China’s bid to control the internet

May 16, 2020

Experts say China’s New IP ‘should frighten us all’. And then there’s the undersea cable wars…

Imagine trying to manage the impact of the coronavirus without the internet and a robust telecommunications sector. If we couldn’t communicate and transact in real time, economic activity would grind to a halt and social contact would be even more difficult. And there would be no COVIDSafe app, an important tool in the government’s recovery strategy.

Australia is already more wired than most nations, and the digital world is expanding rapidly as the coronavirus has forced business, schools, universities and government services online. Videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom are booming and the much maligned National Broadband Network finally is starting to realise its potential. But if these networks were to become untrustworthy or disrupted for any length of time it would be hard for the country to function effectively.
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Coronavirus: Golden opportunity to broaden and strengthen our national security

April 13, 2020

The biggest international crisis since World War II is increasing pressure for a rethink of national security policy that redefines ­sovereign risk and elevates the ­importance of non-military challenges. Despite its terrible toll, the pandemic provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the country around a security agenda that will reshape how we live in a post-COVID-19 world.
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Nowhere to hide from the spread of panic

March 6, 2020

When China sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold — literally, it seems. What began as a minor flu-like outbreak in Wuhan city has morphed into a full-blown international health crisis that has roiled financial markets, raised the spectre of an economic recession, disrupted global supply chains and adversely affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people. The world stands on the brink of a full-blown pandemic as the COVID-19 coronavirus moves out of China infecting more and more countries. Misplaced optimism that the disease would be contained risks being replaced by unfounded panic that could fuel, rather than arrest, its momentum. Read more

Shifting our focus to the north is timely, but it will come with costs

January 30, 2020

The government’s strategy for managing Australia’s turbulent ­security environment and building economic resilience is taking shape. Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan’s declaration that Canberra will overhaul its northern development agenda to boost regional ties is the latest in a series of incremental changes designed to better integrate national security and development policy. Read more

Australia must stand strong against Beijing’s political warfare

January 10, 2020

China’s extraordinary growth as an economic and military power has been a defining development for Australia. But managing our future relationship with an increasing­ly assertive and authorit­arian China will require a reassessment of our assumptions about the nature of the Chinese political system and a willingness to learn from past mistakes.
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Defence needs smaller, cheaper, more agile weapons

November 11, 2019

The recent call for a defence reset by two former air force chiefs adds to the growing pressure on Defence Minister Linda Reynolds to review the strategy of the 2016 defence white paper and the structure and geographical focus of the Australian Defence Force.

Retired air marshal Leo Davies and his immediate predecessor, Geoff Brown, say our defence strategy is outdated and that the ADF is poorly equipped to deal with emerging threats to our maritime trade, China’s rapid military modernisation and the possibility of great power conflict in the region.
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Australia needs its own fuel reserves

October 5, 2019

The heightened risk to Australia’s energy security from external shocks was starkly illuminated by the September 14 missile and drone attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s key oil installations, halving the kingdom’s oil output and reducing global oil supplies by almost 6 per cent….. Despite our claim to be an emerging energy superpower, Australia is more vulnerable to disruptions to the flow of oil from the Middle East than almost any other developed economy. Read more

On China at Consilium Conference

September 1, 2019

Alan Dupont presented on China at Consilium a conference held by the Centre for International Studies, one of Australia’s leading think tanks, at Byron Bay from 29 August to 1 September.
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Report Launch: Strong and Free? The Future Security of Australia’s North

August 19, 2019

The strategic importance of Australia’s north to Australia’s defence has long been recognized by government and policy makers. Despite strategic policy commitments to Northern Australia, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the gap is widening between strategic policy and Defence’s actual activities and presence in the north. It is likely that with the significantly reduced warning times of future conflict the North of Australia will increasingly become either Australia’s Forward Operating (FOB) base or its lily pad to another forward location within the pacific or the first or second island chain.

This new report argues that ‘there is a need to reconceptualize Northern Australia, as a single scalable Defence and National Security ecosystem’. This ecosystem should be developed to ‘deliver integrated support to current and future ADF and National Security operations’.
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Indo-pacific strategic futures dialogue and simulation + next generation leaders workshop

August 12, 2019

Alan Dupont participated in Session 1: Regional Perspectives on Indo-Pacific Strategic Objectives

There is an emerging consensus among US allies and partners that a free, open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific is in the interests of all nations and must be preserved. Beyond this broad vision for regional order, however, are a wide range of differences in national priorities, proximate interests, views about rules, norms and values, and geographic considerations. How do key regional countries define Indo-Pacific strategy and its objectives? Read more