ASPI suggests
12 Feb 2016| and

UN Delegates' Lounge New York

Everyone’s favourite hermit kingdom has done much to excite and exercise the world of late, first with last weekend’s rocket launch, and then through the decision to boot 248 South Korean managers from the Kaesong industrial complex, in retaliation for ROK sanctions. For some choice analysis on North Korea’s actions, check out this brief video overview of the North’s nuclear program or this analysis in Time, which manages to hoist-in references to both Beyoncé and Kim Jong-un—hopefully not for the last time. Over at The Washington Post Dan Drezner offers some sage realism on the topic of China and the DPRK. See also this stellar infographic from the Council on Foreign Relations, which ticks off North Korea as part of a veritable smorgasbord of foreign policy issues.

If you’re in need of larger dose of US political analysis, be sure to check out this piece at Vocativ, which ranks the language and style of the presidential candidates’ speeches in New Hampshire according to the Flesch-Kincaid readability test. The Donald came out on the bottom of the list (although, the top of the Republican candidates—true to form), with language suited to third graders. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, spoke at the level of a tenth grader.

Head over to The New York Review of Books and catch up with Robert O. Paxton’s meditation on the French Resistance during the Second World War.

The CATO Institute has released a fascinating study into how new and improved technology is leading to a range of new capabilities being available to smaller and smaller powers—even to the individual. According to the research, small, smart and cheap weapons will continue to diffuse power, which greatly complicates the policy responses of major powers. Read up here.

Want a glimpse into what goes on at Turtle Bay when the Security Council wraps for the day? This light-hearted piece on the Delegate’s Lounge at the United Nations in New York considers the history of the space through to some of the more recent goings-on.


In this week’s Foreign Policy podcast, David Rothkopf, David Sanger, Kori Schake and Yochi Dreazen discuss why the West is more afraid of Daesh than it is of Russia, and ask whether state leaders are taking Russia’s growing influence seriously enough. Listen here (29 mins).


Brookings this week hosted a cracking discussion and Q&A (1.5 hours) on the potential of female entrepreneurs in Japan and how female-run businesses can be promoted. The distinguished panel provide considerable insight into the state of the Japanese operating environment as Abe pushes forward on his so-called Womenomics agenda to increase female participation in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Across town at CSIS, Australia’s former National Security Adviser, Andrew Shearer, sat down to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Australia when it comes to the development–security nexus. Listen here.


Canberra: All through next week, the ANU’s National Security College will host their week-long cyber security conference, including a public events program with some top international cyber policy thinkers (though not one woman, curiously). More information here.

Canberra: In what’s set to be a fascinating study, Ambassador Charles Ries, Vice President, International at the RAND Corporation, will judge the costs and benefits of various scenarios in the Israel­–Palestine conflict, from two-state solution through to violent uprising through continued impasse. Register online.

Sydney: Mark your calendars for 23 March and get along to China Matters’ first public lecture. Bates Gill will speak on Xi Jinping’s China and what Xi’s vision for China means for Australian business and foreign policy. The event will run from 5pm to 7pm at the University of Sydney Business School. Keep an eye on the China Matters website for more information closer to the date.