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Commentary

Opinion pieces by Lowy Institute experts

Time to get smart in the spying game

In an opinion piece in The Age, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White writes that Australia's intelligence community needs to know a lot more about the countries in its region.The Age, 21 February 2012, p. 11 

U.S. engagement key to handling Chinese dragon

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Dr Michael Fullilove, Program Director Global Issues, writes that in the context of a rising China, downgrading our ties with the United States is risky.The Australian, 28 February 2012, p. 10 

Opposition to Indonesian executions must be colourblind

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Dave McRae, Research Fellow in the East Asia program at the Lowy Institute, writes that the Australian government must signal its opposition to all executions in Indonesia, even when it is unpopular at home.Sydney Morning Herald, 2 March 2012, p.

Carr to steer new line on China

In an opinion piece in The Age, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White writes that positioning Australia between the United States and China will be Foreign Minister Bob Carr's greatest challenge.The Age, 6 March 2012, p. 13 

Carbon price over $10 makes no sense

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow Warwick McKibbin writes that the Australian government must act to reduce the carbon price or face the economic fallout.Australian Financial Review, 7 March 2012, p. 63

Mitt Romney not-so-Super Tuesday

In this op-ed published on The Drum and The Interpreter, Michael Fullilove argues that the results on Super Tuesday did not bode well for Mitt Romney or the Republican Party.The Drum, The Interpreter, 8 March 2012

Iran: what if nothing happened?

In an op-ed for Ha'aretz Online, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo considers whether the high cost of both a negotiated end to the crisis over Iran's nuclear program and of its alternative, a military confrontation, will leave all sides locked in an uneasy stalemate.Haaretz.com, 17

Wake-up call for a stale relationship

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Fergus Hanson, Director of Polling at the Lowy Institute, writes on findings from the Lowy Institute's 2012 Indonesia Poll, 'Shattering Stereotypes, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy'.The Australian, 20 March 2012, p. 9

Carr chance to rally China interest

From Beijing's viewpoint, the appointment of Foreign Minister Bob Carr signifies the possibility for a fresh start for the present Labor government to strengthen relations with Beijing, writes Linda Jakobson, the East Asia Program Director at the Lowy Institute in an opinion piece for The

Being e-aware is Diplomacy 101

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Fergus Hanson argues that Australia's Foreign Ministry must be dragged into the modern world.The Australian, 28 March 2012, p. 10 

Defensive driving is Smith new mission

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Senior Non-resident Fellow Alan Dupont argues that the Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, must show strategic direction.The Australian, 29 March 2012, p. 8  

Bipolar policy on Indonesia harms our ties

Policies separately announced by the government and opposition over the past six months toward Indonesia suggest Australia has a form of bipolar disorder, which makes it usually oblivious to its external circumstances and socially passive, but prone to unpredictable mood swings, leading to sudden

What makes us tick?

In this challenging essay, Program Director for Polling Fergus Hanson looks at the quirky history of scientific opinion polling and the role polls play in foreign policy. He suggests two key functions: to subtly serve the stability of the international system and to function as a mirror to our

Cross-currents

In an opinion piece in The South China Morning Post, Linda Jakobson, Program Director East Asia, argues that tensions may have eased across the Taiwan Strait in the first term of the island’s president Ma Ying-jeou, but that doesn’t mean the issues in the way of reunification have been resolved.

2011 end of year message

Dr Michael Wesley, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, sent an end of year message to friends and supporters of our work in 2011, and offered some thoughts on what to watch out for in 2012

Blind faith leads to great folly

In an opinion piece in The Age, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White writes that Australia will repeat dangerous mistakes unless it learns to rigorously question its most powerful ally.The Age, 21 December 2011, p. 11

Australia nuclear choices

As the recent debate over uranium exports to India indicates, uranium exports remain a highly contentious domestic and foreign policy issue for Australians. In a recent publication 'Australia’s Uranium Trade: The Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of a Contentious Export', Lowy

Guns quiet for now but hermit kingdom stirs

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Rory Medcalf, Director of the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, writes that with the death of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il, Asia will be bracing for instability. A key question is whether his successor feels compelled to take assertive action

Obama in Australia: balancing not containment

In this article for the website China-US Focus, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf takes a sceptical look at claims that President Obama’s visit to Australia was part of a strategy to 'contain' China’s rise. Click here to access the full article

PNG should try a national unity government

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Jenny Hayward-Jones, The Myer Foundation Melanesia Program Director at the Lowy Institute, argues that the younger generation is fed up with old-style politics in Port Moresby.Australian Financial Review, 15 December 2011, p. 55

Politics will determine Uruzgan exit strategy

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Lowy Institute Military Associate James Brown writes that the timeline for withdrawing Australian troops from Afghanistan is largely out of the Government's hands.Sydney Morning Herald, 13 December 2011, p. 9

Iran gets room to manoeuvre in phantom war

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Non-resident Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan argues that US pullouts from Iraq and Afghanistan may boost Tehran's influence.The Australian, 8 December 2011, p. 8

The Obama Doctrine

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White argues that the U.S. plan to take on China recalls Harry Truman's containment of the Soviet Union.Wall Street Journal, 25 November 2011

On the cusp of an Indian summer

In this opinion piece in the Indian Express newspaper, published on the eve of the Australian Labor Party’s historic policy change allowing safeguarded uranium exports to India, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf examines what an obstacle this issue had become to a trust-based Australia-India

Euro warning to carbon markets

In an article in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow Warwick McKibbin writes on the similarities between Australia's carbon pricing model and the common currency arrangement in Europe.Australian Financial Review, Review, 2 December 2011, pp. 1,9

Uranium sales to India would spread trust, not nuclear arms

In this opinion piece in The Age newspaper, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf addresses the common non-proliferation criticisms of possible Australian uranium sales to India. He writes that, on balance, a policy change at the December 2011 Australian Labor Party conference would build a new

Reluctant realists

In a post on Cogitasia, a leading blog hosted by the US think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr Malcolm Cook (Dean of International Studies at Flinders University) and the Institute’s Director of Studies Andrew Shearer highlight how and why the progressive Asia policy

Egypt’s military to outlast transition

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Anthony Bubalo, Program Director West Asia, writes that both the protesters and the generals in Egypt seem to have lost sight of some hard realities.The Australian, 25 November 2011, p. 10

Two Afghan views of Australia from Uruzgan

The latest paper in the Lowy Institute’s Afghan Voices series provides two very different perspectives on Australia’s military and development efforts in Uruzgan. The first comes in the form of excerpts from an uncompleted draft on the subject by Omaid Khpalwak, an Afghan journalist tragically

Central banks - saving the system comes first

In an Economic Briefing column in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville writes on how recent financial choas has revived old roles.Australilan Financial Review, 21 November 2011, p. 23

Buildup Down Under

In this article for Foreign Policy.com, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf outlines the Asia-Pacific strategic vision behind Obama’s historic 2011 speech in Canberra – but also suggests that more could have been done to prepare most Australians for such a declaration.The article can

Renewing an alliance

On the day of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Darwin, Australia in November 2011, Andrew Shearer writes in the Wall Street Journal about the Obama/Gillard announcement of plans to base US marines in Darwin, and examines the controversy surrounding this significant expansion of America’s

Martine Letts interview

In this interview for Brazil Talk, Deputy Director Martine Letts talks about her experience in Latin American affairs, Australia’s evolving engagement with Brazil and the Lowy Institute’s challenges to broaden its support as Australia’s pre-eminent international policy think tank. Brazil Talk

Our chance to align with the US pivot point

In this opinion piece in The Australian, the Lowy Institute's Rory Medcalf argues that Australia has an opportunity to work closely with the United States as it makes a three-fold strategic pivot: from the Middle East to Asia, from an Asia-Pacific to an Indo-Pacific concept, and towards more

On the 11th, remember the living

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Lowy Institute Military Associate James Brown argues that it's time we started caring more about soldiers who are alive, than those long dead.Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 2011, p. 13.Also published in The Age, 11 November 2011, as The Diggers

The diplomatic tweet

In his latest column in the journal American Review, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf argues that diplomats, spies, journalists and analysts who shun social media are at risk of becoming the blacksmiths of the information age: quaint, heavy-handed and unviable. His column can be accessed here

Language barrier we don't want to breach

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Andrew Carr, Deputy Editor of the Lowy Institute's blog, The Interpreter, www.lowyinterpreter.org, writes that Australians continue to baulk at learning Asian languages.The Australian, 9 November 2011, p. 29

Minding our languages

In an opinion piece in The Age, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White writes that young Australians in their thousands should be sent to Asia to learn the languages.The Age, 8 November 2011, p. 13

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