Friday 20 Sep 2019 | 23:49 | SYDNEY
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Defence & Security

The strategic order and the nature of conflict are changing. Security competition between nations and military strategy are growing in complexity even as new transnational challenges deepen. The Lowy Institute’s experts in security and defence look at changing strategic relations, security architecture, nuclear strategy, military capabilities and defence and intelligence policy.

India and China: Playing 'Go' in the Indian Ocean

China and India are fast emerging as major maritime powers in the Indo-Pacific as part of long-term shifts in the regional balance of power. As their wealth, interests, and power expand, the two countries are also increasingly coming into contact with each other in the maritime domain. How India and

Will Smith is right, everything is not getting worse

I don't expect to hear political wisdom from Hollywood movie stars, but I loved this quote from Will Smith on yesterday's The Late Show, about US race relations (from 5:23): 'When I hear people say "it's worse than it's ever been", I really disagree completely. It's clearly not as bad as it was in

Why do terrorists do it?

The philosopher John Gray is always worth reading. Two highlights from his latest book review, first on the rationality of terrorism: The practice of suicide bombing has very often been analysed in cost-benefit terms and found to be highly efficient. The expenditure of resources involved is modest

Chilcot: Don't focus on motives, focus on judgments

Former prime minister John Howard was in excellent form at yesterday's press conference in response to the release of the Chilcot Report. He'd received so many media requests, he said, that he thought it was a better idea to address them all at once. So he was certainly not running away from what at

The migration-security nexus in Asia and Australia (part 4)

There are clear signs that policy circles now consider migration to be an emerging security issue. For the first time this year’s Shangri-la Dialogue had a session on migration, during which Chinese and Indonesian delegations presented their respective policies on the security challenges of

Obama's Hiroshima rhetoric obscures growing role for nuclear weapons

By Stephan Frühling, associate professor in the Strategic and Defence Centre, ANU, and Andrew O'Neil, professor and dean in the Griffith University Business School. President Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima was rich in symbolism, but light on substance. Echoing his landmark Prague speech in

North Korea as a 'mafia state'

In January 2016, North Korea tested a fourth nuclear device. In the scramble to respond, analysts once again debated the nature of the North Korean regime. Much of the heat of this discussion comes from varying perceptions of the 'real' North Korea. Is it the last relic of the Cold War? A national

It's time we talked about war with China

    Whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intended it or not, his new Defence White Paper has been widely interpreted as sending a clear message that Australia is willing to join our allies in using armed force if necessary to defend the 'rules based global order' from China's

Abbott sets benchmark for Turnbull's Defence White Paper

The Government is set to finally release its Defence White Paper later this week, with the document having been delayed a few times under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and then set back several months when he was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott has written an op-ed on the White Paper for

Syria: The gift that keeps on giving

The official announcement today that the government would refuse a US request for additional assets to be deployed in the Middle East against Islamic State came as little surprise. These types of requests rarely come out of the blue, and it is likely that Washington was aware of what Canberra’s

North Korea's nuclear test not all bad news for China

Media attention since North Korea's nuclear test yesterday has been focused on the veracity of its claims to have exploded a thermonuclear device or 'hydrogen bomb'. This is understandable given that a thermonuclear weapon has a destructive power many orders of magnitude greater than a purely

China's puzzling defence agreement with Australia

Last Thursday, The Australian newspaper ran an editorial, 'Strengthening links with China'. This followed its front-page coverage of the visit to Canberra by China's Chief of General Staff Fang Fenghui, for annual talks with Chief of Defence Force Mark Binskin and Department of Defence Secretary

Turkey has got Syria wrong — again

The shooting down of the Russian aircraft by the Turks and the subsequent death of two Russian servicemen briefly got the tabloids talking about World War III but in reality this was never going to blow up into a direct military confrontation between Moscow and Ankara. What it did demonstrate, once

Are drone pilots warriors?

Is the drone pilot a warrior? It's a crucial question surrounding the place of the drone pilot within the military ethos – and one Adam Henschke points to in a recent entry in this series of posts of the future of drones on The Interpreter. It's a good and important question, not only for the

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