The ‘enemy within the gates’: the key to American politics

US political factions seem to have moved beyond seeing each other as legitimate competitors in a democratic marketplace of ideas. The other side is perceived as the holder of totally unacceptable moral, economic, and political ideas and values, and only their total overthrow will suffice. Each side sees the other as the “enemy inside the gates”. Can the divisions in America be resolved in a pluralistic compromise?

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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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