Saturday 23 Oct 2021 | 15:15 | SYDNEY
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Australia in the World

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

Are we spying just because we can?

Geoff Miller is a former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Yesterday Sam Roggeveen canvased six possible reasons why the Indonesians seem so upset at Snowden’s revelations of electronic espionage by the US and its allies, including ourselves. In considering this, it’s

New US report on Australia's alliance role a mixed bag

I have mixed feelings about a big new report from a US defence think tank on Australia’s potential role as a US ally in the Indo-Pacific. Sure, it will help focus US minds on the alliance in the lead-up to the next high-level AUSMIN meeting on 19-20 November, but at risk of the kind of publicity

2014 a key year for Indonesia and the region

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Project, Australian National University, and former Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo. Amid the current ups and downs of the Indonesia-Australia relationship we need to remember that while Australia has just had an election,

Revisiting Australia's oceans policy

Dr Sam Bateman, a retired RAN Commodore, served on the National Oceans Advisory Group established to advise on Australia’s oceans policy. This post is part of a series arranged in conjunction with the Sea Power Centre. Justin Jones and James Holmes point out in their recent posts that 'maritime

Reader riposte: Indonesia's reaction to spying claims

Neil Watson responds to Sam Roggeveen's question: why is the Indonesian government making its displeasure over spying allegations so public? Re Indonesia and the spying, I would definitely lean towards firmness to impress the domestic audience. We can expect more of this in the run up to next year

Spy claims: Indonesia takes it up a notch, but why?

So Australian Ambassador Greg Moriarty is being 'invited' to pay a visit to Indonesia's foreign ministry to offer an explanation for this Sydney Morning Herald report claiming that 'Australian embassies are being secretly used to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of a US-led global

Yes, Australia has changed its East China Sea position

Robert Ayson is a Visiting Fellow with the ANU's Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, on research leave from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. I have strenuously resisted the temptation to write again on Australia, the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD), and

AusAID passes aid transparency exam, just

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Yesterday the transparency advocacy organisation Publish What You Fund released its 2013 Aid Transparency Index. Now in its third year, the index scores and ranks aid providers on the aid information they publish. The index and website

People smuggling: Four principles for maritime security

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. The new Coalition Government's package of measures to reduce people smuggling has once more highlighted the importance of effective national systems for maritime surveillance and response. Australia's

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

In hindsight, 2012-13 might come to be seen as a watershed period for maritime strategic thinking in Australian defence policy. During the 37 years that Australian governments have produced defence white papers, the notion of maritime strategy has been applied in only half of these documents,

'Don't annoy the dragon' is not a foreign policy

My thanks Rob Ayson for responding promptly to my post on Japan and Japan-China relations. Rob says my post reaffirmed his worries about Australia’s management of the relationships with Japan and China. But in turn, Rob’s piece reaffirmed the worries I expressed about his original post. I

Japan-China: Why Australia should embrace ambiguity

Robert Ayson is a Visiting Fellow with the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, on research leave from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Malcolm Cook has offered thoughtful criticism of my argument that the Abbott Government went too far in a statement

Reader riposte: Ediplomacy in the UNSC

David Lang writes: September in New York saw Australia take a ring-side seat under Per Krohg’s phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes mural in the UN Security Council. Nick Bryant’s verdict: the Aussies performed their procedural role with confidence in what was a productive and busy month. On the

Australia missing the lessons of Lampedusa

Dr Khalid Koser is a Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow and Deputy Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. As I write, divers are ‘unpacking a wall of bodies’ from the hull of a smuggler’s trawler that sank off Lampedusa last week, with 297 people so far confirmed dead. In

Weekend catch-up

Bringing together the best longer Interpreter articles you were too busy to read this week. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott conducted his first overseas trip this week, visiting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta. Lowy Institute Indonesia expert Dave McRae surveyed the