APSNet for 20070514
Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)
Twice weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.
Monday 14 May 2007
- East Timor: Aussie Spy Planes Grounded after Crash
- Defence Inquiry on Bombing in Iraq
- East Timor: Balibo Five Let Down by Spy Slips
- Indonesia’s Defense System Must be Changed
- Afghan Leaders Urge Taliban Truce
- Warships in the Line of Fire
- The New Nuclear Arms Race
Aussie Spy Planes Grounded after Crash, AAP, AdelaideNow, 2007-05-10
Australia’s unmanned surveillance aircraft have been grounded in East Timor after one crashed into a house in Dili. No one was hurt in the incident, thought to have been caused by a technical or operational failure. Australian Brigadier General Mal Rerden said all similar surveillance aircraft in East Timor had been grounded until an investigation into the crash was complete.
Defence Inquiry on Bombing in Iraq, Mark Dodd, Australian, 2007-05-14
An investigation has been launched by Defence explosives experts after a roadside bomb attack against an Australian patrol in southern Iraq damaged a military vehicle but left its two occupants unharmed. The findings by the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force will be shared among coalition allies as part of an ongoing effort to defeat the growing menace of roadside bomb attacks.
Bushmaster Immobilised in Southern Iraq IED Strike, Defence Media CPA 132/07, 2007-05-1
IED Briefing, Lieutenant Colonel Russell Maddalena, Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Task Force, Defence Media, 2007-05-10 [Audio]
ADF Operations Update, Brigadier Gus Gilmore, Lieutenant Colonel Russell Maddalena, Vice-Marshal Tony Austin, Defence Media CPA 70510/07, 2007-05-10 [Transcript]
Balibo Five Let Down by Spy Slips, Hamish McDonald, SMH, 2007-05-10
Australia’s former top intelligence official slammed a failure to “connect” crucial reports that might have saved the five newsmen killed at Balibo, East Timor, in 1975. The retired head of the Joint Intelligence Organisation, Gordon Jockel, also named a former deputy head of the electronic spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate or DSD, as a person who could have made that connection.
Indonesia’s Defense System Must be Changed, Dian Yuliastuti, TempoInteractive, 2007-05-10
Indonesia’s defense system must start shifting from the land to the sea as the country’s vast sea territory could provide entrances for external powers to attack Indonesia. Admiral Slamet Soebijanto, Indonesian Military (TNI) Navy Chief of Staff, said that it was time for Indonesia, especially the Indonesia Navy, to control territory security without other parties’ involvement.
Afghan Leaders Urge Taliban Truce, AlJazeera, 2007-05-09
Afghan legislators have approved a bill calling for a truce and talks with the Taliban. The bill says military action should be used only in self-defence and calls for a date to be set for the withdrawal of US-led and NATO troops. The move came as news emerged of US air strikes in Helmand province, southwest of the capital, Kabul, where at least 21 civilians were killed as US and NATO forces went after Taliban fighters.
Warships in the Line of Fire, Geoffrey Barker, AFR*, 2007-05-14
The federal government is lifting its foreign aid budget to almost $3.2 billion with a series of new programs. Indonesia remains Australia’s largest foreign aid recipient ($458.8 million this budget), followed by PNG ($355.9 million) the Solomon Islands ($223.9 million). The government plans to lift foreign aid to around $4 billion.
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The New Nuclear Arms Race, Hugh White, Age, 2007-05-10
America is upgrading its missiles and warheads to make them more accurate and destructive, and building a national missile defence system. Chinese strategists worry that the US will be able to threaten nuclear attack on China without fearing nuclear retaliation in return. A classic arms race may thus begin. Australia can help persuade the US and China to limit their strategic weapons.
Special Report: Open Minds, Open Futures: How will Asia-Pacific Communities respond to Global Insecurity? Global Scenarios Workshop Report, Nautilus Institute, co-sponsored by Nautilus Institute at RMIT and Australia 21, 2007 [PDF]
Complex and multi-dimensional issues such as terrorism, nonproliferation, energy supply, and climate change all affect our perceptions of security. These kinds of massive insecurities defy singular and state-centered solutions. The 2006 Global Scenarios Workshop in Melbourne examined perceptions of insecurity. In few fields is the gap between perception and reality as large as it is in security matters.
The focal question of the workshop, “How Will Asia-Pacific Communities Respond to Global Insecurities?” resulted in four scenarios: Tidal Wave, Machine World, Sino-Sunrise, and Theo-Corporate Takeover.
Participants were asked to identify sources of resilience: the technical and social capacities of communities to cope with, and adapt to, the stresses of global insecurities without exceeding critical thresholds of change, beyond which communities suffer a systematic and often catastrophic change.