Self-reliance and the DWP13

Thankfully, Minister Smith has delivered the sort of Defence White Paper you hope for when you really don’t need a White Paper and there isn’t enough money to pay for the current plans, let alone …

Collins IP: Australia and Sweden bury the hatchet

The Australian and Swedish Defence Ministers produced a joint communique today on the subject of intellectual property rights for submarine design and technology. That mightn’t sound like a ‘tear down the front page’ story, but …

Africa and the Defence White Paper

For the first time, the most recent Defence White paper contained  multiple references to Africa, illustrating Australia’s growing interest and engagement with the continent. Australia is playing an active role in making Africa more secure …

Why does China spook the world?

Former foreign minister Hayden said, “As Labor came to office in 1972 ‘China’ had become a symbol of a broad judgment of the need for change in many areas”. Stephen FitzGerald recalled of the atmosphere …

The Defence budget: a first look

Mark Thomson is squirreled away producing his usual tour de force budget analysis (on the streets May 30) so readers of The Strategist will have to make do with my first take on the Defence budget. Let’s …

Defence budget: give the dog a bone

Mark Thomson is widely quoted this morning as saying that the defence budget outcome is better than many observers hoped. Saved by the government’s decision to keep the overall budget in deficit, Defence was not …

A farewell to nuclear submarines, for now

The Defence White Paper signals full-steam ahead for Australia’s most expensive defence project ever: the design and construction, in Australia, of 12 conventionally-powered submarines. With A$200m committed to funding initial designs, however, the enormity of …

The growing Timor Gap

On 23 April, Timor-Leste notified Australia that it had initiated arbitration under the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty of a dispute related to the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS). I’ve …

Antarctic logistics—in for the long haul?

Guest editor Anthony BerginAustralia made its last significant new investment in Antarctic logistic capability during the Howard government years, when we funded an intercontinental air capability in the form of a commercial Airbus A319 flying …

The Defence White Paper—between the lines

Over the past year, low-level but concerning brinkmanship has continued in the Asia Pacific, with China maintaining the pattern of provocation that emerged following the 2008 global financial crisis. As Ross Terrill put it recently, …

Defence deal with PNG sharpens our South Pacific focus

Coming just a week after the inaugural South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting in Tonga, Friday’s Australia–Papua New Guinea Defence Cooperation Arrangement helps cement the new Defence White Paper’s emphasis on security cooperation in our near …

Is Papua the next East Timor? Part II

In my previous post, I explained how separatist attempts throughout Indonesia’s history have led to Indonesian sensitivities over Papuan separatism today. We take every opportunity to earnestly reassure the Indonesian side of our unwavering support …

Waiting on Fiji

To see how difficult it is to do normal business with Fiji’s military regime, consider the problem of getting the new Australian High Commissioner into Suva. Wednesday will mark the six-month point in a diplomatic …

Elephant in the room: is Papua the next East Timor?

One issue, above all others, starkly differentiates the jobs of Indonesian President and Australian Prime Minister. When our Prime Minister wakes each morning, the first question she asks isn’t: “Do I still have a whole …

Not a lot atoll

You can do a lot with a coral atoll. The US uses the leased UK territory of Diego Garcia ‘To provide forward support to operational forces forward deployed to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf…’. …