Articles by: "Graeme Dobell"
Haunting AUSMIN

Hovering close to the table at the annual Australia–US ministerial were ghosts, spirits and spectres. New Zealand still qualifies as a ghost at this son-of-ANZUS feast, but in recent years the Kiwis have been edging …

Naval navel gazing (part 2)

Naval navel gazing (part one here) is a complex endeavour with many participants: experts both civil and military mingle with ministers and manufacturers and even the odd puzzled taxpayer. Drawing on the previous column gazing …

Naval navel gazing

The state of Australia’s navy debate looks like this. The experts war with each other over the best size of ships as close personal combat is mixed with the exchange of long range metaphors. The …

Leaving the wars of the US alliance

Australia is leaving the Afghanistan war well before the war is over. This is one of the Vietnam echoes in our experience of Afghanistan. Both were coalition wars fought by Australia with a central focus …

The tensions in Tony’s trade targets

No executive in charge of a major construction project should announce the scheduled date for the Queen to open the building until after it’s up and finished. This bit of British building lore drew its …

A wombat free zone in Trade

As noted in my previous column on the changes the Abbott government is making to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the wombat tribe has lost ownership of Trade. That’s to say, the National …

Of aid and wombats

In ordering administrative upheaval in Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tony Abbott finally killed off an aid consensus that had lasted for a brief political moment, while quietly breaking an Iron Law of politics that ruled …

The intractable South China Sea

The South China Sea is ‘probably the world’s single most complex, and intractable, international relations problem’. Gareth Evans, in proclaiming the South China Sea as the biggest and most complex headache, didn’t mention any of …