Day 3 – Dinner

The crisis in the Middle East is likely to have terrible consequences for Israel, its neighbours and U.S. foreign policy. Israel’s
military response to Hamas’s attacks will surely trigger outrage across the Middle East, fueling jihadism, and might even
lead to wars with Hezbollah and Iran. The U.S. has a vested interest in preserving stability in the Persian Gulf, but the
Israel-Hamas war will lead to a more unstable region.
At the same time, Russia, far from being a serious threat to the U.S., should be its ally to contain China. However, the
American-backed Ukraine campaign has foolishly pushed Russia closer to China, which is a violation of balance-of-power
politics 101. The U.S. is now so deeply involved in Ukraine and has so committed its credibility to defeating Russia and
preserving Ukrainian sovereignty that Washington will surely continue backing Kyiv for the foreseeable future.
Making matters worse, the new Middle East conflict will also distract America from East Asia where the U.S. has been
working to put together a balancing coalition to contain a truly serious strategic threat. In that intensifying security
competition, Australians have a deep-seated interest in working with the U.S. to deter China.
For Beijing, the best outcome would be if Washington remains deeply committed and frustrated in Eastern Europe and
the Middle East, so the U.S. can’t fully pivot to East Asia.
* John Mearsheimer lecture, followed by Q&A with Hon Alexander Downer and Tom Switzer.


Director and Founder of the Centre for Independent Studies

Professor of Public Policy and Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University


Sociologist, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.
Author of The New Authoritarianism

Director, Free Market Foundation, (Hungary)

Health Director, Health and BioSecurity, CSIRO

Director and Founder, Academy of Ideas, London, (UK)

Founder and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative (NZ)

Australian writer and columnist for the News Limited Press

Research Director, CIS

Programme Co-ordinator of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia

Chinese Canadian human rights advocate

Senior Research Fellow, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

CEO and Founding Director, China Matters

Former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives and Cabinet Minister

Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Academic Culture, and Professor of History, Australian Catholic University

Cancer researcher and clinical oncologist, with Genesis Care Newcastle

Founder and President, Middle East Forum, publisher Middle East Quarterly Journal, (US)

Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist, (US)

Head of Economic Research, Reserve Bank of Australia

Executive Director, CIS

Professor of Economics at Stanford University; Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of the Working Group on Economic Policy, (US)

UQ-CSIRO Chair in Personalised Nanodiagnostics, Professorial Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Diplomat, American Board of Pathology

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Liberal Party Member for Berowra

Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011, Chairman & CEO of Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd based in Beijing

Director of China and Free Societies program, CIS

Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, (US)