Friday 05 Jun 2020 | 01:35 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Monday linkage

ASEAN is the flavour of the month. Estimating the wealth of Indonesia\'s trillionaires. Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggests learning Asian languages should be mandatory.  Habermas bemoans the possible fall of his generation\'s project: a united Europe. Niall Ferguson threatens

Friday linkage

The more things change...US arms behemoth General Dynamics announces that it will build 125 new Abrams tanks for the Egyptian army. Kishore Mahbubani outlines Singapore\'s view of the US \'pivot\'. (h/t WRM.) No one turned up to the Occupy Singapore protest. The activism is online instead.

Response to reader query on US bases

Responding to Matt Zurstrassen\'s questions, Reuben Hintz writes: Based on this link, it appears that the US Marines headed to Darwin will not be coming from any specific locale; nor is there any direct link to the Okinawa to Guam relocation that has been on indefinite hiatus for several years

Wednesday linkage

The Arabist on the protests in Egypt. There will be no global climate treaty this decade. (H/t WRM.) A new e-book on the \'Responsibility to Protect\' doctrine, including essays from Gareth Evans, Ramesh Thakur, and the Lowy Institute\'s Rodger Shanahan. On China, Obama and the Republicans find

Tuesday linkage

I\'ve been waiting for someone to mention this: Laurie Oakes on Tony Abbott\'s weird Graham Greene reference in his remarks welcoming Obama to parliament. The three currents of protest that brought down Mubarak — labour, professional and popular — are still shaping post-Mubarak

Monday linkage

How ASEAN views New Zealand and why ASEAN is unlikely to become another EU. Indonesia is unwilling to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, at least for the moment. End of the middle-class suburb: income inequality is literally changing the US landscape. A secret cable from Pakistan seeking US

Friday linkage

The Guardian has slideshow evidence of the cosy, \'sometimes a little handsy\', demeanour of Gillard and Obama. (Thanks Graeme.) Asia\'s rise, the West\'s fall? The transcript of the 2011 Lowy Lecture, by FT editor Lionel Barber, is now on our website. The World Bank has a rather handsome

Thursday linkage

The Bulletin of Atomic Sciences has a new report on China\'s nuclear arsenal. (Thanks Janice.) Nepal\'s prime minister leads a cabinet with 49 members. He admits he doesn\'t know all of their names. (Thanks Amy.) The opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian Games in Palembang evoked images

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

Wednesday linkage

The Lowy Institute has released an Outcomes Report from its 4-5 September Pacific and the World conference. The report and heaps of related links here. The Asia Foundation has released its latest Afghanistan survey, including this neat infographic that allows you to scan regional results

Tuesday linkage

Prime Minister Gillard backs the sale of uranium to India, though she will first seek ALP conference support. What the hell, China? Gizmodo asks why China appears to be building gigantic structures in the desert. (Thanks James.) Henry Kissinger on George Kennan. Useful summary of some

Monday linkage

\'...the job descriptions for hacks, spooks, diplomats and wonks are becoming less and less distinct\'. Rory Medcalf on foreign policy and social media. India positioning itself for US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The demographics of the Australian Defence Force. (h/t @securityscholar.) If

Friday linkage

As promised yesterday, the SMH\'s Peter Hartcher has details of a new US Marine base in Darwin, to be officially announced by Obama next week. The Atlantic\'s Max Fisher writes, somewhat fancifully, that \'Australia, like the nations of the Persian Gulf, might be willing to hand its foreign

Thursday linkage

One of the few commentaries on the security and political aspects of the Thailand floods. (Thanks Milton.) The other Greek crisis: illegal immigration. A six-year real-time Twitter account of WWII. They\'re up to 1939. Obama, the quiet hawk. Nineteen things that can\'t be said

Wednesday linkage

Why are we bothering with a carbon tax if the cost of solar energy is steadily declining? \'Most of the world’s poor live in countries that have moved from low- to middle-income country status since 1999...\' New Mandala recommends this new account of what\'s happening in Burma

Tuesday linkage

Hugh White enters the Asia literacy debate, proposing that we send young Australians to Asia en masse rather than teaching them here. While Europe falls, the BRICs are falling apart. Why Tokyo\'s privatised rail service is so successful. Urban density seems to be a key factor. What would

Monday linkage

Members of the SEAL team that got Osama offer even more details about the raid.  A new ASPI report on Defence outsourcing and loss of expertise. The new sci-fi thriller In Time is being parsed for its economic themes. \'What\'s quirky about the United States?\', asks Tyler Cowen.

Reader riposte: Drones and the nature of war

Below, a further response from Crispin Rovere. But first, Nic Maclellan: In your debate over precision guided munitions (PGMs) and drones, Roger Fortier asks whether we would prefer \'the precise killing of those who would do us harm made possible by smart weapons, or the  good old days of

Reader riposte: Digital interpreters

Cameron Crouch writes: A quick thought in relation to The Interpreter\'s ongoing debate about Australia\'s Asia literacy: do advances in machine translation reduce the need for Australians to learn Asian languages? The notion that Google Translate can already speak \'57 languages as well as a 10

Friday linkage

India and Pakistan have normalised their trade relations. Relevant to our drone discussion: It\'s the 100th anniversary of aircraft as tools of war. The Five Power Defence Arrangement finds new life at 40. (Thanks James.) Club Troppo contributes to our Asia literacy debate. Daily tension: the

Reader riposte: Drones and morality

Roger Fortier writes: Crispin is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. The Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program he cites is operated from Nellis AFB, but is merely one of many drone systems in use by the US. The trailer containing the ground control system can be

Thursday linkage

Presumably we want G20 leaders to actually talk at their gatherings rather than just read speeches. So why is the table they sit around so damn big? The cost of a mobile phone depends largely on how much you use it. Welcome to the future of the motor car... Seoul has launched a hugely

Wednesday linkage

A new Pentagon review will recommend less emphasis on counter-insurgency and more on maritime operations in the Asia Pacific. (H/t Compass.) China raises its minimum wage, potentially pushing manufacturing into Southeast Asia. Qadhafi\'s overthrow has left tons of chemical weapons to be

Tuesday linkage

Matt Yglesias wonders why Europe needs to ask China for euros, given they could just get more from their own bank. Is it because Europe\'s leaders are reluctant to let the ECB act as lender of last resort? Photos from a North Korean \'fun\' park. Ten of 18 countries in south and

The second draft of history

Last month, Sam noted the peril of being a heavy non-fiction reader. Tomes over 600 pages demand an investment of time most of us are unwilling, or unable, to give. Thankfully, there is an emerging alternative called Kindle Singles which are playing an increasingly important role in public debate

Monday linkage

Is China bringing in its own workers to build an extension to the Chinese Embassy in Canberra? The Arab intellectuals who didn\'t roar. (h/t @mfullilove.) Russian architecture after the October revolution: \'...the only avant-garde design movement in history embedded in government policy

Friday linkage

Addressing the India-Pakistan divide through economic engagement. Is progress in Burma passing Aung San Suu Kyi by? China seeks military bases in Pakistan, but does so out of fear of Islamic militants. Two good pieces urging caution over fears of \'Islamocracy\' in Tunisia. The 1914 wreckage

Thursday linkage

The Joint Strike Fighter project is ten years old. According to the original schedule, several hundred aircraft would have been delivered by now. 3D printing could allow weapons to be built at home, unknowable to authorities. What does the US pullout from Iraq mean for claims of empire? Chinese

Wednesday linkage

An interactive map that tracks vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. (H/t Stewart Patrick.) Richard Branson reveals how Virgin Atlantic was born: \'In \'79, when Joan, my fiancee and I were on a holiday in the British Virgin Islands, we were trying to catch a flight to Puerto Rico; but the

Tuesday linkage

South Korea unveils the design of the ambitious new fighter aircraft it intends to develop and build with Indonesian help. The European economic crisis is all about Italy now. Lowy Institute Fellow Hugh White wants Australia\'s corporate leaders to offer some ideas on geo-politics and

Monday linkage

It\'s summit season for the PM: CHOGM, G-20, APEC, EAS, and a visiting US President. Complicated succession plans inside the House of Saud. The Economist on the growing relationship between India and Vietnam. Subprime nation: Mark Thirlwell has a new paper on America\'s economic policy

Friday linkage

Watch as Hillary Clinton is informed of Qadhafi\'s death. \'...foreign executives consistently misunderstand several key features of the Chinese system\'. The WSJ Asia on China\'s succession plan. (Thanks Andrew.) A series of tongue-in-cheek maps showing the spread of radiation from Japan\'s

Thursday linkage

DFAT is appearing before Senate Additional Estimates today. You can stream it here. What is the role of blogs in disseminating and debating academic research? The Guardian reports on a malaria vaccine that could save millions. (H/t Larvatus Prodeo.) Indonesia has a new cabinet, but hopes are

Wednesday linkage

Our thanks to Annabel Crabb, who gave The Interpreter a plug during her speech to the Sydney Institute. Cash-strapped governments in Europe and the US are about to conduct a giant social experiment by cutting education spending. What will happen? Egypt protesters advising America\'s \'

Tuesday linkage

Frequent Interpreter contributor Raffaello Pantucci has co-authored a NY Times op-ed on the fears driving Russia\'s \'Eurasian Union\' proposal. (Thanks Andrew.) The Economist looks at the role of women in the Arab Spring. (Thanks Martine.) Remember that Chinese village full of

Monday linkage

Burmese workers now allowed to form unions and go on strike. Applying the platypus test: Christopher Joye recommends this speech by the Reserve Bank\'s Dr Luci Ellis on how to see the signs of financial instability. A profile of Uganda\'s Lord\'s Resistance Army, against whom

Friday linkage

How to prevent a depression, by Nouriel Roubini. Korea shaken by a new film depicting a real-life case of sexual abuse of children. German foreign policy is coming unstuck, and Germany\'s policy elites have lost interest. Indonesia well placed to survive a global economic downturn. A

Principles and the NPT

I admire Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, but he has just put out a press release on uranium sales to India that rather artfully backfires: Labor\'s own policy bans the sale of nuclear fuel to countries that have refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), yet there is a danger the

Thursday linkage

John Gray rips into Stephen Pinker\'s thesis that violence is in decline. Andrew Sullivan on reconciling conservatism with modernity. I don\'t think Tony Abbott has quite squared this circle yet. China\'s support for Pakistan carries many long-term domestic risks. Not the first time this

Wednesday linkage

Politics in Spires, a combined Oxford-Cambridge site on politics and international relations. (Thanks Will.) What do political speechwriters have against paragraphs? Hillary Clinton has an extended essay in Foreign Policy on America in the Asia-Pacific Century. Indonesia\'s approach to climate

Tuesday linkage

The ABC has posted video of an Afghanistan debate held in July, featuring Interpreter regulars Raoul Heinrichs and Jim Molan. Australian politics blog Club Troppo asks whether there can be a substantive global climate change agreement in an anarchical international system. The children

How much should leaders know?

In 2000, George W Bush\'s campaign hit a rough spot when he couldn\'t answer an interview question over who was the president of Pakistan. With Herman Cain rising in the polls for the 2012 GOP nomination, similar world-knowledge questions are being asked. Cain, however, has a different answer

Monday linkage

A quick search of GOP presidential nomination front-runner Mitt Romney\'s foreign policy White Paper reveals 0 references to Australia. India\'s National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on the role of military forces in international relations. (H/t GD.) Boston Consulting says

Friday linkage

Vietnam has a staggering 26 million internal migrants who come from the country to the cities. A road-mobile North Korean ICBM would be a big problem for Australia. The Economist on Steve Jobs and American decline. Joshua Kurlantzick reviews a new study of Deng Xiaoping, whom

Thursday linkage

\'Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked\'. Steve Jobs, who died today. For Middle East watchers, this looks like a blog worth following. American bloggers are also debating the Tobin Tax.

Wednesday linkage

Economist John Quiggin joins the Lowy Institute\'s Stephen Grenville in calling for a Tobin Tax. CNAS, Obama\'s favourite think tank, says cut the army, forget counterinsurgency. Martin Wolf says it\'s time for the UK to employ the nuclear option: printing money. (In an

Tuesday linkage

Linda Jakobson, now with the Lowy Institute, was lead author of this SIPRI study on China-Russia security and energy relations.  Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates: \'It appears that as a result of several long-building, polarizing trends in American politics and culture, we have lost

Friday linkage

\'The 21st century will be another American century\', and other bad predictions. Some historical analysis of world energy prices, with the important caveat that these prices have never incorporated externalities such as pollution. Mocking Thomas Friedman is easy sport, but when done well, it is

Thursday linkage

Feel the need for a holiday? Political Tours seems tailor-made for Interpreter readers. Citizen journalism in North Korea. Tackling \'risk illiteracy\'. Aimed at the general public, but some clear lessons for policy-making. Q&A with Founder of \'I Paid a Bribe\', India\'s anti-corruption

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