
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7. Crunch time for fighters, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-10-24

Kevin Rudd is poised to sign off on Australia’s biggest military buy — up to 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the RAAF. The sign off is happening as pressures continue to bear down on defence spending in the face of the global financial crisis. Federal cabinet’s national security committee is set to approve the $16 billion F-35 acquisition in late November but the number of aircraft in the RAAF’s initial squadron could be cut from 24 to as few as 14.

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