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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Time to drag national security strategy into the 21st century

April 23, 2020

Governments worldwide failed to act on pandemic dangers they identified decades ago. That cannot happen again.

By the time Kevin Rudd got to his feet to deliver the first national security statement to Parliament in December 2008, the traditional concept of national security had already passed its use-by date.

Rudd outlined a broad and growing list of security risks and pressures in the international system. Among them, he recognised that “a pandemic is bound to create real physical and social hardship and policy challenges for Australia”.

Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs Department: “a leviathan so bloated that it can’t move a muscle.” AAP
That was 12 years ago, and it now looks like an understatement.
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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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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

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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Quest for a key strategy to bind them all

May 3, 2019

One of the smartest moves Bill Shorten made when he became Opposition Leader was to make Labor a small target on national security by endorsing most of the Coalition’s national security initiatives. This small-target approach neutralised a traditional Coalition strength while shoring up Labor’s security credentials, which had been weakened by the Rudd-Gillard government’s policy disarray on asylum-seekers and perceived softness on border protection.
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Blue continent needs a coalition of the willing

December 9, 2018

The challenges for national security and foreign policy continue to mount. News about the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer for alleged infringements of US sanctions against Iran broke at the same time as espionage concerns were reignited by the Chinese technology company’s plan to build a pan-Pacific undersea internet cable from Chile to China via Sydney. This raises the possibility that Australian internet traffic could be intercepted covertly at the cable’s Sydney node. Read more

Voters have had it with uncontrolled migration

June 27, 2018

Large-scale immigration, so long the hallmark of successful cosmopolitan societies in the developed West, threatens to fracture democracies in the old and new worlds. Across Europe and North America rising anti-immigration sentiment, driven by the number of asylum-seekers and undocumented labour migrants, is exacerbating divisions over identity, values and national security.
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Entrenched Islamic State ‘caliphate’ in Philippines could bring chemical, suicide attacks to Australian cities

March 19, 2018

There are growing signs that Islamic State cells are preparing for violent insurgencies in southern Philippines to build a prized so-called caliphate on Australia’s backdoor.

The establishment of an entrenched caliphate in the Philippines, at worst, brings the risk of suicide bombers and chemical weapons attacks in Australian cities, a leading Australian expert has warned. Read more

Entrenched Islamic State ‘caliphate’ in Philippines could bring chemical, suicide attacks to Australian cities

March 19, 2018

There are growing signs that Islamic State cells are preparing for violent insurgencies in southern Philippines to build a prized so-called caliphate on Australia’s backdoor.

The establishment of an entrenched caliphate in the Philippines, at worst, brings the risk of suicide bombers and chemical weapons attacks in Australian cities, a leading Australian expert has warned. Read more