APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, June 5, 2008

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APSNet 5 June 2008

  1. Rudd’s Grand Vision for Asia-Pacific
  2. Troops Overstretched, Says Minister
  3. ‘Key Questions for Defence in the 21st Century’, a Defence Policy Discussion Paper
  4. Wideband Global Satellite Communications Capability Obtained, Greg Combet
  5. Western Forces to Blame for Rising Violence: Karzai
  6. Vietnam Sets Nuclear Pace in Southeast Asia
  7. Australia’s Security and Prosperity in a Rapidly Changing Region and World

1. Rudd’s Grand Vision for Asia-Pacific, Tim Colebatch, Age, 2008-06-05

Kevin Rudd has proposed to create an “Asia-Pacific community” by 2020, bringing together countries as disparate as the United States, China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Australia. Mr Rudd proposed that a new institution be forged to deal with security, economic and resource challenges such as generating regional co-operation on security, freeing up trade and ensuring long-term security of energy, food and resource supplies.

2. Troops Overstretched, Says Minister, Brendan Nicholson, Age, 2008-06-03

Australia frontline troops are badly overstretched, with half of the army’s infantry and light armoured cavalry committed to Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has warned.

3. ‘Key Questions for Defence in the 21st Century’, a Defence Policy Discussion Paper, Defence White Paper, Department of Defence, 2008-04-16

The Minister for Defence launched the Defence White Paper Community Consultation Program and released a public discussion paper ‘Key Questions for Defence in the 21st Century’. The Community Consultation Panel who will manage the consultation program includes Rear Admiral Simon Harrington, Professor Tanya Monro and Mr Peter Collins to join Chair Mr Stephen Loosley and Deputy Chair Mr Arthur Sinodinos.

4. Wideband Global Satellite Communications Capability Obtained, Greg Combet, Media Release, Department of Defence, 2008-06-03

Australia is receiving operational capability from the Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) Communications system. “The capability is realised through a partnership with the US Department of Defense. It further strengthens the Australia-US alliance. It will enhance the interoperability between Australian and US defence forces” said the ParliamentarySecretary for Defence Procurement Greg Combet.

5. Western Forces to Blame for Rising Violence: Karzai, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2008-06-02

Afghan President Hamid Karzai puts the blame for rising violence in his country on international forces, saying they have mismanaged the fight against the resurging Taliban. Karzai said that the West risks losing peoples’ goodwill and that its forces should have done more to crack down on Taliban and al-Qaeda bases outside the country.

6. Vietnam Sets Nuclear Pace in Southeast Asia, Andrew Symon, Asia Times,2008-06-04

General Electric and its global rivals are lining up to help fast-growing Southeast Asian countries develop nuclear power facilities. Vietnam is leading the way, with an authoritarian government having an advantage in a sector in which public opposition can often play a decisive planning role.

7. Australia’s Security and Prosperity in a Rapidly Changing Region and World, Australia 2020 Summit Final Report [666 KB, Word]

A key question for the summit was how Australia should best work through global and regional institutions to ensure that the shift in the global distribution of power occurs peacefully. Australia needs to deal with the challenges brought about by globalisation and work with its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific to address development challenges and a security interest in ensuring that they prosper rather than fall behind.

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator