ASPI suggests
7 Aug 2015|

Yesterday marked 70 years since the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Newsweek has a photo series on the commemorations, and the BBC tells the story of one survivor through a short animation. Here on The Strategist, Rod Lyon reflected on 70 years of non-use of nuclear weapons; and in a piece for Project Syndicate Hans Blix, one-time director of the IAEA, has called for a blanket and binding ban on the bomb.

Tomorrow marks another anniversary, namely that of the first coalition airstrikes against Islamic State (IS). In anticipation, the US Department of Defense has collected some official reflections on the progress that’s been made in Operation Inherent Resolve. Over at The Atlantic, Micah Zenko spends some time considering suspicions of mission creep that could see the US engage militarily with the Assad regime. The New York Review of Books carries a thoughtful consideration of some of the questions raised by IS’s brand of terror.

On the research front, Elina Noor has written a useful analysis on the ‘virtual reality of youth, radicalization and terrorism’ (PDF), and Charlie Winter has put together a sizable study into IS’s propaganda strategy (IS). In the latest edition of Perspectives on Terrorism, Thomas Hegghammer and Petter Nesser consider IS’s statements and IS-linked attack plots to understand the threat that the group poses to the West.

The Atlantic brings the photography goods this week with two features: one that surveys the scene in Antarctica, and one that pulls together the winners of the 2015 National Geographic traveller photo contest.

On the back if the SDSC–CSIS paper on ANZUS (PDF), this week has seen the release of some other pieces that should pique the interest of alliance watchers. CSIS and the Georgia Tech Research Institute recently released a study looking at US–Australian amphibious capabilities. And Ross Babbage, writing over at War on the Rocks, has outlined eight ideas to turbo-charge the alliance.

Finally, Pimp My Drone: Star Wars edition speaks for itself.


The International Institute for Strategic Studies recently hosted Madam Fu Ying, Chairperson of China’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who delivered the 2015 Fullerton Lecture. The video and transcript are available online, as is a reaction piece from IISS’s Alexander Neill

Indonesia-hand Sidney Jones was recently at the University of New England to talk about the networks that support ISIS across the Asia–Pacific. The lecture provides a good base-line rundown on ISIS’s governance and operations, and explores their appeal in certain parts of the region.


It seems that Charlie Winter’s report on the propaganda of the virtual Caliphate (referenced above) caught the eye of the good burghers over at Loopcast, who spoke with the paper’s author. Take a listen.


Melbourne: The UN’s sustainable development goals, shiny and new as they are, will be the subject of a wide-ranging discussion hosted by the AIIA Victorian branch next week. See here for more info.

Canberra: The ANU’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs has assembled an all-star line-up for Australia 360, a full day ‘stocktake and forecast of international policy’. Mark your calendar for Wednesday 19 August and register here.

Sydney: If you’re in Sydney later in the month, get along to the Lowy Institute for a chat on the Future of War with New America’s Peter W. Singer, who’s new co-authored fiction effort, Ghost Fleet, has been the subject of significant comment. Check in here for Lowy’s review, and here to register your attendance for the 26 August event.