United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

By Ramesh Thakur; Albrecht Schnabel | Go to book overview

11
Civilian police in UN peace
operations: Some lessons from
recent Australian experience
John McFarlane and William Maley

The demise of the Cold War, the onset of globalization, and massive developments in technology, communications, and international transportation have had a profound effect on the political, economic, military, environmental, and societal issues which previously contributed to security and stability in the Asia Pacific region. However, although the threat of nuclear war has diminished, at both international and regional levels the security environment is anything but stable. Issues such as the nuclear tests on the Indian subcontinent, serious tensions in the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea, the Asian financial crisis, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (including the use of sarin gas by a religious cult in Japan in 1995), the South-East Asian haze problems of 1997, the mass migration of people (internally and externally), the spread of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and other pandemics, and, closer to home, the violence associated with the demise of the Suharto regime in Indonesia, the tragedy of East Timor, the unresolved crisis on Bougainville, the Sandline crisis in 1997, major law and order problems in Papua New Guinea, interethnic violence in the Solomon Islands, and allegations of massive money laundering of Russian money through certain South Pacific island countries, all serve to demonstrate that our region is anything but stable and pacific. 1

The situation in East Timor has dominated Australian foreign policy thinking over the last two years, and complicated Australia's relations

-182-

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