The security risks of Australia’s language disadvantage

Author: Jessie Storey, University of Queensland

On September 10 2001, the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted intelligence of two Arabic messages sent between individuals with ‘terrorist connections’. On September 11 2001, two planes hijacked by terrorist group Al Qaeda flew into the Twin Towers in New York City, killing nearly 3000 people. On September 12 2001, the messages were translated, one day too late.

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How can Australia respond to China’s disinformation campaign?

Author: Paul Sigar

Although there weren’t any foreign interference or malicious cyber-activities that affected the integrity of the 2019 Federal elections, this may change in the coming years. Australia can expect disinformation campaigns perpetuated by Chinese state actors, similar to those that target Chinese diaspora in North America, to reach its shores — only more sophisticated and covert.

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European Union–Quad collaboration towards a ‘Free and Open’ Indo-Pacific

Author: Ben Johnstone, ANU

The European Union (EU) has recently shown increased interest in the Indo-Pacific. From new bilateral partnerships to a new Indo-Pacific Strategy, the region is finally receiving Brussel’s attention. China’s challenge to the global order through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has caused alarm among European leaders and the recently re-emerged Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) must seize opportunities to work with Europe if it is to maintain the existing rules-based order.

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Lessons in crisis management: the EP-3 crisis

Author: Anastasia Kalloniati, ANU

Negative perceptions of international security and relations between global powers are steadily rising with mounting tensions between the United States (US) and China. In this fearful climate, we need to look deeper at crises that had the potential to be devastating to better tackle those that may arise in the future. The EP-3 crisis is a fascinating case that fits this description.

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The future of ‘unprecedented’ events

Author: Krystal Ha, University of Melbourne

When COVID-19 swept across the globe many described it as ‘unprecedented.’ It seemed out of the blue, with the idea of widespread lockdowns, extensive hotel quarantine programs and travel bans alien to all Australians. In government, it was the same — still reeling from bushfires across Australia, the state and federal governments scrambled from one extreme crisis to the next. However, the possibility of a pandemic has been glaring in our faces for decades.

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COVID-19 has worsened Australia’s right-wing extremism problem

Author: Fiona Ballentine, ANU

Australia has failed to acknowledge that it has an right-wing extremism problem that is being exacerbated by the Internet and COVID-19. The difficulty in combatting the issue has lies in the role of social media as an instrument for radicalisation. In tackling COVID-19, Australia’s crisis response is lacking a crucial component — it has not fully understood the expansion of violent extremism narratives as part of its disaster response.

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International law with Chinese characteristics

Author: Samuel Ng, Queensland University of Technology

Australia last year called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 and objected to Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping security law in Hong Kong. China’s swift retaliation, then, through deployment of strong measures against Australian wine and barley exports was no surprise.

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Where is Australia on climate action?

Author: Tutti Copping, University of Technology Sydney

The Australian Government’s recent failure to list the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ is another ‘F’ on their climate change report card.  In 2020, the Reef underwent its third iteration of coral bleaching, affecting 60 per cent of coral in the reef, and serving as a pertinent reminder of the environmental impact climate change is having in Australia.

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Power politics is paralysing the World Trade Organisation

Author: Angus Colovic, University of Adelaide

What constitutes a ‘national security issue’ is a never-ending debate. Some may see the distinction in sector — armament management, regional defence, and sovereignty matters. Unfortunately, in a world rife with insurgencies, tacit influence and coercive diplomacy, some issues tend to get swept under the rug. ‘

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