European companies driven out of Iran (The Interpreter)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering a review of Australia’s support for the Iran nuclear deal. The news comes after US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal in May from what is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US has subsequently begun re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions that had been lifted.

Casper Wuite


Killing Chimerica (The Interpreter)

Over a decade ago, the term “Chimerica” was coined to describe the symbiotic relationship between the US and Chinese economies. While offshoring manufacturing to China and opening access to US markets and universities benefited American interests, it also saw China’s share of world GDP jump from around 8% in 2001 to almost 20% today, and assisted China’s ascent up the technological ladder. And whether or not “Chimerica” was really to blame for the yawning wealth gap within the US, a narrative around its predatory aspects fuelled the discontent that Donald Trump rode into the White House.

John Lee

A slap in the face for diverse diplomacy (The Interpreter)

The US appointed its first openly gay ambassador in 1999. President Bill Clinton gave James Hormela recess appointment as US Ambassador to Luxembourg after two years of a blocked Senate campaign. Since then, an additional six openly gay male ambassadors have been appointed by the US, including Ambassador John Berry to Australia (2013-2016).

Elise StephensonSusan Harris Rimmer

Where’s Jamal? (The Interpreter)

Even by the standards of Saudi politics, the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is head-scratchingly bizarre. He entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday, supposedly to sort out paperwork for his upcoming marriage. He hasn’t been seen since.

Rodger Shanahan

Pence on China: reviving a neoconservative dream (The Interpreter)

Ever wondered who is now the culprit for many of the woes of the United States? Then look no further than a major speech delivered by US Vice President Mike Pence last week.

Chengxin Pan

Turning the dial on international broadcasting (The Interpreter)

Right when Australia finds itself with serious strategic interests in its neighbourhood, it has managed to turn its once influential international broadcasting voice into a whisper.

Shane McLeodJonathan Pryke

Australia outbids China to fund Fiji military base (The Interpreter)

The competition of who gets to fund the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Black Rock Camp in Nadi came to close late in August, with Australia coming out on top over China. The RFMF’s chief of staff for co-ordination, Captain Eronia Duaibe, said that Australia’s bid was successful because they took a holistic approach to Black Rock’s construction, rather than the “bits and pieces” tabled by China.

Christopher Mudaliar

NAFTA to USMCA – what’s in a name? (The Interpreter)

What’s in a name? According to US President Donald Trump, it is the difference between the “worst trade deal ever made” – as he called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – and a “wonderful new trade deal” – his reference to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – which has been agreed to replace NAFTA. After a lengthy period of Trump lambastingNAFTA, threatening to walk away, and intimidating Canada and Mexico with the threat of higher tariffs if they did not agree to US demands, the three countries came to a “last minute” (the deadline imposed by the US) agreement on 30 September to replace NAFTA with USMCA.

Mike Callaghan

Hun Sen at the UN: a strategic appearance (The Interpreter)

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last week spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His presence at this year was highly strategic following the country’s recent general election, which saw his party, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) secure its mandate extended for another five years.

Darren Touch