WEEKLY UPDATE (5-9 September 2016)

This roundup includes information about our latest podcast, interviews and stories of interest for the week of 5 – 9 September 2016

Publications & Podcasts

strategikonPodcast STRATEGIKON Episode 15 was published on Wednesday, 7 September 2016. The topic was the potential candidates to inhabit the job of US Secretary of State for the Trump & Clinton camps and the possible state of play for US foreign policy in 2017.  Click here to listen.

In the Media

5 September CEO, Dr John Bruni spoke to FIVEaa’s Leon Byner about the true nature of the Chinese threat to and within Australia.

8 September SIA Associate David Olney together with John Bruni spoke on national independent current affairs show The Wire on “How Extreme is Australia’s Terror Threat Level?” in relation to Islamic State’s latest call for home-grown terror attacks within Australia.  How likely is an lone-wolf attack in Australia?

John was also on Breakfast on Radio Adelaide to discuss whether we are afraid for the sake of being afraid and how the Federal Government and mainstream media may be proliferating terrorism by spreading ISIL’s message.

Stories to Watch

5 September  Philippine President Rodrigo Duturte – otherwise known as ‘Dirty Duturte’ for his freewheeling use of extrajudicial killings to break the back of Philippine drug cartels, expressed regret after calling US President Barack Obama a ‘son of a whore’. This undignified remark, as well as a list of other eccentric remarks by the hyperbole-ridden Philippine leader is indicative of the ‘rise of the populist’ that we are witnessing around the world. The siren-call of loud talking, fast shooting (and in Duturte’s case – literally) national leaders is upon us. We may be entering a post-diplomacy era where national figures show no restraint in their use of colorful rhetoric to play to their domestic audiences, showing their ‘devil-may-care’ connection to the common people.

7 September – Some 88 retired military leaders in the United States stumped up for Trump’s presidential candidacy. This is an important development in the Trump camp since up until recently, we have been told that ‘the sensible’ US military elite, even hardcore Republicans, had abandoned Trump – accusing him of being unfit to hold the office of President of the United States of America. This new development in favor of the Trump campaign might just help him stay within striking range of Hillary Clinton, as the polls narrow leading up to the US Federal Election in November. Trump’s national security speech was roundly criticized by the ‘liberal’ media in the US, however, his ‘peace through strength’ mantra will appeal to anti-establishment Americans, fearful of being surrounded by enemies (terrorist or otherwise i.e. the Chinese), and to some within the Pentagon who have experienced budgetary pressure during the Obama years.

8 September – In Laos where he was attending an ASEAN Summit, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke on Australia’s vulnerability to ‘lone wolf’ style terrorist attacks. Prime Minister Turnbull went on to say:

“As Daesh (Islamic State) comes under more and more pressure on the battlefield in Syria and in Iraq — as it is rolled back, as its territory is being taken back — it will resort to terrorist activities outside of the Middle East,…[w]e do have to be very alert to the actions of… lone actors — individuals who, as I’ve described in the national security statement last week, for a variety of reasons, may be radicalised. (They are) often associated with mental illness, frankly, can be radicalised very quickly and engage in very destructive, lethal conduct, as we saw in Nice, for example.”

For John Bruni’s take on this announcement and similar announcements of this type, listen to his interview this week on Breakfast on Radio Adelaide

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