Category Archives: International Affairs

MARTIN WOLF. The Brexit delusion of taking back control (Financial Times 27.3.2019)

From Beijing, where I now am, the UK looks small. It also looks as if it has fallen into the hands of lunatics engaged in an astonishing act of national self-harm. 

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM The Fear of Trading Dangerously

In early March The West Australian published an opinion piece by Professor Stephen Smith on selling to Indonesia;  

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CAMERON DOUGLAS. Thailand’s elections – horse-trading, according to plan

The results of Thailand’s first post-coup elections went well for the military junta, following their script for keeping control of  government in the name, and name only, of democracy.

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MAX HAYTON. Jacinda Ardern leads a nation in grief.

Under a remarkable young woman New Zealand is discovering deep resources of kindness and compassion. In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre people touched by the tragedy built mountains of flowers and in their thousands attended rallies in support of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER -Rationality and Fairness in International relations

The reliable and stable conduct of international relations rests on two key assumptions: rationality and fairness. Both are in dangerously short supply today. When a new government is formed in Australia, it should at least make a start on correcting … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS : The Hanoi Summit and aftermath – a South Korean perspective

Special Advisor to President Moon assesses the Hanoi Summit as not a failure but a setback. China and the ROK continue to agree the need for a US:DPRK agreed roadmap to move past the present stalemate towards the longer term … Continue reading

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HAJO DUKEN. The Brexit crisis – devil’s work and people’s contribution – are the voters to blame?

Britain is in panic. The public realises that the Brexit crisis is self-inflicted and anger and frustration with MPs from all sides is palpable. MP bashing is now in vogue. The collective and individual responsibility of the vast majority of … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

GWYNNE DYER. New Zealand vs. Australia: Terrorism and the difference (Japan Times 19.03.19)

LONDON – Extreme right-wing terrorism, mostly of the “white nationalist” variety, is becoming as big a problem as Islamist terrorism in many places. That’s certainly the case in the United States, where the U.S. Government Accounting Office calculated last year … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. PM May’s Brexit blind-sided by Parliamentary Speaker

Prime Minister May’s Brexit was on course to be delivered on 29th March as scheduled until the resubmission of the previously thwarted Withdrawal Agreement was blocked by the Speaker John Bercow, citing a 1604 convention last used in 1920 to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR.  New Zealand’s Loss of Innocence (Project Syndicate, 17 March 2019)

Like the assassination of Olof Palme in Sweden in 1986, the 9/11 attacks in the US, and the murderous rampage of Anders Breivik in Norway in 2011, March 15 will mark the day New Zealand lost its innocence and entered … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The crazed Brendan Tarrant did not operate in a vacuum. (See Postscript)

We now see the dreadful consequences in Christchurch of Islamophobia. There has been widespread hate speech against Muslims promoted not just by white extremist groups but also by politicians and the media.  

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 14 Comments

GARETH EVANS. Asian Australians: Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling (2019 Asialink Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Lecture, Sydney, 13 March 2019)

The award of this year’s Weary Dunlop Asialink medal to one of our most distinguished Asian-Australians seems to me an opportune moment to revisit the question of whether we as a nation are making the most – in terms of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

GEOFF RABY. Trump will create early tests for a new Labor Government (AFR 13.2.2019)

In a few months, Labor is likely to take charge of Australia’s foreign policy and security. It will be doing so with a global order vastly different that which existed last time it held power. It is important then to … Continue reading

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ANDREW J BACEVICH. The US foreign policy establishment (The American Conservative).

The only way we’ll defeat the foreign policy establishment is if the Left and Right can be brought together.

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HAJO DUKEN. The Brexit crisis – devil’s work and people’s contribution – the people’s vote: democracy or arson?

Most people, both in Britain and the rest of the world, would by now agree that Brexit has proven to be the most important single issue Britain has faced since WWII with significant (if not life-changing) consequences for many generations … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 9 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY. Cyber-security need not tear countries apart

Telecommunications company Huawei legal action against the US Government’s ban on their involvement in 5G roll-out is a counter attack on claims that their involvement would impact national security.  Exaggerated fears about cyber threat are part of a US campaign … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. The Douma “chemical attack”: still waiting for an apology.

On 7 April 2018 an alleged chemical attack took place in the city of Douma in the Syrian Arab Republic. Dramatic footage of the “victims” was widely broadcast throughout the western mainstream media. Particularly prominent were images of children foaming … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 15 Comments

ANTHONY PUN. Parallels in the US-Japan (1980s) and current US-China trade wars.

The US-Japan trade war of the 1980s has many similarities to the current US-China trade war despite their occurrence 30 years apart.  The trigger for the conflicts is the same, i.e. a rival challenging the US hegemony in economic power.

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JULIAN CRIBB. The Rise of Woman. Greta Thunberg.

She’s just turned 16 and is already a world leader with more statespersonlike qualities, clear-eyed goals, plain speaking and sheer guts than almost any national head of today or recent history. Julian Cribb looks at the rise of Greta Thunberg

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CAVAN HOGUE. What does Kim Jong Un really want?

There has been much speculation about what Kim wants and what happened at the summit. When dealing with characters like Trump and Bolton anything is possible but Kim is much more focussed and any consideration of current events should never … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. Bolton’s Syria “Fix” ?

The international focus on the failed Hanoi Summit and affairs Korean has diverted attention from the looming issues in Syria as the IS caliphate ‘disappears’. Media commentary around the shrinking IS presence on the ground in Syria and the significant … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. Global governance in the 21st century

Global governance is hard to define, difficult to achieve, but more necessary than ever. 

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Some Coalition legacies that a new government must confront

There are several major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the growing existential  threat of climate change, the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, Economy, Environment and climate, International Affairs, NBN, Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

PETER RODGERS: Alive in Israel – the ghost of Richard Nixon?

Are we watching the end of the Netanyahu era? The Prime Minister opted for an early election but then had serious charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust levelled at him by Israel’s Attorney General. Netanyahu’s response was straight … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. India’s Trifecta of Failure (Project Syndicate).

With a general election approaching, India’s government is planning a further extension of caste-based quotas in schools and public-sector jobs. This is typical of the two main parties’ tendency to choose the path of least political resistance and defer deep … Continue reading

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EMANUEL PASTREICH. Fractured governance fractures the Hanoi summit (Korean Times, 3 March 2019)

The sudden cancellation of the joint statement on February 28 at the end of the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, was one of the most complex and contradictory historical events in my memory. Of course the adlib briefing by Donald … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BUTLER. Nuclear Nonsense

Nuclear Nonsense The profound hypocrisy of the ownership of nuclear weapons is growing. Sideshows such as those wanted by Trump, in Singapore and Hanoi will change nothing. A return to serious discussions by the two nuclear weapons mega-powers, Russia and … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

JAMES LAURENCESON. Australia’s China debate.

Australia’s China debate is frequently cast in terms of ‘doves’ versus ‘hawks’, with the former also receiving the tag of being ‘pro-China’ and the latter designated ‘anti-China’. In fact, the common ground between these two groups is expansive.

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Dodging the draft

Kim Jong-un has managed to achieve something that Presidents Johnson and Nixon couldn’t – get the draft dodging Donald Trump to Vietnam. Of course Trump didn’t stay long – soon leaving on a jet plane.  

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LOUIS COOPER – Is Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, “golden” reputation becoming tarnished?

 What is causing the slip in a poll taken last week is a complicated set of circumstances, centering on a Quebec-based engineering company called SNC-Lavalin. Several former executives of the company face or have faced charges of bribing a foreign … Continue reading

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