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Military - Asian Continent

Turkish Military
Military India

Military - other countries on the Asian continent



Small nations, crown dependencies and countries with an interim government

Afghanistan
Background: Afghanistan's recent history is characterized by war and civil unrest. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 but was forced to withdraw 10 years later
by anti-Communist mujahidin forces supplied and trained by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. Fighting subsequently continued among the various mujahidin factions, giving rise to a state of warlordism that eventually spawned the Taliban. Backed by foreign sponsors, the Taliban developed as a political force and eventually seized power. The Taliban were able to capture most of the country, aside from Northern Alliance strongholds primarily in the northeast, until US and allied military action in support of the opposition following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks forced the group's downfall. In late 2001, major leaders from the Afghan opposition groups and diaspora met in Bonn, Germany and agreed on a plan for the formulation of a new government structure that resulted in the inauguration of Hamid KARZAI as Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) on 22 December 2001. The AIA held a nationwide Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in June 2002, and KARZAI was elected President by secret ballot of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA). The Transitional Authority has an 18-month mandate to hold a nationwide Loya Jirga to adopt a constitution and a 24-month mandate to hold nationwide elections. In December 2002, the TISA marked the one-year anniversary of the fall of the Taliban. In addition to occasionally violent political jockeying and ongoing military action to root out remaining terrorists and Taliban elements, the country suffers from enormous poverty, a crumbling infrastructure, and widespread land mines.
Government type: transitional
Capital: Kabul
Administrative divisions: 32 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat,
Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, and Zabol
Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday: Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution: the Bonn Agreement called for a Loya Jirga (Grand Council) to be convened within 18 months of the establishment of the Transitional Authority to draft a new constitution for the country; the basis for the next constitution is the 1963/64 Constitution, according to the Bonn Agreement
Legal system: the Bonn Agreement calls for a judicial commission to rebuild the justice system in accordance with Islamic principles, international standards, the rule of law, and Afghan legal traditions
Suffrage: NA; previously males 15-50 years of age
Executive branch: note: following the Taliban's refusal to hand over Usama bin LADIN to the US for his suspected involvement in the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, a US-led international coalition was formed; after several weeks of aerial bombardment by coalition forces and military action on the ground, including Afghan opposition forces, the Taliban was ousted from power on 17 November 2001; in December 2001 a number of prominent Afghans met under UN auspices in Bonn, Germany, to decide on a plan for governing the country; as a result, the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) - made up of 30 members, headed by a chairman - was inaugurated on 22 December 2001 with a six-month mandate to be followed by a two-year Transitional Authority (TA) after which elections are to be held; the structure of the follow-on TA was announced on 10 June 2002 when the Loya Jirga (grand assembly) convened establishing the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) which has an 18-month mandate to hold a Loya Jirga to adopt a constitution and a 24-month mandate to hold nationwide elections chief of state: President of the TISA, Hamad KARZAI (since 10 June 2002); note - presently the president and head of government
head of government: President of the TISA, Hamad KARZAI (since 10 June 2002); note - presently the president and head of government cabinet: the 30-member TISA
elections: NA
Legislative branch: nonfunctioning as of June 1993
Judicial branch: the Bonn Agreement calls for the establishment of a Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: NA; note - political parties in Afghanistan are in flux and many prominent players have plans to create new parties; the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) is headed by President Hamid Karzai; the TISA is a coalition government formed of leaders from across the Afghan political spectrum; there are also several "independent" groups
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA; note - ministries formed under the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) include former influential Afghans, diaspora members, and former political leaders
International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IOC (suspended), IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: ambassador Ishaq SHAHRYAR
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: 202-483-6487
consulate(s) general: New York
telephone: 202-483-6410
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert Patrick John FINN; note - embassy in Kabul reopened 16 December 2001 following closure in January 1989
embassy: Great Masood Road, Kabul mailing address: 6180 Kabul Place, Dulles, VA 20189-6180
telephone: [93] (2) 290002, 290005, 290154
FAX: 00932290153
United Nations - AGREEMENT ON PROVISIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN AFGHANISTAN PENDING THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF PERMANENT GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS
Military - note: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE - Operation Fingal
Nineteen countries are contributing troops to the UK-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assist the new Afghan Interim Authority with the provision of security and stability in Kabul.
Military branches: NA; note - the December 2001 Bonn Agreement calls for all militia forces to come under Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) control, but formation of a national army is likely to be a gradual process; Afghanistan's forces continue to be factionalized largely along ethnic lines
Military manpower - military age: 22 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 6,896,623 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 3,696,379 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 252,869 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: close ties with Pashtuns in Pakistan make long border difficult to control Illicit drugs: world's largest producer of opium; cultivation of opium poppy - used to make heroin - expanded to 30,750 hectares in 2002, despite eradication; potential opium production of 1,278 tons; source of hashish; many narcotics-processing labs throughout the country; drug trade source of instability and some government groups profit from the trade; 80-90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghan opium; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system
This information was derived from the CIA World Factbook. The links are from me.
Further information on the history of Afghanistan can be found at: http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Afghanistan.htm.

Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Department of the Environment, Sport, and Territories
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force

British Indian Ocean Territory
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK; administered by a commissioner, resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK; the US lease on Diego Garcia expires in 2016

Christmas Island
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Department of the Environment, Sport, and Territories
Independence: none (territory of Australia)
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia

Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Department of the Environment, Sport, and Territories
Independence: none (territory of Australia)
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia

Gaza Strip  new!
Background: The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes the Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. The resulting widespread violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability within the Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.
On april 30, 2003, the United States agreed with Israel and the Palestinians on a "Roadmap to Peace", the official title of the document which states the new goals and direction is A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The United Nations, the EU and Russia also support this Roadmap to Peace.
Since then, most of the roadblocks in Palestinian territory have been removed by the Israeli's. A cease fire was declared on June 29, 2003, which has been violated by the Israeli's multiple times since then.
Furthermore, Israel has agreed upon the liberation of Palestinian pro-claimed terrorists. Israeli lawmakers (the Knesset) on Thursday July 31st approved a bill banning Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens from living inside Israel with their spouses, and denying them the opportunity to seek Israeli citizenship.
At the beginning of a PLC meeting on March 10, 2003, President Arafat nominated Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister.The PLC then voted (64-3, 4 abstentions) in favor of creating the post of Prime Minister, a post which did not exist in the Palestinian Basic Law.Later at the same meeting, the PLC adopted an amendment to the Palestinian Basic Law creating the position of Prime Minister and defining its powers. The draft amendment originated from the PLC Legal Committee.The amendment was presented to President Arafat for approval on March 11, 2003.The amendment was approved by the President.
And, the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) Prime Minister designate, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted the new Cabinet to the Palestinian Legislative Council (“PLC”) for a vote of confidence on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at noon.
The caretaker premier Mahmud Abbas resigned on Thursday September 4. Caretaker PM Abbas, who quit on Saturday, justified his resignation mainly by not receiving enough support from the United States and Israel for his peacemaking efforts. The Israeli government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon severed all contacts with the Abbas cabinet on August 21.
Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Ahmad Qurei, who was nominated by President Yasser Arafat to succeed caretaker premier Muhmud Abbas as prime minister, has accepted his nomination “in principle” and demanded US and EU guarantees for peacemaking and called on Israel to “change the reality on the ground” and “alter its way of dealing with President Yasser Arafat,” amid a conditional welcome by the United States and expressed support by the European Union.Qurei, whose nomination was unanimously approved by the PLO and Fatah leaderships on Sunday September 7, said Monday he is willing to accept the position if the major players in Middle East peace efforts -- including the United States -- promise to fully enforce the peace plan known as the “roadmap” and agree to end the isolation of President Arafat.
The Israel-Palestinian Negotiations - Background - Israel-PLO Recognition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel
The Israeli Daily Aggression on the Palestinian People by the Office of the President of Palestine
The Palestine Monitor - detailed news on Palestine and the Roadmap to Peace
Military: Military branches: in accordance with the peace agreement, the Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, a Public Security Force and a civil Police Force.
Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation

Hong Kong
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Independence: none (special administrative region of China)
Military branches: Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) including elements of the PLA Ground Forces, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under administrative control of the adjacent Guangzhou Military Region
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of China

Iraq  new!
Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq became an independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country since then, the latest being SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990 Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions during the past 12 years resulted in the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. Coalition forces remain in Iraq, helping to restore degraded infrastructure and facilitating the establishment of a freely elected government.
Government type: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Key people in reconstructing Iraq are Ramiro Lopes da Silva, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, and Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, head of the US-run Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, Iraq National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi and SCIRI's leader Ayatollah al-Hakim.
Thursday May 22, 2003 the United Nations approved of a Security Council Resolution (Resolution 1483) drafted by the US, to install a American-Britain temporary government in Iraq.
Capital: Baghdad
Administrative divisions: 18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit
Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Constitution: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Legal system: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Suffrage: formerly 18 years of age; universal; in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Executive branch: chief of state: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Legislative branch: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Judicial branch: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Political parties and leaders: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Political pressure groups and leaders: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC (now CEB), AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, EAPC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Diplomatic representation in the US: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
Diplomatic representation from the US: in transition following April 2003 defeat of SADDAM Husayn regime by US-led coalition
This information was derived from the World Factbook from the CIA, the United Nations, and the CNN website.The links are from me.
News:
CNN - Interactive Pentagon's Deck of most wanted Iraqis   new!
On each card the status of the individual (dead or in custody, etc.) is listed
Most-wanted Iraqis: 18 remain at large - news from CNN, July 23, 2003   new!
Further information on the history of Iraq can be found at: http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Iraq.htm

Paracel Islands
Military - note: occupied by China
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam

West Bank  new!
Background: The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes the Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. The resulting widespread violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability within the Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.
On april 30, 2003, the United States agreed with Israel and the Palestinians on a "Roadmap to Peace", the official title of the document which states the new goals and direction is A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The United Nations, the EU and Russia also support this Roadmap to Peace.
Since then, most of the roadblocks in Palestinian territory have been removed by the Israeli's. A cease fire was declared on June 29, 2003, which has been violated by the Israeli's multiple times since then.
Furthermore, Israel has agreed upon the liberation of Palestinian pro-claimed terrorists. Israeli lawmakers (the Knesset) on Thursday July 31st approved a bill banning Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens from living inside Israel with their spouses, and denying them the opportunity to seek Israeli citizenship.
At the beginning of a PLC meeting on March 10, 2003, President Arafat nominated Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister.The PLC then voted (64-3, 4 abstentions) in favor of creating the post of Prime Minister, a post which did not exist in the Palestinian Basic Law.Later at the same meeting, the PLC adopted an amendment to the Palestinian Basic Law creating the position of Prime Minister and defining its powers. The draft amendment originated from the PLC Legal Committee.The amendment was presented to President Arafat for approval on March 11, 2003.The amendment was approved by the President.
And, the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) Prime Minister designate, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted the new Cabinet to the Palestinian Legislative Council (“PLC”) for a vote of confidence on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at noon.
The caretaker premier Mahmud Abbas resigned on Thursday September 4. Caretaker PM Abbas, who quit on Saturday, justified his resignation mainly by not receiving enough support from the United States and Israel for his peacemaking efforts. The Israeli government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon severed all contacts with the Abbas cabinet on August 21.
Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Ahmad Qurei, who was nominated by President Yasser Arafat to succeed caretaker premier Muhmud Abbas as prime minister, has accepted his nomination “in principle” and demanded US and EU guarantees for peacemaking and called on Israel to “change the reality on the ground” and “alter its way of dealing with President Yasser Arafat,” amid a conditional welcome by the United States and expressed support by the European Union.Qurei, whose nomination was unanimously approved by the PLO and Fatah leaderships on Sunday September 7, said Monday he is willing to accept the position if the major players in Middle East peace efforts -- including the United States -- promise to fully enforce the peace plan known as the “roadmap” and agree to end the isolation of President Arafat.
The Israel-Palestinian Negotiations - Background - Israel-PLO Recognition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel
The Israeli Daily Aggression on the Palestinian People by the Office of the President of Palestine
The Palestine Monitor - detailed news on Palestine and the Roadmap to Peace
Military: Military branches: in accordance with the peace agreement, the Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, a Public Security Force and a civil Police Force.
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation


Source of information on the small nations/crown dependencies: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
The links to websites of small nations/crown dependencies are partially obtained from http://www.gksoft.com/govt/en/index.html
and http://www.library.northwestern.edu/govpub/resource/internat/foreign.html

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