Cyber in the Pacific Islands

Internet access in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia is on the rise. That’s a good thing, but there are gaps in governance. It would be in Australia’s interests, and those of our friends and neighbours to …

Indonesia and ‘strategic trust’

One of the main features of the Indonesian President’s speech to last week’s Jakarta International Defense Dialogue was the concept of ‘strategic trust’. Admitting this was difficult to define, he referred to it as ‘an …

US–Australia military interoperability II

In his recent summary of his Alliance 21 paper for this blog, ADM Gary Roughead cogently explained why Australia and the United States benefit from high levels of military interoperability. He also suggested several fertile …

A change in climate

Today ASPI releases a report, Heavy Weather: Climate and the Australian Defence Force, which I’ve co-authored with Anthony Press, the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, and former ASPI analyst Eliza …

US–Australia military interoperability

Cooperation and military interoperability come easily to the United States and Australia. The extraordinary level attained reflects our compatible national attitudes and common traits of confidence, ingenuity, optimism and initiative. Interoperability is too frequently associated …

Are we in caretaker mode already?

With all the ‘Days of Our Lives’ action in parliament a new Defence White Paper seems so far down the list of political priorities as to seem almost irrelevant. Prime Minister Gillard announced the election date …

Basketball diplomacy with North Korea

It’s uncommon for the US Defense Department to be moved by North Korean rhetoric and war-mongering, but the recent escalation of threats has succeeded in eliciting a response from the Pentagon. The US announced over …

Cyber: what are our strategic levers?

In every relationship, personal, professional and diplomatic, negotiations and their subsequent compromises take place every day. Advantages are leveraged and exploited continuously. Some situations see small concessions or trade offs for mutual satisfaction while others …

Iran, and the approaching nuclear red-line

President Obama’s recent comments in an interview with an Israeli TV show about the Iranian nuclear program are a timely reminder that the issue hasn’t gone away. In the interview, which aired on 14 March, …

Reader response: prudence in indeterminacy

For a sovereign democratic nation, Andrew Davies’ contribution ‘The who, what, where, and why of the future submarine’ posits some alarming notions. The first relates to an assumption that irrespective of a direct threat to …

Nuclear disarmament – all in good time

What of the issue of nuclear deterrence in the US–Australia alliance, and more generally in the western Pacific region? For some, in America as well as Australia and elsewhere, this is chiefly a matter of …

ASPI suggests

As the military modernisation the Asia Pacific continues, Taiwan is now looking at whether it can build its own submarine fleet. If you’ve seen the movie Argo—the Hollywood version of the rescue of six US …

Cyber goes strategic

In my last blog post I explored how the New York Times hacking incident had raised the stakes in the cyber domain to an unprecedented degree. Having had time to reflect on this statement, I’ve …

Introducing the Alliance 21 series

In March 2011, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recognised the importance of the Australia–United States alliance by funding the three-year Alliance 21 project. Led by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, …