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Defence and security linkage
10 August 2012 11:17AM
Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith spoke yesterday at the Lowy Institute
. While he may have left a lot unsaid about how Canberra can reconcile defence budget cuts with unchanged core strategic assessments and capability needs, at least he recognised the Indo-Pacific nature of Australia's strategic environment, something I will blog further about shortly.
Mr Smith also publicly promised to read Hugh White's stark and provocative new book
The China Choice
, which is making a big splash this week. My own detailed critique is
here in The Diplomat
. Hugh is right to sound the alarm on complacency over Asian stability. But could a Chinese sphere of influence really be negotiated as a viable part of the solution?
Certainly there's a need for US-China arms control, though it is worth remembering how far we still are from the Cold War arms race. Yesterday I met former Soviet rocket commander Valery Yarynich, an extraordinary man whose life has gone from sitting in a bunker with his finger on the nuclear button during the Cuban missile crisis to his tireless advocacy today of nuclear arms control, de-alerting and ultimately disarmament. Read about his
terrifying work on the real-world Doomsday Machine in the 1980s
Like a satellite, but cheaper: the US Army's football-field-sized
surveillance airship makes its first flight
. More details
Just a reminder to Australia's promising strategic thinkers: applications close today for the
Thawley scholarship at Lowy and CSIS
recently unveiled 'stealth chopper'
is almost certainly just a prop for a new film about the Osama bin Laden raid. Here's the first teaser for the movie, Zero Dark Thirty:
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