James ONeill

Trump’s Syrian Gambit Again Exposes Australian Foreign Policy Bankruptcy

The decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from Syria clearly caught Australian political, military and intelligence leaders by surprise. Despite claims of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australia and the US were “joined at the hip”…

Two New Reports Point to Further US Decline & Higher Risk of War

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Two recent reports from the United States strongly suggest the United States is planning a major war with Russia and China, but are far from certain that they could in fact succeed in such a war. The reports also provide insights into how the United States will meet the budgetary…

Australia Announces Moving its Embassy to Jerusalem: Is there any Surprise?

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When the current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison floated the idea that Australia might move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it was widely suggested that this was an attempt to curry favour with the relatively large (12%) Jewish population in…

The Kerch Bridge Incident Points to Wider Issues

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On 25 November this year, three vessels of the Ukrainian navy approached the Kerch Strait which separates Crimea from the Russian mainland. They came from the Black Sea side of the Strait, which leads in turn to the Sea of Azov. Passage of shipping through this narrow Strait is governed by general international law…

The Death of Khashoggi Reveals More than a Murder

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On the 2nd October 2018 Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, apparently seeking documents in relation to his recent divorce. He has not been seen since. The Saudis initially claimed he had left the consulate alive. In the face of a steady leak of material…

US Withdrawal from INF Treaty Poses New Threats

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The recent announcement by US President Trump that the United States intended to withdraw from the INF Treaty signed by Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in December 1987 is important for a number of reasons. Blaming Trump for the decision to withdraw from the treaty…

Rules Based International Order: the Rhetoric and the Reality

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One of the most commonly used phrases by western politicians is theiprofessed beliein the “International rules based order.” It is meant to convey their respect for international law and is invariably used in the context of criticising their enemies du jour, currently China…

MH17: Some Truth Emerging at Last

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On 17th of July 2014 Malaysia Airlines MH 17 was directed to vary its scheduled flight path flying over Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. Air traffic control ordered the playing to fly 200 km north of its original flight path. The new route took it directly over a war zone…

The Skripals: Victims or Pawns in a Wider Geopolitical Game

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On 3 March 2018 a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury England, obviously suffering from the ill effects of an undetermined substance. They were transported to hospital and placed in intensive care…

Changed Rhetoric is Not a Guide to Changed Policy

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There is currently much anguish in western capitals about the actions of US president Donald Trump. He is seen as erratic, unpredictable, and with an obvious taste in women of dubious morals. Such an emphasis is, in my view, misplaced. Trump is certainly erratic. He is also astonishingly…

Why the United States Will Not Leave Afghanistan Voluntarily

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In 2013 Tom Engelhardt wrote, referring to the United States presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, where at eight United States air strikes had killed almost 300 wedding guests: “we have become a nation of wedding crashers, the uninvited guests who arrived under false…

US Failure to Accept Reality an Existential Threat to Us All

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Russia’s Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev recently declared that the latest round of US sanctions to be imposed on Russia constituted “economic warfare” and that Russia would respond “economically, politically, or in any other way, if required.”  One is tempted to ask: why has it taken…


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