Greetings and welcome to the first issue for 2018. My name is Tamara Tubakovic and I will be taking on the exciting role as Editor-in-Chief for Quarterly Access.
Last year was anything but calm in the arena of global politics. We witnessed the election of Donald Trump as US President, the beginning of the UK withdrawal process from the EU, Russian election interference, the rise and spread of populism and new political parties in Europe, and the continuing regional refugee crises. This year is unlikely to be any less tumultuous.
With this in mind, our first issue of Quarterly Access for the year focuses on terrorist insurgency, authoritarian leaders, despotic powers and the possibility of nuclear conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.
Matthew Mark Wilson opens the issue with a compelling exploration of the declining jihadist insurgency in Syria, and the possibility for the terrorist groups to unite and make a final last stand through guerrilla warfare tactics.
Chris Patterson investigates the implications of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program for Australia’s security, and the stability of the Asia-Pacific region. The inability of the US to reign in the rogue state is a cause of concern for Australia’s regional security policy, with the potential that other states such as Iran and Syria may follow NK’s nuclear proliferation precedent.
Alexander Thalis presents a new interpretation of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine as predictable response from a State under threat. While Putin has been framed by the West as despot, and his foreign policy dismissed as aggressive, the priorities of the Kremlin can be seen as a reaction to the perceived threat of NATO’s expansion in Russia’s geopolitical sphere of interest.
Adam Ni explores why China’s official nuclear strategy has remained unchanged in recent years, despite the country’s growing nuclear capacities. The modernisations currently underway in China will undoubtedly pose new regional challenges and unsettle relationships between China and regional players, such as the United States.
We also welcome Bernadette Anvia as the new Deputy Editor for Quarterly Access and James Carey as a new addition to our hard-working editorial team.
Tamara Tubakovic, Editor-in-Chief