NEWS DEVELOPMENTS: Afghanistan, Uganda, Venezuela (Updated 7/13/10)
LAPD’s Policing Tips for U.S. Marines
The Los Angeles Police Department is teaching U.S. Marines some of their techniques for policing in tough neighborhoods — which the Leathernecks plan to bring to Afghanistan, according to USA Today.
The Marines hope that learning to work like a cop on a beat will help them better track the Taliban, build relationships with Afghans leery of foreign troops and make them better teachers as they try to professionalize an Afghan police force beset by corruption, the newspaper says.
World Cup Bombings in Uganda (UPDATE)
Ugandan police say they found an explosives-packed suicide vest at a third location in Kampala, indicating more attacks were planned in addition to the two that killed 74 soccer fans watching the World Cup on TV in the Ugandan capital, according to the New York Times.
Three bomb blasts — two at a rugby club and one at a restaurant where fans were watching the soccer championship — are believed to be the work of radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia, who claimed responsibility, the Washington Post reported.
Al Qaeda-inspired al Shabaab militants had threatened to attack Uganda and Burundi for sending peacekeeping troops to Somalia to support its U.N.- and Ethiopian-backed government. It was the first time the group has launched an attack outside Somalia, raising the security stakes in the region.
Reuters noted that oil production was scheduled to begin in 2011 in Uganda where deposits have been discovered along the troubled border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Soccer has been condemned as a “satanic act” by al Shabaab, which has banned what most of the world calls “the beautiful game” in the areas it controls. The al-Qaeda-linked militia, along with Hezb-i-Islam, a rival extremist group, prohibited broadcasts of the World Cup in Somalia, according to the Post. People have been arrested or executed just for being spectators
Chavez Ticked About U.S. Flights from Curacao
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a constant critic of U.S. foreign policy, is unhappy about U.S. drug surveillance flights from the Dutch-controlled Caribbean island of Curaçao.
For 10 years the Dutch have allowed the U.S. to base AWACS and P-3 surveillance planes at Curacao’s Hato International Airport — about 40 miles from the Venezuelan coast, according to the New York Times. But Chavez, who’s been buying billions of dollars in arms from Russia and China, claims the Dutch government is letting Washington use Curaçao as a base for planning a possible attack on Venezuela.
The assertions come just months before Curaçao — which has relied for centuries on trade with Venezuela — will gain greater autonomy from the Netherlands, when the Netherlands Antilles is dissolved as a unified political entity this fall, the Times notes. The Dutch have said they plan to extend the basing agreement, which is set to expire, for another five years.
Meanwhile, Venezuela — which also squawked about last year’s agreement between neighboring Colombia and the U.S. allowing access to Colombian military bases — has been threatening to close its oil refining operations on Curaçao, a big employer on the island. Stay tuned.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Counter Insurgency, International Crime, Latin America, Skills and Training. Tags: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, counter terrorism, Defense, International Crime, Marine Corps, nation building, Netherlands, soft power, Uganda, Venezuela.