Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:21 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:21 | SYDNEY

Rudd foreign policy: If it looks like a duck...


Sam Roggeveen


13 December 2007 14:39

Last week's Wednesday Lowy Lunch panel discussion on the new Labor Government's foreign policy included this observation from our International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf (I'm quoting from my own notes here, not out of Rory's mouth):

Rory Medcalf said Labor will have to be careful that its early foreign policy moves don't make it look more radical than it really is: pulling out of Iraq, getting somewhat closer to China and ruling out uranium sales to India could collectively send the wrong signal to Washington.

ComingĀ from the school that thinks Kevin Rudd won't radically change foreign policy in comparison to the Howard Government, this struck me as a reasonable observation. But in today's news we find that not only has Mr Rudd sent a message to the US to change its climate change policies, but he has reiterated his pre-election pledge that Australia could use the navy to monitor the Japanese whaling fleet.

So at what point do we stop saying Rudd's foreign policy is in danger of looking radical, and start saying that it is, in fact, radical?