Donald Trump’s apparent belief that his intelligence community is conspiring against him is one of the most worrying aspects of his mercurial presidency. In last week’s Twitter storm against the Worldwide Threat Assessment presented by his intelligence chiefs to a congressional committee, the US President took issue with several of their key judgments, Read more
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
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
In the unceasing competition between the great powers, this century’s dominant economic and foreign policy story has been China’s breathtaking rise from relative obscurity to the threshold of superpower status.
The accompanying narrative, which has become conventional wisdom in Australia and much of the world, is that the US is in decline and soon will be surpassed by an ascendant and economically irresistible China.
The next act in the immensely consequential decades-long Korean nuclear drama takes place on Friday, when the two Koreas launch their much-anticipated summit in the tiny Potemkin village of Panmunjom that straddles the demarcation line separating the divided nation.
The stakes could not be higher. A successful Korean summit is an essential prerequisite and road map for an even more important summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. Read more
US President Donald Trump has brought the world closer to a trade war that could plunge the rules-based global order into an existential crisis. The imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminium last month were the opening shots in Trump’s campaign “to level the playing field” for US firms. But his threat to impose punitive tariffs on China, including $US100 billion ($130bn) of additional tariffs on Thursday, risks triggering a serious confrontation with global implications that would be bad news for Australia. Read more
The escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has fuelled concerns that the region is on a dangerous trajectory to a nuclear conflict that could have calamitous global consequences. Since 1947, nuclear scientists have maintained a ‘Doomsday Clock’ that symbolically measures how close the world is to a man-made global cataclysm, represented by midnight. The clock now shows two and a half minutes to midnight and ticking, the closest it has been to catastrophe since the US exploded the first hydrogen bomb in 1953. Read more
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“Australia is extremely reluctant to participate in freedom of navigation operations that involve flying over or sailing through the 12 nautical miles around the islands,” said Alan Dupont, a former Australian military intelligence official.
“The Australian government feels it would be provocative and upset China,” Mr. Dupont said. “It feels it would be counterproductive now that China has militarized the islands.”