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Over the past two decades, Defence has staggered from one budget crisis to the next, trying to afford the unaffordable. Of the five White Papers issued between 1976 and 2009 for which ex post fact …

Cyber wrap

This week on the cyber wrap, it’s good guys versus bad guys as we ask the question: ‘Who are the enemies of the Internet?’ A recent report (PDF) by Reporters without Borders found that dubious …

The changing lessons of Vietnam

Australia is starting a four-year journey to mark and ponder the meaning of the centenary of World War I. During those commemorations, the national effort at remembering should also revisit a series of 50-year anniversaries …

Why did Putin decide to invade Ukraine?

In order to understand why Putin invaded Ukraine, we need to attempt to see into the mind of this former KGB colonel. Vladimir Putin believes that the West wants his overthrow—just as occurred in Kiev …

ASPI suggests

Russia continues to generate the top international security stories for this week. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin justified his actions in Crimea in an impassioned speech to the Parliament (the official translation available here). …

Graph of the week: F-35 update

The National Security Committee of cabinet will soon consider a submission from Defence regarding the proposed approval of a buy of (probably) 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in addition to the 14 already approved. We’ll …

Mr Abbott goes to Port Moresby—what to expect?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Papua New Guinea will occur at a complex time in a complex relationship with a complex neighbour. Although warnings that forecasting is a ‘mug’s game for strategists’ are doubly …

QDR 2014: more reassurance than worry

Peter Jennings’ recent post on the 2014 QDR led me to read the report—and its 50% longer, more ambitious and less focussed 2010 predecessor. I’ll adopt Peter’s format of worries and hopes/opportunities for Asia-Pacific allies and …

Congress and the US Defense budget

As Peter Jennings observed in a recent post, the Quadrennial Defense Review makes for sobering reading for Americans and allies alike. With its troop and cost reductions and emphasis on modernisation yet discussion of heightened …

Ukraine – the least bad solution?

To gauge the seriousness of the danger on the steppe, one has only to imagine German troops on Ukrainian territory, separated by a narrow front from Russian forces, quite possibly engaging them. If the US …

Cyber wrap

Welcome to the cyber wrap for another week. Just to mix things up, we’ll be coming to you each Tuesday for the next little while. Now for an update on all things cyber: Offensive cyber …

Military beware: here be media monsters!

Over a long career in Canberra hackdom I’ve often marvelled at the way the Australian Defence Force thinks about itself. The strangeness in the way the Oz military understands what it is—soul, history, purpose, future—has …

The Quadrennial Defence Review: a surfeit of rebalancing

Readers of the recently released US Quadrennial Defence Review will be struck by one major characteristic: namely, a fondness for the notion of ‘rebalancing’. Asian readers looking for signals of the Obama administration’s commitment to …