Category Archives: Defence/Security

RICHARD BUTLER. The Real Danger: A New Nuclear Arms Race.

New US nuclear weapons policies, quantitative and qualitative will ensure that a new nuclear arms race proceeds. Global danger will increase as will the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons. Its not just Trump that is at issue. He … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms: Look ahead to 2018 in hope, not back at 2017 in anger.

We begin 2018 with a surreal contest between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as to whose nuclear button is bigger. Against North Korea’s anxiety-inducing rapid nuclear advances, the biggest positive story line of 2017 was … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Trump’s US has abdicated global leadership- A REPOST from June 20 2017

Following his presentation at the EU-Australia Senior and Emerging Leaders’ Forum last week, ANU Chancellor and former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans spoke with Melissa Conley Tyler, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Evans said that by withdrawing … Continue reading

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RICHARD TANTER. Pine Gap and a possible Korean nuclear war A REPOST from December 18,2017

The Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap is a huge and controversial US intelligence base near Alice Springs in central Australia. Again the debate is flaring over whether or not the costs of hosting the base — most relevant being its … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON.  Beersheba – the Scramble for the Ottoman Empire- A REPOST From November 2, 2017

The centenary of the bloodshed at Beersheba this month is being used to bolster a narrow nationalist understanding of Australia’s First World War. Vital truths about the worldwide catastrophe that had enveloped countless millions by October 1917 are being obscured … Continue reading

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JUDE McCULLOCH, JANEMAREE MAHER, KATE FITZ-GIBBON AND SANDRA WALKLATE. Finally, police are taking family violence as seriously as terrorism.

Victoria Police recently announced that family violence perpetrators will be treated as seriously as terrorists and murderers.  This strategy represents a major milestone in the evolving police approach to family violence. Though family violence results in far more death and injury, terrorism … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on the cheap.

It’s unlikely that the Army will commission a further report following Albert Palazzo’s account of the ADF’s operations in Iraq. We have years to wait for Professor Craig Stocking’s official history. What Australia urgently needs is a full independent inquiry … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Ausgrid decision and the growing power of security and intelligence agencies. A REPOST from August 2016

  The Ausgrid decision on Chinese investment raises two important issues. The first is how do we get a proper balance between security concerns and the wider benefits of the relationship. Our major strategic ally the US sees China our … Continue reading

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JEFFREY SACHS. The fatal expense of US Imperialism.

The scale of US military operations is remarkable. The US Department of Defense has (as of a 2010 inventory) 4,999 military facilities, of which 4,249 are in the United States; 88 are in overseas US territories; and 662 are in … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 4: A REPOST The finding: a disordered national mindset and body politic

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

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BERNARD KEANE. No politician has the spine to stand up to Australia’s intelligence state

It’s standard in an end of year piece to attempt to identify some unifying theme in the events of an arbitrarily selected period of time. Sometimes themes and commonalities really do emerge. Other times, they’re the author’s confection.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 3: The United States military-A REPOST

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Contracting out our foreign and defence policies -A REPOST from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are  sidelined. Locked into the US defence complex  with … Continue reading

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HANS-J. OHFF. Acquiring an orphan submarine. A REPOST from January 2017

If the RAN holds firm to the concept offered by DCNS it will acquire an orphan no other Navy will contemplate commissioning into service. It will own a submarines that will be expensive to build, expensive to maintain and expensive … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 2: United States strategy.- A REPOST

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone. A REPOST

The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Resolution for 2018: convince our political leaders to work harder on establishing an independent Australian foreign policy.

Australia’s foreign policy must no longer be formed by the interests of the US military/intelligence/industrial lobbies or the neuroses of US domestic politics. 

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 1: History and politics. A REPOST

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Is war in the American DNA? -A REPOST from JULY 2016

In his book ‘Dangerous Allies’ Malcolm Fraser warned us how we can be drawn into US conflicts that are of no concern to us. We have seen that in  following the US into disastrous wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan , Iraq and … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Turnbull and Trump: Everything Is Illuminated. – A REPOST

In New York, for the Coral Sea commemoration, Turnbull pledged permanent Australian fealty to the US and expressed agreement to Trump’s concept of “fake news”. Rupert Murdoch presided over the ceremony. Greg Norman was present as a witness. Very illuminating. … Continue reading

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ANDREW J BACEVICH. When Will America’s Wars have their Harvey Weinstein Moment?

What makes a Harvey Weinstein moment? The now-disgraced Hollywood mogul is hardly the first powerful man to stand accused of having abused women. The Harveys who preceded Harvey himself are legion, their prominence matching or exceeding his own and the … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. 2017 in review: The nuclear landscape.

The past 12 months were proof that the threat of nuclear weapons persists in the post Cold War world. However, when nuclear threats need not be broadcast over Red Square but merely typed over Twitter, it seems arms control procedures … Continue reading

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ANDREW GREENE. Spies need scrutiny, new NXT senator warns.

Federal Parliament lacks the power to properly monitor Australia’s “growing” intelligence community and the billions spent on their clandestine activities, the country’s newest senator has warned. 

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JIM COOMBS. Get a better court, eh, what?

The electors rightly regard the “citizenship saga” as a pile of nonsense. It did not need to be so, but the High Court was not up to its job. Worse, latter day xenophobia is being fed by the “security industry” … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Truth is not an excuse.

If ASIO bugged Mr Huang’s phone, and sat on what it knew, the political timing of the latest leak against Dastyari could not have been more deliberate.

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JOHN MENADUE. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Agents of influence,presumably Chinese are in the news. But the really important agents of influence are organisations linked ‘hip to hip’ to the US and its military/industrial complex. One of these is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which is an … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Whose ruled-based international order?

There is much bleating in Australia about the obligation on states to comply with a rules-based international order. The bleating intensifies whenever the Foreign Minister reacts to Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea or in relation to the … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. First World War Centenaries that really matter are looming

Centenary moments of huge significance are upon us: the centenary of the so-called ‘Lansdowne Peace Letter’ of 29 November 1917, and the centenary of the publication of the texts of the so-called ‘Secret Treaties’ in Britain, beginning on 12 December … Continue reading

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HANS J. OHFF. Nukes, the strategic advantage or otherwise.

In a reply to Paul Dibb’s and Richard Brabin-Smith’s piece ‘Australia’s management of strategic risk in the new era’, Hugh White observes :  ‘…so much of the investments we’re now committing to in massive warship programs make no sense. [The] ADF … Continue reading

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ROSS BURNS. Syria: the Task Ahead

The next attempt to hold UN-sponsored talks in Geneva with the main parties to the Syrian conflict is due to begin this week. With the defeat of ISIS on the ground, what hope is there that a clearer picture will … Continue reading

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