How we can prevent Japan–China war

The Australian debate on the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute is interesting for what it reveals, and what it omits. So far, very few are talking about Australia’s diplomatic strategy—and that’s a big problem. While the best strategy will probably involve elements of military balancing, it’s worth examining Australia’s potential diplomatic role in the peaceful de-escalation of Japan–China tensions. Australian foreign …

ASPI suggests

Here’s our weekly round-up of links and events in the NatSec, defence and strategy world. For those interested in AirSea Battle, Richard A. Bitzinger and Michael Raska have a new RSIS Policy Brief on the …

The South Pacific ‘arc of opportunity’

I’ve previously written on The Strategist that it’s time for Australian policymakers and academics to see the South Pacific as an ‘arc of opportunity’, rather than an ‘arc of instability’ (PDF). That proposal was tested …

Why submarines for Australia?

I would like to reinforce Justin Jones’ recent points on submarines and in doing so take issue with some of the points made by Andrew Davies in his response. I think the unique features a …

Singapore: walking the walk?

This week I attended the inaugural Fullerton Forum in Singapore, hosted by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, who described it as the ‘Sherpa’s meeting’ for the Shangri-La Dialogue at the end of May. The …

Fiji: the perils of appeasement (part II)

I explained yesterday how the fear of driving Fiji into China’s arms has been wrongly used by what I call the ‘appeasement lobby’ as a reason to lessen the isolation of Fiji’s regime. It isn’t …

Fiji: the perils of appeasement

Australian policy on Fiji is shifting to appeasement in ways that will gladden the military regime and sadden Fijians. What might be called the Bainimarama appeasement lobby—broadly speaking a group of academics and journalists who …

Force Structure 103b: all the way with LBJ…

Earlier posts (here, here and here) have looked at force structure from an Australian perspective, but in reality the American alliance dominates all our defence discussions. So our thinking about future force structure alternatives and …

JSF: Four Corners fails the balance test

As a long time follower (and often critic) of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, I sat down to watch last night’s Four Corners episode with great interest. Now I want my 7.1 cents back. …

Insuring the Pacific neighbourhood

Last month Cyclone Evan pummelled Fiji and Samoa, leaving a trail of destruction. This month in the remote Santa Cruz Islands province of the Solomon Islands ten people died in a tsunami triggered by a …

What’s happening to the US defence budget?

Since at least 1950 Australia’s defence policy has been predicated on US military strength. It behoves us, therefore, to keep a close eye on US defence policy. In one sense, recent developments are encouraging. The …

ASPI suggests

There’s been a lot of discussion about escalating tension between China and Japan. Over at East Asia Forum, Sourabh Gupta looks at what an agreement over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands might look like. On the same …

Kiwi and kangaroo

The Australian relationship with New Zealand is kindred, yet Kiwi. The kindred yet Kiwi line expresses the reality that the kiss and the kick are the two twinned elements of a deeply intertwined history. These …