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The defence of Australia's interests is a core business of federal governments. Regardless of who wins the election on July 2, the incoming government will have to grapple with a wide range of security issues. This report provides a range of perspectives on selected defence and national security issues, as well as a number of policy recommendations. Contributors include Kim Beazley, Peter Jennings, Graeme Dobell, Shiro Armstrong and ASPI analysts.

ASPI produced a similar brief before the 2013 election. There are some enduring challenges, such as cybersecurity, terrorism and an uncertain global economic outlook. Natural disasters are a constant feature of life on the Pacific and Indian Ocean rim.

But there are also challenges that didn't seem so acute only three years ago such as recent events in the South China Sea, North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and ISIS as a military threat and an exporter of global terrorism.

The incumbent for the next term of government will have to deal with these issues.

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