Category Archives: Defence/Security

NICOLA McGARRITY, JESSIE BLACKBOURN. Australia has enacted 82 anti-terror laws since 2001. But tough laws alone can’t eliminate terrorism (The Conversation 30-9-19)

This is part of a new series looking at the national security challenges facing Australia, how our leaders are responding to them through legislation and how this is impacting society. Read other stories in the series here.

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The shallowness of Australia’s strategic policy

Two largely neglected issues highlight the paucity of Australia’s strategic policy; energy and global warming

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KELLIE TRANTER Australia’s appetite for Hypersonics

While the media were understandably distracted by Secretary Esper’s comments on deploying intermediate range conventional weapons in the Pacific region in the lead up to the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (“AUSMIN”) in August, documents produced pursuant to Freedom of Information … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Expanding naval bases in central Sydney does not make sense.

The Navy is proposing a $500 million expansion of its training facility at HMAS Watson which is adjacent to the historic South Head National Park. There are good defence, urban, economic and social reasons why naval facilities at Garden Island … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia’s Domestic War Parties: The Colonisation of the Australian Strategic Mind

National Defence and Security questions in Australia are, like so many areas of government policy, difficult to follow, let alone master, and debate about them tends to attract only a small attentive public. The answers to them, in the form … Continue reading

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GREG BARTON. Australia isn’t taking the national security threat from far-right extremism seriously enough (the Conversation, 3 October 2019)

Until the terror attack in Christchurch in March, the threat of far-right terrorism in Australia was one we knew was coming, but believed was well over the horizon. The sordid story of the Christchurch attacker – “ordinary Australian” turned hateful … Continue reading

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KISHORE MAHBUBANI. What China Threat? How the United States and China can avoid war (Harper Magazine 22-01-19) A Repost.

Quite remarkably ,of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council ,China is the only one among them that has not fired a single shot across its border in thirty years,since a brief naval battle between China and Vietnam … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The strategic significance of Abqaiq and Khurais

The debate over the military implications of relatively inexpensive drones and cruise missiles has been enlivened by the recent attacks on the Saudi Arabian oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais. This spectacular demonstration of the effectiveness of drones and cruise … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. What is new about drones?

The attack on Saudi oil wells has given rise to a debate about the effectiveness of drones in warfare. Some have argued that this heralds a whole new world in warfare while others see it as just another example of … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison joins the conga line.

And so back to Mark Latham’s conga line of suck holes – Scott Morrison goes to Washington. The regular obeisance is hardly unexpected, but it is no less embarrassing for that. Morrison has made it clear that the main purpose … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Emotion, reason and nuclear disarmament

I first came to Hiroshima in 1964 as a twenty-year old student, and it was one of the most formative experiences of my life. Nothing had quite prepared me for the experience of standing at the epicentre of that first … Continue reading

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BRENDON KELSON. Letter to Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Dear Minister $498M AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL EXPANSION Thank you for Robert Curtin’s reply of 25 July 2019 to my letter to the Prime Minister of 19 June 2019. That … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Urgent appeal to save nuclear agreements (Japan Times 25-8-19)

HIROSHIMA – The Hiroshima Round Table held its seventh annual meeting last Wednesday and Thursday. For the first time, in recognition of the uniquely dangerous international security environment since the dawn of the atomic age in this beautiful city, the … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. New nuclear arms race brings higher risk of global catastrophe

The world is at its highest risk of a global catastrophe in decades, thanks to an unpredictable resumption in the nuclear arms race. Veteran defence and security analyst Brian Toohey has warned that talk of war between the West, and … Continue reading

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KELLIE TRANTER. Defence exports – what are we subsidising?

Last month Australian defence company, Electro Optic Systems (EOS), again denied its weapons system was being used in the Yemen war when photographs surfaced of four consignments of its Remote Weapons System for export in June and July to the … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. Australia’s strategic folly: lessons from Barbara Tuchman.

We arein a situation where decisions that seem simple can commit Australia to fundamental errors of strategic judgement. The decision to send a ship and a plane and headquarters staff to a new venture with the United States in the … Continue reading

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ERNST WILLHEIM. The saga of Bernard Collaery and Witness K continues.

If you watched the program [ABC 4-Corners] you will already know this is a talk about some shameful events in Australia’s recent history. And I very much fear the shameful saga is about to continue. It is about Australian commercial … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Hong Kong and the ghost of Tiananmen

Michael Shoebridge  of  the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has artfully given the appearance of logic to a melding of fact, supposition and obsession in order to reach the conclusion that it is ‘time for the international community to step up … Continue reading

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ILAN PAPPE. Israel’s latest attempt to erase Palestine (The Electronic Intifada 25-7-19)

The attempt to suppress official documentation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 is not new.

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BILL CLEMENTS. Grain silos and war memorials

In 2008, archaeologists from the University of Chicago discovered ancient grain storage silos in Southern Egypt. Made from mud brick, they were there when Jacob’s sons, in a time of famine, came seeking grain. We are fortunate that these silos … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Battles, campaigns, and wars

The United States Studies Centre’s latest publication, Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific, contrary to its title, offers up a path to crisis. While the report draws attention to the fading of the previously … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. All the way with Trump’s USA … this time into the Strait of Hormuz (New Daily, 21 August 2019)

Here we go again – joining an American military adventure created by Donald Trump, an adventure that has no end in sight.Nobody with a sense of history and Liberal Party politics can be surprised that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The conversation about China

Senator Wong’s call for a mature conversation aboutf the issue of China is more than welcome. A serious discussions of the implications for Australia flowing from the rise of China was sadly missing from the recent election. However, there is … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. A nuclear world in disarray. (The Strategist 7.8.2019)

We are in a uniquely dangerous period in the atomic age. Geopolitical tensions have spiked in Europe, in the Middle East, on the subcontinent and in East Asia. The nuclear arms control architecture is fraying and crumbling, but no negotiations … Continue reading

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PHILIP GIRALDI. Israel Has “The Most Moral Army in the World”? (American Herald Tribune)

The creepy French “intellectual” Bernard-Henri Levy gets it wrong

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VINCE SCAPPATURA. American Missiles in Darwin?

While in Australia last week for the annual Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, twice hinted at the possibility of Australia becoming host to American missiles pointed at China. Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison attempted to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The US Killed INF, Russia Buried It, China Will Not Disinter It (Australian Outlook 8-8-19)

The end of the first disarmament agreement of the nuclear age will almost certainly be accompanied by American pressure on allies to host US intermediate range missiles.

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JESSICA MATHEWS. America’s Indefensible Defense Budget – Extracts-(The New York Review of Books)

With what former defense secretary Robert Gates termed a “gargantuan, labyrinthine bureaucracy” in the Pentagon, manufacturers and subcontractors for each weapons system carefully distributed across congressional districts and backed by aggressive lobbyists, members of Congress determined to protect constituents’ jobs, … Continue reading

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CHRIS MILLS. Avoiding the Crossfire from the USA – China Confrontation

Australia is on a ‘hiding to nothing’ from the escalating USA confrontation with China. If we choose USA, China can peacefully inflict devastating economic damage by choosing other countries to supply its resources. If we choose China, USA can withdraw … Continue reading

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RAYMOND ZHONG. Vietnam is gathering the spoils of a trade war (The New York Times International)

  No country on earth has benefited from President Trump’s trade fight with China more than Vietnam.

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