International Whaling Commission, Japan, Afghanistan discussed on BBC World Service
Week launching a suicide attack on the foreign ministry on the seafront so Libya after Gadhafi Egypt after Mubarak in Syria, though, the Assads I'll still laugh President Assad is come out on. On top in the long bitter, civil war that led to the uprisings that were inspired by the Arab spring. And again, a significant development in the course of the week where we saw the United. I remember is agreeing to reopen its embassy in Damascus a major boost for the Assad government, the Emirati and others in the region are recognizing the mistress scientists here to stay and it's time to begin to normalize relations with him time to do diplomatic and economic business again with Syria. I think you're gonna see more reengagement perhaps quite quickly with Syria. Alan johnston. You're listening to the world this week the program that tells you what happened in the policy seven days, and why it counts coming up. We asked whether mercenaries are the future of war fighting, and if you want to listen to us again all previous editions, just tight BBC the world. This week it. She'll search engine in the aftermath of World War Two on rock your patient by the United States their economy shattered by defeat half of the body, impoverished Japanese came from Wales seventy years old and that figure has dwindled to one tenth of one percent for Japan's politicians. They wailing is part of the country's culture and identity this week Japan gave up on trying to persuade fellow members of the International Whaling Commission to permit commercial hunting of whales and announced it was unilaterally opting out of the rules. Bad news for conservationists and the whales that trying to protect not necessarily explains the BBC science reporter, Victoria Gill. There's been sort of bone of contention within the things within the International Whaling Commission meetings for a long time. Japan's been a member since the fifties. But while the ban on whaling on the came in in nineteen Eighty-six Japan have wanted to move past that pretty much since it was instigated because they say that wailing and easing while as part of their culture, and that what they International Whaling Commission should be moving towards is a sustainable quieter, whereas everyone else apart from the countries, including Iceland, and Norway that wants to carry on whaling have all agreed that this pause can remain in place, primarily for conservation reasons. Is it going to make a difference? Do you think in terms of the the number of wailing boats, and the kinds of numbers of whales the court given the consumption in Japan's sort of has been in a fairly steep decline. In recent decades reports his spoke to a few people in the fish market in Tokyo. He commented that really people aren't queuing up to eat whale anymore. It's not a popular despite by any stretch. And there's some good news mixed up with this concerning news that conservationists are really quite canes condemn in. Japan's also said that their commercial whaling will only carry on in their economic zone. And that's her story water is now what that means is that they will stop wailing in the ocean in the Southern Ocean, which has been a real points of conflicts between Japan, and Australia and also something that conservationists internationally have been really concerned about they have continued even with the ban in place to wail under a banner of what they call scientific research. They take between two hundred and twelve hundred whales every year. So whether that number will increase now that they have pulled the plug on the IDC he like is very hard to know because presumably people were fairly skeptical about the scientific research that was being undertaken. In on these whales that banner that's the tagline that Japan has used officially has been very much used in inverted commas when it's been referred to. And it's been controversial the entire time and critically that same banner of scientific research has been used to justify wailing in the antibiotic ocean, and that was a real point of contention appointive disputes and very very controversial. It may just be that Japan weren't really change the number of whales that it takes that it will just change the label into which it's continues this business of wailing, and it's also a concern for conservationists, and for other countries who have really asked Japan to reconsider that other countries might follow seats, South Korea has shown some interest in reinspecting commercial whaling, and that could really trickle down into in effect that could destabilize some of these populations that have been protected by the International Whaling Japan as you said is not the first country to decide to pronounce. This moratorium not take part in it. We had no way in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. My the Japanese fielded they're getting a bit of a hard time that in some ways they're being singled out for a lot of heavy condemnation. When other countries that perhaps seen is good countries in terms of their international profile new way, oversee does not a peacekeeping work. And so on I've had a slightly easier ride on this issue. It's hard to know whether they feel like they're being hard done by because the move isn't really a surprise because they've been kind of pointing towards making this move for many years now, and it's always been an issue at the International Whaling Commission meetings that they didn't see the ban as a sustainable long-term solution. They've always said that the points of the IDC that what they wanted to agree on was sustainable quotas for the future and not that this what was supposed to be a pause moratorium would just stay in place without question. So therefore station is resolved. But in the end, we're far from clear, whether we will actually make any difference at all to the number of whales that have been called. No, that's absolutely right far from clear sweater will make any difference at all or whether it's just the label into which their whaling will carry on. Whether it will increase numbers. We don't know the big concern is that the international scrutiny stops. And there it might just be a kind of domino effect. Where other countries will follow see sin is seen as national scrutiny? Stocks for a number of countries you get into a situation where wailing is happening in pockets where populations are threatened and whether a very dangerous species. And that's the whole issue that the International Whaling Commission's moratorium wanted to stop, Victoria Gill. Among the labels used by President Bashar Sudan as he tried to discredit his country's. Protesters is mercenaries for some governments though it's a term of approval not abuse. Donald Trump made the first visit of his presidency to US troops serving in a war zone over the Christmas holiday. He was in Iraq having announced to complete military withdrawal from neighboring Syria. It's no secret that the president would like to get US forces out of Afghanistan. Two and one prominent businessman is already proposed that the job of supporting the local military should be handed instead to private contractors. These guns for hire already in evidence in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this is a good thing during her time as the BBC's defense correspondent the world this week's Carolina what sold them at work. The young man sitting next to me in the airport. Lounge stead silently into space the flight from Dubai into Kabul was delayed by several hours, but he looked exhausted. I felt the same way it was late. Something about him made me curious. His blond hair was cropped close. And he was skinny perhaps thirty or thirty two at loest radiating nervous energy when he stood to bring back a Cup of tea his hands shook so badly that the liquid spilled on the floor. We were among a handful of foreigners waiting for the flight would take us to the Afghan capital. Just in time for Christmas. Why are you going to cobble Alston working their private security company? He replied, Jim. It emerged had served in Iraq and Afghanistan when he was in the British army he'd left because his wife worried about him getting killed or injured left. First child was on the way, but it struggled to find work in the north of England to earn enough to take care of his growing family when a friend tilt him how much he could make a private security contractor Jim signed up equally. He didn't look to me like a man who should be on his way back to a war zone. Gyms Hans run steady on the look in his eye suggested. He'd already seen enough fighting for one lifetime. Jim was one of the tens of thousands of private contractors employed by the UK's ministry of defense and the US department of defense in Afghanistan and Iraq. They provide everything from security to interpreting and translation analyzing intelligence building military camps to prepare the food on military bases. It's a profitable enterprise when it goes well, often an attractive option for politicians wary of military casualties. Private contractors have played an increasingly important role in the American led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it's been an increasingly controversial one not just because of incidents such as black quarters massacre of civilians in Baghdad in two thousand seven the democratic constraints surround sending a national army air force on navy war mean they I'm the commander in chief. And every single person down the chain of command are accountable for their actions. They must answer for every single death and injury. It's true that private contractors may well be held to account and even face trial for any wrongdoing. Black quarters employees did face lengthy prison. Sentences for the killings in two thousand seven and yet it's hard enough for journalists to find out from a regular army. What's really happening in a remote corner of conflict in a faraway land harder when you're dealing with an irregular army, a private company alterable first and foremost to shell as the outgoing u s Defense Secretary James Mattis, one of the military men who didn't like the idea privatizing the war in Afghanistan. First proposed by the founder of blackwater Eric prints when President Donald Trump took office, perhaps Mr. prince hopes that interest in his plan will grow Donald Trump's wore heart and generals, leave new less experienced staff. Arrive the savings and loan might convince the president to try something new. Using private contractors to help Afghan forces would cost a mere five billion US dollars a year claims Mr. prints, a fraction of the seventy six billion also that it currently costs America to operate in Afghanistan. Each year. But what about Jim I wonder all those like him? What happens to men like Jim if they're wounded or develop post traumatic stress when they no longer serving as part of the national force on a nation's conscience at least, even if not at the top of its political agenda. Above all, just how accountable all private armies in faraway places for the many civilian casualties of war. I'm not as confident as Mr. print seems to be the privatizing conflict is such a good idea. Even though it's clear the can be enticingly profitable for some Caroline Wyatt on maneuvers. Let's hit from the world this week for now. If you've got any thoughts on what we've done all on what you'd like us today. Then please contact us at BBC World Service five Facebook or Twitter use the hashtag BBC world this week. And don't forget join me Sean light at the same time next week for look back at what's happened in the next seven.