Posts Tagged ‘Maritime Issues’
Here are some news stories that deserve more main stream coverage.
[The Financial Times] termed the actions of the Chinese warship as the latest example of Beijing’s assertiveness which had irked India and Vietnam. China claims South China Sea in its entirety, rejecting claims by other nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan over the resource rich region.
Maritime disputes between the world’s two most populous countries are a growing concern, especially as China grows more confident in its military capabilities.
At one unguarded facility, empty packing crates and documents reveal that 482 sophisticated Russian SA-24 missiles were shipped to Libya in 2004, and now are gone. With a range of 11,000 feet, the SA-24 is Moscow’s modern version of the American “stinger,” which in the 1980s helped the US-backed Afghan mujahideen turn their war against the Soviet Union.
Though Libya’s SA-24s are reportedly the variant without the “gripstick,” which means they cannot be man portable and shoulder fired, they are still a major air defense weapon. In in the wrong hands they could be used as an offensive capability by guerrilla fighters or terrorists. The small arms and light weaponry looted from Libyan stockpiles is a growing security concern, especially with regards to the missing remnants of Qaddafi’s chemical weapons program. John Brennan worries that Libya could become an “arms bazaar” for terrorist organizations.
“Currently, the situation is so-called post-Gaddafi. And it is not NATO’s intention to stay on top of this situation. The UN should take the reins in its hands, and we are ready to support it, should we receive such a request,” NATO Assistant Secretary General Dirk Brengelmann told reporters.
The UN and NATO are likely to have a major hand in the development of post-Qaddafi Libya. Yet, there has not been an established framework on how they are going to conduct state building in the country and help Libyan rebels create viable governing institutions. Sooner rather than later this needs to be addressed by all the interested parties.
Afghan and NATO officials have long struggled to entice young men in the heavily Pashtun south — the Taliban heartland — to join the Afghan Army. Despite years of efforts to increase the enlistment of southern Pashtuns, an analysis of recruitment patterns by The New York Times shows that the number of them joining the army remains relatively minuscule, reflecting a deep and lingering fear of the insurgents, or sympathy for them, as well as doubts about the stability and integrity of the central government in Kabul, the capital.
Building a professional and representative Afghan National Army is one of the top priorities of America’s strategy in Afghanistan. However, serious problems remain regarding professionalism, recruitment of quality soldiers, and abuses by ANA personnel such as thievery. Many parts of Afghanistan are skeptical of the rank and file ANA because they are viewed as miscreants from across the country who are sent into the army by tribal leaders tired of having them in their village.