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ASPI Strategic Insights

 

 

 

 

   
 
These publications are intended to provide expert perspectives on specific current issues. Current numbered series back to Number 1 in 2004.
 

Mitigating the Risk of a China–India Conflict, June 2021. More than a year has passed since Chinese troops began to occupy previously Indian-controlled territory on their disputed border in Ladakh. The crisis has cooled and settled into a stalemate. This report warns that it could escalate again, and flare into a conflict with region-wide implications. The report assesses the risk of conflict by analysing its likelihood and consequences. A possible war would be costly for both India and China. But a possible war could also risk stirring Indian distrust of its new partners, especially in the Quad – Australia, Japan, and the United States. The report outlines some conditions under which a war would disrupt or dampen those developing partnerships...

To Deter the PRC, June 2021 . This Strategic Insights report is the first in a series of essays, workshops and events seeking to better understand the nature of deterrence, particularly from the viewpoint of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The series is a joint project between the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the US China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI). Over the coming months, ASPI and CASI, along with our research associates, will examine the concept of deterrence, how both democratic countries and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) approach deterrence, what liberal democracies are doing to deter China and what China is doing to deter them, and assess the impacts of those efforts...

North of 26 Degrees South and the Security of Australia: Views From the Strategist Volume 3, May 2021. It is an all-new series of articles by a range of authors exploring the continued importance of Northern Australia to national security and defence strategy. This Volume’s contributions were written over a year in which increased strategic uncertainty and an unprecedented global pandemic have collectively generated an interest in revisiting old policy assumptions. Right from the start, it was clear that we need to think of the north as the middle of the region, rather than the edge of Australia, and reflect that critical role in Australia’s political, military and economic strategies moving forward...

Stronger Together: US Force Posture in Australia’s North—a US Perspective on Australia’s Strategic Geography, May 2021. This report argues why, and analyses how, Australia’s defence force capabilities and strategic geography can enable US force posture initiatives in the Indo-Pacific to promote greater regional cooperation in ways that advance US and Australian national interests. Lieutenant Colonel Hanks writes that there are ‘practical and tangible areas for US-Australia cooperation and growth which include: 1) expanding the Australian defence industrial base while securing and hardening supply chains; 2) increasing US Army force posture in northern Australia; 3) increasing multinational training opportunities; and 4) in conjunction with Australia, expanding the defence partnership with Indonesia.’...

Somebody Might Hear Us: Emerging Communications Security Technologies, May 2021. Militaries have been trying to keep their communications safe from prying eyes for centuries. But they have also sought to be able to communicate as quickly as possible and as widely as possible with their own forces. Those requirements are in tension with one another. Today, militaries can communicate globally over increasingly capacious data pipes. But the same technological evolution that allows them to do that has also given would-be eavesdroppers new and powerful tools to collect and exploit signals. In this report, author Dr Andrew Davies explains the principles of secure communication and uses some examples of emerging technologies to illustrate what the next generation of secure communications might look like...

Gamechanger: Australian Leadership for All-Season Air Access to Antarctica, April 2021. Next year, the Australian Government will decide on whether to commit funding for a proposed year-round, paved aerodrome near the Australian Davis research station in East Antarctica. An all-weather, year-round, paved runway near Davis would have huge positive impacts on Antarctic science and logistics in East Antarctica, where there are no equivalent facilities. It would be the only paved runway in Antarctica. As with any major piece of infrastructure development, there’ll be inevitable environmental impacts from the construction and operation of the Davis aerodrome. However, we believe that with care, it should be possible to design, construct and operate a facility that satisfies both operational requirements and environmental obligations under the Madrid Protocol and relevant Australian legislation...

Island Voices and COVID-19: Vulnerability and Resilience Views From the Strategist, April 2021. This Strategic Insights report is being published as part of an ASPI project that focuses on the vulnerabilities of Indo-Pacific island states in the Covid-19 era. It presents a series of views on ways that insiders and external observers have viewed the vulnerabilities and resilience of island countries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. All of these contributions have appeared as posts on The Strategist. They don’t try to offer a sequential account of events or perceptions but represent a collection of responses to the crisis. The authors were not asked to address a single issue but, rather, were encouraged to focus on issues of relevance to them. The result is a mosaic rather than a portrait of nearly a year of living with the tensions posed by the pandemic. Two key themes do tend to dominate this mosaic. One concerns the way vulnerabilities are expressed as challenges. The second identifies the opportunities that resilience can create.

Next Step in the Step-Up: The ADF’s Role in Building Health Security in Pacific Island States, April 2021. The ADF has long had an important role in providing humanitarian assistance to Pacific island countries (PICs). The force has extraordinary capabilities—people, expertise, training and equipment—in delivering necessary assistance quickly and efficiently. From Australia’s perspective, the ADF is one of our most important agencies in engaging with our PIC partners, particularly in helping them to develop capabilities to address a range of security challenges. In Australia’s new strategic environment, the ADF can also play an important role in helping to build regional health security as part of a new phase in Australia’s Pacific Step-up...

The Rapidly Emerging Crisis on Our Doorstep, April 2021. This Strategic Insight report warns that within a decade, as the climate continues to warm, the relatively benign strategic environment in Maritime Southeast Asia - a region of crucial importance to Australia - will begin unravelling. Dr Robert Glasser, Head of ASPI's new Climate and Security Policy Centre, documents the region’s globally unique exposure to climate hazards, and the increasingly significant cascading societal impacts they will trigger. Dr Glasser notes that hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying coastal areas will not only experience more severe extremes, but also more frequent swings from extreme heat and drought to severe floods. The diminishing time for recovery in between these events will have major consequences for food security, population displacements and resilience...

Coming Ready or Not: Hypersonic Weapons, March 2021. This report analyses the future impact that hypersonic weaponery will have on global affairs. Hypersonic systems include anything that travels faster than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. We may be on the cusp of seeing hypersonic weapons proliferate around the world, with Russia, China and the US all in the process of developing and testing them. By 2030 they are likely to be in the inventory of all of the major powers. And Australia might well join them - we have some world class researchers and have been active in joint programs with the US for over 20 years. The government has added hypersonic weapons to its defence acquisition plan. It's a topic we should be interested in and better informed about...

Thailand’s Strategic Drift: Domestic Determinants Amidst Superpower Competition, June 2020. After more than five years of military-authoritarian government following its 13th successful coup in May 2014, Thailand’s most recent elections on 24 March 2019 yielded a controversial parliament and a fractious post-election coalition government, headed by incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. This report argues that despite the challenges of domestic political preoccupations and the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, Thailand’s strategic role in the Indo-Pacific is too important to be marginalized and that the country is an indispensable piece of the regional jigsaw puzzle in an era of global power shifts and transitions. The current Sino-US competition involves far-reaching battleground between democracy and authoritarianism, and Thailand – one of America’s oldest treaty ally with increasingly close ties with China – is strategically consequential. The report explains the complexity of Thai’s foreign policy and implications for Australia.

North of 26° South and the Security of Australia: Views From the Strategist Vol. 2, May 2020, is a new report by ASPI’s The North and Australia’s Security Program. The report builds on Volume 1 by presenting an all new series of articles by a range of trusted and up and coming authors exploring the continued importance of Northern Australia to national security and defence strategy. Northern Australia had become key political, military and economic terrain in a new era of major-power competition. Despite those developments, Australian policymakers have struggled to develop a cohesive northern Australia strategy. While Australia has a long-term defence capability plan, we need to continue to test our assumptions about the defence of northern Australia and the north’s significance to national security. In December 2019, Defence had finished the first draft of its internal review of Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper...

Australia's Next Cybersecurity Strategy: Views From the Strategist, February 2020. Back in 2016, Australia launched a new national cybersecurity strategy. The strategy covers a four-year period to 2020, and given the changes in the security environment, an update is now clearly warranted. To that end, the government has just released a discussion paper to kick off the public consultation. The closing date for submissions on the discussion paper is 1 November. To complement the public submission process, ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is initiating a public debate on what should be included in the next cybersecurity strategy. Contributions will be compiled into a report that we will deliver to the Department of Home Affairs to inform the strategy’s development...

Indo-Pacific Immune Systems to Enable Healthy Engagement with the Chinese State and China's Economy, November 2019. This paper sets out three challenges to the creation of a future for Indo-Pacific states and peoples consistent with the visions of a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ (FOIP) expressed by Japan, India, the US and Australia, and now by the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific. It also describes a path for states to operate in an environment of coercive Chinese state power that seeks to influence how states relate and how they operate within their domestic boundaries.

Towards a Commonwealth Law Enforcement Innovation Framework, August 2019.In March 2019, ASPI, with the sponsorship of Oracle, coordinated the ASPI–Oracle Innovation Framework Workshop. The workshop brought together subject-matter experts from federal law enforcement agencies, academia and the private sector to explore the feasibility of a Commonwealth law enforcement innovation framework (CLEIF). This followed a 2018 research project that explored the current state of innovation in law enforcement. That research was based on a case study of innovation in Australia’s federal anti-money-laundering (AML) provisions...

Indo-Pacific Election Pulse 2019: Thailand, Indonesia, India and Australia: Views from the Strategist, August 2019.With democracy under stress globally, a deeper understanding of the impact elections in the Indo-Pacific in 2019 will have on the region’s strategic direction is crucial. In the context of growing concerns over the strength of democracy, the influence of authoritarianism and ideological competition, this Strategic Insight—a collection of articles from The Strategist — delves into the complexities and implications of elections in India, Indonesia, Australia and Thailand.

Jokowi’s Second Term: Economic Challenges and Outlook, July 2019. After winning the 2019 election, President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s has a great opportunity to bring the Indonesian economy into a stronger footing. Jokowi’s economic policies achieved mixed outcomes in his first term (2014–2019). He hasn’t delivered a promised 7% economic growth, but steady 5% growth is perceived as a commendable achievement, given slowing global growth, rising uncertainties, and low commodity prices. Macroeconomic stability has been well maintained, and Indonesia’s creditworthiness has improved during this first term...

From Board Room to Situation Room. Why Corporate Security Is National Security, July 2019. Corporations already protect their assets and functions. Corporate security encompasses those managers who address the preventive ‘likelihood’ and the resilience ‘consequence’ elements of risk management and seek to secure the business from a wide range of hazards, including criminals, issue-motivated groups, terrorism, cyberattacks, environmental events, natural disasters, espionage and supply-chain disruption. However, considering the company’s capabilities as part of our national security capabilities isn’t normally a factor in business planning. Our approach to national security planning should now include key companies and their supply chains: it’s time to rethink our national security approach in a more complex, dynamic and interconnected world...

The Post-Caliphate Salafi-Jihadi Environment, July 2019. In 2019, the global Salafi-jihadi architecture is very different from the one that emerged in September 2001, when transnational terrorism burst on to the international scene, or July 2014, when ISIL controlled more than 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq and thousands of young men and women were flocking to be part of its ‘caliphate’. Many of the leaders of the Salafi-jihadi movement are gone. Some, like Osama bin Laden and Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, have been killed, and many others have been captured or are in hiding. And yet, despite having no territory and having lost many of their leaders, both al-Qaeda and ISIL continue to pose a threat to the maintenance of international peace
and security. In fact, one could argue that they pose more of a threat today, as the structure of the groups has moved from integrated to fragmented, making command and control more tenuous...

North of 26° South and the Security of Australia Views from the Strategist, July 2019. The idea of the north of Australia being central to the new concept of the defence of Australia in the 1970s derived from the key strategic fact that the only country in the region with the conventional military capabilities to threaten Australia was Indonesia. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Indonesia had the world’s third-largest communist party and was armed by the Soviet Union with modern submarines and long-range bombers. Australia’s response was to acquire F-111 fighter-bombers and Oberon-class submarines. However, by the 1980s, much of Indonesia’s military equipment was either out of date or suffering from a chronic lack of maintenance. Hence, the 1986 Dibb review and the 1987 defence white paper focused on the potential threat of low-level conflict, which could conceivably be escalated to the use by Indonesia of its deteriorating Soviet military equipment...

Between Japan and Southeast Asia: Australia and Us–China Economic Rivalry, June 2019. Recently, the economic front of US–China major-power rivalry has deepened and expanded beyond the legalistic confines of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Many in Australia, which has the US as its security ally and main source and destination of investment and China as its main trading partner, are rightly concerned by this evolution. Within the WTO and outside, Australia’s alignment on the economic dimensions of the US–China contest has been consistent for decades. Here, Australia is less aligned with the US than Japan and less aligned with China than Southeast Asian states despite trading more heavily with China...

Women, Peace and Security: Defending Progress and Responding to Emerging Challenges, June 2019. his is the third year ASPI has run a series on The Strategist to coincide with International Women’s Day and examine Australia’s approach to women, peace and security (WPS). The series offered a timely opportunity to assess progress and identify some of the challenges that need further examination as the international community prepares to mark twenty years since the adoption of the first UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security, and as Australia approaches the release of its second National Action Plan on WPS. The range of topics and themes canvassed in this year’s collection of articles reminds us that we cannot afford to be complacent...

Forward Defence in Depth for Australia, June 2019. With the re-election of the Scott Morrison-led Coalition government in May 2019, the future shape of Australian defence policy needs to be examined. The strategic assumptions that underpinned defence policy choices in the 2016 Defence White Paper were made in the years preceding the release of that document and extend from earlier white papers, including those released in 2009 and 2013. Their foundation goes back to the days of the 1986 Dibb Report and the 1987 Defence White Paper. In the next Defence White Paper, which could emerge as early as 2021, a continued approach that places too much emphasis on defending the inner arc—notably the ‘sea–air gap’—would not adequately address emerging strategic risks to regional stability. The strategic environment has evolved at such a pace that policies announced in 2016 have been overtaken by events. It’s time for a review of Australian defence strategy. It’s time for something new.

ANZUS and Alliance Politics in Southeast Asia, June 2019. Discussion over the future of US alliance politics in Asia has recently intensified. China’s power is growing, and US President Donald Trump is showing antipathy towards what he views as insufficient allied efforts to support America’s defence strategy in the region. While much attention has been understandably directed towards the US’s security ties with Japan and South Korea during Trump’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a denuclearisation agreement with North Korea, US strategic relations with Southeast Asia and its neighbours—what’s termed here as the ‘southern flank’—are also critical to Washington’s own long-term geopolitical interests and to that region’s sustained economic growth and geopolitical stability.

The PNG-Australia Development Partnership: A Redesign That’s About Listening and Transformation, June 2019. Stephanie Copus-Campbell brings a deep knowledge and passion about Papua New Guinea (PNG) to her work. In this ASPI Strategic Insight, she describes both her personal history with this key neighbour to Australia’s north and the complex, difficult challenges PNG faces. Refreshingly, she uses this context to propose a redesign of Australian development engagement with PNG, which is particularly timely and needed as the Australian and PNG governments contemplate further cooperation flowing on from the initiatives agreed with Port Moresby in Canberra’s ‘Pacific step up’...

The End of Chimerica: The Passing of Global Economic Consensus and the Rise of US-China Strategic Technological Competition, May 2019. This Strategic Insights argues Australia has been slow or else reluctant to accept that the previous global economic consensus of free and open trade (especially with China) being an unmitigated good is over. Chinese economic and trade malpractices over a long period of time are having profound distorting effects on the global economic system and US dissatisfaction is deepening and irreversible. Advanced economies such as the EU and Japan share identical concerns. There is little prospect of Australia ‘waiting out’ the US-China economic dispute. We can help shape and improve elements of a US-led collective effort to impose carrots and sticks on China to persuade the latter to play by the rules or sit and wait for a world which has already passed.

Huawei and Telefunken: Communications Enterprises and Rising Power Strategies, April 2019. This Strategic Insight, examines Huawei through a historical lens. It identifies strong parallels between the industrial policy adopted by Germany in the early twentieth century to cultivate a ‘national champion’ in communications – Telefunken – and the Chinese party-state’s support for Huawei since its formation in 1987. It demonstrates that Huawei and Telefunken both benefitted from guaranteed government orders for their hardware, protected domestic markets, long-term backing from national financial institutions, and diplomatic support for overseas expansion. These policies increased the firm’s competitiveness on the world market, facilitating the development of national capacity in advanced communications. The development of capacity in communications brings strategic benefits for a rising power – allowing it to escape dependence on the outside world for vital infrastructure, build capabilities with potential military applications, and build geostrategic influence in key regions.

Quad 2.0: New Perspectives for the Revived Concept, February 2019. In late 2017, the revival of an idea over a decade old—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—created a wave of debate, concern and anticipation across the world. The Quad, as it is commonly referred to—or, more precisely, Quad 2.0, as this is its second life—is an informal dialogue between four of the world’s major democracies: the US, Japan, Australia and India. Quad 2.0, like Quad 1.0, is a controversial yet important idea that has survived the test of time. The four members’ first major get-together was in December 2004, when they responded to the massive Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in a coordinated multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation. Following that, in 2007, the first informal meeting between the four happened on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila. Soon afterwards, the first naval exercise involving all the Quad members drew Chinese diplomatic protests, after which Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the exercise. Quad 1.0 fell into lethargy...

Partners: Australian Private Sector Engagement in the Pacific, November 2018. The South Pacific is becoming a more strategically crowded and contested space. But, despite the strong aid and defence relations Australia maintains with the island states, there’s been little attention given to date to the role of Australia’s private sector in the Pacific islands region. That’s in many ways surprising. Elements of Australian business have had longstanding connections in the Pacific, and the spread of business across borders is now a powerful international and regional political and economic force. Such business networks knit communities together. Given the crowded and complex South Pacific, there’s now a critical need for the Australian Government and business to get their collective act together in stepping up engagement in the region.

Australia in Space: Views from The Strategist, June 2018. The first of July 2018 marks an important day for Australia’s quest to become a more important actor in space, with the creation of an Australian Space Agency under the leadership of Megan Clark. For the first time, Australia looks to have direction, coordination and focus in its endeavours beyond earth. Understanding what this means for Australia is the focus of this report. The decision to boldly go into space marks an important step forward for Australia, which traditionally has been content to be dependent on foreign providers for space capability...

Shifts in ROK Approaches to the DPRK Under President Moon, May 2018. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has just completed his first year in office and what an eventful year it has been. Over the past twelve months, the world witnessed a sharp escalation of tensions between the two Koreas which saw the peninsula reach the brink of war, and then just as rapidly, these tensions de-escalated, ushering in a mood of inter-Korean reconciliation. What explains this stunning turnaround? Did President Moon’s North Korea policy differ drastically that of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye? In this paper I find that, surprisingly, Moon’s DPRK policy has been marked more by continuity than change from Park’s—particularly in the realm of defence. The main element of change has occurred on the diplomatic engagement front, which has facilitated the remarkable inter-Korean rapprochement...

Women, Peace and Security: Addressing the Gaps and Strengthening Implementation, May 2018. This Strategic Insights paper compiles the articles in that series across four themes: Defence’s approach to WPS, the role of parliament and civil society, lessons from abroad, and evolving approaches to WPS. Drawing on the analyses of contributors from a variety of backgrounds including government, politics, defence, academia, and civil society, the series demonstrates that issues related to women’s participation and leadership, and the inclusion of different gender perspectives, are integral to Australia’s national security...

Putin and North Korea: Exploring Russian Interests Around the Peninsula, May 2018. ASPI Researcher, Jacqueline Westermann, argues that it would be fatal to underestimate the Kremlin’s interests in the region, as ‘Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a stakeholder in the region, a partner to Pyongyang and a party to the previous Six-Party Talks’. While it isn’t a top priority for the Kremlin, Russian involvement could play a handy part in Putin’s greater strategy to expand Russia’s engagement in the world. To illustrate Moscow’s specific motivations for being involved, the analysis is based on statements given by Russian government officials during 2017, as well as insights from Russian North Korea experts...

North Korea and the ANZUS Treaty, April 2018. The Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America, universally known as the ANZUS Treaty, was signed in September 1951 and came into force in April 1952. This Strategic Insight traces the origins of the treaty, examines its substantive content, and considers whether and how it might apply in the event of a conflict between the US and North Korea...

Project LAND 400: Defining the Army, February 2018. Defence’s most comprehensive, and expensive, package of land force modernisation is underway, at a cost of $50–70 billion. Nine complementary programs cover every area of land warfare, from personal equipment for the soldiers through to unmanned aerial vehicles, amphibious craft, special forces helicopters, digital networks, surface-to-air missiles and long-range battlefield rocket systems. Moreover, those programs are in addition to Navy and Air Force projects, such as sea and air lift, that directly support the land force...

Understanding the BRI (China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative) in Africa and the Middle East, February 2018. The BRI builds on China’s ‘Going Global Strategy.’ It appeared somewhat suddenly in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which guides national investment strategy from 2016 to 2020. At the 19th Communist Party Congress (18 to 24 October 2017), a resolution calling on the BRI to be written into the Chinese Constitution was adopted. Another resolution enshrined ‘Xi Jinping thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’...

Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Africa: Mining and Australia’s Interests, November 2017. Australia has commercial and strategic interests in helping to prevent and counter violent extremism in Africa. Australian mining companies are engaged across the continent in Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenya and many other countries where there have been high-profile terrorist attacks and kidnappings of foreign nationals, including Australians. Those threats already affect the way Australian mining companies approach their operations on the continent. With rising risks to Australian nationals, businesses and foreign investment through the mining industry, violent extremism in Africa is a direct threat to Australian national interests...

Australia’s Management of Strategic Risk in the New Era, November 2017. Australia’s strategic outlook is deteriorating and, for the first time since World War II, we face an increased prospect of threat from a major power. This means that a major change in Australia’s approach to the management of strategic risk is needed. Strategic risk is a grey area in which governments need to make critical assessments of capability, motive and intent. Over recent decades, judgements in this area have relied heavily on the conclusion that the capabilities required for a serious assault on Australia simply did not exist in our region. In contrast, in the years ahead, the level of capability able to be brought to bear against Australia will increase, so judgements relating to contingencies and the associated warning time will need to rely less on evidence of capability and more on assessments of motive and intent. Such areas for judgement are inherently ambiguous and uncertain...

Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessels: Missing an Opportunity? November 2017. While much public attention has been given to the acquisition of Australia’s new submarines and frigates, the acquisition of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to replace the Armidale-class patrol boats under Project SEA 1180 has attracted much less scrutiny or comment. It deserves more. Although an OPV is a much less complex platform than a modern frigate or submarine, Project SEA 1180 will produce a significant element of the ADF structure and have a major role in Australia’s national security efforts, and some aspects of the project construction arrangements are certainly unusual.

The 2017 Independent Review of Intelligence: Views from the Strategist, September 2017. Over the past 40 years, Australian governments have periodically commissioned reviews of the Australian intelligence community (AIC). The first such inquiry—the Hope Royal Commission of 1974—was commissioned by the Whitlam government as a way of shedding light on what had hitherto been a shadowy group of little-known and little-understood government agencies. It was also the beginning of a journey that would eventually bring the AIC more into public view and onto a firm legislative footing...

The Strategic Risks of East Asia’s Slowing Economies, August 2017. Global economic growth has slowed substantially since the heady days before the financial crisis of 2008. The advanced Western economies have barely recovered, and, after decades of average growth of 10% in China, Beijing says the Chinese economy is now expanding at 6.7%— a figure many external analysts believe is optimistic. There’s little sign of a return to pre-financial-crisis growth rates any time soon. The potential dangers of a prolonged economic trough are global, but in East Asia many governments depend on their ability to deliver economic growth either to fulfil election promises, in the case of the democracies, or to justify their continued monopoly on power, in the case of the autocracies.

Coordination of Federal, State and Local Disaster Management Arrangements in Australia: Lessons from the UK and the US, August 2017. This document discusses the gaps in Australia’s emergency management legislation and the coordination of federal, state and local disaster management arrangements in Australia. It analyses key legislation from the UK and US jurisdictions and reveals important lessons that could be adopted in Australia.

ASPI is releasing two research publications on the uses and limitations of big data in national security.

Border Security Lessons for Australia from Europe’s Schengen Experience, May 2017. This Strategic Insights report explores Calum Jeffray’s key observations in his report Fractured Europe: the Schengen Area and European border security and analyses them through an Australian and then an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) border security lens. It also provides recommendations for Australian border security policymakers based on the lessons learned from the Schengen experience. It examines the implications of Schengen for ASEAN member states in the development of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Upgrade or Replace: a Cost Comparison of Australian Warship Service Live, April 2017. This analysis of warship service life options comes at a time when Australia is planning to embark upon a substantial naval shipbuilding venture. The Australian Government is first and foremost seeking a domestic build for the next generation of warships, but more broadly intends to stand up an indefinitely sustainable domestic shipbuilding industry. Australia has for several decades pursued a stop–start warship acquisition process, in which most vessels serve for about 30 years, generally including a major mid-life upgrade. The decision to pursue a continuous shipbuilding program now provides a chance to consider alternative models for the provision of warfighting capability. This Strategic Insights looks at the implications of warship service life for the overall cost-of-ownership and the operation of the RAN as an enterprise, and proposes options for consideration in the development of the future submarine and frigate programs...

Women, Peace and Security: the Way Forward, March 2017. The articles in this Strategic Insights paper, originally published on the ASPI Strategist website throughout March 2017, include analysis about what women, peace and security (WPS) means for Australia’s defence and national security. While ASPI has been fortunate to have some great analyses from contributors on WPS on The Strategist in the past, there’s always scope for more. With Australia’s National Action Plan on WPS up for review ahead of 2019, this year’s International Women’s Day provided an opportune time to build on those contributions and examine the way forward. Within the context of defence, it’s evident that strengthening women’s participation in the security sector and integrating gender perspectives contributes to capability and operational effectiveness. Yet it’s still an issue plagued with misconceptions and that needs to be better understood...

The Future of the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation: Indonesia’s Chance to Promote a New Era of Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation, February 2017. For 13 years, the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) has served as a regional rallying point for much-needed counterterrorism (CT) capacity development and cooperation. Since its inception in 2004, with strong bilateral support from the Australian Government,1 JCLEC’s operating and donor environments have evolved considerably. The strong relationship between the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) that has raised and sustained JCLEC is in a state of decline. Regional partners and donors are now considering JCLEC’s future. There are some big decisions to be made, the most pressing of which is whether JCLEC should become a truly regional body or an Indonesian Government institution...

Trump and Strategic Change in Asia, January 2017. As Donald Trump’s administration comes to power in Washington, the postwar security policy of the US is undergoing a monumental transition. The new president’s campaign rhetoric strongly intimated that under his self-proclaimed ‘America first’ posture, traditional American strategy and alliance politics would undergo a major change. His approach to dealing with allies and adversaries will be based less on their traditional roles in US foreign policy and more on how he and his foreign and security policy team view other countries’ willingness to adjust their own policies to conform with a markedly different set of US economic and strategic priorities. This paper looks at North Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and region-wide concerns. It concludes while Trump postulates an ‘America first’ posture, that hardly represents an ‘Asia last’ prescription. Above all else, Trump’s history is shaped by his reputation in the business world for hard but fluid bargaining to derive optimal results for interest-based objectives.

France and Security in the Asia–Pacific: from the End of the First Indochina Conflict to Today, December 2016. France’s defence- and security-related activities in the Asia–Pacific are often underestimated, sometimes distorted or simply ignored. This paper surveys France’s growing presence in the Asia–Pacific from the Indochina War and efforts to resolve the Cambodian conflict, through to the country’s 21st century contributions driven by strategic engagement related to globalisation, new threats, multilateral regional cooperation and increasingly interconnected strategic zones...

Delivering ‘Joined-Up’ Government Achieving the Integrated Approach to Offshore Crisis Management, November 2016. The call to improve ‘joined-up’ government articulates a principle that is the foundation of effective and efficient public administration. Increasingly, the ability of government to achieve effects that are more than the sum of their parts will determine whether Australia influences its strategic environment or is merely captive to it. Offshore crisis response requires a higher level of multiagency interconnectedness than ever before. This level of interconnectedness requires the adoption of transformative approaches to recruitment, professional development, leadership and management...

ASPI at 15, October 2016. ASPI was registered as a wholly government-owned company on 22 August 2001, but it was several years earlier when Ian McLachlan, the first Defence Minister of the Howard government, saw the need to establish an institute to provide an alternate source of advice on defence and strategic policy. The articles in this Strategic Insights paper, originally published on the ASPI Strategist website in August 2016, come from a number
of individuals who deeply wanted the institute to succeed and indeed were prepared to invest their own effort to make it happen. While turning 15 is a good time to reflect on growth and early experiences, ASPI’s most productive years are still ahead of it.

AWD Combat System: an Upgrade for the Aegis, September 2016. This paper examines the delivery of the AWDs and the combat system to date, and explores what upgrades might be possible in the stated period. We’re about to spend a lot of money completing the current three AWDs, only to turn around and spend a lot more money upgrading them. If the government wants to spend $4–5 billion on improving naval capability over the next 12 years, there might be more useful ways to spend the money.

Assessing the South China Sea Award, August 2016. The Philippines had a major, if unenforceable, win against China in the 12 July South China Sea Arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. But the implications go beyond the bilateral dispute between China and the Philippines and it carries great legal weight as an authoritative ruling by an international judicial body. Bearing in mind that the award is legally binding only on the parties to the arbitration, there’s the question of what might this assertion mean for third countries who may opt to exercise navigational rights based on the Tribunal’s rulings on the status and maritime entitlements of features in the Spratlys...

ADF Capability Snapshot 2016: C4ISR-Winning in the Networked Battlespace, June 2016. This paper provides an assessment and overview of the ADF’s command, control, computing, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (known commonly as ‘C4ISR’) capabilities in the context of the ADF’s goal of pursuing a network-centric warfare capability. The paper is the final part of a series of ADF ‘capability snapshots’. The previous three (Navy, Army and Air Force) were released by ASPI in late 2015.

Cyberspace and Armed Forces: The Rationale for Offensive Cyber Capabilities, May 2016. A serious approach to military modernisation requires countries to equip, train, and organise cyberforces for what has become an essential component of national defence and deterrence. A force without adequate cyber capabilities is more dangerous to itself than to its opponents. As nations move forward in rethinking the role and nature of their military forces, and as they study the problems of organisation, doctrine and use of cyber operations, they need to:

  • develop the full range of military cyber capabilities with both offensive and defensive application
  • create a centralised command structure for those capabilities, with clear requirements for political-level approval for action
  • embed those capabilities in doctrine and a legal framework based on international law.

Defence White Paper 2016: The Strategist Decides, April 2016. In this volume we’ve assembled a selection of articles written in the weeks after the release of DWP 2016. The papers cover the strategic outlook, force structure and military strategy, budget and Industry, and regional reactions to the White Paper. The authors are Robert Ayson, Ross Babbage, Kim Beazley, Andrew Davies, Malcolm Davis, Tobias Feakin, Tim Huxley, Peter Jennings, Mike Kalms, Rod Lyon, James Mugg, Benjamin Schreer, Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, Mark Thomson, Feng Zhang.

Time to Start Worrying Again? Cross-Strait Stability After the 2016 Taiwanese Elections, March 2016. The study argues that the Taiwan Strait will remain dangerous and that Canberra needs to pay closer attention to the evolving cross-strait situation. Of crucial importance is the question of whether Australia should support its US ally in a future Taiwan contingency. The report calls for a comprehensive dialogue between Canberra and Washington to avoid a future ‘expectation gap’ on the Taiwan issue. As well, Australia should acknowledge Taiwan’s potentially constructive role in regional maritime territorial disputes. Finally, Canberra should proactively take steps to enhance Taiwan’s regional political and economic integration as a means to contribute to long-term cross-strait stability.

Japan Versus Europe: The Quest to Build Australia's Future Submarine, February 2016. The building of Australia’s fleet of future submarines is likely to be the largest defence program in this country’s history. It will cost tens of billions of dollars and will run for decades. So it’s little wonder that it’s a recurring topic of interest on the pages of ASPI’s blog The Strategist. Our contributors continue to examine the topic from all angles, and this Strategic Insights collects selected pieces from the past twelve months. The authors are Kym Bergmann, Peter Briggs, Andrew Davies, Julian Kerr, Chris Mather, Hans J Ohff, Terence Roach, Benjamin Schreer, Tony Shepherd, Geoff Slocombe, Mark Thomson and Hugh White.

Implementing the Defence First Principles Review: Two Key Opportunities to Achieve Best Practice in Capability Development, December 2015. This paper proposes two key measures on which to judge the early success of Defence’s capability development reforms. First, the formation of an industry-standard program management office (PMO) to oversee the life cycle of all acquisition projects from inception to final operational capability as part of comprehensive and balanced programs. Second, the creation of a robust centralised branch to manage all test and evaluation (T&E), so that all projects have credible test results that underpin the PMO’s decision-making throughout the development and fielding of new capabilities.

Chinese Investment in the Port of Darwin: A Strategic Risk for Australia? December 2015. Few strategic issues have galvanised public attention in Australia as the decision by the Northern Territory Government to lease key facilities in the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company, Landbridge. This Strategic Insights brings together items published on our blog The Strategist as well as articles by ASPI staff published in other media outlets such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review...

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 3 - Army, November 2015. The main focus of the Australian Army over the past 15 years has been on sustaining combat, training, stabilisation and peacekeeping operations in our near region and the Middle East and Afghanistan theatres. The demands of the ADF’s operational tempo have driven a major rethinking of the structure of the Army under Plan Beersheba. Now well advanced, the end state will be three essentially similar brigades, which will make rotational deployments easier to manage and sustain. Like the RAAF and the RAN, described in previous reports in this series, the Army needs a major recapitalisation of its equipment.

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 2 - RAN, November 2015. This paper surveys the capability of the Royal Australian Navy and is an update of a previously published ADF capability review: Royal Australian Navy from 2008 and the Navy Capability Review 2010. Navy has made great strides in the past five years. Some smart acquisitions have helped, but there’s also been a better focus on managing the fleet and its people, and in working with industry to bring the various elements of capability together. There’s plenty of work to do, and the future submarine, minor vessel and frigate projects will require plenty of attention.

New Ways of Thinking About the Global Arms Industry: Dealing with 'Limited Autarky', November 2015. This report attempts to explain why some countries produce arms on a limited scale, and what benefits they hope to accrue from that strategy. Decisions to produce arms—even to engage in niche production—need to be continually evaluated and re-evaluated for their costs and benefits. Even if a nation only wants to pursue limited self-sufficiency, that can still be a high-risk, low-reward undertaking...

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 1-RAAF, November 2015. This paper reviews the capability of the RAAF, and concludes that the service has been remarkably successful in winning government support for its acquisitions. More importantly, the money has turned into real capability. There are a couple of areas where more work is required, the most important of those being anti-submarine warfare.

Scientific Cooperation in the South China Sea: Another Lever for China? October 2015. Security issues in the South China Sea are often studied, whereas analysis of scientific cooperation in those waters is rare, thinly spread and short. This paper looks at shared priorities, China's leading role in launching scientific programs, implications for the environment, and the use of scientific cooperation as a power vector. The research space is increasingly well controlled, but that control isn’t the product of scientific cooperation. It’s the result of China leading research programs. Scientific cooperation hasn’t reduced mistrust, and common interests don’t prevail. In relations between Southeast Asia and China, the fulcrum is asymmetry. The differences in scientific cooperation noted in this paper demonstrate that asymmetry and its serious long-term consequences for neighbouring countries.

Security through Aid: Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism with Australia’s Aid Program, August 2015. The paper argues that countering violent extremism (CVE) and terrorism are international security and development issues. Australia’s foreign aid should be used to strengthen resilience to violent extremist ideologies. Improving governance in weak states can help to deny terrorists the easy recruiting grounds of lawless communities. The ASPI report argues that there are several ways to better leverage our foreign aid program to counter terrorism and violent extremism...

Creative Tension: Parliament and National Security, August 2015. This paper argues that enhancing parliament’s role in national security will reinforce Executive accountability, improve the quality of public debate over national security and serve to strengthen the foundations of Australia’s parliamentary democracy. There are several measures that would materially improve parliament’s role in the conduct of national security...

An Enterprise-Level Naval Shipbuilding Plan, July 2015. This paper reviews the past performance of Australian naval shipbuilding, describes the pros and cons of a rolling production model, and unpicks the issues that the government will have to take into account. It concludes that we’re likely to see a bigger surface navy—potentially a much bigger one—as well as the sell-off of at least part of the currently government-owned ASC Pty Ltd. The paper also looks at strategies to manage the risks in the likely course of action and recommends mitigation strategies.

The Not-Quite-Quadrilateral: Australia, Japan and India, July 2015. The paper concludes that an alignment of the political stars, a diplomatic consensus on China, tightening bilateral relations and coalescing strategic, defence and security interests mean that Australia should now lean forward to fortify our trilateral dialogue and cooperation with Japan and India. A coalition of like-minded Asia–Pacific maritime democracies would seek to balance against China, further complicate China’s strategic calculus and encourage Beijing to engage as a responsible stakeholder in the stable and open regional order.

The Future of Jihad: What Next for ISIL and Al-Qaeda? June 2015. The report examines what the rise of ISIL means for al-Qaeda and how will it react. How will al-Qaeda seek to regain the oxygen of publicity that’s central to terrorist organisations if they’re to recruit, grow and, ultimately, challenge their enemies? Does the rise of ISIL signal the end of al-Qaeda or might al-Qaeda merge with ISIL, confront it head on or take some other course of action? The authors explore four alternative futures for al-Qaeda and ISIL and conclude that a worrying scenario of ‘one-upmanship’ is likely to take place between the two organisations in which al-Qaeda pursues a campaign of international attacks in order to regain the limelight.

Reviews and Contestability: New Directions for Defence, May 2015. The First Principles Review of Defence is arguably the most significant review of the defence establishment since the 1973 re-organisation led by Sir Arthur Tange. This Strategic Insights brings together a series of contributions to ASPI’s blog The Strategist written by ten experts with long experience and broad knowledge of Australia’s defence bureaucracy. They bring a wealth of different perspectives and point to significant challenges ahead for Defence if the reforms proposed by the First Principles Review are to succeed.

Reassessing Malcolm Fraser, May 2015. Malcolm Fraser, Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister, died on 20 March 2015 aged 84. This Strategic Insights, drawn from posts on ASPI’s blog The Strategist, examines Fraser’s foreign policy record as well as his approach to defence policy making and his evolving attitude to the US alliance. Fraser reorganised Australia’s defence establishment and the 1976 defence white paper foreshadowed the move towards the defence of Australia strategy adopted by the Labor government in the 1980’s. Fraser’s strong commitment to human rights and his support for the Commonwealth as a useful multilateral forum were enduring features of his prime ministership.

Making Strategic Policy: What's Involved, May 2015. With preparations for the Defence White Paper 2015 well underway, both government and the public are probably more interested than usual in the esoteric topic of Australia’s strategic policy. In this paper, the author unpacks some thoughts about that by talking most about how strategic policy is—ideally—made. Making strategic policy means solving a puzzle in three parts: understanding an environment largely not of our own making; determining our own global and regional role; and acknowledging a set of constraints that bound that role...

No Exit: Next Steps for Promoting South Pacific Peace and Prosperity, April 2015. As Australia focuses on its global interests in a changing and challenging international environment, there’s a danger that we’ll lose sight of important constants of history and geography. We don’t have an either/or choice to focus on near or distant security imperatives. While the Australian Government’s decision to lift defence funding will help with this, cutting aid to help offset that boost may prove counterproductive...

Sounding the Alarm: Terrorism Threat Communications with the Australian Public, April 2015. On 12 September last year, the national terrorism advisory was raised by Prime Minister Abbott from medium to high on the advice of outgoing ASIO Director-General, David Irvine. Since September 12, 2001, we’d been on a medium level alert. This paper suggests five immediate changes which could help make our terrorism warning system better meet the public’s expectation that the government will provide useful information on terrorist threats and advice about required changes to behaviour...

The Strategic Dimension of 'Option J': Australia's Submarine Choice and Its Security Relations with Japan, March 2015. There’s a possibility that Australia’s future submarine (FSM) will be based on a Japanese design. The government has explicitly kept that option open, along with the possibility of buying the boats from Germany or France. Wherever the FSM is designed, built, or both, the supplier’s political reliability and technological suitability are vital, as is establishing trust in the ability of both sides to work together effectively and efficiently on such a complex capability. This paper examines what a possible Australian–Japanese submarine deal would mean for the wider relationship between the two countries, as well as the geostrategic implications.

Australia, Indonesia and the Prisoner's Dilemma, March 2015. The bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia has long been a fraught one. The latest tussle, over the imminent execution of two Australian prisoners in Indonesia, prompted a series of posts on ASPI’s blog, The Strategist, framing the broader relationship in the context of the Prisoner’s Dilemma model from game theory...

Nuclear Latency and the Future Strategic Environment, March 2015. Since the 1946 ‘Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy’ and the closely associated Baruch Plan formulated by the United States, ‘nuclear latency’ —put simply, the potential for countries to obtain nuclear weapons capability—has been a factor threatening to undermine strategic equilibrium on the world stage. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and resulting nonproliferation regime may have allayed mid-20th century concerns about the rate of spread of nuclear weapons, but the notion of nuclear latency has by no means become obsolete...

Why Australia Should Build Its Own Submarines, January 2015. This paper considers the design and build of Australia’s future submarine including the possible acquisition of Japanese submarines by Australia to replace the Collins class and a hybrid approach of constructing the hull modules in Japan and assembling them here. It provides lessons learned from the Collins project...

Are We a Top 20 Nation or a Middle Power? Views on Australia's Position in the World, December 2014. Nothing fans the flames of a debate on The Strategist quite like a post that makes assertions about Australia’s place in the world and the role it should have on the international stage. ASPI director Peter Jennings’ recent post on Australia as a ‘top 20’ defence player and deputy director Anthony Bergin’s post on the ‘middle power label’ last year both sparked debates about Australia’s power, position and influence and how it could or should be using it...

Preserving the Knowledge Edge: Surveillance Cooperation and the US–Australia Alliance in Asia, December 2014. The US–Australia alliance is the bedrock of Australia’s defence policy. Successive governments have looked to the alliance for access to military technology, intelligence and training, as well as a promise of support against direct threats to Australia. However, Australia, the US and other regional allies today face a rapidly changing strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific. The American ‘rebalance’ to Asia represents recognition by the US that it needs to give greater priority to its management of the changing balance—an effort firmly endorsed by President Obama in his address at the University of Queensland...

Waves of Opportunity: Enhancing Australia-Indonesia Maritime Security Cooperation. November 2014. Maritime security cooperation between Australia and Indonesia is important because of our geographical proximity and common interests. With recently-installed President Joko Widodo proclaiming Indonesia as the ‘World Maritime Axis’, there’s great momentum for Australia and Indonesia to enhance maritime security cooperation. This paper looks at ways to enhance cooperation through: more interaction between policymakers; facilitating greater integration among the agencies responsible for maritime security cooperation; national and regional capacity-building, and cooperative and collective maritime domain awareness.

Jump Jets for the ADF? November 2014. Is there a case for Australia to acquire F-35B Joint Strike Fighter short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft to operate from the two new Canberra-class landing helicopter docks (LHDs)? The government has directed that this question be addressed in the development of the 2015 Defence White Paper...

Steadying the US Rebalance to Asia: The Role of Australia, Japan and South Korea, November 2014. Given China’s rise and Asia’s economic ascent, military growth and increasing trade flows, the US ‘pivot to Asia’ reflects an appropriate policy response to changing global realities. The pivot (now called a ‘rebalance’) implies a shift in US attention and resources in the military, diplomatic and economic spheres from the Middle East and Europe towards Asia...

Should Ministerial Arrangements for Domestic Security Be Changed? October 2014. The recent increase in Australia’s terrorism alert, reported prime ministerial concern over national security arrangements, major increases in counterterrorism funding and operational success against people smuggling have raised a new question in Canberra: are our arrangements for managing domestic security optimal? This paper examines this question as a debate...

Another Century, Another Long War, October 2014. Australia is involved in the early stages of a conflict that may last for the rest of the century and potentially beyond. Terrorism is but a symptom of a broader conflict in which the fundamental threat is from radical Islamists who are intent on establishing Islam as the foundation of a new world order...

To Choose or Not to Choose: How to Deal with China's Growing Power and Influence, August 2014. This paper collects 10 items published on the ASPI blog The Strategist by eight authors on one of the most important public policy issues of this decade and beyond: how to deal with China’s growing power and influence. The hope is that this debate will start to identify points of shared thinking and expose the areas where further work is needed to improve the quality of policy outcomes. ASPI will continue to publish on the topic. There is no more important subject for the future of Australia and for a stable Asia–Pacific.

Strategy and Its Discontents: The Place of Strategy in National Policymaking, July 2014. One of the liveliest debates to have taken place on ASPI’s blog, The Strategist, concerned the place of strategy in Canberra’s policymaking community. It seems that there’s little consensus around what strategy’s core business should be, let alone who should practice it and whether indeed enough strategy is being done by DFAT, Defence or other parts of government. The 11 short pieces printed here by eight authors with quite diverse perspectives span a broad range of views about the definition, role, purpose and health of strategic policymaking. There’s no more important debate in public policy than on the place of strategy in meeting complex national challenges. This paper hopefully will encourage a more structured debate about strategy’s place at the heart of national policymaking.

How to Buy a Submarine: Part 2, June 2014. The building of a replacement for Australia's Collins class submarines will be the country's most expensive defence project to date. It's also likely to be the most complex, with a myriad of capability, commercial and industrial issues to be managed: the expertise for the design and construction of conventional submarines resides in Europe and Asia while Navy's preference is for American combat and weapon systems. Pulling those elements together while managing the technical risks is no easy task...

Ballistic Missile Defence: How Soon, How Significant, and What Should Australia's Policy Be? May 2014. The issue of ballistic missile defence (BMD) was a controversial one when US President Reagan first advocated a strategic-level system in the early 1980s. It remains so today. What’s Australia’s interest? We live a long way away from most current ballistic missile arsenals. But the ADF frequently deploys within range of ballistic missile systems, especially in Northeast Asia or the Middle East, and those systems might proliferate more widely in the future...

Taking Wing: Time to Decide on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, March 2014. The Australian Government is about to make a decision on whether to spend between $8 and 10 billion of taxpayer’s money on the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It’s also an important call because it will cement the F-35 as the main instrument of Australian air-power for decades into the future...

Manufacturing Partners: Japan - South Korea Security Cooperation and Australia's Potential Role, March 2014. In Asia, Australia has no closer strategic and ideological partners than Japan and South Korea. Our similar strategic outlooks, economic ties, alliances with the US and liberal democratic values make us highly compatible partners. But while Australia’s bilateral relations are trending upwards, the Japan–ROK relationship has been spiralling downwards...

Cybersecurity by Executive Order, February 2014. On 12 February 2014 the United States National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) released the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, the flagship accomplishment of the Obama Administration’s 2013 cybersecurity Executive Order. Just weeks before the White House announced its executive order, the then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an equally exciting declaration introducing the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). One year on, the contrast between the two efforts is stark....

Afghanistan - Transition to Transformation: A Role for Australia in Helping Shape Afghanistan's Future, February 2014. The transformation decade will seek to consolidate and build on the outcomes of transition to ensure Afghanistan’s future as a functional, stable and durable state. The Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) will have the lead responsibility for national security during transformation. Although transition still has nearly a year to go, the end-of-2014 scorecard is expected to be a mix of positives and negatives...

Cold Calculations: Australia's Antarctic Challenges, October 2013. This Strategic Insights looks at the range of Australian objectives in Antarctica, the assumptions that underpin those goals, and the options open for us to best achieve our aims. It’s hoped that this report will inform those responsible for formulating and implementing our Antarctic policies...

Keep Calm and Carry On: Reflections on the Anglosphere, October 2013. The Anglosphere—shorthand for the Anglo-American sphere of influence—established the concept and structure of the modern transnational community and remains salient in contemporary international relations. For Australia, the Anglosphere provides a framework for continued prosperity through strong trade and political favours between those within its fold...

Trends in a Tumultuous Region: Middle East after the Arab Awakening, September 2013. This paper, by Lydia Khalil, looks at the road to revolution, the polarised politics of Islamists vs secularists, and sectarianism’s grip in the region. The events in Egypt and Syria illustrate the difficulties faced by policymakers around the world—options for intervention are limited. However, the international community continues to look for ways to encourage stability. Australia's role is considered including its role on the United Nations Security Council, particularly when it comes to the Syrian crisis and dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions...

Getting There - a Status Update for the 2000 Defence White Paper, August 2013. This paper, by Andrew Davies, reviews the 31 major capability announcements made back then. It suggests its probably a good time for the incoming Defence Minister to look back at the lessons of D2000's force structure plans before moving forward.

Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons: The Next Step in Multilateral Arms Control, August 2013. This paper by Crispin Rovere and Kalman A Robertson addresses the many barriers to including tactical nuclear weapons in disarmament talks. It considers the difficulty of bringing other emerging powers such as China into the nuclear arms control equation...

Australia as a Southern Hemisphere Power, July 2013. With attention focused on our relations with Asia, analysts have overlooked a significant strategic shift in recent years: Australia's emergence as a major 'soft power' across the Southern Hemisphere, from sub-Saharan Africa to South America, as well as in Antarctica and the Southwest Pacific...

Securing the South Pacific: Making the Most of Australia's Renewed Regional Focus, July 2013. A decade after the invasion of Iraq, the 10-year-anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) later this month will mark an equally significant juncture in Australia’s strategic policy...

Vietnam's Strategic Trajectory: From Internal Development to External Engagement, June 2012. This paper by Le Hong Hiep analyses Vietnam’s strategic trajectory over the past two decades, with an emphasis on its relations with China and the US, its policies on the South China Sea dispute, and the implications for regional players...

India's Rise as an Asia-Pacific Power: Rhetoric and Reality, May 2012. India’s emergence as an Asian power—and eventually perhaps as an Asia–Pacific power—has wide implications for the region and consequently for Australia. This paper, authored by Dr Sandy Gordon, considers those implications as they relate to three closely related areas...

How to Buy a Submarine: Defining and Building Australia's Future Fleet, October 2009. The Defence White paper announced that the future submarine fleet would consist of at least twelve submarines that would be able to perform a wide range of missions and carry a varied array of weapons and sensors. As described, the resultant boats are likely to be the largest, most complex and, at $3 billion each, the most expensive conventional submarines ever built...

 

 

Source: The Australian Strategic Policy Institute