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  • Malacca Straits

    The US is planning a military presence in the Malacca Straits as a part of its War on Terror, this is probably a smart move if multilaterally exercised, which it wont be.
    However, there are other implications to this as a quick websearch will reveal, i pasted some info from a site below.


    'More than 50,000 vessels per year transit the 621 mile long Strait of Malacca. Linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Straits of Malacca is the shortest sea route between three of the world's most populous countries -- India, China, and Indonesia -- and therefore is considered to be the key choke point in Asia. Narrow channels, shallow reefs, thousands of tiny get-away islands, and slow traffic with some 900 commercial vessels passing through each day make the waters around Singapore, Malaysia and neighboring Indonesia a pirate's dream.

    The narrowest point of this shipping lane is the Phillips Channel in the Singapore Strait, which is only 1.5 miles wide at its narrowest point. This creates a natural bottleneck, with the potential for a collision, grounding, or oil spill (in addition, piracy has historically been a regular occurrence in the Singapore Strait, but over the past 15 years has grown alarmingly). Some 400 shipping lines and 700 ports worldwide rely on the Malacca and Singapore straits to get to the Singapore port. For example, 80% of Japan's oil comes from the Middle East via the Malacca Straits. To skip the straits would force a ship to travel an extra 994 miles from the Gulf. All excess capacity of the world fleet might be absorbed, with the effect strongest for crude oil shipments and dry bulk such as coal. Closure of the Strait of Malacca would immediately raise freight rates worldwide. With Chinese oil imports from the Middle East increasing steadily, the Strait of Malacca is likely to grow in strategic importance in coming years.'
    Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

  • #2
    Add in the proliferation of Muslim political parties influence in Malaysia, the antagonistic relationship between Singapore and it's cousin across the Causeway (Suingapore vs Malaysia is not at all a far-fetched scn), the presence of Butterworth in Malaysia, the prominence of Jemaah Islamiyah in the region, General Wiranto (former KOPASSUS OC) and other architects of the 1977 East Timor invasion coming into power politically speaking in Indonesia, and you've got yourself a fine mess.

    As an aside, the presence the US is talking about is likely to be based in Australia, most likely a MEF, with the RIF occuring at Okinawa (and most likely south Korea too). Pine Gap - Darwin - Robertson would be the perfect axis for them to establish a permanent base, and the Marines ideology fits with the current ADF fundamental of MOLE - having the Marines there also reduces the lead in time for the M1s and the new amphibs, when they get selected. Thrown in Aussie pilots training in AH-1Zs before the ARHs come into service, and you have a nice cosy relationship that gives us money, makes the US happy, and if there is a terrorist attack, it's in one of the least inhabitted areas in the country.

    However there have been plenty of anti-piracy ops jointly run between S'pore, Malaysia, Indo, the Phillipines and Thailand, and SEATO/ASEAN is feeling for reactions to establishing a united HQ, similar to the Strassbourg based EUROCORPS, with the view to having a joint RRF in the future.

    also, the Malaysian troops are currently in Australia, trainign at singo.
    Now listening too;
    - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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    • #3
      Yep, no reason why it cant be locally dealt with in a multilateral format, this is the purpose of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to pave a way so that a problem like this can be dealt with without antagonising relationships between those countries involved.

      I think if the US go in with a unilateral approach (without FULL support from Indonesia and Malaysia) it could be used to rally fundamentalist support agains the US in the region and legitamise the terrorists further.
      Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

      Comment


      • #4
        plus the fact that the US doesn't have the numbers to do it by themselves. Which means they'll have to rely on indig forces, which they hate, also, there's no telling which way Malaysia and Indo will swing when the proverbial hits the fan.

        The big problem in this region (especially with anything that approaches law enforcement) is that the officials are corrupt - but it's seen as the norm culturally, so it's not going to change. We might see more boarding ops like the proposed "interdiction" ops on NK vessels suspected of carrying suspicious materials, but basically the USN/MC is going to have it's work cut out if it tries to go it alone.

        Hence the need to base the force in a pro-US country, like Aust.
        Now listening too;
        - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello,

          If the corruption is viewed as normal, then how are the nations going to combat this problem?

          I am well aware of Chinese corruption, but how bad is it in the other nations? Is it bad in Australia or what?

          Thanks,
          Dan
          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

          "Aim small, miss small."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            Hello,

            If the corruption is viewed as normal, then how are the nations going to combat this problem?
            Well that's the problem, they can't combat it without outside help, or some sort of revolution. But even after a revolution of sorts the Philipines is about to go down the gurgler too.

            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            I am well aware of Chinese corruption, but how bad is it in the other nations? Is it bad in Australia or what?

            Thanks,
            Dan
            From my somewhat biased viewpoint all of the surrounding island nations (not NZ, don't know about NC) have significant corruption problems such that there is no longer a concept of what I call law and order. These potential "failed nations" are the main topic for our foregin affairs people these days and look like keeping our defence forces fully engaged in aid to the civil power ops for some time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cheetah772
              Hello,

              If the corruption is viewed as normal, then how are the nations going to combat this problem?

              I am well aware of Chinese corruption, but how bad is it in the other nations? Is it bad in Australia or what?

              Thanks,
              Dan
              It's about combating terrorism by dismantling the piracy/blackmarket/smuggling problem in the Malacca Straits not corruption in the public institutions, although they are related, but entirely different problems(we see coruption as a problem but this may not be the case locally)

              Your perception of China and the Chinese seems very dim, do you know anything about China or other asian nations?
              Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov
                Add in the proliferation of Muslim political parties influence in Malaysia,
                The Malaysian fundamenalist parties got thumped in the recent elections. Even allowing for the inevitable vote rigging, most analyists think that the Islamic parties support has declined dramatically. Similar results are expected in Indonesia's upcoming elections.

                Incidently, the Malaysians are refusing to give the US access to their waters, and are claiming that the Americans didn't even consult them before proposing their plan. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/asia-pacific/3598977.stm

                If it's true that the US didn't ask the Malaysians in advance, it would seems that they're now trying to play Malaysia off against Singapore, much like Pakistani-Indian tensions are being encouraged (what else are we to make of Colin Powell's failure to notify the Indians that Pakistan was to be declared a non-NATO ally during his recent visit to Inida?).

                Incidently, it seems to me that the ADF is extreamly well equiped for taking on this kind of mission itself, without needing to get the Americans involved or letting them set up offensive bases on our territory. Our combination of Commandos, Seahawks, Orions, patrol boats, Anzac Frigates and LPAs would make this mission a relative peice of cake, and one that Australia can sustain indefinetly if need be.
                Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
                Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
                Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Case
                  Incidently, it seems to me that the ADF is extreamly well equiped for taking on this kind of mission itself, without needing to get the Americans involved or letting them set up offensive bases on our territory. Our combination of Commandos, Seahawks, Orions, patrol boats, Anzac Frigates and LPAs would make this mission a relative peice of cake, and one that Australia can sustain indefinetly if need be.
                  I don't think we could attempt to do that sort of operation (and do it properly) with our current commitments, and I think our current commitments are too important to drop for a solo anti-piracy operation. I think a close cooperation scenario with the US, Singapore and Malaysia is the way to go. And because of the multi-national nature of the shipping we could expect other support as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Corruption is a general problem of the world, the level (above how much money they start to corrupt) is the question. In the richest countries it is start at higher level, in the poorest countries it is a daily practice...
                    a brain cell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Temujin
                      It's about combating terrorism by dismantling the piracy/blackmarket/smuggling problem in the Malacca Straits not corruption in the public institutions, although they are related, but entirely different problems(we see coruption as a problem but this may not be the case locally)
                      Oh, sorry, I was referring to the general corruption at all levels in Asia.

                      Your perception of China and the Chinese seems very dim, do you know anything about China or other asian nations?
                      No. I don't know much about Chinese culture. I was talking about the political relationship between China and America. However, I do know China and America will never see eye-to-eye on some issues, as long both are rivalling each other in terms of economic and military presences.

                      Dan
                      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                      "Aim small, miss small."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by laszlo.nemedi
                        Corruption is a general problem of the world, the level (above how much money they start to corrupt) is the question. In the richest countries it is start at higher level, in the poorest countries it is a daily practice...
                        Definitely agree.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cheetah772
                          Oh, sorry, I was referring to the general corruption at all levels in Asia.



                          No. I don't know much about Chinese culture. I was talking about the political relationship between China and America. However, I do know China and America will never see eye-to-eye on some issues, as long both are rivalling each other in terms of economic and military presences.

                          Dan
                          The rivalry is constructed in your head more than anything i think, i read your other post on china in another thread and basically you have very little knowlege of the place and people, it looks like 1950's propaganda.

                          All the terrible deads you acuse china of are pretty much what the rest of the faces from the US everyday so dont think china is a big bad enemy because it spies. Show me a country that doesnt spy. China isnt trying to get on top of you it just wants its fair share. Y

                          ou are severely overeacting like a redneck moron, not saying you are a rednecked moron but your views seem similar.
                          Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Case: the ADF doesn't have the manpower needed - we were stretched thin doing boarding ops in Iraq (one FFG!) on top of the regional stuff. As for the Islamic parties, Defence thinking (in the next 10-15 years) is that we'll will likely have a fundamentalist Islamic government in the region (from the ADJ); not overnight, but it might happen eventually.

                            What we can provide is JORN and CSS elements for a US based force here.

                            Both S'pore and Malaysia aren't happy with the US: S'pore for the AMRAAM difficulties, and Malaysia for various issues relating to Muslims

                            Prester John: I have a feeling Indo will start making noise towards East Timor, in order to both prevent West Timor from straying, and to satisfy higher ranking members of the TNI that are now becoming politicians. (Like wiranto)
                            Now listening too;
                            - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov

                              Prester John: I have a feeling Indo will start making noise towards East Timor, in order to both prevent West Timor from straying, and to satisfy higher ranking members of the TNI that are now becoming politicians. (Like wiranto)
                              I hope we keep a battalion up our sleeves and ready for just this occasion. And they need to be deployed before the event and not after casualties have been taken. <Starts counting available battalions on one hand>

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