APSNet for 20070205
Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)
Twice weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.
Monday 5 February 2007
- Defence Pact to Put Japanese Troops on Australian Soil
- Indonesia Cuts Lose from Debtor Group
- Papua Evacuees Encouraged to Return Home
- Iraq Chaos Could Worsen
- U.S. General Leads NATO Afghan Force
- Navy Struggles to Fix Fault in Patrol Boats
- Scorched Earth an Insecure Place
- Remember the Bird Flu Threat? It Hasn’t Gone Away
Defence Pact to Put Japanese Troops on Australian Soil, Peter Alford, Australian, 2007-02-05
Canberra and Tokyo are negotiating a defence and security agreement. The co-operation pact will provide joint military exercises, regular meetings between foreign and defence ministers, exchanges of officials and closer work on regional challenges such as North Korean nuclear proliferation. It will be Japan’s first bilateral security agreement, other than the US-Japan alliance.
Whither the Japan-Australia Security Relationship? Desmond Ball, Austral Policy Forum 06-32A, 2006-09-21
Indonesia Cuts Lose from Debtor Group, Morgan Mellish, AFR*, 2007-01-31
For 40 years, donor countries and organisations like the Wold Bank have met each year to work out how much money they should lend Indonesia. But last week, with one eye on national pride – and the other on opinion polls – Indonesia’s government decided to take control of its finances. “Indonesia no longer needs the CGI [Consultative Group on Indonesia],” President Susilo Bambang Yudohoyono says.
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Papua Evacuees Encouraged to Return Home, Nethy Dharma Somba, Jakarta Post, 2007-02-02
The government will deploy a team of local officials to Yamo, Puncak Jaya, Papua, to encourage thousands of people fleeing a crackdown on separatists to return home. Around 2,000 people moved from the Yamo River to the center of Yamo district following military and police attacks on Free Papua Movement (OPM) rebels in the area.
Iraq Chaos Could Worsen, US Agencies Warn, Reuters, AFP, Australian, 2007-02-03
A long-awaited US intelligence report warns of a strong danger the chaotic situation in Iraq could deteriorate further, presenting difficulties for President George W. Bush as he faces a hostile Senate over his plans for a troop surge in the war.
Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead, Unclassified Key Judgments, NIE, National Intelligence Council, January 2006 [PDF, Primary Source]
Op-Chart: 31 Days in Iraq [pictorial chart of 1,900 people killed in January], Adriana Lins de Albuquerque and Alicia Cheng, NYT, 2007-02-03
U.S. General Leads NATO Afghan Force, AP, NYT, 2007-02-04
Gen. Dan McNeill, the highest ranking U.S. general to lead troops in Afghanistan, took command of 35,500 NATO-led soldiers on Sunday, after nine months of British command. The transition comes after a year of sharply increased violence following the alliance’s push into the Taliban’s southern heartland, and military officials said privately they expect McNeill to take a harder line with militants than his predecessor, Gen. David Richards. There are now 26,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the highest number ever.
Navy Struggles to Fix Fault in Patrol Boats, Mark Dodd, Australian, 2007-02-05
A recurring fuel contamination fault in the navy’s $550million fleet of new Armidale-class patrol boats is no closer to being fixed and has now embroiled three government defence agencies, plus the navy and two civilian contractors. Modifications to the fuel delivery system have apparently failed and the fleet is back in port, forcing the navy to deploy a “scratch flotilla” to secure the vast northern fishery zone.
Scorched Earth an Insecure Place, Australian, Alan Dupont, 2007-02-05
Climate change is eclipsing terror as the most likely cause of mega-death. The measured prose and bland title of the latest UN report on climate change belie the gravity and significance of its key message: that the earth will soon be a much hotter, drier and stormier place, and there is little doubt our way of life is the cause.
Remember the Bird Flu Threat? It Hasn’t Gone Away, Robert Glasser, Age, 2007-02-05
Early last year Australia’s Chief Medical Officer said that there was a one in 10 chance the bird flu virus would transform within 12 months to become a deadly human pandemic. In addition, wealthy countries must increase their commitment to help developing countries respond to the threat. This is an occasion on which our humanitarian interests and national self-interests are perfectly aligned.
Another H5N1 Outbreak Confirmed in Central Thailand, Standard, 2007-02-02
Remember Bird Flu? Matthew Hennessey, Policy Innovations, Carnegie Council, 2007-01-16