Category Archives: International Affairs

TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi’s deputy pick confirms rise of conservative Islam in Indonesia

The selection of the controversial and highly conservative head of the Indonesian Ulama Council as Jokowi’s vice presidential running mate is disturbing. It reveals Jokowi’s lack of political authority and is yet another demonstration of increasing intolerance among Indonesian Muslims.

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GEOFF MILLER. Trump and the World Trade Organisation.

Many US non-governmental trade experts describe the Trump Administration’s actions in regard to tariffs and the WTO and its Appellate Body as illegal, and as threatening the WTO’s continued existence.

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NASSRINE AZIMI. Rethinking Our National Holidays?

I often ask my students to think what it means to live in a country with a constitution that prohibits wars of aggression, and removes from national priorities war-mongering discourses, distractions and impulses?

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RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s nuclear options.

Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be attacked by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. The last time that an atomic weapon was used was to bomb Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. By the end of … Continue reading

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VIJAY PRASHAD. The knife in Iran’s back: Trump opens door to chaos.

On Tuesday night, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani went on television to talk about the reinstatement of sanctions by the United States against his country. He prepared the country for more privations as a result of the sanctions. Responding to US … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Many happy returns of al-Qaeda.

On 11 August 2018 the members of what became al-Qaeda met in Peshawar, Pakistan to form the movement which is now 30 years old. With Osama bin Laden’s money, political vision, religious fervour, and capacity as a modern communicator, it … Continue reading

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JOSEPH E STIGLITZ. The US is at Risk of Losing a Trade War with China.

The “best” outcome of President Donald Trump’s narrow focus on the US trade deficit with China would be improvement in the bilateral balance, matched by an increase of an equal amount in the deficit with some other country (or countries). … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australia draws line under anti-China hysteria. Will it be enough to unfreeze relations? (South China Morning Post 11.08.18)

Bob Carr says Malcolm Turnbull’s reset of relations with China was inevitable, as the fears his government has allowed to spread – about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region – had little substance, and … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR and RICHARD BUTLER. A spying scandal exposes Australia’s immoral behavior toward East Timor (Washington Post, 10.08.18)

Australia is leading the Western world in enacting tough new laws to curb foreign interference and influence-peddling in domestic affairs. The primary intended target is China.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Foreign Policy on Auto-Pilot: In Spite of the Weather

Every week now, we are presented with another reason to think hard about exactly what our “joined at the hip” relationship with the US obliges us to do. July Bishop’s Foreign Policy White paper doesn’t meet that need. Indeed, it … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Syria: what if?

US President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his supposed fawning performance in Helsinki at the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But a minority of commentators have made three countervailing arguments to explain and justify Trump’s statements: preventing … Continue reading

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WILLIAM FINNEGAN. California Burning.

On the northwestern edge of Los Angeles, where I grew up, the wildfires came in late summer. We lived in a new subdivision, and behind our house were the hills, golden and parched. We would hose down the wood-shingled roof … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. An Updated Approach to Australia’s Engagement in the Asia and the South West Pacific.

The Australian Government and the Opposition must now base policy on three realities, namely that; (a)     Trump is essentially a unilateralist, despite the contradictory comments he often makes; (b)     United States involvement in Asia and the South West Pacific will … Continue reading

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NICK BISLEY. Is there a problem with… the Quad?

At the sidelines of the 2017 East Asia Summit (EAS) in Manila, senior officials from Australia, India, Japan and the United States’ respective foreign ministries met under the aegis of the ‘Australia-India-Japan- United States consultations on the Indo-Pacific’. This was … Continue reading

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Catholic bishops’ opposition to Donald Trump emboldens church liberals.

They may be disappointed. 

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

WILLIAM PESEK. Toyota driving into a fierce economic storm.

What GM used to be to America, Toyota is to Japan: a weathervane for macro trends. On Friday, the carmaker admitted it is downhill from now.

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JEFFREY SACHS. Trump is robbing America of what makes it great (Washington Post)

American prosperity since World War II has been built upon science and technology breakthroughs spurred by a powerful innovation system linking the federal government, business, academia and venture capital. U.S. innovation policy has been successfully emulated in Europe and Asia, … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. The Battle for Indo-Pacific.

China is surrounded by at least 16 countries, some with common borders and territorial disputes with her. Japanese PM’s proposal in 2005 to form a Quad alliance (US, Australia, India and Japan) is seen by China as the introduction of … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Australian foreign policy – Riding two horses.

Australian foreign policy at present seems to be trying to ride two horses at once: an inherently dangerous pursuit, requiring the skills of a trained and superbly fit circus acrobat. Are we really up to this, or should we be … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

GEOFF MILLER. Trump’s unilateral use of economic power: will it work, and what about the consequences?

Trump’s actual and threatened use of the United States’ economic power to bring about changes in other States’ behaviour raises questions about the utility of such behaviour and its likely consequences, as well as about the United States’ commitment to … Continue reading

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MICHAEL JENSON. Nigerian farmers are under attack, so why don’t we hear about it?

We’ve heard a lot lately about white South African farmers being killed in farm murders. But another group of African farmers are being killed in far greater numbers and we’ve barely heard a whimper.

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BREXIT SIMPLIFIED

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SCOTT BURCHILL. Syria – a few definitive outcomes.

As the war in Syria grinds towards some kind of resolution, it is possible to say a few definitive things about what is going on in the region and the role of external players.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

VINCENT CHEOK. If spirituality or religion has a bearing on geopolitics then Australia needs to understand what moves the spirit and soul of India and China for our Asian neighbours will be the new global superpowers in a new multipolar multilateral world.

This post is prompted by the release of the final draft of the National Register of Indian Citizens in Assam Province on 30/7/18. This verification exercise was made in accordance with the terms of the Assam Accord of 1985. Not … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

NY TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD. A New Batsman for Pakistan.

Imran Khan, cricket-star-turned-politician, promises a new path for Pakistan. But his ties to the military, and his own at-times erratic behaviour, may stand in the way.

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American Imperium – Untangling truth and fiction in an age of perpetual war. (Repost from 1/1/2018)

In this article ANDREW BACEVICH says ‘Republicans and Democrats disagree today on many issues, but they are united in their resolve that the United States must remain the world’s greatest military power. This bipartisan commitment to maintaining American supremacy has … Continue reading

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AMITENDU PALIT. Does Australia need a lesson in Indian economic strategy?

The recently released Indian Economic Strategy to 2035 report outlines three core objectives for improving the Australia–India economic relationship. These include making India one of Australia’s top three export markets by 2035, making India the third-largest Asian recipient of Australian foreign direct … Continue reading

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MICHAEL JENSEN. Nigerian farmers are under attack, so why don’t we hear about it? (ABC NEWS, 02.08.18)

We’ve heard a lot lately about white South African farmers being killed in farm murders. But another group of African farmers are being killed in far greater numbers and we’ve barely heard a whimper.

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JOHN MENADUE. Brexit means Brexit – or does it? Repost from September 13 2016

After the surprise referendum vote 52-48 for the UK to leave the EU, the new Prime Minister, Teresa May, rejected any suggestion of a new referendum or parliamentary intervention to reverse the ‘advisory’ referendum result. She said “Brexit means Brexit”. … Continue reading

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‘Matter of death and life’: Espionage in East Timor and Australia’s diplomatic bungle (Lateline, 26.11.15)

East Timor’s most senior leaders have accused Australia of committing a crime and acting immorally after a spying scandal that rocked the relationship between the two countries.

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