Mr. R.A., a regular reader here, share this story, and it's significant enough I need to talk about it. Australia's Foreign Minister, Ms. Julie Bishop, has recalled all Australian Ambassadors to that country - temporarily it is to be stressed - for a conference in Australia of all senior Australian diplomats for a foreign policy "reset", or, at least, that's what were being told according to this article by Amy Remeikis in The Sydney Morning Herald:
There's the usual "all is well" explanation, including, of course, the obligatory remarks about how all this is being brought about by the Trump Administration and Mr. Trump's prior remarks about NATO, redoing security and trade deals like TPP, and the growing China problem in the South China Sea. One hundred and thirteen high diplomatic officials will meet with Prime Minister Turnbull in Canberra:
In an Australian-first step, 113 heads of mission - which includes the nation's ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls-general - will return for three days next month, as the government looks to reset how Australia navigates its foreign, trade and development policies on the global stage.
Every head of mission, with the exception of a few whose terms are about to expire, will meet in Canberra for a two-day meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Ms Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, as well as a representative from Labor, to contribute to the long-awaited Foreign Policy White Paper, due to be delivered later this year.
Doubtless, all this is true: Australia will need to craft a security and trade strategy for the near-to-mid-term future. But then there's this little bit of additional "explanation":
While other G20 nations, including the United States, Britain, China and Germany have established annual meetings of their diplomatic corps, Australia has traditionally held international meetings, flying Canberra-based staff to designated regional meeting points.
That approach has drawn criticism, most recently over a trip 23 DFAT staff made to Paris in September last year for a conference on saving money that subsequently cost taxpayers $215,000.
Meetings usually held overseas have now been cancelled, saving about $400,000, which has been reallocated to the heads of mission meeting.
In other words, we have a "nothing to see here, move along" explanation; it's all being done to save taxpayer money.
However, I cannot help but agree with the thoughts Mr. R.A. expressed in his email to me, and indulge and expand upon them in the high octane speculation of the day, for the implications of such a behind-closed-doors meeting of all Australian senior diplomats, face-to-face, means also that one is not subject to electronic communications, and to the prospects of penetration via hacking or other means of electronic eavesdropping. If one wants to communicate serious information in as secure a manner as possible, and formulate some sort of response to it, this would be the means of doing so.
Mr. R.A. speculates, and I agree with him, that during their meeting, Vice President Pence may have told Foreign Minister Bishop something truly significant, and highly secret (or, we may also speculate, vice versa), and that a large adjustment to Australian foreign policy is therefore necessary. And that means it has to be of significant magnitude. The question is, what is that significant?
Here I suspect there are two possibilities, and they may indeed overlap. The first, and more mundane matter, is the recent decision and discussion within the United Kingdom about revivifying the British Commonwealth, of which Australia is easily the most important Pacific member. Those discussions, you'll recall, also involve the idea of making the United States an associate member. If such were to occur, it would be a restructuring of the Anglo-sphere, "the Anglo-American Establishment", documented by American history and geopolitics professor Carroll Quigley in his book by the same name, in fulfillment of the dreams of Cecil Rhodes. In this respect, Australian foreign policy would need a significant reset, especially in the wake of the BREXIT vote. These realignments will also dramatically impact the "China problem" and how the U.K., Australia, the wider Commonwealth, and the USA, deal with it.
The second possibility for such a meeting, and the necessity of communicating in complete security, would be the strange goings-on in Antarctica, and the clear indication that something of major significance is either occurring in the polar continent, or that something of major significance has been discovered there, perhaps impinging upon human history, perhaps involving ancient high technologies and civilizations, perhaps involving "ET," perhaps involving major climate data, or perhaps even some combination of all of them.
Time of course will tell, but for Australia to "break" with its standard foreign policy operating procedure and summon such a meeting means that something truly significant is afoot, and one may be certain that while the forthcoming "White Paper" may not completely disclose whatever it is, it is bound to give some hint.
See you on the flip side.