Friday 23 Oct 2020 | 14:03 | SYDNEY
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Australia in the World

Russia-Ukraine: The silence of the left

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. In

A larger Australia? Sure, but for what, exactly?

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

General Hurley previews the Defence White Paper

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

Australia-Indonesia relations: It's always personal

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

Incompetence: Australia's incursions into Indonesian waters

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

US defence budget: Hagel cuts won't be the last

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

The case against Assange and Snowden

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-Fiji relations: Bishop's game-changer

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

Julie Bishop focuses on PNG's women

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,

Last call for the Australia Network?

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

What Peter Cosgrove thinks about Indonesia

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

Spying on Kristiani Herawati: A loss of judgement

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

Child poverty in New Zealand

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-PNG: A partnership of equals

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. The Australia-

Australia-Japan: Abbott uses the 'A' word

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

GrainCorp and the complexity of foreign investment

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

Hope for expanded Australia-PNG links

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

ADIZ: Australia right to speak plainly

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

Indonesia's strange, promising 'code of ethics' gambit

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

Why Indonesia is angry, and what to do about it

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

The boats and the dreams of those aboard

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

Diplomatic fallout from the latest Snowden revelations

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 — 

Is Australia defendable?

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

Second thoughts on Kevin Rudd

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

Maritime strategy: Don't forget about supply

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

NSA leaks raise questions about spying priorities

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

Remembrance Day: Who and what do we remember?

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

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