Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


After East Timor where will we make peace next?

From... http://www.context.co.nz

After F16s, after East Timor where will we make peace next?

Let’s be real careful about feeling good about east Timor.

Where do we go from here is where the pain lies.

We have done very well in East Timor and Bougainville and have won a few brownie points with our neighbours in getting involved, but let’s not rush into assuming that we should duplicate this effort elsewhere. In Bougainville we were peace brokers and keepers, in East Timor we are peacemakers and there in lies the vital difference.

The crisis in East Timor happened because of the disintegration of the Indonesian state as president Suharto aged and the economy crashed, along with the other Asian tigers. Australia was not slow in moving on its immediate strategic interest of the gas-fields in the Timor Sea. In the few months prior to the APEC conference in Auckland there was a massive military exercise called Crocodile ’99 going on in northern Australia, so it was not at all surprising that there was such an effective military operation that New Zealand participated in to secure East Timor.

Now, when we are contemplating what sort of military equipment our armed forces need, we should be careful not to in effect participate in the burgeoning Asian arms race, as seen between China and Taiwan and between Japan and North Korea. If we decide to convert our military to a US marines style force so as to replicate our success in East Timor, we must ask ourselves where possibly would we be deploying them after East Timor.

We did not need a US marine-style force in Bougainville, indeed such a force would have been counter-productive. Should Fiji or The Solomons or Samoa become “unstable” would we contemplate sending in our marines? Most certainly not. A Bougainville-style response would be advisable and more appropriate to our past relations with those countries.

So where would our marines be useful? Perhaps in the other Indonesian hotspots such as Aceh, Riau, Irian Jaya. This scenario is vastly different to Bougainville and raises the question, would we even want to increase our engagement in what would be the further disintegration of Indonesia? In whose interest would be we sending our marines further into the Indonesian archipelago?

Choosing between F16s, attack-helicopters, C-130s, APCs options is so much more that picking the best possible military hardware. We must be very clear where we are heading when we start tip-toeing through those particular tulips.

Phil Doherty

Editor, http://www.context.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news