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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
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.
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
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
Mass vaccination is needed to mitigate against the effects of COVID-19 and to help Australia start to ease restrictions. Vaccination ‘passports’ can be an effective way to track vaccination records and status within the population however some key technical, privacy and ethical considerations needs to be addressed to ensure they benefit all Australians. In developing
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,
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Australians about whether they support an independent inquiry into the fitness of the Attorney General, as well as the way the Federal Government is handling recent allegations of violence against women and issues that primarily affect women.
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 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
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.
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
In Australia, trust in Parliament and government is low and generally declining, and dissatisfaction with government and democracy is rising – apart from a COVID-19 related boost in public trust in government over the last few months. Events over the past 12 months – including police raids on journalists and the secret prosecution of intelligence
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
‘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,
The Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program surveyed nationally representative samples of people in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and South Korea about the COVID-19 pandemic. The government and friends and family are the most trusted sources of advice about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the more trusted a government the higher
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
New research from The Australia Institute has found that two thirds of Australians believe the country is facing a climate emergency and that the Government should mobilise all of society to tackle the issue, like they did during the World Wars.
The Australian public supports stronger gun control and stricter restrictions and laws on firearms. Despite this, there is a real danger of our firearm laws being watered down. Successive inquiries have found that no state or territory has ever fully complied with the National Firearms Agreement. The public will on firearms is being circumvented because
The Australia Institute made a submission on the proposed amendments to the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008. The Australia Institute recommends that: 1) The title of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 be renamed to the Climate Change Emergency Response Act 2018 2) A preamble be added to the Act that includes: Tasmania recognises that,
This paper, by Dr Andrew Carr of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, looks at where this sense of bipartisanship came from, how it operates and assesses its impact. While seemingly an innocuous idea — that our two major parties should seek agreement or cooperate in a spirit of unity —
From 17 March to 24 March 2017 The Australia Institute surveyed 1420 Australians about Donald Trump’s election as President of United States of America.
Australia’s security agencies have become increasingly politicised under the Howard Government. Whistleblower and former intelligence official Andrew Wilkie has put forward a four-point plan to ensure the independence of Australian security agencies.