Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:37 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Wednesday linkage

Why are we still pursuing David Hicks over his book deal?The return of the Suharto clan to Indonesian politics.An inside look at the new cabinet in Thailand. Notably: zero redshirt supporters.Is the Obama Administration slowly inching away from Taiwan? (If so, good).Amazing 

Tuesday linkage

Saudi Arabia\'s real concern in Syria is not human rights but Iranian influence. One for academic economists: will blogs help you increase the readership of your new paper? Daryl Morini has a paper on preventing war in the South China Seas, responding in part to Lowy\'s Crisis and

Monday linkage

\'In the center of the town, a four-story building lies on its side\': photos and video from Onagawa, Japan, four months after the tsunami. Top ten songs about nuclear war. Stephen Walt re-thinks the merits of the first Gulf War. Rudd calls for Australia to abstain from UN vote to recognise

Friday linkage

Duncan Lewis to head Defence, meaning two military officers (one ex-) now run the Department. The BRICs are looking less and less to the West for investment. Vietnam is getting a submarine fleet. The US has spent as much on missile defence as the Apollo space program. Only the latter

Thursday linkage

Eminent social scientist Phillip Tetlock invites your participation in a prediction tournament. From The Atlantic, an impressive photo essay of North Korea. The Asia Foundation\'s Bruce Tolentino describes the spectacle of a Kabul wedding. North Korea\'s nuclear program: a short literature

Is the internet an economic engine?

As you might have seen yesterday, a new report, \'The Connected Continent: How the Internet is the transforming Australia\'s economy\', claims the internet is now one of Australia\'s most valuable economic engines:   This reflects the consensus view, one Australia\'s politicians

Wednesday linkage

The Ozblogosphere reacts to The Australian\'s hit piece on economist and blogger John Quiggin. The NY Times on Australia\'s Greens. A former soldier defends civilian strategists, in response to Rodger Shanahan\'s post. Gareth Evans continues to make the case for the

Reader riposte: R2P and knowing when to act

Andrew Farran writes: The weakness of Tim Dunne\'s comment lies in the following passage: \'Where it is clear that military intervention will do more harm than good, no right-thinking R2P supporter will advocate such a course of action.\' It has become clear in the case of Libya that this is

Reader riposte: Branding and Americanisation

Laura Crommelin was an intern for the Lowy Institute in 2010. She is now doing a PhD in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW, looking at urban branding in post-industrial cities. The reader riposte on \'Americanisation\' caught my eye as it touches on an issue I\'m now working on for

Tuesday linkage

The US considered tunneling into Osama Bin Laden\'s compound. (h/t @RaoulHeinrichs) Iran is downplaying the death of a nuclear scientist, despite possible Western involvement. A look at Pakistan\'s 34-year-old Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar. Bangladesh\'s unhappy 40th

Reader riposte: Strategy and operations

Roger Fortier (aka Milpundit) responds to Rodger Shanahan: Mostly agree. But there\'s also an appellation in the US Army, \'big squad leader\', testament to the many highly successful battalion and brigade commanders who cannot think operationally. Ah, the stories I could tell. There\'s an old

Monday linkage

The war in Libya is not going well, and Qadhafi is secure. Is Barack Obama now the underdog for 2012? Australia is seen as a \'soft underbelly\' for cyber-spies to access US and UK intelligence. A \'useful\' how-to guide for being an Afghan expert. Comparing: how hawks in

PNG and the myth of altruistic aid

Danielle Romanes is a development economics and political science post-grad student interning in the Lowy Institutes\'s Myer Foundation Melanesia Program.  Responding to the aid debate provoked by Hugh White, Michael Cornish argues: Australia is being transparent when it states

Friday linkage

More honoured in the breach: David Bosco says any deal that allows Qadhafi to stay in Libya would violate the UN Security Council\'s own resolution. NATO is also allowing Libya\'s rebels to operate a fledgling air force, in spite of the no-fly zone. Introducing Worldcrunch, translating the

Strategic corporal or tactical strategist?

A friend of mine, still in uniform, was reading an Interpreter debate thread about the utility/futility of our presence in Afghanistan and asked me what I thought was meant when one contributor wrote about the \'...lack of mutual understanding (that) has underwritten much of the tension

Thursday linkage

The Greek bailout was a huge transfer of wealth from European taxpayers to the rich. A Wall Street Journal interactive graph comparing worldwide debt ratios. Australia does well. Further to Sam\'s short post yesterday about Rupert Murdoch\'s power to swing policy and elections, some data on

Wednesday linkage

The aid debate that Hugh White started in the opinion pages and which has continued on The Interpreter is back in the opinion pages. A powerful ABC Radio report on childbirth in Afghanistan. Russia\'s rural demographic crisis. Note to our readers who know about Burma:

Through Chinese eyes: Pan Wei (part I)

Armed with your questions, David Cohen and Peter Martin from Sinocentric speak to Peking University\'s Pan Wei, a political scientist who has written extensively about the \'China Model\'. Next week, in part II, the professor explains why he no longer believes China needs the rule of

Tuesday linkage

Some historical background to the Somali famine. In defence of PowerPoint: Tim Harford goes there. (Thanks Stephen.) Busted! Two Chinese high-speed trains collided last week, and now photos and video are emerging of authorities quickly burying the wreckage, perhaps with bodies still inside. I

Reader riposte: Australia-China grand bargain

Robert Ayson, Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, Wellington, writes: Graeme Dobell\'s draft for an Australia-China pact recognises the gap in Australia\'s growing stable of bilateral concords: it does not have one with its leading trade partner, with the

Monday linkage

Further to the Larry Summers quote we ran last Thursday, here\'s the response from the Winklevoss twins. Stephen Walt urges greater academic participation in the public sphere. Kurdish demands for statehood grind on, though without much international support. Does Europe now

Friday linkage

From the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, a German perspective on Australia\'s great China debate. East Asia Forum previews the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting in Bali. Deja vu all over again: US Congress urges EU to maintain China arms embargo. (Thanks Malcolm.) Per Square Mile: a

Time to open the academic vault

Over the weekend, Reddit founder Aaron Swartz was arrested for hacking into MIT, in a bid to access and share the contents of JSTOR, a humanities-focused academic article database. Matthew Yglesias makes an important point: Right now in academic publishing,

Thursday linkage

The unhealthy Pakistani obsession with India. Just how valid is the \'string of pearls\' theory for China\'s ambitions? A call for more town-hall events from visiting diplomats (rather than rehashed speeches). How sceptical should we be of Iran\'s claim to have shot down a US

Wednesday linkage

What\'s the carbon tax actually for? Definitely read the comments thread for this one; very enlightening. A rare mention of the Tiananmen Square massacre in the Chinese media. Just don\'t hold your breath for an objective take. I\'ve been reading Christopher Hitchens columns for twenty years,

The medium is the message

From a recent Slate piece on the role of the internet in the Arab Spring:  I thought Arab bloggers began with grievances and turned to the Internet to address them. But sometimes, apparently, it\'s the other way around. Al Omran said he started blogging just to practice his English. Once

Tuesday linkage

On China and Ai Weiwei: \'...abuse of dissenters...is characteristic of not just sclerotic, immovable regimes, but also of authoritarian systems undergoing profound processes of change and liberalization.\' The Obama Administration is lobbying the US senate to ratify the CTBT. There are at least

Monday linkage

The Libyan conflict via a helmet-mounted camera. Ron Huisken argues against US bases in Australia. A survey of what Australian economists think. Strangely ambivalent lot, actually. The EU introduced a common currency, but little else in how business operates. The economic foundations of al

Friday linkage

With Thailand\'s electoral commission not yet ready to endorse Yingluck Shinawatra\'s victory, is a judicial coup in the offing in Thailand? The New York Times has further analysis. Australia\'s economists took a vote, and they back the Government\'s carbon tax over Tony Abbott\'s direct

Thursday linkage

China\'s progress on intellectual property: a summary of a new National Bureau of Asian Research report. Gulp. It\'s global trade war and recession unless the US takes action, argues Warwick McKibbin. Can Asia power a golden age of natural gas? An alarming rise in space debris&

Wednesday linkage

A \'forecasting tournament\' to judge which political prediction method gets the best results. An in-depth look at Stuxnet, the computer virus that hobbled Iran\'s nuclear program. People tend to form beliefs that \'advance their personal goals and help them get along with the

Tuesday linkage

Australian economists show that blogging can lead to policy influence and research success. The Arab Spring: is Palestine next? A profile of the CIA analyst who spent the better part of a decade looking for Usama bin Laden, and finally got his man. John Le Carre on the new film adaptation

Is blogging over?

Jonathan Rauch, guest-blogging for Andrew Sullivan, writes: For people who want to read and think, which is still a lot of people, the worldwide web is an incorrigibly hostile environment. Thank goodness, it is already in the process of being displaced by the far more reader-friendly world of

Monday linkage

Those focusing on economic problems in Europe\'s south need to turn their gaze east. Libya\'s rebels are using decades old Italian Carcano bolt-action rifles and carbines and nifty home-made remote-control rocket launchers. From a Russian observer: how the Cold War helped shape China\'s

Thursday linkage

Some actual good news on our Indonesia relationship: passenger flights between our two countries are set to double. Bush\'s Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte would not have ordered the invasion of Iraq. (Thanks @mfullilove) Some pretty clear results after 10 years of

Tuesday linkage

The Malaysian king makes a rare foray into domestic politics. George Monbiot tries again to make the case for nuclear power. The worst drought in 60 years hits the Horn of Africa. (h/t @nickbryantbbc). An intriguing map of development and resources in Africa. The end of the

How not to do an interview

The reductio ad absurdum of modern media management, by UK Opposition Leader Ed Miliband: Miliband would probably defend this by arguing that the BBC was only ever going to run a ten-second grab, so he needed to make sure his key message got across. But as Bob Carr told me last week, a talented

The China obsession

If politics is showbiz for ugly people, International Relations must be the fashion district. Every few years the obsession of scholars changes rapidly, with terrorism, the Middle East, and now China earning the attention of the biggest names and weight of coverage this decade. Yet I

Monday linkage

While the rebels move closer to Tripoli, Qadhafi plays chess. Puea Thai has won the Thai election, and the country gets its first female PM. An Olympic bid is a great incentive to open your economy — win or lose. The US and China have many similar domestic challenges that may

Friday linkage

Last week Justin Jones speculated that US Navy carrier aircraft may have hit terrorist targets in Somalia — turns out it was a drone strike. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh breaks his silence over recent governance and corruption controversies. (Thanks Rory.) A

Thursday linkage

Danish paper has leaked memos from the highest levels of China\'s government suggesting a tightening grip on political speech. But some of the experts cited in the articles say they were misquoted. (Thanks Alistair.) James Fallows has a pop quiz: Can you pick someone\'s nationality

Wednesday linkage

Why we need to settle the human race on Mars. (h/t Rory) David Cameron is trying to talk the UK back into global relevance. It isn\'t working. South Korea is changing its rules of engagement, fearing another attack by the North. The White House is finally pushing for a vote on three

Reader riposte: US-AUS strategic outlooks

Peter Layton responds to Sam Roggeveen: In line with CSIS\'s Mike Green I am a little surprised at your surprise. While Nicolas Burns may be a little more hard line than Mike\'s formulation, US thinking on China has for several years (at least) been to favor a mixture of balancing and engaging.&

Tuesday linkage

The Economist\'s Banyan columnist looks at Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Wesley\'s new book. What\'s constraining innovation in Thailand? Also on Thailand, an explosive new report on the monarchy. More analysis of the annual Lowy poll from W Thomas Webb, an American studying

Monday linkage

Polls are showing a large lead for Puea Thai in Thailand\'s elections on 3 July. Worrying food shortages on Bougainville atolls. Lots of rumours are flying about a critically ill Hugo Chavez. The internet has some fun with news al Qaeda wants to rebrand itself. Robert Kaplan on

Friday linkage

White House transcript of President Obama\'s Afghanistan withdrawal speech. Ten years on, how\'s the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation doing? In Africa, the key barrier to internet access may be literacy, rather than a lack of hardware. Tunisian tourist board using police brutality as an

Thursday linkage

A global poll shows support for negotiating with the Taliban. (h/t Fergus) Greg Sheridan suggests the government will lift its ban on selling uranium to India. Lowy\'s Michael Fullilove on China\'s relationship with the UN. Women hold only 19% of seats in parliaments worldwide. Fighting

Wednesday linkage

Are social media and the Arab Spring the death knell for terrorism? It\'s 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, yet many myths abound. China is diversifying away from the US dollar. Defence is shifting assets to WA, recognising the strategic importance of the

Reader riposte: Defence choices are generational

Anton Kuruc writes: I am not sure what to make of Peter Layton\'s riposte to Jim Molan. Yes, the Government calls the shots and Defence is but one of many competing priorities. I don\'t think anyone in uniform would bother to dispute such an uncontroversial statement. The more substantive point

Tuesday linkage

Intelligence services and think tanks compared. (Thanks Danielle.) An ex-soldier returns to Baghdad. Accompanying photo essay here. (H/t Sullivan.) Kiwi blogger Crosby Walsh was not impressed with Graeme Dobell\'s recent Fiji series. The top 100 foreign policy twitter

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