Zbigniew Brzezinski Downplays WikiLeaks

Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor during President Jimmy Carter’s tenure believes that cablegate will have little to no impact upon US foreign policy. I share this view as there is very little in the leaks that wasn’t already known, if anything all the leaks did was prove what was commonly believed.

As for the revelations about foreign officials Brezezinski rightly suggests that these views have been propagated by the popular press for years, all the cables do is reinforce what the public already know.

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Wikileaks Fallout

The most recent release of 250 000 confidential US cables by Wikileaks is unlikely to do any permanent damage to the US’ standing in the world since they do not uncover anything that could be described as earthmoving. If anything the leaks are more appropriate for a voyeuristic tabloid magazine than highbrow media analysis.

Foreign Policy describes the 10 most awkward situations relating to the recent leaks and for an extreme look at the possible outcome of these leaks head over the The Week. These links are really only worth looking at for comedic value- the repercussions outlined in them are unlikely to eventuate, it is just pure media sensationalism.

Is the USS George Washington Armed with Nuclear Weapons?

America’s response to the Korean incident has got me thinking about the capabilities of their aircraft carriers. The USS George Washington is currently involved in naval manoeuvres with the South Korean navy, it is powered by nuclear reactors which means it does not have to refuel every 3-5 days saving a lot of time and money. My question is, is the USS George Washington capable of firing a nuclear weapon? So far I have discovered that it is capable of transporting and firing nuclear weapons however the US will not disclose whether it is carrying nuclear missiles or not.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Misreads ANZUS Treaty

Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Foreign Minister has suggested that if the recent conflict on the Korean peninsula worsens Australia may find itself drawn into the ensuing war (source). Rudd is basing this claim upon the ANZUS Treaty, specifically Article IV which states:

Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on any of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security. (source)

The treaty states that Australia is obliged to offer assistance only when a state party to the treaty is attacked. South Korea is not party to the ANZUS Treaty and therefore Australia does not have to commit any troops to a conflict should one arise. Of course should America commit troops to the conflict they would be in harms way however Australia is under absolutely no obligation to follow America into every one of its wars.

The ANZUS Treaty was last invoked by Prime Minister John Howard following the 9/11 terrorist attacks upon very suspect information (there was little evidence of the attacks originating from Iraq or Afghanistan, the actual planning allegedly took place in Germany). New Zealand pulled out of the Treaty decades ago, it is about time that Australia followed suit and become responsible for its own defence.