Cyber wrap

This last week saw world leaders gathering in Davos in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. With the WEF releasing its Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World and its Global …

Going under: European defence sales to Australia

Over the next couple of days, Australian and French think tank, industry and government officials will participate in the ASPI Australia–France Defence and Industry Dialogue. Peter Jennings will be along later to talk about some …

Hypersonic anti-ship missiles – incoming?

Ben Schreer wrote earlier today about the strategic implications of hypersonic weapons. Now we’ll have a look at some of the military technology implications. It’s worth noting that there are some difficult problems to be …

Avoiding death by powerpoint

Many of you will head back tomorrow from holidays and into lecture halls and conference rooms after this Australia Day holiday weekend. In preparation, please take a moment to arm yourself some simple tools to …

ASPI suggests

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the strategy cult classic film by Stanley Kubrick, ‘Dr Strangelove or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb’. Over at The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser looks …

Aid for Philippines brings security shifts

International aid for the Philippines after last November’s devastating typhoon has had some security consequences. Changes have occurred in the Philippines’ relations with the United States, with Japan, with China, with Hong Kong and with …

Graph of the week: the high cost of high costs

Just before Christmas, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) put out an interesting report Process over platforms: a paradigm shift in acquisition through advanced manufacturing (PDF) by Aaron Martin and (expat Australian) Ben …

Old-world assumptions and time-tested conventions

As the mood of crisis that surrounded the Indonesia–Australia spying scandal recedes into the past, debate continues about what lessons Australia should learn from the affair. While the episode certainly provides instruction on how we …

Cyber wrap

Netizens are in an uproar as a DC Federal Court has come down against the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules. Verizon, the lead plaintiff in the case, petitioned for its right to ‘manage’ …

Maggie’s Maddie

The 2014 Madeleine Award for the use of symbol, stunt, prop, gesture or jest in international affairs goes to Margaret Thatcher. Some winners just stand up and demand the prize through sheer force of personality …

World News Connection disconnected

The last day of 2013 marked more than the close of the year: it signalled the end of one of the most important global sources of publicly-accessible intelligence. Through a low-key notice, the United States …

Intelligence: actions and their meanings

In his book Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke relates an incident when in 1993 he was attempting to persuade President Clinton to ‘snatch’ a terrorist (a practice nowadays known better by its more formal tag …

ASPI suggests

Welcome back to another wrap-up of suggested reading from the defence and security world. I’m currently in Jakarta so I’ll kick off with some Indonesia news. The Indonesian military is set to get some short-range …

PNG appoints a new military chief

Smart, measured and energetic, Colonel Gilbert Toropo seems a good choice to be Papua New Guinea’s next Defence Force Commander. He’ll need to be. Even the circumstances surrounding the announcement of his selection highlight difficulties …

The US Army’s pivot to Southeast Asia

In January 2012, the Obama administration released a new Defense Strategic Guidance (PDF) that explicitly enunciated the need to re-engage the Asia-Pacific. Two principal questions have since arisen as a result of this reorientation. First, …

The future of Sino-US strategic stability

Last week I participated in a workshop on ‘Regional Views on Asia’s Multipolar Nuclear Future’ in Singapore, jointly organised by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. My …

The other assassination of November 1963

If you weren’t living as a hermit in the desert, you’d have been well aware that 22 November 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. But the wall-to-wall …