Tuesday 15 Jun 2021 | 08:05 | SYDNEY
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Sam Roggeveen's picture
People | experts Sam Roggeveen
Director, International Security Program
Lowy Institute
Sam Roggeveen's picture
Areas of ExpertiseChina’s military forces, US defence and foreign policy, Australian foreign and defence policy, drones and other military technology, blogs and online media.

100 days of Trump

To mark 100 days of the Trump presidency, we've updated our timeline of all Lowy Institute research papers, opinion pieces, media interviews and Interpreter posts.

China's huge industrial ambitions

Even if the C919 is a flop on the foreign market, don't count on China to give up. There is already work being done on a China-Russia joint venture to build an even larger jet in the Boeing 777 class.

Trump and America the ordinary

Donald Trump has no time for talk of the 'indispensable power'. That might be safer than a US which talks big but doesn't back it up, writes Sam Roggeveen for the Australian Financial Review on 4 March. Photo: Getty Images/Win McNamee

Fly through the ISS in ultra high-definition

I had got used to thinking of the International Space Station as a scientifically dubious boondoggle, but here are a couple of pieces which make the case for the ISS's merits as a platform for research rather than as simply a relic of early post-cold War optimism for international space cooperation

White paper blues

In Washington, they refer to news stories that only matter to the political class as being 'inside the beltway', a reference to the road which encircles the capital. Maybe we can coin a Canberra variation on the term? How about 'inside the parkway', given that, roughly speaking, Canberra is framed

The Interpreter is taking a short break

Readers, Monday is the Labour Day public holiday here in Australia, so normal publication resumes on Tuesday. But look out for our usual weekly wrap tomorrow morning, and then at noon, a special Saturday article by the Shadow Foreign Minister, Senator Penny Wong, in what will be her first published

Elon Musk's beguiling Mars vision

Earlier this week tech entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his company SpaceX's vision for human colonisation of Mars. Musk has been treated as something of a visionary in recent years for his leadership of the electric car company Tesla, but the company's planned takeover of SolarCity has been badly

Movie trailer: Apprentice

It was announced earlier this month that Apprentice (note: no definite article, so no Trump) will be Singapore's entry to next year's Academy Awards: In my occasional visits to Singapore over the last decade, my observation is that while the country remains politically closed, it has liberalised a

Quick comment: Richard McGregor on Xi Jinping

It is rarely acknowledged that the list of Australian journalists working on China in recent times is pretty stellar. Just off the top of my head I can think of Jane Perlez (New York Times), John Garnaut (formerly Fairfax), Stephen McDonell (BBC), Chris Buckley (New York Times) and of course Richard

First thoughts on the presidential debate

The first thing to note is that, despite the avalanche of media coverage and articles such as this one, presidential debates may not matter very much. At the very least, the evidence is mixed. The second thing is that what the candidates say is probably secondary to how they look, and how they react

TV trailer: Designated Survivor

This is a new series which has just started airing in the US and is available on Netflix here in Australia. It's a compelling premise for a series, and the reviews are generally positive. (H/t JG

Documentary: Chuck Norris vs Communism

This film, about the impact of contraband American VHS tapes on communist-era Romania, was released last year. The version below, available free on Vimeo and YouTube, runs to 55-odd minutes, but IMDB lists the film as having a running time of 78 minutes, so this may not be the whole thing, but it is

Documentary trailer: Do Not Resist

This is a trailer for a documentary about the fear of terrorism and the militarisation of the US police. There's a memorable shot near the end which seems to tell the whole story: a heavily armoured ex-military vehicle designed for counter-insurgency operations in Iraq drives down a suburban US

Against the grand political theory of everything

After the Australian election, I flirted with the notion of a worldwide trend away from globalisation, but on further reflection I am reluctant to embrace fully any grand theory about global political trends. First, the notion that Trump, Brexit, the EU crisis and even Australia's near miss with a

Trump is not a politician, and that matters

A couple of times now I have alerted readers to the work of cartoonist Scott Adams, an unusual political observer who dismisses the idea that Trump can be usefully evaluated on conventional political lines (ie. as a politician with qualifications and policy positions), and who insist that we must

Will Smith is right, everything is not getting worse

I don't expect to hear political wisdom from Hollywood movie stars, but I loved this quote from Will Smith on yesterday's The Late Show, about US race relations (from 5:23): 'When I hear people say "it's worse than it's ever been", I really disagree completely. It's clearly not as bad as it was in

Why do terrorists do it?

The philosopher John Gray is always worth reading. Two highlights from his latest book review, first on the rationality of terrorism: The practice of suicide bombing has very often been analysed in cost-benefit terms and found to be highly efficient. The expenditure of resources involved is modest

Movie trailer: A Tale of Love and Darkness

First-time director Natalie Portman also stars in this adaptation of Israeli novelist Amos Oz's memoir. According to IMDB, the film is 'A story about the childhood of Oz in Jerusalem and his youth in the Kibbutz during the British Mandate and the first days of the state of Israel. The plot describes

Chilcot: Don't focus on motives, focus on judgments

Former prime minister John Howard was in excellent form at yesterday's press conference in response to the release of the Chilcot Report. He'd received so many media requests, he said, that he thought it was a better idea to address them all at once. So he was certainly not running away from what at

What an existential threat looks like

Politicians often talk loosely about terrorism as an 'existential threat', which is a vast overstatement — terrorists don't have the capability to undermine the character and essential functions of advanced nation-states. Unless those terrorists have nuclear weapons. Here's a short video

Election 2016: The only chart that matters

And here it is, courtesy of the ABC: Australia's pundits may still treat the idea of hung parliaments and minority government as an aberration (I can't help noting Insiders host Barrie Cassidy's air of contempt on yesterday's program, when he said a circus tent would need to be erected on the

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