Articles by: "Graeme Dobell"
Framing the islands: strategic denial and integration

‘The stability and economic progress of Papua New Guinea, other Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste is of fundamental importance to Australia.’ Australian foreign policy white paper, 2017 Australia’s deepest, oldest instinct in the South Pacific …

Framing the islands: of maps and minds

The map of Pacific island maritime boundaries is also the image of a paradigm shift. This fundamental change in the understandings and imaginings of the islands was delivered by the UN’s creation of 200-mile exclusive …

The 2020 Asia–Pacific outlook

Render the strategic outlook for 2020 into a core conundrum: How goes the new era of great-power competition? Is it to be security confrontation and economic decoupling? The crystal ball is clouded by rivalry. China …

The abnormal normal of icy times with China

The ‘new normal’ of Australia’s relationship with China is that it will be marked by ‘enduring differences’. That’s the outlook offered by the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson. It’s …

The pressures on South Pacific journalism

Journalism has always been a tough trade in the South Pacific. Living and working in island communities exposes editors and reporters to unusual political, personal and professional pressures. A statement warning about ‘growing threats to …

Reviewing the Department of Defence (part 2)

Australian defence reviews always wail about fuzzy accountability and indirect responsibility. The critique was immortalised by Defence Department Secretary Allan Hawke, back in 2000, when he decried ‘a culture of learned helplessness among some Defence senior …

Reviewing the Department of Defence (part 1)

Australia’s Defence Department is a big beast that’s hard to ride, much less steer. The complexities of kit, costs and strategy have made it the most inquiry-prone animal in Canberra—50 reviews in five decades (35 …

Whispering to the Asia–Pacific

Australia gropes and stutters towards a renewed embrace of international broadcasting—the vital need to ‘speak for ourselves’ in the Asia–Pacific. The latest lurch towards fresh understanding is the silent release of the review of Australia’s …