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The Natives are Getting Uppity

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, March 29th, 2022 - 33 comments

Jacinda Ardern is “gravely concerned.” Peeni Henare was ‘”caught off-guard.”. Barnaby Joyce feels “intimidated.” Solomon Islands PM Sogavare found it “insulting to be branded as unfit to  manage our sovereign affairs.” I think he is right.

Who Pays the Price of Sanctions

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, March 20th, 2022 - 194 comments

New Zealand’s sanctions on Russia have not stopped the war in Ukraine. They may have made our parliamentarians feel better, and Tony Blinken was quick to congratulate us on falling into line with the US “high-impact sanctions.” The language is combative, but the evidence shows sanctions do not  work. They can have significant blow-back effects, particularly if not combined with effective diplomacy.

Big developments in Beijing

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, February 7th, 2022 - 31 comments

The meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping is likely to set the geopolitical direction for the 21st century. If ‘divide and rule’ was the mantra for the US’s hegemonic rule in the 20th century, ‘unite and share’ looks like setting the tone for the 21st. Co-operation rather than competition is the mantra, and “friendship between the two states has no limits.” A truly remarkable turnaround.

Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, January 23rd, 2022 - Comments Off on Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Robert Ayson’s advocacy of a sanctions regime for New Zealand in case of a  Russian invasion of Ukraine is a bad idea based on poor intelligence.The “Russian invasion” narrative was always a beat-up, and there is no support from major players in Europe for sanctions such as removal from the SWIFT payment system. Russia’s claim for border security is reasonable and essential for peace.

Blinken and Blind-Sided?

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, January 16th, 2022 - 17 comments

Russian peacekeepers are already leaving Kazakhstan having nipped the ‘colour revolution’ in the bud. Blinken clearly didn’t have a clue when he said Russians never leave the house. Russian intelligence was superb. Now we wait for Russia’s response to US likely refusal to pull back from its borders. One thing I’d bet on – no invasion of Ukraine.

Unwanted guests?

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 pm, January 8th, 2022 - 22 comments

When I heard US Secretary of State Blinken’s take-away line from his D.C. press conference on RNZ’s news bulletin today on events in Kazakhstan  ‘I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave’ I wondered what the Iraqis would think.

No Nukes!

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, September 17th, 2021 - 148 comments

Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have publicly announced they have formed a new security grouping that will assist Australia in the construction of nuclear powered submarines.

Are we really ready to escalate to war with China over Taiwan?

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 29th, 2021 - 38 comments

“What will the role of New Zealand be should China invade Taiwan?” was by far the  most popular question for Jacinda Ardern after she spoke at a NZIIA seminar last week. Promising to be benign, Ardern said we are “very predictable,” cited alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong, and went on to say we […]

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