Beijing must beware the Thucydides trap

February 2, 2016

It’s rare for an Australian Prime Minister to quote from a classical Greek text and even rarer in the context of Australia’s relations with the US and China. But in his recent speech to a prominent US think tank in Washington, Malcolm Turnbull cited the great Athenian historian, Thucydides, in warning of the heightened risk of conflict when a rising power challenges the existing international order and the position of the previously dominant state – the so called Thucydides Trap.
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Trump and Carson comments on Islam reflect views of Republican base

September 28, 2015

The silly season has been extended in this US presidential election cycle. All summer long, the press fed on Republican candidate Donald Trump’s political posturing through back to back insults and outrages.

At each turn, the political establishment predicted the demise of Trump’s candidacy and popularity in the polls. When he insulted Fox News anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly, insinuating that she was on her period while thoroughly questioning him during the debate, he was slammed by a number of conservatives and Republicans who expressed outrage over his misogynistic remarks.
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China, a wounded tiger, could lash out

September 14, 2015

The Chinese Communist Party’s power has long rested on four pillars: economic growth, nationalism, repression and communist ideology. The last of these withered away almost entirely as China liberalized its economy, with slogans such as “Long live the invincible Marxism-Leninism theory” replaced by “To get rich is glorious.” Now the first pillar is unstable too. Read more

The Sleeper Issue of 2016 Is China

May 11, 2015

As the long march to the presidential nomination begins, most of the likely Republican contenders are talking tough on foreign policy and criticizing the Obama administration for its evident failings in handling Russia, Iran, Syria, and the Islamic State and other Islamist extremists. Read more

A U.S. ‘Solarium Project’ for China

April 26, 2015

The Obama administration is evidently divided over how to respond to provocative Chinese actions in cyberspace and the South China Sea. Intelligence community leaders warn that unless the U.S. retaliates, it will continue to face damaging computer network attacks of the sort China appears to have carried out against the Office of Personnel Management. Yet the administration has refused even to identify China as the culprit in the theft of over 20 million sensitive personal files. Read more

Is “Regular Warfare” Dead?

April 6, 2015

Hugh White’s considered response to the questions I posed in our recent exchange in the Lowy Interpreter on the fundamentals of Australian defense strategy prods me to elaborate on my previous arguments as well as to make some counterpoints. Read more

Why Australia needs full-spectrum defence

March 23, 2015

Given he was the principal author of the 2000 Defence White Paper, it is reassuring to know that Hugh White agrees with me that Australian strategic policy needs a rethink, even if he is not persuaded by all of my prescriptions. So, in the spirit of a full and frank debate about what needs to be done, let me respond to Hugh’s observations and counterpoints to my Lowy Analysis paper, Full-Spectrum Defence: Re-thinking the Fundamentals of Australian Defence Strategy. Read more

Australia’s importance as US ally increasing, says professor

March 16, 2015

United States security strategy is changing and how its allies deal with this change raises multiple issues Australia must now consider.

At the recent KPMG/AFR defence and national security roundtable, Alan Dupont, professor of international security at the University of New South Wales, strongly defined the new security challenge for Australia and the US. Read more