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New Zealand, Australia and the ANZUS alliance: interests, identity and strategy

With the strategic balance teetering in the Asia–Pacific, a more cold-hearted assessment of the Australia – New Zealand alliance is needed.

The human tide: an Australian perspective on demographics and security

The economic and demographic transition of countries from poverty to prosperity has been a driving force of history over the past two centuries, and is set to remain so for the remainder of the century. In the decades ahead, development and demographics will drive two...

Who goes where? Positioning the ADF for the Asia-Pacific century

The ADF's current force posture is the result of a series of decisions made when the world was quite different from today. It's therefore appropriate to have another look at the match of resources to strategic need. But ultimately, any future decision to move sizeable...

The cost of defence ASPI defence budget brief 2012–2013

The numbers tell the story - next year the defence budget will fall in real terms by 10.5%, the largest year‐on‐year reductions since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. As a result, defence spending as a share of GDP will fall to 1.56%...

Trade, investment and Australia’s national security...or how I learned to stop worrying and love Chinese money

Times are relatively good for Australia. While the rest of the developed world grapples with crippling debts and the most pervasive economic malaise since the Great Depression, Australia enjoys the warm glow of low public debt, 5% unemployment and the prospect of 'trend' economic growth...

Mind the gap: getting serious about submarines

This paper quantifies Australia's submarine capability under different options. The Defence White Paper of 2009 promised to deliver Force 2030, which had as its centrepiece a force of twelve new highly capable long range submarines. That’s not going to happen. One way or another, Force...

Crying poor? The affordability of defence expenditure

The May budget saw deep cuts made to Australia's defence budget over the next few years. It will be up to next year's Defence White Paper to decide what happens after that. It has been argued that the long-term cost of health and ageing will...

Three views of risk: Selecting and acquiring military equipment

Providing the ADF with state of the art equipment can be a challenging business. Sometimes the world market can provide a proven solution with the right level of capability, but often that isn't the case. Then it's a matter of either accepting a more modest...

How much is too little? Learning to live with a smaller force

Many commentators have expressed dismay at the recent cuts to defence spending. The fear is that the government’s long-term commitment to strengthen Australia’s defence has evaporated. To add to their concerns, there are few signs that the opposition is any more willing to do so...
Discussion paper

Trends in US defence spending: implications for Australia

Since the start of the Pacific war in 1942, Australia has relied on the military capacity of the United States to underwrite its security. Our alliance with the US is our key strategic partnership and the central pillar of our national security policy. It makes...