north america

north america

middle east May 27, 2017

Weapons deal repays Trump’s Saudi pivot

When Rex Tillerson lectured his new fiefdom, the about-to-be-decimated and sidelined State Department, earlier in May about how the Donald Trump administration would sometimes be detaching foreign policies from values such as freedom, dignity and “...

middle east May 20, 2017

Widespread dismay at Trump intelligence

Where to begin with Donald Trump? To every scandal he comes back with two scoops more. The latest is that in talks with the Russians, he’s potentially blown the cover of an Israeli agent somewhere in Daesh territory in Syria, and been exposed asking...

middle east May 6, 2017

Trump plays low-key for Turnbull visit

It used to be that an invitation to meet the United States president was a sure-fire political winner for an Australian prime minister. It has now become high risk, and when Malcolm Turnbull went to New York to meet Donald Trump on a superannuated...

europe May 13, 2017

FBI probe lands its director in firing line

In early March, the new United States attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from supervising investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election, after a newspaper revealed Sessions himself had met Russian...

middle east April 29, 2017

Donald Trump’s grandiose Mexico promise hits a wall

And so we’ve got to 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency, which The Donald won’t be celebrating by turning up at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday night to hear the predictable roasting by...

middle east April 8, 2017

Putin’s allies dispute Syria link to St Petersburg bomber

Russian investigators blamed a suicide bomber from central Asia for an atrocity in a crowded metro carriage in St Petersburg on Monday, which killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 60. To some it signalled a bitter blowback from Russia’s...

middle east April 1, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull pulls China treaty ratification

The glow didn’t last long. Malcolm Turnbull put an enormous effort into the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang, meeting him on seven occasions over his four days in Australia, and hearing him offer conciliatory words: asking Australia not to “take...

middle east March 25, 2017

The everyday tools of the modern terrorist

This week’s attack outside the British parliament showed us again that terrorism is not confined to bombs and guns but everyday tools such as cars and kitchen knives, and that despite the intense patrolling of cyberspace by...

asia pacific March 4, 2017

Trump says opponents behind hate crimes

Donald Trump announced a $US54 billion increase in defence spending, then gave the State Department 48 hours to come up with cuts of up to 30 per cent to its $US50 billion diplomacy and aid budget to help pay for it – payback...

middle east February 25, 2017

New security adviser pro ‘hearts and minds’

The adults in Donald Trump’s administration have been out in force over recent days, with Vice-President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson showing up in Europe to say that, yes,...

asia pacific February 18, 2017

Flynn out as Russian connections linger

So it’s “out like Flynn” at Donald Trump’s White House, after the national security adviser, retired general Mike Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday over his contacts with the Russians. His tenure of 25 days was the...