The horrific bombing of the cathedral in Jolo last Sunday underscores the need for the Philippines government to understand more about the operations of pro-ISIS groups in Mindanao. The best way to get that information is to find, arrest, and debrief the perpetrators of violent extremist crimes.
Washington intends to begin withdrawing from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty early next month. President Trump indicated late last year that the US is pulling out because “they’ve (Russia) been violating it for many years.” The concern for Australia is that demise of the treaty could foreshadow a new arms race in the Pacific.
The Royal Australian Air Force announced last week that it has commenced flight operations with the first two of its new F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has now established an Office of the Pacific, a measure foreshadowed in 2018 as part of Australia’s Pacific “step up”. Ewen McDonald, formerly High Commissioner in Wellington and a Deputy Secretary in DFAT, has been appointed head of the Office.
Last week, US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Daniel Coats unveiled America’s 2019 National Intelligence Strategy. The DNI is the head of the US intelligence community and the president’s senior intelligence advisor. The position was created in 2004 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq weapons of mass destruction estimate.
When former prime minister of Norway Kjell Mangne Bondevik met with separatist Kashmiri leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Indian Kashmir last month, a barrage of questions followed.
Over the past two years, police in the Indian state Uttar Pradesh are alleged to have carried out 59 extrajudicial killings. The events have sparked an inquiry by a panel of four United Nations independent experts on human rights, which in a statement this month “expressed alarm” about the killings that seemed to have taken place in police custody.
There has always been something of a ghost-like quality to languorous Dili, capital of Timor-Leste with its Portuguese-era buildings and statues from Indonesian times still standing.
One of the planet’s great herd migrations is almost at an end for another year. Across Australia each summer, tens of thousands of people abandon sweaty cities in search of the cool waters along the coast, as the nation schedules a collective out-of-office message.
A US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies report (Illuminating the South China Sea’s Dark Fishing Fleets) sheds new light on the size and behaviour of fishing fleets in the Spratly Islands.