AIIA 2014 National Conference Session 3: Strengthening Australia's Security

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    • 00:03

      PETER: Good afternoon, everyone.We're now into the panel entitled "StrengtheningAustralia's Security."I'm always reminded of the old joke that'stold in some academic circles of "what does a [INAUDIBLE] dowhen a student asks a sort of penetrating questionto which the [INAUDIBLE] does not know the answer?"

    • 00:24

      PETER [continued]: And the answer to that is you sit back, puff on your pipeif that's still legal, blow smoke, and then say,"it depends what you mean by such and such."And by the time you've articulatedthat, the student has forgotten what the question was.But I think we need to ask in this session, what

    • 00:45

      PETER [continued]: do we mean by security?What does national security mean?And, more especially, I suppose, what does national securitymean for Australia in the foreseeable time?What does security mean for a top 20 nation?We have four extraordinarily well-qualified and talented

    • 01:06

      PETER [continued]: people to discuss that.I'm not going to introduce them all.I will introduce them in the orderin which they speak because that seems to be more appropriate.We will follow the rules of the preceding session.Each speaker will be limited to seven minutes

    • 01:29

      PETER [continued]: with a warning bell at five minutes.And I'll pull a lever, and they'll disappear totallyfrom view after seven.Our first speaker is Rory Medcalf.And, again, he will be well-known to many of you.He's the Director of the International Securityprogram at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

    • 01:53

      PETER [continued]: He's got a very wide-ranging and high-level backgroundin Diplomacy, in Journalism, and in Intelligence Analysis.He has a particular association, Ithink, in developing Australian's relationswith India.And he is being appointed to the expert panel providing

    • 02:14

      PETER [continued]: independent advice for the 2015 Defence White Paper.So without further ado, Rory Medcalf.

    • 02:22

      RORY MEDCALF: Thanks very much, Peter.I hope you can all hear me.I'd like to grapple with this question of how should wedefine security for the purposes of this session,I hope by the end of my seven minutes,you'll have a broad sense of the definition I want to adopt.But, to be upfront about it, I think

    • 02:43

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: we're speaking here not only of the securityof Australian citizens, Australian nationals-- I guessa safety of freedom from the harm kind of security--but also very much Australia's sovereignty, it'sindependence of maneuver in the international system.So I guess, in that sense, I'll combine security with strategyand maybe even talk about that strange beast, a security

    • 03:07

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: strategy.And what I want to do is, rather than argue whether Australiahas a satisfactory security strategy for a top 20 nationor top 20 country, I want to set outabout 10 principles, 10 ways that wemight be able to measure or asseswhether we're getting there, whether we're taking security

    • 03:29

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: seriously.I'll start by questioning the conceptbehind today's conference.I think it's a great conference.Don't get me wrong.And I think the motives are pure.But the idea of Australia as a top 20 country in defense terms

    • 03:50

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: is really pretty hard to imagine in a coherent way.When you think about defense spending, for example,as a measure of national power, the top 20 defense spendersin the world range from countrieswith, perhaps, 20 times Australia's defense budgetto countries with perhaps half of Australia's defense budget,an enormous array of interests, and capabilities,

    • 04:13

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: and problems in between.It's very had to put the United States and the United ArabEmirates in the same league, but that'swhat a top 20 country kind of does to youif you take it to the extreme.So I do kind of want to question a simple, crude measureof, for instance, defense spendingas a way of assessing whether Australia is a top 20 country.

    • 04:34

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Instead, I'll give you 10 brief principles or measuresthat Australia has whether it's a middle power, or a top 20country, or an unusual country with extensive interestsbut not always the capabilities to meet them situatedin a challenging and complex part of the world stacks up.

    • 04:54

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Firstly, I think we need to understand,if we think Australia is going to be serious about security,what is the ratio of our security capabilitiesto our security interests?Do we have any prospect whatsoeverof unilaterally addressing the risksto our security with the capabilities that we have?

    • 05:16

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Secondly, what is the ratio of our security capabilities?And, by this, I'm talking not only defense,but also there's other instruments of powerwhether it's diplomacy, whether it's intelligence and alsointernal security, what is the ratio of our capabilitiesto our ambitions?Because, as I suspect, you've heard more than once today,and you'll hear again, there are times--

    • 05:36

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: and I think now is one of them-- where our ambitions areat risk of out-weighing our already extensive interests.Thirdly, perhaps another way of expressingone of these earlier points, can we defend ourselves?And, fourthly, can we bring materialinfluence to bear on outcomes in defense

    • 05:56

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: of the regional and global order and, indeed,in assistance to partners, and allies, and to weaker states.Fifth, are we using our potential effectively.That is, in developing our defense and other capabilities,are we making effective use of the resources and assetsat our disposal, whether it's in selection

    • 06:18

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: of future capabilities, whether it'sin the implementation of policy, whether it'sin making use of our strategic geography and other assets,for example?Six, our we coordinating all of the instrumentsof national policy well and effectively,or are some instruments, in fact,working at cross-purposes with others?And I'm not talking solely about the different services,

    • 06:39

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: but I'm talking about all of the instruments of national power.Seventh, do we have effective external partnerships?Do we have alliances or other partnerships that are not onlyserving our interests, but, in fact, multiplyingand magnifying our own capabilities?And are we making the most of those?

    • 06:60

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Next, what about internal resilience?Do we have internal resilience?And, particularly, do we have cohesion as a societyso that we can weather strategic shocks so that risksto our security that are actuallyquite manageable or quite modest in scaleare not disruptive or even catastrophic in their impact?

    • 07:20

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Ninth, are we nimble?Can we change direction?Can we change course?Are we adaptable as a country?If strategical security circumstances change,can we adapt quickly?And then, finally, are we able to combineall of these elements in an effective security strategy?Now, I guess I have put on the tablea set of measures, a set of things

    • 07:43

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: to look for if you want to reach a judgementabout whether this country is serious about security.And, of course, there is no permanent pointof success in this equation.These all require constant attention.And I suspect several are neglected at any given time.But if a country neglects more than a few at one time,then it is really in quite serious peril.

    • 08:05

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: And I'll leave my remarks there.

    • 08:08

      PETER: Thank you very much, Rory.That sets up, I think, very nicelyfor our next contributor, Peter Jennings,who is the Executive Director of ASPI, the Australian StrategicPolicy Institute.Before that, he's held a number of jobs culminating in Deputy

    • 08:29

      PETER [continued]: Secretary for Strategy in the Australian Departmentof Defence, which I've often thought must be one of the mostinteresting jobs in the entire bureaucracy,and the list of people who have held that position is quitea galaxy.Peter's career has included extensive experienceadvising governments at very senior levels,

    • 08:52

      PETER [continued]: and he's had an interesting careerand interesting qualifications alsoin working in parliament, which is an interesting dimensionto this whole matter.He is currently the Chair of the panel giving independent adviceon the Defence White Paper.

    • 09:13

      PETER [continued]: And I'll now ask him to address this question.

    • 09:15

      PETER JENNINGS: Well, thank you very much, Peter.And good afternoon, everyone.Firstly, I'm prepared to cede my seven minutes to Roryif he'd like to answer the ten questions that you asked,my friend.But in the absense of that--

    • 09:28

      RORY MEDCALF: We'll have a discussion coming up.

    • 09:30

      PETER JENNINGS: In some ways, my comments, I think,are going to be quite similar to Rory's.I think there's a surprising gap between the realityof our place as a top 20 country-- whatever that means--and how we think about our security and the roleof Australian security in the world.

    • 09:54

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: However, I'm not quite as down on the top 20 idea as Rory.I think there is a distinguishing point thatis worth bringing that group together,which is that they're not the other 160 or 170 countries thatfall significantly short of that level of investmentand economic output.

    • 10:16

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: And Australia is actually quite well up that top 20 ladder.I pulled out my little economist pocketbook of world figures.We were the last addition of the book, the economist says,the 12th biggest defense spender in US dollarsin 2012, ranking ahead, interestingly, of Iran.

    • 10:38

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: We're $25.1 billion.Iran is the 13th biggest spender on $23.9.And we're just behind the much more directlychallenged South Korea, which spends $29 billion.Quite remarkably, actually, if youlook at the defense expenditure in terms of per capita,

    • 11:02

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: we're actually 8th on that list, about $100 ahead of the UKper capita spent, which rather surprised me.So I think what the dollar shows isAustralia very much is a global player in the defenseand security world.But I would suggest we tend to psychologically undersellthat capability and our capacity to shape

    • 11:26

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: a broad national security environment.It does occur to me that really since 1999 in the East Timoroperation, Australia has played an increasingly consequentialrole in regional and global security.And, in some respects, I think wefind ourselves the victim of that operational success

    • 11:47

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: because there is a slightly uncomfortable realizationdawning in some circles that we are actually expectedto play a larger security role.We're expected to lead in maintaining stabilityin our nearer region.We're expected to make significant and morethan symbolic contributions to coalition

    • 12:07

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: operations in the Middle East, for example.We're expected to have views thatmatter as far as the United Nations Security Councilis concerned about North Asian security, about Indian Oceansecurity, and even as an enhanced partner for NATO.I must say, in my ASPI role, I've

    • 12:28

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: had quite a few occasions over the last 12, 18 months or soto hear people from overseas who areknowledgeable and sympathetic about Australia say to me,you really need to step forward and sortof act with the level of capabilitythat we know Australia has.

    • 12:50

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: So my take is we may be a top 20 nation, but quite a few of usdon't think of Australia that way or may even want us to be.And, therefore, there is some consequencesthat flow from that.If we do accept that status as being meaningful in defenseterms, then we will certainly needevery dollar of the 2% of gross national product

    • 13:13

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: for which there is bipartisan support sayingshould be spent on defense in the early part of the 2020s.And being a consequential power in that contextmeans we need forces that are able to project military power.We need to choose to develop deeper defenserelations with key friends.We need to step up our own involvement in peacekeeping.

    • 13:35

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: We need to be prepared to accept the risks of deploying combatforces in coalition operations.I'd also suggest that there are consequencesif we choose not to step up to that top 20 level,as well, including being seen to fail and lose credibility

    • 13:55

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: as an ally of the US and as the partner of strategic choiceof a number of other countries in the region.And I think we would lose the capacityto underpin our diplomatic positionwith effective military capability.We'd be much less effective in promotingour strategic interests in the Asia-Pacificwhere strategic competition is actually heating up

    • 14:18

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: and risk levels are increasing.Now I'd like to finish by just suggesting a few areas wherea credible top 20 nation would needto invest more thinking, more attention, and resourcesif we are to put substance into the idea of strengtheningAustralian security.

    • 14:40

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: First, I think we need to take new and big stepsto build a real strategic relationship with Indonesia.And that means going beyond the current comfortable andconfined defense relationship that we currently have,to look at a much deeper level of engagement, whichactually goes about strengthening the Indonesian

    • 15:01

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: Armed Forces.And we need to think in more joint terms about whatour defense forces could and should do together.Secondly, I think we need to get seriousabout the extent of our intereststhat go beyond our immediate region.Defensive Australia thinking has effectivelyexpanded in its scope.

    • 15:22

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: I think you can think of it now as Defensive Australia Plus.And the Plus reflects the need to engage the broader securityconcerns of the Indo-Pacific.Third, we need to address how Australiais able to develop capacity to projectour strategic interests in a much morecompetitive and risky region.

    • 15:43

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: In a military sense, this goes to the requirementto sustain force projection capabilities thatactually deliver meaningful military capacity.Finally, we need to make sure that we'reinvesting in the right levels of intelligencegathering and analytical capabilitiesthat we need to help understand the region.

    • 16:04

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: I think we can't afford to take just a part-time interestin places like Africa or in the Middle Eastwhere we only devote effort when operations require us to do so.In other words, in defense as in foreign policy,a top 20 nation needs to think of Australian interestsas they really are, which is shaped by global events, not

    • 16:25

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: just regional.I think that's going to require some quitesignificant adjustments of attitudeand thinking in coming years.

    • 16:36

      PETER: Thank you very much, Peter.Our next speaker is from a slightly different background.You may have noticed some other differencesin vive la difference.Tanya Ogilvie-White is Research Directorfor The Center for Nuclear Nonproliferationand Disarmament-- and there are some words

    • 16:57

      PETER [continued]: that one should prepare very carefullyfor speaking-- at the ANU, working togetherwith Gareth Evans and Ramesh Thakuron a new edition of the volume Nuclear Weapons:The State of Play.She has an outstanding backgroundin all areas of nuclear disarmament non-proliferation--

    • 17:19

      PETER [continued]: I'll get it right this time-- and security.She has been a Senior Analyst at ASPIand has held a number of other positionsin London, in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a very interestingworldwide background.So, Tanya, please give us a slightly different perspective.

    • 17:39

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE: Thank you, Peter.Yes, I'm going to focus entirely on nuclear challenges,actually.And I think it's the ultimate area where there'san overlap between national securityand international security.So first I'm going to sketch out a few ways in which Isee nuclear dangers growing in our region.

    • 18:01

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: And then I'm going to look at some specific steps Ithink Australia can take to help reduce those threats.So just to start, the Asia-Pacific regionis the only region in the world where nuclear weaponsarsenals are actually growing.Everywhere else in the world, they're shrinking.Also, they're modernizing, but they're shrinking in numbers

    • 18:22

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: except in our region.So we have India, Pakistan, North Korea, and China allgrowing and modernizing their nuclear weapons arsenals.And we're seeing what I see as the early signsof a nuclear arms race developing.And I think we're actually now at a turning point.

    • 18:42

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: So the reason I think we're at a turning pointis because I think there's a whole setof strategic uncertainties combined with major changesin technological developments in the missile and spacecapabilities which I think are putting pressureon nuclear weapons, doctrines, and postures in our region.So I think whatever your views on nuclear weapons

    • 19:04

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: on whether nuclear deterrence provides stability or not, Ithink it's a fact we've moved into unknown territoryin our region in terms of trying to maintainstrategic stability among all these shiftsand technological developments.And I think the risks of a nuclear accident

    • 19:26

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: or a nuclear exchange are growing.And it's not just the nuclear weaponsarsenals themselves that are a problem.Our region is also seeing the fastest expansionof nuclear energy in the world.It's quite extraordinary and because of the dual-use nature

    • 19:48

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: of nuclear technology, that also presents a proliferation risk.So we need to have the right controls in placeso that we know that nuclear energyprograms are purely peaceful.And we need other countries to be confidentthat those programs are peaceful, too.Otherwise, it can create horizontal nuclear weapons

    • 20:10

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: proliferation, which will escalate the risksand dangers in our region.So that's a big problem.And it's not just a state-based problemof nuclear proliferation.There's also the non-state problemof the acquisition of materials and capabilitiesby non-state actors.And I think, at the moment, we're

    • 20:30

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: seeing groups out there, terrorist organizations thatactually have state ambitions.So they're acquiring infrastructure,and they're acquiring territory, and that creates a biggernuclear security risk, in terms of accessto nuclear materials and threat.

    • 20:51

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: So I think that this has become a very significant--it always has been a priority for Australiato address nuclear dangers.But it should become a bigger priority.And I think we need to do more, and Ithink we need to do some things differentlyin order to address this whole combination of risks

    • 21:12

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: that are growing.So I'm going to just sort of set outsome proposals of what I think we can do.It's just a start.And I'm not obviously starting from a sort of clean slatehere because Australia has a very stronginternational reputation on the SecurityCouncil in the International Atomic Energy Agency,through a diplomatic initiative that Australia

    • 21:34

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: runs with Japan, a Non-Proliferation[INAUDIBLE] initiative.It's got a very strong record, so I'm not being critical.I'm just saying there are certain things I thinkwe need to do differently.And the number one thing I think we need to do differently--I think we need to roll back Australia's support for missiledefense in the Asia Pacific, or at least show

    • 21:58

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: much more restraint in how we address missile defensecooperation in the region.It's probably the single issue that Ithink could cause the most strategic damage to Australia,China relations.And I can talk a little bit more about that later, if you like,but that's one area I think we at least needto show more restraint.

    • 22:18

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: And I think in the [INAUDIBLE] talks, in particular,last November's communique that came out of those talkswas very damaging.Secondly, on export controls, the latest nuclear cooperationagreement between Australia and India, I think,presents some challenges because it has some loop holesthat I think need to be closed.It needs to be strengthened in terms of a nonproliferation

    • 22:42

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: arrangement.At the moment, under the terms of the agreement,we can't actually monitor what happens to the uraniumthat Australia will ship to India.So we really need to focus on that because Australiahas a responsibility, for starters, to know whathappens to the uranium exports.And, secondly, we could actually be

    • 23:03

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: helping fuel the nuclear onset race in South Asiaif we do not do that.So that's another concrete step.Let's tighten up that nuclear cooperation agreement.Third area-- in cyber security, one of the--[BELL RINGING]Thank you.One of the most serious risks that any nuclear facility canface is sabotage.

    • 23:24

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: And cyber attacks are one thing that Ithink countries with nuclear facilitiesreally need to keep in mind what they can do to actuallystrengthen their capacity to resistthe effects of a serious cyber attack.And I know there's been some work goingon on this in Lucas Heights.It just needs to be constantly updated.

    • 23:46

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: And I think Australia could play a role within our regionon helping sister states in understanding what they needto do to increase the capacity of their facilitiesto resist cyber attack.And then, lastly, this is the most important thingI think Australia could do-- is actually leadthe push for a global convention on "no first use"

    • 24:08

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: of nuclear weapons.At the moment, there's a lot of pressureon the "no first use" doctrines of China and India.And I think if that pressure actually does end upin either or both countries overturningtheir "no first use" pledge, we could be in serious trouble.

    • 24:30

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: I think that all the nine nuclear-armed statesin the world actually should share an interest in promotingstrategic stability.And one way they can actually build confidenceis to commit that they will only ever use nuclear weaponsin a deterrence role.And now is the time to actually really begin that push,and I think Australia could really lead that,

    • 24:51

      TANYA OGILVIE-WHITE [continued]: either within the Non-Proliferationand Disarmament Initiative or in a new coalition of countries.So I will leave it there, and if anybody has any questions,I can come back to it.Thank you.

    • 25:03

      PETER: Thank you very much.We will come back.There's plenty of provocative thoughts in all those papers,at least in that.But our fourth speaker is Alan Dupont who, like the others,will be well-known to many if not all of you already.He's currently a professor of International Securityat the University of New South Wales.

    • 25:25

      PETER [continued]: He's previously held the Michael HintzeProfessor of International Securityat the University of Sydney.He's also a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institutefor International Policy.And he's extremely well-known as a commentator on defenseand defense-related matters.Alan Dupont.

    • 25:43

      ALAN DUPONT: Thanks very much, Peter.And good afternoon, ladies and gentleman.I really want to just made two broad pointsin my seven minutes.One is I want to talk about the connections between defenseand security.I find that often we treat them as twokind of hermetically sealed elements of policy

    • 26:04

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: when, in fact, I think the connections between them havealways been strong but are becoming stronger,so I want to talk about that a little bit.And then I want to suggest that Australiais going to face some much more challenging foreign policyand security environment in the futurebecause the world that we've all beenfamiliar with over the last 70 years

    • 26:27

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: is really coming to an end.And we're not quite sure what's going to replace it.So there are my two key points.So let me just unpack those a little bit for you.It's a bit of a truism that you canhave a robust foreign policy but without a strong defense policyto underpin it.We all sort of get that, I think, at a motherhood level.Some people regard diplomacy as the carrot and defense

    • 26:50

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: as the stick.I think that's an over-simplification,but it does encapsulate the core differencesbetween diplomacy and defense.However, I should make the point that increasingly defenseis not about hard power.It's about a whole range of smart and soft power,

    • 27:10

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: including diplomacy.So when we talk about diplomacy and we talk about foreignpolicy, let's not forget that the Defence Departmentand the Australian Defence Force plays an increasingly importantrole in our broad approach to international policy and also

    • 27:30

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: in regional engagements.So let's not forget bout the soft and smart powerelements of defense strategy.I think that one of the things Australia lacksis an overarching grand strategy, whichbrings foreign defense policy and trade policy together

    • 27:50

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: where we look at what our aspirations are as a country.And then we think about how we're going to usethe respective tools that I've just indicated--I have foreign policy, defense policy,trade policy--to achieve them.So that's about obviously matching means and ends.I don't think we do that particularly well.We do it a bit better than we have

    • 28:10

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: done because we do now have things like national securitystrategies.But we're not very good as a country, in my view,in bringing them together and articulating themin a coherent way, which leads to my next point, whichis that it's very difficult to havean efficacious foreign policy or defense policy unless you have

    • 28:31

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: a clear understanding of what kind of country we areand what kind of country we aspire to be.If you don't know the answers to those questions,it's pretty difficult to articulatea cohesive foreign defense policy.That's pretty self-evident.And to pick up on one of the themes that was touched onin the last session-- the big or little Australia debate-- it's

    • 28:57

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: very important that we come out of this debateand make up our minds about it.There's a degree of ambivalence about this.Should we be a big Australia or a little Australia?And my own personal opinion is that weshould be a big Australia if, by big, wemean an activist, fully-engaged country

    • 29:19

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: in international affairs and a strong support of global[INAUDIBLE] and institutions.That's what I mean by a big Australiain terms of foreign and defense policy.So we have aspirations to shape the world in the way wewould like it to be.Now let's remember there are competing alternativesout there, some of them quite authoritarian.

    • 29:40

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: We even have non-state actors now with a competing visionof the sort of world they want people to live in--the Islamicstate, the global caliphate.So this is not a [INAUDIBLE] as it has been over the last 70years when Western institutions and Western democraciesessentially called the shots on foreign policyand in security policy, globally.

    • 30:02

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: That era is coming to an end.And so we're going to have to play a much more proactive rolein our foreign defense policy if youwant the world to be more like we want it to be as comparedwith the alternative systems.Now let me just make a few commentsabout what I think our overarching objectives should

    • 30:24

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: be.And I can simplify this by just saying there are really two.I think that our foreign policy and our defense policy bothneed to be directed towards proactively shaping boththe regional and international securityenvironment in support of a rules-based liberal democraticorder.

    • 30:48

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: We can talk about stability as we often do in defense.Well, we want to have a stable region.Of course we do.But, more importantly than a stable region,we want to have a balance in the region in favorof our value systems and our liberal democracy.It doesn't have to be exactly like Australia,

    • 31:09

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: but that's what we're looking to achieve, surelywith our foreign policy and our defense policy.So we need to have clear idea about whatit is we want from our foreign policy and defense policy.The second point is that if you justlook more narrowly at the purpose of Australia defensepolicy, it's got to be to deter armed attacks

    • 31:30

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: against Australia, and our people, and our interests.In my view, it has to be and interest-based policy.It's not just about territory.It's not just about defending our particular neckof the woods.If you want to have an internationalist foreignpolicy, which is what I'm arguing for,you have to have an internationalist defense

    • 31:50

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: policy, as well, to underpin it.They have to be a consonant.Now, a couple of quick points to finish-- whydo I think it's going to be more difficult to achievethe objectives that I've just set out?That is, to deter or arm the attacks against Australiaand to see a rules-based liberal democratic order,

    • 32:14

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: essentially because Pax Americana is fraying,that the western liberal democratic order whichhas dominated for the last 70 years is now fragmenting,and more illiberal regimes are rising.And that's something we haven't faced in the modern era before.So that's going to be a big challenge for us

    • 32:36

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: as to how we navigate our ways through that,and how we can achieve the end goals that we want.It may mean that we have to startto ally ourselves and develop relationships with countrieswhich are quite dissimilar from us,may not share our value systems, but doshare our strategic interests.That's quite important because, previously, all our alliances

    • 32:59

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: have been with like-minded countries with similar values.That may not be the case in the future.I'm not talking just about deepening and broadeningengagement in Asia-- which I don't thinkwe've done very well, to be frank--but I'm thinking about different partners, different coalitions,and basically Asianizing, if you like,

    • 33:20

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: the US-Australia alliance because Idon't believe we should have all our eggs in the US alliancebasket.I'm still a supporter of the US alliance.But that has to evolve and change,and we have to evolve and change with it.So I'll leave it there.Thank you very much.

    • 33:35

      PETER: Thank you very much, Alan.[APPLAUSE]Well, I'll open the floor to questions first.But I would like to throw out a few questions whichmay strike sparks here.And I hope that, in the course of the answers,our four panelists might raise them.

    • 33:57

      PETER [continued]: There does seem to be, I think, somethingof a consensus that we need to coordinateforeign and defense policies betterand, indeed, integrate them with other hard and soft powerassets, including trade, and one mightthrow in commerce and cultural diplomacy, eveninternational education, as well,

    • 34:18

      PETER [continued]: to get that sense of our place in the world,and the way we want it to be.I think we might think about just what is the defenserole in that, and how do we make surethat the various departments and agencies workingin a coordinated way?

    • 34:40

      PETER [continued]: We might also think about some of the potential conflictsbetween some of the issues that have been raised.Rory is an expert on strengthening and deepeningthe Australian-Indian relations.I could see a potential conflict arising therewith Tanya's very important point about the export

    • 35:02

      PETER [continued]: control on uranium.But I hope that those points will arise,but I also want to leave it open to the floor.So, please, yes?

    • 35:17


    • 35:18

      PETER: Hm?

    • 35:20

      RORY MEDCALF: Oh, I promise to revisit that at some point.

    • 35:21

      PETER: Yes.Yes.Good.Right.Yes?

    • 35:28

      AUDIENCE: Hi.My name is [INAUDIBLE].I'm a student at ANU.I was just directing this question to Tanya.You were talking about how we should roll backAustralia's policy of BMD pursual with the US.And I just wanted to know why youthink we pursued it in the first placeif it's so wrong to be doing it?And, strategically speaking, do we even need BMD, do you think?

    • 35:51

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE: Sorry.What was the second part?I'm sorry.

    • 35:54

      AUDIENCE: Strategically speaking,do you think Australia needs the BMD system?

    • 35:56

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE: All right.Thank you.Do you want me to answer that?

    • 35:60

      PETER: Yes.

    • 36:02

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE: This is a very good question, actually.Thank you.I can't tell you with 100% certaintywhy Australia has actually signed up to it.There's lots of intelligence informationthat I don't have access to that would probablyhelp me speak more authoritatively

    • 36:25

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: on that subject.But I do think it has a lot to do with alliance pressure,actually.And I don't necessarily think that Australiahas been acting in its own self-interests,really, on the Missile Defense issue because it doesn'tactually serve Australia's strategic interests to be part

    • 36:46

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: of the Missile Defense shield because, apart from anythingelse, the technology is really unproven, very unreliable.And there are no missile threats to Australiathat would actually require it in any case.So the question then becomes, well,why has Australia supported it?Why did the Howard Government support it?

    • 37:08

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: Why did it then sort of drop off a little bit under laborand then now be resurrected againunder the Abbott Government?And I have to say I do think it's about alliance dynamics.More than anything else, it's political.And I think this is just one of those areaswhere Australia's just got to be a little bit more independent

    • 37:28

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: and think just more strategicallyabout its interests and about its part in Asiabecause it's been very clear-- I don't know if you followedstatements coming out of China on this issue--but in the Shanghai Cooperation Council,there was a very strong statement on this

    • 37:49

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: just after the last round of [INAUDIBLE] talks in August,which were that this is a hostile policy.Basically, China feels that it's part of a big containmentstrategy being led by the US.And whether or not it is-- I mean, I don't think it is--but that's the perception.

    • 38:11

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: And so Australia has to deal with thatand has to deal with its relationship in a waywhere it's extremely careful.I agree that we don't have to do everything China says.Australia doesn't have to do everything China says.It doesn't have to please China on everything.This is one issue where it's been very clear rightfrom the beginning that China feels that its own security is

    • 38:33

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: seriously undermined by what it seesas its evolving Asia-Pacific missile shield, whichundermines its nuclear deterrent.There's a very small nuclear weapons arsenal in China.And there's pressure on that small, limited nuclear arsenalwhich is being created by Missile Defense

    • 38:53

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: because you would need more nuclear warheads in orderto be able to have a credible deterrent against a missileshield.You know, that's the whole thing from China's point of view.From Australia's point of view, whywould it sign up to something that China finds such a threat

    • 39:14

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: to its own security?And the only answer I can really come up withis that it's alliance politics.And the whole argument around it is reallyit's protecting everything from the North Korea threat,but China doesn't buy that.And anybody who really knows about these issuesknows that it's not really just about North Korea and Iran.

    • 39:35

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE [continued]: So I'll leave it at that.

    • 39:37

      PETER: Thank you.I wonder if Alan, or Peter, or Rorywould like to comment on that specific issue of MissileDefense?

    • 39:48

      RORY MEDCALF: Yeah, I'll just take one or two thoughts on it.I think I've heard the logic of Tanya's argument before.And I think that logic, in my view,probably applied more 10 or 15 years ago than at present.I think perceptions matter.China's view matter.But I think, at the same time, my sense

    • 40:09

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: is that now that China's conducting its own researchinto Missile Defense.I would take some of China's criticism with a grain of salt.I think there's also quietly a pragmatic view in Chinathat in terms of technology, it wants to be a pop-on as well.And I'd also, I guess, say that if we'retalking about a defense and security policy for a top 20

    • 40:31

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: country or for a robust, independent country,if you like, as Australia should be,I think we need to be just as resistant to not doing thingsbecause of Chinese sensitivities as to doing them becauseof perceived alliance pressure.

    • 40:49

      PETER: There?

    • 40:51

      PETER JENNINGS: Well, Peter, of course, I'ma huge fan of Ballistic Missile Defense.Actually, no, not really.But it's worth putting a couple of things into context.Firstly, the extent of Australian involvement in BMDwhen I was in defense was about $3 to $5 milliona year on some research projects primarily

    • 41:14

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: involving the DSTO, really kind of keepingan eye on technology.And it really hasn't grown much more than that since.I think there is potential for Australiato move down the track towards more BMD capabilities,

    • 41:37

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: but primarily around the defense of deployed forces.In other words, what would be described as Theater BallisticMissile Defense, the sort of thingthat you might want to equip in your warfaredestroyer to be able to do, for example.And, of course, in that context, it's worth understanding thatBallistic Missile Defense capability has come a long way

    • 41:58

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: since the sort of Reagan Star Wars ideas, and, in fact,is now starting to be a effective defensive systemin theatre type operations.Think of the Israeli Iron Dome system, for example.I mean, I would agree with Tanya to the extent

    • 42:18

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: that I think it's important that BMD doesn't disturb the broaderdeterrent balance between the major powers.And it clearly does not have the technical capabilityto do that yet.And there is nothing to suggest that Australia in the pastor in the future is likely to really deal itself or be

    • 42:41

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: able to deal itself into that type of situation.But I think there is a case to saythat BMD against a state like North Koreapotentially is significant because there youhave a state which is not intent on a stable deterrencerelationship but rather one where it may actually

    • 43:02

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: wish to use nuclear weapons for military effect.And a deployed BMD system in North Asiacould well be a solution to that type of problem,and one which, in scope, clearly would notlimit what the Chinese might wantto do in terms of a deterrent relationshipwith the United States.

    • 43:21

      PETER: Thanks.Alan?

    • 43:22


    • 43:23

      PETER: OK.Fine.Right.Next.

    • 43:36

      AUDIENCE: Hi. [INAUDIBLE] Walker,President of [INAUDIBLE].My question is to Alan, but I'd invite everyone to comment.Alan, towards the end of your prepared remarks,you mentioned Asianizing the Australia-US alliance.It was an intriguing idea.You talked about flexible.But I wondered if you could unpack that a little bit.How would that work, and do current operations

    • 43:58

      AUDIENCE [continued]: figure into that at all?

    • 44:00

      ALAN DUPONT: Sure.Well, the first point I'll make isthat I don't want to suggest that we haven't broughtour Asian friends and partners into our defenseplanning and regional engagement policiesboth within the alliance and outside it.But I don't think we've gone far enough.There's not enough depth there.

    • 44:22

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: I don't think our engagement with a lotof our regional neighbors has been done accordingto a thought-through strategy.It hasn't been nuanced and tailoredenough to individual countries.And I think our default position is alwaysto go to what the US is doing a little bit too much,

    • 44:42

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: rather than thinking how can we achievethe objectives we want by being a bit smarter by howwe do things.Now let me give you one example.I know Peter Jennings has written about this.And I agree entirely with what he said.OK.So about 18 months ago, there wasa lot of stuff in the press about how we were actuallypretty much for marching in step with the US

    • 45:04

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: on our defense planning.And then there was talk about, perhaps, in the Cocos Island,we might develop a joint facility with the United Statesto improve our surveillance of the Malacca Straitand just our awareness of what's goingon in that part of the world.Now, I absolutely supported the objective

    • 45:27

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: for the way we went about that, in my view,is exactly what we shouldn't be doing in the future.What we should've been doing was thinkingwhy don't we do this with the Indonesians?Because Cocos Island is actually only a few hundred kilometersaway from Java.And the Indonesians might be a bit concerned about usdoing stuff with the Americans if they hadn't been

    • 45:47

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: brought into the discussion.And, moreover, wouldn't it be smarterfor us to be working more close with the Indonesiansto improve our surveillance of the oceans thatlead to the soft underbelly of Indonesia,if you like, just as much as Australia.And the US would be the beneficiariesof that cooperation, surely.

    • 46:09

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: So I just thought that was an example of what we did wrongin the past.The objectives, I support.But, in the future, we need to think--so what I mean by Asianizing the alliance,we need to actually think through our strategicobjectives, choose the partners wework with to the benefit of all our other partners, as well.But some are just picking and choosing the right partners

    • 46:31

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: to do certain things with.So if there are really sensitive areas,you might not want to do it with the United States.So that's really what I meant.

    • 46:46

      AUDIENCE: I'm Oscar [INAUDIBLE] from SDSC at ANU.I've just got a question for the whole panel in relationto does the panel agree with the premisethat Australia is too reliant, if not dependant, on the USfor security?And how should Australia prepare for a possible divergence

    • 47:07

      AUDIENCE [continued]: in interests between US interestsand Australian interests, especiallyin a world with the increasing power of the global south?

    • 47:19

      PETER: [INAUDIBLE], Rory?

    • 47:21

      RORY MEDCALF: Happy to kick off on that one.The final point I was going to make in my quick remarkswas that all of those measures of successin terms of fulfilling our security-- thereis no such thing as absolute success in anyof those measures.And, certainly, of all of those measures,the ability for this country to defend itself

    • 47:42

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: against a major power single-handedly is, I'd say,the one where we're clearly not up to it with our resourcesor with the resources we invest in defense.In other words, we have no choice,in my view, but to have a degree of relianceon the United States into the foreseeable future.The big question is how do we balance

    • 48:04

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: that with other interests, with our abilityto have and make independent policy,and our ability to shape alliance strategy in Asia?And I completely agree with Alan Dupont's pointsthere about Asianizing the alliance.So, in answering your question, Ithink we also have to think of it moreabout realistic alternatives.And I certainly don't detect an appetite in the community

    • 48:27

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: for, for example, doubling defense spending or someof the other decisions that wouldfollow from dramatically reducingthe reliance on the alliance.

    • 48:38

      PETER: Tanya, would you like to respond?

    • 48:40

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE: I agree with you, Oscar.I mean, I assume that you think that your question hascome from a feeling that you feelthat Australia might be a bit too dependant on the alliance?Or not?

    • 48:50


    • 48:53

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE: Right.My view is, yes, I think Australia is too dependant.I'm a big fan of the US, actually.I think it does a lot of really good workin my area of security in building nonproliferationand nuclear security architectures in the world.And it's done a huge amount of good work.But I do think, across a whole range of issues,

    • 49:15

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: Australia is too dependant on the USand not questioning enough of what Australia's interests areand how that relationship actuallyaffects Australia's interests.And I can see that there is an attemptto break out of that by really developing new partnerships.And not the ones you would expect, naturally,

    • 49:36

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: as well-- so, you know, developinga closer relationship with Vietnam,et cetera, and different countries in the region.And I'm all for it in Defence and Security Cooperationas much as possible with regional partners and goingvery much faster, deeper into a deeper relationship withIndonesia, especially.

    • 49:58

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: And I think that would be the way to gradually wean ourselvesoff a dependence on the US, which I think that the US won'tbe able to sustain in our region indefinitely anyway.So we'll have to prepare ourselves.And the more creative we are about it, the better.And the more we can go into non-military forms

    • 50:18

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: of cooperation, including on addressingtransnational security challenges,which are mutual, the better.

    • 50:25

      PETER: Thank you.Peter?

    • 50:27

      PETER JENNINGS: Well, I don't thinkwe're too dependant on the United States,but I think any choice that we maketo make ourselves less dependant either drives us downin the direction of irrelevance or an alternate directionof bankruptcy.On the bankruptcy front, as far as I'm aware,

    • 50:48

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: I think the last aircraft we designed and built in Australiawas the Nomad.We aren't going to build a fifth generation fighter aircraft.We're not going to build a fourth generation fighteraircraft.We aren't going to deploy a constellation of intelligencegathering satellites to give us the intelligence backbone that

    • 51:11

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: we otherwise get through having access to the Americanrelationship and so I could track through almost allof the areas of military capability that underpinsthe Australian Defence Force and the credibility thatthe Australian Defence Force has in the Asia-Pacific region.So why is China interested in engaging with us

    • 51:34

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: in military-to-military contact?Well, because they see us as having a very capable defenseforce that, in some ways, enables themto trial what they might then laterdo with the United States.Really, the point, though, I guessis one less around the question of technology

    • 51:55

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: and things of that nature and more around the questionof political behavior.And there my contention would be that this government, aswith all Australian governments, ultimately makesindependent decisions and doesn't spend a lot of timesitting around the cabinet table thinking about,how does that play in Washington or, for that matter,

    • 52:19

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: as [INAUDIBLE] said in his autobiography,how does it play in Beijing?But there, I think, what you will findis that if we really are serious about the concept of a top 20role for ourselves in the world, thatis going to broaden our strategic interestsand, more often than not, put us into a situation

    • 52:42

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: where we find ourselves seeing thingsmuch the same way as Washington does.Middle East-- does Australia have a genuine interestin the Middle East?My argument is, yes, we do.I don't see a national interest in allowing the MiddleEast to descend into a vortex of chaosout of which the Islamic state emerging as a sovereign entity.

    • 53:02

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: So I think we have very direct Australian strategic interestthat takes us to the Middle East.Are we there because the Americans are there?Actually, no.But there are many people who will characterize it that way.So it is possible to actually take strategic decisionsand find yourself, more or less, on the same side of an argumentas the United States but not because of the alliance

    • 53:23

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: relationship.

    • 53:25

      PETER: Alan?

    • 53:26

      ALAN DUPONT: Yeah, I just want to make two points.If I understood the second half of your question,you were suggesting that the US and Australia's securityinterests are diverging.Was that right?

    • 53:36

      AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] and potentially the views in Chinamight be different between the US and Australia.

    • 53:50

      ALAN DUPONT: I take your point, but I stillthink I'd come down on the side of the argumentthat, if anything, our security interests with the UnitedStates are converging around a whole range of issues, someof which Peter has touched on.However, having made that observation, I would say,

    • 54:10

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: nevertheless, we're going to have a much more difficultrelation with the United States in the futurein the following sense that, because the US has nowbecome rather than a security provider,it's becoming a security enhancer.So what that means is that rather than just giving us

    • 54:31

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: free global security goods because it's the world'sdominant power as it has in the last 70 years--and we pay our dues, and we get something in return--the US is now going to enhance, but it's notgoing to be global cop anymore.So, in other words, alliance partnerslike us are going to have to pay more,

    • 54:52

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: and we're going to have to give upmore for that security guarantee that the US has traditionallyprovided.Now the question is are we prepared to do that?What will it cost?What will be the consequences?So that's what I mean.So while our interests may be converging,the challenges for us are greaterbecause I don't know what the answers to those questionsare yet.

    • 55:13

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: Hopefully we'll get some answers in the forthcoming White Paper.

    • 55:17

      PETER: All right.Zara?

    • 55:24

      AUDIENCE: Thank you.I'm Zara [INAUDIBLE] from the AWIA.There's just been a recent exercise in the NorthernTerritory, Exercise Kowari, which hasbeen not very much a publicity.Rory, you did mention it in an article last week.But two questions really about it.This was an exercise-- I don't know

    • 55:44

      AUDIENCE [continued]: how many people in the room are aware of it--but it was a survival exercise with 10 Australians, 10Americans, and 10 Chinese who spent, I think,two weeks in the northern territory.I think it's interesting in that,you know, we don't hear a lot about cooperationbetween Australia and China, let aloneAustralia, China, and America.

    • 56:05

      AUDIENCE [continued]: I want to know whether the panel think of this sort of thingas a useful exercise, and whether itwould be the sort of thing that wecould also being doing with other countries in the future.

    • 56:16


    • 56:18

      RORY MEDCALF: Yeah, I mean, I think-- thanks, Zara.I think that was a very important exerciseat a symbolic level.I think it goes to what Peter Jennings wassaying about the reasons that China is engaging with us.I think in a very small scale thatshows that we can have a serious attemptto build security relations with China without disowning

    • 56:38

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: our status as a US ally.This was a small exercise.As I think I argued elsewhere, as a survival exercise,it was a bit like the movie, The Hunger Gameswithout the nasty bits, thankfully,without the unhappy ending.But, even so, it's a start.It's about building trust.

    • 56:60

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: It's about developing habits of communication.And I think that it is a model for, obviously, exerciseswith other third countries.There's no question that we shouldbe having trilateral exercises with Indonesia, with India,and others.Working with the US Marines in Darwinwe actually view as an asset partly for that purpose.

    • 57:20

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Is it going to lead to a breakthroughof high-level strategic trust between Australia and China?No, of course it's not.But I think the critics who pointthat out missed the point.This comes in small steps.And Australia is actually way ahead of most democraciesin the degree of defense engagementthat it has with China.

    • 57:40

      PETER: All right.

    • 57:42


    • 57:44

      PETER: Peter, [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 57:46

      PETER JENNINGS: I thought it was a great exercise, actually.Everyone got through it.No one ate anyone else.So that was a good thing.Obviously, the symbolism is very important, though.I mean, China took a political decisionto enable the trial trilateral exercise to proceed,and I think that reflects a very slow but, nevertheless,positive trend of the sort of normalization

    • 58:09

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: of the Chinese military.This year there's also the Rimpac exercisein which Chinese participated off Hawaii.We had the counter-piracy operationwhich China has been involved in for six years now.China's one of the world's biggest peacekeepingcontributing nations.These are all important steps in the sort

    • 58:30

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: of normalization of the PLA.I do recall a Chinese General saying to me several years agothat, in fact, the country that China was closest to, in termsof military cooperation after Pakistan--which was there number one-- was Australia.

    • 58:51

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: And I though that said something very interestingabout China, and Pakistan, and Australia, actually.That does reflect a sort of 15-year investmentin building a military relationship with China.

    • 59:05

      PETER: Alan?

    • 59:05

      ALAN DUPONT: No.

    • 59:06

      PETER: Richard [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 59:11

      AUDIENCE: Thanks.First, a comment to Peter, if I may.Peter, I don't see how you can saythat we are expected to play a greaterrole in the region, passive voice-- and, of course,you mean Washington.And if we don't, we might lose our capacityto underpin our diplomacy.And then you go on to say but we're not toodependent on the United States.

    • 59:33

      AUDIENCE [continued]: It seems to me that that posits a very strong dependency,and that's something that our chair John McCarthy touchedon this morning.My question, also, is to Rory Medcalf.Would you give us your comments on John Carlson's very strongcriticism of Australia selling uraniumto India foregoing almost all the safeguards

    • 59:56

      AUDIENCE [continued]: that Malcom Fraser put in place in 1977to protect our uranium from entering a weapons program?Thank you.

    • 01:00:07

      RORY MEDCALF: Shall I go second or first?All right.We'll start with India.I mean, this goes to, I think, Tanya's good pointabout the tensions involved in the uranium diplomacy,if I can call it that, with India.Now, for those of you who don't know the former DirectorGeneral of the Australian Safeguards Office,

    • 01:00:29

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: John Carlson, who's a colleague and a VisitingFellow at the Lowy Institute, recently wrote some, I think,pretty powerful pieces on our blog,The Interpreter, pointing out what are, to his knowledge,technical flaws or loopholes in the Nuclear SafeguardsAgreement that's under way with India, the Cooperation

    • 01:00:51

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: Agreement and the administrative arrangements being negotiated.And I must say I was very proud to publish that piece because Ithink, as an expert practitioner that Johnis, it's really important that his voice isheard on the debate.I've been a strong supporter of uranium sales to Indiaunder Safeguards because I think if we're

    • 01:01:12

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: going to Asianize our diplomacy, Asianizeour alliance arrangement, Asianizehow security partnerships, India isgoing to be a critical partner.And, like it or not, treating Indiain a nondiscriminatory way, I thinkis a barometer of trust for the Indians.So I've supported nuclear commerce with India.Having said that, I've also argued

    • 01:01:33

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: that we should discriminate neither for noragainst India in our Safeguard.So, on balance, I think John Carlson's actuallyidentified the problem with the arrangements that arebeing pursued at the moment.I think, in the long-term, it's probably worth Australiaholding out on that issue until we can get an agreement that

    • 01:01:53

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: meets our existing standards.And I think if that requires India to change, then so be itbecause we've done what I think most reasonable Indian policythinkers want and that is we've shown that we don'tdiscriminate against India.

    • 01:02:10

      PETER JENNINGS: Perhaps somewhat, Peter, [INAUDIBLE].Richard, if I made a point about expectationwas not really just a reference to Washington.Although, I think it's true to say that Washington doesexpect that we have the capacity to look after the region.But I think it's also very much the expectation of New Zealand.I think it's actually the expectation

    • 01:02:31

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: of most of the Pacific Island countries and of the UN.I think everyone has that expectation of us,not just the US.

    • 01:02:41

      PETER: This side in the back, yes.

    • 01:02:46

      AUDIENCE: I'm [INAUDIBLE] from [INAUDIBLE] in New South Wales.I'd just like to ask the panel to speakin a bit more specific detail about Indonesia, actually.Peter, you spoke about the need for Australiato have a more meaningful defenseinteraction with Indonesia, and we have alreadyseen some moves towards this.At the same time, I think in many respects,including much of our defense and intelligence strategy,

    • 01:03:09

      AUDIENCE [continued]: Australia does still regard Indonesia as a threat.So can we have Indonesia as a while still holding themat arm's length?Thanks.

    • 01:03:21

      PETER JENNINGS: I don't regard Indonesia as a threat.Actually, I regard a strong, capable Indonesian DefenceForce as effectively the first line of Australian defense.And I think we're long past that stage where really worryingabout low-level incursions from Indonesia

    • 01:03:42

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: should be a motivator of Australian defense policy.It was kind of Alan to refer to a piece I had in the FinancialReview a little while ago, which suggested that we shouldbe doing things like significantly investingin building up the capability of the Indonesian southern fleetto make it possible for them to effectively police

    • 01:04:02

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: their own maritime surveillance needs.I completely agree with Alan's point on Cocos Islands.I would like to see that as essentiallya shared Australian-Indonesian activity.I would be prepared to bring the defense forces of the twocountries significantly closer together in ways

    • 01:04:23

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: that I suspect might lead a few peoplehere to be discomforted because my view is,if we're serious about it, we've got to take the steps.We've got to stop pretending that thisis a relationship that we can run on remote control.[INAUDIBLE]

    • 01:04:40

      PETER: Yeah.Alan, [INAUDIBLE].

    • 01:04:42

      ALAN DUPONT: Can I just make a couple of quick points, please?Look, we keep forgetting that Indonesiais a democracy, a very robust one-- in many ways, more robustthan Australia.If you care to read any of the Indonesian daily newspapers,you'd be quite surprised.So I agree entirely with Peter that this notion that Indonesia

    • 01:05:03

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: now represents a threat to us, what kind of threatwould that be?An armed attack, I think is highly improbable.You can't, in the defense business,rule out anything, obviously.But, really, I think we do need to move onwith our attitudes about Indonesia.So I think Peter is absolutely right.He's nailed it.

    • 01:05:24

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: It's going to be, in my view, our closest defense partner,perhaps even closer than the United States over the next 50years.And that's a good thing.But the problem is that what we haven't doneis developed sufficiently depth to the relationship,nor have we actually changed our attitudes to Indonesia.

    • 01:05:45

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: So we've really got to think about Indonesiaas a partner, an equal partner.We're not going to give them things.We need to work together to build things.That's an attitudinal change that I don'tthink we've quite made yet.And the final point I'd make is that 20 or 30 years ago whenI sort of first was working on Indonesia, to be

    • 01:06:08

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: frank with my defense background,we were concerned about issues with Indonesia,and the Indonesian Armed Forces were not really our greatestsupporters in those days.That's turned around entirely.And in the problems that we've had with Indonesiaover the last 18 months, the greatest supporters

    • 01:06:29

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: of the whole bilateral relationshiphave been the Indonesian military and securitycommunity.That is an incredible turnaround.So I don't think people have generally recognizedwhat's happened here.And I think these are very healthy developments.Now we've got a long way to go, but the ideaof Indonesia as being some kind of external threat--I know it polls that way still, to some degree--

    • 01:06:52

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: but I think that it doesn't reflectreality of the relationship that exists now.

    • 01:06:59

      PETER: There's one at the back [INAUDIBLE].

    • 01:07:06

      AUDIENCE: Sarah van Brunswick studying at the College of Asiaand the Pacific at ANU.If I could jump back to nuclear proliferationfor a minute, Tanya's comments that Australianeeds to lead the push for global conventionon "no first use," as a normative strategy,I certainly agree that there's interest in Australia

    • 01:07:27

      AUDIENCE [continued]: to pursue that.But I'm wondering on strategic interestsfor Australia as a nonnuclear state,really, whether using up limited currency of negotiationand goodwill with nuclear states to push that,is that in Australia's strategic intereststo pursue that with really, perhaps, limited efficacy?

    • 01:07:50

      AUDIENCE [continued]: That's to the panel at broad.

    • 01:07:52

      TANYA OLIVIE WHITE: Can I start on that one?

    • 01:07:54


    • 01:07:55

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE: OK.Well, thank you very much for that question.And I think really people need to understand that the NuclearNon-Proliferation treaty serves a strategic purposefor every country, except those countries thatremain outside it.But for every other country, it serves a strategic purpose,which is limiting the proliferationof nuclear weapons.

    • 01:08:17

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: That treaty is currently in crisisbecause those states that have nuclear weaponshave not taken enough steps to fulfilltheir commitments to disarm.And I was in New York in May for the [INAUDIBLE] leading upto this major review conference next year,preparing a way for a new sort of renewedagenda for that treaty.

    • 01:08:37

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: And it's at its worst point in historywith bigger divisions than ever between the nuclear weaponstates and the non-nuclear weapons states.And we really need a group, a coalition of states,that have authority on these issues to step forward.Now, the thing is, Australia alreadyhas done so through the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Disarmament

    • 01:08:58

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: Initiative, but their agenda is quite weak.This would actually strengthen their agenda.And without going too far and being too unrealistic,they could actually make a differencebecause a "no first use" convention would still-- it'snot arguing for the impossible.It's not arguing for, you know, the abolition

    • 01:09:19

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: of nuclear weapons here and now.It's asking for states to agree to make a pledge that they willnot use their nuclear weapons firstin a conventional war situation, whichis incredibly destabilizing.And it actually is what causes Russia and the USto have their nuclear weapons all on high alert, which

    • 01:09:41

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: is a-- I don't know if you saw the recent Chatham Housereport about near misses.It's a huge, huge problem.There are 2,000 weapons on high alert at the moment.And we've got to roll that back.I think a global "no first use" conventionwould be a step on the way to a nuclear weapons conventionway down the line.

    • 01:10:02

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: And I think it's a step-by-step approach, which Australiahas been advocating anyway.It's just adding some meat to the bones of the NuclearNon-proliferation Disarmament Initiative.If they could agree on that, It wouldbe a massive, massive, strategic bonus for everybody.

    • 01:10:19

      AUDIENCE: If I could, just to clarify-- certainly,nonproliferation is valuable and "no first use," definitely.So, more on Australia's role as leading that pushfor a convention as quite a small voicein the nuclear community, I'm wondering onwhether Australia's role as a leader in thatis going to be as efficient as more of the supportive

    • 01:10:41

      AUDIENCE [continued]: role with those stronger voices who are already in discussion?

    • 01:10:48

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE: Does anybody elsewant to take-- the thing is, I totally think that Australiais a strong voice on-- Australia done morethan the majority of countries.In terms of top 20 countries, Australia-- its commitmentsto Safeguards, it's commitment's to nonproliferationnuclear security-- Australia is the country that is considered

    • 01:11:09

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: to have the strongest record on nuclear security in the world.Australia has authority on this issue,and I think it can leadership.And I don't think it would be toodifficult in terms of [INAUDIBLE] the alliancepolitics of it either.Because, actually, if you look at what US officials have beensaying over the last few years, they'repretty tempted to go down that road themselves,

    • 01:11:31

      TANYA OLIVIE-WHITE [continued]: but they're feeling constrained by allies in this region.So I think it really could show some leadership from Australiato do that.And I think this is the time, thisis the moment when-- an actual fact-- nuclear risks aregrowing, and there is a real opportunity for Australiato really do something that's going to make a big difference.Yeah.

    • 01:11:50

      RORY MEDCALF: Can I just add a quick point there?

    • 01:11:51


    • 01:11:51

      RORY MEDCALF: May I just add one point to connectthat important discussion with the wider discussionabout regional security?And I've written in the past about the benefitsof the "no first use" regime in Asia.Potentially, the problem is that, as strategic anxietiesin this region have grown, and as Ithink allies' anxiety about US conventional deterrence

    • 01:12:12

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: has grown, I think you and we face a harder climateto prosecute the kind of agenda that you're advocating than wefaced five or more years ago.So my recommendation would be that if Australia,or, indeed, any country is going to be encouraginga continued deprivileging and delegitimizationof nuclear weapons in Asia, which I think, in principle,is a very good idea, we actually need

    • 01:12:35

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: to do more to bolster our conventional capabilitiesand, in fact, to encourage the United States and othersto maintain and bolster their conventional capabilitiesin Asia.Because if you think a rebalance to Asia is destabilizing--I don't think it is-- but if you think it is,just imagine what a nuclear [INAUDIBLE] to Asiawould like that.And that's kind of the alternative

    • 01:12:55

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: if we continue to see conventional capabilitiesof the US and its allies weakened.

    • 01:13:01

      PETER: At the back on the side there.

    • 01:13:07

      AUDIENCE: Thank you, panelists.Thomas [INAUDIBLE].My question is specifically to Peter.And, perhaps, Alan might like to offer a following view.The US Defense Department refers to climate changeas a threat multiplier.And rather hopefully, Chuck Hagel has said on the issue,"politics and ideology must not getin the way of sound planning."

    • 01:13:28

      AUDIENCE [continued]: So, regardless of whether we're top 20 or not,do the impacts of climate change have a serious placein our 2015 Defence White Paper?If so, what place is that?And is it possible for us to seriously discuss itat a security level in this country, giventhe recent maturity of our political debate?

    • 01:13:46


    • 01:13:51

      PETER JENNINGS: Well, it's not reallybehind the idea of getting 12 submarines.I suppose I could say that much.Look, I think climate change needsto be taken seriously in a defense sense becauseof the knock-on implications that it might wellhave for security in different parts of the world.And so that could range from the water

    • 01:14:13

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: tables of a number of south Pacific island statesbeing inundated and turning those states nonviablewithin 15 to 20 years.Or it could be in terms of the climate implications thatwould apply in South Asia or in parts of southeast Asia, which

    • 01:14:35

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: require greater HADR-type tasks to which many defensehorses, including our own, will be involved.So I think it becomes something that needs to be takenseriously as a strategic driver, not so much for full structureor investment decisions, but more about the impact that it

    • 01:14:58

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: may well have as we look out to the 2035 time-frame,which is really what the current Defence White Paper isconcerning itself with.And, on that basis, yes, it needs to be taken into account.

    • 01:15:13

      PETER: Alan?

    • 01:15:17

      ALAN DUPONT: OK, I should declare my colors here.I have been recently called a climate change extremist,in the sense that, I actually have gone on the recordin saying I think this is an important issue, includingan important security issue.So I'll contest to that.So, that being the case, you won'tbe surprised to hear me argue that, while we have,

    • 01:15:40

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: in our last two White Papers-- and, actually the last three,if I remember correctly-- we have actually mentioned climatechange and talked about the sense of it, whichI think is real progress.I don't believe we've really capturedthe essential strategic challenge of climate change.That is, if you believe that it is happening, and it's serious.If you don't, well then obviously we're

    • 01:16:02

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: not going to have anything.So I happen to believe it is.And I think the best way to thinkabout this is my argument, is if you lookat all the risks out there to Australian defense,climate change, in my view, has to be in the mix.And the further out you go, at the higher end of the spectrum

    • 01:16:22

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: because, if their is climate change of the ordermost of our climate change scientists are suggesting--and they could be wrong, of course--then it would actually be a threat multiplierin all kinds of ways, which has beenwritten about at some length.So my point would be, from the point of view of strategic risk

    • 01:16:44

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: management, when you sit in the Defence Department,you're looking about all of the challenges out there.Climate change, in my view, has to be in the mix.You can't rule it out.If you were to discount climate change, thenI think you wouldn't be doing your strategic riskmanagement very well.Now that's the way I look at it.I'm not saying it's going to happenor it's going to be the particular order.

    • 01:17:07

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: But actually to not have that in your White Paper,I think would be essentially unsupportable.And I think it will be in there.But what my concern would be isn't actually what it says.I think it may just be a bit of a pro forma statement.I think that would be a shame.

    • 01:17:27

      PETER JENNINGS: It's worth just teasing that discussion outto say if you make policy document like a Defence WhitePaper, the question really is well,what decision will this make me take or not take?

    • 01:17:40

      ALAN DUPONT: Well, OK.That's a fair point.But I think I would ask that question of anything elsethat defense is looking at.And I mean that's the question youask of any threat or any risk.So climate change shouldn't be any different.So that would be my point.And that's the route we need to go down.Now, this is not just me, Alan Dupont, arguing this.So if you go and have a look at the 2014 American equivalent

    • 01:18:05

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: of our White Paper, it's called the QDR.If you have and have a look at the British equivalent,in particular, you'll see a much more sophisticated setof arguments around climate change,and defense, and security than hasappeared in our White Paper.So that's really what I would like to see happen.

    • 01:18:22

      PETER: We've only got time for a couple more.But Allison [INAUDIBLE] and then Samina.And then we'll see what we can fit in.Allison?

    • 01:18:40

      AUDIENCE: Thank you.I think I understood Peter correctlyto say, in his prepared statement,that in Australian deliberations,the US alliance doesn't weigh all that heavily in what wedecide we should do about defense,and secondly, that we have a serious national interest

    • 01:19:03

      AUDIENCE [continued]: to protect in the Middle East.Now if those two things are true,may I ask him, if the United Statesand in the third Iraq war, if you like-- in this third Iraqengagement, if the United States had delayed and delayed,

    • 01:19:27

      AUDIENCE [continued]: as Obama did and then decided not to intervene,if Australia's interests were so independent and so serious,wouldn't we have gone in our own?[INAUDIBLE]

    • 01:19:41

      PETER JENNINGS: I would be very surprised.If my comments suggested that the alliance isn't important,that's certainly not my view.I think it is.But I don't think the discussion that so many people seemto imagine, which is how does this play in Washingtonfeatures as strongly in government decision-making

    • 01:20:04

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: to deploy forces as you might think if yourelied on the Canberra Times.In the case of the Middle East situation,yes, I think this is a very serious global situation, whichdoes concern Australia.I think the consequences that flow from, frankly,

    • 01:20:25

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: decisions taken in Washington not to be more engagedin Syria and Iraq are potentially very seriousand could lead to extended nuclear proliferationand really the redesigning of a significant number of countriesthat probably doesn't work to anyone's

    • 01:20:47

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: long-term interest, least of all,the residents in those areas.But you ask so if the Americans had decidednot to involve themselves in the current situation at all,would Australia have gone in?I think the answer to that is clearly no.And, really, that does take us back to Rory's point.

    • 01:21:07

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: You can be a top 20 country, but let's notimagine the 600 troops, and eight combat fighters,an AWACS, and a refueler is reallygoing to give you the sway to reshape the map of the MiddleEast.It's clearly not.It's something that can only be done, really effectivelyin terms of a coalition.

    • 01:21:29

      PETER JENNINGS [continued]: But here is where Australia's roleis important in terms of being the backbone of a coalitioneffort, along with those other consequential top countriesthat choose to be involved.

    • 01:21:41

      PETER: Samina?

    • 01:21:46

      AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.Samina [INAUDIBLE] from [INAUDIBLE], and Iguess I should also say [INAUDIBLE] at one level.My question really goes to what Rory saidand then Alan referred to that.Rory, you talked about the cohesion of the societyas one of the questions.

    • 01:22:08

      AUDIENCE [continued]: And then Alan talked about more coordinated sort of responsewhich links foreign policy, defense policy, and trade.And, while you were talking, Alan, then youreferred to the Islamic state.And that just made me wonder whatyou say about the language that we use,which is the intangible element of security

    • 01:22:30

      AUDIENCE [continued]: in defining the threats.Because, looking at the situation as I,based on my research, it appears to methat when we use the word Islamic state, we, in fact,are falling into the trap of the group that's called [INAUDIBLE]and is being referred to as [INAUDIBLE] in the Middle Eastand in other Muslim countries because they do not

    • 01:22:53

      AUDIENCE [continued]: want to authenticate its claim.And use of that language, in fact,also then feeds into weakening the cohesionof Australian community because Muslimsthink of being targeted, and the non-Muslims thinkof Muslims as the target.So I guess, based on that, and that's reallythe reason I'm asking the question-- Alan,

    • 01:23:16

      AUDIENCE [continued]: if we are going the way that you, I think,suggest very wisely, that we needto Asianize the alliance, which really needsto create a space between the regional countriesand Australia, define some standard at which we can tryand guarantee our security, at least,with some level of confidence.

    • 01:23:39

      AUDIENCE [continued]: What role does understanding of culture and the securityculture play?And how do we, as a country, create the environmentin which that culture actually grows and not just simplyfor the people who are in the decision-making levelbut also who are at the early career-level

    • 01:23:59

      AUDIENCE [continued]: and also as students?

    • 01:24:03

      ALAN DUPONT: [INAUDIBLE].Well, Samina, I think maybe we should have a joint Universityseminar to discuss this because I suspectit would take up several hours to getan answer to your question.So I'm going to do the best I can in a minute or so.OK.Look, I absolutely accept your proposition

    • 01:24:27

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: that language is critical in communicatingany message wherever you are and particularly in the securitydomain because of the sensitivities around language.Obviously, the consequences are far greaterif you get it wrong.So I accept that proposition.The second thing is the whole issue

    • 01:24:49

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: then of cultural understanding, empathy of other societiesis absolutely critical to the way in which a countrycommunicates its strategy, and its stance, and its posture,and its alignments.I think Australia hasn't done particularly wellon this in the defense arena.

    • 01:25:11

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: It's been very Anglo-centric in the waywe articulate our strategy.We call it declaratory policy, what we say in our DefenceWhite Papers and what ministers say in statements.If you look at the language, of courseit reflects their own culture and their own understandings.And I'm not expecting too much here,but I think after how many decades

    • 01:25:32

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: it is that we've now been engaging with Asia,we should be doing a little bit betterin articulating our messages in waysthat the audiences for which we are designing them connect.So I absolutely accept that.Now, the final point I'm making--

    • 01:25:53

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: because this is a very complex issue--is let's talk about Islam for a momentbecause I know that's a central concern of yours.Yes, even things like what we call organizations and the wordusing Islamic can be quite counter-productivebecause rather than bringing clarity to an issue,

    • 01:26:14

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: it can actually alienate the very peopleyou need to support you in your policies,whether that's domestic security policy here,or in terms of our terrorism policy, or overseas.And I think most of our policymakersget that at the macro level.But it's about translating that into actual policy

    • 01:26:34

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: in communication is when we fall down.Now, final point I'll make is the faultis also with the so-called other.It's not just, hey, it's all our fault,and we haven't got it right.There's also a mutual obligation responsibility here.And I think if I can just make a commentabout the whole issue of terrorism,and so forth, Islamic terrorism, or whatever

    • 01:26:56

      ALAN DUPONT [continued]: terms are being used here-- I think the Islamic communityitself also needs to look at thatand think about how they're communicatingtheir messages to the non-Islamic part of Australia.I'll leave it there.

    • 01:27:10

      PETER: A quick comment from Rory, and then we'll wind up.

    • 01:27:12

      RORY MEDCALF: Look, very quickly, thanks for raising it.I've got a long-term concern about, really,the inclusiveness of Australian Security Policy.If you're looking 20 years in the future,the way our society is changing, Australian society is becomingvery much an Australian society for the Asian century--anda very broad definition of Asia there--a global century,

    • 01:27:34

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: perhaps.I do think we can do a lot more with out security communityto really reflect the society and include the society.The challenge, though, is not necessarilywith the bureaucracy, which is really making an effort.It's with the political class.It's with the attractiveness of the career in this fieldto, for example, second generation migrants

    • 01:27:56

      RORY MEDCALF [continued]: from all sorts of communities.And it's ultimately going to be their decisions.And their decisions will be basedon the way they perceive the political debate.So I think it's actually a priority area for buildingresilience into the future.

    • 01:28:07

      PETER: Ladies and gentlemen, I think we-- I'm sorry.I know there are many people who would loveto ask questions at this point.But we have to bear in mind the time thing.I do want to-- because we're actually slightly over timealready-- but I do want to emphasizethe point that, I think, Alan made and was implicit

    • 01:28:29

      PETER [continued]: in all these points.We've had a discussion on security,and we've hardly mentioned defense hardware.The whole concept of integrating defense foreign policycultural aspects and so on has become a major theme.And I think that's an end to which all the specific points

    • 01:28:51

      PETER [continued]: need to be integrated.So what I would now ask you to thank all four of our panelistsfor a stimulating discussion.[APPLAUSE]

AIIA 2014 National Conference Session 3: Strengthening Australia's Security

View Segments Segment :


Experts Alan Dupont, Peter Jennings, Rory Medcalf, and Tanya Ogilvie-White offer their thoughts on how to strengthen Australian security. The prepared statements and questions from the audience range from nuclear proliferation to the influence of the United States and China, as well as climate change and cross-cultural perspectives.

AIIA 2014 National Conference Session 3: Strengthening Australia's Security

Experts Alan Dupont, Peter Jennings, Rory Medcalf, and Tanya Ogilvie-White offer their thoughts on how to strengthen Australian security. The prepared statements and questions from the audience range from nuclear proliferation to the influence of the United States and China, as well as climate change and cross-cultural perspectives.

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