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Episode 66: Revisiting the Capitol

22 Jan 2021
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
US Capitol. Source: keithreifsnyder

Also discussed in this episode: A declassified Indo-Pacific strategy, Five Eyes, and the merit of fresh ideas for Australian Foreign Policy.

Recorded the day after Joe Biden’s inauguration as President, Allan and Darren begin the episode by returning to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on 6 January, reflecting on whether their initial assessments need to be updated based on what we now know about the day, and the events since.

Next, they discuss a 2018 document outlining the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy that was declassified (more than 20 years ahead of schedule) by the White House as it was leaving office.

Third, Allan returns to his fascination with Australia’s cooperation with its Five Eyes partners, this time in the wake of a curious Department of Home Affairs media release discussing a “Five Country” grouping.

Finally, Darren admits to being triggered by a recent piece in the Australian Financial Review calling for “fresh thinking” in Australian foreign policy—is the situation that dire and is this the answer? And can a “wise old owl” like Allan provide it? The result is an interesting discussion about the barriers to entry into contributing to Australian foreign policy.

We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant Links

Scott Morrison, Interview with Jim Wilson 2GB, 18 January 2021:

Luke Mogelson, “Among the insurrectionists”, The New Yorker, 15 January 2021:

Gillian Tett, “America’s political crisis runs deeper than ideology”, Financial Times, 13 January 2021:

Derek Thompson, “Biden should go big, fast and simple”, The Atlantic, 20 January 2021:

Amanda Gorman reads “The hill we climb”, 20 January 2021:

“US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific”, Document declassified on 5 January 2021, available at:

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Zach Dorfman, “Newly declassified report lays out U.S. strategy in Asia”, Axios, 12 January 2021:

Peter Dutton, “Five Country Statement to EU to prevent child abuse online”, Media release, 15 January 2021:

UK Home Office, “Five Country Ministerial starts in London” Press release, 5 February 2015:

Andrew Clark, “Time for new foreign policy thinking in the Canberra citadel”, Australian Financial Review, 15 January 2021:

Vitalik Buterin, “Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and beyond”, 28 December 2021:

Malcolm Turnbull, A bigger picture, Hardie Grant:

Christopher Pyne, The insider: the scoops, the scandals and the serious business within the Canberra bubble, Hachette Australia,

Arnold Schwarznegger, Message following this week’s attack on the Capitol, 10 January 2021: