Category Archives: Foreign Affairs and Trade

RAMESH THAKUR. Appeasement and learning the right lessons of history

The lesson of Munich for major powers Britain and France was that you do not buy peace with fellow major powers tomorrow by giving in to their demands today. But for smaller powers, the lesson was that faced with the … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia Should Suspend Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

The Australian government should immediately halt military sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia should also release details about military weapons and material it has sold to other … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. ANZUS: Too obliging for our own good?

Malcolm Turnbull is dropping everything and travelling to America to meet a man that only recently subjected him to a very public humiliation. Although members of the Trump administration have tried to make amends for this initial snub to a … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Malcolm’s Anzac Day Gift. Australian troops will be in the Middle East for the ‘long term’.

The Prime Minister’s statement that Australian military forces will need to remain in Afghanistan and the “Middle East” indefinitely must be clarified as must be the powers under which such decisions are legitimately made. 

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JOHN TULLOH. Trump’s first 100 days – so what?

   The media have been besides themselves in anticipation of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House this weekend. It’s as if this is some magic marker by which to judge his next 1359 days in the Oval … Continue reading

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GREGORY CLARK. Pingpong diplomacy and Whitlam’s first visit to China.

April 2017 is the 46 anniversary of the pingpong diplomacy – an event that changed the future of China. It also changed the direction of Australian politics, leading to the ALP Federal election victory in November 1972. But as I … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. What Australian Foreign Policy?

Insider, analyst and adviser Allan Gyngell finds that Australian defence and foreign policy are more bipartisan than ever. But even as Australia’s national security agenda metastesizes, we have more to fear from an unreliable ally and an increasingly lawless world. … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. It is becoming much easier to go to war.

We used to think that the gravest decision any government could make was to take its country to war. Not any more. Going to war for us has now become almost common place. We commit to war after war – … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The Anzac Myth.

Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial  war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought in order to avoid the central issue of why we fought.  

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CAVAN HOGUE. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Between tragedy and farce in the Korean peninsula

The world’s options on North Korea can be summarised as bad (strategic patience), worse (growing strategic impatience), and worst (military strikes).  

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just Who Does Pose the Greater Threat in Korea?

The election of Donald Trump as US President has seen the ramping up of US rhetoric about North Korea.  Trump recently demanded that China should use its influence with the North Koreans and if China did not intervene, then, according … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korean Peninsula – just where are we right now?

So much is going on in the different channels between the US and China, China and the DPRK and by now maybe US and DPRK that reading the tea leaves is an almost impossible – if not frantic – task. … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. With talk of war, what should Australia do?

As the United States Trump administration now confronts North Korea, there is talk of war. Also confronted, but more indirectly, is China itself with President Donald Trump’s declaration that the US would go it alone to disarm North Korea if China … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Still demonizing North Korea

Following recent North Korean missile tests and American declarations that they have run out of ‘strategic patience’, the Western media and the governments they serve, are busily repeating time-honoured myths about North Korea.  

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DUNCAN MacLAREN. UK General Election: clever cunning or miscalculated folly?

Theresa May’s snap general election decision can be seen as hypocritical in that she ruled this out consistently (and as recently as 20th March) until, the Anglican vicar’s daughter hinted, God told her while hiking in Welsh Snowdonia over Easter … Continue reading

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TIM LINDSEY. Jakarta elections a very bad look for Indonesia

The decisive defeat of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as ‘Ahok’) in Jakarta’s litmus-test gubernatorial election is a triumph for hardline Islamist mob agitators. It comes after years of pressure from the Muslim right and may flag a shift in Indonesian … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. DPRK: The “New Cuban missile crisis”?

The DPRK nuclear weapons programme does not constitute a new Cuban missile crisis. Any military attack upon DPRK would be disastrous. A new political negotiation must be constructed. This is not a problem to be solved by the US alone. … Continue reading

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Our misguided wars of choice.

In this article in the Boston Globe of April 16, JEFFREY D SACHS speaks of the risks that the US and the world are running.  He speaks of the US ‘wanton addiction to war’.  John Menadue. “There is one foreign … Continue reading

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MUNGO McCALLUM. Turnbull’s Passage to India.

He may not have landed any concrete results, but he continues to give the myths and legends a good workout.  

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JAMES O’NEILL. Scientific evidence exposes the falsity of US government claims about Syrian gas attack.

The irresistible conclusion is that those same senior politicians know that the White House claims are false and misleading and therefore highly dangerous to Australia’s national security. That they should maintain their silence on this while continuing to perpetuate a … Continue reading

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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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JOHN TULLOH. Turkey – Erdogan’s day of judgment.

   Turkey’s voters face a momentous choice: whether they want their president to have the dictatorial power of a potential tyrant or one whose authority remains curbed by parliamentary government. 

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The importance of better security and trade policies.

The relationship between the United States and China is now the most decisive bilateral relationship in the world.  It works on two levels, one public and one private.

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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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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Are US Catholics too American to stand up to Trump?

It also reveals a much more complex issue – the deep-seated fear of the state within American Catholicism and of the gap between US Catholicism and the global Catholic Church’s view on the state and of political authority. This creates a … Continue reading

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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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