The Black Sea: what Australian politicians have been talking about

A ceasefire has been signed between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian seperatist rebels, which is good news presumably for civilians whilst this lasts (it sounds like this is not a popular move with combatants on either side); there is an intelligent discussion by Mark Adomanis in Forbes of why encouragement of an on-going guerrilla war against Russia, if they are involved in ‘an invasion’, would be a disaster for Ukrainians and should not be encouraged by NATO. Meanwhile, the Australian government has announced the opening an embassy in Kiev and plans to provide “non-lethal” support to the Ukrainian military.

A little further southeast of the Black Sea The encouragement of guerrilla warfare via proxy populations appears to be what is occuring in Iraq, with Australia having announced the supplying of weapons to the Kurdish military to combat ISIS. A key difference to the difficulties being faced by Ukraine is that Australia has played a role in the political destabilisation of Iraq and Syria over the past decade, but what both situations have in common are their complexity. In a post on the Lowy Interpreter, James Brown has discussed ‘Five fallacies in Australian thinking on Iraq’, highlighting the lack of sober and honest debate by Australian politicians and journalists over our involvement in the conflict, in particular regarding ‘why’, ‘how’ and what the ramifications might be.

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