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
The Australian Government's announcement that 300 additional troops will be sent to Iraq to help train the Iraqi Army has brought forth the usual public commentators, myself included. My view is that all those who see ISIS as evil should be prepared to commit military and other resources to oppose
During my Army career I was a military planner. I worked on lots of plans. Most were never executed, but others were. Some were standing plans that were annually revised, while others were worked up at the behest of someone higher up the operational chain. I got to know the ADF planning process
Earlier this week Anthony Bubalo suggested that a debate is needed about how to properly counter terrorism in liberal democracies, and more specifically how to achieve the proper balance between security and civil liberties when confronting violent extremism. This is part 1 of my response.
The UN is the go-to organisation for virtually every forgotten international crisis.
While the West has struggled on in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UN and its peacekeeping missions have been deployed to just about everywhere else: Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur, Mali, Liberia
A scientist and WMD expert with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), Dr Robert (Bob) Mathews, has been honoured by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for his contributions to chemical weapons disarmament in a ceremony on 1 December in The Hague.
The Russian Navy is getting closer to Australia than we're used to, and beyond the bluster of 'shirtfronting' we don't seem to have a coherent policy response to a more active Russia in our 'near abroad'.
Russian Navy officers and the Slava-class cruiser Varyag.
As my colleague James Brown wrote
By Rory Medcalf, Director of the Lowy Institute's International Security Program and James Brown, Military Fellow
Debates on Australia's defence policy have long oscillated between two schools: one focused on the physical defence of Australia's territory and its immediate maritime approaches, the
Australia's national interests are enmeshed with international order, and daily we see grim reminders that armed force still matters in the contemporary world. Australian forces are reportedly close to going into combat against violent extremists in the Middle East. War has returned to Europe and a
In these times of budget austerity, imagine if someone came up with a proposal that could potentially save the Defence budget tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars from its bottom line without impacting on overall capability. Indeed, a plan that could actually enhance performance while
Two months ago, as Prime Minister Abbott's globalist reflexes were becoming increasingly apparent, I offered a perspective from Washington that the US should welcome a more prominent role for Australia on the world stage.
I argued that America's steadfast ally had unique normative, diplomatic and
One of the policy solutions being considered by the Australian Government to deal with the expected problem of returning Australian jihadists is to preclude their return to Australia, or expel them, by revoking their Australian citizenship.
A recently released report from the Independent
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrives in Sydney, 11 August 2014. (Department of Defence.)
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel touched down in Sydney today for the annual AUSMIN meetings between Australian and US foreign policy and defence leaders, which start tomorrow. There will be no
Earlier this week the Lowy Institute hosted former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to discuss his new book Dangerous Allies. Below is the full video of the event.
Yesterday evening Mr Fraser tweeted the video, adding that he was 'debating the established political class!', which brought
This morning Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Barack Obama announced the conclusion of a series of agreements between the US and Australia. Chief among these is the US–Australia Force Posture Agreement. It details arrangements for the enhanced military cooperation measures first
In this article for the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the Lowy Institutes International Security program director Rory Medcalf argues that Indo-Pacific Asia is a suitable regional concept for Australia's strategic needs. Indo-Pacific Asia can best be understood as an expansive
For the last few months, anyone who's been unlucky enough to blunder into my path has been assaulted with the arguments in my book Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession. If you're time poor, this review in the Spectator Australia does a great job of capturing them. If you're
An addendum to the long interview I posted last Friday with former prime minister Malcolm Fraser. Fraser argues in his new book Dangerous Allies that the US listening post at Pine Gap in central Australia, known as the 'joint facilities', has evolved from a surveillance base designed to monitor
It has just been pointed out to me that in his press conference of 23 April announcing the decision to buy 58 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) for the Royal Australian Air Force, Prime Minister Abbott made a tantalising reference to future additional purchases of the JSF. If it means what I think it
Yesterday I had a long and fascinating talk with former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who has just released Dangerous Allies, his new book calling for a substantially more independent Australian strategic posture.
You can listen to the whole conversation below, but I have also
The Abbott Government's repeated commitment to build Australia's defence spending back to 2% of GDP within a decade is welcome.
Our defence budget carries a heavy load. In the first instance it must of course provide for the defence of a whole continent and ensure that the responsibilities we
Those of you who read Mike Green's post this morning and who have followed the coverage of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's budget bid will understand that this is not the last word on the US defence budget. Congress will try to fight some of the cuts, the sequester may impose further cuts, and as
Get comfortable before you tackle this epic portrait of Julian Assange by his ghost-writer, Andrew O'Hagan.
The author writes more in sadness than in anger because he is clearly inspired by WikiLeaks' mission. But the project to produce an Assange autobiography/manifesto drags on and is
China's Indo-Pacific naval exercise, which I first analysed in this post, is continuing to make waves, with David Wroe of the Sydney Morning Herald providing this good wrap-up on the implications for Australia. But what are we to make of the latest twist being reported in the Jakarta Post?
Lowy Institute Military Fellow, and former army officer, James Brown believes that Australia is expending too much time, money and emotion on the Anzac legend, and that today's soldiers are suffering for it. Vividly evoking the war in Afghanistan, Brown reveals the experience of the modern
Yesterday Peter McCawley noted that revelations of Australian spying on Indonesia are threatening to damage bilateral trade talks.
Today, more evidence that the Snowden leaks are having direct economic consequences: Brazil has announced that Swedish firm Saab will fill an order for 36 fighter
In this opinion article in the Wall Street Journal (Asia), International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Military Fellow James Brown argue that the 2013 Australian defence white paper needs a budget to back it up, otherwise Australia risks losing the capability edge it would need to help
In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Rory Medcalf, Director of the International Security Program, writes that the 2013 Australian Defence White Paper takes a more balanced and defensive approach towards China than its diplomatic packaging would suggest
On 29 April 2013, Shadow Defence Minister Senator David Johnston gave a lecture to the Lowy Institute on the Coalition's defence policy in the lead-up to the release of the 2013 Defence White Paper. The text of Senator Johnston's speech is included below
Alan Dupont, Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute, has co-authored an article with William J. Rechmeyer in the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Volume 66 No. 1 (2012), pp 34-51, on the seminal influences on Australian national security planning. The authors outline a
In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Non-resident Senior Fellow Alan Dupont writes that as the cost of electronic pilfering grows, Australia should become a repository of cyber security expertise
In this submission to the Australian Parliament's review of the Defence Annual Report, Military Fellow James Brown argues for greater parliamentary oversight of defence by outlining just how little reporting defence makes to the parliament and public
In every era there are inflection points which require long-established institutions to re-evaluate their goals, strategy, structure and resource allocations to ensure their future health and relevance. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is no exception
Largely as a consequence of military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Australia has developed strong defence ties with key GCC countries. But with these deployments coming to an end, the future is in question
In a new Lowy institute Policy Brief, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo argues that the evolution of Australian policy in West Asia (the Middle East and Southwest Asia) has lagged behind the maturation of Australian interests in this part of the world.
In this Lowy Institute Policy Brief, William Maley and Daoud Yaqub explore the implications of the looming Taliban Spring offensive on the international reconstruction and security effort in Afghanistan