APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 31, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 31, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 31, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-31-march-2008/

APSNet 31 March 2008

  1. Rudd Calls a Halt to Go-It-Alone
  2. Let’s Open Our Doors and Be Neighbourly to the Island Nations
  3. Defence Beefs Up Ties with Jakarta
  4. Questionable Peace if Taliban are Part of It
  5. Defence Chief Urges Pressure on Pakistan
  6. Pacific Countries Involved in Military Exercise
  7. Aid Groups Suggest Timor Enforces Law
  8. Wisai Raid Leaves 4 Dead

1. Rudd Calls a Halt to Go-It-Alone, Editorial, SMH, 2008-03-28

Kevin Rudd is pushing Australia’s foreign policy in a different direction – but not an unfamiliar one. This country has returned to an updated version of the path it used to follow: one that leads through the world’s multilateral organisations in search of solutions to problems that cross national boundaries.

2. Let’s Open Our Doors and Be Neighbourly to the Island Nations, Stewart Firth and Anthony Bergin, Age, 2008-03-31

We should continue to change the tone of our regional diplomacy. Personal relationships are of supreme importance in the Pacific, and Australia’s political leaders should cultivate them with their Pacific counterparts. Australia needs to open itself up to the regional neighbourhood, and make the interchange and cross-flow of Australians and Pacific islanders the centrepiece of a long-term strategy.

3. Defence Beefs Up Ties with Jakarta, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2008-03-28

Australia is set to strengthen defence ties with Indonesia, expanding combined exercises, training and educational links. Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said the two sides would work on a series of joint understandings to identify areas for closer co-operation, including “military training and post-graduate education, combined exercises and maritime surveillance and patrol”.

4. Questionable Peace if Taliban are Part of It, Faridullah Bezhan, SMH, 2008-03-31

After six years of fighting in Afghanistan, sharing power with the Taliban has been suggested as the way to end the war. Negotiating with the “moderate” and “good” Taliban is an idea the Afghan Government and the coalition forces have employed since the removal of the Taliban at the end of 2001.

  • In Our Hands, Jonathan Pearlman and Cynthia Banham, SMH, 2008-03-29 

5. Defence Chief Urges Pressure on Pakistan, Cynthia Banham and Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2008-03-29

The defence chief, Angus Houston, has ventured into the sensitive topic of Pakistani-Western relations, calling for diplomatic pressure to convince Pakistan to crack down on insurgents flowing into Afghanistan.

6. Pacific Countries Involved in Military Exercise, ABC, 2008-03-28

More than fifteen hundred soldiers from six nations are participating in a French-led military joint exercise in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. The drill is designed to improve the ability of the troops to respond to a regional crisis, to evacuate civilians who are in danger and to deliver humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

7. Aid Groups Suggest Timor Enforces Law, Lindsay Murdoch, SMH, 2008-03-31

Non-government organisations have called on the East Timorese Government to end a cycle of impunity for the perpetrators of violence in the troubled country, including political crimes. The NGO Forum said “many people observe that those who commit political crimes go free even though they were recommended for prosecution by independent commissions”. 

8. Wisai Raid Leaves 4 Dead, Post Courier, 2008-03-27

At least four men, including their commander, were killed last week after ex-combatants and police raided a Me’ekamui faction camp in South Bougainville. This came about as serious fighting continues in Wisai, and as more ex-combatants from different parts of Bougainville have flooded into Oria since last week to hunt Damien Koike and his armed gang who claim to be members of the Me’ekamui faction.

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator