Author Archives: Alison Broinowski

Alison Broinowski

About Alison Broinowski

Dr Alison Broinowski AM is Vice-President of Australians for War Powers Reform. She joined the Australian Foreign Service in 1963, lived in Japan for a total of six years, and for shorter periods in Burma, Iran, the Philippines, Jordan, South Korea, the United States of America and Mexico, working alternately as an author and Australian diplomat. Since leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she has received a PhD in Asian Studies from ANU, and has continued to lecture, write, and broadcast in Australia and abroad on Asian affairs and cultural and political issues.

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Banks wake up to their responsibilities: will governments be next?

Australians are watching transfixed as the Financial Services Royal Commission gives a running report on a reactive, insular, complacent, greedy culture which has broken its own rules and failed its customers for years. With the people’s verdict looming at the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Anzackery and the preening peloton.

When John Kenneth Galbraith was Kennedy’s Ambassador to India in the early 1960s, he reported that he had inspected a guard of honour and they seemed to him to be fine. His dry wit was lacking when the Murdoch media … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on demand

The UK and the US moved closer this week to enabling their governments to bypass legal and  democratic processes in committing forces to war, virtually anywhere, at any time and continuously. Australian politicians and the mainstream media seem to assume … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Happy Anniversary Iraq

If there are any Australians who think we have anything to celebrate on the 15th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq and the start of our longest war, they must know something the rest of us don’t. In fact, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. The trust deficit in Canberra.

When Marshall Green was sent by Richard Nixon as Ambassador to keep a close eye on Gough Whitlam, some said his was the first serious American appointment in our history. Harry Harris, for different reasons, may turn out to be … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?

Australians who don’t live in other countries don’t realise how our self-image differs from the perception, particularly in Asia, that we were militarists from the start. Australia’s tendency to resort to force is hard-wired, hard to eliminate, and goes back … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

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, World Affairs | 4 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on the cheap.

It’s unlikely that the Army will commission a further report following Albert Palazzo’s account of the ADF’s operations in Iraq. We have years to wait for Professor Craig Stocking’s official history. What Australia urgently needs is a full independent inquiry … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, World Affairs | Leave a comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Truth is not an excuse.

If ASIO bugged Mr Huang’s phone, and sat on what it knew, the political timing of the latest leak against Dastyari could not have been more deliberate.

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. If you want to know the truth

WikiLeaks continues to get up the nose of the media and security establishment. They will use a newly revealed proposal to make Assange Ambassador to Washington to make things worse for him.

Posted in Media, Politics | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Back to the FutureAsia.

How can Chris Bowen ensure that engagement with Asia will be different this time? By convincing all Australians it’s important and urgent, and by getting Bill Shorten to endorse it convincingly.

Posted in Uncategorized, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Till war do us part.

A survey reports a significant movement of Australian opinion about the US alliance, away from current government policy which unquestioningly supports the Afghanistan deployment.

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 7 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Existential threats

In a sequence of events that recall the Cuban missile crisis, the world has again come within a brain-snap of nuclear destruction. This is the moment Australia should have been ready to deal with properly and democratically, by having a … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Still losing the last Afghan war.

President Trump’s many current distractions did not prevent him telling his military advisers the simple truth about Afghanistan on 19 July: ‘We aren’t winning.  We are losing.’

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Beware, armed response.

If Turnbull’s plan becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping anything to do with ‘fighting terrorism’ are remote – we can expect a terrorist attack to trigger an emergency response from the Special Operations Command, whose officers … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Our mission creeps into Southeast Asia

We should not have to resort to speculation about what our troops are doing either in Syria or in the Philippines. But the mere mention of Islamist terrorism now generates an armed response.

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Shameful wars.

During more than a century, our Anglo-allies fought several highly-publicised wars, but also many secret ones, directly or through proxies. If we don’t know the details, people in whose countries the wars were fought certainly do, and those who survived … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Agents of influence and affluence.

If energy and armaments are the agents behind America’s ‘empire of bases’  and its ‘empire of markets’, how influential are they? On security, barely; on terrorism, hugely.

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. The Merkel moment: wherever that works.

If NATO cannot rely on a Trump administration, should Australian leaders not see this as an opportunity to face the facts?  

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 6 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Press freedom is a minefield

Julian Assange has cleared the Swedish legal minefield between him and freedom. The two which lie ahead are British and American.

Posted in Media, World Affairs | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Defence/Security, Reviews, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. If Australia has switched enemies in Syria, who and why are we fighting?

If Australia has switched enemies in Syria, as our allies apparently have done, the Turnbull Government owes us at least an explanation about who and why we are fighting. 

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. The pact of silence.

The death of Dr David Kelly in 2003 has not been explained to the satisfaction of everyone in Britain. Investigations suggest the Government of Tony Blair still has questions to answer.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Media, Politics | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Don’t ask about the war.

John Howard contributed to world events which are still affecting us: invasion, illegality, sycophancy to our allies, refugees, and even Brexit and Trump. Why do Australians not hold him accountable?  

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. What side are we on in Syria and Iraq?

The mainstream media are agonising about the Syrian government‘s nearly completed overthrow of rebels and the devastation of Aleppo. But the fog of war is not a sufficient excuse for their utter confusion about who the enemy is. The Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Trump – Seize the moment. Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. We have a unique moment to do something Australia has never done – make a rational distinction between our national interests and our enduring regard for the US.

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Reclaiming Australia

ASIO Director-General is under-reported when he says anti-Islamic groups also threaten Australian security. ‘Incredible’ is a word over-used in the media when all they mean is ‘very’. So when something truly unbelievable happens, we have no description ready for it. … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Your laptop is watching you: ‘Snowden’ the movie.

  Before Snowden comes on, there’s a short film of Oliver Stone, the director, warning cinema audiences that they can be surveilled, so please turn off their devices. Even as a humourless joke for geeks, it sets the sombre tone … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, Media, Reviews | Leave a comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. What was all that about?

  Afghan troops who were trained in Uruzgan until 2013 by Australian soldiers are now reportedly confined to barracks. More for their own safety than the protection of the province, it seems, because the Taliban have waited them out and … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. A Foreign Affairs White Paper. What is there to inquire about?

  We have just had a Federal election, so now the inquiry season has begun. The government already has a Royal Commission inquiring into the detention of children in the Northern Territory, it wants a plebiscite on gay marriage, the … Continue reading

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