APSNet for 22 November 2007
- The Indonesian Air Force is deploying three more radar stations
- Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink
- Afghanistan ‘Falling into Hands of Taliban’
- Defence Systems to Get a Rocketing
- Bin Laden Talks of Victory
- Asian Leaders Drop India Australia from Regional `Community’
- Air Force Undeterred by Embargo, Shortage, Desy Nurhayati, Jakarta Post, 2007-11-19
Afghanistan ‘Falling into Hands of Taliban’, Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 2007-11-22
The Taliban has a permanent presence in 54% of Afghanistan and the country is in serious danger of falling into Taliban hands, according to a report by an independent thinktank with long experience in the area. The insurgents, driven out by the American invasion in 2001, now control ‘vast swaths of unchallenged territory, including rural areas, some district centres, and important road arteries’, the Senlis Council says. ‘It is a sad indictment of the current state of Afghanistan that the question now appears to be not if the Taliban will return to Kabul, but when … and in what form.’
- Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink, Senlis Council, November 2007
- ‘Development Assistance in Insecure Environments: Afghanistan’, Oxfam submission to the House of Commons International Development Committee inquiry [PDF, 190 Kb]
Defence Systems to Get a Rocketing, Cameron Stewart, Australian, 2007-11-22
Defence is to conduct a sweeping review of its entire internal security structure to combat a growing number of dangerous security breaches, including lost weapons and stolen classified documents. The move, which was not announced by Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, comes after a series of controversial security breaches, including stolen army M72 rocket launchers, one of which is alleged to have been sold to a man arrested on terrorism charges.
Asian Leaders Drop India Australia from Regional `Community’, Allen T. Cheng and Shamim Adam, Bloomberg, 2007-11-20
China, Japan and South Korea agreed to work with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to open up regional trade, dropping a plan to include India, Australia and New Zealand. Leaders from the 13 nations said the so-called ASEAN Plus Three group “would remain the main vehicle toward the long- term goal of building” an Asian regional community.
- Asia Signs ‘Green Region’ Environment Pact, ABC News, 2007-11-22
Bin Laden Talks of Victory, Not Defeat, Michael Scheuer, Asia Times Online, 2007-11-22
In the most obvious sense, bin Laden’s October 23 statement is a post-Iraq war statement. From al-Qaeda’s perspective, the war is over and Islam has won; Washington’s announcement last week that it intends to begin the withdrawal of 3,000 troops, as well as the US Congress’ recess without renewing war funding, will bolster this perception. Bin Laden’s message is, however, a warning to all Iraqi mujahideen – Sunni and Shi’ite – that the hardest task is yet to come: namely, the creation of an Islamist state in Iraq.
Battle for Hearts and Minds in Indonesia’s Prisons, Mark Forbes, Age, 2007-11-20
Behind Indonesian prison walls, official efforts to seduce convicted terrorists with money and privileges are being undermined by corruption and rival efforts from new Islamist gangs. Jemaah Islamiah prisoners have formed their own gangs within several prisons, recruiting inmates and even guards to their ideology, the study found.
- “Deradicalisation” and Indonesian Prisons, International Crisis Group, 2007-11-19
The Six-Party Talks: Meeting North Korea’s Energy Needs, Peter Hayes, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2007-11-14
In short, uncertainty dominates the political calculus of all the key players concerned with North Korea. Consequently, they will move cautiously and slowly rather than decisively and rapidly in their negotiations and actions. Therefore, an incoming U.S. president in January 2009 is likely to face a Kim Jong Il still armed with nuclear weapons even if deprived of plutonium production and uranium enrichment capacities.
Austral Policy Forum 07-22A: Self-Inflicted Injury: Going to War in Iraq, Garry Woodard, 2007-11-22
Garry Woodard of Melbourne University writes that the path to the Australian Iraq deployment demonstrates “the desirability for changes in decision-making processes on going to war”. Iraq, Woodward argues, “was a failure of policy more than of intelligence. If the government had followed best practice, the intelligence estimate would have provided a basis for and led on to a strategic assessment drawing in policy departments. The fact that the policy departments chose to remain mute on Iraq shows that best practice requires a return to the conventions of the Westminster system, under which the public service initiates and offers frank and fearless advice. This requires eradication of the culture of compliance which was induced by the methods and style of Howard governments.” Woodard concludes that “the executive privilege to make the decision on war, in secret, and to hold only a perfunctory or meaningless debate, is as anachronistic as the Royal Prerogative from which the practice stems.”
Austral Special Report 11-22S: We Now Know About Going to War in Iraq – Garry Woodard, 2007-11-22
Garry Woodard from Melbourne University writes that “going to war usually involves secrecy and deception”. Referring to the Australian decisions to join both the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, Woodard notes that “we nevertheless now know a lot“, despite the fact that “no government has been more secretive than the Howard government, which is an astonishing regression”. Woodard compares Australian decision-making in the two cases, and also compares Australian decision-making over Iraq with that of the United States and Britain. “As never before”, writes Woodard, “the Iraq war has raised questions about whether governments lie and can be trusted by the people.” Woodard concludes by arguing that “Iraq strongly reinforces the most serious lesson of Vietnam, that the royal prerogative, or executive privilege, to decide on going to war which the Prime Minister exercises is an anomaly and should be made subject to rules and conventions.”