Saturday 30 May 2020 | 07:09 | SYDNEY

Australian Defence Force

Walk a mile in China shoes

Not wishing to pile on to Abe Denmark\'s piece dismissing the idea that the US is containing China, but I have another concern to add to those of Hugh White. It relates to this passage in Denmark\'s piece: The key question is not whether China develops its own military power, but how

Containment? No. Primacy? Yes.

Abraham Denmark is right that US policy towards China is not containment, if we use \'containment\' the way he does. He defines the word rather narrowly, to refer only to the specific set of polices adopted by America towards the Soviet Union. So for him to say that the US is not containing

Don't worry about containing China

Abraham Denmark, Senior Project Director at National Bureau of Asian Research, served as Country Director for China Affairs in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense. These views are his own. The pages of The Interpreter have of late featured an interesting discussion on how Australia would, or

Reader ripostes: Demystifying Darwin

From our Facebook page, some interesting responses to Linda Jakobson\'s proposal to \'demystify\' the Darwin US Marines basing decision by turning the northern city into a hub for diplomatic meetings and humanitarian joint exercises. A selection, starting with Adrian Vandermay: A

What Abbott will do about defence

As the arrival next year of Tony Abbott\'s government looms ever closer, it is illuminating to have a de facto election manifesto. The glimpse of what the Coalition will offer voters is courtesy of a fine journalistic \'get\' by Crikey, which published the Coalition\'s confidential speaker

Demystifying Darwin

Chinese strategic thinkers, who previously did not pay much attention to far-off Australia, now want to know more about the \'Darwin decision\'. Was it directed at China, they ask? And how does the \'Darwin decision\' figure in US strategic plans to re-balance in Asia? Today, \'Darwin\' is nearly

Hope aground in South China Sea

Talks on an ASEAN-China code of conduct in the South China Sea were not the only thing to run aground in that contested body of water last week. Yesterday the Chinese navy rescued one of its frigates, which had been embarrassingly stranded on Half Moon Shoal, in waters claimed by the

Ex-Defence Minister wars with military

A former Defence Minister has taken a giant swipe at the culture and leadership habits of Australia\'s military. Joel Fitzgibbon says it is time to put a civilian in charge, sitting above the Chief of the Australian Defence Force \'to establish what Defence sadly lacks today; one final point of

Crisis and Confidence, one year on

Whatever sweet nothings cloy the public communiqués at the end of this week\'s ASEAN security meetings in Phnom Penh, the real diplomatic records will devote plenty of space to intrigue and tension over the South China Sea. The ten ASEAN states have failed to agree on the contents of a

Defence: If you can't measure it, how can you manage it?

To paraphrase the architect and artilleryman Vitruvius, you can\'t manage a defence force that you can\'t measure. I\'ve spent some time asking people how good the Australian Defence Force is, and I\'m not convinced anyone can tell me. Or more accurately, people can tell me how good or bad they

Defence Challenges linkage: JSF, hackers, Indian nukes and more

The Dutch parliament has voted to withdraw from the Joint Strike Fighter program, but does that actually mean anything? India will soon have a \'nuclear triad\'. Infinity Journal is a title I had not previously heard of: \'an online, peer-reviewed “journalzine” concerned with

Whisper it: We are containing China, just a bit

Robert Ayson is Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, Wellington. In his recent post on the perennial risk of alliance entrapment, Andrew O\'Neil poses a teasing post-November question: what would Canberra do if a Romney White House tried to enlist Australia for a neo

Reader ripostes: Australia alliance choices

Peter Layton\'s comment on the US alliance is below. But first, here\'s Malcolm Davis, who posted this on the Lowy Institute\'s Facebook page: This is a really great piece in the SMH. I\'ve immediately assigned it for this week\'s reading for my students doing my \'Strategic China\' at Bond

Australia slow-motion alliance choice

The posts published yesterday by Andrew O\'Neil and Malcolm Cook were each submitted without knowledge of the other, but taken together, they summarise pretty nicely the two sides of Australia\'s debate about the US alliance. O\'Neil warns that the economic and strategic forces shaping

ANZUS: A buyer market for Australia

Andrew O\'Neil\'s post on Australian anxieties about ANZUS abandonment reminds me of a conversation I had recently in which a colleague framed ANZUS as a \'buyer\'s market\' in which Australia is the buyer. It\'s an observation worth exploring. All alliances evolve, and as Geoffrey Barker

Australia win-win security alliance

Analysts have long worried that the defence of Australia and Australia\'s Asian engagement project pull the country in different directions and create serious policy challenges for Canberra. Today, we see this worry among those who postulate that there are tremendous tensions between

The US alliance: Fear of entrapment

Andrew O\'Neil is Professor in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute. Australia is physically far removed from the conflict hot spots in Asia and has not been seriously threatened by any regional power since

The 'pivot' in Australia-Indonesia strategic relations

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia\'s foreign policy. \'One cannot understand major developments in Australian-Indonesian relations unless we see them in the context of Australian-American relations\' argued Australian

India-China: The carrier race

China and India are neck-and-neck in their development of new-generation aircraft carriers. Both navies now have \'new\' ships undergoing sea trials, and the race is on to see which will be the first to undertake landing trials for fixed wing aircraft. The Times of India reports that India\'s

Defence Challenges linkage: Pivot, malware, Southeast Asia and more

The US military is rediscovering some of the Southeast Asian bases it abandoned in the 60s and 70s. But meanwhile, Sino-Thai military relations are improving steadily. Useful table on world military spending. The US is the baseline, and it gives both IISS and SIPRI numbers. Australia\'s Tiger

Strategic warning or strategic surprise?

Defence white papers normally include a paragraph or two on strategic warning. It is a fundamental aspect of defence policy and relates to strategic risk and hedging. The 2009 White Paper included the following commentary: Australia has an enduring strategic interest in ensuring that any

US strategic thinking about the Indian Ocean

David Brewster is a Visiting Fellow at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, ANU. US strategic thinking about the Indian Ocean is in a state of flux. While it is not at all clear where it will go, we can nevertheless understand some of the basics of US strategy in the region.

'Asian pivot' is really an 'Asian re-balance'

David Brewster is a Visiting Fellow at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, ANU. Should we call the recent changes to US strategy in Asia the \'Asian pivot\'? Or should we, as the Obama Administration insists, see it as a \'re-balancing\' of US defence resources? The new US strategy

Defence: Self-reliance is self-delusion

LT COL Ben Pronk is from the Directorate of Army Research and Analysis. These are his own views, not official policy or the position of the Australian Government, Defence Department, ADF or Army. Australia\'s defence challenges cannot be resolved by tweaks; fundamental change is required.&

Australia strategic environment: 10 propositions

Robert Ayson is Director of Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, Wellington. Here are ten propositions about the strategic environment which I think the writers of Australia\'s 2013 Defence White Paper need to keep in mind: 1. The overarching factor is the shift in the

Two interviews: Willox and White

I conducted two interviews recently on defence themes. Below, see Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group and panelist at last week\'s launch of the Lowy Institute Poll, talk about the high public support the poll found for the US Marine deployment to Darwin. But first, here

Defence: Best of times, worst of times

Devising military strategy and operating a capable defence force is difficult even at the best of times. But for Australia this is not the best of times. The shifting global locus of power is leading to increased strategic uncertainty in our Indo-Pacific region, and we have recently seen a tough

Introducing our new defence feature

Tough defence decisions lie ahead for the Australian Government, which has committed to producing a new Defence White Paper in 2013. In the interests of an open and constructive discussion of these issues of critical national importance, the Lowy Institute is today introducing a new blog feature,

The challenge of innovation in the Australian Army

In this article in Security Challenges, James Brown argues that in an environment of fiscal austerity and strategic uncertainty, the defining challenge for the Australian Army after Afghanistan will be to foster innovation. He argues that despite having excellent soldiers and officers, the market

Dangerous luxuries

The ANZUS alliance is emerging as an important alliance for stability in the Asia-Pacific region but the US must understand the implications Australian defence planning will have on the future alliance. In this Lowy Institute Analysis, US Army Colonel John Angevine writes that Australia’s current

Australia nuclear connection with Pakistan

The BBC reported on 25 August that Pakistan had test-fired a new air-launched cruise missile capable of carrying what a Pakistani government statement described as ‘all types of warheads’. This was a none-too-subtle hint to India that Pakistan wants this new missile to be nuclear-capable. A

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