Once was a hegemon: Australia and the decline of the US

Australia’s Indo-Pacific obsession hides a radical global geopolitical shift, and denies the reality that US hegemony has passed a tipping point. Increasingly, the decisive great power actor(s) in any situation will be context specific, with delineation of spheres of influence and shifting balance of power arrangements requiring Australia to be nimble, smart, and independent.

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What America’s vaccination campaign proves to the world

Vaccine nationalism is small-minded, self-centered, and ultimately self-defeating, because COVID-19 will not cease to be a problem until no one has it. This is the moment to think big, the moment for generosity and big ideas. When a majority of American adults will have had their first dose of a vaccine, what if the US then begins to pivot from mass-vaccinating its own citizens to mass-vaccinating the rest of the world?

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The US has the power to tamp down coronavirus variants, if it’s willing to use it

With vaccine manufacturers not able to meet the urgent health needs of the global pandemic, it is argued that the US should transfer technological know-how and facilitate the setting up of mRNA vaccine production lines around the world. This, it is suggested, would save lives, revive economies, protect Americans from both the risk of variants and new threats, and restore the U.S. position as a reliable and trustworthy partner while advancing global health security and diplomacy.

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Biden proposes $2 trillion infrastructure capital investment ‘to win the future’

On Wednesday 31 March 2021, US President Joe Biden announced a plan described as “the largest American jobs investment since World War Two” – intended to “create millions of jobs”, “grow the economy”, “make [America] more competitive”, “promote [US] national security interests, and put [the ¨US] in a position to win the global competition with China”.

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US Secretary of State Blinken tells NATO it’s not an ‘us-or-them’ choice with China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed NATO members in Brussels on Wednesday 24 March 2021 calling on them to work with the US to counter China. However in a shift of tone from that of recent weeks, he also said that the US “won’t force allies into an ‘us-or-them’ choice with China,” and acknowledged that the US knows “that our allies have complex relationships with China that won’t always align perfectly”.

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US to ask 17 biggest emitters, including Australia, for net zero emissions by 2050

The United States officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement on 19 February 2021. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, issued a Statement in which he called the rejoining “momentous”, but noted that “what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important”. You have seen and will continue to see us weaving climate change into our most important bilateral and multilateral conversations at all levels. In these conversations, we’re asking

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Biden’s top foreign policy challenge: avoiding a cold war with China

The Biden administration faces a host of difficult problems, but in foreign policy its thorniest will be its relations with the People’s Republic of China. How the new administration handles issues of trade, security, and human rights will either allow both countries to hammer out a working relationship or pull the U.S. into an expensive — and unwinnable — cold war. But there are a number of moves both countries could make to avoid this.

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Pentagon’s China task force to review strategy toward China

In remarks to Defense personnel on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, US President Biden said that a Pentagon ‘China task force’ will, within the next few months, review the US’s “[defense] strategy and operational concepts, technology, and force posture, and so much more”. Recommendations on key priorities and decision points are expected to enable the US to “chart a strong path forward on China-related matters”.

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US plans to reengage with ‘flawed’ UN human rights council

The United States today [Monday, 8 February 2021] announced plans to reengage with the U.N. Human Rights Council. The US withdrew from the UNHRC three years ago, citing concerns about the Council’s focus on Israel. “The Biden administration has recommitted the United States to a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights, and equality,” Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said in a statement. “Effective use of multilateral tools is an important element of that vision.” The

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