Saturday 30 May 2020 | 06:56 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Thursday linkage

Tom Ricks has simple answers for Afghanistan. (Thanks Danielle.) Video of John Howard's speech to the Heritage Foundation. Malcolm Gladwell says the revolution will not be tweeted (thanks Michael). Plenty of ripostes to his argument here. Thom Woodroofe argues that, so far,

Aid & development linkage

The Guardian has launched a new website in partnership with the Gates Foundation to focus attention on global development. The aim is to create a global hub for information, debate and action by promoting long-term development stories and funneling data, bloggers and readers towards one

Friday linkage

From the Wall St Journal: 'US, ASEAN to push back against China'. (Thanks Pete.) Check out Sinocentric, a Taiwan-based blog on China and the Asia Pacific. Thought you'd seen the last of 'the Anglosphere'' John Howard is speaking at the Heritage Foundation next week, and it's an intriguing choice

Tuesday linkage

Washington insider Steve Clemons predicts a major US debate on Afghanistan in December. Should have interesting implications for our promised parliamentary debate. Japan stages military exercises to show how it would retake an island captured by China (and no, that's not my inference. A

Friday linkage

A Kiwi perspective on Hugh White's essay: Interpreter contributor and Lowy intern Matt Hill is also blogging for CogitAsia, CSIS's Asia blog. Via Ben Bland, a revealing New York Times interview with Lee Kuan Yew. He's looking old. New Mandala recommends this new blog on Thai politics: Siam

Monday linkage

Malcolm Cook recommends this piece on China's trade mercantilism, and this one on China's ambitions to build rail infrastructure in the Middle East. This is not a parody: American journalist meets Castro, who admits the Cuban model has failed. Castro then takes journalists to dolphin

Monday linkage

Indonesia: first, a deal with Korea to build fighter aircraft; now they want to make submarines' The South Korean Government announces a major expansion of its high-speed rail network. Also from the South Korean media, China has given Pyongyang a stern message: reform and open up

Wednesday linkage

Further to Fergus' posts on the ICC's recent offensives: yet another press release today – this time, the ICC Registrar is going to Kenya. US weekly The National Review examines Australia's election. (Thanks to Andrew for the link.) Poorly made in China: CFR's Elizabeth Economy

Friday linkage

How have China and India managed to grow so quickly' Industry policy, according to this article. Have at it, Hayekians and Friedmanites! CCTV footage of a British woman throwing a cat in a rubbish bin has made worldwide headlines. But in Malaysia, 60 babies have been found abandoned&

Thursday linkage

Canada scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian bombers as Prime Minister Harper prepares for a visit to the Arctic. The Obama administration's trade policy and Asia — still not connecting the dots.  It wasn’t only the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf that

Tuesday linkage

To avoid the grasp of corrupt officials, Afghan soldiers are being paid by electronic transfer. Trouble is, most of them can't read their bank statements. Also on the Afghan Army, because of attrition rates, it will need to recruit 86,000 new people by next October to meet its growth target of 37

Wednesday linkage

As foreshadowed by Rory on Monday, the new edition of the Pentagon's Chinese military power report has been released. Via the Daily Dish, some stunning colour photos of Depression-era America. Straight talk about Iran: 'The nuke nerds...have failed to contribute effectively to the Iran

Tuesday linkage

Yesterday James Brown proposed a collaborative open-source intelligence tool that would allow the public to participate in the mining and interpretation of data. Reader Thomas points to one example of where this is already occurring. Former Defence Department Secretary Paul Barratt

Thursday linkage

Economics blog Marginal Revolution often features 'Sentences to ponder'. The latest one is a doozy: 'A report from Harvard's Kennedy Center last year found that the world could cut global CO2 emissions by about 6 percent simply by scrapping price supports for fossil energy.' 'On balance, you

Tuesday linkage

Chinese entrepreneurs are making it in Africa. (Thanks to Clinton for the link.) One for your blog bookmarks: 4G WAR, which describes itself as being 'at the intersection of national security, counter insurgency, civil action and homeland security.' Stephen Walt says that, when it comes to

Aid and development linkage

An increasingly assertive Brazil is a growing provider of aid, while still being an aid recipient itself. The $35 laptop has arrived and it’s from India (via @owenbarder). Microsoft’s Senior Director of Community Affairs, Akhtar Badshah, on unleashing technology to advance social change.

Tuesday linkage

Malcolm Cook found this interesting Thai perspective on the politics of expanding the East Asia Summit. Taiwan’s South China Sea choice.  Michael Fullilove takes a look at what an Australian Coalition foreign policy might look like. A Japanese government panel to recommend relaxing '

Tuesday linkage

The end of cheap Chinese labour? Lloyd's of London hired Chatham House to write a report on energy security. Here's a critique. The ADF has been busy in Nauru, disposing of unexploded ordnance from World War II. (Thanks to Danielle for the link.) Walter Russell Mead says think tanks have

Wednesday linkage

In the course of a blistering blog post about the catastrophic failure of the global environmental movement, Walter Russell Mead recommends this Economist piece that argues for scepticism about the concept of 'climate wars'. Since nation-building is justifiably out of fashion, here's a

Economics linkage

The NY Times profiles economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, authors of the magisterial This Time is Different. (Via Greg Mankiw.) George Soros – who famously helped bring down an earlier European exchange rate experiment – delivers his thoughts on the euro crisis. See also Edward

Monday linkage

The market economy with Chinese characteristics: China cuts exports of rare earth metals by 72%. (Thanks to Malcolm for the link.) Foreign Minister Stephen Smith announced over the weekend that Australia's new ambassador to Indonesia will be Greg Moriarty. Why did Germans get so upset about

Friday linkage

Afghanistan: New Yorker journalist George Packer says no one 'has been able to come up with an alternative to the current strategy that doesn't carry great risks.' Democracy Arsenal lists several alternatives. Newly released Nixon tape transcripts will make uncomfortable reading for Henry

Wednesday linkage

A quick FYI: selected Interpreter columns appear weekly on the English-language site of the Chinese business magazine, Caixin. Recently we learned from CIA Chief Leon Panetta that there are just 50-100 al Qaeda members in Afghanistan. So what about Pakistan? More than 300, says another senior

Tuesday linkage

Why do we need diplomats? Because it's a profession with its own knowledge, procedures and language. '(D)iplomacy can well do without rank amateurs in the same way that medicine can do without snake-oil merchants.' ASEAN is becoming weaker, argues CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick. Freedom in retreat

Thursday linkage

For those of you who study Israeli affairs, here's a useful blog that translates the Hebrew media into English. (H/t The Arabist.) A very amusing and insightful post by an Indian blogger observing China from close-up. Britain's Royal United Services Institute publishes a defence of the Joint

Tuesday linkage

No blogging in China's People's Liberation Army. (Thanks to Malcolm for the link.) The formality of our Reagan/Gorbachev banner image is nicely juxtaposed by this shot of Obama and Medvedev with their interpreters, chowing down in a Washington, DC burger joint. (Thanks to Aaron for the link.)

Friday linkage

A few American blog commentaries I've found on Rudd/Gillard: Steve Clemons at the Washington Note, Matt Yglesias at the Center for American Progress, and Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy. The Weekly Standard's blog occasionally covers Australia, but nothing from them yet. Did you know that

Wednesday linkage

There are reports that General McChrystal has handed in his resignation after the furore over this Rolling Stone article. Information Dissemination highlights the most head-scratching part of this whole controversy: McChrystal was shown a draft of the piece and OKed it. Eliot Cohen, an expert

Still waiting for my blogger freebies

I'm still waiting for my stealth fighter from Boeing. I was once offered a free t-shirt if I mentioned a certain company in a blog post, but that's it. Source: Noise to Signal. H/t: Daily What

Tuesday linkage

The Lowy Institute has been following the expansion of China's aid program in the Pacific for some time, while the Economist asked back in 2003 whether China needed any more aid when it was launching men into space. Now the UK has said it can't justify aid to either China or Russia. The

Friday linkage

The European Council on Foreign Relations has launched a new policy paper: 'A Global China Policy'. (Thanks to Malcolm for the link.) Blown away by the winds of history: Global Dashboard notes the unintentionally apt logo for the upcoming G8 meeting. Leigh Sales has a good piece about what

900 million slum dwellers, and counting

Mary Fifita is a Lowy Institute intern working on a Policy Brief series tracking China's aid program in the Pacific. Even for those of us enduring Sydney's infrastructure woes, the devastating poverty, inadequate housing and substandard living conditions which result from accelerated

Tuesday linkage

The NY Times made a big splash on the weekend with a story about vast mineral reserves in Afghanistan that could 'fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself'. But Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell applies the brakes: it's not news, and it could be a Pentagon public

Friday linkage

Indonesia is leading online growth in Southeast Asia. The Carnegie Endowment is running big on the euro crisis. Here's their dedicated webpage, with lots of features. The Netherlands just held elections, and the leading party is decidedly unenthusiastic about further EU growth. From Our Man

5-minute Lowy lunch: Thailand

Yesterday, Wednesday Lowy Lunch subscribers were treated to an insightful look at the recent turmoil in Thailand by Dr Milton Osborne, who is only recently back from a trip there. I spoke to him afterwards about the significance of the unrest and the divisions within Thai society, the role of

Thursday linkage

The SMH recently reported on Australian concern that Timor Leste had accepted a Chinese gift of two patrol boats. China Defense Blog shows you just how fearsome these vessels are. The dependency is mutual: my colleague Malcolm Cook recommends this analysis of China's role in North Korea.

Monday linkage

FP blogger Dan Drezner says there was no good reason for Obama to cancel his Australia-Indonesia visit. A joint project between Indonesia and South Korea to build fighter jets? Further to Mark Thirwell's item about the big investment banks' World Cup forecasting efforts, here's a Melbourne-

Friday funny...sort of

In the wake of the British election, there has been a lot of discussion about the representativeness of the UK's electoral system. But a friend in Moscow alerted me to the fact that things could be much worse — take Russia, for example

Friday linkage

Japan has a new Prime Minister, former Finance Minister Naoto Kan. What he believes: WSJ's Japan RealTime blog has collected Naoto Kan quotes on all the big issues. Hatoyama's demise: CFR's Asia Unbound blog argues that his government was simply unprepared for the complexity and intensity of

Monday linkage

55% of Australians think China is the world's leading economic power? Fergus picked up on this, and The Atlantic's James Fallows is scratching his head too. The ABC's Peter McCutcheon snuffs out a possible North Korea-Pauline Hanson alliance. Ammunition for the Rudd Government: Turkey's

Wednesday linkage

After the Cheonan sinking, South Korea rethinks its ambitious 'blue water' navy plans. A frank and quite revealing interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (H/t Browser.) For Indians, English language skills have substantial economic benefits. Further to this post, the Prime Minister

Monday linkage

CORRECTION: We wrote last Monday that Australian aid to the Pacific had decreased in the new budget — it has in fact increased. See the correction appended to the post for details. Malcolm Gladwell on Operation Mincemeat, a timeless parable about the pitfalls of classified intelligence.

Thursday linkage

Visit The Irrawaddy for on-the-ground coverage of events in Bangkok. If The Australian is right, PM Rudd would seem to have taken up this 2007 suggestion from our old boss here at the Institute to de-couple the leaders meeting from APEC. America's death toll in Afghanistan passes 1000. Japan'

Tuesday linkage

Graeme Dobell's 'Oz spotting' column prompts me to link to the blog of the BBC's man in Sydney, Nick Bryant. He has a refreshing outsider's take on Australia. How heavily does Australia rely on mining taxes? Peter Martin has IMF data on how Australia compares with other countries. Educational

Monday linkage

I mentioned on Friday the retired Thai army general who was shot in the head by a sniper in Bangkok. Turns out he was talking to a NY Times reporter when it happened. You won't believe his last words. (H/t Global Dashboard.) The Rudd Government wants to have it both ways on nuclear

Friday linkage

With shots fired in Bangkok and a suspended Thai army general hit and in a coma, New Mandala is posting regular comments to update the situation. Bangkok Pundit is also worth a look. Drone strikes: Pakistani newspaper Dawn reinforces the argument made by Samina Ahmed that locals don't

Aid & development linkage: Country donors

Fresh off the press, Australia’s 2010-11 aid budget sees a small increase from $3818 million in 2009-10 to $4349 million in 2010-11. Confusion arises when delving into the gross national income (GNI) figures as the government has implemented a new accounting standard which a more patient

Tuesday linkage

Michael Green in the WSJ says don't go wobbly on North Korea (subscribers only). Michael Fullilove takes you on a more personal tour of Washington in this Spectator piece. Rory Medcalf gives you a more personal look at India in this one.  From the NYT, the fraying seams in the fight against

Reader riposte: Drones over the long-term

Peter writes in with this contribution to the drone debate. A recent article by the LA Time illuminates more aspects of the drone attacks on terrorist groups operating from the FATA pertinent to this ongoing blog debate... In these drone attacks, as an earlier post makes clear, the US

Monday linkage

Sam was sceptical of the new missile system Iran recently unveiled at a parade, but this analysis suggests it might be a bit more than some oil drums welded together and thrown on the back of a truck.  Social experiments to end poverty? Iran hosts a nuclear dinner party. Your UN Security

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