China’s Gorbachev phobia

There was a time when well-meaning, if not wishful-thinking, Westerners thought that ‘China’s Gorbachev’ was the highest compliment they could pay a Chinese leader who looked like a reformer. But when Zhu Rongji, the straight-talking …

Land 400 Phase 3: cutting the foot to fit the shoe

The recent Strategist post and associated Strategic Insight paper by the director of ASPI’s defence, strategy and national security program, Michael Shoebridge, again targets Australia’s infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) acquisition. I disagree strongly with the …

The greatest democrat Russia ever had

‘We all need to have perestroika,’ Mikhail Gorbachev would often say. The Soviet Union’s last leader lived by that credo. After becoming the general secretary of the communist party in 1985 and implementing his program …

Gorbachev changed the world

Great powers don’t die in bed, the realist judgement goes. Empires fall amid flames and war. Not so, answered Mikhail Gorbachev, proving his greatness by achieving the gentle end of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev’s achievement …

Why DFAT should get out of Canberra

Australia, through its diverse communities, expansive geography and entrepreneurial spirit, maintains deep, yet often not well understood, regional connections beyond its borders. If we are to build on these connections, then Australia’s Department of Foreign …

The world’s energy woes aren’t over

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the immediate cause of the global energy crisis, but the seeds were sown by years of weak investment in fossil fuels, partly reflecting concerns over climate change. Before the war, …