A New York Times article this month revealed a new tactic in the US war against election disinformation. US election officials had notified Russians suspected of involvement in online disinformation campaigns in the lead up to the mid-term elections that they were “on notice”, and that their
The past week says a lot about the quagmire that Chinese President Xi Jinping has found his country in, as his American counterpart Donald Trump has shown no sign of de-escalating the trade war rhetoric.
It also offers a glimpse into the most powerful post-Mao leader’s political and strategic
The alleged extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and the international condemnation that followed, reflects not only rivalry in the Middle East, but also greater anxiety about the direction of liberal democracy and the international rule of law more broadly.
Last week, US President Donald
For all the talk about the broken nuclear deal, it might seem a surprise to learn of an old agreement between the United States and Iran that is still in force.
The move to dismantle international agreements only makes diplomacy harder and belligerence easier.
The US-Iran Treaty of Amity,
In the biggest reform of US foreign aid policy in recent history, the US Senate this month passed the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, or the BUILD Act.
This legislation, signed into law by President Donald Trump on 5 October, will create the new US International
Vice President Mike Pence’s speech was tasty red meat for anyone desiring a more confrontational US policy toward the People’s Republic of China. Pence’s speech reflects a strengthening bipartisan consensus in Washington, and suggests that a long-term policy of competition and confrontation
Over a decade ago, the term “Chimerica” was coined to describe the symbiotic relationship between the US and Chinese economies. While offshoring manufacturing to China and opening access to US markets and universities benefited American interests, it also saw China’s share of world GDP jump
The third summit between the leaders of North and South Korea last month was a huge accomplishment for Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un. At home, Moon’s approval rating shot up from 49% in early September to 65% a week after the summit, largely due to his successful efforts to jump start the
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
It is near impossible to find any mention of the Chinese chip hacking story in Bloomberg Businessweek that does not use the words “bombshell” or “explosive” to describe the piece. These descriptions have become cliché. But the cliché is fitting because even if the story unravels amid
The past month or so has seen immense social change in India. Gay sex was decriminalised, two lesbians were given the right to live together against the wishes of their families, and adultery was decriminalised.
These important progressive changes were not made by the government of Narendra Modi,
Geopolitics may be rapidly moving to the forefront in deciding how the US-China trade war will play out. If so, the odds of a rapprochement are dwindling fast.
The trade conflict has always been about many things, clouding how different analysts understood it. Initially, it seemed best understood
The US appointed its first openly gay ambassador in 1999. President Bill Clinton gave James Hormel a recess appointment as US Ambassador to Luxembourg after two years of a blocked Senate campaign. Since then, an additional six openly gay male ambassadors have been appointed by the US, including
Ever wondered who is now the culprit for many of the woes of the United States? Then look no further than a major speech delivered by US Vice President Mike Pence last week.
Given just days after the “leaked” photos showing close encounters between US and Chinese destroyers in the South
In the last six months, US President Donald Trump has “fallen in love” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has also been persuaded that Kim respects him, likely because he called him “your excellency” in his “beautiful letters”. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has claimed Trump
“We want to know to whom should we talk”, asked one South American diplomat in frustration at staffing problems in the US State Department.
The question underscores, again, the failure of the Trump Administration to adequately staff its foreign service. This failure is not merely a curiosity,
The 12 June Singapore Summit has aged badly, as the declaration signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has proven as useless as most analysts imagined. Consequently, the current US-North Korea diplomatic process is disintegrating under the weight of the parties’ misaligned
As it happens, the United States holds the presidency of the United Nations Security Council during the annual diplomatic gabfest at the UN General Assembly.
Traditionally, that means the president of the US can choose to chair a Security Council meeting if he or she desires to spotlight a
Over the past few months, US President Donald Trump has seemed infatuated with outer space. He and Vice President Mike Pence have made grandiose announcements about US space policy, foremost among them, the controversial plan to set up an “American Space Force” as a sixth branch of the US
After talks had been delayed previously owing to domestic developments in the US, causing much disappointment in India, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis finally arrived in New Delhi last week for meetings with their counterparts in India – Foreign
Several years ago, while living in Southern California and pregnant with my twin sons, I began hearing news reports about maternity hotels.
Baffled neighbours were asking why so many pregnant Chinese women were coming and going into homes east of Los Angeles, why the garbage cans were piled high
The passing of US Senator John McCain has brought forth a wave of lavish eulogies. Some of this is justified. McCain’s experiences as a prisoner of war were extreme and demonstrate his patriotism. No one questions that. But the political focus will turn on his policy efforts, where his
In my dictionary, a “hero” is 1) an illustrious warrior; 2) a man admired for his noble qualities; or 3) one who shows great courage. John McCain met all the criteria.
As a United States Navy pilot, McCain was daring to the point of recklessness, determined always to
Next month marks the tenth anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers – the nadir of the 2008 global financial crisis. Not only was there a substantial fall in GDP in most countries (although not in Australia), but the recovery since then has been slow. GDP just about everywhere is
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 border separating North and South Korea remains one of the most heavily armed in the world. Surrounded by thickets of barbed wire, Korea’s misleadingly named Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) stretches about 250 kilometres across the peninsula. It is monitored ceaselessly, a stark reminder of the
Last week, the South Korean Blue House announced preparations for another summit – what will be the third – between President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in the northern autumn. Both Seoul and Pyongyang have sent ministers to discuss topics
US President Donald Trump comes in for widespread criticism, but he has at least one well-placed Australian defender. Former foreign minister Alexander Downer says that for Australia, Trump has been better than Obama. On the whole, Trump has been “good for us”. This is seriously misguided.
While US President Donald Trump seems to be cosying up with the likes of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin lately, his administration has wasted no time in upping the ante in its escalating trade war with China.
At the moment, no one knows how this showdown might
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 1 August, the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act, or the improbably named Kiwi Act, having passed both the US House of Representatives the Senate, and signed by the president, became law.
The Kiwi Act extends to New Zealanders the ability to enter the US
The news that US and North Korean generals met for talks for the first time in nine years to discuss the possible repatriation of 200 American soldiers lost during the Korean War was a step in the right direction. While it’s true it has the appearance of giving North Korea added leverage
Private Lowell W. Bellar of Gary, Indiana, was only 19 years old when he was killed in action in Korea on 1 December 1950. However, his brother and surviving relatives would have to wait nearly 54 years before the US Department of Defense identified his body in 2005.
Bellar’s family is not
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
When Donald Trump was elected US President, many pronounced satire dead. The twitter hashtag #nottheonion, a reference to the satirical news website, grew more common with every outlandish tweet and unpredictable decision from America’s new leader.
But to paraphrase one of the country’s
It is not only Donald Trump’s wavering, on-and-off attacks on the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election that betrays his distrust of intelligence agencies. News that US spies believe North Korea has been increasing uranium production at multiple sites runs
There are still two-and-a-half years to go in US President Donald Trump’s first term, and I’m concerned about his critics. They need to pace themselves. This level of outrage just cannot be maintained.
When it comes to the instantly infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir
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
The US is moving quickly to follow through on Trump’s threats to further escalate his trade war with China (now is as good a time as any to say that the trade war has officially started).
Last week the US imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports, with another US$16 billion to be
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
It’s inevitable that, when the US sails warships through the Taiwan Strait, it will be interpreted as a broader diplomatic statement or even a protest – in this case, perhaps about North Korea, or the US–China trade spat.
But these transits are more common than you might think. According to
The Australian Embassy in Washington has been promoting “100 Years of Mateship” between Australia and the US in the lead-up to the centenary of the Battle of Hamel in the First World War, which has been commemorated this week.
The Embassy has come up with a list of 15 eminent
Reactions in the US and South Korea have differed sharply since US President Donald Trump met North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un last month in Singapore. (The president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo call Kim “chairman”, because he governs as the chairman of the State Affairs
Immediately after the Singapore summit on 12 June, US President Donald Trump proclaimed that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat, and that the denuclearisation process would follow in accordance with the two leaders’ joint statement. However, three weeks later, Kim Jong-un does
Almost two years have passed since the US was represented in Australia by a permanent ambassador. It is now conceivable that Australia will receive a Presidential visit before it gets an ambassador.
This is an unprecedented interregnum.
It is tempting to observe that this is a pretty
The massive Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul has seen a near-continuous presence of foreign military since the Korean Peninsula was annexed by the Japanese in 1910. Prior to that, it housed troops from the Qing Dynasty who had been sent to help the last rulers of Joseon put down peasant rebellions
The announcement the US was leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council did not come as a shock, especially after calls for an inquiry into clashes over the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley described the council as a “hypocritical and
Once entertaining, the Trump administration is becoming unfunny. In less than a week the trade dispute between China and the US has escalated to cover what will quite likely be the entirety of US goods exports to China, and the greater part, if not the whole, of Chinese goods exports to the US
“Believe me, I would never have imagined that a German Foreign Minister would ever have to say such a thing.”
So confessed Heiko Maas in a remarkable speech delivered in Berlin last week. His subject was nothing less than the demise of the “world order that we once knew”, in