Monday 23 May 2022 | 23:51 | SYDNEY

Australia in the World

For clarity of policy, just add sunlight

Stuart Robert MP is Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Technology and Personnel. Developing a strategic view is one thing, funding it is entirely another. While the 2009 Defence White Paper developed a reasonable strategic outlook, in the years since its release the disconnect between the

White Paper: Searching for Southeast Asia

Associate Professor Michele Ford is Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. It's great to see Indonesia identified as one of five key Asian nations, and Indonesian one of four priority languages, in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, not least because I teach Indonesian

Reader ripostes: Asian Century White Paper

Below, a comment from Alex Jones, but first, Sinclaire Prowse, a postgraduate student at the US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, writes: An under addressed topic of discussion on the Asian Century White Paper is the implications it holds for the future of Australia's relationship with the

Technology and 'irregular' land warfare

Ben Fitzgerald is Managing Director at Noetic Group. He is based in Washington, DC. With an impending White Paper and associated questions about Australia's future capability needs, it is worth spending a few moments thinking about the capabilities of our potential adversaries. More

PNG in the Asian century

Australia is not alone in thinking seriously about the implications of the Asian century. Discussions at the Lowy Institute's PNG New Voices conference last week debated Papua New Guinea's international choices and place in the Asian century. The participants at our conference had clearly not only

Afghanistan? We're against it, sort of

It's not often you hear Australia's combative Opposition Leader Tony Abbott be this generous to the Government: I rise to support the comprehensive statement of the Prime Minister and I welcome this chance to express the Coalition’s support...  ...I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment

Reader riposte: More on Goldrick-White debate

Comment below is from Sam Fairall-Lee. More on this topic from James Goldrick in coming days: Whilst the ongoing debate regarding the various merits of sea control and sea denial has been fascinating to read, and quite frankly well overdue, I'm struck by the fact that the debate so far seems

Reader riposte: Rebuilding Australian diplomacy

Kate Grayson writes: Following on from Alex Oliver's post, another two significant reports have been released in recent days in relation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. DFAT's Annual Report 2011-2012 and the release of the Incoming Briefs for the Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, draw

DFAT should embrace the digital age

Stop procrastinating and throw away the typewriters. That's the message from the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade's inquiry into Australia's overseas representation, which has just recommended DFAT establish an office of ediplomacy, modeled on that of the US State

What can Australia learn from Afghanistan?

Thomas Lonergan served in Afghanistan with the ADF. A remarkable event occurred in Afghanistan this month when Australia took command of coalition forces in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. This is remarkable for at least three reasons. First, Australian governments of both political

Priorities: Broadsheets and tabloids

Malcolm Cook's post on the near-silence from our tabloid press regarding the Asian Century White Paper put me in mind of a photo I saw recently.  Credit to Christian Price at Flashboard Wars for the pic

Asian Century White Paper: Defence WP preview?

Dr Andrew Carr is an Associate Lecturer in Strategic and Defence Studies at the ANU and a former Assistant Editor of The Interpreter. While the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper is largely focused on economics, there is a chapter on security which may give us some insight into the

Asian Century media coverage

The contrast between how broadsheet and tabloid newspapers covered the launch of the Asian Century White Paper on Sunday is telling. The Australian gave it saturation coverage and rolled out its big columnists to provide analysis. The Sydney Morning Herald also provided front-page coverage and

Rebuilding Australia diplomatic network...when circumstances allow

Two significant reports have been released in the past two days which, if their recommendations are followed, should have a considerable impact on the health of Australia's diplomatic network: Sunday's White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century and the report released yesterday by the Joint

Asia White Paper: Process and politics

Taste the Asian Century White Paper from the perspectives of process and politics. The machinery stuff (the process) is always interesting in Canberra, and usually revealing. If this had been the Henry Review instead of a White Paper it would have been bigger, bolder, broader, and almost

Defence cuts based on dangerous assumptions

Jeffrey Grey is a Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Canberra (ADFA), and foundation Director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society. Democracies display a lamentable inclination to believe in 'peace dividends' and to retrench military

Reader riposte: Science in the Asian century

Tony Healy writes: While I commend the PM for the ambition in her speech, I think she misses the point. The core cultural expertise we need over the next 50 years if we are to maintain the respect of Asian nations and prosper will be in using science. Our English heritage has given us a slight

Asian Century: Life in the slipstream

What is there not to like about the White Paper on the Asian Century? It is above all a feel-good document: historically we have done well in our relationships with Asia; we have the advantage of proximity; a large component of our population is of Asian descent; we are well equipped with relevant

What the Asian Century White Paper means for our ties with Indonesia

The relationship with Indonesia is one of six the Government determines as crucial to Australia's future in the new Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. The priority placed on Indonesia mirrors regular Government statements about the importance of bilateral ties and the need to further

Morrison stands up for Army

The Australian labels it an 'extraordinary public intervention by a serving senior ADF officer', but the national newspaper is only partly right. Today's public comments by Chief of Army (and Interpreter contributor) Lieutenant General David Morrison are unprecedented, but they should not be

A national uranium policy for Australia?

Michael Angwin is Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Uranium Association. In the last week, two major policy decisions have accelerated the pace of Australian uranium policy reform. Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed with her Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, to negotiate a treaty for

Thai-Aus defence cooperation: Where to now?

Dr John Blaxland is a Senior Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. As Australia prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan, consideration is being given to how best position the Australian Defence Force afterwards. The focus needs to return to Australia's region and particularly

Reader riposte: More on Goldrick-White

Markus Pfister writes: To sum it up: Surely then both Hugh White and James Goldrick can agree that we need to aim first for sea denial, and when that has been achieved we could and should spend the balance of our naval resources on achieving some degree of sea control, and that this worthy aim

The ADF and cyber warfare

Richard Addiscott is an information security consultant with BAE Systems Stratsec. The views expressed here are his own and do not represent the views of his employer. What is cyber warfare and what could it mean to the Australian Defence Force? I hope the 2013 Defence White Paper will address

Reader riposte: The Goldrick-White debate

Nic Stuart writes: What makes the current debate between James Goldrick and Hugh White so interesting is that it's grounded in capabilities – both platforms and systems. This is the hard edge of the defence debate; where our desire to have strategic options meets budgetary and political

Myanmar: Time for Australian Defence Cooperation

Dr John Blaxland is a Senior Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. Myanmar, emerging from a long period as a pariah state, is confounding sceptics with the pace and extent of reform since Senior General Than Shwe handed over power to his successor as president, Thein Sein,

Response to James Goldrick

Many thanks to James Goldrick for his responses to my recent Monthly discussion of maritime strategy in Australia's defence. James' recent retirement from the RAN is a loss to the ADF, but a gain to public debate, because he has long been the ADF's most learned maritime strategist. So I welcome

Latin America and China growth

In the third of our series of interviews conducted at the University of Melbourne's Australia Latin America Dialogue, we probe more deeply into the implications of the rise of China for commodity based economies such as Australia and Latin American countries and focus on what we can learn

Managing strategic uncertainty

Chloe Diggins is a Research and Analysis Officer at the Australian Army's Land Warfare Studies Centre. The views expressed are her own and do not reflect those of the Australian Department of Defence or the Australian Government. Recently, Sam Roggeveen asked what's the best way to deal with

Michael Fullilove on Australia UN Security Council seat

Australia now has a seat at the two biggest global tables: the G20 and the United Nations Security Council, says Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove. This will increase our international leverage and reputation, and be a source of prestige. However, it will stretch our foreign

A great week for Australia diplomacy

It has been an excellent week for Australian diplomacy. Prime Minister Julia Gillard established a strong new beginning for Australia's sometimes-troubled ties with a rising India. And the crowning moment was of course the country's victory in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United

Fifteen megabytes of fame

Is there a diplomatic dividend to reap from going viral? Or, put another way, will 15 minutes of parliamentary invective deliver more than 15 minutes of global fame for Julia Gillard? From Britain's The Telegraph to Andrew Sullivan's hotly read blog, The Daily Dish; from The New Yorker to

Reader Riposte: A point of history about Australia place in the UN

Brenton Baldwin writes: Many writers have described the awkwardly-titled Western European and Others Group (WEOG) to which Australia belongs during its successful campaign for a UN Security Council seat; this is how that odd geographical delineation came about: Following the enlargement of

Crunch-time at the UN

The electoral process that will decide today whether Australia has been successful in its bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council is elaborate; unsurprisingly for a legalistic organisation like the UN, which was set up in the hope of subordinating war and power politics to

False thinking and Australian strategy (3)

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AM, CSC is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute. This is the final post in a three-part series. Part 2 challenged claims by Lowy colleague Hugh White that Australia doesn't rely on the sea. Part 1 argued against White's assertion that sea control cannot be

We need to forecast war

Christopher Joye is a leading economist, policy advisor, fund manager and former director of the Menzies Research Centre. In The Australian Financial Review today I have a column that responds to a question posed by Sam Roggeveen. Specifically, Sam asks, 'What's the best way to deal with strategic

The UNSC seat: Australia, Israel and Palestine

In its quest for a UN Security Council Seat, to be decided by the General Assembly on Thursday, Australia has kept running into Israel and Palestine.  The race for the seat has been with Luxembourg and Finland, but Israel and Palestine have become a fascinating element of the contest for the

False thinking and Australian strategy (2)

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AM, CSC is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute. In this three-part series he challenges claims by Lowy colleague Hugh White that Australia cannot achieve sea control. In my previous post  I pointed out how Hugh White's article, A Middling Power: Why

False thinking and Australian strategy (1)

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AM, CSC is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute. In this three-part series he challenges claims by Lowy colleague Hugh White that Australia cannot achieve sea control. Professor Hugh White's article, A Middling Power: Why Australia's defence is all at

The ADF and the Afghan army: A question of command (2)

Tom Hyland is a freelance journalist and former foreign editor of The Age and The Sunday Age. The need for a clear command structure when Australians patrol with Afghans was the subject of part 1 of this post. So-called 'green-on-blue' killings by Afghan soldiers of their foreign mentors –

Reader Riposte: DFAT no international search and rescue outfit

Paul Cotton responds to Alex Oliver's post on the Foreign Minister's handling of the Pippi Bean affair: Surely the whole Pippi Bean affair came about when the media constantly referred to her as an 'aid worker'. She was not an 'aid worker', she was in international public servant working for the

ADF and the Afghan army: A question of command

Tom Hyland is a freelance journalist and former foreign editor of The Age and The Sunday Age. This is the first of a two-part post. When Australian troops go on patrol with the Afghan army, and things turn nasty, who’s in charge? The question, which goes to the heart of  Australia's effort

Coral Bell legacy: great writing

Coral Bell had the gentle manners of Miss Marple and a mind as sharp as Henry Kissinger's. Indeed, Kissinger was a fan of the grand dame who got the modern Oz equivalent of a gong in the 2005 honours for her 'service to scholarship and to teaching as a leading commentator and contributor to

'Abandoned' Pippi Bean and Carr consular conundrum

Following aid-worker Alexandra ('Pippi') Bean's safe departure from Libya last week, Foreign Minister Bob Carr felt compelled last Friday to issue a press release explaining the Australian government's handling of the case, in an attempt to fend off a barrage of criticism from the media, Ms Bean

Reader Riposte: Of one mind

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan, author of Running the War in Iraq, writes: Paul Scanlan and I are in violent agreement. I predict that a force structure review, conducted today, that looked at the strategic environment to determine what Australia NEEDS compared with what the government thinks

What might the 2013 White Paper say about space?

Brett Biddington is a retired RAAF officer who consults on space and cyberspace matters. In the past five years, Australian policy makers in and beyond Defence have devoted a lot more attention to Australia's interest in space and to developing appropriate policy settings. Since December 2008,

Student post: The Australian choice?

The Interpreter has coordinated with the Australian National University to offer a guest post to the best op-ed by an undergraduate taking ANU's Australian Security in the Asian Century course. The following piece is by Tiffany Sleep, a final year student. In his new book, Hugh White suggests