Culture matters for the ADF

Against the backdrop of the recent culture debates within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Australian Army Journal recently sought submissions for an upcoming ‘special culture edition’. The decision to focus an entire edition of …

On the eve of Iraq

The recent exchange between Graeme Dobell and Peter Jennings over Australia’s commitment to Iraq highlighted the critical roles to be played by Parliament and the Public Service when war is being considered. I have but …

No split decision on Iraq war

At the risk of testing the patience of Strategist readers I think a brief reply is in order to Derek Woolner’s post on the Iraq war anniversary. A point of contention between Derek’s post, Graeme …

Indonesian military reform: part II

In my last post, I argued that critics of Indonesian military (TNI) reform are taking too narrow a view of its progress. For most critics, the primary yardstick for measuring the success of TNI’s reform agenda …

ASPI suggests

There’s been a lot of reflection on Australian blogs and news sites about our role in the Iraq war, so for a change, here’s a piece that examines Iraq’s future political prospects and another that …

A (fiscal) reality of our own creation

As part of the Alliance 21 project, I was asked to give an Australian perspective on defence spending and the Australia–US alliance. Or, in other words, it was my job to explain why Australian defence …

Australia’s studied non-commitment in Iraq

In The Strategist’s debate on Australia’s 2003 entry to the Iraq war kicked off by Graeme Dobell, it seems the balance of the argument tilts more towards him than to Peter Jennings’ rejoinder. Further, the …

Australia’s many ‘maritime strategies’

The combination of the rise of China, interest in new submarines and debates on the Army’s future role has sparked a renewed interest in maritime strategy. There are several alternative maritime strategies in play, often …

Cyber in the Pacific Islands

Internet access in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia is on the rise. That’s a good thing, but there are gaps in governance. It would be in Australia’s interests, and those of our friends and neighbours to …

Indonesia and ‘strategic trust’

One of the main features of the Indonesian President’s speech to last week’s Jakarta International Defense Dialogue was the concept of ‘strategic trust’. Admitting this was difficult to define, he referred to it as ‘an …

US–Australia military interoperability II

In his recent summary of his Alliance 21 paper for this blog, ADM Gary Roughead cogently explained why Australia and the United States benefit from high levels of military interoperability. He also suggested several fertile …

A change in climate

Today ASPI releases a report, Heavy Weather: Climate and the Australian Defence Force, which I’ve co-authored with Anthony Press, the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, and former ASPI analyst Eliza …