Sign up to AFA Monthly
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
9 June 2021
The Morrison government has closed Australia’s embassy in Kabul, declaring it cannot guarantee security to diplomats “in light of the imminent international military withdrawal from Afghanistan”.
Despite being involved in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban for twenty years, Australia began a hasty withdrawal from the country …
2 June 2021
Morrison and Ardern
Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern have insisted that Australia and New Zealand are taking a unified approach to dealing with China, including on human rights and economic-coercion issues.
The leaders were in Queenstown on Monday for their first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic.
Their expression of solidarity on …
26 May 2021
Cryptocurrency and geopolitics
Last week, as the cryptocurrency market fell into turmoil, financial services minister Jane Hume said the Morrison government would “let people make their own decisions” about investing in high-risk assets.
By contrast, China and the United States each signalled they would be reining in digital currencies, in a rare alignment of their …
19 May 2021
Bringing students back
Scott Morrison has declared that “the next step” in reopening the country’s borders is to bring back international students.
Previously, the Morrison government was at odds with universities over how to deal with COVID-19’s impact on higher education. When it delivered the federal budget last week, it suggested borders would remain …
12 May 2021
The diversification of the Australian economy is the standout international relations theme of yesterday’s federal budget.
Measures supporting this objective will be undertaken by several departments, not just the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This reflects the government’s new focus on creating cross-government responses to …
05 May 2021
India travel ban
The Morrison government’s tough penalties for anyone returning from India are raising questions about its responsibility for Australian citizens abroad.
Up to 9000 Australians have been left stranded in India amid a collapse in its health-care system and a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.
The penalties represent a conflict between …
28 April 2021
Victoria’s China deals
Last week, the Morrison government cancelled Victoria’s two Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreements under its new Foreign Arrangements Scheme.
The government revealed it is auditing more than 1000 agreements that state governments, local governments and universities have made with other countries.
Creating a national register of …
21 April 2021
Myanmar neighbours meet
On Saturday, South-East Asian leaders are due to meet in Jakarta to discuss the Myanmar coup, which could be a historic test of credibility for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Since its founding in 1967, the ten-member group has survived decades of regional political turmoil – largely by adhering to a policy of non-interference …
14 April 2021
The new capitalism
Last week, the International Monetary Fund initiated a program to let poor countries swap debt for green investments and backed a “solidarity tax” on companies and individuals who have benefited from COVID-19.
In addition, the world financial watchdog expanded its reserves by US$650 billion and used a meeting with the World Bank to urge …
7 April 2021
Australia has commenced an international education overhaul, which could lead to big changes in the sector.
The number of foreign students admitted is likely to drop, their countries of origin may be different, and fewer students may be educated on Australian campuses. More teaching will be delivered online, and course offerings to foreign …
Sign up to become a friend of
AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS