ASPI suggests
3 Oct 2012|

The Strategist team is back with our weekly compilation of latest reports, interesting discussion and upcoming events.

The Australian National Audit Office has just released two linked audit reports on a subject near and dear to ASPI: Australia’s air combat capability. The first looks at issues to do with the acquisition of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (PDF) and the other examines the management of the existing fleet of Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft (PDF). Not surprisingly, the narrowing of the timelines involved that were identified by ASPI last year is a major focus.

Moving offshore, a new post by Adam Elkus who blogs for the Center for a New American Security in Washington DC opens with a succinct overview of the basics of ‘strategy’. The rest of the article looks at how ‘strategy’ and ‘policy’ are understood in the context of targeted killings, but the intro is useful in evaluating government policy and action.

Next, the Seattle-based National Bureau of Asian Research has released a new edited volume on the challenges facing China’s military modernisation. You can also check out interviews with individual book chapter authors on topics such as China’s evolving land force or the implications of China’s growing capabilities for Northeast Asian security.

RAND Corporation has a new monograph out on the uses and limits of small-scale military intervention. The monograph examines the concept of ‘minimalist stabilisation’ in a number of case studies ranging from El Salvador, Colombia, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Central African Republic. While the key findings are prescriptions for the US military, many are useful for Australia in considering regional interventions, particularly building local capacity and combining military and non-military instruments.

In regional news, there’s a short piece in Monday’s Jakarta Post that looks at military diplomacy between Iraq and Indonesia. Of note is Iraq’s potential as a market for Indonesia’s defence industry. Iraq’s Deputy Defence Minister Gen. Mohan Hafedz Hamad has shown interest not just in weaponry but other products like shoes, helmets and halal rations for soldiers.

For those interested in national security, Commander Stuart Watters RAN will deliver a presentation on what constitutes a security issue, looking at the Tampa affair as a case study and its implications for the ADF. His presentation is part of the AIIA ACT Branch 2012 Essay Competition Finalist Presentations, Thursday 11 October from 5.30pm.

Finally, the Kokoda Foundation’s Young Strategic Leader’s Forum will host a presentation by Jason Mundy on Australia’s strategic interests in Antarctica. Jason Mundy is the General Manager of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Strategies Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can catch his presentation on Thursday 18 October from 6pm.