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Talk us through AUKUS
The 2021 AUKUS announcement came with the promise of a sovereign Australian fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. Nearly 18 months on, however, it remains unclear if these submarines will ever be delivered—or if Australia actually needs them.
Submission: Inquiry into supporting democracy in our region
Australia can contribute significantly to democracy, security and prosperity in our region by addressing the region’s most existential threat, climate change, and by better governing our own resource sector.
Australia’s Future Submarines
The proposal that Australia should acquire nuclear-powered submarines raises a host of problems so inordinately tricky that their solutions are bound to be incomplete and highly fluid. “Wicked” problems such as these generate messy solutions, and their resolution—insofar as complete resolution is possible—requires the understanding of relationships between intersecting issues. This paper endeavours to identify
Submission to the inquiry into international armed conflict decision making
Submission: Defence strategic review
The review’s Terms of Reference do not specifically address the underlying principles of Australia’s strategic policy. However, its intentions—to examine force disposition, preparedness, strategy and associated investments—themselves require some reaffirmation of the basic principles of Australia’s strategic policy. A strategic policy that places a premium on expeditionary deployment of Australian forces in pursuit of Australia’s strategic interests will invoke quite different decisions on force structure and associated force posture than would a strategic policy that places a clear emphasis on the ability to act in the direct defence of Australia.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
As tensions in the Pacific and war in Europe continue to escalate, Australia could play an important global role in reducing the spread and threat of nuclear weapons at an important upcoming conference in New York, according to a new research report. The Australian Government has been urged to adopt 4 key policy goals to
An Easter Reflection
A nation can only be as secure as its citizens. The death of a young Warlpiri man in the Northern Territory in 2019, and the recent trial of a police officer who, in the performance of his duties, shot and killed the young Warlpiri man is yet another affront to Australia’s First Peoples. It should
Submission: Defence Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2020
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, regarding a bill that would ensure decisions for Australia to go to war go through parliament. It is clear that there is a growing tendency on the part of democracies that are aligned with Australia for their national Executives
Scott Morrison’s giant nuclear election ploy
Australia’s decision to join with the United States and the United Kingdom to build Australian long-range nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) has little to do with the defence of Australia. The aim is to make possible an Australian contribution to US battle plans against China which that country will view as profoundly threatening with implications also for
Submission to Australian Human Rights Commission’s Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
The Australia Institute’s submission to the inquiry into parliamentary workplaces focused on the experiences of several of our senior staff in their time as parliamentary staff.
Should Australia go to war with China in defence of Taiwan?
In April this year, Australians were warned by no less an expert than the former Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, that they may need to engage in a ‘kinetic’ war with China in the next five to ten years. This warning was followed up by a senior member of the national security bureaucracy advising Australians,
Get out of the diplomatic freezer: Bring back the Chinese students
The Australia-China relationship is at a low point. China has made its displeasure with Australia clear through a freeze on ministerial contact, trade import restrictions and criticisms of Australia’s human rights record. Beijing is waiting for Australia to make a move to improve the relationship, while Canberra has said that the ball is in China’s
The Biden Presidency and Australia’s Security Reset
The swearing-in of Joseph Biden as 46th President of the United States will signal a reset in the strategic relationship between Australia and its US partner. There will be no going back to the pre-Trump days. The world has moved on, and the US has moved on, even if Australia remains locked into a dependency
War Crimes: Where does ultimate responsibility lie?
War crimes are perhaps the worst manifestation of a ‘victory at all costs’ culture that can so easily persuade individuals, whether political leaders or combatants, to abandon their moral compass and to cross the boundary between legality (however moot that might be) and criminality. This paper argues that the Afghanistan Inquiry Report may be premature
Submission: A 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Consultation on the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) 2050 Strategy.
Submission on Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade regarding the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020.
Rethinking Official Development Assistance
This discussion paper was presented at a roundtable on the future of Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA), arguing that Australia has long had deep national interests in the provision of development assistance in the Asia-Pacific region, regional security concerns being not the least of them. If Australia is to “step-up” its aid in the Pacific
ANZUS and Australia’s Security
The ANZUS treaty has not passed its use-by date. Why? Because it never had one. While, at the time it was negotiated and signed, it had political and strategic moment, events in Asia and the Pacific quickly eroded its strategic significance – an erosion that was as much aided by the compounding nature of extended Asian
How Good is the Australia-China Relationship?
It is easy for governments to disguise their inability to manage complex relationships by resorting to finger-pointing and name-calling. But the over-investment in emotion usually masks an under-investment in thinking. The stridency that distinguishes contemporary government pronouncements on China and Australia’s relationship with China is alarmist and alarming. We need a more considered and deliberate
Securitisation – Turning Problems into Threats
‘Securitisation’ is a post-WW2 phenomenon. It began as part of the expanding struggle between the US and the Soviet Union for pre-eminence during the Cold War, where the US, as a matter of policy, leveraged the full panoply of its state power to prevail over the Soviet Union. As used in contemporary security policy texts,
Calling it out
Australia’s interests in the Middle East: A presence in search of a policy
At a superficial level, Australia’s interests in the Middle East seem to be little more than providing military ballast to support the imperial or global ambitions of great powers. It is for that reason that, for 80 of the past 100 years, Australia has maintained some form of defence presence in the Middle East. As