West at risk as US loses military edge

January 26, 2019

The West is slowly losing the contest for pre-eminence in the emerging international order. Brexit is just one manifestation of the crisis of confidence enveloping liberal democracies beset by a rising tide of dissent, self-doubt, identity pol­itics and a loss of trust in the foundational institutions of the post-World War II order. Read more

A Foreign Affair discussion on Britain, Russia, China and Afghanistan

January 26, 2019

A Foreign Affair discussion focusses on the British and Brexit, Putin’s alliances and his visit to Serbia, China’s space race and what this means to globally and recent attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan and what this means for peace talks as well as ISIS attacks in Syria against US marines. Read more

Getting the China Challenge Right – Aaron Friedberg

January 10, 2019

What is at stake in the emerging contest between Washington and Beijing is nothing less than the future prosperity and security of free societies—in Asia and around the world.

American and other Western observers often cast the China challenge in primarily material terms, as an inevitable byproduct of the country’s growing wealth and power. The basic premise here is that rising states naturally seek to expand the sphere of their influence, and dominant powers, seeking to defend their privileges, naturally oppose them.
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US-China clash a reminder of ideals lost in cyberspace

December 14, 2018

Welcome to the tech wars. Despite her release on bail, the arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has ratcheted up simmering tensions between China and the US in a global contest for technological supremacy between the leaders of competing and increasingly incompatible systems of governance. This quest for information dominance is a driver of global cyber conflict, a shadowy undeclared war that is intensifying and becoming a serious security concern for Australia. Read more

Blue continent needs a coalition of the willing

December 9, 2018

The challenges for national security and foreign policy continue to mount. News about the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer for alleged infringements of US sanctions against Iran broke at the same time as espionage concerns were reignited by the Chinese technology company’s plan to build a pan-Pacific undersea internet cable from Chile to China via Sydney. This raises the possibility that Australian internet traffic could be intercepted covertly at the cable’s Sydney node. Read more

China on Road to a Big Crash

November 10, 2018

Relations with China look set to thaw after a lengthy diplomatic freeze brought about by the ­Coalition’s tough response to Chinese influence operations in Australia, cyber theft and a growing rivalry in the South ­Pacific.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s two-day visit to Beijing is being touted as an icebreaker. A follow-up visit by Scott Morrison is likely despite China’s displeasure over Canberra’s decision to block a Hong Kong company’s bid for gas pipeline company APA on national interest grounds. Business leaders are delighted Xi Jinping has signalled his apparent willingness to allow foreign companies better access to the Chinese market in a landmark speech to an international import expo in Shanghai this week. Read more

Swap Russia for China and we’re again at ‘war’ – it’s just a cold fact

October 23, 2018

Warnings about a second Cold War between liberal democracies and revisionist autocracies have been dismissed by sceptics as nothing more than right-wing scaremongering. They argue that despite his posturing and false bravado,President Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his affection for his authoritarian Chinese and Russian counterparts. And the trade conflict between the US and China will soon be resolved because it is in neither country’s interests to see the conflict prolonged or worsen since it would be mutually damaging. Read more

Let the countdown begin to Australia building a space industry

September 16, 2018

Space, the final frontier — once the exclusive domain of Trekkies, science fiction writers and super powers. Now entrepreneurs are the new space leaders, going boldly where no entrepreneur has gone before, to borrow from William Shatner’s memorable declaration in the 1960s Star Trek series. Read more

Syrian War: Uneasy Calm in US-protected Kurdish Enclave

September 8, 2018

The Syrian-Turkish border area in the early morning hours is calm and almost serene. Driving from the town of Kobane to the border crossing at Semalka one may get the impression that there is not much of a war remaining at all in the country.

Every few kilometres, to be sure, one runs into a checkpoint of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces or the Asayish security police. Read more