Blog Profile / The Interpreter

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:6697
Posts / Week:25.8
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

A review of RAND Corporation’s 'War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable'

Among US analysts, war with China is no longer a taboo subject. RAND Corporation has now tackled the issue head on, publishing a lengthy analysis titled: 'War with China: Thinking through the Unthinkable'. So far, Paul Dibb and Mike Scrafton have provided two excellent assessments on what this means for Australia. Show More Summary

The Global Trade Slowdown: What can be done?

By David Gruen, Deputy Secretary, Economic and Australia’s G20 Sherpa, and Sam Bide, Economic and G20 Policy Adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet When the Prime Minister goes to the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou late next week, it will be against the backdrop of an underperforming global economy. Show More Summary

Pacific links: Manus, PNG students, Fiji flag change on ice, why Islanders are rugby stars and more

By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program The PNG Supreme Court has ruled both PNG and Australian governments are responsible for closing the asylum processing centre on Manus Island, after deeming the centre unconstitutional in April. Show More Summary

President Tsai's apology: Signalling the modern Taiwan

On 1 August, the new president of Taiwan, Dr Tsai Ing-wen, offered an apology to Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. In the presidential building, the apology began with a rite of offering of millet and spirits. Bunun community elder Hu Jin-niang blessed the ceremony, and Taiwanese religious leaders followed with an interfaith prayer. Show More Summary

Economists challenge Australia’s trade policy

By Bill Carmichael, former chairman of the Industries Assistance Commission, with the assistance of economists named in the text below. A debate has raged for a decade about what we have gained from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). We are...Show More Summary

What the G20 can do to advance cyber norms

The internet is now so central to the world economy (McKinsey estimates it contributed US$2.8 trillion to world GDP in 2014) we forget how weak the norms are governing behaviour online. In several areas these behaviours threaten to degrade and limit the internet’s future contribution to global growth. Happily the G20 has recently begun to weigh in. Show More Summary

Roger Ailes and the dark arts

Five years ago in Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson described Roger Ailes as 'one of the most skilled and fearsome' operatives in the history of the Republican Party. As a political consultant, Ailes repackaged Richard Nixon for television...Show More Summary

Australia writes itself out of nuclear disarmament diplomacy

On Friday at the United Nations in Geneva, Australian diplomats called a vote they knew they would lose, split their already modest support base in half, and enraged more than 100 other countries that had been ready to agree to a painstakingly negotiated compromise. Show More Summary

Report shows IMF in need of reform

The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) recently released its assessment of the IMF’s handling of the euro crisis. It was a damming report. The IMF has been heavily criticised for its response to the euro crisis, particularly its involvement in Greece. Show More Summary

The political dimension of Olympic success

There are times when national and sporting narratives seem almost to be perfectly synchronised. America’s success at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which presaged the Reagan landslide later in the year, offered golden proof that the country’s long national nightmare of Vietnam and Watergate had finally come to an end. Show More Summary

Japan's economy travels a narrow road

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The International Monetary Fund seems to have lost hope that monetary and fiscal policy can shift the Japanese economy out of its deflationary torpor. The IMF, usually the embodiment of conservative...Show More Summary

Documentary trailer: Do Not Resist

This is a trailer for a documentary about the fear of terrorism and the militarisation of the US police. There's a memorable shot near the end which seems to tell the whole story: a heavily armoured ex-military vehicle designed for counter-insurgency...Show More Summary

Manafort exit unlikely to end Trump's Russian fetish

At the start of this strange US presidential election cycle only a hubristic Vladimir Putin might have expected that he and the Russian-influenced world would play such a prominent role, beyond that is the usual Reaganesque invocations...Show More Summary

Syria: Pity the children

[youtube:piqR5EA2Z9A] Given the widespread use of social media in the contemporary age, and the lack of basic humanity shown by both the regime and the opposition forces, the Syria conflict should on the face of it engender a feeling of repulsion at the actions of both sides. And to a degree it does. Show More Summary

Aid & development links: DFAT white paper, aid campaigning, South Sudan chaos and more

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced the government will embark on the first foreign policy white paper in 13 years. It will be interesting to see how much Australian aid, the management of which is now firmly ensconced within DFAT, will factor into the review. Show More Summary

India plays the Balochistan Card – with China

Last week Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid down the gauntlet to Pakistan, sending a clear indication that India may be prepared to destabilise Pakistan’s fractious Balochistan province in response to perceived threats. WhileShow More Summary

Weekend catch-up: Mafia states, Tsarist Russia, women in diplomacy and more

This week North Korea’s number two diplomat in London, Thae Yong Ho, defected South Korea. Euan Graham (who, through his time as a North Korea specialist in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, came to know Thae Yong ‘about as well...Show More Summary

Digital Diplomacy links: Antarctic tweets, Army podcast, White House bots, India app and more

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and why the unmediated photo is the message. The new Hillary Clinton app has taken a page out of Kim Kardashian's mobile app playbook. The Australian Army, which has taken a leading role in the ADF's digital diplomacy efforts, has a new podcast. Show More Summary

The National League for Democracy’s drug problem

Myanmar's Upper House of Parliament recently approved a proposal calling for 'prompt action' in eradicating drugs in Myanmar. Myanmar remains the second-largest poppy producer in the world (despite recent reports of reduction in output), and is an increasingly significant producer of Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS). Show More Summary

Against the grand political theory of everything

After the Australian election, I flirted with the notion of a worldwide trend away from globalisation, but on further reflection I am reluctant to embrace fully any grand theory about global political trends. First, the notion that Trump,...Show More Summary

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