As usual, we’ve compiled a mix of new reports and articles for your weekend reading pleasure as well as events for the coming week.
First up is some defence industry news. The consolidation of global defence industry continues unabated with the announcement that the largest British company BAE and EADS (the parent company of Airbus) might merge. The trend of more business being in the hands of fewer companies has seen the emergence of a more globalised approach to buying and maintaining military equipment, something that continues to change the landscape here in Australia as well.
The Pentagon might be facing a 10% cut over the coming years, but Todd Harrison over at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis has a new backgrounder that suggests it might be manageable without cutting any major programs.
Moving onto regional issues, the Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre at the University of Adelaide has a new policy brief which examines different constructions of the Indo-Pacific region and the implications for regional security (PDF). The authors, Dennis Rumley, Timothy Doyle and Sanjay Chaturvedi, argue for an Indo-Pacific regional security construction that includes both China and the United States.
Turning to military operations, RAND has just released a rather timely monograph prepared for the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan that examines eight cases of local security forces in counterinsurgency operations. Ranging from 1945 to the present day, the study investigates efforts to raise local defence units in Indochina, Algeria, South Vietnam, Oman, El Salvador, Southern Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Interestingly but not surprisingly, the findings are a mix of prescriptions for managing the local forces but also stress the importance of relations with the host government and the role of aid agencies in building local defence units.
If you’re in Canberra next week, there’s a presentation at the ANU by Dr Zifirdaus Adnan, Indonesian Language and Studies Discipline, University of New England on how Indonesian terrorists ‘left’ terrorism. Dr Adnan will present findings from an international project on the life stories of Indonesian jihadis which traced how they became initially engaged in terrorism, how some have deradicalised and ‘left’, and what this means for the future. The seminar is at the HC Coombs building, ANU, Tuesday 25 September at 12pm.
Lastly, ASPI’s Andrew Davies will join a list of other speakers headed by the Hon. Jason Clare MP, Minister for Defence Materiel, at the ADM Defence Workforce Participation Summit 2012 at the Hyatt in Canberra next Thursday and Friday, 27 and 28 September.
And, if you’ve got any suggestions for reports or events, we’d like to hear from you. You can reach us by email here.