APSNet for 20061106
Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)
Twice weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.
Monday 6 November 2006
- Australia Reinforces Fiji Mission Amid Unrest
- Iraq: Hell Moves a Step Closer
- U.S. Seeks Silence on Secret CIA Prisons
- China-US War a Risk: Defence
- Australia’s Uranium Export Safeguards Found Wanting
- Maritime Interdiction of North Korean WMD Trade: Who Will Do What?
Australia Reinforces Fiji Mission Amid Unrest, Reuters, Alternet, 2006-11-05
Australia said it had reinforced its diplomatic mission in Fiji in preparation for a possible military coup after Fiji’s military accused Canberra of flying in mercenaries. Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said extra staff had been flown to Fiji with equipment to communicate with two warships expected off the South Pacific nation’s coast to evacuate Australians in the event of a coup.
Hell Moves a Step Closer, Paul McGeough, SMH, 2006-11-06
American neo-cons will claim the Saddam judgement as a victory, but it will bring no relief to George Bush. In other circumstances it might have allowed millions of Iraqis to draw a line under the atrocities and oppression of what Arab historians call the “era of Saddam Hussein”. Instead, it becomes another yardstick for failure by Washington and its allies in an invasion that one of their neo-con high priests promised would be a cakewalk.
Iraq: Amnesty International Deplores Death Sentences in Saddam Hussein Trial, Amnesty International, 2006-11-05
“Desert Crossing” 1999, Electronic Briefing Book No. 207, (introduction) Roger Strother, National Security Archive, 2006-11-04
Iraq’s Militia Groups, Lionel Beehner, Council On Foreign Relations, 2006-10-26
U.S. Seeks Silence on Secret CIA Prisons, Carol D. Leonnig and Eric Rich, Washington Post, 2006-11-04
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the “alternative interrogation methods” that their captors used to get them to talk. The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation’s most sensitive national security secrets.
China-US War a Risk: Defence, John Kerin, AFR*, 2006-11-06
Tensions between China and the US were a greater potential economic and security threat to Australia than the war on terrorism, and Canberra had to maintain a defence force to respond to the re-emergence of conflict, the Defence Department’s most senior strategist, Mike Pezzullo, said.
* Subscription required.
Australia’s Uranium Export Safeguards Found Wanting, Michelle Grattan, Age, 2006-11-05
Australia’s proposed safeguards are inadequate to track any diversion of its uranium exports to China’s nuclear weapons program, a report claims. The planned big exports to China and potential large through-puts of spent reactor fuel to extract plutonium increase the risks Australian nuclear material could be diverted, without detection, to military programs, it says. The report calls for the administrative arrangements to be made public and Parliament to scrutinise them.
Nuclear Power: No Solution to Climate Change, Jim Green, ACF et al. November 2006 [PDF]
Maritime Interdiction of North Korean WMD Trade: Who Will Do What? Mark J. Valencia, Nautilus Institute, 2006-11-03
As Australia prepares to send warships to help enforce UNSC Resolution 1718 against North Korea, it would do well to appraise itself of the real situation in the region, particularly regarding at (or over) sea interdictions. Australia could be sailing into very troubled political and legal waters. Such interdictions without the permission of the flag state, on or over the high seas, could be considered an act of war.