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ASPI suggests

Posted By and on August 5, 2016 @ 14:44

It was a good week for women in Japan, with the country’s first female Defence Minister (2007), Yuriko Koike, breaking through another glass ceiling to become the first female governor of Tokyo [1]—despite sharp opposition from her party, the Liberal Democratic Party, which elected to endorse one of her male colleagues. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his new cabinet a few days back [2], which included the elevation of Tomomi Inada to the defence portfolio, making her the second woman to hold the post. Inada is an up-and-comer in the LDP, known for her nationalist views and as a close confidant and protégé of the prime minister. The Wall Street Journal carries an easy profile [3]. She’ll be one to watch when Abe’s time comes to an end.

Here are some prime cuts on Trump and the presidential circus. Stephen Colbert and John Oliver both took Trump on after his attack on the Khan family (here [4] and here [5]). David Remnick dives into Trump’s ‘humid political embrace’ [6] with Putin, while Jonathan Chait gave us more detail on on the Don-Vlad bromance [7]. Two must-read postmortems on the DNC and RNC come courtesy of Laurie Penny in Medium [8] and Jill Lepore in The New Yorker [9]. And with the conventions out of the way, some are looking to the intelligence briefings that the candidates can now avail themselves of. A column at Foreign Policy takes a look at the history of the mechanism and recommends that Obama cancel Trump’s briefing [10]; and one in the Times imagines just how that briefing might unfold [11]. If you feel like you’re not getting enough Trump in your life (afterall, 2016 is about feelings not facts), The Atlantic’s James Fallows has a continued to fill up a Trump time capsule for the horror of future generations [12]. And finally, The Simpsons have played their hand (above).

Two interesting longer reads on human nature and war this week. The first, from TIME [13], takes an in-depth look at rape in war, ‘a weapon even more powerful than a bomb or a bullet’. It draws on the first-hand accounts of women living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and asks how their experiences might be used to counter Daesh’s sexual enslavement of Yezidi women. The second, from The New Yorker [14], examines the evolution of war photography, arguing that:

‘Harrowing photographs do not inevitably lose their power to shock. But they don’t help us much to understand. Narratives can make us understand. Photographs do something else: they haunt us.

The Economist has published an excellent short piece [15] on the latest arms race—between surface vessels and submarines (with the balance tipping in favour of the latter) as navies around the world rush to develop better methods to track enemy boats.

This week has seen loads of fresh research offerings from plenty of different areas, kicking off with the massive State of the Climate report [16] from the American Meteorological Society. Based on the work of 450 scientists from 62 different countries, the report confirms that, yes, the climate is going to hell and taking us with it, with 2015 coming in as the hottest year on record [17]. This primer from The Guardian [18] displays some of the report’s key findings in a series of infographics. From CSIS, a great report on the US–Egypt relationship [19] dives into the shared interests of the two countries and the impact of a closer partnership in today’s Middle East. The bi-monthly ASEAN Focus [20] (PDF) is also out, with a special issue focusing on the South China Sea ruling. And if you want to contribute your thoughts to an important US research effort, check out this quick survey from CNAS [21] on the use of drones.

Finally, someone has written a spec script for a Seinfeld episode set in the days following 9/11 [22]. It’s in incredibly poor taste but the gags are pitch perfect. So bad, but so good.

Podcast

In this week’s episode [23] (44 mins) of the Foreign Policy E.R. podcast series, David Rothkopf, Rosa Brooks, Molly O’Toole and David Sanger dissect the relationship between Donald Trump and Russia—and ask the question on everyone’s mind: should US officials be trusting ‘America’s burst appendix [24]’ with national security secrets in the lead up to November?

Videos

Back in June we foreshadowed [25] Blackout, an online series being pulled together by VICE and Jigsaw to highlight free expression around the world. The series has shone a spotlight on the situations in Pakistan [26](16 mins), Venezuela [27] (20 mins), Belarus [28](17 mins), and Eritrea [29] (17 mins). The final installment, on cyber laws and wars in Thailand, was uploaded this week [30] (14 mins).  

GQ Australia’s Adam Baidawi visited North Korea for the Pyongyang Marathon earlier this year, and released some A+ footage of the hermit kingdom’s capital city along with a first-hand interview [31] (7 mins) on visiting the world’s most isolated country. The short video touches on the ethics of holidaying in an oppressive regime and the use of propaganda during the Marathon period, which is incidentally the DPRK’s peak tourism season, with about 1,000 foreigners participating in the race.

Events

Canberra: The ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre will next week host Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who will deliver the 2016 John Gee Memorial Lecture and sit down for a chat with Gareth Evans on the topic of Atoms for Peace and Development. Register here [32].

Melbourne: The Asia Institute, the Melbourne School of Government and the Centre for Asian Business and Economics are co-hosting an exciting panel event on the future of Indonesia’s economic prospects, featuring Indonesia’s Minister for National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency, Bambang Brodjonegoro. Mark your diaries for 15 August [33].



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URLs in this post:

[1] the first female governor of Tokyo: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21703286-yuriko-koike-combines-nationalism-and-steely-ambition-tokyo-gets-its-first-female-governor?cid1=cust/ddnew/n/n/n/2016082n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/AP/email&etear=dailydispatch

[2] new cabinet a few days back: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cabinet-profiles/abe-cabinet-formed-august-3-2016/

[3] easy profile: http://www.wsj.com/articles/abe-protege-with-nationalist-views-is-japans-new-defense-minister-1470227684

[4] here: http://www.vox.com/2016/8/2/12351104/colbert-trump-khans-late-show

[5] here: http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/john-oliver-spoke-about-donald-trump-and-khizr-khanand-it-was-damning--bkMJOprJ2LZ

[6] ‘humid political embrace’: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-and-putin-a-love-story?mbid=nl_TNY%20Template%20-%20With%20Photo%20(76)&CNDID=1522473&spMailingID=9300083&spUserID=MTQxMzc2NjcxNjE0S0&spJobID=980245162&spReportId=OTgwMjQ1MTYyS0

[7] bromance: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/08/the-trump-putin-bromance-is-getting-even-shadier.html?mid=facebook_nymag

[8] Laurie Penny in Medium: https://medium.com/welcome-to-the-scream-room/american-horror-story-ab4a4b389949#.7wz8pk7na

[9] Jill Lepore in The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/08/a-tale-of-two-conventions

[10] Obama cancel Trump’s briefing: https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/02/obama-cancel-trumps-intelligence-briefings-clinton-trump/

[11] how that briefing might unfold: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/opinion/donald-trump-and-a-cia-officer-walk-into-a-room.html

[12] Trump time capsule for the horror of future generations: http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/all/2016/05/the-daily-trump/484064/

[13] from TIME: http://time.com/war-and-rape/

[14] from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/12/09/looking-at-war?mbid=nl_Sunday%20Longreads%20(48)&CNDID=1522473&spMailingID=9277130&spUserID=MTQxMzc2NjcxNjE0S0&spJobID=962366308&spReportId=OTYyMzY2MzA4S0

[15] an excellent short piece: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21703360-proliferation-quieter-submarines-pushing-navies-concoct-better-ways?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/2016084n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/AP/n

[16] State of the Climate report: https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/

[17] hottest year on record: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/2015-state-climate-highlights#wows1_3

[18] This primer from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/02/environment-climate-change-records-broken-international-report

[19] report on the US–Egypt relationship: https://www.csis.org/analysis/making-choices?block1

[20] ASEAN Focus: https://iseas.edu.sg/images/pdf/ASEANFocusSChinaSeaArbitration.pdf

[21] this quick survey from CNAS: http://drones.cnas.org/drone-survey/

[22] Seinfeld episode set in the days following 9/11: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/08/03/read_billy_domineau_s_seinfeld_episode_about_9_11.html

[23] this week’s episode: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/01/is-trump-really-putin-s-guy-dnc-hack-hillary-clinton/

[24] America’s burst appendix: https://youtu.be/pPJHdfzZ5rU

[25] foreshadowed: http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/aspi-suggests-10june/

[26] Pakistan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBrC_4m9NvM

[27] Venezuela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=HC7LInc3yDU

[28] Belarus : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suIhQKbIfLA

[29] Eritrea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZJDriF2Fsw

[30] uploaded this week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCSwNDefJwE

[31] a first-hand interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIzoJu2rKTs

[32] here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/john-gee-memorial-lecture-atoms-for-peace-and-development-tickets-26889794098?ref=ebtnebregn

[33] 15 August: https://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/7185-indonesia-s-future-economic-prospects

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