North Korea’s Weapons Program

April 26, 2012

On 1 November at the Wednesday Lunch at Lowy, Professor Alan Dupont, the Michael Hintze Chair of International Security at the University of Sydney, explored the implications of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program for global and regional security following Pyongyang’s provocative nuclear test on 9 October.
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2009 Defence White Paper

April 24, 2012

Is the Rudd Government’s new Defence White Paper more of the same or a significant departure from the previous strategic orthodoxy? More importantly, is it affordable, and will future governments commit to the level of spending necessary to ensure that the White Paper’s ambitious goals for the Australian Defence Force are realised? What about the strategic judgements underpinning the decisions on spending and force structure? Is concern about China’s burgeoning military power real, or merely Defence ‘spin’ designed to justify expensive acquisitions?
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Inflection point the ADF after Afghanistan

April 11, 2012

On 29 March 2012, in the Lowy Lecture Series, Professor Alan Dupont launched his a new Lowy Institute Policy Brief, ‘Inflection Point: The Australian Defence Force after Afghanistan’, which suggests that as the ADF transitions from involvement in the Afghanistan conflict the risks of failing to adjust and adapt to new security circumstances are especially high.
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Defensive driving is Smith’s new mission

March 29, 2012

The best way for embattled Defence Minister Stephen Smith to repudiate the criticism that he has lost the confidence and respect of the defence force is to focus on his core job of providing strategic direction to his department. This means more than talking about cultural change or announcing the latest equipment purchase. Read more

The Pacific Power: America’s renewed engagement with Asia comes at an opportune time

February 16, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s proclamation that the “United States is back in Asia” begs the question of whether the US could be said to have ever really left. Since its comprehensive defeat of Japan in the 20th century’s second great war, the US has maintained a substantial, unbroken strategic presence in Asia, fought in two other major conflicts (Korea and Vietnam) and is still engaged in a shadowy, ‘long war’ against terrorist groups in the Muslim heartland of Southeast Asia. For many Asians, the US is the principal guarantor of regional stability. Like it or not, America remains Asia’s indispensable power.
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Hello again America, it’s just like you never left

November 14, 2011

“So I don’t think there is any doubt, if there were when this administration began, that the United States is back in Asia. But I want to underscore that we are back to stay.” Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, January 12, 2010. Read more

Syria’s Interlocking Conflicts

November 1, 2011

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces last Friday announced the commencement of an operation to conquer the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.  The operation was designated ‘Euphrates Wrath.’ Read more

Let’s end muddled thinking on China

June 22, 2011

ESCALATING tensions between China and its Southeast Asian neighbours over disputed islands in the South China Sea are the latest, worrying sign that China’s rise is ushering in a new era of strategic volatility and geo-political competition in Asia, that will be at its most dangerous in the Western Pacific. Read more