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  • 15 Nov 2019 12:30

    Ayodhya verdict and unruly consequences

    India’s Supreme Court has delivered a ruling that will embolden the Hindu right and challenge the country’s secularism.

  • 15 Nov 2019 10:00

    Autocrats Anonymous

    A White House confessional reveals Donald Trump incapable of change – a kind of Marvel superhero, but less interesting.

  • 15 Nov 2019 06:00

    Book Review: The original corporate raiders

    Historian William Dalrymple looks at how a small trading company in London became a mighty army and conquered India.

Anthony Bubalo's picture
People | experts Anthony Bubalo
Nonresident Fellow
Lowy Institute
Anthony Bubalo's picture
Areas of ExpertiseAustralian policy in West Asia; West Asia-East Asia linkages; Egypt; Saudi Arabia; the Israeli-Palestinian dispute

US-Saudi relations: Salman snubs, Obama shrugs

There has been a lot of parsing of yesterday's reputed snub of President Obama by King Salman of Saudi Arabia. It certainly was a snub. In 2009 the late King Abdullah greeted Obama off the plane during the US President's first to the Kingdom; yesterday King Salman sent the Governor of Riyadh to

Middle East turmoil through Indonesian eyes

'Egyptians are very easy to provoke. Two people can be talking among themselves about Morsi, then others jump in and interrupt. It happens on the tram or the train. Even though they don’t know one another, when they’re standing next to each other and don’t have the same opinion, they just

The Middle East in 2016 (part 7): Australian policy

This is the final entry in this seven-part series. Part 1 is here; part 2 here; part 3 here: part 4 here; part 5 here; and part 6 here. In the last decade and a half there has been a subtle evolution in Australian policy toward the Middle East. At the start of this century, the region was

The Middle East in 2016 (part 5): Cultivating order

Part 1 of this seven-part series is here; part 2 here; part 3 here: and part 4 here. In February 2014 I visited Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, near the Syrian border. According to official estimates it today houses around 80,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria, although in 2014, the Jordanian

The Middle East in 2016 (part 1): Levantine limbo

This is the first post in a series of seven on the Middle East in 2016. The first three will look at what I think will happen in the region this year; the second three will discuss how I think Western countries should respond; and a final post will discuss Australian policy. To understand what will

Greste, the West and 'the republic of darkness'

Over the weekend an Egypt court found Al-Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed guilty on charges of operating in Egypt without a press licence and of ‘spreading false news’. Greste and Fahmy were given sentences of three years in prison; Mohamed was given three years

Iran nuclear deal: Surrendering to grim reality

The conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal – or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to give it its formal title – has already guaranteed us one thing: mutually assured hyperbole. Barrages of outrage were being fired even before the deal was signed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Lowy Institute is looking for a research editor

The Lowy Institute for International Policy is looking for an experienced research editor. The position will be responsible for editing all major research publications, and will assist with the management and administration of research procedures. The role will also provide some editorial assistance

Three ways to judge the Iran nuclear deal

Last week's announcement that the P5-1 and Iran had reached agreement on the parameters for a comprehensive nuclear deal has, unsurprisingly, provoked heated debate. This is despite the fact that there is still no deal yet. Although the Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action say a lot

Just how absurd is the Middle East at the moment?

Even for long-time watchers of the Middle East like myself, the region's enmities and alliances have become very difficult to keep track of. This has just been taken to a mind-bogglingly new level by Saudi Arabia's decision to launch a military campaign in Yemen against the Houthi movement. Last

Bibi goes to Washington

For most of my professional life I have been addicted to Middle Eastern politics. In recent years, however, I have started to kick the habit, so I had not planned to get up at 3am Sydney time to watch Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliver his much anticipated and controversial address to

How should a democracy fight terrorism?

If you live in an authoritarian state the answer to the question 'How do you fight terrorism?' is relatively straightforward. I say 'relatively' because it is by no means a simple question even for dictators. In recent decades even authoritarian governments have had to weigh up the most effective

Iran nuclear negotiations: A negative non-failure

This morning it was announced that the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5-1 have been extended for another seven months; or to be specific, another four months to reach a political agreement and another three months beyond that to finalise technical details. That the talks did not end

The day Gough called me

It’s a grim part of a think tankers life (or at least this think tanker’s life): you write your papers and they disappear into the ether. You often receive little or no feedback, nor even much indication of whether anybody has read your paper at all. But occasionally there are moments that lift

ISIS, ISIL, IS and Da'esh: Sticks and stones

With the air campaign appearing to have little effect on Islamic State (IS) so far, it seems the US-led coalition is switching to a new strategy: name-calling. This week John Kerry referred to IS by its Arabic acronym Da'esh, although in the same remarks he also referred to it as ISIL. This follows

Fighting Islamist terrorism: Communities the key

There is an obvious connection between what is happening in Iraq at the moment and the Abbott Government's announcement last week of new measures to fight terrorism at home. A significant number of young Australian nationals have traveled to fight in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Some are fighting

Gaza: Searching for a ceasefire (mediator)

The latest Gaza war is heading into new and bloody territory with no end in sight. As with previous conflicts in Gaza (and in Lebanon for that matter), both sides are engaged in what amounts to a brutal negotiation. For Israel it is about how much of Hamas' rocket and tunnel infrastructure it can

Egypt: Peter Greste (and don't forget the rest)

In passing comment on the seven-year jail sentence handed down to Australian journalist Peter Greste, it would be all too easy just to join the swollen ranks of the indignant. You would certainly be in good company. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has described the verdict as 'appalling'. US

Why the US (and Australia) should go back to Iraq

ISIS's dramatic seizure of Mosul last week has caused much geo-strategic hyperventilation. Commentators are variously predicting the collapse of Iraq and eulogising (once again) Middle Eastern borders as defined by Sykes and Picot. The prospect of the US – and perhaps allies such as Australia

Football vs international policy: No contest

Tomorrow I begin a bleary-eyed month of World Cup watching. In part to justify my reduced productivity over the next four weeks, I wanted to identify some of the key points at which global politics and world football intersect. …(cue crickets chirping)… I know others have done it, I have done it

False choices in Egypt's presidential election

It goes something like this: over the next two days, Egyptians will elect the former head of the military, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, as Egypt's new president. His sole challenger, Hamdeen Sabahi, may do a little better than expected, perhaps denying Sisi his landslide. But by hook or by crook, Sisi will

Egypt, Sisi and the next generation of jihadists

At the end of last week, Egyptian military chief Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that he would be resigning his military post to run for this year's presidential elections, expected to take place in May. It is a move that has been mooted for months now, and has at its origins the

Next-gen jihad in the Middle East

In this Analysis Lowy Institute Research Director, Anthony Bubalo, argues that the current turmoil in the Middle East is incubating a new generation of jihadists. In many respects the current conditions in the region are worse than those that saw the emergence of al-Qaeda. 

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