Finland & Sweden Join NATO: Dramatic Strategic Change in Europe

“The looming applications by Finland and Sweden for NATO membership together constitute the most significant strategic change in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of the Berlin Wall,” said Allan Behm, Director of the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program. “This move will signal a monumental ‘own goal’ for

An Australian COP29

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

Australia has never hosted a United Nations climate conference (COP) and the recent proposal from the Labor Party to bid for the 2024 COP in partnership with the Pacific could shift Australia’s reputation from climate laggard to regional leader. Hosting a COP would also have a number of economic, diplomatic and security co-benefits. This was

Hosting UN Climate Summit Could Ease Pacific Tensions: Report

A new research report released today has found that by hosting the UN’s largest climate event (COP29 in 2024) in partnership with Pacific neighbours, Australia could ease diplomatic tensions in the region, in addition to tackling climate change and stimulating local tourism and hospitality. The report comes as Australia’s relations with the Solomon Islands have

April 2022

March 2022

Research Finds No Evidence of China Interference Campaign on #AusPol Twitter

New research has found no evidence of a major China-backed campaign to influence Australian political discourse on social media, according to the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. The research analysed more than 69,000 tweets from two low-points in Australia-China relations in 2020 and found no evidence the CCP was using bots to shape political

January 2022

Australia can learn from Asean when it comes to Russia-Ukraine stand-off

by Allan Behm in the South China Morning Post

Make no mistake: the heightened risk of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine has serious implications for Europe, especially the Nato members, as it does for the rest of the world. But most importantly, it has massive strategic consequences for the US. And that’s where it matters for Australia. To judge from much western media

Covid threat overshadows Japan pact

“That the Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers will meet to discuss matters of mutual interest, such as enhanced defence cooperation, is welcome news. However, the two Prime Ministers should be conducting such talks that include all Asian leaders, especially Indonesia and China,” said Allan Behm, director of the international & security affairs program at the Australia Institute. “Prime

December 2021

New Analysis: Most Major Australian Superannuation Funds Invest in Nuclear Weapons Despite United Nations Treaty

New research from the Australia Institute and Quit Nukes reveals most major Australian superannuation funds have holdings in nuclear weapons companies, such as Airbus, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. While many exclude so-called ‘controversial weapons’, they do not include nuclear weapons in the definition and continue to invest in nuclear weapons companies. Nearly one year into

Whatever happened to the free web?

featuring Dan Stinton, Lizzie O'Shea and Peter Lewis

The internet promised new ways to challenge power and privilege, so how has it become a tool to promote division and entrench despots? Join us as we dive deep with special guest Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch into the ways tech platforms have become wilful partners in oppression around the globe. Regular panellists: Peter

November 2021

October 2021

Accountability Failure: Executive Government’s Unchecked Power to send Australians to War

New research has revealed a fundamental failure in accountability surrounding the process of how Australia decides to engage in armed conflict overseas. In Australia, the decision to engage in armed conflict is taken by the Executive government without reference to the Parliament. Research by The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability and Security & International Affairs

September 2021

The ultimate alchemy: transforming Pandora’s box into a can of worms

by Allan Behm in The Canberra Times

To say the very least, the government’s decision to acquire the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines is problematic. For those Australians familiar with the role of submarines in Australia’s defence planning – and there are more people involved in that arcane world than you might think – there is a kind of inevitability in the

Nuclear Submarines Transform Pandora’s Box into a Can of Worms

“To say the very least, the government’s decision to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine from the UK is problematic,” said Allan Behm, director of the international & security affairs program at the Australia Institute. “For those Australians familiar with the role of submarines in Australia’s defence planning there is a kind of inevitability in the Morrison

The US reacted to the 9/11 attacks as an act of war, not an act of terror

by Allan Behm in The Canberra Times

Twenty years pass so quickly, and so slowly. Memories of that Tuesday in September are very much alive because the shock remains so fresh, just as the shock of the fall of Kabul is so immediate. Of course, 9/11 and the catastrophe that has become Afghanistan are deeply connected – historically, psychologically and strategically. The

Privacy concerns cast shadow over vaccination passports

The lack of a clear blueprint for vaccination ‘passports’ that addresses public concerns around safety and security risks is undermining the implementation of vaccine mandates, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. With vaccine passports for international travel reportedly just weeks away, there appears to have been little focus on the way a digital

August 2021

Complacency spells doom, at home and in Afghanistan

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Things feel like they’ve taken a turn for the apocalyptic lately. Between the fall of Afghanistan, the IPCC report and the exponential growth of Covid cases in NSW, every time you turn on the news things are spinning out of control. Not because there’s no hope, but because of the hubris of some of our

Khaki creep betrays lack of plan

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s repeated offer to deploy troops to help control people’s movements in Sydney’s lockdown areas has found acceptance – not by Gladys Berejiklian, but by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller. The commissioner likes a bit of fear in the community, and with a couple of regiments of soldiers in cams, he’ll have it.

July 2021

Send in the troops

featuring Allan Behm and Ebony Bennett

When the going gets tough, the Morrison government calls in the military to boost its authority and credibility. In this episode, Allan Behm discusses the securitisation of domestic policy issues and how bringing in the ADF doesn’t really solve anything. The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guest: Allan Behm,

What the bloody hell is a CBAM?

featuring Ebony Bennett, Hannah Melville-Rea and Richie Merzian

The EU has announced it will introduce a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) as part of its efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This has big implications for the Australian economy, especially carbon intensive expor industries. This week we talk to Richie Merzian and Hannah Melville Rea about what CBAMs are, how they

Coming soon: The carbon taxes that cannot be repealed

by Richie Merzian and Frank Muller in The New Daily

Carbon taxes are coming to Australia whether we like it or not. They are coming despite the triumphant ‘axing of the tax’ in 2014. They are coming despite the updated but equally loud ‘technology not taxes’ sloganeering from the Morrison government in 2021. They are coming despite our government’s refusal to commit to a net-zero

Anti-China Rhetoric Leaves Australia Fearful of Attack but Opposed to War: Polling

New research by the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program has revealed that a similar number of Australians think China will attack Australia soon or sometime (42%) as Taiwanese think that China will attack Taiwan (51%)—a result that may have been stimulated by recent strong-arm tactics by the Government of China, and anti-China rhetoric

June 2021

Australian Manufacturing at Risk from Morrison Resistance to Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism at G7 Summit

New analysis by the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program shows that the use of carbon border adjustment mechanisms, to be under discussion at the G7 Summit this week, will put Australian industry and manufacturing processes – mainly steel, aluminium and alumina, at risk if Australia continues its recalcitrant role on the global stage. At

April 2021

This Anzac Day, lest we forget the brave Afghans who supported our military venture

by Allan Behm in Sydney Morning Herald

On ANZAC Day we remember lives lost in the strategic failure that was Gallipoli – a salute to Churchillian hubris and a newly emerged ex-colony only too keen to prove itself in defence of the “mother country” and her Empire. On this ANZAC Day, we prepare ourselves for another strategic failure, just as we did

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