Tuesday 31 Mar 2020 | 15:22 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Friday linkage

China is addled by a peculiar form of cynicism, says Evan Osnos. Is Ahmadinejad on the way out in Iran? Allegations that the Bush White House asked the CIA to spy on blogger Juan Cole. A Foreign Policy.com overview on being gay in the Middle East. Are investors using the Aussie dollar as a

Thursday linkage

Does Mitt Romney\'s and Jon Huntsman\'s Mormonism shape their foreign policy? (h/t Michael). The Obama Administration says it is not at war in Libya. A lesson in parsing news reports carefully: this time on Pakistan\'s nuclear arsenal. Ernest Z Bower highlights Southeast Asia\'s

Kissinger on The Colbert Report

Why do comedians do the the best interviews? The obvious reason is because guests let their guard down, but I suspect it may also be because the questions are better. At least that\'s my excuse for watching Henry Kissinger on the Colbert Report (part two after the fold).  [fold

Wednesday linkage

A good sign Indonesians have embraced democracy: the youth don\'t find it cool. What are the strategic implications of the developing world\'s gender imbalances? What the Arab Spring can teach us about political change under authoritarian regimes. Italy joins the exodus from nuclear power

Tuesday linkage

What if China became a democracy? From an Indian perspective. The slow pace of military reform threatens to undermine Indonesia\'s regional ambitions. How a global conglomerate adapts to local conditions: the story of McDonalds\' Paneer burger. (H/t Browser.) Malaysia is

Friday linkage

Thanks to a combination of national laws, regional agreements and interest groups, protectionism is dying. One of the oldest and most consistently interesting English-language sites about Chinese media and urban life, Danwei, has had a face-lift and change of focus. Good question: why isn\'t the

Thursday linkage

The long list for the John Button Prize has been released, and Lowy Institute authors feature prominently. Africa is booming: \'adjusted for risk, Africa came out \"way above\" Asia and Latin America\'. Wise words: \'Indonesia\'s biggest challenge [is] making the hundreds of impressive

Wednesday linkage

Australia\'s parliament, as seen by a UK observer. It\'s not flattering. Stormy waters ahead for the Washington-Beijing relationship: US may announce F-16 upgrade deal with Taiwan. (Thanks Malcolm.) Good to see Russian President Medvedev challenge the international trend in copyright laws.

Tuesday linkage

Chinese cyberspies gone phishing. Rumour has it that Washington think tankers are changing their passwords fortnightly, such is the persistent penetration of their networks. Incredibly cool Guardian infographic explaining the short history of the Arab Spring. A Nobel Prize in Economics

Housekeeping: Recent posts link

If you\'ve clicked through to a post (rather than just reading it on the front page) you may have noticed a new feature we\'ve added showing recent posts: It\'s part of a series of upgrades we\'ll be doing to the site in coming months to improve the site for our growing

Monday linkage

Losing the argument: 62% of Australians want to withdraw from Afghanistan this year. Why Afghanistan needs a political settlement rather than a military result. The US Congress rebukes President Obama for engaging a no-fly zone in Libya without first seeking

The decline of the multilateral moment?

Kanishka Jayasuriya has raised the intriguing possibility that multilateralism is not a timeless and universally applicable technique, but a form of diplomacy that was enabled by a certain set of historical circumstances, and therefore in decline as those circumstances pass into history. With no

Friday linkage

The \'Jasmine revolution\' in China has been crushed, but Mongolian protests continue. A major new report by former world leaders calls for an end to the war on drugs. If only they had the courage to say it in office. An intriguing counter-factual: What if ASEAN never existed? The NYT has

Thursday linkage

Inhumane treatment of animals is already illegal in Indonesia. Enforcement is a different story. On Wednesday, the Foreign Minister made a strong argument for Australia\'s UNSC bid. The growing world food crisis (also, see FP.com\'s special food issue): Dan Drezner unveils the

Carbon is the problem, not electricity

Stephen Grenville made an important point in his post, though it helps prove Sam\'s argument: the emphasis should be on carbon: electricity can be produced by less carbon-intensive means (gas instead of brown coal), so the focus needs to be on carbon rather than, say, on energy

Wednesday linkage

DFAT is appearing before Senate Estimates today. You can watch proceedings here. A new online currency, Bitcoin has emerged: Would you trust it with your savings ? ASPI has a new report on Australia and maritime security in the South Pacific. The G-8 has made a semi-comeback

Call for questions: China-Japan relations

A quick reminder, we are still accepting questions for Peter Martin\'s Interpreter interview with Chinese Associate Professor Gui Yongtao, on China-Japan relations. This will be the first in a series of interviews for Interpreter readers, trying to offer insight into how Chinese public

Tuesday linkage

Joint Strike Fighter: Eric Palmer disagrees with the Andrew Davies post we published last week. From East Asia Forum: \'India, in its characteristically chaotic and uncoordinated fashion, is ending the culture of corruption.\' A European report on Australia\'s strategic culture

Monday linkage

Should foreign aid advocates also support open migration? Club Troppo suggests a wikipedia of infographics to aid Australia\'s public debate. Great idea. Chris Berg argues neoliberalism is the best path to world peace. The ADF is struggling to meet recruitment targets. The Hainan

Friday linkage

One for your bookmarks: the European Council on Foreign Relations has a blog. TIME\'s Global Spin blog (which lists The Interpreter on its blog roll; thanks guys) lists the top five false statistics that mean we get the world wrong. The GCC\'s expansion plans stem from the fact that

Thursday linkage

The Australian writes up Michael Fullilove\'s post about Rudd\'s frequent flying, but absent-mindedly neglects to mention the source for their quotes. Just an oversight, I\'m sure. Kim Jong Il is back in Beijing, meeting with Hu Jintao. McKinsey report on the \'sweeping\' economic

Reader riposte: The hardest words

Kien Choong writes in response: I tend to approach issues with a rational mindset — ie. there must be a single rational way to think about a matter. Something Amartya Sen wrote changed this for me (I hope!). In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Sen made two arguments for

Wednesday linkage

The Israel-Palestine peace process is still dead. Several Asia-Pacific states have steadily increased their submarine fleets. Charges have been laid against Hosni Mubarak and his family for the killing of demonstrators. NATO has launched its strongest strikes thus far against Libya

E-diplomacy in action: Interview with the UK Head of Digital Diplomacy

Jimmy Leach is Head of Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he leads one of the world\'s most dynamic e-diplomacy teams. He was good enough to do an email interview as part of this series on e-diplomacy. You can follow him on Twitter here, or on his blog.  &

Tuesday linkage

Another digger has been killed in Afghanistan in an IED explosion. Two more were injured. Chinese authorities cracking down on smoking and drink driving, sort of. A sad day for the blogosphere: Bill Easterly\'s AidWatch blog is shutting down. Yesterday we linked to the Obama Administration

Monday linkage

By 2025 half the world\'s economic growth will come from six countries; four are in our region. The US has renewed its sanctions against Myanmar. Two-speed economy: the risk of India\'s services-led growth. The conspiracy at Area 51: US used cardboard shapes to fool Russian satellites

Friday linkage

Reactions to Obama\'s speech on the Middle East from Hussein Ibish, Walter Russell Mead, The Arabist, Dan Murphy and Marc Lynch, while Stephen Walt yawns. Still more Obama speech reax: Peter Beinart and David Sanger argue it is a victory for Obama\'s idealist streak (thanks

Thursday linkage

Jon Fraenkel critiques Jenny Hayward-Jones\' recent Lowy Institute Policy Brief recommending a fundamental shift in Australia\'s Fiji policy. Obama is due to give a major speech on the Middle East later this week. China blocks the release of a UN report on Iran-North Korea ties. (h/t

Wednesday linkage

Ross Babbage attacks the cuts to defence in last week\'s budget. The Rwandan president argues with a journalist on twitter (h/t Fergus). Via Bosco, a thorough legal rundown of diplomatic immunity provisions, in light of the DSK scandal. (Though in a significant omission, I see no reference to

Tuesday linkage

Boston Consulting Group: \'We expect net labor costs for manufacturing in China and the U.S. to converge by around 2015\'. (H/t Pramit Pal Chaudhuri.) Planking has hit Taiwan. Why Timor-Leste should join ASEAN now, by President J Ramos-Horta. For those of us in the eastern capitals, Australia\'

Monday linkage

John Quiggin presents evidence that the era of solar power may almost be with us. A summary/quick analysis of the clashes along Israel\'s border this weekend. Gillard is (wisely) unwinding some of the centralisation of foreign policy in the PM\'s office. Mike Huckabee isn\'t running for US

Friday linkage

Two economists study the links between free trade agreements and democracy. Many a US politics wonk will mourn this news: Jim Lehrer is retiring from the PBS NewsHour. A new utilitarian study of war yields a blunt conclusion: \'the costs of war are rarely, if ever, worthwhile\'. Some quite

E-diplomacy in Korea: Café USA

Koreans are legendary for their embrace of technology. Not surprisingly, the State Department, via e-diplomat Ambassador Kathleen Stephens and her team, has had a lot of success with digital initiatives in Korea. One particularly interesting example is Café USA. To look at this platform in

Thursday linkage

The five tribes of global climate politics. One reason for Singapore\'s electoral shifts — the rise of social media. China\'s inflation has grown by 5.3%, well above Premier Wen Jiabao\'s target. The Navy is now going to lease an icebreaker to shore up its amphibious

E-diplomacy in action: Interview with Philip Roskamp

One of the most successful examples of the government use of social media has been the US Embassy in Jakarta\'s Facebook page, which we have profiled several times. In this email interview, Philip Roskamp, who runs the page (and is Assistant Press Attaché at

Wednesday linkage

Foreign Aid did well out of last night\'s budget. We\'ll have a full analysis up later. Wearing inline skates, \'Rollerman\' is forcing the Chinese military to obey traffic laws. A look at what motivates wartime photographers. Two great info-graphics on why the US has the most expensive 

Tuesday linkage

Hitchens on revolutions past and present; sadly, Hitchens\' condition is getting worse (h/t @Mfullilove). The political effects for Pakistan from hosting Osama are just beginning (h/t @Rory_Medcalf). It seems an \'air vortex\', not mechanical failure, brought down the helicopter in the

Monday linkage

The US has released home video footage of Osama, while al Qaeda admits his death. Five myths about Osama that can now be put to rest. Gareth Evans spoke recently on the development of R2P and its application to Libya. Singapore\'s PAP has won 81 of 87 seats at the weekend\'s election.

Friday linkage

\'To follow global energy affairs is to have a never-ending encounter with new infatuations.\' Worried about saying \'Obama\' instead of \'Osama\'? Salon looks at the linguistic confusion. NASA has confirmed Einstein\'s theory of gravity warping space and time. If, as US president, you cry

Hunting bin Laden: Military linkage

Australia is now the second-largest provider of military training to Pakistan. Was that why Defence Minister Stephen Smith was so coy about the role of the Pakistanis? Marc Ambinder has the best piece on the team that carried out the mission. The Age alleges Australian soldiers have

Cliffnotes: Reader responses

Following his challenge last week, ForeignPolicy.com\'s Daniel Drezner offers his top three IR books for an aspiring politician: 1)Walter Russell Mead, Special Providence. 2)David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (for Democrats); James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans (for Republicans). 

Wednesday linkage

Did torture help catch Osama bin Laden? Each side is reading into the story what it wants. Lowy Institute director Michael Wesley has a new book, \'There goes the neighbourhood: Australia and the rise of Asia\'. The number of asylum seekers has dropped considerably. New research

Wednesday linkage

Why didn\'t Pakistan pick up the US helicopters entering its airspace? Because the US used secretly developed stealth choppers. And stealthy surveillance drones, too. \'In this paper, we report on the first-ever test of the accuracy of predictions in the media.\' Ernie Bower from CSIS in

Friday linkage

An interview with Lowy\'s Linda Jakobson and Hugh White, on Gillard\'s trip to China.  East Timor will not be home to a proposed regional processing centre for asylum seekers. The Doha trade round is looking D.O.A. Hope now rests on a \'Plan B\'. Thai-Cambodian troops have

Wednesday Linkage

Welcome back to all our readers. The next overlap of Easter and ANZAC day holidays won\'t happen until 2038, so I hope all our Australian readers enjoyed their extended holiday. Socialism 3.0 as practiced in China (Thanks Peter). ForeignPolicy.com has launched

The Interpreter is on holiday

The Interpreter is on Easter holidays until Wednesday 27 April. However, check the site on Monday for an exclusive extract from the latest Lowy Poll, on Australian\'s views about sending troops to South Korea in the case of war. Have a happy and safe holiday. Photo by Flickr user

Wednesday linkage

The PM flies to Japan today to visit Japan, South Korea and China. Rowan Callick explores the challenges and opportunities for Gillard's trip. A profile of one of the Interpreter's favourite bloggers, Andrew Sullivan. Ahmed Rashid on the Obama administration's efforts to negotiate a way out

Reader Ripose: Libya & R2P

Sam Fairall-Lee writes: Hi Tim & Jess. Thanks for your posts, I found both quite insightful. However, where you ask 'what future do such actions have…'', my immediate response is 'not a very promising one'. Why' Because the R2P concept has caused global society to become less

Aid & development linkage

Crossposted from our sister-site Interpreting the aid review. We are blogging on for another few weeks. We are always on the look out for content, so if you have any views on the future policy direction of Australia's aid program (or something to share with readers) send it through

Friday linkage

New media solving old problems: Mark Colvin and Annabel Crabb reflect on twitter and journalism, while a Sydney suburb combats graffiti with crowdsourcing. (h/t Fergus) The New York Times manages to include the words 'diplomacy' and 'Bieber' in a headline. We are not amused (h/t Michael

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