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Click go the readers: The Strategist top 10 in 2017

Posted By on December 22, 2017 @ 06:00

As our readers well know, The Strategist is a serious publication. We are not given to ‘silly season’ fluff pieces about baby animals or prone to shamelessly repackaging already-published material under the banner of retrospection. Until now.

Here are the top 10 original Strategist pieces of 2017, as selected by our readership. A few regulars turn up—Indonesia, China and submarines have all featured in our previous annual ‘top of the pops’ lists. It’s hard to argue with that, since they are our nearest neighbour, largest regional economy and military power, and largest domestic defence project, respectively. It’s a fair bet that we’ll be running more on all those topics next year, and we trust you’ll be clicking on them.

But we’ve now been here long enough to get a longitudinal angle as well. The enduring relevance of the ‘big three’ means that there’s a visible trend across the Strategist pieces that have appeared since we started publication in July 2012.

It seems a long time ago now, but in 2012 the future of the South China Sea was unclear. China had started to assert its claims and strengthen its presence in the area, and the Philippines had just asked an international tribunal to rule on overlapping claims. Lots of pixels were sacrificed to discussing the likely outcome and its significance. Today that all seems a little quaint—the tribunal ruling might have come down hard against China, but Beijing nonetheless has seemingly taken the view that possession is nine points of the law. Our 2017 posts on the subject were often concerned with what we can do about it. The top post of the year worried about another disputed border—this time high in the Himalayas, where there have been some tense stand-offs, and even physical clashes, between India and China.

In our early days, there were plenty of posts about Indonesia that took a positive view of the prospects for that country, its apparently robust democracy, and its relationship with Australia. But in the past couple of years there’s been an increasingly gloomy view that Indonesia has started to lose its way, and that religious extremism is starting to chip away at the strength of its democratic order. At number 2, Greg Fealey’s piece on the role of race and religion in the electoral defeat and conviction on blasphemy charges of Jakarta’s governor reflects that growing concern.

The future submarine project is the gift that keeps on giving for writers and publishers of defence-related articles. (The author would like to personally thank successive Australian governments for their efforts in that respect.) In our five years of publication, we’ve covered the arguments for big submarines, little submarines, conventional submarines, nuclear submarines, and even no submarines. This year’s number 4 post argues that we eventually ended up selecting a preposterous submarine.

Our number 3 post was on the very topical issue of North Korea and the threats made against Australia by the regime. Another regime that was always in the headlines came in at number 7, with an early 2017 piece about ‘that’ phone call between President Trump and PM Turnbull.

The rest of the top 10 reflected ASPI’s enduring role as a provider of analysis on Australia’s defence and strategic issues. The editors would like to thank our readers and contributors for continuing to support our efforts, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all back in 2018.

  1. Is a second Sino-Indian border war imminent? by Feng Zhang

  2. Race, faith and Ahok’s defeat, by Greg Fealy

  3. North Korea: it’s not the first time Australia’s been threatened with nuclear attack, by Paul Dibb

  4. Australia’s future submarine: a class with no equals, by Hans J. Ohff

  5. Jokowi and the General, by John McBeth

  6. One Belt One Road in Malaysia: China’s strategic enabler? by Sophie Qin

  7. That phone call: Trump and Turnbull’s alliance challenge, by Cam Hawker

  8. ADF women are already ‘in combat’, by Brendan Nicholson

  9. Fresh thinking to deal with ‘not quite wars’ (part 2), by Nathan Finney

  10. Australia’s deteriorating strategic outlook, by Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith

Article printed from The Strategist: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au

URL to article: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/click-go-readers-strategist-top-10-2017/

[1] previous: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-strategists-greatest-2013-hits/

[2] annual: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-year-in-clicks-the-strategists-top-10/

[3] just asked an international tribunal: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/philippines-takes-chinas-dashes-to-un/

[4] tribunal ruling: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/finding-china-cant-ignore-south-china-sea-arbitration/

[5] come down hard against China: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/heavy-defeat-beijing-south-china-sea-tribunal-ruling/

[6] concerned: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/lawful-countermeasures-chinas-south-china-sea-claims/

[7] what we can do about it: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/freedom-navigation-south-china-sea-australia-must-take-stand/

[8] even physical clashes: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/16/indian-chinese-troops-clash-disputed-himalayan-border-region

[9] lose its way: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/indonesia-going-nowhere-fast/

[10] religious extremism: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/jokowis-coming-struggle-religious-extremism-indonesia/

[11] strength of its democratic order: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/indonesian-democracy-stagnation-regression/

[12] big submarines: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-strategic-role-of-submarines-in-the-21st-century/

[13] little submarines: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australias-future-submarine-big-boats-versus-big-fleet/

[14] conventional submarines: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/nuclear-versus-diesel-electric-case-conventional-submarines-ran/

[15] nuclear submarines: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/nuclear-propulsion-australias-submarines/

[16] no submarines: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/again-more-about-submarines-is-it-are-they-really-necessary/

[17] Is a second Sino-Indian border war imminent?: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/second-sino-indian-border-war-imminent/

[18] Race, faith and Ahok’s defeat: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/race-faith-ahoks-defeat/

[19] North Korea: it’s not the first time Australia’s been threatened with nuclear attack: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/north-korea-not-first-time-australias-threatened-nuclear-attack/

[20] Australia’s future submarine: a class with no equals: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australias-future-submarine-class-no-equals/

[21] Jokowi and the General: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/jokowi-and-the-general/

[22] One Belt One Road in Malaysia: China’s strategic enabler?: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/one-belt-one-road-malaysia-chinas-strategic-enabler/

[23] That phone call: Trump and Turnbull’s alliance challenge: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/phone-call-trump-turnbulls-alliance-challenge/

[24] ADF women are already ‘in combat’: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/adf-women-already-combat/

[25] Fresh thinking to deal with ‘not quite wars’ (part 2): https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/fresh-thinking-deal-not-quite-wars-part-2/

[26] Australia’s deteriorating strategic outlook: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australias-deteriorating-strategic-outlook/