Jackson Busse (left) visited Washington DC as part of the AAA-ANU Congressional Research Fellowship Program.

Jackson Busse (left) visited Washington DC as part of the AAA-ANU Congressional Research Fellowship Program.

The house of cards

Postgraduate international relations student JACKSON BUSSE reveals what walking the corridors of power in Washington DC is really like.

Anyone with a vague interest in international politics knows that Washington DC is at the heart of what goes on in world affairs.

It has always been my dream to work in DC and see first-hand the inner workings of the US political system.

So when Crimea was annexed from the Ukraine - and I happened to be a research fellow in Senator John McCain's office in Washington DC - I had my chance to see what the dream was all about.

It didn't disappoint.

I've always wanted to play a part in the foreign policy process.

It's why I study at the Department of International Relations.

So in early 2014, with a place on the AAA-ANU Congressional Research Fellowship Program secured, I headed to the land of Uncle Sam to work in the office of Senator McCain.

I did not quite know what to expect on my first day of work.

President Truman once counselled that if one wants a friend in DC they best get a dog, while Mark Twain infamously chided the old capital as the "National Asylum for the helpless".

These sentiments notwithstanding, it soon became apparent that for all the political intrigue and machinations which form a constituent part of DC, it remains a remarkably interesting, stimulating and friendly place.

My colleagues in Senator McCain's office were incredibly hospitable, and ensured that I could get a proper taste of defence and foreign policy issues.