- The Strategist - https://www.aspistrategist.org.au -

ASPI suggests

Posted By and on October 7, 2016 @ 15:01

With 32 days to go we’re rolling, rolling, [1] rolling [2] towards the US election. The read of the week is a reflection on Donald Trump by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter [3]. It was Carter (with his team at Spy in the 80s) who labelled DJT a ‘short-fingered vulgarian’, and Trump now occasionally bashes Carter on Twitter, so it’s safe to say that there’s no love lost between the two, which is what makes the piece such a corker. And with plenty of tragics hanging out for the second presidential debate on Monday, you can do worse than read Jon Favreau’s account of prepping Obama for his 2012 debates again Mitt Romney [4].

It’s been notable to see a number of publications [5] come out in recent weeks to endorse Clinton (or, in the case of USA Today, to pointedly disendorse Trump). The Atlantic stepped up this week [6] with ‘Against Donald Trump [7]’—only their third endorsement in 159 years. All this election chat has us hankering for some lightness from the Obama days: people keep stealing Biden’s Ray-Ban’s [8], President Obama as tourist [9] and, from a few months back, Obama as nightowl [10]. And in between packing up his desk, Obama has also penned some hand-over documents on matters economic [11], as published in The Economist.

A couple of great pieces have looked at new developments in the Asia–Pacific this week. A new (and non-paywalled!) piece from The Financial Times [12] discusses the rise of a neo-Maoist movement in China and how President Xi Jinping’s version of Communism is helping or hindering its growth. The ever-fabulous Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative from CSIS has raised its binoculars northwards and has created a stellar infographic on rising tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands [13] in the East China Sea and the Japanese and Chinese coast guard efforts that are fanning the flames. And finally, ASPI alumna Natalie Sambhi reviewed Kurt Campbell’s latest book over at War on the Rocks [14], and paired it with some musings on the state of the pivot and US military strategy in the Asia–Pacific.

In a unanimous move, the UN Security Council this week selected Portugal’s former prime minister António Guterres [15] to be the organisation’s next Secretary-General. Over at The Interpreter, Peter Nadin offers some observations [16] on what the selection means for transparency and gender equality. While Guterres was the US and European UNSC members’ favourite, not everyone is pleased with the selection. Foreign Policy deliberates over how long the UNSC’s ‘steel ceiling’ [17] will remain in place as it seems unlikely now that any of the five female candidates will be the first woman to hold the UN’s top office.

And this week’s fresh research has three completely different offerings. First up, ComRes has released a fantastic new report on soft power [18] (PDF) which ranks the top performing countries across a number of sub-indices including education, culture and government. The Asia Society Policy Institute’s latest publication, Roadmap to a Northeast Asian Carbon Market [19], takes a look at how China, Japan and South Korea are using carbon markets to reduce their greenhouse gas footprints. And a new report out of RAND [20], with a healthy dose of infographics, checks out some of the socio-economic benefits that the UK can expect from Internet of Things.


Last year the NYT’s Scott Shane released his book Objective Troy [21], which won this year’s Lionel Gelber Prize [22] for best book on foreign affairs. The latest Global Dispatches podcast is an hour-long conversation [23] between Shane and host Mark Goldberg, mainly about his manuscript, which is a headfirst dive into Obama’s decision to assassinate US-born Anwar al-Awlaki via drone.

In this week’s instalment of Foreign Policy’s The E.R. podcast series [24] (31 mins), David Rothkopf sits down with Kori Schake, David Sanger and Kim Ghattas to unpack the implications of the recent DNC hacks—and just how much Russia has the ability to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in November. ASPI’s Zoe Hawkins recently weighed in on a similar topic [25] here at The Strategist.


ICYMI, Peter Greste’s ‘China Rising’ spot [26] for Four Corners is worth a look.

Over the last few weeks, Vox has run a short three-part series on the Israeli Jews who have taken up residence in the disputed West Bank. The series finale [27] (10 mins) delves into a number of first-hand accounts of the living in battleground from settlers in East Jerusalem, the ideological epicentre of the Arab–Israeli conflict. See parts one [28] (8 mins) and two [29] (11 mins), also.


Canberra: Happy 50th birthday to the ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre! To mark the occasion, Defence Minister Marise Payne will be onhand to launch A National Asset [30], a book surveying the history of the Centre, pulled together by Des Ball and Andrew Carr.

Brisbane: It seems like just yesterday that Jakarta elected the soon-to-be President Jokowi to the Governor’s office. Nevertheless, voters will be back in the booths in just a couple of months’ time to take their pick in what’s fast becoming a three-way race [31]. AIIA’s Brisbane HQ will host Griffith Asia Institute’s Colin Brown to dissect the likely outcomes of the race on 11 October—register your attendance [32] now.

Article printed from The Strategist: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au

URL to article: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/aspi-suggests-7oct/

URLs in this post:

[1] rolling, rolling,: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCRae5mRoRE

[2] rolling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYnFIRc0k6E

[3] reflection on Donald Trump by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/graydon-carter-on-donald-trump

[4] account of prepping Obama for his 2012 debates again Mitt Romney: https://theringer.com/presidential-debates-are-not-on-the-level-b85266ea53fa#.qoacfbxu3

[5] a number of publications: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/06/business/media/the-editorialists-have-spoken-will-voters-listen.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

[6] stepped up this week: http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/10/trump-time-capsule-128-against-donald-trump/503087/

[7] Against Donald Trump: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/11/the-case-for-hillary-clinton-and-against-donald-trump/501161/

[8] people keep stealing Biden’s Ray-Ban’s: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2016/10/05/joe-biden-says-people-keep-stealing-his-ray-bans/?wpisrc=nl_source&wpmm=1

[9] President Obama as tourist: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/us/politics/obama-travel.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

[10] Obama as nightowl: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/us/politics/obama-after-dark-the-precious-hours-alone.html

[11] hand-over documents on matters economic: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21708216-americas-president-writes-us-about-four-crucial-areas-unfinished-business-economic?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/2016106n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/AP/n

[12] piece from The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/63a5a9b2-85cd-11e6-8897-2359a58ac7a5

[13] a stellar infographic on rising tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands: https://amti.csis.org/east-china-sea-tensions/

[14] Natalie Sambhi reviewed Kurt Campbell’s latest book over at War on the Rocks: http://warontherocks.com/2016/10/the-puzzles-of-the-pivot-america-in-the-asia-pacific/

[15] selected Portugal’s former prime minister António Guterres: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-n-security-council-chooses-antonio-guterres-as-secretary-general-1475692334

[16] Peter Nadin offers some observations: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/10/06/The-race-is-on-to-join-team-Guterres-at-the-UN.aspx

[17] Foreign Policy deliberates over how long the UNSC’s ‘steel ceiling’: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/05/u-n-s-steel-ceiling-blocks-first-woman-secretary-general/?utm_content=buffer5233b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

[18] a fantastic new report on soft power: http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Report_Final-published.pdf

[19] Roadmap to a Northeast Asian Carbon Market: http://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/roadmap-northeast-asian-carbon-market?utm_source=Asia+Society&utm_campaign=b64e999291-eNews_161004&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_de00ad8d9d-b64e999291-170740573&mc_cid=b64e999291&mc_eid=ae1f75d873#node-44885

[20] a new report out of RAND: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9933.html

[21] Objective Troy: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25241648-objective-troy

[22] Lionel Gelber Prize: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Gelber_Prize

[23] hour-long conversation: http://www.globaldispatchespodcast.com/episode-125-scott-shane/

[24] Foreign Policy’s The E.R. podcast series: https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/03/how-much-can-russia-mess-with-the-u-s-elections/

[25] recently weighed in on a similar topic: http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/securing-democracy-cybersecurity-digital-voting-us-election/

[26] ‘China Rising’ spot: http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1604H036S00

[27] series finale: http://www.vox.com/2016/10/6/13186266/settlers-taking-over-east-jerusalem

[28] one: http://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12929342/israeli-settlements-explained

[29] two: http://www.vox.com/2016/9/26/13031528/life-israel-settlements-palestine

[30] onhand to launch A National Asset: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sdsc-50th-anniversary-book-launch-a-national-asset-tickets-28347128023

[31] a three-way race: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/09/24/the-profiles-of-the-jakarta-election-contenders-ahok-agus-anies.html

[32] register your attendance: http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/events/after-jokowi-now-ahok-elections-for-governor-of-jakarta/

Copyright © 2024 The Strategist. All rights reserved.