Transnational crime: a mammoth problem

A couple of weeks ago my colleague Toby Feakin, wrote on The Strategist about the recently released United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s assessment on Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific, …

HADR: in search of low-cost innovative solutions

In financially-constrained times we need to think of innovative ways to promote useful but low-cost security cooperation in our region. Developing Australia’s capacity to provide emergency food relief would enhance our international reputation and support …

All at sea

There was a time back in the 1990s when the Defence Annual Report listed not just the availability of the Navy’s various platforms for deployment, but also the actual number of days at sea for …

Myanmar’s Rohingya exodus

Early last month, 80 Muslim Rohingya from Rakhine state were detained by local police on an island off Sumatra as they made their way to Malaysia. On the previous day in East Java, Rohingya were …

In for the krill

Guest editor Anthony Bergin The Southern Ocean contains the largest underexploited fishery in the world – the krill fishery. While little known, this might become a source of conflict between conservationists and the fishing industry, …

ANZUS and the new Defence White Paper

Last Friday’s Defence White Paper (DWP) rightly drew a lot of praise from (most) of the analytical community and the media. Many commentators, including myself, welcomed the more cautious tone regarding China’s military rise and …

The Defence White Paper’s vague hope

The Defence White Paper gives an excellent description of the Asia Pacific but is calm about its dangers. It is heartening on the ADF’s capacity to defend the nation and its near neighbourhood and rightly …

Behind the Indo-Pacific Smokescreen

View Larger Map My favourite line about Australian strategic thinking belongs to Graeme Dobell. The ‘arc of instability’, he quipped on more than one occasion, was a polite way of talking about Indonesia. Having read …

DWP 2013—what will the Americans think?

The Defence White Paper 2013, like most of its recent predecessors, emphasises the United States Alliance, even to the extent of capitalising ‘Alliance’ whenever used in relation to the US. The document counts no other …

The tacit consensus for the White Paper

The electric storm that rages around the Defence White Paper has big elements of ritual politics and tacit consensus, despite the intense arguments over plans, priorities and projections. This is standard Oz politics played as …

A first look at the Defence White Paper 2013

As a first look analysis of the Defence White Paper 2013 (PDF), ASPI will be progressively releasing blog posts over the next couple of hours analysing the paper’s key concepts and capability decisions. 12 new Super Hornets, Andrew …

Shipbuilding and maritime projects

The new White Paper was accompanied by the release of the DMO’s Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan—a substantial piece of work in its own right that deserves (and will get) a much deeper analysis on …

Australia’s Defence Positioning

Defence White Paper 2013 articulates what we’ve known for some time is an intent to pivot the ADF back to closer engagement in our region. The document makes a strong statement of intent to deepen …

Where’s the Beef?

Back in the day, you could get a free Big Mac from McDonalds by reciting  ‘…two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun…’ in less than 5 seconds (limit …