Australia must adapt to a new climate reality

The future international environment is now coming into focus. It doesn’t look promising. Government approaches to defence and human security will need to undergo a radical reassessment if they are to ameliorate the adverse effects. Global warming and population growth will be the weft and warp.

Responding to recent suggestions regarding the development of a greater capacity for government to respond to climate-related events, this article suggests that dealing with the impacts of global warming must not become sidelined by narrowly defining it as a national security issue.

Instead, advisors and governments need a greater capability to understand global warming science and to effectively translate it into institutions, actions and public understanding.

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Australia-China relations and the logic of conventional deterrence

To think Australia’s military strength is ever going to be sufficient to deter China from attacking is a fantasy. Rather, the need is for Australia to avoid situations in which it is likely to be confronted by overwhelming military force – a project that requires hard and continuous diplomatic work in building up shared understandings, channels of communications and robust relationships.

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US National Security and Ukraine: What’s the connection?

Witnesses appearing before the US House of Representatives’ impeachment hearings have connected Russian aggression in Ukraine with US national security. But just how is Ukraine important to the national security of the United States? It may be prudent to have clarity around national interests and to avoid shorthand terms that tend to discourage analysis and articulation of those interests, such as ‘national security’.

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NATO, the Middle East and the policy vacuum

Statements from NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and President Trump reveal a divergence in the strategic interests of the Europeans and the US. If real alliances only work when there’s a clear alignment of strategic objectives, Stoltenberg’s comments are telling. Australia’s foreign and strategic policy needs to reflect a more sophisticated appreciation of the geopolitical shifts taking place.

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Geopolitics and the re-election of Donald Trump

The biggest question in geopolitics is: will President Trump be re-elected? More than any previous presidential election, the 2020 election could presage a very dangerous era in world politics, making the presidential election the most important geopolitical event this year. However, the American presidential election will be determined by domestic issues that swirl around a collection of policy issues as well as identity and values.

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Crisis and the Transformation of Government Administration: responding to the Thodey Review

The Thodey Review of the Australian Public Service is set against a backdrop of four simultaneous and momentous crises before which modern democracies seem impotent; global warming, population growth, wealth inequality, and a dangerous geostrategic shift. Is the APS as reformed by the Thodey Review going to be up to the task of supporting ministers facing this level of overwhelming uncertainty and risk management?

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