Thinking about defence and risk

Paul Monk initiated a valuable debate on these pages about the role of risk in defence planning. As it happens, I’ve been thinking along similar lines for sometime myself. So here’s my take on the …

Grand Strategy? Influencing others…

This post is the second on demystifying grand strategy; it looks at how we can influence others. Grand strategy involves interacting with others in a way that will change them to our advantage. Grand strategy …

ASPI recommends: The evolution of strategy

For readers looking for a good one-volume text on strategy, I would recommend Beatrice Heuser’s work, The evolution of strategy: thinking war from antiquity to the present, published in 2010. Heuser, an academic at the …

Singapore and the US: not quite allies

Singapore and the United States are linked not only by important economic relations, but also by a burgeoning defence relationship. Most recently in June 2012 the US announced that it would deploy as many as …

Defence and expectation management

There has already been some debate about the insurance analogy on this blog. I personally like the theme as it makes it easy to explain Defence funding to those not familiar with what our defence …

Reader response: risk, threat and insurance

Paul Monk raises an important issue about that slippery word ‘threat’ and its place in defence policy. I don’t think he quite gets it right, but nor do I agree completely with Rod Lyon’s objections. …

ASPI recommends: Augustine’s Laws

Over the following weeks, The Strategist is going to pore over its bookshelves to bring to you new and classic books for your essential reading list. The first entry is one of ASPI’s defence researcher’s …

Grand Strategy? What does that do for me?

Grand strategy is a big idea back in fashion as a useful way to think about and address important issues. But many grand strategic schemes advocated are complicated, incomplete, inappropriate and use arcane terms that …

Reader response: white papers and self-sufficiency

There’s one consistent thread to Australian Defence White Papers that didn’t really come out in Peter Jennings’ article—the notion of self-reliance. Of course, we didn’t come to that notion by accident—it was pretty much forced …

Think of insurance rather than threat

When the subject of defence spending surfaces in public debate, there are inevitable and regrettable exchanges about whether Australia faces a ‘threat’ that justifies the expenditure. This is understandable, given the psychology of warfare, but …