Interchangeable forces key to submarine success

October 30, 2021

The Morrison government’s groundbreaking AUKUS agreement has the potential to accelerate the transformation of the Northern Territory from strategic backwater to vital alliance hub.

It won’t be realised without an integrated plan to leverage increased investment in the Territory’s defence infrastructure to strengthen allied capacity and reach.
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How to protect ourselves if we come to blows with China

October 17, 2021

Ascertaining Beijing’s intent is difficult but past practice provides us with some valuable clues.

As the dust settles on the most consequential month of Australian defence and foreign policy in 70 years, Scott Morrison has signalled unequivocally that he wants a more lethal, capable and agile defence force fit for the times. And he’s not for turning.

Neither is Defence Minister Peter Dutton, who has been given the poisoned chalice of sorting out the procurement mess left by previous Coalition and Labor governments. Dutton is off to a good start. But there is much to do and time is of the essence.
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Biden ignored advice on how quickly Kabul would fall to Taliban

August 23, 2021

There are many reasons for the collapse of Afghanistan after 20 years of fruitless bloodletting and wasted treasure. But as with most debacles the primary cause is a failure of strategy and policy, not intelligence.

President Joe Biden is certainly complicit. But he is not the main architect of the Ghani government’s demise, a title that rightly belongs to Donald Trump the self-styled “master of the deal”. The businessman turned president committed the cardinal negotiating sin of gratuitously committing to withdrawing US forces – the main Taliban objective – thereby forfeiting all leverage in the farcical, drawn-out peace talks that continued right up to Kabul’s fall.
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Worrying signs we’re on the brink of a new nuclear arms race

August 7, 2021

Beijing’s nuclear breakout should dispel any notion that the risk of nuclear Armageddon is long past.

There are worrying signs the world is on the brink of a new nuclear arms race. A regional conflict between nuclear-armed states could escalate quickly into a destructive global crisis with catastrophic consequences.

Fear that a conflict between the US and China over Taiwan could go nuclear is shaping the government’s risk assessments, strengthening the case to upgrade our missile defences for critical defence installations and operationally deployed units of the Australian Defence Force.
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The Taiwan Test: How to Keep Democracy Alive in Asia

July 11, 2021

Australian Institute of International Affairs: For those with an interest in the Indo-Pacific, the political uncertainty and tension surrounding Taiwan – officially the Republic of China – is cause for constant debate. While Cross-Strait relations and the competing narratives between the mainland China and Taiwan continue to burgeon, analysts and observers describe the issues surrounding Taiwan, chiefly its political independence and national security as becoming increasingly “hotter”.
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Australia a crucial hub for NATO in Asia

June 15, 2021

The Group of Seven meeting in Cornwall may well be a turning point in the democratic push back against China’s competing brand of assertive authoritarianism.

Having the US, Japan and the big European democracies on board will provide much needed moral and practical support for Scott Morrison’s determination to resist Beijing’s economic and diplomatic coercion.
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Australia and the geopolitics of the new space race

June 12, 2021

There is a new space race underway, and while the US, China and Russia are the dominant players, a number of other countries and companies are vying for a piece of the lucrative space pie. Leading Australian strategist Alan Dupont and space law specialist Dr Cassandra Steer argue that Australia has the potential to be a much bigger player in the new space age, but at the moment we’re being left behind.
Duration: 16min 1sec
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Catching up in the space race isn’t a moon shot

May 29, 2021

China’s ‘God of Fire’ mission foreshadows a scramble for control of space — and Australia is being left behind.

The successful landing of China’s Zhurong “God of Fire” exploration rover on Mars is a major leap forward for the country’s ambitious space program, foreshadowing greater competition for control of space and its vast resources.

Rapid, reliable access to space is now an economic and national security imperative. Tthe Bank of America expects the value of the global space industry, estimated at more than $US424 billion in 2019, to reach $US1.4 trillion by 2030. There are around 3800 operational satellites orbiting the planet. Many more are planned, raising concerns about their vulnerability to attack by “malign actors” and damage from the estimated 128 million pieces of space junk in orbit.
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China strategy: Get a bigger stick with which to protect ourselves – Alan Dupont

April 30, 2021

In one of the more eventful weeks in Australian defence and foreign policy, the Morrison government terminated Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative deal with China; Defence Minister Peter Dutton declared that a war with China over Taiwan “should not be discounted”; Homeland Security Secretary Mike Pezzullo delivered a resonating speech about the “beating drums” of war; and Scott Morrison announced an upgrade of the Northern Territory’s training ranges in a move widely viewed as a response to China’s military build-up.
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