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ASPI suggests

Posted By on July 21, 2017 @ 15:29

Welcome back.

While those of us in the southern hemisphere are riding out the winter months, elsewhere summer is in full swing, which means holidays and plenty of time for reading. So let’s indulge in an Inception-esque activity: suggestions of some of the recommended-reading lists that have popped up from warmer climes. First up, Senator John McCain has offered his picks [1], a mix of fiction and non-fiction that has a near-exclusive focus on some aspect of war. Those with a cyber itch to scratch should check out two lists: one from Alphabet’s Jigsaw operation to help you get your head around the ‘age of cyber conflict’ [2], and the other a trio of reads from Adam Segal [3] over at the Council on Foreign Relations. Grappling with Russia—its history, Putin, his regime, its methods and priorities—remains the perennial аромат-of-the-month, so thankfully Politico’s Susan B. Glasser is here to offer some of the best Russia reads around [4]. And if you want to know what Republicans are reading, dip into this collection [5] from Foreign Policy.

We’re now six months into the Trump presidency, and to celebrate, the president gave a staggering interview to some top reporters from the New York Times. It’s really worth spending some time with the 7,500-word transcript [6], along with the Times’ chronicle [7]of some of Trump’s misleading claims on topics as diverse as health insurance, Akie Abe and Napoleon. This Washington Post piece reckons the interview betrays Trump’s ‘conviction that he’s above the law’. And head on over to the Atlantic, where James Fallows forensically deconstructs the Trump interview, which he believes [8] shows ‘at least an increase in degree in the self-delusion, the consequential ignorance, the expressed disregard for constitutional functioning, and the absolute nature of his claims of innocence’.

With Game of Thrones kicking off its seventh season this week, ReasonTV has offered this deeply impressive libertarian-infused parody [9] (6 mins). Freedom … freedom, everywhere (across the Seven Kingdoms).

The research buffet has been restocked and a tasty smorgasbord awaits, dear reader. The annual Soft Power 30 report was released this week [10]. France took out top honours (up from #5 last year), the UK retained its #2 rank, while the US slipped to 3rd place, from #1 in 2016. But any bruised souls stateside should take solace in the latest Pew research, which finds that the US is still considered top dog on the question of economic power [11]. (Aussies know which side their bread is buttered on, though, voting for China over the US by a two-to-one margin.) From CSIS comes a hefty new study on South Korea’s middle power status [12]—how the country wields power, its interaction with the US, and how it tackles health, economic and environmental challenges are all up for discussion. And Simon Jackson of the University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre has grappled with the impeachment process so you don’t have to, laying out the history of the mechanism and giving his take on whether Trump will have to walk down that road [13].

If you’ve ever wanted to have a gander in the International Space Station, you’ll be pleased to discover that it recently received the Google Street View treatment [14], meaning you can float through the station’s 15 modules at your leisure. Blast off here [15].


Britain’s nuclear tests at Maralinga are the subject of this cracking episode of the ABC’s Conversations released last year. Host Sarah Kanowski speaks with Liz Tynan [16] about her book Atomic thunder: the Maralinga story. (2-4-1 SPECIAL: I came to that Conversations interview indirectly thanks to Leigh Sales’ and Annabel Crabb’s Chat 10 Looks 3 [17] podcast, which isn’t typical ASPI fodder but is nonetheless a ripsnorter—10 out of 10 fat tuba players.)

The Atlantic will later today launch its new podcast effort [18], Atlantic Radio. It’s about where America has come from and where it’s headed to. David Frum and Molly Ball are first up. It’ll be one to watch.


The US Studies Centre recently hosted John Howard in conversation with the Australian’s Paul Kelly. If you couldn’t get along, head on over to the USSC site for the masterclass in level-headed analysis [19]of the US–Australia relationship, President Trump, his team and how the former Aussie PM thinks it’s all going.

Asia watchers, CSIS has your number. The DC heavyweights this week hosted their seventh annual conference on the South China Sea, providing an opportunity to dive into the disputes, the options and the policies proffered by the concerned parties. The hefty eight-hour event is over at YouTube [20], ready for your delectation.


Canberra: The Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift, will be swinging by the ANU soon to lay out his vision for how navies Australian and American can underwrite stability in the Indo-Pacific. The National Security College will host the admiral; details here [21].

Brisbane: In a couple of weeks the Griffith Asia Institute will host the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong, for a lunchtime lecture [22]. Get along to the brilliant GOMA building on the banks of the Brissie River to hear the senator on ‘Australian Values in a Time of Disruption’.

Sydney: Join the all-star panel of Gillian Triggs, Paris Aristotle, Guy S. Goodwin-Gill and Huy Truong at the Opera House next month to talk about breaking the deadlock on the issue of asylum and refugee policy. Tickets are $30 and are available over at the Opera House’s site [23].

See you in a few weeks.

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URL to article: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/aspi-suggests-21july/

URLs in this post:

[1] Senator John McCain has offered his picks: https://medium.com/@SenatorJohnMcCain/https-medium-com-senatorjohnmccain-senator-john-mccains-summer-reading-list-2eb3a722fd3e

[2] help you get your head around the ‘age of cyber conflict’: https://medium.com/jigsaw/five-great-reads-to-understand-the-age-of-cyber-conflict-620e01d09443

[3] trio of reads from Adam Segal: https://www.cfr.org/blog-post/your-summer-reading-list-needs-more-cyber?sp_mid=54524817&sp_rid=ZGF2aWRtYXNvbmxhbmdAZ21haWwuY29tS0

[4] some of the best Russia reads around: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-books-that-best-explain-putin-and-his-russia/2017/07/14/8f48d87c-6809-11e7-9928-22d00a47778f_story.html

[5] this collection: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/30/what-are-republicans-reading-an-elephants-in-the-room-summer-2017-reading-list/

[6] 7,500-word transcript: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/trump-interview-transcript.html?_r=0

[7] chronicle : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/us/politics/donald-trump-interview-factcheck.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=politics

[8] believes: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/trump-takes-another-step/534309/

[9] deeply impressive libertarian-infused parody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=109&v=ojubI-sYwho

[10] Soft Power 30 report was released this week: http://softpower30.portland-communications.com/

[11] top dog on the question of economic power: http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/07/13/more-name-u-s-than-china-as-worlds-leading-economic-power/

[12] South Korea’s middle power status: https://www.csis.org/analysis/korean-pivot?utm_source=CSIS+All&utm_campaign=0bd55c78a4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f326fc46b6-0bd55c78a4-145371421

[13] the history of the mechanism and giving his take on whether Trump will have to walk down that road: https://assets.ussc.edu.au/view/ac/e9/16/4f/ff/d9/11/ef/29/7a/77/bc/4f/83/ad/54/original/959a3d253927020b0ed1a1bd671e65306f29b4f4/Impeachment-101-the-history-process-and-prospect-of-a-Trump-impeachment.pdf

[14] recently received the Google Street View treatment: https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/20/google-street-view-now-lets-you-explore-the-international-space-station/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tctwreshare&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=twitter

[15] here: https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5601187,-95.086042,3a,75y,293.85h,74.01t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3OFiq36cp0IAAAQvxgbyIg!2e0!7i10000!8i5000

[16] Sarah Kanowski speaks with Liz Tynan: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2016/08/09/4515140.htm

[17] Chat 10 Looks 3: http://www.chat10looks3.com/

[18] new podcast effort: https://www.theatlantic.com/radio/

[19] masterclass in level-headed analysis : https://www.ussc.edu.au/events/howard-on-trump

[20] over at YouTube: https://www.csis.org/events/seventh-annual-csis-south-china-sea-conference?utm_source=CSIS+All&utm_campaign=12cefd35e8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f326fc46b6-12cefd35e8-160737809

[21] here: https://nsc.crawford.anu.edu.au/news-events/events/10927/stability-indo-pacific-roles-us-and-australian-navies

[22] lunchtime lecture: http://events.griffith.edu.au/events/australian-values-in-a-time-of-disruption/event-summary-6e134dfbb45c4753ad79c3b5fa9e2c4a.aspx?lang=en&sms=2

[23] the Opera House’s site: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/ideas-and-talks/2017/UNSW-Talks-Breaking-The-Deadlock-tickets.html?mc_cid=8a21e1b937&mc_eid=155c47ee65

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