Brexit appears to be approaching a bewildering denouement. Prime Minister Theresa May has reached a dead end with a negotiated deal that met the criteria for leaving the European Union and would have done so in an orderly fashion but satisfied very few.
Hard-line Leavers considered it so much
Both the Australian Labor Party and Coalition have expressed support for France to remain as a Pacific power, seeing the French Republic as a stable, democratic, Western ally at a time of growing Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands.
Australia’s neighbours are well aware that Australian
At the end of last month, the African archipelago nation of Mauritius secured an important legal victory in its territorial and maritime disputes against its former coloniser, the United Kingdom.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) produce an advisory opinion that rejected the UK’s claims
In the midst of Britain’s painful extraction from the European Union, a saga which deepened this week with a second parliamentary defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, key figures on the Conservative right harbour a quiet hope that the Commonwealth will come to the rescue. Notwithstanding the
Despite accounting for a mere 0.12% the UK’s overall economic output, fisheries is one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit jumble. Highly politicised, negotiations on the future fisheries regime could tarnish the overall outcome of British departure from the EU.
Issues of British
The upcoming fight for seats in the European Parliament will show whether authoritarian National-Populists, globally on the upswing, can extend their reign to the heart of the European Union.
The 700-plus members of the European Parliament are elected in each of the 28-member countries of the
For those of us with an internationalist viewpoint, watching the Brexit process unfold in the context of the Trump Presidency has left us demoralised and despondent. In both cases, we see the rise of populism and demagoguery in great liberal democracies. We see chaos, a self-inflicted wound. And we
The test launch of a SpaceX astronaut capsule to the International Space Station (without astronauts aboard) is cause for celebration. It marks the debut of the first crew-carrying orbital spacecraft from America since the development of the Space Shuttle decades ago. But it also signifies the
Since 1963, the Munich Security Conference has been a fixture on the international scene. During the Cold War it was an important forum for debate on the West’s policy towards the Soviet Union. It was often described as a “transatlantic family meeting.”
Last weekend I attended the 2019
In March 2017 the British government invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and gave itself two years to organise an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. Now, with the time almost up, it is still unclear whether the withdrawal will be orderly, disorderly, postponed or abandoned.
The Islamic State is on the verge of total defeat. As a result, many of the remaining foreign fighters who travelled to the caliphate are coming out of the woodwork. One of those is Shamima Begum, a former student from the United Kingdom who at the age of 15 travelled along with two other
Jackson achieves magnificently his professed goal of making a film about the human experience of the war.
The commemorations marking the centenary of the First World War were so regular that by 2018 a degree of commemoration fatigue seemed to have set in. Was there anything more than could be said
Russia’s “hard” power is generally well-understood. President Vladimir Putin has ensured this is the case, particularly through his proclivity to showcase Russian strength in Ukraine and Syria. And who could forget Russia’s arsenal of nuclear weapons? Not Donald Trump: just last weekend,
A workable divorce deal hasn’t even been inked, yet already one of the most seismic episodes in British political history has been scripted, dramatised, and broadcast to an audience languishing in the deadlock of its aftermath.
Brexit: The Uncivil War centres upon the successful Vote Leave
With Prime Minister Teresa May’s Brexit withdrawal deal rejected this week by the House of Commons, the future of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union remains as uncertain as ever.
Possible scenarios include a further vote on the deal, an exit with no deal agreed, an extension of
As the tick-tock of the Brexit clock moves toward a deadline of 29 March, the ramifications are fast unfolding. The UK parliament has now comprehensively rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed deal for British withdrawal from the European Union. There is a demand to see Plan B within days
Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has called for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to be rolled into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This would be a monumental mistake for a country looking for relevance in a post-Brexit world.
Over the past two
As Beijing clamps down on air pollution, it is seeking to replace coal power plants with cleaner natural gas, especially for heating during winter. Consequently, China has intensified relations with Russia, one of the world’s leading gas exporters, to expand energy ties.
But although upping gas
The saving grace of a nasty divorce is durable insight into the true values of the parties involved. And so, with Brexit.
The Withdrawal Agreement – which has triggered rancorous opposition in parliament and a political crisis in the UK – lays bare the diplomatic cards. Whatever its eventual
Ten years ago, Vladivostok was the scene of street marches and demonstrations. The area known as the Russian Far East had experienced a long economic slump after the collapse of the old Soviet Union and anger had built. The demonstrations were eventually and brutally put down after riot police were
Last week, a diplomatic, security, and military storm began brewing between the Ukraine and Russia near the Sea of Azov.
On 25 November, two Ukrainian armed patrol boats and a tugboat sought to enter these waters, accessible only through the Strait of Kerch (controlled by Russia since
With its doctrine of scrupulous media balance – “they said, he said, we don’t know” – Western reporting on the latest phase in Russia’s relentless imperialist aggression against Ukraine has been as misleading as what has gone before.
Even the sight of Russian special forces swarming
Seamus Heaney, the late Irish poet and playwright, once (half-) joked that “anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can’t be too optimistic”.
Optimism in Northern Ireland is certainly in short supply.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has presented a draft agreement with the European
It’s an old joke: a couple from the city get lost in the countryside and ask a farmer for directions back to town. “Oh, I wouldn’t start from here,” the farmer replies with a grin.
And so trapped must feel British Prime Minister Theresa May, fighting for her political life in a bid to
In announcing this week that she would recontest neither the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union in December nor the German Chancellorship at elections scheduled for 2021, Angela Merkel was being her characteristic self.
Conceding to political reality without acting impulsively, her plan
Typically, Vladimir Putin answered Washington’s decision this month to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by making new nuclear threats against Europe. His posturing underscored why this was the right decision.
Better known as the INF Treaty, this agreement was signed in 1987
When people discuss Indo-Russian relations, they generally focus on Russia’s arms sales to India. However, India’s energy relations with Moscow also possess considerable and, arguably, growing significance.
This was revealed at the latest bilateral summit this month during Vladimir Putin
Underlining the continuing chaos in Europe, it has not been a good week for Germany, the UK, or Italy. The end of the tunnel looks far away, and unrelentingly dark.
In Germany, the extraordinary result in this month’s state election in Bavaria has shaken an already weakened Chancellor
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering a review of Australia’s support for the Iran nuclear deal. The news comes after US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal in May from what is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US has subsequently
In late September, an interesting news story populated some portions of the internet.
A person purporting to be a (possibly retired) Russian fighter pilot flying one of Moscow’s most modern jets, a Su-35, claimed to have engaged in (and won) a mock air-combat against America’s premier fighter
The headline “Armed force of 10,000 to patrol borders” recently featured from the European Union about Frontex is not quite what it appears to be. It does not herald the nucleus of an European Army, but then again, the EII might.
Confused? You are not the only one “lost in EU
It was a political scandal that cooler heads could so easily have resolved: Hans-Georg Maaßen, President of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, publicly expressed ‘scepticism’ that footage showing migrants being chased by right-wing demonstrators through the streets of
The downing of a Russian Il-20 aircraft off the Syrian coast this week with the death of 15 personnel is another reminder of the cost to Moscow of its pro-regime military intervention. A little over six months ago, nearly 40 Russians died when a transport aircraft crashed on approach to
Russia’s Vostok-18 exercises have received significant attention, thanks mainly to the Kremlin’s grand announcements about their scale. If Russia’s defence ministry is to be believed, up to 300,000 military personnel from all services will take part. Notably, they will
What are we to make of Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise? From 11–15 September Russia’s Far East will host Vostok-2018 the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West)-1981. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this latest exercise will engage some 300,000 Russian
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, one might wonder if the US and Russia are considering the formation of, if not an explicit partnership against China, then at least an informal condominium. Trump seemed to lend some credence to this speculation
The US will devote $700 billion to its budget for 2018, dwarfing Russia’s $66 billion effort, a trend that has been consistent for more than 25 years. Yet Russia’s military has been relatively successful in recent conflicts, while the US armed forces have not. American wars
On 8 November 2016 a combination of the American constitution and vox populi – with perhaps a little help from elsewhere – placed enough power in the hands of a roué real-estate tycoon to affect the lives of every one of the 7.6 billion individuals on planet Earth.
Events and trends
In December, two Russian strategic bombers made an unusual flight to the Indonesian airbase on Biak in the province of Papua, where they conducted an air alert drill. Across the Arafura Sea in Darwin, Royal Australian Air Force squadrons went into a state of heightened alert.
To the extent there
The British Royal Navy looks set to make a significant reappearance in the Indo-Pacific after the long distraction of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Australian decision to buy nine BAE Systems Type 26 ASW frigates is the latest in a flurry of indications suggesting the UK has an increased
The Helsinki Summit, as it was dubbed, saw US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin come together with a formal agenda to discuss US-Russia relations, disarmament, the Syria and Ukraine crises, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. But the moment was judged as a contest and
Donald Trump has left Europe reeling following his just-concluded visits to Brussels for the NATO summit, London for a bilateral visit, and to Helsinki to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Trump has also not shied away from interfering in the domestic politics of his partners … and delivered
Just as South Korea is an ally of the US yet doesn’t fully trust President Donald Trump, North Korea deals with Russia but does not completely trust Moscow. Pyongyang remembers well that North Korean gastarbeiters (guest workers) were once deported from Russia, and
US President Donald Trump evidently expects his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to be the easiest of his upcoming high-level meetings. If so, he has brought that condition upon himself.
Trump’s choleric, ignorant, menacing, and, to be honest, strategically illiterate ramblings about
So it’s farewell Bonza Boris, for the moment at least. Boris Johnson, now former British foreign secretary, travelled to Sydney in July last year to deliver the Lowy Lecture, when he gently poked fun at himself and his youthful exploration of Australia, as well as the two countries
When England struck their winning penalty against Colombia at the end of a tense night of football on Tuesday, old assumptions crumbled.
Had the team exorcised its fear of shoot-outs? Could they reach the final? And would the British Government really maintain its official boycott of Russia’s
Horst Seehofer loves to play the tough guy. Up to a point, anyway, and never jeopardising his position at the pinnacle of political power in Germany.
The divisive issue of immigration allows smaller parties of the extreme right to jerk around their bigger coalition partners.
In Denmark, if you have dark skin and weren’t born in that country, chances are you live in what is officially dubbed a “ghetto”.
Ghettoes in Denmark are characterised by the government as neighbourhoods with high levels of unemployment, more frequent occurrences of
Before a ball had even been kicked at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah was courted for a photo-op with Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Big international sports tournaments have been a familiar platform for countries to attempt to normalise global