Category Archives: International Affairs

RAMESH THAKUR. Arrested Diplomacy (Project Syndicate).

The Japanese and Canadian governments have failed to manage effectively the reputational, economic, and geopolitical implications of the legal cases against Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. And, in a globalized world, the risks posed by such … Continue reading

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MARK PROOST. Millions of Americans flood into Mexico for health care – the human caravan you haven’t heard about. (Truthout 23.1.2019)

The Trump administration is trying to convey panic that there’s an immediate crisis on the southern border, pointing to caravans of desperate people who have traveled thousands of miles. It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. The fissures in NATO.

NATO defence ministers will meet in Brussels over 13-14 February. Member states will struggle to find any accord in the face of an array strategic and political challenges from internal and external sources. Overshadowing all else will be the vagaries … Continue reading

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JACKSON LEARS. Imperial Exceptionalism -(The New York Review of Books February 7, 2019).

It is hard to give up something you claim you never had. That is the difficulty Americans face with respect to their country’s empire.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. Democracy in Venezuela?

Much of the current situation arises from internal conflicts and policies but US policy has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with US commercial, ideological and strategic interests. Foreign support for Maduro or Guaidó is based on … Continue reading

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KISHORE MAHBUBANI. What China Threat? How the United States and China can avoid war. Harper Magazine 22 January 2019

Within about fifteen years, China’s economy will surpass America’s and become the largest in the world. As this moment approaches, meanwhile, a consensus has formed in Washington that China poses a significant threat to American interests and well-­being. General Joseph … Continue reading

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TIM LINDSEY. Ba’asyir’s bizarre on/off release disrupts Jokowi’s campaign.

Indonesia’s announcement that it would release 80-year old Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the spiritual leader of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), after serving two-thirds of his 15-year sentence for supporting a terrorist training camp in Aceh, took many by surprise.  … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Unconstitutional politics.

The evidence is now in.  Donald Trump wants a second term: his base is indispensible to this end; he must deliver on the biggest chunk of red meat he tossed it during the election campaign – the wall on the … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. When ‘rule of law’ becomes a slogan, not a policy The Huwaei saga- A repost

On 1 December, Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huwaei Technologies and daughter of its founder, was arrested at Vancouver airport by Canadian authorities. In October, Cuba’s ambassador to Japan and a colleague were refused rooms by the Hilton hotel … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS North Korea : What can another Trump:Kim Summit achieve?

President Trump’s announcement of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late February at an agreed but as yet unspecified location ( probably Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh) has reactivated interest in the search for a resolution … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Corporate failure in Australia. They just don’t get it.

There is a growing and unfortunate litany of corporate failures in Australia – and not just the banks and energy suppliers. There is wage theft on a large scale. Instead of addressing their own obvious failures the BCA accuses its … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, Industrial relations | 2 Comments

DEAN BAKER. The Green New Deal is happening in China.

One of the Trump administration’s talking points about global warming is that we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while the countries that remain in the Paris accord are not. Well, the first part of this story is clearly not true, as … Continue reading

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MICHELLE ALEXANDER. Breaking the silence on Palestine (The New York Times International Edition).

Like Martin Luther King Jr. did, we must speak out about the grave injustices of our time.

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CIARA MORRIS. Seeing China Through a Washington Lens

Balancing relations between China and the US is arguably Australia’s greatest foreign policy challenge in the 21st century. But is Australia getting it right?

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GEOFF RABY. China needs a grown-up foreign policy for a changed era.

At the key 19th Party Congress in October 2017, Xi Jinping set out his signature policy – Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era – which, unusually early on in his term, was inscribed into the Party’s Constitution as … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Three democracies in crisis

The three nations that gave birth to modern democracy are exhibiting its weaknesses. Democracy is showing its limitations in dealing with contemporary challenges in UK, the US and France. Saving democracy from authoritarianism and populism is a popular subject. Yet … Continue reading

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ALAN BOYD. Morrison misconnects across the South Pacific. (Asia Times 19.1.2019)

“I urged your predecessor [Malcolm Turnbull] repeatedly to honor his commitment to clean energy. From where we are sitting, we cannot imagine how the interests of any single industry can be placed above the welfare of Pacific peoples and vulnerable … Continue reading

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HENRY REYNOLDS. When will it end?

Three days after the Abbott government was sworn in on the 18th of September 2013 the new defence minister Senator David Johnston made a statement to the media. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that he wanted the military to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 6 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM When sinking looms, jump.

Imagine if almost six per cent of the Coalition reckoned they’d lose their seats at the next election so switch to Labor.  Chances are they wouldn’t be piped aboard, as ship jumpers are not favoured in Australian politics, distrusted by … Continue reading

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GEOFFREY MILLER. Intelligence and the function of government. (Australian Outlook 9.1.2019)

“Intelligence and the Function of Government”, edited by Daniel Baldino and Rhys Crawley, contains a great deal of useful material on the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC), intelligence issues and intelligence in relation to government. It consists of 12 chapters, covering … Continue reading

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FINTAN O’TOOLE. Today Britain discovers it cannot escape history. (Irish Times 16.1.2019)

Today is supposed to be historic, one of the most epic moments in the long life of the Westminster parliament. So why does it not feel like that? The tabling by a British prime minister of an agreement on the … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. Brexit chaos – the failures of Westminster

As the Brexit chaos continues, it is worth reflecting on the background that led Britain to where it is today – with no ending in sight. The root cause lays in how the Westminster system is failing to serve the … Continue reading

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JON FINER and ROBERT MALLEY. Trump is right to seek an end to America’s wars (The New York Times International Edition).

The president’s desire to disentangle the country from costly overseas conflicts must be encouraged.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unsettling reality if Five Eyes is the guardian against Huawei, Part 2: A survey audit concerning prudence, integrity, law and ethics.

In the frequent denunciations of Huawei and ZTE the inference is that these Chinese corporations are existing, or potential espionage agents of the Beijing Government and a threat to all who have been foolish enough to acquire their products.  These … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms: A year of living dangerously

Last January, the Doomsday Clock was moved to two minutes to midnight — the closest it has ever been, matching the acute sense of crisis of 1953. The primary explanation for the heightened threat alert was disturbing developments in the … Continue reading

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STUART REES. Redefining anti-Semitism erodes freedom of speech.

Claims about western values usually include praise for the freedom enjoyed through governments’ respect for freedom of speech. Yet, even in democratic states, those principles are being treated as outmoded, not least in regard to criticism of Israeli policies towards … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unsettling reality if Five Eyes is the guardian against Huawei, Part 1: Questions of Honesty and Loyalty.

According to a recent assessment Australia is the world’s 11th most vulnerable country in terms of its exposure to internet security threat.  This is the general case.  The particular case, articulated by the Five Eyes signals intelligence agencies, is that China is to … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Joined at the hip to a very dangerous ally that is almost always at war. An update

We are a nation in denial that we are ‘joined at the hip’ to a dangerous ally that is becoming even more dangerous with the increasing privatisation of the US ‘war complex’  The complex is less and less under civilian … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 9 Comments

HUGH WHITE. The Costs of Containing China (East Asia Forum)

Washington’s policymakers at last understand that China is a serious strategic rival. For the first time since the Soviet collapse, they recognise that a major country is trying to expand its power and influence at the expense of US global … Continue reading

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RICHARD McGREGOR. We need the Five Eyes spy network, but with oversight (SMH 12.1.2019)

After Canadian authorities seized a top Chinese executive from the telecommunications giant Huawei at Vancouver Airport last month on a US arrest warrant, Beijing immediately set about retaliating. A couple of Canadians who, until then, had been working openly in … Continue reading

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