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Articles by Professor Damien Kingsbury

Abbott’s first foreign test: pulling policy fat from diplomatic fire

Tony’s Abbott’s derided Operation Sovereign Borders policy will test the friendship in meetings with Indonesia today. On his first foreign assignment, is he up for the diplomatic challenge?

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Russia the real winner of Syrian negotiations

Russia has returned from being a struggling second-rate international power to again strutting the international stage as, more or less, the equal of the United States.

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Incoming government crashes into Indonesian diplomacy

The incoming Abbott government has learnt the hard way that it might not be a great idea to make foreign policy campaign promises without first talking to the principals involved.

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Russia may yet offer US a Syrian lifeline

The United States may have been given an opportunity to avoid military intervention in Syria while saving face. But will Bashar Al-Assad really play ball?

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Pause for thought on Syrian chemical attacks — and reprisals

There’s still no clear evidence on which group was responsible for a chemical attack in Syria. This lack of information makes Western intervention risky, argues Crikey’s foreign affairs writer.

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US intervention in Syria could escalate a bloody war

If it is proved the Syrian government used chemical weapons, the United States will likely intervene in the civil war. But would that help save lives or just make things worse?

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Egypt’s brief fling with democracy draws to a close

Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy appears to be drawing to a close as the army tightens its grip on politics, and some turn to terrorism.

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Carr v Bishop: business or diplomacy the foreign policy choice

Bob Carr debated Julie Bishop in a battle of foreign policy at the Lowy Institute last night. The differentiation came down to motivation: do you engage with the world for trade or diplomacy?

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US embassy alert shows war against al-Qaeda offshoot wages

The unprecedented closure of US embassies across the Middle East and Africa shows al-Qaeda and its deadly offshoots are still active and at war with America and its allies.

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Cambodian election: Hun Sen losing his tight grip on power

Cambodians have voted and while strongman Hun Sen retains a majority in Parliament, his grip on power is slipping. What will he do now?

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Lowy results underline the need for foreign policy experts

Australians are not all that keen on democracy — just as well, as they don’t seem to be really sure what democracy is. The Lowy report into our attitudes contains some troubling trends.

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No peace with honour in Afghanistan

There might not be a way for the US to “win” the war in Afghanistan. It also might not be able to achieve a Vietnam-style “peace with honour” defeat.

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Can Aung San Suu Kyi turn Myanmar around?

Observers are celebrating Myanmar’s recent steps towards reform and a new openness, including Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to run for president. But can she create the change needed, or is Myanmar too far gone?

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Why is China interested in helping war-torn Mali?

Is China’s decision to get involved in a peacekeeping mission to Mali entirely driven out of altruism? The move is seen as part of an increasingly assertive foreign policy agenda.

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Hope for peace in Syria fades as Russia backs away

Fighting has escalated in Syria, and Russia has started to arm pro-Assad forces. A peaceful end to the civil war is looking less and less likely.

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Foreign affairs: Defence spending down, more aid and spies

It’s a good time to be a spy. While Defence spending has been cut in the federal budget, there’s more money for secret intelligence. And aid funding gets an increase, despite deferring UN goals.

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The ugly (and fruitless) racism of Malaysian politics

Malaysia’s political parties are being increasingly divided along ethnic lines, which could make it even more difficult for the opposition party to break the ruling party’s stranglehold on government.

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Killings in West Papua by Australian-backed anti-terror police

There are reports of offices of Densus 88, Indonesia’s counter-terrorism police, attacking protesters at flag-raising ceremonies across the province of West Papua.

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Obama makes chemical case in Syria, but should we intervene?

With both sides of Syria’s civil war now claiming the other side is using chemical weapons, the US may be forced to intervene. But what form would an intervention take, and would American allies get involved?

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Boston and the expanding danger of Chechen Islamist jihad

Chechen Muslims have been increasingly melded with jihadist Islam, and now it seems the US has its own brush with homegrown Islamist terrorism.

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Australia is playing Sri Lanka’s authoritarian game

Australia locks up refugees escaping conflict in Sri Lanka under secret terms that, on the face of it, fit neatly with the authoritarian regime they’re fleeing.

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Leaked cables: US predicts Timor invasion, ‘keep us out of it’

The cables are an awkward footnote to the now surprising closeness of relations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

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Myanmar’s religious violence threatens reform agenda

The recent anti-Muslim riots in Myanmar have spread to the centre of the country and claimed dozens of lives. But is the violence politically motivated? And has it stalled reform?

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Kidnap mystery: wrong group blamed for Rodwell’s capture?

Kidnapped Australian Warren Rodwell got lucky to be released after 15 months in the southern Philippines. It suggests feared terrorist group ASG, which sometimes beheads its victims, might not have been behind the plot.

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Spies are supposed to be dull — Zygier didn’t fit the mould

Ben Zygier didn’t fit the mould of a Mossad spy — and potentially paid the price as a result. More details have emerged today to suggest “Prisoner X” wasn’t very discrete in a job that demands it.

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