‘What Australian foreign policy?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 26 April 2017 updated
Discusses Allan Gyngell’s new book, Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World since 1942. Gyngell, she concludes, ‘doesn’t endorse [former Prime Minister Malcolm] Fraser’s radical call for strategic independence and closing the [US Australian] bases. Instead he depends on Australian diplomacy to reject isolationism, “shore up the system and establish new rules”, and understand and “respond effectively” to the outside world. Few could disagree with that, but it may still leave us fearful.’
Speeches by both Gyngell and former foreign minister, Gareth Evans, launching the book, are here. For recent Honest History posts on foreign and defence policy, go to the tagged list ‘Getting on with the world‘. Alison Broinowski has a chapter on foreign and defence history and policy in The Honest History Book. She is a co-editor of the book and the vice president of the Honest History association. John Menadue, who manages the Pearls and Irritations blog, is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters.
Update 3 May 2017: Related articles: Jason Wilson in Guardian Australia on the difficulties besetting Australian politicians who want to be critical of the American alliance; Tony Walker in The Conversation on the lessons of history prior to the first Turnbull-Trump meeting.
Update 28 June 2017: Alison Broinowski in Pearls and Irritations on the significance of recent visits to Australia by senior Americans, seeking co-operation and offering reassurance and on what seems to be a drift towards Australian involvement in wars in different theatres, without consideration in Parliament.