Matthew Bucki-Smith

About Matthew Bucki-Smith

Matthew is a third year undergraduate student of a combined Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts degree at Deakin University, Australia. He has completed a Mandarin Chinese major in his Arts degree, and an International Relations Minor. His research interests include security relations in the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern politics.

Syrian Opposition Spurns Sochi Talks, Accuse Russia Of Favouring Assad

Representatives for Syria’s primary opposition group, the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) have announced that will not be attending this week’s Russian-sponsored Syrian peace talks in Sochi. The talks – being held in parallel to the United Nation’s own talks in Vienna – have been dismissed by a spokesman for the […]

Argentina’s Government Cuts Pensions As Anti-Austerity Protests Intensify

A controversial bid to reform Argentina’s pension regime has passed in the National Congress amid intensifying anti-government protests seeking to halt the bill’s progress. According to official sources, approximately 49 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, and another 147 people (including police officers) treated for injuries of […]

The Extreme Hypocrisy Of U.S. Immigration Policy Towards Central Americans

Almost 25 years have passed since the end of El Salvador’s brutal civil war, a conflict that left a staggering 80,000 civilians dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Yet, despite nominally being at peace, El Salvador is no more free from the oppressive atmosphere of extreme violence that dominates now […]

The Secretive Brutality Of Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policy

Australia’s High Court decided this week that the detention of asylum seekers at the offshore detention centres is not unconstitutional, and indeed well within the powers afforded to the Australian Government. The decision, while surprising few who advocate for a change in Australia’s draconian policies, is nonetheless disappointing. Australia’s policy […]

Civilian Casualties Continue To Mount As Raqqa Offensive Continues

Air raids on Raqqa conducted by the US-led coalition killed 29 civilians in the space of 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has revealed. According to figures provided by the SOHR, this week’s deaths add to at least 523 other civilians who were killed since the campaign […]

Herat Hit By Suicide Bombing Leaving 29 Dead

Two attackers stormed a Muslim Shi’ite mosque in Western Afghanistan’s Herat Province earlier this week, killing at least 29 and seriously injuring 60 in an attack that has been claimed by the ‘Islamic State’ group. The attackers were a suicide bomber and terrorist armed with an automatic rifle; both are […]

Azaria Appeal Against Manslaughter Conviction Quashed

This week, former Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldier, Sergeant Elor Azaria, had his appeal against a manslaughter conviction that was quashed by an Israeli military court, the Haaretz news service has reported. Azaria’s victim, 21-year-old Palestinian Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, had been lying on the road unarmed and subdued at the time […]

Successful Intermediate Range Testing Of THAAD Completed As Korean Peninsula Grows More Tense

The United States has conducted the first successful test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system against an intermediate-range missile target, Chinese state media has reported. The test, which was conducted in the vicinity of Hawaii with a THAAD missile fired from Alaska, is being hailed as […]

Jordan, Russia, And The U.S. Secure A Peace Deal For Syria’s Southwest

Russia, the U.S. and Jordan have reached a trilateral ceasefire agreement in Syria’s southwestern region, the BBC reports. The ceasefire comes at a crucial time in Syria’s six-year long civil war, as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue their U.S.-backed campaign to clear the Islamic State (IS) from its […]

Hopes For A Democratic Hong Kong Fade 20 Years Into ‘One Country, Two Systems’

This week, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunion with the PRC with an official visit by Xi Jinping, the President of the PRC and chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. The visit, which was marked […]

Eight Years Of Strategic Patience Later, Are We Any Closer To Peace In The Korean Peninsula?

It has been sixty-seven years since the end of the Korean War, and relations between the North (or DPRK) and South are as tense as ever. The reclusive North, virtually a leper state, pursues a bellicose, righteous foreign policy narrative punctuated by the long-range missile tests for which it has […]

U.S.-led Coalition Uses White Phosphorus In Raqqa Offensive

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has this week revealed that the U.S.-led coalition fighting in the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa have repeatedly launched white phosphorus munitions at areas believed to be populated by civilians in the Syrian city. Evidence that these munitions were being used in Raqqa comes as coalition […]

Kabul Peace Process Concludes Its Inaugural Meeting On A Positive Note

The first meeting of the Afghan-led ‘Kabul Peace Process for Peace and Security Cooperation’ has officially concluded after a day of discussions, the Guardian reports. Led by Chief Executive Abdullah, organizers of the conference are reportedly hopeful that the conference has laid the foundations for security ties between Afghanistan and […]

Health Professionals Join Protests In Venezuela As Unrest Enters Its Eighth Week

Venezuelan doctors have joined the fray in Venezuela’s cities as country-wide protests continue into their eighth week, Al Jazeera has reported. Mounting frustrations with the administration of President Nicolás Maduro and rampant medicine shortages have driven doctors and other hospital staff to act, their participation swelling the ranks of a […]