Defensive driving is Smith’s new mission

March 29, 2012

The best way for embattled Defence Minister Stephen Smith to repudiate the criticism that he has lost the confidence and respect of the defence force is to focus on his core job of providing strategic direction to his department. This means more than talking about cultural change or announcing the latest equipment purchase. Read more

The Pacific Power: America’s renewed engagement with Asia comes at an opportune time

February 16, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s proclamation that the “United States is back in Asia” begs the question of whether the US could be said to have ever really left. Since its comprehensive defeat of Japan in the 20th century’s second great war, the US has maintained a substantial, unbroken strategic presence in Asia, fought in two other major conflicts (Korea and Vietnam) and is still engaged in a shadowy, ‘long war’ against terrorist groups in the Muslim heartland of Southeast Asia. For many Asians, the US is the principal guarantor of regional stability. Like it or not, America remains Asia’s indispensable power.
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Hello again America, it’s just like you never left

November 14, 2011

“So I don’t think there is any doubt, if there were when this administration began, that the United States is back in Asia. But I want to underscore that we are back to stay.” Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, January 12, 2010. Read more

Syria’s Interlocking Conflicts

November 1, 2011

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces last Friday announced the commencement of an operation to conquer the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.  The operation was designated ‘Euphrates Wrath.’ Read more

Let’s end muddled thinking on China

June 22, 2011

ESCALATING tensions between China and its Southeast Asian neighbours over disputed islands in the South China Sea are the latest, worrying sign that China’s rise is ushering in a new era of strategic volatility and geo-political competition in Asia, that will be at its most dangerous in the Western Pacific. Read more

U.S. Security Interests: Aims and Challenges in an Evolving Asia

April 14, 2011

Sustaining Stability, Coping with Conflict, Building Cooperation?

Except for the problem of North Korea, East Asia has been a region of comparative stability. U.S.-PRC relations have continued a long period of stability despite the frictions that have accompanied China’s rise. Cross-Strait relations have warmed rapidly. U.S.-Japan security ties have remained strong, underpinned by common regional interests and concerns.
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Battle for Power: Iran vs. Turkey in northern Iraq

April 1, 2011

The Iraqi special forces have now entered the first neighborhoods of the city of Mosul. Captured by the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, the city constitutes the jewel in the crown of the Sunni jihadis’ Iraqi holdings. It may be assumed that they will fight with determination to hold it. Read more