Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Wednesday 12 Aug 2020 | 00:05 | SYDNEY

australia-china relations

Defence budget 2014: Heavy weights still in the rack

A favourite analogy of the Australian Treasurer is that the budget he delivered yesterday 'does the heavy lifting'. But like all weights regimes, we're first in for some visualisation and warm ups.  The Treasurer's speech hit the right note by outlining the goal, with the Government recommitting  to spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade.

Military & strategy links: F-35B, UAV diffusion, Libya, China's SSBNs, Afghanistan and more

Robert Farley explores the advantages and limitations of operating F-35Bs off the Canberra-class amphibious warfare ships. Over at Defence One, Patrick Tucker argues that rapid diffusion of technology will soon render the capability to operate armed drones ubiquitous. The Federation of Atomic Scientists has a useful overview of the evolution of and prospects for China's SSBN fleet.  Boko Haram's kidnapping of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls has drawn calls for international action.

Defence spending: A better measure for holding government to account

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 have across more than 10% of the earth's surface can be met. More broadly, defence capability must underpin Australia's strategic weight in an ever more competitive region.

Australia needs a cyber white paper

The idea of cyberspace as a common global good has yet to find its place in Australia.  Ensuring that sea lanes remain open for navigation throughout the Indo-Pacific was a prominent concern in the last Defence White Paper. Australia's condemnation of the Chinese ADIZ in November 2013 indicates that freedom of navigation in the air also remains a critical strategic interest for the Government.

Abbott goes to Asia: The security dimension

Prime Minister Abbott poses with the leaders of the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean military efforts searching for MH370 at RAAF Base Pearce. Tony Abbott is about to depart on the most important international visit of his prime ministership thus far.

India links: Airpocalypse, Burma, Arundhati Roy, an 11,000 word press release and more

Polling dates for India's upcoming general elections have been announced, beginning on 7 April. The election commission has put together an interactive map outlining the various stages of the election, and this great primer by Milan Vaishnav and Reedy Swanson will tell you everything you need to know about India's electoral system.  Why India's defence procurement system must change.  Ram Mashru looks at India's widening income inequality gap and urban poverty crisis. 


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