Wednesday 21 Aug 2019 | 08:53 | SYDNEY

Defence & Security

America China dilemma

In an opinion piece for the Straits Times, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White analyses whether or not America's policy towards China is one of containment

Blog feature ends, challenges remain

Today The Interpreter concludes its discussion on Australia's Defence Challenges, a sponsored partnership with the Department of Defence aimed at supporting external engagement ahead of the 2013 Defence White Paper and related processes. Several months ago we established the aims of this blog 

Pivoting the map: Australia Indo-Pacific system

On 21 November  2012, Rory Medcalf gave a major public lecture to launch the new Centre of Gravity Series, the flagship policy papers of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University, Canberra. In recent years, the Asia-Pacific definition of Australia’s

Stealth in Beijing

In an opinion in the Indian Express on China's military modernisation, Sam Roggeveen, Editor of  the Lowy Institute's weblog The Interpreter, writes that analyses of aircraft carriers and jet fighter designs such as China's newest stealth fighter aircraft give us hints of China

What are we defending ourselves from?

James Goldrick's thoughtful response to my last post raises lots of important issues. Let me touch on two of them. First, James says that my argument for sea denial over sea control focuses too much on high-intensity conflicts and especially power projection in such conflicts.  James says we

To defend Australia, we must defend the sea

Hugh White and I have been debating the subject of sea control and sea denial. As part of that exchange, Hugh posed questions to me which were related to particular scenarios. The difficulty with postulating any scenario is that it can be treated as one of those 'Yes Minister' irregular verbs: your

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double threat to democracy

Lowy Institute Research Fellow Dr Dave McRae, in an article for the Review section of The Australian Financial Review, argues that in light of the significant efforts Indonesia has made to reduce the threat of terrorism, the time is overdue for the government to bring another form of extremism

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 –

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

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,

Reader riposte: Strategic uncertainty

Paul Scanlan writes: Sam Roggeveen asks an interesting question: if you face an uncertain strategic future, how do you structure a defence force? Sam and Major General Molan have put the case for a balanced force in an environment of strategic uncertainty. While I agree about the uncertainty, I

In defence of a balanced force

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. Sam Roggeveen asks an interesting question: if you face an uncertain strategic future, how do you structure a defence force? Any threat from a major Asian land power is so unpredictable at present that to structure the ADF only

As Australia changes, so must the ADF

Dr Ben Wadham is a former serving member of the Army. He is now a sociologist at Flinders University\'s School of Education, researching civil-military relations. The recent presentation by Defence Minister Stephen Smith to the Lowy Institute on the 2013 Defence White Paper&

Reader ripostes: Strategic uncertainty

Below, Nic Stuart responds to Sam Roggeveen\'s post asking how defence planning can occur when our ability to forecast the future is so poor. But first, Lindsay Bignell: Without knowing the probabilities of which scenarios are more or less likely, it would seem sensible to plan on that

Reader riposte: Why is ADF voice missing?

Josh Farquhar writes: The Chief of Army\'s response to Dr Palazzo\'s insightful and constructive comments on the lack of ADF involvement in public debate does not address Dr Palazzo\'s most critical point: why have senior ADF officers been so notably absent in the public debate? Of

Defence: Planning for the unknowable

The link I posted this morning to an article on how intelligence agencies can improve the accuracy of their forecasts puts me in mind of the next Defence White Paper, and the job involved in planning for defence capabilities decades into the future. There\'s solid research that political

In defence of strategic uncertainty

If there\'s one feature that defines Australia\'s strategic environment out to 2035, it is complex uncertainty. Not the supposedly inexorable rise of China, not the decline of America, not globalisation, not climate change or weapons of mass destruction or terrorism, but uncertainty. The first

Reader riposte: Spend less on defence

Bernardo Camejo writes: There\'s been a lot of debate going on about defence spending in Australia, mainly among experts who know what they\'re talking about, and whose opinions should be heeded by policy-makers. I\'d like to add my two cents to the argument, not because I want to contradict

All quiet in Defence? Chief of Army responds

Lieutenant General David Morrison (pictured) is Chief of the Australian Army. I am a strong supporter of discussion and debate on a wide range of issues, including the future nature of warfare; however I disagree with the thesis put forward by Dr Albert Palazzo in the latest Land Warfare

RAAF is growling, not purring

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. It was fascinating to watch the announcement by the Minister and the Chief of Air Force on the purchase of the Boeing EA-18G Growler advanced electronic warfare capability. The system will be acquired using a US purchasing

Observations on the defence debate

Christopher Joye is a a director and strategic adviser to a number of funds management and financial services companies. He\'s also a blogger and columnist for the Financial Review. I come to the defence debate hampered by being a clean-skin, but without the baggage of legacy conditioning

Defence: The shape of things to come

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is a significant national resource for the consideration of strategic and security issues, and its people are truly world class. Rod Lyon recently put out a paper titled Strategic Contours:

ADF silent in debates on modern warfare

The views expressed here, based on this working paper, are the author\'s and do not reflect those of the Department of Defence or the Australian Government. Periodically the US military is host to a robust, heated, and sometimes painful debate on the future character of war. These debates are

Pages