Many EU member states are either internally divided between security circles and economic stakeholders, or fall in one of the following two categories: those having commercial interests in the Chinese market (largely, Northern Europe), andRead more
By Mike Scrafton | Conceptual confusion in thinking about foreign policy is evident as the post World War II era’s structured international arrangements of durable institutions and agreed norms, – designed to facilitate peaceful dispute resolution and cooperation on security, economic and social matters between nations – is challenged by the United States and others.
The indeterminacy over whether a gradual transition from the rules-based order to a degree of anarchy is taking place is generating a certain dissonance in the speechmaking of leading Australian political figures.Read more
…according to Putin, Russia must remain a strong presidential republic. Just a few days after delivering the [January 2020] Address, the President again emphasised that he considers the parliamentary form of government unsuitable for RussiaRead more
Author: Allan Behm, Head of the International & Security Affairs Program at The Australia Institute | Published June 2020 | Download the full report (pdf opens, 322kb) One of the more disturbing tendencies of modernRead more
By Mike Scrafton | Australia’s Prime Minister recently said that Australia always respects the sovereignty of other nations, and simply expects the same in return. But cases like Kosovo, Crimea, Jammu-Kashmir and Hong Kong illustrate the tension between sovereignty and self-determination – and the significance of precedent-setting. Recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the West Bank requires careful, nuanced consideration. What position will Australia take?Read more
Lauren Schwartz from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung considers what US foreign policy might look like under a Democrat president – after Trump, and after coronavirus. The paper canvasses “30 years of ambivalent foreign policy” –Read more
Strategy, the link between policy and the battlefield, is now more important than ever.
If there is another great power war, it will be imperative for the political leadership to be clear and definitive about their strategic goals and about what victory would look like – at a time when the range and technological complexity of the weapons systems involved will provide a major barrier to the level of understanding of civilian leaders.
Australia’s strategic quandary emerges from its status as an ally to a great power. If it abrogates its responsibility to set national policy aims by joining in a coalition in which one great power antagonist determines the goals of the war it cannot claim to have a strategy. It cannot claim to be linking Australia’s national priorities to the military actions. Its fate would be in the hands of its great power ally.Read more
Writing in ‘The Strategist’ (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), Michael Shoebridge rightly points out that how the US rebounds from the COVID-19 crisis will be important for international relations and Australia’s foreign policy.
But his arguments posit an excessively flattering picture of the US and an incomplete view of its history.
It is crucial that Australian foreign and strategic policy-makers have a realistic and unvarnished understanding of how the US might approach the post-pandemic world. For better or worse Australia is tightly bound with the US economically and strategically.
Following the US lead may prove to be the right course. However, good, clear-eyed policy in the post-COVID environment cannot be based uncritically on an illusion.Read more
In this Chatham House (UK) video presentation, Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom discusses his country’s current foreign policy and provides an outlook for China’s international agenda for 2020.Read more
New analysis suggests that evaluations of US President Donald Trump’s signature foreign policies are generally negative around the world – except in Israel, the only surveyed country where a majority of people (55%) express net approval of Trump’s policies, and where the level of net approvers is 18 percentage points higher than it is in the US, the second-most-approving country.Read more
Recent public statements inspired by the Iran crisis fromNATO Secretary General Stoltenberg andPresident Trump reveal the real depths of the crisis for the NATO alliance. Increasingly the strategic interests of the Europeans and the Americans have diverged and the balance between costs and risks for America’s NATO partners is shifting.
If, as Hugh White recently observed, real alliances only work when there’s a clear alignment of strategic objectives – because countries only commit themselves to alliances, and accept the costs and risks, to serve their own objectives, not those of their allies – Jens Stoltenberg’s comments are telling.
At the same time, the comments of the Australian Prime Minister lack any indication that Australia’s foreign and strategic policy reflects a sophisticated appreciation of the geopolitical shifts taking place.Read more