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Blog Profile / The Interpreter

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:4293
Posts / Week:27
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

In his own words: Obama on 'perpetual war'

President Obama's speech to the US National Defense University, May 2013: We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the wellspring of extremism, a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways. Amen, Barack, Amen.

Conviction and vigour in Obama's IS speech

There were relatively few plot twists for a prime time television spectacle but you have to hand it to the leading man: he hasn't put in such a convincing performance in a long time. The main points of Barack Obama's widely telecastShow More Summary

Pacific island links: Fiji election, Tonga loans, Gaston Flosse, Micronesia trade and more

Catch up on news, commentary and analysis from and about the Pacific island region... The last polling to be released before the 17 September elections in Fiji indicates that a coalition government may be on the cards. Meanwhile, members...Show More Summary

Obama's strategy: First thoughts

[youtube:KvRd17vXaXM] It's fair to say that President Obama is a reluctant commander-in-chief and sees the Middle East as a place where the limitations of US military force are most apparent. So his speech tonight on America's strategy against Islamic State (IS) was from someone who wishes he didn't have to deal with what he has to. Show More Summary

Fiji's election: Fair and free?

On 17 September, Fiji goes to the polls for the first time in eight years. This is a notable step forward given that, when I spoke to people in Suva a year ago, they were still phrasing things in terms of 'IF the election happens'. With...Show More Summary

Scottish independence, remixed

Given how little The Interpreter has had to say on the topic of Scottish independence, it seems somewhat frivolous to post this, but it's irresistible: [youtube:0flxQCmb5oY] (H/t Dish.)

Indo-Pacific security links: US-China, private security firms, island building and more

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program...Show More Summary

Indian Ocean empowerment: Australia puts gender on the agenda

'Front and centre is the only woman, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.' When ANU's Dr Katerina Teaiwa explained her heritage to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) women's economic empowerment conference, held in Kuala Lumpur last month, she personified the region: I was born and raised in the Pacific, with roots that cross many oceans. Show More Summary

Quick Comment: PM Abbott's visit to India

This week the Lowy Institute's International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Research Associate Danielle Rajendram discuss Prime Minister Tony Abbott's visit to India. The visit marked an acceleration of the Australia-India...Show More Summary

Abbott's first year: Nowhere to be seen in the Pacific

People who laud Tony Abbott's surefooted foreign policy never mention his role in the Pacific islands. It's hardly surprising. Following the precedent set by John Howard, the Prime Minister has not shown much interest in Australia's closest neighbours. The 37th Pacific Islands Forum meeting, in 2006. Show More Summary

How big is the threat from returning jihadists?

ASIO Director-General David Irvine last night told the ABC's 7:30 program that he is considering raising the terrorist threat level in Australia from Medium to High: I would say that, at the moment, it is at a very elevated level ofShow More Summary

China links: Ukraine, SOEs, constitutionalism, national humiliation, theme parks and more

Lyle Goldstein argues some Chinese analysts appreciate Russia's approach to the Ukraine, and that they have only limited concerns about the implications of Crimea's secession. Nick Lardy: the role of state-owned enterprises in the Chinese economy is overstated. Show More Summary

India-Japan embrace is all about China, but not for the reasons strategists say

India and Japan lie at the extremes of oriental Asia, and to a casual visitor the two countries feel about as different as could be. Yet they share powerful bonds on many levels. Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi promised their electorates national rejuvenation. Show More Summary

Military & strategy links: NATO's 2%, Britain and ISIS, PAK-FA, Scotland and more

Carnegie Moscow's Yury Tavrovsky argues that sanctions have pushed Russia and China together, to the detriment of the Pacific Pivot. India and Russia are increasingly at odds regarding cooperation on the PAK-FA fifth generation fighter,...Show More Summary

Fiji elections: What about the economy?

During the time Fiji has been governed by the military, there has been much discussion about the impact of the political situation on economic performance. Satish Chand has argued that each coup Fiji has experienced has pushed the economy...Show More Summary

TV trailer: Madam Secretary

I don't understand why they gave away the ending in this trailer (presumably just of the first episode), but still, this shows some promise: [youtube:XNRjl9vz4Ps] The series will air in the US beginning 21 September.

America's anti-IS coalition: Core, non-core and unmentionable

The complexity of the task facing the Obama Administration in putting together a coalition to target radical Islamists in Iraq should not be underestimated. There are so many competing jealousies, so many personal, political and religious...Show More Summary

Abbott's first year: What the pundits get wrong

So, the first-year assessments are in, and it seems the Abbott Government has done well on foreign policy. Mark Kenny says Abbott has established 'a solid profile as a man of purpose' on the world stage. Michelle Grattan says Abbott 'has shown an unexpected sureness on the international stage'. Show More Summary

Southeast Asia links: South China Sea, gender and ageing, global competitiveness and more

What will Prayuth do as Thai Prime Minister? Joshua Kulantzick explains. Zhai Kun of CICIR asks: who makes the rules on the Chessboard of the South China Sea? Malaysia Airlines this week dropped its ad campaign asking travelers what destinations were on their 'bucket list'. Show More Summary

Obama and ISIS: Snowden leaks reveal tough choices

Though the US President will be the last to trumpet it, a revelation from the Edward Snowden National Security Agency dossier unveiled late last month might provide some context for the difficulties he faces in plotting a course of action...Show More Summary

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