Category Archives: Defence/Security
Military and Economic Deals aren’t ‘peace arrangements’ just because Trump says so (Canberra Times Sep 19, 2020)
‘Peace’ is not in the air, (Carlill, Canberra Times, 16/9). The deal done between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, boastfully brokered by President Trump, has little to do with ‘peace’, but much with military hardware and hoped for economic gain.
Visitors to the Afghanistan: The Australian Story exhibition are offered a theme park experience. Symbols, slogans, and sensations. Hop on an emotional rollercoaster and spin round corners to vicariously witness an ambush.
The unmistakable parallels between Hong Kong SAR 2019 protests and the CIA sponsored 1953 Iranian Coup d’état is yet another ‘(c)overt’ U.S. government interference to influence and disrupt other states that challenge American hegemony.
The Australian War Memorial is mutating from the keeper of the flame to the hider of the shame.
Jack Waterford has provided a scathing assessment of the role of the intelligence and security agencies in Australia’s current contretemps with China. How should we evaluate the suggestion that the conduct of our international relations is driven more by intelligence … Continue reading
When head of the Australian Signals Directorate, Mike Burgess was the main adviser recommending against Huawei being allowed into the 5G network. There is no doubt about his intelligence background, or his technical talents. He has, however, yet to demonstrate … Continue reading
When the ‘war on terror’ was only seven years old, an Australian former Ambassador to Beijing pointed to its risks and costs for Australia. Garry Woodard warned that rather than protecting ‘national security’, such an open-ended war could widen our … Continue reading
Defence gives an average price of less than $126 million for Australia’s 72 F-35s when fully delivered. But the Australian Strategy Policy Institute estimates the sustainment costs to be triple those of the F-18 fighters it replaces.
There are almost too many myths about Australia’s Vietnam War involvement to keep track. But one of them – that all National Service conscripts had the option of volunteering or not when about to be posted to Vietnam – is … Continue reading
When the full history of Australia’s slide into McCarthyite hysteria over China is written there should be special mention of the role of our spy organizations – ASIO and ASIS in particular. As someone who has worked over the years … Continue reading
Proposed legislation to enable the PM to declare a national emergency and call in the troops appears to be yet another example of the government’s dangerous tendency to militarise our biggest challenges, including climate change.
When, for example, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) receives grants from the US State Department to undertake research projects it is an admission that it is engaging in conduct on behalf of a foreign principal.
C.E.W. Bean’s account of Australia’s entry into World War I is misleading. It has a deliberate imperial bias. It was propaganda.
Recent articles on our defence and security postures, and their impact on civil society, have preferred pacifism over a more defensive tone. While pacific sentiment is noble, we should never underestimate harsher realities.
Fifteen years ago when I wrote an op.ed for The Age newspaper about the militarization of Australian historical memory, amidst the frenzy of war commemoration then careering out of control, the sub-editor gave it the title, ‘The Howard history of … Continue reading
We need intelligence agencies that are accountable. We do not have that at the moment. We have witnessed the failure of bank regulators. Regulatory failure in the intelligence sector is even more in plain sight.
The military in Australia has been played into a key role in the national narrative. Its achievements have been woven into myth. External threat has long been part of the political fabric.
In an article in The Conversation, Professor Alexey Muraviev has pointed out that Australia has failed to factor into its strategic calculations the relationship between China and Russia. While Russia poses no credible direct threat to Australia, it could be … Continue reading
War and militarisation has become ever-present in so much of our public life. Civilian power and responsibility is being marginalised. We go to war without our Parliament even debating the merits of such a momentous act. We are ceding civilian … Continue reading
Only in a small number of countries is the idea of an independent foreign policy considered to be a radical approach to international relations. Australia is one of them.
In 1961 President Eisenhower warned that a vast and permanent ‘military-industrial complex’ could produce ‘the disastrous rise of misplaced power’. Earlier, US Senators Robert La Follette and J. William Fulbright also foresaw the dangers of militarisation. Now we have a … Continue reading
When governments have little idea of what constitutes a wicked problem, and even less idea of how to deal with it, their default position is to ‘securitise’ a problem – turning it into a problem to be solved by law … Continue reading
The 75th Pacific War end anniversary has revived once again the debate over whether the US in 1945 had to resort to nuclear bombings to force Japan’s surrender. The global anti-nuclear movement has long used the horror of those bombings … Continue reading
There is nothing very exceptional about American Exceptionalism other than many Americans find themselves exceptional and demand that others do likewise. Australian Exceptionalism is risible.
To help preserve its global economic dominance, American appears prepared to fight China to the last dollar in the Australian treasury.
Tehran’s new strategic partnership with Beijing will give the Chinese a strategic foothold and strengthen Iran’s economy and regional clout.
President Donald Trump is cock-a-hoop over the United Arab Emirates becoming the first Arab Gulf state to normalise its relations with Israel. He needs all the good news he can get in the months before the US presidential election.
In an essay in the prestigious US publication “Foreign Affairs”, the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, sets out a broad set of his foreign policy objectives should he win the US presidency in November. The title – “Why America Must Lead … Continue reading
Today’s risks and the history of war: recognising the unknowable. The point of no return is mostly only evident in hindsight, and nations occasionally find themselves unexpectedly teetering on the edge of conflict.
The only freedoms of navigation under threat in the South China Sea are ones associated with rights claimed by the United States to conduct certain military activities in the maritime zones of other countries.