Saturday 21 Apr 2018 | 10:06 | SYDNEY
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Australian Defence Force

A reborn quadrilateral to deter China

Recent news that Australia’s Foreign Minister has indicated interest in taking part in a resurrected US-Australia-Japan-India quadrilateral dialogue on the sidelines of the upcoming ASEAN Summit is to be welcomed. It is an indication how much the strategic situation in the Asia Pacific has shifted

Time to fast-forward the Future Submarine

Australia’s future submarine program has attracted fewer headlines since the Government decided on the French Shortfin Barracuda design last year. But it was heavily criticised in a recent Insight Economics report, and on the receiving end of some speculative depth charges in a strange, testy

Ballistic missile defence: New options for Australia

Kim Jong-un has set North Korea on the path to establishing a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capability. We don’t know how much further the international community will push, and how the North Koreans will respond. But Kim Jong-un’s actions remind us that state-on-state

Observing Crocodile Strike

This article is the first in a two-part series on Exercise Crocodile Strike. Last week I was given privileged access by Australia’s Department of Defence to join a small group of regional military observers (from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan) on Exercise Crocodile Strike, a joint drill

Should war require parliamentary approval?

In light of US President Donald Trump's erratic attempts to intimidate North Korea, several prominent voices have argued that Australia's parliament should be granted control over any decision to go to war. I think that would be a mistake, though not for the reason you might think. Former

Australia, US and NZ military co-operation augurs well

Last month a combined force from five allied nations, including a fleet of 33 warships and submarines, over 200 aircraft and more than 33,000 military personnel, defeated an ‘enemy force’ in 20 locations across northern Australia. The enemy, of course, was an imaginary one and the battle was a

Talisman Sabre 17: The realisation of defence strategy

It was an Australian Defence Force (ADF) public relation officer’s dream. ABC news footage, delivered directly into the living rooms of Australian families, showed Australian troops and Australian armoured vehicles streaming across the beach and onwards into the hinterland of Queensland.

AUSMIN: Regional issues deserve top billing

Today’s AUSMIN could hardly be better timed, following recent terrorist attacks, North Korean nuclear provocations, and the weekend’s Shangri-La dialogue.  But, as is so often the case with AUSMIN, the danger is the urgent will crowd out the important. Both Australia and the US find it

Full spectrum defence: Re-thinking the fundamentals of Australian defence strategy

In this Analysis, Alan Dupont argues that successive Australian governments have failed to define an effective national defence strategy. Australia needs a defence strategy that counters threats across multiple domains, is based on more diverse regional defence relationships, and is underpinned by

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 

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