The ADIZ and rebalancing on the run

For the United States and its allies other than Japan, ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands doesn’t matter. What matters is the contest for influence in Asia which is being played out through the dispute, with …

Australia and Africa working together

The need for Australian engagement with Asia is natural and obvious, but that doesn’t mean that we should focus only on Asia in our international policy. Today ASPI and the Brenthurst Foundation in South Africa published a …

Misperceiving Australia: the CSBA report

It isn’t often that US think tanks put pen to paper about Australian strategic and defence policy. All the more reason, then, for us to look closely at those reports that are published, just to …

Reader response to naval navel gazing (part 2)

Graeme Dobell produced two nice pieces on naval navel gazing, but perhaps lacks the courage of his earlier convictions! In his latest post he posits that: ‘The central strategic tension in Oz naval navel gazing …

Choosing America?

As the annual AUSMIN consultations between American and Australian foreign and defence ministers concluded in Annapolis, I was busy attending the Australian Institute of International Affairs 80th national conference. Perhaps it was the influence of …

Some thoughts about maritime management

The current spat between Australia and Indonesia, now centred around intelligence gathering, is also ensnaring Australia’s management of its maritime domain after Indonesia suspended intelligence cooperation on maritime people smuggling. The Coalition’s asylum seeker policy …

Iran: has the leopard changed its spots?

The Interim Agreement reached in Geneva last Saturday between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program is a high-stakes gamble for Middle-East security. At best the deal somewhat slows Iran’s capacity over the …

Naval navel gazing (part 2)

Naval navel gazing (part one here) is a complex endeavour with many participants: experts both civil and military mingle with ministers and manufacturers and even the odd puzzled taxpayer. Drawing on the previous column gazing …

China’s six wars in the next 50 years

In a recent post, I introduced a new PRC book entitled ‘China Is Not Afraid — New Threats to National Security and Our Strategic Responses’, (中国不怕——国防安全新威胁与我们的战略应对). I suggested that the volume is part of a …

Why an amphibious capability? (part 2)

In the last post I concentrated on the ADF’s tasks. For this post I will add a few points about the new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships. The small ships and catamarans that some have …

Naval navel gazing

The state of Australia’s navy debate looks like this. The experts war with each other over the best size of ships as close personal combat is mixed with the exchange of long range metaphors. The …

ASPI suggests

The story of the week has been, of course, the deterioration of Australia–Indonesia diplomatic ties in the wake of a spying scandal concerning the Indonesian President. And while there’s been no shortage of news stories …

‘China is not afraid’

The Chinese military has been doing some sabre-rattling lately. While PLA naval forces have been busy asserting China’s claims in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, there’ve been larger efforts in train …