AUKUS and Critical Minerals: Hedging Beijing’s Pervasive,
Clever and Coordinated Statecraft, June 2023. AUKUS
has a heavy focus on R&D of military capabilities. A number
of departments, including defence, foreign affairs and prime
ministerial equivalents are engaged. The science and
technology to deliver those capabilities must resolve issues
of insecure supply chains. Currently, supply chains for
processed critical minerals and their resulting materials
aren’t specifically included. Yet all AUKUS capabilities,
and the rules-based order that they uphold, depend heavily
on critical minerals. China eclipses not only AUKUS for
processing those minerals into usable forms, but the rest of
the world combined. Without critical minerals, states are
open to economic coercion in various technological
industries, and defence manufacturing is particularly
exposed to unnecessary supply-chain challenges...
‘Impactful Projection’: Long-Range Strike Options for
Australia, December 2022. The Australian
Government has stated that the ADF requires greater
long-range strike capability. This was first stated by the
previous government in its 2020 Defence Strategic Update (DSU),
which emphasised the need for ‘self-reliant deterrent
effects’. The present government has endorsed that
assessment: Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister
Richard Marles has stated that ‘the ADF must augment its
self-reliance to deploy and deliver combat power through
impactful materiel and enhanced strike capability—including
over longer distances.’ He’s coined the term ‘impactful
projection’ to describe the intended effect of this
capability, which is to place ‘a very large question mark in
the adversary’s mind.’...
‘Deep Roots’: Agriculture, National Security and
Nation-Building in Northern Australia, August 2022.
This report offers a multidisciplinary analysis of the
various components that make up and influence the vast and
complex agriculture industry network in northern Australia.
It examines the economic and historical underpinnings of the
agriculture industry we know today; the administration,
direction and implementation of agricultural policy and
funding across levels of government; the many and varied
demographic and cultural characteristics of the northern
Australian population; and the evolution of place-based
physical and digital infrastructure. The role of
infrastructure and infrastructure funding in northern
Australia plays a key role in the report’s narrative...
The Hunter Frigate: An Assessment, April 2022.
Powerful and survivable large surface combatants, in numbers
commensurate with the expected threat and national budgetary
limitations, remain central in the order of battle of any navy of a
middle-power such as Australia, but they need to be fit for purpose.
Australia’s government policy has acknowledged deteriorating
geostrategic circumstances since 2009, culminating in its 2020 Strategic
Update where we are not left in any doubt of the concern over China’s
intentions and a stretched United States. The warships Australia
acquires should be suitable for the circumstances it finds itself in...
VAMPIRE VAMPIRE VAMPIRE: The PLA’s Anti-ship Cruise Missile Threat to
Australian and Allied Naval Operations, April 2022.
This report examines anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) possessed by the
People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which is China’s armed forces, and the
serious threat posed to Australian and allied naval forces operating in
the Indo-Pacific region. The PLA has spent over 20 years preparing to
fight and win wars against technologically advanced adversaries, such as
the United States and its allies. PLA preparations have included
long-term investments in various capabilities that would be needed to
facilitate and sustain ASCM strike operations, even whilst under heavy
attack from technologically advanced powers...
Agenda for Change 2022: Shaping a Different Future for Our
Nation, February 2022.
In line with previous Agenda for Change publications from
2016 and 2019, this piece is being released in anticipation
of a federal election as a guide for the next government
within its first months and over the full term. Our 2022
agenda acknowledges that an economically prosperous and
socially cohesive Australia is a secure and resilient
Australia. ASPI’s Agenda for change 2019: strategic choices
for the next government did, to a great extent, imagine a
number of those challenges, including in Peter Jennings’
chapter on ‘The big strategic issues’. But a lot has changed
since 2019. It was hard to imagine the dislocating impacts
of the Black Summer fires, Covid-19 in 2020 and then the
Delta and Omicron strains in 2021, trade coercion from an
increasingly hostile China, or the increasingly uncertain
security environment. Fast forward to today and that also
applies to the policies and programs we need to position us
in a more uncertain and increasingly dangerous world...
Myanmar’s Coup, Asean’s Crisis: And the Implications for
Australia, November 2021.
The rapidly unfolding Myanmar crisis is presenting Southeast
Asia with one of its most severe security and stability
threats in the past three decades. While the region is
certainly familiar with military coups and violent changes
of government, the ongoing crisis in Myanmar carries risks
far more acute than previous coups d’etat in the region. One
of them is the risk to the sustained modus operandi of the
region’s key institution—the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN). The outcome of ASEAN’s involvement in the
Myanmar crisis is consequential not only for the Myanmar
people, but also for the association’s ability to credibly
lead efforts to preserve peace and security in the region
into the future...
France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and Its Overseas Territories
in the Indian and Pacific Oceans: Characteristics,
Capabilities, Constraints and Avenues for Deepening the
Franco-Australian Strategic Partnership, June 2021.
The report analyses France’s military capabilities and
cooperation activities in the Indian and Pacific Oceans,
underlining its strengths and limitations. In terms of its
economic presence and official development assistance
commitments, it is clear that the French strategy suffers
significant limitations. However, these may be offset by a
growing commitment from the EU and through strategic
partnerships allowing France to pool efforts at all levels
to meet regional and global challenges.
What if …? Economic Consequences for Australia of a Us-China
Conflict Over Taiwan, June 2021.
What if China were to attempt to seize Taiwan by force and
the US and allies responded militarily? One consequence
would be the disruption of China’s trade with many
countries, including Australia. While strategic analysts
have been working over such scenarios for years, there’s
been little study of the likely economic consequences. This
study is focused on the short-term shock to Australia’s
economy. The objective is to contribute to an understanding
of the nature of Australia’s economic relationship with
China and the likely paths of adjustment should that trade
be severed. It also explores the options available to the
Australian Government to ameliorate the worst of the effects
of what would be a severe economic shock...
Deterrence Through Denial: A Strategy for an Era of Reduced
Warning Time, May 2021.
Australia now needs to implement serious changes to how warning time is
considered in defence planning. The need to plan for reduced
warning time has implications for the Australian
intelligence community, defence strategic policy, force
structure priorities, readiness and sustainability.
Important changes will also be needed with respect to
personnel, stockpiles of missiles and munitions, and fuel
supplies. We can no longer assume that Australia will have
time gradually to adjust military capability and
preparedness in response to emerging threats. In other
words, there must be a new approach in Defence to managing
warning, capability and preparedness, and detailed planning
for rapid expansion and sustainment...
Leaping Across the Ocean: The Port Operators Behind China's
Naval Expansion, February 2021.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become increasingly
willing to project military power overseas while coercing
and co-opting countries into accepting the objectives of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Beijing’s greater willingness
to flex its muscles, both politically and militarily, is
supported by its overseas investments in critical
infrastructure, which provide the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
with the logistical enablers needed to project military
power beyond the ‘first island chain’ in the Western
Pacific. ‘Controlling the seas in the region, leaping across
the ocean for force projection’ (区域控海，跨洋投送) is the term
Chinese naval commentators use when referring to the PLA
Navy’s bid to project power across the world. Australia
should build its research and analytical capacity to better
understand the nexus between the CCP and SOEs. That due
diligence, building on open-source research conducted for
this report, will better illuminate the PRC’s global
expansion, potential grey-zone operations and the companies
and individuals involved.
The Australian Defence Force and Contested Space, August
This new Strategy report looks at war on the high frontier
of outer space, and what the implications such a development
might have for the ADF. It highlights that space is not a
sanctuary from geopolitical rivalries. The report notes that
Australia is heavily dependent on the space environment,
both for its national prosperity and societal well-being,
and for its defence and national security, and the report
examines Australia’s current approach to use of space for
Defence. The report then examines emerging counterspace
threats. China and Russia are moving towards deploying a
suite of ‘counterspace capabilities’ to deny access to
essential space systems used by the US and its allies,
including Australia, prior to, or at the outset of a
18 Years and Counting: Australian Counterterrorism, Threats
and Responses, April 2019. This report provides a
general overview of what successive Australian governments
have done since 9/11 to counter the threat posed by
Salafi-jihadi to the maintenance of international peace and
security, to regional security and to domestic security.
Since 2014, the threat level in Australia has been assessed
as ‘Probable’, which means that credible intelligence exists
to indicate that individuals or groups continue to possess
the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in
Australia. Both Melbourne and Sydney have featured in
jihadist videos and publications...
Agenda for Change 2019: Strategic Choices for the Next
Government, February 2019. In 2018, many commentators
pronounced the rules-based global order to be out for the
count. This presents serious challenges for a country such
as Australia, which has been an active contributor and clear
beneficiary of that order. The government that we elect in
2019’s federal election will be faced with difficult
strategic policy choices unlike any we’ve confronted in the
past 50 years. This volume contains 30 short essays that
cover a vast range of subjects, from the big geostrategic
challenges of our times, through to defence strategy;
border, cyber and human security; and key emergent
technologies. The essays provide busy policymakers with
policy recommendations to navigate this new world, including
proposals that ‘break the rules’ of traditional policy
settings. Each of the essays is easily readable in one
sitting—but their insightful and ambitious policy
recommendations may take a little longer to digest.
Hard News and Free Media as the Sharp Edge of Australian
Soft Power, September 2018. In this report, three
Asia-Pacific media specialists have produced three
perspectives on the history, dynamics and politics of
funding of the ABC’s international efforts over the past two
decades. They show that, while Australian politicians and
ABC leaders themselves have been distracted by domestic and
institutional issues, other state-owned media organisations—such
as China’s—have expanded their footprint across Southeast
Asia and the South Pacific. Australian Government decisions
over the past decade haven’t just meant that Australia has
trod water while this happened—in fact, we have stepped back
and silenced broadcasts and local content while others have
Australias Future in Space, February 2018.
Australia is approaching an important window of opportunity
to change our approach to the use of space for defence and
national security purposes and, more broadly, to the
establishment of a sovereign space industry. We now have the
opportunity to move from a traditional policy of dependency
on others to become an active space power— one with
sovereign space capabilities in orbit and an active and
growing space industry sector coordinated by an Australian
More Than Submarines: New Dimensions in the Australia–France
Strategic Partnership, December 2017.
In this compendium examining the France–Australia
relationship, we have brought together experts from each
country to explore our shared histories and plot a course
for where we might take the relationship in the future. Each
section examines a different aspect of the
relationship—historical, international security, defence and
the South Pacific—from a French and an Australian
perspective. The experts brought together in this volume
cover a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience as
officials, academics and practitioners. What emerges is a
rich and complex picture of two vibrant and activist
countries, grappling with complex problems, but each
determined to contribute to making the world safer and more
People Smugglers Globally, October 2017.
Globally, there are some 767 million people living below the
poverty line. In Africa alone, there are some 200 million
people ‘aged between 15–24 and this will likely double by
2045’. While these figures are startling, the fact that in
2016 only 189,300 refugees were resettled highlights the
scale of the likely demand for irregular migration. Much has
been said and published on irregular migration from the
perspective of the migrant. In the process, it has become
politically expedient to homogenise perceptions of people
smugglers. This new ASPI report focuses on people-smuggling
syndicates globally. The report provides a concise analysis
of the various people-smuggling syndicates operating in the
globe’s people smuggling hot-spots. This authoritative
report provides a concise analysis of each people smuggling
hot-spot, with accompanying policy recommendations for
Australia and Germany: A New Strategic Energy Partnership,
his STRATEGY paper evaluates the prospects for the
development of a strategic energy partnership between
Australia and Germany based on the potential for Australia
to emerge as Europe’s major supplier of liquefied natural
gas (LNG). At first glance, Australia’s growing export
capacity, backed by its reputation as a safe, reliable and
secure supplier, seems to be a perfect fit in Europe’s quest
for new suppliers and in Germany’s search for new sources of
electricity. Despite these potential synergies, this paper
argues that Australia is unlikely to emerge as an LNG
supplier to Germany in the foreseeable future. However,
there’s much value for Australia and Germany in
strengthening the broader energy relationship.
Tiptoeing Around the Nine-Dash Line: Southeast Asia After
Asean, February 2017.
Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions on the
planet, and its geopolitical importance is on the rise.
While individual states in this part of the world have been
strategically significant in the past, Southeast Asia now
finds itself thrust into the limelight of international
affairs as a result of the competition currently occurring
between the US and China. Those developments have placed
greater strategic weight and heightened attendant stresses
on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the
principal group representing the 10 countries in the region.
Even as ASEAN’s strategic pertinence steadily increases, the
member states of the grouping face a dilemma over collective
action that challenges not only perceptions of ASEAN’s
efficacy but also the overall security of Southeast Asia.
How they and other interested actors—including the People’s
Republic of China (PRC), the US, Australia and Japan—choose
to act now will shape the region for decades to come...
Dragon and Eagle Entangled: Sino-US Military Exchanges,
2001–2016, January 2017.
US–China military exchanges constitute an important aspect
of bilateral relations between the reigning superpower and a
fast-rising one. This ASPI Strategy takes stock of Sino-US
military contacts over the past 15 years and provides some
preliminary assessments of the evolution and implications of
this critical aspect of perhaps the most important bilateral
relationship in the world today. It seeks to achieve three
objectives. First, it identifies, compares and discusses the
rationales, expectations and approaches of the two
militaries regarding the relationship. Second, it outlines
and reviews bilateral Sino-US military contacts from 2001 to
2016, essentially covering both the George W Bush and Barack
Obama administrations. Third, it analyses and evaluates
US–China military ties over this period and provides some
explanations of their promises, progress and pitfalls.
After Mosul: Australia's Strategy to Counter the Islamic
State, December 2016.
As the battle for Mosul unfolds in Iraq, Australian
policymakers must carefully consider Australia’s long-term
objectives in the Middle East. One critical question needs
to be answered because it’s central to the process of making
strategy. What is the Australian policy objective: to what
end are our forces there? Once that question is answered, we
can decide what comes next. The world has watched the
Islamic State (IS) evolve from a regional insurgency to a
proto-state and global terrorist organisation that poses a
significant threat to Australia’s national security. In the
future, the group is likely to revert to insurgency
operations to ensure its survival, but the global terrorist
threat will remain...
Defence White Papers at 40, December 2016.
The Defence White Paper brought down earlier this year (DWP
2016), the seventh of its kind, appeared shortly before the
40th anniversary of the first, which was tabled in
parliament by the Defence Minister, James (later Sir James)
Killen, in November 1976. For a governmental practice as for
an individual, a 40th anniversary is a good time to stand
back and assess the past, present and future...
America's 'Maginot Line': A Study of Static Border Security
in an Age of Agile and Innovative Threats, November 2016.
Borders and border security are once again becoming
increasingly important to the nation state. Many take a
default position that our coastline is our border and that
border security involves merely police, security guards and
immigration or customs officials. But Australia’s geography
no longer provides the physical barrier from the outside
world that it once did. This strategy provides a case study
analysis of post-9/11 changes to US border security
policies. It examines each of America’s different borders:
the friendly northern borders, maritime borders, and the
militarised southern border. It provides recommendations for
Australia’s border security.
From Hollywood to Bollywood? Recasting Australia’s
Indo/Pacific Strategic Geography, October 2016.
Australia’s strategic geography is being revolutionised.
China and India’s rising maritime power, coupled with a
Eurasia-wide ‘connectivity revolution’, is drawing together
two formerly disparate theatres: the Asia–Pacific and the
Indian Ocean region. This report argues against the
Indo-Pacific idea and presents the case for a more
regionally differentiated ‘Indo/Pacific’ alternative. The
hyphen at the heart of the Indo-Pacific aggregates two
distinct regional security orders that have differed widely
in their historical evolution and that today present
different challenges and regional order-building
opportunities for Australia...
Improving on Zero: Australia and India Attempt Strategic
Convergence, August 2016.
India no longer sees Australia as merely a strategic stooge
of the US. And Australia is starting to accord India the
importance India always saw as its right. Those are big
changes in attitude and policy—and in the two countries’
understanding of each other’s interests. Strategy: The
Australia–India strategic relationship was in zero
territory—often in negative mode—for much of the 20th
century; indeed, effectively since India’s independence. In
the 21st century, though, Australia and India can reach for
greater strategic convergence. People: Australia in the 21st
century can have a set of relationships with India based on
people as much as on economic and strategic need. Economics
and trade: As China slows economically, Australia turns to
The Eagle Has Landed: The US Rebalance to Southeast Asia,
Early in his administration, President Barack Obama
announced the ‘Asia rebalance’, a US reorientation that
became official policy in January 2012. This so-called
‘pivot’ explicitly recognises the need for America to
re-embrace partner nations in Asia, leveraging their
significant and growing capabilities to build a network of
states that nurtures, strengthens and sustains a rules-based
order that’s capable of effectively addressing regional
challenges. The fundamental question is whether the US will
continue with its current ASEAN-centric policy as part of a
broader program of Asian engagement. Assuming that the
rebalance survives, it’s clear that a central challenge will
be convincing China that the return to Southeast Asia isn’t
a thinly veiled strategy of Sino-containment but, rather, an
effort to revitalise and strengthen partnerships in a key
part of the world. The optimal and most sustainable outcome
will be the emergence of a regional order that promotes
risk-averse behaviour by Beijing and insulates against the
type of unilateral action that could quickly escalate out of
control to threaten American and local allied interests.
Why Russia Is a Threat to the International Order, June 2016.
Almost a quarter of a century after the demise of the USSR,
Russia is back on the world stage and in a familiar,
threatening manner. There can be no doubt that Putin’s
Russia is now seeking to reassert itself as a major power.
It seems set on a path to confrontation with the West and is
now challenging the established post-World War II security
order in Europe. This paper analyses Russia’s geopolitical
ambitions, its military modernisation, the threat it poses
to the international order and how the West should respond.
It estimates the prospects for the Russian economy to assess
how economic weakness might affect Russian behaviour. It
concludes by addressing Moscow’s strategic priorities in the
Asia–Pacific region and the implications of Russia’s rise
Agenda for Change 2016: Strategic Choices for the Next
Government, June 2016.
The defence of Australia's interests is a core business of
federal governments. Regardless of who wins the election on
July 2, the incoming government will have to grapple with a
wide range of security issues. This report provides a range
of perspectives on selected defence and national security
issues, as well as a number of policy recommendations.
Contributors include Kim Beazley, Peter Jennings, Graeme
Dobell, Shiro Armstrong and ASPI analysts. ASPI produced a
similar brief before the 2013 election. There are some
enduring challenges, such as cybersecurity, terrorism and an
uncertain global economic outlook. Natural disasters are a
constant feature of life on the Pacific and Indian Ocean
Net Worth: Australia's Regional Fisheries Engagement, March
This paper argues there’s a need for a whole-of-government
approach to Australia’s external fisheries policy that
recognises clear linkages between fisheries and foreign,
trade, and strategic policy. Extending and complementing
current stakeholder engagement practices is the key to this
approach. Regional fishery management organisations (RFMOs)
and arrangements allow Australia to promote a strong
approach on sustainable and responsible fishing practices
and develop regional instruments to protect our fish stocks
and wider regional interests.
Black Flag Rising: ISIL in Southeast Asia and Australia,
Although the prime focus of Islamic State in Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL) has been on establishing a state—a
caliphate—in the Middle East, it has also sought to gain a
presence beyond that area. Southeast Asia is one region
that’s now receiving increased attention as a potential
beachhead for the group. Most concern has focused on
Malaysia, Indonesia, the southern Philippines and the Malay
Muslim provinces of Thailand. The paper considers how these
nations are responding to the threat. Beyond Southeast Asia,
ISIL is showing a growing influence in Australia. The
measures the Australian Government are taking have been
generally well received. However, a number of concerns have
been raised about the pace and nature of Australia’s
emergent counterterrorist strategy and their implications
for the nation’s democratic character.
Beyond 2017: The Australian Defence Force and Amphibious
Warfare, July 2015.
The delivery of Australia’s new amphibious warships, HMAS
Canberra and Adelaide, is an important milestone in the
ADF’s quest to develop a strategically relevant amphibious
warfare capability. Australia’s position in the world makes
the effort a strategic imperative, but the ADF still has a
long way to go and many critical decisions ahead if it’s to
develop an amphibious warfare capability that’s ready for
future challenges. The resources committed to the effort and
the associated opportunity costs have been and will be
substantial, and the overall need for the capability must be
weighed against other priorities, but if Australia’s going
to do it, we should do it properly...
Gen Y Jihadists: Preventing Radicalisation in Australia,
In September 2014 the terrorism threat level was raised from
‘medium’ to ‘high’ – the first change in 13 years. This
year, the government estimated that the number of high risk
terrorist threats being monitored by security agencies had
doubled and that more than 100 Australians were fighting for
groups in Syria and Iraq. A team of ASPI analysts has
examined the scope and nature of terrorism motivated by
violent Islamist extremism in Australia through a
comprehensive database of the high-profile Australians
identified as foreign fighters and those that have come to
the attention of authorities in Australia. Based on the
findings from this research, the paper assesses the policy
responses by the government to date and offers
Learning from History: Some Strategic Lessons from the
'Forward Defence' Era, May 2015.
Australia is currently engaged in a major reassessment of
its strategic policy. Those in and around the policymaking
process are trying to define the nation’s core values and
interests, to identify the most likely threats, and to frame
a strategy that will best protect and promote our national
security. This is happening at a time when many defence
budgets are severely constrained...
ASEAN Ascending: Achieving 'Centrality' in the Emerging
Asian Order, March 2015.
One factor that’s likely to bear heavily on the future
trajectory of the proposed ASEAN Community is the influence
of an increasingly assertive government in Beijing. The
People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now the pre-eminent
power in Southeast Asia. To be successful, the ASEAN
Community will also require considerable backing from the
US—the other major power in Southeast Asia. Ultimately, it
will be up to ASEAN itself to achieve centrality and thereby
remain a relevant player in the emerging Asian order.
Strike from the Air: The First 100 Days of the Campaign
against ISIL, December 2014.
This report is the first publication from a continuing,
open-source study of the coalition campaign against the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With Australian
blood and treasure committed to the efforts of the
coalition, it is important for ASPI to provide research and
constructive commentary on the campaign...
Expanding Alliance: ANZUS Cooperation and Asia–Pacific
Security, December 2014.
The alliance between Australia and the US, underpinned by
the formal ANZUS Treaty of 1951, continues to be a central
part of Australian defence and security thinking and an
instrument of American policy in the Asia–Pacific. How is it
that an alliance conceived as a bulwark against a resurgence
of Japanese militarism and which cut its military and
intelligence teeth in the Cold War is still relevant to
today’s strategic concerns?...
Joko Widodo's Indonesia: Possible Future Paths, September
2014. This paper looks at the possible paths for policy
and development in Indonesia under the leadership of the
seventh president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who will take
office in Jakarta on 20 October. The first part is a
stocktake of the challenges that lie ahead. The stocktake
assesses the state of play in five areas: the political
system; economic challenges; government and administration;
social issues; and foreign affairs...
The Submarine Choice: Perspectives on Australia's Most
Complex Defence Project, September 2014. In April this
year ASPI staged a conference called The Submarine Choice.
In this book you’ll find a summary of each of the talks that
were given at the conference, and they contain a range of
perspectives. As well, we’ve included some analytic insights
from ASPI. Mark Thomson and Andrew Davies write on the
complex suite of industrial options...
A Versatile Force: The Future of Australia's Special
Operations Capability, April 2014. Over the past decade,
the demands of the ADF’s global and regional operations saw
an unprecedented growth in Australia’s special operations
capability. Indeed, Special Operations Forces became the
‘capability of choice’ for the Australian Government.
However, as the ADF enters a period of transition from
almost constant high-tempo operations to what might be a
‘soft power decade’, there’s a need to consider the future
of the capability...
Moving beyond Ambitions? Indonesia's Military Modernisation,
November 2013. Indonesia’s impressive political and
economic development in recent years has fuelled
expectations that Australia’s much larger neighbour could
join the ranks of the world’s ten largest economies as early
as 2030. While there are good reasons to caution against
such long-term predictions, there’s a high likelihood that
Indonesia will become stronger relative to Australia.
Consequently, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made the
relationship with Indonesia a top foreign policy priority...
Agenda for Change: Strategic Choices for the Next
Government, August 2013. The next government has a
primary requirement to be well briefed on the challenges
inherent in Australia’s strategic circumstances and the
policy options available to it. ASPI is publishing this
report to layout our strategic choices and to provide
Terms of Engagement: Australia's Regional Defence Diplomacy,
July 2013. This major study of Australian defence
engagement is authored by Sam Bateman, Anthony Bergin and
Hayley Channer. Australia is in the process of pivoting back
to our own region and looking for new strategies for Defence
re-engagement. But the Defence Cooperation Program hasn’t
been scrutinised in any dep...
Facing the Dragon: China Policy in a New Era, May 2013.
Recapping the dramatic Whitlam-Nixon openings to China of
the 1970s—in which he participated—Ross Terrill’s new study
finds fascinating themes for China policy today. Our
Asia–Pacific region prospers, but the seas off China are not
tranquil. American policies protect Australia, but they
Planning the Unthinkable War: 'AirSea Battle' and its
Implications for Australia, April 2013. The publication,
written by ASPI’s senior analyst in defence strategy
Benjamin Schreer, analyses the US military’s new ‘AirSea
Battle’ concept. In the Asia-Pacific region, the concept is
primarily designed to counter China’s growing military
power. The paper says Australia does not have...
Strategic Contours: The Rise of Asia and Australian
Strategic Policy, July 2012. This report, authored by
Rod Lyon, is a new assessment of the rise of Asia and its
impact on Australian strategic policy. It provides an
in-depth strategic assessment of a region where the dominant
strategic condition is neither cooperation nor competition,
but a strange blend of both—‘coopetit...
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Indonesia's Arduous Path
of Reform, January 2012. Australians have long worried
about whether Indonesia is ‘special’ or ‘normal’. Instead,
we need to deal with Indonesia as it really is—a country
experiencing simultaneously the challenges of political
reform, economic development and a shifting regional
security environment. The countr...
Beyond bin Laden: Future Trends in Terrorism, December 2011.
This Strategy report examines the shifting patterns of
global terrorism. It is the first major ASPI report on
terrorism since the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the
geographic, operational and ideological trends that are
driving the current wave of ji...
Our Near Abroad: Australia and Pacific Islands Regionalism,
This report, authored by Richard Herr and Anthony Bergin,
suggests that with rising Chinese influence in the region,
the US appears to doubt that Australia can deliver on South
Pacific issues. The Pacific Island members of the United
Nations now meet under the rubric of the Pacific Small
Islands Developing Sta...
Forks in the River: Australia's Strategic Options in a
Transformational Asia, June 2011.
This report, authored by Rod Lyon, argues that Australia
will be drawn increasingly to grow its strategic engagement
with Asian partners. An Asian engagement strategy should sit
alongside our existing policies of alliance and
self-reliance to provide a complementary set of approaches
to enhancing Australian int...
Changing Pace: ASPI's Strategic Assessment 2011, February
2011. This report provides an in-depth strategic
assessment of a world where the pace of change appears to be
accelerating. The relative slippage in US power, and the
broader decline of Western influence, portend an era of
fraying global leadership. The assessment suggests Australia
will have to worry about two strategi...
Regionalism and Community: Australia's Options in the
Asia-Pacific, November 2010. This report, authored by
Philomena Murray, explores the challenges of building a
stronger ‘community’ in the Asia-Pacific. It does so by
using a ‘comparative regionalism’ approach, drawing upon the
lessons of region-building efforts elsewhere. Philomena
argues in this paper...
Southeast Asia: Patterns of Security Cooperation, September
2010. Strategically, Southeast Asia sits at the
intersection of the wider world and Australia’s local
neighbourhood; what happens there matters to Australia. But
the broader Asian security environment is in flux, and an
era of strategic quiescence in Southeast Asia may be drawing
to a close. Security trends there...
A Natural Power: Challenges for Australia's Resources
Diplomacy in Asia, May 2010. This report, authored by
Richard Leaver and Carl Ungerer argues that Australia’s role
as a stable, low-cost supplier of key commodities to the
emerging great powers of Asia, China and India, gives
Canberra a greater diplomatic bargaining tool than previous
governments have been willing to acknowledge...
Our Western Front: Australia and the Indian Ocean, March
2010. This Strategy report, authored by Sam Bateman and
Anthony Bergin, argues that Australia should develop a
comprehensive policy approach to our Indian Ocean
neighbourhood. Australia is a three ocean country with the
largest area of marine jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean, yet
we have neglected the Indi...
A Delicate Issue: Asia's Nuclear Future, December 2009.
The world stands on the cusp of a new era in nuclear
relations—one in which Asia is likely to become the dominant
influence on global nuclear arrangements. The old, bilateral
nuclear symmetry of the Cold War is giving way to new
multiplayer, asymmetric nuclear relationships. And it is
doing so at a time when...
After the GFC: Australia and the Chimerica Challenge,
September 2009. This Strategy report provides an indepth
Australian perspective on the global financial crisis (GFC)
and its consequences. How China and the US behave as they
come out of the financial crisis will have global
ramifications, but in few places are the stakes higher than
The Human Tide: An Australian Perspective on Demographics
and Security, June 2009. This report, authored by Mark
Thomson, looks at demographics and security from an
Australian perspective.The economic and demographic
transition of countries from poverty to prosperity has been
a driving force of history over the past two centuries, and
is set to rem...
Sea Change: Advancing Australia's Ocean Interests, March
2009. Australia claims jurisdiction over more of the
earth than any other country—around 27.2 million square
kilometres or 5% of the planet, ahead of Russia and the US.
Of this, our maritime domain is around 4% of the planet’s
oceans. This Strategy, authored by Sam Bateman and Anthony
Global Jigsaw: ASPI's Strategic Assessment 2008, October
2008. Written by Rod Lyon and Christine Leah, the
Assessment argues that Australia will increasingly have to
find its security in a world of power shifts and greater
interconnectedness. Despite its current financial
difficulties, the US will remain the world’s strongest
power. But we are witnessing a gradual ...
The Eagle in a Turbulent World: US and its Global Role,
September 2008. Australia is one of the US’s closest
allies, and its interest in America’s role in the world is
both direct and immediate. Regardless of who wins the
election,the US is not about to disengage from the world.
Still, there are possibilities for important shifts in US
Tangled Webs: Security Architectures in Asia, July 2008.
The report, authored by William Tow, presents a broad
overview of regional security architectures and a guide for
Australian policy makers o...
Neighbourhood Watch: The Evolving Terrorist Threat in
Southeast Asia, June 2008. The regional terrorist threat
remains high on the list of Australia's national security
priorities. It is time to take stock of the regional
security environment and to ask how the Southeast Asian
terrorist threat might evolve in the future. This report,
authored by Peter Chalk and Carl Ungerer, analyses the ...
Seeing Indonesia as a Normal Country: Implications for
Australia, May 2008. Indonesia has changed markedly in
the recent past and has become a more democratic and
pluralist country. The report, authored by Professor Andrew
MacIntyre and Dr Douglas E Ramage, urges Australia to
understand the new stable landscape of Indonesia. It makes a
number of specific policy recommendations includi...
Global Forces 2007: Proceedings of the ASPI Conference,
December 2007. Some of the world's sharpest strategic
thinkers debated the key issues shaping global and
Asia-Pacific security at ASPI's Global Forces 2007
conference, 5-6 July 2007.
Power Plays: Energy and Australia's Security, October 2007.
This report looks at the global demand for energy, its
growth and the potential effects this has on Australia’s
security. The report examines Australia’s need to factor
energy security into its foreign and defence policies, and
develop a greater awareness of its dependence on fossil
fuels. It was a...
2008. Written by Rod
Widening Horizons: Australia's New Relationship with India,
May 2007. The report, authored by Dr Sandy Gordon
examines the effects this will have on the strategic
architecture of Asia and the challenges facing Australia in
developing the relationship between the two countries. Given
India’s rise as a significant Indian Ocean and Asian power,
Australia has pressing r...
Cutting their Cloth: New Zealand's Defence Strategy, April
2007. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has
today released a new Strategy publication, Cutting their
cloth. New Zealand's defence strategy written by Jim Rolfe a
senior fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies in New
Zealand. In this report Dr Jim Rolfe examines New Zealand's
thoughts of it's defe...
2008. Written by Rod
Global Forces 2006: Proceedings of the ASPI Conference,
December 2006. Some of the world's sharpest strategic
thinkers debated the key issues shaping global and
Asia-Pacific security at ASPI's Global Forces 2006
conference, September 2006.
Transforming the US Military: Implications for the
Asia-Pacific, December 2006. Defence transformation has
major implications for the future course of US military and
security policy, particularly to the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia should continue to monitor developments closely
whilst reacting cautiously. This report was authored by
Richard Bitzinger, an expert in defence transformation,...
Your Defence Dollar: The 2006-07 Defence Budget, August 2006.
From a defence perspective, this year's federal Budget was
the most important in half a decade. Your Defence Dollar,
prepared by Mark Thomson, aims to inform discussion and
scrutiny of the Defence budget and the policy choices it
Global Forces 2005: Proceedings of the ASPI Conference,
April 2006. Seventeen of the world's sharpest strategic
thinkers debate the key issues shaping global and
Asia-Pacific security at ASPI's inaugural conference held
over 2 days in September 2005. This is a 2 volume set with
Day 1 topics on Global Strategy and Day 2 on Strategic
Riding the Wave: The Rise of China and Options for
Australian Policy, March 2006. China's rapid economic
growth rates are accompanied by military advances, a quest
for markets, diplomatic assertiveness and increased national
pride. Ross Terrill's paper urges clear thinking by
Australians about the strength of the US, the place of
deterrence, the ways Beijing's mercantilism differs from fr...
In the Balance: China's Unprecedented Growth and
Implications for the Asia-Pacific, February 2006. Few
issues are more important to Australia's long-term strategic
position in the Asia-Pacific than the health of China's
economy and the nature of Beijing's foreign and defence
policies. In this report Chicago-based economist and
prominent China watcher David Hale gives his assessment of
Shared Interests: Australia-India Relations into the
Twenty-first Century, December 2005. India matters to
Australia, strategically, economically and diplomatically.
At the fourth Australia-India Security Roundtable, held in
Canberra in April 2005, fourteen strategic analysts from
both countries met to discuss a range of important issues
vital to each country's defence and security planning. This
Plague Anatomy: Health Security from Pandemics to
Bioterrorism, December 2005. This paper considers the
spectrum of biological threats both naturaland deliberate.
How well prepared is Australia to meet the twin challenges
of infectious disease and bioterrorism? Plague Anatomy,
prepared by Peter Curson and Brendan McRandle, explores
these issues and offer...
Local Jihad: Radical Islam and terrorism in Indonesia,
September 2005. Recent violent radicalism in Indonesia
is seen by many as a relatively recent phenomenon, but a
closer look at modern Indonesian history shows the
inaccuracy of this view. Terrorism might be a global issue
but for Australia the threat is inextricably tied up with
the problems of the future stability of o...
Your Defence Dollar: The 2005-06 Defence Budget, August 2005.
This year's federal budget was about laying the foundations
for sustained prosperity in the Australia in the face of an
ageing population. So, more than ever, its important that
every defence dollar is spent to best effect. With this in
mind, this report, prepared by Mark Thomson, aims to inform
Representative Views: Mass and Elite Opinion on Australian
Security, June 2005. Authored by Professor Ian
McAllister, of the Political Science Program at the
Australian National University (ANU), the report gives
Australians the opportunity to compare public and 'elite'
opinion on a range of defence and security questions. It
draws on Australia's most comprehensive and i...
Alliance Unleashed: Australia and the US in a New Strategic
Age, June 2005. This report examines what the strategic
future holds for Australia's relationship with the United
States. Authored by Dr Rod Lyon the report concentrates on
the reinvigorated Australia-US security partnership through
the ANZUS alliance.
Living with Giants: Finding Australia's Place in a More
Complex World, April 2005. The landscape of
international politics in a few decades will be dominated by
a company of giants: societies that will range
demographically down from India and China at over a billion
each, through those at four or five hundred millions, like
the US and the EU, to those at the hundred million plus
level. Of the nin...
Future Unknown: The Terrorist Threat to Australian Maritime
Security, April 2005. The threat of maritime terrorism
has led to fundamental changes in the international maritime
security environment. This report, prepared by Anthony
Bergin and Sam Bateman, identifies where gaps exist in
current arrangements and includes recommendations to improve
coordination between agencies and to develop...
War and Profit: Doing Business on the Battlefield, March
2005. The past fifteen years have seen a rapid growth in
private sector firms supporting military operations. More
recently, the ADF has employed the private sector to varying
degrees in East Timor, Bougainville, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The paper, prepared by Mark Thomson, puts forward four
Strengthening Our Neighbour: Australia and the Future of
Papua New Guinea, December 2004. Papua New Guinea is one
of Australia's three top-priority foreign policy challenges.
The deep nature of the problems in PNG makes it perhaps the
most difficult we face. This paper, prepared by Elsina
Wainwright and Hugh White, examines Australia's interests
and the challenges facing PNG. It then sug...
Scoping Studies: New Thinking on Security, October 2004.
Scoping Studies presents eleven views from a diverse
selection of writers, each presenting their own list of the
critical decisions the Government must make to keep
Australia secure. ASPI intends that this publication should
contribute to the defence and national security agenda for
this new term of governmen...
Attitude Matters: Public Opinion in Australia Towards
Defence and Security, August 2004. Public opinion has an
important role to play influencing and shaping public
policy. In Attitude Matters, prepared by Ian McAllister, it
sets out some findings about how Australians have responded
to questions about our security over more than a quarter of
Your Defence Dollar: The 2004-05 Defence Budget, July 2004.
This year's Defence budget is much like last year's. A lot
more money has been provided to maintain today's ADF, while
a significant chunk of planned investment in tomorrow's
force has been deferred. Are we getting good value for money
for our Defence dollar? It is worth knowing. This ...
Power Shift: Challenges for Australia in Northeast Asia,
June 2004. The balance of power and influence in
Northeast Asia is undergoing some fundamental shifts. As a
region vital to Australia's interests, there are some
opportunities as well as more than a few risks. This
publication, prepared by Professor William Tow and Associate
Professor Russell Trood, sets o...
Beyond Baghdad: ASPI's Strategic Assessment 2004, May 2004.
Australia faces its most challenging and turbulent strategic
outlook since the mid-1960s. In Beyond Baghdad, ASPI's 2004
Strategic Assessment prepared by Peter Jennings, we survey
our troubled strategic horizon and recommend some new policy
A Trillion Dollars and Counting: Paying for Defence to 2050,
March 2004. Will we be able to afford our current range
and scale of military forces through to 2050 as Australia's
population ages and the cost of military capability mounts?
And will there be enough young people to maintain the size
of the force anyway? These critical questions are considered
in this paper prepared ...
A Big Deal: Australia's Future Air Combat Capability,
February 2004. This paper prepared by Aldo Borgu is a
detailed assessment of the Australian Government's decision
to effectively purchase the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to
replace its existing fleets of F/A-18 and F-111 aircraft. It
assesses whether the JSF might achieve the government's air
combat requirements aga...