At Asian Correspondent, Carloes Conde questions Filipino President Benigno S. Aquino III’s commitment to human rights by recounting how the military has used counterinsurgency operations to target journalists and left-wing activists. Aquino has allowed the current operational plan to stay in place until the military designs a new one. Conde writes.
Archive of Oct 2010
Sam’s Southeast Asia Round-Up
Kyle’s Links 10/29/10
by KYLE MIZOKAMI * Canada and the future of peacekeeping * France: we can build a Mistral assault ship for Russia by 2013 * North, South Korea trade gunfire at DMZ * Russian Admiral Gorshkov frigate launched * U.K. studies mental health of Iraq veterans
Forty-two thousand fewer troops and civilians, gone. Around a third of all tanks, artillery and fast jets axed. A quarter of naval power, by tonnage, decommissioned early. The U.K. Ministry of Defense on October 19 announced an 8-percent budget reduction meant to help Great Britain erase a roughly 100-billion GBP budget deficit. The navy suffered perhaps the biggest hit. “The role of a Navy is often described as winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas,” naval analyst Eric Wertheim said. “These cuts will have a negative impact on each of these areas.”
As part of government-wide cuts meant to rein in decades of deficit spending, in October the U.K. Ministry of Defense announced an initial 8 percent reduction in its roughly $63 billion annual budget. The Royal Navy will suffer the deepest cuts, with around one-quarter of the fleet — as measured by tonnage — to be decommissioned and future purchases of ships and planes delayed and reduced.
Kyle’s Links 10/29/10
by KYLE MIZOKAMI * Taliban largely unscathed by NATO offensive * Afghanistan and the problem of badly built police stations * Sudan: Darfur officially “free of insurgency” * World War II bombs found on the Galapagos Islands * Philippine Special Forces to train local militias with worst acronym ever
The guided missile destroyer JDS Kirishima is to visit Hawaii next month to participate in a Ballistic Missile Defense test. Kirishima was recently upgraded at Nagasaki with the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles. Kirishima was the fourth and last ship of the Kongo-class destroyers to be upgraded, and with her Japan now has four destroyers capable of engaging ballistic missiles. Kirishima has been out since at least July, when it was spotted at Yokosuka. Before the upgrade Kirishima also acted as tracking ship last year during the North Korean missile test.
It was an event worthy of the British Royal Navy’s 500-year history. On June 3 at Portsmouth Naval Base, hundreds of dignitaries and citizens gathered to celebrate the commissioning of HMS Dauntless, the second of six high-tech Type 45 destroyers now entering service. A band played, the crew marched in parade and the ship’s captain, Richard Powell, read the traditional “commissioning warrant.” There was even cake.
Japan to Boost Sub Fleet
Japan has announced plans to boost its submarine fleet from 16 to 22 boats, plus two combat-capable training hulls, by slowing the traditional retirement rate. It’s a clear reaction to China’s growing fleet and increasing belligerence. Kyle Mizokami has more at his blog Japan Security Watch.
Rain Taxi Reviews War is Boring
As a major export of the United States, it is hardly surprising that war follows the trends established in other markets. Just as we have progressed over the last twenty years from huddling around a shared television set watching the bombs drop on CNN to calling up our favorite gloss on the war’s progress individually on laptops, netbooks, and smartphones, so too has the prosecution of war moved into ever-more ethereal digital realms. Technicians fly drone warplanes from half a world away, in a procedure that is hardly distinguishable from a particularly complex video game — except, of course, that it leaves very real holes in very real places and people.
Rob Farley on War is Boring
Rob Farley reviews War is Boring at naval blog Information Dissemination.
On the morning of January 27, 2005, I stood in a local government building in Baqubah, north-central Iraq, my camera at the ready, waiting for a U.S. Army-led amnesty event to kick off. The Army had asked local residents to bring in any weapons, no questions asked. Some very nervous Iraqi officials smoked cigarettes on a row of folding chairs. David Pratt, an experienced war correspondent for the Sunday Herald newspaper, commented on the potential risk in the Americans advertising their presence in one of the bloodiest cities in all of Iraq.
Ted Rall at Firedoglake Book Salon
I will be hosting an online discussion with cartoonist and war correspondent Ted Rall at the Firedoglake Book Salon on Sunday from 5:00 to 7:00 PM EST. The topic: Ted’s new book The Anti-American Manifesto. Here’s my intro to the discussion.