Author’s response: Russia and Ukraine

I refer to Peter Layton’s excellent piece following on from my original post lamenting the seeming inability of many western leaders to understand the Russian position in this unfolding mess.  Peter refers in part to …

ASPI suggests

This week, Chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (pictured above), made a bold speech that accused the CIA of hacking into a stand-alone network used for an investigation into the agency’s …

Reader response: Russia and Ukraine

Kym Bergmann gives an interesting potted history of Crimea up until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. However, it’s important not to neglect what happened since then. In the case of Ukraine, in exchange for …

The AWDs and the auditors—round two

When the Australian National Audit Office’s audit report on the Air Warfare Destroyer program was released last week, I was told by a veteran journo that it was a bit of a disappointment to his …

What strategy for the new Defence White Paper?

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, recently addressed the National Security Institute (PDF). He gave a tour de force tour d’horizon, focused on the development of the 2015 Defence White Paper (DWP). He explained …

Russia and Ukraine – a complex situation

As Sunday’s referendum in Crimea approaches, there seems little doubt that the peninsula’s majority Russian-speaking population will vote for a return to rule by Moscow instead of Kiev. However, it seems unlikely that the result …

Further Defence tasks outsourced

 The commercial woes of Qantas have blanketed the airwaves and newspapers of late, but the government’s intent to change the Qantas Sale Act to allow more foreign ownership of the airline seems unlikely to be …

United States: so long, and thanks for all the fish

The recently released US Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 (PDF) describes a difficult set of challenges for the United States military—challenges that have big implications for our alliance. The headlines have focussed on overall cuts to …

Cyber wrap

Russia has tightened its physical grip on Crimea this week, though  offensive operations have largely been taking place online. Apart from the anticipated DDoS attacks, analysts from security firm BAE have disclosed the nature of …

Gamechangers in Asia

In late February, I attended the Ditchley Park conference on power rivalries in Asia. A sub-theme of the conference was to explore whether the region was being drawn into an arms race. Like all good …

Unmanned aerial systems—where to for Australia?

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston took the opportunity to launch a special report from The Sir Richard Williams Foundation, Protecting Australia with UAS (unmanned aerial systems), at the Australian Defence Magazine Congress earlier this …

It’s Canberra Day

It’s a Canberra Day public holiday so we’ll be publishing a limited number of posts today. But we’ll be back tomorrow with our usual program of analysis, stats and graphs for your reading pleasure. The …

ASPI suggests

Headlining today is the news that the code of conduct on intelligence activities (also called a ‘code of ethics’) between Australia and Indonesia hasn’t shown much progress of late. The Indonesian President proposed the CoC last year (first …

Mega fauna and the DCP

Yesterday I appeared in front of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts and Audit. It’s not my usual haunt, but they were holding a public hearing into the Australian National Audit Office’s Audit Report …