What Modi teaches us about populist foreign policy

Author: Johannes Plagemann, GIGA and Sandra Destradi, Helmut Schmidt University and GIGA From US President Donald Trump to the pan-populist ruling coalition in Italy, populist politicians are making an imprint on foreign policy around the world. But rather than ushering in something altogether new, populist approaches to foreign policy in the Global South reflect larger trends already underway in the transition to a multipolar and post-Western era. Indian foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a case in point. Grounded in anti-elitism and anti-pluralism, populism calls for a radical…

HIMARS: Capabilities and market prospects

The Lockheed Martin-developed M142 High Mobility Rocket System (HIMARS) is a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) system that has been used during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Several countries have since taken an active interest in recent years, leading to this technology making an impact on both the defence market and the frontlines. M142: M142 being fired from the flight deck of the USS Anchorage. Source: Commons  HIMARS can be transported by C-130 aircraft and other large aircraft, and they are used to fire Army Tactical Missiles (ATACMs),…

What’s Behind Malaysia’s New Defense White Paper Talk?

A closer look at the one of the new government’s key priorities in the security realm. On February 21, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad paid his first official visit to the defense ministry headquarters since he reassumed the premiership after a shock election victory in general elections last May. Among the priority areas he was briefed on was the release of a new defense white paper which has been mulled by the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government since last year. While the initiative would no doubt be a landmark development…

What if US is laying credibility trap for Beijing on Taiwan?

Sixty-nine years ago last month, Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivered a speech defining America’s strategic interests in Asia. He described a security perimeter that did not include South Korea or Taiwan. Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung, and Josef Stalin saw a green light and immediately began coordinating invasion plans for both countries. Kim moved first and unleashed his armies across the 38th parallel, igniting the Korean War. President Harry Truman mobilized a United Nations intervention and sent the Seventh Fleet back into the Taiwan Strait, blocking Mao from attacking…

The Guardian view on Britain and China: it’s complicated | Editorial | Opinion

A few years ago, George Osborne announced that Britain’s relations with China were entering a “golden era”. On Thursday, his successor as chancellor gave a more measured assessment: they are “complex”, Philip Hammond said, noting that they “had not been made simpler” by the defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to deploy an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. Britain, blanching as Brexit approaches, is more anxious than ever to keep Chinese cash flowing. Diplomats from other nations say London is already less willing to criticise Beijing because it knows…

May seeks to prevent further Europhile Tory resignations

Theresa May tried on Thursday to prevent further Europhile Tory MPs from resigning by promising that her UK government would occupy the political centre ground. Justine Greening and Philip Lee, two Tory MPs who are seen as among the most likely to join the new Independent Group in the House of Commons, were both invited to meet Mrs May at Downing Street. Hours earlier Ms Greening said she would resign from the Conservative party if the government sought to take Britain out of the EU without a deal. She added…

China’s high-spending tourists bring political clout

EARLIER THIS month the great pyramids of Giza and the nearby Sphinx were lit up in “Chinese red”. Spectators, many of them from China, were then given another unprecedented treat. The sound-and-light show, a staple of pyramid entertainment since 1961, was narrated in Chinese. The event was sponsored by the Chinese government, which takes pride in its travellers’ growing influence. Since 2012 China has been the world’s biggest source of tourists. Chinese travellers racked up nearly 150m trips abroad last year. Their spending—over $250bn in 2017—far outstrips that of their…

The only crime when spying on other nations is getting caught

With spying, the crime is getting caught. Everything else is absolutely fine. That’s the reality of Australia’s efforts to sneak into other countries’ Cabinet rooms and bedrooms, just as other countries try to sneak into ours. As part of the “Five Eyes” group, Australia is as much involved in spying as any nation and has no ethical problem with where or how it eavesdrops. Which makes some of the outrage about an attack on the Parliament House email system more than a little hypocritical. “This is an astounding assault on…

Maritime history and trade – the known and the unknown, explained by renowned historian Lincoln Paine

Lincoln Paine and his book Down East – An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine | Pic Credit: Lincoln Paine&nbsp It’s often said that the biggest turning point in human history was when we learnt to fly. The Wright Brothers and their exploits brought the world closer than ever before; we conquered the skies, the world became a family. However, from the prism of our evolution as a species, the even bigger point of realisation for all that we can accomplish was when we tamed the waters – when we…