Category Archives: International Affairs

JOHN TULLOH. Israel’s Manus/Nauru solution – Rwanda.

     How incongruous that a country born of the worst genocide in history should want to deport asylum-seekers seeking shelter to a nation synonymous with another genocide. That is the intention of Israel – send their unwanted visitors to Rwanda. … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. A hard or soft Brexit. More likely Black and White

Letter from London  Britain finds itself trapped like a fish with no way out other than capitulation to the best terms it can get – in relation to which the remaining 27 EU members have the upper hand.  

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

On Saturday Extra this 27th January Geraldine Doogue is discussing the cost of government consultants with Julian Hill, ALP member for Bruce and businessman Tony Shepherd; Changes to gambling laws with Charles Livingstone from Monash University and Sam Duncan from … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Murky wars and missions unaccomplished.

In December 2017, Australia announced the withdrawal of six RAAF Hornets from Syria. But this is not our ‘mission accomplished’ moment. The US is committed to a longer war in Syria, and its target is Iran. 

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 4 Comments

HARRY DEMPSEY. Will Trump snap Japan’s tenuous tightrope?

The unhinged madman foreign policy of US President Donald Trump means Tokyo must walk a tightrope to manage the US–Japan alliance. On security policy, on trade and on North Korea, Japan will increasingly have to develop its own independent regional … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Defence policies and alliances have become the new religion. Part 4 of 5 : The Sacramental Alliance.

Government pronouncements in Australia, especially in the fields of Strategy and National Security, it is claimed, are determined by scientific rationality and definitely not configured according to religious belief. This is both fraudulent and a dangerous conceit: religion, has not … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Defence policies and alliances have become a new religion. Part 3 of 5 : Alliance Wars: Papal Prerogatives and Vaticanisation.

Government pronouncements in Australia, especially in the fields of Strategy and National Security, it is claimed, are determined by scientific rationality and definitely not configured according to religious belief. This is both fraudulent and a dangerous conceit: religion, has not … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The bomb for Australia? (Part 3)

After the Cold War ended, the existence of nuclear weapons on both sides wasn’t enough to stop the US from expanding NATO’s borders ever eastwards towards Russia’s borders, contrary to the terms on which Moscow thought Germany’s reunification and the … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER: White Paper versus White’s Paper; some questions about Australian policies.

The Foreign Policy White Paper issued late last year is based on its judgement that “the United States’ long-term interests will anchor its economic and security engagement in the Indo-Pacific”.  Is this right?  Hugh White asserts the opposite.  And whether … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The bomb for Australia? (Part 2)

As we consider whether Australia should obtain nuclear weapons, we need to ask who might subject us to nuclear blackmail. In the authoritative statement of China’s strategic vision in President Xi Jinping’s address to the 19th Communist Party Congress on … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Defence policies and alliances have become a new religion. Part 2 of 5: The Acutely Deranged Present.

 Government pronouncements in Australia, especially in the fields of Strategy and National Security, it is claimed, are determined by scientific rationality and definitely not configured according to religious belief. This is both fraudulent and a dangerous conceit: religion, has not … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

ARTHUR STOCKWIN. Explaining one-party dominance in Japanese politics.

In 1990 US scholar TJ Pempel edited a book titled Uncommon Democracies, which wrote about parliamentary democracies where a single party had been unusually dominant. These included Sweden, Italy, Israel, West Germany and Japan. Australia was also a candidate for … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The bomb for Australia? (Part 1)

In this three-part series, I examine the counter-arguments that proponents of Australia obtaining nuclear weapons need to address before the nation contemplates such a move.

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

MACK WILLIAMS. New US National Defense Strategy: Back to the Cold War?

The new US National Defense Strategy heralds a new strategic direction under Trump which significantly reduces the priority of counter-terrorism and confirms a return to global competition with China and Russia with the basic objective to “outspend” both in defence. … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Defence policies and alliances have become a new religion. PART 1 of 5

Government pronouncements in Australia, especially in the fields of Strategy and National Security, it is claimed, are determined by scientific rationality and definitely not configured according to religious belief. This is both fraudulent and a dangerous conceit: religion, has not … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Time ticks closer to nuclear midnight.

This week’s false ballistic missile warning gave the world its first glance of what the first 38 minutes of nuclear war might feel like as political tensions turned to real-life panic. As time ticks away, can catastrophe be averted? 

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

SHIRO ARMSTRONG. More to Australia-Japan security than bilateral defence ties.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is visiting Japan . Whatever else is said, at the top of the agenda in his discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be managing relations with the United States and China. These are … Continue reading

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GREG WOOD. The China Australia FTA Meets the All Controlling State- A REPOST from September 25 2017

During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia in March, Australia and China signed a “Declaration of Intent” to accelerate a review of the provisions governing services trade and investment in the bilateral China Australia free trade agreement (Chafta).  So far … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Where have all the grown-ups gone on China policy?- A REPOST from June 23 2017

Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. The torment of the impossible Kurdish dream.

For all the promises, for all the sterling work they have willingly done in the fight against evil, for all the sympathy they have engendered, the Kurds will never achieve their greatest aspiration: their own homeland. The fact is the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Real Danger: A New Nuclear Arms Race.

New US nuclear weapons policies, quantitative and qualitative will ensure that a new nuclear arms race proceeds. Global danger will increase as will the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons. Its not just Trump that is at issue. He … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms: Look ahead to 2018 in hope, not back at 2017 in anger.

We begin 2018 with a surreal contest between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as to whose nuclear button is bigger. Against North Korea’s anxiety-inducing rapid nuclear advances, the biggest positive story line of 2017 was … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Climate change, droughts and wars: is there a nexus?

According to Al Gore during 2006 and 2010 some 60 percent of farms in Syria were destroyed and abandoned and some 80 percent of the livestock were killed during the most severe drought parts of the Middle East ever recorded[i]. … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Trump’s US has abdicated global leadership- A REPOST from June 20 2017

Following his presentation at the EU-Australia Senior and Emerging Leaders’ Forum last week, ANU Chancellor and former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans spoke with Melissa Conley Tyler, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Evans said that by withdrawing … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER. Singapore, Australia, “the Quad” and ASEAN—same same but different!

Singapore and Australia are having to deal with the same set of problems and relationships as the strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific changes.  Singapore isn’t a contender for an expanded “Quad” but, as next year’s Chairman of ASEAN, it will … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history – A REPOST from June 16 2017

For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.  

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Visit Down Under and pay up.

Indonesians will not be getting cheap and easy-to-obtain Australian visas available to Malaysians and Singaporeans. Australian campaigners seeking better access for Indonesian tourists have been officially told there will be no changes. This is despite the Republic giving Australians free … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 3 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. White man’a media- A REPOST from May 29 2017

That the Australian media gives us saturation coverage of Europe but much less on Asia is obvious but the question is why? Have they done market research which shows this is what the public wants or does it stem from … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY AND THOMAS ORA. Timor-Leste’s young government teeters on collapse

Asia’s most Catholic country faces the prospect of a second election inside nine months after government fractures

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. Adrift in  the South China Sea? -A REPOST from May 22 2017

While Washington is paralysed by alleged White House scandal the US has taken its eye off the South China Sea. Continuing developments in the region have reinforced China’s position. Australia cannot afford to delay its own examination of our long … Continue reading

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