ASPI suggests

The world

This week’s headlines were dominated by reporting on the centenary of the end of World War I. Armistice commemorations were held across the world. ABC Nightlife reflects on the 100th anniversary in this podcast, and the Guardian and the New York Times have photo series capturing different remembrance events. The short video accompanying this CNN analysis looks back at the military technologies developed during the war, while the article itself explains how Germany’s culture of remembrance grapples with the Great War.

Of course, the US president’s behaviour this weekend didn’t go unnoticed. CNN and Foreign Policy believe Donald Trump’s trip highlighted rather than repaired the cracks in US–European relations. In The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead criticises Trump’s no-shows due to rain during the commemorations and recommends learning from how the UK remembers World War I.

Speaking of the UK, London quickly had to leave the sentiment of the weekend behind, with further Brexit discussions on the agenda. Euronews regularly updates this overview with new details of the 500+ page document of the draft withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU. The European Commission has a more in-depth fact sheet. Theresa May’s position as prime minister looks increasingly shaky, though, after cabinet ministers resigned over the agreement and whispers of a no-confidence motion grew louder. Carnegie Europe’s Peter Kellner navigates you through it all.

There have been more developments in the US since the last week’s midterms: FiveThirtyEight gives us a look at some charts, Forbes explains the market impact and Vox looks at the role racism played in the GOP’s strategies in Florida and Georgia. Turn back to this National Interest piece on the US president’s foreign policy dilemma following the midterms. And Mark Penn and Andrew Stein argue in the Wall Street Journal that Hillary Clinton will likely run for president again in 2020.

As the trade war between China and the US continues, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sits down with Douglas Paal to discuss the threat of increased confrontation. Foreign Affairs brings you a proposal for a deal between Beijing and Washington to de-escalate the situation.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the US took on the plight of Uyghurs in China. Politico has the details on the bill, while Der Spiegel provides harrowing insights from members of China’s Muslim minority who reached Kazakhstan after escaping the internment camps in Xinjiang.

Reuters published a special investigative report on Venezuela, which is following in China’s footsteps and monitoring its citizens’ behaviour through a national ID card. And Crisis Group investigates the very real threats facing roughly 720,000 Rohingya Muslims if they’re forced to resettle in Myanmar, while a Washington Post opinion piece describes how decisions are made without consulting the Rohingya.

In conflict news, a Bloomberg piece in the Financial Review argues that the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestine won’t last as conditions in Gaza deteriorate. Al-Jazeera reports that Palestinians remain sceptical of the deal because Israel has broken past agreements.

We’re closing with some recommendations: Intelligencer provides some meat on Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty investigates the international ambitions of Azov, the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist movement; and War is Boring brings you an emotional recount of life at home from an American Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Tech geek

There’s an interesting article in Stars and Stripes about China’s new H-20 bomber, including some comment from tech geek himself. The H-20 will be a Chinese version of the US B-2 Spirit and shows how quickly China is catching up with the US on the military technology front.

Sticking with China, the big space news of the week is its announcement that it intends to develop reusable rockets like those used by the US-based company SpaceX. A Chinese startup, Link Space, is developing the ‘New Line 1’ rocket, which is designed to launch satellites weighing up to 200 kilograms into low-earth orbit.

The success of the Democrats in the US midterms could mean big changes for US defence spending, raising the prospect that the US space force may be stillborn and that spending on the modernisation of nuclear forces may be reduced.

Check out this great video of Raytheon’s high-energy laser system for defending the ground units against drone swarms and incoming missiles. It gives an idea of what a battlefield full of directed-energy weapons might look like and how drone swarms could be countered.

China has revealed a prototype of a counter-stealth ‘quantum radar’ which is also resistant to jamming. Once perfected, it could erode the stealth advantage of aircraft like the F-35 and the B-2.

Finally, here’s the report everyone is discussing on Twitter about how the US is poorly placed to win a future war against Russia and China. It’s well worth reading, and is very thought-provoking on how the US and its allies—including Australia—should prepare for the next war.

This week in history

During the night of 9 November 1938, the November pogroms across Nazi Germany marked the beginning of the Holocaust. SA troops and civilians torched synagogues and destroyed Jewish businesses on what became known as Reichspogromnacht or Kristallnacht. Read German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech to commemorate the night’s 80th anniversary here.


The California wildfires have claimed the lives of more than 60 people and destroyed more than 12,000 structures. People and National Geographic captured the devastating impact in photos.

The latest episode of Middle Ground brings together six young Israelis and Palestinians to discuss the ongoing conflict and their feelings. [23:21]

See Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel’s Hilltop Youth by Al-Jazeera on radicalised Jewish youth in Israel. [26:05]


After Poland celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence on 11 November, the BBC’s Start the Week looked back at the country’s history. [41:40]

Foreign Policy sits down with Benjamin Ferencz, the last living prosecutor involved in the Nuremberg trials, to discuss the difficulty of balancing the murder of millions against just 22 defendants. [30:49]

The latest from Global Dispatches talks about the deal between the Libyan government and the Italian coast guard which forced thousands of refugees into detention centres without access to basic human rights. [22:30]


Melbourne, 19 November, 12.30–2 pm, EU Centre at RMIT: ‘Trump’s nationalism, nuclear missile treaty and future of European security’. More information here.

Canberra, 22 November, 6–7 pm, ANU/Canberra Times: ‘Meet the author—in conversation with David Marr’. Free registration.

Melbourne, 22 November, 6.30–8.15 pm, La Trobe University: ‘The Honourable Julie Bishop on politics, leadership and the Liberal Party’. Tickets $15.