ASPI suggests
16 Dec 2016| and

Image courtesy of Pixabay user Unsplash.

For one last time in this cataclysmic year, welcome back to ASPI suggests.

‘Tis the season for lists, so here are a few good ‘uns that caught our eye this week. First, a dose of inspiration from Foreign Policy, with their 100 leading global thinkers of 2016. Second, a collection of some of The New York Times‘most talked about’ debates of 2016 (some of which, it should be said, are akin to self-flagellation because #2016). And third, if like us you’re hankering for some good reads over the new year period, Foreign Affairs has you covered with their Best of Books 2016 (our humble pick: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me).

During his short sabbatical in Sydney earlier in the year, NYT columnist Roger Cohen penned a piece on ‘Australia’s Offshore Cruelty’. Unless you’ve been living under a rock/not on Twitter, you might have missed Act II, ‘Broken Men In Paradise’, out late last week. It’s an important piece, so worth re-upping here. Australia’s refugee policies have increasingly come under the Grey Lady’s gaze this year—editorials and op-eds abound, including one this week by the photographer who accompanied Cohen to Manus. And with a Sydney Times’ bureau in the works, there’ll likely be more of the same in 2017.

Four choice picks this week for fresh new research: first up, some snappy pessimism from RSiS on what the fall of Raqqa and Mosul means for the decentralised threat Daesh poses to Southeast Asian security. Sticking with the region, the latest release from the Perth USAsia Centre’s Indo–Pacific Insights Series (PDF) outlines 10 policies that Australia should follow to engage Indonesia in the Trump era. A new briefing book (featuring the thoughts of ASPI’s Peter Jennings) from the Asia Society Policy Institute offers a strategic roadmap for the new US administration to follow as it navigates relationships, priorities and motivations in the Asia–Pacific. And from CNAS comes a stellar effort on intelligence collection and surveillance policy reform in the US in the face of an exceedingly diverse array of threats.

And finally,  Jeffrey Herbst, CEO of DC’s fantastic Newseum, puts the scourge of fake news under the microscope. Pointing the finger at tech companies for ‘giving consumers exactly what they want’, Herbst calls on social media executives, journalists and academics to counter the effects of online innuendo. Although Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey might have a hard time holding up his end of that bargain—Twitter was left out in the cold in Wednesday’s meeting between tech execs and Trump, due to its refusal to create an emoji version of viral hashtag #CrookedHillary. A strange move from The Donald, who’s famously used the social media platform to propagate mistruths. But hey, there’s always next year.


Occasional Strategist contributor Tom Switzer has continued to roll through 2016 with his successful and entertaining fortnightly podcast effort, Between the Lines. We’re not much for resolutions, but if you’re not a listener, get on board here. You can also check out Tom’s recommended reads each week, just over here.

Since unveiling the first episode in Foreign Affairs’ ‘The Power of Populism’ series, Americans went to the polls and elected the first US president to take office with zero experience in government. In the latest episode (21 mins), Gideon Rose, Carlo Accetti and Shannon O’Neill sit down to discuss the election wash up and what it means for both US foreign policy and populism worldwide.


This one’s for you, capability wonks: in the latest video out of Defense News, Lockheed’s VP for F-35 business development and strategy discusses the dawning of a new era of military-to-military relations between the United States and Israel, with the delivery of the first two of 50 F-35 stealth jets ordered by Tel-Aviv from the US. Check out the interview here (7 mins).


World: New Year’s Eve. Have a good one, thanks for reading The Strategist and see you in 2017!