• Namibia’s Reparations Conundrum

    In 2021 the governments of Namibia and Germany announced an agreement for Germany to pay reparations to Namibia for atrocities committed by the German colonial authorities in Namibia between 1904 and 1908. The Herero and Nama people, the two main targets of German colonial brutality, argue that they were the ones to suffer most from German colonial brutality, yet they were not included in the negotiations over reparations, their voices were not heard, and their grievance have not been addressed.

  • Ethiopia and Somalia: Conflict Intensifies Over Port Deal

    Ethiopia’s agreement with breakaway region Somaliland, seeking port access in exchange for potential sovereignty recognition, could cause upheaval in the Horn of Africa. Somalia views it as an attack on its sovereignty.

  • Vietnam Isn’t North Korea—and 50 Years of Australian Aid Has Helped

    How have Australia and Vietnam, two countries with extremely different political systems, built such a successful partnership? It was done through long-term investment across all the tools of statecraft—including diplomacy, trade and defense—with development cooperation as a key element. This enabled a progression from battlefield enemy to major economic and development partner in a surprisingly short period.

  • Russian Revanchism Can and Must Be Defeated in Ukraine

    The Ukraine war is only the first phase of a broader conflict between Western democracies and an emerging axis comprising Russia and its allies. And while the West enjoys economic, military, and technological superiority, it is in growing danger of squandering its advantages and paying a much higher price later.

  • Self-Assessment: Setting Expectations on the Russo-Ukraine War

    The question of the expectations surrounding this war has become an issue in itself. Has an optimism bias pervaded the commentariat? Did pro-Ukrainian sympathies lead to playing down Russia’s inherent strengths and failing to appreciate Ukraine’s vulnerabilities? There was certainly more optimism surrounding the Ukrainian position at the start of the year than there was at the end — largely because of the meagre returns from Ukraine’s intensive efforts to liberate more territory.

  • Xi Jinping and Joe Biden Compete to Win Over Vietnam, the Region’s Critical Partner

    Vietnam has a long history of wars and historical enmity with China, and China is not generally popular with the Vietnamese public. Hanoi also, among Southeast Asian states affected by China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea, has been most assertive in pushing back. But President Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam demonstrates China’s continued importance to the pivotal Southeast Asian nation.

  • Red Sea Attacks: Why Arab Nations Won't Join Naval Coalition

    The U.S. has announced a naval coalition to protect shipping from Houthi attacks, but only one Middle Eastern country has joined. Why have others — like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt — not done so? Each of these states has its own reasons, but analysts say that the one thing the three powers have in common is the fact that they don’t want to be seen as working in defense of Israel.

  • U.S. Middle East Vision Emerges as Biden Focuses Beyond Gaza War

    An American vision for a post-Gaza War Middle East is emerging as the Biden administration is exerting an increasing pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war Cabinet to scale back Israel’s 10-week-old campaign to root out Hamas in Gaza amid mounting civilian casualties.

  • Biden’s Trade Policy U-Turn Bodes Ill for Indo-Pacific Security

    America’s economic isolationism is increasingly entrenched, with President Joe Biden’s administration no longer supporting the trade policies advocated by US multinational corporations, retreating instead to a nativist protectionism. The Biden administration’s U-turn last month on digital trade policy was a shock both to the US business community and to the nations that had been negotiating digital trade agreements with the US on the basis of its long-established position of lowering the barriers to digital commerce.

  • Why Venezuela Is Threatening to Annex Guyana’s Oil-Rich Province of Essequibo

    In an effort to improve his popularity ahead of the 2024 presidential elections, Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro has turned to the issue of the border between Venezuela and Guyana, which was settled in 1899. Venezuela claims that a great deal of what is modern day onshore and (oil-rich) offshore Guyana is Venezuelan – and Maduro let it be known that he may use force to achieve his goal. Maduro will have watched events unfold in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and perhaps picked up some lessons from Putin about how bully a near-neighbor, launch false-flag operations – and then choose your moment to strike.

  • Stricter French Immigration Bill Causes Uproar

    President Emmanuel Macron wants to reform immigration law with stricter deportation measures. But migrants and refugees in France protesting against the reform say the severity of the new measures is unprecedented.

  • No, Japan Is Not Ready for AUKUS

    It is a natural strategic choice for Japan to join in advanced military technology cooperation under the trilateral Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) agreement – turning the alliance into “JAUKUS” – but there is a fundamental stumbling block: Japan’s lack of effective counter-espionage laws.

  • Brazil's Lula Alarmed by Growing Venezuela-Guyana Tensions

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva said a war between Venezuela and Guyana over the oil-rich Essequibo region was “one thing we don’t want here in South America.” Venezuelan voters backed annexing of the territory.

  • Venezuela Voters Back Territorial Claim on Region in Guyana

    Venezuela’s government pressed ahead with the non-binding referendum despite the UN’s top court urging restraint in a territorial dispute with neighboring Guyana. Venezuelan voters also supported the formation of what Venezuela’s government describes as a new state whose inhabitants would be given Venezuelan citizenship.

  • Stop Venezuela's Aggression - Before It Creates a War in the Americas

    As a ploy to distract from his country’s domestic collapse, Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro - following the Putin and Hamas play-book - is suddenly demanding that neighboring Guyana “surrender” 2/3 of its territory - the entire western region called Essequibo - to him.