Category Archives: International Affairs

RICHARD BUTLER. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms; and to use them.

Guns and arms are embedded in US culture. It seems unable or unwilling to fix this, even though its people want it fixed.Its arms manufacturers are opposed to any solution. This shapes US foreign policy. Our engagement in this syndrome … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL PEMBROKE. North Korea: Why negotiations can’t wait for denuclearisation

Few people know the true story of the Korean War; few understand the reasons for North Korean bitterness toward the United States; most are unaware of the extent to which Washington shares responsibility for the creation and perpetuation of the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

LINDA JAKOBSON ET AL. China and Australia Relations-Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

 I am grateful to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) for this opportunity to comment on the Bill. Please note that this submission is a duplicate of my submission to the PJCIS regarding the Foreign Influence Transparency … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

RICHARD BUTLER. The Alliance: Deeper Thought Required Urgently.

This is not the time to deepen our commitment to the alliance and, become ever more involved in the US’ imperium and need for enemies. We need to think freshly about our international relations and security. The recent Foreign Policy … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | Leave a comment

JIM COOMBS. Trickle Down – My Hat !

The orthodoxy of the Neoliberal Economics (Let’s call it Nasty prehistoric Unfair capitalism, NPUC for short) asserts in the face of universal contradictory evidence, that giving capitalism free reign benefits the poor and the weak. Pull the other one!

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. The American Empire, China, the Region and Australia

As the American Empire weakens we see a tendency to look to China and seek security in a nebulous concept of “the region.” We are not facing up to the defence of our continent by Australians for Australians.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. Admiral Harris : Ambassador or Viceroy ?

The appointment of Admiral Harris as Ambassador to Australia raises serious concerns about the role he will play in the development of Australian strategic policy as we seek to maintain the sort of relationship with China and the US outlined … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. A new Cold War arms race has begun

In the immediate post Cold War period, regular United States Nuclear Posture Reviews have been relatively restrained, emphasising no first use and no attacks against non nuclear weapons states which are signatories of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. With his … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 3 Comments

JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI. Many are thinking: we can surely do better as a nation

Across the country there is much amusement, and a good deal of bewilderment. People are asking: how can our subservience to Washington’s bidding hit such an all-time low? How can a government think it can shape Australia’s future security and … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Deeply Denying the American Reality. Part 2: Australia’s avoidance means complicity.

 In any other context but the alliance, the facts attending the US global strategy at both the conventional and nuclear levels would be seen by Australian strategic analysts and policy-makers for what they are – profoundly threatening developments and habits … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 5 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Deeply Denying the American Reality. Part 1: Faces Australia Chooses Not to Recognise

The alliance with the United States is not now what it was thought to be at the beginning because the US itself is not now what it was thought to be. The problem was that, even then, it wasn’t what … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

ERIC WALSH. Down the Trump rabbit-hole; a review of “Trumpocracy” (David Frum) and “Fire and Fury” (Michael Wolff)

Donald Trump, no longer a tyro as the President of the United States, has already rated himself one of the most successful ever occupants of the esteemed office.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | Leave a comment

ALLAN PATIENCE. Changed America is now a threat.

Malcolm Fraser’s lucid case for Australia to strike out independently from the USA in its foreign and defence policies (Dangerous Enemies, MUP 2014) pointed to a vitally important fact. The America we signed the ANZUS treaty with in 1951 is … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

CAVAN HOGUE. The Philippine War and the Saviour syndrome

The American war against the Philippine Republic which began in 1898 and its subsequent colonisation  of the Philippines teaches us many things about perennial American beliefs and actions. The concept that the US is saving somebody from something is a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 4 Comments

PETER DRYSDALE AND JOHN DENTON. Australia must move beyond Cold War thinking

Searching for evidence of ‘Chinese influence’ in Australia? Look no further than the census. Around 1.2 million people declared themselves of Chinese heritage. About 600,000 were born in mainland China. And while recent coverage of alleged Chinese ‘influence’ in Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s curious neglect of citizens of Asian origin

Last year, I commented on the puzzling neglect of Asian-Australians in the country’s public life, in particular Parliament. Published in Pearls and Irritations on 3 October, the article seemed to resonate among many readers and generated more messages in response … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. Revisiting Australian strategic policy in the light of NDS18 – Where to start ?

The new US strategic policy requires serious and urgent revisiting of our key strategic policy positions to identify implications it has for Australia. Any attempt to minimise differences for short term political gain could endanger the nation’s longer term future.

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | Comments Off on MACK WILLIAMS. Revisiting Australian strategic policy in the light of NDS18 – Where to start ?

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

In an article in the Fairfax Press, Clancy Yeates points out that Australia’s big banks have “slashed loans to fossil fuel companies by almost a fifth in 2017, including a 50 per cent drop in their coal mining exposure”. On … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Media, Politics | Comments Off on GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

JOHN MENADUE. We are joined at the hip to a country perpetually at war. Part 5

Next week I will be posting articles asserting that we are running great risks in being tied to what Malcolm Fraser called “our dangerous ally”, an ally almost always at war.  The risks pre-date Donald Trump.  Think Vietnam and Iraq.   … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. China : “All the way with USA” ?

The Turnbull Government was clearly caught flat-footed by the significant change in the Trump’s security strategy announced by Defense Secretary Mattis. Defence Minister Payne’s initial comment and background briefings had to be corrected quickly. All of which underlines the urgent … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | Comments Off on MACK WILLIAMS. China : “All the way with USA” ?

RICHARD BUTLER. The State of the Union: Pantomime, With Menaces

Trump’s State of the Union speech was filled with menaces to enemies both foreign and domestic. US policy is now comprehensively militarized and in the hands of Trump’s Generals. It was a dangerous pantomime, with much cheering from Republicans who … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on RICHARD BUTLER. The State of the Union: Pantomime, With Menaces

JAMES O’NEILL. When will the Australian Opposition and Parliament actually do its job over the Syrian war?

The US Secretary of Defence, General Mattis, recently announced that the US was intending to create a 30,000 strong “border force” to occupy a portion of northern Syria. This is territory in which the largest group are ethnic Kurds who … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We are joined at the hip to a country perpetually at war. Part 4

Next week I will be posting articles asserting that we are running great risks in being tied to the US, an ally that is almost always at war.  The risks pre-date Donald Trump.  Think Vietnam and Iraq.   In recent issues … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Media | Comments Off on JOHN MENADUE. We are joined at the hip to a country perpetually at war. Part 4

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP was never all about the economic gains, even for the most dedicated rent seekers. The strategic planners – especially in Australia, Japan and South Korea – saw the original TPP as a means of locking America involved in … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Who Will Pay for Trump’s Wars?

This article supports Hugh White’s conclusion that the US is unlikely to succeed in fighting China for primacy in Asia. The US has been living beyond its means for a long time, and has depended on foreign finance, and especially … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JOHN TULLOH. Israel’s Manus/Nauru solution – Rwanda.

     How incongruous that a country born of the worst genocide in history should want to deport asylum-seekers seeking shelter to a nation synonymous with another genocide. That is the intention of Israel – send their unwanted visitors to Rwanda. … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on JOHN TULLOH. Israel’s Manus/Nauru solution – Rwanda.

ANDREW FARRAN. A hard or soft Brexit. More likely Black and White

Letter from London  Britain finds itself trapped like a fish with no way out other than capitulation to the best terms it can get – in relation to which the remaining 27 EU members have the upper hand.  

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

On Saturday Extra this 27th January Geraldine Doogue is discussing the cost of government consultants with Julian Hill, ALP member for Bruce and businessman Tony Shepherd; Changes to gambling laws with Charles Livingstone from Monash University and Sam Duncan from … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | Comments Off on GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

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, International Affairs | 4 Comments

HARRY DEMPSEY. Will Trump snap Japan’s tenuous tightrope?

The unhinged madman foreign policy of US President Donald Trump means Tokyo must walk a tightrope to manage the US–Japan alliance. On security policy, on trade and on North Korea, Japan will increasingly have to develop its own independent regional … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Comments Off on HARRY DEMPSEY. Will Trump snap Japan’s tenuous tightrope?