Tag Archives: Richard Woolcott

JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy. (Repost from 2 February 2017)

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 being sidelined. 

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australian security and trade policy for 2017 and beyond.

The key issue is not what President Trump says on behalf of the United States but, what the United States actually does.  

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The US has ‘wasted $6 trillion’ in the Middle East without achieving any success.

In a statement on 27 February President Trump said that the United States had spent $ 6 trillion in the Middle East and had ” got nowhere “. It had produced  a “mess” and a ” hornet’s nest “. In … 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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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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ANDREW FARRAN. Molan v. Woolcott: The rough and the smooth in regional diplomacy

Molan writes that this sensitive touch in relations with Indonesia is reflected in a long tradition of Australian diplomats putting Indonesia’s interests and the views of Indonesians ahead of our own. Indeed he implies that but for geography Indonesia would … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Indonesia – Complexities, restraints, and opportunities for Australia

The importance of our relations with Indonesia in the future and in the wider context of the Asian century cannot be overstated. It is essential that each country acts to know more about its neighbour.  

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australian governments have made us more at risk from terrorism.

We should not refer to ISIS as a state. It Is not a state. It has no Air Force or navy. It has no fixed boundaries. It is really a series of militant groups. It behaves in a ruthless manner, as does Saudi … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Julie Bishop – supporting bad policies.

The Foreign Minister’s outrage was highly selective … her speech was indeed strong on talk, but weak on effective action.

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. A declining Australia.

 With dropping levels in education and a fading economy Australia is in a decline. What we need is a clear focus on our own area, Asia and the South West Pacific. 

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. New series. We can say ‘no’ to the Americans.

 The present situation offers the Turnbull Government – or its successor -an opportunity to move beyond policies towards Asia based on fear of China and on compliance with United States wishes. 

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The Trump Presidency and Australia. Quo vadis series.

  Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS  Summary. Our relationship with the US is of course very important and substantial. This does not mean that we should be seen as not responding quickly to the greatly changed world of … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The present threat to global security.

  In the second decade of this century we are living in a greatly changed world, compared with that to which we accustomed ourselves, following the defeat of Japan and Germany in WWII in the second half of 1945. The international “rules … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. ‘We must get out of Syria’

  A comment in support of Richard Woolcott’s blog: “Australia’s Shambolic Policy on Syria – Up Shi’ite Creek Without a Paddle. – We must get out of Syria”  Richard Woolcott has stated with clear reasons why we should get out … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australia’s Shambolic Policy on Syria – Up Shi’ite Creek Without a Paddle.

  We must get out of Syria. The war in Syria is extraordinarily complex. It really began in 2011 with the failures of the so-called Arab Spring. Now the core conflict is between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the … Continue reading

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China and the South China Sea

Last weekend Geraldine Doogue interviewed Richard Woolcott and Geoff Raby on the recent controversies about Chinese influence in Australia. Richard Woolcott was formerly Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and President of the UN Security Council. Geoff … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Do we need a White Paper on Australia’s foreign policy?

A White Paper could be useful if it is agreed to by the key ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence, and Immigration and Border Protection ; and consistently applied by the Cabinet. A major problem which I see is that … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The South China Sea, China, Philippines, Australia and the US.

I was surprised the Opposition did not differentiate itself from the Australian Coalition Government’s strong  support for the US and the Philippine position on the South China Sea issue. It can be argued that it was misleading to state in … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The American alliance and Vice President Biden’s recent visit.

  Vice President Biden’s speech at the Paddington Town Hall on 20 July was by invitation only. I had met Vice President Biden three years ago in Washington when I was on the Board of the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.  He was friendly … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Foreign policy issues during and after the July 2 Election

  The Turnbull Government and the Shorten Opposition have focussed on domestic issues in the election campaign.  This is understandable but in the longer term the Government elected on the 2nd of July will need to address the greatly changed world … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. In the general election, do you think the government’s and the ALP’s foreign policies are sound?

This was a question asked of me by the Australian Institute of International Affairs. My answer is ‘No’ for the following reasons.

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Richard Woolcott. Australia/China and Barracuda submarines.

It seems that one of the important roles for the new Barracuda submarines that we are to purchase from the French is for the submarines to be able to operate at long-range in the South China Sea. Quite apart from … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Defence White Paper. US, China and Barracuda – class submarines.

Rather than acquiring military off-the-shelf (MOTS) submarines, the Australian government has committed us to the French submarine that will be built to Australian specifications. It will be a ‘unique’ build, non-nuclear and very expensive The Defence Minister says that the … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. A modern Australia for the 21st century.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said it is a great and exciting time for Australia.  Indeed, it is a time of great opportunity for the Australian Government elected later this year to take bold action which will transform Australia into an updated, modern … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. The burning question – should Australia do more on the South China Sea?

My clear response is ‘No!’ China, as a major trading nation, now has the same rights as the US to protect its maritime and air approaches to its mainland.  Australia should avoid provocative statements and actions at sea or in … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Australia’s role is in our region.

There is no doubt that Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Indonesia and his and Lucy’s contacts with President Jakowi and his wife have very substantially improved the situation between Indonesia and Australia that existed before Malcolm’s visit. The most recent and … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Foreign policy priorities for Malcolm Turnbull – focus on the region, get out of the Middle East, and other ..

This can be an exciting time for Australia in that there is a coincidence of the need for long overdue foreign policy adjustments and the appointment of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister. He has said he intends to be a … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Australia and Indonesia.

For Australia no bilateral relationship will be more important, complex and challenging in the future than that with Indonesia. The relationship is, however, going through a difficult period at present, especially due to the reaction in Australia to the execution … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Whitlam on the world stage: Courage, vision and wit

Gough Whitlam had political courage and a vision for Australia. A forward-looking, pragmatic realist, he sought to reshape Australia’s approach to the countries of North and Southeast Asia, the region in which we are forever situated. It was stimulating to … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Indonesia under President Widodo.

Australia will be dealing with a new Indonesian government in just two months. This will involve challenges and opportunities for both countries. The Constitutional Court in Jakarta has now confirmed the election of Joko Widodo as President-elect with 53.15% of … Continue reading

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