Tag Archives: Richard Butler

Richard Butler. Nuclear Security Summit: Washington Finale?

Seven years ago, President Obama spoke in Prague Square and undertook to “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”. He cautioned that this outcome would be immensely difficult to achieve and may not be reached in … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Nuclear North Korea: Profound and Dangerous Hypocrisy  

During the last 10 years, North Korea has resigned its membership of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and conducted four nuclear test explosions. It claimed that the latest of these, detected four days ago, was of a hydrogen (fission-fusion) … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Bombing Syria: Where’s our Debate?

On December 2nd, the UK House of Commons debated for 10 hours, a motion moved by the Government, that it should authorise bombing of DAESH targets in Syria by UK airforces. (Prime Minister Cameron announced early in his statement that, … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. After Paris

  The attacks in Paris were textbook in terms of the philosophy of terrorism: hit publicly, indiscriminately, affecting as large a group of innocent people as possible, attract maximum publicity, generate widespread fear. They also represented a continuation of terrorist … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Russia and Syria: The continuation of politics by other means.

In their addresses to the UN General assembly, last week, Presidents Obama and Putin focused on the civil war in Syria. Both emphasized the need for the war, now in its 5th year, to be brought to an end. They … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. RAAF to bomb Syria: another Captain’s pick?

Within the next ten days, the National Security Committee of Cabinet will discuss the US request to Australia to deploy RAAF assets in bombing IS targets in Syria. Presumably, senior defense, foreign affairs, intelligence and government policy staff will be … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Cost of Having no Independent Foreign Policy

How is it possible that the Australian people: citizens, elected representatives, media staff, academics, to name just some relevant categories, allow the Abbott government to spend $1 billion this year on Australian participation in war in the Middle East, and … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Safe if Implemented.

The Joint Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed with Iran by the UN Security Council’s five Permanent members, plus Germany and the EU, (Vienna, July 14th), is unprecedented. No comparable arms control plan has been as detailed or thorough. Above … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Foreign Policy. An Independent Australian Foreign Policy  

Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue. Summary: For fifty years, since Australia entered the war in Vietnam in 1965, Australian foreign policy has been made increasingly subservient to a specific concept of Australia’s … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Australia No Longer Interested in Nuclear Disarmament?

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is universally described as the “cornerstone” of nuclear arms control and disarmament. All but four members of the United Nations subscribe to it. Those four; India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, … Continue reading

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Richard Butler.  Ukraine: Watch This Space 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his decision to send a contingent of 75 trainers to Ukraine as a demonstration of support for Kiev in its fight against Russian supported rebels in South Eastern Ukraine. The deployment will provide … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Russia.

Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop have been playing loosely in our relations with Russia even thought those relations are quite modest, at least as far as the Russians are concerned. Threatening to ‘shirt-front’ President Putin is not a dignified way … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Obama transformed?

The jingoistic pressures applied to the media, commentators, academics, policy advisors in order to contain their commentary on the US’ illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, have been in evidence again following President Obama’s decision to commence war on ISIL. … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. ISIL. Ask the right questions.

Any assessment of what, if anything, countries outside the region should do about the seizure by ISIL of substantial portions of Syria and Iraq, should be based on the answers to three basic questions: what is the significance of this … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Ukraine, not Sarajevo

In recent months, there’s been no shortage of suggestions, indeed warnings, that Russia’s absorption of Crimea and now it’s pressure on eastern Ukraine, is the equivalent of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, in Sarajevo almost exactly 100 years … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. US: What Leadership?

There is continuous debate, within the US, about President Obama’s handling of international affairs. To some, he has responded to their wish to see the US less entangled, everywhere; to others, he’s a feckless weakling and should be impeached. The … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Dissolution of Iraq?

On June 10th, some 1,500 fighters from the Jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria) seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. Half a million citizens fled to the Kurdish areas. ISIS then moved further south, towards Baghdad, … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Invasion of Iraq,the decision and it’s consequences

It was reported on May 29th, that Sir John Chilcot, the head of the UK inquiry into the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, had reached a “breakthrough” on the issue of how much of the official records of the … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. American Greed trumps the American Dream: With help from the referee.

During the last two weeks a Professor from the Paris School of Economics, Thomas Piketty, has been touring the US speaking about his book; Capital in the Twenty-First Century. His audiences have been overflowing. Public television described the reception he … Continue reading

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