It’s ANZAC Day today, when our nation commemorates those who have given their lives or suffered in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The day itself—25 April—marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand Forces during the First World War. ANZAC Day begins with a Dawn Service at war memorials around the country, which serves as a reminder of the dawn landing on Gallipoli in 1915.
If you’re interested in Australia’s more recent commitments to conflict zones overseas, the Australian War Memorial’s collection includes a recently-unveiled Afghanistan exhibition that blends traditional items like military equipment with other media like sketches, artwork and video. There’s more information on the AWM site as well as 28 video interviews with mostly ADF personnel, sharing their experiences with Afghanistan.
For a more detailed analysis of how Gallipoli became one of the bloodiest catastrophes, check out Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch’s book Military Misfortunes: the anatomy of failure in war which has a chapter on WWI.
Shifting now to broader strategic trends, this RSIS Commentary by Sofiah Jamil (PDF) explores the future of nuclear energy in Southeast Asia. If nuclear energy has a future in the region, governments need to encourage a culture of nuclear safety backed up by improved governance structures, argues Jamil.
Sticking with Southeast Asia, here’s part II of Scott Cheney-Peters work on private maritime security companies (PMSCs) over at CIMSEC. This time Scott looks at regional factors that have or could lessen the maritime security threats—including government action, capacity building, and legal regimes—and the outlook for PMSCs in the region.
Also on maritime issues, Strategist contributor Scott Bentley argues that Indonesia’s South China Sea policy is on a razor’s edge. In his view, there’s a tension between publicly acknowledging there’s an overlap between China’s nine-dash line map and Indonesia’s claimed EEZ off Natuna Islands and officially recognising that a dispute exists.
With US President Obama currently touring the Asia-Pacific, CSIS have produced this press briefing comprising their Asia experts (Victor Cha, Matthew P. Goodman, Michael Green and Murray Hiebert) who discuss what this means for rebalance credibility and American strategy. Prefer to read? Check out the transcript here (PDF).
Canberra: John Blaxland will present on the role of the ADF in Australia diplomacy, from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Hosted by the Australian Institute for International Affairs, the talk is at their Deakin offices, Tuesday 29 April at 6pm, details here.
Natalie Sambhi is an analyst at ASPI and editor of The Strategist. Image courtesy of Department of Defence.