Category Archives: International Affairs

C.J. POLYCHRONIOU. Noam Chomsky: Moral Depravity Defines US Politics (Truth Out).

The US midterm elections of November 6, 2018, produced a divided Congress and essentially reaffirmed the existence of two nations in one country. But they also revealed, once again, the deep state of moral and political depravity that prevails in … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Australia has normalised relations with a China-led future (Australian Financial Review, 21.11.18)

The Australia-China relationship is almost back to normal.  The speed at which it has recovered has surprised.  It has taken two statesman-like speeches by the former Prime Minister and his successor, and the appointment of a new Foreign Minister as … Continue reading

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CAROLE CADWALLADR. Why Britain Needs Its Own Mueller (The New York Review of Books).

At the end of January 2017, days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I sat in a busy Pret a Manger sandwich bar in central London, a stone’s throw from the mother of parliaments, and flicked through snapshots of Donald Trump on … Continue reading

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ADAM WAKELING. Tokyo Trial: how an Australian judge sentenced a Japanese leader to death (ABC NEWS).

“Accused Hideki Tojo, on the counts of the indictment of which you have been convicted, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentences you to death by hanging.”

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Tributes | 2 Comments

ROHAN FOX, MATTHEW DORNAN. China in the Pacific: Is China engaged in “debt-trap diplomacy”? A repost from November 12 2018

Recent media coverage has touted the rise of Chinese aid and lending as a threat to Pacific nations’ sovereignty and to the West’s influence in the Pacific. China, so the narrative goes, is aggressively lending to smaller nations who do not have … Continue reading

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ALEX WODAK. Drug law reform in the 2018 US mid term elections.The 2018 US midterm elections has important lessons for Australia regarding drug law reform. In ballot initiatives and elections for office, voters often supported drug law reform with only one major defeat. Presidential election years generally have many more ballot initiatives on drug policy.

The 2018 US midterm elections has important lessons for Australia regarding drug law reform. In ballot initiatives and elections for office, voters often supported drug law reform with only one major defeat. Presidential election years generally have many more ballot … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, International Affairs | 1 Comment

GARETH PORTER. America’s permanent-war complex. (The American Conservative, 15.11.2108)

What President Dwight D. Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. The result today is a “permanent-war complex,” which is now … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

Decoupling the US from Asia (ANU East Asia Forum).

Maybe US Vice President Mike Pence didn’t mean to fire the opening shots in a new Cold War with China in his 4 October speech at the Hudson Institute, but the global policy community can be forgiven now for taking … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The Geopolitics of Lombrum Naval Base

It is difficult to find a strong, rational strategic argument for Australia’s to return to Lombrum Naval Base (or HMPNGS Tarangau) on Manus Island. Of course, not all of Defence’s activities have strictly military objectives or relate directly to the … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. The diplomatic disaster that was APEC Port Moresby

There is still a lot we do not know about how and why the APEC Summit  just ended in Port Moresby was such a diplomatic disaster, from which APEC may not readily recover anytime soon.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Another week, another stuff-up. Israel and Indonesia.

Bill Shorten and Penny Wong got it right last week: ScoMo’s pre-Wentworth thought bubble about moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem should be dead, buried and cremated. It was always a bad idea and if there was any doubt the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. Where the bloody Hell are You?

Our current Prime Minister loves P R slogans and seems to believe that they are a satisfactory alternative to an understanding of a world that does not eat meat pies. To his credit, however, he has publicly criticised US trade … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: The Beginning of the End

Thursday 15th November was a most extraordinary day at Westminster where a besieged lady tenaciously stood her ground at the despatch box and stared down some hundreds of howling Parliamentary interlocutors (mostly of her own party) and remained totally unfazed … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. The latest hobgoblins.

On the eve of an APEC meeting, with impeccable timing, Australia’s lack of foreign policy independence was once again on display for our Asian neighbours: mimicry of US decisions, militarism abroad, securitised borders, containment of China, and fear of Islam. … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

PETER RODGERS. Morrison and Jerusalem – what a way to run a foreign policy!

Scott Morrison’s revelation last October that he was thinking about relocating Australia’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem should go down as one of 2018’s crassest comments. For the PM was not “thinking” at all. Casting the possible relocation as shock … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: When is a horse not a horse? When it is a camel.

This note was prepared following a five hour emergency Cabinet meeting last night accepting the deal with the EU and a brief statement without details by the British PM, Theresa May, declaring that the draft Agreement was the best deal … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. What is History?

President Macron’s warning against growing nationalism and the need to ensure the preservation of values, as against unalloyed selfishness in international relations, was an important way to mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War. Trump was … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Will Japan’s Love Affair with Nuclear Power be Resurrected?

On Friday 11 March 2011, a tsunami knocked out emergency generators at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, resulting in melt-downs in three of six reactors, covering the countryside in eastern Honshu with radiation. Some isotopes were short-lived, others will be around much longer. … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM.Jerusalem and a Free Trade Agreement with Indonesia

  Now here’s the weirdest thing about the way we handle policy with the neighbours:   Canberra politicians are proven fumblers and bumblers when dealing with big Muslim-majority Indonesia. Yet at the Australian National University just a ten-minute bike ride … Continue reading

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Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death (New York Times, 11.11.18)

WASHINGTON — Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

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PAUL O’CALLAGHAN. For Caritas Australia, bankrolling the Pacific misses the mark.

At Caritas Australia we have long been in the business of supporting the grassroots development of our Pacific neighbours.

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Bob Carr replies to China critics (Australian Financial Review, 12.11.18)

That the mob always gets it right is cornerstone wisdom of Australian politics, often confirmed by polling that shows the public’s deeply rooted common sense.

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RICHARD McGREGOR AND JONATHAN PRYKE. Australia must tread carefully in its Pacific contest with China. (SMH 9.11.2018)

If you want a glimpse into the future of Australia’s relationship with China, with all the elements of competition and co-operation, and tensions and bridge-building, then this week is a good place to start.  

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JONATHAN FREEDLAND. US democracy is in crisis. But Trump is only the symptom (the Guardian, 10.11.18)

The talk in the US is of constitutional crisis. It’s been looming for a while, thanks to the Mueller investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin efforts to swing the 2016 election. At some point – perhaps … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN: A Response to Prof John Fitzgerald article “How Bob Carr became China’s Pawn”.

Political debate on  foreign policy between Australia-China  in conjunction with Australia-US relations is an important issue for the 1.2 million Chinese Australian community.  It is also an important issue for Australia  as this  will dictate our future prosperity and leadership … Continue reading

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TONG ZHAO. Why China Is Worried About the End of the INF Treaty.

The U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty reflects Washington’s long-standing concern that the treaty constrained its ability to counter China’s fast-growing missile forces in the Asia Pacific. This article was published by Carnegie Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy on the … Continue reading

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BENEDICT COSGROVE. Kicking “Charismatic” to the Curb.

Smart people have long argued among themselves about what language does, and doesn’t do. But pretty much everyone agrees that, if nothing else, language evolves. Words and phrases that were perfectly serviceable for decades, or even centuries, take on fresh … Continue reading

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ISHAN THAROOR. The party of Trump goes fully far-right (Washington Post, 08.11.18)

In the run-up to Tuesday’s midterms, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) faced mounting condemnation over his openly white-supremacist politics. King has a long record of demonizing minorities, fulminating over the decline of white “civilization” and courting extremists who peddle racist conspiracy … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. US Mid-Terms: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I hail from a country (Norway) that doesn’t have mandatory voting, yet gets close to 80% of eligible voters turning up at the polling booths, around the same as in Australia. Although I am philosophically opposed to mandatory voting as … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. What is it to be with China – cooperation or conflict? A response to Peter Jennings of ASPI.

In a prominent article in The Weekend Australian’s ‘Inquirer’ section on 3/4 November, headed “Canberra alone must control our China ties”, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, castigates the Victorian government, a large delegation of leading … Continue reading

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