Crossing the Line: Australia’s Secret History in Timor Sea, Kim McGrath

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“Kissingerian realism” and an associated hard nose for the “national interest”, or “Wilsonian idealism”?

Nowhere has this timeless tension in foreign affairs challenged Canberra more than over our nearest neighbour, East Timor.

Crossing the Line 1a book by Kim McGrathIt has made prime ministers from William McMahon to Malcolm Turnbull look mean and tricky, and yet, Kim McGrath suggests in this brisk account of it all, it might be one of those ­issues where the Wilsonian approach would have served the national interest better.

Against expectations of it becoming a failed state or, earlier, a Cold War pawn, the…

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