Category Archives: Defence/Security

RAMESH THAKUR. Donald Trump is more believable and moral than Putin – Seriously?

Instead of cheering US resort to increasingly robust use of military firepower as the first response to international crises, Western leaders should be ring-fencing Trump’s instinct to reckless behaviour in order to avoid a catastrophe.  

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Trump is Ignorant of History and So is His Chump Sean Spicer

This article by Middle East expert, ROBERT FISK, was first published in The Independent on 12 April 2017. Fisk comments ‘Gas, cruise missiles, barrel bombs, Hitler and the American media. Mix them all up and I suppose you get Trump’s … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. US Missile Attack on Syria

The US missile strike on Syria was an act of aggression the consequences of which could be immense. The facts of what happened at Khan Sheikhun must be established. 

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KEITH JOINER. Negating the Impact of the Future Submarine at Next Election

Australia’s future submarine project has already been a factor in Australia’s political pulse, in both the fever of pre-elections and in the now omnipresent prime-ministerial instability between these all-too-frequent elections. South Australia’s Xenophon factor has become powerful, and appointments like … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The Foreign Policy White Paper: A Plea To See Things As They Are

“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”  George Orwell.

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JAMES O’NEILL. American missile strikes in Syria raise fresh questions.

Not for the first time, unilateral and illegal actions by the Americans pose a grave threat to the safety of the planet and its inhabitants. 

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Is globalization ending?

It is the fashion to declare that globalization is coming to an end. Evidence for this includes: nationalism being on the rise; protectionist policies making a come-back; borders being slammed shut; populist politicians multiplying at rabbit-like rates. Trump and Brexit, … Continue reading

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ROSS BURNS. After Khan Sheikhun

The 4 April attack on Khan Sheikhun using CW (chemical warfare) weapons was almost certainly the work of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. This is the only explanation which ticks off all the boxes—means, motive and opportunity. The hastily assembled US retaliatory … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Decoding the Trump strikes on Syria

The use of chemical weapons in Syria and the US air strikes in punishment are part of the continuing descent into lawlessness by various actors with unforeseeable consequences in an already inflamed region. 

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JAMES O’NEILL. Verdict First, Evidence Later: How the Australian Media Misrepresent Geopolitical Events

The reporting of the tragedy from Syria is but the latest illustration of an all too common phenomenon: a pre-determined verdict on little or no evidence.  

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NICK BISLEY. Learning to live with a nuclear North Korea?

North Korea perceives it is isolated in a world that is hostile to its existence. However loathsome the regime may be and however badly it misallocates resources to bolster the ruling elite, the reason for acquiring nuclear weapons is entirely … Continue reading

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ANNETTE BROWNLIE. Keeping Australia out of US wars

It is time we, the people, asserted our sovereignty, took control of our foreign policies and reviewed the presence of U.S. bases and troops in Australia. It is time we started promoting genuine peace and security, human rights, a sustainable … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. How independent is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

ASPI’s oft-repeated claim of independence – immunity from the influence of the corporations who help fund the organisation – does strike one as rather naive for experts who might otherwise be seen as “hard-headed realists” in a tough world. Corporations … Continue reading

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EDITORS, EAST ASIA FORUM. The consequences of the Trump-Xi meeting in Florida.

ANU East Asia Forum has posted a new item, ‘The consequences of the Trump–Xi meeting in Florida‘ All eyes will be on Florida this week, where US President Donald Trump will ANU host an inaugural summit with Chinese President Xi … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Fake news?

Trump’s threats against DPRK and May’s against Gibraltar, as reported, are fake news. The US’ stance on nuclear non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is a fake.   

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Myths of Australian Foreign Policy.

The review of Australian foreign policy needs to be freed from the myths of our dependency and take serious account of the current and likely state of US foreign and military policy.  

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RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear powers and umbrella states must engage with, not obstruct, the international community.

It is time for the so-called realists to get real about the existential dangers of a world brimming with nuclear weapons. 

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JAMES O’NEILL. The London Attack: What We Fail to Acknowledge

“The idea”, …  “that you can set fire to countries in the Middle East, collapse their societies, and traumatize entire populations sowing carnage on a biblical scale, and not expect any reaction in the form of blowback is utterly insane.”  

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KELLIE TRANTER. Unreasonable silence

So what are we left with? The burial of truth. A closed bloc hunkered down in Canberra who conceal information and who fail to condemn the loss of life of innocents at the hands of either our country or our allies, … Continue reading

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PAT POWER. Nuclear disarmament.

I find it incredible that Australia is refusing to be part of the UN negotiations on a new treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons. 

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ANDREW FARRAN. Stirring a Witch’s Brew – Selling military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Australia is busily involved in selling military equipment to Saudi Arabia which is engaged in the civil war in the Yemen whose features exceed in brutality and crimes against humanity those in Syria. Has the government clearly thought through where … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Our White Man’s Media again on display in London terrorist attack.

I have often commented that a person from Mars reading or listening to our media would conclude that Australia is an island parked off London or New York. We saw that last week in the coverage of the London terrorist … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. A tale of two cities: Aleppo and Mosul.

The double standards of the western media are clearly demonstrated in the different treatment accorded the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces and the ongoing battle for the liberation of Mosul by ‘coalition’ (i.e. US) forces in northern … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – Trump and the US. (Part 2 of 2)

The deep-seated argument taking place within the US polity, partly but not only because of the mess being presided over by President Trump, makes even more urgent the need for a thorough-going review of Australia’s foreign policy, including how we … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – United Nations (Part 1 of 2)

The United Nations continues to be vital in the humanitarian field, but is failing in its role of maintaining international peace and security. The continuing abuse of their veto power, by the permanent five members of the Security Council, is … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The terrorism threat here is because our troops are over there.

Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia have died from terrorism. But there is a ‘vividness’ bias in terrorism because it stands out in our minds. … Continue reading

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HANS J OHFF. A Future Submarine bonanza for France

Seen through the eyes of an engineering contractor and shipbuilder I suggest that the French have hit the jackpot. They will be falling over themselves to sign the proposed Framework Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. The hideous Syrian tragedy.

Our armed forces have been deployed abroad opportunistically, even cynically, for decades. This must be avoided in future if they are to serve Australia’s true  defence interests in future.  

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MACK WILLIAMS. Canberra wrong-footed in our region?

For Ms Bishop to be talking in Singapore about China and democracies, the Japanese “big ship” and rallying the claimants while pleading with the US to remain staunchly committed in the region certainly is risky. We could be exposed as … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Further developments in MH17 case ignored by our media.

In January 2017 Ukraine issued proceedings against Russia in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The claim has barely been covered in the international media and not at all in the Australian media.  

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