James ONeill

Asia Reasserts its Role as the World’s Leadin...

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Although the ordinary reader of the western media would scarcely be aware of it, the rest of the world is making fundamental changes to economic and political relationships. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the greater Eurasian region. This area of land encompasses four of the worlds officially acknowledged eight…

Trump’s Latest Middle East Gambit Shows the T...

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The last week of October 2019 saw a great deal of western newspaper reporting on the United States withdrawal from Syria announced by US President Trump. That his general claim was in fact heavily qualified, not supported by his own generals, and contradicted by actual events on the ground received much less media attention. In all of the…

BC: Trump’s Rejection of the JCPOA Poses a Ma...

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President Trump has announced that he is no longer willing to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed to by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus the European Union (EU), Germany and Iran in July 2015. That agreement was unanimously endorsed by the Security…

New Developments in the Skripal Case Reveal i...

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“The willing suspension of disbelief or the moment which constitutes poetic faith.” This has been defined as willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe something surreal. Samuel Taylor Coleridge Biographic Literaric 1817. The above quotation, now more than 200 years old, remains a perfect…

A Changed Economic World for Australia, But N...

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For most of its history, trade and foreign policy did not create dilemmas for the Australian ruling classes. Until the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941 Australia regarded its trade and foreign policy interests with the United Kingdom to be synonymous. The rapid collapse of…

China, Russia and Iran: Basis of the New Geop...

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In a recent very insightful article, analyst Alistair Crooke argued that the United States was institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. Written before the recent removal of national security adviser John Bolton from his position, Mr Crooke argued that decades long sanctions have…

Australia’s Recognition of the Changing Reali...

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Australia is in an historically unusual position. Cultural and social ties with Europe have been the historical benchmark. There was a profound national shock following the fall of Singapore in December 1941. That saw an immediate reorientation towards the United States. The US has been the focus of…

More Revelations on the Shooting Down of MH17

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On 17 July 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and traversing Ukrainian territory when it was shot down by a missile fired from within Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew on board were killed. Dutch victims represented the largest single group, followed by Malaysians and Australian…

Some Reflections on the United States and Chi...

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One of my favourite quotations is from the late former Prime Minister of China under Mao, Chou en Lai. He was interviewed by French television in the 1970s and was asked for his views on the effects of the French Revolution. Chou replied “too soon to tell.” That baffled his interviewer, but it points to an important difference…

OPCW, Douma and the Post Truth World

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The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) came into effect on 29 April 1997. 193 Member States of the United Nations have ratified it. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the United Nations body charged with the task of monitoring compliance with the CWC…

BRI Forum Points to Tectonic Shift in Geopoli...

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The second BRI Forum was held in Beijing from 21st to 27th of April 2019. It was intended by 5000 delegates from 150 countries, including 40 heads of government and representatives of 90 international organisations. The forum followed a successful trip to Europe by China’s President…

The Persecution of Julian Assange Sends Some ...

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The arrest of Julian Assange by British police on 11 April 2019 raises a number of troubling questions. It naturally enough provoked the outrage of Assange’s supporters; a blandly noncommittal comment by the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs (“appropriate consular assistance”)…


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