APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 8, 2010

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 8, 2010", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, December 08, 2010, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-8-december-2010/

APSNet 8 December 2010

  1. Scathing attacks on Rudd revealed in US diplomatic cables
  2. Rudd meets a brutal reality
  3. Outrage and Apologies: Washington Fights to Rebuild Battered Reputation
  4. The WikiLeaks wake up call
  5. Call to beef up Torres Strait police
  6. Cameron eyes 2011 Afghan pullout
  7. Judge dismisses bid to remove Anwar al-Awlaki from US ‘kill list’
  8. 2010 PwC Melbourne Institute Asialink Index
  9. Two thirds of states seen highly vulnerable to climate change by 2030

1. Scathing attacks on Rudd revealed in US diplomatic cables, Philip Dorling, SMH, 2010-12-08

The Herald has secured access to hundreds of WikiLeaks documents that reveal US embassy assessments of Australia on a range of important issues. The US regards the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, as an abrasive, impulsive ”control freak” who presided over a series of foreign policy blunders during his time as prime minister, according to a series of secret diplomatic cables.


2. Rudd meets a brutal reality, John Garnaut, SMH, 2010-12-08

Rudd’s unsolicited enthusiasm “to deploy force if everything goes wrong” and his willingness to posit Australia directly against China’s growing military capability seems unnecessary, given the vast and growing gap between Australian and Chinese capabilities. It also seems short-sighted, given how tightly our economies, people and political and physical environments are intertwined. Australia should not be signalling to Washington, let alone Beijing, that it ranks China closer to an enemy than friend, given what’s at stake if that favour is repaid.



3. Outrage and Apologies: Washington Fights to Rebuild Battered Reputation, Spiegel International Online, 2010-12-06

Her face has seemed frozen in place for days. She looks peaked, thin-lipped and serious, very serious. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently enduring the consequences of what is probably the biggest indiscretion in the history of diplomacy, and it shows.


4. The WikiLeaks wake up call, John Naughton, Al Jazeera, 2010-12-07

The current row over the latest WikiLeaks trove of classified US diplomatic cables has four sobering implications. The first is that it represents the first really sustained confrontation between the established order and the culture of the Net. Secondly, the one thing that might explain the official hysteria about the revelations is the way they comprehensively expose the way political elites in Western democracies have been lying to their electorates. Thirdly, the attack of WikiLeaks ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on. Finally, what WikiLeaks is exposing is the way the Western democratic system has been hollowed out



5. Call to beef up Torres Strait police, Sarah Elks, Australian, 201-12-07

Australian policing levels need boosting in the Torres Strait to cope with local concerns about security threats from Papua New Guinea. Alleged threats include gang rape, kidnapping and major theft. In a wide-ranging report on the Torres Strait, the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee recommended the Queensland government increase the powers of its community police officers in the region and suggested the Australian Federal Police review its presence in the Torres Strait.


6. Cameron eyes 2011 Afghan pullout, Al Jazeera, 2010-12-07

The UK prime minister, visiting Afghanistan on an unannounced trip, has said British troops could start withdrawing from the country as early as next year. “In terms of next year I think that it is possible. We have to deliver on the ground what’s necessary. What I have seen today gives me cause of cautious optimism,” Cameron said on Tuesday. Cameron has earlier made clear he hopes all British troops will be out of Afghanistan by 2015.


7. Judge dismisses bid to remove Anwar al-Awlaki from US ‘kill list’, Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor, 2010-12-07

A federal judge in Washington ruled on Tuesday that he lacks the authority to hear a lawsuit that sought to block the US government from carrying out the targeted killing of an American citizen hiding in Yemen who is suspected of involvement in terror operations. US District Judge John Bates dismissed a lawsuit filed by the father of Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual US-Yemen citizen, who is reportedly on a US “kill list” of terrorism suspects. His ruling clears the way for the Obama administration to conduct the targeted killing – without judicial oversight.


8. 2010 PwC Melbourne Institute Asialink Index, Asialink, 2010-12-03 [5 Mb PDF]

Tracking 2009 along seven critical indicators – trade, investment, research and business development, education, tourism, migration and humanitarian assistance – the Index reveals that recent growth in our engagement was substantially curtailed, and there were falls in three components. Under pressure of the global financial crisis, the flattening was driven by trade – specifically a decline in imports – and overall investment flows between Australia and Asia. A slowdown in the rapid growth of recent years in the education and migration components was also a contributor.

Click to access PwC-MI-Asialink_Index_2010.pdf

9. Two thirds of states seen highly vulnerable to climate change by 2030, Megan Rowling, Reuters AlertNet , 2010-12-03

Around two thirds of countries will become highly vulnerable to climate change by 2030, unless efforts to tackle global warming are stepped up fast, according to an international index launched on Friday. Those hardest-hit today are mainly fragile or failed states, including Afghanistan, Haiti, Myanmar and Somalia, as well as west African countries prone to food shortages.


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