Foreign Policy

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  Us Near To Closing GuantanamoJune 21, 2007 16:41 THE US Government is close to deciding shut down its controversial detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Associated Press has reported.

Terror suspects held at the prison would be moved military prisons on US soil, The Associated Press said it had learned.

President George W. Bush's top national security and legal advisers were expected to discuss the move at the White House tomorrow and it appeared a consensus was developing, the AP quoted three senior administration officials as saying.

They would consider a new proposal to shut the centre and transfer detainees to one or more US Defence Department facilities, including the maximum security military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where they could face trial.

Officials familiar with the agenda of tomorrow's meeting said those likely to be there were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Peter Pace and Vice President Dick Cheney.

It was not clear whether the meeting would result in a final recommendation on Guantanamo to Mr Bush.
  Spy Chief Gives Negative Assessment On War On TerrorJune 20, 2007 23:19 The head of Australia's domestic intelligence agency Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) has used a rare address to warn that the battle against terrorism may continue for another generation and there can be no guarantee against more mass casualty attacks.

Speaking at a lunchtime function yesterday organized by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute at Sydney's Hilton Hotel he delivered a grim assessment saying, "on current indications, terrorism around the globe is likely to be a destabilizing force for the next generation."

"It is dynamic, difficult to predict and there is no guarantee we will be successful in preventing further mass casualty attacks or stopping its growth," he said.

He described one of the strengths of Al-Qaida as "its ability to marry ideological intensity with organizational resilience and adaptability."

"Despite successful disruption activities, Al Qaida appears to be rebuilding both its organizational structures and operational capabilities from bases in the tribal regions bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, and networks in the Middle East, north Africa and western Europe," he said.

However Mr O'Sullivan said Australia's major asset for combating terrorism security risks was the "strength and vitality" of its liberal system of government.
  General: China Taking On U.S. In Cyber Arms RaceJune 14, 2007 23:18 China is seeking to unseat the United States as the dominant power in cyberspace, a U.S. Air Force general leading a new push in this area said Wednesday.

"They're the only nation that has been quite that blatant about saying, 'We're looking to do that,"' 8th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Elder told reporters.

Elder is to head a new three-star cyber command being set up at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, already home to about 25,000 military personnel involved in everything from electronic warfare to network defense.

The command's focus is to control the cyber domain, critical to everything from communications to surveillance to infrastructure security.

"We have peer competitors right now in terms of doing computer network attack ... and I believe we're going to be able to ratchet up our capability," Elder said. "We're going to go way ahead."

The Defense Department said in its annual report on China's military power last month that China regarded computer network operations -- attacks, defense and exploitation -- as critical to achieving "electromagnetic dominance" early in a conflict.

China's People's Liberation Army has established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, the Pentagon said.

China also was investing in electronic countermeasures and defenses against electronic attack, including infrared decoys, angle reflectors and false-target generators, it said.
  Us Blacklists Allies For 'Slavery'June 12, 2007 22:00 NEWS AMERICAS





US blacklists allies for 'slavery'





Critics said India escaped the US list despite
having a poor human trafficking record [EPA]


The United States has blacklisted several Middle East allies for not doing enough to fight what it calls "modern day slavery".

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar were put in the worst category in the state department's annual Trafficking In Persons report, along with Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Malaysia.




The seven additions joined regulars Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Myanmar, Cuba, North Korea, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

The US accused the 16 countries of failing to meet the minimum standards – the worst category or a Tier 3 ranking – to fight the human trade.






Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, on Tuesday issued the blunt message that "no one deserves to be a modern day slave".

Mark Largon, a senior adviser to Rice on the trafficking issue, said it was
"especially disappointing that so many wealthy countries in the Near East [Middle East] ... are on Tier 3".

The 236-page global survey found the number of prosecutions against human traffickers low.

 
  Serbian Outrage Over Bush RemarksJune 11, 2007 14:06 U.S. President George W. Bush was returning home Monday after an eight-day European tour dominated by concerns over American plans for a Europe-based missile defense system and the future status of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Monday that his country was "rightfully embittered" by Bush's remarks in support of Kosovan independence made during a brief stopover Sunday in Albania, adding that the United States "has no right to give away Serbia's territory to Albanians," according to a government news release.

"America must find another way to show its affection and love for the [Kosovan] Albanians, without offering them Serb territories," Kostunica told Serbian national television.

"Serbia is rightfully outraged at the American policies on the issue of Kosovo."

Kostunica's comments came after Bush said: "At some point in time -- sooner rather than later -- you've got to say 'Enough is enough. Kosovo is independent' and that's the position we've taken."