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 …

The Crimean Campaign 2.0

Back in 1944, the Soviet armies executed a swift strategic campaign aimed at defeating the Nazi occupation forces and liberating Ukraine. Seventy years on, Ukraine is facing another major strategic standoff, this time between Russia, …

Australia and Canada: must try harder

The Australia Canada Economic Leadership Dialogue held in Melbourne in late February afforded an important but little noticed opportunity for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to break some new foreign policy ground. Abbott’s speech was reported …

Cyber wrap

The Russian military occupation of Crimea headlines this week, with Moscow showing considerable restraint so far in the use of cyberattacks against Ukraine. Considering that crippling DDoS attacks have become a staple of conflicts involving …

Fiji: end sanctions now

Improved relations between Australia and Fiji would benefit Canberra, Suva, and the region. Such ties would bolster Australia’s regional leadership credentials, assist Fiji’s dealings with its largest trading partner and donor, and prevent further collateral-damage …

Sweet and sour goodies for Fiji (part 2)

All change for Fiji. The Supremo is hanging up his uniform and becoming a civilian leader to give his New Order vision democratic credentials. For Canberra and Suva, this is the time to change the …