APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 29, 2010

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 29, 2010", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 29, 2010, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-29-september-2010/

APSNet 29 September 2010

  1. SAS under fire over Kopassus training
  2. Boost ‘will speed Kabul transition’
  3. Afghanistan: Fatal error in the fog of battle
  4. Afghan prisoners handcuffed, blindfolded
  5. Prisoners of War: Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men (2010 Edition)
  6. From Helmand to Merseyside: Unmanned drones and the militarisation of UK policing
  7. Kiribati calls for binding climate change framework
  8. Security risks around LNG call for community leadership, says PNG Police Chief
  9. Obama, Southeast Asian leaders urge free navigation

1. SAS under fire over Kopassus training, Matt Brown, ABC News, 2010-09-29

Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission has criticised Australian training for the controversial special forces unit, Kopassus. Australia’s commander of special forces says Kopassus is working hard to overcome the concern about human rights abuses that has blighted its record. The Human Rights Commission says Kopassus needs human rights training, not combat drills.

2. Boost ‘will speed Kabul transition’, Brendan Nicholson, Australian, 2010-09-25

Australia will send 20 artillery instructors and an additional team of about 15 Australia Federal Police instructors to Afghanistan. It is intended the detachment will help speed up the training of Afghan security forces. He said no decision had been made yet on how many police would be sent. There are already 28 members of the AFP in Afghanistan.

3. Fatal error in the fog of battle, Jeremy Kelly, Australian, 2010-09-28

A study on night raids this year by the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute says they are “widely associated with abuse and impunity”. “Night raids cause tremendous trauma within Afghan communities, often alienating the very people whom international forces are supposedly trying to protect,” according to the report. “These raids are often based on bad tips, leading to the detention of innocent people [who have] inadequate means to challenge their resulting detention,” it says.

4. Afghan prisoners handcuffed, blindfolded, Brendan Nicholson, Australian, 2010-09-27

Australian troops in Afghanistan are holding the suspected insurgents in a new jail. Since it opened last month, the centre has held 156 suspected insurgents. Those detained can be held for only 96 hours and must then be either handed over to Afghan authorities for trial or released. He said those detained were not treated as prisoners of war but as suspected criminals alleged to have broken Afghan law by taking part in the insurgency. Only 15 of the 156 suspects picked up so far have been handed over to the Afghan authorities.

5. Prisoners of War: Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men (2010 Edition), Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch, 2010-09-26

Obama’s Wars contains hints of another story, the significance of which seems to have eluded Woodward. The theme of that story is not whether Dick likes Jane, but whether the Constitution remains an operative document. According to the principle of civilian control, senior military officers advise and execute, but it’s the president who decides. That’s the theory, at least. Reality turns out to be considerably different and, to be kind about it, more complicated.

6. From Helmand to Merseyside: Unmanned drones and the militarisation of UK policing, Steve Graham, openDemocracy, 2010-09-27

Supported by Governments, these are working extremely hard to ensure that the deployment of aerial drones for policing purposes quickly saturates UK airspace and becomes completely normal and taken for granted. The intensifying cross-overs between the use of drones to deploy lethal force in the war zones of Asia and the Middle East, and their introduction within western airspace, need to be stressed.

7. Kiribati calls for binding climate change framework, RNZI, 2010-09-29

Kiribati’s president has called on world leaders to work towards a legally binding framework on climate change at December’s summit in Mexico. Anote Tong was speaking to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. “I do not believe that any country should have sovereignty over its greenhouse gas emissions.” Anote Tong says any alternative to a legally binding framework is simply unacceptable and would have potentially destabilising consequences.

8. Security risks around LNG call for community leadership, says PNG Police Chief, RNZI 2010-09-28

Papua New Guinea’s Police Commissioner has appealed for strong leadership in communities involved in the Liquified Natural Gas project to prevent more unrest around the massive development. This comes after the latest attack on infrastructure for the 16 billion US dollar project, a rampage by villagers in Gulf Province on an ExxonMobil gas. It’s linked to ongoing disagreements between various landowner groups in LNG sites across the country, often over benefit sharing issues.

9. Obama, Southeast Asian leaders urge free navigation, Associated Press, Jakarta Post, 2010-09-25

U.S. President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders sent China a firm message Friday over territorial disputes between Beijing and its neighbors, calling for freedom of navigation in seas that China claims as its own. The leaders “agreed on the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom of navigation, regional stability and respect for international law, including in the South China Sea.” Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet said that U.S.-ASEAN ties are crucial “to the security, peace and development in the region.”

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