Category Archives: Foreign Affairs and Trade

CAVAN HOGUE. Australia did say no to the US on Vietnam in 1954.

“Australia’s destiny was not so completely wrapped up with the United States as to support them in action which Australia regarded as wrong”.  (R.G.Casey)

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WALTER HAMILTON. Fake news triumphant

Japan’s Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have a great deal in common, particularly their aversion to being exposed to a free press. 

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. If Australia has switched enemies in Syria, who and why are we fighting?

If Australia has switched enemies in Syria, as our allies apparently have done, the Turnbull Government owes us at least an explanation about who and why we are fighting. 

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RYAN MANUEL. Belt and road: less than meets the eye

The recent unravelling of world affairs has seen many argue that China may lead closer global economic cooperation. Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos encouraged this rather surprising turn of events. Xi opined that protectionism, … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Ukraine, Crimea and the push for war.

Instead of recognizing the historical and geopolitical realities, including that Ukraine is now a failed state ruled by neo-fascists, Western governments continue to parrot the tired cliché that the Russians are to blame.  Upon such fatal ignorance are wars often … Continue reading

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DENNIS ALTMAN. Bringing Nauru and Manus refugees to Australia is a win-win win. If the PM is bold enough.

Ultimately this argument is about a small number of people who risked their lives in the belief that Australia would provide sanctuary and a better life. In admitting them, Australia could demonstrate basic humanity, close the camps and remove an … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Why is the government still pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership.

An important matter facing Australia is how to find a sound balance between China’s relations with neighbouring countries and with the United States.  This has become a strategic issue in the region.  So far China seems to be handling it … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Will Donald Trump’s persona destroy his administration?

Donald Trump swept through the primary and election campaigns like a disruptive force of nature to a victory that unsettled almost all conventional wisdom about modern American politics. A shocked Democratic Party and city-based cultural elites are still in denial … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Trump, Australia, Iran, and a Question For Australia

For all of the radical change promised by Donald Trump when he was campaigning, at least one area of continuity is abundantly clear: the preoccupation with, and a distorted understanding of Islam in general and Iran in particular. His appointment … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just whose news is fake?

The term “fake news” has gained a certain currency in recent months, perhaps reaching its apogee with the Washington Post’s notorious list of alleged fake news sites.  

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DENNIS ARGALL. The complexity of saying no to the Americans.

The degree of ‘interoperability’ with US forces shapes the minds of Australian service personnel from top to bottom as also it shapes procurement planning and justification. … Any review by us of the Alliance relationship would run-up against a deep history. … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Trump, Putin and the priming of the impeachment trigger.

A game plan is now evident for the possible expulsion of Donald Trump from the US presidency by impeachment, unless he toes the line of Washington’s established bipartisan national security agenda. Putinophobia is central to this dark Shakespearean drama. Trump … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL   Korea, China, US and Trump  

It has not helped that senior military people have been inclined to simply call the North Koreans crazy, any more than it helps now to simply call Trump crazy. 

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CAVAN HOGUE. Should we Jump with Trump on Russia?

Australia has followed the hardline advocates in the US in attributing evil actions now and in the future to Russia and Putin in particular. How accurate is this view? One of the few sensible things Trump is doing is advocating … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Australia and the US: Truth Time.  

There is an extraordinary amount of deception and lying around current US policy. The Republican establishment will need to work out where it stands on Trump’s agenda. This is precisely the time for truthful discourse in Australia about our relationship … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. A foreign policy for Australia.

Our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister often refer to the “rules based world order.” This “order”, of course, was established primarily by the United States after the end of World War 2.   The “rules” have been disregarded by the US itself when it … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy.

This is a repost of an earlier article. The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. Turnbull turns toady for Trump

Let’s hope it’s worth it. Malcolm Turnbull has sacrificed whatever remaining credibility he may still have had as a small ‘l’ liberal in a desperate effort to save his tawdry deal with the American government. What looked like a brilliant … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Bad hombres.

Donald J. Trump likes to sound off about ‘bad hombres’ sneaking into the United States to spread terror and crime. Bad hombres come in many shapes and disguises, not only as bad people but also bad ideas.  

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JAMES O’NEILL. ‘One belt one road’ (OBOR) – a new geopolitical paradigm.

The scale of the projects (OBOR) is astonishing. As of July 2016 China had more than 900 contracts in place or under negotiation with a propose investment value of over $900 billion dollars. This was in addition to a separate … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull and Donald Trump on ‘alternate facts’.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is not worth pursuing by anyone serious – which leaves Turnbull and Ciobo, still clinging, not even to a straw, but to the open waters of internationalism.  

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GEOFF HISCOCK. Key Indian states go to the polls in February

While most of Asia-Pacific focuses on the beginning of the Trump presidency and China’s prickly response so far, a substantial slice of the world’s biggest democracy, India, is about to enter a crucial round of state elections that will also … Continue reading

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GREG WOOD. The TPP is dead – so scotch ISDS

With the Trans Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) demise, Australia should take the chance to reconsider its approach to international trade negotiations. Certainly we should never again sign an agreement with wide ranging Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions (ISDS) which are definitely … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. To TPP or not to TPP? – Trade negotiators need to get back to first principles,

If the compounding mess of the global trading ‘system’ is to be overcome, trade negotiators need to get back to first principles.  

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TIM LINDSEY. Indonesia’s inconvenient truths.

 Concerns regarding Australian military teaching materials and remarks uncovered late last year have placed strain on relations with Indonesia. The strange affair of our on-again-off-again defence cooperation arrangements with Indonesia continues to confuse most observers.  

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump: A Sideshow?

It is not only Trump that has assumed power in the US but also a set of deeply ideological and introverted Republicans. Both will shape US policy and actions. Australia should now review the conduct of its relationship with the … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Rush for the exits

When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month stood alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull near The Gap––once Sydney’s favourite suicide spot––they presented themselves as brothers-in-arms for multilateral free trade. How quickly things can change.  

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John Menadue. Australia Day – the Queen and the Asian Century

This is a repost from 26/1/2013 A major barrier to our future in the region is our dependence on foreign institutions and powers. First it was the British and now the Americans. We cling to others.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Ports

As a former Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian leaves a very dubious record in port privatization. The Chair of ACCC, Rod Sims has said ‘Privatisation (of NSW ports) is costing consumers and damaging economic reform’.  

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Karl Rove’s Prophecy.

The neocons stayed put in the State Department and other positions closely linked to the Obama White House, where they became allies with the liberal hawks in continuing ‘spreading democracy’ by overthrowing regimes. America’s mainstream news and opinion purveyors, without … Continue reading

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