defence June 8, 2019

Morrison goes from royals to rate cuts to raids

As it was for his many predecessors, Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, were ushered into the Buckingham Palace parlour the Queen reserves for meeting her prime ministers. The antique two-bar electric heater was not turned on in the fireplace but...

immigration July 22, 2017

Security and Malcolm Turnbull’s bluff

A bloke named Craig Morgan got his 15 minutes of fame this week. Barnaby Joyce identified him as the man who once knocked out his front teeth. “You remember his name?” the journalist at GQ magazine asked. “When someone removes your front teeth, you...

defence October 1, 2016

What really happens at Pine Gap

It’s one of two sacred sites to which you can drive from Alice Springs. The other is the red stone monolith of Uluru, said by the Pitjantjara to bring down a curse on anyone who removes a rock. This one, though, is the huddle...

defence February 18, 2017

Recalibrating Australia’s Defence focus and budget

Rather than comprehending that the alliance aims for Australia to be independent, commentary assumes we are inescapably reliant upon the US for our security.

defence April 30, 2016

Coalition attempts to win votes with submarine politics

The extreme political folly of the Abbott government’s approach to industry policy was dramatically highlighted at Adelaide’s Osborne shipbuilding facility on Tuesday. Owned and operated by ASC, formerly the Australian...

defence March 5, 2016

Defence white paper seeks to address shortfalls

The figure is $450 billion. It’s a sum so colossal it almost defies understanding: nearly a third of Australia’s annual gross domestic product. It’s also how much the government plans to spend on defence in the next decade...

defence November 28, 2015

Heat on for Malcolm Turnbull ahead of Paris conference

As he heads to Paris for the 21st conference of the parties (COP 21), Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the survival of the species top of mind. The United Nations-sponsored climate talks have the ambition to lay the framework for...

middle east October 3, 2015

The deepening Syria quagmire

There are Gordian knots, and then there are Gordian knots. And the Syrian conflict, on which Australia’s new government must rapidly find a new policy approach, is a Gordian knot of epic proportions. At the local level, the...

defence August 1, 2015

Boots on the ground, head in the clouds

Nearly a year ago Daesh fighters herded Yazidi men and women to the top of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, killing hundreds along the way. That series of massacres, along with the capture of Mosul a month earlier, catalysed...

defence July 4, 2015

Tony Abbott’s ABF and excessive use of higher force

The last thing the prime minister wanted to talk about on the first day of the new financial year was the economy. Firmly on his agenda is the existential threat to Australia posed by a “death cult”, and boat people. Both...

defence July 4, 2015

Vulnerable, brutalised and returned to Nauru

I have known Arezo for a little over 15 months now. This is not her real name. For her own sake, it cannot be. For most of the time I have known Arezo, she has been held in the detention camp on Nauru. We often speak of ways...