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Author Archives: Ramesh Thakur
Cross-jurisdiction comparisons are notoriously difficult and it’s almost impossible to prove lockdowns have saved lives, except by falling back tautologically on the epidemiological model’s own projections of mortality figures with no lockdown.
Now is not the time to demonize and defund the WHO
And the winner is
Cockwomblette: A neologism coined to describe the lesser antipodean cousin of the cockwomble (see Monday’s Part One). Its natural habitat is the bush capital of the world; the inheritor of an obsequious line of deputy sheriffs.
Consider the case of India. What exactly does ‘social distancing’ – elegant as it is as an abstract concept – mean in practice in Indian conditions, a country of 1.3bn people with a population density of 464 per km2 compared … Continue reading
Cockwomble: A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or engaging in inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom and importance. Presently exemplified by Agent Orange who dwells in the casa blanca … Continue reading
The balance to be struck is to confront China as warranted, compete as necessary, and cooperate when possible
The pandemic has starkly highlighted the inadequacy of current governance arrangements. In a world in which all politics is stubbornly local but most big-ticket problems are global, the G20 is uniquely placed to bridge the global governance gap.
Coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the health and economies of many developing countries where a billion people subsist in a Hobbesian state of nature and life is ‘nasty, brutish and short’.
The irony is that a pandemic has been brought into India by people who can afford plane tickets, but while they will buy private health services, the virus will devastate the poor who they infect and who have little access … Continue reading
Japan’s strategic environment is shaped by the intersection of three major geopolitical story lines: the rise of China as a comprehensive national power; the Trump administration’s reset of relations with China into full-spectrum strategic competition; and the expansion, consolidation and … Continue reading
Two brief comments as a follow up to my article on coronavirus on Monday.
RAMESH THAKUR. Coronavirus pandemic: sceptical question marks make for better policy than excitable exclamation marks
When did the world’s media and politicians become collective versions of Lance Corporal Jones in the British comedy series Dad’s Army, screaming ‘Don’t panic! Don’t panic!’? Colour me contrarian, but since the 2003 Iraq war, my working motto has been: when … Continue reading
Last month’s deadly riots in Delhi were a state-sponsored pogrom. To prevent an uncontrollable mass tragedy that could destabilise the Asia–Pacific region, friendly governments must speak out now.
The doomed impeachment has helped Trump and damaged Biden. The election is now Trump’s to lose and the Democratic nomination is Sanders’ to lose.
As well as Australia Day, 26 January is an important day of celebration in India as Republic Day. The Constitution of India formally came into force on 26 January 1950.
China’s Communist Party never admits to mistakes but always learns from them. India’s PM Narendra Modi never admits to mistakes and seems too stubborn to learn from them. He calls to mind Barbara Tuchman’s description of Philip II of Spain: … Continue reading
Is Japan Asian? Geographically, this is a silly question. Yet in an age in which identity politics have become increasingly critical, by economic logic, political orientation and geopolitical alliance, Japan is Western.
Global warming and climate change are scientific facts, but beware of attempts to make them responsible for poor human decisions affecting the environment today.
When Scott Morrison visits India later this month, he should temper his marketing enthusiasm. The Modi government is fast-tracking India into uncharted territory despite a forest of flashing amber signs of dangers ahead.
RAMESH THAKUR. Is India still committed to its no-first-use nuclear policy? (The Strategist 11-11-19)
On 16 August, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hinted that India might abandon its no-first-use policy: ‘Till today, our nuclear policy is “no first use”. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.’
Ten years ago, on 23 November, PM Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull had worked together to draft a compromise environmental policy for Australia that both could live with. That fleeting moment of bipartisan unity was sabotaged by Andrew … Continue reading
RAMESH THAKUR. The invisibility of Asian–Australians is a national scandal. The silence on this scandal is a disgrace
As I read through the opinion articles in The Canberra Times and The Australian on Saturday 9 November, I grew increasingly exasperated at the total absence of any Asian voice. I then did an online search of opinion articles in … Continue reading
As rising nuclear threats become harder to ignore, non-nuclear states have responded in one of two ways. The majority have sought to reduce the risks of deliberate or inadvertent nuclear war by doubling down on disarmament efforts, crystallised most eloquently … Continue reading
This is the follow-up article promised yesterday. It was first published in October 2015 in The Wire, one of India’s premier online news and analysis site that has managed to remain independent and critical. I have added translations of common … Continue reading
This gut-wrenching story is from and about my hometown where I was born and grew up. I wish I could say I’m surprised as well as horrified but that would be a lie. This is the reality I grew up … Continue reading
If a law can be abused, it will be. This is as true of laws enacted in the name of national security and anti-terrorism as any other law. Why is this simple reality so hard for politicians to grasp?
RAMESH THAKUR. The P5 must reaffirm that nuclear war can’t be won and mustn’t be fought (Strategist 15-10-19)
There are three sets of reasons for a palpable rise in nuclear anxieties around the world: growing nuclear arsenals and expanding roles for nuclear weapons, a crumbling arms-control architecture, and irresponsible statements from the leaders of some nuclear-armed states.
The Indian government’s tinkering has not been enough to enact real change – Prime Minister Modi must listen to the market and undertake a serious structural transformation, Ramesh Thakur writes.
If Japanese officials have conducted any clear-eyed, hard-headed analysis of the government’s policy options on North Korea’s nuclear challenge, they have managed to keep it well hidden.