ASPI suggests
18 Oct 2013|

This week the bare minimum of sanity has prevailed in Washington, with the GOP blinking at the last minute on the US shutdown. Further government borrowing will be allowed, and those closed parts of the government will reopen; all that in exchange for future budget negotiations. “We fought the good fight” House Republican leader John Boehner said, “we just didn’t win.” The NYT have also continued to update their flow chart of the crisis for those interested in the blow-by-blow. The Economist says that the US is even worse than Europe.

National Bureau of Asian Research has published the most recent volume in the Strategic Asia series, Asia in the Second Nuclear Age which examines the nuclear weapons programs in all the major Asian states, both established nuclear powers and those which possess high degrees of nuclear latency. Ashley Tellis’ introductory chapter (PDF) examines current Asian nuclear weapons programs in the context of America’s efforts at pursuing nuclear abolition.

In other nuclear matters, talks this week in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program were apparently positive. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief for the European Union issued a joint statement calling the negotiations “substantive and forward looking”.

Sometime The Strategist contributor Susan Harris Rimmer has been kind enough to point us in the direction of her response to Graeme Dobell’s recent post on the DFAT-AusAID integration.

The Diplomat has this article on Australia’s delicate China-Japan balancing act, as Julie Bishop makes supportive noises in Tokyo:

Bishop was clearly hoping to minimize the amount of damage Australia’s embrace of Japan would have for Canberra’s bilateral relations with China. After stating that Japan was Australia’s best friend on Tuesday, for example, Bishop quickly added: “But that’s not to deny that we will continue to work on our relationship with China.”

On the topic of strategy in Northeast Asia, the NYT blog Sinosphere has this post on Hugh White’s book The China Choice.

Lastly, ASPI is hiring. We’re looking for a Canberra-based analyst, at either our Analyst or Senior Analyst level, depending on experience. Remuneration is $60 – 80k (Analyst) or $100 – $180k (Senior Analyst) per annum (including superannuation). Applications close Monday 4 November. For more details, see here (PDF).

Applications for ASPI’s internship program will open shortly. Gain real experience in strategic and defence policy analysis, and develop your research skills under the mentoring of senior staff. Internships last 6 months and are paid. More details here.


Canberra: ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre are hosting the launch of Desmond Ball and Keiko Tamura’s new edited volume, Breaking Japanese Diplomatic Codes: David Sissons and D Special Section during the Second World War. The event is on Wednesday 30 October in the Coombs Extension Building at 5.30pm.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Gage Skidmore