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AFA Monthly is a free email published each month by Australian Foreign Affairs.
Written and curated by editor Grant Wyeth, it features news and insights on crucial world events and their effect on Australia, in a style that’s clear, succinct and free of jargon.
It also offers a round-up of the month's key articles by leading foreign policy thinkers from Australia and around the world.
Read previous editions
18 August 2021
The tragedy of Afghanistan
US and Australian involvement in Afghanistan lasted twice as long as the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and about four times longer than the two British invasions in the nineteenth century combined.
So, the takeover by the Taliban this week, which happened much faster than the Biden administration expected, is a historic failure …
11 August 2021
The global temperature is likely to rise 1.5 degrees by 2040, according to the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report, released on Monday, also suggests that even if carbon emissions are drastically lowered, the temperature will rise 1.6 degrees by 2060.
There is a broad consensus that global …
4 August 2021
Abbott goes to India
The Morrison government has sent former prime minister Tony Abbott to India to revive long-running efforts to strike a trade deal between Canberra and New Delhi.
Australia has more active former prime ministers than in the past, due to the high turnover of party leaders in recent years. It is sensible for governments to use them as special …
28 July 2021
Barrier Reef showdown
On Friday, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted not to downgrade the heritage status of the Great Barrier Reef – for now.
Australia has eight months to provide a progress report on the reef’s condition, which environment minister Sussan Ley says will be a “positive story”. During this period, the UN Glasgow Climate Change Conference …
21 July 2021
Telstra’s Pacific step-up
The Morrison government has moved to prevent a possible Chinese takeover of regional mobile phone company Digicel Pacific, pressing Telstra to participate in a plan to buy the company for as much as A$2 billion.
Telstra confirmed on Monday that it was looking at the deal, which includes “financial and strategic risk management support from …
14 July 2021
India’s new look
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi overhauled his ministerial team last week as he attempts to address falling support caused by his mismanagement of COVID-19.
Modi dropped twelve senior cabinet ministers and brought in thirty-six new members, expanding the ministry from fifty-two to seventy-eight members, reducing its average age and introducing …
7 July 2021
Indonesia COVID battle
Last week, the Indonesian government announced a partial lockdown and increased health spending and limits on foreign arrivals in response to a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases.
New infections have hit record numbers over the past week, and the daily death toll has risen above 700 in the world’s fourth most populous country.
30 June 2021
Red China’s birthday
The Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary this week, along with another significant milestone: it regained sovereignty of Hong Kong twenty-four years ago.
The official celebrations on Thursday will highlight China’s economic and military development since 1921, when foreign colonial powers controlled concessions across …
23 June 2021
The Morrison government has decided to lodge a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over Chinese sanctions on Australian wine exports.
The move, following a similar appeal to the WTO in December over China’s anti-dumping penalties on Australian barley exports, suggests the government is ramping up its formal response to China’s …
16 June 2021
The leaders of the world’s old economic powers held their first Group of Seven summit in two years on the weekend.
The issues covered in their 14,000-word communiqué ranged from COVID-19 to the challenge of China, from climate change to infrastructure renewal, from economic stimulus to fair trade and human rights.
The communiqué …
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