The Strategist top 10
26 Jan 2022|

Another year, same pandemic. Welcome to The Strategist’s round-up of the top 10 articles of 2021.

As it was in 2020, not one of the pieces that made the list was focused on the not-so-novel coronavirus.

And while you may have had pandemic fatigue, you certainly didn’t tire of reading about defence acquisitions, Australia–China relations, sea power in the Indo-Pacific, geopolitics and more.

Number 10 in 2021 was ASPI’s David Uren writing on the detrimental effects Beijing’s ban on Australian coal were having on China itself.

That was followed by the first of what could be a record three entries in the top 10 by ASPI senior analyst Marcus Hellyer with his examination of whether the Royal Australian Navy should acquire Tomahawk missiles.

Naval stories took places eight and seven in this year’s list too, with Bradley Perrett’s look at South Korean plans to build an aircraft carrier and Evan Karlik’s coverage of a possible Australian design for the new US light amphibious warship.

Marcus’s next entry was at number six and, though published in February, it presciently asked what would need to unfold for Australia to dump the French Attack-class submarines.

Eminent strategist Paul Dibb took fifth place with his analysis of the threat Chinese missiles could pose to Australia, while, at the other end of the spectrum of Australia–China relations, Andrew Forrest was next with a piece examining Australian businesses’ diversification in the face of Chinese economic coercion.

At number three was Susan Hutchinson’s piece analysing air traffic and reports in Myanmar of clandestine flights to and from China in the wake of the military coup there.

Coming in at number two, the third and final Hellyer appearance for 2021 showed why the US can’t match China when it comes to sheer tonnage of naval vessels.

And, for the second year in a row, Bradley Perrett took the gong for the most popular Strategist article, this time with his investigation of the likely capabilities of China’s new stealth bomber and the ramifications for Australia.

Here’s the full top 10 for 2021:

10. Beijing’s ban on Australian coal is hurting China, by David Uren

9. Does the Royal Australian Navy need Tomahawk missiles? by Marcus Hellyer

8. South Korea aims to build aircraft carrier the country doesn’t need, by Bradley Perrett

7. US considering Australian-designed light amphibious warship, by Evan Karlik

6. What would it take for Australia to walk away from the French submarine deal? by Marcus Hellyer

5. China threatens Australia with missile attack, by Paul Dibb

4. Businesses changing tune on Australia–China relations, by Andrew Forrest

3. What’s on the clandestine nightly flights between Myanmar and China? by Susan Hutchinson

2. The US Navy needs to admit it can’t outbuild China, by Marcus Hellyer

1. China’s new bomber should be cause for concern for Australia, by Bradley Perrett.