APSNet for 20061019
Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)
Bi-weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.
Thursday 19 October 2006
- UN Commission of Inquiry Issues Report on Violent Crisis that Shook Timor-Leste
- Moti Affair Offers a Lesson for a Short-Sighted Neighbour
- Iraq: A War that Has Run Out of Control
- Washington’s Worst-Kept Secret: Changes are Coming in Iraq Policy
- Straight Talk about Japan’s Nuclear Option
- Are We Ready for Nuclear War?
- Russian Company to Build First RI Nuclear Power Plant
- ASIO Expands to Counter Increased Threats
Austral Policy Forum 06-33A: Guns and the Pacific: A Wasteful Hiccup at the United Nations – Philip Alpers
UN Commission of Inquiry Issues Report on Violent Crisis that Shook Timor-Leste, UN Media Release, 2006-10-17
Timor-Leste’s then interior and defence ministers and defence force chief acted illegally in transferring weapons to civilians during the violence that shook the small South-East Asian country early this year and should be prosecuted, according to a UN report. Also, Former Prime Minister Alkatiri failed to use his firm authority to denounce the transfer of security sector weapons to civilians.
Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor Leste, United Nations, 2006-10-02 [PDF]
Moti Affair Offers a Lesson for a Short-Sighted Neighbour, Hugh White, SMH, 2006-10-19
The Moti affair, trivial in itself, tells us much that is depressing and alarming about the state of Australia’s policy towards our near neighbours. It shows how deep their problems are, how far we are from finding any solutions, and how badly the Government handles our relations with these dysfunctional countries that are so important to our future.
A War that Has Run Out of Control, Malcolm Fraser, Age, 2006-10-17
The “coalition of the willing”, America, Britain and Australia, went to war on the basis of what is now known to be a lie. As a consequence of that decision, we are plunged into a dangerous and escalating situation. Terrible as Saddam Hussein was, the West did not have the capacity to replace him. It did have the capacity to cause chaos, the reality of civil war, increasing disaster and increasing hardship for most Iraqis.
Iraq: Unemployment and Violence Increase Poverty, IRIN News.org, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2006-10-17
Electricity Levels in Baghdad at Lowest Level since U.S. Invasion, Think Progress, 2006-10-18
Washington’s Worst-Kept Secret: Changes are Coming in Iraq Policy, Tony Karon, Time, 2006-10-18
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group will not report until after [the US] November elections. The group was endorsed by the White House and Headed by former Secretary of State and Bush family consigliore James Baker. The broad premise guiding the recommendations appears to be that the U.S. needs to salvage the best possible outcome [it can] given that the achievement of its original goals in Iraq appear increasingly unlikely.
James Baker’s Iraq, Tom Engelhardt, Z-Net, October 13, 2006-10-13
Straight Talk about Japan’s Nuclear Option, Brad Glosserman, Pacific Forum CSIS, 2006-10-11 [PDF]
Yes, North Korea’s nuclear test is a blow to the regional security order. It is a bitter defeat for diplomacy. And yes, Japanese (and Chinese and Americans and South Koreans and others) are concerned about its implications, but the fear – the assumption? – that Japan will develop its own nuclear weapons as a consequence is pure fantasy.
Top LDP Politician Says Japan Should Consider Possessing Nuclear Weapons, Mainichi Daily News, 2006-10-18
Japan’s Aso says OK to Debate Going Nuclear, Reuters, 2006-10-18
Are We Ready for Nuclear War? Paul Dibb and Geoffrey Barker, AFR*, 2006-10-17
Australian leaders are encouraging debate on developing nuclear power and uranium reprocessing. It may be a stretch to a debate on whether Australia should consider acquiring nuclear weapons in response to global instabilities created by Pyongyang’s nuclear test, but there are precedents. In 1968, 1971 and 1983 the top-level defence committee advised Australian governments to shorten the lead time for the development of nuclear weapons.
Russian Company to Build First RI Nuclear Power Plant, Jongker Rumteh, Jakarta Post, 2006-10-16
Russian electricity company Raoues is slated to build Indonesia’s first nuclear power plant. The facility will be located in Gorontalo, Sulawesi, in order to meet long-term demand for electricity there and in nearby provinces. Governor Fadel Muhamad said, “The new plant is expected to start operating by the end of 2007”. Fadel said the nuclear plant would be designed to have a generating capacity of 90 megawatts.
ASIO Expands to Counter Increased Threats, Geoffrey Barker, AFR*, 2006-10-19
Australia’s main counter-espionage agency is getting larger, better funded and increasingly active in Australia and overseas as it moves to handle what it calls continuing, complex and dangerous security threats to Australians at home and abroad. The annual report of ASIO, released yesterday, highlights planned growth in ASIO’s staff to 1860 by 2010-11 and planned growth in its budget to $233.059 million next year.
- Report to Parliament 2005-2006, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, September 2006 [PDF]
Austral Policy Forum 06-33A: Guns and the Pacific – A Wasteful Hiccup at the United Nations – Philip Alpers
Philip Alpers from the University of Sydney writes that “five years after the adoption of the UN Programme of Action to address the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons”, the recent UN PoA Review Conference closed “without so much as an outcome document.” A spin-off Arms Trade Treaty, argues Alpers, “could distract from more direct and localised efforts to curb gun violence.” In Pacific Islands Forum countries, “civilians alone hold 3.1 million firearms, or one gun for every ten people”, writes Alpers. “After disastrous leakages of government guns in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, Australia led the charge to help island nations lock up their small arms, building secure state armouries across the region. But of late, regional implementation of the UN PoA has lagged.”
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Permalink: This issue of Austral Peace and Security Network can be found at http://nautilus.rmit.edu.au/2006/20061019.html.