Cold calculations: our Antarctic choices

The 2013 Defence White Paper says that: ‘There is no credible risk of Australia’s national interests in the Southern Ocean and the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) being challenged in ways that might require substantial military …

Amphibious operations: more than meets the eye

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen some impressive photographs and the naming ceremony of the first of the 27,000 tonne Canberra class landing helicopter docks (LHDs) coming together in the BAE shipyards in Williamstown. …

Australia and Fiji’s New Order

Australia’s long experience of dealing with a New Order regime in Indonesia provides only limited insights for engaging with Fiji’s New Order. The previous two columns (one and two) explored Canberra’s current headaches in trying …

Maintaining a steady path on Iran

On 22 May, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a new report on Iran’s nuclear activities. Nothing in it was particularly shocking, but like the many similar reports that preceded this one, it’s a …

The end of Suharto

This week marks 15 years since Indonesian cities erupted in violence in early May 1998. Burdened with economic hardship from the East Asian Financial Crisis and fatigued with political corruption, Indonesians took to the street …

A view from across the ditch

I’m in New Zealand at the moment, attending a public symposium on future security issues. It’s an interesting model for this sort of discussion. We have a room full—and I mean full as the forum …

Mao now

Mao Zedong is the only 20th dictator to have a resurgence of life-after-death that is largely benign. A heavy influence on the 20th century, Mao was a major force in the history of Communist ideas …

Putting the CAP into capability

Since the Defence White Paper 2013 emphasises the Defence of Australia, it’s useful to look at where we would be able to project force under the cover of our own airbases by having a standing fighter …

What’s an Australian defence industry for? Part I

The Queensland government has recently appointed a defence envoy to bolster defence industries in the state. In this it joins other states and the federal government in actively adopting defence industry sector strategies. But for …

ASPI suggests

Michael O’Hanlon from Brookings has some ideas on how the US might spend its defence dollars given current fiscal constraints in his book Healing the Wounded Giant, including cutting ground forces, buying half of the …

The order of Fiji’s New Order

The political settlement that Fiji’s New Order regime is preparing to impose on its subdued society and decimated polity is a lousy outcome after 13 years of struggle and schism. Yet Australia, New Zealand and …