Category Archives: Defence/Security

JOHN TULLOH. My first foreign news assignment 50 years ago – the Six Day War.

This article was first published in Foreign Correspondents’ Association Australia and South Pacific website.  Next week, John Tulloh will be writing on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. It was mid-afternoon Sydney time on a winter’s Monday 50 … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The UN draft treaty to ban the bomb is an important milestone on the road to nuclear abolition

The recently published draft text of a convention to ban the bomb provides a good basis to complete negotiations of a treaty to prohibit the acquisition, development, production, manufacture, possession, transfer, testing, extra-territorial stationing and use of nuclear weapons as … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER. One dance too many – a new quadrilateral defence grouping.

Recently Paul Keating, in launching Allan Gyngell’s book on Australian foreign policy, said that smart countries did not tie themselves too closely to fixed positions in foreign policy—rather, they “danced around”.  He said this in the course of arguing that … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Our White Man’s Media again on display in London (Manchester) terrorist attack.

The following article was posted on 27 March 2017. Substitute ‘Manchester’ for ‘London’ and the story is very similar.  John Menadue I have often commented that a person from Mars reading or listening to our media would conclude that Australia … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS. Afghanistan infinitum or walking away? The possible cost of shared values

Where do Australia’s values come from and what are they? Ten years ago, Australia’s then Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, was convinced that our Australian values were forged on the battlefield:No group of Australians has given more, nor worked harder … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Trump and the Wahhabis

President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia does not sit well with a demand to fight the Wahhabi inspired terrorists but support for a dictatorship that suits American commercial and strategic interests is a long standing US practice. We may wonder … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia-as-Concierge: The Need for a Change of Occupation

Albert Camus, the renowned French philosopher, author and journalist, frequently recounted the story of the concierge in the Gestapo headquarters who went about her everyday business in the midst of torture explaining, “I never pay attention to what my tenants … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB. The war drums are beating…

Australia risks being drawn into new US wars in Asia. Having been continually at war since 2001 at America’s behest, it is time the Australian people had their say about whether we should continue to engage in belligerent actions in … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN.  More troops to Afghanistan: at best a patch job; at worst perpetuating futility

Whereas economic globalisation might seem for a time to be on the wane, in the military sphere globalisation is on the rise. Regional alliances are being transformed into global alliances. ANZUS has been merged de facto into NATO, and where … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. The Ongoing Disaster of Australia’s Policy in Afghanistan

According to a recent news report Australia is “open” to a request from the United States for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.  According to the report, Australian troops “mostly work in a training and support role aimed at … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Honest History Book (UNSW Press 2017)

This is a book of singular importance. It provides the evidence and materials for the correction of the distortion of Australia’s history resulting from Anzackery and the continuing insistence that our national character was forged in and remains defined by … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Is the sun setting on the US imperium?

China is on the march to a dominant military footprint while American policy lacks strategic intent.

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NICK DEANE. Keep Australia out of US wars

In the event of war between the USA and any other nation in our region, Australia could not avoid involvement, because of its alliance with the USA. That is the reality we need to address. To avoid the possibility of … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Turnbull and Trump: Everything Is Illuminated. 

In New York, for the Coral Sea commemoration, Turnbull pledged permanent Australian fealty to the US and expressed agreement to Trump’s concept of “fake news”. Rupert Murdoch presided over the ceremony. Greg Norman was present as a witness. Very illuminating. … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Trump’s ‘smart cookies’

President Trump’s characterisation of Kim Jong-un as a “smart cookie” illustrates the learning process he is undergoing about how to operate in Asia and who might be contributing to it. Learning how to manage President Duterte may be another challenge. 

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RICHARD BUTLER. Afghanistan: Early Warning.

The US is planning to increase its forces in Afghanistan. It is bound to ask us to do the same. In the light of his performance in New York, our Prime Minister seems certain to accede, and do so without … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Appeasement and learning the right lessons of history

The lesson of Munich for major powers Britain and France was that you do not buy peace with fellow major powers tomorrow by giving in to their demands today. But for smaller powers, the lesson was that faced with the … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia Should Suspend Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

The Australian government should immediately halt military sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia should also release details about military weapons and material it has sold to other … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. ANZUS: Too obliging for our own good?

Malcolm Turnbull is dropping everything and travelling to America to meet a man that only recently subjected him to a very public humiliation. Although members of the Trump administration have tried to make amends for this initial snub to a … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Malcolm’s Anzac Day Gift. Australian troops will be in the Middle East for the ‘long term’.

The Prime Minister’s statement that Australian military forces will need to remain in Afghanistan and the “Middle East” indefinitely must be clarified as must be the powers under which such decisions are legitimately made. 

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MARK COLVIN. “Four Weeks One Summer” by Nicholas Whitlam

In the summer of 1936, over just four weeks, it all went wrong – for democracy and for Spain, even for the British royals. Politicians failed, and Hitler was emboldened to plan a new European war, and more.   When some … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. What Australian Foreign Policy?

Insider, analyst and adviser Allan Gyngell finds that Australian defence and foreign policy are more bipartisan than ever. But even as Australia’s national security agenda metastesizes, we have more to fear from an unreliable ally and an increasingly lawless world. … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. The Australian War Memorial and weapons manufacturers.

The peace of the world for future generations is anathema to the interests of those who profit from warfare. As we commemorate again the “war to end all wars”, and every war since, one can only wonder what the diggers … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. It is becoming much easier to go to war.

We used to think that the gravest decision any government could make was to take its country to war. Not any more. Going to war for us has now become almost common place. We commit to war after war – … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The Anzac Myth.

Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial  war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought in order to avoid the central issue of why we fought.  

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CAVAN HOGUE. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Between tragedy and farce in the Korean peninsula

The world’s options on North Korea can be summarised as bad (strategic patience), worse (growing strategic impatience), and worst (military strikes).  

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just Who Does Pose the Greater Threat in Korea?

The election of Donald Trump as US President has seen the ramping up of US rhetoric about North Korea.  Trump recently demanded that China should use its influence with the North Koreans and if China did not intervene, then, according … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korean Peninsula – just where are we right now?

So much is going on in the different channels between the US and China, China and the DPRK and by now maybe US and DPRK that reading the tea leaves is an almost impossible – if not frantic – task. … Continue reading

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BEN NEWELL, CHRIS DONKIN, DAN NAVARRO. worried about shark attacks or terrorism?

The recent terrorist attack in Paris will attract a lot of attention. However, whilst terrorist attacks are very vivid, the risk is quite low.  John Menadue The world can feel like a scary place.  Today, Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Level … Continue reading

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