Opinion articles by the Australia Defence Association: 2014-15

Rebalancing national security and public scrutiny

Upated laws protecting a specific type of ASIO undercover operation do not "threaten free speech". Indeed they help preserve it. Particularly by strengthening ASIO's ability to mount the type of security-intelligence operation - within and against extremist groups - that is occasionally necessary to preserve the constitutionalism and liberty of any liberal-democracy. Incorrect, sensationalist and biased media claims about the legal reforms reflect serious failings in the objectivity of modern journalism, and the commercial practices driving this decline in professionalism, institutional integrity and objectivity.

Don't underestimate Aussie strategic thinking in 1914 ("The Drum", 04 August 2014)

Much discussion of why Australia was in World War I falls into historiographical and conceptual traps. Not least of these is where our subsequent knowledge, now, of the war's eventual tragic human costs distorts or obscures the grand-strategic logic of why the Australian government and people made the strategic decisions they did at the war's beginning in 1914. This also includes the strategic decisions made throughout the decades beforehand leading up to and after Federation in 1901, and why Australians persevered after 1915 even when the subsequent costs of the war in human terms became so severe. Finally, we always need to distinguish between the professed, perceived or actual reasons for individuals enlisting in the 1st AIF and the underlying reasoning why the Australian government in particular, and the Australian people collectively in general, understood why defeating Imperial Germany in World War I was not a "foreign war" somehow divorced from Australia's long-term strategic interests.

Grand strategy, strategy and Australia (ASPI "Strategic Insights", No. 73, pp.12-13, 17 July 2014)

Strategic-security debate often seems bogged down at the strategic level, rather than thinking grand-strategically.

Sinking feelings all round: Flawed debate on asylum-seeking ("Quarterly Essay", Issue 54, June 2014, pp.84-88)

An answering essay to "That Sinking Feeling: Asylum-seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution". Few public policy issues in Australia have been so side-tracked by contextual errors, over-simplifications, partisan politicking and emotive stances as that of asylum-seeking.

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