APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 1, 2007

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 1, 2007", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 01, 2007, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-for-20070301/

APSNet for 20070301

Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)

Twice weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.

Thursday 1 March 2007

  1. Trouble Brewing in East Timor Again?
  2. Some 1,000 Soldiers Deployed along Indonesia-East Timor Border
  3. East Timor: Balibo Inquest Keeps Lid on Old Spy Methods
  4. China’s Strategic Southeast Asian Embrace
  5. Australia: Ships Come in $1bn over Defence Budget
  6. Australia Faces Growing Submarine Threat
  7. Nuclear: A Road Australia Has Travelled Already
  8. Australia-Indonesia: Security Framework a Benchmark

Austral Policy Forum 07-05A – Military Links between Australia and Indonesia: An Amoral Assessment – Clinton Fernandes


  1. Trouble Brewing in East Timor Again? SIIA, 2007-02-26

    This time, over the possible sacking of troops on strike, the shooting of an East Timorese refugee by an Australian peacekeeper. This and other incidents have sparked a wave of anti-Australian feelings in East Timor. As a result, the Australian-led UN and International Security Forces (ISF) have been targeted in a series of rock throwing incidents, with 50 UN vehicles hit over two days.

  2. Some 1,000 Soldiers Deployed along RI-East Timor Border, Jakarta Post, 2007-03-01

    The Indonesian military has deployed some 1,000 soldiers along border areas between East Timor and Indonesia, following the security crisis in the newest Asian country. The deployment was to anticipate possible penetration of East Timor rebels led by Maj. Alfredo Reinado. Indonesia has closed checkpoints between the two countries to prevent any exodus of East Timorese into Indonesia.

  3. Balibo Inquest Keeps Lid on Old Spy Methods, Hamish McDonald, SMH, 2007-02-27

    The Federal Government has brought down the cone of silence over the Balibo inquest, shielding key intelligence evidence from the public and the media. One of the world’s leading authorities on signals intelligence, Desmond Ball of the Australian National University, said the court secrecy was “nonsense” and added: “The coroner has been snowed by [Defence Signals Directorate] DSD.”

  4. China’s Strategic Southeast Asian Embrace, David Fullbrook, Asia Times, 2007-02-21

    If all goes to plan, China will for the first time ever in July host joint military exercises with troops from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Beijing’s friendly overture would appear to mark a significant strategic departure, with China moving toward more limited multilateralism rather than its historical unilateralism to advance its regional-security interests.


  5. Ships Come in $1bn over Defence Budget, Geoffrey Barker, AFR*, 2007-02-28

    The federal government is facing a $1 billion blow-out in the estimated $6 billion cost of its three planned air-warfare destroyers. The failure of the bidders to keep their prices close to defence’s $6 billion estimate has confronted the government with new concerns over the project and over Australia’s $19.6 billion annual defence budget, already under severe pressure.
    * Subscription required.


  6. Australia Faces Growing Submarine Threat, AAP, SMH, 2007-03-01

    Australia faces a growing threat from regional nations equipped with modern submarines, a new study warns. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says Australia’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities had lagged behind because regional nations had few submarines and those were of dubious capability. But many regional nations were now acquiring modern submarines and weapons.

  7. A Road Australia Has Travelled Already, Hugh White, SMH, 2007-03-01

    The Federal Government has yet to respond to the Switkowski report on Australia’s nuclear future. Debate about its recommendations on nuclear power generation has moved into a higher gear with news that senior businessmen, some with strong Liberal Party affiliations, have formed a company to develop nuclear power stations here. But there is also the question of Australia’s nuclear weapons capability.

  8. Security Framework a Benchmark, Graeme Dobell with Gillian Bird, June Verrier and Bill Rowlings, ABC, 2007-02-26

    The Australian Government says its new security treaty with Indonesia is a benchmark for the rest of Asia. A parliament committee into the Australia-Indonesia Framework for Security Cooperation is hearing submissions from the public, including activists from the Indonesian province of Papua.

Austral Policy Forum 07-05A: Military Links Between Australia and Indonesia: An Amoral Assessment – Clinton Fernandes

Clinton Fernandes from the University of NSW at the ADF Academy reviews the 2006 security agreement between Australia and Indonesia and finds “that the realpolitik argument fails on its own terms.” He rejects claims that military cooperation will enhance counter-terrorism, contribute to stability in Indonesia, or facilitate awareness of human rights issues within the Indonesian armed forces. The success of the ADF role in InterFET, he argues, came from the Indonesian military’s diplomatic isolation and the preponderance of Australian force rather than access to senior Indonesian military personnel. Finally Fernandes rejects the argument that “Australia would have to spend a prohibitively high sum of money on defence in the absence of close relations with the TNI.” Leaving aside the absence of aggressive intent, Fernandes concludes that “the Indonesian military does not have the naval or air assets required to project power against Australia, let alone to sustain itself logistically.”


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