APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 7, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 7, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 07, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-7-september-2009/

APSNet 7 September 2009

  1. ASIO has ear on Chinese whispers
  2. Military exercises with Australia, US still on table
  3. Australian firm linked to PNG’s $100m carbon trading scandal
  4. Disarmament: words don’t match actions
  5. Are US taxpayers funding the Taliban?
  6. NATO strike magnifies divide on Afghan war
  7. [UK] Government gives up hope of more European NATO help in Afghanistan
  8. TNI intensifies patrol on the Indonesian-Philippine border

1. ASIO has ear on Chinese whispers, Cameron Stewart, Australian, 2009-09-05

ASIO is investigating claims that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is employing technicians in Australia with direct links to the People’s Liberation Army. The claims have been made by Huawei employees in Sydney and Melbourne, who are understood to have approached ASIO with their concerns. Huawei has been the subject of critical scrutiny by intelligence agencies in the US and Britain about its alleged links with the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus.

2. Military exercises with Australia, US still on table, Brendan Nicholson and Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2009-09-04

China says it will consider a call from Australia and the US to carry out three-way military exercises in the interests of peace and stability. Its ambassador, Zhang Junsai, was responding to the joint overture for the exercises to ease concerns about China’s military ambitions and pave the way for stronger diplomatic ties.

3. Australian firm linked to PNG’s $100m carbon trading scandal, Marian Wilkinson And Ben Cubby, SMH, 2009-09-04

An Australian company has been swept up in a $100 million carbon trading scandal in Papua New Guinea after claims fake carbon certificates were given to landowners to help persuade them to sign over the rights to their forests. The scandal threatens to undermine efforts by the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, to win support at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen for a global carbon trading scheme to include forests in the likes of PNG and Indonesia.

4. Disarmament: words don’t match actions, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2009-09-04

Japan is not alone in relying on the US nuclear umbrella in its defence planning. Australia does too. In the Government’s recent Defence white paper – an effort to peer 20 years into the future and chart the country’s defence needs – US nuclear deterrence features prominently. And therein lies the conundrum. If Australia is successful in helping the push towards nuclear disarmament, it might end up spending more on its own military needs.

5. Are US taxpayers funding the Taliban? Jean MacKenzie, Global Post, 2009-09-02

The United States Agency for International Development has opened an investigation into allegations that its funds for road and bridge construction in Afghanistan are ending up in the hands of the Taliban, through a protection racket for contractors. A report on the funding of the Taliban last month exposed that the Taliban takes a percentage of the billions of dollars in aid from U.S. and other international coalition members that goes to large organizations and their subcontractors for development projects, in exchange for protection in remote areas controlled by the insurgency.

6. NATO strike magnifies divide on Afghan war, Stephen Farrell and Richard A. Oppel Jr., NYT, 2009-09-04

A NATO airstrike exploded two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban, setting off competing claims about how many among the scores of dead were civilians and raising questions about whether the strike violated tightened rules on the use of aerial bombardment. Afghan officials said that up to 90 people were killed by the strike near Kunduz, a northern city where the trucks got stuck after militants tried to drive them across a river. The strike came at a time of intense debate over the Afghan war in both the United States and Europe and after a heavily disputed election that has left Afghanistan tense and, at least temporarily, without credible leaders.

7. Government gives up hope of more European NATO help in Afghanistan, Sean Rayment, Telegraph, 2009-09-05

Defence sources have said that both the US and British governments no longer expect any of Nato’s main partner nations to send more troops to serve in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is most fierce. Despite high level lobbying by Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and senior diplomats no country has come forward to share more of the war fighting burden being felt by British and US troops in the south of the country. Sources have also indicated that both Britain and America may have to commit extra forces to the campaign if Canada withdraws all of its 2,800 troops in the next 18 months from the troubled Kandahar Province

8. TNI intensifies patrol on the Indonesian-Philippine border, Antara, 2009-09-07 [Indonesian]

The Indonesian army will increase the number of patrol speed boats to intensify border security in Indonesian-Philippine waters. Defence chief Djoko Santoso said “Yes, we want 100 new boats, some of which will be positioned in the boarder region of the Indonesia-Philippine sea”.

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