Monday 27 Jun 2022 | 12:49 | SYDNEY

Australia in the World

Multilateralism: Pushing party barrows

The utilitarian element in the Australian character injects a certain cynicism into approaches to multilateralism and international activism. The US suffers the \'black_helicopter\' demonisation of the UN. In Oz it is more often a matter of black humour and a species of bleak realism, which is the

Australia Network: Messy, slow, right

It's taken twelve months, a ministerial traducing, an AFP investigation and a referral to the Auditor-General but the Gillard Government has finally decided that the rightful and permanent home for the government-funded international television service, the Australia Network, is within the

Uranium to India: Decision time

On Sunday, the Australian Labor Party\'s national conference will take an important decision: whether to end its blanket prohibition on uranium exports to India\'s nuclear energy program. Wherever you stand, a robust debate on the issue can only improve the chances of a sensible policy outcome.

A strong case to drop India uranium ban

Dhruva Jaishankar is Program Officer for Asia at the German Marshall Fund, a Fellow at the Takshashila Institution and an occasional columnist for The Indian Express. It should be no surprise that New Delhi would welcome an Australian decision to export uranium to India. Isolating India on

India: Let not just give the nod

One of Australia\'s finest cricket writers observes that the combined talents of Bradman, Bismarck and Warren Buffett could hardly solve the governance headaches created by India\'s domination of world cricket administration. Gideon Haigh writes that India\'s cricketing power exemplifies

Everything turning to White

Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White has achieved something quite remarkable: with his Quarterly Essay of last year and in countless blog posts and op-eds before and since, he has transformed the Australian debate about the geostrategic consequences of the rise of China. Almost

India, uranium, and the Rarotonga objection

John Carlson is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute and the former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office. The Treaty of Rarotonga (South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty) is being held out as an obstacle to Australia supplying uranium to India. The

Defence fatality reporting slows down

It\'s been nearly a month since three Australian soldiers were shot and killed in Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army, and the public is no closer to understanding what Defence has concluded was the reason behind the attacks. At the time, Defence committed to a full investigation

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

Australia at the centre

To the outside eye, the British one especially, the sight of wall maps locating Australia in the centre of the world initially come as a surprise. In the place where one would normally expect to see the Greenwich Meridian and the Cape of Good Hope sits Darwin and the Great Australian Bight. In

South Pacific: A change is gonna come

For some detailed tasks in the South Pacific, Australia has to do the job. Working out what climate change will mean for individual island states falls into the category of tasks Australia is best placed to perform. So anyone doing work in or with East Timor and the Islands —

Selling uranium to India, responsibly II

In my previous post I suggested that Australian uranium sales to India might strengthen the non-proliferation regime. We are not only known as a reliable supplier of uranium, but a strict one, and this need not change with India. Australia has agreements to supply uranium to non-nuclear weapons

Selling uranium to India, responsibly

Prime Minister Gillard\'s announcement that she will seek a change in Labor\'s platform to permit uranium exports to India is problematic for Australia\'s non-proliferation policy and reputation. I share the concern about the apparent failure to extract anything from India in return for a

Reader riposte: Obama historical howler

Andrew Butcher from the Asia New Zealand Foundation comments on President Obama\'s speech to the Australian parliament last week: I think I heard correctly an error in Obama\'s speech, where he congratulated Australia on being the first country in the world to give woman the vote. Now, New

Parsing the 'pivot': Beijing view of US bases

Amy King is a PhD student at Oxford University. Much has been made of China\'s response to President Obama\'s decision to rotate 2500 American troops through bases in the Northern Territory. But was there more to the Chinese response than was reported in the Western press? Australian and US

Tony Abbott strange Obama speech

It\'s odd that the UK Telegraph should be interested in this story, but their Sydney correspondent, Jonathan Pearlman, has picked up on the Graham Greene reference that Tony Abbott rather incongruously dropped into his speech of welcome to President Obama last Thursday. On Tuesday I pointed&

Afghan voices discuss Australia effort

Today, a day after the Prime Minister kicked off another parliamentary discussion of Australia\'s commitment in Afghanistan, we are launching the third in our Afghan Voices series of occasional papers. \'Two Afghan Views of Australia From Uruzgan\' differs from its predecessors for a tragic

Indonesia, but not as we know it

I just did a short interview with ABC Radio Brisbane\'s Terri Begley, who asked me about the Gillard Government\'s gift of four ex-RAAF C-130 transport planes to Indonesia. It was a good opportunity to make a couple of larger points about Indonesia, both illustrated by recent developments in

To dud your own foreign minister

When a prime minister comprehensively rolls a foreign minister, the ripples spread in many directions. What Julia Gillard did to Kevin Rudd — reversing the Government\'s stance on uranium sales to India — was a swift and precise hammering. The way the leader delivered the blow

Reader query: US base implications

A query from a reader that I\'m hopeful some of the many expert readers of this blog can help answer. Matt Zurstrassen writes: The media reaction to the announcement by the US president on an increased security emphasis on the region seems somewhat misguided, being focused purely on China\'

Two further notes on Obama speech

First, an observation from a colleague concerning the paragraph dealing with North Korea: Indeed, we also reiterate our resolve to act firmly against any proliferation activities by North Korea. The transfer of nuclear materials or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would

Obama in Australia: Could do better

So Obama has left his mark on the Australia-US alliance: a whirlwind visit, an historic speech on Asia strategy, an important shift towards US military access, and a genuine message of thanks and support for Australia\'s men and women in uniform. But as a major public diplomacy opportunity to

War talk could boomerang on Australia

The thunder of the 21-gun salute. The solemnity of a wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. The quiet poignancy of the visit to the USS Peary memorial in Darwin. The campaign-style pep rally for diggers who had recently returned from Afghanistan. And, of course, the potentially

Reader riposte: Uranium and the India relationship

David Brewster responds to Richard Broinowski: I\'m not sure that Rory Medcalf suggested that the sale of Australian uranium to India is a panacea to the bilateral relationship — clearly it is not. However, the policy is a symbolic roadblock to improvements in the relationship,

India uranium: We're selling out our principles

Ron Walker is a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IAEA and author of the Lowy institute  Policy Brief \'Uranium for India\'.  Some oppose selling uranium to India because they are against uranium mining. My objection is quite different, as I support the policy

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

Interview: In the house with Obama

The Lowy Institute\'s Michael Fullilove was in the gallery of the House of Representatives chamber to hear President Obama\'s speech this morning. In this interview, Michael and I talk about about the policy goals of the speech, and I also draw on Michael\'s knowledge of speech-making to get

Uranium sales help us to lift standards

One of the oddest criticism of Gillard\'s move to sell uranium to India is that she is breaking with the non-proliferation approach of the Hawke and Keating governments, when actually it\'s the exact same strategy: trading uranium in return for influence in setting safety standards. This (

'All in': Obama address to parliament

My first impressions (as always, open to revision and debate): The main news value from the visit came to light some time ago, so we were never going to get any surprises from this speech, which will be quickly passed over by journalists sniffing for news. (UPDATE: Actually, the part about

Reader ripostes: Uranium and the alliance

Below, Richard Broinowski on selling uranium to India, but first Cam Hawker on the US-Australia relationship: A quick response to Andrew\'s piece on the decision to host US Marines in Darwin. Andrew questions if this represents \'the moment where Australia fundamentally cast its lot in with the

Obama in Canberra, a city framed by the alliance

US presidents arriving in Australia always cause the locals to hear military echoes. Driving in from Canberra airport, Obama can glance to his right and see a striking symbol of the unique military relationship Australia has with America. At the very centre of the Defence Department complex

Uranium U-turn welcome, overdue

What a week in Australian foreign policy. Two days before President Obama\'s visit, which will likely mark a pivot to a truly Indo-Pacific strategic vision by Washington and Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has publicly declared her support for safeguarded uranium

Obama pocket guide to Australia

You\'re going to meet a people who like Americans and whom you will like. The Australians have much in common with us – they\'re a pioneer people: they believe in personal freedom: they love sports...But there are a lot of differences too – like tea, central heating, the best way to

Why Washington wants a base here

While most Australians are beguiled by the prospect of this week\'s presidential visit, it\'s easy to overlook the fact that President Obama is dropping by for one simple reason: to hike the cost of our alliance. Though specific details remain vague, the new defence arrangement will involve

Locking in for the ride?

For most Australians, the announcement of a US Marine base in Darwin will be minor news. After all, with a strong ANZUS alliance and regular troop interactions, this doesn\'t seem out of the ordinary. Yet, I wonder if future historians will see this as the moment where Australia fundamentally

5-minute Lowy Lunch: Special ops

Last Wednesday the Lowy Institute scored a bit of a coup, with Brigadier Roger Noble, Director General of Special Operations Capability for the Australian Army, dropping by to give a speech. This secretive part of the defence establishment rarely makes public appearances, and you could tell, as the

Obama to deliver strategic wake-up call

Ross Babbage is a former senior Defence official, Managing Director of Strategy International and Founder of the Kokoda Foundation, a not-for-profit national security think-tank. President Obama is set to deliver a clear message when he visits on Wednesday and Thursday. He will emphasise that the

Reader riposte: Climate change leadership

Ralph Evans writes: Sam is quite right: Malcolm Turnbull\'s statement on Q&A that China offers the best hope of doing something concrete about climate change was a remarkable cut-through for a front ranking Australian politician. However, Malcolm is not entirely right in saying America has

Asia literacy: The national security dimension

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia’s foreign policy. There is a critical issue that has so far escaped much attention in the Interpreter debate about declining Asia literacy in Australia – the

Reader riposte: Life is hard in Afghanistan

Dom writes: James,  I believe you are right in saying that it is too early to tell what these attacks mean. But, I have a few fundamental disagreements with your commentary. Firstly, the cited premise for your third argument (\'there is something in the particular relationship between

The Kevin writes for the masses

One of the many fascinating elements of having Kevin Rudd as foreign minister is how he has blossomed into a prolific producer of opinion pieces. Not for The Kevin that hollow old political cop-out that he is not going to act as a commentator. Not only does the foreign minister often pose his own

Three attacks, three explanations

There\'s been another incident overnight in Afghanistan involving Australian soldiers being attacked by an Afghan National Army colleague. This is the third time this year that Australian soldiers have been attacked in this manner, and comes only a week after seven soldiers were seriously wounded