Tuesday 15 Jun 2021 | 07:28 | SYDNEY
What's happening on
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.

Sydney's new airport: A nod to Asia?

One of my favourite online distractions, ArchDaily, yesterday posted a photo spread on Gibraltar's glorious new airport. This got me thinking about the two-decade debate over a second Sydney airport, which everyone except the owners of the existing airport seems to agree is necessary. Problem is,

Henderson's head-scratcher

Interpreter alumnus Andrew Carr does sterling work on Twitter today, drily recounting Gerard Henderson's 'scoop' in the SMH: Here are the opening two paragraphs of Henderson's column, which Andrew refers to: The fashionable left-wing view of former president George W. Bush is he invaded Muslim

Thoughts on Obama's second inaugural

It was short! That’s the first thing that struck me about the transcript; apparently he got through it in 20 minutes. The second thing that occurred to me is that this is was a fine enunciation of two defining Obama traits: political liberalism and temperamental conservatism. Andrew Sullivan's

Hague: Asian century or global century?

You may have heard by now that UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is cutting short his Australia visit because of the hostage crisis in Algeria (Prime Minister Cameron, too, is changing his plans; the important speech on the eurozone that Mark Thirlwell referred to in his post yesterday has been

New Zealand beer diplomacy

Thanks to the folk at the Asia New Zealand Foundation for alerting me to this world exclusive from Beer & Brewer Magazine. It's the New Zealand Foreign Ministry's reply to an FOI requests asking for 'a list of every New Zealand beer brand served at each New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or

More on why economic policy fails

  Unemployment in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The above graph (h/t RCW and Early Warning) reminds us that the policy failures Stephen Grenville described in his piece earlier today are, above all, an enormous human tragedy. But there's slightly Brechtian subtext to Stephen's

Video: Address by Fiji president and PM

Jenny Hayward-Jones' post of last Friday referred to a joint address by Fiji President Nailatikau and  Prime Minister Bainimarama responding to the draft constitution prepared by the Constitutional Commission. Here's a video of that address: (H/t Stuck in Fiji MUD

Policy experimentation in Afghanistan

From Fred Kaplan's latest column: ...at the end of 2009, Obama sent an additional 33,000 troops to Afghanistan, a surge of nearly 50 percent above the 68,000 already there—and that he did so not to go after bin Laden and al-Qaida (a task that could have been handled with far fewer forces) but

Skyfall: Bond takes a neocon turn

I realise it's slightly late to be reviewing the latest Bond caper, but I saw Skyfall over the festive season, and since I haven't yet seen any reviews that tackle one particular political aspect of the film, I thought I would raise it. Some spoilers follow, so I'll put the remaining text below

TV trailer: 1600 Penn

The fact that the new sitcom 1600 Penn is being screened at the White House tells you that it probably won't be too cutting, and indeed, the trailer is far from screamingly funny and looks a bit derivative. Pass

Chuck Hagel and US defence spending

James Brown's post about the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Obama's new Defense Secretary focuses on his views about the Asia 'pivot', but perhaps those views won't matter very much in comparison to the stance Hagel takes on US defence spending overall. President Obama has said that an

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013 and welcome back to The Interpreter for another year of international policy blogging, which is supposed to start today. I say 'supposed' because your editor forgot his age last weekend and hurt his back while trying to move a fridge. Please be patient for the next few days while