Author Archives: John McCarthy

John McCarthy

About John McCarthy

John McCarthy has served as Australian ambassador to seven countries, including the US, Indonesia, Japan and India.

Biden and Australia (Asia Link Sep 8, 2020)

With the polls pointing to a Joe Biden victory in the US presidential race, the stakes for Australia, and its interests in a stable Indo-Pacific, are high. Former ambassador to the United States and Asialink senior adviser John McCarthy breaks … Continue reading

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After AUSMIN: How to Ensure Strong Ties to the US and Asia

Following the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) on 28 July, former ambassador to Washington, John McCarthy, argues our strengthening alliance with the US does not preclude building closer relations with Asia, including a potential modus vivendi with China.

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Japan is handling relations with China better than Australia.

Scott Morrison is shortly to have a virtual meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, to be followed by an official visit to Japan when COVID 19 permits. Morrison is taking Japan seriously. Good.

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Vietnam’s remarkable rise deserves more attention from Canberra

Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 has highlighted its competence as a country. It has unequivocally won the peace. It manages its relations with China with firmness and diplomacy.

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JOHN McCARTHY. COVID-19 , Trump, Xi and Canberra(AFR 22.4.2020)

Australia’s decision to spearhead an international enquiry into the origins of the Covid19 pandemic –read China’s lack of transparency and the WHO’s mistakes –is a nice hoary bellow from our domestic political ramparts, but it is a policy mistake.

Posted in Asia, Health | 19 Comments

JOHN MCCARTHY. Beyond the Pandemic

Australia can no longer rely on the US for our security shield. Australia must secure longterm multilateral structures with our south-east Asian neighbours in order to better prepare ourselves for the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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JOHN MCCARTHY. Reflections on the Accidental Independence of East Timor.(The Strategist 18.1.2020)

Every country has its legends. They may be important to national self-esteem, but they’re not necessarily good history.

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JOHN MCCARTHY. The Morrison Doctrine.

Dear Prime Minister, I see you are developing a foreign policy doctrine of your own. Good. We haven’t had one for a while. Congratulations on taking this stuff seriously. The management of our external environment will be your toughest job … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Forging a national consensus on Australia’s external security (The Strategist, 19 Aug 2019)

With the federal election out of the way, and some welcome stability in the leadership of the major political parties in prospect, Australia now faces the challenge of forging a national consensus on an external security policy that reflects our … Continue reading

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JOHN MCCARTHY. Enter, Boris.

Engaging in meetings and over dinner in London recently with British figures observing or involved in the Brexit process brought home that, while Australians follow the Brexit drama, we know little of its detail. We enjoy the sport, but try … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. The Darroch Affair.

The comments from Sir Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to Washington, in a wad of his classified messages to London are a juicy read. President Trump “radiates insecurity” while his administration is “uniquely dysfunctional” and riven by “knife fights”. Trump could … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Time to Focus on Foreign Policy for the Sake of Australia’s Future (Asialink).

Australians face a set of decisions in foreign policy arguably more important to us than any national decisions since the Second World War, writes John McCarthy, former ambassador to Washington, Tokyo, Jakarta and New Delhi.  How we navigate them could even … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Indonesia and Australia.

On 17 April Indonesia goes to the polls. Shortly thereafter Australia will do the same. We will again need to think about  Indonesia.          

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JOHN MCCARTHY. The Jerusalem Embassy,Iran and our national interest

Prime Minister Morrison’s announcements of a potential move of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and less newsworthy  but nonetheless significant, of a review of our support for the Iran Nuclear Deal, threaten seriously to prejudice  the … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Australian foreign policy needs more silence.

Simon and Garfunkel sang of the dangers of the sound of silence. But in Australian Foreign Policy,  we need more of it.

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JOHN McCARTHY. The West needs to talk about Russia.

The place Russia occupies in the political maelstrom in Washington, the recent sanctions bills in Congress and Putin’s cuts to the American diplomatic presence in Russia are driving the US’s relationship—and hence the West’s relationship—with Russia from bad to worse.  … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 4 Comments

JOHN McCARTHY. Preparing for Trump

ANZUS has morphed from an alliance to a sacrosanct ethos to which all Australians are supposed to subscribe. It is time it went back to what it was supposed to be – an alliance. … To differ with the Americans … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Foreign Policy. Australia, the United States and Asia. (Repost from Policy Series)

In a conversation in October last year with two British foreign correspondents and a former Japanese Prime Ministerial foreign policy adviser, the subject turned to the United States. All three interlocutors argued that in recent years Australia had superseded both … Continue reading

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John McCarthy. Foreign Policy. Australia, the United States and Asia.

Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy Series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue In a conversation in October last year with two British foreign correspondents and a former Japanese Prime Ministerial foreign policy adviser, the subject turned to the United … Continue reading

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John McCarthy. Australia and Indonesia: hard times ahead.

The executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will leave most Australians dismayed by President Joko Widodo’s refusal of clemency, angered by the clumsy, ugly execution process and jaundiced by the attitudes of a number of Indonesians on killing two … Continue reading

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