Dec 19, 2012

Boxed in, Japan swings right

Henry Kissinger once famously remarked that a great power does not retreat forever. This is a particularly apt comment on China’s and South Korea’s contributions to the outcome of last weekend’s elections in Japan. The domestic causes and consequences of the massive swing back ...

Sep 24, 2012

Leadership for a nuclear weapons-free world

In a world beset by many grave problems that threaten to unleash a perfect storm at short notice, many people bemoan the dearth of responsible and high-quality leadership to point the way forward to a more prosperous, peaceful and just future. Yesterday’s leaders may ...

Sep 11, 2012

Let posterity see how the Iraq war was created

When the Iraq War Inquiry Group (of which I am a member) issued a public call for an inquiry into the decision-making that lay behind Australia’s participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, members of the then-Howard government dismissed it in effect as yesterday’s ...

Aug 23, 2012

Australia's call for thoughts on Iraq

On Aug. 16 a group of Australians, led by former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and former Chief of the Defense Force Gen. Peter Gration, launched a call for an inquiry into how and why Australia joined the Iraq war in 2003. The goal is ...

Aug 15, 2012

India and Pakistan: Come and dream with me

This week (Tuesday and Wednesday), Pakistan and India are celebrating their conjoined independence days. Their rivalry has sabotaged India’s tryst with destiny as a global power and Pakistan’s ambition to be the leading light of the Islamic world. Will 2047 mark 100 years of ...

Aug 6, 2012

Fundamental hits to India's brand

The hits just keep coming. In recent weeks, credit rating agencies have downgraded India’s investment status, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been described by Time magazine as an underachiever, U.S. President Barack Obama has raised concerns that corporate America is worried about India’s investment ...

Jul 25, 2012

China, Russia and Syria: the ghost of Gadhafi at the U.N.

China and Russia have cast three vetoes so far on draft U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions aimed at tougher international responses to the Syrian’s government’s brutal crackdown on protestors and rebels. They have drawn much flak for their obstructionist resistance to United Nations efforts ...

Jul 20, 2012

Overhauling the anachronistic U.N. groupings

Come October, Australia will be competing with Finland and Luxembourg for two of this year’s five elected two-year seats on the U.N. Security Council. Why against Finland and Luxembourg and not others also contesting for the total of five seats up for grabs? Well ...

Jun 21, 2012

Drone warfare clashes with law, human rights

As in other aspects of human life, the march of military technology has greatly outpaced the laws and institutions to regulate the behavior they make possible. The Obama administration has so greatly expanded the Bush policy of drone strikes as to leave neutral observers ...

Jun 18, 2012

Effective diplomacy in the age of social media

Far from being rendered irrelevant by technological progress, where governments can communicate with one another directly on a need-to basis, diplomacy has become an increasingly critical instrument in an age of interdependence and globalization. Responding to the ever-changing world around it, diplomacy has evolved ...