Sunday 03 Jul 2022 | 09:54 | SYDNEY

Australia in the World

Marles blind to Fiji poll benefits

My colleague Jenny Hayward-Jones has rightly called out Australia\'s Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, over his attempt to discredit an opinion poll we conducted in Fiji. But, for a different reason, I am glad he made the comments, because they highlight the fact

Distinguished Speaker Series: Reason and responsibility: how effective aid is delivering results - Peter Baxter presentation

On Tuesday 11 October 2011, as part of the Lowy Institute's Distinguished Speaker Series, Mr Peter Baxter, Director General of AusAID, discussed Australia's aid program and the critical role of development aid in an increasingly interconnected global community. Mr Baxter answered the critics of the

Three DC experiences

For the next few months I\'m fortunate enough to be based in Washington, DC. Like most foreigners who come here, I\'m endlessly surprised by the place. Here are three things from the last few days that struck me. First, for those who believe in the separation of church and state, Sunday morning

Freedom of speech in Fiji

Commodore Frank Bainimarama once famously told an Australian journalist that he did not trust the Fiji people. Apparently the Australian government doesn\'t trust them either. The Fiji people currently have no forum in which to have their voice heard, but on the one occasion they have

Are we ready to see ADF women kill?

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. There is nothing Rodger Shanahan wrote on women in the ADF that I would object to. The decision to open all combat roles to women is probably unlikely to impact on the ADF adversely or positively, except in the effort (mainly

Gender-equal: A new way of seeing the ADF

Natalie Sambhi, an occasional Interpreter contributor, was featured in Wednesday\'s Fairfax press in relation to the government\'s decision to drop all restrictions on women serving in combat. Rodger Shanahan observes that the decision to open all combat roles to women will have minimal

Our strangely normal neighbour

The Australian relationship with Indonesia is being changed and challenged by the wonderful reality that these two extraordinarily different nations now share some central values. Indonesia and Australia largely agree on the golden norms of the modern global system, ranging from democracy and human

Saying 'no' to the Nike doctrine

Prime Minister Gillard has announced an Asia White Paper, but Greg Sheridan and Crikey, in its daily editorial, are impatient. The PM doesn\'t need a White Paper to tell her that there are some obvious shortcomings in our approach to Asia, says Sheridan: At school and university

Reader riposte: Australia in World War II

Anton Kuruc writes: It is difficult to know what to make of Raoul Heinrichs\' latest post on Australia\'s long-term strategic culture of alliances. Whilst it is true that \'dependence\' is a choice, he should have at least considered what the other choice implies. Heinrichs asserts: \'If

'Asian Century' vs 'Asia Pacific'

If there is a conceptual shift on display in yesterday\'s White Paper launch, it is from Australia\'s firm attachment to the construct of the Asia Pacific toward the \'Asian Century\'. The country that invented APEC (well, co-invented with Japan) is readjusting the settings. It was Treasury that&

Gillard new White Paper

Yesterday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a new White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. I recommend reading Gillard\'s announcement speech to get a feel for the Government\'s thinking. This will be a heavily economics-focused review. As I\'ve discussed before, Gillard seems to

Reader riposte: Choice or dependence?

Al Parkes writes: Interesting article about our strategic situation in WW2. I will have to be contrary on some assumptions about where our strategic focus was before the entry of US and Japan into WW2. I do not believe there is any strong evidence Australia, as a Government or society, was ready

For Australia, dependence is a choice

My colleague Andrew Carr disputes the idea that Australia had a choice in the lead–up to World War II. Canberra\'s innately British identity, he argues, meant there was no alternative to supporting British operations much further afield, despite the risks to Australian security. I disagree

Reader riposte: Fighting China alone

Shane Edmonds writes Good stuff Hugh. Part of me wants us to stay a minor player and keep everybody happy as we have all these years but part of me also understands that you can never keep everybody happy and possibly it is only a matter of time before someone has a crack at this country? This

New Voices 2011

On 8 July 2011, the Lowy Institute for International Policy hosted its eighth annual New Voices conference. The 2011 conference ‘Dynamic Asia’ adopted an Indo-Pacific regional focus. ‘Dynamic Asia’ required participants to interrogate the way in which we think about Asia as a geopolitical

Women in (every) uniform

The announcement by Defence Minister Stephen Smith opening up all ADF employment streams to women may upset some of the \'not in my day\' brigade, but in reality it will likely have minimal impact on the ADF. Forget the faux arguments based on cultural issues, gender bias, group cohesion or

Could Australia fight China alone?

Should Australia ever contemplate going to war with China (or any other Asian great power) by ourselves, rather than as junior partner in a US–led coalition? If so, under what circumstances? Sam\'s perceptive response to me on \'fighting China alone\' suggests slightly complicated answers to

Canberra 9/11 decade: Politics

The 11 September 2001 attacks announced and framed the decade, but two other key dates did much to define its politics for Australia. Following columns on what the 9/11 decade meant for the ADF and the bureaucracy, this piece is published at the end of September to be closer to two other important

Politics never stops at the border

I\'ve been waiting a while for the local press to note the international dimension of Australia\'s current asylum seeker squabbles. Finally George Megalogenis of The Australian has: Gillard and Abbott are the self-absorbed bogan couple arguing over which neighbour should look after their pet

What Rudd didn't say at the UN

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd\'s speech to the UN General Assembly, delivered yesterday, seems to be pitched at our bid for a non-permanent UN Security Council seat. For instance, to burnish Australia\'s credentials as a good global citizen, Rudd has long sections on environment and development.

Unlocking our links with Indonesia

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Project, ANU, and former Dean of the ADB Institute, Tokyo. The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, provided a useful overview of the Opposition\'s views on Australian-Indonesian relations at the ANU last week. The

Australia, the consequential country

That headline was also the title of former BBC Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant\'s last post on his widely read blog. Nick\'s posting with the BBC has now ended, but he\'s staying in Australia and is busy promoting a book, Adventures in Correspondentland (notice the three-word blurb

Asylum: A foreign or domestic problem?

In the noise after the High Court\'s decision and the looming defeat of the Government\'s bill to revive its Malaysia deal, we are losing sight of the fact that Australia faces a defining choice on how we address the issue of asylum seekers. To go to first principles, we need to ask if unauthorised

Australia-India: Democracy isn't helping

Among conservative types, disdainful of formal multilateralism, one popular idea has been a \'coalition of democracies\' to tackle international challenges. Having sat in on the Australia-India Roundtable for two days, I\'m more dubious than ever. Not because Australia and India can\'t get along&

Australians are hard markers

As you\'ve no doubt heard by now, Euromoney has named federal Treasurer Wayne Swan its finance minister of the year. As a rule, Australians tend to crave international recognition, yet we\'re not always ready to accept it. This from Euromoney\'s lead story: Through (Australians\')

Interview: Shyam Saran

Earlier I linked to economist Tyler Cowen\'s list of reasons why a carbon tax might not be a good idea. Here\'s reason 1: Other countries won’t follow suit and then we are doing something with almost zero effectiveness. The Australia-India Roundtable, convened by Lowy\'s own

AUSMIN: Nice icing, different cake?

Professor Robert Ayson is Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. The title given to Rory Medcalf\'s post on the recent AUSMIN communiqué suggests the icing has now been put on the Australia-US alliance cake. But the baking

Time to forge a partnership for the Asian Century

In this op-ed in The Australian, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf, convener of the Australia-India Roundtable, teams with leading Indian foreign policy commentator Raja Mohan to propose a way forward in Australia-India relations. Australia should sell uranium to India and India needs to get

How much choice do we really have?

In his post comparing Australia\'s dependent relationship with the UK in the 1930s to ANZUS today, Raoul Heinrichs implied that Australia made the wrong choice then, and therefore should make a different choice today. However, I don\'t think there was much of a choice, then or now. First, the

AUSMIN puts icing on the alliance cake

The big annual AUSMIN meeting, where Australia\'s defence and foreign ministers get together with their US counterparts, has just concluded in San Francisco. This year\'s talks marked the 60th anniversary of the Australia-US alliance, and the communiqué is rich birthday fare. The

Reader riposte: Language and migration control

Ben Coleridge writes: In his piece on The Interpreter on Tuesday, Michael Clarke referred to \'the deployment of \'the language of security and threat regarding asylum seekers\' by both major political parties over the past decade\'. While Michael points to the last decade, the language of

Australian air power: Together alone

I may have to concede Hugh\'s point about Australia never having to fight a major power without the US by our side. Yes, I did say that would never happen, but on reflection, I argued a different case back in 2010, suggesting that Australia could resist a major power alone by adopting a version

The Yanks are welcome in Oz

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal Asia, Lowy Institute Director of Studies Andrew Shearer writes that on its 60th anniversary, the Australia-US alliance faces new risks and dangers, including cyber attacks and China’s rapid military modernisation.Wall Street Journal Asia, 15 September

Canberra 9/11 decade: Bureaucracy

Part II of a series on Canberra\'s 9/11 Decade; part I is on the ADF. This is \'Lubyanka on the Lake\', Canberra\'s most expensive public building since the new parliament. ASIO\'s new HQ isn\'t quite the proudest and most prominent spook-catching construction in the Western

Reader riposte: Beyond 'genderisation' of IR

Nina Markovic, a PhD candidate in Political Science, Centre for European Studies, Australian National University writes: A month before the Women in Political Science Caucus meeting at the Australian Political Science Association conference in Canberra, Roger Shanahan\'s piece on the Lowy

We're carrying the flag for the US

In San Francisco this week, Australian and American leaders will mark the 60th anniversary of the US alliance. For Australia, they\'ve been good decades. Indeed, the US alliance has served Australia so well for so long that it has come to be seen as an irreducible feature of Australian strategic

Boat arrivals: Nostalgia is not a policy

I\'m somewhat confused by the concerns of Stewart West, an Immigration minister in the Hawke Government: The Prime Minister [Julia Gillard] affects concern about the danger of boat travel. Certainly it is dangerous. But the people on the boats are already fleeing persecution and danger. It is

The Pacific Solution was a fraud

Michael Clarke is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. The current \'debate\' over asylum-seeker policy in this country has reached new levels of absurdity on both sides of federal politics. On one hand we have a Labor-led minority government that has pushed for \'offshore

Geoff Gallop is wrong about N power

According to Geoff Gallop\'s recent opinion piece, all the questions about nuclear power have been answered — it\'s too dangerous, too expensive, too unpopular, and would be best left to die. We don\'t need it to tackle climate change and we can\'t afford it.  That\'s a pretty

Canberra 9/11 decade: The ADF

For the ADF, the 9/11 decade involved the most diverse set of deployments and highest operational tempo since Vietnam. The different demands made on the ADF reached beyond the alliance and the US war on terror to complex issues of neighbourhood and region and also to the strategic choices of the

A European spectre haunts Australian immigration

Dr Khalid Koser is Head of the New Issues in Security Program at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. While it appears that Andrew Metcalfe, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration, has been widely misquoted after his press briefing

Don't ignore the voice of Fiji people

Politicians and political parties the world over dismiss opinion polls when the results are inconvenient and embrace them when the results show support for their policies. So I wasn\'t surprised to see some of the reactions to the results of the Lowy Institute\'s Fiji Poll. I was personally

Friday funny: New Zealand

Sure, Andrew Denton\'s song is about the Olympics, but with the Rugby World Cup starting tonight, the sentiment still holds

The US military embraces Australia

Australia\'s Defence Minister says the military basing deal with the US to be unveiled next week will be the biggest step in the alliance in 30 years. Given that the AUSMIN (Australia-US Ministerial) meeting is being held in San Francisco to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing there of

The F-35 is more than enough

A piece by The Diplomat\'s Washington correspondent Eddie Walsh appeared online today quoting me on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It says that I think the F-35 is probably more capability than we need against Southeast Asian air forces. However... ...\"if the adversary is

Fiji poll: Challenges and opportunities

The Lowy Institute launches its first ever Fiji Poll, Fiji at Home and in the World, today in Auckland, New Zealand. We commissioned the poll to give a voice to the Fiji people, whose thinking about their own government and their relations with the world are not properly understood by either the