President Joe Biden, joined virtually by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announces the AUKUS agreement from the East Room of the White House, Washington, Sept. 15, 2021 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).
The newly announced nuclear-powered submarine deal and trilateral security partnership between the U.S., the U.K. and Australia is remarkable for the sheer range of regional and subject matter experts needed to make sense of it. Like the proverbial three blind men and the elephant, it means something very different depending on where you grab hold of it. Some of issues raised by the sub deal, particularly over the technical specifications and proliferation concerns, remain open questions that will only be answered 18 months from now, when the framework agreement is due to be finalized in an actual contract, although that [...]
Turkish security forces apprehend a group of migrants in an operation aimed at stemming the recent influx of migration, in Van, Turkey, Aug. 21, 2021 (AP photo by Emrah Gurel).
In July, British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the U.K. had agreed to pay France roughly $72 million to fund border personnel and equipment that would be used to stop asylum-seekers from crossing the English Channel. The deal came amid a dramatic rise in the number of channel crossings. In the first half of 2021, more than 8,000 asylum-seekers completed the voyage to land on England’s southern shore. The deal with France was controversial, including within Patel’s own Conservative Party. Noting that this was the second such payment to France in the past year, Tim Loughton, a leading Conservative [...]
A firefighter manages a controlled burn near Tomerong, Australia, in an effort to contain a larger fire nearby, Jan. 8, 2020 (AP photo by Rick Rycroft).
There was a time when it was widely asserted that the onset of climate catastrophe would shove society out of its complacency and into aggressive support for action to address climate change. Once the consequences of burning so many fossil fuels were felt not just by those least responsible for the bulk of emissions, in the Global South, but in wealthier countries too, the argument went, the problem would shift from being an abstract warning from scientists to a clear and present danger. The season of bushfires that raged in Australia from December 2019 to February 2020—known locally as the [...]
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