One of the striking things about the Australian debate on Crimea is that there hasn't been one. Events in Crimea may have serious consequences for the world order, yet with some honourable exceptions, the issue has not been addressed in Australia with either thoughtfulness or urgency.
I'm going to focus on one aspect of Michael Fullilove's National Press Club address, neatly summarised in his conclusion:
Australia has a choice. Do we want to be a little nation, with a small population, a restricted diplomatic network, a modest defence force, and a cramped vision of our future
I had reason recently to reflect on the role of national temperament in international affairs.
The Lowy Institute hosted a regional conference of the Council of Councils, an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations bringing together leading foreign policy institutes. Discussion among these
The nuclear-free antennae worn by many New Zealanders have been bristling at news of a counter-campaign by Australian diplomats at the UN.
At issue is a statement on the humanitarian grounds for disarmament which was presented in November 2013 at the General Assembly's First Committee by New
Twenty months ago the Chief of the Defence Force delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute outlining how he thought the 2013 White Paper would be developed. Today at the University of Canberra's National Security Institute, the CDF again gave a speech foregrounding a Defence White Paper. But this
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop believes PNG is one of Australia's highest foreign policy priorities and is committed to strengthening ties with PNG.
Australia's merchandise trade with our nearest neighbour totals $5.7 billion and Australia's investments in PNG are as high as $18.6 billion. PNG is
Co-authored by Hugh Jorgensen.
What are the implications of Russia's action in the Ukraine for the G20?
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she is considering refusing to engage with Russia over the agenda for this year’s G20 summit. As the immediate past chair of the G20, Russia is
The men and women who operate the levers of power in Indonesia know us far better than we know them.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Cabinet contains several members with tertiary degrees earned by living and studying in Australia. Among the President's trusted advisers are men who studied
The Joint Review of the incursions by Australian vessels into Indonesian waters conducted by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) released last week reveals that the incursions were a consequence of a failure to appreciate the extent
Those of you who read Mike Green's post this morning and who have followed the coverage of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's budget bid will understand that this is not the last word on the US defence budget. Congress will try to fight some of the cuts, the sequester may impose further cuts, and as
Get comfortable before you tackle this epic portrait of Julian Assange by his ghost-writer, Andrew O'Hagan.
The author writes more in sadness than in anger because he is clearly inspired by WikiLeaks' mission. But the project to produce an Assange autobiography/manifesto drags on and is
Australia has copped the ire and sarcasm of Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa over fresh spying allegations reported in the New York Times last weekend. Meanwhile, the US, Australia’s alleged partner in the reported espionage, has emerged unscathed.
As Natalegawa welcomed US
China's Indo-Pacific naval exercise, which I first analysed in this post, is continuing to make waves, with David Wroe of the Sydney Morning Herald providing this good wrap-up on the implications for Australia. But what are we to make of the latest twist being reported in the Jakarta Post?
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop sprang a surprise on Australia's Fiji watchers last Friday. She not only pulled off what looked like a friendly meeting with Fiji's authoritarian prime minister but also revealed she would soon be normalising relations with Fiji, officially in the freezer
It is said that 'India grows at night while the government is asleep'. The message is that the economy would grow faster if government got out of the way.
This phrase was adapted by Professor Amitabh Mattoo – a living embodiment of efforts to improve Australia-India relations – in opening the
Lowy Institute Military Fellow, and former army officer, James Brown believes that Australia is expending too much time, money and emotion on the Anzac legend, and that today's soldiers are suffering for it. Vividly evoking the war in Afghanistan, Brown reveals the experience of the modern
On Sunday, a referendum proposal to re-introduce strict quotas for immigration from European Union countries was passed in Switzerland by a tiny majority of 50.3% of voters. The Swiss constitution provides no recourse for appeal, and the Swiss Government will now need to renegotiate its agreement
Treasurer Joe Hockey's speech at the Lowy Institute today picked up on, and in some areas expanded upon, many of the issues raised in Prime Minister Abbott's G20 address in Davos.
As Mike Callaghan noted of the Prime Minister's comments in Davos, the Treasurer's speech bore the imprint of its
On her first visit to Papua New Guinea as Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop has reconfirmed the high priority the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship has for Australian foreign policy and declared her deep affection for the country.
A frequent visitor to PNG as shadow minister,
After its first few months, the Abbott Government's domestic and international climate credibility is threadbare, as is its commitment to commercialising clean energy alternatives. Threadbare, but not yet in complete tatters. This year will be revealing.
2014 will determine whether the Abbott
Maybe Robert E Kelly is right that there has been too much gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes over the very short change given to Asia in Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. But as indicated by the title, this is the President's one big annual speech about America, so it is
And now the news: the Australia Network (described in The Australian's story as the 'Asian broadcasting service') is ‘likely to be scrapped in the May budget’.
No surprise, coming on the heels of the Prime Minister's comments that the ABC lacks 'basic affection for the home team', following
Australia's incoming Governor-General has put many of his thoughts to paper in various publications and talks in recent years. No doubt they will be subject to close examination by commentators before he is sworn in in March.
Cosgrove has had a lot to do and say about Indonesia during the past
Former Australian ambassador to China Dr Stephen FitzGerald threw brickbats at the Abbott Government this week.
In a guest post on John Menadue's blog, Fitzgerald took aim at the government for endangering Australia-China relations. He dates his criticism back to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's
Gary Hogan brings a light touch to explaining the otherwise depressing oscillations of the Australian-Indonesian relationship, but his sine-wave theory conveys the wrong policy message. It's as if the oscillations are inevitable, even pre-ordained.
Of course there is a fair bit of reversion-to-
Yesterday Peter McCawley noted that revelations of Australian spying on Indonesia are threatening to damage bilateral trade talks.
Today, more evidence that the Snowden leaks are having direct economic consequences: Brazil has announced that Swedish firm Saab will fill an order for 36 fighter
The Weekend Australian carried a ‘well-sourced’ article defending our listening in on Kristiani Herawati, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's wife. Quoting the usual ‘well-connected insider who asked not to be named’, it argues that she was a legitimate target because she was
Purportedly, 25% of New Zealand's children live in poverty. A new report from across the ditch also found that 'around 30% of Maori and 30% of Pacific children lived in poor households, as compared to 15% of European children'.
The first annual Child Poverty Monitor defines any households with
Australia and Papua New Guinea enjoy a special relationship – one of mutual affection, shared history and shared geography. Today, as they have for more than two decades, ministers will meet at the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum to build even closer ties for the years ahead.
I am happy to fess up for making quite a lot of noise about Tony Abbott's depiction of Japan as Australia's 'best friend' in Asia. And I have to admit that there are comments from leading figures in previous governments which are not a million miles far from that lofty mark. For example, during
The Australian Treasurer's rejection of the $3.4 billion take-over bid for grain handler GrainCorp by American firm Archer Daniels Midlands (ADM) has set a number of confusing and conflicting arguments running.
It looks like a narrow issue dominated by domestic politics, but raises wider national
While the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship is currently strong, we need only look at the Indonesia spy scandal to understand how vulnerable Australia’s official relationships in the neighbourhood are to shocks.
The Australia-PNG relationship went through its own difficulties during the era
Julie Bishop’s deliberate move to make plain Australia’s view on China’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea can be interpreted in two ways.
Rob Ayson thinks it’s a blunder in which Australia is needlessly provoking China and presenting itself as part of a
Responding to Prime Minister Abbott's letter on the spying controversy on Tuesday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono floated the idea of a 'code of ethics' to set the bilateral relationship on a new footing. SBY gave very few details of what such a code would contain, though presumably it would
The Abbott Government has, as predicted, changed some votes on recurring Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolutions at the UN General Assembly.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has indicated that Australia has switched votes from 'in favour' to 'abstain' on two resolutions — one calls for an
Dr Antje Missbach is the McKenzie Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. This piece draws on data she collected during 11 months of fieldwork in Indonesia in 2012-13.
Indonesia's decision to suspend police cooperation aimed at keeping asylum seekers away from
Greta Nabbs-Keller is a Brisbane-based consultant who has recently submitted a PhD examining the impact of democratisation on Indonesia's foreign policy.
To construe Indonesia's response to the Snowden intelligence leaks purely in terms of 'chest-thumping' or as an appeal to domestic political
Remember those two journalists found on-board an asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island in September?
If you want to know what they were doing there and what they saw and heard, read the phenomenal piece of journalism they produced, published last weekend in the NY Times Magazine. The writing by
In an opinion piece in The Drum, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Dr Dave McRae says that Tony Abbott's failure to proactively defuse the spying row with Indonesia has escalated it and that to restore ties he will need to change tack
The Guardian and the ABC have released information from Edward Snowden alleging that the Australian Defence Signals Directorate (DSD, now the Australian Signals Directorate) targeted the mobile phones of a number of senior Indonesian officials — including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono —
James Goldrick has raised two very important issues in his latest contribution to our conversation about maritime strategy for Australia*. The first concerns the circumstances under which serious threats to Australia’s trade routes might occur. I had earlier argued that serious powers were most
If there can be such a play as a diplomatic tragedy, then the story of Kevin Rudd as a foreign-policy and defence-policy prime minister would fit the bill.
He had a far-sighted vision of Australia’s interests and what needed to be done to advance and protect them in a changing Asia and a changing
It's a long-standing convention in Australian politics for governments not to comment on intelligence operations, for three reasons.
First, because it might put those operations (and potentially the lives of Australian intelligence officers) in danger. That's the official (and legitimate) reason
Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of NSW in Canberra (ADFA).
Hugh White has responded to my critique of his views on maritime warfare and the
Dr Daniel Baldino is a Senior Lecturer at Notre Dame University. He is the editor of Spooked: The Truth about Intelligence and Security in Australia.
Given the recent laser-like focus on electronic intelligence collection and the reach of NSA eavesdropping, it is good to see analysts like Rory
Professor Joan Beaumont is an historian at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. Her new book is Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War.
As a child I heard the story of my great-uncle Joe Russell many times.
Family mythology would have it that he volunteered rather late in World
Today, the 11th of November, is Remembrance Day, marking the Armistice that ended the First World War, a time to reflect on the fallen in that and so many other conflicts. In Australia this year, it also happens to be a day to look to the nation’s future in Asia, since a major conference of the