Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 05:21 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 05:21 | SYDNEY

Thursday security linkage


Rory Medcalf


7 January 2010 13:37

  • Washington is in a muddle over its nuclear weapons: the much-awaited US Nuclear Posture Review has been delayed by a month, presumably to allow more time to resolve deep differences between the Pentagon and the White House over the future of the US arsenal and doctrine. Don't hold your breath for a US No First Use policy.
  • South Korea is sending 500 personnel to Afghanistan — a large provincial reconstruction team plus protection. This more than fills the gap left by the humiliating withdrawal of Korean forces after a hostage crisis in 2007, and adds substance to the Lee Myung-Bak Government's claims of a global role for the ROK. Perhaps Seoul may yet become the global ally to Washington that Tokyo, it seems, cannot. 
  • Should India expand its security role in Afghanistan, perhaps even sending counter-insurgency forces? The thoughtful Indian foreign policy magazine Pragati is kindling this debate. (The current issue is also worth reading for a piece by my Lowy colleagues Andrew Shearer and Fergus Hanson on what the Chinese people really think of India.)
  • Loose lips and Chinese ships: a retired Chinese senior naval officer has called for a Chinese naval supply base in the Gulf of Aden. This looks like yet another trial balloon by Beijing. As this excellent post on World Politics Review notes, the powers-that-be were quick to distance themselves from the idea, or were they? Note that this official Chinese television report says an overseas supply base 'might be an option in the future, but it's not being considered at this time'. Interesting also that the PLA Navy has been using a French facility at Djibouti to resupply its anti-piracy patrols.
  • Still on China's anti-piracy efforts, China's state media cannot admit to the Chinese public that a massive ransom had to be paid to Somali pirates to free a Chinese crew. Instead, this China Daily report speaks euphemistically of an 'emergency response procedure'. It seems the PLA Navy lacked confidence in its ability to use force to rescue the sailors, but does not want the Chinese people to know that.