Category Archives: International Affairs

RAMESH THAKUR. Kashmir: the battleground that will shape the fate of India (CapX 15-8-19)

On 5 August, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fulfilled a founding ambition and repeated election promise: they ended Kashmir’s unique status in India’s federal structure by scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Things haven’t been this bad between Australia and China in 30 years (Crikey, 14 August 2019)

The Morrison government’s increasing ties to the Trump administration is, by consequence, achieving quite the opposite of its previous goal of “resetting” Australia’s relationship with China.

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GRACE BLAKELY. Why the rise of Boris Johnson is the last laugh of a decaying elite (New Statesman America 14-8-19)

Right-wing populism is a symptom of a crumbling capitalist order that no longer promises a better future for most people. 

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GREGG BRAZINSKY. How Japan’s failure to atone for past sins threatens the global economy (The Washington Post 11-8-19)

Escalating trade tensions could roil global tech market

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RAMESH THAKUR. A nuclear world in disarray. (The Strategist 7.8.2019)

We are in a uniquely dangerous period in the atomic age. Geopolitical tensions have spiked in Europe, in the Middle East, on the subcontinent and in East Asia. The nuclear arms control architecture is fraying and crumbling, but no negotiations … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL Hong Kong and Londonderry and the global crowding of everything.

The uproar in Hong Kong has become very serious, with a situation as developed in 1989 before Tiananmen: of leaders unable to cope and an uprising implacable in resolve and unable to focus on achievable objectives. The comparison should not … Continue reading

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AMITAV ACHARYA. Why ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific outlook matters (East Asia Forum 8-11-19)

After more than a year of deliberation, ASEAN adopted the ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific’ (‘the Outlook’) on 23 June 2019. The Outlook then got an airing at the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings in Bangkok. The Outlook document ‘provides a … Continue reading

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PHILIP GIRALDI. Israel Has “The Most Moral Army in the World”? (American Herald Tribune)

The creepy French “intellectual” Bernard-Henri Levy gets it wrong

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GIDEON RACHMAN. The Asian strategic order is dying. (Financial Times 6.8.2019)

When somebody is reaching the end of their life, they often suffer from lots of apparently unrelated ailments — fevers, chest pains, unlucky falls. Something similar may happen when a strategic order is dying.

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RAMESH THAKUR. The US Killed INF, Russia Buried It, China Will Not Disinter It (Australian Outlook 8-8-19)

The end of the first disarmament agreement of the nuclear age will almost certainly be accompanied by American pressure on allies to host US intermediate range missiles.

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JESSICA MATHEWS. America’s Indefensible Defense Budget – Extracts-(The New York Review of Books)

With what former defense secretary Robert Gates termed a “gargantuan, labyrinthine bureaucracy” in the Pentagon, manufacturers and subcontractors for each weapons system carefully distributed across congressional districts and backed by aggressive lobbyists, members of Congress determined to protect constituents’ jobs, … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for war

Scott Morrison is not too keen on history.When it comes to politics – or at least the politics of the Liberal Party, which to him is all that matters – history began with his election as Prime Minister. Everything that … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. India’s Bad Bet in Kashmir (Project Syndicate 7-8-19)

The combination of surging Hindu nationalism in India, Kashmiri grievances against India’s government, Pakistan-backed jihadist groups waging hybrid warfare in Indian Kashmir, the new normal of India’s retaliatory military strikes on Pakistan, and growing nuclear stockpiles has turned Kashmir into … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM All hail, Queen Mega

This week Indonesian streets are bursting with red and white bunting, celebrating the late leader Soekarno’s proclamation of independence from the Netherlands on 17 August 1945. Then followed a four- year protracted guerilla war against the stubborn Dutch who couldn’t … Continue reading

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PETER RODGERS. Dear Prime Minister – stay firm on Iran, give “strong leader” wise counsel

Advice for the PM as he prepares to visit America and is honoured by dinner with Donald. Let’s hope Morrison can distinguish clearly between US and Australian interests.  

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RAMESH THAKUR. The cup that slipped: Here are some cricket lessons my country of citizenship can teach my country of origin (Times of India 3-8-19)

As an Indian, after the semi-final loss in the Cricket World Cup, an old refrain from a 1948 song entered my head: ‘Ek dil ke tukde hazaar huye’ (one heart shattered into a thousand shards). As a Kiwi, after the … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Let Hong Kong people decide their own fate with China

If we want to see Hong Kong survive the One Country Two System and retain its form of democracy, then we must not interfere with their process.  External influence and funding have been reported but these activities only serve to … Continue reading

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RAYMOND ZHONG. Vietnam is gathering the spoils of a trade war (The New York Times International)

  No country on earth has benefited from President Trump’s trade fight with China more than Vietnam.

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JOHN MENADUE. Tugging our forelock again and again to our dangerous ally. An update

The US has coming calling again. Not an Admiral  this time but  the Pentecostalist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . He is whistling us up as a faithful dog to join with the US in tackling the problems which Donald … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER Trump’s Weapon of Choice: Animus

It is widely believed that Trump’s continually expressed animosity towards black and brown people, particularly Mexicans, his description of immigrants/asylum seekers as constituting an invasion of the US, an “infestation”, caused the mass murder at El Paso. Trump’s animus dominates … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. The Pompeo view

US Secretary of State Pompeo said a couple of things in Sydney recently that were wrong in fact. He articulated an absurd philosophy about foreign investment, unaware that he’d just accused China of thinking something similar. His utterances of high-minded … Continue reading

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JOCELYN CHEY. One Two,Buckle my Seatbelt; Hong Kong’s Special Status

The world has changed hugely since 1984. China of course has grown richer and more powerful. Since Xi Jinping was made Party and state leader in 2013 it has changed in more sinister ways. He has increased central control and … Continue reading

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HOWARD FRENCH. US at war with itself over China (World Politics Review, 31 July 2019)

America’s foreign policy establishment is at war with itself over the shape of the country’s approach toward a steadily rising China. For now, it is only an epistolary war. But as the debate deepens, its outcome will go far toward … Continue reading

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MICHAEL HIRSH. Boris and Donald’s Wrecking Ball (Foreign Policy)

It will be a new sort of “special relationship” as the men who lead the U.S. and the U.K. work to undo what their predecessors built after World War II.

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EDWARD WONG. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israel and Iran and The Rapture. (NYT 30.3.2019)

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had dinner with  Scott Morrison.  They both believe in The Rapture when Christ will return to Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.  Importantly at the moment we are being urged to join forces … Continue reading

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STEPHEN S. ROACH. China’s Long View (Project Syndicate 26.7.2019)

Time and again, the long view in China has stood in sharp contrast to America’s short-term approach. Sun Tzu put it best in his ancient treatise, The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need … Continue reading

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BINOY KAMPMARK. Militarizing Australia: Talisman Sabre and the US Military Build Up (American Herald Tribune)

Deemed the Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations strategy, the military method is a US Marine special, still spanking new, featuring “the amphibious landing of troops on islands for seizure and capture as part of a forward projection of sea and air … Continue reading

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YANIS VAROUFAKIS. Jeremy Corbyn’s Finest Hour? (Project Syndicate 30.7.2019)

With Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, and his Brexit strategy crystal clear, the task of the Labour opposition is equally clear. It must expose the truth about Johnson’s no-deal option – namely, that it means a Trump-deal Brexit – … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER-Fake News, Alternative Facts and now Alternative Intelligence

Trump has terminated the supremo of US intelligence, John Coats, and has nominated as the new Director of National Intelligence, Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe. His unstinting commitment to all things Trump and, his inexperience in intelligence and foreign affairs, would … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. We are the company we keep – A theology of eating

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has announced he is to go to Washington to have dinner with President Trump. In the past such an invitation would be considered a great honour, especially as few other world leaders receive similar invitations. But … Continue reading

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