Author Archives: John McCarthy
Three weeks after the election, there is plenty of evidence that Biden and the emerging Democrat foreign policy team -in-waiting appreciate the strategic challenges facing President Elect Biden both in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
Mr. Morrison’s foreign policy initiatives usually suggest determination rather than calibration. But today’s visit to Tokyo is notable for both. In the time of Corona, it is gutsy in domestic terms -and considered international policy.
We have displayed excessive zeal in embarking on wholesale policing of university agreements with foreign institutions, in the highly publicised raids on a third-tier Labor politician in Sydney who has no access to issues relevant to our national security, in … Continue reading
The Bangkok student demonstrations over the past few weeks represent another of the manifestations of discontent about Thai governance, which, over the past couple of generations, have burst through the fault lines of the Thai polity.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every country has its legends. They may be important to national self-esteem, but they’re not necessarily good history.
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
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
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
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
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
On 17 April Indonesia goes to the polls. Shortly thereafter Australia will do the same. We will again need to think about Indonesia.
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
Simon and Garfunkel sang of the dangers of the sound of silence. But in Australian Foreign Policy, we need more of it.
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
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
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
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
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