What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Looking for an Uruzgan update

On things MStFB doesn't know...
I was looking through news about the APEC Australia 2007 series of meetings already underway in Australia, to see if Australia might have a speculative word or two there with Indonesia on Uruzgan, although if anything like that happens, it of course is far more likely to come behind the scenes (not that there aren't enough alternative topics for discussion at the APEC meeting these days). I delved into those news because of what I've written of here in the previous days: that the Ukraine and Indonesia were mentioned as other possible contributors in the future to the mission in Uruzgan, beside Norway.
Of those two, the Ukraine, as an Intensified Dialogue partner, might be better from a "make NATO useful" perspective, but Indonesia would be an understandable choice for a partner by a Dutch-Australian coalition. For several reasons from having a Muslim majority population (and subsequently deployable Muslim soldiers), through colonial history to current Australian security concerns about a weakened but still active Jemaah Islamiah, as well as some Russian submarines, Indonesia is a country both the Netherlands and Australia might pay more attention to, I would so speculate from the camp of the non-expert commenters of their relations (as a precaution I'd actually emphasise that status of mine). It's therefore that I thought I should be on the look-out for news of the above mentioned kind, although the Jemaah Islamiah issue and all else related to it GWOT-wise suggests to me that Indonesian soldiers could only be assigned in a rather small number to a safer and more passive role, on a hardly visible deployment, if any.
But no luck fishing for news this time. It may even be there's nothing to fish for.
I have found an article by chance, however, which is relevant to mention for other reasons. In it I've read of Hans van Baalen, member-of-parliament of the VVD (a Dutch party that might support the extension of the Uruzgan mission from outside the current Dutch governing coalition), saying that he would consider Germany, Indonesia and even Morocco as partners...
Another reason to cite this article is that it makes it clear that October is not a fixed date for the decision on the Dutch mission, only a likely, suggested, hypothetical, time-gaining one. If all the pieces of the Uruzgan puzzle come together earlier than that, with enough troops remaining and promised by others for beyond mid-2008, as well as enough helicopters and all else, meaning a sufficient remaining pool of capabilities, then I guess the decision might be taken even earlier (provided there's enough domestic political support for maintaining a leading (or other kind of) Dutch role beyond 2008 in the Netherlands, too).
But there must be a lot of diplomacy going on related to this, and that usually is time-consuming. So October is still the likely date I guess. (But not anything beyond that, given the preparations needed by any potential candidate to join.)

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